[GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]

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A.I.
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Post[GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]
by A.I. » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:48 pm

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Anonymous wrote:Treasured Memories

If there's one thing I cherished when growing up, it was the Sega Mega Drive. Coming in a sleek piano black case, this fantastic system was home to Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage and countless other 16-bit classics. But among the obvious entries in our Sega collection, there was one curio that stood out - one oddball game that played by its own rules and dared to be different. I am talking about Dynamite Headdy.

Frantic, bizarre and innovative, Dynamite Headdy was a game designed entirely around the titular character's source of attack; his head. At a time where jumping on enemy heads and collectable coins were traditions no one dared alter, this charming platformer insisted that a detachable head was the way to go. Being able to shoot in eight directions, bop bad guys, pull Headdy onto smiling faces and thrust the player momentously, this was a game that insisted on inventive gameplay mechanics for equally inventive results. Couple this with a wide, unpredictable variety of levels and bosses and you have one of the most original games released to this day.

And those are words that could be assigned to many games by Japanese developer Treasure. Made up of ex-Konami staff leaving their home developer for creative differences, Treasure strive for games with an emphasis on untraditional play, and insist that if the player is going to play their games, they're going to have to adapt to the unusual controls and mechanics. Where Contra plays it safe with grenades and traditional power ups, Gunstar Heroes allows the player to throw enemies, launch flying kicks and mix elemental powers for whatever bizarre weapons may emerge. Geometry Wars relies on simple, uncomplicated rules for a good game, Bangai-O Spirits relies on an elaborate, experimental weapon system consisting of dozens of fire power and melee assaults for what is also a good, if less accessible game. Even their fighting games, YuYu Hakusho
and Bleach: Blade of Fate insist on frantic, off the wall gameplay that may be more traditional compared to their other efforts, but boast that undeniable Treasure feel.

Whether Treasure's approach to game design is best is down to debate, but if nothing else, it's different. When you play a Treasure game, you're playing something with that unique flair and polish you don't always get from the big boys in the industry. The cynics dismiss these new found concepts as one shot, desperate attempts to stand out in the sequel-focused gaming market. But while this approach may attract naysayers and occasional misfires (There are reasons Stretch Panic is largely forgotten), it also brings upon hoards of critical acclaim. Ask a games fan if they know of a large, well known developer and you'll likely get a positive, if not always overly enthusiastic response. Ask about Treasure and while you're more likely to get a “No”, what “Yes” replies you do receive will be laden with love and countless words of praise for Ikaruga, Alien Soldier and whatever obscurities of the developer they may favour.

Known for their critical success but not for commercial hits, Treasure remain an underdog in the industry, a relative unknown, particularly these days where a game that doesn't belong to a popular genre or franchise struggles to compete in the market. Even among gaming circles it's hard not to notice their fading presence, perhaps illustrating how we as gamers may play things a little too safe sometimes. Nonetheless, that strange, ecstatic fellow in the corner rambling on about Radiant Silvergun may come across as flamboyant and estranged, but he's a Treasure fan, a keen player of some of the industry's most unique and enjoyable experiences. As is yours truly.


All comments and feedback welcome. Thank you.

Last edited by A.I. on Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pilch
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PostRe: [GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]
by Pilch » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:30 pm

This is really great. I haven't played many of the games you've mentioned, so I can't comment on whether or not I agree with your points, but that doesn't really matter, of course. This is very well written (minus a few weird typos and errors that I'll get to in a minute!) and I was impressed by the initial misdirection.

At a time where jumping on enemy heads and 100 collectables for an extra chance was tradition no one dared alter...


This makes sense, but I had to read it twice before I was convinced. The "100 collectables" bit could maybe do with a slight shuffle. Could just be me being dense, of course.

...uncomplicated rules for an good game...


I'm sure I need say no more here.

...it also brings upon hoards of deserved critical acclaim.


A word missing perhaps?

There are a few more but I've covered enough. As I said, I really like this piece so hopefully you won't take my nitpicking too personally. A possible vote grabber for sure.

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Hero of Canton
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PostRe: [GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]
by Hero of Canton » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:46 pm

Firstly, nice title. :mrgreen:

Now quick, to the Analysismobile!

Anonymous wrote:If there's one thing I cherished when growing up, it was the Sega Mega Drive. Coming in a sleek piano black case, this fantastic system played home to Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage and countless other 16-bit classics. But among the obvious entries in our Sega collection, there was one curio that stood out, one oddball game that played by its own rules and one that just dared to be different. I am of course talking about Dynamite Headdy.


