ďOr I knew I would love it after I saw the the first trailerĒ
Steam , PC
Some of you might have caught me ranting about its amazing soundtrack on twitter, seriously go and have a listen, you wonít be disappointed.
Hitboxteam, where have you been my whole life? After completing Super Meat Boy almost obsessively while enjoying it throughout I thought to myself that few games would match that delicate balance between being tough-as-nails but also super rewarding as you progressed, giving you that addictive incentive to keep on trying like the one Super Meat boy pretty much nailed (fuck you I want to be the guy stage). Well I was wrong. Presenting Dustforce, in which your task is to sweep one of 4 distinct and environments (forest,city,castle,laboratorium) clean from all of that icky dust(or leaves / goo depending on your location). This is however more tricky than it seems as the filth (as always) manages to get to the most hard to reach places (for example the freaking rampart of a castle) and itís you job as one of four unique and beautifully animated and highly acrobatic cleaners to make it go away.
To achieve this wonderful dust-butt-kicking you have to maneuver increasingly bizarre and difficult 2D-levels as you do with your arrow-keys. Z makes your character jump and X, C is for your light and heavy attacks and CTR makes your character do a horizontal or vertical dash (or just use your own custom controls). As you dust your way through levels you will find filth infested objects (the leaf covered bear is adorable!) that you have to dispatch and when enough ass whopping and dusting has occurred your dust-meter will reach its peak and youíre allowed to perform a super attack (by pressing light and heavy attack at the same time) clearing a whole room worth of dust and any baddies unfortunate enough to be in the area, this dust-kicking is presented to you in stylish slow-motion fashion which never fails to satisfy. In the earlier levels this super-technique is mostly reserved for a stylish ending to the level but in harder levels knowing when and how to use your super attack becomes essential for seeing it the end of the level as killing enemies in mid air recharges your jump/dash ability, making those impossible jumps possible. The controls handle very fluently and once you get a hang of them and you start to you figure out the levels and how the developers intended you to move trough them itís pure bliss to try to beat that super-hard level or shave off seconds from your previous best-time.
While the level design remains top notch throughout the games levels I found myself at a sudden stop as the difficulty-level skyrocketed when I attempted the harder levels and unlocking new levels previously required me to beat a level with 100% of the dust removed and without losing my combo-meter that starts ticking down when you havenít been attacking or sweeping anything in a little while. This was a major problem. Thankfully this has been addressed in a recent update making so that if you improve on old completed or just make it through a harder one ( thank god for checkpoints) a meter fills up granting you a key if filled so that you can potentially unlock every level without being a ninja. Seriously, some of the later levels had me beat even before I reached the first checkpoint.
Thankfully the game shows leader-boards of the top players so if you ever find yourself stuck you can always look at the proís how they traverse the level, donít beat yourself up if you canít measure up though , the guys topping the charts are insane!
Lastly I wanted to write a little something about the presentation which is pretty damn good; the characters are all fluidly animated and varied (watching gramps as he uses his vacuum to glide on ceilings while spinning around never gets old). The palette of most levels isnít vibrant instead itís pretty brown and dark which kind of works seeing as your goal in the game is to clean up a filthy world, to nitpick the foreground could have been more distinguished as it can be hard to make out whatís a wall or whatís in the background at times. The soundtrack is nothing short of stellar and managed to capture my imagination like few soundtracks has done before it, like the game's presentation it focuses more on atmosphere and manages to excellently portrait say the desolation and sadness of a abandoned castle as the moon shines in. Yet it still packs some of that NES era catchiness with songs like (Cider time) cheering you on as you (hopefully) blaze trough the levels , the first time I saw the teaser trailer for the game with that song in it I knew that I would ejaculate all over this soundtrack. To make things even more insane he mentions that this is his first completed musical project, seriously give this guy some cred!
Enough masturbation letís wrap this up!
With the newly added level editor and a website for the community to share and rate player made levels (some stellar and super-imaginative ones have already been popping up!) and a patch fixing my only complaints about the game itís hard not to give Dustforce my highest regards, if you love challenging yourself and feeling like a ninja Dustforce will not disappoint.
