Horizons Broadening Project 2009 - April
After a less than satisfactory experience with The Witcher, a game that continues to flummox me with the disparity between how much I though I would like it and how much I didn’t, I am moving forward with my Horizon’s Broadening Project undeterred. And, I am truly facing the core of my prejudices for April.
For some months now I’ve been thoroughly insufferable if you happen to be a fan of handheld Nintendo gaming. For numerous, largely faulty, reasons I have labored under the illusion that the Nintendo DS was a once bright and shining promise now tarnished by industries dedicated to selling games about Horsez and the Jonas Brotherz. So rampant is their misuse of the 26th letter of the alphabet, that I have been blinded to what I am assured are some excellent releases.
So, this month I take on the DS for my Horizons Broadening Project, and tackle two birds with one stone and dive head first into the cloying world of JRPGs. This month’s Horizons Broadening Project: The World Ends With You.
I’ll be honest. I expect to hate it.
Now, hold your ire until the end, because that may just be a good thing.
Looking back on my experiences so far it’s important to note that both the games I played took on aspects that were the opposites of my initial expectations. I was terrified that Birth of America II was going to be an incomprehensible amalgamation of chits and fuzzy math. It actually turned out to be a quite playable experience that engaged me far more than I might have expected.
By contrast, my fully documented disappointment with The Witcher may have originated in some part from my complete misunderstand of the structure and mechanics of the game. I never quite understood how the foundation of what I suppose would have been a worthwhile payoff was built on the back of endless trekking back and forth across a city I cared nothing about and occasionally fighting monsters with a painfully thin combat system.
Judging by how things have, so far, turned out exactly the opposite from my expectations, it’s possible that I may be singing the praises of The World Ends With You within the span of a month. But, I don’t expect to be, after all that would break the fragile system.
I had a lot of good choices for my DS pick, and I suppose the fact that I struggled over the decision of what to play must be mentioned because it runs against my now well trodden criticism of the system’s library. Among the games I seriously considered, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Hotel Dusk, Dragon Quest V, Henry Hatsworth and some form of Pokemon which I have never played. Ultimately, the overwhelming enthusiasm for TWEWY finally swayed me.
Now, before you ask, this does not necessarily preclude my playing any other JRPG during this grand experiment. However, while I will go into this with my narrow mind opened as wide as I can wedge it, the fact is that there are a lot of staples to the genre which just rub me the wrong way. I wonder quite sincerely whether I’ll be able to elevate my play above my bias.