Neo Geo Goodness!
Adventures of Pip – Full Playthrough
Just finished beating Adventures of Pip, by Tic Toc Games. The full release will be available in May for Xbox One, PS4, 360, PC, Mac and Wii U, but it got an early release on Steam. I’m not sure how completely done the game is though. At least I’m hoping what was released on Steam isn’t the finished product. It seems almost fully polished. It’s a solid platformer with excellent controls and all gameplay elements are there and I didn’t encounter any bugs, but it’s lacking some music. Worlds 2 and 3 use the same tracks and every stage in each world uses the same music throughout. Boss music is also sadly absent. There just wasn’t enough variety. Jake Kaufman is responsible for the soundtrack and I’ve never been disappointed by his work, so I’m hoping it all just hasn’t been added in yet.
Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of pure platforming games. I’ll play them, but they tend to get too aggravating too fast or I simply lose interest because there’s generally no substance. Adventures of Pip provided just the right amount of difficulty (for me anyway) and had a few challenges but nothing that got too rage-quit inducing. For the less casual platform gamer, I can see this game getting picked up and blown through in a single sitting.
Overall I enjoyed the game, which for the designer of a platformer, is quite a challenge to get me to say. Below is the full playthrough done on Twitch, laid out stage by stage. We had some technical difficulties throughout. Audio levels especially in the first video. It’s mostly the commentary (which is asinine anyway) that has problems. Game audio is pretty much fine.
THQs Humble Bundle
We all know that THQ has seen some rough waters over the past year; Their stock dropping from about $20 to around 60 cents a share. To avoid being delisted, the company did a 1 to 10 reverse stock split to bring themselves back up to market standards, but their stock has still been steadily in decline since. They’ve tried redirecting their company’s gaming focus, moving away from casual and child games after the utter failure from the UDraw tablet. Instead, THQ plans on focusing on the hardcore, mainstream, 15yr-35yr gaming audience. However, even their top titles haven’t given them the success they so dearly needed. WWE was considered a success, but sales were down from last years release, Darksiders II didn’t meet the company’s expectations, but probably worst of all, the license rights to the UFC games has been lost to publisher EA.
As a seemingly last ditch effort to get some revenue, THQ has available a Humble Bundle offer. Clearly a sign of desperation considering the Humble Bundle is generally associated with indie games. At the time of this writing, there are 5 days left to get 8 THQ games for around $6. The games included are:
- Red Faction: Argmageddon
- Metro 2033 – an excellent and underrated FPS set in a post nuclear irradiated Russia.
- Company of Heroes – one of my favorite RTS of all time. More importantly, it shares the game engine with Dawn of War, which is definitely my top favorite RTS ever.
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
- Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
- Saints Row the Third
- Titan Quest – basically it’s a Diablo clone in ancient Greece. Of all the Diablo clones out there, this one is by far the best, and I actually like this game better than Diablo III.
Essentially, you could get the first 6 games for absolutely free, but if you beat the average payment amount others are giving, you unlock Saints Row, Titan Quest, and additionally, Path to War DLC for Red Faction, and soundtracks to Red Faction, Saints Row, and Company of Heroes. That’s a lot of stuff for 6 bucks and it shows just how in need THQ is right now. Games that were retailing for $59.99, they’re almost literally giving away. During checkout, you choose how to divide your payment between THQ, charity, and the Humble Bundle team. So if you really wanted, you could give it all to charity and say “screw off” to THQ. Or if you don’t care about children in need, give it all to THQ, because quality video games are more important.
Personally, I don’t want to see THQ be forced to liquidate for selfish reasons. The WWE games are pretty fun but most of all, they own licensing rights to the Warhammer 40k games. I know some other publisher would probably pick them up, but I’ve really enjoyed what’s been released under THQs guidance. And nothing’s certain, I’m fearful for what might happen.
Btw, incase you didn’t figure it out already, just click on the banner up top to go to the Humble Bundle page.
