Stryker: It’s kind of funny the way some games strike you as being really strange, whereas others, which are probably just as weird, you don’t notice as much – it’s easier to suspend your disbelief with certain games than it is with others. When I play Mario, I usually don’t worry about why there are bricks floating in midair. But when I play Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I can’t help but notice that the first boss is about 12 feet tall.
Brad: I’m not entirely sure, but I have a theory that it has to do with recognition. If you can recognize something right away, you don’t think about it consciously, so then you’re less likely to think about it if its out of place or something. But if you have to stop and think about what it is, then you notice all the things that are wrong with it, because those are the things that are interfering with your ability to recognize it in the first place. And then you start to question those things.
Stryker: So the reason I noticed that the boss was so tall is because what he really looked like was a mess of poorly animated pixels that’s sort of shaped like a guy?
Brad: Exactly. It’s the same with the giant spiders in the second area. You think “What the hell is that brown thing? Is that supposed to be a spider? If that’s a spider, then why the hell is it so big?”
Stryker: Your theory doesn’t explain the guy who was daydreaming about torches. That was pretty strange, too.
Brad: Well, he’s just weird. But most games don’t have that, which is why that stands out.
Stryker: Whereas a lot of games have subpar gameplay, which is why the gameplay in Bram Stoker’s Dracula didn’t stand out at all.
Brad: Now you’re catching on. This game is like a poor man’s Strider. And Strider wasn’t that great to begin with. Its like the feeling you get when you turn on Comedy Central and realize that they’ve replaced the Saturday Night Live reruns with Mad TV. You know that your overall entertainment value has been lowered, but you also know that even if the SNL reruns were still on, you’d still be better entertained doing something else.
Stryker: Or like the feeling you get when you buy the wrong flavor of Hot Pockets.
Brad: Those things are probably the most dangerous thing you can possibly eat other than live scorpions.