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If the 3DS does nothing more than get a few indie PC greats into the hands of the masses, then I consider it a success. You may remember VVVVVV from its starring role in the Humble Indie Bundle #3, or from its charmingly primitive visuals mixed with a simple yet satisfying gravity control mechanic. Help Captain Viridian find his missing crew and save the day by flipping gravity on its stupid gravity ass. I should write the back of video game boxes.
There are things other than VVVVVV in this week's download as well, but typing out their names isn't quite as entertaining, so I only did it once. You can find those below.
Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math
Publisher: The Learning Company
Price: 600 Wii points
Bad news, detective! Those vicious villains of V.I.L.E are at it again. This time they've struck Big Ben in London, England! Just when we think we've put a stop to their trouble, they come up with a new scheme to vex us. The Chief wants ACME's best agent on this case, and that means you, detective. So grab your gear-you're headed to London!
Carmen Sandiego is back and only you can foil her V.I.L.E plans. Travel the globe, solve brain-twisting math puzzles, and catch the villain behind the Big Ben Burglary.
Crack the case of the Big Ben Burglary in single-player Story Mode. Perfect your math skills in single-player Practice Mode. Challenge your friends and family to solve math puzzles against the clock in Multiplayer Mode.
In Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math, you practice your math skills and use them to fight crime. Ideal for grades 4–5, math topics include arithmetic, logic puzzles, fractions and much more!
Price: $4.99 /500 DSi Points
Become a true Cake Ninja warrior. This casual game invites you to slide the stylus across the screen to slice cakes into small pieces like a true ninja warrior. It's very easy to play. The more cakes you slice, the longer you stay around. The longer you survive, the higher your score. How long can you last? You can also challenge your friends to a multiplayer game and find out who's the best player.
Publisher: Magellan Interactive
Price: $7.99 / 800 DSi Points
Create more than 16,000 levels, discover unlimited Daily Challenges and beat the Devil in new mini-games. Slingo Supreme is the sequel to Slingo Deluxe, packed with even more Slingtastic fun. It features a new Supreme mode that lets you build more than 16,000 different Slingo games. It also offers an infinite supply of Daily Challenges, new Powerups (including Reel Nudge and Instant Slingos) and the long-awaited introduction of Devil Mini Games. Now you can finally take on that Devil and beat him at his own game.
There's something terrible wrong in an alternate dimension! Help Captain Viridian flip to find five crew members, 20 hard-to-reach Trinkets and save a dimension on the brink of destruction. It's a space opera in the most unique scale with a style that only VVVVVV can bring to you. Instead of jumping, control the direction of gravity by inverting your gravity and allowing Captain Viridian to flip between the floors and ceilings of the environment.
For adventurers who save the dimension, there's still hours and hours of new gameplay with all-new Player Levels. Test your mettle and see if you have what it takes to beat a collection of levels created by other famous game developers.
Inspired by classic 8-bit days gone-by and now with experience-heightening 3D, VVVVVV will challenge even the most battle-hardened old-school gamers.
Take control of the powerful bionic arm and infiltrate the Empire's fortress. Rad Spencer is a member of FF Corps, an elite group of commandos who serve the Federation. The group is specially trained in the use of powerful wired grappling guns. When the Federation's greatest soldier, Super Joe, is captured while infiltrating the enemy Doraize Army and investigating the development of a powerful super-weapon, Rad Spencer is sent in to save his missing comrade. Take control of Rad and his powerful bionic arm as you infiltrate the Doriaze Army's heavily guarded fortress, navigate 19 levels, fight to save Super Joe and ultimately take down the enemy leader in this classic side-scrolling adventure.
Alright gang, here we go with another wild download code giveaway over Twitter, and this one is extra super special because the codes are for a game that is not even available yet.
But if you're lucky enough to snag one of six codes I'm giving out over Kotaku's official Twitter in the next two hours, you can get your hands on VVVVVV from the Nintendo eShop and start playing it before it comes out next week! It's a gift ... FROM THE FUTURE.
What the hell is VVVVVV? on the 3DS like? Well, you can read up about it here. But go follow Kotaku or, y'know, yours truly and then watch those feeds between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST. We'll be giving out six codes, first come, first served. Good luck!
To get to the Redeem Code screen in the eShop on your 3DS: 1. Launch the eShop. 2. Select "Settings/Other" (it is the furthest left in the eShop, or select the Menu tab at upper left, and navigate to "Settings/Other". "Redeem Download Code" is your first option. Select it and enter the code.
