How Suzy Got Her Powers

Quick and small. More like an appetiser, really. This game is apparently supposed to be a prologue to a much larger work, and as such its primary goal really should be to whet my appetite -- like a good pickle -- and make me hunger for that larger meal. It's a superhero origin story, and we're well aware of how those work. Most can be summed up in a few sentences. But even so, they often expand into larger stories, encompassing many more characters and themes, all of which tie the hero to the mundane world and give him something to fight for. The origin story must also work as a character portrait.

Our hero here, Suzy, is an underdog case: a lowly peon beginning to despair of ever clawing her way out of Skid Row. However, I'm not sure we really get a sense of that in the actual game. We know about it from the background information and from the responses to examining some of her possessions, but I think it would have been better to have had a scene from her workplace or her home life. This would provide us with some further sense of the people and things that are dear to her, or the elements that are at work against her. As it is, she feels a little isolated. I feel that an important element in this story should be a sense of difference between what she was and what she has become, and I don't feel that we have been shown that.

What I do find interesting, however, is this: in order for the game to progress, Suzy must perform the foolish but courageous action of entering a burning building to rescue a stranger. One could say that it forces the player himself into establishing that Suzy does not lack courage. (It is possible to attempt to call the fire department -- unfortunately, Suzy's phone is dead -- which would also establish that she has some sense.) Thus, the game does not go on unless Suzy is played the way she should be played: as a potential superhero.

Two slices of toast, with peanut-butter; and Tang.