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!
Humble Indie Bundle 4 – FREE GAMES FOR CHARITY
Another win-win situation up for grabs. They’ve put together a collection of games called The Humble Indie Bundle 4 available for download FREE if you want, but you get a bonus if you donate to charity. 5 games are available at no cost, however they throw in another 2 if you donate higher than the average donation rate. What are the games you ask?
You can donate whatever you want, it’s fully customizable. You only want to donate a dollar, you can! You want to give nothing? You can and still get 5 games for free. If you donate as little as $10 though you get Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles as the bonus games along with the other 5, for 7 games in all! All of which all sold for around that on their own.
The games are all available on Steam, or for direct download on PC, MAC, and Linux.
The American Red Cross and the Child’s Play Charity get some money and you get a handful of games; everybody wins. So do it!!!
CLICK HERE or the pictures for a direct link to the site.
Donate for Extra-Life – FINAL WEEK
This is the final week to donate towards this fundraiser. On Oct. 15th I’ll be taking part in this marathon of gaming to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Any donations are welcome. Remember, 100% of your donation goes towards charity. If you don’t think you have enough to donate, just think, even ONE DOLLAR can make a difference. And if you feel you can’t even do that, just pass this along to someone else and ask them to do it. Just click on the picture above to donate. And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your chair to donate. Credit cards are welcome.
http://www.Extra-Life.org is a fundraising organization that works with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They will be holding 2 events during the month of October to help raise money for kids. October 1st will be G3: Gaming and Giving for Good, being sponsored by XBOX 360. Even if you don’t have Xbox Live, they are giving you a free weekend of gold membership to play games online in support of the fundraiser. The other, the Extra-Life 2011 Marathon, will be held on October 15. The idea is that it’s like a walkathon, but with video games. Play games for 24 hours on your favorite console, or PC. This is being supported by PS3, XBOX, Steam, and Rift. Below are links to each respective events sign-up page.
Everyone is welcome to participate whether you are an individual, team, want to donate, or even just pass the word along. $1 would be better than nothing, and if that’s too much for you, then at least take the time to let someone else know about this and forward this site to them.
I will be joining in on Extra-Life 2011 on Oct 15. Expect to catch me on XBOX Live most likely playing Space Marine all day. In case you haven’t already noticed, I have these huge banners on the sidebar so if you’d like to sponsor me and make a donation, click on them. My goal is to get $100. That doesn’t seem like much if everyone who came across this even gave pennies. Any little bit helps, so Make a Donation!
I get no money out of this. You’re not giving me money, you’re giving money to kids who need medical attention. Even giving next to nothing would still be SOMETHING. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your computer to donate. Just click on the large SPONSOR ME! picture and it will take you to a link where you can donate. They have preset denominations, but you can select other in put in whatever. You can use a credit card or even paypal! PENNIES! PENNIES WOULD BE AN ACCEPTABLE DONATION EVEN.
Cthulhu Saves the World
First off, you have to love the box art, reminiscent of Capcom’s NES days. I’m immediately reminded of Little Nemo the Dream Master, though Cthulhu and Nemo have naught in common. Cthulhu Saves the World is the second game developed by Zeboyd Games. Much like its precursor, Breath of Death VII (also an awesome game to check out), Cthulhu is imagined in amazing 16-bit graphics, taking us back to a time when RPGs ruled the home gaming console.
Games don’t really seem to fit cleanly into one specific genre anymore. Call of Duty is the most popular FPS ever, but it does have RPG elements to it. You level up, acquire new skills and weapons, gain experience points. Then we have the biggest RPGs like Fallout and Mass Effect, which are basically RPGs turned shooters. The line that used to so clearly define the genre of a game has been blurred, almost completely erased even. Not that I have anything against any of those games, but I like my turn based RPGs dammit! Alas, they are a dying breed. Developers don’t really make them for consoles anymore, because unless you’re a Square Enix fanboy/girl, you want immediate action and swift gratification, which has been the standard for this generation of consoles. I get it… I mean there’s a completely valid reason; video games are more of a “business” now than they’ve ever been so they only push what sells. But that’s exactly why I wanted to review indie games in the first place; As much as I love video games, the artistic endeavor is often cast aside for the commercial product. Over commercialization of anything will ultimately cheapen it. It’s all about how much money they can squeeze out of a franchise. How many Tony Hawk games are there? How many are actually any good? So where have the good traditional RPGs gone? They’re out there, just not so mainstream as they used to be.
