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Worth Reading: 02/24/2012

Yo, weekend! Here's more games you should play, more stories you should read, and maybe even free stuff. Also, there's a crackling fire. I'm not kidding.

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If you don't own an iOS device, at least listen to Sword & Sworcery's terrific soundtrack.
If you don't own an iOS device, at least listen to Sword & Sworcery's terrific soundtrack.

Hey, fans of reading and playing. Why not load up Jim Guthrie’s soundtrack to Sword & Sworcery EP: Superbrothers on Spotify, pour yourself a beer, and cuddle close to the virtual 8-bit fire?

Relax.

This week’s installment of Worth Reading in here, and by doing it two weeks in a row, I guess I’m committed. There was a glitch last week, which meant the story never showed up in the database proper. If you missed out on Worth Reading’s debut, click over here.

Worth Reading is for the weekend. Work is over, and there’s free time ahead. Worth Reading is whatever makes sense at the end of the week, be it highlighting some games that didn’t make sense for the other ways Giant Bomb covers games, news you should be aware of, and essays that need talking about.

And potentially other stuff! I’m open to suggestions.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Hey, You Should Play This: 1,000 Amps

Make music an integral part of your game, and I'm sold. Bit.Trip Runner isn't the best platformer, but how the soundtrack interacts with running, jumping and sliding sweeps me away every time. 1,000 Amps, which just launched on Steam for the PC and Mac, plays with similar ideas, though with a much larger emphasis on puzzle solving that leaping from platform to platform. The striking black/white looks great, too, and reminds me of Closure.

Damn, when is that game finally coming out?

As a bonus, designer Brandon Brizzi was kind enough to provide five Steam codes. I’m told there are such things as Steam “bots” automatically snapping up codes, though. That’s a bummer, so I’ll make a request. The first five people on Twitter to say the title of the movie I’m partially responsible for getting made will get DM'd a code.

Note: Codes are gone!

Also, Consider Playing This: The Fourth Wall

Yeah, I’m a sucker for a clever platformer. Games like that are a dime-a-dozen in the independent development community, but some are better than others, and The Fourth Wall has an excellent twist. In The Fourth Wall, the barriers of reality do not necessarily apply. The properties of up, down, left and right do not conform to traditional norms in The Fourth Wall. It’s a game whose tricks are best experienced by simply downloading the game and playing, but imagine this: when you fall into a pit, you die, right? In The Fourth Wall, you fall from the ceiling.

Let me make it simple: The Fourth Wall was made by DigiPen students, is incredibly smart, and it's free.

And Maybe You Should Read These:

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The Penny Arcade Report is just one (!!!) of the promising new gaming publications that launched this week, and it’s already an excellent destination for lengthy, interesting stories about games. Ben Kuchera, formerly of Ars Technica, is taking a similar approach to myself, and he’s quickly taken advantage of his freedom at Penny Arcade. This story, based on Kuchera’s conversation with Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe at DICE, is an insightful summary of Jaffe’s approach to everything these days--design, press, stories. Perhaps most telling is the interaction afterwards with Kotaku editor-in-chief and friend Stephen Totilo. “You want to be a fucking reporter? Report this.” It's on.

He is one of the most available developers in the business and does an amazing amount of press. I told him that I often feel bad for him in interviews, as it often seems like reporters are just there waiting for him to say something crazy. It’s as if they’re mentally pushing him to dance for the cameras. “I make a conscious choice not to give into the cynicism of thinking the press is just waiting for someone to fuck up… let’s assume it’s really high, and out of every ten reporters I talk to, eight are waiting for me to fuck up to get yellow journalistic bullshit on the top of their site,” he said. “You’re going to die one day, and you’ll have contributed nothing to the world except you’re an asshole. Fuck you, I don’t care.”
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Congrats on launching, Vox Games. And you win this round, McElroy. I’ve been meaning to write a story about Johann Sebastian Joust ever since being introduced to designer Douglas Wilson and playing his wonderful creation during last year’s Big Live Live Show Live! I don’t have to write a story anymore, though, because McElroy crafted the piece I could have only hoped to spin out. McElroy makes the case for why Johann Sebastian Joust is paving needed new ground in games, overlapped with a compelling recreation of playing the game against his roommate.

