Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Games Where You Launch Something Just To See How Far It Goes

I've mentioned all three of these before, but not really in-depth.  I'm not going to go too in-depth here either, this post is merely to sum up each game and compare them to each other.

Nanaca Crash

As far as I'm aware, this is the one that started it all.  It has specials that activate depending on differing conditions.  Two of these need two of the characters to appear adjacent to each other in a certain order.  The person who makes you miss a target has a special of her own that can change depending on certain conditions, but is fairly difficult to get.  I've only ever seen two variations of it.  You also have two aerial specials, one that launches the character upwards that you can use up to three times, and one that launches them downwards you can use infinitely, but has to charge between uses.

  • Will always have that nostalgia value, for me at least.
  • Fairly difficult.  I tend to prefer "tough but fair" to "unforgiving".  It's far from "unforgiving", but it's not exactly close to "tough but fair".
  • Very few people to hit, so you'll be seeing a lot of the same things happen in each run.
  • You have to click to activate people's specials.
Katawa Crash

As mentioned before, this game takes Nanaca Crash's formula of people to hit that do different things, some of whom have specials, and one person who can prevent you from hitting people that has a tricky to activate special of their own, and runs with it.  Using characters from the visual novel Katawa Shoujo, plus a whole host of guest characters, this game is pretty crazy.  It keeps the same aerial special formula as Nanaca Crash, but adds the ability to get more "launch the character upwards" uses.  It also adds achievements, because we all need achievements.

  • Crazy.
  • Srsly.
  • So many things you'll never expect the first time you see them that just make you go "wat" then "lolol".
  • You don't have to click to activate people's specials.
  • The music is quirky and some on-hit effects depend on your timing relative to it.
  • um.  uh...  hmm.  Can't really think of any, to be honest. (the rest of these were added as I wrote the section for Toss The Turtle)
  • Oh, wait.  It's so fun you'll wonder where all your free time went.
  • Also, after a run ends, it goes back to the main menu, rather than either going straight to another launch or asking you if you want to go again.
  • "RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA RUMBA" will get stuck in your head.  Guaranteed. (the song I linked to isn't the exact version of the song used in the game, but I can't find that one)
Toss The Turtle

This game technically came before Katawa Crash, but whatever.  It's similar enough to the other two to be compared to them, but it doesn't follow the same formula.  Most notably, it has a shop where you can buy upgrades that enable you to get more distance.  Most of the stuff you can hit is actually in the air.  There are also quite many ways for your run to end prematurely: vertical ground spikes, horizontal ground spikes, aerial spikes, and UFOs.  The first three can be guarded against once by purchasing the Chest Bomb from the shop, but if the UFO gets you, it's all over.  After each run you're awarded money based on your distance, with bonuses for things you hit during the run, and you can use that money to upgrade the cannon and your aerial specials so you can get more distance and therefore more money.  This game also has achievements, some of which give you in-game bonuses.

The specials work a bit differently.  You have three of them: a weapon that launches the turtle upwards when you hit him, and is aimed with the mouse; a jetpack you can buy and upgrade in the shop that gives you a bunch of horizontal distance at your current altitude once per run; and nuclear bombs that launch you high into the air, that you can buy a lot of and use multiple times per run.  The latter two are activated by clicking their respective icons in the HUD.

In addition, you can control the turtle somewhat using WASD, and the camera follows the turtle rather than being fixed on the ground.

  • A bit of a different formula.  Different is good, after all.
  • The music, the first time you hear it every time you fire up the game.  Silence, you fire the cannon, then epic music.  It works quite well.
  • Too much shit that ends your run.  You should be able to buy an upgrade that removes UFOs, and another upgrade that removes aerial spikes.  The ground spikes, in both varieties, are fine.
  • The reason these upgrades are necessary: both UFOs and aerial spikes can appear above the highest point that the camera will go up to, ending your run without you being able to see them coming, literally.
  • Too much distance between objects on the ground.  There are achievements that add "more stuff", but they take a while to unlock.
  • The music, after it loops for the 9001st time.  Basically, once you start it on your first shot after firing up the game, it never stops.  There's no run-end fanfare and then period of relative silence like with Katawa Crash.
  • The best weapon to use is actually in the mid-tier: the AK-47.  Sure, the bullets of "The Ultimate Gun" have insane power, but you get so few of them and ammo pickups are rare and difficult to hit.  You can get much longer runs by taking the AK-47 and then feather-touching your mouse button to fire one bullet at a time.  Basically, bigger magazine > individual bullet's power, and the AK-47 has the biggest magazine of all the available weapons.
There you have it, a synopsis of each with pros and cons.  I will leave it up to the reader to make their own decisions, because when comparing things I don't like to go "this is how it is, always, if your opinion is different it's wrong, deal with it, *sunglasses*, YEEAAAAHHHHHH".  If you want my opinion, I'll still give it, and it would be that you should play Nanaca Crash a few times to get the gist of the formula, and then progress to Katawa Crash.

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