I actually almost forgot that I had to stop playing games so that I could write about one.
So I wrapped up a couple of games I've been meaning to, thus clearing the way to put some serious work in on other games. But there was one game today I felt inspired to play for this project for no particular reason other than it just makes me smile.
Derrick the Deathfin, released on the PSN a few months back, is the first game to be completely molded from papercraft, or the art of cutting and folding colored paper into shapes that resemble things, in this case, entire oceans of sea creatures and features. You play as a shark, aptly named Derrick, and you're mission is simple: eat everything in your path to make it to the end of each level without dying. The longer you go without a snack, the quicker you will die. You literally just swim about and obliterate everything in your path, even taking to the skies at some points in the levels to leap out of the water and eat birds, people or anything else that might be feeling safe above the waves.
The ultimate goal in the game is to take down evil, polluting corporations who are damaging the fragile ecosystems of the oceans with their machinery and toxic materials. Sure, it has a small political agenda, but what else could you do with a game about a shark?
The art style is just amazing. The development team literally built every character out of papercraft, then had their creations recreated in digital form. If you didn't know any better, it would be easy to think that you were just watching someone dangle papercrafted sea creatures on filament in front of cardboard cutout backdrops. In an industry where graphics are at the forefront of every discussion of how good a game is, it's refreshing to see an artistic and fun approach to the visual style of the game.
Eventually, the game gets repetitive, and some of the gameplay mechanics get frustrating, especially when attempting to complete certain objectives. That was the main reason for me deciding I was done with the game tonight. If you can't advance any further without achieving a goal, but that goal is frustratingly difficult to reach because the controls just aren't as tight as they should be, then it's really hard to keep playing, no matter how creative it looks when you fail over and over again.
It's a fun little game, and one I enjoyed playing, but without much replayability, it quickly falls into that category of "Glad I Played," but won't get much playtime in the future unless I feel really froggy and want to clean up some missing trophies.
Makes me want to go to an aquarium, to be honest. And any video game that makes you want to go out and do real things in the real world is accomplishing something much greater than simple digital entertainment.