Toby reminisces about the good old days.
By Toby McCasker on August 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm
Turn-based games are the rad. Says me. Been saying it for a looong time, too. Lot of peoples agree. In fact if you ask me when I’m drunk I will tell I was the human Kickstarter behind Firaxis’ seemingly abrupt decision to retrofit XCOM: Enemy Unknown smack-wham in the face of 2K Marin giving the exact same franchise the FPS treatment. Show me where the progress exists without the protest, guys. Cool line. I stole it from one of Dead Letter Circus’ new tracks. They probs wrote it about me anyway (hic), so I will never stop singing for things: Now bring back isometric killin’, because it is the best killin’.
Playing an (iso)metric ass-load of Shadowrun Returns has reminded me of this. I love this kind of gaming. Love it. All my all-timers roll this way: Baldur’s Gate. Planescape: Torment. Fallout first and son of first Fallout. It doesn’t even have to be turn-based necessarily, although that is the preferred methodology of gamers such as me who are easily distracted by things such as cerulean automobiles. Remember Commandos? WHAT A GAME.
This is what I don’t understand about isometric’s fall from grace: When did it happen, and why? Actually, that’s an easy one and I’m just in denial: the consoles killed it when they became the dominant force on the gaming planet.
I can’t think of a solid isometric game either on my PS3, or my crappy Xbox 360 that I hate to death because it’s an asshole machine. The irony of being awoken to this reality by Shadowrun Returns is to suddenly recall that one of the best games ever released for the SNES was the Australian-made Shadowrun, circa 1993. It was isometric as hell and totally ballin’. So why no more iso?
A popular position is that “first-person is the most immersive and that’s why it’s the thing, so up yours Toby.” That is popping cock and mouldy gash. There is no other reason than vidya commerce for the crushing of alternative viewpoint lifestyles beneath the FPS boot. Same old story. You need a mouse to go isometric, be a real man. None of this beta male control pad 1,000-mile hitbox stuff. Thus the only joy to be found in this arena is on the PC nowadays, which goddamn poos me off because alt-tabbing out of a hentai visual novel to expend AP on some ganger’s static butt totally ruins the menacing flow between me and Suki the bashful secret deviant.
The horrible thing I realised is that this probably won’t ever change and isometric games will probs never come back into vogue. That is sad! Because console rubes fear the glory of the mouse it may only happen on the same fateful day we can control games with our minds, I suppose, and unfortunately it’d take a super-successful console game to get the iso-ball rolling again. God I hate them and how they oppress my niche gameplay desires.
I would absolutely settle for a flat-chat remake of the original SNES Shadowrun, though, which is actually what I thought Shadowrun Returns was gonna be. Do that and I’ll go away. Until I’ve finished it. Then I will come back with all my unprofessionally worded hipster-gamer rhetoric and burn great fires of +9,000 dmg all around until Bethesda really surprise everyone.