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  • Lira 12:01 am on June 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bizarre creations, Blur, kart game racing, racing game   

    Awesomely wrong game of the week 

    Well, really long time that I don’t post here (more than a half year, to be more precise), but hey! I’m back. I decided to change the subject of my posts. Yeah, there are a lot of indie games worth to talk about, but in my life (understand life as when I play videogames) I saw a lot of exotic games that felt so wrong to me that I loved it, from indie games to big company games, that I wanted to share. Some will be really obscure and others main stream, the important here is to be really absurd. Now let’s go to the first review!

    Blur

    For me there is no better game to start this session of the blog than blur of bizarre creations. This game from 2010 was well accepted by the critic (it has a 8.1 metascore) but was a huge selling failure. A lot of critics made theories about why that happend, and my favorite one is from the designer Gareth Wilson.

    I will try to resume his explanation.

    If you decide to sell a new breakfast cereal on the market you may:

    • Do a plain cereal. Never fail, but doesn’t call a lot of attention.
    • Make a cereal with chocolate and marshmallow. May call attention of some, who probably you prefer it than just plain cereal, but others will be afraid to buy
    • Cereal with bacon. What? Both are related with breakfast, both are awesome. Why not? Well, probably because it’s too different and people would be afraid to buy.

    And blur is just like cereal with bacon.

    But what is wrong with this game?

    Let this commercial of the game speak to itself:

    Yes. This is the concept of the game. Another racing kart game, like mario kart, wacky wheels and Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, but for adults. So in place of colorful and happy characters you have real licensed cars.

    Honestly I find this concept really good! A lot of adults love this genre and there is no other game of this style focused to them. But…well…bizarre creations got really bizarre this time. This game felt in the uncanny valley problem. There is a turtle and a mushroom competing in kart races. In a context that this is possible you hit a box to get a turtle shell and use it as a missile to slow down your opponent seems ok. But see the car that you usually drive launching a ball of energy just seems plain wrong. How wrong? This wrong:

    That now was the intro cutscene of the game. I was so shocked when I saw it for the first time that I created an imaginary friend just to explain to him all the wrong stuffs that I could see in just 1 minute of video.

    So…in the end the game didn’t attracted kart games fans because the game appeared to be too serious and didn’t have the charismatic characters that they were used and racing fans were afraid of this game because it seemed too arcade.

    What is right in this game?

    Actually the game play is really good! Is the good old kart game style, but more tatical and less luck. Why is that? Because you already know what itens you are getting of the “boxes” and you can keep up to 3 itens, so you can collect just the desired ones and plan better how to use them. Besides that, if you can forget the strange game thematic that never tries to explain why your cars have super power, the game is just fine.

    My final score: 8.5

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    • Alexandre Silva 11:41 am on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think Blur failed to capture the right audience. That was the reason, also explained in the article. I think Bizarre Creations tried to create something between the casual (the original fans of kart games) and hardcore (a supposedly new audience, maybe a “blue ocean” for this game genre) audience.

      The result was Blur – a kart game to be played for “Big Boys”, or “Adults” or “Hardcore”, because that’s what hardcore players think they are: More manly than casual players. The hardcore always tries to prove that his balls is bigger than a idiot, casual gamer.

      Back to the point, where is Blur in the middle of two very different audiences? In a place where neither hardcore or casual players feel comfortable enough to spend their money in the game – That explains the failure of Blur.

      A shame, though. This game was very fun for me, for a very short time.

  • 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:

     
  • 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 1:31 am on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: darkwater dev, dogfight, flight game,   

    Indie game of the week – DogFighter 

    I’m not a multiplayer game fan, but I tried the demo of this one and find out that the graphics are amazing and it’s really nice to play, so I decided to buy it and test.

    As the developers say, this game is not a flight simulator at all. You control airplanes with a nice steampunk visual, but they maneuver as good as a starfox ship. So if you are looking for a good air combat simulator this probably is not the game for you.

    The game is an arena shooter, like counter strike or quake 3. The beauty of it is that you are in an airplane, so you don’t have campers, snipers or anything like that because you can’t stop in the air. So the game is more about action, control precision and agility than map strategy considering that all the time you will be going forward and showing yourself to others. Add the fact that you also move in the y-axis, so the precision in aiming your enemies is even higher.

    And the game is all about that. You have some flying power ups that you can get like new weapons or defensive ones like shield, turbo or health and you have to try to kill your enemies and survive. Simple, but really fun.

    I don’t think we need a resume this time. I really think this is a nice acquisition. $9,99 for a really well produced game. And you get new content from time to time with no need of buying DLCs.

     
  • 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.

     
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