Rayman: Origins

 Reflex Platformers, Short Take  Comments Off on Rayman: Origins
Jan 302012

Status: Normal ending completed. “True” ending a distant possibility. Most intriguing idea: Selling a 2D platformer as a packaged HD release. Best design decision: Fusing fiendish challenge with forgiving collection mechanics. Worst design decision: The reliance on perfect timing undermines the attractiveness of the skins. Summary: Rayman: Origins may be the most charming, delightful game that will ever make you want to break your controller. As with Kirby’s Epic Yarn, though, most of the aggravation is optional, at least until the end of the game. Getting through a level and grabbing most of its electoons usually doesn’t place a high [Read more…]

Two (too?) easy games

 Game Arts  Comments Off on Two (too?) easy games
Mar 312011
Two (too?) easy games

The most difficult part of reviewing a game is reviewing the difficulty. A few games — Super Meat Boy, I Wanna be the Guy — can uncontroversially be called hard, but the essential question is actually whether they are too hard. Since that level of difficulty depends not only on the individual player’s skills and experience, but also on his values, it can be difficult to state what goes over the line. It is even harder to accurately say whether a game is too easy, primarily because most reviewers are skilled and experienced gamers, many of them drawn to the [Read more…]

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

 Short Take  Comments Off on Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Feb 092011

Status: Game completed; some extra levels still locked Put this on your box: The hardest easiest platformer ever made! Most intriguing idea: That a platformer can be challenging without forcing you to restart a level every time you fail. Best design decision: Getting rid of “death”. Worst design decision: The method for getting the extra levels in Grass Land. Summary: Kirby’s Epic Yarn is incredibly easy. Also, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is pretty freaking hard. Both of these statements are true, and the one that’s more true depends on what you want out of the game. Let’s use the terms from [Read more…]