Gaming Nirvana

16 09 2009

We had a Perfect Storm of game releases yesterday. Review time!

Scribblenauts. I had early access to this (yo ho ho) but I’d preordered the game months ago, and I’m glad I did. If you haven’t heard, the basic idea is you’re given a problem to solve or an obstacle course to traverse, and all you can use… is anything you can think of. Write a word, bam, object appears. There’s an alleged 22k dictionary to pull from (lots of synonyms, but hey) and I have yet to have something I wanted not be in there.

Yes, we’ve all heard of the dodgy controls, and the limited AI which takes insane-but-workable solutions and doesn’t let them work. Whatever. The game is FUN, and that’s all I care about. Screwing around on the sandboxy menu screen is fun. Trying to think of as many items in a category you can during puzzle mode is fun. Trying to find non-obvious tools to use in action mode is fun. It’s not a godly game, but it’s really good, and a wonderful foundation to build on for the inevitable Scribblenauts 2.

I don’t have an anecdote better than the bear-and-bee one at Kotaku. Although I did solve a ‘trick or treat’ level by dropping a nuclear bomb and activating it, making the kids flee in terror — I scooped up the starite and bailed before the inevitable radioactive inferno of death. Yay!

EDIT: MOAR Scribblenauts Testimonials.

Tenacious D in Rock Band. Kicks ass. That’s all that needs to be said. I am glad the difficulty tiers are up there; that’ll satisfy the challengemongers while also giving me a track that’s FUN to play. Too often, challenge and fun do not go together in this game.

City of Heroes Issue 16. We get power customization above and beyond our Distinguished Competition. Hurrah! Most of my characters were colored the other way around — I’d pick a powerset then make the costume match it — but I was able to give my “urban druid” proper concrete based attacks instead of dirty ground based attacks, my adorable witch pink and purple lightning and mind blasts, and Mister Science Guy (sort of an evil Bill Nye, complete with a horribly disfigured Stephanie-from-Lazytown sidekick) has proper blue fire blasts now.

The two best additions, though, are more powersets (electric melee / willpower scrapper, THE FIST OF SCIENCE~!) and Super Sidekicking. What is Super Sidekicking? It means any group of people can play together at any time, anywhere, no matter what their levels are, and all of them earn XP. Period. No more “Oh, we need to have the right combination of mentors and sidekicks” or “Sorry, you can’t go with us into this zone, you’re too low level.” Nope! Anybody. Anywhere. Any combination. Level is irrelevant. GLORIOUS.

Oh, and Team Fortress 2 got some nice boosts to Heavy and Medic I haven’t even had time to play yet. Gonna be a fun week…

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6 responses

16 09 2009
midnightlurker

I knew Cthulhu was in ‘Nauts, but was surprised to discover a Shoggoth (and it’s nasty enough to cause 1 or 2 points of SAN loss, too). Also discovered that Orcs are attracted to Rings to the point that they’ll jump into lava to try and grab one.
You can survive a nuke by building a Bomb Shelter beforehand. :)
…and the rooster hats are being delivered late, darnit. >.<#
Hadn’t heard of the Super Sidekicking thing. Cool, now Lincoln Memorial can actually play in the deep end with the rest of the team…

16 09 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I added a link to the above post: MOAR Scribblenauts Testimonials. There’s a lot of really awesome examples in there of how insane you can get with this game when you free your mind.
For instance, the puzzle where you have to drag a Starite out with a rope, but a box is blocking the way? I did some cockamamie combo of lassos and wings, boring. Someone else roped a hobo to the starite then put a sandwich just out of reach. SO CRUEL. SO AWESOME.
Fightin’ stone Abe Lincoln is awesome as well.

17 09 2009
omahdon

Apparently while God can beat the dickens out of everything else (including the Devil), He is no match for the pointy-teeth vampire and becomes a ghoul. Or perhaps it should be…. Ghoul (capitalised “G”)? It’s oddly hilarious.
I like obeying the letter of the hints at the start of some puzzle stages, if not the spirit. For the stage where you had to get rid of the rats, I just picked them all up and stuffed them in a nearby oven. It counted. Glee!

17 09 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I did a similar dodge on the level where you have to protect a picnic from hungry ants, without killing the ants. I tried building walls or bunkers to block them, but they’re just too fast. So I picked up the food, climbed a ladder, and waited. The ants couldn’t climb and gave up.

17 09 2009
meredy

Heh, you don’t even need the ladder, just pick up the sandwich ;)
And there’s some really funny stuff in the game. Try longcat, tacgnol, LHC, Rickroll, and ceiling cat, just to name a few.

18 09 2009
Anonymous

Originality=win
I watched a friend use the mind-blowing solution of trapping the ants in an ant farm.
Also, try having Longcat fight The Blob and Death.
-NeoVid

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