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  • Lira 6:32 pm on December 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , The binding of Isaac   

    Indie game of Christmas – The binding of Isaac 

    The binding of Isaac

    What The binding of Isaac and Christmas have in common?

    Well, both are slightly based in the bible. (I didn’t read the bible completely, but I’m almost sure that no one said there that a guy dressed in red would give gifts for free and we should eat as much as we can.)

    So, if you think your life is full of problems probably you still don’t know Isaac. Between each stage you will see some animations of how much Isaac already suffered in his life, from being bullied to discovered just after taking a dump that there was no paper in the toilet.

    And where were his god all that time? Telling her mother to take everything from him to purify his sinner soul and than to sacrifice him as the ultimate proof of her love to him.

    The game itself have nothing really new in the gameplay. It feels like snes’ smash TV, but with tons of upgrades. But the game have tons of hilarious upgrades and a really charming visual. It’s also nice to see how absurd the game is. You start completely naked, so your only weapon is Isaac’s tears that you shoot to kill bizarre creatures that lives in Isaac’s basement, and your final objective is to kill his mother to survive.

    Isaac's screenshot

    Can't...decide...if cute or disturbing

    One of the best parts of the game is the replay value. Some upgrades are only available after certain number of new games that you made and the stages are all randomly generated (the bad part of the randomly generated dungeons is that sometimes the game can be REALLY hard and others just normal depending of your luck. The good part is that this game is never too easy). You also have some new characters to unlock that have their own special abilities, like Judas and Cain.

    SCORE – 8.5

    You can play the demo on newgrounds!

    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/581168

     
  • Lira 2:18 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Final form games, , Jamestown,   

    Indie game of the week 

    Jamestown - Legend of the lost colony

    Long time without posting, but here I am again. Today I gonna write about Jamestown – legend of the lost colony.

    I must say that I was really impressed with this game. The visual is stunning, it has an amazing gameplay and it’s really challenging like an oldschool game should be.

    Jamestown screenshot 1

    Really nice pixel art here

    I really felt like playing a game from the old times made by and large company with this one. I can’t complain of almost nothing in this game. Well,  there is a story that I couldn’t care (and that you can also open an alternative story using a lot of points…that I unlocked and played again to see it, but I couldn’t pay any attention again for it. Oh well…), but I don’t think that’s exactly a problem in the game (maybe the story is good and I’m just to lazy and too enchanted with the gameplay and art of the game to lose my time reading the story). I would say that’s even a positive point to the game, you are not forced to see the story, but you need to keep a button pressed for some time to skip it, avoiding you to skip a scene by accident.

    So maybe the only thing I can complain in the game is the short size of it. You have only 5 stages to play, each one taking about 5 minutes if you don’t die, so you will probably end the story mode in 40 minutes or less.

    The game tries to compensate this problem with a lot of extra small challenges reusing a part of the scenarios of the story mode. Those challenges can take your attention for sometime, being really fun to play and hard to complete, but after a while it feels a little repetitive.

    But back to the nice things of the game. Something that makes the gameplay a little longer is the possibility to unlock new ships as you advance in the story, each ship having a different way to play and strategies, making you want to play some stages again to test your new ship.

    And that’s pretty much it. Like you would expect from this type of game you have a ton of enemies and bullets on the screen to avoid and destroy and a small overkiller ship to do the job.

    Resume

    If you don’t care to pay 10 bucks on a short game, it totally worth it for the experience.

    Now, the official trailer of the game:

     
  • Lex 2:10 pm on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Age of Empires Online, Diablo 2, Diablo III, Dungeons and Dragons Online, League of Legends, Spiral Knights, Team Fortress 2,   

    The Devil’s Wealth 

    Large corporations are managed with a great deal of forethought. The strategies which the highest echelons of management set into motion are considered and mulled over for long stretches of time and over many meetings. This is how businesses succeed and grow. The oft overzealous knee-jerky conservative reaction from a passionate fan base to an unprecedented announcement usually comes from people not willing to understand why something has been added to or omitted from the latest version of a given product.

    Blizzard didn’t become Blizzard by making mistakes with its beloved franchises. Many are regarding the addition of real-money auction houses to Diablo III as a miscalculated move on the celebrated developer’s part. The biggest fear the most vocal critics share is the affect such exchanges would have on the value of loot players acquire from drops. The most die hard players spend tens or hundreds of hours griding the same dungeons to obtain top tier weapons, armor and trinkets. From the outside micro-transactions may seem damaging to the gameplay of an multi-player online battle arena (MOBA) or any other online experience focused on competitive play. While this once held true for shooters such as the Modern Warfare series, these practices are most beneficial to games being developed on the industry fringe.

    DDO was one of the first Massively-Multiplayer Online RPGs to embrace the free-to-play model which supports micro-transactions.

