Oscar

This game reminds me of one of the phenomena I hate most in the games industry in general, which started in this era of development: the “games should learn from movies” thing.

Now, full disclosure: I’m currently an urban studies major at University, and I may or may not end up in a creative writing major at some point. Furthermore, I don’t watch many movies (not pretentious; I prefer TV series and video games). So, I’m maybe a bit biased.

But, seriously: where is the ‘urban planning’ in video games? Some games have it sorted out, but postmodern urban development and architecture possibly has more to do with game design than film does (well, not does, but should). Form can follow fiction; a space can tell a story. The entire idea of player agency in games could be — I might be so bold as to say should be — virtually the opposite of the linear narrative.

Now, there is certainly stuff games can learn from film, just as there’s stuff to be learned from music or visual art or performance or whatever else. But why is “being a film that you can play” so many people’s ultimate end goal? Aren’t there other postmodern ways of thinking to draw from that aren’t so excruciatingly, tiringly derivative?

What does this game have to do with any of this? It’s a side-scroller where you play an irritating cartoon mascot named Oscar who’s in some sort of “movie,” collecting “Oscars.” I hate stupid cartoon mascot games. Especially when they remind me of movies.

If this game had a taste, that taste would be cardboard.

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