Nice opening para, but I think it should be 'played host to' or 'was home to'. I'd also change the comma after 'stood out' to a dash, and nix the second 'one that'. So you'd have: "one curio that stood out - one oddball game that played by its own rules and dared to be different."

(Small observation: I'd also lose the 'of course'. If it's a curio, then it's surely not obvious that you're talking about Dynamite Headdy)

Frantic, bizarre and quirky


Bizarre and quirky are a little too similar. I know they don't exactly mean the same thing, but you need a different third adjective there I feel.

Dynamite Headdy was a game designed entirely around the limits of the titular character's ability; his head.


I kind of know what you mean by that, but that sounds weird. The limits are his head?

At a time where jumping on enemy heads and 100 collectables for an extra chance was tradition no one dared alter, this charming platformer insisted that a detachable head was the way to go.


I like that, and it made me laugh. But I'd change the '100 collectables for an extra chance', though it simply sounds better if you change 'was tradition' to 'were traditions'.

pull Headdy onto smiling faces and thrust the player momentously


:lol: I've no idea what that means, but that really made me laugh.

this was a game that insisted on inventive gameplay mechanics for equally inventive results. Couple this with a wide, unpredictable variety of levels and bosses and you have one of the most original games released to this day.


Yeah, good stuff.

And those are words that could be assigned to many games by Japanese developer Treasure. Made up of ex-Konami staff leaving their home developer for creative differences, Treasure strive for games with an emphasis on untraditional play, and insist that if the player is going to play their games, they're going to have to adapt to the unusual controls and mechanics. Where Contra plays it safe with grenades and traditional power ups, Gunstar Heroes gives the ability to throw enemies, launch flying kicks and mix elemental powers for whatever bizarre weapons may emerge. Geometry Wars relies on simple, uncomplicated rules for an good game, Bangai-O Spirits relies on an elaborate, experimental weapon system consisting of dozens of fire power and melee assaults for what is also a good, if less accessible game. Even their fighting games, Yu Yu Hasuko and Bleach: Blade of Fate insist on frantic, off the wall gameplay that may be more traditional compared to their other efforts, but boast that undeniable Treasure feel.


Lovely. A couple of little foibles - 'gives the ability' is clunky, and 'an good game' is a bit of a rubbish way to describe Geometry Wars - but that's great.

When you play a Treasure game, you're playing something with that unique flair and polish you don't always get from the big boys in the industry. “Gimmicks!” hurl the cynics, dismissing these new found concepts as one shot, desperate attempts to stand out in the sequel-focused gaming market. But while this approach may attract naysayers and occasional misfires (There are reasons Stretch Panic is largely forgotten), it also brings upon hoards of deserved critical acclaim. Ask a games fan if they know of a large, well known developer and you'll likely get a positive, if not always overly enthusiastic response. Ask about Treasure and while you're more likely to get a “No”, what “Yes” replies you do receive will be laden with love and countless words of praise for Ikaruga, Alien Soldier and whatever obscurities of the developer they may favour.


Another good para ("Gimmicks!" hurl the cynics doesn't work, though) with a couple of wee grammatical lapses. I'm liking this piece, but it could definitely do with a tweak or two.

Known for their critical success but not for commercial hits, Treasure remains an underdog in the industry, a relatively unknown, particularly these days where a game that doesn't belong to a popular genre or franchise struggles to compete in the market.


Relative unknown. And you're correct to use Treasure in the singular, but it's inconsistent with the rest of the piece where you've used it as a plural.

Even among gaming circles it's hard not to notice their ever increasing disappearance


Again, I know what you mean, but that's clumsily expressed.

perhaps illustrating how we as gamers may play things a little too safe sometimes. Nonetheless, that strange, ecstatic fellow in the corner rambling on about Radiant Silvergun may come across as flamboyant and estranged, but he's a Treasure fan, a keen player of some of the industry's most unique and enjoyable experiences. As is yours truly.


I like 'flamboyant and estranged'. :lol: Lovely closer.

So yeah, I really enjoyed that. I've gone into detail about the mistakes because with a nip and a tuck here and there, this is a definite contender. Well done indeed. :D

DML wrote:F'NARR!
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Eighthours
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PostRe: [GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]
by Eighthours » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:05 am

I really liked this one. Charming stuff, with a winning optimism to it. Sure, there are a few small grammatical errors that have already been outlined above, but I think this is one of the best pieces in the competition.

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A.I.
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PostRe: [GRWC8] Treasured Memories [Article]
by A.I. » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:01 pm

Edited on request of author.


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