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GOG x Star Trek photo
GOG x Star Trek

Maximum Warp: GOG bringing back classic Star Trek games


Set Phasers to "Stunning Discounts"
May 07
// Josh Tolentino
Remember when GOG was called "Good Old Games"? When the fine folks at CD Projekt were more concerned about getting classic games like, er..NOX to contemporary players at low prices, rather than selling brand new games an...
Nick Arcade photo
Nick Arcade

Remember Nick Arcade? The creators are bringing that concept back


With spirtual successor Enthlevel
May 07
// Chris Carter
Well this is unexpected. We've gotten word from James Bethea, co-creator of Nick Arcade, that a spritual successor is in the works. Bethea has reunited with his co-creator Karim Miteff and the original host Phil Moore for a "...

Review: High Strangeness

May 06 // Chris Carter
High Strangeness (PC [reviewed], Wii U)Developer: Barnyard Intelligence GamesPublisher: Midnight CityReleased: May 6, 2015MSRP: $9.99 High Strangeness is a simple tale of a young man named Boyd. He has a cat, he lives a simple life -- until shadow people invade his hometown and set into motion a series of events that will change his world forever. Sound familiar? Strangeness is meant to evoke the feeling of an old school RPG, using elements of both 8-bit and 16-bit adventures, meshing it into what the developer calls "the 12-bit realm." It definitely has an EarthBound-like feel to it, with snappy jokes, real-life oriented weapons like a flashlight and firecrackers, and an otherworldly plot. The writing has the charm of a typical Pokémon game, with cute jokes that are often very meta in nature, but not to the point of just repeatedly spouting obnoxious memes. I never really felt any attachment to the cast or the setting, but the era-appropriate dialog definitely helps along the way. Boyd will fight said shadows mostly by way of his flashlight melee attack, but he'll also have a few other tricks up his sleeve, like the aforementioned firecracker bombs, a set of CDs that basically function like Zelda's arrows, and more far-out weaponry like the power to control a shadow clone. Combat mainly consists of old school hit and run gameplay, with a stamina meter in tow to prevent you from mashing the attack button. It's rudimentary, but it works, especially when  you start to experiment and realize that every weapon is viable. My favorite bit about High Strangeness is the fact that you earn upgrade tokens for every kill (even normal enemies). Since these item or skill enhancements are actually quite useful, it creates a nice incentive to get your hands dirty as often as possible. [embed]291545:58443:0[/embed] The main gimmick however is definitely the concept of plane switching, which you'll unlock roughly 30 minutes in. With the press of a button you can phase between the default 16-bit world and an 8-bit realm, fundamentally changing the way everything works. Some enemies will be easier or tougher depending on what world you're in, and mechanically, basic gameplay changes as well. Boyd can use combos and run in the 16-bit era, but only attacks with one thrust at at time and moves in a grid-like fashion in 8-bit, and so on. The switch isn't instantaneous (it takes a few seconds) so it's not worth it to constantly change, but it is fun to see enemies in a new light or try out new tactics at will. Plus, some puzzles can only be solved by toggling planes, so you'll need to do it every so often -- thank goodness it doesn't get annoying. Because the game is faster paced in the 16-bit visual style I vastly preferred it over 8-bit, and felt like the latter could have used a few extra touches in terms of a unique feel. While it does have a certain amount of charm, High Strangeness is a very linear adventure. Puzzles usually don't take more than a few minutes at a time to solve, and when all is said and done, you'll probably breeze through it in roughly five hours. There is a very cool final boss at the end, but sadly, there's no additional difficulty settings or a New Game+ option, so what you see is what you get. There are also a few wrinkles, like the health and stamina UI that doesn't stay locked in one place, and moves if you get too close to it on the screen. Since the game has some dead space due to the constrained aspect ratio, I wish there were an option to keep it static. Additionally, I wish there were a "quick item switch" button, since pausing the game to change secondary weapons isn't ideal. High Strangeness might be a brief adventure that feels a bit shallow at times, but it's very easy to digest. Because of the short nature of the game it doesn't waste your time, and it's very easy for anyone -- retro enthusiast or not -- to pick up and play. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. I did not back the Kickstarter campaign.]
High Strangeness review photo
Taming strange
[Disclosure: High Strangeness was developed in part by Destructoid community member Ben "AgentMOO" Shostak. As always, no relationships, personal or professional, were factored into the review.] Back in 2009, a smal...

