Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rhinos and Chickens and Sheep, Oh my!

I was never a videogame person. I was always the classic “I only play Tetris.” person. EVERYONE loves Tetris. Scientists are right now working to prove that eighty percent of “non-videogame” people do in fact like Tetris. In addition, findings indicate that most of these people describe themselves as being “pretty good” at Tetris in spite of the fact that it is statistically unlikely that they are all actually accomplished Tetris players.

Other than that, I had no use for videogames. I didn’t see the appeal in a game where the main goal was to shoot everyone else, I found the fighting games ridiculous and monotonous and pac-man has just never done it for me. I had a brief interest in Super Mario Brothers when my kid brother was like 10 years old and would stand behind me and tell me where the hidden bonus stuff was, but then I’d get to a “big boss” challenge and hand him the controller.

So when someone gave my significant other and I a game system as a present, I immediately went in search of a copy of Tetris. Unfortunately, this system doesn’t have Tetris readily available on the shelves and there’s some new different version of Tetris you can only get online and blah blah blah... the bottom line being, here I was faced with letting HIM have this gift ALL TO HIMSELF.

That was NOT an acceptable solution. I went out to my local electronics supermegastore determined to find something I could play. I found “Tak and the Power of Juju”. Now, I know tech-savvy women everywhere will cringe, but the truth is - I bought it because the pictures on the back were pretty. There. I said it. I am at this very moment covering my head in shame, but it was the pretty pictures and the fact that it had no guns. It’s probably aimed at 10 year olds (as Nickelodeon has put out the subsequent two titles) but I don’t care. It’s fun and it’s excellent stress-relief... Unlike the games with big monsters to fight which I actually find quite stressful and inevitably end up hollering at my significant other that I am through with the game because something awful is trying to kill me. I don’t need MORE stress in my life. There are sufficient monsters in the real world, thankyouverymuch.

The backgrounds in Tak are detailed and lush and gorgeous. The main character is a little indigenous person (Tak) who fights by whacking things on the head with his club or waving his wand and casting a spell. He’s mastering the art of magic “juju” and he has to use the behavior of animals in his world in order to accomplish tasks. The “monsters” are short little critters that are easy to vanquish and relatively non-threatening (especially compared to the gargantuan horrors in some games). Tak travels back and forth between a variety of nifty worlds. He can pick sheep up and carry them around. He can ride a rhinoceros. He can lure gorillas around with fruit. He can kick chickens (I know. I’m 6.). He can put on a suit and actually become a huge chicken. It’s absolutely BRILLIANT.

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