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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They're Still Making Super Nintendo Games

There's a PC demo available, and the game should end up on XBLA in the near future.

I love that color scheme, and with all the bizarre characters and the awesome boss fights, I really feel like I'm enjoying an SNES classic that somehow managed to elude me for the last two decades.

Granted, the resolution is a bit heftier and you use the mouse cursor to aim your shots, which is worlds apart from working a single D-pad like in the low-bit era, but that's irrelevant because Owlboy is a game with the design spirit of bygone days more than anything in recent memory.

Even the design flaws feel like something you'd expect in an older title. The dungeon I explored in the demo was beautiful, but I was constantly flying through corridors that all looked the same, and even worse, a lot of the tunnels doubled back on themselves, so you could end up flying down something you passed through ten minutes ago and not realize it until you're two-dozen screens deep.

And there are these enemies that look a lot like the mini-boss in Brinstar whose hit detection is really wonky. I get that they're covering their weak spot with a shell but the animation is so minimal that it's hard to visually distinguish protected from vulnerable.

And then there's the whole trying-to-interact-with-stuff-while-you're-holding-someone-who-falls-off-at-the-slightest-brush-with-the-ground thing, which makes more sense as a gripe once you've tried the game out for yourself.

The entire demo was a lot of fun, but the part with the gnomes was amazing.
And not because it was horribly innovative or horribly epic or horribly anything. It was just really cool.

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