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ShadeOfLight's blog

Ooh, what's over there?! #3: With your back up against the Dunwall
1:33 PM on 04.22.2015
Bbain's Jukebox, Shade-Style: Lost Songs
2:41 AM on 04.11.2015
Shade's Frozenbyte Giveaway Week #5: ALL Frozenbyte Games!
9:43 AM on 04.01.2015
Ooh, what’s over there?! #2: She sells sea shells by the cell-shaded sea
11:06 AM on 03.25.2015
Shade's Frozenbyte Contests, Week #4: Trine Complete Pack
3:15 PM on 03.23.2015
Shade's Frozenbyte Contests, Week #3: Trine 2 Complete Story
1:26 PM on 03.16.2015





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About


On the wings of death, by the hands of doom;
By the darkest light from the darkest moon;
On the wings of life, by the hands of hope;
By the brightest light from the brightest sun.

And vice versa.

I'm ShadeOfLight.
I'm a Dutch law student who loves to play the vidya. I'm a Nintendo-fanboy at heart, but I don't feel that I'm blinded by that, at least not very often. I am also currently on the Cblog Recaps team for Thursdays, so if for some voyeuristic reason you want to know more about me, check out my weekly Shadeisms.

I'm obsessed with the Monolith Soft RPGs Xenoblade Chronicles and the Baten Kaitos series. I will not pass up the opportunity to mention them, ever, and I consider myself Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean's biggest fan. Finally, as is to be expected I'm super excited for the new WiiU "Xeno-" game!



The Wii is one of my favorite systems of all time, and my favorite games on this system include, but are most certainly not limited to;
Xenoblade Chronicles (see also: Baten Kaitos - Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean for GC)
Zelda: Twilight Princess / Skyward Sword
Smash Bros.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Madworld
Muramasa - The Demon Blade
Wario Land: Shake it!
Sonic Colors
and Metroid Prime Trilogy.

I love my WiiU as well, and even though the library still needs expanding, I had tons of fun with:
New Super Mario Bros. U
Darksiders II
Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Pikmin 3
Super Mario 3D World
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Mario Kart 8
Hyrule Warriors
Bayonetta 2
Super Smash Bros. WiiU
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

And on the Nintendo front, let's not forget the 3DS I've had since early 2014! Like, say:
Super Smash Bros. 3DS
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Fire Emblem Awakening
Pokémon X
Super Mario 3D Land
Bravely Default
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
Crimson Shroud
Code of Princess

Apart from Nintendo, I'm a huge indie game enthousiast. Give me a game like Trine, VVVVVV, Sequence or Recettear, and you've made me a happy camper for sure. You can keep your shooters to yourself.

Favorite indie game round-up:
Trine (+ Trine 2)
Super Meat Boy
The Binding of Isaac
Antichamber
Dungeons of Dredmor
Thomas Was Alone
Mark of the Ninja
VVVVVV
Sequence
Cthulhu Saves the World
Recettear - An Item Shop's Tale
Bastion
To The Moon
Cave Story
Shatter
LIMBO
FLY'N
Dustforce
Orcs Must Die! 2
Primordia
Machinarium
Botanicula
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
Transistor
1001 Spikes
The Swapper
and many, many more!

Besides gaming itself, I like reading up on gaming-related news on my favorite website in the whole wide world: Destructoid. I love all the people here, and I'm glad that I get to be a part of this. Wouldn't know what to do without you!

And it turns out you guys love me too!
I've had some blogs promoted:
- Because VIDEOGAMES!
- Digital Property: Entering the Third Age
- And posted as The Wombat: 2014: I want to make love to you. Seriously.

MikeyTurvey drew me as an archer:


StriderHoang made me a Trading Card:


and a Spell Card for The Wombat:


Meanderbot drew me plus himself and Pixielated drinking root beer:


RobertoPlankton drew the following scenario based on my username and avatar:


And Alphadeus wrote me a theme song:
Radiant Umbrae (ShadeOfLight)
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Steam ID:http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198005145371/
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Ladies and gentlemen, I like exploration. No, I love exploration.

