TWIG: Snowboards, A Sega Shooter, a late mini book review.


All right, chums, I know this is a place for game releases. But this is a book, about a game! And serves as a reminder: BioShock Infinite is coming out at the end of this year.

Rapture, by John Shirley, is a story set before the first BioShock and chronicles the beginning of the underwater city and ends a few months before the game begins. It features top side plumber to undersea engineer Bill McDonagh as the main protagonist. (You encounter a few of his journals in the game.) Ryan, Fontaine, Suchong, Lamb and Tenenbaum are featured, as well as several minor characters in the games, and there’s a few made up for the book. Shirley does a great job of not intentionally contradicting the game story, as he played through the games several times and talked with the developers. (There might be a few things that don’t match up, but I couldn’t tell if there was anything.)

Playing the game first has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, it sort of spoiled the ending of the book, since I knew how it had to end, but the journey getting there was new and more detailed than the game could be. Not knowing the story and its characters could make for more than a few confusing character moments. Overall, it was a well-paced story and good look into the amazing world of Rapture and the characters that lived in it.

Will it make you want to live there? No, it will do the opposite. Still a good book.

Binary Domain

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Release Date: 2/28/12

Systems: PS3, X360

In this game you get to around underground and above ground Tokyo as Dan Marshall with your squad of AI squadmates. Gain their trust, they do what you want, don’t maintain that trust and your missions will get increasingly difficult. That feature could make the game very easy or very hard. Much like a few other popular games, the consequences of your actions affects the way the story plays out. According to IGN, this game has a pretty solid release planned. The campaign is a short but respectable 10 hours and the multiplayer will feature a variety of campaigns and modes.

Product Description: A new take on futuristic Tokyo – Experience an immersive storyline that takes players through the dual layered Tokyo with a run down and derelict lower city and a clean and technologically advanced upper city. Binary Domain is an original squad-based shooter by Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator behind some of Sega’s most well-known video game franchises, including the critically acclaimed Yakuza series. Campaign play in Binary Domain features a trust based system in which the maintenance of relationships developed with AI squadmates are crucial if they are to follow orders. The game also features full destructible robot enemies, a wide range of weapons and a robust range of online multiplayer options.

SSX

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Release Date: 2/28/12

Systems: PS3, X360

Who remembers SSX Tricky? Brandon reminded me that it came with the Gamecube, and that produced a whole lot of memories from my first job. The owners had a big television in the back and their girls would play the ever-loving crap out of that game, and I would join in too. Was I any good? No. Is it mindless fun? Yeah. Like, totally. The wipeouts, the tricks, the laughter. They were good times.

The new SSX is graphically revamped and includes new and old characters, lots of tricks, and will probably be as fun as the other SSX games… but the age of snowboarding games are over, so it might not sell as well as they hope. Still, they might get some sales on nostalgia factors alone.

Product Description: A modern-day reinvention of one of the most critically acclaimed franchises of the last generation, SSX returns packing adrenaline and reality-defying gameplay into every moment. In this over-the-top snowboarding extravaganza players jump into the boots of your favorite SSX character — including those featured in previous releases in the franchise — and race, trick, and survive the world’s most iconic mountain ranges. Based on real-world NASA topographical data, each mountain range delivers an experience true to the franchise’s rich history, allowing you to defy reality and own the planet.

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