Game: BioShock Infinite
Developer: Irrational Games
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Windows, Mac
Who is this for: People who want a little more alternate history and storytelling in their first person shooters. Not for the “only plays Call of Duty” crowd, but still challenging.
So I’ll be honest – I have had this sitting on my PC for ages. I bought it back during Winter Sale 2013 (which I still say surviving without debt from a Steam Sale should get you a medal). However, I didn’t play it – I’m such a wimp that I got scared the first time I saw a Big Daddy in BioShock and didn’t even go back to the series.
But I got my new used PS3, and I wanted Batman: Arkham City, which was free with a PSN Plus membership. It also netted me Uncharted 3, Remember Me (which I fully believe someone who made that loved Strange Days) and BioShock Infinite. Inspire a bit by my recent slow crawl through Dawn of Steam: First Light, I figured I’d give the city in the sky of Columbia a better chance than I did the underwater haven of Rapture. It took forever to download, but I did it, and soon I was enraptured by Columbia.
I am suddenly very sad that pun doesn’t work the other way.
The story is very simple to start, and ends up becoming something that feels like Inception, except it actually has good writing. You’re Booker DeWitt, a Private Investigator from New York city, sent to the flying city-state of Columbia to rescue a girl, Elizabeth, to wipe away your gambling debts.
Dammit, Booker, this is how you got into this mess!
What this results in is a giant story about alternate realities, human effort, debts, payment, Patriotism, Jingoism, blind religious fervor and cults. Oh yeah, this gets good.
I will admit, my big complaint is one that I know some other reviewers had as well – the Vigors don’t feel like part of the world as much as the Plasmids did to BioShock 1 and 2. They feel like an afterthought, that they had to be shoehorned in to make it a “BioShock Game.” That makes me a little sad, honestly – I kind of expected more there. However, it’s a minor complaint, because I still felt like a badass tossing Devil’s Kiss bombs everywhere, or Shock Jockey crystals.
There are a few other naratives within it as well. Do robot soldiers take away from the honor of combat? Is blind patriotism just another weapon against the masses as much as complacency? Do the choices you make mean as much as the ones you don’t? These are all interesting concepts, and though the last one might be a bit better explored in The Stanley Parable, it still has to be asked here. Let’s face it, it’s a lot harder to get the common man to play The Stanley Parable or Braid or any indie game that isn’t MineCraft (not to knock MineCraft, it’s great). But if I wanted to get some of my friends to play a shooter, I could just show them DeWitt decapitating a guy with the Sky-Hook, and they’d be all for it.
I want one. The hook. I’ll leave Officer Burt Reynolds for you, dear readers.
That’s one part of the design that only bothered me towards the end, but through the first 90% of the game was perhaps my favorite bit – the Sky-Hook and the Sky-Line. Oh man, zipping around on those was way too much fun, even if I fell to my death a few times. If anything, they did make me hate the HandyMan enemies more because they ruin Sky-Lines, but a few sprays to the heart will stop them from ruining all your fun.
No, don’t make me kill him, I wanna be his friend! Booker, Handy and Elizabeth, pals in Paris! No…
Overall is it worth it? Hell yes. This game makes you feel like you’re a great hero – until you get about halfway in and you feel like you’re in over your head. It’s a giant escort mission, but one that you enjoy. You become attached to Elizabeth, and eventually you find yourself also yelling at the screen “Elizabeth, let’s just go to Paris.” It’s an enriching experience, and I can see why it was a contender for Game of the Year last year.
All images courtesy of BioShock Wiki or Wikipedia.
Game: Gunman Clive
Developer: Bertil Hörberg
Who is this for: Anyone who loves old school platformers, Westerns and character selection.
I picked this game up on a whim – the standard “I have left over e-Shop money and don’t know what to do with it.”
It consumed my week. Any time I was bored, my hand reached for the 3DS and I began to play. And play. And play. It’s a tough game, but not the sort of Ninja Gaiden, tough-for-tough’s sake tough.