Hello peeps, whatís up? (Is that how you behave? I wouldnít know)
In the good news Iíve finally found my mortal enemy, this guy. If you are a regular BF3 player mortar enemy could also work as a fitting replacement word seeing as they are equally evil. People need an imaginary treat to live their life the fullest, no?
In other delusions that's partially influenced by all the talk about locations Iíve been thinking about buying a house at Float islands, you know the area before Castle Lololo (that game was way before memes!) in kirbyís dreamland for the Gameboy. The area is gorgeous and the soothing music is spot on, -- ahh , the refreshing sound of waves rolling in -- Even a spastic man like me could get a tan in a place like that! Even though I would most likely call in sick for the beach-cave exploring I could just pay a visit to Castle Lololo , I hear thatís a great neighborhood. God, I canít get enough of the waves of nostalgia and bliss the music of videogames channel is providing me with. Also, when I first got the game as a kid (which I replayed a billion times) I though the manual told about Kirby being a bird or something, lovely weirdness! Whoa, the ending music just started playing, ENJOY IT , HARD!*gets all wet in my eyes*
Those composers really knew how to rock that squarewave lead on the gameboy , no wonder chiptune artists use that divine gameboy soundchip.
In other musical news, Koholint island , right? Thatís a weird place, playing music for fish? Pft..I do however find it highly believable that Link has a really strange subconscious after everything he has been trough, people walking backwards, going to sleep in a dream? I call Inception before it even was thought of! I remember being so scared when thinking about that dreambed and everything it made me experience. Also, the shopkeeper,the horrors! I promise, show this to a kid and he shall never think of stealing again!
Another thing worth mentioning is how the game tells you that youíre happy when you receive a lot of rupees. It delivers the same message in a Link to the past where the huge fairy tells you that money makes you happy and if I remember right thatís also the message in Skyward sword. I love dreaming up scenarios where this is Myamotoís only intended message with his Zelda games. Itís just that he canít make it too obvious, that cheeky bastard! After all, the internet proves me right!. I guess Linkís awakening also was the first Zelda game to include the popular fishing minigame but I might be wrong on that one.
I remember beating it as a kid, the only problem being that the game was in German, which I barely could read. That is a huge problem seeing as there are loads of clues on what to do told to you, in German. Somehow I beat it though, screw you Zelda, Iíve got the power of finding the right way trough elimination, and as I kid I donít care about time, muahahaha! * No Mom , of course Iím sleeping! Wink, wink*
I guess a editor here posted about the Linkís awakening remix album , or? Anyway, itís pretty cool, atmospheric and tries it hardest to convey the feeling of a dream which it does pretty darn well! My favorite track as it also is in the original soundtrack is the masterful re-arranging of the Zelda theme that is Tal tal mountains (note : when I was a kid I lived in a area that can be translated to Tal mountain! Also super Mario 64! Remember? Tal tal mountain?)The slightly melancholic Koholint Island track ranks just behind it, and let me tell you, it will make you go *HNNNG* as the familiar melody is sparely used but when it is , oh boy.. Itís used right! So do yourself a favor and feast on this lovely collection of music you know and love.
Well this was on the short side but short isn't always a bad thing , right? I also wanted to tell you that I'm working on graphics and sound for a game I'm making with a classmate right now. It's going to take a while before we can actually show you guys something because of the initial learning curve that comes with using a new program, getting all the settings right and stuff, but I'm finding it extremely fun to work on it nevertheless. My little baby is starting to move and look like something that isn't shit, and I'm so happy because of it! We are currently working with Construct 2 , check it out, it fairly easy to use and the amazing Konjak is using the previous (classic) version of it to make the Iconclasts which brings endless amounts of comfort to me , because if he can make such a beautiful looking, sounding and what looks like amazingly fun game with Construct, I'll try it too! Also the guy behind Minitroid also used Construct classic, amazing!