Sonic X-treme POV photo
Sonic X-treme POV

Sonic X-treme POV build leaked, releasing publicly


First time ever shown
May 06
// Jed Whitaker
For the first time ever, footage of the Point of View developed version of Sonic X-treme is being shown publicly, running on Sega Saturn hardware to boot. This build is going to be released for download on May 6, so if you'v...

Legendary Castlevania producer 'IGA' seems to be teasing his next game

May 05 // Chris Carter
[embed]291576:58436:0[/embed]
IGA's new game? photo
That long-rumored project
Koji Igarashi (also known as "IGA") is one of the most talented developers out there, partially credited with the success of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and the continued rise of the franchise after that point. In 201...

Twitter DOS photo
Twitter DOS

Tweet embedded MS-DOS games disabled by Twitter


Thus ends a beautiful weekend in gaming
May 04
// Laura Kate Dale
Toward the end of last week, something very cool happened in gaming that a lot of us were very excited about. Thanks to some technical wizardry, Archive.org discovered a way for gamers to easily embed MS-DOS games into their ...
Oh the humanity! photo
Oh the humanity!

Oh noes! Pirate Bay co-founder has his NES taken away in prison


Will there ever be social justice?
Apr 17
// Jed Whitaker
Fredrik Neij, co-founder of the copyright-free zone known as the Pirate Bay, has had his Nintendo Entertainment System taken away by prison officials. The Swedish Prison and Probation Service said the console couldn't be...
Back in 1995 photo
Back in 1995

The new retro: Japanese mystery Back In 1995 looks like a PS1 game


Want to feel old? The PlayStation 1 is retro
Apr 17
// Steven Hansen
Ah, 1995. A good vintage. Earthquakes in Russia and Japan combined to kill nearly 10,000, the New York Times published Ted Kaczynski's manifesto, folks made Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream into a videogam...