The new Humble Indie Bundle is terrific. For a price of your own choosing, you can get indie gems Super Meat Boy, Bit. Trip Runner, Jamestown, Shank and Nightsky, as well as Cave Story + and Gratuitous Space Battles for paying more than the average selling price.
Today, the folks behind the bundle announced that they've added a new batch of games for anyone who pays more than the average price, which is currently at a mere $5.16. So in addition to those seven games, you'll get Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, and And Yet It Moves. So, a bunch of games from the last Humble Bundle tacked on to an already killer lineup.
Need more incentive to pick this up? (Seriously? You do? Wow. You are demanding.) Okay then, you'll also get the soundtracks for every game thrown in for free.
I'm not sure what could make this deal more appealing. Maybe if they like… deliver you a pie, to your door. And give you a back massage while you eat it. Before dusting and re-threading the cables behind your TV.
Humble Indie Bundle #4 [Humblebundle.com]
Following in the footsteps of the Humble Indie Bundle, today only you can buy the Game Music Bundle for as much as you'd like to pay, from $1 to $10,000. (Yes, there is actually an option to pay ten grand.)
The soundtracks include most of the best indie game tracks from the past couple of years, including Danny B's killer Super Meat Boy OST, SoulEye's VVVVVV soundtrack, and C418's Minecraft: Volume Alpha. If you play $10 or more, you'll get seven bonus soundtracks, including the soundtracks from The Binding of Isaac and Extreme Road Trip.
Any way you slice it, that's a hell of a lot of music for very little dough. Even if you're participating in Buy Nothing Day, well… surely $1 towards independent game music composers wouldn't be the worst way to break your fast?
Indie Game Music Bundle [gamemusicbundle.com]
The superbad ultrahard old-school platformer VVVVV, which debuted to raves when it released nearly two years ago, is making its way to the Nintendo 3DS and, yes, the game will be presented in 3D.
Nicalis will publish the game to the Nintendo 3DS eShop but did not specify a release date. However, anyone headed to Indiecade in Culver City, Calif. can play "a near-complete preview VVVVVVersion for the first time on 3DS!" while there. "Just find [developers] Terry Cavanagh or Tyrone Rodriguez and ask them to play!" Nicalis said in a news release.
The statement promised VVVVVV would deliver "full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style," as well as "dual screen functionality with a real-time map." New levels and future content updates also are promised.
Wolfire's Humble Indie Bundle is back with five more critically acclaimed indie games to draw out your inner philanthropist. Crayon Physics Deluxe, Hammerfight and VVVVVV will all be making their Mac and Linux debuts and Cogs will be showing up on Linux for the first time.
Head over to HumbleBundle.com and name your own price, then split up the donation as you see fit between Child's Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the developers. Previous Humble Indie Bundles have raised over $1 million for charity.
The games seperately would cost around $50, making the current average donation of $9.68 a steal, but why not donate a little more if you can? Just whatever you do, please don't pirate it.
The Humble Indie Bundle [HumbleBundle.com]
Super Meat Boy is no joke. That's a hard game, and that's part of its appeal. Put it in the hands of the maker of another, harder game, and it collapses into a singularity of motherfucker-what-do-you want-me-to-do difficulty.
There's now a playable flash game of Super Meat Boy done in the style of VVVVVV, by the creator of the latter, Terry Cavanagh. Cavanagh says Team Meat asked other indie devs to draw warp zone titles, as if they had made Super Meat Boy. "After several attempts I didn't like and scrapped, I figured it would just be easier for me to make a little Super Meat Boy fan game in my own style, and make something around that," Cavanagh said. And so he did.
He cautions that the game is "only actually a couple of screens long and very broken." Oh, that's good. See, I thought I couldn't get past the purple part because I was a pussy.
The bodies of dead little boys, the impact of extinction, the vicious torture of two of video game's least likable characters and hundreds of death by spike... these are, strangely, my most memorable video game moments of 2010.
Some of them are even my favorites, despite how gloomy and violent they were. It's a good thing my personal list of great video game moments from last year includes at least one choreographed dance number.
Note: This list is not ranked. There are some spoilers below, including some that discuss the endings of Red Dead Redemption, Bayonetta and BioShock 2.
The Benefits of Civilization (Red Dead Redemption) It's already been discussed by Kotaku's own Luke Plunkett, who ranked this moment as one of his 2010 favorites, but rarely have I been so surprised by video game music. Red Dead Redemption's soundtrack switch from minimal Western moodiness to Jamie Lidell's "Compass" during John Marston's ride home to his ranch altered my expectations about the power of video game music. Little did I know, at the time, that I was due for so much more from this game, including a change of perspective on how a game should end.
