Sidescroller: Get up on the download

Immortality is yours in “Journey.”

Did you know that you can buy video games now without leaving the house? Celebrate the dawning of a new, slovenly age by checking out these two new, download-only releases.

‘Dillon’s Rolling Western’
Console: 3DS
Company: Nintendo
Grade: 4/5

Nintendo’s eShop has been quietly picking up steam lately. Great titles like “Mutant Mudds,” “Pushmo” and “Sakura Samurai” keep releasing at a rapid clip. The shop does not have the myth and majesty of “Angry Birds” (yet) but it does have an armadillo sheriff who rolls over enemies with furious thunder. Welcome to the world of “Dillon’s Rolling Western.”

The title marries the zany exploration of Nintendo games with that favorite of Web browsers everywhere, the tower defense genre. You still set up turrets to fend off advancing hordes of baddies, but you also get in the ring and fend them off yourself. It’s great fun, even though the battle controls can be confusing. Such is life.

‘Journey’
Console: PS3
(Available only on PSN)
Company: thatgamecompany
Grade: 5/5

The trial to decide whether or not video games can be considered art just received another stellar character witness. Enter “Journey,” one of the most beautiful and meditative games to grace the form. Take that, plaintiff Ebert.

“Journey” features none of the tropes that are staples of gaming. There isn’t a score. There are no stats of any kind and there is no way to die. You simply wander the desert slowly making your way toward a faraway mountain. There are puzzles to solve and an ingenious hop-on/hop-off multiplayer system.
Occasionally your world “merges” with someone     else who is playing and you two anonymous souls join up for a while before parting ways. That might be a statement on the frailty of human connection, or it might just be a cool game mechanic.


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