The original Kickstarter game, High Strangeness, is set for release on May 6

Apr 16 // Alessandro Fillari
High Strangeness (Linux, Mac, PC, Wii U [previewed])Developer: Barnyard Intelligence GamesPublisher: Midnight CityRelease: May 6, 2015 "As the original amount was for $1500, it's been a passion project for us," said lead developer Ben Shostak. "We've been working on it all that time since, but eventually along the way, we got picked up by Midnight City and they were able to help us get it finished up and with the art assets and other resources. We had a successful Steam Greenlight, and now we're ready for release next month." Initially taking place in middle America, a mild-mannered teenager finds that his home has been invaded by creatures resembling shadows. Soon after, he's transported to a mysterious world connected by two parallel dimensions, and after coming into contact with an ancient artifact, he's able to transition between the dimensions, which resemble 8-bit and 16-bit interpretations of the new world he inhabits. Using gadgets and several artifacts he uncovers, he begins his quest to unravel the mystery behind the shadow creatures, while trying to find his way back home. Understandably, I was a bit confused by their labeling of High Strangeness as a 12-bit adventure game, but after playing the game, it became quite clear. The main character is essentially trapped within a videogame that's having difficulties trying to reconcile its place between the between the 8-bit and 16-bit eras of gaming. Hence, the 12-bit label. As the in-between, he's able to transition to different eras, while taking advantage of the unique visual styles, along with the physics and AI parameters of the respective eras. Similar to The Legend of Zelda: A Link To the Past or Secret of Mana, action takes place from an overhead view in real time. In addition to his graphical transition ability, the hero will have access to a wide range of abilities. Starting off with a flashlight, which doubles as a melee weapon, he'll gain new gadgets and abilities such as firecrackers, which can be thrown at enemies and used to destroy weak walls to find new areas. When our hero defeats foes, he'll acquire crystal eyes which can be used to spend on upgrades in the character menu. Similar to action-RPG titles, you'll be able to focus on particular traits and attributes, and build your hero out to your liking. While at first glance, it seems to be one of those titles trying a bit too hard to relive the classic era. But thankfully, the "meta-ness" of High Strangeness is much more than simple style. The transition between the bit worlds is totally by design, which will change up enemy A.I, puzzle solving, and exploration. Think Light and Dark worlds from A Link to the Past, but with videogames. For instance, 16-bit world features eight-way degree of movement, while the 8-bit world has only grid based movement. In some cases, enemies will appear more menacing and more difficult in 16-bit mode, but switching over to 8-bit mode will severely limit their attacks and movement. Moreover, certain clues and obstacles will only be present in the 8-bit areas. During the Easter Island level, I was able to see traps hidden in the ground in the 8-bit world, but for the 16-bit world, the extra graphical power allows the traps to be more well hidden. I know, it's so meta, right? And it totally works. I was kinda geeking out during my session, as it was a pretty neat nod to how self-aware it is the style and limitations of the era. It was cool seeing 16-bit versions of the common enemies, these clothed monsters with tentacles, turn into these somewhat harmless and neutered looking enemies in the 8-bit world. By the way, that friend that inspired the developers to put themselves out there on Kickstarter was Rich Vreeland, also known as Disasterpeace. Along with Dino Lionetti from Cheap Dinosaurs, Disasterpeace has also contributed some music to High Strangeness. The score is totally a love letter to the classic era, focusing heavy on chiptune arrangements that are pretty catchy, but also very exciting and ooze style. I spent a nice amount of time with High Strangeness, and I could tell I only scratched the surface of what it has in store for players. There are many dungeons and locations to explore, each with a 8-bit and 16-bit rendition, and there's even a section where you'll play as a talking cat for some reason. It sounds so ridiculous, I know it'll be really awesome to see unfold. I'm a bit of a sucker to have a game be so self-aware of its genre, and the medium itself, and High Strangeness is certainly shaping up to one of those titles that'll not be fun to play, but also to examine for the number of references and nods to the classic era. It's been a long time coming, and to finally see the original Kickstarter game project reach the finish line is pretty exciting. Granted, it's been about six years, but better now then never, right? They've made good on their commitment to the fans, and it's shaped up to be something quite special.
High Strangeness photo
A super-meta jaunt through through 12-bit gaming
Ever since the big Kickstarter boom of 2012, there's never been a short supply of developers looking to get their next title going through crowdfunding. From metroidvania action-RPG titles referencing the golden years of game...

Syphon Filter tasers photo
Syphon Filter tasers

Syphon Filter! That's not how tasers work!


Advanced flame throwers
Mar 26
// Steven Hansen
We were messing with some unearthed PlayStation 1 demo discs over as casa mia last night. It was a bit of nostalgia hit, flipping between video panes. Also, why didn't anyone tell me about Tobal 2? It looks like a fisticuffs...
Mega Man Unlimited photo
Mega Man Unlimited

Mega Man Unlimited gets super tough Omega bosses and more


I just checked, and yes, this game is still money
Mar 12
// Tony Ponce
Your eyes do not deceive! Tony Ponce is writing about Mega Man on the front page! I want to talk today about Mega Man Unlimited, the fan game I reviewed nearly two years ago that made me cry manly tears. You remember that tas...

