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Review: Woah Dave! photo
Review: Woah Dave!
by Jonathan Holmes

[Note: Jonathan Holmes' name appears in the Special Thanks section of Woah Dave!'s credits. No one knows why. One guess is it's because Jonathan and Woah Dave! creator Jason Cirillo had a decent conversation at PAX East 2014, during which time Jonathan was wearing a Woah Dave! t-shirt. Maybe that's it.]

Woah Dave! is a game that you don't want to get excited for. Any hype at all, even the slightest praise, might ruin your chance of getting into it. Ironically, there are plenty of reasons why some people can't help but be excited for Dave. For one, it's the latest game from Choice Provisions (formerly known as Gaijin Games), who have quite a large and dedicated following chomping at the bit for a new game from the studio. Not only that, but Woah Dave! has both an exclamation point and the word "woah" in the title, as though the game itself is excited that it exists. 

If you go into the game expecting to say "woah!" right away, you may be disappointed. Like Super Crate Box, Geometry Wars, or Samurai Gunn, it's not a game that works to impress at first. That makes it all the more surprising when you discover how deep, intense, and unpredictable this game of controlled chaos can get.

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5:15 PM on 11.01.2014

Electronic Super Joy: Groove City coming to Wii U and Xbox One

Eletronic Super Joy and its Groove City expansion have done pretty well so far, but I can't help but shake the feeling they could go farther. "Quirky and challenging platformer fatigue" is a problem for a lot of good ga...

Jonathan Holmes

3:15 PM on 11.01.2014

Gollum's Andy Serkis joins the cast of Mike Bithell's Volume

Volume is the upcoming retelling of the Robin Hood myth from Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell. One of the first voice actors cast for the game was former Dtoid reviews editor Jim Sterling in the role of (Friar) Tuck. I'm...

Jonathan Holmes

11:15 AM on 11.01.2014

Nintendo neither confirms nor denies plans to sell Mewtwo Smash Bros. DLC

Last weekend we posted a little historical review of  times that Nintendo created digital or physical limited edition products that they could have also sold through conventional retail channels, but instead chose to rel...

Jonathan Holmes



Did Pirates of the Caribbean rip off Monkey Island? photo
Did Pirates of the Caribbean rip off Monkey Island?
by Jonathan Holmes

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Last week on Sup Holmes we met Ron Gilbert, creator of Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, The Cave and so many other amazing games. I have wanted to talk to this person for over 20 years. When I finally got my chance, I found myself desperate to tell him everything I've ever thought ever, which left me at a loss. It's hard to pick just a few words when you want to say all of them at the same time. 

C'mon guys, this is the man who helped coin the term "cut scene". This is the person who who co-created the modern point and click adventure genre. This is the guy who made some of the only games that have made me laugh out loud for the entirety of my adult life. I still laugh when I say "How appropriate, you fight like a cow," in game or out.  It literally never gets old.

Even typing this is stressing me out because I know the Ron Gilbert might read it later. His games have given me so much joy and inspiration over the years. I can't help but want to return the gesture.

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Nintendo doesn't always let you buy the things that you want photo
Nintendo doesn't always let you buy the things that you want
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo recently announced that classic Pokémon character and fan favorite Mewtwo will be in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS, but only for those who buy both games. Immediately, fans wondered if this meant that one or both games would get additional DLC characters. Maybe the 3DS would get exclusive DLC characters like Chorus Kids, Roy, Chibi Robo, or Lucas, and the Wii U would get Ice Climbers, Snake, the Advance Wars trio, or someone from Fatal Frame

Of course, that discussion led to people upset at the idea that they'd be "forced" to buy the 3DS version if they wanted to play as Lucas, or the Wii U version if they wanted the Ice Climbers. This was just an extension of the anger that swelled when people were told that they'll have to get both versions of the game to have Mewtwo. Others rationalized that Nintendo would have to sell Mewtwo separately at one point or another. I mean, they'd have to, right? If the fans want it, and are willing to pay for it, then surely they'd give them that opportunity. 

Maybe not. Nintendo has a long history of distributing both physical and digital products in extremely limited quantities. They know the only reason anyone cares about event Pokémon is that not everyone can get them. This is just one example of their long history of creating fictional economies, driven by the allure of "Super Exclusives" that are unobtainable for most, but exciting for all. At least in theory. 

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Not-review: Devil's Dare photo
Not-review: Devil's Dare
by Jonathan Holmes

[Note: Destructoid's robot mascot, former news manager Conrad Zimmerman, and I appear briefly in the opening cinematic for Devil's Dare. We'll be giving out Steam codes for the game tomorrow on Sup Holmes if you want one.]

