Seems like the last two projects I’ve done have had kind of lackluster ends. I’ve been sitting on this “mostly complete” project for a while, and while I’m still unsatisfied about certain areas (i.e. there’s no music), if I don’t push it out the door pretty soon it’ll just sit and stagnate. So, here we go: Nonogram Madness.
(If anyone cares, let me know what you think in the comments. The puzzles kinda progress in difficulty, but they haven’t been balanced at all, and some of them are pretty bad. There, you’ve been warned.)
The “in progress” title screen of Nonogram Madness. Yeah, I decided on a name.
My artistic skills are bunk. Sometimes, I don’t even know where to begin. So, I whipped up a little Flash image viewer that displays some interesting 16×16 NES sprites for inspiration. Check it out at http://nathandemick.com/flash/tilespiration/.
I didn’t really have to play Twilight Princess. I’d already attempted to play through the game twice — once on a friend’s Wii (he moved out and took my save with him), and once on my own (I got bored with the slow, tedious pace of the start of the game). Normally, two false starts would be enough for me to realize that a game probably wasn’t good enough to play through. This time was different. For whatever reason, even though I had a better game to play, I felt a strange, compelling desire to finish Twilight Princess. It’s not as if I’ve beaten all the previous Zelda games, and therefore had to finish this one to put a notch in my controller; I never finished Wind Waker, or the GameBoy Color iterations. My feelings were unquantifiable.
Anyway, for whatever reason, I did play it. I don’t particularly regret playing. Zelda is Zelda, after all. Whatever faults a Zelda title may have, it’s still been put together by one of the most talented game development groups in existence. The puzzles are sometimes clever, there’s enough new content to feel like you’re doing something new, and the nostalgia that Link evokes are enough to carry the player through.
Twilight Princess had enough to carry me through, but just barely. There’s not a lot of really new things in the game. The art direction is a weird mashup between Zelda 64 and Shadow of the Colossus. The geography in the game is all rehashed. There’s a dark, alternate world that alters your physical form. The few actual new items are kind of lame: you use them a couple times, and then forget about them. The antagonist turns out to be a puppet for Gannon (surprise!). The game is not difficult at all; even in boss fights, there are breakable jars all over the room that supply you with hearts up the wazoo.
There’s a lot of “extra” stuff packed into the game, but I never felt compelled to get 100% of the items. It’s mostly there just for it to be there, not because it adds any sort of fun. This time around, it takes five pieces of heart to get a heart container, instead of four. Why? Just for more tedious collection, I guess. You can collect fish, bugs, ghost souls, and who knows what else. I don’t even have to resist my OCD tendencies to ignore this stuff; it’s just filler content.
What kept me going? The idea of Zelda, I guess. The memories of how fun the other games in the series are. I transposed the fun I had with other titles to what I was currently playing. That and my natural gamer’s desire to finish the game, just to be able to say I finished it. It’s like reading a long, boring classic. I don’t know if the experience itself made me better, but it’s done with, and I never have to do it again.