Archive for category Tom Auxier
If you were to ask me which video game I’ve played the most, I’d have to answer Everquest. It would be with a hint of embarrassment, like you just caught me in a devious trap. Everquest: that most reviled of video games, that most hated of subjects. You could probably find someone who claims Everquest ruined videogames, and you can definitely find people who say Everquest ruined their lives.
I loved it with a passion reserved for only my favorite games, though. It’s the game that most irrevocably shaped my gaming opinions. Its best feature was how it absolutely didn’t give a shit about you, and how that opened up possibilities: removed from the spotlight that younger sibling World of Warcraft would thrust on you, you were free to develop yourself, develop your story.
So here I am. Again. Judas in Sheol (that’s Hell), all his stats maxed, more than half a dozen hearts, enough followers to make Jesus blush. And here I go, dead in four rooms due to sheer, dumb luck. This time I’m killed by a floating eyeball leech, one that explodes. This was a statistically unlikely occurrence: the room had four Knights with Isaac’s face on the back, too, and a betting man would have put it to one of them to kill me.
Dead, killed by some strange monster in a horrible basement, there’s only one thing left for me to do: restart and try again. That is the nature of the genre.
The Shin Megami Tensei series is unique in that it combines the common tropes of Young Adult literature with something only video games are capable of: it places the player in a situation and asks them what they want to do. Some of the series’ games tend strongly towards the mundane (Persona) while others go off the deep end (Nocturne), but they all feature regular people in insane realities.
Devil Survivor, though, manages to blend the tropes of YA post-apocalyptic literature and the Megami Tensei series’ twisted view of the mundane. You embody a normal high school kid, and the game tells you demons are real, the city of Tokyo is locked down, and you’re going to die tomorrow. It tells you that and watches how you react.