    Free-to-play games like the dungeon crawler Spiral Knights and the MMORPG Dungeons and Dragons Online need such micro transaction systems in place to assure survival in a crowded, competitive market. Their business models are based on small dollar purchases made by the community of players surrounding them. Developers such as Spiral Knights’ Three Rings Design take huge risks releasing their games to the public with an entry-level cost of nil on the part of the consumer. All they ask of the player is the occasionally micropayments toward the purchase of in-game items. Such items provide character buffs or serve as simple aesthetic diversions from what is typically found in the game world.

    Multi-player centric indie titles for which micropayment auction houses are advantageous include the much lauded MMO Mythos, the DOTA inspired League of Legends and the MMO-RTS hybrid Age of Empires Online. All of these are games from the outlying sectors of the videogame industry. All were made by indie developers who ask little or no upfront monetary investment from new players. They need the capital provided by free-to-play revenue streams to sustain operations and keep the game alive.

    MANN Co.’s Aussie CEO Saxton Hale is the cartoonishly musclebound mascot of TF2’s in game store.

    Of all the games applying the micro transaction business model the majority are MMOs, MOBAs and an abundance of Diablo 2 derivatives. However, full-sized tent pole shooters have adopted the real-money transactions paradigm. Valve’s Team Fortress 2 integrated real money transactions for weapons and hats which has not been detrimental to the game. Quite the opposite effect has transpired as the TF2 community has grown steadily since the introduction of the trade and craft systems. With the recent free-to-play changeover the player population for the objective-based first-person shooter has exploded. Team Fortress 2 even dethroned Valve’s own Counter-Strike as the most played game on Steam.

    To bring this discourse back to Diablo III, specifically its auction houses, the idea that a game which recoups its production costs upfront from software sales and then asks its user base to fork over more money is a rather shifty proposition. Especially given that D3’s price point will probably be in the sixty dollar range for the standard edition. However, given World of Warcraft’s problems with gold farmers depreciating the in-game currency, one can easily recognize why Blizzard would seek to minimize any damage done to their new game by using what they’ve learned about player-run economies in conjunction with what they know about gold farming processes.

    Even with dominant artistic and technical prowess, Blizzard Entertainment is still a business.

    What do we know about Diablo III’s real-money auction houses?

    • Players will be able to trade money for in-game items via a player-to-player transaction system.
    • Blizzard gets a set cut from every trade.
    • A third-party provider will also receive a cut of the sale from any player who chooses to cash out.
    • Blizzard will receive yet another cut from a player who cashes out on their sale.
    • Anonymous transactions both ways. Neither player is aware of the other player’s identity.
    • Upon death, hardcore branded characters become barred from real-money exchanges.
    Why is Blizzard implementing real-money auction houses?
    • The alternative to micro transactions is a subscription based model ala WoW. In order to fund the maintenance and further development of Diablo III multiplayer servers Blizzard necessitates some sort of financial influx.
    • Cut into the revenue stream of gold farmers

    It’s easy to allow our grievances to cloud better judgement when the things we love dearly change. Stopping to consider the reasons for an amendment goes against our nature to preserve the things we love and the memories we have of them; especially when that change is unexpected. Servers, server maintenance and security overhead are costly even for a company as financially fortified as Blizzard. In the end we should all rejoice and celebrate the arrival of a new Diablo game. Blizzard has carefully cultivated its franchises over the years and it would behoove them to continue in their game design tradition. This tradition of meticulous testing and iteration, along with the mantra “It’s ready when it’s ready” has garnered them endless praise and an ever expanding fan base.

    Perhaps this aggravated fellow can best summarize the well-meaning but over-zealous fervor felt by the hardcore.

     
    • CmdrEdem 4:54 pm on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think the problem is really the AH itself. The problem is: because of security concerns regarding item duplication and other cheating related to powerful item aquisition the game will have to be played online at all times. People that is afraid of the AH for any reason besides that one is a fool. Like Blizzard said: RMTs exist in D2 and it’s not like it destroyed the game. More people will use RMTs now that there’s a safe way to do it? Sure as hell they will. But I don’t think this will break the game and Blizzard will watch very closelly so it’s new gem is not shattered by this hammer.

    • JenicEm 10:30 pm on August 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Good Point, Lex!
      It is so amazing how this game isn’t even out yet and these ‘fanboys’ are already thinking it is ruined!! Thought he video at the end is a fake reaction (over exaggerated) it illustrates exactly some of the off handle emotions brewing out there.

  • Lira 12:05 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Teotl Studios, The ball   

    Indie game of the week – The ball 

    Ok, I observed that I just review games that I liked and decided that it would be nice to review games that disappointed me too. And the ball is one of them.

    I decided to buy it in a day that steam sold it for 75% of the original price. Reading some reviews it appeared to have nice graphics (it uses Epic’s Unreal™ Engine 3 ) and it was somewhat compared with portal, some saying that it was a nice game to play while you waited for portal 2 (the game was released in October last year) so I tough that for 5 dollars it was ok to take the risk and buy it.

