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Wow, haven’t posted round here in a while. Man.
But I’m here now! Actually, being on holiday, not much game-playing happening round these parts. Saw this on tigsource, though, and thought I’d write about it in lieu of something actually interesting.
Zing! Actually, When Pigs Fly is pretty interesting, but not a huge amount of fun, I’m sad to say. You play as a small flying pig, trying to escape some cave system or other, and you die if you touch a wall. So it’s kind of a mix between that helicopter game (you know the one) and a side scrolling platformer. You die a lot.
What I’m going to actually compare When Pigs Fly to, though, is Mirror’s Edge. Bear with me, it’ll make sense in the end. You see, like Mirror’s Edge, WPF is kind of fiddly to control, and frustratingly difficult in spots. However, it also has some pretty amazing moments, where you get through 5 or so screens, somehow without dying, and it is then the best game in the world. On the whole, though, I don’t feel those moments make up for the rest of the game. Ah well.
You can find When Pigs Fly here. You might like it.
I don’t generally go in for much in the way of anime. You’re better off asking Alex about that sort of thing. The Japanese language and its three distinct scripts are very interesting, however, and… Well, that’s an entirely different realm of geek to the one this blog deals with, so I’ll just stick with saying I don’t much care for most nonvideo-gamey things Japan.
I quite like Ghost in the Shell. Somehow, by mixing up Tokyo, the future, cyborgs and invisibility suits, Masamune Shirow seems to have stumbled upon the recipe for pure style. Sure, the stories for the movies and the comic were at worst terrible and at best pedestrian, but, well, look at it. Which brings me nicely round to NeoTokyo, a Half-Life 2 mod made by some people calling themselves Studio Radi-8.
I’ve played a bunch of HL2 mods in the past few weeks, and this is the first one in which you shoot a gun. Polaris and Dear Esther were very much artgames. NeoTokyo is a Video Game. You shoot mans.
And, naturally, you look good doing it. It’s all very GitS (and Akira, apparently? I can’t really comment). There’s only one mode I have seen any server running, Capture the Flag, which is a bummer, but I would like to note that the flag is the cyborg torso from the end of the first Ghost in the Shell film, and it’s called the “ghost”.
It’s quite neat, actually. The person holding the torso is able to see the location of all the enemies, yet cannot attack, so once the flag has been grabbed it basically turns into a game of VIP. This helps to stop the game getting monotonous. The weapon choice is a little weak, in that all the mid to high tier rifles seem to be exactly the same futuristic bullet-spewer, and the shotgun seems fairly useless.
The game all feels very Counter-Strike, what with the one spawn each per round, and (sorta)Terrorists versus (sorta)Counter-Terrorists setup. However, there are a number of advantages I can see:
- It looks rather nice.
- Not everyone with a mic is a complete dick.
- The scout class can do a super jump.
- Heads explode just so. Cathartic.
- Your guys can turn invisible, with a very nice flash bzzzzp effect.
There are also various vision modes, which are actually pretty useful, and certainly atmospheric. Which is really what I like about NeoTokyo. Atmosphere.
NeoTokyo can be found here. It requires a source game to play.
Who’s gonna disagree?
I pretty much had to post about this one for the name. It’s a nice little platformer, with a difficulty somewhere between super mario and You Probably Won’t Make It. The game is pretty much rote, get to the end while avoiding traps and enemies. The win condition in this case is to get zapped and presumably killed (judging from the title) by the little storm cloud at the end of the level. All kinds of nihilistic. Your character jumps a bit like a flea, which is a little annoying at first, but allows for a good degree of precision once you get used to it.
As you can see, it looks neat, really getting a Game Boy vibe off of this one, which is perhaps fitting, given the year. It probably doesn’t bode well that at this moment I actually can’t remember whether or not this thing has music. Sorry.
EDIT: Turns out it does have music after all. Whoops. It’s suitably unmemorable. D.
Being Struck By Lightning can be downloaded here.
I wasn’t really looking forwards to this one. I didn’t much like Paper Moon (I found it uninspired), and this is called Crane Wars. By rights it should be bad. It isn’t. I don’t particularly enjoy it, but it isn’t bad.
Crane Wars pits you, the foreman of a union-run construction site compete with the neighbouring non-union, scab worksite in building skyscrapers with a crane. Your money ticks down from $10,000,000 to $0 as you damage stuff, or don’t do anything, imposing a time limit. That’s pretty much it. It basically boils down to a big physics playground, as you stack big duplo flats to form apartment blocks, or rather, you try to stack big duplo flats in order to form apartment blocks. In practice, you knock everything down. That’s my main problem with Crane Wars. I realise cranes are not the most precise of machinery, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a little annoying when you can’t get the damn thing to do what you want.
Brandon McCarton (of TIGsource) claims the music is extremely reminiscent of N64 games made by Rare, which perhaps explains why it’s so annoying. (Sorry, I’m not a fan of Banjo Kazooie’s music)
The game livens up considerably when you realise that swinging objects into the scab’s buildings is a viable tactic (though it incurs a money penalty). That’s pretty great. Less great is the amount of repetition in your opponent’s cries of dismay. Fuck scabs.
So, yeah, not entirely sold on Blurst quite yet. Crane Wars: It’s okay?
(Lots of brackets today, it seems.)
Play Crane Wars at Blurst, here.