Limbo (PS Vita Review)

[credit to gamespot]

[credit to gamespot]

Limbo came out quite a while ago, and we released for the PS Vita recently for those on the Playstation Plus Account. For those of you who don’t know about this game, below is a quip about it.

Quick Summary: Limbo is a platform puzzle game in beautiful black and white 2D side scrolling. The protagonist is a young boy who wakes up in the middle of the woods. There are no clues as to who you are or what you are doing there. With this, you set off into the woods to explore, running into various obstacles, monsters, where almost everyone and everything seems out to get you.

Okie dokie, so I hadn’t played this game on any other system, though I had wanted to when it came out. Testing it on the Vita I was over all pretty happy with the game. I haven’t quite finished it (near completion though). The game play had some similarities I’ve experienced with indie games before-like the jumping. It took me a few times to get used to the jump, it was the type where you had to be slightly away from the edge most of the time instead of right up to it. I jumped too late too many times because I was used to the on-the-edge jumping. Yet once I got used to the concept it wasn’t too bad. Some of the traps seemed a touch too sensitive for my liking. One example was when I pulled a trap down the road and turned around, somehow setting it off by this action. Somehow my little boy had touched it without really touching it. I had to play with it a bit to figure out exactly how to safely move away from the bear trap (maybe it’s just me with that issue). I enjoyed how sometimes you just had to die first to figure out the puzzle, and that the death scenes were actually quite simple and elegant. The puzzles never took too much brain power, and the way it used the strange environment worked well. I also enjoyed the lack of cut scenes or loading screens in this game, because it would have ruined the flow.

There is no life count, no re-spawn area, or restarting in the beginning. You die a whole lot in this game, and after a disturbing little death scene, you pop right back up at the beginning of that level. The wait time is almost nonexistent which is very nice. There is also a story bar that is broken into chapters. So if you want to go back to a certain level, or if two people want to play, you can always go back to a previous chapter and move on from there. There aren’t any chapter titles so you have to go off the picture they show of the puzzle you work on next.

The black, white, and grey tones do a lot to beautify this game. I was a little worried it would be too boring, but they really do a lot with it to give a creepy mysterious atmosphere. With different light filtering and grains, you get a sense of different locations in the game, like you are actually moving even though so much of it stays the same. It makes the fact that you have no clue where you are even more apparent. It is really quite smooth as well with the foreground and background balancing nicely.

Sound in the this game plays a big part, in my opinion. When you are focusing on a game a lot of time sound and/or music fall into the background of your mind into the subconscious. Well Limbo has no real music, and the lack of sounds makes it again a bit creepy. You can hear the boys labored breathing as he runs. You can hear water dripping from a dead hanging body, or the super disturbing purr/clicking of giant spiders (as an arachnophobia, I find this disturbing.) It makes you pay attention to the sounds, because there is no continual repetitive noise that you eventually ignore. I think it gives a lot to the atmosphere for Limbo.

Over all, I enjoyed this game even though it’s not very long. I’m about 5 hours in and almost done with it. There are bits of the story line I didn’t mention, but that’s because I didn’t want to give them away. If you like puzzle platforming games with an air of creepy, I suggest this one.

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