In the last few years, some of the most striking, emotional experiences I’ve had in games have come from stripped down, simple titles. Titles like Journey or Bastion, which give the player one simple goal, and execute the carrying out of that goal in a skillful, artful manner.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new title from Starbreeze Studios which does just that. The best way to describe Brothers is that it’s a single player co-op game, one in which you control two brothers simultaneously, with each analog stick on a controller, along with its triggers. While it sounds simple enough, trying to solve puzzles with two characters at the same time can be a decent enough challenge of your dexterity and brainpower.
For some reason, an invisible price barrier lives somewhere inside of the part of my brain that processes money. This magical barrier keeps me from springing on downloadable titles, even when it makes a lot of sense to do so. Whereas Physical Goods Eddy is just fine paying upwards of $40-$60 for AAA titles, Digital Goods Eddy hesitates at the prospect of a $15 title like Journey. Or Trials Evolution, which is the game that I spent about fifteen seconds debating last night.
Trials Evolution, the follow-up to the hit Trials HD, released on XBLA last night to the squeals of ghost-beating track timers the world over. If you’re unaware of the mania that this game has inspired or what makes it so fun (as I was up until the last couple of weeks) — Trials Evolution is 2.5D platformer/physics racing game, wherein players control a motorcycle through ridiculously impossible tracks. The addictive part of the game isn’t just the sensation of negotiating through these Sonic-esque levels at the fastest speeds possible, but also from the way the game uses your friends’ times to taunt you. Glowing white dots that represent your friends race alongside of you, daring you to beat them even as you crash repeatedly.
The game is great fun, and the magical barrier in my head that keeps me from picking up digital titles was shattered more quickly than it normally is. It’s funny that even though I try to enter these things cautiously, there are certain factors that can make me foot the bill with almost no hesitation. For Trials, it was the almost limitless content (the game comes with a pro level editor, for instance, meaning that players will create their own ridiculous tracks), the replay factor that comes with competing against your friends’ times, and the number of unlockable races that come packed inside.
So what about you guys? What is it about games that convinces you to foot the bill? What games have recently made you ignore price completely and throw your wallets at the screen? Go!
HYDROOO THUNDERR!! That hyper-loud voice should be familiar with anyone who was a fan of the original Hydro Thunder game, part of Midway’s series of “Thunder” racing games. Well after 10 years from its first release, the sequel is out from a company called Vector Unit who brings back the insane boat racing action in the form of Hydro Thunder Hurricane. The game is available on Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points and the thrills of the adrenaline packed racing series with crazy transforming boats comes back with a new look. But can it hold up to its predecessor? Hit the jump to read the rest of the review. Continue reading Hydro Thunder Hurricane Review
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve asked you all how your gaming minutes are being spent, so I thought we were about due for another helping of “What Are You Playing?”
For me, I’m trying to get through a little bit of the dreaded gaming backlog and all of its horrors, but I keep getting interrupted by Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, which I am completely in love with at the moment. If you’re unaware, it just released on Xbox Live Arcade last week, and is due out on the PC and PS3 next month.
I’ve never been a fan of the Tomb Raider series, but what they’ve done in this game is turn it into more of a top-down co-op Diablo style game, complete with puzzles, platforms and loot. It’s almost like Diablo meets Resident Evil 5, if that makes any sense at all. While the game doesn’t have online co-op at the moment, it will when it hits other systems in September. I’ve been playing the co-op locally with my brother, and we’re having a blast solving puzzles and doing the platforming. I can honestly say it’s already one of my favorite co-op experiences of this gen. If that’s not a glowing recommendation, I don’t know what is.
In addition, I recently completed Alpha Protocol, am moving to 3D Dot Game Heroes next, and hope to tackle Crackdown 2 before Halo: Reach drops on September 14th. Whew. Anyway, now it’s your turn. What are you playing? Go!
On June 9, the Earthworm Jim HD remake is coming to XBox Live Arcade, and will follow on the PSN one month later. Gameloft released a brand new trailer for the game today, which included this little tidbit: the game will now include a 4 player co-op mode. For the old school retro lover in me, this is quite the bombshell. I can’t wait to play this.
Today’s WTF is actually a good one. Maybe your reaction to this Breach gameplay video will be the same as mine: “Wait, this is a 15 dollar XBox Live Arcade game?”
Cover. Destructible environments. Pretty impressive graphics (though this video is taken off screen). Coming in June/July for only 1200 Microsoft points. There’s not really much else to say, except that this might be a day one purchase for me, and the very thing that holds me over with Bad Company 2 while I wait for Halo: Reach. I have to say that they’ve won me over with just one video, which is funny considering I haven’t even heard of this until now.
So this weekend my goal was to get through a couple of new XBLA games, Castle Crashers and Braid. I’ve been hearing a lot of great stuff about both of these games, and I wanted to check them out, with hopes of reviewing them sometime in the next week or so.
As of right now, I’m completely thrilled with and loving both of these titles. It’s funny, because they’re the exact opposite of one another in terms of their playing styles. Braid is a puzzle game and Castle Crashers is an old school arcade beat-em-up a la The Simpsons or Streets of Rage.