LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

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Skinr

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Skinr » August 24th, 2011, 11:54 pm

It's not innovative, it's not that charming, and sadly, it's not very fun.

My first problem with this game is the price. Who thought it would be a good idea to charge fifteen dollars for what is, essentially, a Flash game? If it were only 400 points, or if it were a two-dollar Indie Game, it would be fine, but paying more than much better platformers like Splosion Man is ridiculous.

Next, we come to the graphics. The problem is not that they are in monochrome black-and-white. Many games, such as The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, are this way. The problem is the lack of detail. It's nearly impossible to tell whether a totally black object is a tidbit in the foreground, or a set of lethal spikes until you've already been impaled on them.

The visual style isn't 'innovative' at all; it's derivative. The same goes for the gameplay. Using physics to solve nonsensical puzzles is the kind of thing that lost its novelty about a month after it was introduced, and executed better, in games like Super Castlevania IV. You're not even given the slightest of hints for solving puzzles. An early one involves you swinging on a rope that leads to a ledge. You'll try in vain for minutes to get to the other side of the rope, or swing up (I'm not revealing what the solution is, btw).

Having only two usable buttons would be fine if the gameplay that resulted was fun, or the story was well told, or the graphics had that old-school charm. All of that is missing here, and even worse, simply jumping slowly across pits and standing around in a sluggish sailboat feels like a chore, literally.

The one thing that could have somewhat made up for it (the absurd price tag notwithstanding) would be easy Achievements; sadly, most are only worth about five or ten Gs each. As if to taunt you, the reward for completing the game (I guess, the description is rather cryptic) is 100 points.

All of its problems would have been less striking if this were a free, browser-based Flash game. You would simply say, 'Oh well, it's free, what do you expect?' and move on, hoping for an improved sequel. Sadly, this is not the case with LIMBO. I was mad that I nearly paid money for this tripe (thank God for free trial versions), three-fourths of a points card no less. I would go as far as to say that I would sooner pay $15 USD for E.T. on the Atari 2600, than I would for this piece of ugly, boring, overpriced shovelware.

Score: 2.5

Marriott_Guy1
Posts: 642
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Marriott_Guy1 » August 25th, 2011, 8:38 am

Well written review.  I was mildly intrigued with this title a short time ago - I am glad I held off purchasing it.


JWK1
Posts: 904
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby JWK1 » August 25th, 2011, 9:56 am

And to think I was really excited that this title is now on PSN!  I'm glad I held off, too.  I'm going to have to download the demo before I even think about purchasing it.  I wonder why it got such great reviews.


Skinr

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Skinr » August 25th, 2011, 1:17 pm

I think it got great reviews for the same reason Scott Pilgrim: The Game did; a lot of "professional" publications think that Retro or Old-School = 9.0 out of 10.

That said, there will be people who do enjoy it; anyone interested should download the demo first.


MoonMetropolis

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby MoonMetropolis » September 3rd, 2011, 5:36 pm

So, let me get this straight...

...you played the DEMO, and then you bashed the entire game because:

1. You sucked at it

and

2. It wasn't fast enough to satisfy your Video Game ADHD?


Josh

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Josh » September 3rd, 2011, 9:51 pm

This is very good review and I nominate it to the reader reviews.

I thought this game got rave reviews by the big name VG sites?

Whatever - if it sucks, it sucks

Skinr

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Skinr » September 3rd, 2011, 10:31 pm

[QUOTE=MoonMetropolis]So, let me get this straight...

...you played the DEMO, and then you bashed the entire game because:

1. You sucked at it

and

2. It wasn't fast enough to satisfy your Video Game ADHD?

[/QUOTE]

1. Wrong; the game actually isn't overly difficult. The problem is that it's not intuitive at all. True, someone who's new to, say, Warhammer might say it's too difficult, but the reward for taking on the learning curve is a deep, strategic game.

Not so with Limbo. This is a cookie-cutter platformer all the way through, and for one aimed at a "casual" audience, it should be pick-up-and-play. Unfortunately, it's not.

2. I don't mind down time in games, as long as it's either short, or adds something. Some games, like Oblivion, either have you (literally) sit down and wait for dramatic purpose. Others, like Zelda, give you things to do. You don't just stand motionless waiting for the time to change, though you can if you want; you can do side quests, chase Cuccos, or just fool around with the physics. Or, you can just take your time (I repeat, take your time) and just explore. Walk around doing nothing, and look around at the land.

Whereas Limbo is dark, dreary and nearly monochromatic. There's nothing to look at; even if there were, the camera is fixed in place, so looking around is impossible. Besides, even if the above two things were false, the game is linear beyond belief. I have no problem with linearity, either, as long as it's used correctly; if, say, Mortal Kombat were nonlinear, the gameplay would suffer (i.e. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero). And plenty of games can be somewhat nonlinear, and have puzzles, without being frustrating, such as the GBA Metroid games.

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LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 4th, 2011, 1:20 am

I am still working on my review but I believe this game is very much overrated.

The puzzles are thoughtful, but there's more trial-and-error than logic or skill required to solving them.

I do think the game conveys atmosphere and deserves some credit for that, but how well would this have been received had it been a colorful, cell-shaded title?

Once again I think most critics have missed the boat.


Steve1
Posts: 285
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby Steve1 » September 4th, 2011, 5:20 pm

I can see why people like this review as it is well-written. And certainly, people are entitled to their opinion. However.....ending with this sentence is just ridiculous; "I would go as far as to say that I would sooner pay $15 USD for E.T. on the Atari 2600, than I would for this piece of ugly, boring, overpriced shovelware."

Reviews like this remind me of when I see people give Halo "X" a score of 1 out of 10. It just does not make sense. It's definitely ok not to like a game but I do find it hard to believe you can score a game 2.5 (out of 10 I am assuming) based on the trial/demo.

The game may be overrated but it is still an outstanding game. As an owner of the game, I would give it 8 out of 10.

As a side note, is anyone else getting tired of people complaining about prices of games? Not only does Xbox Live Arcade often have sales on 'older' games like Limbo but even $15 is a steal (put aside like/dislike issue).

To me, the games that are most over-priced are the yearly sports game (i.e. Madden, etc) that change usually very little from the prior version but get away with charging $60.

MoonMetropolis

LIMBO - Xbox Live Arcade

Postby MoonMetropolis » September 4th, 2011, 6:35 pm

Limbo is a work of interactive art and a cinematic platformer.  The fact that many of the objects blend into the background is part of the puzzle-solving, and trial-and-error has been a part of cinematic platformers since the days of Prince of Persia and Out of This World.  Having a clearly-defined story and giving hints would completely ruin the  brilliant atmosphere of the game.  It's SUPPOSED to be dark, dreary, and monochromatic.  It's one of the most visually-stunning games I've ever seen.  The art is heavily inspired by film noir and German Expressionist elements.

"The camera is fixed in place"?  Are you freaking kidding me, dude?  IT'S A 2-D GAME.

Clearly, this is not the game for you.  If you prefer games like Call of Duty and Halo, that's your opinion and I'm not going to judge you for it.  But don't play the DEMO of a game like Limbo and then bash it because you don't understand it.  I imagine you'd probably also bash games like Out of This World or the recent Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP.



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