Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

PlayStation Network

Review: Abyss Odyssey

Jul 15 // Alasdair Duncan
Abyss Odyssey (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: ACE TeamPublisher: AtlusMSRP: $14.99/£10.99 Released: July 15, 2014  Santiago, 1890: strange cracks in the ground have appeared across the city, revealing a nether realm of monsters and unusual beings. While the army tries to hold back the nightmarish tide, a strange woman appears, brandishing a sword and leaping into the fray to fight back. Her name is Katrien and she reveals these creatures and the Abyss itself are aspects of the mind of a powerful warlock. All of this is the setup of a particularly unique type of roguelike, a game that's closer to the recent Sunless Sea than The Binding of Issac or Spelunky. Those two games were more centered about you gaining knowledge and experience to help you progress a little further each time but Abyss Odyssey is built more about repeating levels and grinding XP to help the player progress. [embed]277987:54866:0[/embed] While Abyss Odyssey has permadeath of sorts, it's not implemented in the ways you're used to; for starters, if Katrien or one of the other player characters should fall, a soldier will take over and can revive the fallen hero if they're able to get to a shrine that might be in the level. This is neat because the soldier will level up along with the main hero (but will still be the weaker of the two). Sometimes it's easier to just run away from combat and try and find the nearest shrine, especially if you passed one on the way. Players will retain XP and their level between deaths, along with any money they've found. This is where the real progression lies as the more a player levels up, the easier the enemies will be in the earlier dungeons. There's still some difficulty spikes though, like some mini-bosses that will dish out a real beating even if you've breezed through the upper levels. It's here where frustration can set in as progress can feel quite slow at times, especially when you've replayed the opening few levels eight or nine times already. The procedurally-generated layouts aren't varied enough to make each run stand out, so you're left with a feeling of spinning your wheels while slowly getting your rewards. There's three entrances to the Abyss, each with its own set of levels descending deeper and deeper into the ground. Each level is procedurally generated and the difficulty level will be different each time you play, although that really only manifests itself in the enemies that you encounter. Things like spikes and lava pits don't drastically increase the challenge and in the first few hours, you'll only see a handful of enemies. The difficulty will ramp up to the point where you're going to just whittle down the amount of health you have until your eventual demise.  Don't be fooled, though -- enemies are still tough to deal with even on Easy levels. Undead soldiers and the freakish-looking, armless birdmen are tricky on their own but once you're facing two or three of them at a time, it becomes really important for the player to keep their guard up and pick off the weaker enemies first. They'll dodge projectile attacks and will chase you down, although there were plenty of times when I was slightly higher up than some enemies and they simply left me alone to wail on a single opponent without joining in. Some have counter attacks that will flip you up into the air leaving you vulnerable to combos and others will wield poisoned or cursed weapons. In a nice touch, it's clear when enemies are holding special weapons and things like keys, which makes it easier to know who you should take out first.  The combat in Abyss Odyssey is surprising in its depth. Each character can only wield one main weapon (different soldiers wield different firearms as their special attack), but there's still a lot to master. Enemies are smart enough to dodge and weave out of the way of your attacks, even at the easier difficulty levels. Swipes can hit enemies that are behind the player and while it's tempting to just button-mash, it's much more effective to get in a few hits between blocks. One frustration is that it's easy to get your character facing the wrong way. Katrien is the more balanced of the three playable characters, especially in terms of speed when compared to the Ghostly Monk. There's a range of moves that all characters have, from cancelling out of the special attacks to utilizing the air dodge to launch a new combo. While I'm hesitant to say Abyss Odyssey has the same depth of moves as something like Street Fighter IV, it has a much more robust fighting system than you'd expect from a game that appears to be a 2D action-platformer. The addition of two-player co-op makes fight sequences even more frantic and enjoyable. Another neat feature is the ability to possess enemies and use them as a secondary character. If you can accumulate enough mana, you can unleash a binding spell that will capture an adversary and allow you to flip between them and your main character. Your captured character has a separate health bar, so it's worth alternating between the two and taking advantage of any health drops to get your main all healed up. However, it would have been nice if this was explained at the start of the game; a lot of the small fundamental mechanics aren't properly introduced, which maddeningly enough extends to the no-death tutorial/prologue at the start. There are markers that point out where you should block, dash, and so forth but there's no button prompts to tell you how to actually do those moves. I had to exit to the main menu and look at the controller config screen to figure out what I had to do. That sense of discovery can be exciting to some but here it feels like a barrier to progress. In a game like this where mastering the mechanics is key, there's a lot to learn early on in Abyss Odyssey and it can feel slightly overwhelming. Once you understand that you're only expected to get so far in, die, and come back again, you'll be able to get into a groove that allows you to explore further and further. While it would be nice to see some more variety in the level layouts and early enemies, there's still a really enjoyable and deep combat system that's reason enough to descend into the Abyss.  [Note: There are some planned community goals that will affect the state of certain parts of the game but this wasn't able to be tested before release.]
Abyss Odyssey photo
A strange mix of 2D combat and surreal visuals
One thing you can't accuse Chilean developer ACE Team of doing is ploughing the same, well trodden ground as other indie devs. Its debut hit Zeno Clash combined a surrealistic art style with first-person, melee combat, while ...

