Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lovely Planet - This Time it's Personal

While Lovely Planet is finding its way to consoles and my accountant is busy talking gibberish over the phone, I've been toying with multiple prototypes looking for something interesting to work on. With a whole list of ideas waiting to be realized in software form it's easy to get distracted with what looks like the easy way out and right now between a few incomplete prototypes and unrealistically ambitious ideas, that inviting distraction happens to be Lovely Planet itself.

Despite being the most simple and straightforward game, Lovely Planet leaves room for improvement. The kind of improvement I'm looking at here doesn't involve adding to the game though - if I had better enemies, levels or whole new mechanics to add to the same game, an expansion of sorts would do the trick, but the kind of upgrade that I have in mind calls for a whole new framework. There is a wide array of little things that troubled me with Lovely Planet which I think I can fix, but only with a different game starting from scratch without the baggage that comes with the original. What makes for a good sequel is one that builds and improves on its predecessor and trying to recognize what makes the experience for players that enjoyed the original game can be an interesting exercise but not one I'm going to waste my time with.

It is not surprising at all that there is a longer list of elements that were removed from the original than the new stuff which has found its way into this next iteration. I wouldn't want to reveal too much just yet but the platforming is more concise, the controls are simplified and the enemies are smarter and more agile. All of this was achieved at a cost that some players might not agree with but I'm sure this fresh new design brings better more interesting gameplay that fans of the original would most certainly enjoy.

In short expect more, but not more of the same - can't confirm if and when this game will actually happen but one promise I can make is that the essence of Lovely Planet will be left untouched - a gun ballet the way you know and love, which is enough reason for me to call it a sequel.