Category Archives: Indie Games
Is it wrong that the main reason I’m excited to get a PS4 is so I can play Octodad: Dadliest catch? Forget The Order. forget Killzone: Shadow Fall. All this new technology, stronger, faster processor, but somehow the thing that stands out most is Octodad. I’ve watched the trailer more times than I watched the trailer for the Lord of the Rings when that was new and I watched that like twice!
If you were to ask me what the point of the game is, I would say, “Point? There is no point! You’re an Octopus married to a human woman with human kids and you’re dressed in a suit. Why in the name of Vishnu’s scrotum would I need the game to have some kind of further point?” And that really is the long and short of it. You’re a cephalopod, (an exclusively aquatic class of mollusk commonly with large heads and a series of tentacles, ie. octopus) trying to blend in with the human world without having your secret discovered. You’ll bumble around your day, attempting to do routinely mundane tasks with your floppy octopus arms and legs without trying to raise too much suspicion.
This was originally a college project, which is available for free to download HERE. However, Octodad: Dadliest Catch won’t be available until sometime in early 2014.
You can check out the trailer below. I love the theme song.
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I had been working on my own review of the OUYA, which I believe is rather amazing – the OUYA, not my review. I was then introduced to this video that a friend of mine produced and, well, it’s way better than anything I could come up with. So instead of posting my completed review of the OUYA, I choose to show you this video by aspiring, young, thought provokingly gifted, journalist/videographer/comedian, Michael James Yohe. Enjoy.
YES! It’s finally happening.
Just listed on Kickstarter yesterday, Conatus Creative, a Canadian based indie developer and all around super fans of River City Ransom, somehow managed to obtain the license and are creating one hell of a sequel over 20 years in the making!
Before I get into all that, allow me to refresh your memory on a few things. Over 2 years ago I first caught wind that they were going to be making a River City Ransom 2 – that never happened. I look back at that post now and laugh at the estimated summer 2012 release date (River City Ransom 2 FINALLY!!!). Then, earlier this May, I heard another developer was working with the publisher of the GBA re-release to create an official North American sequel to River City Ransom. They had nothing but a sad little site asking you for your email to sign up for more information (This Game Makes me Want to BARF). I was a little concerned this attempt at a sequel was going to be another shattered dream. BUT a week ago I got an email from them stating they would be up on Kickstarter the following week! OH JOY! After checking out the Kickstarter page, I couldn’t be happier with the direction this game is taking.
So, first off, they are treating it as a true sequel to River City Ransom – River City Ransom: Underground. Not Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2, the Japanese version which features Kunio, main character in the long running Kunio-kun series. This is Alex and Ryan, about 25 years after taking on the girlfriend-abducting Slick and his endless army of high school gang members. Alex and Ryan are pushing middle-aged now, still friends, and run their own business together, and more importantly, still kick ass together.
It’s looking like there will be a great deal more playable characters other than just Alex and Ryan and unlike it’s predecessor, there will be a slew of different moves unique to each character. But they say they want to keep what made RCR great and not pervert the essence of its awesomeness. Like what Capcom did to Final Fight when they tried to make another one of those. There will be new moves, new shops, new items, and I’m sure new updated game mechanics, but as fans of the NES classic, they have every intention of staying true to the original. They’re going to be letting backers in on some small aspects of the game development such as gang member names, streets, and shops, and if you have considerably deep pockets, even put your likeness into the game as a boss.
I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas. Set to be released this time next year, we have a bit more waiting to do than a nativity calendar would afford, but if it’s been since 1989, what’s one more year?
So you want the bottom line? Funding this game on Kickstarter will make the world a better place. River City Ransom is the best brawler ever. Yeah, I just made that claim, and if you disagree then you’re just wrong. So if these guys at Conatus Creative share even 1/100 of the love I have for RCR, then this game will be so good, it will probably cure cancer!
If you haven’t figured it out already, you can click either of the pictures or HERE if you want to go to their Kickstarter page, and YOU DO WANT TO.
It’s no secret that I have a mega boner for Mega Man. When I heard that Keiji Inafune was leaving Capcom and they were ultimately canning their Mega Man Legends 3 project, it was bad news bears for me and many other Mega Man fans worldwide. Inafune, refusing to accept defeat in, what he thought was, the failing Japanese game development community, eventually went on to form his own development studio called, Comcept, bringing other Capcom talent with him.
On August 31st, Comcept brought their Mighty No. 9 campaign live on Kickstarter. In less than a day, they already had met their funding goal. Clearly this was the answer Mega Man fans had been waiting for. What is Mighty No. 9? Go look for yourself on their kickstarter page. It’s basically an updated Mega Man style game, enhanced for a new era. It will have the same classic 8/16 bit style of gameplay, but they will be taking fan input to help mold their game. You play as Beck, the sole robot to not be affected to a insanity causing virus which causes other robots to go berserk. Fight through levels in any order you choose and mix it up with an evil robot boss at the end (sound like Mega Man much?)