He has me cornered in the kitchen when the game's guiding tempo of classical music spikes. We both lunge at each other's off-hands, but his wingspan far outmeasures my own, ensuring that his blow connects a half-second quicker. I fall to my knees in disgrace as the tip of my Move goes red, and his glows a sequence of victorious neon hues. I'm exhausted, and grinning. “We're going to need more controllers,” I say.

--

Friendly reminder: this is not a three-day weekend. Aww. See you Monday!

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Avatar image for mrlahey96
Posted By MrLahey96

Everyone should check out the McElroy brothers' podcast: My Brother, My Brother, and Me (more commonlhy referred to as MBMBAM).

The Sampler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzagQwQgou4

Avatar image for ssully
Posted By SSully

@Scodiac: I have been a huge fan of Jaffe for the last few years simply because of his honesty. He is very down to earth with his games and when people try to pull shit on him or people he likes. I think its something more developers need.

Avatar image for raye
Posted By Raye

Awesome Patrick. Also, I had no idea Sword & Sworcery's soundtrack was up on Spotify! Morning full of work saved! :D

Avatar image for brake
Posted By Brake

I just stumbled on the PA Report yesterday. Some really interesting stuff so far.

Avatar image for twolines
Posted By TwoLines

That Joust article is kind of annoying. The game isn't as incredible as the author thinks it is, playing a game without using a TV screen was around before Joust. Hell, there are kids toys with simmilar concepts. Looks fun though.

Avatar image for little_socrates
Posted By Little_Socrates

While I have no interest in this week's games, the two articles and the 8-bit fireplace are awesome.

Avatar image for jakelogan
Posted By JakeLogan

Patrick Klepek, I used to be that I only looked forward to Mondays......

Thanks to "Worth Reading", I'm working for the weekend too!

Tevis Thompson's article on was excellent critical debate fodder and the Love Letter was a delightful gem in and of itself that would have otherwise been swept under the rug.

*makes wide circular gestures to everything on the page* More of this please. It's Fockin' Bonza!

Avatar image for sungahymn
Posted By sungahymn

Too bad I don't have an iPad. (I don't own an Apple produce, period.) I really want to play Swords and Sworcery.

Avatar image for evilkatarn
Posted By EvilKatarn
Avatar image for shanedev
Posted By ShaneDev

I didn't know Ben Kuchera left Ars until today. His reviews and articles on Ars were some of the best I've read.

Avatar image for vexxan
Posted By Vexxan

Great stuff!

Avatar image for sirico
Posted By Sirico

Nice Rps take now Saturday and Sunday are covered

Avatar image for magusmaleficus
Posted By MagusMaleficus

David Jaffe is a goddamn peach. Love that guy. (And Kuchera's article--hell, his reporting in general--ain't bad either.)

Avatar image for mr_brett
Posted By Mr_Brett

If you like The Forth Wall then check out the Jonny Platform games on Xbox Indies.

Avatar image for demoskinos
Posted By Demoskinos

Jaffe is great. I got to play a few rounds of Twisted Metal with him a few nights back. Lots of fun! And cool to see that he is playing his own game on a regular basis now or well... as regular as a guy with a full time job and family can anyways. =)

Avatar image for djames216
Posted By djames216

Jaffe was right on to challenge Totilo about the article. The reporter had painted her personal interpretations of a jokey comment as fact. Sleazy bullshit writing masquerading as journalism.

The Joust article was an interesting read. I wish him luck in bringing it to the market, but I can't help but think that the biggest hurdle is the legal implications of personal injury to players. No publisher is gonna want to be sued by someone making some sort of injury claim from playing the game. I'm no legal expert by any means but this is surely something that any potential publisher (Sony or whovever it may be) would need to consider. Further complicated by the fact that laws obviously vary from country to country about this sort of thing. Would a suitably worded EULA be sufficient to cover this perhaps?

Avatar image for samface6
Posted By samface6

I'm so glad you decided to make this regular!

You continue to be an asset to the Giant Bomb crew Mr. Klepek.

Avatar image for sammo21
Posted By sammo21

Uses the Playstation Move? Uninterested. I was tired of that thing setting in my drawer going unused so traded all my Move stuff in towards new Vita stuff.

Good article.

Avatar image for jmfinamore
Posted By jmfinamore
Avatar image for sjschmidt93
Posted By SJSchmidt93

Patrick is a God.

Avatar image for mnine
Posted By mnine

this is a very cool feature! look forward to seeing it every week.

