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The Gimmick


DarkTone
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Are there any games you like that are based on a specific game device or trick? It could be Mega Man (beating Robot Masters and using their weapons), Or WarioWare (where games last 5 seconds) or how about Ikaruga (racist bullets).

GOLDEN RULE BROKEN!

I liked the idea in Boktai that you use real sunlight to power an in game weapon.

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Taito are great at this, and Bubble Bobble's eponymous bubbles is an obvious example, and of course the absurdly versatile rainbows in my avatar's origin Rainbow Islands is a personal favourite - The same tool is used as both a primary attack, an enemy trap, a shield, a way to pick up items at a distance, and your primary means of moving around.

It's absolutely brilliant. I've tried thinking of a similar original concept for one of my own game designs, but it's simply impossible. I can't imagine being this creative.

rainbowislands2.png

Edited by Sumez
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13 hours ago, DarkTone said:

Are there any games you like that are based on a specific game device or trick? It could be Mega Man (beating Robot Masters and using their weapons), Or WarioWare (where games last 5 seconds) or how about Ikaruga (racist bullets).

 

Now I'll never think about that game the same way again.

It's predecessor, Radiant Silvergun, was also pretty unique.  You had 5 or 6 types of weapons to choose from at any time, but there were no weapon powerups to collect in the game.  The more you used each weapon, the stronger it would get.  But in order to power up everything, you had to use each weapon throughout each level.  You also had to get used to which weapons were better suited for each situation.  

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While not strictly on the same level as the other responses I've seen so far, I really liked the controller "gimmick" bundled with Steel Battalion.  The fact that the game only played in permadeath mode ended up putting me off of spending a ton of time on it, but it's always been fun when I break it out.

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11 hours ago, Austin said:

Low-G-Man with its freezing mechanic.

Low G Man, love this one. And also that they made limitations on it to keep up the tactical challenge, only being able to shoot forward left or right, while only being able to use the spear vertically up and down to attack.

8 Eyes with using the falcon Cutrus as it wasn't just there as an option but was just as necessary to fight certain enemies that could only be hurt by the bird, but also many times needed the falcon to pull levers to open a door to the next area. And what I loved also about this one is how once you release Cutrus into flight, it flies back and forth in an up and down wave motion automatically changing direction only once it touches the edge of the screen, thus careful timing is necessary when using its attacks to swoop down on enemies.

Batman with the wall jump. Okay, so Ninja Gaiden has this too, but what is different is Batman can't hold into the wall, thus the challenge is greater and limited to rebounding from one wall to the next. Sometimes you may find yourself carefully lightly jumping back and forth within a confined space as you wait for the right time to attack or get past an enemy. And this wall jump is a necessary element as stages are set up with this game mechanic in mind.

Bionic Commando with the grapple, and better that it didn't simply accompany a jump, there is no jumping thus the grapple is the only means to advance over gaps or to reach higher places, the whole game was set up around using this device. No other games have done it the same way, even later Bionic Commando games have removed it as the only means, giving him a jump as well. The lack of a jump is what made this game unique with the grapple and a challenge set apart from any other.

Blaster Master with wall and ceiling climbing. I remember when I first got the wall 1 and wall 2 devices, I was in awe, and this together with the hover and dive adaptors, total freedom and the most awesome vehicle ever. And this tank thingy could jump too, right at the get go. Really kick ass. The most versatile character I played at the time.

Bubble Bobble with well, all the bubbles. Encapsulate enemies and pop 'em. But there was more to it than just leaving it at that, you could gather them all together and pop them all at once for bigger points and even bounce on bubbles which was the only way to get up to higher places on the screen, thus offered a form of transportation, bouncing platforms. And what makes this even more challenging is they only last for a certain amount of time and also are affected by currents that blow them along invisible courses on each screen, thus you have to sometimes learn their floating path to succeed in clearing out each room.

Ducktales with Scrooge McDuck being able to pogo off of enemies or over hazardous areas. It's like how Mario in SMB bounces off of enemies when stomping on them but even more extreme and can be done any time. Interesting how this is what they thought when they thought up what his hooked cane could do, pogo stick, not using the end to hook onto things, but that was implemented too, with Ducktales 2, yet somehow bouncing was the first thing they thought up for it, odd but it works.

