Solace – A DigiPen Game

As some of you may know, I currently go to DigiPen. As such, I may be a little biased when looking at other DigiPen games and recommending them. However, I literally almost cried when I played this game (And trust me, if you know anything about me that’s a feat). I’ll be the first to admit that the game play itself is not anything truly spectacular, but the way that the emotion in this game shines through to the player is extraordinary. Play it and see for yourself.  Solace can be downloaded here. The first download option didn’t work for me, but the second one worked fine.

Quotes from some of the comments left on the game:

This game is like pixelated cocaine…i can’t stop playing it…

Person 1: “I have to admit, this is the first “female oriented” game I actually kinda like. Must be the horse head decapitations at the end.”
Person 2: “Are you kidding this is the manliest game OF ALL TIME”

Metoid: Other M Review

Game Name: Metroid: Other M
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Team Ninja
Platform: Nintendo Wii

Ever since I first played Super Metroid back when I was about 6 years old, I have been a huge Metroid fan. I have played every single Metroid game out there except for Metroid Pinball, which doesn’t really count as a Metroid game. With the exception of Metroid Prime 2: Corruption, I have thoroughly enjoyed every Metroid game (If a game has a dark world in it, there’s a good chance that I’m not going to like it). It is for this reason that I was a little bit shocked when I was disappointed by Metroid: Other M.

I had been watching videos and previews of the game since they started showing up on the internet, and I was extremely excited when I got Other M. When I started playing the game though, I was disappointed by how dark the scenery was (Albeit absolutely gorgeous when you COULD in fact see it… It was as if the developers didn’t want you to see just how good a job they did on the graphics).

Before I get too far into what I would change about the game, I do enjoy that they tied a ton of story into this game. Samus recalls her past multiple times, and it fleshes out her semi-mysterious back story. I was also happy with the fact that Samus could recharge her health if she was low enough, as well as her missiles (Which is especially helpful as enemies no longer drop items like they did in every other game). The cool action sequences / finisher moves are pretty sweet too, especially when you pull off a couple of them in sequence.

I’ve got to admit, I’m glad that Team Ninja tried to do something different to the Metroid series, but I feel that they didn’t pull it off in a smooth way. I mean, what’s with those so-called “detective sections” where you’re stationary and have to find one specific thing in the room, which is usually a tiny object? All those sections do is make players lose their suspension of disbelief because Samus sits there for so long (Or just makes them go to GameFAQs). Also, they could have done without those sections where the camera is behind Samus and you can’t run, fire, etc. I don’t really understand why these sections are even in the game.

I also hate the fact that the map doesn’t compensate for the levels being 3D. Metroid Prime did a GREAT job with this by making the map 3D as well. Why couldn’t this game do that?

Some other small things that bugged me about this game are the instant death quick time events and the reason that Samus “loses” her powers obtained in previous games. In this game she’s “not authorized to use them.” That’s just silly… Samus is a bounty hunter! Who cares if her old CO is in charge. And plus, why do things like her grapple beam have to be authorized?!

EDIT: Here‘s a link to Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation review of Metroid: Other M.  I noticed virtually everything he said while playing the game except for the fact that the bottle ship ties in with the whole mother theme.

Super Mario World Item Cheats / Wind Waker

A fellow tester at my game testing job sent this video to me. While I enjoy Mario games, as well as what Mario has done for gaming, I do not think of myself as a huge Mario fan. However, I found the many different bugs / features with different items in this video pretty awesome. Being a tester, I wonder if any testers of Super Mario World found any of these and they just weren’t fixed.

Also, for all you Wind Waker fans: Wind Waker song

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

If you haven’t heard of StarCraft… well… what are you doing here? o.O Anyway, recently, as you probably know, Blizzard released StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. My roommate and I were both betting on it being the best game of… well, basically ever thus far. It seems to be well on its way of doing just that. From the article (Found here):

“We’re pleased to announce that within one day of being on sale, StarCraft® II sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, making it the bestselling PC game of 2010 in under 24 hours of availability. By the end of the 2nd day, it had sold a total of 1.5 million copies worldwide, setting the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time. We want to thank everyone who turned out for the midnight launch events around the world, and everyone else who has already picked up or downloaded a copy of the game, for making StarCraft II the biggest PC game launch of the year.”

Robokill – A Smash TV-like Flash Game

I was looking around the internet for some fun flash games to play the other day and I came across a game call Robokill. After playing only a small portion of this game, I immediately thought of the Super Nintendo game called Smash TV. In Robokill, you run around a series of rooms and defeat all of the enemies in your path to complete an objective for each mission. The game has a few fun customization options (Different weapons / utility items), random items that drop, and is actually quite challenging. The items that drop can have random effects on them (Such as freeze or pierce), which adds some more randomness to the game. The first few missions can be played for free here. However, if you want to play the rest of the game, you do have to pay for it 😦

Level Up! – A Game and a Book!

I originally read about the book “Level Up!” by Scott Rogers from his Blog, Mr Boss’ Design Lair. While the book is not out yet, and thus I cannot speak about how good it actually is or not, I must say I am quite excited about this book (Which is surprising, because I cannot remember a time in all my life that I have been excited for ANY book to be coming out!). In short, the book is about how to be a game designer, and how to design games to make them enjoyable to the user. Sounds good, right? The link to preorder it can be found here. Preorder it if you are as excited for it as I am!

At any rate, while googling for this book, I found a flash game called Level Up! (It can be found here. Go play it, before I accidentally spoil something :-D) In this game, your abilities level up as you use them. I had been thinking about making a game similar to this for quite some time, though I was planning on doing it to a space shooter game, where the weapons you use would level up as you use them, as would your ship’s agility, defense, etc.

I thought this leveling up mechanic was cool, and very much enjoyed the start of the game. However, (Spoilers coming…), at the end of a day in the game (About 5-10 minutes of playing), all of the levels for your abilities reset to level 1 if you lose to a boss creature, who is near impossible to beat without abilities that can be purchased throughout the game with crystals (Collectibles). That being said, any abilities that you purchase throughout the game stay with you, as well as remaining crystals at the end of the day. Also, if you lose this fight, all of the crystals reappear throughout the level, allowing you to collect them many times.

All in all I would say this is a pretty fun game, however, my roommate had a very different experience while playing through the game, and had a different view on the game.