iReview – #IDARB – Loss of Words

What is this? A center for ants?

Title: #IDARB
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Publisher: Other Ocean Interactive
Platform: Xbox One
Reviewed on: Xbox One

#IDARB or I Draw a Red Box is a strange game. At its most basic, its a competitive 2D platforming sports game, allowing anywhere from 1 V 1 up to 4 V 4. The premise is that each team has a goal, and there’s a ball, and the object of the game is to get the ball in the goal.

Simple enough right?

Game On!

Game On!

The playing field is neither square nor simple, as it is filled with platforms to help navigate around (some which you can pass through, others you can not) as the goals are elevated. Each team has a goal zone on either side and the ball gets dropped down the middle. The players can jump and double jump and stomp on one another. When they have the ball, they can carry it, or shoot it, or pass to another player. When they don’t have the ball, players have a little shock wave attack. This will knock other players or kick the ball away from the ball carrier. Jumping on a player will stun them, and reverse their controls temporarily.

All the while, the announcer is spewing out crazy movie quotes.

“#IDARB is a competitive 2D platforming sports game.”

The game also has a penalty box to punish players who try to play goalie and sit in the goal for too long, or those who spam the attack button. You’re sent to the penalty box for 30 seconds, and these are located directly beneath the arena. When in the penalty box you can still move around and if you hit the floor directly beneath a player who’s on the bottom of the arena, you can swap places. Nasty trick.

Walking the ball into the goal will net you one point, shooting it, two. When you’re around the general vicinity of the goal, a point multiplier overlay will show up, where the further you shoot from, the more the shot is worth: 2, 3, and 5 points. Like basketball, I think? In addition, the game also counts the ball bouncing off other players or platforms as a multiplier, also like basketball, I’m pretty sure.

For example: shooting the ball and bouncing it off 2 platforms will net a 3x multiplier, couple this with a 5 point shot, and the score can get pretty high. These however are not the easiest to pull off as the aiming mechanic is limited, and the game quite frantic.

Frantic should be the name of the game, as the game gets real confusing real quick, especially with more players. As simple as the gameplay is, it will typically breakdown to a young kids soccer match where a cluster of players just follow the ball. And then its just a scrum, a ball, and lots of shock waves. You will very easily lose track of your own character as all the players are the same size, and look similar.

The game has a single player mode which is a series of challenge matches, but the main focus is the multiplayer, either local or online.

The game is broken up into 4 90-second rounds, but the players don’t switch sides. There is a halftime intermission with small mini-games. The players take part in space ship battles, or tank wars, or a game of tug-a-war. The results of the halftime games are nothing than a laugh, and afterwards you jump right back into the mayhem.

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite colour?

The game also features a deep creation section, allowing you to create your own characters, theme music and logos. What’s really cool about this is that each song, character and logo has its own unique QR code that you can post online or share with friends so they can download their creations and import them into your game, or vice-versa. Then you can create your team, with your choice of characters, logo and winning song.

“Frantic should be the name of the game.”

Lastly is the games social media tethering, specifically Twitch and Twitter. Every time you start up a new match, it gets coded with a unique hashtag identifier found at the top corner. If your game is being streamed to Twitch, people watching can comment on your game using the hashtag and it will read along the bottom as you’re playing. This can also be done through twitter by messaging @idarbwire and the hashtag. This is a cool novelty that can turn sideways, as the game ALSO allows hashtag game modifiers, or hashbombs.

These hashbombs can be as innocent as visual changes to the characters, turning them Red vs Blue for example, adding portals to the game, or filling the arena with water. Some can be a little more malicious, such as turning the ball into a bomb, that, when exploded, will send the closest player to the penalty box, or adding sharks to the platforms. These are definitely fun to play with friends, and messing with their game.

There’s a neat twitterbot that will crawl the twitter feeds for incoming twitter messages, and will occasionally attack your game too. Unexpectedly funny.

Choose Your Champion!

Choose Your Champion!

All in all, the game is a fun little co-op/competitive throw-away arcade game. For what it is, it’s a true blast to play. Outside of the local co-op/competitive however, there’s not much else to it, but it’ll remain a fixture to game nights for a while.

For those who like seizures, arcade soccer/basketball, and ruining your friend’s good time.

Notable Achievements:
Boom Goes the Dynamite (Score a 15 Point Shot) – 100G
Just Like Having a Baby (Create 20 or more characters in the character creator) – 75G

Tales from the iRogan – Episode Wednesday

Tales From the Borderlands is the first Telltale Games’ game that I’ve played since The Walking Dead Season One. To be honest, I didn’t really like The Walking Dead game. I found it too slow paced with characters that weren’t interesting, and puzzles that were boring.

Executive Vice Janitor

Executive Vice Janitor

It set the bar low for what to expect from Telltale games in my case, and I haven’t, to this day, made it past Season One Episode Two. A failing on my part, I’m sure, as I’ve heard many a good thing about the series.

Late last year I purchased the Telltale bundle on the Xbox One hoping I would get into the games provided. I had heard good things about The Wolf Among Us, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones. So I bought it, and then waited.

As mentioned in earlier posts, I typically buy a lot of games, and don’t necessarily get to them in a timely manner. Now that I had excess HDD space I am now able to install these games, and at least try them out, get a feel, before diving into, head game first.

Tales from the Borderlands is a hell of a lot of fun, and I’m disappointed in myself for waiting so long. I’ve always loved the Borderlands games. They’re fun, fine tuned, and hilarious. The Telltale game is no different. It flows along the same Telltale formula: story-centric, some quick time events and dialogue choices. But it’s so good. And it has many interesting characters, and plenty of surprises. I’ve just about wrapped Episode 1, and excited to jump into Ep 2, so I’ll have a quick review up for it next week. Tomorrow I’ll have a piece written on #IDARB.

