This is my first post of what I plan to be a series of journals about some small, lesser-known video games that I really enjoyed when I was younger and would like to see return in some way, shape of form.
Video games used to be better. I honestly believe that. A huge part of that is my own personal taste in video games. These days people get overly excited about games that just don't appeal to me. They're often sequels that are almost exactly the same as the rest of their franchise and tend to look more fun than they actually are. These days I find popular games to be a lot more about stealth than action for some reason. Everything is focused on being more realistic and gritty, which in my opinion makes it more dull. Local multiplayer is all but completely eliminated. The campaigns have no replay value. I just don't seem to be enjoying video games as much as I used to, and I honestly believe that despite people's excitement most video game fans would not be having as much fun as they would have had in the old days. While there are a few modern games I still enjoy such as Skyrim... and that's about it, there is a lot less variation. I'd like to take a look back at a random assortment of games I have enjoyed over the years. Today I would like to start with Blinx: The Time Sweeper.
Here's a fun fact. Blinx: The Time Sweeper was the only game that Drunk Gamers (which would later split off into what we now know as Rooster Teeth) ever received for free as a 'reviewing website'. I'll admit the game is far from perfect, but I highly doubt there will ever be a game that's deemed truly perfect. The reason I would like to talk about Blinx is because it's a fun game. It's fun and somewhat unique in contrast to the games of today.
So what is Blinx: The Time Sweeper? Well, like many games of the 1990s and early 2000s it was a colourful three-dimensional platformer featuring an anthropomorphic protagonist, in this case a cat. The player character, Blinx is a Time Sweeper. He works for the Time Factory, which creates and delivers time to different worlds (or universes rather). When time messes up the Time Sweepers are sent in to clear up the mess. Often glitches in time take the form of Time Crystals or Time Monsters. It's the Time Sweepers' jobs to clean them up. The story is a simple one. A band of space pirates invade a world and kidnap its princess in order to steal all of its time. Inevitably time crystals form, which in turn become monsters. Blinx must defeat all the monsters and eventually confront the pirates to save the world.
The game is purely single-player. While I spent many hours playing my friends and family in the multiplayer matches of Blinx 2: Masters of Space and Time, Blinx 1 only had one mode. Again, it's not a complicated game. The level design and gameplay are just as simple as the story. As I say with many aspects in life, simplicity is not always a bad thing. In fact, I find that a lot of the time the more simple something is the better. It doesn't take much to have fun. Why spoil it by trying to clutter a mess of features into one game? In Blinx: The Time Sweeper you spend your time travelling from area to area eliminating time monsters within the time limit. The twist is that you can manipulate time to your benefit. Your best friend is your weapon, which sucks up trash (anything from garbage cans to flower beds to massive weights) that you shoot at your enemies. It also comes with time controls. Suck up enough time crystals, either three or four in a row of each specific type and you will have the ability to either pause, slow down, rewind, fast forward or record time in order to help you defeat your enemies and navigate the levels. On top of that you can upgrade your weapon to allow you the ability to hold more trash, more time controls, shoot faster or provide other special abilities via the shop - an in-game shop with pretend money. This was before things like microtransactions, thank God.
There's not an awful lot to say about this game except that I really enjoyed myself, and I'm sure others did as well. It was colourful and immersive. The gameplay was fun albeit difficult, especially as you progressed further into the game. Most importantly it was different. Sure. On the outside it appears to be similar to many other games out there, but it experimented. It was different. And it's the type of game I miss. I would absolutely love to see this franchise resurface, whether it be a sequel, remake or reboot. If not, then it would be just as great to see elements of Blinx reappearing in future games. Let's have fun again.
Feel free to comment. :)
EDIT: Here's the trailer and intro to the game.