Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

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The best XBLA Game you’ve never played

These days there’s dozens of those THE BEST 10 XBLA GAMES YOU’VE NEVER PLAYED articles all over the internet. And, if you’ve read some of them, you’ll know they usually have an overlap of about 6 titles, leading to a constant stream of the same 15 or so titles that are apparently ‘underrated’. Okay, cool story, but what if I told you there’s actually one game that you probably haven’t played, or even heard of, and isn’t constantly listed in these stupid little lists?
Keep reading.

The game I’d like to talk about is called From Dust, a Godgame from (you would never guess this) Ubisoft.
Ubisoft still makes games?
And they’re not terrible?
I guess Ubisoft does better with its in-house IPs than the IPs it’s publishing, huh?

Regardless, the thing that should strike you as odd isn’t that the game was developed by Ubisoft but that I just described it as a Godgame. Because it’s 2013. And it’s been…oh…a FRIGGIN’ DECADE since the last Godgame? Okay, technically it was released in 2005, but ‘a decade’ sounds better in all caps than ‘almost a decade’.
So what are Godgames you ask? Well, my dear friend, they’re games in which you are in the position of a God. The most famous examples of this type of game are Populous and Black & White, both amazingly awesome games if I might say so.

In From Dust, you are the God guiding a tribe of faceless worshippers in their quest of enlightenment. Your almighty hand is able to transport water, sand and lava to wherever you wish in your efforts to keep your villagers safe from the natural disasters just waiting to happen all around them. In this, From Dust is most reminiscent of Populous, where you also led a tribal society, although there the goal was destruction of other societies while here your enemies are no one but Mother Nature herself. You will erect walls, drain basins and scream at your screen to protect your little tribe members from being washed away, burned up or disappearing off the face of the earth.
The gameplay is immensely entertaining, not only because of the inherent joy of using God-like powers, but also because every level is new and fresh and offers a different challenge than the previous one. Every level is like a sort of puzzle you have to solve. Maybe there’s an active volcano in the middle of the map that will keep spouting fire until you redirect a river to quench it, or maybe there’s a waterfall that floods the entire land below, or you have to create a mountain from scratch to settle your village on so the ever raging tides of the sea don’t wash it away.
Variety is key in From Dust, and even though the general gameplay mechanics remain the same you will quickly find the same strategy doesn’t work in every level, no matter how hard you try. The game always forces you to think outside the box and allows you to come up with the most creative solutions to your problems, never spoonfeeding you anything more than the simple objectives.

What really adds to the experience are the game’s graphics. Powered by Ubisofts own proprietary LyN engine (also used on a bunch of terrible Wii games) the physics displayed are simply amazing. Water and lava behave exactly the way you’d expect them to on a large scale, which makes the physics puzzles as fun as they are and makes it so you never feel cheated by the game. Sand actually corrodes and shifts over time, rivers deposit sediment, walls can be blown up and volcanoes build up enough sediment to create mountains. Your actions sometimes have unexpected consequences, but it’ll always make sense so the only person you have to blame in the end is you and not a team of lazy developers.
Aside from the great physics the actual graphic quality of the game is also very good. It’s very easy on the eyes with the pretty soft curves and bright colors. The designs for the tribe and its few buildings are interesting, especially their masks, and the addition of a few animals finishes the lovely package.


All in all, I’d say From Dust is without a doubt the single best XBLA game I’ve ever played and it’s a complete mystery to me why it never seems to end up in those infamous “Best Of” lists.
Maybe no one’s played it, maybe people just really liked all those remakes of old games better, or maybe people just don’t like recommending games that have no guns in them, but this is definitely a game you should check out if you don’t know it already.


One comment on “The best XBLA Game you’ve never played

  1. Pingback: 8 Years of Xbox: The 20 Best Games of a Generation | Anonymous of Holland - Gaming, Movies and Complaints


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This entry was posted on 18 April 2013 by in Games, Reviews and tagged , , , , , .

