Level One: Mega Man and Journey

List Item: Play 100 of the greatest computer games
Progress: 56/100

Time for two games that contrast rather oddly. The first, an IP that has been around for years and will got a proper re-introduction to the newer generation of gamers via Super Smash Bros. Wii U.The other as much an act of artfulness as gameplay. Let’s play Mega Man 9 and Journey.

Title: Mega Man 9 (representing the Mega Man series)
Developer: Capcom
Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
Year: 2009
Position: #39

So Mega Man 9 is one of the latest iterations of a major franchise that I never played until this year. It’s not like I had never heard of Mega Man before but the only time I had was on the episode of South Park where Cartman asks for Mega Man action figures as a birthday gift. With a name as (in my opinion) crappy as this I thought it was just a piss take of Power Rangers.

Okay so maybe I am being overly snarky; especially since this game in a once flourishing franchise that published solely on download services. I know I am a bit of a dinosaur here but I still prefer to have a disc or cartridge in hand for a game rather relying on something whose previous iteration gave me the red ring of death during a game of Lego Indiana Jones. Anyway, I’ve rambled and so I’ll just summarize it before I sound even more middle-aged: fun but bloody hard.

journeyTitle: Journey
Developer: thatgamecompany
Platform: Playstation 3
Year: 2012
Position: #27

One thing I am really enjoy in this whole ‘gaming trying to prove it is an art form’ is the number of ways different games developers are approaching the problem of their medium not being taken completely seriously. I remember once being on a train and overhearing a discussion on how stupid it was that the Museum of Modern Art was beginning  to assemble a collection of video games.

Whilst the debate rages on and titles such as The Path and Heavy Rain get used as examples the gap being bridged Journey remains, in my opinion, the best argument of just how video games and art meet.  Whilst many games have made successful emotional connections over the years few have been able to accomplish the feelings of isolation, hope and explorative curiosity as well as Journey does.

The thing that struck me the most about this game (and something that it will lose in less than ten years time) is the anonymous multiplayer. On my original playthrough of this I was lucky to be paired with an experienced player who guided me around to all the secret treasures and whistled for me whenever I got lost or was in danger. I had no idea who this person was but I quickly became attached to me companion and felt a level of distress when we became permanently separated and found myself alone in a strange world.

This is the power of video games and I’m glad to say it’s something more people are beginning to experience.

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