Monday, October 13, 2008

Cubello, $10 vs $15, Sanctuary  

Games: Some good news and some bad news on the topic of console downloads.

The good news-- a second game has been released in Nintendo's Art Style series. Available now on the Wii is Cubello, a 3D puzzle game which sports the same elegant, minimalist qualities shared by the first release, Orbient. Although Cubello isn't the religious experience that Orbient was, it's still an excellent title available for only $6.

Using the Wiimote, players must match four cubes of a like color by shooting new blocks onto a spinning mass. The hook is that since any exposed surface of the blocks can be potentially accessible, matches don't have to be made in a row; as long as the four are touching on any surface, they can be anywhere along the X, Y or Z axis. A surprisingly engaging combination of traditional match-game and precision shooting, Cubello looks like another clear winner.

The bad news-- with the resounding success (on any platform) of the download model, publishers and developers are now starting to cash in as the price for electronic delivery creeps up.

Although $10 had been originally thought to be the sweet spot for consumers (I agree), more and more titles are now sporting a $15 price tag.

Personally, I think this is too much. I love the new download trend since it provides a new channel for smaller, indy developers to float games that would never be considered for retail, but if I'm not receiving a physical copy of what I'm purchasing and if what I'm purchasing is usually a time-killer between major releases, $15 is just too expensive to spend on a regular basis.

was worth it

I didn't mind doing it for Braid since I had heard about its "art" status as well as what an ordeal it was to bring to the 360. The $20 I spent on Penny Arcade's Rain-Slick was fine too, since I knew how much effort had been put into it and how big it was, but let's face it-- not every DL game can match the quality of those titles. The now-becoming-common increase of $5 seems less about a statement of quality and more like bean counters testing the limits of what consumers will pay.

Neo... where's Neo?

One last thing... Linger in Shadows is finally out on the PSN. Not really a game, but more like a piece of electronic art, it's a bit of a headtrip. A series of abstract images flash across the screen, and the events that follow involving an evil cloud, a flying dog, and a robot that looks like it's from The Matrix almost make sense of a sort... but not really. Even so, it's a pretty provocative piece of work, and I give kudos to Sony for offering a challenging nonconformist work that can't be had on the competition's machines. Yet.

there are actually two nonhumans in the photo above

TV: With Reaper still absent from the current TV schedule, I needed another supernatural-themed show to fill the gap. Sci-Fi recently launched a new series called Sanctuary, and it may fit the bill… in a nutshell, it’s about a couple of investigators (one human, one might not be) who track down and capture cryptozoological critters. I’m only one episode in, but the fact that I’ll be coming back for a second episode (thank you, DVR) is a statement in and of itself.

What next?

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4 comments: to “ Cubello, $10 vs $15, Sanctuary

  • Anonymous


    World of Goo costs $20 on Steam, so going the WiiWare route would seem to be the better (or at least cheaper) choice. Have you tried the demo yet?

    I'm pretty much resigned to paying higher prices on the various console downloadable services. PC users already pay more for the games that are released (Bionic Commando Rearmed is $15), so it's only a matter of time before the consoles catch up to that standard.


    Thanks for the info, Hargrada.. I had no idea that PC ran higher than consoles. Definitely good to know, for perspective, at least.


    Curious to know if you watch Supernatural--that fills my network horror void quite nicely.


    The wife and I really got into Supernatural a while ago.

    Unfortunately, it conflicted with some other programming that was of a higher priority so we started missing episodes, and then after that our DVR died and we lost all of the episodes we had saved, so we totally lost track of what was going on with the series.

    We both plan to get back to it when we have some time, but I think the current plan is to just get some of the DVDs to get caught up that way... last I checked, it still conflicted with some other shows, so we're not recording it anymore.

    Definitely a fan, though.