Alex Talks

Metroids, Vanias, and Gameplay Stories — Alex Talks

Yay! It’s Alex Talks time again!

So yes, I haven’t really said anything here in written form, but if you follow my blog or listen to the podcast or follow me on Twitter or have communicated with me in person anytime in the last six months… Well, what I’m saying is, I’ve been talking up Alex Talks for a long damn time. Here it is! The first episode of what I’m calling “Season 3”.

Now I do want to post these on the website more like back in the old days, so I figured for the written post, I could give a little more context to the idea.

I’ve been thinking of a 1000 different stories and articles about Metroid-style games forever, so this was the culmination in that. After I played Rise of the Tomb Raider, the idea double-downed in my head, and I really know what I wanted to say. The evolution of mechanical ideas as told in Metroidvanias is absolutely magnificent, on the level of a well told story. In the episode, that story analogy carries me to a point that I came to in Tomb Raider: when a game gives you cooler and cooler things, you just naturally do cooler things on top of that.

Uncharted 4 is a great recent example of this, at least in one very specific regard. The game doesn’t exactly evolve the player, but with the new stealth mechanics and the rope, combat is a fluid, constantly-moving type experience, and by receiving those tools you’re inherently incentivized to use them. Though I definitely found myself using them less than in a well-paced, Metroidvania title.

It’s a cool concept, and I hope you liked the episode!