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Shantae photo

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is nearly done

Dec 31
// Chris Carter
If you haven't heard, there are three Shantae projects in the works by WayForward -- two new original games, and a PC port of Risky's Revenge. One of those new games, Pirate's Curse, is set to his the 3DS at some point, ...
Shantae photo

Shantae: Risky's Revenge iOS gets a controller update

It popped up last night
Dec 12
// Chris Carter
Shantae: Risky's Revenge got a stealth update on iOS last night that allows for the use of MFi controller add-ons. The game was never impossible to play on a touch screen as it wasn't that difficult, but of course, tactile co...
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were treated to company of Cristina Vee, voice actress for League of Legends, BlazBlue, Tekken: Blood Vengence, Skullgirls, Pokemon Origins and many other games and animated ...

Review: Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon (3DS)

Nov 25 // Chris Carter
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! (3DS [reviewed] PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)Developer: WayForward TechnologiesPublisher: D3 PublisherRelease Date: November 19, 2013MSRP: $29.99 (3DS), $39.99 (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360) As the name might imply, Explore the Dungeon is predictably a dungeon crawler through and through, as players are tasked with completing a randomly generated 100-floor labyrinth. There's no real plot to speak of (and that's fine), as Princess Bubblegum wants you to get to the bottom of why prisoners are escaping from said dungeon. From start to finish as either Finn, Jake, Marceline, or Cinnamon Bun (as well as a few other secret characters), you'll basically just battle your way to the end in the exact same way -- but you most likely won't make it very far. On the 3DS, the presentation is lazy, lackluster, and shameful. As a fan of retro games, I'm actually quite fond of an 8- or 16-bit style every so often, if it's done right. But here, it's clearly a placeholder for a rush-job, as the cutscenes look like they were created in Microsoft Paint, and the animation is awful all around. It doesn't help that the voice acting sounds tinny on the 3DS (like it was recorded in a parking garage) and the writing is devoid of any charm or wit whatsoever. But this lack of effort pales in comparison to the animation in-game, which renders it borderline unplayable. Simply put, the game is constantly chugging along at a snail's pace, with a perpetual framerate problem. There's no run button by default to make it better, so it feels like the entire game is running in slow motion. I honestly have no idea how the 3DS version was allowed to be released in its current condition. [embed]266260:51570:0[/embed] Gameplay isn't much better, unfortunately. It's as bare-bones as you can get. You'll have your standard attack button at your disposal (which can be charged), as well as blocking, dodging, sub-weapons, and a super power. The sad part is you won't need to mix up any of these concepts beyond mashing your normal attacks -- the AI is so poorly designed that you can get by without any sort of deviation in strategy. Although each character has a different playstyle or power (Jake and Marceline can traverse gaps, Finn can equip more items), your choice won't matter in the end because you can just breeze through the boring dungeons with any of them. While the first few floors start out promising, you'll quickly realize that each level is a ghost town, with the same few enemies repeating over and over 10 levels at a time until a new theme arises. In lieu of any sort of multiplayer found in other versions, you get a cute BMO on the bottom screen that barely talks. Foes consist of uninspired designs that vaguely resemble characters from the show, and bosses aren't that much better. The only real value the game has in terms of fan service is at the very end, where it reveals a plot point that is yet to be presented in the show. That's... literally it. The actual dungeon layouts, which tend to follow the same formula of "the staircase is always on the opposite end from where you start," are utterly uninteresting. When coupled with the boring enemy designs and the fact that you don't actually earn experience from killing anything, there's absolutely no incentive to explore in Explore the Dungeon. Speaking of experience, you have to "buy" your actual upgrades in town with the gold you acquire from the dungeon. Should you choose to go back up (you'll get the option every five floors), you better spend all the money you have -- because you lose it when you leave the hub world. It's a design choice that makes no sense whatsoever considering the game is far from "hardcore" in any other aspect. Why limit your ability to develop your character and at least have fun? Although this review is based on the 3DS game, I did get a chance to play the console version, and it's a much better experience in every respect. Not only does the game not suffer the perpetual slowdown problem of its portable cousin, but it's four players, and generally looks better all around. There are also a number of other small improvements, like the fact that Lady Rainicorn's dialog is in Korean -- small touches that show more effort. It still has the same dull gameplay as it's essentially identical in terms of feature parity, but with three other Adventure Time fanatics it could be a good bargain-bin purchase -- because it will hit the bin sooner than later. At some point during the development process of Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon 3DS, someone should have looked at the current build, and scrapped the project entirely. Whereas Regular Show 3DS was a flawed love letter to retro fans, Explore the Dungeon is a sheet of paper with chicken scratch scrawled on it. It's the worst game WayForward has put out in years, and yet another example of a wasted licensed game opportunity.
Adventure Time review photo
I remember my first episode of Adventure Time. It randomly came on the TV one day and I had no idea what it was -- but I couldn't stop watching. There was something about the show that kept my eyes glued to the screen, watchi...

