Every time you enter the world of Ultrageist, you have three minutes to conquer the grotesque creatures and eldritch abominations that call it home. Three stages and four bosses in three minutes-- it almost sounds impossible. And it almost is.
But Ultrageist is more than a shmup with a time limit: it's also a shmup with secrets. Discover how to inflict maximum damage on the four Memories, how to breeze through each stage in a handful of seconds, how to skip an entire level in a single bound. Exploiting these secrets, loopholes, and "bugs" is your key to victory.
Yes, folks, it's one of those deliberately frustrating games, but I'd like to think it's deliberately frustrating in a challenging way, a fun way, not a "apples-falling-up-and-hitting-you" inconsistent bullshit way.
So, I've gotten some feedback on this game in various corners of the internet. Said feedback has been mixed-- and how could it not be? The people who love it love it for the same reasons that the people who hate it hate it, so I've either done something really right or terribly, terribly wrong.
That reason being that the game doesn't explain anything but instead plops you down in the middle of it and asks that you pay attention and gradually puzzle it out. This approach, which I often try to avoid in even my most experimental games-- above all, I value accessibility-- was intended to give the player a number of "A-ha!" moments. And it's done that for some, and others it's turned off completely.
And while part of me wants to smirk and say that that's the point-- because, well, it was the point-- there's another part of me, the thinner-skinned part, that wants everybody to love this little mongrel puppy called Ultrageist, to give it another chance. It's that part of me that recently created a short video, full of YouTube annotations, that pretty much explain every nook and cranny of how to play the game.
I am, as you can gather, of two minds about doing this. Because I know full well that when you explain things, those "A-ha!" moments become, "Oh, okay, I guess" moments. The magic is dispelled, the mysterious rendered moot and powerless. And then, on the other hand, there's that nagging voice that says it's better to explain the trick away than to have it unnoticed completely.
Joined: Jul 02 2010
Location: Down Under
Jul 10 2010 09:03 pm
If a potential fan is too impatient or lacking in cerebral function to enjoy the game, you havent actually lost much I'm going to give this a go later today!