Lately I've been in full-on "media consumption" mode, and it hasn't really left time for much else. It's kind of scary. There's a line from Gene Wolfe -- "We say, 'I will,' and 'I will not,' and imagine ourselves (though we obey the orders of some prosaic person every day) our own masters, when the truth is that our masters are sleeping. One wakes within us and we are ridden like beasts, though the rider is but some hitherto unguessed part of ourselves."
For me the consumption of media is like that -- consuming
. I begin to do something, and then I can't stop.
Anyway. I bought an arcade game a while back: 虫姫たま (Mushihime-tama). It's a puzzle game by CAVE, infamous makers of impossible games
. The game is demented. It's like they got together and asked themselves "what is the most ridiculous, challenging game we can make that uses only a single control?" The gameplay is simple, even absurdly simple: pull back on the stick to charge, release to shoot. But the mechanics! Time your initial pull so that you release just as the ball falls into the well. Aim perfectly so that you get a "just fit" bonus. Fire hard, so that you break the blocks in the way. Fire soft, so that you don't break the guides that you need to support your combo. And hurry. And get the score bonuses while you're at it.
Cave! Everything they do is like this!
And it's even more galling because it's a cheap cash-in, playing purely on the sex appeal of the main character from Mushihime-sama. (Her voice, incidentally, is way
too childish for comfort.) It ought to be terrible. Instead, like virtually everything else by Cave, it's a minor classic -- small but beautifully-executed.