Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: One of My Top Games of 2015

I am holding my head in shame as I realize I was a few seconds away from defeating “It Lives!” for the second time in my gaming career. I damn the Curse of the Unknown that was placed on me at the start of this floor, which got rid of my life bar and left me to guess how much life I had left. I think to myself, maybe I should have saved my Head of Crampus special until the very end of the fight instead of the beginning...too late now as I stare at my defeated Cain character curled up in a ball on the floor still writhing in pain.

If any part of that last paragraph made sense to you, then congratulations! You're a fan of the Indie, rogue-like, randomly generated dungeon crawler The Binding of Isaac! The Legend of Zelda-like game was originally released on PC back in 2011 and was created by game designer Edmund McMillen, the same guy who brought us Super Meat Boy and a handful of other great games.

Super Meat Boy was probably one of my favorite games of 2010 when it was released on Xbox Live Arcade. It had it all: comedic writing, memorable music, an old skool gaming feel and a brutal difficulty. I would spend most of my free time playing Super Meat Boy either alone or with friends taking turns. A majority of the time we would be drawn to the more difficult games over the ones that could easily be completed. Challenge always won out over graphics and an engaging story. Our love of the early consoles played a huge part in constantly searching for that next hardest game. Beating these games, or even getting past one of the tougher levels brought such a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement to us, especially as young children going into our late teens. We lived for the challenge. 

After almost 100 percenting SMB, I was left to wonder What great game will come out next from Edmund Mcmillen? I loved this one! Not even a year after being introduced to Super Meat Boy and his girlfriend Bandage girl, I was given my answer. The Binding of Isaac was Mr. McMillen's next project and it came out solely on PC at the end of 2011. Not having a functional computer to play games on I knew it would be some time before I could experience Isaac's adventure for myself. So I sat and waiting patiently while the console versions were developed. Instead of the original game, we were given the bigger and better remake The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth which added tons of new content. It was released on Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U this year on July 23rd.

Ever since downloading it, I have been in love with how addicting and rewarding the experience is. Every run I start turns out to be wildly different from the previous ones I have played. This is mostly in part to the huge list of items and bosses that are in the game. Each run is procedurally generated, meaning the layouts and locations of special gold item rooms and bosses will be different every time TBoI is played. It's literally a new experience every time I decide to turn the game on!

The difficulty that Super Meat Boy was so well-known for also makes a comeback in Isaac. Every time you get further in the game is an accomplishment in itself!

Have you tried out The Binding of Isaac yet? What are your thoughts and fondest memories of playing it? Let me know in the comments section below!