Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Premature Evaluation: Trine 3

By Marsh Davies on April 27th, 2015.

While thinking of puns for the slug of this article, it occurred to me to wonder about the origins of “triumph”. It’s hard to see how its modern meaning might derive from - what I assumed to be - an association with the number three. This did not turn out to have a simple answer. Indeed, H. S. Versnel dedicates a considerable number of pages to the topic in his 411 page book “TRIUMPHUS: An Inquiry Into the Origin, Development and Meaning of the Roman Triumph”, and quotes heavily from scholars arguing about ancient Greek while talking in German and French.

Each week Marsh Davies swings gamely into the haunted temple of Early Access and brings back any stories he can find and/or tumbles indecorously onto a bed of wooden stakes. This week: third time’s the charm (maybe) for the triply protagonist’d physics-platforming sequel, Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power.

Frozenbyte have really tripled-down on the rule of three: three games, three protagonists and, now, three whole dimensions. Preceding games in the series have reserved the x-axis for set-dressing, sumptuously parallaxing behind the co-op-enabled chaos unfolding in a fixed plane, left-to-right. Now they’ve added depth, at least in a literal sense, and they want fan feedback on how well this works. To whit, a roughly hewn slab of game is now available on Early Access, reuniting the game’s three interchangeable but asymmetrically-talented heroes for a little over two hours. It’s unabashedly buggy and part-implemented – the proposition phrased as though it were a tentative proof of concept or a wild experiment. This is a reasonable use of Early Access, I think, although not an especially cheap one for eager beta-testers, and, given the quantity of the existing game and the predicted late-2015 launch date, it doesn’t look like an experiment from which Frozenbyte could now easily back away (along the y-axis, one assumes).

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The RPG Scrollbars: The Game Of The Gamebook

By Richard Cobbett on April 27th, 2015.

ALERT! ALERT! FILTHY NON-PC GAME DETECTED! DEPLOY DOOMHORACE!

Oh, to be able to talk more about what I’ve been playing this week – the third part of Inkle’s conversion of Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! That’s their exclamation mark, by the way, not mine. Unfortunately, it’s not available on PC, so I can’t. I can’t say how ludicrously impressive it is, from the way it’s converted the largely linear gamebook experience to an open world format, to the narrative masochism of then doubling-down and adding time-travel on top of that. Curse thee, thou wretched yet beautiful non-PC game, available right now on iTunes and Google Play. Ahem.

It’s not however the only RPG gamebook in town. This week then, I thought I’d check out a few that are a bit closer to home. Steam, show me what you’ve got in your magic catalogue…

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Wot I Think: Broken Age Act 2

By John Walker on April 27th, 2015.

Over a year since the first act was belatedly released, Double Fine’s seminal Kickstarter project Broken Age is now complete. Act 1 was bursting with potential, if a somewhat flawed PC adventure. Obviously this review is of the second half of a game, so will contain some light spoilers for the core plot (but avoids most). Can it live up to the potential it suggested in its first half? Here’s wot I think:

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on April 26th, 2015.

Sundays are for, I hope, basking in the unseasonably warm weather. Or for cursing the sky for the too-soon removal of that good weather and instead remaining indoors with words about videogames. We’ll see.

  • The Verge tell the story of N++, “a ninja game 10 years in the making”. N is great. N was great in 2004 when the free version first came out. I hope this new, supposedly final version of it lets Metanet finally escape its orbit and make something new.
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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Bad Poetry Alert

By Cassandra Khaw on April 25th, 2015.

There was once a plushie from Nantucket, who got sent to the Internet in a bucket. He pretended to be lifeless, like a courtier touched by King Midas. Because otherwise, he’d scare the stuffings out of – oh, nevermind. Welcome to your umpteenth installment of Bargain Bucket, where the points don’t matter and flash deals make me want to loom menacingly over the people who invented them. This week’s plushie is from Grizzly, who has delivered what appears to be a mama grizzly and her cub in a rather artistc setting.

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S.EXE: Adult Entertainment & James Deen

By Cara Ellison on April 24th, 2015.

Photo Credit: The Canyons

In 2010 stand up comedian Dara O’Briain said, “I love videogames… I enjoy saying that because half of the room are looking at me, going, ‘Ah Jesus, you’re 38.’…It’s less embarrassing if I say ‘I masturbate to hardcore pornography’.”

It wasn’t the first time videogames and pornography were lumped together. In 2008 GamesRadar reported that psychiatrist Dr Jerald Block said that people feel more shame about playing World of Warcraft than having a porn problem. Dr Philip G. Zimbardo, leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, got a slot on CNN in 2011 to say that the ‘demise of guys’ will be video game and porn addiction. “Young men — who play video games and use porn the most — are being digitally rewired in a totally new way that demands constant stimulation. And those delicate, developing brains are being catered to by video games and porn-on-demand, with a click of the mouse, in endless variety,” he explained.