The game is being developed for PC, and recently announced, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. However, it has an estimated release day of April 2015. With almost 2 years to go, the gaming landscape will undoubtedly change quite a bit, so I’m sure we’ll see additional releases on the newer systems as well. The PC will support gamepad controls, which are 100% necessary as anyone who’s tried to play a Mega Man game on emulator with a keyboard should know. And if you’re saying, “Well I have no problem playing NES emulators with a keyboard,” shut up, I wasn’t talking to you. It’s hard for me? OK?!
I really can’t express in words how excited I am. They even are releasing retro style box art and manuals. The only thing that could make me happier is if they have a physical disc to put in that case rather than just a digital download.
Awhile ago, back in July of 2011 to be specific, I found out that River City Ransom 2 was in production and was set to be released later that summer in Japan and sometime in 2012 here in the states. Well it’s the spring of 2013 now and it looks like the game has been put on hold indefinitely. *sigh*
About a month ago, indie game developers, Combit Studios, fellow fans of River City Ransom, announced that they will be making an official follow-up to River City Ransom. *rejoicing*They will be working closely with Million Co., publishers of 2004′s River City Ransom EX for the Game Boy Advance.
Set to release summer 2014, there really isn’t much to say or show yet as the game has only just begun the early stages of development. However, if you share the same eternal love for the River City Ransom that I do, you can sign up on the coming soon RCR site for email updates,
Capcom hasn’t entirely forsaken their Mega Man fans. Many were pretty upset when they pulled the plug on the Mega Man Legends game for the 3DS. But now they bring us, in my opinion, a far more scrumtrulescent addition to the Mega Man universe, a clash of my two favorite Capcom franchises – Street Fighter X Mega Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (there aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to express how awesome this is, so I’ll just stop right there).
This project was officially backed by Capcom, so it’s no mere level hack with new sprites. From the ground up, this is essentially a whole new installment in the Mega Man series. It’s everything you love from an 8-bit Mega Man game complete with 8 bosses, weapon upgrades, top-notch platforming action, and a soundtrack that feels perfectly in step with what you’d expect.
The best part is that it’s totally free to download. However, at the time of this writing, it’s PC only. I honestly don’t ever see this becoming an XBLA or PSN download, and as such, since we’re relegated to playing it on PC, a keyboard just doesn’t cut it for the precision required to adequately perform in a Mega Man game. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a standard gamepad for your computer. I recommend RetroZone if you want to get that authentic NES gameplay feel.
So what the hell are you waiting for? Go download this now! Who knows if they’ll keep it up forever? Just click on the picture up top.
At the time of this writing, I’ve played through nearly all of X-COM: Enemy Unknown so I feel that, aside for maybe a few things that happen at the end that are yet unknown to me, I am hopefully pretty accurate with this info. I’m not here to review the game; you can read about that anywhere considering this is a pretty high profile game. I am here to discuss the differences between the new Firaxis developed reboot and the original strategy masterpiece by Microprose. First and foremost, I know most people are saying they’re dumbed the game game. I don’t know if I really agree with that sentiment per se. Streamlined, definitely, but not necessarily dumbed down. Many of the micromanagement facets of the game that might have bogged down gameplay have been cut or changed and what remains is a sound strategy game where they leave you to focus more on the tactics of combat.
However, most of the things they removed are things that I liked. My list of grievances is as follows:
- Having multiple bases is gone. It’s not something that would be required the way the new mechanics are set up, but I enjoyed this level of management.
- Your soldiers level progression is predetermined. No longer are their stats determined by how you outfit them and method of play.
- Rockets have been nerfed. Heavies can only carry 1 rocket per mission (2 with an upgrade). There are no inventory slots to take extra rockets and incendiary rockets are gone completely.
- Aircraft options are limited. Hybrid craft are non-existent (to my knowledge) which means that shooting down a craft and mopping up afterwards can no longer be a simultaneous affair.
- Interceptors cannot be sent out in multiples. You can only send out one at a time and hope for the best.
- Selling items is limited to only what is salvaged from aliens on a mission. You can no longer sell weapons, gear, items, etc, from your own stores.
Then there are some things that I’m mostly indifferent about. I acknowledge their change, and I can see why they did it, but either way would have been fine with me. Gone now are the different types of shots. Aimed shot, snap shot, auto shots are all gone leaving everyone with just a generic fire mode. But Time Units are gone as well, so the amount of time each soldier used to line up a shot is irrelevant now anyway. TUs have been replaced with each soldier simply being granted 2 action points a turn, which allows them to move and then have 1 action or spend the entire turn running. Though this leaves less flexibility with what each character can do per turn, that also makes you think harder about what they must do. Setting up your soldiers personal inventory has been simplified, making it easier to just jump into a mission, but it also limits what they are able to carry, but that again makes you think harder about what to do with what you’re given.