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Are you hyped for the #WinterOlympics yet?
Because the Korean government would really, really like you to be #hype!

I've never really been into the Olympics, except for that one time when the guy who was born in the same town I lived in (#GianniRomme) was raking in Gold Medals like it was one of those coin pusher games - and even then it was mostly because my school was making a big deal out of it.
As such, I'm not very interested in the Winter Olympics either, even though this is the first time I'd be able to attend the events myself and watch my country's athletes get burried in speed skating medals.

Still, I hope Korea will put on a show - and a performance - to be remembered for years to come.


#Olympics #Olympic #Korea #Seoul #Lotte #Departmentstore #SooHorang #Christmas #decoration #decorations #shopwindow #shop #pyeongchang2018 #pyeongchang #평창 #평창2018 #올림픽 #겨울 #수호랑 #스타크래프트 is love #Starcraft is life.

Being a Starcraft fan in Korea feels a lot like what I'd imagine being a rich acquaintance of Ronaldo would feel like for a football fan - you get front row seats to all the major games, get to meet legends like Messi, Robben or Buffon (in our case, Byun, SoO or Stats) and get to ask for their signature pretty much whenever you want - all without paying a single penny.

The professional scene has been taking hit after hit since I started getting interested in it, and I'm afraid it'll never be the same as it once was, but I'm glad that in 2018, as well, I'll be able to enjoy some of the best e-Sports the world has to offer.

#WingsOfLiberty down, #HeartOfTheSwarm and #LegacyOfTheVoid to go.


#스타2 #스타크래프트2 #Starcraft2 #Byun #TY #Maru #INnoVation #esports #gaming #progamer #Korean #Korea #e스포츠 #진에어 #진에어그린윙스 #SKT1 #Dark #collection #collector #PC #RTS #변현우 #이신형 #전태양 #조성주 처음 한국에서 @kim.minji.ki204 가 그린 책을 발견할 때부터 (그 #책 읽을 수 없어도, ㅎㅎ) 한 순간엔 큰 #팬 되었고 작년 #서울일러스트레이션페어 에서 직접 만날 수 있어서 너무 즐거웠다.

이제 인스타로 새 책을 받을 수 있는 이벤트가 있어서 당연히 참여해야지~

#kimminji #thejunglebook #정글북 #정글북리그램이벤트 #indigo 한국에서 역사랑 현대 항상 어떤 이상한 발렌스로 공존한다.

In Korea, the past and the present are always living together in some sort of awkward balance.
Traditional norms, values and traditions clash with the influence of a rapidly modernizing and developing society; pride in one's roots compete with a constant need to move forward, and historical buildings vie for room to breathe in the middle of a metropolis.
I hope Korea manages to move forward without forgetting the things that make it unique.


#대한민국 #한국 #절 #불교 #봉은사 #역사 #현대 #발렌스 #서울 #Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #Buddhist #history #present #balance #City #koreantemple #development #Metropolis #tranquility #modernization This is such an #unoriginal picture but..doesn't it look just like a #postcard?

#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Namsan #NamsanTower #City #Road #Traffic #Korean #mountain #trees #green #NSeoulTower #Tower #서울 #도시 #남산 #남산탑 #산 #탑 #도로 #엽서 #그림엽서 #남산타워 On some nights, when I'm feeling all beat down by stress and worries about whether or not I'll be able to support myself over here or where my life is heading, and when I'm just drunk enough, when I see the second snow of the year coming down outside my window, I just can't help but go outside, play some music and dance in the snow like an idiot because for some reason it just reminds me of how much I love being in this country.
Fuck you, Korea. I love you.
#secondsnow #firstsnow #둘째눈 #첫눈 #Seoul #서울 #snow #눈 #Korea #SouthKorea #Korean #Life #Street #KyungHeeUniversity #KyungHee #경희 #경희대 #dongdaemoon #동대문구 #이문동 #winter #겨울 #atmosphere #분위기 #reallylongsentence
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