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Man, Iíve been playing a fuckton of video games this week. I scheduled in this week (and last) entirely to myself and video games. It feels great to finally have time for these things again. Mostly, I decided to finish some (and I do emphasize some) of my backlog games I started but never finished, but I couldnít help playing some games from scratch too.

Off the top of my head, I played: The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (including Escape from Butcher Bay), Quantum Conundrum, Of Orcs and Men, Tiny & Big: Grandpaís Leftovers, Resonance, Flyín, Deadlight, They Bleed Pixels, and some New Super Luigi U †and Monster Hunter †on the side. I also just started Half-Life 2: Episode One †which has so far completely failed to impress. And finally I just bought Antichamber †in todayís Steam sale, so I hope to be playing that later today.

I could probably spend a blog post on each of those games, but that would go on for ages, so Iíll just leave you with a few comments.

- The Chronicles of Riddick I bought on GOG a while ago. Iím a huge fan of the Riddick character and Vin Diesel in general, so itís actually kind of a shame that I hadnít played it yet. Hell, the Chronicles of Riddick movie (that is the actual movie, not Pitch Black) was one of the first Ďmatureí movies I was ever allowed to watch. I remember my dad recommending it to me, but Iím pretty sure I currently love it more than he ever did. Iím a huge sucker for movies and shows starring characters who are way too powerful, who can take anything the bad guy throws at them with two hands behind their back. Riddick is nothing if not that, and on top of that heís the only guy who could wear swimming goggles and make them look cool. Also, those Ulak knives from Dark Athena are the most badass things ever. As for the games themselves; I liked them, but I wouldíve preferred it if there was more of a focus on stealth. Right now it feels like you just shoot everything and if youíre lucky the level designers will have been kind enough to place an enemy in a good stealth kill position. Thatís kind of a shame.


- These are fucking sweet, so will you please let me use them?

- Tiny & Big is surprisingly decent. I hated the demo. No, I HATED the fucking demo. Fortunately, the main game is much better. Much more streamlined and with less falling into random pits because the physics decided to screw you over. For those who donít know, Tiny & Bigís main gimmick is that you have a powerful laser which can cut up any environmental object you could wish for. You have to cut down pillars to make stairways, bring down the roof on your enemies, those kinds of things. Itís actually a pretty cool little feature, and the game leaves you completely free to do whatever you want with it. The game has its flaws, but check it out if youíre interested. Donít pay full price though. Steam sales exist for a reason.

- I remember when I first bought Deadlight, Phil requested me to keep him up to speed on how it was. Unfortunately, I never actually got around to playing it before now (By the way man, that System Shock 2 is coming up soon, Iíll keep you posted!). So hereís the verdict: Itís a pretty cool little game, but the concept is better than the execution. Deadlight aims to be a Ďrealisticí 2D platformer, and I think thatís a concept well worth exploring. Just like how Mirrorís Edge broke new ground (and a lot of Faithís bones) by employing realistic human capabilities to a Ďplatformerí. All of a sudden making a ten-feet jump felt like the coolest shit again, even though Mario has been doing that for ages, and then some. Deadlight certainly isnít on the same level as Mirrorís Edge, but it employs the same philosophy for the 2D world. Jumping of roofs will get you killed all clean and pancake-like, and grabbing on for your life to that ledge you just barely made is still cool. Unfortunately, this game keeps its platforming kind of basic, so youíll never really be doing anything more or better than what youíre doing in the first hour or so. Oh, and there are zombies I guess. Itís a game thatís worth checking out for its unique concept, and it does what it sets out to do, but there couldíve been more to this. At any rate, wait for a sale, thatís what theyíre there for.

- Finally, Flyín is really great! Seriously! For some reason it hasnít gotten a lot of attention, but itís actually a really cool 2D platformer. The story is that the bad guy, who is some sort of hairdryer-thing, is polluting all of the giant trees that inhabit the gameís world, and four little bug-like creatures go out to stop him. As for gameplay, you switch between these four critters, and each has a different ability. The first one can sing, which revives dead plants and creatures, the second can cling to and move along walls, the third can inflate himself (just like a balloon) and bounce around, and the final one can perform three consecutive rocket dashes to take to the skies. Beyond that, all four have a double jump, can glide and can scurry along surprisingly fast. Flyín has a great artstyle and the bugs I mentioned are the cutest little critters ever seen. Even the bad guy is just the most adorable little sentient hairdryer. The level design is great and definitely makes you approach all of the abilities differently from how you normally would, not to mention that it makes you combine them in all sorts of creative ways. Finally, the bonus levels in Flyín are really well designed; they each feature a different theme which again have crazy creative ways of employing the gameís core mechanics. Definitely check this game out. It really surprised me with how great it turned out to be. It definitely deserves more attention than itís gotten.



I probably have to do actual work again from next week onwards, but Iím going to enjoy my last couple of days of video games, video games, and more video games.

* - Handy explores foreign rip-offs of video games and consoles. From Unearthed to the Polystation 3 to Spongebob on a GTA cover, it's all here. †

* - I read this blog on what Bob has been up to in Animal Crossing with the biggest smile on my face.

* - Always awesome Voltech has a warning for the game industry, and interesting thoughts on The Last of Us.

A - Sarah has a conversation with her cat (yes, you read that right) on game difficulty, dramatic tension and more.

M - A new musing blog, this time it's Alexvola's gaming story about playing several generations of Mario with his cousin.

A - Will your wallet survive the dreaded Steam sale? Follow TheKodu's advice, and it might!



- Resonance is a pretty cool point-and-click, with a really interesting 'inventory' system.

E - EVO is coming, and Andrian is already mad hype. Check is blog for tips on how to watch, and more.

I - The third part of a multistage introduction, Amlabella lists more of his favorite games. It has Portal 2, so it's all good.

N - CrazyPrince is excited for the newly announced Ratchet & Clank. I only know the series from LPs, but those were great fun, so here's hoping!

T - Space Channel 5 is weird and/or the best thing ever.

R - A review for Luigi's Mansion 2 by TroyFullbuster. It should come as no surprise that he liked it.

T - Nedalus was unimpressed by the new Ratchet & Clank reveal, and with Insomniac in general.



- They Bleed Pixels is hard. Goddamn is it hard. I love it though.

C - Some quick thoughts on console online multiplayer.

L - Our zombie overlord wants to 'talk' to humans about video games. I don't know about you, but I smell a trap.



- I'm ready to have my mind fucked with now, Antichamber. Bring it!



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade


FPotD
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