Exploration across prairies, in streets, in trenches, in grasslands, in frozen tundras, through deserts, on the sea, in the air, I love every act of exploration that can occur upon this earth.



Violence can be fun, and so can strategizing. In fact, videogames are fun in many ways. But to me, nothing beats the feeling of being transported to a new world with all sorts of amazing new things to see and do. The feeling of looking to an unfamiliar horizon and going “Ooh, I wonder what's over there?” before heading off in that general direction and no doubt being distracted by something cool halfway there. The feeling of seeing a tower off in the distance and wondering whether you can climb it. The feeling of checking to see whether there is an edge to the sea or not.

It's that feeling this series is devoted to. But don’t think that I'm restricting myself to big open-world sandbox games here. A well-made 2D Platformer can give you much the same feeling, and cleverly hidden secrets can give you just as much incentive to explore as any far-off castle. It's all fair game, as long as you make me want to explore every nook and cranny of your world, and you’ll let me. Invisible walls will earn you a slap in the face, but may not be unforgivable if you have something to make up for them.

Today, let’s explore the world of Dishonored.



As compared to the world of Xenoblade or The Wind Waker which I looked at in #1 and #2, Dishonored couldn’t be a bigger contrast. That's exactly why I chose it this time. The previous games featured giant green fields, beautiful ocean vistas, and more flora and fauna than you can shake a stick at. Meanwhile, Dishonored has a drab, grey world where everything tries to kill you and the only fauna you’ll ever see are giant man-eating rats. And yet, Dishonored’s Dunwall is just as worth exploring as the Bionis and the Great Sea ever were.

It's simple really; just because Dunwall is a dirty run-down city doesn’t mean there’s nothing to explore.

First things first though, what is the world of Dishonored all about? Well. Dunwall, as a city, is a shithole. It's a shithole to the point that you start wondering how people even survive in that place. The large town is subject to one of the most corrupt governments ever, and it shows. Homeless are everywhere, there isn't a splotch of paint anywhere in sight, people look freaky and 'off', and the swarms of rats will literally eat you alive. The only thing anyone seems to care about in this place is the whale oil industry, which is not exactly glamorous to begin with, and surviving by any means necessary. In fact, the only places in the entire city that seem habitable are the mansions of the higher-ups, the people with the money and power that probably wasn't obtained in an entirely wholesome manner. Incidentally, these higher-ups will make damn sure that the lowlives down in the slums won't intrude on their luxurious lifestyle.

Doesn't sound like a place you'd want to live, right? Fortunately, through the power of VIDEOGAMES, you don't have to. But you can still take your sweet time to explore...whatever there is to explore in Dunwall. Which is more than you might think. And depending on where you stand you can actually get some mighty good views of the city and its businesses.


- This is as inviting as Dunwall will ever look.

If there is one thing that I have to credit the Dishonored devs for, it's that they made Dunwall feel like a complete and coherent world. While Xenoblade and Wind Waker were waaaay prettier, they can't match Dishonored on pure sustainability. Dunwall may not be a place where you would want to live, but you can definitely see how it would be possible. You can tell where the houses are, where people might go for groceries or bar-hopping and all the other things you'd do on any giving day. You get insights as to how the city's economy works, who holds the political power, and the importance of religon. It's a sustainable world, it could function. That's incredibly rare to see in video games (or anywhere!) and I'm having a hard time coming up with a better example than this. Few other games let you explore the whole spectrum of a fictional world from the lowest sewers to the emperial palace, but Dishonored does it and then some.

Another commendable thing about exploring every nook and cranny of Dunwall is that it's all functional. No matter where you go, rarely will you find a place that’s completely empty. Rather, money or ammo will be hidden everywhere you care to look, and sometimes you might even find new gear or upgrades hidden in the damnedest places. But that's not the best thing that you can find, not by a long shot. You see, at its heart Dishonored is a stealth game. "Get from point A to point B without being seen". And that's what exploring Dunwall is all about: you want to find the sneakiest route to where you need to go. Even when you don’t find any gold in that alley you decided to check out, chances are you’ve stumbled on an alternative route to your ultimate destination. That sewer you found yourself in might just be the perfect way to bypass those annoying guards upstairs. That tower you climbed might have an open window somewhere, so you can dash straight to your target on the top floor. In Dishonored, every bit of exploration you do serves a very direct purpose. It's all the better for it.