Class of Heroes 2G photo
Class of Heroes 2G

Class of Heroes 2G is getting a scant few physical copies

Better pre-order if you want in on this production run
Jul 04
// Brittany Vincent
Class of Heroes 2G, a dungeon-crawling RPG playable on PlayStation 3, Vita, or PSP, will be receiving a run of limited edition boxed copies. After pre-orders for the physical editions cease on July 25, there will be no additi...
Sony photo

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida doesn't understand people who 'only want AAA games'

Yoshida sings the praises of indie gaming
Jul 03
// Brittany Vincent
During a recent interview with GI Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, president of Worldwide Studios, chimed in with his thoughts of the disparity of perception between AAA and indie titles. Yoshida harped on the variety of games that Son...
End of Serenity photo
End of Serenity

Kemco's PSP role-playing game End of Serenity available June 24

PSP gathering dust? Here's something to play
Jun 20
// Brittany Vincent
Back in April, Natsume and Kemco teamed up to announce the upcoming PSP RPG End of Serenity, previously a mobile adventure that's made the jump to handheld. Now, End of Serenity has been graced with a release date so you'll k...
PSN maintenance photo
PSN maintenance

PlayStation Network doomed to 6 hours of maintenance Monday

What the hell am I going to do, talk to my stupid kids???
May 30
// Steven Hansen
Greeting webizens. I have most dire news. According to the PlayStation Blog, the PSN is going to be down -- kaput, ocupado -- for six hours of scheduled maintenance. This will happen on Monday, June 2, from 9:50 AM to 3:30 PM...
Mass Effect 3 photo
Mass Effect 3

Thank the Goddess! Mass Effect 3 Omega DLC is free on PSN

Snap up some additional Mass Effect goodness
May 02
// Brittany Vincent
If you've been holding off on purchasing additional Mass Effect DLC because of the sticker shock, today's your lucky day -- if you're a PS3 player, at least. The Mass Effect 3: Omega DLC pack is currently free via PSN for US ...
End of Serenity photo
End of Serenity

Natsume's End of Serenity is a PSN-exclusive classic JRPG

Serenity NOW!
Apr 24
// Brittany Vincent
The retro JRPG aesthetic is infinitely appealing to me, and Natsume and Kemco hope you'll feel the same way with the upcoming End of Serenity. It's a love letter to the 16-bit era with traditional undertones set for a North A...
BurgerTime World Tour photo
BurgerTime World Tour

BurgerTime World Tour is $5 now through April 30 before it disappears forever

Forever ever? For-EVER EVER?
Apr 17
// Brittany Vincent
MonkeyPaw Games is holding a funeral one last sale for BurgerTime: World Tour, allowing players to snap it up for only $5 before it's yanked from the digital distribution channels forever on April 30. You may be thinking th...
Bust-a-Move 4  photo
Bust-a-Move 4

