sb 64 pt. 8: pagan (voting begins november 28!)

wow sb hates sonic the hedgehog… jk. we’re back in winner’s bracket! also idk if i can think of many more thread subtitles











rooting for sky odyssey 120% here. it’s already knocked sonic and mario into loser’s… let’s go for the triple. death to zelda


also very happy with how things have panned out, dark souls vs. ico, katamari damacy vs. resident evil 4, those are fun matches imo. gamefaqs!!

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dark souls vs ico is a real one

  1. Katamari Damacy is a lot more fun. I’ve softened on RE4, but I still don’t like that much Dagon in my Resident Evil.
  2. Shadow of the Colossus was the last game I was excited for. Crazy Taxi is cool, but.
  3. Abstain, barely played Breath of the Wild.
  4. Killer7.
  5. Abstain, never played Riven.
  6. Outrun 2. I didn’t and still don’t like 3D Mario. Mario 64’s music and sound effects stir up the same kind of feelings in me that songs or sounds that have been my alarm do.
  7. ICO. It resonated with me more. Dark Souls was just more Demon’s Souls. I’d take ICO over any Souls game.
  8. Abstain, I have no strong feelings about either but Sky Odyssey has better music.

Katamari Damacy
Resident Evil 4

I’m thinking about what each game has inspired. I hate rating a game by influence, and I don’t like making generalizations, but hoo-boy, here we go.

Developers inspired by Resident Evil 4 make more over-the-shoulder shooters. Gears of War, Binary Domain, Vanquish, etc. I like these games! But developers inspired by Katamari Damacy make things that are wholly unique. I’m not going to list any because I don’t think I’ll be able to find a quote saying, “We were thinking about Katamari Damacy,” but I’m pretty confident I know who the fans are. Also, Keita Takahashi is a really cool person and I’m glad to be aware of him.



same with demon’s vs riven. these brackets ain’t real

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literally the 2 games i started playing this week.


Katamari vs RE4
i’ll always vote horr- wait no, i love katamari too much for it to be that easy. i cannot pick out any of these two games as perfectly more valuable to me than the other. they are both pure ridiculous videogameness with unique control schemes that suit their respective games perfectly. they both feel viscerally satisfying. they both have a perfect aesthetic. they both have really entertaining dumb writing tho in different directions, and ok maybe only re4 is dumb, but that’s a good quality ok?

i’m… probably gonna coinflip or abstain.

Crazy Taxi vs SotC
i like both but the choice here is easier. i just like moving around the world in sotc.

Breath of the Wild vs TGM2+
can i trust my gut that i’d enjoy botw more than tgm? i like tgm but i never felt inclined to finish more than the easy mode. i think botw might be one of those games i just like moving around in but i don’t have a switch. but i’ll go with the gut.

killer7 vs Rondo of Blood
i love you rondo. goodbye.

Demon’s vs Riven
me voting demon’s is a given in every matchup. go and play riven if you haven’t tho. it’s great.

Outrun 2 vs SM64
abandoning my childhood love for a magical drive. i just find outrun 2 and 2sp beautiful and meditative every time i play them.

Dark Souls vs Ico
oh, my favourite thing about both these games might be exactly the same. they both have a similar sad feeling to their environments, even though one is a fair bit more grim and hostile than the other. i guess i’ll vote ico for handholding?

Link’s Awakening vs Sky Odyssey
each sky odyssey matchup is a test of how much i’m enamoured with the idea of sky odyssey vs my appreciation of whatever game it is up against.


Shit’s getting serious now.

Katamari Damacy is medicinal. A shot of Vitamin B69-420 to the pineal gland. A key part of every astronaut’s First Contact Kit in the event of needing to make the best first impression. A mushrooming mantra for flipping bad trips. A dialogue with the dandified demiurge that fashioned us from trash.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. When I was a man, I talked like a man, I thought like a man, I reasoned like a man. When I became a star, I put the ways of manhood behind me and played Katamari Damacy for eternity.”

Shadow of the Colossus is mythremembering past, present, and future. A passion play for humanists. An ancient action figure found in a cave with lost Gnostic Gospels.

“If I have seen further, it is by stabbing upon the shoulders of giants”

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood made sense of that dream I totally had as a kid about the knight in a full suit of armour, holding a chalice full of immortal elixir, walking backwards up the downward escalator while a mall-full of teenagers attacks them with everything they could loot from Hot Topic and Spencer’s.

“Heavy heroes, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the shedding of tears (and blood (mostly blood)).”

Demon’s Souls is a Necronomicon writ with the dreams and nightmares of every human who has ever lived, authored in the earth’s core only to surface as a guide for You the Last Person to make your way through the playgrounds of oblivion. All it says is:

“If you don’t know how to die, don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your pretty little head about it.”

Super Mario 64 is a performance enhancement drug for Newtonian physics, a remote controlled gold medal gymnast for your Toys Я Us Toy Rush Challenge.

“To jump, to leap – to leap, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this leap of longness (run + Z + A) what dreams may come…”

(I have a copy of Outrun 2 on its way and all I’ll say is Outrun 2 should not be played before one gets their driver’s licence or else risk a disappointment in real life automobiles that one can never recover from)

ICO is a fevered field trip in a foreign country where you struggle to stealthily abandon your guide group for that of your middle school crush, desperate to get just one minute alone with them in a cosy corner of some run down castle built by some dead king.

