Archive for March 15th, 2012

Weekly Little Big Planet: attack the block

, | Features

Two consecutive weeks of jaunty music and Muppets. I’m all cuted out, and so is my sackboy. We’re looking for something simple, yet challenging. Enough with all the jumping for now too. Platforms, platforms, platforms. What else ya got?

A puzzle? Okay. I’m listening. What are the directions? “Get the block to fall into the square hole to progress to the next level.” Um…you’ll have to forgive me if I think that sounds a little boring. “Inspired by the flash game ‘Bloxorz’.” Well, I’ve never heard of that. I guess I’ll give it a try.

BlockThing 3D. Exactly what I needed. Thanks, AliensWearHats. Although I must admit I wish you’d capitalized that first ‘s’ in your PSN name, instead of the ‘w’. Something to consider for the future.

There’s a reason it’s called SSsex

, | Game reviews

I tend to lump skateboarding and snowboarding games into the same category, not just because you stand on a board. You work your way along a long shallow learning curve in which your thumbs make cool things happen: flips, twists, booger grab reverse wind kickback hippie grinds. Expect a lot of trendy flash, usually with DJ Atomica, purchasable baggy pants and sideways caps, and as many nods to youth culture as a big publisher like EA or Activision can manage (i.e. licensed music, 90% of which I’ve never heard of). The better games have a lot of collectibles, challenges, unlockables, and minigoals to keep you going. But unless you’re one of those Tony Hawk aficionados, your thumb wizardry will soon enough plateau and you’ll have seen all of the game you’re ever going to see without practicing a whole lot of booger grab reverse wind kickback hippie grinds.

However, as I rediscovered SSX, which has been away for far too long, I realized that this is no Skate, Tony Hawk, or even SSX. I love EA’s Skate series all the way up until my thumb wizardry plateaus. But the genius of this latest SSX is that it might never plateau. It might never throw up the usual brick walls. It is as vast as the mountains, as heady as flying, as generous as the sky, as easy as falling, as inexorable as an avalanche. And the more I play, the more I realize that this is nothing like a skateboarding game. What was I thinking? It is quite literally the difference between kicking a board down a sidewalk and falling into gravity’s embrace from the top of Mount Everest.

After the jump, gravity rules Continue reading →

Blizzard: beware the ides of May

, | Games

I don’t normally care much about release dates — they get here when they get here — but Diablo III’s release on May 15 is too big to not care much about. It’s no October 16th, of course, but it’s still big.

Take On Helicopters gets weird, ugly, and Russian

, | Games

To announce the Mi-24 Hind add-on for Take On Helicopters, executive producer Lukas Milacek cites the following axiom about helicopters:

If it’s ugly, it’s British. If it’s weird, it’s French. And if it’s ugly and weird, it’s Russian.

How dare he! Just look at that regally hulking thing with its bulbous twin canopies and stubby death-laden wings. I suppose Milacek even thinks the A-10 is “ugly”. Harumph.

The new Hind DLC is $13, which seems a bit steep, but you can blame all those $60 scenery add-ons gobbled up by content-starved flight sim enthusiasts over the years.