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Doujin Games photo
Doujin Games

Indie mech shooter Gigantic Army descends on PC today

'Side-scrolling, mech-shooting bad assery is back!!'
Feb 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Gigantic Army begins its assault on Windows PC today, courtesy of publisher Nyu Media and Japanese indie studio Astro Port. The mech-flavored side-scrolling shooter takes inspiration from 16-bit titles like Metal Wa...
Suda 51 photo
Suda 51

Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day heads west this spring

Feb 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Amazing news, everyone! Namco Bandai has announced plans to localize Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day for PlayStation 3 in the Americas, Europe, and Australasia this spring. The side-scroller is the fifth and final installment ...
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Doujin shooter Gigantic Army assaults PC in February

Check out the mech-shooting action in new trailer
Jan 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Side-scrolling mech shooter Gigantic Army is set to make its attack run on Windows PC early next month, doujinsoft publisher Nyu Media has announced. Developed by Astro Port, the Japanese indie studio behind the likes of&nbs...

Review: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

Dec 29 // Wesley Ruscher
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Press PlayPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: December 20, 2013 (Xbox One) / 2014 (Xbox 360)MSRP: $14.99 For Max, it’s quite clear that nothing annoys him more than his nerdy little brother. After coming home from school one day, our titular hero finds his sibling playing in his room and quickly getting on his nerves. Fed up, Max turns to the Internet and stumbles upon a spell that, after reading aloud, opens up a portal in his room where a giant monster’s hand reaches through and snatches away his little nuisance. Though relieved for a moment, Max quickly comes to the realization that the impending ramification from his parents outweigh the benefits of being an only child again. So without hesitation, Max jumps into the portal in pursuit, which leads to a fantastical new world. As he comes to, Max sees his brother off in the horizon being taken away by the horrifically large creature that grabbed him, and thus Max’s journey begins. [embed]268141:52041:0[/embed] This all takes place within the first few minutes of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. A game that wastes no time throwing players into a world of wonder that’s full of puzzles to unravel and suspense to be had. As the adventure begins, you traverse the whimsical landscape akin to any 2D platformer of yesteryear. Max moves at an adequate pace, and can jump and climb basic obstacles with ease. The first five minutes or so are designated as an introduction to Max’s control and the overall responsiveness to the physics behind his movements. But you won’t pay too much attention to all this as it is all cleverly hidden as you move through the game’s beautiful environments. For the most part, Max’s controls are typical for the genre aside from using his nifty magic marker -- which is assigned to the right analog stick and each trigger depending on whether one is drawing or erasing. Typically, having to draw shapes in the midst of action with anything but a touch/stylus based interface would be considered cumbersome, but Max: The Curse of Brotherhood excellently balances its action and puzzle sequences. And when the two do collide, it is usually met with some Matrix-style slowdown that reduces the stress of having to make just the right shape in the nick of time. The game takes a minimalistic approach towards showing players how to use each of Max’s skills, while also teaching how everything isn't as innocent as it seems at first glance. For example, as you make your way through the beginning area, you most likely will fall prey to a tumbling rock. It’s somewhat of an unfair death -- as only those familiar with the stage are going to know it’s coming --  but  it teaches a valuable lesson without bogging down the gameplay with tedious tutorials. The game is full of these moments, but thanks to the way it nurtures throughout, you’ll often be prepared for them and always feel heavily rewarded when you make it through unscathed. But even if you fail, the game is more than generous with its checkpoints, reducing unnecessary retreading. As you start to earn Max’s main skills -- which additionally serve as the game’s main draw -- each new ability is presented in a manner that slowly lets players become accustomed to their intricacies. Armed with a special magic marker, Max will eventually gain the ability to create pedestals from the earth, vines to swing from, conform roots as platforms, and create currents of water to propel himself to new heights. As you learn to use each power, what starts off merely as tools to assist Max in his platforming escapade, eventually become useful aides in finding every hidden secret placed throughout the game. The ability to make branches into platforms eventually evolves into creating movable platforms, battering rams, and even weights in order to solve some fairly obtuse puzzles. Eventually, each skill begins to accentuate other skills adding even more depth to the platforming and puzzle solving. While ultimately the puzzles may fall on the simple side of things, they never ruin the pace of the action, and more importantly, they make you feel accomplished upon completion. In the end I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. It’s a game full of wonder and magical moments, that while light on actual narrative, still delivers a world that is hard to forget. The visuals are Pixar-esque charming and the combination of cerebral puzzles with thrilling action offers up a bite-sized experience that is a welcome addition to the Xbox One’s library. If you’re looking for a change a pace, I couldn't think of a more fitting way to finish off this gaming year.
Max reviewed! photo
Magically hits the mark
As the eldest of three, there have been more than a few occasions in my life where I wished my siblings would just disappear. Whether it was from them breaking my things; disrupting my privacy; or as I grew older, the embar...

