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5:00 PM on 06.07.2014

This is why you can't touch Barbie

[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 Mike Kasprzk (...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 06.07.2014

Get a load of the new Pokemon R/S Mega Evolutions and trainer duds

The latest issue of Japanese game mag CoroCoro has revealed some of the new Mega Evolutions for the Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire remakes, including new Megas for starters Sceptile and Swampert, event Pokemon Diance, and series masco...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 PM on 06.04.2014

Udon's Art of Capcom Complete Edition don't give a f*ck

Like the WWE, Capcom has been around long enough to have history that spans several distinct eras. They may be in the "all our old fans hate us but we still put out some good games sometimes" era now, but in the '90s, they we...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 05.30.2014

The Cave Story/Kero Blaster/Gero Blaster connections

Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya (Cave Story, Kero Blaster, Ikachan, Guxt) has a unique style that would be hard for anyone to convincingly counterfeit. His music, visuals, stories, and designs complement each other in ways that allow t...

Jonathan Holmes



Cave Story creator on wanting to quit, working with publishers photo
Cave Story creator on wanting to quit, working with publishers
by Jonathan Holmes

[Kero Blaster art by Paul Veer]

Cave Story is one of the most influential games to see release in the past ten years. It showed the world that one person can make a videogame that is as good if not better than works from major studios, and without asking for a dime. That's a tough act to follow for the game's creator, especially seeing how long Cave Story was in development. Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya had put years of work into the game before it was released. There was even a completely different version of Cave Story, now known as the Cave Story Beta, that had to be almost entirely reworked before it became the classic that it is today. 

A similar thing happened with Kero Blaster, Pixel's latest game. It was originally called Gero Blaster, and had a completely different story, premise, level design, music, enemy design, items, and just about everything else. After months of production, Pixel had doubts about what Gero Blaster had become, so he scrapped nearly every aspect of it, despite being very close to wrapping development. Instead, he took "cat and frog" premise of Gero Blaster in a whole new direction for a whole new game called Kero Blaster (and its semi-prequel Pink Hour), which was released on Playism and iTunes earlier this month.  

In this first entry in a two-part mini-interview, we asked Pixel about what it took to remake Cave Story and Gero/Kero Blaster, and if he'd ever want to work with Sony or Nintendo. His answers may surprise you. 

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11:00 PM on 05.22.2014

1001 Spikes weaves a Knytt'ed Cave Tempura Story of the Dead

Development of Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes is over, which appears to have put Nicalis into full throttle publicizing mode. That's great news, as I'll take any excuse I can get to talk about good old Aban and company. Th...

Jonathan Holmes

8:00 PM on 05.20.2014

1001 Spikes development complete, Curly Brace confirmed

Did you see the new multiplayer trailer for Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes? Look closely and you'll see Commandgirl Video from the Bit.Trip series, an all new boss fight, and Curly Brace from Cave Story. That's just the sta...

Jonathan Holmes



Review: Kero Blaster photo
Review: Kero Blaster
by Jonathan Holmes

Kero Blaster stands directly in the shadow of not one but two other games by creator Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. First is Gero Blaster, the original build of Kero Blaster which was announced back in early 2013. Gero Blaster was based on comics that Amaya drew in college about himself as a frog and his girlfriend as a cat. The cat is kidnapped by cyclops aliens and the frog must head off to rescue her. The game looked to be a lot of fun, and was quite far along before Amaya  reportedly scrapped the whole thing and rebuilt it as Kero Blaster

The other game that Kero Blaster has hanging over its head is Cave Story. Released in 2004, Cave Story changed the way many people viewed independent game development. It took Amaya five years to develop the game, and he released it for free. Later, it would receive enhanced ports for WiiWare, DSiWare, 3DS retail, 3DS eShop, and Steam. Fans of the game will tell you that it's one of the greatest Metroidvania titles ever made.

Seeing that Kero Blaster is the first action-platformer that Amaya has released since Cave Story, expectations are understandably high. Ironically, it's diehard fans of Cave Story who may be the most disappointed with Kero Blaster, as they are in for a much shorter, less ambitious experience. That's not to say it's any less worthwhile. If Cave Story is a rock opera, then Kero Blaster is an album of energetic, perfectly paced pop songs. As long as you don't go into one expecting the other, there's no reason you can't enjoy both in equal measure.

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6:00 PM on 05.17.2014

Pong-style assist trophy bounces into Smash Bros. 4

There was a time when Pong was one of the most popular videogames in the world. This was a time when games were often freely copied by anyone who wanted to take a stab at the fragile, untested world of videogame publishing. C...

