A new venture!
I have some exciting news. Since neglecting this beloved site I have been secretly working on a new project together with Maya. While there is still work left to do around branding and things, I couldn’t wait any longer to announce it on VVG.
Here is a prototype video essay put together by us on the subject of flight in videogames. In a move designed to shock and deceive, we named it ‘Flight’. The video essays we have planned are, in many ways, takes on our favourite subjects and themes from the blog and the podcast. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been kicking around these thoughts online here for just over six years – wow. The biggest difference here of course is the new (to us) medium of the video essay, and so far it’s been a challenging but rewarding one to work in.
In case anyone is curious about the games featured, the video includes footage of the following games (in order of first apperance):
- Demon’s Crest (SNES)
- Panzer Dragoon Zwei (Saturn)
- Soukyugurentai (Saturn)
- Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)
- Skies of Arcadia Legends (Gamecube)
- Sky Odyssey (PS2)
- NiGHTS Into Dreams (Saturn)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis/Megadrive)
I’m really curious to know what you guys think of our approach with this video, so if you have any feedback we’d greatly appreciate you letting us know with a comment below. Thanks!
I enjoyed the video! Looking forward to what more you come up with. I’m not a fan of the visuals being a recording of a small piece of a tv screen, but I did rather enjoy your thoughts on the concept of flight.
Appreciate your feedback Aether, and thanks for stopping by in general! Glad you liked it on the whole. We’ll definitely experiment with the video side of things. I like the idea of doing something different than captured footage, but I can see how the cropping might be off-putting.
I found this an interesting concept, discussing a common theme in computer games, whilst showing examples in the video. It reminded me of the Inside Cinema series, which discussed themes in films, whilst showing clips from films that illustrated the ideas. Some of the ideas on flight were interesting and I enjoyed the discussion about NiGHTS Into Dreams… When I played the game, I used to enjoy running around the levels as the children. I found it was much freer as my movements were not bound by set “track” that NiGHTS had to follow, but I was not able to fly into the sky. I also used to know friends that used to enjoy the Microsoft Flight Simulator games and, while they played, they seemed to enjoy the technical aspects of controlling an aeroplane.
Did the ideas you applied to NiGHTS Into Dreams.. apply to the sequel as well? Would you consider the Tails character from the Sonic the Hedgehog games to be part of the idea that flight created freedom? What other themes were you considering exploring in the videos?
Just realised I never replied to you! Sorry about that. And thanks for watching! The NiGHTS sequel I haven’t played much of it but based on my early impressions, yes, it does have the dream aesthetic like the first one and it’s still about the magic of flight and not anything too technical. Tails in Sonic is a interesting example, using him makes some levels a lot easier. I never discovered he could fly in Sonic 2, to be honest, I only started using (and abusing) his ability in Sonic Mania. He reminds me of Kirby, where flying is an optional way to reduce the difficulty and discover secrets. There will be more videos coming in the not too distant future I hope, the next one is about jumping and is close-ish to being done. From there we have other ideas but they’re not set in stone and I don’t want to spoil anything.