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Jimquisition: Go Fish

Jul 30 // Jim Sterling
Having a crack at that whole Phil Fish thing
In this extra episode, Jimquisition lends a rambling mouth to the controversy surrounding Phil Fish and his dramatic exit from the videogame world.

FEZ 2 cancelled photo
FEZ 2 cancelled

Phil Fish has meltdown on Twitter, rashly cancels FEZ II

People are mean to each other, game gets cancelled
Jul 27
// Patrick Hancock
[Update: Phil Fish has posted on Twitter: "to be clear, im not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish fuck said something stupid, im doing it to get out of games. and im getting out of games because i choose not to put u...

Dreams come true: FEZ to be patched on Xbox 360

Phil Fish delivers miracles like an angry Santa Clause
Jul 05
// Jim Sterling
Phil Fish, fancy lad and angry boy, has proclaimed to the world that FEZ will be patched once more on Xbox Live Arcade. As Gabrielle herself sung in the 90s, dreams can come true (look at me, babe, I'm here with you).&nb...
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Last week on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were treated to the company of Rich "Disasterpeace" Vreeland, most well know for his work on Fez, Krunch, Runner2, Bonk, and... yikes, so many other games. If I tried to list them a...


Sup Holmes makes sweet music with Disasterpeace

Get to know the people that make great videogames
Jun 23
// Jonathan Holmes
Disasterpeace is one of the biggest deals in game music today. He's on the soundtrack for Fez, the upcoming Fez 2, Bit.Trip Presents Runner2, Monsters ate my Birthday Cake, and many more. There are very few game composer...
Phil Fish on Xbox One photo
Phil Fish on Xbox One

Phil Fish: Microsoft doesn't want indies on Xbox One

Fez 2 likely won't be coming to Microsoft's next console
Jun 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Fez 2 was one of the most surprising announcements of E3. It was also arguably the most cryptic. Outside of a short teaser trailer, little was revealed about Polytron's forthcoming project -- platforms least of all. Speaking ...
The next great indies photo
The next great indies

Broken Age, Below, and more: The games of HORIZON

A parade of indies
Jun 20
// Liz Rugg
As previously discussed, Venus Patrol and MOCAtv's "alternative E3 event" HORIZON was pretty interesting both conceptually and in how it was executed. But what about the games?! That's why we're even here, right!? A few of the larger announcements to come out of the event have already been covered here at Dtoid, but what about those smaller, beautiful indie games HORIZON promised?
Fez 2 photo
Fez 2

Polytron announces Fez 2 in development

Sequel to Phil Fish's hit indie title in the works
Jun 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Fez 2 was announced at the Horizon conference in Los Angeles today. Aside from a brief teaser trailer, Polytron revealed little else about the project. However, according to the developer's Vimeo page, it looks like Disasterpeace will reprise his role as composer for the title's soundtrack.
Fez  photo

Disasterpeace releases second Fez remix album

FZ: Side Z
May 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Disasterpeace just released a second remix album for Fez. FZ: Side Z contains nearly twice as many remixes as FZ: Side F had, and it can all be yours for $5, or more if you're feeling kind. Like the two other soundtracks for ...
New releases photo
New releases

New releases: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is undeniably real

Plus Zeno Clash II, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, and more
Apr 29
// Fraser Brown
From April fools prank to launch in a month, that's got to be some kind of record. Yes, folks, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is almost upon us, and it looks flipping wonderful. Cyber-soldiers, '80s cheese, and lots of neon -- I ca...
The DTOID Show photo
The DTOID Show

The Evil Within, Deadpool, & Legend Of Yoshi's 3D Luigi U

The Destructoid Show wears two Hawaiian shirts at once
Apr 19
// Max Scoville
Well, I done goofed when I was making the thumbnail for this episode. The Evil Inside is not an actual video game. I am dumb. Today's formerly-live Destructoid Show covers the announcement of Bethesda and Shinji Mikami's new...
Fez PC pre-order photo
Fez PC pre-order

Pre-order Fez and save a whole buck

It's better than nothing, I guess
Apr 19
// Brett Makedonski
Polytron is bringing Gomez and his digital adventures to PC in the near future, and it's offering some savings for people that are willing to plunk down the cash a bit early. Beginning on April 22, Fez will be available ...
Fez soundtrack photo
Fez soundtrack