Bust-a-Move 4 busting out on PSN this spring

Not a new entry in the rhythm game series, unfortunately
Apr 16
// Brittany Vincent
Ready to get your Bust-a-Move 4 on? Are you just aching for more Natsume games in your life? Do you just hate bubbles and want to pop them? Rejoice! The fourth Puzzle Bobble game is poised to hit the PlayStation Network this ...
Far Cry photo
Far Cry

Far Cry Classic coming to US, launch date revealed

Arriving one day earlier than in EMEA territories
Feb 07
// Harry Monogenis
Ubisoft announced Far Cry Classic quite a while ago, but things quickly went quiet -- which is understandable, seeing as how most people were too focused on news coming out of E3 to really care too much. That change...
PSOne photo

The Firemen 2 coming to PSOne Classics

How have I not heard of this before?
Jan 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
MonkeyPaw Games is continuing to release PlayStation games previously unavailable in North America through PlayStation Network and their next title, The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny, launched today. It is playable on PlayStatio...

Unity 4.3 now supports the PlayStation Vita

That's a good thing!
Jan 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest version of Unity will now support the PlayStation Vita. Now developers licensed with Sony can use the engine to create Vita games, making use of the handheld's features from the cameras, rear touch pad, motion sens...
PSN downtime photo
PSN downtime

PSA: PSN will be down for eight hours on Monday

UK gamers won't be able to play online Monday night
Dec 06
// Joshua Derocher
The PlayStation Network will be down on Monday the 9th starting at 16:00 GMT for maintenance. The PlayStation Europe Twitter account shared the times, since this outage will be during peak gaming hours for people in the UK. ...
Rocksmith photo

New Rocksmith 2014 DLC adds Radiohead tracks

Less than a month after the Iron Maiden DLC
Nov 26
// Harry Monogenis
Ubisoft's released the latest batch of Rocksmith 2014 DLC today and, much like the previous bundle, adds five new tracks to the game's playlist. This time around the track pack consists of songs from Radiohead. They are...
Amazon PSN store photo
Amazon PSN store

Now you can buy PSN games from Amazon

Get a $5 credit
Nov 12
// Joshua Derocher
Amazon has a PlayStation Network store now, and it is exactly what you think it is. You can buy digital copies of games and downloadable content to play on your Sony gaming device. Right now you can get a $5 credit if you buy a select title from the new store, so it might be worth checking out. Some games I saw are discounted a little bit too, which is always nice.
PSN monitoring photo
PSN monitoring

Sony can monitor your PSN messaging activity

They are watching you
Nov 11
// Joshua Derocher
Sony just updated the usage terms for the PlayStation Network, and something was added that could make some people uncomfortable. In the terms, Sony says that they "can't monitor all PSN activity," but they "reserve the right...
PSN photo

Sony adds PayPal support to PlayStation 3

Another way to give them your money
Nov 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sony has announced today that PayPal may be used to make purchases through the PlayStation 3, and consumers may now commence transferring funds to their Sony Entertainment Network wallets through the console to their heart's ...
Final Fantasy Agito photo
Final Fantasy Agito

Final Fantasy Agito 'will definitely be localized'

Though no guarantee it will be released outside of Japan
Sep 18
// Steven Hansen
We recently learned about Final Fantasy Agito, an Android/iOS game in development at Square Enix that is a companion to Final Fantasy Type-0 (which was formerly known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII and was a mobile game before ...

Contest: Win a PSN gift card and some Star Trek swag!

Sep 10 // mrandydixon
Here's the run-down of each prize pack: Grand Prize (1 winner) Cubify Star Trek: The Next Generation personalized 3D printed figurine PS Home Star Trek: The Next Generation collection (voucher codes for all items) Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray movie collection $49 PSN card 2nd Place (1 winner) PS Home Star Trek: The Next Generation collection (voucher codes for all items) Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-ray movie collection $20 PSN card 3rd Place (1 winner) PS Home Star Trek: The Next Generation collection (voucher codes for all items) $10 PSN card Runners Up (10 winners) Voucher code for one Star Trek: The Next Generation PS Home costume *Cash equivalent may be awarded in lieu of prize listed for international winners.
Star Trek PS Home Contest photo
Celebrate the launch of The Next Generation items on PS Home
[Update: Contest over! Big winners are Agent9, Adam Ruining, and WildHairZero! (10 runners-up have been PM'd codes for their avatars.)] Our friends at Flashman Studios recently unveiled a new line of Star Trek: The Next Gener...

