|My Favourite Games #14: Stuoid|
|Posted by hb on December 2nd, 2017 @01:36AM|
‘My Favourite Games’ is a regular MossRanking feature which gives us a chance to get to know our fellow Spelunkers a little better. In each edition, we put the spotlight on one member of the community, as they pick three of their most treasured video games ever and give their reasons why. Featured members are allowed to pick whatever games they want... except for Spelunky.
The 14th entry goes to Stuoid, a friendly name in the Spelunky community and a top 40 player on MossRanking. Stuoid has a 3:08 Low% to his name, but his heart belongs to a game starring a very different Indiana Jones-inspired whip-wielding explorer. Here are his three games...
Lethal League (PC, 2014)
Stuoid’s first game is Lethal League, a 2D arena game, where players hit a ball back and forth. This ball increases in speed with every wallop, and players are eliminated if the ball hits them. “It's very fast-paced,” explains Stuoid, who has put in around 70 hours into the title. “There's never a moment where you're not doing something, and it's very skill-based.”
The mechanics are fairly simple, so a large part of Lethal League comes with mind games against the opponent. “You constantly have to outsmart and outplay your opponent, and usually you're trying to change how you play during the match so you don't become too predictable,” Stuoid adds.
“For example, if you use your special ability as soon as you get it every time for a little while, and suddenly you just don't use it, chances are your opponent isn't going to expect it and lose as a result. There are a lot of ways to do this kind of stuff, and that adds a lot of replay value in my opinion. The gameplay is insanely fun."
Terraria (PC, 2011)
Stuoid’s 70 hours spent on Lethal League is completely dwarfed by the 1,500-plus hours spent on the popular sandbox release Terraria.
One of the most appealing things about Terraria, at least where Stuoid is concerned, is the sheer breadth and variety of tasks you can do in the game. “The reason I keep coming back to it is because there are so many ways to play through the game and so many challenges you can make to spice up the gameplay,” he shares. “Feeling bored of the regular kiting playstyle? Try out melee no yo-yos. Want to try something different that's a bit more focused on dodging? Do a summoner playthrough. Want to try a low% style run? Fight only the required bosses (which are the Wall of Flesh, three Mechanical Bosses, Plantera, Golem, and Moon Lord).”
Stuoid adds: “There are a lot of ways to play through aside from these, and that just gives a lot of variety on top of a game that's changing quite frequently.”
Indeed, Terraria regularly receives updates and play a large part in keeping the title fresh. As Stuoid explains: “They add a lot of content and replay value because they allow for entirely new ways to play through the game, or provide some kind of new endgame content. That sort of stuff is really cool.
“That's not even mentioning the big updates such as 1.2 or 1.3, which added a ton of content and completely new ways to play the game or side content. The game is probably four or even five times the size of the first version, and that's only counting an average playthrough. The amount of items is 3,968, which is absolutely insane, even if a lot are reskins. The smaller updates updates also usually add some decently big event or a new boss or something similar that gives new loot and, again, more replayability.”
La-Mulana (PC, 2012)
Anyone who knows Stuoid will know that his favourite game of all time is none other than La-Mulana (specifically, the remake version). “First of all, I need to make it very clear that this game IS NOT PRIMARILY A METROIDVANIA,” he stresses. “It's a puzzle game with the exploration and combat of a Metroidvania. This game is focused on the puzzles first and foremost. Do not expect a regular Metroidvania experience from it.”
La-Mulana follows an adventurer named Lemeza Kosugi. Although the player picks up new items which allows them to reach new areas of the titular ruins, a large portion of the experience involves cracking puzzles and taking in the lore.
La-Mulana knocks everything out of the park -- from the combat to the non-linear exploration. The game is difficult, to the point where people often use guides during their first playthrough to get past some puzzles, but rewards those who stick with it by providing a unique and memorable experience.
“I have so much fun with it,” Stuoid comments. “It does everything it wants to do almost flawlessly. The puzzles are designed with small clues and hints in mind, rather than a generic puzzle where you have to figure out where to put a block or something with no real hint… There's direction for the puzzles, but they're still very hard due to being so cryptic. Solving the puzzles even with prior knowledge is still fun because they're so creative.
“The Metroidvania gameplay is absolutely fantastic as well, because you're always getting new items and upgrades. There's a ton of variety in the areas too, and the soundtrack really helps the atmosphere for these areas. That and the soundtrack’s amazing.”
Breathing even more life into La-Mulana is the randomiser, which takes advantage of the non-linear gameplay and mixes up item locations, shops, and more -- deliciously placing players out of their comfort zone. “While speedrunning is a great way to keep it fresh, the randomiser really trips you up and forces you to do some weird things you might never think of,” Stuoid says.
“It really makes you think about what's available and when. I would have never realised, for example, that I could beat almost every boss before the fourth, but that's what I had to do in my most recent completed playthrough. That's why I love the game so much; just playing it at all is enjoyable, even without the puzzles or anything.”
Previous 'My Favourite Games' entries