VALLEY Narrative Trailer: Turning Over A New L.E.A.F. Soon


 

With Blue Isle Studios‘ upcoming action/exploration game VALLEY under two weeks away, the strategy of the developer revealing their new game within a short time before it’s available could work for it quite well. Getting gamers to hold out a bit on a day one buy and wait for reviews might pay off in making this an “evergreen” title in the long run, particularly the jaded types out thee who follow games for years and complain about anything and everything as much as possible.

What I’ve seen so far intrigues the hell out of me. But by not getting every drip of development info or wasting time poking around on message boards in Jadedgamerville, I’m more likely to be pleasantly surprised by the end result. Now, will that surprise be good or bad? I’m not telling (well, I have NO clue, kids!), but I can say it’s going to at least be positive on the visuals and constructive critically on the gameplay if there are issues. We shall see. For now, all is right in this game world as far as I can see. VALLEY lands on PC, PS4, and Xbox One August 24, 2016.


 

-GW

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READS: Surf NYC – Into the Deep End With The Urban Wave Jockeys

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Photo: Andreea Waters

 

I guess you can call photographer/author Andreea Waters‘ new book Surf NYC ($34.99, Schiffer Publishing) a perfect summer beach read of sorts. Granted, if you’re strolling around certain wet and sandy spots with a copy in hand and your phone’s GPS chatting away looking for where some of the photos in the book were shot, you may luck out and get an autograph from one of the more outgoing daredevils committed to riding the weird, wild waves in and around the NY area.

On the other hand, you’ll probably want to respect both the privacy and utter daring of these urban daredevils out to conquer with their own respect the very waters doing what comes naturally and often under unnatural circumstances. The book is a 136-page hardcover with 64 outstanding images of the guys and gals who dare along with the places they do that daring in. You’ll come for the images, but stay for the stories told in quick bits by the surfers interviewed.

Photo: Andreea Waters

Photo: Andreea Waters

 

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Valley Update: Deeper We Go (And Things Look Even Better)

Lev7_Temple_BiggerSun_002Blue Isle Studios‘ upcoming first-person action/adventure/exploration platformer Valley is coming along very nicely indeed as you can see in these new screens. As noted earlier, the developer is not slapping together a new Slender game just to cash in on the still percolating jump-scare horror craze.  The richer Unity-powered visuals and more open game world beg to be explored and the intriguing L.E.A.F. Suit’s yin/yang powers of death dealing and life giving should make this quite the interesting game experience.

AncientRuinsSS2_001I have the feeling that this is going to be one of those summer games that gets people to stop and hop in for a slice of thrills they don’t expect coming, but as usual, we shall see. Valley‘s Steam page is beckoning you to wishlist the game, so you go on ahead and do that. Well, after you finish ogling those screens below.

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And don’t forget, PS4 and Xbox One versions are on the way. Blue Isle isn’t letting those console owners have a slow summer either. Back with more on this one soon.

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Valley: Blue Isle Studios’ Newest Is Intentionally More Jumpy Than Scary

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Blue Isle Studios made a name for itself with Slender: The Arrival on PC and then consoles, but the studio wisely decided not to become the all jump scare all the time game factory fans of that horror hit wanted it to be. Its upcoming title, Valley is a very different game than Slender was, although some are making direct (and probably unfair) comparisons to Gone North Games excellent first-person puzzle platformer A Story About My Uncle.

The trailer below certainly has a few things going for it that game didn’t as well as what looks like a tonal shift from freeform 3D platforming to a bit of slightly frightening business:


 

As for what’s what with the story and what to expect from the gameplay, here you go: 

Valley is a First-Person adventure unlike any other. Hidden deep within a remote region of the Rocky Mountains, you find yourself bewildered within a secluded valley. With the power of a recently discovered L.E.A.F. suit (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality), run and jump your way through beautiful forests, dangerous ruins and vast environments; all the while utilizing the power to control life and death to uncover the startling secrets of the mysterious valley.

 

Features

  • Move faster, jump higher: make your way through the world of Valley™ using the incredible speed and agility of the L.E.A.F. suit.

  • Manipulate life and death: the L.E.A.F. suit grants its pilots the phenomenal power to both give and take life from any living thing.

  • Experience a unique twist on death: the more you die, the more the valley will die around you.

  • Enhance yourself: upgrade your suit with new abilities and strengths.

  • Explore: the world of Valley™ is filled with forests, wildlife, ancient ruins, charming creatures, dangerous enemies and other mysteries.

 

Six screens below to ogle:

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The varied environments combined with the intriguing gameplay makes Valley quite intriguing and well worth a play to see how the mechanics work. If it all works well, Blue Isle will have what’s looking to be an even bigger hit than Slender was, provided that game’s legion of fans is willing to try something different. Valley lands on PC via Steam (so far), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this summer.

Road to Ballhalla Hands-On: More-Ball Madness

If you make it this far without losing a ball, you sir (or madam) are officially some sort of deity to be bowed down to.

If you make it this far without losing a ball, you sir (or madam) are officially some sort of deity to be bowed down to.