ATLUS photo

Dragon's Crown shipments soar past 800,000 copies

Atlus vaunts successful figures for contentious PS3 and Vita brawler
Dec 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus has announced Dragon's Crown shipments and digital sales have climbed north of the 800,000 mark since Vanallaware's PlayStation 3 and Vita brawler ventured out into the wild this summer. The controversial...
Senran Kagura launch date photo
Senran Kagura launch date

Senran Kagura Burst hits Nintendo 3DS on November 14

XSEED announces provocative side-scroller for release next week
Nov 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Burst is hacking and slashing its way to North America on November 14, XSEED Games has announced. The "buxom ninja brawler" will be available exclusively via the Nintendo 3DS eShop for $29.99.  The story f...
Super Time Force photo
Super Time Force

Get educated in latest Super Time Force video

Learn to unload a fecal storm of hot violence
Nov 02
// Wesley Ruscher
Capybara Games' Super Time Force has been slated to hit Xbox Live Arcade for what feels like just about forever now. It's no wonder that wait has been long too. Since I first gazed upon its pixelated carnage and awesome...
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

XSEED targeting November launch for Senran Kagura on 3DS

Nothing set in stone just yet
Oct 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Burst will descend upon the Nintendo 3DS eShop in November or sometime thereabouts, XSEED has revealed. The publisher hasn't quite nailed down a definite launch date just yet, but is still on targeting an a...
PS2 Classics photo
PS2 Classics

Retro shooter Heavenly Guardian blasts PSN this week

Pocky & Rocky successor joins PS2 Classics
Oct 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Heavenly Guardian joins the myriad of PlayStation 2 Classics available on PlayStation Network this week. A scrolling shooter initially released in 2008 for PS2 and Nintendo Wii, the title is something of a spiritual successor...
Grasshopper Manufacture photo
Grasshopper Manufacture

Ranko Tsukigimeís Longest Day hits PS3 in Japanuary

Ring in the New Year with a new Grasshopper game
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Grasshopper Manufacture's next project is leaping to PlayStation 3 on January 16, 2014 in Japan. The fifth and final chapter of legendary Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo's Short Peace anthology, Ranko Tsukigime’s Lon...
Suda51 x Katsuhiro Otomo photo
Suda51 x Katsuhiro Otomo

Ranko Tsukigimeís Longest Day's short debut trailer

Collaboration between Suda 51 and Akira-creator Katsuhiro Otomo gets a trailer I don't understand, but enjoy
Jul 16
// Steven Hansen
I guess when the man who created the seminal Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, says, "I'd like to throw my weight behind a videogame," only good things can happen. As reported last week, Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day will serve ...

Obscure now called Final Exam, still looks fun

Name changed of that other Obscure game
Jul 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Remember Obscure? It was that fun looking four-player side-scrolling beat-em-up/shooter. Well it's undergone a name change, and you can now refer to it as Final Exam. The name was changed largely due to how fans kept thinking...
Suda51 x Katsuhiro Otomo photo
Suda51 x Katsuhiro Otomo

Suda51 teams with Akira creator on new PS3 game

Jul 10
// Steven Hansen
Grasshopper's Suda51 (Killer7, Killer is Dead) is working with Namco Bandai on PS3 side-scroller Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day, according to Siliconera. Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day will serve as the concluding p...
Code of Princess photo
Code of Princess

Code of Princess developer wants sequel on PS4, Xbox One

Guardian Heroes successor 'sold beyond our expectations' in North America
Jun 21
// Kyle MacGregor
A sequel to Code of Princess might be in the cards, Agatsuma Entertainment producer Yasuo Makajima let slip when speaking with Siliconera. Despite lackluster sales in Japan, the beautifully crafted side-sc...
Mega Man 6 OST photo
Mega Man 6 OST

