Sunday, September 30, 2007

Random Encounter - Halo 3 (360)

Just finished playing through the Halo 3 campaign, the most anticipated game of the year. So, how is it? Well, Bungie, if it ain't broke... just tweak it, right? But seriously, I'm not so pleased with your third instalment, the closer of the series that renewed my interest in console gaming. I'm done with backtracking your levels. I'm over the fleshy tunnels (Doom pretty much nailed that about 15 years ago). I'm sorry that you couldn't keep it together and insisted on expanding your universe into a bloated corpse like George Lucas did with Star Wars. I'm not stupid, I read books and what not, but I can't fucking follow your plot. In short: I'm disappointed. Here it is one more time in case your eyes/brain blocked it out the first time: I'm disappointed with Halo 3.

Maybe it'll pass. Halo 3 is, undoubtedly, still one of the most enjoyable games out there, well-balanced and fun. But I was promised expansive vistas, battlefields a hundred miles wide, some meaning to the plot line disaster that was Halo 2. Or did I make that up myself? Thing is, you can't just regurgitate it yet again. Or can you?
Is it just me? Am I getting old? Whatever...

Picture stolen from Wired.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Download of the week: Beautiful World (PC)

I've been meaning to post this forever. Well, since February, at least. It's a pretty intense japanese bullet hell shooter. Give it a try. Press space to fire, arrows to steer, and z for area effect. It'll make your eyes go numb.

Click on this direct link to download it (4.2 MB).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Internet game of the week:
Five Minutes to Kill Yourself (Flash)

It's in the title, and it's pretty gruesome. A must if you work in an office environment.

Click here to play Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself).

Review: Anno 1701 - Dawn of Discovery (DS)

It's pretty obvious that I have a soft spot for strategy and resource handling on the handheld, and even though this isn't turn-based, it comes close enough. There's nothing like sipping coffee and plotting your expansionist agenda without having to listen to the next-gen system overheating. Since previews and general anticipation of this title has been low or second to none, I expected it would face a similar fate as Settlers or the underwhelming Sim City DS. Luckily, both Edge and Eurogamer gave it 8/10, and I had my hopes up again.

Being a PC-port, it stays true to the tried and tested formulae of empire-building. At first you will have to concentrate on gathering the raw materials that are needed to build your settlement. Once you have enough materials, you can focus on expanding and improving it, increasing the population and managing the economy.
Playing Anno 1701, the emphasis is entirely on the wants and needs of the residents of your sprawling colony. Every single building that you construct is a direct reaction to their demands, as they evolve from peasants to spoiled upper class citizens. As in most strategy games there is also a combat system in place that will see you defending your territory from invading pirates and opposing forces, but Anno 1701 is first and foremost a game of construction and economy - it might as well have been named Sim Colony.

Anno 1701 is a very well-crafted game, and the developer has clearly worked hard at fitting it to the limitations of the DS platform. For dedicated PC strategy fans it might seem a little lightweight in comparison, but is in fact far more accessible and deeper than expected.
I'm not going to bore you with more details, and there's plenty of it in Anno 1701, and just join in on the praise:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Download of the week: Knytt Stories (PC)

So, Swedish indie-favorite Nifflas has at last released Knytt Stories, including an easy-to-use level editor. He practically lives with a good friend of mine, so I'll try to interview him someday. IN REAL LIFE, people! Wouldn't that be great? Until then, seeing how I'm not exactly gushing productivity at the moment, I suggest you go ahead and give this little platformer a try. As with Knytt and Within a Deep Forest, its focus is exploration rather than enemy bashing. Quite special.

Click here to download Knytt Stories (35 MB).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Internet game of the week: Epic Fighter (Flash)

Epic Saga - Extreme Fighter (by Double Fine) is a 2D fighting game well worth your time. Charming graphics accompanied by nice sound effects and a very competent soundtrack. I really enjoyed it.

Click here to play Epic Fighter.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lack of updates update, um...

There has been a lack of updates recently, I've been busy playing Bioshock and, after finally caving in, giving Gears of War a chance. I've also been busy partying all night with naked chicks. Okay, so that's not entirely true. But I have been playing Anno 1701: Dawn of Discovery for the DS. Expect a review pretty soon.

Bioshock is good. How good? Well, lets just say Eurogamer got a little too excited. I'll review it later. And as for Gears, I was really eager to bury it but somehow it's not horrible. If I was to give it a score right now, it'd be somewhere between 6 or 7 out of ten. August was a good month for A Slime Appears - actually the best ever, statistically speaking. It makes me really happy. Keep coming back. Thank you.