I got a chance to play Shovel Knight about a week back and I have to thank you for your review. I felt like I was taking crazy pills or something because every single person on the internet was heralding this game as some kind of “kickstarter savior” and proof that indie games are anything but a crock pot of shit with some diamonds bubbling towards the surface. Thank you for reassuring me that there was at least one person out there that shared my views.
It reminds me of when Cave Story, Braid and Bioshock came out. I was told these games were masterpieces yet I couldn’t finish a single one of them. I was told Cave Story was “like Super Metroid”, so I turned it off and played Super Metroid instead. I was told Braid was “like Yoshi’s Island”(which was honestly bullshit but I can sort of see the relation) so I turned it off and played Yoshi’s Island instead. I was told Bioshock was “like System Shock” so I turned it off and played System Shock instead. I at least feel vindicated with these three games because no one gives a shit about them anymore yet Yoshi’s Island, System Shock and Super Metroid seem more popular and relevant now than they ever were. I suppose that’s a consequence of making a game that superficially imitates an older game. I can’t think of any particular game Shovel Knight is trying to be, but I did get an itch to play Rygar afterwords. Throwing a shield like Captain America is way more heroic than fighting with a shovel.
Did Super Mario Bros. need to remind anyone of older games to succeed? What about Minecraft, Zelda, Warcraft or Tetris? These “retro games” shouldn’t “harken back to the old days” so much as they should harken back to QUALITY. If these game makers keep getting the idea that “old is better”, whether or not it’s true, they’ll get a poisoned perspective and fuck it up. I can’t think of a single time this hasn’t been the case with maybe the exception of Street Fighter 4, but that was more of a “okay guys fighting games getting ridiculous here let’s go back to basics”.
If this email is reading more like a rant, then that’s honestly because it pretty much is.
Have a nice summer and long live the true classics.
It is shocking how strong the herd mentality is even anonymously on the Internet. I thought I was the one taking crazy pills many years ago when everyone was saying that Zelda 2 was the ‘black sheep of Zelda’ which didn’t match the sales or consumer reaction back when the game was released. And yet Wind Waker keeps being talked about as if it is some ‘misunderstood classic’ despite its sad sales and HOSTILE reaction from Zelda fans. What I discovered was that game journalists were lazy and asserted Miyamoto or someone else at Nintendo’s opinion as fact. Just because Miyamoto’s opinion is one way doesn’t mean it is correct. Miyamoto has been wrong on MANY things (Virtual Boy, 3d Mario, 3DS, Wii Music, etc).
You are so correct on Cave Story, Bioshock, and Braid. And you’re correct that no one talks about those games anymore.