VVVVVV

Bump for the gaming category.

I started going through my Steam backlog a couple of weeks back since I had grown tired of Dungeon Defenders. It was starting to feel like an MMO in terms of commitment needed to progress and it was not something I wanted to deal with. I stopped WoW for a reason and didn’t start on TOR for the same. So yes, skipping Guild Wars 2 too BECAUSE BUCK YEAH DIABLO III.

== UNRELATED ==

D3 releases 15 May… school term starts then. Ffffuuu– Also, going by the cinematic intro, which I enjoy watching again from time to time, I hope Deckard Cain survives. I don’t care dammit, he’s the last of the Horadrim and has been with us since 1996. Also is Leah a seer? I vaguely remember something about her being born in that cursed cathedral in Tristram and Cain adopted her. Don’t want to Google it because spoilers. Can’t wait! And that Collector’s Edition! The artbook alone makes it more than worth it; the soundtrack, behind-the-scenes and frickin’ Soulstone just makes the deal all that much, much more sweeter. I’ve got far more important things to do with my money once I get a salary though, sadly.

For those of you who have never played Diablo, this retrospective video may prove useful. Speaking of the word “Uncle“. Also, Borderlands 2.

Right, all this drivel aside, on to the real content!

=====

Going through my Humble Indie Bundle backlog, I had the pleasure of discovering what great joy VVVVVV is. It’s a 2D puzzle-platform game designed by Terry Cavanagh, a name I honestly had not heard of before. Steam describes him as a “creator of dozens of free games”.

A retro indie puzzle game? How many do we have already?

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with these sort of titles thus far, so I wasn’t too excited by the prospect of trying another. The screenshots weren’t very encouraging either, but I never let graphical fidelity stop me from enjoying a game.

At the end of it all, I can safely say that I’ve never had so much fun dying in a game from challenges before.

Yes those are my stats from my playthrough, judge me as you please.

The driving force behind the game is that you, as captain of a star-faring vessel (for science!), have to find and rescue your shipmates scattered across the different dimension you find yourselves in after an emergency teleport goes awry.

You’re left to explore this vast plot of space in your search, where the powers of gravity affect you depending on your upright orientation, hence the flip counter. It’s an idea that’s been done to death but mixed with the differently themed puzzles for each crew member you rescue, it makes for some great adventure.

Then there’s the difficulty. This isn’t one of your extremely difficult, love-hate rogue-like affairs but it is generally a harder game than mainstream titles. Or are games just getting easier nowadays? Regardless of which, I found the balance between moments of bliss and hair-pulling frustration just nice. It may be due to the fact that there are checkpoints almost everywhere. Some people may scoff at such a thought but I don’t see the fun in having to navigate past an area you’ve already been to over and over again just to get to the point where you died. You may argue it has to do with rewarding the player, so on and so forth but not the point here.

I feel the need to mention that I did not enjoy Super Meat Boy. I can see the appeal but clearly I’m not masochist enough to finish the game, let alone a stage/world, or what the term for a bunch of levels are.

I’m game enough for VVVVVV, however. So much so that I needed to go back and find the rest of the trinkets. After all, I had only found eleven out of the twenty.

That was faster than expected.

Maybe because I had already spent a majority of my time and deaths — 195 as the game proudly declared — on collecting one of the harder trinkets.

It was great fun and the name of the rooms were hilarious as I found myself progressing (and dying) through them.

Doing Things The Hard Way
Veni
Vidi
Vici!
Easy Mode Unlocked
Your Bitter Tears… Delicious
Getting There Is Half The Fun

And as you find out in that last room, you gotta make your way back down.

You can change the music but I was going with the one playing in this video. It’s more a matter of musle memory and reflexes than anything but that rush when you finally achieve it makes it all worthwhile. In fact, after completing that my body and typing felt incredibly slow, as if my brain was operating at a pace faster than the body can keep up with, haha.

Like many others, I diligently made my way back to this portion of the level just to clear the thing for the fun of it.

The second hardest/memorable trinket would be the one where you had to avoid the checkpoints in order to get that shiny ball of goodness.

I swear I hated the moving floors (not the platforms) more than anything else. God-Emperor knows how many times I was thrusted into that checkpoint and had to make my way back to start over again.

But oh, such fun.

I’m happy I collected all the trinkets too because it unlocks a secret space station/ship that touches more on the story. How neat!

There’s a bunch of achievements, challenges (not a single death entire playthrough, anyone?) and even a flipped-mode but I decided to move on to the next game. I have so many titles and quite of number of them being hours-gobbling RPGs. Take for example the one I’m playing now, Mount & Blade: Warband, which I’ll touch on in my next gaming post. I haven’t even started on Skyrim since buying it on launch day!

If you like a good challenge and are into platformers, then you absolutely must play VVVVVV. As Kieron Gillen of my favourite gaming news site, RPS, puts it:

“I completed the level and was reduced to disturbingly orgasmic cries. I haven’t felt as good with a videogame, in that direct physical way, for quite a while.”

And if you’re wondering just what is up with that weird title:

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