Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

Playing the Ludum Dare 22 Winners, #3 – Last Breath

Oh man. I gotta hurry up and finish playing the top 10 from Ludum Dare 22 before the next Ludum Dare challenge takes place. Which is around the end of April 2012, and I think I can do it, as I only have three more games to try out: Last Breath, Abandoned, and Frostbite. All of them look simply fantastic in visual terms and are definitely platforms higher than those that came before them, which might just mean a pinch more of reflecting on my part. I can and will do this, and if Ludum Dare 23 goes well, I’d like to do it again as it’s a great push on myself to try out some smaller games I’d otherwise not even notice.

Like in Stray Whisker, Last Breath features an animal as your protagonist. This time it’s a dog, and it’s unclear if it’s a dead dog or a dog in limbo or a dog that was hit by a truck so hard that it flew into a hole in the ground which then opened up into a maze-like cavern–oh, and it also survived the impact. I guess all signs point more towards a limbo-based Canis lupus familiaris given this bit of text from creator deepnight:

The story of a dog trapped between life & death.
I can’t say much more, it would spoil the story 🙂

Anyways, after exploring this cavern a bit, you’ll discover multiple red balls and a shadow version of yourself, with eyes full of hatred. As soon as you begin to collect the balls, your shadow duplicate comes after you, literally shadowing your every move and eviscerating you upon touch. Your goal, from what I can tell as I was unable to even complete this part, is to collect all ten balls without the shadow dog killing you. This involves some planning as you can find yourself at a dead end for some balls, with no way out and the shadow beast closing in. The closest I got was a total of eight balls.

Last Breath, much like that silhouette XBLA darling Limbo, nails a lot of things: atmosphere, suspense, and gameplay. The pixel art and animation work is immediately charming, and I’ve had a deep love for that floating particle effect ever since I first played Fallout 3. The controls are simple, as the dog can move, jump, and cling–in a rather funny way–to ledges, and you’ll quickly go from exploring casually to running and jumping for your very being. The ambient music doesn’t change to reflect this, which is a shame, but it’s tense nonetheless. There’s obviously a best path to walk, but I didn’t figure it out after ten minutes or so.

Do try it, and good luck getting all those balls.

Achievements of the Week – The Who Loves the American Dream Edition

Due to some recent traveling, I was unable to do an Achievements of the Week post two times in a row. Which is fine, actually, as during those car- and con-laden days I was most definitely not gaming on my Xbox 360, but rather standing behind a table and selling copies of my bad comics to curious onlookers. With that said, today’s entry is going to be a little lean on variety as all I’ve really played on the ol’ Xbox 360 over the past twenty-one days is Saints Row: The Third–and in short spurts at that. Usually while waiting for water to boil for tea or Ramen. Sure, I’ve dabbled in a lot of Steam games as of late, but I don’t think I am going to include those ones much in these weekly roundups.

Okay, here we go with the purple pics then.

From Saints Row: The Third…

The American Dream (10G): Pimped out 10 vehicles.

Who Loves Ya Baby (10G): Killed 50 brutes, they just wanted hugs you jerk!

Hanging With Mr. Pierce (25G): Took control of the entire Downtown district for the Saints.

There’s a couple more, but that’s good enough for now. Besides, I kinda already covered them right over here.

This weekend is all about comics and scripting and getting my car registered in Pennsylvania, but I am sure I will sneak away for some gaming time. I mean, I’m about an hour and a half away from the Achievement that you get for playing Saints Row: The Third for at least thirty hours. Oh boy. I can do it.

What are your Achievement goals this week? Trying to finish up Mass Effect 2 in preparation for Mass Effect 3? If so, I’m jealous. I will probably finish my Mass Effect 2 playthrough by early 2056 at this rate. Well, let me know.