Why are two intrinsically different mediums like games and pornography so often compared to each other? I decided to ask James Deen [official website], performer in and maker of fine adult entertainment, what he thought about games, and if we have a responsibility to hold off on the ‘constant stimulation’. Disclosure: I have a vested interest in the answer being no, and so does he.

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Assemble: The Marvel Gaming Universe

By Adam Smith on April 24th, 2015.

except, y'know, Captain America

First published as part of our Supporter Program, this feature explores the possibilities of a Marvel Gaming Universe. There is no mention of a Telltale episodic adventure.

If you were to draw a Venn Diagram showing the overlap between superhero comic book fans and people who like to play computer games, it would look a lot like Pacman with his jaws wired shut. That makes the lack of a Marvel Gaming Universe to sit alongside the cinematic vision somewhat odd. There have been occasional action games directly based on the plots setpieces from specific films and a host of tablet and cleverphone efforts, but there’s no single game that stands out as an expression of the shared setting of the films, comics and television series.

How might such a thing work?

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Steam Charging For Mods: For And Against

By Alec Meer on April 24th, 2015.

Would you pay 33p for this?

It used to be that the only way to make money from a mod was a) make a standalone sequel or remake b) use it as a portfolio to get hired by a studio or c) back in the pre-broadband days, shovel it onto a dodgy CD-ROM (and even then, it almost certainly wasn’t the devs who profited). As of last night, that changed. Mod-makers can now charge for their work, via Steam.

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Wot I Think of The Evil Within’s DLC

By Rich Stanton on April 24th, 2015.

The Evil Within [official site] is one of those gems that, because it was released in that pre-Christmas period when EVERY GAME IS, went a little under-appreciated. Basically it’s a fantastic re-working of the survival horror genre, and in particular Resident Evil, as psychological torment rather than biological gauntlet – and my opinion of it increases over time. But with two pieces of DLC, both now released, developer Tango Gameworks has moved TEW even further away from the action beats of its inspiration.

Click to once again enter the world of survival horror.

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COGWATCH – 4. The Long Dark

By Quintin Smith on April 23rd, 2015.

Hey! It’s a new episode of Quinns’ weekly video series in which he examines one mechanic in one game. This week: how first-person survival game The Long Dark [official site] uses item degradation as more than a nuisance, creating tension and reward among its chilly snowdrifts and ferocious wolves.

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Building A Self-Sufficient City In Cities: Skylines – Part Two

By Duncan Geere on April 23rd, 2015.

Welcome to the second instalment of my attempt to recreate an arcology in Cities: Skylines. As those of you who read the first part will know, I’m not talking about the bubble-topped utopia palaces of SimCity 2000 – I’m talking about a real arcology in the real world. Like Masdar City.

Masdar City is a sustainable, self-contained settlement under construction in the desert south-west of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It was originally supposed to have been completed by 2014, but the global financial crisis has meant that right now it just consists of a handful of office blocks. I’ve recreated the detailed plans for the city in Cities: Skylines, and I’m about to see if anyone actually wants to live in the paradise that I’ve created.

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Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?
Part Five: Living, Playing, Ending

By John Walker on April 23rd, 2015.

My chronicle of returning to Deus Ex fifteen years later, to see if I’m right when I tell anyone who comes near that it’s the best game ever, is nearing its end. You can read the whole saga here.

In this fifth part I contemplate the significant change in approach in the last third of the game, and then make my choice for the ending.

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Wot I Think: Dungeons 2

By Alec Meer on April 23rd, 2015.

someone tell Cara

Dungeons 2 [official site] is a strategy-management game which borrows heavily from Dungeon Keeper – to whit, you’re an evil overlord building a vast underground lair then training up a bestial army within it. After a series of disappointments, might this be the much-needed heir to Bullfrog’s classic? It’s out tomorrow, and here’s what I think.

There’s a room type in Dungeons 2 called The Tinkerer’s Cave. I don’t know if this is a deliberate statement of intent, but a tinkerer’s cave is how I always saw Dungeon Keeper. It wasn’t a manic strategy game and it wasn’t about balancing the books, even though both those aspects were very much a part of it. It was a tinkerer’s cave, a big underground space to muck around in, to carve into shapes which pleased me and to fight minor fires in with a mixture of ingenuity and panic. That’s what I’ve missed in the long years since Dungeon Keeper 2. And that’s what, against many odds, Dungeons 2 has.

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