Adventure Time trailer photo
Adventure Time trailer

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon gets a launch trailer

Because I DON'T KNOW!
Nov 19
// Brett Zeidler
In case it slipped under your radars, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! has a quick new launch trailer to remind you that this is a thing that came out today among all the awesome stuff launching thes...

Review: Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land

Nov 02 // Chris Carter
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land (3DS)Developer:  WayForward TechnologiesPublisher: D3 Publisher (NA) / Namco Bandai (EU)Released: October 29, 2013MSRP: $29.99 I hope you weren't expecting something that plays out like an episode of the show, as 8-Bit Land's setup is basically "Mordecai and Rigby get sucked into a game console and have to fight their way out." The visuals and presentation will most likely underwhelm as soon as you boot up the game, mostly due to the fact that there's no voice acting, and no ancillary characters outside of Benson (who shows up for around 10 seconds). The same goes for the music in the sense that it doesn't sound like WayForward put a lot of effort into it. Thankfully, the 3D effect is also fairly minimal, but like 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure it adds a tiny bit of personality to the art style to give it a much-needed boost. But as retro fans often know -- graphics aren't everything. Since this is a mostly straightforward platforming affair, the core gameplay is where 8-Bit Land shines. There's a very cool switch mechanic that allows you to press one button to change between Mordecai an Rigby, both of whom are equipped with different abilities. Mordecai is a bit more limber, and has a double-jump ability, and his counterpart is lower to the ground, allowing him to run into tunnels and other smaller places. It sounds simplistic, but the way it's executed is near flawless. You can switch between the two at any time (even in the air), allowing for some flexibility in terms of how you approach the game. You can use Rigby to run through an area, jump into the air, switch to Mordecai to double jump, then switch back to Rigby. You'll also have the ability to use either style for essentially the entire level, so for the most part you can play as your character of choice outside of a few locations. [embed]264739:51136:0[/embed] There are a number of retro references in the package, including a Mega Man-style "beam down" level intro, an armor mechanic that pays homage to Ghosts 'n Goblins, a Gradius space ship, and a few level themes that feel like direct nods to DuckTales. None of it will blow your mind (that's the theme of this game), but anyone who grew up in the '80s/'90s era will crack a smile here and there. Levels have three golden tapes hidden in them to unlock a few extras, as well as cash (that functions like Mario's coins), and power-ups. After clearing a stage you'll have the opportunity to earn extra lives or more cash, by betting money or 3DS Play Coins in a game of chance. While it's not an essential part of the game, it's always appreciated to have titles use the Play Coin system. Once you've cleared a few worlds the game opens up, as you'll unlock the Gradius-style space ship for special shoot-'em-up sections, and the ability to drop into a top-down isometric view, Smash TV style. These abilities only work in certain areas (designated with space-themed or grey wallpaper), and work in tandem with character switching to allow for some crafty combinations. You'll have to master every mechanic together at once to unlock each level's golden tapes, which was easily the most fun part of the game. A boss will cap off each world, and they're all fun to fight in their own right. The way they tend to work is that you'll start off completely oblivious to their hitboxes and attacks, and learn as you go -- then once you figure it all out, you'll be able to kill some of them in less than 30 seconds. In typical retro fashion I felt a sense of accomplishment after besting them, combined with a sense of confusion as to why I didn't conquer them on the first try. There aren't a whole lot of extras, which is disappointing considering the game is only a few hours long. In addition to a sound/music test unlockable, there's also a concept art gallery, cheat codes (cleverly delivered with a device called the Game Djinn), and a New Game+ mode with tougher enemies. WayForward had a chance to add in a whole lot more here and ape the concept of DLC and microtransactions, but didn't -- so what you see is more or less what you get. Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land feels a lot like one of my favorite DSi platformers no one played -- Pro Jumper: Guilty Gear Tangent. It pretty much knows what it is, and even if it doesn't offer up anything new for those who normally loathe platform games, it'll still placate fans of the genre. So while it feels a bit phoned in at times, fans of old-school gaming will no doubt get an afternoon of enjoyment out of it.
Regular Show review photo
Button mash with the Mustache Cash Stash
Regular Show is one of my favorite programs on TV right now. It took the simple Beavis and Butthead setup of two slackers getting through their day-to-day routine, and added a bit of '80s and retro sheen to it, alon...