    And yeah. It’s worth 5 dollars, but not much more than that. I discovered that the game is compared to portal because it’s another first person shooter with just one gun being more like a puzzle than an action game. But they forgot that the puzzle was just a small fraction of the reasons why portal is so good. The ball have no captivating story and nothing like that. And the puzzles at the beginning of the game fails a lot to catch your attention. I played this game for only forty minutes and nothing on it caught my attention.

    The entire time that I played the game the story had nothing new, no characters were introduced and the stages had no challenge, so I spent 40 minutes basically pushing and pulling a giant ball for no apparent reason.

    Reading other reviews it appears that after a while the game gets a lot better…maybe someday I will try to play it to see if that is true, but I probably won’t.

    Resume

    If you have a lot of free time and you find it for 10 dollars or less it might worth the try. Otherwise I would not recommend.

     
    • Lex 10:54 am on August 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      A missed opportunity for a Sisyphus game.

  • Lira 3:21 am on July 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gamerizon, , , Quantz   

    Indie game of the week – Quantz 

    This game havea strange concept. It’s bust-a-move, but in 3D.

    If you don’t remember what game is bust-a-move, is the one that you control a cannon that shoots balls with different colors into other balls, having to match 3 or more balls of the same colors.

    Bust-a-move, the 2D quantz's brother

    Bust-a-move, the 2D quantz's brother

    So, imagine this same game, but in place of the balls that you have to shot being on top of the screen they are in a polyhedron at the center of the screen and in the place of aiming with a cannon you have to spin this polyhedron while a ball from a random color fall in the center of the screen. The interesting part is that most of the balls are not attached to this polyhedron, they are just attracted, so if you spin it too fast you might change the balls from their places, sometimes this being good or bad. But yes, some of them are really attached and can not be moved.

    Another nice touch is that because of the game is in a polyhedron you can’t see all the balls at the same time, but you don’t actually need to remember of every ball in the game, you can stop the falling ball to rotate the polyhedron and look for the best place to aim it.

    And the game is basically this. Also if you hit 3 or more balls of the same colors that were evolving a ball of another color, this isolated ball will pop from the polyhedron and fall again, clearing itself and any ball of the same color that it touches after hitting the polyhedron (so yes, if you don’t hit any ball of the same color of the popping one, it will just clear itself).

    Oh, and the game have 3 gameplays. Action, strategy and puzzle.
    Action and strategy is almost the same thing, but in strategy you have a preview of some of the next balls that you will use while in action you just know the color of the ball that is falling and the balls are launched automatically (so yes, action is more difficult). And puzzle as you can imagine you have a specific number of balls that you can use to clear all the balls of the stage.

    Resume

    The game is somewhat expensive ($10 without sale), but if you like puzzles can be a nice game to pass the time, but not exactly special.

     
  • Lira 2:16 am on July 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , VVVVVV   

    Indie game of the week – VVVVVV 

    Long time, no posts (unless from me).
    I was having busy days, but form now on I will probably post more often.
    Well, and now for the review.

    The review itself

    At first I asked myself if it was really worth to buy VVVVVV…and after buying I was mocked for some of my friends:

    “Really? It’s just a stupid flash game.”
    “No! It’s not! Here, let me show you”

    And when I tried to open the game it popped out a flash error

    “You see? It’s even made on flash! I told you”

    Yeah…it might be made on flash but it’s really hard to define if it’s unfair to sell it on steam or if it should be distributed for free at some sites like newgrownds or kongragate. Actually, you even have the demo of it on those sites.

    And that’s the problem. The game appears to be too big for a simple flash game but too small for a paid indie game. Probably a regular gamer will take up to 3h to finish the game at the first time (3h considering the gamer played really bad) and maybe add 2h if you try to beat 100% of the game.

    But the quality of the game is really high. You have an 8-bit visual with an awesome chiptune soundtrack and the game takes really well the essence of the old games. It’s REALLY challenging, but you use only 3 buttons to play all the game.

    The coolest thing about VVVVVV is to be a completely conceptual platform game that could be made for atari without losing much, showing all the creativity of the creators in working with tons of limitations. Maybe you can justify the game being short to appear more like an 8 bit-game. But the important part here is the gameplay that is really neat. As said you use only 3 buttons. Left, right and change the gravity direction. Yes, you don’t have simple jump in this game. If you want to avoid an obstacle you have to change the gravity to go to the ceiling and if there is an obstacle in the ceiling, change the gravity back to the floor, making the game pure ability and reflex to change gravity at the right time.

    Resume

    Value

    The game is short, but really fun to play..so maybe it’s worth to pay 5$ that is the full price of it. And definitely it’s worth to pay for it in a sale (now on the summer sale for exemple the game is costing 2.49$).

     
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