Sony photo

Starbound, Fez, and Velocity 2X coming to Vita (Update)

More indies to feast on!
Aug 20
// Tim Sheehy
[Update: As announced on Polytron's official site, Fez will be headed to PS3 as well. In addition, Sony's released a full list of indie titles headed for each platform in the near future. The list includes gems such as B...
Flashback HD photo
Flashback HD

Flashback HD remake gets a new story trailer

The quest for identity continues
Aug 14
// Tim Sheehy
Ubisoft has released a brand new trailer focusing on the story for VectorCell's upcoming 2.5D remake, Flashback HD. Like many fans, I remain on the fence regarding the new direction they've decided to take with this time-hon...

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons also coming to PS3, PC

Spread the brotherly love
Aug 08
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons just came out for Xbox Live Arcade to little marketing and fanfare this past week. We're here to remind you that's it pretty great though, and something worth adding to your XBLA collection. Or, ...

Review: Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

Aug 07 // Brett Makedonski
Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons (Xbox Live Arcade [reviewed], PlayStation Network, PC)Developer: Starbreeze StudiosPublisher: 505 GamesReleased: August 7, 2013 (XBLA), TBA (PSN, PC) MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points, $14.99 Brothers follows, well, two brothers as they embark on a quest to cure their ailing father. Despite speaking in a language of gibberish, it's easy to pick up on each's character traits. The blue one is older, stronger, respectful, and more emotionally mature. The red one is younger, mischievous, and nimble. As expected, they play off one another, and the game does a good job depicting them as incomplete parts to a cohesive whole unit. The most easily recognizable theme of Brothers is the bond between siblings, and Starbreeze turned this into the core mechanic of the game. The left analog stick controls the movement of the blue brother, the right analog stick controls the movement of the red brother, and the respective triggers function as each's action button. The pared-down control scheme offers a level of simplicity that's rarely seen in videogames, which would be nice if it worked fluidly. Unfortunately, the dueling-stick approach never becomes consistently comfortable. It isn't bad when the brothers are moving side-by side, but it's difficult to replicate when they're further apart. Throughout the three to four hour game, moments of Zen-like unity occasionally occur, which are quickly erased when the camera swings around and you've unwittingly made one brother run into a wall. [embed]258764:49747:0[/embed] Surprisingly, the control issues aren't game-breaking. In fact, they're relatively easy to look past. They constantly walk the line between "kind of irksome" and "frustrating", but never really cross it. It's completely due to Brothers' structure that this is the case. A more challenging game might not get a pass, but Brothers makes it evident that it's not here to challenge you. Rather, Brothers almost always moves along at a relaxed pace. You'd be hard-pressed to qualify its puzzles as such, because nearly all of them have an immediately obvious solution that's easy to perform and difficult to screw up. It's less about skill, and more about carrying out the requisite actions to further the adventure. It's possible to die, but if it happens, you likely won't make the same mistake twice. There's a bit in chapter four where the brothers are tethered together by a rope and need to climb around the outside of a structure. As one brother hangs on, the other pendulums laterally to the next hold. It's an uncomplicated section, and most will instantly identify the required strategy. However, when it comes to implementation, it's tough to not feel a sort of guilty cleverness if you move through the area too fast, almost as if you're somehow outsmarting the game.  That's how Brothers lures you in -- with its accessibility. It provides comfort with its simple puzzles, radiantly beautiful backdrops, and charming musical score. It's truly immersive, especially in the first hour or so (I'm convinced that a heads-up display would provide no greater disservice to a game than to this one). Then, things go off the rails. For a game that sets the tone with such serenity and a lackadaisical carefree attitude, Brothers turns dark and it does so quickly. I don't wish to spoil a single instance, but Brothers certainly crescendos throughout the entire experience, as it all becomes progressively more bleak and somber. Everything from narrative points to set pieces to isolated incidents that you weren't even necessarily supposed to find, they all ooze a positively depressing aura that seemed impossible from the outset. All of this is made considerably more notable by the fact that Brothers is a love story, or, maybe more accurately, a collection of love stories. Regardless of how melancholy things may get, there's always a love-induced spirit overshadowing everything, for better and for worse. Whether it's a pair of cave trolls reunited, a man absolutely wrecked by the death of his family, or even a couple of birds that have been uncaged and found one another again, Brothers never lets the player forget that love is the primary motif for this tale. That's precisely what makes Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons so endearing -- the undeniable contrast created by the highs and lows that come with the entire experience being driven by love. It's so strong that it even dwarfs the game's core mechanical flaws, making them feel trivial when they should sully the whole affair. It's a powerful venture that isn't necessarily about where you began or where you end up; it's about everything that happened in between. 
Brothers review photo
Family bonding
It all starts innocently enough with a pair of brothers making their way through town. Sure, there's a task at hand, but urgency isn't an issue. It should be, but it isn't. Soaking in the warm glow of the sun and playing with...

