Little Big Planet 2 will take user created content to the limits
The original Little Big Planet, a PS3 exclusive platform game, is deservedly one of the great hits of the current console generation. A brilliant little platformer, adorably animated and soothingly voiced by Stephen Fry, it seized the hearts and minds of a generation of gamers.
And now Media Molecule has announced the long awaited sequel. The first game was well known for the huge range of user created levels, and they’re planning to take this further. Players will be able to create levels that aren’t actually platform games (I’m not 100% sure what this means, but it implies being able to build other types of mini-games, as well as machinima, and general artistic presentations.)
Watch the trailer and feel your jaw drop at the possibilities (see, this is another awesome game trailer).
Humble Indie Bundle hits $1million, and more about Portal
The Humble Indie Bundle, a collection of 5 indie PC games, was envisaged as an experimental (as well as charitable venture) – punters could pick their own price for the collection of games which together would normally cost about $80. The DRM-free games included award winning and well reviewed games such as World of Goo (a personal favourite, I paid full price for mine and thought it was worth every penny), and part of the donation went to charity.
That deal is currently over, but in the meantime the bundle raised over $1 million dollars. And in recognition, some of those games have now gone open source which means that coders can make their own mods.
On the downside, being DRM-free means that there was also a lot of pirating action, an interesting statement when a donation of 1c would have bought it legitimately and many of the games have demos. (I suspect a lot of people pirate stuff just because they can, and don’t bother to play the games, listen to the music, or watch the films.)
If you want to try some other indie games, Steam also has an Indie Pack on sale at the moment (no charitable donation there though.) And if you don’t yet have a copy of Portal, they’re giving that away free as well on Mac or PC – see what all the fuss was about 2 years ago (or will be about, if you are a time traveller).
Or you could skip the actual game and just listen to the Portal Song here. Look at me still talking when there’s science to do. And lovers of aperture science will be excited to hear more about Portal 2 at the upcoming E3 convention.
Rise of the Godslayer Expansion Released for AoC
The first expansion for Age of Conan was released this week, a fact that was somewhat masked by the fact that a review was pulled from Eurogamer due to ‘not being high enough quality’. Eurogamer is rapidly getting a very bad reputation for MMO reviews, which is a shame because Kieron Gillen’s second Darkfall review is one of the finest pieces of game review writing available online.
If anyone wants to read the pulled review, a dodgy copy is available here.
And here’s a link to some legit reviews for comparison. One of the interesting sides to this expansion is that Funcom decided not to raise the level cap and instead to expand the game horizontally with alternate advancement levels.
In other expansion news, CCP has also announced a 1 week delay in EVE Online’s Tyrannis expansion, which is now due out on May 26th.
And if anyone had somehow escaped the blanket news coverage, yes you can now opt in for beta testing of Cataclysm. (Log in to battle.net and do obvious things with the beta profile settings tab – or if you need it spelled out for you, here’s a guide.)
Is Zynga feeling the pressure?
There is a lot of speculation at the moment that Zynga (makers of Farmville, Fishville, Mafia Wars, and other popular) Facebook timewasters is preparing to cut the umbilical cord.
Facebook is about to require online transactions to take place using facebook credits (a facebook currency from which the home team will take a handy cut) rather than allowing, as at present, applications to use their own currencies.
Zynga has been gathering email addresses so that they can contact players outside facebook, they’ve been pushing their own new portal, so maybe they’re going to try to pull away. Whether Zynga can survive without Facebook is another matter – it’ll be interesting to see how this one goes.
And another sign of growing discontent with Facebook is that mashable reports that an exodus is planned for May 31st. Has the massive portal gone a step too far?
… and the politics roundup …
And … yes. We have a coalition government, much to the great surprise of just about everybody. I mean, no one ever expects politicians to come to these sorts of sensible agreements, right?
There is a generally dazed feeling around, much as in the aftermath of a particularly glitzy and unexpected celebrity wedding. It’ll all end in divorce by Christmas, no doubt. (But I hope not because I put a fiver on them lasting the full term :) ).