Care in the Community: Week 2


Hello, and welcome to Care in the Community – Week 2.  I know I said that this was going to be a weekly feature, and it has been approximately 4 days since the first went up, but I have a busy week ahead of me and a day off today so I thought I would get this weeks installment done. The games under the microscope this week are Bricks4Ever, TWP: Spine of the World, Bad Atom Episode One, Solar and Blueprint Racing 4D.
I was very pleased with the response to the first edition, thanks for all the views and I hope you all continue to come back to checkup on my content.
Right lets get this underway.

Bricks4Ever

bricks4everBricks4Ever is a classic Breakout/Arkanoid Clone developed by Running Pixel.  The game features 50 levels, multiple modes (such as a neverending mode, Zen Mode and an intense Bi-Polar Mode) and a local co-op mode.  Graphically it it similar to Geometry Wars in asthetic and it features some neat special effects, the intensity of which can be adjusted to suit the player via the options menu.

There isnt much to explain gameplay-wise.  If you have played Breakout or Arkanoid you will feel instantly at home batting the ball backwards and forwards against the colourful blocks, having previously had a minor addiction to the DS release of Arkanoid I was instantly hooked.

As a fun time-waster I fully recommend this game, and at the low price point of 200 ms points its a great purchase.  The only problem that I have with the game is that it is not an original concept, but when the gameplay is so fun and addictive I think this fact can be ignored.

4/5

TWP: Spine of the World

twp-spine-of-the-worldTWP: Spine of the World is a Castlevania styled, side-scrolling,  rpg developed by TNT Games.  A quick look at the credits for this game will reveal that this game was really a collaberative effort and that alot of time has gone into making the game.  It is a high fantasy world where “A wanderer from the west flees his homeland and arrives in the Dwarven mountains. Seeking knowledge and purpose, he is plunged in the middle of a plot to unravel alliances and awaken evil”.  Your class of character is cleverly choosen through a number of hypothetical scenarios that you decide the outcome to.

The presenation outside of gameplay is very well done, with some good (and some bad) voice work narrating all of the ingame text.  The presentation inside of gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag.  The character and enemy models are detailed and look great whilst not in motion, but this falls appart when in motion due to some poor animation and sound effects.

I really wanted to like this game but I just couldn’t get into it.  It is also priced very highly at 800 pts.  For the same price you can get SOTN on xbox live, and with that in mind I would have a hard time recommending it to someone.  If these sorts of games are your cup of tea, at least check out the demo.  At half the price it might be a little more recommendable.  Despite this, I look forward to see what they do with the second installment due out in the later part of this year.

3/5

Bad Atom: Episode One

bad-atomAs the Xbox Live blurb will tell you, Bad Atom: Episode One is “a 3D Sci-Fi shooter where David Malcolm, a well respected pilot, takes on the responsibility to help create an experimental intergalactic weapon”.   The story is presented well, through a decent voice over (which is a nice touch) and well illusrated storyboards.   The gameplay is a 3d arcade shooter where you around a central point and shoot at on coming enemy.  It features an Ikaruga style bullet system, where there are two colours of enemy target and two colours of bullet with each enemy being vulnerable to the opposite colour.  Graphically the game is quite good looking with some nice particle effects and explosions.   I found a couple of problems with the game, mainly that I was having a hard time distingusing between the two different enemy types (which is a problem where there are only two enemies) and actually landing shots with any accuracy.  These are both fairly big problems for a game of this type, although it could just be my own ineptitude at playing it.

At 200 Points, this game is easy to recommend to people that like this sort of game, but I would make sure and play the demo first.  I am interest to see what happens with Episode 2, hopefully the gameplay with evolve/improve.

3/5

Solar

solarSolar is a very interesting, free-form style, game where you play as the sun, moving around the glaxay/universe choosing either to complete small challenges or just interact and loose yourself in the experience.  I don’t know what else to say about the game, that about sums it up.  The graphics are simplistic but functional, and the gameplay is very simple but strangely compelling.  I can only recommend that you try the demo out and form your own opinions on it as there will like be a large divide between the people people who really don’t like it and some that will loose large amounts of time zooming around the infinate playground.   At 200 points its perfect positioned as an impluse purchase if it does take your fancy.

Just as an extra note, the soundtrack to the game is good, but its much better if you add your own custom soundtrack.  I recommend some Aphex Twin, Lemon Jelly or Portishead (thats just what I had one and it worked quite well).

4/5

BluePrint Racing 4D

blueprint4dI know I had previously said the 5th place in this feature would be reserved for the turkey of the group, but this week out of the 8 or so games I had downloaded to try out, none fit the bill, so I am including this 3d racer.  I must start out with saying that BluePrint Racing 4D is the most technically impressive community game that I have played (exluding Mithra – Episode 1, Chapter 1  but I will talk about that next week).  The game is a 3d arcade style racer where you race your car around one of 3 race tracks.  The games visual style, as stated in its title, is that of a blue print drawing, with all of the surfaces mapped with the blue backgroud and white grid texture.  I am sure this was done to simplify the rendering process but it found that it took away from an otherwise great looking game.  It also lead to some difficulty in finding some corners, as everything looks the same.

At 200 pts, this game is completely recommendable and I feel that it is good value for money, even though there is a limited amount of tracks, there is clearly a level of effort and quality here that isn’t present in the majority of community releases.

4/5

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~ by rusted3572 on April 27, 2009.

4 Responses to “Care in the Community: Week 2”

  1. […] has his second week of Care in the Community and looks at Bricks4Ever,TWP, BAd atom, Solar and Blue Print […]

  2. BluePrint Racing 4D is actually just a reskin of an XNA starter kit. In fact the ONLY thing that has changed is the graphics have been made blue, that’s it.

    Don’t support this game, no effort went into its making, it is just a complete hack.

  3. good collection of games, I will try all of them.

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