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a gaming update at Sat 8-Nov-14 07:51:11
Continuing this now-long-overdue PAXAus roundup, let's get on with the indie games that I played there. I got to chat to some of the developers there and even get handed stickers and Amazon codes and other such swag, and I didn't even have to give them a favourable review in exchange! Now watch as I give them all favourable reviews anyway!

Expand: A beautiful, stark little game that takes some of your favourite platforming tropes and twists them into a serene, ever-changing black and white (and red) maze that grows and shrinks and pulses and causes people to form pretentious run-on sentences such as the above. Comes complete with vaguely comforting messages that make you feel slighty better about failing this particular screen for the 9,042nd time. Beautiful music.
Go at a hoem paeg for to look more at it!

One More Line: Should be regulated with all the other addictive drugs. Speed along the track swinging from circle to circle! Try not to crash! Crash anyway, pitifully early! Try to beat your score! Come close to it! Equal it! Fail utterly at it! Play it again! And again! And again! And again! And oh god there is a queue behind me of so many people and I don't care one more line one more line one more line...

Under The Sun DISCLAIMER: Stegabyte Games, who made this, are among the pitifully inadequate number of you who follow the SV Twitter account - this is a thing you can immediately rectify.
Now that I'm finished desperately pretending I'm important enough to need to disclaim such things: Under the Sun is a cool little puzzle game where your every move takes years. Well, no, that's not what I mean, they take seconds to actually play out, but years accelerate for your character as you move him, inorexably, towards the campfire before the symbolic nightfall of his life and my word I'm being artsy-poetic today. Trees grow, bridges crumble, rocks move and things get surprisingly complicated as you advance and reverse time in your endless quest for simple warmth. Not yours, reader, I can't comment on the warmth or lack thereof in your personal life. Head to the site, young one, while you still can.

Merchants and Mercenaries: I must admit I've not actually played Settlers of Catan. So when I was told that this game was like that meets Civilization I was mostly focused on that end bit. Now that I'm better read up about Catan I can agree that this is very like that except expanded in a number of interesting ways such as tech-levels, different mercenary types (who need different resoruces), towers, a quite frankly massive game world, and the fact that it's realtime, meaning that Mr. No Reaction Time here managed to fail at it quite spectacularly. I want to play it again though. They don't appear to have a website, but they do need to be Greenlighted on Steam, so you should go and do that instead
Conversation wheel | Tags: paxaus indies merchants and mercenaries one more line under the sun expand plugging

a sonic update at Thu 6-Nov-14 11:54:08
Have you heard the name of my new band, "My Sonic Obligation"? I digress. My Sonic obligation is, of course, the fact that Sonic Boom was playable on 3DS at PAX Australia, and so of course it was my duty to play it and report on it. Or so I thought, not knowing at the time that SEGA wee going to release the exact same demo to the eShop within the week anyway. So you've now played it and judged it already anyway. And the fact is you're not likely to change your mind based on things like comparative opinion. But we press on anyway.

It's... not bad. I've been told that this means I'm "trying to be optimistic" but truth be told this game is a lot better than I thought it would be. But then of course I thought it would be a train wreck. It had its fun moments playing, and I was genuinely impressed by some of the uses of Sonic mechanics among the standard action-adventurey stuff. That's basically what this is. Solid. Standard. Safe. But relatively enjoyable. This won't be the grand Sonic Return To Form. This will be on the better side of average. But seriously, I was thinking up nightmare scenarios, and at least it is a relief that these will not occur.
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonic boom sonic pax aus

a gaming update at Tue 7-Oct-14 11:26:05
I once saw a magazine review of a DVD of an early Simpsons series. You know, when they were funny and/or relevant. At any rate, it was admittedly a capsule review, but the entire thing - literally the whole review - was nothing but quotes from that series. And of course you knew all the quotes because they were legendary and no further actual review was necessary because it's the freaking early Simpsons.

I'm not sure if Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is the right title to start the upcoming return of the Sonic Vegemite reviews section, because I'm sorely tempted to do a review like that. The fact is I can make Mario fight Sonic inside the Pac-Man maze. The fact is I can beat up EggRobos with the Villager from Animal Crossing. The fact is that, right now, I have a picture in my gallery of my Mii standing next to Magnus from Kid Icarus as he destroys my enemies at my command. That's a little bit sad really that last one. I don't care. Either these things - or any of a thousand other combinations - mean something to you, or they do not. The only exception is if you have been busily complaining because For Glory mode allows characters other than Fox, in which case I literally cannot help you make a purchasing decision.

Oh, Smash Run? It's a bonus stage that drags on for a bit too long. Seriously I'm not sure why anyone thinks that Smash Run, rather than Classic and All-Star modes, is actually meant to be the major single-player game mode. I mean, hell, it's even got the full suite of Multi-Man Melees. OK, Smash Run does get a button of its own, but we know where all the real games are.

Now if you'll excuse me, these For Fun matches won't lose themselves...
Conversation wheel | Tags: smash brothers reviews fanboying

a site update at Mon 15-Sep-14 12:29:04
D'you know, I think SV may have set the world record for "longest time to complete Act 1". I'm very sorry, Gamespot reviewers of Sonic Lost World, but your title has been usurped.

But I think at last the tornado that is life has stopped carrying away the car-- um, that is, the goalpost for Zone 1 Act 2, and we are approaching the end of the zone far faster than the end of this tortuous metaphor. Pretty sure that's a C rank for this zone. (I don't care how slow it was, the site didn't actually die so I get the Perfect rank boost).

Um, anyway. What I mean by all of this, for the three-quarters of the anyone at all who reads this tripe anymore, is that I've finally got around to starting another site redesign, and with it I intend to finally restart the Reviews Section! And perhaps even invite people other than myself to contribute to it!

Also the site will look all appropriately flat and square and big panels of colour like you're supposed to do nowadays.
Conversation wheel | Tags: sonicveg redesign

a gaming update at Mon 25-Aug-14 07:05:37
Oh, 2K. Oh, Firaxis. Firaxis. You of all people.

You advertise Civ: Beyond Earth at A$50 on Steam, wait for interest to generate, and then all of a sudden... bang. $90. Ninety smegging dollars. Look, we know shipping has long made Australia an expensive place to sell videogames to. We know our dollar was rubbish for some time and drove up relative prices. This is Steam, and our dollar's near parity. You don't have that excuse anymore. You want to keep up relations with the physical retailers, we get that too. But if you're going to lie about the intended selling price, then price-gouge so much, so soon, so blatantly, then people are going to not buy your game. It's that simple.

I love Firaxis. I've bought every one of your games. I preordered this at the lower price. But I have no choice to recommend to every Australian: do not buy Civilization Beyond Earth unless you can get it at $50 or below.

I've already seen people I know declare they won't buy it. Will wait for sales. Will find it second-hand. Will pirate. And it's not just you, Firaxis. We know. But you are the ones that aren't even pretending there's a good reason anymore. You're cheating, and lying. And it is unacceptable.
Conversation wheel | Tags: civ beyond earth price-gouging


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