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Variety Games

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Variety Games

Unread postby icycalm » 01 Jan 2019 08:58

The Inevitable Death and Improbable Resurrection of Variety Games


icycalm wrote:The variety games were simply ahead of their time. Way ahead. 20+ years ahead, as it turned out. And their time is now.
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Suddenly STG

Unread postby icycalm » 12 Mar 2019 22:27

Select Button is a depressing effeminate-pseud-infested shithole, but once a year or so they do happen to generate a decent thread worth linking, and today is that day for 2019.

AutomaticTiger wrote:Suddenly STG

Tulpa and I were talking on discord and we realized there are a massive number of games that unexpectedly turn into shooters out of nowhere! If the vast majority of the game is something else, but becomes a shooter of some kind without warning at some point, especially near the end, it belongs on this list:

  • Kirby Superstar
  • Kirby’s Dream Land (in the middle, but it still happens)
  • Super Mario Land
  • Devil May Cry
  • Lost Planet (edge case, but I’m putting it here)
  • Magic Knight Rayearth
  • Star Fox Adventures (Also an edge case because you periodically visit these stages but the final boss being Andross pushes this over for me)
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • Kid Icarus
  • Loony Tunes (GB)
    *Banjo Tooie (edge case, but it does have a rail shooter mini game very different from any part of the game in the middle).
  • Nier
  • Nier Automata
  • Tingle’s Rosy Rupee Land
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Super Frog (Amiga)
  • Rocket Knight Adventures
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts 2
  • Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Tankz! (PC)
  • Solar Jetman
  • Digimon World 4
  • Knights of the Old Republic (edge case but close enough)

(I’ll update this as more games come in)

Is there any moral to be drawn from this phenomenon? There is actually, and I am not just talking about the weirdness and general old-school tendencies of some Japanese developers. For this is simply a holdover from the old "variety game" design philosophy that was common worldwide in the past and peaked in the '80s, before disappearing, and finally reappearing in the form of the modern survival-crafting game, as I have analyzed extensively in my recent essay, The Inevitable Death and Improbable Resurrection of Variety Games. The Japs simply haven't got the memo that this old design philosophy was flawed to start with and rightly disappeared, and on occasion continue to insert these useless, blatantly subpar STG segments in games in which they don't belong. It's a kind of virtue-signalling, believe it or not. The dev is saying to you, "Remember those old shooty-shooty games? Well we do, and we'll make sure you know we remember them by inserting a brief, subpar stage of them that contributes nothing to the overall experience in our totally unrelated game!" That Nier guy is the master of this signalling, and he continues to reap the rewards for it (=blind weeb loyalty and associated sales increases).
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