[Episode 46] Hardware Rock

Colony of Gamers user LiquidRain joins us for a brief discussion of hardware and peripherals. We endeavor to answer a listener’s questions about the merits of the upcoming Razer Onza gamepad, which predictably touches on PC gamepads in general. We also discuss chic mechanical keyboards, and why you might (or might not) want to spring for one. And speaking of input devices: motion controls for PC? It’s more likely than you think.

Of course, we couldn’t let one of our resident hardware gurus get by without picking his brain about some of the high points of current hardware, especially the latest graphics cards.

In our opening minutes, we not only cover what games have been in the rotation for our heroes, but also revisit why Minecraft – greatness aside – wasn’t ready for the GOTY awards. Eric also gives us an Indiecast bonus round with the indie titles that tickled his fancy lately, like the little game that could, Magicka.

Start hopping to the Hardware Rock.

Hosted by James [Vigil80]
Participants are Eric [Ravenlock] and Rob [LiquidRain]
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

Our fingers can’t stay still in the discussion thread at Colony of Gamers.

[Episode 45] The 2010 IMmies

It’s been a long while since we did a monster-sized show.  Consider this your warning:  this is a monster-sized show.

2011 has begun, but before we rush ahead to the onslaught of gaming the coming year promises us, it is right to look back and give thanks for the year that was.  Join us as we bring a full house to the table and discuss our favorites of 2010, and the trends that drove PC gaming over the last twelve months.  You’ll notice we have some long-absent members rejoining us for this episode, and it felt great to have them back.

It seems a little cliche to call any year “The Year of Indie Gaming” at this point – I think everyone has acknowledged, tacitly or explicitly, that small dev shops continue to release quality products and compete well in the gaming marketplace.  That doesn’t lessen the happy surprise I felt when I realized that almost half of the games we brought up as the best of 2010 didn’t come from large developers or publishers.  We talk about a lot of games in this episode, and a lot of them are indie games.  And that’s awesome.

Also, you may be aware we ran a contest!  So we have the results of that.  Yes, of course I’m going to make you listen to find out who it was.  You can skip ahead if you want;  only your conscience will judge you.

Without further ado… welcome to The IMmies 2010!

Hosted and summarized by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are James [Vigil80], Steve [Dukefrukem], Chris [JPublic], and Jacob [MagGnome]
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

Want to talk about the show?  Join us in the episode thread over at Colony of Gamers.

What a year it has been for the platformer genre.  Terry Cavanagh opened the year by giving us the completely delightful and brain-bending VVVVVV back in January, and we’ve been off to the races ever since.  XBLA releases like Limbo, Wii blockbusters like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns, one-button jumpers like Canabalt… and, of course, a whole slew of PC freeware and indie titles, including the two games we’ll be focusing on for this episode:  Super Meat Boy and And Yet It Moves.

I feel like Super Meat Boy needs no introduction, so I’ll just say that if you love platformers, you probably already own it – and if you don’t, you absolutely should.  Even if you don’t love platformers, you owe it to yourself to check it out and re-validate your position, because this is one of the most content-packed, lovingly-made platformers of the last decade.  A lot of platformers are difficult.  Super Meat Boy absolutely revels in being unapologetically brutal, but it’s never unfair.  Mastering its levels is a daunting challenge, but not impossible, and the game is just chock full of bonuses for your success, largely in the form of unlockable characters from other games that change the way you play.  It’s a marvel, and I love it, and I suspect you will too.

Robert covers And Yet It Moves for us, but I’ve also given it a go so I can tell you that if you missed this one when it came out earlier this year, you should give it a look.  Like Braid or VVVVVV, it’s extremely basic in its mechanics, but uses those simple mechanics to stretch the boundaries of what a platformer does.  You can run, jump, and tilt the world; it’s that last bit that’s the trick, of course.  A well-implemented physics and momentum system combines with a unique and appealing art style to make And Yet It Moves something special.  Check it out.

Want to hear more?  We’ve recorded this IndieCast to meet your needs!  Enjoy.

Want to join the discussion?  Come visit the forum thread over at Colony of Gamers.

We goofed a bit on getting Episode 44 out in a timely fashion, which means that people who only get our audio feed just got the contest details now, 2 days before the deadline.

That seems unfair, so we’re extending the submission deadline to the end of December 31st. You have until the New Year (midnight EST) to get entries in, and we’ll pick a winner during the IMmies episode in January.

Happy Holidays!