Blog Archives

The Real Reason to Want a PS4

Octodad-Dadliest-Catch

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.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/AJKtJG7bDME” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

This Game Makes Me Want To Barf

rcr-webAwhile 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,

It’s Out Tday!!

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.

Mercenary Kings – 2D Action Awesomeness

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!

Xmas Games – Any Worth Playing?

“Why don’t you post something about holiday Christmas games that have come out?”

“No, that is such a horrendous waste of time. Why would I bother talking about games that are disastrously awful?”

“Well do you have anything better you wanted to talk about this week?”

“Yeah, kinda. There’s that Metroid 2 fan remake that’s finally nearing completion. I’ve been meaning to do something on that for a while now.”

“Well you can put that off a little longer.”

“You’re right! I can!”

That’s pretty much the conversation I had with myself about doing this. As we swing inexorably towards what I know as the culmination event of our consumer/retail bondage-fest, which you may know as Christmas, there are inevitably going to be game developers hoping to bank on our misguided holiday spirit. Thus we have holiday themed games, and they are NEVER any good or worth paying for. Except for maybe Christmas Lemmings, but that was just a skin over a pre-existing game… and it was free.

So I took the time to browse through a few holiday-centric games and believe me, they’re not worth your time or money. Although there was one that sort of stuck out – Elf Squad 7. I’ll be honest, I was tricked into playing this because I didn’t even realize it was a holiday game. The biggest point it has going for it, it’s only a buck. Secondly, and very surprisingly, it’s made by Stardock! Stardock specializes in strategy games like Sins of a Solar Empire, which caused a few blinks of disbelief when I saw their logo attached to a cutesy-ish, retro style, holiday game. Which leads me to the third point, it’s retro, and we all know I’m a sucker for those. The music isn’t as chiptuney as I would have expected though, but it is happy and catchy and I can’t complain. The basic premise of the game is that there’s a present shortage and you have to help wrap the gifts. Toys and such fall from the sky and you have to use your gift wrapping gun to save them. Wrap enough gifts in the allotted time to beat the stage. In between stages you can buy upgrades, which I normally wouldn’t expect from such a basic game, but thankfully Stardock made it. You can pick from 6 different characters, and up to 4 people can play at once. Available on XBOX Live and PC. There’s a lot of game here for only a dollar. Christmas game or not, this is a good buy, and probably the only Xmas game that came out this year worth playing.

This is where I was going to list the other Xmas games that I came across, but I won’t even bother. You’re not going to play them, and you shouldn’t. Waste of time for me to talk about them and waste of time for you to know about them.

You know what, just play Christmas Lemmings. You can download it free HERE. But keep in mind it’s a DOS game. If you don’t know what Lemmings is, or DOS for that matter, then just adhere to my earlier statement of all Christmas themed games being garbage.

I was thinking, I created this blog with praising indie games in mind. It seems so often I’m bashing them. So much negativity… The next post will be a positive, upbeat one. I promise!

Wizorb

Arkanoid, Alleyway, Breakout, or by whatever else you know that game, has gotten a major overhaul. Wizorb is part Breakout, Part Devil’s Crush, part RPG, all awesome. It’s a game that embodies the exact reason of why I support indie games; it’s a game of passion and not necessarily of financial gain, though I’m sure the developers wouldn’t mind making profit off it. And who are the developers exactly?  Jean-François Major, Justin Cyr, and Jonathan Lavigne are the masterminds behind Wizorb, the first game developed by their recently formed Tribute Games. Jonathan’s own portfolio consists of working on a handful of games at Ubisoft, including one of my personal favorites, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game. Anyone who’s a fan of River City Ransom is totally legit in my eyes.

I only had to play this game for about 10 seconds before I knew I loved it. You all know I’m a sucker for new games made in that retro 8-bit style. I will invariably try out any game just because it looks 8-bit, but all too often they’re nothing special. Just trying to bank off my nostalgic sentimentalism of my youthful gaming. Although I would have played it for just the soundtrack alone – nothing beats a catchy chiptune soundtrack and sometimes I’ll forget I’m even playing a bad game if the music is good.  But Wizorb is the total package, and what’s more, it’s not just a cleverly re-imagined game, it’s an excellent blend of arcade style gaming, story telling, and genre mashing. You play as Cyrus the wizard, master of a secret magic, the Wizorb! Using your mastery of white and black magic you must help save Gorudo from a mysterious evil threat. Acquire gold and power ups by defeating enemies and beating stages to help the villagers rebuild their homes and bring prosperity back to Gorudo.

