I've gotten to the point in Phantom Hourglass where I am unmotivated to complete the temple to finish the part I'm at. I am, humiliatingly, frightened at the smallest thing in games and the Phantom Guards can give me chills -especially the red ones! - so where I am faced with a scenario based on timing things right at the cost of getting the dreaded "YOU'RE MINE NOW!!!" message, I opt to hide instead. Now, this is where I am intrigued. I still love the game and want to play it, right? Phantom Hourglass allows you to roam at will - so while I can play to further the plot, I can also opt to do side things like search for treasure and fight Jolene. This serves to excite the player. I caught it, randomly, and now I play the game with a touch more admiration. It's a little design trick, but it really creates the difference between going cold turkey on a game, and taking a break on a hard part to achieve other things. Had this ability to roam not been implemented, I would have simply stopped playing altogether. This allows me to keep interest but consistently reminds me that if I do this, I get more of this fun stuff.
While on YouTube earlier, doing my usual bout of gamewatching, I caught the ending of Oracle of Seaons ( oh yes, I do love Zelda a bit much, thanks! ) and while watching the credits, I was struck by the art style. Wind Waker meets Ocarina/Majora's Mask. Cartoon, but not silly. A name scrolled up as "Illustrations" or something, and I googled it up quick - I found an article on a Zelda page about this Yusuke Nakano, and got a surprise. I've always imagined there to be several different illustrators behind the main visual concepts of Zelda, much less other Nintendo series. So I was startled to see that the same hand that brought Wind Waker into its cell-shaded glory, had also wrought the mature, gloomier Twilight Princess - as well as the rest of the series right from Ocarina of Time! I was stunned! Nakano has such a variety of styles that I never would have guessed it. My head did a little more spinning when I found that he also designed games such as Mario Tennis and Mario Kart. Honestly - an artist who can wring out the ferality of Wolf Link, but also generate lighter things like Mario Kart? Fascinating. I will do more research on him another time, but.. I wanted to share that bit of info. Certainly motivates me!
So that's about it. Soon the 360 will be at my house, so I'll have my turn to go at it. I'm mostly interested in Eternal Sonata, but I will give Halo 3 a try and play around on the arcade a little. I also want to try and get some sketches done, concept art if you will, for The Collapse. We recently found an invaluable source of interesting guns - when I saw the images, a million ideas flew through my head - I was happy to see the same reaction in Ryan when I shared it. Always good to have the team on the same wavelength.
(I've also rediscovered Sailor Moon, on a sillier note. I'm particularly intrigued by the music there - the way the main theme, Moonlight Densestu, is radically changed when it is in reprise version. I don't think either of us have considered much of sound past little things like, 'oldt rent reznor has an industrial sound we like'.. I'll have to check that out, too. I believe a good soundtrack can help a game a lot. Also been doing lots of reading on Half Life and its sequels. I never truly appreciated the game for what it was... it's honestly brilliant and intriguing. )