Secret Base it probably most well known for its incredible mock-ups for theoretical Ghostbusters and The Avengers games for the NES. It's clear that the developer has a passion for adapting live-action fantasy/sci-fi icons for classic games, even when they don't legally have the right to.

This passion is strewn all over Devil's Dare, its latest release on Steam. Horror is the theme here, and no expense was spared to pay tribute to all the modern horror icons, both familiar and obscure. Of course there's a boss based on Jason Voorhees, but you might be more surprised to see a tribute to both Baxter Stockman's and Jeff Goldblum's disgusting fly-man monsters. At least, I think that's what's going on here. It's hard to be 100% sure, which is part of the fun. 

Devil's Dare is like classic, Glenn Danzig era-Misfits in game form, except it seems to be intentionally ridiculous, where Glenn might not have been as self aware. The references to horror classics, the low-fi aesthetic, the tension, and the levity all come together to form something larger than the sum of its parts. Even better, it plays a lot like a traditional four-player arcade beat-'em-up but with Smash Bros.-style flash and simplicity. This isn't the kind of crossover that Nintendo is likely to publish, but it will likely appeal to many of its fans.

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3:00 PM on 10.25.2014

Pikmin short films look amazing, coming soon to 3DS

When Nintendo first announced they were working on 3 short films about Pikmin, many feared they'd go the route of those Wind Waker from a while back. They weren't exactly bad, but they didn't use original art asset...

Jonathan Holmes

9:30 AM on 10.25.2014

Even more secrets from The Wonderful 101 revealed

[Update: The art above is a mock up from fan artist Kibbles and is not official art from Platinum as originally reported. Sorry for the mistake, and thanks to Edutena for pointing it out.] Sometimes a game takes a while to fi...

Jonathan Holmes







Lone Survivor is one of my favorite games about psychosis photo
Lone Survivor is one of my favorite games about psychosis
by Jonathan Holmes

[An aside: We're giving out Lone Survivor Humble Bundle and Wii U eShop codes on Sup Holmes today at 4pm EST. Today's guest is Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island). Chuck the Plant appears in both Lone Survivor and Maniac Mansion, so it sort of makes sense, at least to me.]

Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut has been out on PSN and computers for a while, though it just made it over to the Wii U a few days ago. This post was originally going to be an impressions piece on how the Wii U port came out, but before I knew it, I'd gushed about how the game depicts psychosis with incredible nuance and sensitivity. It's a good thing too, as there isn't much to say about the Wii U port other than 'it's got remote play and it's nice to be able to plug your headphones into the Gamepad.'

Jasper Byrne, the one-man development team behind Lone Survivor, must know more about psychosis than what you can learn from TV and movies. That's the only way I can imagine how he pulled this off so well. 

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9:00 AM on 10.19.2014

WayForward passion project gets picked up by Amazon

Til Morning's Light is a new original I.P. from WayForward, published by Amazon, to appear exclusively on Amazon Fire Phone. It reminds me of what Platinum and Nintendo did with Bayonetta 2, According to WayForward's Ad...

Jonathan Holmes



This is why I love Vib-Ribbon photo
This is why I love Vib-Ribbon
by Jonathan Holmes

Vib-Ribbon is a game by NanaOn-Sha (Parappa the Rapper, UmJammer Lammy) that was originally released on the PS1. It came to the United States for the first time just recently, by way of PSN. The original game allowed you to take the disc out of the PS1 and replace it with any CD. You could then play levels based on the sounds found on that CD. That's part of why the game has such minimalist visuals. The game's code had to be small enough to be stored in the PS1 on its own. Hence the black and white vector-based graphics. 

It's amazing how NanaOn-Sha was able to create such charming and memorable characters with just a few lines. Vibri, the game's star, is a lovable scamp with tons of personality. With this article, I will do my best to follow in his footsteps by using as few lines as possible in my effort to convey to you the joy of Vib-Ribbon.

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5:30 PM on 10.18.2014

Pokémon fighting game coming to arcades first for 'the challenge'

The announcement of Pokkén Tournament came as a surprise to most of us. We knew some sort of Pokémon fighter was coming, but the news that Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada was in charge was an awe...

Jonathan Holmes



How Smash Bros. mechanics could be used in a sex game photo
How Smash Bros. mechanics could be used in a sex game
by Jonathan Holmes

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.]