The gameplay is broken down into basically two parts – the narrative where you talk to townspeople and set of on your quest, and then the action stages which is essentially like playing breakout. Rather than just a lifeless bar and ball however, you control the Wizorb and Cyrus’s magical wand to deflect the orb, destroying bricks and enemies. Proving that his wizardly prowess is more than just a glorified inanimate deflecting bar, your control of magic allows you to shoot fireballs from your wand, or alter the orbs course with a gust of wind.  The inclusion of wandering enemies on the field was a nice touch and makes the game more dynamic. Otherwise I could have easily gotten that metronome style of deflect ball, break bricks, then repeat from many other various sources. And the far reaching goal of saving an entire town gives you more of a reason to play rather than just looking for something to do to kill some time. I would consider this a casual game like most of the ones you can find on an android or iphone, and I usually disdain casual games, but it’s that RPG element that completely elevates it above the entire genre. You may have played games like Wizorb before, but never one this well developed.

Developer: Tribute Games

Released: 09/28/2011

Official Site: Wizorb.com

Platform: XBLA – 240 MSP

Ninja Madness

A Ninja themed set of 3 quickies available from the Indie Xbox Live Arcade.

Ninja Stole My Bike

Ugh. This game is such trash. I won’t go into much detail about the gameplay, because there really isn’t much. Take an impossible game and make it more boring and then you have Ninja Stole My Bike. They took a genre of game where all you really do is press one button and found a way to make it less interesting. There are two redeeming qualities to this game however. For starters, it only costs 80 MSP, which is most likely more than what it cost to make the game. The other, which is probably already obvious to fans of YTMND.com, is the games namesake. Basically, your playing the cut scene from Punch-Out!! But instead of an up and coming boxer chasing a fat black man on a bike, you’re a pizza delivery boy chasing a ninja. So aside from the little chuckle I got from the connection to an overtly racist internet meme, this game is only worth it for those who have a major crush on these types of games and have played every other one in existence.

Developer: NinthDimensional

Released: 02/10/2011

Ninja Sneaking

Has that annoying chibi style of art, but that’s really the only negative thing I have to say about this game. It’s honestly pretty good for what it is. It’s a weird hybrid of a side-scrolling action platformer and stealth game, with a little bit of impossible game thrown in. Think if Solid Snake was storming Dr. Wily’s castle. The game has a much quicker pace than any Metal Gear though; you won’t be sitting there for more then a few seconds waiting for an enemy to turn away. You’re given two basic instructions at the onset of the game: Don’t be seen, and don’t murder anyone. The don’t be seen part was a given, I was expecting that considering the title and all. But the second part – no killing?! You’re a ninja and ninjas use swords and a swords sole purpose is to kill. Instead your sword is relegated to a glorified door slasher. The music’s not so bad either. I set my standards low for indie games, so I won’t say it’s good, but it’s catchy and goes with the pace of the game pretty well. This one’s also only 80 MSP and you could do much worse with a dollar.

Developer: Winglay

Released: 08/27/2011

Akane the Kunoichi

Kunoichi = female ninja

Definitely the most visually appealing of the three games reviewed. The 16-bit art style took me right back to the days of the SNES, with bright and vibrant sprite animations and backgrounds. This is a straight up action platformer. Akane performs as you would expect a ninja to – doing wall jumps, throwing projectiles at enemy ninjas, and harnessing her potent ninja magic. Although, the whole stealth aspect of being a ninja is thrown at the window. It kind of reminded me of Shinobi, but far more colorful, like if Nintendo had made Shinobi instead of Sega. The only real complaint I have is the noise she makes EVERY TIME you jump. I could really do without that, or at least some variety in effects. That aside, it was a pretty solid game. Controlled well, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, and a halfway decent soundtrack. I’m not a particularly big fan of platformers, so for that to be my only gripe shows that there was a good degree of effort put into developing this title. At only 80 MSP, it’s definitely worth the dollar.

Developer: Haruneko

Released: 05/28/2011

Since this is my top pick of the three, it deserves a video.

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By the way, if you’re still wondering about where Ninja Stole My Bike go its inspiration, GO HERE. But I warn you, it IS racist.

Swords & Potions

Holy fudge I am so hopelessly addicted to this game right now. Usually I’m very outspoken about how much I hate garbage like this. And yet here I am, unable to stop playing it. Swords & Potions is basically like Farmville, and if you don’t know what that is then how did you ever even find this blog? In this game, instead of running a farm, you are “ye olde shoppe keep” and you have to hire craftsman and buy and sell goods to turn a profit, hopefully successfully running your business (into the ground if you’re like me).

Look, there’s no way I can explain this game and make it sound exciting. You’re either into games like this or you’re not. Either way, if you’re even remotely interested, here’s a direct link to Swords & Potions. Check for me there, send me a message. Name is hypergorilla there too.

