Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mappy: A Good Game Just Because...

Namco was responsible for a lot of legendary arcade games during the "Golden Age", but one of their most charming, endearing, subtly tough, and downright fun games was a little platformer named Mappy. Namco didn't released it to US arcades, that was handled by the late great Bally/Midway, but their inclusion had no impact on the greatness of this game. You didn't need a game to do a whole lot in those days to be great, and Mappy took the few things it did and it did them well. it didn't need to be ultra violent, nor did it need to hold a player's hand. That's why a game like Mappy has a hard time surviving in this day and age, most gamers need some sort of gimmick to draw them in. Whether it be motion control, being attached to some "hot at the moment" IP, or being ridiculously bloody for no reason. Games like Mappy would struggle today because the only gimmick is that it's a solid video game. For some reason, Namco never ported Mappy to the NES, though there was a version on the Famicom, but then again, they did the same thing with Dig Dug. For what it's worth, Namco did make a console only sequel called Mappy-Land, and Taxan published it in the US. Based on personal experience with Mappy-Land, I can't really say that was a good thing though. Thankfully, the original game is available in a lot of places now. You can track down Mappy on the various versions of Namco Museum, on assorted plug and play joysticks, and on Nintendo's Virtual Console. Mappy is a dope game because it didn't need to do anything else but be a dope game. If more developers could apply that same philosophy to their work, I'm sure far less shovelware would exist on current consoles.

No comments:

Post a Comment