I've always loved the story of the contest on the old game show Press Your Luck who "cheated" the system to ultimate victory. Because the giant board of the game show ran on a pattern - albeit a complex one - this gave someone brave enough and smart enough the opportunity to study and eventually memorize the pattern of the game, thus eliminating the randomness and chance from the equation.
Well, this one guy did just that, and he capitalized big time on the fatal flaw in the system by memorizing the pattern of the Big Board. He ended up winning over $110,000 back in 1984, which at the time was the largest one-day winning ever on a game show. He didn't cheat, but rather did the equivalent of counting cards in a game of black jack; he used intelligence to counteract the randomness that most players struggled against.
When there are patterns to learn, the probability of chance is diminished. This is usually the downfall with challenging platforms, and any other games that rely on patterns (I'm looking at you, Punch-Out!).
Cloudberry Kingdom, the newly released title on the PSN. recognized the downfalls of relying on patterns, and decided to do something about it. The game is developed with an AI level design engine, that essentially generates random levels on the fly, never allowing for memorization of a pattern to take place. Brilliant idea, if you ask me. And what's even better, is that it works beautifully.
This game is like Super Meat Boy, on crack. Feeling masochistic and want to die a lot? Want to play the same level over and over again, trying to perfect your timing and hand/eye coordination so that you can finally land that one, seemingly impossible jump you've already tried countless times? Want to get to the brink of throwing your controller, only to experience sheer and utter satisfaction upon completion of a level? Then this game is for you.
If you hate extremely hard, difficult and almost impossible games, then stay far, far away from this game. Those looking for a fun, short, easy little gaming experience need not apply to this tour through the twisted kingdom riddled with disappearing platforms, spiked balls attached to chains, pop-out spikes and laser beams shooting down from the clouds.
The varying, randomly-generated levels are fun, because the difficulty seems to change based on how well or poor you doing in the game. Die a lot in one level? The next level will scale down the difficulty tremendously. Start getting cocky because you are handling the levels with ease? The game will smack you down with a quickness and remind you that you aren't supposed to do good ever while playing.
Long story short, don't try to memorize any patterns, especially if you are high-score chasing. If you do, you might be pressing your luck.
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Games played for project : 365