Terraria CE photo
Terraria CE

Terraria Collector's Edition comes to console

Pickaxe flash drive, vellum stickers, and a poster
Jul 30
// Darren Nakamura
Earlier this year, the Terraria Collector's Edition released for PC, and shortly afterward, the 2D dig-a-thon came to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Now that the downloadable has been successful on those platforms,...

Chaos Rings now available on PS Vita, PS Mobile

Quietly available in North America as we speak
Jul 24
// Jim Sterling
The rather excellent, if originally pricey, phone/tablet RPG Chaos Rings has snuck its way onto the PlayStation Store, available for purchase on PS Mobile and PS Vita devices. Though only announced for Japan, it's already on ...
20 facts about the PS4 photo
Well maybe you knew about some of these things
With the PlayStation 4 launch right around the corner there is much to be excited for. Sony has already knocked most of our socks off with the price; the sexy new DualShock 4 controller; and all the love they're throwing at ...

Indies are the key to console gaming's future

Jun 05 // Tony Ponce
Hohokum (PS3, PS4, PS Vita) - Honeyslug / Richard Hogg To be honest, I wouldn't be able to envision any kind of future for consoles if indies had remained locked out. The current retail model is flat-out broken, only leaving room for the biggest blockbusters while squeezing out mid-tier productions. This is shouldn't be a new revelation to any regular Destructoid reader, but the topic will continue to be discussed as long as publishers refuse to alter course. What baffles me is how publishers believe that a new generation of hardware will magically solve all these problems, that more powerful machines will undoubtedly result in a revitalized ocean of innovation and profitability. The truth is that these new consoles don't address any of the real issues plaguing development and in fact may exacerbate them. Consider the best case scenario: Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release this fall and immediately match the launch window sales of PS2 and Wii, while every launch title breaks a million units in the same span of time. That's great, except the problem has never been that games aren't selling well enough, rather that publishers have grown accustomed to investing excessively in production and marketing and forecasting unattainable sales targets. And since average development costs are predicted to rise once again, those goalposts will move even further out of reach. Shovel Knight (3DS, Linux, Mac, PC, Wii U) - Yacht Club Games While it certainly may be possible to develop next-gen software without a significant increase in costs, nothing was exactly stopping studios from working smarter and more efficiently this past generation. They didn't because you can't make the next Call of Duty without pouring wads of cash into the money pit. Some companies do take manageable risks and hold sensible expectations, only to trip over themselves once they catch a whiff of "The Green." When THQ found success with the uDraw GameTablet on Wii, it decided to turn uDraw into a massive cross-platform brand, resulting in a crushing failure that invalidated the financial successes of other THQ properties. Since Dark Souls was a surprise hit, Namco Bandai decided to position the sequel as a "massive AAA title" -- Dark Souls II has yet to be released, but I somehow doubt it'll perform as expected. Is it therefore any mystery why some of the most prolific developers have chosen to go into business for themselves? Peter Molyneux formed 22 Cans, Warren Spector is investigating mobile development, Keiji Inafune has become somewhat of a gun for hire, three different groups of former Rare staffers went full indie -- the list goes on. The message is clear: If you desire true creative freedom, you must leave the industry proper. Divekick (PC, PS3, PS Vita) - One True Game Studios / Iron Galaxy Studios Thanks to more accessible development tools than ever before, we've witnessed an explosion of indie software on the PC market, which has almost completely embraced digital distribution. Through services like Steam,, Desura, and others, indies have been able to properly leverage the viral nature of the Internet to achieve a level of exposure that wouldn't have been possible via traditional brick and mortar channels. While unequivocal success stories have become rare in the retail console space, it's not uncommon to hear about indie triumphs, even in genres thought to have been tapped out. Games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Telltale's Sam & Max revival, and even Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden -- the sheer range satisfies not only nostalgia