Cthulhu has definitely been one of the most undersaturated monsters in the media. Vampires and Zombies are so commonplace, they might as well be a friendly neighbor. How many about Cthulhu? Aside from that one South Park episode, I can’t think of any. Though he has been a familiar face in the gaming culture for years. There have definitely been games about him, but never with him as the star. Cthulhu could not slumber forever. Through the unfathomable power held by the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu has risen from the murky depths and stepped into the limelight. I think once you have a plush novelty doll of yourself, you’ve made it. Would H.P. Lovecraft approve of this game? Is this a bastardization of the Cthulhu mythos? Yes, and it’s good.
The first 5 minutes of the game introduce you to one of the most ingenious plots a god could muster..but not really. Allow me to explain. Residing in his underwater realm of R’lyeh, Cthulhu finally awakens to embark upon his destruction of the world. His plans are immediately thwarted as a mysterious stranger appears somewhat arbitrarily and easily strips Cthulhu of his power. Only by becoming a true hero and saving those in need will he be able to regain his lost power in order to destroy the world. Sounds kind of counter productive doesn’t it? Anyway, thus we are thrust into the game. I really don’t want to give anything of the story away because afterall, RPGs are mainly about the story anyway. Trust me, it is truly entertaining, humorous and just a solid good old school RPG. The dialogue is particularly light considering the cosmic greatness that is Cthulhu, and consists mostly of witty banter. So don’t expect a convoluted adventure, question the meaning of ones existence, like most of the Final Fantasy games. Gameplay is pretty much straight out of NES and SNES Dragon Quest, though with more leveling up options. Depending on your playing style, the game will take somewhere between 6 – 10 hours. Also, it seems a main battle mechanic is to make things insane. I for one am totally for anything that promotes insanity.
I would also like to quickly address the games credits. In the “special thanks” section of the credits, they list Kainazzo, a boss from Final Fantasy II, and the lowercase letter ‘e’. Maybe they thought they could sneak those in there because no one ever reads the credits. But I do!
Available for XBOX Live Arcade at 240 MS points, or on Steam you can get the Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World bundle for just $2.99. You cant go wrong. So do it. If you don’t, you’re basically admitting that you don’t like good games.
Of course I wouldn’t leave you without a chance to see the amazing theme song trailer.
As always, please don’t forget to share this post.
Thanks for reading!
Issue #0.5My main source of nutrition for the three day period consisted primarily of nachos and energy drinks; the real gamers diet.
1) Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. A rampage through the enemies of mankind. One of my favorite aspects of this game was the seamless transition between ranged and melee combat. That and it’s over the top, gore infused, non-stop action. They were handing out scratch off cards to people waiting in line for a chance to win t-shirts or a real life sized chainsword. Sadly, I won neither.
2) Duke Nukem Forever. This game is going to get bashed in reviews across the board, I just know it. But you kind of have to go into playing this game with that mindset. It’s a completely balls out FPS with corny, outdated humor, but I knew that already and that’s exactly what I wanted. Is it as good as Gears of War, Bulletstorm, or even Quake 4? Not really, but that’s ok. If you crossed together maybe Bullstorm and Eat Lead, I guess that’s kind of what Duke Nukem forever is like. And as long as you go into it knowing this, you might enjoy yourself. It’s kind of like those hot dog carts in the city. The food’s great, but you know it’s not gourmet. Anyway, the line to play this was a bit longer than expected, especially since the game was coming out a week later anyway. Once at the front of the line, they put you into this room filled with Duke iconography, give you a beer or red bull inside a nifty little Duke Nukem cup cooler, and set you down to play multiplayer. I played a session of Capture the Babe; an interesting spoof of the capture the flag classic where you have to return the enemies babe to your base and you even get to spank her if she gets unruly.