WayForward shows off their Silent Hill DS game concept

I want these
Oct 11
// Dale North
Jump to about the 5:30 mark in this WayForwardTV stream capture to hear about Wayforward's ne'er released Silent Hill game.  WayForward says that this work pre-dates Contra 4, from 2006 They put it together because...
Adventure Time ETDBIDK photo
Adventure Time ETDBIDK

Adventure Time gets more friends to explore dungeons with

About adventure time!
Oct 10
// Steven Hansen
The upcoming Adventure Time game, Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW, got a new trailer showing off its hub world from where you can boost stats and purchase things, as well as listen to the fully voiced show character...

Shantae Kickstarter over, doubles its goal

$811,962 raised
Oct 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Following Mighty No. 9's successful Kickstarter comes more good news, as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's Kickstarter drive ends with more than double their original request raised. From Kickstarter the team received $776,084, plus...
Shantae photo

Shantae last push live stream to show off Silent Hill DS

Unreleased games and big names
Oct 03
// Jonathan Holmes
[Update: The new costume and abilities Stretch Goal has been reached. Next up is the "Fire and Forget" Stretch Goal which adds a new chapter, new transformation, and new characters, like Shantae's mysterious red-headed replac...
Shantae photo

Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero gets new music and backer rewards

Purchase in the next few hours and get exclusives
Oct 03
// Jonathan Holmes
The Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero Kickstarter has almost come to a close, so WayForward and their backers are throwing out all the stops. They've met the stretch goal of an extra chapter (complete with a new transfor...
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero photo
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Playable Risky Boots is a go for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

And $1.3 million for animated cutscenes!? Not gonna happen...
Sep 30
// Tony Ponce
It's been slow goings ever since the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Kickstarter met its base goal last week, but no need to lose hope just yet! The $500K Risky Mode has been funded! As the sexy pirate villainess Risky Boots, you'll...
Cat Girl Without Salad photo
Cat Girl Without Salad

Real game Cat Girl Without Salad gets a great fake OST

Great free music
Sep 29
// Jonathan Holmes
[Image by Grace] Last March 31st, I posted a story about a videogame that is a real videogame. A lot of people said, "Hey, it's the day before April 1st! This isn't a real videogame for sure! You got punked, dummy!" It's amaz...
WayForward Kickstarter photo
WayForward Kickstarter

WayForward clears their Kickstarter goal for Shantae

Half-Genie Hero is fully funded and happening
Sep 24
// Chris Carter
Although things were looking a bit iffy for WayForward's first Kickstarter, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is fully funded, and is now on their way to reach their stretch goals. As of the time of this writing $410,000 has been rais...
DuckTales Remastered photo
DuckTales Remastered

DuckTales Remastered to get a 360/PS3/Wii U physical box

This one is an actual disc!
Sep 18
// Chris Carter
It appears as if those sneaky rumors for a physical release of DuckTales Remastered on the Wii U were true. But wait! Capcom has announced not one, but three extra editions of the game today, as the PS3 and Xbox 360 are getti...
Shantae photo

Inti Creates contributing art to both new Shantae games

Pirate's Curse and Half-Genie Hero receive a 'mighty' touch
Sep 17
// Tony Ponce
We all owe WayForward an apology. We haven't been paying the Kickstarter for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero much attention because Mighty No. 9 gobbled up everyone's focus. I knew weeks in advance that WayForward was planning to la...
Shantae  photo

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Dungeon with Tony and Jim

From the forgotten PAX pile
Sep 15
// Jonathan Holmes
Everyone's talking about the new HD Shantae title currently on Kickstarter, but what about the upcoming 3DS release Shantae and the Pirate's Curse? Is that any good? Jim Sterling, Tony Ponce and I checked it out at PAX, and ...
WayForward photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Last week on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we closed up WayForgust with Matt Bozon, Creative Director at WayForward. We talked about Matt's start in development as a college student working on the SNES title Mickey's Ultimate C...

