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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chris sez that LIMBO is SUPER MARIO BROS. as envisioned by David Lynch!

I have not yet finished playing Limbo (click here for official site), the new game from Danish-based independent Playdead Studios for the Xbox 360. A few days ago I finally beat Batman: Arkham Asylum... after owning it since its release a year ago this month! Hey what can I say: Bane had been kicking my butt since February.

Anyhoo, since I'd committed to only playing through the Dark Knight's exploits during the evening hours, my nighttime gaming needed a new cerebral experience... and Limbo is it! And even though I haven't reached the end of the game, I absolutely must pass along word of it to this blog's readers. Why?

'Cuz Limbo is like Super Mario Bros. had it been envisioned by David Lynch! Yeah, imagine Mario from the same mind that brought us Eraserhead, and that will be Limbo. It's a side-scrolling platform game (something we don't see much of anymore), totally rendered in a Gothic black and white palette and with a bare minimum of background noise. The nameless protagonist - a silhouetted little boy - is bereft of any features save two points of light depicting his eyes. You control him as he sets off to find his lost sister.

And between he and his goal are some of the nastiest, most brutal deaths that I've EVER seen in a video game. So far I've watched our hero be drowned, impaled, decapitated, and numerous other grisly bad ends. The first time he stepped into a steel-jawed trap that took off his head, my mouth couldn't contain the prolonged scream of abject shock that came from my lungs. And Limbo contains many such moments...

Limbo is a testament to how an excellent game (or even a movie or television series) doesn't need a ridiculously exorbitant budget and high-end production values. All it takes is a little creativity and a daring imagination to pull off a memorable experience that will engage, entrance and enchant the player. Limbo is available for 1200 points on the Marketplace for Xbox Live Arcade. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!