Monday 28 October 2013

UNDERRATED: Platinum Games


Indie developers need to some more representation. This has been happening more frequently with more indie developers coming into the industry. With more of them existing there are more of their games popping up in the different markets like Steam or GOG. Journalist have been emerging to give a voice to these publisherless games. I suppose I'm trying to do that sort of work. On a non-professional level at least. Great example of a person who give a voice to these underdogs of the industry include people like Josh Matting from Indie Statik.

Now there are developers who certainly do have some funding by publisher but are seriously underrated compared to some of the big dogs in the market.

Platinum Games is probably the best example I know of. Clover Studios made very notable games such as God Hand which didn't get much traction at all. A title that has had a great reviews for the most part (check out this review, this article, and avoid IGN at all costs, obviously). The same developer of Viewtiful Joe, and Ōkami which has had some decent traction recently. The games of Clover have been praised quite a bit and even with these well constructed games, their marketing must have just been abysmal. They produced great products but no one bought them.

An indie developer that was funded by Capcom. After not making the sales figures Capcom had set out for Clover, they scrapped all funding. As a result Clover was destroyed (Capcom is insane when it comes to making good sales goals by the way). Though with this destruction, came a the birth of a great new studio that arose from the remnants of its predecessor. Platinum Games.

Platinum have made games such as:
  1. MadWorld
  2. Bayonetta
  3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  4. And the newest game in this collection The Wonderful 101.

These games have lots of intense combat which deal a lot with spectacles. Bayonetta was remarked as one of the best spectacle fighters when it emerged. It has a very well constructed battle system of attacks and dodges that deal a lot with the environment. These can get a bit boring if played over and over but the game does offer more and more excitement in the enemies as you progress. Though this progression does also have a sense of obfuscation. While playing there might be a little too much happening on the screen to really understand WTF is going on. With great mechanics that might get a bit repetaive and stunning visualize that might physically stun you from oversaturation the game has a lot of great stuff to offer but obviously has room to improve.

Platinum has this in most of their games. Lots to applaud but never a lack of complaint. I certainly don't think that these games are a 50/ 50 split for good and bad parts. The elements that make up the fun and immersive experience their games convey are usually great at what they do but there is always room for critique. Perhaps with Bayonetta two they will have fixed a lot of this.

I think Platinum Games have been improving in their quality over time and have a pretty great library that isn't too big that is not to hard to check out. I look forward to reviewing their next game... that comes out for PC since I am in no position to afford a new console. Take the time to at least try out one of the games I listed above or check out some of their other titles if you want to do your research. The content speaks for itself, unless your Clover Studios. Don't let a lot of skilled designers, artists, and programmers lose their well deserved place in the industry. Platinum games, currently working on Bayonetta 2!

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