It’s available to play for free on Kongregate, where they have tons of other games as well, most of them worthless dribble, no better than most of the nonsense you can download for free for an iPhone.

And as always, share this page, give me a like, and thanks for reading!

Impossible Threesome

Issue #3

I figured since this was my third review, I would do three games at once. They’ll be short though so that I don’t take up too much of your time. All 3 are what could be considered impossible games.There’s really not too much to say about these type of games other that they never end and they’re impossible and they’re impossible because they never end. For the most part,  they follow basic platforming principles. You go right and jump over or onto things that are in your way. The main difference between these and a traditional platformer is that you don’t stop moving. The game progressively gets trickier and timing becomes more and more precise. There is no respite like a normal platforming game. You just go until you lose.

The Impossible Game

Released in ’09, I think it might have been the first game of its type on XBLA.  It might have been the first of its kind in general, but I’m not sure. I can’t find evidence of one and my memory fails me aside from maybe Adult Swim’s Go Right, but that one was hardly impossible. Even if it wasn’t the first though, The Impossible Game  is one of the the most notable, jumping from XBLA to iTunes and Android, making it the namesake of the genre.

This is the most basic impossible game. The “characters” consist of triangles and squares. You are a square and you can use other squares as platforms to jump onto, but if you hit them sideways, you die. You don’t get along with triangles at all. Any contact with a triangle and you die. You jump over triangles, or jump onto squares to give you extra height to clear a gap or jump over more triangles. That’s pretty much it. I know that sounds really simple but you need to be super precise with this one. There is very little margin for error.  Your timing and reaction skills get severely taxed even just 30 seconds into the game.

I have reason to believe that, despite what I said earlier, this game does have an end. It is perhaps also the most rewarding since, even though you might never reach the end, you at least get the feeling of making some progress. There’s a pattern to the shapes that come at you, so through patience and memorization you at least accomplish a section which you will then have to repeat when you die moments later. The fact that they have released a level pack for it further lends credence to this theory. But I’ll never know for sure. I certainly don’t have the patience to find out.

Techno Kitten Adventure

For a mere 240 Microsoft points you can be harassed by obnoxious techno music!  I refuse to spend much time on this game. I feel I was swindled by my love of kittens. Just look at that cute, fat, smushy, little thing. Yup, that’s what drew me into this one. Kittens, I love ’em. I would be that crazy old cat lady if I were old… or a lady.  Anyway, this game isn’t a writhing mass of cuteness like I thought it would be. Instead it was a hated impossible game wrapped up in a flashing, seizure-y, techno-infused, package. Yes I’m aware that “techno” is in the title, but the kitten blinded me of its existence.

Positive points for this game: It has the widest variety of options, stages, kittens, etc, that I’ve ever seen in an impossible game, which would give it significantly more replay value. Also, all the menus make kitten noises.

Negative points for this game: Everything else.

Instead of playing this game, you could easily just go to a rave and pretend your a kitten and randomly rub against strangers. But you shouldn’t, because raves are for idiots.

Zombie Accountant

The most memorable part of video games, for me, is the music. There’s a reason why 20 years later we still hum the Sonic the Hedgehog theme. So if a bad game has good music, it might still be worth playing. Zombie Accountant isn’t necessarily a bad game but I really can’t stand these impossible games and my thoughts of, “Ugh! Another zombie game?!” almost had me passing this one over completely. I’m glad I didn’t. If for nothing else, it was worth it for the music alone. It’s got a pretty rockin’ chiptune soundtrack that comes from “The Factory” by Multifaros, whose website can be found here.

Zombie Accountant was developed by Going Loud Studios, and it follows your basic impossible game formula. Things are in your way, you have go jump over them, all while it continually gets faster. However, they’ve injected a fair blend of humor to give this game its own flair, the fact that you are an accountant that is also a zombie for starters. There are a few other details that make this one stand out in the impossible game crowd. For example, there are actually TWO commands rather than the ubiquitous jump button; you can also duck!  You must duck under the other accountants. DON’T JUMP! You have no idea how many times I keep trying to jump over them. It’s just a reaction. It seems like you would be able to, but don’t bother, you can’t. The sooner you learn that the better.

Your job is to collect files which are haphazardly floating around for some reason. The more you collect and the less filing cabinets you bump into, the faster you go and the higher your score multiplier gets. I don’t seem to be able to get more than a x3 multiplier, so good luck. Score enough and you can get a promotion, which negates one of the brains you’ve accidentally removed from an accountants cranium. After your 3rd infraction, you are awarded with your Termination of Employment scorecard. Apparently eating too many brains can get you fired.

Whether you were hired by this accounting firm as a zombie, or being an accountant turned you into a zombie (which could be an intended pun), is never revealed.

