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A cyberpunk kid ninja freerunning is across city roofs, there’s always a Daft Punk beat behind the straining leaps she takes over yawning blackness below: one two, jump, land, one two, jump, land, duck, now admittedly, she pants, this Daft Punk soundtrack is because 2001 me is listening a lot to Discovery, and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger plays, often, everywhere…. one two, jump, land, one two, jump, land, duck – VAULT. VAULT.
But those were silly daydreams and twenty-seven year old me laughs at her and thinks, hah, sixteen year old me, now I can play two levels of a prototype side-scrolling action platformer Ninja Pizza Girl, a year before it comes out, and it’s the platformer you always speculated should happen. Here are my first impressions of a little teenage fantasy. (more…)
I haven’t played Battlefield 2′s Project Reality mod (or any Battlefield 2, really) in ages, but this is still a very exciting occasion. Eight years. That’s how long it’s taken one of the best-known mods out there to be deemed fit for 1.0 status. It’s been more than playable (DOUBLE PLAYABLE) for probably longer than I’ve been alive, though, and it’s proven succulent with delicious intrigues time and time again. In my experience, rigorous team play is the name of the game, and anything less is met with swift, pulpy, never> timely (yet always right on time) death.
Dwarves! They dig, they drink, they braid their beards, they dig even deeper, they industrialise, they capitalise. Then they dig too deep, they immolate, they capitulate, they perish in darkness. The quest for ‘Dwarf Fortress With Graphics’ is one of the proudest that development fellowships can undertake, almost spawning a genre in and of itself, and DwarfCorp fits the bill. Currently Kickstarting, it’s a striking (the earth) simulation game about mining, building and surviving on procedurally generated islands. The world generation alone makes me hunger for the game and the campaign page is sturdy and informative. You can view the pitch video and watch lots of alpha footage below.
Ouya darling TowerFall is coming to PC! What could possibly be better? An infinitely respawning tray of cookies – a cookie closet, if you will? A genie whose only> job is to grant everybody’s wish for more wishes? An entire, fully functional TowerFall-themed tower as a pre-order bonus? No. The answer is a fleshed out single-player mode. That is the most exciting thing of all. The cookie tray is a close second, though. And the genie was a trick question because it is invariably evil.
The lovely people at Coffee Stain Studios have given their first person tower defence game Sanctum 2 a big giant patch with lots of lovely new updates in it, like pausing (I love a good pause) (………) and a sandbox, so get out your bucket and spade!
What is a sanctum really>, you might ask, besides a word that sci fi and fantasy games love leaving pretty much everywhere like a rabbit might leave droppings. Well, I might say to you, it is usually used for sacred places like shrines and churches, or is simply a “private place from which most people are excluded”. I have been calling our fridge that for a whole day now, guarding it very carefully with a prongs-out fork, and my housemate Alice is getting very cross. (more…)
Where there are fans, there is also fan art. This is one of nature’s most time-unsullied processes, painting our planet in mighty strokes since it first sang itself into existence. For example, what are alligators if not fan art of the dinosaurs? And ancient Rome? Just a fan recreation of ancient Greece. I rest my case. Richard Garriott and his merry band of Garriettes are clearly> aware of this, which is why they’ve decided to directly ask fans to make art for Ultima spiritual successor Shroud of the Avatar. They’ve even provided custom tools with which to do it and the promise of a rather hefty payday - if> fans’ completed submissions get accepted, that is.
The scene: a dark alley, overcast skies hiding a waning moon as you meet me in a shady dealing, our cloaks buffeting one another in the wind. In a quiet voice and husky tone you demand: “Describe a game that is the opposite of the norm.”
I look at you strangely, then speak, “Why? It has already been done. Project Maiden.” Your surprise is audible as I continue, “A female protagonist, themes of loss signified by powers lessening as the game continues, a singleplayer focus and that’s just the start…”
Splash Damage have just announced that they are to be creating the multiplayer for Batman: Arkham Oranges. The sequel is due out on the 25th October, which is two days before my birthday – PUT IT IN YOUR DIARY NOW – and it seems will have the pro team ensuring that going online is worthwhile.
Lovely friend and colleague at Unwinnable Jenn Frank is not only one of my favourite writers about games, but she is also compassionate and intelligent and has come up with a great idea. Instead of complaining about the portrayal of breasts in games, why don’t we make more games about them? Specifically, why don’t we make games about all the different ways that we encounter them, and not just as some jiggle physics in Dead or Alive?
Humour, much like relationships, sex and peaceful diplomatic resolution of conflict, is something a lot of games try but few manage to get right. If they aren’t crass or straight up unfunny, jokes in games can often feel out of sync with a hyper-serious shoot-the-mans focused universe or dry simulation. When they aren’t, the limitations of player interaction, voice triggers and animation prevent true greatness from shining through. What, ahem, “physics based destruction meets tower defense brawler” CastleStorm does is just a little bit different.