”Yeah, you got that something…I think you’ll understand…when I…feel that something… I wanna hold your hand. I wanna save the la-a-a-and, but mostly hold your hand.”

Sky Odyssey is Amelia Earhart’s last will and testament writ in the wind and faithfully ported to the Playstation 2 home video game console. A bold breeze that can tease a tear from the eye of anyone with the faintest sense of adventure.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, hands clawed around an invisible Dual Shock controller, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”


the thing about re4’s influence for me is that i feel like most games it ostensibly influenced do not really take much more from it than the over-the-shoulder aiming. basically feel like the only game to meaningfully iterate on its design is re6 (this is the part of the post where i plug re6 mercenaries lol i love that shit). in a way its a blessing bc i do not feel that the game has been one-upped in basically most of its aspects. re4 - it’s still relevant!


Absolutely! I don’t mean to dismiss RE4. It’s an amazing achievement. I just think that Katamari has a very special and unique focus. It’s playfully tactile in a way that calls back to golden age Atari games and inspires me to think about my physical self in relation to this virtual space.


My picks this time:

  • Katamari Damacy
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Demon’s Souls
  • ICO

I think this is the second time I’ll be voting against Dark Souls. Which is very strange. But at least I get to vote For Demon’s Souls again. (I’m sure Dark Souls will beat ICO, and there are few more worthy opponents, but I’ll do my part.)

I remember Cuba and others talking about Demon’s Souls early on, back when I thought there was no way I was going to try it because it would be too difficult for me. I hadn’t seen anything from the game yet and those discussions somehow led me to to picture the game as a vast, flat, featureless landscape with occasional bonfires, Silent Hill-style fog that didn’t let you see very far, and monsters that became larger and larger the farther you ventured out.

Breath of the Wild vs. Tetris is an interesting one. I guess it’s a little hard to think about anything vs. Tetris, aside from other puzzle games. (Panel de Pon is better than Tetris.)

If Katamari Damacy were to end up in a match against ICO . . .


death to Super Mario 64, long live Heart Attack mode


The German intro to the Wii VC version of Rondo of Blood is cool as fuck. It has sunk deep into my being, using every bone in my body as a thermometer to confirm that it’s literally cooler than anything in Killer 7.


Things are getting simpler.

Katamari is more unusual and enduring. RE4 is too much about formula and I think God Hand is a more meaningful representative of the kind of design it plays with. I enjoy RE4 more but Katamari says a lot about what we should have been doing with hardware instead of establishing that every video-game character’s shoulder must be a key focus for the next 15 years.

Shadow of the Colossus endures despite its issues. It’s an immensely lonely game. Once again I’ve never really been able to figure out Crazy Taxi and I found Simpson’s Road Rage is a more approachable version of the same game with more fun environments.

BotW vs the only Tetris rep is tough. Neither of these titles is my absolute favourite in either series and they both have a lot going for them in pure design. BotW is more aesthetically appealing than TTATG2P but I’d probably have less problems playing TTATG2P overall. This is a coinflip.


Super Mario 64 wins over Outrun 2 and I worry that we’re getting too obsessed with whether or not our picks fit a mainstream Top 100 games of all time for all history in the known universe forever and always. I don’t think we’re pandering to say that 64 has some really special stuff happening and is a design marvel. I’ve not played Outrun 2 but I’ve not seen much to suggest why it should be here above other racing/driving fare. Is this because it’s more obscure? Maybe? I should play it.

Riven defined a lot of my early game sensibilities in the same way that Demon’s did for my later sensibilities. It is rough that they’re both going up against an opponent that does so many similar things in terms of vibes. This is almost a mirror match. I think Demon’s edges it out but only barely. I might fickly switch depending on what gets said.

Link’s Awakening really rubs me up the wrong way. It really rattles my windows and steps on my eggs. I feel like I should love it but I find it a really frustrating Zelda to get into with no specific issue that comes to mind. On paper it stands above most other Zeldas but I just don’t like playing it. I think I hate its gating? Sky Odyssey seems more magical and unique by contrast even though it is currently sitting on my shelf waiting to be unleashed. I have strong memories of it without ever having played it. Link’s Awakening meanwhile was the first game I ever played and it only sparked a love of games, not a love of that game. Memory vs memory fate of two memories.


imo you should def play outrun 2, especially if you like daytona usa or anything like that, it feels like the peak of sega’s arcade racing games and is probably the last great one they ever released.


I’ll see if I can find a version. I wonder if it’s just because arcade racers don’t really have much prominence depending on when/where you grew up in the UK (I played Daytona a bunch but it’s not as formative a part of UK arcades as I think DDR or Tekken are). I’d be much more interested in playing F-Zero AX but I don’t want to dismiss Outrun 2 out of hand either. I don’t find gameplay footage on youtube that compelling but I realise I’m missing the hardware and environment it’d be played in.

Shadow of the Colossus
Crazy Taxi

In the area of the Venn diagram where these two games intersect, there is a floating arrow telling you where to go. Crucially, the arrow doesn’t follow the road. Rather, it tells you how to get there as the crow flies. Whenever I have the option to turn off the minimap in a game, I take it. There’s just so much to be gained from learning the environment through trial and error. Crazy Taxi and Shadow of the Colossus both encourage the player to navigate the world in their own way, to find their own route. That’s one of my favorite aspects of each. I appreciate SotC more though for allowing me to simply hang out in the world and learn it at my own pace.