Avatar image for max21
Posted By Max21

Awesome Patrick, good stuff

Avatar image for festeringneon
Posted By FesteringNeon

Thank you for the Friday material Patty bo Batty!

Avatar image for quarters
Posted By Quarters

Look, not usually one to jump on the Jaffe love train but...that audio conversation was AWESOME. Kotaku's had something like that coming for a while.

Avatar image for razielcuts
Posted By RazielCuts

Don't call me Weekend!

Avatar image for branthog
Posted By Branthog

Wow, that photo of the Joust demonstration tricked me. I thought it was a bunch of hipsters at a fucking Panic! At the Disco concert, before I realized they were holding Move ice-cream cones.

Really looking forward to the next stage in Jaffe's career.

Avatar image for gashlycrumb
Posted By Gashlycrumb

Patrick such a great article.  I never thought to use Spotify for game soundtracks.  Enjoying my 8 bit fireplace and listening to the Bastion OST right now.  
 
Thanks and keep it up!

Avatar image for jasondesante
Posted By jasondesante

I love how this article started out, its week 2 in a new weekly thing Patrick is doing, where part 1 was seen by almost no one because it wasn't on the site properly. pretty funny. this series almost came out of nowhere and all of a sudden its a regular thing on the site lol

Avatar image for honkyjesus
Posted By honkyjesus

I have never seen anyone get more press for being a drunk has been than David Jaffe. Amazing.

Avatar image for oldschool2112
Posted By oldschool2112

That SS music IS amazing!

Avatar image for joachimo
Posted By joachimo

Another fine piece Mr. Klepek, looking forward to the next one ;)

Avatar image for ch3burashka
Posted By ch3burashka

IMDB has a record for one Patrick Klepek. However, he's credited as the "ideas man" for Evil Bong 3D. Please tell me it's not our Patrick Klepek.

Like I said last time, I'm liking the focus on the indie stuff - it doesn't get enough coverage as is on Giant Bomb, aside from the bigger indie news.

Avatar image for loginrejected
Posted By loginrejected

Some cool stuff here

Avatar image for grimluck343
Posted By Grimluck343

Why would Jaffe even waste his time defending himself to Kotaku?

Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted By patrickklepek

@CH3BURASHKA said:

IMDB has a record for one Patrick Klepek. However, he's credited as the "ideas man" for Evil Bong 3D. Please tell me it's not our Patrick Klepek.

Like I said last time, I'm liking the focus on the indie stuff - it doesn't get enough coverage as is on Giant Bomb, aside from the bigger indie news.

^_____________^

Avatar image for coldwired
Posted By Coldwired

I love this feature, Patrick! Keep up the great work!

Avatar image for lyfeforce
Posted By Lyfeforce

Enjoying the articles, Patrick. Nice going.

I, for one, hope JSJ gets whatever it needs to bring it into dinner parties, flashmobs and what-not for years to come. If only to recreate the Pattering Ram.

Avatar image for flanker22
Posted By flanker22

who else clicked the article cause the blonde in the screenshot

Avatar image for stitchjones
Posted By StitchJones

Can this site please stop reporting on that blowhard David Jaffe. He's such a waste of energy, all he does is abandon companies and truly acts like he cares about the fans.

Avatar image for overlordoutpost
Posted By OverlordOutpost

Yeah, the S&S soundtrack is pretty sweet. I got lucky to nab it for so cheap music bundle; just a bit sad that I can't actually play it.

Avatar image for tadthuggish
Posted By TadThuggish

Why would you be friends with Stephen Totilo? Isn't Giant Bomb the antithesis of Kotaku?

Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted By patrickklepek

@TadThuggish said:

Why would you be friends with Stephen Totilo? Isn't Giant Bomb the antithesis of Kotaku?

Kotaku still has work to do, but Stephen has made great strides lately in ramping the site's overall quality.

Avatar image for xbob42
Posted By xbob42

@flanker22 said:

who else clicked the article cause the blonde in the screenshot

Ohhhh yeah!

Avatar image for michaelfossbakk
Posted By michaelfossbakk

Wow. This is a great column, Patrick. The Sword and Sworcery music was perfect while reading the Johann Sebastian Joust piece. Plus, you've turned me onto Vox Games.

Avatar image for xpgamer7
Posted By Xpgamer7

Loved it. Wrote some blogs based on my thoughts.

Avatar image for winternet
Posted By Winternet

Does anyone have the link for the previous Worth Reading?

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