This game is not a deep work of art. It's barely a game at all.
I'm displeased whenever a game uses any combination of
soft music (or ambiance)
slow, "pithy" text
and every fool on the Internet immediately begins to sing the game as deep and inspiring.
All of these traits are commonly used gimmicks in the art genre, and they're easily identified as characteristics of an art Flash, regardless of whether or not they understand what the game expresses, or if the game expresses anything meaningful at all.
I searched for some deep meaning to the game and could find none. All I found is the simple statement: "in life one wants things, and one faces difficulty getting them." There's no argument there, no secret, no epiphany. Everything in the message that the game offers is one of the first things a child understands. Yes, getting what one wants isn't easy. Everyone knows this, and it doesn't make a good theme for any game, especially not this one.
Games should be entertaining at some level, and if entertainment does not lie in the theme of the game, then it should lie in the actual gameplay itself. Even here, Get Closer was severely lacking. The controls felt incredibly imprecise, and the levels were only as difficult as the game wanted to cooperate with the player. I beat the purportedly most difficult level in a matter of seconds, yet the one before it seemed to take forever. Even if it had been more difficult, the difficulty would have been artificial (like I said, sometimes the controlled character would more quickly and precisely, other times not).
Only in beating the game did I realize how pointless it was. Rather than a commentary on love or relationships, which it could have easily been, the game is just one overly simple mechanic, and its whole design felt very wooden at that. You could replace the character with any other, and the female character with any traditional "goal" item, and the game would stay almost exactly the same.
If there's anything less satisfying than an art game with poor controls, its an art game with poor controls that doesn't have any artistic purpose.
Firstly, I won't spoil anything about the game, but it's ending made me... well, speechless. Honestly I'm having a hard time finding the words to describe it even now. I think my only thoughts after finishing it were literally:
"Ah, man... well played."
Nothing too articulate, obviously, but it was a feeling (rather than thinking) moment.
In any case, here's the part of the review that matters. I'll try to organize it for everyone's convenience.
- I don't know how fair it is of me to criticize this, as the game is (hence the title) a dream, and dreams are illogical by nature, but I felt a distinct lack of artistic unity in some cases. For example, I still don't know whether I'm supposed to know who Edgar is. Is "Edgar" merely a meaningless figment of a dream? Is it something that you overlooked following up on? Am I too dim to have noticed it? I just don't know.
- Crucial to all puzzle-art games, of course, are the puzzles. They seemed to control the game at perfect difficulties. In other words, as I was playing, I always felt that I could progress through the game without stopping for long, but I also felt rewarded when I solved each puzzle. In fact, it was a good feeling to realize what the next step to take is and wonder how in the world you didn't notice it before.
- The art and ambiance were very pleasant. Beyond that, they felt convincing, and by that I mean they lent a genuine curiosity and appreciation for the simplistic environment the player finds himself in. It's surprising how much one's perception of each screen can change just by changing its orientation. I personally enjoyed the look of the whole game, especially the semi-monochromatic landscapes and their enormous suns. It's also nice to see a good looking game that doesn't fall into the trap of becoming "yet another melodramatic art game."
Have I forgotten anything? I can't think of anything else to discuss, so I suppose not.
Finally, I tend to like playing these made-in-X-hours games; in my opinion they offer a good opportunity to make use of every aspect of the game, to make the small things (which is often all that time allows) really stand out.
I really liked the audio and thought it fit well.
I tend to like modern pixel designs in games because of their visual crispness and feel in gameplay, but in this game I felt somewhat boxed in while playing. That is to say that it felt like I were viewing the flash in a zoomed in state.
One last thing that I felt could be improved is your use of the foreground / background layers. There were times when I couldn't tell what was in each layer (which affected gameplay) because there were high-contrast elements in the background and low-contrast in the foreground.
The familiar platform design of the game was complemented by its smoothness and responsiveness.
This is undoubtedly one of the most EPIC games...
...I've ever played here on Newgrounds.
I hardly know where to start this review, though I suppose starting at the beginning is reasonable. From the moment the player presses 'PLAY', it becomes obvious that this will be the flash of a lifetime. The Super Press Space to Win Adventure RPG 2009 makes an entrance like no other, displaying a vivid, awesome, and complex scene of an ironclad knight with his sword drawn in unimaginable detail overlooking a vast, sprawling landscape of rolling hills and thriving vegetation. All of this, however, seems to fall away in sight of the magnificent fortress imposing its presence in the background. Once the player takes all of this in, he or she may remember to press the space bar and that the game hasn't even started yet.
The game begins by introducing a handsome hero by the name of You. It is apparent that he can hardly suppress his eagerness for adventure, and at this point, neither can the player. The story unfolds, telling us that our job is to resuce a princess regardless of danger and peril. If the player can summon the courage to accept this mission and press the spacebar one more time, the journey begins.
