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Sin & Punishment Discussion (Nintendo 64) [game]
Sin & Punishment on the Nintendo 64
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03/22/24, 05:39  
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I'm surprised this game didn't have any discussion threads yet. There were a ton of threads for Star Successor! I forgot what a big deal that game was in 2010, during our era of insisting (correctly) that the Wii has hardcore games.

There's an old Simba post from around then that I always come back to:

Simbabbad said:
Many games this generation that are usually called "hardcore" also felt similar to me: linear, with a steady progression, with a clear narrative, with very very close checkpoints, basically with everything that may annoy you and may stop the entertainment process erased. Interactive movies are the obvious goal they aspire to.The new Resident Evil games, Dead Space, Bioshock, etc. are of that breed. As long as your pour enough time in them, you'll eventually get to the end. You respawn with all your health in Bioshock while your enemies still have their wounds. No matter if you die, you'll progress in Dead Rising thanks to the XP system, etc.Now, I find the latest Nintendo games pretty hard by comparison. Punch Out is pretty much radical: if you don't master exactly your opponent, you're stuck. If you can't remember where you and the powerups are in Metroid, you're stuck and may spend time finding your way or having to turn the hints on - while the simple press of a button shows you visually where to go in Dead Space as if you were a dumb child. In New super Mario Bros, if you fall, it's back the the start of the level or at the one mid-checkpoint. Wario Land is among the games that asked me to think and observe and master the most this generation.I don't think games that look to entertain you while limiting as much as possible any frustration is "hardcore". For me "hardcore" means "you have to pay attention". That's the case IMO of Metroid (minus Corruption, to some extent), Wario Land, NSMBW and certainly of Punch Out, but not that much of "movie" games, that'd be in contradiction with their goal.

Having to pay attention is a good definition for hardcore games. A similar one I use is: what is this game's density of ideas? Casual gamesólike GTA and Unchartedóhave a wide breadth of shallow ideas. This actually isn't objectively a bad thing. If you play one game a year, getting exposure to a lot of different experiences is probably really rewarding.

But man, popping in Sin & Punishment halfway through my FFVII Rebirth playthrough, it's insane to me how much more value per minute I get out of the former. There's literally a hundred times more cool stuff happening. Almost every single screen is a unique puzzle about understanding 3D space!

And it controls like a dream with the Pro Controller. I've been taking some time to really learn every level and figure out how to get through without dying, and once I've got it, it'll be really nice to pop this game in a couple times a year and take an hour to play through it.

Of course, I'm largely enjoying this as an appetizer to getting to replay Star Successor. Treasure's catalog is a frontier of gaming that I haven't explored too heavily, and it's exciting to discover that their design philosophy really rules. It's a shame they're not making new games! Put Star Successor on Switch 2.
03/22/24, 05:49   
Yeah this is a cool, short, dense game. I do think the sequel blows it out of the water, mostly because the Wiimote aiming feels so smooth. But that also means it requires special hardware... which means I'm more likely to revisit the original, even if I prefer the sequel.
03/31/24, 04:13   
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