Still Alive!!

Credit to for this piece.
There's been an understandable amount of excitement regarding the pseudo-sequel to 2007's "Game of the Year", Portal, following the E3 '08 unveiling of Portal: Still Alive. However, little was announced about the title by its digital anti-heroine at the Microsoft Press Conference -- luckily, Valve's Doug Lombardi spilled the beans about the game's new features, and its relationship to the first groundbreaking title, in a few interviews during last week's shenanigans.

In one such interview with GameSetWatch, Lombardi explained that Still Alive is a standalone version of the original Portal. The additional maps and challenges that were revealed on Gamerscore BlogPortal: The Flash Game map pack, a 3D rendition of the award-winning web game based on the original pastry-rich puzzler. This map pack, lovingly crafted by We Create Stuff (the minds behind the Flash game), is available (and free) to download for PC portal-hoppers now.
Where are you?

Unfortunately, neither GlaDOS, nor any other "story elements", will be included in the extra content. As excited as we are for this expansion, the prospect of zipping around an abandoned research facility without the accompaniment of an unsettling, sing-song voice just doesn't seem right.
Portal: The Flash Game map pack
Portal: The Flash Game.

Beautiful Flower

Credit to for this peice.
Jenova Chen's next PSN game's title as Flower is a surprisingly ambitious title. There are a number of similarities between flOw and Flower: both use SIXAXIS tilt-controls, both are technically "single button games," and both fuse music and intuitive gameplay to evoke emotions rarely found in any other game. But, Flower does much more than we could have expected.

You control a flower pedal, and you must tilt the PS3 controller to guide it to other flowers. It's a simple premise that's instantly accessible, but figuring out what must be done in each level requires exploration and experimentation. Each playthrough is meant to be a "performance," and players will want to tilt their controllers and create music through the various flowers in these fields. Each flower creates its own unique sound, depending on the background music, the speed of the wind and the player's timing. The mix of lush visuals and synesthetic gameplay is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Aarrhhhhh lovely!

Without a doubt, Flower is one of the most visually arresting games I have ever laid my eyes upon. The idyllic environments are rendered with such lush colors that it looks beyond real. Unlike in other games, the grass is not the background -- it is the canvas to the dance of the flowers in your control. Each blade of grass is rendered by the PS3, and thousands of blades swaying realistically in the wind is absolutely a technological accomplishment. There are various triggers in each level, which cause an explosion of flowers and color to fill the screen. Seeing the soft bloom of each flower in the mesmerizing movement of the grass lifts me up to a zen-like experience that surpasses anything flOw could have offered.

The Last Guy on PSN

The Last Guy due on the PSN at the end of the month (in Japan) will utilise Google Maps whose services you use to lead the survivors of a zombie apocalypse to designated "safe zones". The whole thing looks nice and simple (which it will be, since it's going for under $5), but whatever, if that music makes it into the final game, this moves up a spot on our shiny white purchase board from "will buy" to "must buy".


Indie Games of Note For 2008

GDC 2008
The Game Developers Conference is currently the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers. The event comprises an expo, networking events, awards. This years conference took place at the , on February 18th to the 22nd.

A very quick round up:

Games Developer Conference in 2008 was all about the Indie developers. The growing phenomenon of the small, yet thoroughly viable developer.

Note worthy games on show - Audiosurf, Dishwasher, Fez, JellyCar, LostWinds, and Ookibloks all make appearances for the indie while the big players represent with Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Gears of War 2, Ninja Gaiden 2, Recoil: Retrograd, and Street Fighter IV. Not forgetting Will Wright and his sumptuous looking Spore.

Among the indie stand-outs on the GDC shotfloor was a little title called , a clever take on the good old-fashioned 2D platformer. Although it appears at first to be a simple sprite-based 2D platformer, a quick press of a button reveals that 's world is a 3D construct, and the strategic, timely rotation of it is the key to navigating its challenges successfully. The game shares this fundamental concept with some other recent releases, including Super Paper Mario, Crush. Currently, 's four-man development hasn't settled on a platform or delivery method for the game. It's running on Microsoft's XNA framework, which means it will likely arrive as an inexpensive PC game or an Xbox Live Arcade release. As a work very much in progress, that probably won't happen for another year or so.

Ookiblocks another indie effort is an intriguing rhythm action puzzeler with simple and addictive looking play mechanics. This is also a work in progress title presented by Studio Work3. But will definitely be worth keeping an eye on. Have a look at the crazy 1st level preceedings on this youtube link:

Do yourself a favour if you haven’t already and support Valve by purchasing the mighty Audiosurf. Obviously a work of passion, Audiosurf is a game that must not be missed by anyone, especially with an above average interest in music. AudioSurf also represents very good value for money at 10 dollars. Download link here:

Thanks to for this info.


Wii's Casual Zombie Massacre

Dead Rising is coming to Wii and will hit shelves this winter according to Capcom. The game's new title: Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, has me hoping for zombie slice 'n' dice antics with Wii MotionPlus functionality.

Zombie Slaughter for Casual Gamers

1UP has some details on the pseudo-port from Famitsu, largely centered on the efforts to make the game more casually appealing. For starters, there's no more timer, you just complete missions and move on. Although, the idea that chopping zombies into smaller pieces can be made more casual amuses me somewhat.


My Blog Sites
A half arsed attempt at a video game news site - Also some information in there about Jeff, Ryan and Arrow Pointing Down....Together with my hopes that they would start up their own gig. It seems my wishes have been answered!
A blog site I created for my dads country music band - You can see some pictures and music videos from the 70's. Leave a comment, my dad will be chuffed.