B3 2016: Best Bypassed Bits part 3

Friday, June 17th, 2016

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So many games surrounding me!

I’m sorry to say that the gamer’s Christmas that is E3 is done and over with. However, there were still a lot of games shown off in LA in the last 4 days and I’m here to pick out 3 of them (much like part 1 and part 2). Which three you ask? Well the ones that fly under the radar, don’t get much buzz, aren’t AAA. Who knows, maybe we’ll find the next Braid or Minecraft among the rabble. Or maybe we’ll just find a few bizarre games that will be enjoyed by a smaller crowd. We won’t know until we jump in:

Manual Samuel (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

The Norwegian studio Perfectly Paranormal is the first game company that’s tried to copy QWOP. Bad control games do exist (such as the Octodad series) but it’s rare to see on a 2D plane. Manual Samuel is basically about a pampered rich guy who dies and then gets a second chance from Death (who’s doing his best rapper stereotype impersonation). Samuel has 24 hours to actually do things for himself or the Devil will get his soul. This means everything has to be done manually: one button controls breathing, another blinking, the trigger buttons are left/right foot respectively. You’ll go about a normal, mundane day all the while trying to not die; so don’t forget to inhale/exhale and walk properly as not to snap your spine.

The cartoony graphics fit the premise to a tee and the adapting narration (if you fall down the stairs expect to hear about it) is perfect. The game will grace the PS4, Xbox One and PC on Spring 2016. Wait, that already passed. I guess this is one of those ‘done-when-it’s-done’ deals.

Everything (PC, PS4)

Did you ever want the ability to play as a rock? Or how about switching from that rock to a fence post or a tree. What would it be like controlling a cloud? It seems like that’s the premise for Everything, a game made by David O’Reilly who is most famous for creating a talking Mountain

In this game you can control all you can see. When you grab control of something like a goat you can move around and be followed by the same object. The movement of items is hilarious in this game; animals have a jagged rotating animation, trees slide across the ground. You can also grab a hold of flocks of objects and then perform movement rituals like you see in the trailer. This will spawn more of that item and possibly even a younger version.

There’s a day/night cycle which also incorporates seasons. The crazy thing is that the bigger your object, the faster time goes. Moving an entire island causes winter to go to spring to go to summer incredibly fast. Unfortunately the only gameplay video for it is on the Twitch at E3 archives; you can find it at the 11:16 mark. Everything has everything except a firm release date.

Eitr (PC, PS4)

And finally we have a semi-isometric action RPG with amazing pixel art by Eneme Entertainment. Eitr steeps itself with Norse mythology as it uses the life tree Yggdrasil as a connector to the 9 worlds. You play as a shield maiden who has been cursed by the trickster Loki and the fates to try and undo their wicked ways. The titular ‘eitr’ is a poison that has been absorbed into the life tree and now withers all worlds. The shield maiden must use a variety of swords, axes, and bows to purge the evil coursing through Yggdrasil.

The game looks a lot like a retro Dark Souls with dodging, defending and attacking at key moments. The enemy design is fantastic and the point where there are dozens of skeletons on screen shows that this won’t just be a boss rush like affair. All will be able to enjoy this pixel pleasantry at some point in 2016.

3 up and 3 down and other such baseball metaphors. And even though E3 is done with I don’t think B3 is ready to wait until 2017 yet. There’s still more games that I’ve come across that I want to share with you all. So until then practice some CCC (calm, cool, and collected) and I’ll be back with part 4 of B3 soon.


About Leif Conti-Groome

Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.