- You want to be at that tower second from the left. How many routes can you spot?

Finally, Dishonored succeeds at one very important thing of exploration that I haven't had a chance to mention yet. Exploration is only as good as your means of getting around. That makes sense right? I mean, how much fun is it to explore a gorgeous landscape at a snail's pace? Not much, you still want to feel like you're getting someplace. Preferably someplace you wouldn't be able to go in real life.

The basic mode if transportation in Dishonored are your own two feet. But not long after you start the game, you are gifted with the best thing an explorer could want: a teleport. Called "Blink", this will let you go anywhere within a 10-feet radius or so. You can use it to pass by guards unseen, or to break your fall from a long drop. The most important thing of all, however, is that you can combine it with your already above-average climbing skills to make any rooftop your bitch. From that point on, you can go almost anywhere. In fact, you can go so many places that every once in a while I stopped to wonder whether this was intended by the devs or if I had found a bug of some kind. It has always been the former. Water drains, chimneys, balconies or straight from roof to roof, with Blink the entire city is your oyster. An ugly oyster without any pearls, but an oyster nonetheless.

Combine that unique ability to scale almost any obstacle with the point I made earlier that any exploration is useful for your main objective, and you can see where this is going. No window is safe, even on the top floor of the highest mansion.



That is the impression that Dunwall left on me. The impression of a shithole of a world that despite everything just seems to function right. A shithole of a world that I could use to sneak around any obstacle. And a shithole of a world that I could view from any rooftop I chose. Dunwall is a shithole of a city that I wouldn't want to live in for any price, but one that I would pay good money for to explore.

Even with my back up against the Dunwall, I'll find my way out.

- Favorite thing 'over there': Kaldwin's Bridge, which I climbed as high as I could.











Hello and welcome once again to Bbain's Jukebox!
Yep, I'm going to continue the tug-of-war after bbain so recklessly stole the series I had legitimately stolen from him.

Farewell, songs. We hardly knew ye.

Today's theme is going to be a bit of a hard one. I'm going to be looking at lost songs. So what do I mean by that? Well, a lost song is a song that is technically on the game disc, but that you will never actually hear in-game. There are many reasons for why this can happen, but most of the time it happens because the song only plays in one very specific part of the game...that any player will rush through in 10 seconds. Other times it's a cutscene that doesn't last long enough for the entire song to play, or the song was cut entirely.

You can see why this theme would be difficult to do. Most of us can dream the battle theme to our favorite JRPGs, because they play so often that they'll be ingrained in your memory by the time you're done. But the entire point of today is highlighting the most forgettable songs ever. Not that it's the composer's fault though, some great songs simply never got their due.

Let's just get to my selections, and you'll see what I mean soon enough.


"Dolphin Shoals - Dry Version" - Mario Kart 8


Dolphin Shoals is my least favorite course in Mario Kart 8, and the lackluster music is part of the reason why. It just doesn't boom as much as almost any other song in the game. However, there is one part that's great. Right after you drove across the eel's back, you go out of the water for a short while. Right as you break the surface, the music changes to the rendition above. You wouldn't know it, but there is actually a full saxophone version of the Dolphin Shoals theme! It's a great lively song that almost makes you forget that you're racing on Dolphin Shoals and really what are you doing with your life?
...
Until ten seconds later, when you enter the water again and you're back to the old song.

Cloudtop Cruise does something similar, but I'd be hard pressed to call the Thundercloud version 'better', considering how great the original already is.

"Main Menu" - Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door


Question: how long do you usually spend on the Main Menu of a game?
Well, if it's anything less than 2 minutes, you missed out on some sweet Paper Mario music. Why would someone create some of the happiest music in gaming, and then only use it on a single screen that nobody is going to spend more than 10 seconds on? The world may never know.