The Birth of the Conservationist Movement (Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare) Two worthy moments in the same game? Sort of. Red Dead Redemption's zombie-filled expansion, Undead Nightmare, featured a surprising, unsettling, even saddening run in with a species on the brink of extinction—the Sasquatch—that could have (or should have) been great comic relief, but instead wound up being... touching?
Potential For Anything (VVVVVV) Magnus Pålsson's wonderful soundtrack to Terry Cavanagh's thrilling VVVVVV is rich with great, catchy tunes. And I'll cop to not fully remembering at what point during VVVVVV the song "Potential For Anything" kicks in, but I do remember it as a moment that I stopped playing to start listening. Had I made good on my threat to write a list of my favorite video game music from 2010, this song would have been near the top of that list.
The Message To Yourself (BioShock 2: Minerva's Den) After playing through BioShock and BioShock 2 within the same two weeks, I'd effectively burned myself out on Rapture in short order. When the expansion Minerva's Den arrived, I approached it with a grumble. Stupid Little Sisters. Stupid Big Daddies. I'm sick of 'em! But Minerva's Den's story unravels—and finally concludes—in such a refreshing way, thanks to the last words of Charles Porter, that Rapture was redeemed in a third, once again plot-twisting visit.
The Lost Boys (Limbo) The horror of Limbo reaches a zenith early when the boy meets the game's other inhabitants. In a world already fraught with danger and gloom, the other lost boys who show you nothing but cruelty makes this world a sadder place. Worse was the realization that to survive the trip through Limbo, you would have to debase yourself to their level—and use their corpses as video game devices, platforms.
Strangling A Man Naked (Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days) Not to say that this was a favorite moment, but it certainly was memorable, even when we knew about Kane & Lynch 2's excessive nudity well in advance. Suffering from the pain of hundreds of small cuts—not to mention the brutal killing of a loved one—anti-heroes Kane and Lynch travel through a Shanghai hell bloody, beaten and completely naked, ratcheting up the abrasion of this unsavory adventure to its maximum.
Whatever Ending This Was (Bayonetta) In this carnival ride game brimming with ridiculous moments, from riding motorcycles into space to fighting monolithic bosses with angel wings and tentacles for tongues, it was Bayonetta's bizarre stack of endings that culminated in a three and a half minute-long dance sequence that managed to stand out.
The Betrayal of Kerrigan (StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty) Is it cheating to use a pre-rendered cut scene? Even if it is, Blizzard's retelling of a key StarCraft event in this beautifully rendered short helped to ground me in the universe's fiction in a powerful way. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty ended on a similarly vivid way, a turn of events that wouldn't have had the same impact if it weren't for this gorgeous flashback.
Those were my favorite video game moments of 2010. Throughout the week, we'll be publishing the favorite moments of other writers on the Kotaku team. And at week's end, we'll want you to sound off.
2010 was a watershed year for the Mac, which saw not only the release of Starcraft II day-and-date with the PC crowd, but more importantly, the arrival of Valve's Steam on the platform, bringing with it dozens of classic titles, not to mention a quality of service and delivery the Mac has long been calling out for.
NOTE: Recent Macs have been able to boot Windows, meaning users taking this option can choose from the games on our PC gift guide. Because of this, the Mac list below is dedicated to titles specifically made available for Apple computers during 2010; some are new, while others are simply new to the Mac and shouldn't be missed!
Genre: Sandbox Adventure
Ideal Player: Someone who likes the 80s as much as they like running down pedestrians.
What's It About? Forget those who vouch for San Andreas' scale or IV's cinematic ambitions, Vice City is the greatest Grand Theft Auto of them all, not for its gunplay or story, but for the completeness of the world in which it drops you. It's more 80s than the 80s ever were. You play a young man working his way up the criminal ladder, making a few friends, and killing a lot of enemies.
Bang For Your Buck: Like all other GTA games, Vice City has enough secrets and things to do in its sprawling metropolis to keep you busy long after the main storyline has drawn to a close.
Genre: Turn-based Strategy
Ideal Player: History buffs with a desire to see their social lives and marriages ruined.
What's It About? You take control of a civilization in its earliest days, as you guide your people throughout human history advancing their knowledge, exploring new lands and taking the sword to your neighbours.
Bang For Your Buck: Civilization IV came out five years ago, and people are still playing it. In many ways, this game is better than Civilization IV. Need me to paint you a picture?
