Thursday, March 21, 2013

A thousand ways to die horribly: the game

Haha! Time for a game that's so schizophrenic in tone I don't even know what to make of it! The game today is Heart of Darkness. No, not the book about colonial racism and the ivory trade in the Congo by Joesph Conrad, I'm talking about the game about a boy, his dog, and his....thing.
The less said about these the better
 Heart of Darkness is a side scrolling, puzzle solving, platforming adventure game, and on the surface it looks like a kids movie, with really good art, but with a deeper look things get weird. See, the kid you play as can die. Normally this would illicit a "DUH" reaction, but the extend this game goes into animating different ways for this kid to die gets a little excessive. Crushed by rocks, burned by fireballs, eaten by the various nightmarish creatures in the game, falling into lava, drowning, being burned by fireballs underwater, and more. All with their own separate cringe inducing animations and bone snapping sound effects. By all rights, if this game had gore these deaths would be shooting blood and viscera all over the damn place.
We've come a long way since 1998
The plot of the game is that Andy, our protagonist and hero for this game, is out with his dog Whiskey during a surprise eclipse, and Whiskey gets taken away to another world by some horrifying shadow creature. Andy, showing more initiative that YOU ever did when you were a kid grabs a bunch of his inventions and jumps right in his GOD DAMN SPACESHIP and takes off to rescue his dog. His ship crashes into a cliff and thats where Heart of Darkness, and the high lethality adventure really begins.
That kid is so dead
Heart of Darkness came out on PC in August of 1998, having be released on Playstation a week earlier. It has the same feel as Another World, which was made by Eric Chahi over at Delphine Studios before starting Amazing Studios, the studio that developed Heart of Darkness, and the publisher of the game was Interplay Entertainment.
Best animation. Forever. For all time.
If you like ADVENTURE, gruesome death, damn fine art, crazy monsters and landscapes, late 90s CGI, or kids movies, Heart of Darkness might be for you.
Why would that pink thing evolve in such a way? It must hurt to live
You can get it here or here or a bunch of other places.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who the hell names their kid Iji

Stupidly long gap between posts, my bad. But I'm gonna make it up to you with this next game. Involving cyborgs, teleportation, aliens, a range of sci-fi weaponry, and even the ability to kick the crap out of stuff as icing on the cake, this game could qualify as a Syfy Original movie, but because actual effort was put into it, its too good for that channel.
The game today is Iji, and while it is INDIE with 2-D PLATFORMING elements, theres also a bunch of other stuff to the game as well, namely the combat and upgrading system. You kill enemies, they drop NANO-MACHINES, which allow you to level up when you get enough, and when you level up you can upgrade skills like your strength, how much health you have, and attack damage among other things. Theres even a hacking system, or Cracking as its called in game. Multiple weapons, varied enemy types and a number of bosses help flesh out the combat
Take their delicious NANO-MACHINES
The plot of it is that Iji, our protagonists, and here family are at a big fancy research facility when suddenly aliens invade! Plot happens and after some time in a plot induced coma, Iji awakens, learning that she was operated on by researchers while she was out, and  now shes a kick ass cyborg soldier ready to save the day. Oh, but wait, she's still just a kid with no combat training, good job science guys. Thats where the game begins: the planet is getting screwed over hard and Iji might be the only person who can do something about it, have fun with that.
"All we need is like one guy to handle this, right?"
Developed by one guy named Daniel Remar and originally released in September of 2008, Iji has had several updates over time, which included improved art, the latest in 2010. With awesome music and sound work, a story that you can get more of through text logs scattered around the game, and two endings, its clear the Remar poured quite a bit of effort into this game. You like killing aliens, saving the world, or cyborgs then you might like this.
Also there's robo turrets, have fun with that
 You can get Iji here