"Battle! [Jenna]" - Golden Sun: The Lost Age


Golden Sun's music was done by Motoi Sakuraba, one of my favorites. But here's a song that never got its due. At the very start of the second game, before you take control of the main protagonist, there's a short part where you play as Jenna. As Jenna you'll walk around for a bit, and even get into a fight or two. What's fun though is that battles you fight as Jenna during this part have their own music, entirely different from what you'll hear in battles throughout the rest of the game. It's a lot more upbeat than the standard battle theme, perfect for the much-less-brooding Jenna.

Savor it, because once you meet Felix you'll never hear it again.

"Pinwheel" - Dark Souls


If there's one thing the Souls series is known for, it's difficulty. A lot of bosses will kick your ass to the moon and back. All, except one. Ask any Dark Souls player and they will tell you that Pinwheel is a pushover. His attacks are easy enough to avoid, and he takes so much damage that any decently leveled player will be able to take him down with just a couple of hits.

That's a shame, because Pinwheel has a theme song all of his own! It's a really creepy, atmospheric theme that serves as a great ending to your treks through the Catacombs and an even better beginning to your upcoming quest in the Tomb of the Giants. Of course no player worth their salt is ever going to hear it in full, because Pinwheel will bite the dust before the song even gets going.

"Spotted! Rival" - Pokémon X and Y
"Spotted! Ace Trainer" - Pokémon X and Y



For some years now, the Pokémon games have seen fit to give every different kind of Trainer a different theme song. Oh, but I don't mean a battle theme. I mean that when they spot you pre-battle, you'll get a different song each time. But even though they're not very long you won't be able to listen to them, because these guys only have about two lines to say before you're transported into battle and you get the familiar Battle Theme.

The above two are the worst offenders. Your rival only challenges you a couple of times troughout the entire game, which are the only few times you'll be able to hear his "Spotted!" theme. The Ace Trainer is my favorite of the lot (and it reminds me of Sonic Heroes' Mystic Mansion theme), but there aren't many Ace Trainers to go around either.

A lot of the others are really good too, but you won't get to hear them much more than these. And if that wasn't enough, once you've exhausted all the Pokémon Trainers chances are you'll never be able to hear these songs again unless you start a new file.


And those are some of my favorite songs...that I never actually heard in-game. I'm sure there are a lot more where that came from, and I'm more confident than ever that I missed some important ones. That's to be expected, since the whole point of today's Jukebox is highlighting songs that are easy to miss.

So let me know in the comments which songs I (and everyone else) must've missed.

For now I'll sign off with a game that has an entire Lost Soundtrack. Transistor has alternate "humming" versions of every song in the game, but you can only hear them if you sit still and keep pressing the "hum"-button. Which, if you're impatient like me, you're not going to be doing in every single level.
Here is my favorite, hum along:

"Traces (hummed)" - Transistor











It's been over four weeks now since this was announced. Somethingsomethingsomething HYPE!

Trine 3 is happening! This year even!


Man, I can't even tell you how excited I am. The Trine series is one of my favorites of all time. As far as indie games go they're incredibly high on my list and they even hold up to a lot of my favorite 'AAA games'.

So in honor of this momentous occassion, I'm going to give a bunch of Trine-related stuff away over the next couple of weeks.

Here's how it's going down. Over a period of five weeks, I'm going to give increasingly great gifts away, as follows:
Week #1: Trine Enchanted Edition
Week #2: Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor
Week #3: Trine 2: Complete Story
Week #4: Trine Complete Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story)
WINNER: Gajknight
Not so much the winner as much as the only person who wrote what vaguely resembles an entry. Give the gift of Trine to your friends, Gajknight.

Week #5: Frozenbyte Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor)
Week #?: Trine 3 (this contest will be put up the week of Trine 3's release)

The rules are very simple. Each week I'm going to ask you to answer a Trine-related question.
The funniest, most thoughtful, or most original answer wins! You guys know how I think by now, so give me something I'll enjoy and the games could be yours!
I will also allow, nay encourage, entering for a game you already own provided you have someone in mind to give it to. Same goes for entering in multiple weeks. So the winner of Week #1 is still eligible to participate in the following weeks, even in Week #4 and 5, but you're going to have to impress me. 

