Thursday, July 31, 2008

PixelJunk Eden: The First Hour - Liveblog

    I'll get a full review done once I've had sufficient time to digest the whole game, but as I stand now, I've only played through the first three gardens, two times each. I did just buy the game a few hours ago, you know. I don't get advance review copies (I can dream).

    Out of sheer laziness, rather than type up anything new, I'm just going to type up the recordings I made as I played. It's more entertaining to write, so hopefully it's more entertaining to read as well. Tell me if you like it. Here you go:

0 Minutes In: I've never done drugs, but the PS3's menu background for this game is tripping me out.

5 Minutes In: Why can't I throw my silk out like Spider-Man as I fall? Dude, not cool. Maybe I'll get used to it as I go.

6 Minutes In: Nope. I should be able to Spider-Man my way around. Developers, patch that shit in.

10 Minutes In: Okay, this is pretty fun. Got my first Spectra...thing; kind of unhappy that it just booted me out back to the level select after that though. Would've been nice to explore more.

11 Minutes In: Garden 02 is awesome. Great music, loving the red background here. If there's a garden in Eden specifically designed for hot, hot lovemaking, this must be it.

14 Minutes In: Still not happy with it booting me out to the hub world once I get one of those Spectra things. Besides, who named those anyway? Wasn't that the evil organization in the old James Bond movies?

18 Minutes In: I've already got to backtrack to old levels? Lame.

20 Minutes In: Never mind. They're still fun.

24 Minutes In: Wow. I was about to grab a second Spectra to end the level and some little bitch comes out of nowhere and knocks me down to the bottom. So not cool.

26 Minutes In: OH MY GOD. He did it again. What is your problem, bro? I haven't done anything to you. In most games, yeah, I understand why dudes are attacking me. You though... totally unprovoked. And now time ran out. I have to start over. Awesome.

32 Minutes In: That's it. Gloves are coming off. I'm going to find your family and use my silk strand of justice on them.

33 Minutes In: Holy shit; I can kill those things? I did not know that. That was easy. Well, now that I'm completely unopposed, I can just mosey on up to the next Spectra. Ha!

34 Minutes In: Okay, you had friends. No matter, because I freaking ninja'd past them. What now, bitches?

36 Minutes In: I think it's going to become annoying having to trek up all these plants every time I want to go to the next level, especially since they get farther and farther away each time.

40 Minutes In: These enemies are insane. If I don't completely destroy them the first time, they just reform their remaining bits and fly off, then come back at the worst possible moments once I've forgotten about them. Jesus. I can just imagine them cackling and twirling their mustaches as they tie my girlfriend to some train tracks.

47 Minutes In: I really hate this time limit. Why do games even have time limits anymore? It didn't work in echochrome and it doesn't work here. Just give me a mode where I can explore a level freely. Rez got that perfect; it had a mode where you were invincible and could just play without any fear of dying.

56 Minutes In: All right, well, I'm done for now. This game really seems like it's meant to be played in short bursts considering that you have to replay the same levels over and over and they take longer each time you play them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

PixelJunk Eden Feature: Preventing "Burn In"

    UPDATE (7/21/2008): After speaking with one of the petition founders who had experienced burn in even with Monsters Encore (where there was an option that dims the logo to help prevent burn in), I had another quick correspondence with Dylan Cuthbert and it looks like Eden will go even further to dim that logo and prevent burn in. He says, "if it causes burn in at the new dark setting I'd be very surprised." Good to hear.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Gamers with plasma TVs need no longer fear the PixelJunk game series on PlayStation 3.

    In PixelJunk Racers and Monsters, a white "PixelJunk" logo was displayed in the bottom center, potentially causing the dreaded "burn in" for some TVs to occur where an image displayed long enough can damage the pixels on the screen and cause image retention. The problem is serious enough for some gamers that there are still a few online petitions floating around if you want to look for them.

    Personally, I was completely unaware of this problem as I moved recently from an old CRT TV to an LCD HDTV, where burn in is really quite unlikely. I happened upon one of these petitions today and decided to pop the developer, Q-Games, an email to see what they're doing, if anything, to fix it. Here's the response I got back from Dylan Cuthbert, founder of Q-Games:

Hello there,

Thanks for dropping us a line - this is a problem we didn't envisage simply because noone we know owned a plasma tv.
From PixelJunk Monsters Encore onwards we have an option in the menu to help you prevent burn-in.


Dylan Cuthbert
Q-Games Ltd.

    It's good to see that they're taking this issue seriously. Now, if they could patch in burn in prevention for Racers and the original Monsters, that would be really impressive. As you can see from this screen shot from the upcoming PixelJunk Eden, the logo in the bottom is definitely something that could've caused some serious burn in left unaddressed:

    PixelJunk Eden will be released on PlayStation Network on July 31, 2008. I can't wait.

Screw Windows

    Wondering what's been taking so long? Let me just be completely candid here: I hate Windows. My computer crashed, wiped my hard drive, and with it, all the articles I had written, the graphics I had made, everything. That happened a few months back. After that, I was pretty discouraged and didn't write or do anything productive in relation to this blog for awhile.

    But I think it's been long enough, and now I'm on a MacBook, so I think I'll be able to return to work pretty soon.

    I really should've cleared the air sooner though, because looking at the front page, it just looks like I keep promising to reboot and keep pushing it back for no apparent reason. Kind of frustrating to see, actually.

    Anyway, there you go.