Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The inverse square

Ubisoft continues to impress, having done almost nothing wrong in recent memory. Well, I don't have Beyond Good and Evil 2 is my greedy little hands, so they have one negative point against them. The Forgotten Sands was fun all the way through, if a bit on the short side for a physical console release. I did notice that as the environment got more and more out of control, culminating in a sand storm that tears the entire city to pieces, the actual skill required to get from here to there decreased. The last section was literally press A to jump, press B to attach to conveniently placed immobile sand ravens, press A to jump again. The world was ending all around, but at least I wasn't falling into any holes. This was a far cry from the calmer, more difficult puzzles from a few hours earlier.

There are two (almost) new abilities introduced in The Forgotten Sands. The first is the ability to freeze water at will and climb on it, and the second is to bring back ruined sections of the castle and its surroundings one at a time. There are of course limitations to these abilities: water can only be frozen for a short amount of time and only one piece of the castle can be brought back at a time. Put these together and you end up with a few platforming segments that forced me to put down the controller and give the TV a great big double deuce.



For example, freezing sheets of water and triangle jumping in between them is relatively simple when there are only two sheets of water. Place in a third water element, force moving between all three which requires very accurate activation and deactivation of the water power, then make the last platform one that uses the restore ability. Just for kicks make sure there is no checkpoint in the middle. This is finger mangling, but not impossible, and everything is responsive enough that once you have a good idea of what needs to be done the actual execution is not far behind. Still, the first time you fall to your death after using up all your time reversal power there are only a few words that come to mind, and not a one of them is kind.

I could get from here to there with prince all day and not get tired of it. Forgotten Sands still does not live up to the "original" Sands of Time, but it is still quite good, and well worth the two evenings it took to get through it.

And now for something completely different.

This trailer:



is the best trailer for anything. Ever. EVER.

I will buy extra tickets for opening day, just to do my manly part to keep the skirts from taking over Hollywood. A call to arms indeed.

To be fair, the movie is probably going to be terrible, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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