Friday, September 27, 2013

On Ice



I'm sitting here thinking to myself that it's really just terribly bright out there today and whoa, is it muggy.  As I was scrolling through my phone's weather app I could only nod my head that it indeed feels like a Thunderstorm is coming.  I may love a storm but the humidity before hand makes me feel miserable.  In looking through the list of those other cities I've added to my weather app, I see that London's having an awesome 68 degrees and partly sunny kind of day.  It's raining in Tokyo and the temperature's at 68 degrees.  But what's this? Phoenix is at 83 degrees only right now.  And as I look at the 90 degree temperature which it is supposed to hit today for NYC, I am reminded that oh yeah, Summer is here.  Immediately I start wishing for the glorious days of Autumn, and the cold air to follow in Winter.  I get to thinking about snow.  And then I remember that as much as I love the cooler weather of Autumn and Winter in real life, I sure do despise an ice level in my video games.




There's something so horrible about all that lack of control and the off-balance feeling when you plant your virtual feet on the ground.  Hey, come to think of it, that's what I hate about Winter in real life too.  Snow is cool but ice is just awful.  I lose my mind when I cannot put my feett on the ground for fear that I'm just going to bite it.  I tend to lose my mind too when I am happily running through the grassy plains in my video games only to stumble upon snow falling on a village.  Why is that? I know that slippery, frustrating times lie ahead in an ice cavern some where and I immediately start to feel my blood boiling.  I know my hands and fingers are going to struggle as they go in every direction when I hold the controller just to keep my face from planting on the ground.

Ice villages might be quite charming for all the good Winter imagery that my brain has been trained to recognize.  Children throwing snowballs (...instead of throwing heads?), snowmen may litter the landscape, and fireplaces may look so cozy, warm and inviting.  But then someone in the village might mention you had to go get some *something something* in the caverns to the north and you just know that pretty soon you're going to slipping and sliding your way into oblivion.  There's nothing worse than seeing a chest right within reach and sliding past it because you took a tumble that was designed just so you could fail over and over again.

Then there's the false sense of security that the music can bring you.  Much like the village before it, the music of an ice level might aptly capture by way of sound that twinkling visual in the Wintry night sky.  There may be some bells, some harp strings, and a xylophone all there to make you envision a peaceful, glittery drop of water dangling from that very sharp icicle perched ever so dangerously above your head.  Of course, you know it's dangerous because you've had too many of those almost crush you in previous gaming experiences, but the music is made to cover up the recklessness lying in wait.

Let me not even get started on the enemies you may encounter.  You know the ones! The ones that shoot ice or snowballs at you, or touch you and before you know it, you're an ice pop.  I always wanted to be strawberry flavoured but I digress.  No, usually you just end up some bland hero flavour that cannot move for a few seconds.  It's frustrating and insulting at the same time!

So be warned! When you come across that town that's covered in snow, enjoy your time a little bit longer watching the kids in mittens at play.  Before you step out that broken down wooden gate, get well-equipped at the local shop.  Expect your body temperatures to dip when you scale that icy mountain.  Don't stand too long under any dripping icicles.  Keep out of the way of sliding penguins.  And I'd tell you to mind your step but the truth of it all is that you're going to slip on the ice no matter what you do.

Ah, KoTAYku, I'm not the only one with supreme disgust of the ice level.  Share your tales of woe with me! What are the ice levels that chill you to the bone and give you icicle stabbing memories? Which are your favourite pieces of ice level music, or winter villages? Do you actually like ice levels? You're a sick person! You touch that stuff?! SICK! Oh, that's okay.  At least it's not a liquid ice level, right? You know, water? That's even worse...
  • Visit TAY Classic for all levels of awesome.  Ice, Fire, Water, Desert... Dessert? Yeah, there's dessert too! Maybe not the last bit (or maybe yes!) but there are discussions on life, video games and whatever else you may enjoy.  Join in a discussion or start one of your own.
  • Yes! The A Hat in Time Kickstarter is still on for a couple more days.  Check it out if you have not already, won't you? 
The Original Article as published on June 26, 2013 on tay.kotaku.com.  The article may be found at the following link: http://tay.kotaku.com/on-ice-562563647

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