There's a very recent video by Jimquisition about comments comparing The Last Of Us: Part Two to Schindler's List. The short version? Jim Stanton argues that triple AAA games quite simply aren't as well written as the vast majority of big budget movies, they're created to be a product. And comments saying that such-and-such new release is "The Citizen Kane" of video gaming is absolutely incredulous and reading too much into something that's just ... fine.
Why am I bringing this up?
Because, I recently played Montaro and I have some thoughts about it. Way too many thoughts about it.
I'm not about to say that Montaro is a work of art, but I've certainly spent more time playing it than most people (the two other friends I have on Steam who own this game have played it for about 3 minutes each) and I've definitely spent too much time just thinking about it.
So, I might as well talk about my thoughts? Mightn't I?
The biggest thing that attracted me to Montaro in the first place was that it's similar to a lot of the old flash games I used to play on Newgrounds back in the day. It's essentially one of those platform-runner games, you play as an adorable little shiba inu who jumps across walls and onto bins and vending machines to collect coins.
You use the coins to unlock new skins.
It's a cute little game, and it took me about an hour total to get all the skins. Even the one from One-Punch Man. (I'm sorry it's Superman for weebs, and everything people thinks makes it unique is just something that's been done by other comic books before).
Anyway, I actually really like this game. It's very cute, and full of the early 2016 memes from a simpler time. In fact nearly every achievement is some form of doge meme. (Except for one lolcat, a Gabe Newell, Admiral Ackbar and two ... other ones).
Warframe's been stressing me out recently and I feel like taking a break. I've been stressed trying to farm for the new weapons and Warframes that dropped in the new update, and it's frustrating trying to form a team, especially as I'm still looking to get Grendel parts as well. Everything I need to do feels more like a chore. (Am I getting executive dysfunction from a game!?)
Over the course of the last two days Montaro has become my "chill out" game, that I start playing when I want to decompress. I've played it after work, after dissertation, after paying bills. It's cute and inoffensive, it's casual, Hell I can even play it while watching YouTube videos!
I feel I should probably talk about the gameplay. I've glossed over that. Like I said, it's a simplistic game, your doge runs forward at a steady pace and there's one button: jump.
Most obstacles will kill you straight away, the junk in the middle of the road, low-flying crows, open manhole covers hit them and you're dead. Banana peels, however? Will just take some of your health away and send you tumbling.
It's an interesting mechanic actually, when I started off banana peels would send me careening into insta-kill obstacles! But as I got more into the game I realised that there were a few neat pieces of gameplay tucked away in there. For one thing, jumping from a building onto a banana peel sends you upwards onto another building (normally your jump isn't enough to get from one building to the next and you just hit the ground) which is pretty much where the coins always hide.
Even better it renders you a little invulnerable letting you take hits from crows without dying. I like the sacrifice of health versus a possibility to get more coins. Once your health bar is depleted you don't actually die, instead you get a little window where you're stunned and can't jump (and the first time you earn the "IT'S A TRAP" achievement).
While we're talking about the health we should discuss something problematic. You know how in The Binding Of Isaac you start with three hearts? And each hit takes half a heart away?
Well it's similar in Montaro except the hearts are ... panties.
Oh ... that's not too bad. How do you get more health?
You jump whenever you're underneath schoolgirls.
I'm going to give you a few seconds to think about that and all the messy implications it has.
There's an achievement for doing this 802 times.
Need more time to think?
Yeah, me too.
... Alright let's keep going.
Another kind of obstacle in the game are chickens and roosting birds. These don't harm you when you hit them and knock them away, but they'll trigger a mob of them to attack you! Chickens run up behind you, then when they miss rush you head on. The birds however will have a longer delay, but will target you directly, giving you a small window with which to dodge them.
The end result of this?
That Montaro starts off simple and easy, but the randomly-generated obstacles can lead to frantic challenges and intense moments of gameplay where you're trying to use the tiny windows you get between being stun-locked to get out of danger, all the while having to make split-second decisions as you run along. And from that area the organic challenge develops pretty quickly.
Anyway. That's my two cents on this cute little game.
Montaro was developed by JCKSLAP and published by MBDL. It's available on Steam for £0.79. Check it out if you need a cute little game filled with memes!