iPhone 2: The Empire Strikes App
An interesting thing occurred this past weekend as I was sitting down with some friends trying to think of a golden oldie to watch. I suggested ‘Hook’, which has long been a favorite of mine. I enjoyed every part of that movie; the characters, the music, the swashbuckling, the insult war, the fat jokes… all of it. Upon sharing this, my friends softly suggested to me that my childhood was a complete waste since this was a horrible movie.After the ensuing scuffle caused by my vapid disbelief, they ensured me that it had gotten panned by critics. After some research I was shocked to find that they were right! What was wrong with these critics, this is one of the greatest movies of all time as far as I was concerned!! Had they, like Peter, gotten too old to see the magic? (Oh yeah, I just went there).
Who knows if my youth has given me a rosy remembrance of it, or if the rest of the world just needs to come around to its brilliance. Fact of the matter is, there is a constant battle between the love of the orginal/embrace of the nostalgic, and the enjoyment of the new and more advanced. Like the Star Wars movies; the original trilogy is rife with nostalgic pleasures, while the new ones are made enjoyable by…hmmm, bad example.
But you get what I mean. It’s a whole lot easier to just say that something is ‘not like it used to be’ without really examining it by its individual merits. New technology has the potential to make a movie that simply could not have existed before it. The same is true with games. If you say, for example, that Contra is a better game than say Rainbow Six, then you are just overly sentimental. By that same token though, if you think any Mario game can hold a candle to Super Mario Brothers 3 for the original Nintendo…then you are sorely mistaken.
It’s a painful dance, a poetic balance between the sweet spots of our memories, and the more cynical and experienced eye with which we judge the more technologically advanced materials available today.
On that note, I am going to compare some original/sequel game pairs from the iPhone. Now, at the foreront I guess this is somewhat silly because the games have only existed on the platform for a little over a year…so how many advances could really have been made? Well good question…go to your room.
Rolando and Rolando 2
Much has been said about this greatest of iPhone platformers, so I shall not dwell on its opulence long. Suffice to say, it’s the Godfather II of iPhone games…with all of the bright colors, witty jubilant characters, and peppy music that that implies.
Victory: Rolando 2
Enigmo and Enigmo 2
Constantly dripping water used to be associated with torture, (and granted in some of the later levels it still can be), but now it is synonymous with a submersive gaming experience! No? A splash of a good time? Yikes, that was worse… Either way you go, you’ll have a good time, though the controls on the second one are a little difficult to maneuver on a 2D surface.
Touch Physics 1 and 2
Ok, physics was boring in school and I hate to say that not much has changed here. I think what made it worse is that when I got these games I was expecting something a little closer to Fantastic Contraption (which is brilliant), but these simply consist of getting a ball to its destination. And maybe I’m just stupid…but it sure seemed to me as though most of the time there was really no logical solution at all, merely stacking up various shapes under the ball until it reached the goal, or using a see-saw type scenario.
Victory: Fantastic Contraption
Tap Tap Revenge 1 and 2
Its free…it has downloadable content which is seemingly infinite… it has a great framerate…and it has themed tracks. I haven’t actually played the first one since the second came out, but I’m pretty sure the second is better…
Victory: Tap Tap Revenge 2: The Revenge of Tap Tap Revenge (so much potential there.)
So bottom line; in any form of entertainment, if we have to put up with a few sequels that are just ‘phoning it in,’ or ‘trying to capitalize on the popularity of the current trends by releasing sub-par concurrent titles’ in order to enjoy that rare sequel that strives to be more than its predecessor and allows us to spend more time with the worlds and the characters we love…Well, then that’s just fine with me