Remixed Fez soundtrack available for pre-order

Remixes from C418 and Jim Guthrie included
Apr 16
// Alasdair Duncan
With the PC release of Fez just a few weeks away, it seems like the perfect time to listen to more wonderful music from Disasterpeace. He's releasing a new album composed of remixes from his Fez soundtrack which has been one ...
Fez photo

Fez sold 200,000 copies in its first year on XBLA

Just wait until the Steam numbers come out
Apr 15
// Jordan Devore
Since we talked sales for Polytron's head-scratching puzzle-platformer Fez, the game had cleared 100,000 units sold on Xbox Live Arcade. That was back at the very end of May last year. Much more recently, designer Phil Fish h...
DS and 3DS are BS? photo
DS and 3DS are BS?

FEZ creator thinks DS and 3DS are bullsh*t

Indie dev Twitter rage! Fun, fun, fun!
Mar 23
// Tony Ponce
Indie game developers are certainly an outspoken lot, aren't they? Phil Fish, creator of the dimension-flipping XBLA platformer FEZ, finally decided to hop on the Monster Hunter train starting with Ultimate for 3DS. He thinks...

Elder Scrolls Online, Riccitiello Resigns & Transistor!

The Destructoid Show makes fun of a giant corporation
Mar 19
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! Here's today's Destructoid Show.  Big news, in terms of business stuff -- EA's John Riccitiello has resigned from his role as CEO. EA is offering a generous choice of one of eight free games for customers ...