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes we welcomed Nina Freeman to the program (full episode here). We talked about a lot of stuff, including the influence of Final Fantasy X on her work, her mother's feelings about her love of  technology, building fan sites as a teen, her upcoming game about romance while playing a MMO, bringing back FMV, how to use game mechanics to work as metaphor for interpersonal interactions, and a lot more. 

She is one of the few people I know who you can look at straight in the eyes and say "Smash Bros. is kinda like sex, isn't it?" and have them nod with a serious smile and say "Yeah, totally." I know this from experience. This was a unplanned moment on the live stream that could have gone horribly wrong had I been talking to someone else, but with Nina, it was just another beat in a larger conversation. 

Thanks again to Nina for appearing on the show, and if you want to see the show live, we'll be here at 4pm EST with Roel Ezendam of Rage Squid games (Action Henk) to the program. 

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11:30 AM on 10.12.2014

How a casual game jam lead to Fight Tank

So many of us love videogames but are intimidated by the idea of making them. Devi Ever has taken on the problem as part of her self-declared purpose in life. She wants people to make videogames. Literally all the people.&nbs...

Jonathan Holmes

6:55 PM on 10.11.2014

Game developer threatened, hacked, doxxed after posting meme

Giant Spacekat (Revolution 60) development head Brianna Wu was forced to leave her home last night after her personal information, including home address, was posted online and she received multiple violent, sexual ...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 10.11.2014

Are you getting Nintendo mash-up fatigue?

[Art by Hakuramen] Back in the 1980's, rock band Aerosmith and rap group Run DMC did a cover of Aerosmith's Walk This Way. It was an older song, but the novelty, evocative quality, and skills present in the cover made it a mu...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 10.11.2014

Smash Bros. clones didn't 'increase required man-hours'

Smash Bros. for the 3DS has been out for a week now, and while reception has been generally positive, there are naturally going to be some gripes after the hype dies down -- fighting Little Mac on a totally flat course, 3DS n...

Jonathan Holmes

10:30 AM on 10.09.2014

Team Meat dev to walk across videogames for fundraiser

Tommy Refenes' is one half of Team Meat (Super Meat Boy, Mew-Genics, Super Meat Boy Forever). He has Type-1 Diabetes. So does his Mom. She's had it for 32 years, and over that time, she's suffered from progressively worsening...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 10.07.2014

Gone Home/BioShock dev teases first game from new studio

Sorry if the headline misled you. The Gone Home/BioShock crossover does not exist. Not yet anyway. If it ever does, it'll probably come from Johnneman Nordhagen of Dim Bulb Games. Not only was he the lead programmer on G...

Jonathan Holmes





10:30 AM on 10.05.2014

Heavy breathing and screaming man game hits 3DS in Japan

Growing up, games like Jungle Hunt, Pitfall, and Congo Bongo were the equivalent to today's "AAA experiences". It was just a given that people wanted to play games about defenseless men in the jungle avoiding outrageous deat...

Jonathan Holmes

7:30 PM on 09.30.2014

Creepy Castle sends invites to Shovel Knight, Dr. Fetus and more

Creepy Castle is a sweet little Sinclair Spectrum-influenced game that's running one of the more humble Kickstarter campaigns in recent memory. The game only needs $6K to live. It's at about $5K now with 3 days to go. Oh no!...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 09.28.2014

Ayane from Dead or Alive is in the new Fatal Frame

The Fatal Frame series has always been subtle in its use of sexuality, utilizing an undercurrent of vulnerability and otherworldly intimacy to give players a mix of softness and dread. Some of them play with sexual themes mor...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 09.28.2014

Alien Make-Out Simulator demands your passion

What do AAA videogame developers do in their off time? If you're Dawn Rivers of Harmonix, you make more videogames. Specifically, you make a videogame for the Oculus Rift where you kiss a multi-mouthed alien until it either ...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 09.28.2014

The first videogame ever Kickstarted is almost done

Back in 2009, prominent Dtoid community member Agent Moo and some friends took to this crazy new thing called Kickstarter with the hopes of raising a huge sum of money to fund their own videogame. That huge sum was... $1,500...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 AM on 09.28.2014

Why aren't more people talking about Bacon Man?