 

tinyBuild Games decided to unleash a little surprise last week and allow some 3000 random Steam account holders to play a six stage Alpha version of Torched Hill‘s upcoming Road to Ballhalla, a game that’s a tiny bit hard to categorize. While it has a few similarities to Marble Madness and the 1998 PlayStation game Kula World (or Roll Away here in the states), Road to Ballhalla is more of a wall-less maze game where reaching the end of each level requires players changing their gameplay focus on a dime often within the same level. I guess you could all it a “puzzle” game if you like based on the simple visual style and rather cool music in that trailer below.


In case you didn’t watch the trailer and that previous sentence connotes “casual” to some of you core gamers who’d normally ignore something like this, you’re in for a big surprise. You can consider Road to Ballhalla the Dark Souls of indie puzzle games (or something *sexy* like that).
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Lovely Planet Arcade: The Unknown Known Gets A Fast Followup


 

LPA_headerI’ve heard about, but actually NEVER played Lovely Planet (*gasp!*), so I guess I now need to, thanks to developer QUICKTEQUILA and publisher tinyBuild Games announcing this maybe it’s a sequel? return to the colorful pastel world of the first game. If the zippy and amusing videos of the first game are any indication as to what’s in the second, players can expect a load of challenge and even more good times when the game jumps out of the developer’s talented hands and lands on Steam later this year. Hey, don’t trust me on that last sentence at all – just go read about the game using on of the links above.

I think by the time LPA is released I’ll have played the first game. I hope. My backlog is a mountain of code that needs to be scaled and the clock is always ticking…

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Road to Ballhalla: Brains of Steel Required in This Humorous Hybrid


 

tinyBuild is at it again with another upcoming game bound to entertain and get you out of the casual funk into something far funkier. Road to Ballhalla is coming around the middle of 2016 and if that trailer bove is any indication, it will make a mockery of your gaming skills while teaching you a few things about proper reading comprehension. This will lead to you ignoring real world stuff like speed limit signs or proper parking procedures, which in turn will lead to you having to fight tickets of all sorts by explaining how this game taught you not to trust everything you read. Aha. tinyBuild wants you to disobey rules and orders just so you’re super cautious but still make ridiculous mistakes because you’re silly enough to take what a game it teaching you about IT and try to use those rules in the real world.

tinyBuild, you are EVIL. I still want to play all your games, though (so you’re not so evil after all).

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The Final Station: A Hell of a Commute Coming Your Way


What the heck is going on over at tinyBuild Games these days? All they seem to do is make games, and damn good ones at that. That’s not supposed to happen at all, folks. Where are the crowdfunded failures, the whiny employees griping about long hours as they spend too much time hanging out on message boards responding to the slightest complaint about an Early Access game that didn’t work or ate someone’s save files? Nope, I don’t see that here. Just more games that want me to play them when they’re out. Stupid indie developer!

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All kidding aside, tinyBuild’s upcoming The Final Station looks really fantastic. Take one part survival horror, one part train simulator and you get innovation wrapped up in yummy, excellently animated pixel visuals that end up more lifelike than some big buck AAA release that has every map bumped and requires you to upgrade your 3D card. Anyway, go add this one to your Steam wishlist (it’s set for a summer 2016 launch) and be prepared for more, as this week the developer has been introducing a new upcoming title for the last three days with a fourth and final one to get an announcement tomorrow. I’ll do a post on each as soon as I un-bury myself from a little backlog I’m staring at.

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How You Feeling? Hot, Hot, Hot!


 

Yuck. It sure looks (and FEELS) as if summer is going out with a VERY sweaty and sticky bang here (Hey, this is a family show, go get that mind out of the gutter!). It’s not very warm out, but MAN, is it HUMID. As in step out of the relatively cool lobby into oily, slick and soupy air humid. Bleh. A simple and normal ten minute trip out turned into about twice that length because it felt as if I was swimming in that too warm air. And I can’t swim all that well. Anyway, if I can recover somewhat and go in for my second shower of the day, I may post one or two more items later. I do need to do a bit of outdoor stuff today, so any posts planned for today would go up in the evening. After a THIRD shower, of course. Then again, given it may rain at some point this afternoon, I may get that shower before I get back home…


 

Have a slow and quiet (and not as yucky out as it is here) holiday, people!

Let’s Go Visit MANHATTAN On Sunday Night (I Hear It’s The Bomb!)…

First, the TOO obvious joke after watching that clip: “I wonder if those computers come in a laptop size!” (canned laughter) Yeah, well… I woke up too early this morning, people – that’s the best you’ll get from me today.

Okay, I actually had to check my cable guide to see if we get WGN America here (nope!), but I’m still in luck as MANHATTAN will be rebroadcast here on WPIX after it premieres. Anyway, it’s not a show about NYC at all, folks. It’s about the Manhattan Project and the creation of America’s first atomic bombs from 1942 to 1946. I happened to see a review of the first episode in the newspaper this morning that recommended the show,so I guess I’ll be checking it out this Sunday.