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Old 10-22-2005, 05:18 AM   #1
Seska
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Seska's Impressions of games you probably never knew about

Well, everyone and their dog seems to be reviewing games these days, so Im going to do something similar, but my focus is going to remain on "indie" or relatively unknown, low-budget games you probably have never heard about.

Since such a thing is almost an impossibility to accomplish on the Console front, most games in this thread will be for the PC, the last bastion for independant game development where 5-man programmer teams can still make it large without the pressure of multinational publishers like EA.

Anyway, /rant. This post will also serve as an index of sorts, so it ends here. :p If you have a PC, I hope you find this informative, and maybe you'll discover that oldschool gaming still lives on this platform.
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Old 10-22-2005, 05:37 AM   #2
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Ballance (2004)



Marble Madness is BACK! And better than ever!

Ballance, developed by a German team called Cyparade, features the same premise as MArble MAdness, though it also adds quite a few twists and features that make revisiting this classic quite an enjoyable experience.

Your main goal is to navigate your ball through a series of catwalks, platforms and bridges in a generally linear pathway that will ultimately lead you to the final goal. The challenge rests in managing to do this without falling off the ledges and plummeting to your death, as inertia and gravity play major factors to consider in this game. As if limited lives weren't enough, you also have a time that slowly ticks down - if it reaches zero, the game is over, though fortunately thre are extra time points distributed through each level.



Accross your path you will encounter a variety of puzzles that usually are in the form of physics - you might need to push a stone ball out of your path to get accross a bridge, but your ball is made of wood - off you go to search a ball transformer! Your ball can generally be either made of paper, wood or stone, and naturally the lighter it is, the faster and easier it is to maneuver, but likewise the harder it is to push heavier objects around or out of your way.

Ball transformers lie around, but each transformer changes your ball only to a sepcific material, and sometimes can even be considered a trap. If you are rolling around as a wooden ball up a steep incline, and fall into a stone transformer, the heavy weight of stone wil make gravity pull you down that incline and make it impossible to climb.



When I first.. *cough* obtained this game, I was expecting to control the ball with the mouse, as I thought that would be the most intuitive control method. I was wrong, control is pretty generic with arrows nudging your ball in your desired direction. The camera control is also limited to 90 degree rotations, or an overview which is triggered with the space bar. Still, its fast to get used to and I can see the choice of arrow-control over mouse-control - it would get tiring after a while to keep pushing your mouse jsut to make the damn ball roll, and as it is this control scheme works quite well.



Basically, if you ever enjoyed the likes of Marble Madness, there is a lot to like in Ballance. The physics engine is accurate and put to great use in this game, and its a thrill to race down narrow walkways while dangerously teetering off the ledges. I personally enjoyed this blast from the past, and it aint too ugly-lookin' either!

For a demo of the game, check out http://www.gamershell.com/download_5937.shtml
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Old 10-22-2005, 05:54 AM   #3
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Review Super Mario Bros. 3 next!
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Old 10-22-2005, 05:58 AM   #4
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Maybe I will, if I can find a flash game where you mutilate and kill Mario in the most horrible way possible. :O
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Old 10-22-2005, 02:34 PM   #5
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I could make some in photoshop!
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Old 10-22-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
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Balance ain't that bad. The only thing that bugged me was the frame skipping due to my crappy computer.
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Old 10-22-2005, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seska
Maybe I will, if I can find a flash game where you mutilate and kill Mario in the most horrible way possible. :O
ROFL. They're all over http://www.newgrounds.com ! Get going, now! hehe.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:50 AM   #8
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Not funny.
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Old 10-23-2005, 10:48 AM   #9
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Not funny.


pics turnup up dont make me drop you
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