Savor the international flavor of the Mega Man 6 OST

Fighting robots 'round the world
Jun 21
// Tony Ponce
["Rockman Rockman 6" by Kinniku] After being denied a release on Wii's Virtual Console, the final NES Mega Man has at long last made it to the American 3DS eShop. Before we graduate to the synth goodness of the SNES, let's en...
Shantae delay  photo
Shantae delay

WayForward delays Shantae 3DS release until July

Game Boy Color platformer no longer planned to hit eShop on June 20
Jun 13
// Kyle MacGregor
The original Shantae will no longer be coming to Nintendo 3DS next week, Wayforward Creative director Matt Bozon has announced. The acclaimed Game Boy Color platformer will now be hitting Virtual Console someti...
DKC: Tropical Freeze photo
DKC: Tropical Freeze

More about DKC: Tropical Freeze's soundtrack

David Wise and more!
Jun 11
// Jayson Napolitano
I was thrilled but admittedly surprised that Nintendo took stage time to announce that David Wise, beloved Donkey Kong Country composer, would be working on the newly-announced Wii U title, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freez...
Charlie Murder photo
Charlie Murder

Charlie Murder launch trailer is heavy on mayhem

Ska Studios confirms a summer release
Jun 05
// Brett Makedonski
If you're looking for the perfect videogame to complement your decidedly punk rock lifestyle, Charlie Murder seems like it's shaping up to be a damn fine candidate. That is, if you care enough to really care (which is totall...
Dishwasher: Vampire Smile photo
Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

The Dishwasher: VS finally ported to PC, just not legally

'This is restoration of justice'
Jun 05
// Brett Makedonski
Ska Studios has a pretty well-documented allegiance to publishing its games through the Xbox Live Arcade platform. The company's 2011 hit The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile has been an exclusive to the Microsoft service until...
Senran Kagura sells 100K photo
Senran Kagura sells 100K

Senran Kagura bursts past 100,000 mark on Nintendo 3DS

Jun 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Burst has shifted more than 100,000 units, series producer Kenichiro Takaki has announced. It's taken 37 weeks for the Nintendo 3DS title to reach the milestone, a mark its PlayStation Vita successor achiev...
Daisuke Amaya photo
Daisuke Amaya

Cave Story creator Daisuke Amaya delays Gero Blaster

Pixel prolongs publishing postliminary project
May 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Sad news, Cave Story fans. It might be a while longer before Daisuke Amaya delivers his next game, Gero Blaster. The prolific Japanese indie developer has announced the sidescroller is being delayed to make the game "mor...
Dragon's Crown DLC photo
Dragon's Crown DLC

Dragon's Crown receives day-one DLC, free for first month

Atlus USA offering unique narrator add-on content for each character
May 31
// Kyle MacGregor
Dragon's Crown is receiving day-one downloadable content, Atlus USA has announced. The publisher is giving players an opportunity to augment their narrative experience with a set of raconteurs which offer unique voicework tai...

