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2004.11.15

メトロクロス

metrocrs.png

1985年にナムコから発表されたビデオゲームです。

ゲーム内容は8方向レバーとジャンプボタンで主人公を操作して、時間内にゴール地点まで辿り着かなければならないと云う一種のレース物となっています。

右方向への任意スクロールなのですが、主人公が画面真ん中に達するとレバーを後方に入れない限り強制スクロールし続けるようになります。この仕様は任意スクロールの操作上の欠点をひとつ克服した素晴らしいアイディアだと思います。
俯瞰で描かれた画面レイアウトに設置された障害物を、縦移動で避けて行く事から疑似3Dの世界観を構築しているので、上の操作方法は必至事項だったとも云えます。

ゲームとしては障害物や敵の配置などが良く考えられた緊張感のある内容で、傑作とは云えないまでもなかなか楽しめる佳作程度に仕上がっていると思います。

本作が持つ欠点は強制スクロール時の主人公の定位置にあります。
主人公の移動出来る範囲は画面の左半分となっています。画面真ん中まで移動し、以降レバーを右へ入力し最高速に達している事を条件として強制スクロールするのですが、この位置が前方にあり過ぎるのです。
右方向へ進んで行くと云うゲームの特性上、主人公の位置が右に近ければ近いほどプレイフィールドを視認出来ない理由が生じます。
この為に本作は完全な暗記を前提としたパターンゲームとなっているのです。
また画面の左半分は全く意味のない背景と化してしまっています。前方(右)から現れる障害物や敵を避けて進むゲームですから、通り過ぎたあとの障害が画面に長く留まる必要がないのです。

このように意味のない画面を無駄に使いプレイ感を損ねているゲームは現在でも多く見掛けます。近々発売されるニンテンドウDSの「ポケモンダッシュ」もそうですね。
メトロクロスに限って云えば、スクロールの開始位置を上にある画像程度に設定すれば良いのではないでしょうか。出会い頭に敵とぶつかる理不尽さがなくなるだけでも随分とゲームの印象も変わると思われます。

本作はジャジーなBGMが独特な雰囲気を盛り上げて、よく調整された制限時間が緊張感を醸し出す非常にテクニカルなゲームです。しかし一般に受け入れられなかった理由は、暗記を前提としたが為の1ゲーム内の不満足感があったからだと思われます。ゲームは遊んでいる瞬間が楽しくなければいけない娯楽である以上、マニアにしか受け入れられなかった本作の評価は妥当なものだと云わざるを得ないでしょうね。

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