I’d read about One Big Game in EDGE this month, and it was a great idea - kind of a developer-led version of Child’s Play with a more significant UK presence, and where funds are donated from game sales themselves rather than only from related activities. So, I was keen to see what their first game Chime was like, produced by Brighton-based Zoë Mode. At first glance it appears to be a hybrid of Tetris and Lumines, and undoubtedly shares a lot of visual and gameplay styles from those games, but actually it brings plenty to the table on its own too.
Watching the ebbs and flows of the game industry is simultaneously inspiring and outright depressing. As is usual for this stage in a console generation, we’re at the ‘consolidation point’ (pun unintentional) - where the tech is pretty well understood, even if it is starting to look a bit dated compared to even a modest PC (how much hassle AA is on this console generation is a case in point), but that at least developers can crank out content in a more efficient fashion.
I haven’t been a fan of tower defense games very much, I’ve found them a bit dull and repetitive sometimes, and there’s far too many of them. But Defense Grid has very much hooked me in and is proving to be a lot of fun, and at 800 MS points (or about 7 or your Earth pounds) it’s an absolute bargain. I think one reason I like it is that there’s no tower damage.
You know how you realise one day that you’re not part of the ‘young generation’ anymore? If you don’t know this, you’re either still in your 20s, or you’re kidding yourself; akin to 45 year olds thinking they can still legitimately be part of the clubbing scene. Well, it manifests itself in a number of ways, some positive - you’re in theory more financially & emotionally stable, and you generally give a lot less of a toss what people think anymore - and some negative - suddenly you can no longer treat your body like dirt and expect it to gleefully rebound.
Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.
For some reason I was suddenly curious as to how much money I’d spent since last December on digital content for the 360, such as XBox Live Arcade titles and more recently Rock Band DLC. Of course you buy things in Microsoft Points on the 360, which like Wii Points and Disney Dollars are designed precisely to disguise how much money you’re actually spending. The PSN has my respect in this regard for taking the brave step of actually pricing things in units of real money.