April 2012

Indie Game - Beat Hazard

Do you have a fetish for those side scrolling shooters like Gradius from back in the day? Do you enjoy dodging space asteroids and blowing up things with your space bombs? Well this indie game delivers on this premise. This is where you go 'B-but there are like a million games like this! What gives?!' Well hold it right there. This game goes a few steps further. It has no official soundtrack – the music is whatever you put in from your Xbox 360 or PC.

Beat Hazard - Xbox360 Indie Games


Indie Games: Fez

If it never came across, I'll say this now: I love platformers. Blame childhood indoctrination. Super Mario Brothers. Donkey Kong. I simply love them. At their simplest, they are good, challenging fun. So when I saw this game, Fez, I had to try it. And wow, I though this would be a 2-D game. It pans to the 3-D and you start thinking Paper Mario in mechanics. 


Fez - Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) Intro Gameplay w/ Live Commentary

But the story, and those resemblances fall away once you get in far. With a chip-tune soundtrack, the main character Gomez believes they live in a full 2-D world. The character then realizes that there is a 3-D portion to his reality. Unlike Paper Mario, the camera limits you to four classic angles, reminiscent of older 2-D platformers. But unlike Mario's often tongue-in-cheek plot, Fez's plot is more existential as Gomez begins to question the nature of his reality as he is guided through many puzzle-like levels. 

Indie Game - Cave In: Miner Rescue Team


Cave In is, at first glance, a simple game. You are one of two selectable miners digging into dark, dangerous caves trying to save people trapped in the dangerous caverns. Armed with your block pushing and explosive setting skills, you go further and further down to save the day.

CaveIn Beta Gameplay

But the game likes to variate how you save each trapped person. Puzzles variate from strategic bomb laying, pushing blocks of like colors against each other, destroying each other in a chain, to artfully dodging obstacles by creatively moving blocks in places.

A website displays how lame some male Xbox players can be

We are going to skip a game this week and talk about in-game etiquette. See, Xbox has a thriving online community of players where you can group up with complete strangers and play either cooperatively or head to head with one another.  Xbox Live is its name and despite MMOs proving how ugly this premise can be, gamers are masochists and do this anyway. It is almost expected to within moments of playing online with others that you begin to resent even getting that headset. Some will bother to be polite, but most won’t. And woe be to you if you even remotely let on that you are a female.