Friday, 23 December 2011

Final Major Project: Game Influences (Pt. 1)

For Mine and Will's game we're looking into creating a game that has a very gameplay oriented feel, this is what we set out to do from the beginning. We also decided we wanted some type of medieval themed hack and slash game, immediately the classic game Super Ghosts'n Ghouls just to mind for the aesthetic. Whilst the game has developed as a series I'll be looking at this installment specifically as it's what I'm reminded of most when anyone mentions the series.

In Super Ghosts'n Ghouls players control Arthur a Brave knight who must rescue the princess of his land as she has yet again been kidnapped by demons so that they can learn the location of the Goddess Bracelet, the only item capable of defeating them and their leader once and for all.

The game is a medieval themed side scrolling where in the player traverses 8 themed levels, defeating various monsters and picking up and using the various power-ups there is to use. The player starts off with the standard grey armour and lance. There are 3 types of armour with each upgrade adding a magical effect to Arthur's weapons, there are also various other weapons which are all upgraded with magic when arthur is wearing the other sets.

Developed by Capcom and released in '91 originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Ghosts'n Ghouls is known for it's challenge and difficulty. Along with it's unique sense of art style it's clear to see why it would leave such a memorable impression on anyones mind. Obviously with the development of graphics it'll be interesting to see how this 2D game will influence our own 3D game, but it's really more about the way it's presented, nowhere looks boring or safe and constantly makes the players stay on their toes. At the end of each section the player has to face off against one larger creature to proceed to the next level.

The controls for the game are also relativey simple too. Using the directional pad and two buttons, one for jump and one for attack, Arthur can double jump with a double tap of the jump button and can crouch to get to low enemies. This simple interface combined with challenging gameplay is probably what makes it a successful game, (it also makes sure you don't have to add a tutorial level) by making sure anyone would be able to play it, anyone with enough time and practice can master it.

For the storyside of things it's a relatively simple story but it should be noted that the way it's presented is in a very short animation at the beginning with little music and no dialogue. The player knows exactly what they have to do. Check it out below:

Ofcourse this being a game based in Japan there are several regional difference for it's release firstly there's the name, originally titled "Chōmakaimura" which means "Super Hell Village" probably wouldn't go down so well with western audiences but, there were also little things changed to the game such as the crosses on the coffins in the first level were changed from christian crosses to ankhs and the final boss was renamed Sardius rather than Samael (Sameal being the name of an angel whom is task with jobs on the same level as acts commited by satan but for righteous reasons). It's interesting to see how localisation can change a game but I don't think these minor changes affect anything thats at the core of Super Ghouls'n Ghosts.

With a simply story and interface but addictive qualities in the gameplay itsef it's clear to see why Super Ghosts'n Ghouls became so popular, o
verall in ways of how this classic will be influencing mine and Will's game is a strange mix, it's part story, part aesthetic and part gameplay. We want people to be able to pick up our game and enjoy it for it's visuals and it's gameplay, I personally believe that gameplay should come first in a game and that's what people should talk about more rather than the story.

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