People are still trying to figure out why some games do incredibly well on Kickstarter and others barely scratch by. Games like Hyper Light Drifter and Aegis Defenders look fantastic and deserve all the success they've ...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 09.27.2014

Puzzle Fighter-inspired indie confirmed for Wii U

Puzzle games used to be big business on home consoles. Sadly for fans of the genre, these days they're usually relegated to phones and handhelds. That may be why we've seen so few games in the style of seminal classic Super ...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 09.27.2014

Catlateral Damage proves cats can't be punished

Full Disclosure -- Chris Chung, creator of Catlateral Damage and fellow Smash Bros. fan gave me a small Smash Bros. towel after we did this interview. We also went to a comic book store together once and maybe saw Lucas Pope...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 AM on 09.27.2014

Boston FIG had over 2,000 attendees this year

It felt like at least half of the videogame side of the show floor at PAX East 2014 was made up of indie games. The Indie Megabooth used to be a tiny side show. Now its pretty much a show unto itself. It was easy to think th...

Jonathan Holmes

10:30 AM on 09.27.2014

This is the most jubilant videogame developer I know

Videogame enthusiast culture isn't always a feel good thing. Between the cold, calculating marketing tactics of publishers, the increasing hostility between different gamer subgroups, and fears of certain publishers, develop...

Jonathan Holmes

12:00 AM on 09.19.2014

What the best Smash Bros. player in the world wants you to know about Smash 4

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Sup Holmes is taking a bre...

Jonathan Holmes





10:00 PM on 09.18.2014

Not-Review: In Real Life

First Second is quickly becoming one of the best small press comic publishers, especially for those who like videogames. Their Glorkian Warrior book and corresponding videogame are both delightful in their own right, though n...

Jonathan Holmes



Here's what you'll get in the Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo photo
Here's what you'll get in the Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo released a demo for Smash Bros. 4 on the 3DS to Club Nintendo Platinum members last week. Pandemonium in the Smash Bros. community ensued. It's a relatively small piece of the game -- five characters, one arena, two modes (solo or group), and a little sandbag action during loading times on multiplayer matches. Don't let that fool you though. It's still got enough content to keep you busy for days, maybe weeks.

Last week's version of the demo has unlimited plays. The public demo releasing on the eShop tomorrow morning does not. That's going to be a problem for a lot of you. Unless you plan to keep the demo running on your 3DS until the game comes out on October 3, chances are you'll run out of plays before you've gotten your fill.

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2:45 PM on 09.14.2014

How to turn depression and anxiety into a videogame

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Last week on Sup Holmes we...

Jonathan Holmes

2:15 PM on 09.14.2014

Dark Pit shows off his dark differences in Smash Bros.

The roster for the next Smash Bros. game has been fully revealed, and strangely enough, the character that's inspired the most discussion is a clone. As you might guess, it's generally not very happy discussion. So far, the ...

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 PM on 09.09.2014

Smash Bros. for 3DS gets a demo in Japan

Super Smash Bros for the 3DS releases this Friday in Japan. Hordes of Smash Bros fans have already blocked off their weekends to play, stream, and discuss the game to their hearts content. We've even got Smash Bros. E3 ...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 09.07.2014

Loren Bednar may be the most positive guy in gaming today

[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on Youtube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Two weeks ago on Sup Holme...

Jonathan Holmes

6:00 PM on 09.06.2014

Next Level Games was working on a Metroid title

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon was one of the games that helped turn the 3DS around back when it was struggling to inspire sales. It's a fantastic game, one of the best on the console. Sadly, it may also may be part of why we hav...

Jonathan Holmes



Not-review: Brady Games Ultimate Street Fighter 4 Official Bible photo
Not-review: Brady Games Ultimate Street Fighter 4 Official Bible
by Jonathan Holmes

Fighting games are about more than competition. At their best, they are about taking the most simple of design concepts (be better at hitting someone than they are at hitting you) and using game theory magic to somehow evoke years of replayability and depth. 

For years, fighting game strategy guides didn't even come close to doing justice to the games they covered. No matter how insightful and knowledgeable the writers of those guides were, the limits of print excluded them from doing too much more than giving out some basic strategy, combos, and overview of how the game's system works. 

The internet changed all that. There are now countless places to learn just how deep most fighting games can go. If print strategy guides are to serve any purpose at all in the future we're living in, it's going to have to deliver something special. It's going to have to curate information with an expert eye, delivering only the information that you need, relieving you of the burden of wading through reams of irrelevant information online. It's going to have to be equally accessible to both veterans and beginners. It's going to have to give you insights that you just can't find anywhere else. 

With few exceptions, Brady Games' Ultra Street Fighter IV Official Bible does all that and more.

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11:30 AM on 09.06.2014

Claire returns in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 along with a new face

[Edit: Push Start was the original source on this news. Their post has an even better look at the game via GamesMaster Magazine, inducing a shot of the The Afflected in action. They are bloated. gross, and as we guessed, appe...

Jonathan Holmes