Delightful, energetic, and a little long in the tooth. Those were my reactions to 2011’s Rayman Origins, a well-crafted platformer from Michel Ancel that was an absolute pleasure to play. Beautifully rendered, tight controls, and some sharp level design. The kind of things you want in a 2D platformer, and it was a breath of fresh air to boot. Because the reality is you get these types of games from Nintendo or the indie scene, and rarely with the same caliber of production. Rayman Legends is a whole lot more of that same game.
The indie game scene has had no shortage of puzzle games over the years. In a post-Braid world, it has become rather common for the most noteworthy indie games to have puzzle elements, and luckily we’ve gotten plenty of entertaining ones over the years. In 2013 the puzzle game you definitely need to play is The Swapper, a moody atmospheric puzzle game built on using clones to solving its puzzles.
The game what initially comes off as a simple set up. The basic premise ultimately falls right in line with an Event Horizon or a Dead Space. Group of scientists bring something on board, it makes everyone go crazy and before long the entire station is abandoned. What makes The Swapper so engaging, however, on its narrative level is what it focuses on with this premise.
Yes, it’s that time again, time for another episode of The Brocast! This time, Ben and newcomer Justin (the other Justin, whom you may remember from early episodes of the GUFU Late Nite Show) try to convince our Editor in Chief that DOTA 2 is totally worth playing, we’ll talk about Animal Crossing: New Leaf, our short-lived Minecraft hardcore server, DmC: Devil May Cry and Ben’s favorite game of the forever, the Japan-only Earth Defense Force 4. So join Ben, Justin, Justin and your host Gagan on the latest episode of The Brocast.
Editor’s Note: I got my copy of Metro Last Light with my graphics card. Because of this, I didn’t get to play the game on the Ranger difficulty, which is pre-order DLC. I am not paying for a difficulty mode. With that said, here is my review on the game without Ranger mode.
The outside world that was once inviting is now a dreadful wasteland. What were once playgrounds for the next generation are but a grim reminder of all that humanity has lost. Grand monuments are but rubble, and the air has become far too harsh to breathe. A gas mask is required to even venture outside, and a gun is a necessity if one is to survive. And if you’re down to your last few rounds, it can be a frightening experience. Hordes of fierce mutants claw at you, shattering your gas mask and clouding your vision. Blood splatters all over the glass, and thick patches of dirt get in the way of any desperate shot you can line up. All the while you’re progressively suffocating and holding on to your last breath to find one last filter, one last glimmer of hope for survival.
The conventional wisdom these days is that AAA games can’t take risks. Too expensive to risk alienating anyone, the stunning environments, art direction, and explosion-laden spectacles of these titles don’t sum up to anything beyond their parts. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 2 may have represented the best and worst of this kind of game. Solid action and great writing made for a fun game, but the two parts made for a dissonant whole. Endless action and piles of corpses didn’t seem to affect the story of Nathan Drake and his companions. Naughty Dog’s latest game, The Last of Us, proves that they understood their earlier failings, and corrected them without compromising their strengths.
After my brief exposure to Bioshock Infinite over the weekend, I felt the need to write something about the experience. I wouldn’t say my faith in gaming has been waning over the past years (mostly over fear that it makes me sound old and jaded), but I once remember a time when games used to instill a real sense of wonder and discovery. Lately I’ve been feeling that I’ve seen it all. I’m seeing a lot of the same corridors, the same landscapes, the same enemies etc. and I’m not even playing that many shooters anymore. Don’t get me wrong, many of my favourite games came from the last few years, but they still feel few and far between.