Gun.Smoke with how the character shoots at enemies I felt was different, as the A and B buttons have him shooting not left or right exactly but diagonally forward to either side and pressing them both at the same time allows him to shoot forward. Never played another game that did it like this and works great to give that feel of moving through a hostile enemy filled area and just taking out your pistols and doing a quick shot at a foe trying to sneak over on the side of you, then bam, another in the other direction, then aiming both guns forward, pump another bad guy full of lead who thought a direct approach was best, sorely mistaken. The game keeps him ever moving thus it feel more natural to have him only turn slightly to each direction while walking and gave you more forward coverage, always ever constantly the bullets are going towards the top of the screen be it straight or diagonal.

Metal Storm as already mentioned, the gravity flip. The game was built around this. Love that upsidedown box art pic, was perfect, no words were even necessary for those who know the game. Great one fox.

13 hours ago, fox said:

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Metroid with the freeze beam which not only froze enemies but also allowed you to use them as stepping stones, small temporary platforms while they remained frozen. And the Maru Mari, which could be said is no different than a character ducking and crawling but there are strategic limitations and gameplay changes between running around on two legs and shooting at enemies and the only means of attacking in ball form which is laying bombs, which in themselves offers not only a means to blow up enemies and certain walls but can be used to propel Samus up slightly with each mini explosion.

Smash TV when using two controllers to simultaneously using the D-pad of one controller to move the character around the screen and using the other D-pad on the other controller to freely fire in any direction no matter which way you are moving. If only more games used this, well thought out and implemented two fisted action due to the limitation on buttons on the NES controller. You can still play the game with one controller but it is so much more fun and fluid with two.

Solar Jetman with the gravity. While other games also use the same sorta physics this one changes it up from planet to planet thus always keeping it challenging, unlike Cybernoid and Air Fortress which also had a gravity like feel to the games, though in those you simply drifted down, not much different than Mario or any other character underwater. The thing about the gravity in Solar Jetman is how it actually really feels light or heavy, especially noticeable if you have a weak engine on your jetpod when you reach a planet with heavy gravity and find yourself struggling to get the jetpod to lift off or navigate over simple terrain. Actually feels like I'm in the cockpit and pushing down on the pedal as hard as I can, come on ship, come on, you can make it! And the ship is like, I'm giving it the best I got! Shit, I'm going to need a better engine, or a better ship.

 

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↑ I don't think so. Many times games will just be rather generic, very basic in their gameplay, offering really nothing outside of the usual, not to say that is a bad thing, certainly not, but there are a lot more I think that just do what has already been done before with no unique twists.

But I think that many times it is better that even if something has been done before, that how well something is implemented is more important, that whatever is used in the gameplay whether a completely new idea or something already done before is done well to offer an enjoyably challenging experience.

Edited by MeganJoanne
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Psi Ops (PS2) - Loved the whole mind control and psychic powers aspects, heck the whole Havok engine of early 2000s.

Prince of Persia Sands of Time (PS2) - Time reverse mechanic was pretty cool at the time (badum 🥁 tss)

Red Faction (PS2)- "Geomod" tech was a lot of fun, crafting your own tunnels using rocket launchers. 

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is pretty cool. Great looking game with an awesome soundtrack. Graphics and music change when you change between sisters on the fly. Very neat.

I also loved the gear system in the newest Mega Man. Took a bit of getting use to but I think Mega Man 11 is one of the best in the series. Great game.

I really liked the slow down in Max Payne as well. That feature was so cool when I first played the game. Can be abused to all hell though.

Edited by Andy_Bogomil
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Even if it was so called done better with the 1:1 motion plus creation a couple years after the fact, the classic original Wii Sports especially the bowling and golf was just fantastic.  The motion gimmick did those 2 modes a lot of justice, boxing that one was a big sketchy.  I never got into resort so much, but the archery on there was pretty awesome.

Another solid gimmick, same era, but the DS -- Trace Memory/Another Code that game literally used the hardware itself to resolve various puzzles. In one case you'd have to shut the case to 'smash' down something in the game to create an impression.  In another situation, you'd have to figure you need to bend your system flap like 45 degrees or whatever to use the glass(plastic) panels reflectivity to read a clue or figure some password out whatever it was.  The game really did some unique stuff beyond the moronic yell or blow in the speaker junk or sketch like you have parkinsons on screen.

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