Outside of answering the giveaway question, there is only one condition: no freeloaders.
I'm giving these games away out of love for Frozenbyte and the Dtoid community, so the very least you could do is be part of the Dtoid community. That goes double for Week #?. Don't worry too much though, if you're a regular around here I'll probably know you. I made a list of 99 Dtoiders off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. 

And with that out of the way, this week I'm giving away the biggest gift of all: the complete Frozenbyte pack. This pack contains both Trine games, and both Shadowgrounds games. All of this combined is worth over 30 bucks on Steam. It is literally the greatest. 

For such a small development company, Frozenbyte has quite the trackrecord. They've released four major titles so far, each better than the last.

The original Shadowgrounds was an interesting take on the top-down shooter genre. It took a serious approach with a cool Aliens setting. It had fun gameplay, pretty good graphics with an outstanding lighting engine, and some great music by the underappreciated Ari Pulkkinen.

Shadowgrounds: Survivor was pretty much more of the same. Instead of one character you now switched between three, each specializing in a different weapon. On the whole it was not as good as the original Shadowgrounds, but it was still well worth playing.

Then came Trine, with which Frozenbyte struck gold. This game gave you control of three characters with vastly different abilities. You switched between them to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and solve more puzzles. What really stood out though, was the graphics. Even years ago, Trine was already much more gorgeous than most AAA games are today. And the music, good lord. They may have charged Ari with something very different compared to Shadowgrounds, but he nailed it and then some.

Finally, there was Trine 2. Unlike Shadowgrounds: Survivor which was the same but worse, Trine 2 is clearly the same but better. The gameplay got a healthy boost, making puzzles more intriguing and the characters more varied and useful. The graphics got even better than they already were, and the same goes for the music. It's all lovely. Trine 2 represents indie gaming at its best. If this is what a couple of Finnish game devs can do, I can't wait to see what the future holds.  



So let's get to the question already:

As you can tell all of the Frozenbyte games have done some really neat things with their graphics and art direction, though Shadowgrounds and Trine did it very differently.

What do you think is the most visually impressive game ever?

Remember, your answer doesn't have to be accurate (although it can be if you want). Just give me the funniest, most creative thing you can think of. So, do you want to get Trine, Trine 2, Shadowgrounds, or Shadowgrounds: Survivor, all for the price of none? You do. And I can make it happen. Enter my contest now!

ADDITIONAL RULES:
But wait, what's this? I have some new rules to keep in mind. They're both good though. I hope the second new rule will inspire more entries today.
1. If like last week nobody enters, these games will be given away to a random Dtoider. It could be anyone, provided I like you. I probably do.
2. If the winner writes a particularly good entry, I will gift him/her the Trine 2 soundtrack and digital artbook to go along with the games pack.



And after all is said and done, look forward to the upcoming release of Trine 3. I'm going to be giving it away during its first week, so keep an eye on the Cblogs!

Hype with me, people. Hype with me good.











Ladies and gentlemen, I like exploration. No, I love exploration.

Exploration across prairies, in streets, in trenches, in grasslands, in frozen tundras, through deserts, on the sea, in the air, I love every act of exploration that can occur upon this earth.



Violence can be fun, and so can strategizing. In fact, videogames are fun in many ways. But to me, nothing beats the feeling of being transported to a new world with all sorts of amazing new things to see and do. The feeling of looking to an unfamiliar horizon and going “Ooh, I wonder what's over there?” before heading off in that general direction and no doubt being distracted by something cool halfway there. The feeling of seeing a tower off in the distance and wondering whether you can climb it. The feeling of checking to see whether there is an edge to the sea or not.

It's that feeling this series is devoted to. But don’t think that I'm restricting myself to big open-world sandbox games here. A well-made 2D Platformer can give you much the same feeling, and cleverly hidden secrets can give you just as much incentive to explore as any far-off castle. It's all fair game, as long as you make me want to explore every nook and cranny of your world, and you’ll let me. Invisible walls will earn you a slap in the face, but may not be unforgivable if you have something to make up for them.

