johnnyowens's Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)
| [February 23, 2009 11:33:56 AM]
| So I played to a game over screen just now. I found out my abrupt ending to my last play session was because I hit F12, which exits without saving, so this time I avoided the cafeteria and went to the right. I got the school key, saw the play flashback, went into the gym, and found the library. From there, I "fought" the cops, killed myself, and then died again in hell.
One thing that stood out was the girl that you talk to in the gym, who you don't kill. It showed just how much of a power trip this is, when your character is doing nothing more than playing god to these students.
But after you get to the back of the library, you lose that power. The cops are able to hit your without you even getting a chance to fight in combat. You then back out and kill yourself. In hell, you're fighting much stronger opponents with much weaker guns, and I think those enemies are from Doom, to make the entire thing come full circle (he said it was going to be just like Doom).
Then right after you kill yourself, the slideshow of the people actually killed at Columbine, just in case you didn't understand the feeling of remorse you were supposed to get from simply playing the game. I can understand why that is in there, because the game is meant to play like a normal game that normal gamers are used to playing, so potentially the more jaded gamers would look past the setting and see the surprisingly easy gameplay as a joke. I guess it's in there to make sure the game is taken seriously, which seems to work well.
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| [February 23, 2009 10:56:05 AM]
| So after looking online for a quick guide, I figured out what I was supposed to do at that point. Apparently there was one square on the entire grid of the game world that I was supposed to stand on to trigger the next part of the game. I felt that I had little way of knowing that, and that I had been near that area before, and must have accidentally missed that spot. But regardless, poor game design on that trigger.
I also feel that there needs to be a way to talk to the other guy again to figure out your objective. Just a little thing that would be nice to have implemented.
I guess this playthrough brought up the two big things the creator was trying to show with the game. The first is the enemies, none of which have names at all. The only named character is the kid you tell to run away, I think his name was Ross. But all of the people you fight are described by nothing more than a quick stereotype description (ie. Preppy Girl, Openly Gay Man, Jock Type), as if the characters know nothing about them. So I guess that says something about the motivation and the situation, that they simply stereotyped these students, and really knew nothing about any of them.
And the second thing is that most of the enemies won't attack you. Besides for the Jock Types and Janitors, the rest of them will either brace for an attack or pray to regain health (also, a little interesting that prayer regains health, considering that the main characters have mentioned being anti-religious).
But in my second play through, I went into the cafeteria and started combat with whoever I could find in there, because that seemed like what the game wanted. After doing that for a while, I went back out to the car, reloaded, saved, and quit. I figure I'll try to find the actual path on my next play.
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| [February 22, 2009 10:26:40 PM]
| The first thing I noticed about the game was the setting and engine used, being the RPG Maker. It feels very reasonable, very familiar, and very understandable. After playing some older RPGs in the past, I can understand the menu system, movement, and it's just easy to play.
Apart from that, there's the story. You start playing as the columbine killers on that morning. From there, you need to begin going around and preforming actions similar to those of the actual murders, or so I would assume, I'm not very knowledgeable about the actual happenings. But I see that the idea is to live the events and get into the mindset of the killers.
I guess as a normal gamer, I've come to an understanding with myself and whatever game I'm playing. That is that I understand that I have to do what the game tells me to unless it gives me a clear choice in what to do. So I just saw the beginning of the game as a string of objectives that didn't really mean a whole lot to me. I just did what the game told me to do, and what I was doing didn't really matter.
The game tries to give a background and motivation for the player's actions, but it seems to fall short. You understand a bit more about how they did it, but the game never gets anywhere near justifying it. You play as the killers, but the only reason you do that is because the game doesn't give you a choice. In order to progress in the game, you must relive the actions.
There was one part that was frustrating, in which I had to get into the cafeteria and place the bombs, and it was just a pain to get in and not be seen by the cameras or people in the hall. But other than that, there was no real gameplay that went on, just simple exploration. I stopped my first play session after getting my weapons and setting the explosives, because I walked around a bit and had no idea where to go.
When I played through the game, I didn't feel like I wanted to do anything the game was telling me to do, but rather that my really angst-ridden character feel that this is the right thing to do. I don't really feel immersed into the characters, because they're very irritating, and I don't feel that anything I've done or anything I'm going to do is good, it's just how the game works. But I've played a lot of games in my days, and I'm used to this feeling, but the story gives no motivation for the actions.
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