Idle animations have always be somewhat underappreciated in games, don’t you think? The developers could just let the characters stand there like statues while we do whatever it is that’s taken us away from the game, but they don’t. More often than not, game makers take the opportunity to add just a little more fun and life into their games, and I think that’s worth a little recognition. So yeah, here are five of my favorites.
Sonic’s Very Impatient – Sonice the Hedgehog 2
It’s hard to beat the classics, and it doesn’t get any more classic than this. In the first couple of Sonic games, Sonic will almost immediately start tapping his foot even start looking at his watch if the player stops moving for any amount of time. This makes total sense if you think about it: Sonic is the fastest thing alive in his world, and he’s used to moving at breakneck speeds. With all that speed and energy, an extreme lack of patience is totally understandable, even if it winds up getting him thrown into spikes every now and then.
Dance Time! – Psychonauts
Raz is a a psychic first and foremost, but he also has a talent for dance. All one has to do to see him bust out his moves is to have stand around for a few seconds. Is he the best dancer in the world? No, but he’s good enough to be entertaining. A bit of grace is to be expected from a former acrobat I guess, but when exactly did he have time to start practicing his dancing in addition to his secret psychic exercises and such?
Dance Battle! – Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
Okay, so this one is kind of a cheat since the brothers Mario aren’t exactly idling, but I say it counts because they’re standing in place and I really like it. Basically, while deciding what each bro will do during their turn in battle, Mario and Luigi will each do a little shuffle-like dance. It’s almost like they can hear the battle music, and they’re just as into it as we are. I feel like it adds quite a bit to the game’s overall charm, and it helps keep things feeling light and fun throughout. (I also kind of want to learn how to do Luigi’s dance.)
Crash’s Yo-Yo Skills – Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
As someone who never was able to get all that good with the Yo-Yo, I gotta respect Crash’s skill in this game. Not only is he constantly risking life and limb while running through those deathtraps we call levels, but he’s also working on his Yo-Yo game in his spare moments. Seriously, how did he get so good? I remember practicing quite a bit when I was a kid, and the most I could ever manage was to get the yo-yo to sleep. Keep it up Crash! Maybe someday you can hang up your shoes and be a full-time yo-yo master.
Mario is Sleepy – Super Mario 64
I’ve always loved this one, and it’s probably my all time favorite. If you let Mario stand around for more than 30 seconds or so in Mario 64, he’ll take the opportunity to lie down and take a quick nap. I’m not sure what it is about this that I like so much. Maybe it’s that it’s funny; maybe it’s because Mario actually sounds really worn out and you really want to give the guy a break, or maybe it’s exactly what I would want to do after hours of running, jumping, punching and falling. Getting through a 3D platformer level is really hard work if you think about it. No wonder Mario wants to take a breather; I know I would if I was putting in as much energy as he is!
What are some of your favorite idling moments in gaming? Have you seen anything special or unique?
Lede image captured by The Duck of Indeed