Jonathan Holmes

12:00 PM on 05.11.2014

Adventures of Pip planned for Wii U and Xbox One

Some of the developers responsible for the original Shantae and Wayforward's A Boy and his Blob are burning up Kickstarter with a thing called Adventures of Pip. It's the story of a single square who evolves into a full, 16-...

Jonathan Holmes

1:30 PM on 05.10.2014

Retro Game Challenge 2 fan translation almost complete

The old rule of thumb was that fan translations never get picked by the game's original developer or publisher, but Stiens;Gate and Ys: The Oath of Felghana proved differently. I hope that Retro Game Challenge 2 (known as Ga...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 PM on 05.07.2014

Wonder Red appears in Smash Bros. 4... as a trophy

One of the intrusive thoughts that would hit me while playing The Wonderful 101 is how great the game's collection of 100 simultaneously controlled heroes would work as a contestant in the next Smash Bros tournament...

Jonathan Holmes

9:30 PM on 05.07.2014

Nintendo announces Skylanders-style NFC toys for Wii U/3DS, much more

[Update: Full financial briefing transcript in English with slides can be found here.] Nintendo recently announced that they didn't make as much money as they wanted last year. That's bad news for them, but good news for us, ...

Jonathan Holmes



Advance Wars is better than CoD: Advanced Warfare photo
Advance Wars is better than CoD: Advanced Warfare
by Jonathan Holmes

When the word leaked that the next Call of Duty game is called Advanced Warfare, there was just one thing everyone everywhere wanted to know -- will Advanced Warfare be as good as a 10-plus-year-old Game Boy Advance game with a name that sounds kind of like Advanced Warfare?

Sadly, the answer is "no."

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9:30 PM on 05.06.2014

Back Treachery in Beatdown City and get Aces Wild for free

Former Rockstar man Shawn Alexander Allen and his partner Diana Santiago have a passion, and that passion is Treachery in Beatdown City. Their game has less than a day left on Kickstarter and just about $10K left to do before...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 PM on 05.05.2014

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is fully funded

With only three hours left in its Indiegogo campaign, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn currently sits at 104% of its funding goal. How did the sequel/remake of one of the least respected games in history manage to succeed where...

Jonathan Holmes

5:30 PM on 04.27.2014

Sleepy Time is a Rhythm Depression Masturbation sensation

A lot of weird, unmarketable, one track minded games are referred to as "masturbatory" by their detractors. From a wider perspective, many detractors of videogames in general refer to the medium as "masturbatory", as so many ...

Jonathan Holmes



Twist and shout with your body, Caitlin Cooke and Bounden photo
Twist and shout with your body, Caitlin Cooke and Bounden
by Jonathan Holmes

PAX East was completely bonkers this year. There was a marked decrease in big publisher representation, with Microsoft showing strictly old stuff and Nintendo and Sony bowing out completely. The indies more than made up for it though. In past years there were relatively distinct boundaries between the Indie Megabooth and the rest of the show. This year, it was like the Indie Megabooth was the entire show. It just didn't seem to end. Even when you ventured into booths run by relatively large publishers like Cartoon Network, Adult Swim Games and Devolver Digital, it was still all indie stuff. 

That was a good thing for plenty of reasons, but more than anything, the heavy indie presence this year meant for more games at the show overall. In the space that would have normally been taken up by ten kiosks for the new Mario game, we got the likes of Kero BlasterWoah Dave!, Not a Hero, Tetropolis, Mushroom 11, Y2K, Max Gentlemen, Mewgenics, Videoball and so many more. 

This made it impossible to see everything at the show, but we tried anyway. That's how we ended up with 30 interviews this year, conducted over a day and a half. The video we have here with Bounden, the Twister+Sonic+Ballet game, with hunky developer Adriaan de Jongh (Game Oven) and starlet Caitlin Cooke, is the last of those interviews. We did our best to see everything, but we failed. I was so excited to interview the developers of A Hat in Time, Treachery in Beatdown City, Hotline Miami 2, TransistorGods Will Be Watching, Actual Sunlight, and all the rest, but it didn't happen. Still, the playlist above should give you something of an idea of what it's like to try to meet every available game developer at PAX East 2014, so that's better than nothing. 

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10:30 AM on 04.20.2014

She Got Game doc focuses on the strengths of women in gaming

One of the criticisms that's commonly levied at feminism (in gaming or otherwise) is that it focuses a lot on what people can't or shouldn't do, and not enough on what they can and should do. I don't share that criticism ove...

Jonathan Holmes







Take a look at the PAX East Diversity Lounge photo
Take a look at the PAX East Diversity Lounge
by Jonathan Holmes

While our event video matron Conrad Zimmerman was off editing video at PAX East last weekend, Caitlin Cooke and I went to take a quick look at the much ballyhooed Diversity Lounge. I had heard from Conrad and Caitlin that the area was far off from the central PAX attractions, and that it was barely populated. When I got there, I was happy to see that it was quite well populated. 