Sega brings back OutRun with style for the 3D Classics Series

Mar 11 // Alessandro Fillari
For those not quite familiar, OutRun is an arcade-style racing game that tasks players with racing their shiny Ferrari Testarossa across a stretch of land. At several points, you'll be able to choose which path you'd like to take, which will take you to a brand new setting that you'd likely not see in previous playthroughs. This nonlinear gameplay was rather unconventional for a racing title, which made it quite popular with arcade goers who wished for repeat plays. Over the years, it's developed quite a legacy for Sega, and it has even inspired musicians like Kavinsky for its portrayal of style in high-speed. It was a rather seminal title for Sega, earning a lot praise and finding much success in the arcades. Developed by Yu Suzuki, the creator of Shenmue, Virtua Fighter, and After Burner, it focused on fast gameplay while giving players a soothing and equally pulsing soundtrack to listen to. It even got several followups over the years. But with this remaster of OutRun, the folks at Sega had to put in extra work to retain the the original's style and feel without watering down the experience. "OutRun and After Burner II are two games that were the most important games in Sega’s history through the 1980s. However, due to a number of reasons, there was a time when there were no opportunities to port these two titles to other platforms," said producer Yosuke Okunari. "The most important thing for these kinds of games, and this is apparent from a video of the game you may have seen, is not to take these important games and try to remake them completely from scratch, but rather to recreate the playstyle as faithful to the original as you possibly can. And because the game preserves the feeling of the era it was made in, that history and the memories of those times can be communicated to everyone." During my playthrough, I immediately noticed how much smoother it felt. I played a bit of game when I younger in the arcades, so seeing this in action on a handheld was kind of a trip. And with the 3D enabled, the game doesn't lose performance one bit. It was impressive to see that a super fast racing game like OutRun would be able to make the transition so well. Honestly, it felt a bit hypnotic going over 200 km an hour. Once you're in the zone, you're kinda in a trance. Okunari-san explained that with the success of the previous titles on 3D Classics, they were able to tackle the necessary hurdles porting OutRun would take. "The 3DS is a notable piece of hardware, but it’s not a console that’s particularly well suited for creating faithful ports," he explained. "And so we were not able to include these two titles when we first began the development for the Sega 3D Classics. Only through the success of the first batch were we able to obtain the technical know-how and development budget to work on these two titles. It’s because of all the fans’ support." Often times, the 3DS tends to have some trouble with handling ports of classic or even recent titles. Which made porting the game, despite its age, somewhat of a challenge. One of the techniques that titles like After Burner and Space Harrier use is a way of presenting 2D sprites as pseudo-3D visuals, which is done with unique sprite-scaling designs. But in order to keep it consistent with other titles, the developers had to double the performance on OutRun, upgrading it from thirty frames per second to sixty. "Tying to get squeeze out more performance that the original title supported was a very difficult undertaking," said the producer. "Simply straight porting the game as is would prove to be a challenge in and of itself, but we had to optimize and improve the programming so it would run twice the speed as the original. Also, we added two new songs to the game, and made a point that they had to blend naturally and feel completely natural in the game, which was also a great challenge. Essentially using the same sound sources as the original, while ensuring that they would sound different and unique compared to the original three songs. New songs in the style and feel of the era when the game was originally released, back in the '80s." It's certainly eye-opening to see the amount of work that goes into remasters for classic titles. I supposed with the technology we have now, it's easy to think of products and software from the past as easy to make, or even easy to transition onto current hardware. Given the limitations they had and parameters they had to work within, I'm very impressed with what I played. I spent a good amount of time with OutRun on the 3DS, and it played like a dream. I highly recommend giving it a shot, especially if you're a first-timer. The sense of speed is just as sharp as it was back in the arcade days and experiencing it within the palms of your hands is real rush.
Sega 3D Classics photo
Race with flair on March 12
One of the great things about Sega's ongoing 3DS Classics series is that it allows retro games from the publisher's past to find a new audience. And given its rich and diverse history of quirky and fan-favorite titles, there'...

