Weekly Penguin
January 16th, 2011

First status update of 2011

Year of TAGAP 2

I've already received – and answered – a slew of enquiries about the semi-cryptic phrases we've been using about 2011 being the year of TAGAP 2.

So, without further ado, yes, TAGAP 2 will be out this year. The exact release date is still up in the air, since the biggest unknown for us is up next; The co-op multiplay.

So, how's TAGAP 2?

The single player campaign is pretty much complete – I just finished the end cinematic and I'm currently working on the secret area. Both are epic, but I won't spill the beans on them, naturally. It actually pains me I can't let you see some of the stuff I had to virtually craft for the ending, but all that would be spoilers.

Once I'm finished with the secret area, it's time for the co-op. After converting a couple of the levels into their multiplay variants, we'll know how much time it will take – and when you can expect the game to be released. Speaking of the release, I'd better start planning how we handle it. I know one thing for certain; This time I won't be printing the DVD covers of the promo packs myself :)

Soundtrack premiere and new screenshots

The soundtrack premiere went really well, even though I spent first half of Christmas Eve encoding and uploading it to YouTube and GameTrailers. The video itself was built in a day, but the image wasn't the point, the music was.

If you missed the new screenshots or the music video, check out the previous blog for them and the detailed descriptions.

Gaming front

While TAGAP 2 has eaten almost all my time recently, I still try to spend at least an hour per day gaming. And there have been several out-of-left-field type of encounters I just have to share with you.

First up is perhaps the biggest positive gaming surprise in ages; MicroBots on Xbox Live Arcade. Back when Geometry Wars was the king of XBLA, me and Petja had a discussion about how awesome would a game like that be if it had proper levels, progression and customizable ships. Guess what? It's MicroBots and yes, it's great. Plus its Fantastic Voyage premise spices things with a unique presentation.

Speaking of unique, there is also ilomilo. This isn't that much 'out-of-left-field' for me, as I've been following it since I got the first glimpse of it ages ago as a trailer, but I'm sure not all of you have heard of it. It's a unique little puzzle game that simply has to be experienced personally, so I won't even try to describe in detail, but I'll sum it up like this; Think it as Yellow Submarine of XBLA – it is imaginative, surreal, filled with warm charm and heart, and is backed up by a delightful, memorable soundtrack.

And finally there is first of my 'backlog of games' titles, Metro 2033. It's been aeons since the last time I played anything this atmospheric. The game might have some minor quirks, but mount to mere nitpicks when you're sunk deep into the post-apocalyptic metro tunnels of 2030s Moscow. If you like first-person-shooters and want to experience something rather unique, give this one try.

Metro 2033 is in fact based on a Russian novel of the same name and one I've finished typing this blog up, I'll go and check if it's available in Finnish or English yet (sorry, I don't speak or read Russian).

Doctor Who experience

Not much has been going on this front, oddly enough. I simply had no time, from TAGAP2, to listen to that many audio dramas and there were no new DVD releases last month.

Still, I've managed to listen to two stories since the last update, Caerdroia and The Next Life, the grand conclusion of the so-called divergent universe story arc of the Eighth Doctor. Next up is Terror Firma, McGann's first encounter with Davros – and one of the Big Finish stories most acclaimed by the fans. Can't wait for that one.

I also just yesterday watched this year's first DVD, Meglos, and it was an entertaining adventure. Watching Tom Baker dominating the screen as Doctor Who villain was intriguing and made me wonder how things would've turned out if he actually had been cast as The Master in the new series as it was at one point rumored.

Speaking of The Master; BBC and 2 Entertain are finally releasing Terror of the Autons on DVD this year. The exact release date is still up in the air, but when ever it is, it'll be about darn time. Why it took so long is beyond me, perhaps they just wanted to bundle it with the restored version of Spearhead from Space? Anyway for those not-in-the-know, Terror of the Autons is the very debut of The Master, portrayed by the brilliant Roger Delgado.

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin