Puzzle games and Online games

Archive for May 2010

Playstation Network contains as electric selection of titles considering it’s only been just over six months since console was launched. Certainly the downloads on offer during this time have been more varied than the early days of Xbox Live and obviously more original than the retro catalogue of the Virtual console. But with three new Playstation Eye games available for download, its time for us to sit up pay attention.

A trial of Topoq is a simple puzzle game with gameplay comparable to Archer MacLean’s Mercury, Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball. You roll a ball around various platforms in an effort to reach the goal. There are 30 levels, with a different challenge associated with each, such as avoiding Red Devils, collecting boxes or simply racing to the goal within a time limit. What makes Trials Of Topoq unique is its use of the Playstation Eye. Instead of rolling the ball with the analogue sticks or hitting the screen with the Sixaxis, making any movement on screen will cause the mosaic surfaces of the platforms that the ball moves no to rise and fall according to the speed of your actions.

You will usually be using your hands but you can also use other parts of your body. Needless to say, this can create quite a scene, and your apparent mime impressions and invisible football headers will look more than a little odd to onlookers. The difficulty ramps up by quite a margin after the first few levels as the enemies become mobile and the minimum score threshold is pushed higher, but Trials of Topoq is till very accessible game for all  to play, and a pretty decent way to spend a few pounds and couple of hours of your time.

Condemned: Criminal Origins was a curiously unique piece of work. Simultaneously commercial and entirely niche, it blended abject horror, gritty combat and oppressive atmosphere with forensic science, Greg Grunberg and an unnecessary leap into the supernatural. At its peak, Criminal Origins felt like an interactive Se7en, following the journey of a fragile cop into the twisted mind and sickening accomplishments of a serial killer. However, the studio’s confidence in this excellent premise faded, leaving the draft plunge into surrealism at the game’s climax spoiling an otherwise impressively cogent adventure.

With Bloodshot, it appears Monolith may have abandoned the maturity of the original. Protagonist Ethan Thomas, once styled on portly Heroes Star Gurnberg, has now been remodeled as what can only be described as ‘emo vagrant’, mixing a trendy haircut with blood –eyes and tattered clothes. He’s lost a few pounds too. Thankfully, Thomas pugnacious attitude hasn’t deserted him, ad you’ll be happily clouting destitute weridos with all manner of leap pipes, axes and misshapen pieces of firewood. But where Criminal Origins used its combat as a means of telling its story, Bloodshot is pushing it to the fore. The intense atmosphere will remain and the aggressive and cruelty of the experience will be ever present. Whereas Criminal Origins simply presented its violence, Bloodshot revels in it.

Keen not to lose all senses of purpose, Monolith has completely revamped the forensic investigation. In Criminal Origins, it acted as little more than a semi-scripted segue between all the brutality, but Bloodshot has made everything that more organic. You’ll have to use the correct tools, locate suitable evidence and examine every minute detail in order to solve the crime scene’s morbid mystery. Let’s hope that Monolith finds a suitable balance between combat, horror and investigation so that Condemned 2: Bloodshot can truly progress from its predecessor.