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Gameathon 2016 Blog

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Yesterday was the 34SP.com 24 hour Gameathon! This year we were raising money for Shelter – a homeless charity here in the UK. The Gameathon was a huge success and everyone had a great time. Here are is a, hopefully pretty brief, breakdown of all the games we played and some highlights.

After over eight hours of setup and wiring by Phil (one of our developers) we were all set to go at 7pm. We started off by playing some multiplayer games of Rocket League on the Xbox One. It was pretty clear from the beginning of this slot that Pete was a significantly better player than most of us. It was Dan and Simon first plays of this game and they were itching to be on his team!

At 8pm we switched over to IDAARB – the erratic pixel football game. This was met with similar screams of enthusiasm as last year as Siobhan scored against us. Major props to Dank as well who had never played before, but was managing to own us all at this game. We then switched over to Spelunky at 9pm – this was mostly played by Pete and Dank who had a really good strategy going on. Around this time we were sorting out ordering pizza so I don’t remember too much of Spelunker aside from them picking up damsels and running around the caves with her.

Next was one of the games I was looking forward to the most, Super Smash Bros Melee. I hadn’t played this game in a long time so my skills with Ness had really dropped. I mostly switched to using Yoshii. Again, Dank was amazing at this game and most of us spent our time being annihilated by him. Another highlight here was Siobhan and Terry playing (neither of them played before), the controls are pretty hard to master so watching them run off the sides was entertaining. 😛

At 11pm we switched to Sportsfriends. Which had the most random games on it! I was expecting some sort of generic Olympics style game but LOL, there was a game which consisted of QWOP style controls and pushing a ball on a string with Pole Vault poles. We all really enjoyed this game. There was another mode where we had to throw a ball of the side of an Island with pixel wrestler characters. Mine was called Popo! And he died a lot.

 

After this part I pretty much lose memory of what time we switched over, but they were mostly hour-long slots. We next had a retro gaming stint on the SNES which Fazz provided. We played Smash TV (OMG amazing! I loved this game as a kid!), Royal Rumble and Street Fighter. Street Fighter turned out to be a little flawed as one of the characters became untouchable if you kept spamming the same button over and over – it was funny to watch everyone attempt to take him down, though.

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We then had another Rocket League go – I was becoming pretty terrible by this point and there’s a possibility I didn’t win a match. But the real tragedy came when we switched over to Beach Buggy Racing. Remember how much Simon and I sucked at Worms last year? Well, that was nothing compared to how bad I was at Beach Buggy Racing. We had a 15 race tournament and it was the longest torture of my life. I came in last place every single race, except one race where I came second to last. My character was an epic troll however and kept blinding other players. Everyone was hating life by the tenth race. Terry went home after this to get some needed rest!

Everyone was feeling a little gamed out after that huge hour of racing so I played Ori and The Blind Forest for an hour to redeem myself. I am much better at this game and managed to do the Ginso Tree run without dying! That may have been a first! Everyone should just get that game, it’s so pretty and enjoyable!

I remember we played Five Nights at Freddie’s at 6pm,well, Siobhan played it and we screamed! Possessed animatronics are scarier than I expected them to be! This was a perfect time to play the game as it was still dark (just about) and everyone really needed that wake up call!

After that we played Towerfall Ascension, which was another really fun competitive pixel game. It reminded me of the battle mode from Mario 3, where you had to jump on the enemies or attack them with bows and stuff. It was really fast paced and fun. We switched over to Zombies Arcade – the COD mini game for a while but it wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm as before. I really didn’t like when it switched to FPS randomly!

A bunch of the gang were starting to flag around this time, and Pete and Dank needed to go home, so I played Sonic 2 for a while. I was doing a fairly good run until the Oil Spill zone and it all went downhill from there. I ended up losing all my lives by the airplane zone – the final level! I was gutted to have game over so far in to the game!

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Siobhan took over after that to bring us some Sonic and Knuckles whilst I questioned how much of this game I remembered at all! After this there was a mash up of more Ori, Oli played some DOOM (I just saw the flood of achievements on my Xbox profile this morning – thanks!) and some brief failures of Goat Simulator.

Terry returned during Goat Simulator and we switched over to play Inside. We had just recently downloaded this game and were working on a play through with Siobhan and Dav. It’s a eerie platform puzzle game and the group enjoyed working together to solve some of the puzzles for a while. Joe turned up during the end of this play through and insisted we changed to something a bit more light and colourful. So we had another SNES play with Smash TV, Mario Kart and Super Mario Allstars.

