Yesterday, I moved more firmly into middle age and got a boy and his blob as a present. I’ve barely played the game, so I can’t say a lot in detail about how good it is. But I have a couple of reactions.
First, between blob, Muramasa, and the forthcoming New Super Mario Brothers Wii, I’m finding how much I enjoy the 2D games. I’ve been impressed by some 3D games, like Arkham Asylum and Fallout 3, but I can’t think of one where my first reaction was ‘beautiful!’ Maybe that’s my age coming through, but perhaps not. As games moves towards greater realism, they begin to take themselves away from styles that might be more aesthetic and might actually reveal more about the subject. Depending on your definition of beauty, you could see it and realism as different ends of a spectrum.
Could Van Gogh have conveyed what he did in a more realistic style? Would Henry Moore’s be nearly as beautiful with more realism? I know this is a very tenuous argument, but looking at a boy and his blob and Muramasa, I’m seeing beautiful games that 3D realism cannot match.
Second, some have criticized the game for a lack of story, to which I say, ‘meh, who needs it.’ This is a very boyish game–we might not have ever been this type of boy, but I think many of us connect with it. I remember days of waking up in the summer and running off immediately to some adventure. I didn’t need a plan or a narrative . . . I just did things. What a wonderful thing to experience again on my birthday as an older guy.
I hope a boy and his blob continue to bring me the pure fun and joy I’ve felt so far.