[h2]GBAtemp book game club #85[/h2] Back To Stone (GBA) At the risk of opening on a negative note we can certainly concede this is one of the oft threatened, but rarely realised, selection of a "game that fell short of greatness but was interesting anyway" we mention in the "what we are about" section of this feature. To that end a play of the first couple of hours will showcase quite a lot, despite being one of the later GBA games released it was also one of the games to use passcode saves (though in game checkpoints are present) so you might consider using an emulator with savestates. About now we usually like to talk about the developers, however they just made this game and all that is really known is they came out of the mess that was Kalisto Entertainment. Clicking around most of the people that worked on the game have seemingly carried on working together in various capacities on games for Microsoft and Sony consoles. This is made somewhat more confusing by the Game website and developer website still being active. The various publishers do not have great deal more to say about them either though in the case of the US one it does include Mazes of Fate and Black Sigil which are about in line with this game. Though in some cases it can be a case of "say something nice" the idea of world building is not a new one. For those unfamiliar with the term it deals with the universe created to house a fictional setting including concepts like factions, the geography, the science and indeed how magic, if any, works. Though good world building does not mean a good story gets told, indeed a bad story told within a good framework has often made for a rather pronounced feeling of wasted potential, it is rare to see a badly realised world create a good story. This is GBAtemp book game club and not GBAtemp Writers' Guild though so we will stop expounding upon worldbuilding after saying it is a wide field, one well studied (pick almost any acclaimed fantasy or sci fi author and they will probably have a mini essay on the matter) and with many seminal works and authors noted for greatness in it, in games, particularly pen and paper role playing games, it leads to interesting situations where excellent worlds are made but are unable to be adapted for the lack of a story within them. So then onto the selection, the game is something in the vein of Boktai or Shining Soul which is to say puzzles in an isometric perspective with the occasional horde or enemies thrown into the mix and a fair bit of light platforming (it did not quiet manage to crack the isometric jump puzzle controls issue though the save points should do and savestates work if not). The story, or more accurately the setup for it, is the reason for the digression into worldbuilding earlier on. Here the big bad had won centuries before and now the remaining humans are largely the subjects of experiments and the once technologically advanced world was something of a ruin. Blurring the "chosen one" cliche so common to these sorts of works your eventual escape is more about the running and hiding at first. We suspect this game will probably appeal more by those that played similar such games that were common on the likes of the Amiga than those that grew up playing the later descendents of the gameplay style. However the GBA was home to several examples of gameplay styles that were once popular (and for this we are deliberately avoiding mentioning Cadaver as much as we can though it would not be entirely out of place and we have pushed comparisons harder in previous editions) and would then return in a somewhat more polished format with this being a nice example of concept. First few minutes of the gameGBAtemp release thread Though passcodes are available in various FAQs and the downloads do not appear to work in the link it would be remiss of us not to mention the passcode generator. Another isometric shambles or is there something underneath it all? We are working on getting a new searching mechanism working with the new forum software now our tag system has been changed. In the meantime all the editions are in this section and hopefully GBAGOTW should get you the other entries in the series. gbagotw. News is great but GBAtemp wants more and as part of that general discussion of games wants to happen. To such ends we have a handful of features that share games with the aim of promoting discussion and The GBAtemp book game club/GBAtemp game of the week feature counts among them. Unlike our sister project in "GBAtemp recommends!" this aims to be less about the staff writing a review/retrospective of the title and more about helping see "a user driven review/discussion of a selected title" happen. For the most part will be focusing on the GBA, the DS and the Wii but should the selection have other notable entries in the franchise outside those we will try to note them and there will be the occasion aside into things the DS can emulate. Commercial releases, leaked betas/unreleased games, ROM hacks or homebrew are all just as likely to be a selection and our main points of focus have many examples of each type. On "hidden gems" and "the best games in a given genre/platform". These concepts can make the framing devices for fine features but we hold they have been done to death and by only playing the cream of the crop you will miss out on all sorts of attempts at novel/offbeat things. That is not to say we do not make selections of the top notch games but that almost anything is a viable option for a selection.