Take care and stuff, I love reading all of your blogs in the morning, I don't know what else that could bring me up from bed that effectively! -- Ahh, go away shower-hose , I hate showering in the morning! --
Weekend after weekend watching and listening to my friend and my brothers agonized screaming, hair pulling and teeth grinding itís finally my turn to prove my worth. And with that though i grab my semi-broken PS3 controller (the left analog stick is iffy as hell, works wonders on those narrow beams!), wipe off my pre-sweat from my forehead as I fully submit myself to this marathon of agony, bliss, emasculation. Letís play Dark Souls, itís the funnest game on the block!
But this time Iím not alone, Iíve got my science loving ateist PC gamer friend with me too, he only plays console at my place and I was curious how he would react to a game this , uh , letís go with niche.
Itís more than delightful to see that there are some people in Dark Souls community that seem to be fond of the act of giving. Watch my friends face twisting in horror as me and my brother starts screaming that he has been invaded by an evil phantom that is trying to steal his humanity and souls (note that he is still trying to comprehend how the game is played). Then something strange happens the dark shadow starts dancing and making all kind of gestures and in an instant the once intimidating shouts now slowly turn into encouragements - Heís dropping stuff, pick them up! Hurry before they disappear!
Is it wrong to want to have sex with the bosses because of reasons part vengence and part attraction?
And what do we have here? Oh , Lord Gwynís great sword + 5 , an occult club + 5 , a heap of rare minerals, the list goes on. Needless to say my friends mind was blown,fucked then in total ecstasy, all in a matter of minutes. It has been relatively smooth sailing since then, I mean obviously we have died a lot but with a complete lexicon thatís eager to share most of the time ( my brother and his friend ) coupled with my relatively experienced understanding of Demon Souls and my glimpses of when they played it have turned Dark Souls to a really enjoyable experience. Oh yeah, about that lexicon thing, it works wonders when they arenít deliberately trying to lure us off cliffs, bastards.
But what this random gesture of kindness have robbed me of in challenge it has made up for in envy and hate. Itís a guilty pleasure to watch the people around me cringe as I smash that boss they spent hours beating on my first try. And to seal the deal I sometimes blurt stuff like - What , this creature didnít die by one swing, is this game broken or something? Oh they try to hide it so well but I can see into their souls how it hurts them, ha! But I donít feel robbed of the experience in any way, I had my fair share of challenges in Demon Souls and Iím still as vulnerable as ever as I run around with my skimpy waist cloth. I seriously look like Conan the barbarian with my great-sword resting on my shoulder, and I donít even have armor to rest it on , just my bare shoulders , how bad ass is that?
So thatís it , grab a friend buy the freaking game, trow your ps3 or xbox over your shoulder or force him to then help each other or the opposite on your way towards glory!
Also hereís a poem I wrote about something that happened to me recently in game.
Oh curious little moth how beautiful your wings are, please donít impale me with your teal laser beams. Time passes by as me and my friend wait, oh where art thou little moth? Even more time passes and my friend tells me goodbye, I wait upon the castle wall as you continue to ignore me. Oh little moth what is it with the far away mountains that enthuses you so? Oh how I wish you would come back....
Troll in central park is always relevant!
When the gameís bosses get so freaking self aware that they figure out that glitching away and forcing me to take my own life is smarter than getting killed I get creative.
Oh god, Iím so excited to write, my recent gaming experiences have been wonderful and Iíve reminisced about some great ones in the past too. Letís see here...
Persona 3 ----
I freaking love this game, or most of it at least. Beating up supernatural monsters by evoking imaginative friends who fight for you while simulating the school-life of Japanese peoples that in some cases resemble American Saturday morning cartoon characters , yes ! Iíve been playing it for the last two years though, mainly because I find it extremely repetitive and tedious to go dungeon crawling in the game, I like it the first 10-20 mins then it begins to feel like a chore, and the worst part is that Iím far too much of a coward and much to obsessive to just play the damn game as a dating-sim, what if I am to weak to face the next boss?