Onto some news, which, curiously includes some Borderlands. How quaint.

25 Keys of Borderlands, Please

With the release of the Handsome Collection, Gearbox is giving away a cache of golden keys. The codes can be found on the Gearbox Facebook Page, and can be redeemed in-game on the console of your choice, on both Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel. You don’t need the Handsome Collection to redeem the codes. They expire March 31st!!!

Mine On, Minecon.

Microsoft announced today that they will not be interfering with the annual Minecraft convention in July, even though they now own the Minecraft IP.

A Microsoft spokesperson assured that Minecon 2015 would be run by Mojang the same way it has in the past, stating, “We’re playing a supporting role; we want to listen, learn, and be inspired by the community that has made Minecraft great.”

Borderlands 2 Makes Millions of Dollars

Randy Pitchford announced today that Borderlands 2 sales have surpassed the 12 million mark. I’m assuming that’s including the repackaged version in the Handsome Collection.

Mystery Solved.


Gamenight, Twitch, and Today’s Updates

Game nights are fun, and sometimes necessary. They help get friends together, to settle differences, and to remind us what gaming once was, and how it continues to keep us together, even if we’re miles, or countries away.

Game night is usually quite the event at my place. Usually involving 4 large flat screen TV’s, 4 Xbox’s (360 and now the One), and two handfuls of people. Quite the epic Friday night filled with Pepsi and drinks.

We typically dabble in Halo, as it’s the easiest game to organize a large group of people, over multiple boxes and TVs, into one online lobby. Alternatively we’ll play some arcade style games. This past Friday saw us playing in The Master Chief Collection, Riptide GP2, #IDARB, and Rayman Legends.

Lately I’ve also been playing around with my streaming capabilities, and Twitch.Tv. This started when I first got the Xbox One when it was released. Streaming through the Xbox is great, especially since it has the Kinect functionality with the camera and microphone. Less great is when you want to switch games, or stream from another console entirely. This problem was apparent to me around the time of the Extra Life charity marathon last October. I was going to be playing a full play-through of Half-Life 2 through the Xbox 360 Orange Box. I had my Xbox 360 plugged into the One, but Twitch only supports XBone games.

My fix was to pick up a capture card. The Elgato Game Capture HD, and a couple webcams. This allowed me to record and broadcast through my TV, game, audio, and the surrounding room, through the webcams.

Ready to Broadcast

Ready to Broadcast

I use Open Broadcast Software to record and stream. It supports multiple inputs, and allows for text overlays. So with my 24 Hour stream, I had the game, the name of the game, 2 webcams, a tinyURL to my charity page, my webpage, and a 24 hr countdown clock.

Lately I’ve been streaming my game nights, or just the random nightly session. I’m not pro yet, mind you. But one day I might start doing game-play videos. We’ll see.

Moving on to some newsworthy stuff….

GTA V – Online Heists

New info started coming out today about the GTA V Online Heists content patch, for those lucky few that started seeing it already, patch is reportedly sitting around 4.8GB in size, on the Xbox One. I have the re-mastered XOne version. However, as I’m writing this, none of my friends do, so I don’t have anyone local to test out these heists with. We’ll have to wait and see, or maybe try on the 360.

Halo Master Chief Xbox One Bundle

Microsoft is launching a Master Chief Collection XBox One bundle to help boost their numbers. The no-frills bundle is available without a Kinect, and a digital copy of the Master Chief Collection. No custom box, no custom controller, standard 500Gb HDD. Kind of a letdown.

Borderlands Aplenty

At Pax East this weekend, Gearbox announced both, the next installment to the Tales From The Borderlands, and the next DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Tales From the Borderlands, Telltale’s game, will have episode 2 released March 17th, 2015. I’ve been sitting on the TellTale Collection for the XOne for some time now, and I haven’t gotten the chance to start these games. But will soon.

Also announced was the next DLC to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Claptastic Voyage. The DLC takes place inside Claptrap’s head, and is supposed to help bridge the gap between the Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2. Release March 24th, 2015.

Also released that week is the Handsome Jack Collection, which I’ll be picking up. I was uneasy about the idea of the Pre-Sequel being released on the Xbox 360 and figured that it might be re-released on the One, and lo, here we are. Combo of the Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2 re-mastered. The Pre-Sequel also includes the Season pass for DLC.

“”I wonder if i plant you in the ground, if you will grow taller?” -Psycho”

Destiny News

A new interesting tidbit from Destiny this week is the Inferno game-play mode in the Crucible:

From the Grimoire:

“A modified variant of multiple Crucible match types, Inferno tests your Light against the darkest of conditions.

Darkness prevails, leaving Guardians to rely on their weaponry and combat skills alone. The enemy can only be found by sight and sound alone. Rely on your teammates and keen tracking to stalk your enemies and shut them down without the trust in your most powerful abilities.

True skill put to the ultimate test. No trackers. No Supers. No bonuses. Only kills earn points.

I’ve been meaning to do a follow-up to December’s review, as I did continue to play, and made it through the DLC, completed the Raid, and made it to level 30. I also quit cold turkey one day, and haven’t really looked back.

Maybe I’ll do a quick play through of the first DLC and write up a follow up/2nd opinion piece. Title it “Change of Heart”, as its both applicable, and the name of an achievement from the game.

Change of Heart (Reverse a decision you made in the upgrade grid) – 20G.

So witty.