3) Trenched. This was a fun spin on the tower defense formula. Instead of just blithely placing towers and watching them take down the endless onslaught of mindless invaders from an overhead perspective, you are actively engaged in eliminating your enemies from a third person shooter view. You pilot one of three mechs: light, medium, and heavy, with light being fastest with least firepower but with the best towers and heavy with most firepower but weakest towers. Towers remain common to the genre however, with anti-air, ground, air/ground, etc. Coming out this summer for XBLA and it will support online multiplayer.
4) Street Fighter X Tekken. I didn’t get to play this nearly as much as I wanted to. There was constantly a large crowd surrounding the booth, much akin to the crowds surrounding the Street Fighter II cabinets from the days of yore when arcades ruled our collective video game consciousness. For those who were able to beat 3 opponents in a row, Capcom was handing out character themed bobble heads. I lost. It was a noble defeat however. The opponent who felled me had his difficulty setting at just about my level. Neither were able to land a finishing blow, instead all of our rounds ended in a time out. So I can at least walk away knowing I had a good match. The game plays mostly like Street Fighter IV but with a little MVC and Tekken Tag thrown in there.
5)Star Wars: The Old Republic. OMG! YES PLEASE! I didn’t get a chance to play this, though believe me, I wanted to. This had one of the longest lines at E3 and I really just didn’t have time to wait on another 2+ hour line. I did get to watch it a great deal though. This booth was adjacent to the Space Marine drop pod, so I got to watch an hour of so of other people playing it on several oversized displays. Looks very good, as any game made by Bioware is bound to be. It has their proprietary dialogue system, which should lend a great deal of narrative to this MMO, something that the genre sorely lacks. No official release date yet, but Mass Effect 3 has been pushed back to March so hopefully that means we’ll see a release sometime this year. *crosses fingers*
A few other interesting tidbits:
There was a bouncy castle tucked away behind all the main booths! Yay for analog entertainment!
They had a full retro video game history museum set up, complete with two dozen or so full arcade cabinets from the 70s – early 90s, all with free play activated! Not a single quarter was wasted this day. Some of my favorites on site were: Punch-Out!!, Raiden II (love me some bullet hell), and Altered Beast. Shaolin Road was absent unfortunately, and as the self proclaimed master of that game, I would have liked to show off my skills.
I was surprised yet pleased to see so many people working well under the honor system; There was nothing holding the memorabilia down, no cameras, and no one standing guard. Their website is www.vghmuseum.org. 8 Bit Weapon, a chiptune group, and Descendants of Erdrick, a video game tribute band that includes a flute player, supplied crowds with live music.
A few people in cosplay, but nothing like going to a comic-con. Here we have Renegade Commander Shepherd to the left and Zero Suit Samus on the right.
Lastly and leastly, this is the best Square Enix had to offer. On display were all of the toys and collectables you can get from their web store. Some of you may argue that they were showcasing Final Fantasy XIII-2 but I would have to assume that’s a joke, because no one really cares about the garbage Square Enix produces anymore. Aside from the remake of Final Fantasy IV and the Dragon Quest games on the DS, and those don’t even really count because they’re not technically NEW, Square Enix hasn’t had any good original IPs since PSX.
Anyway, I do have tons more to say about my first ever E3 trip, but what can I say that you haven’t already heard watching G4, or hasn’t already been covered by any of the bigger websites, bloggers, or game mags.
I do appreciate your comments though, so PLEASE feel free to leave one. Don’t forget to read yesterdays post!
And I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think of the Wii U.
Thanks for reading!