CounterSpy takes inspiration from classic side-scrollers

May 19 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
CounterSpy (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)Developer: DynamightyPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: 2013 The story draws inspiration from the Cold War era, when the United States and the Soviet Union were a button press away from unleashing nuclear winter upon the world. "If you abstract yourself from how scary it was, it was this super fascinating time from a historical perspective," co-founder and lead designer David Nottingham told me. "You had these two opposing sides that represented these very, very different ideologies. They're both pursing these kinds of crazy goals of like 'let's build all these nuclear missiles!' Some of the crazy plans they were putting into place when you read about when files get unredacted after 30 years is almost as bizarre as some Bond plots." David felt the time period would be a great area to play with, but they're not going for historical accuracy here. They're creating a fun world, as if CounterSpy was some long-lost TV show from that era. Some of the inspiration of also comes from titles such as Shadow Complex, Flashback, Metroid, Impossible Mission, and Prince of Persia. Those last two games in particular had a lasting impact on David, mesmerizing him at a young age from how they let players infiltrate environments. The action espionage game is primarily set as a 2D side-scroller, but there are points when the perspective switches to open the environment up. These camera changes happen when you take cover, which you'll want to do in order to take out guards safely. You can attack guards from the 2D perspective too, but you may not see them coming until it's too late due to the limited view. Every level has you infiltrating a rocket launch site, and there's a countdown timer indicating when the rockets will launch. Your objective is to reach the launch pad and sabotage the controls before the rocket takes off. There are computers that you can damage along the way too, which will delay the countdown and buy you more time. Levels also have blueprints and files which can go toward unlocking experimental weapons. CounterSpy has some limited Cross functions between the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions, where if you find these blueprints in one version they'll be automatically unlocked in the other. Not the best Cross feature ever, but there's going to be more things announced in the future. Employing a unique art style like this isn't easy, so it's a good thing a partnership with Sony goes beyond just PR and marketing. "Our resources are super limited, and there are certain things that would be kind of though for us to do on our own," David stated. "Like, character modeling is one of those things where it's really hard to do right. We were actually able to work with Sony and have them create the character model for those guards. It's just one of those things when you're doing something stylized you can look at something 2D and think, 'Oh, that looks awesome,' but you never know how it's going to look as a 3D model. [Sony] just hit it out of the park straight away. "For us, that's nice to have. It's more than just PR and marketing. They can actually help with some of the development. They're making a big push to work with smaller independent developers like us." I think Dynamighty is doing something really special here. I am a little worried that all the levels will be rather repetitive if you're being tasked with the same goal in each. Hopefully there's a lot of variety to how you can accomplish your goals.
CounterSpy preview photo
Infiltrate to sabotage weapons of mass destruction
The first thing you'll notice about CounterSpy is its unique art style. Really, you can say that about a lot of the indie titles Sony has been picking up lately, but there's something extra special about this one. That probab...

Mega Man 5 OST photo
Mega Man 5 OST

Buy the Mega Man 5 OST and fend off the 'Blues'

It's been a while, brother!
May 18
// Tony Ponce
After nearly a month since the last soundtrack release, Capcom has made available the Mega Man 5 OST to celebrate the classic platformer's arrival on the 3DS eShop. As with the MM4 OST, the album costs $8.95 and contains both...

A trio of indie games announced for the PS3, PS4, & Vita

CounterSpy, Hohokum, and Doki-Doki Universe
May 08
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
PlayStation had quite the day yesterday with all of its indie announcements. Earlier this morning they revealed a new supplemental section for the PlayStation Store to better highlight indie projects. Shortly after that they ...
Dragon's Crown photo
Dragon's Crown

Dragon's Crown box art is [insert extreme opinion here]

The controversy rages on
May 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Atlus has unveiled the final Japanese box art for Dragon's Crown, the latest sidescrolling action title from Vanillaware, and it's pretty tame from the looks of things. You almost wouldn't guess that the game is currently emb...
Mega Man 4 OST photo
Mega Man 4 OST

Download Mega Man 4 OST now for Mother Russia

Stereotypes are fun!
Apr 25
// Tony Ponce
Greetings, comrades! Defend motherland from blue capitalist robot by purchasing Mega Man 4 soundtrack and showing what Soviet power can do! Ahhh... Cold War stereotypes. I miss 'em! I only informed you of the Mega Man 3 OST r...
Mega Man 3 OST photo
Mega Man 3 OST

The Mega Man 3 OST is ready for your money

It's a kind of magic
Apr 23
// Tony Ponce
["The Mega Man 3 Posse" by CyberMoonStudios] If you've got $8.95 to spare, you can swing on down to Capcom's online store and download the Mega Man 3 soundtrack. It contains tunes from both the NES original and the PlayStatio...
Mega Man 2 OST photo
Mega Man 2 OST

Mega Man 2 OST now on sale, but beware of audio hiccups

Most popular Mega Man game soundtrack was not given the proper treatment
Apr 15
// Tony Ponce
Any debate over the best Classic series Mega Man soundtrack typically boils down to MM2 and MM3. Both games sport some of the best music on the NES, but when push comes to shove, MM2 will edge out ever so slightly in a popula...
Flashback photo

Remember Flashback? Well it's getting an HD remake

Did anyone ask for this? No really
Apr 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
How many of you are old enough to remember Flashback? The Prince of Persia-like game was originally released for the Amiga, then later brought to the PC, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and several other platforms. Evidently t...

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