02/05/2018

☆ Britt is a Self Confesed Video Game Animation-iac ☆ #Retrogaming @BrittRecluseuk

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I recently reviewed a game called The Thin Silence which had the most amazingly lethargic ‘kick’ animation that I’ve seen in a game, I found it mesmerising and often I would just randomly kick things in the game to see that wonderful animation in action (booting generators also had a nice accompanying rattling sound effect). 
It dawned on me as I happily booted my way through the (very good) game that over the years there have been quite a few animations in games that I just found really pleasing to watch, almost therapeutic even, and I wondered if it was something that all gamers experience with certain games.

The first time I remember getting a buzz from a videogame animation was when I was really  young and playing Final Fight in the arcade at Porthcawl, (I went there again last year and the arcade has long gone, it’s just a tat market stall now…yay) I chose Guy as my character and there it was… the single-frame punch animation. 
I LOVED how I could hammer the punch button at lightning speed to see how quickly I could pull of the attack combo. Even to this day (although I generally prefer Cody as a character because of his amazing 80s togs, kicking that high in jeans that tight? Really?) that punch animation always calls me back, there’s something about being able to blast a button as fast as you can and the in-game animation keeping up with the taps that is almost primal.
The second time I can recall some serious button-tapping joy was in Sonic 2, the spin attack. My word, the combination of ducking, HAMMERING the button and hearing the wind-up whoosh as Sonic boomed off into the distance was addictive. Playing it now, there’s obviously a limit to how much of a boost you can get but when I was nine? It was one of my favourite parts of the game.
Don’t think that my obsession with these things is relegated to speed-tapping. Oh no, I remember getting Flashback and being blown away by the few frames of animation as our hero Conrad removes the pistol from his jacket (plus it had a really satisfying gunshot sound effect). Flashback is probably in my top 20 games of all time but whenever I think about it, above all else the thing that pops into my mind isn’t a specific level, the moody cut scenes or that fantastic musical intro…it’s breaking into a roll from a run, plummeting off an edge and landing crouched with the gun out. My God, it felt cool.
To end the Mega Drive section of this article, I’d also like to point out the euphoric feeling I had when playing Streets of Rage 2 when I landed every single punch of Axel’s special attack combo, ending with a huge uppercut, does anyone else have a favourite animation that just exudes satisfaction from this game and let’s call it what it is, possibly one of the best brawlers of the 16-bit era? Toxic Crusaders notwithstanding, of course.


Moving onto the PS1, I can vividly recall when I played Syphon Filter and discovered what happened when you fired the Taser at someone and held the attack button down, I think my jaw genuinely dropped open. It was so, so harsh, the burning and screaming that could have gone on pretty much infinitely (if you were that kind of guy) but above even this….was Gabe Logan’s run animation. It was the first time that I’d played a game that felt like I was playing a dude who was running.  
There was something about the way that Gabe realistically shifted his weight onto each leg as he pounded down the tarmac and even the slight delay when you pressed the forward-roll button as he took a second to ready himself for it, such great attention to detail. I also have to mention how much fun I had in the multiplayer of this game, I adored how you could lock on with a pistol and fire perfectly accurately behind you as you ran away, not even looking at your opponent. Awesome. And unfair.

The last thing I want to mention here was something that I remember my younger brother actually calling me into his room to witness and that was the very cool double-handed reloading of shotguns in The Punisher on the PS2, in all fairness it was a great arcade-style game that stands head and shoulders above most other Marvel games (and most films) for its gritty, unrelenting depiction of the character.
I genuinely love it when I notice an animation or a sound-effect in a game that just clicks with me and so I’m intrigued to hear all of your suggestions, I need more cool animations to be introduced to, so send them my way!

Right, I’m off to play The Punisher again. 
P.S If anyone wants to send me a CIB copy of the Mega Drive port for my collection, that’s absolutely fine.
 
 Britt