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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 15:24

I Wear A 'Fez' Now

Examining 'Fez''s spectacular nostalgia

 

I'm a wicked sucker for documentaries, especially (obviously) ones on gaming, so when I saw 'Indie Game: The Movie' finally up on Netflix, I decided that I had two hours to waste on the trials and tribulations of three different indie developers: Jonathan Blow (of 'Braid' fame), Team Meat (the sadistic creators of 'Super Meat Boy'), and one Phil Fish of Polytron Corporation.

While I was familiar with the first two developers, the only thing I'd ever heard about Phil Fish was various rumblings on the internet, generally involving words that are terrible to say and even worse to put into public print. Over the course of the movie, I watched him sway from hopelessness to hopefulness back to despondency as he poured himself into his game. His passion turned into a full on range of emotions, his frustrations dumping into every word he spat about his finances, his new, unstable code and his unsympathetic former business partner.

That being said, his trial through fire turned into gold. 'Fez' is easily one of the best throwbacks to the NES/SNES era ever created since those bygone days.

Published in Tekk

This is a true story from when I was a kid: After months of playing the game, my best friend's brother came to town and showed us how to get the Magic Flute in the first fortress in 'Super Mario Bros. 3.' Then he showed us how to get the P-Wing in 1-4, and then how to drop through the white blocks. That last one, in particular, clung like putty, adding to the surface area of my brain.

I was smart enough to know that 'Super Mario World's' ghost houses were designed by jerks pretty much from day one, but they still fascinated me - almost as much as those parts of the Star Road that I could see but couldn't reach. As a child-adult I can comprehend, mathematically, that 'Super Mario Bros. 3' is a better video game, and that its mystique lies in the opportunities for virtuosity in every one of its stages instead of in its 'secrets;' as an adult-child, though, I mostly preferred to try and jump up to the secret exit of Donut Plains 1 without hitting the Green Switch Palace first.

'Fez' is the videogame that the world's biggest 'Super Mario World' fan would make with two million dollars and three years. It's littered with weird little secrets, with opportunities to unlock new rooms by pressing the right buttons in the right order or to collect gold stars for looking underneath the right platforms from the right angles. Many of these secrets - like those Star Road levels - even seem to be hiding more enormous secrets behind them. 'Fez' even takes the next step once in awhile, hiding strange images in its soundtrack and hiding in-game items that the collective internet seems to be unable to uncover.

Published in Tekk

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