Archive for August, 2011

Review: E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy

Phew, that’s an awful lot of punctuation up there! Um, anyway, my review of E.Y.E has gone up at Gamedot. The game is definitely a bit of a curio, and I really recommend reading about it. It’s flawed, but interesting, and worth consideration.

For once I’m not going to offer any quotes from my review, as this is a game that, if described in snippets, will either sound far more broken, or far more brilliant, than it deserves. Well, actually, there is one thing I can quote from my review, one thing that does summarise the game pretty well:

It’s complicated.

You can read the full review here.

Xbox LIVE Rewards may have been a little overzealous this month…

People owed points from Microsoft through Xbox Live Rewards may be pleasantly surprised to discover that they’ve been given the points they were owed this month multiple times, resulting in a nicely inflated amount donated. As has been reported elsewhere, this seems liable to be an error, but I’m busy trying to get in contact with Microsoft to see what they have to say about the whole thing. The one thing that is clear is that it’s widespread.

Continue reading ‘Xbox LIVE Rewards may have been a little overzealous this month…’

Review: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Xbox Live Arcade)

Another link to a review on Gamedot, I’m afraid. This time it’s of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, the 2D metroidvania game released as last week’s Summer of Arcade title. It goes a little something like this:

A world of forms. Undulating, oppressive forests teeming with alien life. Smooth ice caverns, sharp and cold. The ocean depths, all muffled noise and fading light. A broken hub of technology, dark and neon, made of harsh corners and sparks. This is the world of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, a world at once fragmented and whole. Each environment has a distinct character, yet feels a part of a single cohesive entity, united by the encroaching plant life which engulfs much of the planet, and the unique silhouetted graphical style which permeates throughout.

Into this world the player is thrust: not only are they an outsider exploring this strange and dangerous planet, but so too their character, a being whose solar system has just received an uninvited guest in the form of said planet. The stage is set for a game of gradual exploration; of upgrades and hidden areas. There’s a name for this genre: metroidvania. Only, where that suggests a 2D platformer, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet eschews such trappings, taking the form of a twin-stick shooter. Albeit an unusually thoughtful, slow paced one.

And carries on in that way. If you want to know what I thought about it, you can find the full review here.

Review: From Dust (Xbox Live Arcade)

Oh, before I forget – today isn’t just for further discussions on Blizzard. Today also saw my review of From Dust go up at Gamedot. In it I say things like

The Summer of Arcade continues, this time bringing us From Dust. From Dust is an exciting prospect for those of us with long memories – and no, not because we can remember the dawn of man depicted in the game, you cheeky so-and-so. Rather, this is an exciting prospect because it sees the return of both Eric Chahi, the game designer responsible for classic cinematic platformer Another World; and of the god game, a genre sadly long-dormant.

and

Certain trees spew flame causing forest fires. Others absorb water, releasing their load when put in contact with heat, or when oversaturated. Sudden downpours of rain cause riverbanks to swell and natural basins to flood. Huge tsunamis, massive volcanic eruptions and tectonic activity bend and warp the land. You may not have any enemies, but you have a lot to fight against.

and

The joy of the game is the joy of building sandcastles; of seeing environments entirely of your own making spring to life, and watching them face the elements.

I quite liked it. You can find the full review over here.

Blizzard, Diablo 3 and sweatshops – part two

Believe it or not, I’ve had quite a response to my previous piece on Blizzard’s Diablo 3 announcements, what they mean to gold farming, and what gold farming has to do with sweatshops. I say believe it or not, because the responses have been exclusively conveyed to me on other websites and via social media. Rather than, you know, in the comments thread of the actual article. So, as I think that those debates deserve to be aired in public – it’s clear that people disagree with me, and I don’t want my website to pretend otherwise – I’ve collected some of the arguments I’ve heard, and my responses to said arguments.

Continue reading ‘Blizzard, Diablo 3 and sweatshops – part two’

Blizzard, Diablo 3, and sweatshops

A few weeks ago developers Littleloud released a game about sweatshops called, funnily enough, Sweatshop. It used tower defence gameplay as a way to get players thinking about the nature of sweatshops, encouraging them into the mindset of a sweatshop manager, even as it reminded them of just how many everyday items come from such places. It was an intelligent, effective piece of edutainment. It’s also a game that certain members of Blizzard would do well to play, perhaps while reading up on gold farming.

Continue reading ‘Blizzard, Diablo 3, and sweatshops’


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