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Hit indie smash “Limbo” coming to PC and PS3 soon

Hit indie smash “Limbo” coming to PC and PS3 soon (photo)

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Exclusivity’s been a dirty little engine of the video games business since its earliest days. Colecovision would sell you on the games and graphics that weren’t possible on the Atari and on and on it went. While there may’ve been some truth to claims of technical superiority in the ’70s and ’80s, the skills of developers on various platforms tends to be more commensurate across the board now. Some consoles do things in a technically different way than others, but they’re all capable of really amazing feats. It’s become more about talent than platform.

Yet the exclusivity wars continue and the biggest casualty is how they lock out great experiences from people who own the “wrong” game box. Some real angst comes with that. Xbox 360 owners toss and turn at night at never being able to play the PS3’s excellent “Uncharted” games and the Sony faithful gnash their teeth over missing out on the atmospherics of “Gears of War.” (It’s long been a fact that Nintendo operates as its own closed ecosystem, so there’s no real yearning about what it may be like to play, say, a “Metroid” game on a PlayStation. Gamers just know that that ain’t happening outside of apocalyptic circumstances.)The amount of money spent on developing high-end AAA games like those two franchises–positioned as system sellers for each console– somewhat justifies the fact that you can only play them on one system.

Even indie games get caught up in this territorialism, leading to the same kind of abortive conversations that end in “Oh, wait… you have a ‘Y’ system; you can’t play this awesome game. Sorry, bro.” PlayDead’s “Limbo” was one of those games. The macabre minimalist puzzle platformer was one of my favorite games last year and I’d rave about it to whomever I could, only sometimes realizing that a PC-gaming friend could only pine away for the black-and-white beauty.

Now, the reasons that PlayDead probably went exclusive with Microsoft are manifold. Being part of the Summer of Arcade promotion guaranteed a certain amount of buzz and attention for their first game. They could stop worrying about whether anyone would buy or play it, and focus on finishing the game. And, it looks like a stupid decision after the game’s success, but maybe they got doors slammed in their faces as they were shopping their dead-boy protagonist wares. Any way you slice it, “Limbo” seemed locked to the Xbox 360 for infinity. Starcrossed PS3ers even used game-making game “LittleBigPlanet 2” to craft “Limbo: Son of the Forest,” an homage to PlayDead’s dark, fatalistic fantasy.

But, another truism of the games business is that, for the right price, nothing’s exclusive forever. Time was, you could only play a “GTA” game first on a PlayStation 2 and Sony was paying hefty sums for those timed exclusives. Oh, it’d eventually come to the Xbox but after a looonng six-month wait. But that all changed when the current console cycle happened. More simultaneous multiplatform release became the norm, with exclusivity winding up more rarefied.

The timed exclusive is nothing new, then, but the one “Limbo” appears to have just come out from under was so well masked that chatter about it winding up elsewhere dwindled. For their part, PlayDead never totally ruled out the idea that “Limbo” would be playable elsewhere. Still, the reports from the Korean Game Rating Board, which were later confirmed by the dev studio’s Dino Patti, came as a surprise to many. Patti’s since said that “Limbo” will be coming to both the PlayStation Network and Valve’s Steam service, though there’s no word on exact timing. Usually, post-exclusivity releases like this include a little something to sweeten the deal for newcomers. But “Limbo” was such a tightly crafted knot of gameplay that I’d wager that anything left on the cutting room floor probably wouldn’t add to the experience. So, give thanks, PS3 owners and PC gamers! A great game’s coming your way without having to shell out cash for another console. And guard your hearts against exclusivity. Except when, y’know, you can’t.

Do you think “Limbo” will be any better on PS3 than on Xbox 360? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.