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Old 08-20-2010, 03:21 AM   #1
FrozenImplosion
 
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Limbo Review, Opinions Please :]

Title
Limbo is simple yet complex; the paradigm of the macabre; the epitome of genius; but most importantly Limbo is an adventure not to be missed.

Limbo is a beautiful little gem of an arcade title that is well worth your MS points. Developed by PLAYDEAD, Limbo manages to do so many things in such a potentially short amount of time.
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STORY

Limbo follows a boy as he searches for his lost sister. That is the only piece of story that is handed to you, and the rest is up for interpretation. But this is the beauty of it: the players get the basis for a story and then it is up to the player to decide what the meaning is in all of the following events. Some people believe one theory, some people believe another. The game has so many valid theories that it doesn’t need a solid, handed to the player story to carry it along. The story is not even necessarily needed as Limbo will make the player want to move forward to see what oddity or hardship will be coming up next [whether they care about the lost sister or not.]

The only gripe that I had with the “story” is the same thing that made me love it so much: the fact that the players do not actually get to know what the story is. While we can create our own interpretations, we can never be sure as PLAYDEAD has released statements saying that there is no official story.

8/10

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GAMEPLAY

The boy runs, jumps, solves puzzles, and escapes death. He does this all and more with fluid controls and animations. But how does the game play? Well, marvelously to be frank.

The boy starts out with the simplest of tasks, running and jumping over spike filled pits, pushing and pulling bear traps to avoid being snapped up in them, and pushing and pulling boxes, a boat, etc. to complete simple puzzles. Then he moves quickly onto much more dangerous onuses, such as fighting a giant boy eating spider, leading locals into their own traps, navigating through machinery, avoiding being cut in two, avoiding electrified floors, and even altering magnetism and gravity to solve puzzles.

And here Limbo shines again in its simplicity: all of these things are controlled with just two buttons.

The gameplay is incredibly fun, despite how stressful it can be seeing your little character about to be sawn in two. Limbo takes the platform game to new heights with simple controls, amazing fluid movements to accompany those button presses, and an amazing sense of fun that comes out of exploring this eerie place.

10/10

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GRAPHICS AND SETTING

The game is all in black and white, which was clearly an artistic choice; an artistic choice that works very well and heightens the suspense. As well as heightening the suspense, the black and white milieus make the world the player explores all the more mystical and makes the player want to explore more, and delve further and further into Limbo.

Limbo brings players into a world so believable, yet eerily haunting that the black and white environments seem to come to life. The grass [silhouette grass] sways in the wind, and the pounding machines of the factory smash, crack, and spark believably. While the creatures that inhabit Limbo are also silhouettes and left to your imagination, they move just as any creature would in color.

The graphics are “grainy” as some people have mentioned, but this does not at all detract from the experience. This “graininess” in fact heightens the atmosphere to an even more eerie, noir feel.
The environments move perfectly and accurately and the boy moves fluidly as he defies death and leaps from cliff to cliff, gear to gear, tree trunk to tree trunk, etc.

Black and white 2D graphics would in theory be hard to mess up as well as be hard to perfect, but PLAYDEAD manages to perfect them to such a clean, crisp feel that simply heightens the experience. The most amazing thing is how PLAYDEAD, as well as managing to make the graphics crisp, made the atmospheres so complex [multiple background layers swaying grass, realistic silhouettes] with such simplicity [all black and white].

10/10

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MUSIC AND SOUND

Limbo’s music is simplistic: adding blaring trombones when something suspenseful happens and keeping you in total silence as you walk through fields unknowing where you will end up. Occasionally, all you will be able to hear is the wind blowing through the silhouettes of trees in the background. This strategic placement of music adds to the suspense and thrill of the game.
Again, this total simplicity [and strategy] is one of Limbo’s strong points.

The sounds are perfectly disgusting. It wouldn’t be right if you accidentally jumped into a whirring saw blade and all you heard was a thump, would it? The splatters and cracks, and snaps, and all sorts of other macabre noises add to the sense of dread that is involved with dying. It adds this perfectly and it fits well with the whole game.

Though, these gruesome noises are not the only thing to be heard as far as sounds go. Rolling boulders, whistling wind [mentioned before], snapping tree trunks, sparking electricity, whirring saw blades, and spinning gears all sound wonderful.

The sound and music of Limbo creates such a tone of suspense, dread, and unease that easily heighten the experience as a whole.

10/10

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REPLAY VALUE

Limbo is short. Even with all the inevitable deaths the player will have on their first playthrough they will be done in about 3-5 hours max. Playthroughs after this initial one will be much, much shorter as you will now not die constantly, but let me tell you something: you will have many, many playthroughs.

I bought this game online not knowing too much about it and played it through once. Then I played it again that night, and again. Then the next day I got up, played it that morning. After that playthrough I played it again. Each time I enjoyed my playthrough as much as the last.

Limbo also has hidden “eggs” that are hard to find if you are not looking for them and these add to the playthroughs you will have. The eggs are easy to find with a guide, though this will decrease replay value somewhat.

Limbo is definitely short, but the replay value is so high it’s almost unbelievable [for an arcade game.]

Replay Value: Very High

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RECAP

-Limbo’s story is open to interpretation, which is both its victory and flaw.

-Limbo’s gameplay is simplistic and fun.

-Limbo’s black and white setting allows for simplicity to be quite complex, and makes for a great milieu.

-Limbo’s strategic placement of music heightens the suspense being built up, and the gruesome sounds create a sense of dread not usually built up in association with dying in video games.

-Limbo is short, but easily replayable… many times.

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OVERALL

I honestly think, especially after writing this and organizing my thoughts on Limbo, that this title is the best to be had in 2010 so far. I enjoyed Limbo so thoroughly as a piece of art, as an experience, and as a game.

I feel like Limbo deserves nothing less than a perfect 10.

Limbo is beautiful, Limbo is macabre, Limbo is thought provoking, and most importantly Limbo is not to be missed.

10/10
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Last edited by FrozenImplosion; 08-21-2010 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Adding More and More
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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Can someone please give me feedback? Like anything, good or bad.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:17 PM   #3
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Limbo is a good game, no question. But i think you overestimate it (like many other reviewers).
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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9/10 maybe, but I thnk 10/10 is over the top, LOVE the game but seriously?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:56 PM   #5
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Good review. I would probably give it:

9/10
because of it's shortness, but what else did you expect to receive from an arcade title? Plus the price tag which I'm sure will go down in the future, great game no flaws IMO. Just a little to pricey and short that's all!
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:58 AM   #6
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Thanks so much guys for the comments! Could someone give me some opinions on the grammar, spelling, spacing, etc.? These are the things that I have gotten rejected for in previous submissions >_> Well actually the rejections have been for simply "Paragraph_Spacing"...
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