Anyways Iím 130 hours in and Iím finally beginning to reach the end, at least of the main scenario, thereís a extra one called the answer in the FES special edition, I wonder how long that one is? Iím loving the characters that at first seemed highly archetypical but later all evolved to something way more complicated, you know , just like in real life. Unlike real life Persona 3 gives me the opportunity to live the Japanese dream of being surrounded by robot women , helping little kids with parenting issues ( although thanks to podtoid I feel dirty for doing it now ) and fighting freaky monsters with a canine friend that cuts his opponents with a knife! WITH HIS JAWS! Now thatís what I call entertainment!
The game still looks good even today thanks to the amazing artstyle witch pervades every little detail of the game ,even the menus look sleek and stylish! One of my complaints is the sometimes unfair difficulty level where as sometimes if you dabble and the enemy get's the first strike you're basically finished. And if you're unlucky 30 minutes of grinding will be gone, and it has happened more than once for me throughout my play-trough. And add to it that your companions doesn't always carry themselves that well in combat, sure you can issue commands but that is quite the hassle and is generally only needed during harder fights and you got yourself a pretty annoying game at times, luckily it's the minority of the time. Sometimes I forget that they are only mere computer programs and I go screaming - Junpei you stupid bastard , use fire spells , THEY ARE WEAK AGAINST IT! It's your freaking specialty! Don't hit them with your stupid sword! *sigh* Anyways!
So in an effort to finally get trough things I've been just plowing trough the last parts as fast as I can, I've been going to the arcade every night, snoozing at school and neglecting all my monster-slaying even though my friends tell me that I probably should be training for what I think is the final battle, I could be wrong though since the game is made in Japan and it's been telling me that it's the last boss for quite some bosses now. I wonder if I'll make it?
I canít mention Persona and not mention the catchy as hell soundtrack, almost all songs in the game are memorable ! I used to start up the game just so I could listen to the theme while eating break-feast. There is also this song, whatís with the French rambling in the middle of it all? I donít have a clue but Iím loving it! The original intro song is pretty epic too! And the fight music almost never wears out itís welcome! And considering that Iíve been fighting for at least 30 hours thatís a feat! The Tartarus theme also deserves some attention for it's funkiness!
Also Japanese Thor is marvelous! Why does he wear freaking v-shorts and tattoos on his thighs? I donít know but I love it.
Some of this stuff is so out there, I mean just look at this incubus guy above to the right! But since the women get to be sexualized then I guess itís only fair to do it to the men as well , Iím not complaining at all! And the PSP version let's you choose if you want to play as a girl or boy, I guess the persona team is a pretty aware bunch huh? I'm digging the out there "loosely based on mythology" art, most of them really look like the concept art they are based on. Also , I just managed to summon Satan, who's the man now dawg?
Forbidden Siren 2
I got this a while ago from one of those super cheap boxes in those - we sell everything stores , youíve got them in the US right? I felt like I had to try it out because I adore PS2 era survival horror games and Iíve heard some moderately good things about it , I think Stevil might have said something good about them or something. I haven't played very much of it but this is what I think of it as of now!
The first thing I noticed was the creepy cutscenes, just look at these things! I think they superimposed real faces onto computer generated textures and sometimes it makes for some horrifyingly comical and at times just genuinely scary moments.
The game takes place on a cursed island of sorts and you get to control a bunch of people, most with unique abilities throughout a fixed time-frame constantly going back and forth between people and different places in time to find out what the hell is going on. It's like the TV series 24 but instead of going in a linear fashion from hour 1 to 24 ( or how it works) this game is scrambling the whole story.
The game seems like it had noble and ambitious intents but most of itís execution is either hit or miss, the game controls very survival horror like , kind of like Silent Hill 4 : The room. Iím not sure if itís because Iím playing it with a ps3 controller or what but the first person aiming sensitivity is insanely high, I was forced to spray two magazines on a zombie just to hit him to complete the tutorial. Then thereís the interesting mechanic that is called sight-jack ( not to be confused with the horrible mind-jack game ). It allows you to see trough the eyes of nearby enemies and makes for some tense moments but the white noise sound it makes when searching for an an enemies vision is kind pretty high pitched and overly annoying , high and annoying doesnít make it scarier , just more painful to execute, which will eventually get to you as the game seems intent at using it pretty often.
