After Ed McMillen quietly announced The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth last year, the snazzy, SNES-style remake of the disturbing rogue-like has been fairly quiet. Almost as if it were locked in a basement, hidden from the judgmental gaze of society who wouldn’t be able to just stare at the awful, lumpen horrors it possesses. But it turns out I’m applying the game’s fiction to the development process, which is a huge error. I’ve still to see the game in action, but the atmosphere of the live-action trailer they’ve just released is pitch-perfect. Low-fi and utterly horrible. Please watch it with the lights on.
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Posts Tagged ‘The Binding Of Isaac’
RPS Feature “It really feels like Vlambeer"
Vlambeer is making yet another videogame like it’s their job or something. They have probably lost their minds, but we may as well reap the rewards. Originally a quick and dirty Mojam prototype dystopia-‘em-up, Wasteland Kings is now evolving into a full-on action-roguelike (or “roguelike-like,” as designer JW Nijman describes it) with heaps of characters, procedurally generated locations, and of course, guns. In practice, that means you run from area to area, dodging and blasting circles around enemies in a desperate bid for survival. All the while, you mutate new, largely randomized powers and pick up better, stranger weapons. Sounds a bit like fellow action-roguelike The Binding of Isaac, doesn’t it? And while the inspiration is certainly there, Nijman insists that Wasteland Kings is millions of cracking, sun-parched miles away from a carbon copy.
The holidays are a time of indecision. Who should you visit? What ugly, uncomfortable seasonal sweater should you wear? Which deity(s) should you dedicate your hedonistic blood celebrations to (aside from Horace, of courace)? And, most importantly, what will you buy before/after your relatives shower you with socks or rocks or whatever it is that passes for a universal gift these days? But it doesn’t end there. Oh no. There are, after all, 927.45 trillion videogames to choose between, so you may as well just start sobbing and curl up in a fetal futility ball right now. Unless… no, no. That’s crazy. But maybe… no. It’ll never work. Ah, what the hell: bundles! Both Indie Royale and Humble Bundle have new offerings up, and they’re quite tempting, if I do say so myself.
I suppose it’s only fitting that, just as one of the holliest, jolliest, holiest of holidays begins to descend upon us, we’ve suddenly struck a blood-and-pus-spewing vein of Binding of Isaac news. First there was a completely mad (in a good way) looking Team Fortress 2 mod, and now Edmund McMillen himself has reclaimed the stage to present a hellish heap of details about the upcoming Binding of Isaac remake. In short, Nicalis – they of the recent Cave Story console remakes and NightSky – are handling the heavy lifting while McMillen cracks the whip from the lead designer nightmare throne. Non-Flash graphics, local co-op, and a Wrath-of-the-Lamb-sized expansion are the standout features, but it wouldn’t be Binding of Isaac without a million-billion other gleefully gruesome things. And on that front, McMillen and Nicalis intend to deliver.
Sometimes, modding is a delicate, subtle art – its inspirations many and nuanced, and its results unexpectedly evocative. It’s akin to the flap of a butterfly’s wings – barely even a whisper on the wind, yet capable of breathing pollen-dappled life into countless fields and genres. Other times, modding’s about taking one crazy and thing and cramming it into another crazy thing to make a third, orders of magnitude crazier thing. Which brings us to a completely insane Binding of Isaac mod for Team Fortress 2. The objective, so far as I can tell, is to do normal TF2 stuff (teamwork, friendship, murder) while also dealing with an onslaught of decidedly un-bound bosses. It looks completely wild. Traverse the break’s treacherous dungeons to check it out.
Four words all but guaranteed to win my attention: “a game about cats.” When said four words are twinned with the knowledge that the game in question comes from the creators of Super Meat Boy and one half of The Binding Of Isaac team, my attention becomes unwavering.
We know precious little about Team Meat’s Mew-Genics other than that it’ll be “randomly generated, strange and involve cats” so even a tiny, kitten-size scrap of detail is enough to cause a flurry of fluffy speculation. Today, that’s two new shots showing in-game characters.
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No, no, it’s not what it sounds like. Edmund McMillen hasn’t suddenly decided to beat the record for fastest “HD” remake treatment ever. This remake, to hear McMillen tell it, is very, very necessary. In short, have you ever noticed how Binding of Isaac occasionally chugs even on machines powered by blazing tech and unholy sacrifices to Shan’thulex, bloodlord of the night (and a small chain of mom ‘n’ pop PC hardware stores)? Well, that’s because it runs on Flash, and McMillen thinks it’s high-time that changed. That, however, is only the beginning of this remake.
Despite the constant flow of new games to try, be they the sort of grand strategy that devours weeks or tiny flights of fancy, there are some games more than a fortnight old that I still find time to play. The Binding of Isaac is one. Short, decidedly sour and extremely attentive to my desire for carefully controlled randomisation and odd loot, every journey into the basement has something to offer. We knew an expansion was on its way and now we know it’ll be here on May 28th. According to the trailer, it’ll also contain ‘more’ of just about everything.
Who wants a long look into the mind behind The Binding of Isaac? Edmund McMillen recently spoke with design3, a web portal offering education and advice for game developers, and the resulting conversation is wide-ranging, fascinating and what I believe must be referred to as ‘refreshingly’ honest. That’s as honest as the country pub with the shaded garden serving up the first beer of a summertime Friday evening after a day of fielding calls in a thimble-sized office cubicle. The interview runs for an hour and a half but is certainly worth sticking with if you have an interest in Ed and his games, the indie scene, making games of your own or the wider industry. They cover it all.
I still haven’t done everything there is to do in The Binding of Isaac and it’s one of the few games that I’ll happily revisit for achievements and items. I want every item and I want to kill every boss with every character. That’s why the news of an expansion fills me with pleasure and anxiety, although not in equal measure. The anxiety is tiny and might just be the standard white noise of dread that hums in my ears whenever I’m awake. The pleasure is immense. I always hoped Isaac would continue to sprout growths and the free Halloween update was ace. The next will require a small payment – it’s going by the name The Wrath of the Lamb and according to Edmund, it adds about 50% new content. More details below.
RPS Feature You better watch out, perhaps even cry
The first snow of the year made an appearance today, blanketing the world outside with the ghostly beauty of a whispered veil, as the fire roared, pressing freshly cut logs to the glowing bosom of its warming embrace and casting flickering shadows about the room. Christmas is a time for tortured and twee metaphor, that’s for sure, but it’s about much more than that. Above all else, perhaps, Christmas is a time for family.
Here’s an indie bundle with a difference – it doesn’t contain any games. Instead, the Indie Music Bundle it’s a collection of soundtracks from some of your favourite (assumption #1) indie games and some you have probably never heard of (assumption #2). As is swiftly becoming obligatory, the ten albums are available at a price of your choosing, although this is for one day only, being a Black Friday sale. The minimum price is $1 and if you pay at least $10 you’ll receive seven bonus items.
Of the ones that I know, the VVVVVV soundtrack is simply wonderful, and both Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, are quite enjoyable. The latter is in the $10 bonus items. Even if you opt to be stingy, for a dollar you’re sure to find something that you love (assumption #3). Everything is DRM-free and delivered as 320kbps MP3s. Take a look.