END

I hate these games. They’re so mindless and I find they’re hard to walk away from once you’ve started. They’re quick enough where you can jump into a 2nd, 3rd, 76th, playthrough before you realize how much you hate yourself for sucking at it. I find parents complaining about their kids playing “mindless” games like Call of Duty, but I bet there’s a bunch out there that have downloaded these or games like this that are far more mindless, but they don’t think that way because there’s no violence in it. Ok, off topic a bit…

Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/ideas/yell at me.

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I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1

Issue #2

Perhaps the best dollar I’ve ever spent was on this game. Now go ahead, think about that. When was the last time you said you spent only a dollar and were completely satisfied. Even a bottle of soda generally will cost $1.25 or more and those are only temporary. 16 oz. only lasts so long and if you share it with someone, your reducing your satisfaction level; however, sharing this game actually brings your satisfaction level over 9000! Unless I was in the middle of the desert, dehydration enveloping me in its death grip, that dollar could be no better spent. But there’s no vending machines in the middle of the desert anyway, so I maintain it was my wisest dollar purchase ever.

There’s no doubt that the zombie apocalypse is coming (see ref. Zombie Survival Guide) Or in some cases is already here. I’m pretty certain that everyone in Canada is a zombie. Beware our neighbors to the north! But I digress. So with everyone’s rising interest in the oncoming zombie hoard, pop media in all its forms became flooded with zombies. Call of Duty: World at War and Left 4 Dead weren’t the first games to include killing tons of zombies, but they were perhaps the most influential of this generation. Thus opening the gateway for Ska-Studios to develop, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1  Around the same time, another game simply named, Zombie Apocalypse was released. They both offer a similar style of gameplay, but IMaGWZ1i is by far the most gratifying shoot ’em up out there. Especially if you use a cost vs. fun ratio. Please refer to chart A-1 which I made using MS Paint.

*A-1

As you can see they are pretty close in fun factor, hovering somewhere between a 7 and 8. However, Zombie Apocalypse costs 800 Microsoft points ($10) and IMaGWZ1i is 80($1), IMaGWZ1i has an astoundingly high positive CvF  (cost vs. fun) differential of +6.5, while ZAs CvF is actually negative. That means IMaGWZ1i is nearly 217% more fun per dollar!

Even though Zombie Apocalypse came out only a month later,  I’m going to claim that they completely copied IMaGWZ1i, and with their larger budget, were able to work on it an accelerated schedule to get the game released in just over a month. They both share the same concept; kill wave after wave of zombies. They both have a similar weapon loadout; machine guns, flamethrowers, shotguns, etc. IMaGWZ1i just executes it better.

Now despite what I may have lead you to believe, this game really isn’t about the zombie apocalypse, but there are definitely zombies in it, and you must kill them, all of them. You get thrown in without any explanation of what to do, but do you need one? Controls are simple, left stick is movement and right stick shoots. I really like this control scheme. It’s been around awhile but more and more games are using it now. The ease of its style makes it easier to just get into the combat and have fun without being bogged down with too many commands. There are plenty of powerups to help keep up the fight against the hoard; there is almost never a moment when there isn’t a new powerup popping up somewhere on the screen, often there are a dozen or so, and they are all necessary because there is also never a moment when the screen isn’t littered with things that want to kill you. And thats pretty much how you play the game. You spend your time running from powerup to powerup, dodging and killing as many zombies as you can in between.

Taking graphics out of consideration, the visuals are quite amazing. That is to say, if you were ever uncertain if a game could give you a seizure, this is the game to play.  Seriously, this is a warning. If you have any friends with epilepsy and you want a good laugh, invite them over to enjoy up to 4 player co-op. Without giving too much away, there are far more enemies in this game than just zombies. After the first wave, everything becomes complete nonsense and it only gets worse as time goes on. Confusion takes  center stage pretty quickly; you’re not sure what’s happening and are rarely able to accurately locate yourself on the screen and if you are playing with 4 people, it’s utter chaos, especially when anger mode starts.

The soundtrack is awesome. You can check it out yourself here. It’s a catchy little ditty about the game itself and often I find myself playing just to hear the song. On a side note, an odd point about the game is that the soundtrack is as long as the game itself. The game just ends. You either die or survive the predetermined time limit and are awarded your final score. This is by no means a strike against the game. It has just the right amount of gameplay to not get annoying or boring. If it dragged on any longer than it does, it would become sorely tedious. Whether it was because the developers had the keen sense to see ahead, or because of budget concerns or what have you, this is the most neatly wrapped up game you can buy for a dollar. And you should buy it…now… it’s only a dollar.

Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/ideas/yell at me.  A like on facebook would be awesome, but subscribing would be more awesome!

Thanks for reading!

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