Power Wish Fulfillment Games

Check In: My room tried to desiccate me to dust this morning from my sinuses outward, so I woke up with a massive headache and, thinking it was a migraine (or thinking it was a usual Bright! Loud! Stinky! Cold! Sharp! Aaargh! migraine) I kept sleeping until someone got me and had me do nasal cleanses and drink water.

Then my computer overheated because… warm day? Dunno. A good blowing / vaccing later it’s working.

So… it was a didn’t write much day. Though I didn’t write nothing…

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) was marketed as the next Jedi Knight featuring the long-coveted combination of Jedi powers and physics, but when I played it something seemed terribly wrong.*

Mostly it was that I was on a PS3 console and played Force Unleashed with a handheld controller, and controlling Starkiller was like controlling a remote control car without a front camera. It was not just really awkward but I spent most of the experience wrestling with the damn controller.

Surprisingly, it didn’t get better with mouse-and-keyboard as first-person games generally do. I might blame that on a pretty lousy port. The quick-time-events would flash default keys, not the keys I configured them to. The intended effects (Jump! Lightning! Grip! Forward!) would have served me just as well.

But then I got to play Prototype (2009) and realized that as far as core concept (badass dude with amazing powers rampages through the world like Godzilla), they were pretty much the same game. Chris Franklin puts this point into focus, though comparing Unleashed to God of War (2005). Apparently it’s a power rampage fantasy that can be applied to any franchise, and I remember playing a wolverine PS3 demo that seemed kinda the same thing.

Anyhow, this bit will tie in to a later bit I’m thinking about, and by including it here, I can refer to it by link and not get stuck on the tangent that is how Star Wars: The Force Unleashed turned out to be a considerably less interesting game than its Jedi Knight precursors.

I’ll be discussing different games entirely.

* To be fair, the same marketing ploy was made regarding Star Wars: Obi-Wan (2001) which was posited as the sequel to Star Wars: Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight (1997). Obi Wan was XBox only. Then it tanked. Then Jedi Outcast came out in 2002 and Star Wars fans rejoiced.


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