junkies but also gamers itching for the type of specialized experience that the big companies have shied away from. Most importantly, indies are often able to dictate their own prices, offering value in an environment where once we were expected to swallow $50 or $60 tags without question. At such prices, you may feel more inclined to make casual purchases without the worry of buyer's remorse. Since dev costs for such games are relatively small, indies can profit even after a few thousand sales; since most indies choose to self-publish, all that money goes straight into their pocket. In rare cases, an indie game will find astronomical success -- Minecraft has sold over 10 million copies on PC alone, putting it in the top 10 best-selling PC games of all time -- but that is the exception, not the norm. In fact, a phenomenal sales performance for a digital-only title may be considered underwhelming had it been a boxed release. That's why digital distribution is so appealing: The barriers to success are far easier to overcome. Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (3DS, PC, Wii U) - FreakZone Games For all of Microsoft's present miscommunication, the company pioneered digital distribution on home consoles with Xbox Live Arcade and laid down a welcome mat for formerly PC-only devs to bring their wares to a new market. Early titles like The Behemoth's Alien Hominid HD and Metanet's N+ tested the waters and paved the way for more ambitious endeavors down the road. Across all the seventh-generation consoles, we've seen small developers make a name for themselves. Thatgamecompany scored with flOw, Flower, and Journey on the PlayStation Network; 2D Boy and Gaijin Games dominated WiiWare with World of Goo and the Bit.Trip series, respectively; and XBLA continued to expand, eventually receiving a console version of Minecraft, which quickly became the highest-grossing XBLA title ever. The significance of such games is not to be trivialized. Even if they don't necessarily pull in AAA sales numbers, greater content variety builds a healthy ecosystem in which success is not merely reserved for a small cluster of high-profile studios with money to burn. And as consumers dive deeper into the digital domain, the ease and attractiveness of indie games will incentivize the big publishers to address their own failings that much sooner. The overwhelming support for the OUYA Kickstarter campaign and the anticipation for Valve's Steam Box demonstrate that consumers value the relative ease and comfort of dedicated gaming hardware that plugs into the TV and offers access to the kinds of titles previously enjoyed on PCs and mobiles. The major console manufacturers would do well to serve this space with renewed effort going into the next generation. Blacklight: Retribution (PC, PS4) - Zombie Studios Sony has been ramping up its indie outreach over the past few years, which the company hopes can bolster not only the PS3 and PS4 but also the lagging PS Vita. At the Game Developers Conference this past March, SCEA Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations, Adam Boyes, explained how Sony's former 64-step software submission process has been streamlined thanks to constant feedback from developers, with the goal to get new titles approved in a week or two rather than in months. On a surprising note, Boyes also revealed that Sony has not charged indies for game patches in over three years. Contrast this against Microsoft's policy to charge upwards of tens of thousands of dollars for XBLA patches, and it's clear to see which company has taken the more proactive approach towards developer relations. Perhaps the most attractive reason to develop on Sony hardware is the Pub Fund, a "good faith" agreement that provides indies with up-front royalties in exchange for limited exclusivity, through which Sony has been able to acquire titles like Hotline Miami, Blacklight: Retribution, and Guacamelee! With such benefits, it's not shocking to learn that indies prefer working on Vita over iOS or Android. [embed]254437:48929:0[/embed] Sony may have had a head start on the indie trail, but Nintendo is catching up quickly. Developing for WiiWare was less than ideal thanks to some backwards rules, such as requiring a separate office or having to hit a sales threshold before you could collect royalties. But over the past year, Nintendo has rewritten the book to make eShop development as pleasant as possible. NOA Manager of Business Development, Dan Adelman, also attended GDC this year and outlined Nintendo's eShop policies, which likewise streamline the approval process and allow indies to set their own release dates, prices, and discounts. On top of that, Nintendo won't require