Of course, we can't just go rushing to resuce a kidnapped princess, now can we? Definitely not. We must learn the basics of adroit movement. The narrator tells that this is performed with skill and a press of the spacebar.
Our hero soon encounters his first obstacle in the form of a roadblock, but never fear: we know how to overcome such obstacles, don't we? Of course we do! A press of the spacebar and a nimble bound sends us safely over this roadblock.
Our hero's next encounter shall not be overcome so easily, though. An enemy now blocks the path. We'll now need both skills in movement and combat here. A tap of the spacebar delivers a vicious, controlled lunge to this foolish opponent, dealing a whopping, albeit insufficient -5 HP. The enemy now counter-attacks for the same damage. Our hero, unwilling to be stopped by one blow, is ok for now. He blocks the enemy's second attack, and seizing the opportunity, delivers the final blow. Having gained 5 gold and 10 EXP from this victory, our hero again departs on his quest.
His travels take him to a dim, overgrown seasonal forest where he is suddenly sprung on by yet another enemy. This time he uses his newly learned tactics to quickly defeat this foe with ease. Wasting no time, our hero heads onward.
Before he can even make it to the forest's exit, however, a pair of enemies spring upon him on both sides in a ambush. Unable to defend himself from every blow, our hero's health is lowered to a measly single health block. In a last act of desperation, he uses a special attack and defeats both enemies handily. Gaining another level, and still more gold, You maxes out his strength bar.
You heads into town, buys a potion from the local shop, and stays at the inn for the night...
He awakes to a crash, and rushes outside to face a burning village and a mysterious boss. After three parries and one quick strike, this foe appears defeated. He vanishes.
From here, our hero continues facing slime, poison, and even a dragon before he reaches a golden sword, which he retrieves from a stone.
With this sword, he tries to attack a skeleton to no avail. Eventually he casts a fireball and defeats it. Another enemy appears in front of him--It's the boss from the village. After a hard fought battle, our hero emerges victorious and continues to the king's chambers. After dealing a successful blow, You is knocked down, unable to get up in time...
When suddenly the previous boss and persistent anti-villain deflects a blow from the king. He gives You an amulet and is then knocked away by the king. You then quickly defeats the king and rushes to this mysterious character's side. He reveals that they are brothers, then fades away.
The king appears back at the scene and reveals his true form. After dealing massive amounts of damage, our hero finally defeats the king and saves the kingdom.
The journey is now at an end. Our hero has triumphed.
I just want to know one thing...
WHERE DID YOU GET THE MENU MUSIC?
I didn't really like it because it was too simplistic.
You couldn't move, you had to click exactly on the zombies to kill them, and you couldn't survive for more than 20 seconds.
Add more guns, mobility, and a larger area--then you've got a game.
If it's any consolation, the art wasn't bad.
Even more creative than the first!
I really enjoyed playing this. The puzzles were just the right difficulty for this type of game play; the objective of each individual room was easily identified; the graphics were pleasing to the eye. Just one criticism and one suggestion:
You should hound the Newgrounds admins for achievements, if you're not already doing so. (Because of the One Button Bob, most people will be expecting them)
And the music just wasn't as catchy the second time around. It fit well, but OBB's track really got me.
Someone's been playing 1942
That's all I was thinking about while playing this. A one-life, color-drained version of 1942.
Not bad. Not good. I'll call this one a 'Meh'.
The ending creeped me out somewhat. The game itself is quite interesting.
This is quite the game; I could tell from the very beginning that this game certainly met its goal of being confrontational.
There is something you should know about the way I play games. I'm a giant pack rat by nature, and in games I try to collect everything possible and always take great care in not missing anything or making the wrong decision, so this game really spoke to me.
I really want to congratulate you on the perfection in the stark detail and artistic unity of this game. I quickly found that every aspect of this game is intentional, and I find that extremely appealing in a type of game such as this.
In addition to giving the sense that you, the author, had complete control with this game's final product, I also had the sense that I, the player, inherited this control, allowing me to lead and direct the path of not only the character, but also the story.
I would consider it a felony to spoil even the slightest detail, as it would corrupt this game's simple purity, so I'll tread quite carefully in what I say from here:
This game make a point to leave you questioning and somewhat confused even in its first action. What the player must understand to appreciate this game fully is that there is so much beneath the surface and, more importantly, beyond what you see. Interpret that as you will.
This has to be a submission of unsurpassed dignity wrapped in a modest flash.
My goal of this review is to return the favor of something I instinctively adore.
*These ten stars may very well be the most earnest representation of approval I have ever given, and you sir earned all of them*
I wanted a long, flowing hat. I was shocked to see that it was blond hair in the game win cutscene.
Annoying, but worth it.
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