As I write these words I’m listening to the soundtrack of last year’s isometric hack ‘n slash indie hit Bastion. A superb game in many areas, musical score being just one of them but I mention right off the bat because I happened to be listening to it and then thought ‘I can’t believe I haven’t written a review of this yet’ and promptly whipped out the keyboard and set to it. The game came out last year courtesy of SuperGiant games. It was one of those lucky few indie games that managed to get the attention of a big name publisher, in this case Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment who jumped in and published the game, in doing so, giving it a lot of marketing clout along the way which is one of the reasons Bastion sold well. It’s a sad reality that although there are indie games which go all the way by themselves and manage to achieve critical and commercial success, a great many go unnoticed because they didn’t have the budget to spend on marketing and no one ends up hearing about it. This is indeed a great shame for some games, thankfully Bastion wasn’t one of them. It managed to get widespread attention on both XBLA and on PC. It actually came out recently as part of that wonderful entrepreneurial enterprise ‘the humble bundle’ as part of its 5th installment so I picked it up for about £7, an absolute bargain and on linux no less (I always try to buy games from the humble bundle on linux if possible, good to encourage developers to make games for open source operating systems). That said, playing the game on Ubuntu 11.10 I did run into a bug early on which many others have where moving the mouse causes the game to crash…a fairly important one I think you’ll agree. Thankfully there’s a very easy fix for it here so don’t let it dissuade you. Anyway on to the review. Continue Reading
21:34: Sit down with a full glass of Vimto. Stick Minecraft on. I was building a railway line to make getting water a lot easier. I’ll finish that and then get to bed.
22:18: Still sat down with a half full glass of Vimto. Now I’ve completed the water transport system, I may as well finish the sugar cane farm I was working on.
23:42: Finish the dregs of the glass of Vimto. Oh crap. I used the last of my wood making that hoe. Better collect some more. And plant more seeds. And harvest some wheat for the pigs. Need more pigs.
00:58: Thirsty for Vimto. Pretty tired but I want to get some more iron ore so I’m prepared next time I play. Need more wood to smelt it. Need a storage box to keep the iron ingots in. Can’t you make books in Minecraft? I’ll look into that. That’s a fine looking bookshelf I’ve made. They improve enchantment tables? How do you make one of them?
Aaaahh! It’s two in the morning and all I have to show for it is a shit load of square-faced pigs! Continue Reading
I had an odd sense of anticipation for Max Payne 3 shortly before it’s release early last month. I haven’t played a Max Payne title for almost 10 years, revisiting the first game way back in 2002 and I confess I never actually bothered with the 2nd one in the first place. I had a good deal of fun with the first game and remembered it for its dark and sinister plot line and its extremely cathartic, action oriented gameplay. This was back when 3D games were generally less structured, when developers couldn’t necessarily put the resources into games that they do nowadays and make them a rigid experience, totally tunnelled and making sure you experience the game the way they want you to. Back in those days you could still do things that the devs just hadn’t thought of, it was fun to explore and this combined with the riveting bullet time gun play made for a fun experience. That having said I didn’t exactly hold a candle for the series and although interested, I wasn’t all that bothered when the 3rd installment was announced. It was only after seeing some press material on it about 2 weeks before its release that I thought ‘you know what, I could really go for diving through windows killing 25 people at once as a fat bald middle-aged guy.’
This write up may feel about a week or so late but I assure it’s a deliberate decision. I’ve always felt that games show summaries should always be done a week, maybe even two or three after the event has finished. People are very quick to commit their thoughts to paper (or to hard disk nowadays I suppose) lest they lose them amidst the hustle and bustle of the show itself, but there in lies in the problem. The hype inevitably colours the journalist’s opinions, better to leave it a week or two and let things settle down so we can have a nice calm, considered reflection on E3 2012. So without further ado…OMG!!! SNY AN NINTENDOO SUCKKED! UBISOFT PWWNED ALL LOLLLL!!! Continue Reading
I said in the beginning when I started writing reviews for Re-play that the blog would be focused on games which were a year or two old, not brand spanking new ones and not retro games either. Well this is the first review where I’m afraid that edict must be broken (although technically I’m reviewing the Xbox Live Arcade version so I don’t have to feel too guilt ridden).Both the original two games in the series, Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie, have now received sort-of-HD-remakes that were released on Xbox Live Arcade not long ago. The orignal games came out on the good old N64 in 1998 and 2000 respectively. I’ll always remember this as the golden age of 3D platformers with such gems as the two games above, Donkey Kong 64, Conker’s Bad Fur Day (both also made by Rare, the makers of the Banjo Kazooie games), Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon on the Playstation, etc… this period was also part of developer Rare’s golden age (although admitedly towards the end of it). From the NES up until the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube they had produced a string of consecutive hits that I think is probably still unmatched to this day (comment section arguement commence) in the industry. The end of the SNES to the end of the N64 era was when the studio was at its pinnacle. Continue Reading
I must confess I’m not a fan of the Halo series but I do appreciate that many of you are which is why I felt it necessary to include this little bit of news in today’s updates. For those of you who don’t know, I commend you for managing to survive on the mosses that grow under whatever rock you’ve found shelter under. No seriously, the 4th installment (or at least the 4th numbered installment) in the Halo franchise is due out this November on Xbox 360. It’s the first major installment that’s not being made by series’ founder Bungie. Instead 343 Industries will be taking the reins, to some fans’ unease it might be added. Anyway the official artwork for the game was unveiled this week (see the lovely big picture below) along with some details on the games’ multiplayer.
‘As revealed by the publisher earlier today, the UNSC Infinity will serve as the game’s multiplayer hub. You’ll customise your character and manage your progress through the game’s various different modes from the giant ship.