Today, let’s explore the world of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.



March seems to have become the month of Zelda on Destructoid. At least, that's what the Band of Bloggers folks have decided. Well I don't know about you, but I'm not one to argue with Zelda. Plus, just this week it was announced that the "Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses" concert is finally coming to the Netherlands this year! I've been waiting for that forever, but the time has finally come. So yeah, I'm feeling Zelda all up in my private parts. So let's take a trip now, and sea what we can sea.

On first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that the world of The Wind Waker isn't all that. Indeed, compared to something like Xenoblade Chronicles it might even seem a little uninspired. Well you'd be wrong. I take back what I said before, I would never forgive you for thinking that. 
I'm sure you're all well acquainted with the Great Sea. Wind Waker takes place on a vast ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. There are a multitude of small islands to be found on the watery waves, which is where your adventure will take you. There's a lot to do on these islands and a lot of different people to meet, which we'll be getting to in a second. Ultimately, the Great Sea is in fact great (and also a sea), and it shouldn't take you very long before you want to explore the whole thing. 

There is one thing in particular about this game that invites exploration more than almost any other game. Freedom. Within an hour after starting the game you will get yourself a lovely little ship. Another couple of hours after that, you will have a sail to go along with it and the winds are at your command. From that point on you can go anywhere you want to go, do anything you want to do. Every island on the entire ocean has something to do on it or something to go and collect. So, do you want to go to the next dungeon right away or would you rather go sidequesting for ages? You can sail to the other end of the world if you want, and chances are good that there's still something to do there.

Even if you chose the former option, chances are you're going to get distracted. The Wind Waker is spectacularly good at keeping you occupied even when you think you're just going to sail to your next destination in a straight line. I think the main culprit here is the fact that you can always see some island or other off in the distance. It's like the game is deliberately telling you "Hey, I know you're busy, but there's some loot on this island over here that you really have to come get." For example, take a look at this: 

 

That's three different islands right there. Each can be reached in about two minutes tops, and each might have some good stuff lying around. One might be the home of a Great Fairy who can upgrade your magic, one might house a heart piece, and the last might be a red herring until you find the hookshot. There's only one way to find out though, and that's to haul yourself over there and go check. That's something you're constantly going to be doing in Wind Waker, as new unexplored islands are never far away. Just hoist the sail, and you can get there in a jiffy, especially in the HD remake. That's something that this game absolutely nails by the way. Especially in the WiiU version, the game simulaneously gives you the feeling of sailing around on an expansive sea while still making every individual island seem like they are within easy reach.

Of course, none of this would be all that fun if the Great Sea itself wasn't inviting. You don't want a dirty, drab expanse of water with nothing of note anywhere, and you certainly don't want boring grey depths. Fortunately, anybody who's even the slightest bit familiar with Wind Waker will know that the Great Sea is a stunning place. The big selling point here was always the cell-shaded art direction. Although they were criticised when the game first came out, gamers have learned to see that there is a timeless beauty in the cell-shaded waters. And how could they not? With so many bold colors on display, and such a characteristic style, it's hard to deny Wind Waker's charm. Pair that with some great explorin' music, and you've got a world you could stay in and explore for hours.



Ultimately what defines the Great Sea for me is the feeling of going on a grand adventure. That moment when you first hoist the sail and speed off into the great unknown was really powerful to me. There's an expansive world in front of you. Adventure is everywhere, and you can go anywhere you want to go. You can meet the bird-people of Dragonroost Island, help out the little plant-guys at the Forest Haven, chill on Windfall Island, raid a pirate's fort, find the Great Fairies of the winds, sail straight into the eye of the storm, explore the edges of the world, or just sail around a bit doing nothing in particular.

It's all good, and it all feels like adventure. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why that is. I mean, lots of games give you the option of exploring all of the world right from the start. The Elder Scrolls series is almost built around the concept. And yet those games don't quite capture the same sense of adventure that Wind Waker invokes in me. Maybe it's just the ship. Maybe having the King of Red Lions at your disposal, taking you anywhere you want to go, is just inherently liberating somehow. Maybe being able to see all the little islands in the distance gives you more of goal, like you always know where the places of interest are in the world.