Review: FEZ

Apr 11 // Jim Sterling
FEZ (Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: PolytronPublisher: PolytronRelease: April 13, 2012MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points FEZ tells the tale of Gomez, an adorable, vaguely bipedal, little wad of white stuff who lives in a two dimensional world. Though the inhabitants of this world are staunchly pro-2D and hate cubes (because they don't exist), Gomez discovers that he is unlike the others, coming into possession of a magical fez that allows him to do the impossible -- turn a 2D world into one with three dimensions.  The world is split into a number of stages, connected together via a series of doors and warp gates to create a sprawling, web-like map. Stages are presented in a two-dimensional perspective, but each one is, in fact, a fully 3D environment. Thanks to Gomez's fez, levels can be spun from left to right, revealing four sides to each level. However, Gomez himself is still a 2D sprite, and therein lies FEZ's clever trickery.  Once a level has been spun, every surface on the screen "flattens" to form a two-dimensional image. Gomez himself is still a simple sprite, and can only interact with the world as a traditional platforming protagonist. In order to get him through the world, players need to constantly spin the scenery to change its shape and open up new paths.  [embed]225569:43324[/embed] Since everything flattens, what might be a previously impassable chasm in one perspective can become a short jump in another. To provide a simple example of what can be done, there's a wall with two patches of vines, which Gomez can use to climb. However, the vine patches split halfway up the wall, with one patch on the left side of the wall and the other on the right, too far for Gomez to jump across. Fortunately, the higher patch begins just as the lower one ends, so if you rotate the level to a sideways view, the vines seamlessly join together. The two separate vine patches are now one large one, and Gomez can ascend.  That's just one simple example, but the game plays with its dominant gimmick in a ton of unique and clever ways. Using perspective shifts similar to Paper Mario and marrying them to Escher-style illusions in the vein of Echochrome, FEZ will keep you thinking at all times. Many of the puzzles are actually simple, but the challenge comes from making one's own brain work in the correct way. It can be surprisingly tricky to think in three dimensions while playing in two, and FEZ exploits that trickiness perfectly to create a game that won't ever push you to the point of frustration, but provides just enough of a challenge to give your head a consistent workout.  As a puzzle-platformer, FEZ isn't about simply navigating stages and conquering monsters. There aren't any real enemies in the game, and if Gomez falls off a cliff or gets sucked into patches of "negative space," he'll simply respawn on the last stable platform he stood upon. Instead of survival, the goal is to collect thirty-two golden cubes, many of which are earned by collecting smaller "Bits" that will become a new cube when eight of them are gathered. In what feels like a nod to Mario, new doors open as Gomez collects more cubes, allowing players to explore more vast regions of the map.  If thirty-two cubes sounds like a lot, you will be pleased to know that collecting them isn't quite so bad as it sounds. The map screen helpfully indicates exactly what can be collected on each map, and lets you know if any bits are present. Provided you collect every bit (or even full cubes at times) on a stage before moving on, the requirement to backtrack is kept at a minimum. Of course, the world itself is quite vast, with multiple doors on stages leading to all sorts of different paths, so it's surprisingly easy to feel lost and overwhelmed -- though not necessarily in a bad way.  Collecting enough cubes to beat the game is more straightforward than it would appear, and clearing the game should take first-time players a handful of hours. However, FEZ packs plenty of extras to keep determined players invested, with a range of complex optional puzzles that will keep even the smartest people mentally taxed. Rooms indicated with a "?" symbol on the map are home to secret puzzles that will grant the player with extra rewards, most commonly a "Negative" cube. There are thirty-two negative cubes, corresponding to the thirty-two golden ones. The good news is that these count toward the thirty-two needed to complete the game, so players can beat the game faster if they pick a few of them up. The "bad" news is that FEZ throws down the gauntlet for anybody attempting to collect them all.  While some puzzles are simple, others are so vague in their presentation that I couldn't begin to work out what was required of me. Some of them consist of empty rooms, in which I saw nothing that could be interacted with. All I know is there's something in the room that I'm missing, and there are no visible clues. Gomez is followed by a little talking cube that sometimes provides hints, but those hints are often so ambiguous that they can serve only to lend further confusion. These puzzles, should a player be brave enough to take them on, will likely provide several more hours of hair-pulling entertainment. As well as negative cubes, there are also mysterious artifacts to discover (each with their own Achievement attached) and treasure chests containing keys for locked doors, or maps that provide visual clues for solving some of the puzzles. Simply beating the game is only half the adventure, with a ton of extra content and challenges on the table. If you're a completionist, this game will have you in its grip for quite some time.  For all its puzzles and sometimes dizzying perspective shifts, the true key to FEZ's success lies in its simplicity. With a character that can only run, jump, climb and grab the occasional object, Polytron has nonetheless milked a ton of variety out of what initially feels like a limited concept. While one imagines you can only do so much with the dimension-bending gameplay, FEZ manages to do so much more, and in a way that never feels overly complex, despite how complicated designing those levels must have been.  My only major criticism is that Gomez feels a little unwieldy to control. His jumping, in particular, is somewhat overenthusiastic and it can be tough to predict where he'll land. He regularly jumps a little too far off the mark, and can't be adequately maneuvered in midair. With some personal calibration, one can mostly get used to how he handles, but in some of the trickier stages, where Gomez must land on tiny platforms or work against some sort of time limit, it can provide unnecessary aggravation.   That grievance aside, FEZ is simply a joy to play. More than once, I had to smirk at just how clever the game had been with its puzzles, and when you get into a real flow, rotating the world to keep Gomez platforming along at a seamless pace, you feel justifiably terrific. It's immensely cheering to discover a new door you hadn't found before, and unlock a new path to a host of uncharted stages. While I'd have liked an option to instantly return to any stage automatically, there are enough warp gates and connecting "hub" areas to make navigating the world relatively painless and fun.  All this amusement is wrapped up in a beautiful presentation. Yes, the "8-bit" art style is nothing new these days, but the character design is lovely, and FEZ's commitment to environmental variety keeps it feeling fresh throughout the entire journey. Whether you're entering lighthouses, exploring ancient temples, or climbing trees in thunderstorms, the world of FEZ remains consistently enthralling. Environments are brought further to life by an astonishing soundtrack, with music that powers through its limiting "retro" flavor to provide some truly inspiring tunes that build to intense crescendos. FEZ's music is simply sublime, and deserves to be hailed among the greats.  FEZ may not look quite so unique these days, but once you start playing it, you'll notice how its quality, ingenious level design, and lovable personality keeps it in the upper echelons of indie gaming. Its minimalist approach hides just how much thought and care went into the overall package, and I cannot begin to wrap my head around how Polytron designed some of those levels. All told, this is an incredibly memorable adventure, with visuals and music that will be stuck in your head for a long time, and ideas so effective, they can draw a smile from all but the most soulless among us. Truly, a wonderful little game. 

FEZ is an indie platformer with a retro look and a central premise that is as unique as it is simple. Sound familiar? Such games are a dime a dozen these days, with new ones cropping up every week, but back when FEZ was first...

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