Free Loaders: Cheat On Your High School Exams (Again)

Remember the high school examination hall? The sweat, the terror, the little crib notes you wrote on the inside of your shirt pocket. Don’t lie to me, I know you did it. There’s no way you passed physics without scribbling ‘F=MA’ on the sole of your left boot. All right, all right, let’s say you didn’t cheat…. Would you like to?

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What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Hello again, chums! Just to let you know, we’ll be a bit quiet on Monday as it’s a bank holiday in most of the UK. For non-United Kingdomeers, I’ll explain: we have eight holidays each year dedicated to those lovely, lovely bankers who do so much for us all. Children parade giant papier mâché pound coins through the streets, adults gather to sing banking songs, and the Queen spends an entire day queuing outside the Bank of England carrying her penny jar. Oh, we’ll be right bankers this weekend! But we’ll still make time for video games – mostly Deus Ex. How about yourself?

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What Makes N++ Different To Other Platformers?

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, N++ [official site].

What makes Metanet’s long-running N series different to other platformers? Each level takes place on a single screen, and that makes it uncommon, but certainly not unique. It focuses on acrobatic avoidance of hazards, but that makes it an elder cousin to Super Meat Boy.

Instead, N is distinctive for its use of physics, or more precisely, its take on physics. Though it uses just three digital inputs: right, left and jump, the dynamic range of your little stick ninja’s movement is incredible, and just keeps expanding as you learn its nuances. The feel of N’s blend of low-gravity floatiness, inertia and lightness is irresistible, and Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns have constantly been refining it from when the first game came out in 2004 to N++, which came out on PC just yesterday. And at the core of how its physics works is a single principle:

THE MECHANIC: Jumping adds velocity

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Wot I Think: Valley

Rare’s the game that has me really, truly laughing in sheer delight one minute, then cursing in irritation the next. First-person action-adventure Valley [official site] is full of wonderful ideas and has truly excellent movement, but it also jumps the shark so many times over the course of its few short hours that the poor old sea-beast’s fin is worn down to a bloody stump.
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Deus Ex’s Adam Jensen Doesn’t Care, So Why Should I?

Adam Jensen experiences an emotion, yesterday

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] has a problem, and his name is Adam Jensen. Human Revolution’s returning protagonist has been my single greatest obstacle to enjoying a game I had, frankly, taken it for granted that I would enjoy. I don’t understand why this is his game – other than on a commercial level, of course. In the public eye, the Deus Ex brand is not the DIY route and vaguely philosophical reality-questioning that it might be to an older PC gamer. It’s The One With The Bearded Bloke With The Elbow Swords And The Sunglasses Built Into His Eye Sockets. That’s why Jensen’s back, not because the story DXMD is trying to tell needed him. If anything, he undermines it.
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Hit It: Rocksmith 2014 Getting Big ‘Remastered’ Update

I tend not to take Rocksmith [official site] seriously because I confuse it with Songsmith, Microsoft’s software that magically created hilarious backing tracks for any vocals you fed it. No, Rocksmith isn’t the software that gave us country & western Ace of Spades or Intergalactic muzak, it’s the rhythm game from Ubisoft which – gasp! – tricks you into learning how to play an actual real guitar. Now Ubi have announced Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered, updating it with a boshload of new tools and features. Fear not: all that will come in a free update for 2014 Edition too.

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