The Lingering Sun God
By Ben Alford on July 30th, 2012 (2 comments)
Bennett Foddy's (QWOP, GIRP) Sun God is inspired by the song of the same name by Cut Copy, a band Foddy himself use to play in. It is part of Pitchfork's Soundplay, a collection games commissioned and inspired by specific songs (previous games' bases were M83's "Intro" on Hurry Up We're Dreaming and Matthew Dear's "Street Song"). Sun God is like trying to gracefully fall and then playing it off over and over again. On a mechanics level, that is wonderful (as almost typical for Foddy at this point), but it doesn't come together with the music quite so well.
There is somewhat of a direct rhythmic element to the design but it isn't a particularly meaningful one. Mainly, it is the scoring sparks: more sparks appear when the song picks up in pace, less when it is slower or when the backing track fades. It doesn't synchronize with the actual play though—the swinging of the two characters tied together by a bungee like cord. The game is played at whatever pace the player chooses and the sound effects that occur happen on a beat that is divorced from the music. This is the important thing with musical games, like Rez. The creators realize that they can't control everything and fudge what they can (in the case of Rez, the timing at which the shots hit are on the music beat) to be harmonious with the music.
It doesn't help that I've never enjoyed Cut Copy. At the same time, you would never see me listen to the flavor of electronic music in Rez or any of the metal in Brütal Legend. They both transform music that I normally give no second listen to into something I enjoy in the moment, or at least find the use of music to be additive. Brütal Legend took metal and put it in context. It turned ridiculous album art into vistas, gatefolds into menus, and headbangers into units. In Sun God, music just lingers.
[Play Sun God]
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