Thibaut joined the gang to play Joe at some Fifa. Thibaut was so much fun to watch on Fifa because he was genuinely excited any time he scored a goal and would scream out in victory! We switched between Fifa and Rocket League towards the end of the gameathon because Simon also wanted to try to beat Thibaut, but I do think he remained victorious.

The final Rocket League match took the stream to 24 hours and 4 minutes. We hit our goal of £500 somewhere in the final hour and had a huge cheer. After the cameras went off and we cleared up Siobhan brought the gang in for a group hug at another victorious gameathon. These are probably my favourite activity to do with work as they are a really great collaborative effort – between Phil’s huge setup for us, Fazz lending consoles and everyone pushing to stay up and game as long as they can whilst updating the stream details constantly. It’s so much fun, but it also brings everyone closer together with the joint effort we put in. I can’t wait for the next one!


JustGiving Link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/34sp-staff 


 

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That Belated Limbo Review

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Limbo’s been out a while now. But I still wanted to make my post and say this is one of the best independent games I have ever played. If you haven’t given it a try by now you are seriously missing out on something special.

Why is Limbo ‘Special’?

Limbo is a side scrolling platform game with simple gameplay and can be completed in a few hours. But don’t let it’s simplicity fool you, it is an artistic masterpiece. The game plays like an ambient horror story. The game mainly consists of puzzles which you have to solve to get from A to B. I admittedly have found myself stuck for a while at some of the points in the game, so as long as you don’t use a walkthrough Limbo can last a while.

Back on the atmosphere of the game, this is probably what made Limbo so popular. It’s dark, smooth and beautiful graphics make it stand out from any other independent game I have played. Whilst the graphics may look basic, I’ve jumped out of my chair when spiders suddenly crawl out of the shadows to kill me.

The storyline is simple, a boy has lost his sister and needs to travel through a dark, deserted land to find her. Along his way he will find giant monsters, killer spiders, mind controlling parasites and a ton of moving saws trying to slice and dice the poor kid.

The game has receiving crazy amounts of praise and stellar reviews. Quite rightly so, the only thing I can criticize Limbo for, which isn’t much of a criticism as all indie games have this problem, is that it’s just too short. I found myself dying to play more when I finished it.

If you think Limbo is awesome, keep an eye out for their new project ‘Inside’ which was announced at this year’s E3.

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Walking Dead Game Plays Like a Classic Adventure Epic

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Are you in the market for a 2D adventure game that can truly leave you with a lasting impression? If so, look no further than The Walking Dead by Telltale Games.

In The Walking Dead, players take control of Lee Everett, a former college professor recently convicted of murdering his astranged wife’s lover. As the dead begin to devour the living, players must help Lee make the soundest choices at his disposal, in order to survive the undead apocalypse.

As characters succumb to the zombie plague, Lee is forced to make some controversial decisions in order to keep those that he holds dear safe. Because decision making is one of the cornerstones of game play, players are judged on their ability to adapt to the crisis. While some characters may approve of Lee’s decisions, others may come to resent them, resulting in further conflict in the long run. One of the most poignant aspects of The Walking Dead, is the overall emotional affect that it has on players. Many critics have opined that The Walking Dead bears more storytelling merit than anything currently being produced by Hollywood.

What makes The Walking Dead Game so special?

Unlike traditional zombie games, The Walking Dead focuses more on the story itself, and less on action and killing zombies. However, this didn’t stop it from winning a lion’s share of industry accolades, including the highly sought after 2012 Video Game of The Year award.

When all is said and done, The Walking Dead is a 5/5, 10/10, two thumbs up masterpiece. The game comes in an episodic series with five total available, allowing for hours upon hours of zombie-themed entertainment.

Only once in a blue moon does a game as well attuned as The Walking Dead show its face. Whether you’re looking to purchase the game for yourself, or as a holiday gift for a loved one, The Walking Dead is guaranteed to please casual and hardcore gamers alike with its charm and aplomb.

The diverse audience it attracts is part of its staggering general appeal. Make no mistake; The Walking Dead is a far cry from your traditional adventure game. However, what it lacks in actual action, The Walking Dead more than makes up for with its sumptuous story, charming characters, and unforgettable experience. If you’re looking for an adventure game capable of devouring the competition, consider The Walking Dead by Telltale Games to be your one way ticket to zombie nirvana; you’ll be glad you did.