I really like Escape Goat 2 and I think you might too. When it’s not pissing me off, anyway, which it did do frequently. Still, it’s a snack-like game and even when it’s frustrating, it’s so friendly and colorful that it’s hard to hold a grudge.
Before I talk about Lifeless Planet, I’d like to share a funny story. I was talking with a coworker the other day and for some reason the conversation turned to space, and the distances involved when discussing it. Now, before I go on, you need to understand that I work with some people who are… rather… narrow… in their thought processes. Which is why, at this point, my colleague said:
“Well, they don’t know for sure that space is that big. I mean, they can’t say the distance to the next star without actually measuring it.”
I stared at him.
People think it’s an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It’s never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I’m doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn’t that day. And tomorrow won’t be either.
Batman: Identity Crisis
by Brad Meltzer, 2004
That quote, more than anything, sums up the character that will form the centrepiece of this article; one who has transcended printed page, cinema and television screen, and now onto gaming consoles and PCs.
Can you believe that just one week ago, we couldn’t catch Pokemon on Google Maps? And we didn’t know how badly we need a Blizzard tournament fighter? It was a world without Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A world where former Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig wasn’t yet attached to the next big Star Wars game. A world in which five-year-olds were widely believed (unjustly) to be unable to crack the security on an Xbox One. It was truly a time of darkness and ignorance.
Good thing we had these games to keep us warm at night.
Hey, we managed to get a regular feature two weeks in a row! That’s a new record.
With the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook, I know that all of us – every reader, every staff member here at Tap, and really everyone – cannot wait to get our FarmVille fix through a headset. That’s all I’ve been thinking about this week! Being able to see my computer just really takes me out of the social game experience.
That said, Rome wasn’t built in a day (it took at least eight turns, I expect), so we have to find something to occupy ourselves until we can bug our friends incessantly from right in front of their faces. Here’s just a few things that the Tap staff have been using to pass the time.
Enemy Mind is a game being developed at Schell Games in Pittsburgh, PA. Schell occasionally does an internal game jam, and allows employees to work on their own independent game projects for a week. Enemy Mind was the brainchild of engineer Mike Traficante, and after a debut at the jam, was selected by the studio to receive further development. It was Greenlit on Steam and is already available through Early Access.
“So do you guys have, um, any screenshots of this stuff?” I asked, in what was clearly the most professional possible way after getting a demo of EVE: Valkyrie from the Oculus Rift team at GDC.
It’s a little known fact that, behind the scenes at Tap, everyone is required to report every game they so much as look at. This is important so that we know who to ostracize for their gaming tastes in the secret staff forum. In this, the first installment of On Tap, our newest regular feature, we share some of our current gaming adventures: ones that don’t rate an article of their own – good, bad, or ugly – or ones still percolating in our tiny minds. This is important so that we know who to ostracize for not contributing to On Tap any given week.
Just…just assume everyone else’s contribution this time would have been Dark Souls 2. That’s probably where they are right now, in Drangleic. Except maybe Steerpike, who might be driving to Oklahoma as we speak with an axe and a shovel and fire in his eyes. But mostly Dark Souls 2.
Today, Dix and Steerpike take the tap.
The approach to meet with Jane Jensen kind of seemed like a scene from one of her games. I had an email, a time, and a location: an unnamed building off the main conference site identified only by a number. When I arrived, I had a secret code to enter into the door. Behind the door was one shiny elevator, and a series of mailboxes. One was marked with a mysterious note. I was worried that there was going to be a puzzle here to solve. But then to my relief I was buzzed up, and invited into the Phoenix Online Suite.
Then I checked out some of the games. Read on…
Dear Murderous Cockweasel,
Congratulations! You are an asshole.
You must be enjoying Dark Souls 2, with its exciting new fiction and hearty, vivacious PvP multiplayer. You must be! The exuberance with which you killed me as I stood idle at the Heide’s Tower bonfire proves this. As it proves your worth as a person – yes, you, carrying your ridiculous, giant-ass oh-so-obviously-compensating-for-your-pencil-junk Final Fantasy sword. Because it takes a true player (dare I say, playa) to kill someone WHO ISN’T THERE.
Hi Tap! I’m out at GDC 2014 this week, reporting from the expo and talking to the people who make the games. I hope to post some previews and news throughout the conference! This first writeup is just a trip report with some highlights from my first two/three days.
I thought Arkham Origins was good, even if it fell short of its predecessors. Tough acts to follow. In true internet form, of course, the narrative quickly became that Origins was hugely disappointing. Things are either a huge success or a monstrous failure these days, I suppose.
Of course, many – myself included – point at the decision to take Rocksteady off the series and instead develop Origins in-house at Warner Bros. Games Montreal. This seemed like the usual corporate tomfoolery that, at a certain point, we’ve all come to expect when a big publisher has a killer franchise on their hands, abandoning the studio that had forged a path and counting on name recognition to continue to move copies. This – coupled with the fact that Origins was a prequel – felt particularly egregious, considering the conclusion of Arkham City.
Rocksteady was mum for a while on what they were doing instead of a third Arkham game. It turns out that what they were doing was the fourth Arkham game.
Much has been said about Double Fine’s Broken Age. Maybe because it’s Tim Schafer’s first point-and-click adventure game since 1998’s Grim Fandango. Maybe because it’s a huge Kickstarter success story, earning well over $3 million by the end – one million of that in the first day – after only asking for $400,000. Maybe because of the near-catastrophic announcement last year that development on Broken Age was behind schedule and over budget, enough that hitting their original release goal would require cutting 75% of the game.
I’ve been really busy lately, so I’m going to step up to the plate and bunt.
If you like South Park, the TV show, you’ll like South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you don’t like South Park, the TV show, you won’t like South Park: The Stick of Truth.