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adventure games

Thoughts on: Non-Obvious Gaming Peripherals

Having a large a lot of peripherals for you gaming set up, console or pc, helps build senses of immersion into your gaming experience. Your plastic guitars and tennis racket molds help shape the perception of what you’re playing, helps creating the illusion of the rock star or  tennis pro.

Just before the titan falls, they make one last attempt at victory
Just before the titan falls, they make one last attempt at victory

But for games where the peripheral isn’t as obvious, what are the things that can be done to construct a better experience of a game?

For myself, the biggest asset in my collection is a 5.1 sound system. Having a game’s environment completely envelop one of your senses to a more realistic degree help dissolve the wall between virtual and reality. Actually, that’s the intention of most peripherals. Giving your body extra information to help it believe the reality that you’re perceiving. In the case of my 5.1 sound system, when the sound design is of a master class, which it tends to be for adventure games or suspense games, then the sound system makes it more believable to be in the perceived environment.

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Tomb Raider and the Definition of Definitive

                Here’s lookin at you, kid.

Yes, Tomb Raider has been a bit stale for a long while and yes there hasn’t been a good iteration for very long time for the franchise. Guardian of Light was probably the only notable step in the right direction, but took the gameplay in a different direction from the traditional Tomb Raider games of the past. The big problem is that corridor crawling adventure games were clunky for the longest time and there was a big gap in the genre since the 3d era began. Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, even Mario and Zelda games made big advances in the 3d era, but of these early predecessors Tomb Raider holds up the least. Mario and Zelda prided themselves on fluid controls which made playing these games, even today, very enjoyable. The primitive interpretations of how players should be able to move translated well to the format that gamers are used to nowadays. Resident Evil controls like a 1920s era tank sold at discount from the crazy soviet from down the block. Turn in place, run forward. Turn in place some more, run forward. Fast mobility wasn’t a priority, and actually worked towards the games theming. Resident Evil is meant to be a survival horror game, so having fluid mobility takes away from the fear of the game. The awkwardness when controlling Jill or Chris adds to the panic when you’re trying to get away from the Zombie or Crimson making its way to eat some face. Tomb Raider controls in a similar fashion, with some more mobility than Resident Evil, but still extremely clunky by today’s standards, but since Tomb Raider isn’t a Survival Horror game, it makes the game all the more frustrating when revisiting the game with present eyes.

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