Saturday, August 3, 2013

August of Games: Day 3 - The Binding of Isaac

I feature this piece from the soundtrack for a very particular reason: to highlight one of the reasons I love Danny Baranowsky. So, this song only came into the game in Wrath of the Lamb. Now, you see, there's this guy on Youtube who does game music guitar covers and he's crazy skilled, and Danny actually included a couple of his remixes on game soundtrack albums, including Super Meat Boy! And so his guitars were so cool and Danny loved 'em so much and Jules loved Binding of Isaac a ton so Danny invited him to play the guitars for the very final boss track of the game. That's this track. Thank you Danny for being a huge badass, and thank you Jules for rockin' hard. You can find Familyjules7x at, a new cover every week!

Saturday, so it's the first Indie game! So I went with my favorite. This game easily shoves itself into contending for my top spots of games even among the triple-As, and by playtime easily exceeds them.

The Binding of Isaac
Developer: Edmund McMillen & Florian Himsl
Genre (Setting): Modern, Bodily Horror
Genre (Gameplay): Roguelike-inspired Adventure
What is this game: This is a game where you play through a modern telling of the horrifying Bible story of the same name about being willing to kill one's children as a test of faith to God. You play a little boy exploring the basement and trying to get deeper and deeper to avoid his murderous mother, overcoming any threats in his path using his tears as bullets. It uses randomized dungeons and item appearance and gameplay styled after the dungeons in the original Legend of Zelda. It is a hodgepodge of references and has no qualms about going to places most consider gross. Bodily materials are slung everywhere. Also it is very very hard when you first start - only a third of players on Steam beat the first playthrough, and there are over a dozen playthroughs to even find all the ending cutscenes.
What's great about it: I should pre-empt this by saying that I've played more Binding of Isaac than any other single game, ever. My Steam account has registered, as of right now, 576 hours of playtime. I have over 70 hours of recorded footage that I still need to work on before posting. I love love love this game, despite its flaws.
EDIT: Since writing this a few days ago, I've now got 580 hours.
It is hard to explain what is amazing about this game. As an Edmund McMillen game, it's well-designed and inventive, even if relatively simple in form. I think the best thing the game has going for it is sheer replayability. For a simple general mechanic, you can get quite a lot of skill at it, so you get a lot of practice. There are hundreds of items, and you'll only get a couple dozen at the most in a single run. There are a huge number of endings, and over half a dozen characters to beat everything as, each requiring their own playstyles. And because the dungeons are randomized, every playthrough goes noticeably differently. The game is nuanced and addicting, despite the issues caused by being made in Flash. There also was an enormous expansion that came out called Wrath of the Lamb, almost doubling the amount of sheer content in the game. Oh, and the music is great stuff by Danny Baranowsky.
You should see the review I posted about it way back before Wrath of the Lamb was a thing, I gush about the game and why it's great. HERE IS THAT POST
How do I get it: It's on Steam! For the enormous price of $5, and it is put on sale extremely often. It has periodically been a participant in the Humble Indie Bundles. The expansion costs $3, and is also often on sale. It is currently being entirely remade in dedicated language rather than Flash, with another WotL-size update. This game, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, is 16-bit and completely rebalance the power scale of the game as well as adding a huge host of new features, and will be available on PS3, Vita, Steam, and potentially Xbox 360, 3DS, and iOS. It is expected to come out in early 2014, so perhaps wait for that, but the game is so dirt cheap most of the time that you might as well try it out.

End Recording,

No comments :

Post a Comment