25 September 2010

Current XBLA Obsession: LIMBO by Playdead Studios

When I said I'd be right back, I didn't mean right away. =)
So here I am and let me start things off by telling you about my current obsession while I wait for the new A World for Keflings, Fable 3 and oh, yes, the KINECT (yes, I went to GameStop and reserved my VERY FIRST GAMING SYSTEM...actually, it's more of an add-on considering our current Xbox is still in working condition). This new obsession has a simple name and a simple premise; it's called LIMBO. The objective: to find out what happened to your sister (and to make it out alive).

...more after the jump

LIMBO is a side-scroller puzzle platform game made by a Danish indy game company called Playdead Studios. The game was released over the summer and I remember dismissing it, but then tsudoku and I decided to give it a whirl (yay for free demos). Here are my pros and cons:
  • It's really pretty!! Albeit it's a two-dimensional world, at least it's a two-dimensional, black & white, film noir world
  • There is no distracting soundtrack; in fact, the "soundtrack" consists of environmental noise: the occassional bird chirp, active eletrical currents, and the squishy sound of a spear passing through your character's little body
  • This is one of the few puzzle games I've played that has a terrific physics engine. At a few points in the game your character will be running upside-down along the "ceiling" that also serves as the forest floor, and climbing "down" an upward-facing ladder. Very impressive
  • I can die as often as I'd like and not get docked for it. This is very important for me as I generally suck at games and dying is a frequent occurrence. Not seeing the "Game Over" screen and having to start at the very beginning makes the game play not as intimidating
  • Did I mention the black & white atmosphere? This will definitely work against you as it's easy to dismiss obstacles that may lead to certain death, such as hidden bear traps, spider legs, and machine guns
  • There is a real lack of narrative and if you read a few other reviews for this game, this is a common theme. Some ask "what's the point of this game?" and I have to agree--to a certain extent. I can't completely comment on this just yet as I'm only 25% of the way through the game
  • When I said I can die as often as I liked, it didn't mean I liked dying that often. But I suppose that's part of the challenge; after all, the objective is to just make it out alive
I cheated and read what's supposed to happen at the end and some reviewers found that the ending was disappointing and hated the fact that it was "open to intepretation." Even though I haven't gotten there yet, I think I can safely say that not everything has to have a Hollywood-style happy ending; as long as you make it, then you've succeeded in beating the game.

We bought the game for 1000 MS Points (there was a special). The game is normally 1200 MS Points.

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