Too HumanBy Martin Baker Published November 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm
“Last time I checked Gods weren't any human, never mind Too Human... A standard battle goes something like this: charge in, swing sword (the gun thing is totally useless, it's like shooting them with spitballs), things die, men complain, on to the next wave, repeat until brain melts"
Guiding Eets through insane levels with exploding super-pigs and marshmallows may sound like fun and games, but I assure you… it’s not. Eets has an emotional eating disorder, where his mood instantly changes by eating different color marshmallows. Eating a yellow marshmallow makes Eets happy, a red marshmallow angers him, and green marshmallows sadden Eets. Eets will only jump off of ledges if he’s happy or angry; he’ll jump farther when he’s angry. You must clear Eets a path to the orange puzzle piece in each level in order to continue his adventure.
Do what sensei marshmallow says, he’s wise beyond his years.
Eets comes in contact with many different characters and objects throughout his travels, including Prankster Whales, Radioactive Ginseng, and Exploding Super-pigs. All of these characters operate in one of two ways: either you click them or hit them with something. For example, clicking on a ‘Radioactive Ginseng’ Creator will shoot out some ginseng. This ginseng can hit Eets, making him angry, or can be used to turn on light bulbs. More characters and objects are added by developers and are available for download in Puzzle Packs. These puzzle packs also come with new maps for the player to solve. The puzzles in Eets are at first very enjoyable, but the originality quickly fades since the puzzles don’t get any harder, and rely more and more on timing. You’ll quickly understand the use of each object and that you’re simply using different combinations of them to the same puzzle with a different face over and over again. One map in particular requires you to shoot Eets with a chocolate chip cannon as he attempts to jump over it. This map was incredibly frustrating. It was ranked the hardest puzzle level, but the puzzle itself was elementary: the only difficult part was trying to shoot Eets with the cannon at the correct time. After about ten minutes of shooting chocolate chips to bounce Eets just the right amount, you’ll never want to see his over-expressive face again.
Click the whales! Just don’t let Eets pass one, you’ll have to start again.
The best part of Eets is the community and map editor. The map editor provides the player with the tools to create just about any type of puzzle you can imagine. After selecting background, foreground, lighting, and music, you begin building. Place any type of terrain at any angle in any location! Fill it with exploding pigs and have the time of your life blowing things up! Unfortunately, you’ll still lack instant gratification for your creations unless you have a friend sitting next to you who’s willing to solve your puzzles. You can even set what object locations are revealed when your friends click the “hint” button. After creation, players can then upload their maps onto the site and share them with the world. The community’s favorite maps are featured on the homepage of the Eets website, and are available for download by anyone who wants to try them out.
Jump angry Eets, jump!
The Good: Eets is pretty cute. The characters are diverse and are being expanded on everyday with new puzzle packs. The community continually creates new and improved puzzles to make you laugh, cry, and solve inner turmoil. The map editor is very expansive, allowing you to pour your creativity into the world of Eets.
The Bad: The puzzles that are initially in the game are very mundane and routine. You’ll find nothing new from puzzle to puzzle. Timing is a larger issue in puzzles than using physics and logic to find a solution. Bugs occur all the time with Eets getting caught on masses of chocolate chips in mid-air, landing on food and getting caught instead of eating it, and the destructible terrain leaving miniscule amounts of land for things to get caught on. Soon after beginning, you’ll realize you’d rather be playing Armadillo Run.
Pulling together music and gaming, Audiosurf provides something for everyone.
The game mechanics of Audiosurf are relatively simple; the player maneuvers his/her ship across lanes in order to collect or avoid colored blocks. The player must touch at least three blocks of the same color to clear them and gain points. The higher the number of single-colored blocks connected, the more points earned when they’re cleared. Mono, another game mode, sends only one color of blocks at the player, along with gray blocks. The player must avoid these gray blocks since they do not disappear unless the player breaks them and takes a score deduction. The controls of your ship are straightforward: to move left and right, either use the arrow keys or move the mouse left to right, to use abilities, either left/right click or use the number keys.
