As much as I like the Grand Theft Auto series, I’ve always been more of an “owner” than a “fan.” I own the three PS2 installments and played only Vice City to any extensive degree. In GTA 3, I used the cheat code to spawn tanks over and over again outside of my hideout, blew them up, and discovered that they remained there after having saved a game, and the only way I could get rid of them all would have been to painstakingly push them all into the river with another tank, or to start a new game and lose all of my (admittedly meager) progress. In San Andreas, I exercised over and over again, became extremely muscular, then encountered a difficult early mission and lost interest in the game. → Read the rest
Genre blending is a splendid little thing. Diddy Kong Racing, one of Rare’s greatest Nintendo 64 games, is a wonderful mix of racing and adventure. Mario & Luigi Super Star Saga is a clever RPG with platforming elements thrown in. Games that stick adamantly to a certain form run the risk of getting stale, and introducing elements from other genres is a great way to keep things fresh.
Video game pinball is no stranger to this phenomenon. I remember the high hopes I had for Odama when I first heard about it sometime a few years ago. A pinball-based tactical wargame? That sort of thing just sells itself. Mario Pinball Land, similarly, had you explore typically Mario-esque worlds with a peculiar ball-shaped Mario. Interesting concepts, and rarely seen, too. → Read the rest