Tagged: PSN

Done Playing: World Gone Sour (Xbox Live Arcade)

World Gone Sour is another one of those increasingly common games that I buy not for its apparent quality but because of how it revolves around real people I know online. When certified real person Adam Boyes (from co-developer Beefy Media) plays the game alongside equally real Giant Bomb co-founder Jeff Gerstmann, their banter is more than just a PR dude trying to sell a press guy on the game. They’re friends and though they may not call me the same, I feel a friendly connection to the two from years of Giant Bomb podcasts and tweets. It was during this quick look that Boyes mentioned a Giant Bomb logo hidden in the game which further blurs the line between things I like. If that wasn’t weird enough context to come into this review I also just earned enough free Microsoft Points from Bing to cover the cost of the game. Let’s just qualify it as “individual results will vary”.

World Gone Sour is a game about Sour Patch Kids candy but like in the days of Cool Spot and M.C. Kids it doesn’t shove candy or soda or happy meals down your throat. The licensed property is just there to set the scene, in this case a world where candy that doesn’t get eaten goes crazy and builds contraptions and obstacles out of everyday junk. You’re a saintly sour patch candy whose quest to rescue his friends has suppressed the madness. What that sets up is a Pikmin-lite system where you find other Sour Patch Kids and hurl them at switches, precariously placed pick-ups, or absorb them to grow bigger and enable new powers.

Those powers include growing and shrinking in size, doing a ground pound move and using your buddies like a bowling ball to take out enemies and explore the side-scrolling levels. It’s nothing cerebral like Fez or daunting like Super Meat Boy and paired with the mellow music and narration of Creed Bratton the whole game feels largely subdued. I’d even call it a nice change of pace from other platformers of late that feel like they’re out to prove something. World Gone Sour is also subdued (in a bad way here) in its visuals with textures that almost look out of a PlayStation 2 game. I like the Toy Story scale of things and the depth of field effects but I didn’t expect to be squinting at blurry objects to make out the gag labels in a modern game. That Giant Bomb logo looks crisp though, oh, and so do the Sour Patch Kids themselves. You can practically taste the crystals of high fructose corn syrup that cover them.

World Gone Sour is aware of what it is — a platformer based on a licensed piece of candy — and it tries to make it special. The narration is clever in spots and the Method Man video takes itself perfectly seriously but it doesn’t go far enough to be really memorable. If you don’t also have a strange meta connection to those involved with its production I can only call it a palette cleanser that isn’t as sour as you’d expect from a pun that bad. It’s cheap, lasts for a couple of days, has local co-op play and you’ll likely get all of the Achievements without much extra work. I hate to call it a throwaway diversion between bigger games but given the sugary nature of the source material that may be the most fitting way to put it.

U-WARS is now Deep Black, Episodic on Xbox?

Back in 2009 when I was writing for a site that has since deleted or hidden all my posts (not mad, really) I wrote up a game then known as Underwater Wars or U-WARS. It had already been in development at Russian studio Biart for a while and I was enticed by its cover based shooter gameplay set largely underwater. Thruster powered diving suits, harpoon guns, and hostile submersibles were all promised. Long (dev) story short, the game took a while to find a global publisher for consoles.

Ok, now for another long story. At least on Xbox Live Arcade the game is tagged as Deep Black: Episode 1 and priced at 800 Microsoft Points for release on April 25th. The full game, a German-exclusive PC release from last May included 40 missions and 8+ hours of gamplay so there’s no telling just yet what your 800 Points will get you. More confusingly, the game is also coming to PlayStation Network without the ‘Episode 1’ designation on the box art. Will it cost more? Contain the full PC experience? Is there multiplayer in any version?

It looks like I’ll have to wait until the day of release to finally put this U-WARS story to bed. Once that’s sorted out we can move on to whatever the hell Deep Black Online and Deep Black: Reloaded are.

 

Vessel fills me with fluid dynamics, love

Fluid dynamics… You guys!! Fluid! Dynamics! Yes, it’s another side-scrolling, puzzle/platformer with a physics hook and I can’t help myself. Here’s the latest look at Strange Loop Games’ Vessel which is coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network “late 2011” for the asking price of $15. That’s always a tough price point for me.

Goozex throws lonely PlayStation 3 gamers a freebie

While the PlayStation Network fiasco has been a huge bummer for everyone involved (and that’s a lot of us), a few businessfolk in the gaming industry are making the best of it. First developer redspotgames drums up some awareness and interest by asking gamers if they should even bother bringing Rush Rush Rally Racing to the beleaguered platform when it returns. Then Capcom plays the sympathy card by going off on the hackers who are costing them “millions of dollars in revenue” . Now it’s Goozex‘s turn; the online game trading site is giving PlayStation 3 owners who have swapped at least one PS3 title or Blu-Ray movie a free trading token for their troubles.

“The downturn of the Sony PlayStation Network has been a frustrating experience for many of our members and we wanted to put a little positivity back into the whole situation,” said Mark Nebesky, Goozex CMO. Mark continued, “what we hope to do is let our members that can’t play Mortal Kombat online pick up some other items to play and watch while the PSN issues resolve themselves. We still believe the PS3 is an amazing gaming console and the best Blu-ray player out there.”

Generating some goodwill and awareness while at the same time covering their asses with that last line. It’s beautiful and if this PSN outage lasts much longer you might well be able to score a free PlayStation 3 from someone out there.

Dev asks gamers if it should cancel PSN version of its game

Be it a cleverly timed marketing ploy or a shrewd business decision, redspotgames has put the PlayStation Minis version of their currently-cross-platform retro racer, Rush Rush Rally Racing, on the chopping block. The deciding factor in its fate? You!

With PlayStation Network still on the outs and the game’s more completed WiiWare incarnation ready for a Summer release, redspotgames is asking gamers what to do by way of an online survey. Canceled or completed, it’s not all doom and gloom, though. As with any good online survey, participants have the chance to win redspotgames keychains and one of three copies of Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles… for Sega Dreamcast. Did I mention that Rush Rush Rally Racing was one of the last Dreamcast releases? That probably helps explain those prizes a little.

Have a look at the game at the official site and let the devs at redspotgames know what you think in their survey. Fair warning though, that link was dead at the time of this writing. Not sure if that’s a good or bad sign.