platform exclusivity for any reason -- a hitch that even Sony's otherwise wonderful Pub Fund demands. Using the Nintendo Web Framework, indies can build Wii U software using Javascript, HTML5, or CSS, with full access to the GamePad, Miiverse, and other hardware features. The idea is that software ought to be compatible across Wii U, PC, and mobile devices, eliminating one of the biggest hassles of cross-platform development. Because this is a recent shift for Nintendo, many devs are still ill-informed regarding the eShop. For this reason, Nintendo needs to aggressively court devs and attend more events like the recent iDÉAME in Spain. We are already starting to see the fruits of Nintendo's campaign, and I'm certain that both the Wii U and 3DS will soon be on equal footing with the PS3 / PS4 and Vita when it comes to indie support. CounterSpy (Mobile, PS3, PS Vita) - Dynamighty And then there is Microsoft, which doesn't seem too concerned about cultivating the kind of robust environment currently found on Sony and Nintendo machines. Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, insists that Xbox One will offer some form of independent creator program, but we won't know the details until at least E3. It would be a shame if the company that first extended the olive branch towards indies concedes the space to its competitors. The eighth console generation will be a transition period in which many of the old guard become even more wound up and and insular, cutting back on their yearly release schedules to try to maximize the profit potential of their shrinking output. As a result, they will further rely on "safe" ideas that do little to attract new consumers outside of their regular base. It'll thus be up to the digital storefronts to direct those underserved consumers towards a burgeoning catalog of smaller, original titles. I'm not foolish enough to think that any individual indie title will outperform the biggest names in the retail space -- not in the immediate future, at least. However, the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U are all aiming to grow their online audience, which necessities a robust digital catalog. And as Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell implied, you never know where the next Minecraft will appear. A Hat in Time (Mac, PC, Wii U [pending]) - Gears for Breakfast What I predict we'll see in the coming years is one of the major publishers offering the use of its IP to an indie. This is something I could see Nintendo doing, considering all its third-party licensing partnerships in the past: Capcom with The Legend of Zelda, SEGA with F-Zero, Team Ninja with Metroid, Namco with Star Fox and currently Smash Bros., etc. Can you grasp the significance of a small, three-man team working out of a garage being trusted with one of Nintendo's legendary properties? Not only will that affirm what the enthusiast market already knows -- true talent can be found anywhere -- it will send a message out to every corner of the industry that the small dogs can stand on equal footing with the big dogs. The future should give major publishers every reason to sweat.
Indies are the future photo
Indies are better equipped to handle the transition into our digital tomorrow
The console market has become something of a paradox these past few years. Despite total console sales having exceeded 40 million units over the previous generation, and despite a wealth of powerful new IPs, we've witnessed a...


How to Survive is an isometric zombie survival game

Survive on an island filled with zombies
May 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
505 Games has announced How to Survive, a brand new IP developed by EKO Studios. The game strands players on a remote archipelago off the coast of Columbia in the aftermath of an unexplained accident, and forces players to su...
Castle of Illusion photo
Castle of Illusion

Sega really wants to get Castle of Illusion right

Remake comes with original directorís blessing
May 30
// Abel Girmay
It can't be easy trying to do justice to a legacy as large as Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Take in Mickey's rough patches in his last few games, and it's not hard to see why many fans would be so apprehensive to...

10 games bundled with all their DLC discounted on PSN

Assassin's Creed III, Persona 4: Arena, Metal Gear Rising and more
May 20
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The PlayStation Store is rolling out a new sales promotion that's packing ten different games with ALL of their downloadable content offerings. The Ultimate Edition bundles are all being offered at 65% off, with PlayStation P...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...