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Old 04-23-2015, 05:33 AM   #1
deoxys
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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The Binding of Isaac

Where to begin?

By now I'm sure most anyone who plays games probably knows what BoI is. For the uninitiated, it's a top down dungeon crawling rogue-like that draws heavily from the original Legend of Zelda for the NES. The premise is that Isaac's mother hears God tell her to prove her love and faith in Him by killing her child Isaac as he has become corrupted with evil. Isaac escapes his mother by falling through a trap door to his basement. There he must fight all kinds of weird and crude enemies and monstrosities, from flies and spiders to deformed babies, poop monsters, demons, and many, many biblical figures, getting ready to face his mom and what lies beyond.

Personally, I played a very small amount of the original game and just couldn't get into it. I had a hard time looking past the aesthetic of how crude the enemy design was, and the seemingly constant toilet related content just really put me off. But when Rebirth, the remake of the original, came out, I gave it another shot. After the first hour or so of playing I had already found myself looking past it and it had become a much easier pill to swallow.

The biggest draw to Rebirth is the items. While the original game only has 196 total items, Rebirth has 343 and adds a semi-new feature to them, synergies. Essentially, the main method of combat is shooting your tears at enemies. A large majority of items in the game affect or change your tears in some way, whether it's giving you damage and speed upgrades, the ability to shoot three or four tears at a time, toxic and fear shots, or even creating tears that orbit around you or giant lasers of blood. So, for example, picking up the ability to shoot four tears at once, and also picking up the ability to turn your tears into blood lasers, the two combine and synergize allowing you to shoot four blood lasers. And that's what the main draw is to the game, at least for me. Every time you load up a run, the map is randomly generated, and you'll almost never pick up most of the same items you get in a run twice, so the experience is unique each time you play.

On top of that, the games are riddled with unlockables. So many unlockables. Characters, bosses, items... Wanting to see what else the game has in store for you is a large part of replaying too. You (spoilers) defeat Mom the first time on your first run and think that's that? Think again - you haven't even begun to crack the surface of how deep the game goes. There are a ton more levels and bosses to explore and items to unlock that go way beyond Mom, as you soon begin to realize that way more shenanigans are afoot than just the need to avoid Isaac's deranged mom... but that's up to you to solve those mysteries yourself.

The original game goes on sale quite frequently on Steam, quite often for under $1. The remake of the original, Rebirth, is $15, and is on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and is coming to Wii U and 3DS this summer (Nintendo finally lightened up on them when they realized it was actually a good game past all of the questionably religious and occult content).


I know a few UPNers play Isaac. Figured this would be a thread to share our experiences and OP runs and the like.


While we're at it, Afterbirth, the first expansion to Rebirth is coming out this summer, and they recently announced a new item, the friend ball, which is basically a Pokeball. And it looks pretty damn sweet (though truthfully it probably won't be used too often in favor of more powerful items).

For me, I'm about to hit the 100 hour mark in Rebirth and just completed The Family Man, Glass Cannon, Cat Got Your Tongue, and got my third ??? boss kill last night. I figure there's no point in spoiler tagging that bit given that any new Isaac players probably have no idea what I'm talking about, so.
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