Back in 2008, LittleBigPlanet was a staple in the Carter household for a good year. It was tough to put down as we earned a full 100% completion rate, and creating levels for each other was a joy. Floaty physics hate be damned, not every level was a Super Mario Bros. clone.
When the sequel hit though, it didn't have a whole lot that was new about it to entice us further, and it fell by the wayside. Similarly, LittleBigPlanet 3 doesn't shake things up from the core formula, but the sheer commitment to keeping the level-building platform intact after all these years is something special.
A cursory glance at Upper One Games' Never Alone, while sure to impress, won't do it justice. Its appeal is obvious, but its intention is buried shallow under a light dusting of snow. But, it's that intention that transcends Never Alone from another gorgeous 2D platformer to a game of great importance.
Never Alone is the rare example of a title that aims to bring culture to its audience without forcing it upon them. It skirts the oft-annoying "edutainment" category by being a game first and foremost, but is nevertheless adept at instilling a sense of curiosity about history and beliefs of the people on the screen. The execution is undeniably flawed at times, but not enough so as to undo what it strives for -- to teach, and to make that process enjoyable.
There are things to consider when it comes to playing music in public. Are you in an open space, perhaps a park, with enough distance between you and others so that your tunes don't dance on over into unwilling ears? Are you busking bad Dylan covers with your acoustic guitar? Is your music good? Mine is, which is why I drive windows down with confidence, going between Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tribe Called Quest.
I mean, who could object to me playing this for the entirety of a two-hour car ride? No one, because I was driving alone.
Here's a good and easy rule, though. Stop playing music on public transportation over your cellphone speakers. You are trapping people with your music, but also at horrible sound quality. I'd much rather someone be rocking a Radio Raheem boombox then sit through the equivalent of someone letting their ringtone keep on because they like the song.
A reason to bring up Spelunky again? Yup, better jump on that. The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita versions of the game have new updates that are worth a look.
Fast forward replays
I'll admit: I very nearly deleted the email about Snot without a second thought. How could a game named after nasal mucus be worth even a few seconds of my time? Still, I did my due diligence and played the video attached, a...
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for Wii U has a release date: February 2015.
The Canvas Curse inspired line-drawing game will also have four player multiplayer. Three other players will be able to play as Waddle Dee and...
In life, everybody deals with love, loss, and regret. When You're Gone's premise is built on the relatability of its story: A middle-aged man reflects on his life and comes to terms with "the one who got away." Protagonist S...
We're just two weeks away from LittleBigPlanet 3's November 18 release, but it doesn't feel that way. I think it's become its own thing, propped up by a community that has created millions of levels, all of which are grandfa...
Eletronic Super Joy and its Groove City expansion have done pretty well so far, but I can't help but shake the feeling they could go farther. "Quirky and challenging platformer fatigue" is a problem for a lot of good ga...
Nordic Games has picked up yet another property from the defunct publisher THQ. This time, it's de Blob, a cute 3D puzzle-platformer about a blob who paints a drab city with its body.
"We are excited about what the future hol...
Leading up to Halloween, I've been wanting to write about horror games because that's what you do in October, right? I still might; I'm playing the oft-recommended Fatal Frame II for the first time now and am planning to revisit Condemned. But before I get to those, I have been thinking about games that aren't traditionally deemed scary that managed to get to me anyway.
My mind jumps back to Shiny Entertainment's classic action-platformer Earthworm Jim 2. What a surreal game. It went places you wouldn't expect even if you had played its predecessor or were otherwise familiar with characters like Professor Monkey-for-a-Head and Queen Slug-for-a-Butt.
This was a game willing to dress you up like a blind cave salamander and force you to flap around villi-filled intestines to the tune of "Moonlight Sonata" for a single level. And god forbid you bounce off one of those mischievous pinball bumpers (whose intestines are these?) -- the ensuing scream was horrific. But The Villi People isn't the level that prompted this article.
That distinction belongs to Puppy Love, a stage whose title alone strikes fear into my heart.
What's that? You didn't get enough Rain World gifs this week? What's that? Timmy is trapped in a well, rehabbing from that awkward back spasm in mop up? What's that? Old Man Tim is going to be lights out tonight in his s...
Spelunky players are always finding new and interesting ways to torture themselves. Let's face it -- besting Spelunky's unforgiving randomly generated mazes is an accomplishment unto itself. Learning to do it with your feet is a completely different level of insane dedication.
But, that's what one Twitch streamer did to celebrate getting to 1,000 followers -- he mastered Spelunky's directional controls on a dance pad, and used a controller for the buttons. With the assistance of an early jetpack, he marched right through the game and dropped Olmec to his death.
Not too shabby for something that the majority of players couldn't do with their hands.
Every once in a while a game will come along that reminds me of the Dreamcast era, filled to the brim with great looking games like Skies of Arcadia. Forward to the Sky looks like one such title, an action platformer that ju...
I've always thought that Shantae is a bit of an underrated series. While WayForward can be hit or miss these days, I can always rely on their ability to craft a good platformer. Shantae: Risky's Revenge for the DSi is one of my favorite games in the genre, so naturally I gravitated towards the follow-up, Pirate's Curse.
While Curse takes a few steps back from the formula developed by its predecessor, it's still a great action-romp that any 2D fan can get behind.
Risk of Rain is a great little action platformer that'll make you feel like garbage before building you up into an unstoppable force of destruction. Try it, sometime! You can even bring friends along.
Developer Hopoo Games ha...