Double Fine Zone

Double Fine Zone

I decided not do do the last section of my Games of 2011 articles. Been fairly busy. I was just sitting here waiting for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception to come via UPS, and I decided to do an update. Double Fine Productions has been on my mind. Trenched was suppose to receive an update that would add a Horde type mode to the game, as well as change the name to Iron Brigade. Psychonauts got a huge update via Steam. Achievements, graphical tweaks, and other tweaks were added to the game (fantastic for a six year old game). Costume Quest is a Halloween themed game, that I just bought. Double Fine makes great and funny games. I love Time Schafer and his team at Double Fine.

First off, if you have not bought Trenched yet, you should. It’s on XBLA for $15 and it’s a fun downloadable title, especially if you have friends. It’s tower defense meets third person mech game, and its fun to kill enemies and collect weapons. You can customize your trenches with those weapons, and different mech load outs. It’s just a great game, and I’m looking forward to the update that adds the unending wave mode.

The main reason I was thinking about Double Fine games is because of Psychonauts. I bought it a few years ago on Steam because I didn’t own an original XBox (and didn’t know it came to PC or PS2). I played and beat it earlier this year and it quickly jumped to one of my favorite games of all times. With the new update that added achievements, I figured it was a great excuse to play this great game again. The dialogue in this game is so funny. You’ll wander around talking to everyone, and everything, just so you don’t miss a funny line. The dialogue isn’t the only good thing about this game. The gameplay and level design are topnotch. It’s your standard 3D platformer, but the level design makes it outstanding. You enter the minds of people and each person has a themed level. These level feels unique because of this. As you progress through the game, you receive new psychonaut powers, such as levitation, telekinesis, and clairvoyance. Some levels require the use of these powers to progress, which gives it a Zelda feel. If you do not own this game already, I highly recommend buying it. It’s on Steam for $10 and it holds up to the test of time. It’s also a good 15 to 20 hour game, with lots of collectables. I recommend playing with a controller, and customizing the layout a bit to fit your liking. Apparently they added support for the 360 controller, but I played with a PS2 controller clone. Go buy it now, so that they will make a sequel!

The third game, Costume Quest, has been out for a year. It’s a Halloween themed game. I was turned off by it because it was a turned based fighting game, but that shouldn’t have mattered. I love Paper Mario for the N64, and I loved this game. It was less than $10 on XBLA and I was bored, so I bought it. The dialogue was funny, but I wished there was a voice over. Not at all; it was all text. It was still funny though it would have been better with voice actors. I like collecting stuff in games, so it was fun going around collecting everything in the overworld. The combat was also fun. Reminded me of Paper Mario, where you push a button to do more damage, or push a different button to receive less damage when you are attacked. You collect materials and blueprints for costumes throughout the game, and once you make a costume, you gain new abilities in combat. The costumes also have abilities in the overworld, and you can switch among the costumes very quickly. Some costumes can get you to areas that you couldn’t get in before. I enjoy that sense of exploration and progression, which is why I love Zelda so much. I enjoy it in this game as well. It’s very short. My Raptr account says I spent 5 hours on it, but I think it was a little shorter. I got all of the achievements for it as well. There is DLC, but it is about $5 I think (I hate translating XBL points into real monies) and it seems like it only adds one new area so I don’t know if I’ll get it. It was a fun Halloween game and recommend it if you have some downtime.

There’s a few more games by Double Fine that I want to highlight. Brutal Legend is dirt cheap right now. I didn’t like the gameplay as much and I didn’t finish it. The story was hilarious and engaging, as I expected, but I couldn’t get passed the gameplay. Maybe because it sold itself as a third person action game, and it ended up being a hero based, simplified RTS, in an open world, with third person hack-and-slash elements. That RTS part really through me off and I stopped playing it. I should play it again and just keep that in mind and maybe I’ll like it. The world is awesome (heavy metal themed world? Hell yes!). If it sounds like a game for you, check it out. It’s dirt cheap. It’s on PS3 and 360. Stacking is another downloadable title from them. It’s a charming puzzle game. You play as a Russian stacking doll. It’s fun, but not really too difficult. Double Fine just released a Kinect game called Once Upon A Monster, based on the Sesame Street IP, and I’m hearing good things about it… if you have children to play it with. Kind of makes me wish I had children… except not really. So there you go. Several reasons why you should play Double Fine games.