Experience gun selection and skags old skool style with The Border Lands

If you’re like me–or, even more terrifyingly, if you are me–then you’re pretty stoked about Borderlands 2 coming out next month. Yeah, yeah…even the whole “girlfriend mode” scandal isn’t enough to throw me off, and I’ve been recently re-soaking myself in all things Pandora-related with some further time in Borderlands, finally dinging Level 61 with my soldier on Playthrough 2 and mentally preparing myself to take on Crawmerax the Invincible…soonish.

Until then, there’s The Border Lands. It’s a “demake” of the game. Not sure who made it specifically or if it is even associated with Gearbox or 2K Games. Seems like it though. Here are some descriptive words from everyone’s favorite dancing robot:

Borderlands wasn’t always the slick, handsome bastard of a game it is today! Go old skool and play the 1989 16-bit original to see how it all began. I can’t believe how young I look!

And it is all that. You pick your character–Salvador, Maya, Zero, or Axton–and then you’re dumped into a screen to shoot enemies. All the classics are there, like skags, rakks, and those annoying screamers that charge at you with a bomb in hand. Even bosses, clearly marked with a flashing skull. In order to proceed to the next level, you must kill all enemies. Some drop loot crates, which let you pick from two new guns, each with their own abilities and shortcomings. Anything with decent range is highly recommended, as the enemies get on you fast, and you can’t move away quick enough. It really is the Borderlands experience in bite-size format. Or is that bit-size? Thank you, thank you. Try the fish.

So, it’s something to do and has a nice style to it, with great sound effects and easily recognizable sprites. Try and beat my high score of $19,720. My only complaints are as follows: 1) you can’t change the direction you’re aiming when firing a gun, you have to wait until you run out of ammo or stop firing altogether and then change positions and 2) some serious slowdown happens once eight or more enemies get on screen. Otherwise, neat-o.

Oh, and the music that plays on the main menu for The Border Lands is quite nice. I mean, I should know, considering I’ve had it in the background on a loop while writing this blog post for y’all. Can’t pinpoint if it comes from the original game or the upcoming one or if it’s a new piece altogether, but either way, it fits just fine. Enjoy, vault hunters.

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