The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth – Review

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Where do I begin reviewing this game? Let’s go back a few years ago to the original Isaac game, simply titled “The Binding of Isaac”. Released in 2011 by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl following the success of Team Meat’s “Super Meat Boy”. It was a quick flash game that was never intended to be much of anything, but it exploded. In response to the success of its initial release, The Wrath of the Lamb expansion was added to give players extra content to sink their teeth into. Isaac is, at-heart, a dungeon crawler (much like the dungeons of the original Zelda game). Maps, enemies, items and power-ups are all randomly generated. Play a level, fight a boss – anyone from the NES/SNES generation knows the drill. The controls are simple, you move, you have power ups, you drop bombs and you shoot tears. Isaac’s charm lies in complexity(everything is random but weighted) wrapped in simplicity(the controls take two seconds to grasp).

After a well-documented development, Rebirth has finally been released, and I love it.

A new soundtrack, revamped graphics, super smooth control, controller support right out of the box and a crap load of awesome goodies make Rebirth hard to put down. Everything that made the original game is still there, just super charged.

New Features

  • Quit the game and pick-up right where you left off. Three slot save state!
  • Six digit seed keys. Like a particular run? Write down the six digit combo and play it again whenever you please.
  • new 16 bit style graphics, with option to turn on a smoothing effect (on PC).
  • Controller support right out of the box.
  • More items and upgrade you can shake your big ol’ stick at.
  • Normal and Hard modes.
  • And…MORE!

I only have a few hours clocked in on my steam version. Before you call me out or think I haven’t truly experienced Rebirth, let’s take a second to discuss my favorite aspect of this new release. Playstation Vita.

Yes, Rebirth has been released for the Vita as well. My favorite, though seemingly unloved, handheld has been graced with Rebirth, and it is amazing. If I didn’t know better I’d say it was made for the Vita. Perfect for a quick grab and play through a run. The controls are amazing and smooth and I just can’t get enough. Isaac’s upgraded graphics are absolutely stunning on the Vita’s OLED screen. It is quite possible that Rebirth has slipped into first place in the greatest Vita games, pushing Spelunky to number two.

While I believe the steep price, $15 might cause some to shy away at first, it is totally worth it. To sweeten the pot – Playstation Plus members can grab the game for free.*

Official Gnome Rating: AWESOME

  • Graphics 10/10
  • Soundtrack 8/10
  • Gameplay 9/10
  • Replay Value 9/10

 

*at the time of writing: 11/16/2014

 

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