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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feature: Steam Greenlight Staff Picks

Steam Greenlight is now up and running, but it’s gotten off to quite the bumpy start. Just a few days ago we talked about Valve’s controversial censorship issue when they deemed a game to be “inappropriate” for the service, instead of letting the gamers make that decision themselves through voting. But, we also briefly mentioned that there were some legitimate discoverability issues at launch, as well.

Here at Digitally Downloaded, we’re troubled by the discoverability issues found in Greenlight and we’ve decided to do a little something about it. Yes, we’ve pried a few of our staff away from their current review titles and forced them to dig through the hundreds of titles desiring approval on Greenlight. While it’s terribly difficult to narrow down – there are so many great games to choose from – here’s our titles that we think should be available for purchase on Steam:


Matt Sainsbury

         Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land 

[Chris] I've got Matt so tied up reviewing the absolutely massive action/RPG dungeon crawler Inquisitor, that he hasn’t had a second to even think about digging through Greenlight this week. That doesn’t stop me from knowing what his #1 pick is – Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. In fact, I’ll let him tell you why it’s his top pick in his iPad review, which can be found through here.

        Inquisitor 

Speaking of Inquisitor, it’s also listed on Greenlight as well. This massive action/RPG boasts over 100 hours of gameplay and features 1.5 million words of written text. The game’s been in development for ten years and is guaranteed to keep you busy for a very long time. In fact, the last time I spoke with Matt, he was drinking coffee straight from the pot and was asking for donations to buy a second coffee machine. When he finishes playing and gets some much needed rest, his review will let you know if Inquisitor is worthy of your time investment.


Christopher Ingram

         Miner Wars 2081

Miner Wars 2081 reminds me of Decent (PC), which is a childhood favourite of mine. I've played Descent and Forsaken to death over the years and this looks like it’s developed from the same mines that I spent all those years trudging through sometime ago.

    Altitude0 

I love flight games. I also love racing games. I also have a great sense of humours. Altitude0 looks like it’s set to let me race planes in a game that also has a great sense of humour (see trailer) – what’s not to love?


Nick Herber
What can I say, I’m a sucker for strategy games, especially fantasy ones!

        Dungeons the Eye of Draconus

I'm not entirely sure about the storyline here, but it is a spoof of the old Golden Axe games, which I have always been a fan of.



The V8 Ninja  

    Taijou 

Genre mash-ups are nothing new, but rarely do sub-genres get thrown into a combination. Taijou is set to be a platformer and bullet-hell hybrid and by golly are there a lot of bullets. Apparently one of the inspirations for the game was the independent Japanese bullet-hell video game series Touhou, which explains the enormous amount of deadly projectiles. The great graphics and music are explained by the other inspiration for the game, Cave Story. While technically still incomplete due to the game currently being in an open beta phase, the open beta is quite the thing and was amazingly entertaining. If you still have any doubts, head over to this webpage and download the game for yourself to see if you would want to play this on Steam. I know I would!

       Eryi's Action

I have always had the belief that every platforming fan needs to play Kaizo Mario World. For those uninformed, it is a brutally hard Super Mario World ROM hack that almost perfectly plays with player’s expectations. However, due to emulators and ROMs being slightly illegal and the hurdles players have to jump through to get the hack, many people have been turned off from attempting it. This is where Eryi's Action comes in. Despite occasionally changing genres every now-and-then, Eryi's Action seems to be a hard platformer that plays with player’s expectations. Hidden flying spikes will kill the player at a moment’s notice, normal looking blocks will cause a bevy of unavoidable side effects, and the Kaizo-classic hidde-coin-block-trick is included. What makes Eryi's Action more of a recommendation over Taijou for me is that Eryi's Action is a completed game and it will cost a very small $4.99 USD. For those still not sure, this game also has a demo like Taijo, which can be downloaded on this webpage. However, all I needed to know to up-vote the game is that the lives counter can reach negative numbers.


Jason Micciche
Afterfall InSanity has actually been around for a while now elsewhere (read: not on Steam), but it's seeking Greenlight votes to be added to Valve's digital distribution service. The game is a Gears of War meets Doom shooter with a typically post-apocalyptic story and some really nice looking graphics and gunplay.

The Extended Edition (which is what's featured here) provides a pile of fixes that were sorely lacking from (and seriously hurt by their absence) the original release back in 2011. As an action junkie, I almost picked this up when it was released -- I'm hoping Afterfall gets the as I'd love to give a new and improved edition a go.

        Hogee and the Magic Fire

Okay, so get past the title for a sec., because this is a really nice looking little puzzle/platformer.

You play as an 'agile hedgehog' (love that) who's forest home is set ablaze and there's a monstrous fire demon to blame. Along the way, Hogee will pick up weapons and items, take on giant boss characters, and find some much needed faery allies in his quest to save the forest.

I love the lush green look of Hogee and the Magic Fire, it's really pretty unique and the only thing I can compare it to is Trine's visuals. The old school platforming sensibilities paired with puzzle solving sounds like something I'd like to play. Oh, and it's compatible with the Xbox 360 control pad -- always a plus with one o' them hoppin' and jumpin' games.


Max Smart

   Mutant Mudds

When neo-retro 12-bit platformer Mutant Mudds came to the 3DS eShop at the beginning of this year, I instantly fell in love with it. Well, not instantly. The gameplay trailers made the game look kind of boring, and the relatively high price tag put me off of purchasing it. Everyone who had played it was raving about it, however, saying that it was one of those games that had to be played to be believed. Fine then, I thought, let's give it a try. I couldn't be happier that I did, and I suggest that you help get it on Steam so more people can enjoy this awesome title.

      LA-MULANA

Remember that WiiWare game that everyone was so excited about for the longest time until it finally got cancelled, but then got picked up by a new publisher and is now coming out on September 20th? This is that game. According to LA-MULANA's Greenlight page, the best way to describe it is as an "Archaeological Ruin Exploration Action Game," which is actually pretty accurate. You play as an archaeologist exploring an ancient temple, searching for treasure while fighting off monsters and avoiding traps. Oh, and it's also super-challenging. Vote for it!
Feature: Steam Greenlight Staff Picks
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