Genre: First-person shooter
Ideal Player: Anyone that can appreciate the finer things in video game design.
What's It About? Despite being released on the PC all the way back in 2004, it's testament to just how good Half-Life 2 is that even six years on it stands as one of the best first-person shooters - and perhaps the most finely-crafted gaming universe - ever made.
Bang For Your Buck: It's really just a singleplayer experience, but I'm yet to meet anybody that could only play through it once.
Genre: Real-time Strategy
Ideal Player: Anyone who has ever had any contact with the first Starcraft.
What's It About? The sequel to a game first released in 1998, Starcraft II takes you on a journey around the galaxy as the corrupt - yet strangely lovable - forces of humanity struggle to stay alive against an insectoid alien race that seems unstoppable.
Bang For Your Buck: While the game's singleplayer campaign is a fairly lengthy (considering it's only 1/3 of the overall game), it's multiplayer where most of a player's time will be spent. Get hooked on Starcraft II and there's precedent for you to still be playing in twelve year's time.
Ideal Player: Someone who enjoys the freedom of a "sandbox" game like Grand Theft Auto, yet prefers their narrative with a little more substance and historical weight.
What's It About? One of 2009's best games wasn't out until 2010 on the Mac, so we're lucky to be able to include it. Players control a member of the order of Assassins as they stalk the streets of Renaissance Italy, trying to save the world from the evil Knights Templar.
Bang For Your Buck: Assassin's Creed II is a wholly singleplayer experience, but it's a long one, with plenty of diversions and side-missions along the way.
Genre: Island Death Simulation
Ideal Player: Someone who isn't afraid to experiment with a game, really push at its edges to see what can be done with an open world and finite resources.
What's It About? Minecraft puts you on an island and lets you fend for yourself. What begins as a struggle for survival eventually turns into an expression of your mastery over your domain, as frantic races for shelter at night give way to days spent building shrines in your own image.
Bang For Your Buck: Minecraft will last as long as your imagination can power your daily routines. It's a game free of story or time limits, so if you can find something to do on the island that day, you've found another way to spend a day playing Minecraft.
Ideal Player: Someone who likes to get their ass kicked.
What's It About? VVVVVV is a simple-looking platformer that specialises in being brutal, killing the player off every few steps. You will die playing this game. A lot. Like, hundreds - if not thousands - of times.
Bang For Your Buck: To be honest, not much. It'll take around eight hours to finish, and after that, you're done. It is a smaller/cheaper game, though, so bear that in mind!
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Ideal Player: Someone who prefers to work with people in an online shooter, rather than against them.
What's It About? A cooperative shooter, played online, where a small band of human survivors have to band together to survive a zombie apocalypse. It's dark, it's fast and it's a load of fun, especially when you play with people who know how to work as a team.
Bang For Your Buck: There aren't many maps to play, but the Left 4 Dead series is renowned for its AI "director", which is able to make each time you play through a level a different experience, with zombies spawning in new locations each time.
Ideal Player: Someone who isn't afraid of having their pants scared off.
What's It About?Amnesia is an adventure game played in the first-person. Sounds like a pleasant Sunday's afternoon gaming, only Amnesia is a horror adventure game, and quite possibly one of the scariest video games ever made.
Bang For Your Buck: It's not a time-sink like some of the other games on this list, but there is avenue for replays if the player wants to enjoy it a second of third time with a little of the tension relieved.
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Ideal Player: Shooter fans who like their action pure, and simple.
What's It About? Two cartoon teams, Red & Blue, fight it out in round after round of deathmatch combat. It's fast, it's funny and it's very addictive, feeling as fresh on the Mac in its 2010 debut as it did on PC in 2007.
Bang For Your Buck: New features and maps are being added to the game all the time. It shouldn't be measured in terms of hours. If Team Fortress 2 gets its hooks into you, your playtime will be measured in years.
Terry Cavanagh's wonderful VVVVVV is one of the best 2D platformers of 2010. But what if the gravity-flipping spike-filled interstellar adventure ventured into the third-dimension? It might look a little something like this.
Sadly, VVVVVVX is just a mock up. Or, as creator "Roxfox" describes it, "just a thing I made in Maya to prove that I know how to tug joints and IK handles around and keyframe them." I hear that!
The star of VVVVVVX looks like the lovechild of Mega Man X and Halo's Master Chief, not quite as charming as Captain Viridian, but we'd still jump him into a pit of spikes, should this 3D spin on VVVVVV ever be made.