I did however get to one interesting scenario where you got to control a guy with very bad eye-sigh, and to get around you sight jacked his dog that followed him around to see better. But when I later discovered that all of this sneaking and sight-jacking wasnít really necessary because I could just outrun the zombies and sprint to the exit like some kind of suicidal bat it felt kind of unnecessary. I mean why bother putting effort into building this elaborate maze and emphasising on stealth when players can just sprint trough it? Didnít they test this thing? I hope it get's better later on!
Another daunting thing is the overly complicated menus, I mean Iím all for the depth that comes with context sensitive moves and a plethora of maneuvers but here itís pretty poorly executed so youíll constantly be re-visiting the guides on how to use all of your abilities and what combination of buttons did what. Itís pretty strange really , itís like it was intended for a keyboard and mouse setup with all of itís functions and stuff. I do however enjoy the intent of more options and advanced techniques but not when I have to go back and read tutorials because they donít make sense.
I will probably finish it just because it entertains me in the ď what is going on!? what the hell is that?! Why is that kid running around with baseball-bat that looks like a penisĒ kind of sense, and like I said , Iím a sucker for horror games. So keep that in mind if you happen to find this weird gem, but then again it will probably cost close to nothing so pick it up and enjoy itís convoluted controls and strangeness!
Chiptunes , youíve got to love em right? The blooping and bleeping, to me itís just so infectious and appealing to me. Maybe itís because Iíve played games and listened to their chiming since I was a toddler or because of some other obscure reason, maybe my grandma made me listen to them in my sleep? Maybe they are associated with the happiness that is often associated with being a child? Who knows? I just know that I do and It was the reason why I started making my own chiptune influenced music 2 years ago, which has since both brought me loads of joy and also further made me appreciate the people who devote their time make these things.
But while my musical experiences could amount to a potentially entertaining story this blog is devoted to the people I look up to and the bands and beat creators that inspire me every day.
J. Arthur Keenes Band
This is a recent one but probably one of my all-time favorites, question , what happens when you take ingenious pop-esque distinctly chiptuniísh melodies, then add some seriously mopey and remorseful vocals on that? Heaven happens, or at least something glorious and very reminiscent of the wondrous paradise discibed in that dusty old tome. Sure you could just take the instruments and it would be superb as it is but with the lovely and at times sentimental lyrics it becomes something more, something unlike anything I've heard before. I mean when was the last time you heard the sentence - You fall short but take so long, and ten tethers pull with every motion , in a pop song? Or , uh, that at least what I think he saying , the choice of word is most of the time very refreshing!
And for the purists there is also some some songs without vocals like the upbeat Cluck or the amazingly paced Expelling Bee. Seriously that song never slows down, it just keeps going and going, itís my personal pick from their ďnewĒ album computer savvy. Get it over at 8bitpeoples here. But the victory is by inches since every track on the album is golden in some way! The album desciption covers it pretty well , ď Computer Savvy offers a hazy blend of the archaic sounds you know and love with as many other sounds as could fit.Ē
I couldnít recommend it more and I would love it if somebody was as taken as I first was when I first heard it. I seriously listen trough it once a day as I ride my bike to school , and every time I experience pain, happiness, loss, remorse , power and a whole lot of other powerful emotions all while going trough the best game ever made in my head. Gosh, when I grow up I want to be like those guys! Anyways , I could go on forever why I love these guys so letís move on shall we?
I guess everyone has heard the fantastic scott Pilgrim vs the world Anamanaguchi album by now, or? I still have it on my playlist and was my previous listen trough once a day album untill J. Arthur Keenes Band came along, since this is a given Iíll not linger on about it , just listen to it and bathe in itís greatness will you?
Another question , whatís better than Weezer album? An 8 bit Weezer remix album offcourse! Listen until your ears bleed as your favorite chiptune artists such as Anamanaguchi , BItshifter and a whole bunch of other talanted folks cover your favorite Weezer songs. Brilliant! How about Island in the sun with a Castlevania-like intro?. Or the amazingly talented Bit shifters take on The world has turned and left me here. What ?! Thatís been my ring-tone signal for a year and every time I hear it I think somebody calls me ? No? Testament of glory I say!
