Specialized Interaction: Okami And Castlevania

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.

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Wootini’s Weekly Animal Crossing Diary

Dear Diary,

You know, I thought this was a pretty boring week in Geneva. But then I looked back at it, and while it might have been quiet, there was still some silliness and fun to be had! Plus, any week that ends with a surprise can’t be all bad, right? Well, I guess that depends on whether the surprise is good or bad…

Read on to find out which it was!

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Final Fantasy XV Switches Directors, Gets New Trailer and Demo

Originally announced in 2006 alongside Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV has become one of gaming’s most notorious titles. It’s development has been fraught with numerous delays, rumors of becoming vaporware, and even the possibility of turning into a musical. Yes, a musical. While the game’s E3 2013 showing renewed faith that it still exists, it had absolutely zero presence at E3 2014 whatsoever. Given the game’s history this was….concerning, to say the least.

This week’s Tokyo Game Show brought a number of announcements about the title, and while none of them are a release date (or even a window) they are pretty noteworthy nonetheless.

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