Whatever it may be, I would gladly sell sea shells by the cell-shaded sea of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  

- Favorite thing 'over there': the Tower of the Gods, which you can see from almost anywhere on the map.

- Favorite song to explore by: Ocean theme
Come on, this one was obvious. The Ocean theme is such a big part of the experience of exploring the Great Sea to me, there's no way I could choose something else.



"The entire ocean. Wherever we want to go, we'll go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is... what it really is... is freedom."
- Captain Jack Sparrow.  











It's been over three weeks now since this was announced. I'm kinda running out of things to write about it at this point but basically HYPE!

Trine 3 is happening! This year even!


Man, I can't even tell you how excited I am. The Trine series is one of my favorites of all time. As far as indie games go they're incredibly high on my list and they even hold up to a lot of my favorite 'AAA games'.

So in honor of this momentous occassion, I'm going to give a bunch of Trine-related stuff away over the next couple of weeks.

Here's how it's going down. Over a period of five weeks, I'm going to give increasingly great gifts away, as follows:
Week #1: Trine Enchanted Edition
Week #2: Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor
Week #3: Trine 2: Complete Story
- WINNER: Zer0t0nin
Not to be outdone by Gajknight's magic sperm, Zer0t0nin claimed that farts might be the answer to the Knight's flying trick. Having just finished South Park: The Stick of Truth, I am well aware of the great power of farts.

Week #4: Trine Complete Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story)
Week #5: Frozenbyte Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor)
Week #?: Trine 3 (this contest will be put up the week of Trine 3's release)

The rules are very simple. Each week I'm going to ask you to answer a Trine-related question.
The funniest, most thoughtful, or most original answer wins! You guys know how I think by now, so give me something I'll enjoy and the games could be yours!
I will also allow, nay encourage, entering for a game you already own provided you have someone in mind to give it to. Same goes for entering in multiple weeks. So the winner of Week #1 is still eligible to participate in the following weeks, even in Week #4 and 5, but you're going to have to impress me. 

Outside of answering the contest question, there is only one condition: no freeloaders.
I'm giving these games away out of love for Frozenbyte and the Dtoid community, so the very least you could do is be part of the Dtoid community. That goes double for Week #?. Don't worry too much though, if you're a regular around here I'll probably know you. I made a list of 99 Dtoiders off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. 

And with that out of the way, this week we're moving on to the big leagues. This week you can win all of Trine all the time, with the Trine Complete Pack!



So what's this exactly? Well that should be obvious. It's a pack that includes both the original Trine and Trine 2!

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I convinced the world that the original Trine was super fun? Yeah you do. This game's got tons going for it. From interesting Lost Vikings-esque puzzle gameplay to an amazing art direction to some gorgeous music, the original Trine is the king of indie games.

At least it was, until Trine 2 blew it out of the water. If you had paid attention last week you would've known that I talked about the sequel at some length. I talked about how it improved upon the puzzles of the first one, how it gave the characters more skills to play around with, how the graphics got even better and benefitted from an even better art direction, and how the music became more gorgeouser than it ever was.

Honestly, there's no good excuse not to want these game. Remember, you can win both of them! That's a solid 20 hours of gameplay if you're a completionist, and all for about a minute's worth of work. Ain't no lottery gonna beat that, son. Also remember that if you already own one of both of these games, you can always still enter for a friend. Is your best friend's birthday coming up but you don't know what to give him? Give him the gift of Trine! That girl you've got a crush on isn't noticing you, senpai? Send some Trine her away and watch the magic happen! And, like, talk to her for god's sake.


- Pictured: What a girl wants.

So, are you pining for some Trine? If so, here is the question I need you to answer to win this great game:

If you had to share the same body with two other people, who would you want them to be?

Remember, give me the funniest, most creative thing you can think of, and by this time next week you could celebrating your best friend's birthday with your crush.
Or, you know, play some Trine 1 and 2.