Pop or rock not your thing? No worries Iíve got you covered! How about some rap with your social commentary? Mr spastic has loads of great tunes but the insanely catchy beats coupled with some rhymes just does it for me every time, check out the Puppeteer if youíre one of those rebbelious types , for us craving something more nightmarish there also the ďOh god I would love to play this level just for the themeĒ song , Daymare I always imagine this in a Castlevania game. Oh , the glory!
If youíre more of a growling metalhead with a sense of humour youll love Rainbowdragoneyes. Besides from sporting a silly name they make some superb music with a large portion of humour, just listen to Creature of deception and youíll know what I mean! Hereís part of the chorus of the song!
IF ITS IN MY GREATER INTEREST
YOU MAY SUMMON ME TO FIGHT
BUT AS SOON AS I SAVE YOUR ASS FROM YOUR DOOM
WE FUCK ALL NIGHT
Then there's a song about cloning somebody and making them watch as you stab them in the crotch, over and over again, I don't really know , just listen will you?
So thatís a couple of artists and songs Iíve been listening to lately , most of them gathered from the 8bitpeoples amazing discography pages, which all can be downloaded for FREE!
So do you have any awesome chiptuníish music to share with me?
An open love letter to Wario Land 4 (and the original Warioland for the GB).
Bseriously! Much like another great 2D good looking amazing sounding SNES game ( Yoshiís Island) my first interactions with Wario Land 4 would be a confusing one, with no instructions to go by only relying on my seemingly innate understanding of 2D game-design and experienced trough a sticky barely working control pad in a shoddy store (Yoshiís island was actually in a burger shop, guess how long their N64 controllers worked later on?, hint: about one day).
In fact those game almost have more in common with each other than it has with Warioís much more loved rival Marioís games (yeah I know , technically Yoshiís island is a Mario game), which is pretty amusing and a huge part to why I love it so much.
( Funky fact , did you know that the guy who designed Wario also designed Samus?)
So where does Warioís appeal come from exactly? Judging by his appearance alone one could think that he was intended to appeal to the ďcoolĒ kids with his much more macho appearance and obviously his more ďbad-assĒ equipment like a motorcycle and other masculine stuff, but everyone whoís spent time with Wario knows how wrong this presumption is. Heís wackier than a Japanese pe-weeís on drugs man! And so much more entertaining and lovable for it!
He-he-here I go he shouts before he sets out for yet another adventure to further secure his placement at the top of the financial gauntlet seemingly rivaled by nobody but himself. And what did he really do with all of the dough and that fantastic mansion I got by collecting all of the hidden treasure in the original Warioland? Which by the way added a tremendous amount of replay value to the game, and is still present in the fourth instalment but be it at a less frustrating but still as exciting way. This time around your treasure total is measured by how fast you can hammer down the games bosses HP meters, watch those sweaty palms as the clock ticks down at a excruciating rate , better not loose focus, only one hit left, Fuuuuuu*k! There goes my sweet treasures. Brilliant!
Talking of bosses, theyíre as creepy and strange as ever in the 4th game , and itís not only the enemy design thatís brilliant about this game, pretty much everything graphics wise is top notch, and even at itís blown up 3DS resolution (as seen if youíre not holding down select as you start the game on the 3DS), to me the game still looks amazing. And Warioís colorful animations helps a lot with conveying the greedy self centered bastard he is, I mean, thatís why we love him right? I know I do!