Shantae photo

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero sets sights on PS Vita, Vita TV

More platforms added to Kickstarter
Sep 10
// Jordan Devore
Wii U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Steam. Let's go ahead and add PlayStation Vita and Vita TV to the list of platforms for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. Clearly, WayForward doesn't sleep. In a Kickstarter update, the studio...
Jake Kaufman photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Last time on Sup Holmes (now on itunes) we were graced with the effervescent presence of composer and developer Jake "Virt" Kaufman. This man is so packed with passionate ideas that they seem to be spilling out everywhere. H...

Shantae 3DS photo
Shantae 3DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse gets a rad trailer

I'm feeling really good about this game
Sep 06
// Chris Carter
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is looking pretty awesome so far, and this official trailer does it plenty of favors. Along with its new HD Kickstarter, WayForward really is putting a lot of eggs in this franchise's basket. T...
Shantae photo

Taking down a boss in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

The Ammo Baron is no match for Tony
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
It's been heartwarming to see gamers embrace Shantae and developer WayForward as a whole these past few years. Before fans get too lost in the Kickstarter-funded Half-Genie Hero, there's Shantae and the Pirate's Curse for the 3DS eShop, which we got to play at PAX Prime 2013. Mash through the text, Tony. Mash it!

Digging into retro platformer Shovel Knight

Beating everything to death with a shovel, sometimes
Sep 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Shovel Knight! It's pretty damn great. It's shaping up to be the ultimate retro feel-y game and both Jonathan Holmes and Spencer Hayes are really digging what they saw of the game this past PAX. Yeah, that joke hasn't totally been beaten into the ground ... with a shovel.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero photo
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

WayForward's Kickstarting Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

HD hair-whipping action ahoy
Sep 04
// Jonathan Holmes
It's hard to believe that WayForward has been around since the early '90s, but it's true. The studio has been cracking away since the days of the Game Boy, now with over 200 licensed titles under its belt. Sadly, it has only...
Mighty Switch Force Wii U photo
Mighty Switch Force Wii U

Mighty Switch Force! 2 headed to Wii U in October

We knew it was happening eventually
Sep 01
// Chris Carter
Although we already had confirmation that an HD version of Mighty Switch Force! 2 was coming to the Wii U, it's nice to have an estimated release date of October, which was confirmed recently by WayForward's Matt Bozon. ...

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse puts the rest to shame

Aug 31 // Jonathan Holmes
Shantae may be a pirate now, but she still has some of her old moves. She still attacks with a Belmont-inspired hair whip, and she still knows how to dance. She also has a new move that allows her to suck up items into a lamp, making it easier to collect loot and other enemy drops. Pirate's Curse will have 5 dungeons, the most in the series so far. Though the game will be quite large, WayForward is looking to shorten the length of the bits in-between dungeons, packing in more ideas in a smaller space than the original GBC game. As exciting as that all is, I'm most interested in finding out why Rottytops made that heel turn in the last episode. Is she really a jerk now? WayForward says we may be surprised.  It will be interesting to see where WayForward takes their flagship character in what's planned to be the final chapter of her first (and hopefully not last) trilogy of games. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is. The game is set to hit later this year. Check out Sup Holmes on September 8th with Matt Bozon, WayForward boss and Shantae's creator for more sweet inside scoops. 
Shantae photo
Third time's the charm
Tucked away in a corner below The Wind Waker HD and behind Pokemon X/Y at PAX is a small kiosk featuring Retro City Rampage and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, both on the 3DS. Stop by if you have the chance. The games are bo...

Sup Holmes eats the bacon with Jake 'Virt' Kaufman

Aug 25 // Jonathan Holmes
WayForward photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
WayForgust continues with composer extraordinaire Jake "Virt" Kaufman. Jake's most recently released project is Ducktales: Remastered, but you may be more familiar with his past work on Q*bert (2000). Contra 4, Retro City Ra...

DuckTales photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
On last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes and t-shirts), we welcomed Austin Ivansmith back to the program. We heard all about his fine arts background and formative experiences which brought him to game development in his fir...

WOO-OO! photo

ScrewAttack's Craig and I sing DuckTales...

... along with a bunch of other people
Aug 22
// Tony Ponce
There was a special booth at E3 where you could sing the DuckTales theme. Capcom edited the footage into an entertaining montage proving that E3 attendees are all children in adult bodies. ScrewAttack's Stuttering Craig and ...

Sup Holmes rewrites history with Austin Ivansmith

Get to know the people that make great videogames
Aug 18
// Jonathan Holmes
This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Austin Ivansmith (Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive, Thor, Ducktales Remastered) back to the program. The last time we had Austin on the show there were game announcements and life changing ...

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