Some changes they made are definitely logical choices that made the game better:
- Movement is far more fluid. Climbing, getting into cover, ducking, etc, happens automatically and doesn’t require a specific button press from the command icons.
- Soldier classes. I know I said i don’t like that you can’t customize your soldiers as much, but having classes is great. Each class gets specific abilities that help further personalize them and add a new element to leveling up rather than just increased stats and researching new weapons.
- New armor. All over the place. A handful of new armor types that have nifty functions like cloaking and grappling hooks.
- By far the best – and by today’s standards, necessary change – is the addition of multiplayer, complete with leaderboards and customizable teams. The only thing I could hope for there would be some kind of co-op mode, but I won’t cry about it.
You can say this game has been dumbed down, but it’s really just a different type of game. They wanted to take the focus off micromanagement and base development and put it more into the action and combat experience. Much of the tedium from the original game has been broken down, though I enjoyed parts of that tedium. Yes, they did simplify a lot, but the quality Firaxis put into X-Com: Enemy Unknown stands up on its own against the original. Plus, this is the most intelligent and tactically sound game that has been released on a console in years
For those of you who do actually come to this blog and follow it to any degree, I apologize for it’s rather lacklusterness lately. I’ve been super busy trying to buy a house, trying to get a new car, looking for a better and more fulfilling career (partly because I never saw the job I have now as a career). If anyone knows of any job opportunities around the southern NH area, seriously, let me know. I’d be willing to do nearly anything as long as it gets me out of my current situation. That being said, the car and house part of my time consumption are almost taken care of and once that’s squared away, I can get back into some serious gaming.
Over a year ago, I did a small piece on the game here, and finally, after years of waiting, it’s out! Notice the release date on the banner? Yeah, been waiting a long time.
Now the sad part – I haven’t received my download code yet! I had this thing pre-ordered forever ago. I was supposed to get a steam code, but I haven’t gotten it yet! I’m so friggin anxious to play this game, I’m about to just pay for the damn thing again and download it right away.
Tribute Games , the team that brought us Wizorb, and more importantly, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game, has a new upcoming Kickstarter-funded project in the works. Mercenary Kings will be a 2D platformer that looks like an absolutely bombastic, kill-spree, weapon-fest…. with very cute animation. It’s like if Contra and Metal Slug had a chibi wedding with Hello Kitty. The thing I’m most interested in is their gun crafting mechanic. Apparently every part of your weapon is customizable, allowing you to make all sorts of (hopefully very wacky and ludicrous) gun bastardizations. The game boasts 4 player local co-op, and will be available on a number of platformers including PC and the upcoming OUYA. Now if they could only get Anamanaguchi to do the soundtrack for them…
Anyway, I really don’t have much else to say about the game that you can’t read for yourself on their own page. So go there, check it out, watch their video, and get excited dammit!
There are many that feel that the only true RPGs are the classic, turn based, sprite infused, Japanese style RPGs. Now J-RPG is almost a dirty word since a vast majority of them that come out of Japan are piss-poor, terrible, games. Sorry, but it’s true. Star Ocean: The Last Hope doesn’t hold a candle to Mass Effect. But as much as I do love Mass Effect, it’s just not the RPG I want. It’s a great game, but I would never put it at the top of my favorite “RPG” list. Lost Odyssey was a good shot, but what’s that, 1 game? 1 good true RPG for an entire console generation. One answer to this problem has been RPG Maker.
RPG Maker has been around for quite awhile now and I just wanted to introduce everyone to the library of community built games out there. I’m not talking about the RPG Maker games that were available for PS1 and PS2. Those were cool ideas, but since the internet wasn’t readily available to those systems, those programs could never reach their true potential since you couldn’t really share this information with a widespread audience.
I was first introduced to RPG Maker with RPG Maker 2000. This fantastic program made it very easy to create your own 16 bit RPG. It came with a ton of preset tiles, characters, sprites, sound effects, music, etc. and a bunch of tools to help you create your own. Plus fan made websites began sprouting up with full games they made you could download for free, or extra tools or tips you could use to build your own game. RPG Maker VX is the current iteration of the series, which is no longer free unfortunately. Actually, I’m not sure if RPGM2k was ever free, I just remember i didn’t pay for it. Anyway, if you want to get the older version, it’s still available and easy to find. If you want the most recent version, you can get it from the official RPG MAKER website. They do at least give you a trial period if you just want to check it out.