There are many different ships in Audiosurf each having its own ability. The ships fall into three categories: Casual (Easy), Pro (Medium), and Elite (Hard). The easy category is divided into three different aircraft, with Mono, Pointman, and Double Vision. Mono allows the player to focus on collecting, instead of arranging, their blocks by disabling all colors save one. Pointman allows the player to grab blocks and hold onto them until he/she decides to drop it into position. Double Vision places two cars on the track, allowing for mind-boggling two-car-at-once action, or co-op play from the same keyboard. The Pro characters are: Mono Pro, Vegas, Eraser, Pointman Pro, Pusher, and Double V Pro. The characters from Casual are simply harder versions of their counterparts. Vegas allows the player to shuffle the blocks they’ve collected, hopefully making the arrangement of three adjacent blocks easier. Eraser can destroy blocks of a specified color, clearing space for others, and Pusher can send blocks to the lane left or right. The Elite characters are simply harder versions of the Pro characters, excluding Vegas. There is also “Ironmode” for those who simply can’t make the game hard enough.
The most intuitive part of Audiosurf is the option to use any song you want, including your personal library, Steam games (it comes with many Orange Box songs), or the built-in radio stations. Audiosurf generates a track that follows the music, no matter its intensity. The track swerves, twists, and changes in slope to provide a smooth, colorful ride. The faster paced the song, the faster the track. The busier the song, the more traffic there will be on the track. For example, an acoustic guitar song will have a relatively low amount of blocks to collect, whereas a techno song will send wave after wave of blocks. Audiosurf accepts CD, mp3, wma, ogg, flac, and iTunes music files. If you are tired of your own music, or don’t have any on your computer, you can play songs from the Audiosurf radio, which is updated constantly with new songs. After you’re done playing, you can view scores from all around the world from other people who have played the same song.
The Good: The game’s fun. The ability to use your own music greatly enhances customization, allowing for an intense game or a slow relaxing game whenever you feel like it. The graphics are perfect for the game; they’re beautiful and fit the theme. You also can play for as long as you want - if you only have 5 minutes, play a 5 minute song. Low-cost, at a base of $10 and holiday special of $2.49.
The Bad: The novelty can quickly wear off when you have other things to do, and realize you could just listen to your music and get them done. On rare occasion, the algorithms used to create the track won’t match the beat of your song. Bugs can occur, such as one where the screen is supposed to be black, but is instead white, preventing you from seeing the white track. The score database is hard to use since songs are not labeled the same on every computer, and the scores are compared using their name. There’s a limit on the length of the songs you can use, it’s around 20 minutes.
Viking: Battle for AsgardBy Martin Baker Published November 16, 2008 at 12:43 pm
I was unsure at first about getting Viking from the rental people. I'd heard horror stories about how bad it was, in fact I tried deleting it from my queue at first, but something unearthly compelled me to get it anyway. “Maybe it's not so bad.” I said to myself, “maybe those horror stories are wrong.”
SpectraballBy Steve Burke Published November 15, 2008 at 1:41 pm
Flashcube Studios reinvents the ball, redefining those classic roll-the-ball puzzle games.
Vampire: The Masquerade - BloodlinesBy Patrick Published November 08, 2008 at 2:39 pm
Troika Games, created by some of the geniuses that worked on the original Fallout, gained a strong foothold in the PC Gaming market with VTM. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (VTM) shines a whole new light on being a vampire. Before I begin, this game is not for kids: vampires live in the darkness of debauchery-filled late-night cities, they are not censored.
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete SagaBy Martin Baker Published November 03, 2008 at 6:54 pm
"The Force is potentially strong with this one."
If you've read my review of LEGO Indiana Jones, then you already know what I'm going to say here. As well as a growing up on a good staple of Indiana Jones, the Star Wars trilogy was a main focal point of my childhood. I have fond memories acting the fool in the back garden with branches of varying different sizes doing the iconic "vshoom" sounds over and over again. This inevitably led to the pursuit of video games set in the Star Wars universe, ranging from the games for the Game Boy, Rebel Assault for the PC, X-Wing Vs, TIE Fighter, Jedi Knight, Jedi Knight II and most of the games before and since then.
InsurgencyBy Patrick Published November 02, 2008 at 3:11 pm
You're new to the map, you've no idea you can sprint, and bullets are ricocheting off of everything around you. Luckily, your commander has a clue and starts barking orders over the radio, "CAPTURE CHARLIE, STOP STANDING IN SPAWN, DON'T BLOCK THE DOORWAYS."
Burnout: ParadiseBy Martin Baker Published September 09, 2008 at 10:56 pm
"It's Burnout in a completely open plan city," they said.
"Go where you want, when you want." was another such quote...
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