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Trials HD - One would think, that a game based on riding a motorbike would be about racing, but this is more a reflex testing obstacle course, set against a clock. And Trials isn't just a clever name about time trials. Sometimes you'll find you've sat there for a good couple of hours, trying to shave seconds off of your personal best, trying to angle your landings perfectly, whilst chanting the mantra, "Just once more! One more go!" when you fail.
Your main motivations in this game come from medals, and also the online leaderboard. Most people have that one friend who canes through a game and has a ridiculously high score. Well let that be your motivation to putting them to shame.
The tracks are great quality, and gradually get harder as you progress through the levels. Further tracks are available to download when you're sick of staring at the same courses.
Some have said this game is ruthless, and it is, but it's not unnecessarily so. You just need to be good enough to be able to progress to the next level of difficulty, and it all helps you to better yourself.
This is a great game to have in a triple pack of games, for the challenge, and for 'taking a break'.
Limbo - Limbo is one of the best games I've ever played, hands down. It's a very dark platform puzzle adventure, about a small boy who is searching for his sister. The world around you is grey scale, misty and ethereal. Background components may turn out to be foreground decoration and vice versa, so the game requires you to not only work out the puzzles but to also pay attention to your surroundings. Doing so may be the difference between life and death.
There is very little in game music, or even background noise. I don't feel this is a bad point since the game is so immersive, and I think this is probably done on purpose to give the player a sense of complete and total loneliness. When there is music, it's usually to enhance a dramatic or terrifying scene.
There is also very little in the world itself. Set in abandoned towns, factories and forests, there are very few signs of life. That's not to say there aren't enemies, because there are, and they will attack you. It's up to you to figure out how you protect yourself from their attacks. The further you progress towards the end of the game, the fewer signs of life you come across.
Controls are limited to basic movements, running left or right, jumping up or down, and climbing. You have to utilize these controls to navigate through this world of shades. It might seem too limiting, but the puzzles are set out that the most you have to do is just time things right or work out the puzzles.
The game is reasonably short, around 5 hours, but this doesn't make it any less enjoyable, and you don't even feel like you 'need' more. The end of the game isn't rewarding as such, as it will probably make you consider what the hell just happened, but the journey it took to get there is rewarding enough.
An absolute joy to play, I might just play this again soon.
'Splosion Man - Splosion Man is one of those games, I think that is a bit 'marmite'. You like it or you don't. Personally I find the game frustrating. I'll get to why.
This platformer is set in a laboritory, where Splosion Man is the result of scientific experimentation. And as you might guess from the name, Splosion Man splodes. I mean, explodes. Ahem.
As a 2D side scroller, your main aim is to get from one side of the lab to the other, taking out as many scientists as you can in the process. You can do this by exploding on them, near them, above them. What would be a jump is one explosion, and you can jump/explode in quick succession three times before burning out and needing to land to ignite again.
The controls are simple, and the game play is easy and clear. Basically, if you keep dying, it's your fault, since the game works fine. You just need to keep getting better. (This is why I find it frustrating, I'm not that good at platformers). There are check points throughout the levels, so you won't die a few feet from the safe room and have to start right back at the start of the level.
The levels again, get progressively harder, and after a certain number of deaths, you're given the option to 'skip' the level and advance to the next.
There are also collectables to find, so once you're sure of the game, and you've completed it as fast as you can (because speed is also a factor in this game, which ensures also that you will die a few more times), you can go back and find these collectables.
And when you're done with that, then welcome to online multiplayer, with new co-op levels!
The music is fun and crazy, and sets the soundtrack to a fast paced, mental game perfectly.
Splosion Man himself isn't without personality either. He seems to suffer from some kind of tic where he can't help but shout out strange things from time to time.
Having said all that, this game is stupidly fun, and something you will likely play for hours. You might suffer from rage quit a few times, but you'll be back.