All that said, here’s a list of games I feel are most notable:
First Fantasy: Endless Nova
This is the game that introduced me to RPG Maker. I don’t remember the specifics, but I know I was doing a search for Final Fantasy stuff and I stumbled across this. “What’s this?!” I exclaimed, and frantically located where I could download both the game and the program to run it. Endless Nova really has nothing to do with the franchise, other than that its creator thought the game they were making was worthy of sharing the Final Fantasy title. Honestly, it’s a pretty damn good game that could easily follow in the footsteps of its SNES brethren. It is of course much shorter, has some spelling errors, and doesn’t have the privilege of being touched by Nobuo Uematsu. However, the intro screen has a midi version of the Serial Experiments Lain theme song. Not that I’d compare that to Uematsu. Abandonia everything you need to play it HERE.
Barkley, Shut Up & Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa
Yes, this is the title and yes, the game is as awesome as the title. By far my favorite on this list. First, a quick lesson; Gaiden translates into english as “tale” or “side-story”, usually used when a story has a spin-off from its original but not necessarily a sequel. For example, Joanie Loves Chachi, a spin-off from Happy Days, could alternatively be called Happy Days Gaiden. Also, saying the word as “GAY-dun” is wrong. The appropriate pronunciation is “GUY-den”, so please correct yourself. If it sounds like I’m being pushy, I am. We Americans have been saying Ninja Gaiden wrong for over 20 years now. It’s time to make a change. But I digress… Barkley, Shut Up & Jam: Gaiden follows the story of Charles Barkley and his son, Hoopz, years after basketball has been outlawed due to the catastrophic Chaos Dunk, a “jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order”. His former fellow pro B-baller, Michael Jordan, is now part of B-Ball Removal Department, and where they were once rivals on the court, their rivalry now threatens the life of Charles and his son.
If this all sounds insane, that’s because it is… INSANELY AWESOME! Don’t let the ridiculous premise fool you. It’s not all just jokes and silliness. this is a very well put together game. Tales of Games Studios is responsible for this instant classic and it’s obtainable HERE
The following can all be obtained from the RPG Maker VX Community:
Unlike the rest of the games mentioned today, this one isn’t free. It’s not too expensive, only $14.99, but still a bit much for an indie game (there is a free trial at least). Why isn’t this one free you ask? You’ll see once you play it. The level of production that went into this game far exceeds any others and they used way more than the tools that are supplied with the program. All of the main characters are created from scratch. It has a well written storyline set in a Steampunk universe. I think this game could have easily been a console original.
A Japanese only Square Enix production for the Super Famicom. Radical Dreamers was a side story for Chrono Trigger and served as the inspiration for Chrono Cross. Much of the music and characters featured in Radical Dreamers appear in Chrono Cross. Although there was never an official English release, translated roms are available. So if there’s a translated rom for it, then why did someone make a version with RPG Maker? That’s because it’s a text based game that kind of reads like a choose your own adventure book. The goal of this project is to capture the feel of a true Chrono Trigger sequel as much as possible. It’s too bad that it’s never been completed. Or if it has, then I am painfully unaware and somebody, PLEASE, send me in the direction where I can find it.
These are notable enough for at least a quick mention:
Tales of the Drunken Paladin – This is your classic 16 bit, turn based, fantasy RPG, only it’s not. It plays like one and looks like one, but doesn’t have the sensibility of one. Absurd character names, contemporary dialogue with a silly tone, and a story where the main character is a cross between Joxer from Xena and Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. That may not be entirely accurate, he’s a better fighter than Joxer.
Kingdom Maker - Interesting program used to make something apart from an RPG. Part tower defense, part city builder. I don’t know if this game is technically complete or not though, but it seemed kind of bland. Liked the concept though.
Ghostbusters – Too awesome not to check out. The developer used a lot of art from the comic books and did a good job of doctoring the sprites. Battles are fought Dragon Quest style.
The Silmarillion – Nirnaeth Arnoeidad – As far as I know, there has never been a game about The Silmarillion. As a Lord of the Rings fan, I was very curious about this one. I’ve never read The Silmarillion in its entirety so I really don’t know how accurate the game is. It’s an interesting story though if you’re a fan. Lots of backstory about what happened many, MANY years before Sauron became the all powerful dark lord. Only downside of this game is that the backgrounds are extremely bland and makes it feel incomplete.
Valhalla – A card battle game. Wasn’t really my cup o’ tea, but it was interesting to see someone make a card game out of an RPG mechanic.
I too had my own RPG years ago,simply titled, Mr. T’s Adventure. You played as Mr. T and one morning you awaken to find that your gold chains have been stolen by some fiend. Mr. T roars in anger, chugs a whole carton of milk and throws it on the floor shattering it (yes, shattered a carton, for Mr. T is such a man of brute force, and his rage so furious, that he can shatter cartons), gets in his van and then the adventure begins. Months into its creation, my computer broke down and I was unable to recover the data from my hard drive. I did have back up files, but somehow they had become corrupt. I guess the universe didn’t want this game to exist. I was too heartbroken to ever remake it, thus this adventure never came to fruition.