No, it has that classic Mario Bros. we-know-you-can-figure-this-out toughness.
You can play as either Clive or Ms. Johnson, or later – the Duck.
Clive is a better shooter and a little stronger than Ms. Johnson.
But Ms. Johnson has Princess Peach Jumps. She can hover, and that was my saving grace throughout my first playthough. Unlike Clive, with his normal, not as impressive jumps.
The Duck? The Duck is hard to play as, man. But he’s unlockable, so it is understandable. But when you’re playing as Clive or Ms. Johnson, you can’t help but feel the Duck cheats.
This game has that great Weird West feel I love so much, and it feels like a great cross between Super Mario Bros. 2, Mega Man and just a smidge of Braid in the art style. It looks like an old wanted poster meets a watercolor, and I love it.
You know you want it, and I can’t suggest it more. Go get it now! Links up above!
Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Developer: Nintendo and Monolith Soft
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Thing That I Wasn’t Ready For: By Din, I need more Rupees.
Okay, this is a great idea for a friend. Less for, like, a Nana or Papa.
This is Cards Against Humanity.
This is what you get for that friend. You know. That friend. The one who you know will delete your internet history if you die. The one who will burn/keep your stash. Don’t know whats in your stash, don’t care. They’ll take care of it for you.
That friend that saw you drunk, covered in whipped cream, dancing to Madonna and didn’t take pictures.
That friend who beat up the next person who makes fun of you when you fall off Rainbow Road.
Because they won’t judge you when somebody plays the black card “Why am I sticky?” and your only good white card is “Goblins” or “A fetus” or “A gassy antelope.”
Want more proof? Then watch TableFlip as they play it! Then click the link higher up and buy it. I’m getting tired of cheap pizza.
Game: Luxuria Superbia
Platform: OUYA (also for Android, PC, Linux, iOS and Mac)
Developer: Tale of Tales
Genre: Rhythm Puzzle
This was weird. Like… I was told it was a spiritual journey, that I would have a sense of enlightenment, bringing color to a flower. I have the launch trailer below, shoiwng how you use something that looks like a weird version of Rez but with naturalistic, zen-like music.
But I can’t help but shake this feeling that I wasn’t coloring a flower…
Game: Publisher Dream
Developer: Circle Entertainment
Cost: $1.99 or 200 Nintendo Points
Platform: DSi eShop (also for 3DS)
So you bought $10 worth of credit on the 3DS and have $2 left over after buying stuff because Nintendo uses an antiquated download system similar to what Steam ditched years ago. What do you do now? Save it? Imagine it was still real money? Sleep?
Well, you could buy Publisher Dream. It’s no Game Dev Tycoon, but it fits in your pocket.
Webcomics You Ought To Be Reading! - The Book of Biff by Chris Halbeck
Ever wanted to get small life lessons from a man with amazing eyebrows? This is your chance.
The Book of Biff is an amazing webcomic that updates Monday through Friday, and has amazing insights you may not have thought of - or amazing puns you will regret Chris thought of.
Go forth and read it, Omnibloggers.
Webcomics You Ought to Be Reading! - Antics by Stephen Gillan
Hey, you guys know this seal?
Whoops, that’s no seal, that’s Benedict Cumberbatch. Lemme try this again.
There we go.
Anyway, that seal came from Antics, a comic about Fletcher (the dude with the green tie) and Copernicus (the guy with the red tie), who just sort of live together and exist in gag comics.
Look, this comic? It’s not deep, it’s not profound, it’s none of those things.
But it is funny. And that’s the best way to do things sometimes.
Antics updates Mondays and Fridays.
Game: DLC Quest
Developer: Going Loud
Platform: PC, Mac
Here we have a game that is purely made to make fun of all those other games that we buy on impulse. How many other people here have ever went off to play a game on release day, only to find out that it had DLC on day one needed for the story, or that the servers were down, or that you needed to go and get something else to make it work?