Originally posted at The Christian Write.
Previously I went into detail about specialized interactive items and elements, such as Link’s ocarina from Ocarina of Time and the various mini games in the Bioshock series, and when it would be appropriate to implement them in a game. Now I’d like to take a look at successful – and not so successful – implementation in greater detail using Capcom’s Okami and Konami’s Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for examples. (Incidentally, I have zero idea if there’s an industry-standard name for these elements, so if anyone knows please clue me in.)
Both games used a specialized interactive item mechanic that amounted to the player drawing shapes on the screen. However, the inputs were not equal in their execution. Both Okami and Dawn of Sorrow were high quality games that were very well received by audiences, but their respective innovative item mechanics could not have been more different in reception. In short, painting with Okami’s Celestial Brush was successful, while drawing the magic seals was a “failure”, subjectively speaking. So why did Okami succeed while Dawn of Sorrow failed?
Let’s take a look at the Celestial Brush from Okami first.