Wot I Think: The Final Station

I hate ladders, ladders are my enemy. The world is coming to an end; I am driving a temperamental train to one forsaken town after another; I am rescuing survivors and then mopping up their remains when they expire in my carriage; and I am hunting for the tools to advance amid derelict buildings full of zombie-like silhouette monsters. But it’s the ladders in The Final Station that provide the largest obstacle.

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Have You Played… Battlefield 1942?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

We take it for granted now, but in 2002 I was still impressed that Battlefield 1942 was a multiplayer game that let you fly planes and drive tanks and jeeps. I was even more impressed that, unlike the previous year’s Tribes 2, it was possible to have fun in BF1942 without weeks of practice and planning.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for the same thing as every other Sunday. That’s not so bad. Let’s begin the traditions by rounding up the week’s best writing about videogames.

Apparently some people are living in vans and making videogames while travelling around. This is interesting, though these stories (person does X and makes games) are going to gradually become plentiful as a natural side effect to more people making games. Good lede:

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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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