Getting the Vapours

Aesthetically, Nintendo has never let me down. While the company stresses the unimportance of graphics, they never fail to impress with their design. Paper Mario, Wind Waker, and Kirby’s Epic Yarn are perfect examples of their style, preferring cohesion and themes to god rays and polygon counts.

With Code Name: STEAM, revealed last night for the 3DS, those same principles are at play, but Nintendo’s decisions just don’t gel with me.

I see their inspirations in the work; Jack Kirby’s boundless creativity coupled with Bruce Timm’s square jawed simplicity is a genius decision. But it still doesn’t grab me like I would hope.


But the hate parade can end there. STEAM isn’t off my radar, and I don’t believe I’d “literally kill myself” should I be seen playing it. I wouldn’t even say it’s ugly. It’s perfectly fine that a game isn’t made just for me. Because as much as I dislike the visuals, Intelligent Systems looks to be crafting one hell of a strategy game.


I’d be an idiot to doubt that STEAM won’t be fun. IS seems to be drawing upon some systems I last saw in the Valkyria Chronicles series. I can appreciate that steam powered weapons and armour determines their movement, as opposed to Valkyria’s “You know what? I’m pooped as hell” system.

No permadeath is a sign that Intelligent Systems listened to my baby cries. After Fire Emblem Awakening I can’t imagine playing a game where I’d lose such well written beings.

It’s important to note that the developers said they hope this game can have even more people fall in love with the tactics genre. This helps me understand the art style a bit better, as it’s reasonable to believe that Valkyria Chronicles setting and visuals turned people off (despite being a favourite of mine). Maybe this is a more acceptable form, a style that many will find appealing.


I say this without seeing a second of footage, so I think my opinion can only go up from here. Sure, my thoughts on the art won’t change no matter how it “moves”, but it will be great to see just how the game plays out.

I’ll be sure to update this piece once the Treehouse gives us a peek later today.


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