AIPD GDC trailer photo
AIPD GDC trailer

Beautiful UE4-powered shooter AIPD coming to GDC


This GDC trailer is chock-full of glowey, shooty twin-stick goodness
Feb 27
// Rob Morrow
Artificial Intelligence Police Department, or AIPD for short, is an upcoming top-down, twin-stick shooter from Frankfurt-based studio Blazing Badger. It recently released this luminous new trailer for its debu...
From Software photo
From Software

Dark Souls developer's PS1 classic Shadow Tower rated by ESRB


From Software's first-person roots
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
From Software doesn't just make Demon's/Dark Souls and Bloodborne. The company created Armored Core, too. It also followed its King's Field games with another first-person, skeletal RPG, Shadow Tower. Shadow Tower has be...
Carmen Sandiago ND photo
Carmen Sandiago ND

Rare North Dakota-themed Carmen Sandiego game has surfaced


You're darn tootin'!
Feb 18
// Jason Faulkner
In the late '80s the Carmen Sandiego series was immensely popular and over 20 states were looking to get in on that red hot edutainment action. Details are sketchy on exactly what happened, but Where in North Dakota is Carme...
Strafe demo photo
Strafe demo

This demo for Strafe didn't make my head explode


But the shotgun is '90s-era fun
Feb 17
// Jordan Devore
I liked the look of Strafe, a 1996-style first-person shooter. As of today, I like how it plays, too. In the final hours of the game's Kickstarter run, a PC/Mac demo has come out for backers and non-backers alike. Can it help...
Czech PlayStation ads photo
Czech PlayStation ads

These Czech PlayStation ads make me feel like a criminal


I just got sickled and hammered
Feb 01
// Jason Faulkner
These ads come from not too long after the Iron Curtain became the Iron Drapes, and Western culture began flooding the former Warsaw Pact. It's obvious that there was still a little bit of a learning experience going on in 19...
Strafe photo
Strafe

1996-style shooter Strafe looks like the start of something great


10 minutes of developer-commentated footage
Jan 29
// Jordan Devore
I've greatly enjoyed the promotional work that's gone into Strafe, also known as STRAFE®, also known as "the goriest shooter of 1996." But beyond the head-exploding live-action throwback trailer, wonderful as that was (h...
Jump'N'Shoot Attack! photo
Jump'N'Shoot Attack!

Jump'N'Shoot Attack! aims to be the next big anti-mobile game


Auto-run structure, NES in every other way
Jan 29
// Jonathan Holmes
It wasn't that long ago that auto-run platformers were novel, even quaint. Bit.Trip RUNNER, Canabalt, Vib-Ribbon, and even Anthony Burch's Runner all managed to get out to the market before Endless Runner stigma became a par...
Pretty good photo
Pretty good

Strafe's bleeding edge graphics and gameplay will literally blow your mind


'Sure Missy. I mean, mom.'
Jan 20
// Steven Hansen
Well, if you're going to cut a trailer for "the goriest shooter of 1996," this is how you do it. Enjoying the ironic aggressive marketing of the campaign, complete with stylized title (STRAFE®) popping up everywhere. 
Woah Dave! NES photo
Woah Dave! NES

You could play Woah Dave! on an actual NES cart


What other games would you like to see in cartridge form?
Jan 19
// Ben Davis
Do you ever think about what it would be like to play your favorite sprite-based indie games on the consoles they were influenced by? Well, you might be able to do just that with Woah Dave!, an NES-inspired game which could p...
Crystal Catacombs photo
Crystal Catacombs

Kickstarter-funded Crystal Catacombs arrives on Steam tomorrow


Classic 2D platforming meets roguelike randomness
Jan 14
// Rob Morrow
After nearly three years in development, Levels or Lives' retro-inspired roguelike pixel art platformer Crystal Catacombs is almost ready to make its debut on Steam. Successfully funded on Kickstarter in July of 2012,  ...
The Depths of Tolagal photo
The Depths of Tolagal

The Depths of Tolagal is fairly brutal, but it's also addictive


Have I mentioned the Destructoid community has a great taste in games?
Jan 06
// Rob Morrow
Knowing my penchant for habitually tinkering around with retro-inspired roguelike games that I dig up on Steam, community badass and all-around awesome person Phil Ken Sebben tapped me on the shoulde...
Softporn II photo
Softporn II

Wolfenstein, Prince of Persia, Softporn II: 2,400 MS-DOS games playable free in-browser


The short-lived adventures of pornman and porngal
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
The Internet Archive has added to its archive with nearly 2,400 MS-DOS games that are all playable right in your browser, right here. I've flitted between between Prince of Persia, Donkey Kong, and Aladdin within minutes...
Thimbleweed Park photo
Thimbleweed Park

Monkey Island creator on Kentucky Route Zero, designing worlds and not sucking


Iím looking for 30 dead guys and one woman
Dec 15
// Jonathan Holmes
It's time for part two of our interview series with Gary Winnick and Ron Gilbert, two of the fathers of the Point & Click genre. as we count down to the end of their Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter. Talking to these leg...

Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter was a joke for five seconds

Dec 12 // Jonathan Holmes
Dtoid: What brought the two of you back together again for Thimbleweed Park? Gary: Ron and I have stayed in touch over the years and have often talked about doing another point & click adventure together, but usually our schedules haven’t lined up. About six months ago our schedules lined up, and Ron had the idea for us to try Kickstarting a classic adventure game. Ron: When I said “Let’s do a Kickstarter for this,” I was actually joking, but 5 seconds later my brain said, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”Dtoid: Maniac Mansion's visuals were shaped in part by the technical limitations of the time. Thimbleweed Park isn't constrained by those limitations, yet it shares a similar look. What it is about the visual style you created with Maniac Mansion that inspired you to return to it?Ron: I’ve always resisted the idea of doing another point & click adventure game. I knew if I did one, there would have to be something special about it. When Gary and I started talking about how much fun it was to work on Maniac Mansion together, and how we should make another adventure game that really was like that, my brain started to really get excited. The authentic Maniac Mansion art style was the missing “special” part.Gary: We think there’s a real charm and innocence to the retro art—not only is it nostalgic and a throwback to the first games we did, but there’s also something about playing a game with what amounts to colorful animated icons. Players immediately understand the representation of the characters and environment and tend to use their own imaginations to fill in and create a richly detailed world. Dtoid: Was Kickstarter always the plan for Thimbleweed Park? Did you ever consider going the traditional publisher route? Gary: I don’t think a traditional publisher would be that interested in a project like Thimbleweed Park. Aside from the funding side of things, Kickstarter is also an opportunity to connect with and directly build a community.Ron: That is one exciting thing about crowdfunding: connecting with players. During Maniac Mansion there was no connection. We worked on the game, released it and then waited three months for magazines to come out with a review. Maybe we’d get some letters mailed in. By the time Monkey Island was released, there was CompuServe, but the community was still very small. Now we have over 13,000 people to talk to and the game hasn’t even started production.
Thimbleweed Park photo
'Mommy, I'm worried! He hasn't eaten in five years!'
The Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter is almost over! We're celebrating this historic event with an explosive interview series starring not one, but two amazing middle aged men -- Mr. Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island) and Mr. Gary ...

Doom behind the scenes photo
Doom behind the scenes

Let's look at some cool behind-the-scenes pictures of Doom


Romero brought presents
Dec 11
// Jordan Devore
In celebration of Doom's 21st birthday, Brett shared a personal anecdote about how the iconic game came into his life at an early age and refused to leave. He didn't include Doomguy's midriff in the article, much to my chagri...
Joylancer photo
I might steal the uncle's joke, I have to admit
Jed's back with more of his ride through Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight. Jed relates a story of his uncle's lame, perv-y jokes at Thanksgiving, admits he's lost his passion for collectibles, and just straight up forgets everything that's happened so far.

Joylancer photo
Get it? Like a B-hole
We have heard your cries for more beard, and they are not going unanswered. Today the second part of Jed conquering Joylancer is available for your quivering senses. So, feast your eyes on this Game Boy Color-esque hack 'n' slash adventure, while the beard commentates with his joyful lance in hand.

Joylancer photo
Get your motor runnin'
Jed's back with another retro-style indie game. Joylancer: Legendary Motor Knight puts players in an old school side-scrolling hack 'n' slash with Game Boy Color graphical sensibilities. Jed got to revving up his motorized lance and just absorbed the good vibrations.


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