Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Games: If you follow me on twitter, then you already know that I've been putting all of my game time over the last week or so into Tokyo Jungle on PSN.
In case it hasn't been on your radar, it's been talked about as a game that pits a variety of different animals against each other in a city devoid of people. That's true enough on the surface, but there's a lot more to it than that... basically, it's a hybridized Roguelike that asks people to take a particular breed of animal and help it survive as long as possible in an environment that grows deadlier and deadlier with each passing in-game year.
The production values are pretty low and it suffers from generalized roughness (and yes, that’s a scientific term) but it's unlike anything else I've played this year and you can just feel the energy and sincerity poured into it by the developers. I've been addicted to it since the first day, and I just completed the story mode about an hour or so ago. There were definitely a few frustration spikes, but the ending was kind of sweetly poignant and you can eventually unlock dinosaurs although it takes a pretty long time, so that evens things out.
The game hit PSN today (9/25) for $15. My full review is done and should be up at Gamecritics pretty soon. In the meantime, I feel safe in saying that if you’re the sort of player who enjoys creative, unique games that may be a little on the unpolished side, then this one is well worth the price of admission.
Retro: A couple of days ago, I came across a really fantastic retrospective taking a look at the Fear Effect games from PS1 by Mick Fraser (@jedi_beats_tank).
If you weren’t playing games when they debuted, then it's pretty likely that you either know nothing about them, or have heard that they had some kind of lesbian sex scenes... the real story is that these titles were way, way, way ahead of their time and they deserved a much better fate than they got.
Anyway, check it out here and read for yourself…
Indies: Over the course of running this blog, I've made various offers to promote indie games wherever I can. Tonight, I have a couple of people who’ve taken me up on it.
The first: Stained: the Game. Although I haven't played the demo of this one, I watched the trailers and it looks pretty interesting... I can't call very many games that use pieces of stained glass as a central element, so from that perspective alone, it's worth a look.
The second: Jason McGrevy of Cryptstone dropped me a line to let me know that their game, Star Prospector, is now in the IndieFort bundle along with twenty other titles. Here's the info, straight from Jason himself:
We're very pleased to announce that Star Prospector, along with over 20 other unique and awesome indie games will be part of the IndieFort Championship Bundle on GamersGate starting September 10th! The IndieFort Championship Bundle will run for 3 weeks. There will be 24 games available to purchase via a bronze (3 games at $3.99), Silver (6 games at $6.99), Gold (9 games at $8.99) and Platinum (All games for a yet to be confirmed price) pack at a substantially lower price than if purchased individually. In addition, players will be able to vote via facebook for their favourite games http://www.facebook.com/GamersGate, and on the 21st of September the 3 games with the largest number of votes will become part of a 1 week champions pack being sold for $3.00. The full list of games included in the bundle is as follows:
Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers
Sentinel 3: Homeworld
Three Dead Zed
Hacker Evolution Duality
Zombie Football Carnage
Girl with a Heart of
A Sirius Game
Will Fight for Food
Telepath RPG: Servants of God
AirBuccaneers HD (Alpha)
Survivors of Ragnarok
Project Black Sun
The bundle can be found on GamersGate via the link http://www.gamersgate.com/indiefort-bundle and a new indie dev community has been set up on IRC via irc.freenode.net - channel #indiegathering where players and press can chat with devs.
So there you go, and my apologies to both Jason and IndieFort for taking so long to make this announcement. I got a bit swamped and it got lost in the shuffle, so that's on me. However, there are still FIVE DAYS LEFT, so jump on it now and you won't be too late.
TV: Just a few quick words on what I've been watching lately before I wrap tonight's entry... The first thing I wanted to mention was that Doctor Who is still disappointing me. I really don't know why I'm still bothering to watch it, honestly. I haven't enjoyed it since Smith’s first episode and I should probably quit, but I keep hoping it will get better.
The most recent episode (Power of Three) was a slapdash mess that spent too much time on a ridiculously thin plot and not nearly enough on the characters which will be leaving the show soon. Speaking of which, why isn't Amy off the show already? And why are they bringing River back for the next episode? And… And… Aaargh.
Apart from that, the wife and I finally got around to watching the first episode of Farscape. Neither one of us had ever seen it before, and we're sort of in the market for a new show to watch at the moment.
Knowing almost nothing about it before we downloaded it from Netflix, I think it was basically good stuff although the wife thought the acting was horrific. I didn't think it was quite that bad, but it definitely suffers from that "first episode" syndrome that plagues nearly every show. If it doesn't get better by the end of the season we may bail, but we're in it for now.
Otherwise, Alphas, Warehouse 13 and Psych are our weekly favorites... thumbs up to all three.
Writing: Edits and rewrites progress on Speaking in Forked Tongues. I’m about 50% done with the first major pass, and I'm on track to have the new version submitted to my publisher -- it's a big reason why I haven't been blogging as much lately! There are only so many hours in the day!
Anyhoo, thanks for your patience with the infrequent updates, and I'll be back on schedule with the blogging once this is all wrapped up... probably two more weeks or so.