SSTTP: Red Rogue

Illegally-Inclined Far-Leftist, for the politically correct.

Illegally-Inclined Far-Leftist, for the politically correct.

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Isn’t it funny how I keep reviewing stuff that isn’t shown on the right sidebar as being played or to be reviewed?

Yeah…

Everything Bleeds is a Sidescrolling Roguelike Dungeon Crawler by Aaron Steed in which a rogue explores a dungeon with her anorexic boyfriend, naively hoping not to die at some point.

There isn’t much to say, except that it’s fun, flows very well and is moderately addictive. The controls are just right, and the effective menu takes just a bit to get used to. I cannot understand for the life of me, however, why is down for entering doors and up for picking objects that are on the ground. I mean, I can… You usually go DOWN the dungeon, and pick UP objects, but someone must have slept through the whole history of sidescrollers to not remember that “up goes in doors.” I’m sure it has already become a reflex to most of us, and by us I mean me, my brain, and my fingers.

Not sure if Sinatra, Krueger, Jackson or Jones.

Not sure if Sinatra, Krueger, Jackson or Jones.

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I noticed, however, that if you go up the first flight of stairs you come down from, you appear at the overworld, where apparently you can hit some magical wheel of XP and level up silly-nilly. What’s the deal with that? It strikes me as a rather heavy flaw, if you ask me, unless the dungeon’s first level then adapts to your level 99 rogue and blocks the way with some bloated draconic fatass you’ll have to defeat with your magical bare fists of rogueness.

Something I like a lot about Fedora is what I like to call bump-death. Just keep walking against your enemies and the rogue will attack them on contact, just like… she’s on her…

The blood everywhere now makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE.

It seems simple at first, but then some random writing on the walls will provide you with strategic tips, like how falling on top of enemies stuns them for a while. I also noticed that a situation where moving towards the stationary monster is better for you than a mutual convergence, amidst other things.

How I fixed the up and down issue.

How I fixed the up and down issue.

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Screeching Sewers doesn’t exactly have music per se, rather some sinister environmental texture by Nathan Gallardo akin to a mix of microphones being raped in several creative ways. It works wonders for the immersion.

I guess my strongest complaint is that the limited colour palette makes me tire of the game faster than, say, something like Spelunky. Other than that, it’s brilliantly executed, and a real steal for exactly $0.

7/10

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SSTTP: Splice

Now you can insult the church and rape nature at the same time from the comfort of your home. How cool is that?

Dr. Mario VS God is a puzzle game by Cipher Prime in which you have a limited amount of moves to splice cells in order to meet a predetermined pattern.

That’s it, really.

The puzzles get harder and harder, while some new cells appear that react differently to every splicing action. It’s a pretty comfortable puzzler, actually, since you can scroll back and forward in time from the last place you screwed up. With all its sleekness and relaxing environment, you’d think this is a pretty laid back game.

Well, it isn’t.

Cellbots, assemble!

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The logic of the splicing isn’t easy to get, and even when you do, the subsequent combination of results is as easy to predict as the weather on Mars. This splits the gameplay of My Little Mutation into careful thought patterns and I’ll keep wasting dead baby stem cells by screwing up over and over until I randomly get it right.

Dain Saint provides a soundtrack that is both fitting and cliché, reminding me of the more sober kind of genius-at-work montages. Pretty, enveloping, discretely ominous, but still a pain to have to rewind along with the game when you want to go back a move or two. I understand the effect, but if the music is supposed to help concentration by easing one’s mind into the game’s pace and tough challenges, making it WHURRZIP every time you need to undo something gets tiresome quite quickly.

6/10

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SSTTP: Celestial Mechanica

A.K.A. Robots in the Sky

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Why Are Water Temples Always So Confusing is a simple 2D platformer focused on exploration and puzzles by Roger Hicks and Paul Veer. The game’s pixelated style and focus on robots make it a sort of younger hyperactive brother of Cave Story who, upon noticing the achievements of the latter thought it would be easy to follow in the same steps while having Knytt in mind.

You wish.

The game starts with a story being told of how humanity almost perished when Earth decided to flip them the bird and break into pieces because of their insistence on raping the environment. Right before it crumbled completely, an extraterrestrial race of robots called Mechanians suddenly appeared in the sky, miraculously restoring the planet and making it clear that mankind would owe them forever. They established themselves in a flying fortress and have never been seen anywhere else on Earth for a hundred years, despite the fact that you, a curvy yellow robot thrown off the flying city, meet one right as you land, along with several others intent on killing you.

Sense: None.

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Apparently, the king of the Mechanians is angry and you’re supposed to climb back up there to understand why. That’s pretty much it.

There isn’t much to say about I Can Masturbate For Longer Than This, except that its simple visuals are pleasing to the eye, the controls are tight and fast, and the soundtrack, also by Hicks, at times reminded me of Muse‘s older days. It could be a longer game, as it has the potential to explore its visual effects capabilities and mechanics. One of the acquired abilities involves catching the enemy’s projectiles, and I can think of several ways in which such a skill could be improved beyond wait, grab, and throw back. Even Kirby and Megaman thought further than that.

Neo may dodge bullets, but I GRAB them.

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The power-ups feel too easy to acquire since there are so many compressed in such a short amount of time, and the fact that you have infinite lives, along with your respawning in the immediate vicinity a la Zelda only makes the trip faster and less challenging. I’ll keep running, jumping, getting shot and dying until I get through. One thing I would definitely consider an annoying flaw (and yes, I got the 1.20 patch) is the hypersensitivity of spike pits. A microscopic nudge towards the general vicinity of their upper corner and I am suddenly bereft of life.

The reason I am again reviewing a game from last year is that I didn’t even know this existed until very recently. Although short, Knytt Meets Asimov remains a pleasant game, and I wonder how many little gems of the kind could be hidden in the series of tubes that we inhabit.

5/10

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SSTTP: Super Smash Land

I hadn’t done a Small, Short and To The Point in a while.

Ye Olde Greene Screene

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Some stuff just makes me want to go back in time to use it in context. Imagine what it would have been like to play this baby on your cast iron coal-powered brick-sized Gameboy (those of you who weren’t fœti or testicular cells at the time, that is), and some time later linking with friends to bash each other’s heads in during recess.

Those were the… will be the… not… haven’t been… never mind.

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Regardless of its nostalgic awesomeness, this demake (this time I didn’t make that word up) by Dan Fornace has one glaring issue: No USB controller support.

Playing Super Smash Bros. without a controller is like skiing using your hands for poles. In fact, if Mr. Fornace had included controller support, he could have also removed the jumping command from the A button and therefore allow for a greater and less awkward set of moves.

I can live with only 6 characters (2 of which are secret), Kirby being unable to copy powers, even Pikachu’s incredibly annoying 8-bit voice emulation, but the controller flaw is unforgivable.

Luckily, if there’s anything The Binding of Isaac has taught me (other than that fat moms in flower dresses have a tendency to become fundamentalist murderers) is that there is a nifty tool called Joy2Key to compensate for that.

This still does not exculpate the defendant.

SPOILERZ!!

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Other than that, my hat is off to composers Brendan Becker (inversephase) and flashygoodness for their effective and simple 8-bit arrangements.

5/10

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