Whatís more to marvel at here , ah , did I mention the odd soundtrack ( It should be instantly familiar to Wario ware fans) which sounds nothing like game music usually does, meaning that melodies takes a step back while ambiance and chill out sounds play the main role here. Itís definitely not for everyone but I know that I can appreciate something different and wacky as a Japanese lady singing with a distinct 16-bit voice to a chillout jazz track. Actually I pretty much adore most of it! One of my favorite aspects of the game is that the levels doesnít have a timer on them, so you can take you time and appreciate the locals, maybe plot a safe escape route for your ďoh my godĒ frantic escape that takes place at the end of every level where your (Super Metroid speed boost) hold down L button running technique comes at handy while the stage is collapsing and youíre desperately trying to escape from it whilst another amazing and frantic track plays to please your ears. Itís just so stressful and wrong in most aspects, but itís so good at conveying what it sets out to do so it doesnít stick out , rather , blend in perfectly with the rest of the game. Which also could be described as odd in many aspects, but so stupidly charming and well crafted at the same time, and thatís a combo you donít get very often. And thatís perhaps why I treasure these games so much. Because even if the Wii tried to substitute my 2D platforming needs (Warioland : Shake dimension and so forth) this is where itís freaking at.
Saira ( or Iím in love , again)
PC - steam,fastspring,gamers gate
Proof that Iím a proponent of Nifflas games can be found in almost all of my blogs and even though I know this I still had trouble justifying the 9£ price-tag after reading about people on the Nifflas support forums complaining about how short the game is. This feeling of uncertainty was completely abolished when I noticed that Saira was part of the Gala indie bundle , I payed 5 bucks and excitedly started playing.
The game revolves about Saira, a freelance interstellar photographer that once day experiences a teleporter malfunction and suddenly sheís the only human left in her galaxy. And itís your task to find out what went wrong by gathering parts to fix the now broken teleporter.
Saira's past and her feelings are shown to the player in cozy or sometimes scary surreal dream imagery, which adds quite some personality to the character. And it's hard to not think of another videogame heroine when you're running around on distant planets with your space helmet complete with a green visor. *shudders*
Fans of Nifflas previous Knytt games will immediately recognize how Saira moves and others will soon be dashing trough otherworldly fields and jumping between walls to gain altitude. Itís has the same mentality as the Metroid prime games with itís greater focus on atmosphere and puzzle solving but plays more like Super Metroid. And manages to strike a satisfying balance between you avoiding environmental hazards and solving a diverse bunch of logical puzzles. Some of which at first can feel almost a bit too straining at first but give them some though and approach them in the right way and you'll be handsomely rewarded, simply put some of them are genius in their design.
The game is pretty nonlinear and sports 7 planet clusters with usually 2 planets each wich can be visited in almost any order, one of them is often visited first to gather information with your super handy camera that can later be reviewed on your PDA, which you can dual wield with most interactive consoles making for seamless and fun puzzle-solving even for us with a short memory span, and it also makes so you donít have break the immersion of the game because you felt like you had to write something down. Brilliant game design right there! All of the planets also have different gravity and environmental dangers to adapt to which makes for a varied experience.
Speaking of immersion, this game is easy to get lost into with its gorgeous vistas and fancy and mighty imaginative backgrounds. Most planets have multilayer backgrounds and sometimes even high res photos of fauna and other beautiful real life objects spliced into them , and it fits perfectly. Itís appealing visual style is only trumped by itís meticulously sound design, Sarias footsteps pans with the camera as she moves trough the snow and every planet has itís own atmospheric often electro flavored ambient theme, it really shows that Nicklas Nygren did loads of electronic music before this.
There's also a couple of minigames and extras to flesh out the experience, there's a addicting pinball game reminicent of the pinball levels in Nightsky and a ship radio with a couple of stations showcasing Nifflas friends and his own music.
Itís hard to recommend Saira for the 9 dollars asking price since itís a fairly niche game that doesnít quite live up to the standards we are used to with the content healthy market we have today, I've managed to squeeze 5 hours out of it and I'm at the last planet. But yet Saira managed to ensnare and immerse me in itís beautiful world in a way that few games manage to do, (Metoid prime did this for me). And it has me marveling at itís design around every corner. So if youíre as me a Nifflas supporter and you feel like few games manage to give you that magical feeling of immersion that comes with total desolation, by all means try the demo , it just might be the thing youíve been missing in modern games. For all of you people who arenít as euphoric about the idea of the beauty of desolation and puzzle solving as I am I suggest you wait for the next indie bundle or a steam sale.