the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

You Probably Won’t Make It

Jesse Venbrux’s latest, “You Probably Won’t Make It,” almost lives up to the title. It would be more appropriate if it was called “You Definitely Won’t Make It.” In this ultra-hard platformer, I managed to reach level 14 of 20 before I called it quits. It doesn’t exactly fit the mold of what Auntie Pixelante calls “masocore”. It’s very hard, yes, but it’s not cheap as it toys with your expectations like others in the “genre”. What I like the…

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Killzone 2 Demo: Hi-Fi Mediocrity

As many did, I downloaded the Killzone 2 demo before the weekend. Being a European exclusive for the time being, I had to go through the tedious Playstation network registration process so that I could create a UK-based profile. As far as Sony knows, I’m still living in NW2. The following are my impressions, based on stuff I wrote elsewhere: I just played through the demo and I’m completely and amazingly underwhelmed. I was on the fence, only 80% underwhelmed,…

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Unity and the Future of Browser-Based Games

Back in 2000, if you wanted to create rich media for the internet you had two choices: Macromedia’s Flash and Macromedia’s Director. Director, which produced Shockwave files, was the more powerful of the two: far faster, capable of pixel level manipulation, and with a proper (if weird) scripting language in Lingo. Proper Actionscript, which showed up in Flash 5, was still months away. But Shockwave was a heavy format (broadband wasn’t so widespread back then) that sometimes had problems running…

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Skate 2: The Rewards of Failure

The most fun that I had in EA’s Skate 2 was when I failed. Maybe it’s because I haven’t played the previous Skate game, or any skating game since the Playstation (Tony Hawk 2 and 3), but I find Skate 2 difficult to get into. The controls are fine, if a bit touchy, but the open world turns what could be a fun, quick play game into a tedious tread. Skating down a hill into downtown while doing tricks along…

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Monospace; the Projection of 3D onto 2D

The latest game worth checking out in the iTunes App store is Nonverbal’s “Monospace.” (iTunes link.) It’s a fairly simple puzzle game to understand, packed with 64 challenges, but one that can get devilishly annoying on the higher difficulties. There’s no music[1], no fancy effects, nothing but a good sized set of logic puzzles that can be solved at your own pace; there are no time limits. Add the intuitive controls and the $1.99 price tag and you have yourself…

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Delta Force 10th Anniversary

In doing some, er, “research” I discovered that the Delta Force 10th Anniversary Collection existed. It was recently released. I was surprised by its existence: it’s a series that hasn’t blazed through the charts and hasn’t garnered massive critical acclaim. I was surprised that its publisher, Novalogic, was still in business. Mostly, though, I was surprised that it’s been ten years since I first played it. The original Delta Force remains one of my favourite games of all time. The…

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Dreamcast and Playstation 2: Leaps and Bounds

Here are two theories about why the SEGA Dreamcast failed. The first of which is wholly inaccurate. Yes, the Dreamcast’s GD-ROM format (basically CDs with custom headers) was prone to piracy, but so is the Nintendo DS (more so, thanks to a combination of today’s easy file dissemination, broadband penetration, and the DS’s relative small files sizes, none of which really applied to the Dreamcast back in the early 2000s) and it’s the biggest success of this generation. What I…

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Deep Green

I bought the chess app Deep Green for the iPod last week. It’s a very good, well designed chess application but I’m having a hard time saying anything beyond that: I’m not very good at chess. As a child, I never played much of it. Sure, we had a chessboard but by the time I was old enough to grasp the intricacies of chess and graduate from “checkers”, I was already enraptured by Mario’s adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom. In…

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Crayon Physics Deluxe

Easy solution. The great thing about Kloonigames‘ Crayon Physics Deluxe is that it’s very non-authoritarian in its design. What I mean by this is that it offers you the tools you need to solve a problem (move the red ball to the gold star,) and it nudges you in the right direction, but it never forces you to do exactly what the game designer wanted you to do. A lot of puzzle games (and especially some adventure games) tend to…

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“Edge” for the iDevice

Without hesitation, I have to say that Mobigames’ “Edge” (iTunes link) is my favourite iPod/iPhone game yet. It: looks great, with a very minimalist aesthetic; sounds terrific[1]; has lots of original music; has good controls; is altogether well designed; has a novel mechanic and is perfectly suited to the device it’s on. When I first heard of the game I thought it was one of those spatial puzzles, like new PSN game Cuboid, that’s been done many times over since…

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One Day Game Prototype, Flash Actionscript

Adobe Flash is like the mafia to me: just when I think I’m out, it pulls me back in. This is the “problem” with doing something for so long (eight years this month[1],) you get good at it and then you get known for it. Well, it’s a “problem” for me because I like to diversify. For years I was the “flash guy” and it’s a title that’s become hard to avoid, especially when there are bills to pay. Or…

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DigiPen and I

No, I never did go to the DigiPen Institute of Technology, but I had considered it. I remember reading an article about the school back in the mid 1990s, not long after it opened, in either Nintendo Power or EGM. It was mind-blowing for me at the time: I can do post-secondary education at a school specifically doing game design on Nintendo hardware? Best of all, the school was located in Canada? Sign me up. I had thought about trying…

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My Year In Videogames

Cities This has very much been a year of cities for me, so it’s fitting that my numerous explorations of urban streets were bookended by my visits to Liberty City and Paradise City. These two locations have seen enough carnage and destruction to fill a war, but they continue to stand, undisturbed, ready for more. As far as games go, I’ve had more fun in those places than any other virtual environment. It is one of the emerging threads in…

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