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Friday
Sep162011

Quickie: Chester (XBLIG)

The Xbox LIVE Indie Games coverage has been severely lacking as of late. When I say, "severely lacking," I mean non-existent. This has been due to many reasons—none greater than my own laziness—but I hope to change this and return to my once pseudo-glory. This here post is just the beginning and while going through dozens of XBLI games as August turned into September, one game stood out. The game capable of standing on its hind legs would be Chester, and while I haven't played it for hours, my brief time with the game has left an impression.

Chester is beautiful, if a little rough, and has a great style, a style that seems to change from level to level and can be manually controlled by the player. The ability to switch styles/characters—once unlocked, of course—breathes a certain life into the game and keeps it fresh like an icebox—I'm old. As someone who tends to be more critical when it comes to visuals, it's nice to see an indie game appease my four eyes. Along with lovely visuals, Chester's presentation and way of delivering information is well-implemented and  something a lot of smaller developers tend to ignore.

The actual game is a standard platformer that reeks of the good ol' days, reminding me of Earthworm Jim to a small extent, though actual similarities are few and far between. It controls well and is thankfully free of platform-killing floaty controls. The real hook to Chester is every bit of content Brilliant Blue-G shoved into the game. Numerous characters to unlock, who all level up independently, and a slew of other unlockables—such as different backgrounds and pieces of a "sweet ship."

This isn't a review and I'm not saying you should buy it—I'm also not saying you shouldn't. I am simply exposing you to a game I took a chance on that left me pleasantly surprised. Chester is a prime example of why box art is so important in the indie space. Chester's box art is retro and, more importantly, not so hideously offputting that I don't even want to see what the actual game looks like—a common reaction with indies. They always say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but my reply is this: "it's a f***ing game, not a book." That's not a very intelligent response, but what do you really expect of me? Anyway, give the game a chance and maybe you'll find yourself having as much fun as someone who happens to be six-foot one. I'm not actually six-foot one, I'm just in a "Rapper's Delight" kind of mood. P.S. Chester was part of the Indie Games Summer Uprising 2011.

Chester (Xbox LIVE Marketplace - 240MS Points)

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