It's been over two weeks now since this was announced. But you know me; once you tell me an indie game with great art direction, great music and fun mechanics is coming out, I won't stop talking about it for ages!

Trine 3 is happening! This year even!


Man, I can't even tell you how excited I am. The Trine series is one of my favorites of all time. As far as indie games go they're incredibly high on my list and they even hold up to a lot of my favorite 'AAA games'.

So in honor of this momentous occassion, I'm going to give a bunch of Trine-related stuff away over the next couple of weeks.

Here's how it's going down. Over a period of five weeks, I'm going to give increasingly great gifts away, as follows:
Week #1: Trine Enchanted Edition
Week #2: Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor
- WINNER: Gajknight
If my town ever gets overrun with Aliens, I'll know exactly who to turn to. With the power of existential questions (and fire) Gajknight will show those ugly basterds what for.

Week #3
: Trine 2: Complete Story
Week #4: Trine Complete Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story)
Week #5: Frozenbyte Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor)
Week #?: Trine 3 (this contest will be put up the week of Trine 3's release)

The rules are very simple. Each week I'm going to ask you to answer a Trine-related question.
The funniest, most thoughtful, or most original answer wins! You guys know how I think by now, so give me something I'll enjoy and the games could be yours!
I will also allow, nay encourage, entering for a game you already own provided you have someone in mind to give it to. Same goes for entering in multiple weeks. So the winner of Week #1 is still eligible to participate in the following weeks, even in Week #4 and 5, but you're going to have to impress me. 

Outside of answering the contest question, there is only one condition: no freeloaders.
I'm giving these games away out of love for Frozenbyte and the Dtoid community, so the very least you could do is be part of the Dtoid community. That goes double for Week #?. Don't worry too much though, if you're a regular around here I'll probably know you. I made a list of 99 Dtoiders off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. 

And with that out of the way, this week we've got Trine 2 Complete Story. This includes all DLC levels, a bunch of new achievements and more! 



Now, what can I really say about Trine 2?

Well for starters, I would like to put out there that Trine 2 is better than the original in every way. Frozenbyte took the incredibly solid foundation of their original hit and just added loads of cool stuff to it.

For example, the puzzles in Trine 2 are way more intricate. If there was ever downside to Trine 1 it's that many puzzles could be beaten by throwing a bunch of boxes at the problem. The Knight was hardly ever useful. Not Trine 2 though. This game mixes up the puzzles a lot more, so that you might actually have to think about things sometimes. Apart from that, it gave all three characters new abilities to play with, each more useful than the last. The Wizard can now trap enemies in boxes so that he's not totally defenseless anymore. The Knight gained increased mobility, so that he doesn't suck at platforming anymore. The Thief gained the best upgrade of all, since she's now ability to shoot arrows that release a large anti-gravity bubble wherever they hit.

Apart from the gameplay, Frozenbyte took care to make the enemies more varied this time around, including tossing some more bosses into the mix. This has the added benefit of giving us more boss music, which is a welcome bit of variety inbetween the more mellow tunes of Trine 1.

Speaking of music, Ari Pulkkinen really outdid himself on this game. Some of my favorite game music ever is on this score, such as the hauntingly beautiful "The Lost Court of Mushroom Caves".
Finally, this wouldn't be a Trine recommendation if I didn't mention the graphics. Good lord, Trine 2 might very well be the most gorgeous game I've ever seen. From snowy castles to lush forests to searing hot deserts to the insides of a Sarlacc, it's all here and all amazing. You could literally take a screenshot at any random moment of playing Trine 2, and you've got yourself an incredible wallpaper. Allow me to demonstrate.



So yeah, Trine 2 is well worth your time. And it has online co-op now! So if whoever wins this wants to have a go with me, I'm all for it!

Here is the question I need you to answer to win this great game:

In Trine 2, the Knight gained a new ability, namely:



If you can't tell, that's a fat guy in full medieval armor, and he's gliding through the air using his (metal!) shield as a sail.

How the fuck does that even work?

Remember, give me the funniest, most creative thing you can think of, and by this time next week you could be breaking the laws of physics in all the best ways, while feasting your eyes on things like this: