@Guillaume Those are pretty cool deals, but I'm planning on waiting for the retail disc that has Limbo, Trials HD, and 'Splosion Man sometime later this year. I did get games half-off earlier this week though, with the regular week-long sale. I got Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, and Perfect Dark all for $5 each
Haha, my office is on top of a Mickey D's. When I'm not feeling particularly charitable towards my body, I grab a Double Cheese and a Small Fry for 2 bones. Pretty hard to beat. And it's good!
@X-pert74 I don't know if you care, but those retail versions don't allow you to install to the hard drive. Kind of inconvenient. And the occasional sale prices are usually much lower than the retail packages. 'Splosion Man was $2 last year! That's the price of a McDonald's lunch!
I played the demos for Fancypants Adventures and Swarm. I found both kind of annoying.
Swarm was just bland, overall, some sort of 2.5D sidescroller where you control 50 guys at a time. Meh. Hothead Studios still suck, with or without Ron Gilbert.
And Fancypants Adventures I would have expected to like more than I did. An acrobatic platformer where you wall-jump your way through the level. Cool, right? But unlike something like N+ or Super Meat Boy, we're not talking about short, intense levels here, but long, drawn out ones that have you collect crap. I'm so over that. And the internet jokes are annoying. "That little girl pwned our captain, how embarassing!". Ugh.
Anyone check out Outland (XBLA/PSN - $10) this week?
It's an action platformer who's main mechanic is the Ikaruga light/dark shift. The controls are tight like N+. The visuals are reminiscent of a SotC/Braid hybrid. The soundtrack is pretty phenom too (special props the the ambient nature sounds).
It all comes off as an incredibly polished experience from the design vision to the final execution.
IGN and GameSpot 9.0'ed it.
"Exciting gameplay packed with clever mechanics and framed by a compelling artistic vision make Outland a superb experience."
Incredible controls with a wealth of useful abilities - Challenging and exciting boss fights - Tightly crafted levels with a smooth difficulty curve - Brilliant cooperative challenges - Gorgeous visuals and a stirring soundtrack. "
I only played for about an hour, but the red and blue bullets right now only serve as life-draining barriers. You have to be the same color as the bullets to absorb them without damage, or use the color-coded elevators. It makes for some really dynamic puzzle/platforming. Conversely, you have to be the opposite color of enemies to inflict damage, but they can harm you either way with their melee attacks (not color-bullet attacks).
There's been a nice ramping up of gameplay features, where it feels like it's always introducing something new, so I'm unsure how much further the light/dark mechanic will be explored on a direct gameplay level.
Oh cool, Outland is that game made by House Marquee, same people behind Super Stardust HD. It was definitely on my list of games I wanted to buy at some point. It's unfortunate that they weren't able to have a release on PSN due to the downtime though. I'm sure plenty of Sony fans had an eye out for this one.
@X-pert74 Yeah, the controls were pretty pretty rough. But the core concept was cool.
I played another cool platformer on XBLI recently. Inertia, maybe? Basically, you could disable gravity at any time. So if you jumped straight up and hit the button, you would just drift up forever. And bounce off of walls, and stuff. Very interesting. The mechanics were so empowering that they kind of allowed you to circumvent the level design, but it was still cool.
As far as installing XBLA games on disc, it is pretty much as janky as jank can be. MS even released a pack-in disc with a game controller where one of the games wasn't even functional, because of the funky implementation.
Outland is fucking awesome. Was pretty hesitant to even try the trial, because it looked like some cross-breed between Tron and the recently popular silhouette artsy games, but it's so much cooler. I do wish it didn't have the hand-holding orb/trail of light but whatever. Other than that, it's been a great $10 purchase. And the achievements aren't "Beat this boss get points", some look pretty challenging.
I also bought ilomilo. I couldn't resist the game any longer. Adorable little game and I see that they have an "expansion" to it that adds even more cutesy puzzle levels!