I found out later that that Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik just happened to be at the Diversity Lounge playing his game Thornwatch when we stopped by to shoot this video. Apparently, things went back to "incredibly quiet" after he left. If Mike's appearance at the lounge (and the crowd he brought with him) is a sign that Penny Arcade's efforts to make PAX a more universally accepting place was a success or a failure is up for interpretation. 

As for me, I did not feel very comfortable entering the lounge. Given how comfortable I am in general, that's saying a lot. On one hand, I felt like I may be intruding on someone else's space, as they may have gone to the diversity lounge specifically to get away from people like me. On the other hand, I felt like I would potentially come of as a "fraud" for treating the diversity lounge as place designed for me, when I don't feel that it was.

That's right, the diversity lounge made me feel irrationally defensive and paranoid that I might be accidentally offensive at the same time. Quite a feat for a place designed to make people from varied backgrounds feel at home together, though some of the exhibitors there seemed to have had a much more favorable experience with the thing. 

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Divekick Addition Edition+ will keep growing if you keep playing photo
Divekick Addition Edition+ will keep growing if you keep playing
by Jonathan Holmes

We've got about 30 videos from PAX East to show you soon, many of which (Mewgenics, Rain World, Shovel Knight, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Interstellar Selfie Station, Kero Blaster, La-Mulana 2) are already up on the Dtoid YouTube page, with so much more to come. Argh! So many games!

One of the more salacious interviews we scored was with Adam "Keits" Heart, creator of Divekick. He told us all about how Johnny Gat from Saints Row ended up in the upcoming release of Divekick Addition Edition+ and how he fights. Johnny's jump and divekick offer a balance of both offensive and defensive attributes that are rivaled only by Dive and Kick themselves. It's only when he starts throwing out specials that things get really wild. His black hole move is extremely versatile, and allows for a myriad of possible effects on a fight. It changes the way gravity works for both characters, creating a suction point that might help or hurt either fighter. His dubstep gun and car-hit-you attacks are a little more straightforward, but even they have more to them than you might have guessed. 

The biggest shocker was that Adam has pledged to keep adding new characters to the game for no additional cost to the player as long as people keep playing Divekick. While Adam's got plenty of work in front of him on designing new content for Killer Instinct, he's not going to let his first game go by the wayside as long as there is an audience there that wants to keep the game alive.

Who would you want to see join the cast of Divekick Addition Edition+? From what I hear, the gang at Yacht Club Games would love to see Shovel Knight join the cast. Hmmmmm...

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Conker creator on Rare barns, sequel plans, Rusty Pup and more photo
Conker creator on Rare barns, sequel plans, Rusty Pup and more
by Jonathan Holmes

Some weeks ago on Sup Holmes, we welcomed Chris Seavor of Gory Detail to the program. Chris got his start in games working on the original Killer Instinct at Rare. From the sound of it, Rare was able to harness the best aspects of big-budget and independent development in those days. Back then, each team at Rare worked in their own "barn" and made the games they wanted to play. And no, "barn" isn't slang for something else. They were really working in farmyard barns.

Other topics included Rare's special relationship with Nintendo, the hot competition between the Banjo-Kazooie barn and the Conker barn, the surprising, lasting success of GoldenEye, the creative freedom that allowed for Conker's Bad Fur Day to exist, the joy and pain (mostly pain) of voice acting, the company wide vote that contributed to Rare's sale to Microsoft, the malaise that set in thereafter, Chris' old plans for a Conker sequel, and a lot more. Chris even let a bit out about his highly secret new project The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup, currently planned for computers and Nintendo consoles. It's one to watch. 

Thanks again to Chris for appearing on the show! I certainly hope it won't be the last time we hear from him. Speaking of which, updates regarding the future of Sup Holmes can be found on our Kickstarter page. The campaign still has a few hours to go and you can already get a few free games on there. Who knows what will happen once the campaign is actually complete?!?! (Hint: we'll make more Sup Holmes and other stuff). 

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The pros and cons of releasing Smash 3DS before Smash Wii U photo
The pros and cons of releasing Smash 3DS before Smash Wii U
by Jonathan Holmes

When I first heard that the 3DS version of the next Smash Bros. was releasing months before the Wii U edition, my immediate feeling was confusion, which inspired the thought, "Nintendo, are you trying to kill the Wii U?" The game looks so good on the 3DS that it's already got potential to eat into the Wii U game's sales. Now that it's releasing first, is there any question that the home console version sales are going to suffer?

Actually, yeah, there is question. There are definitely positives to releasing on 3DS first. If Nintendo plays its cards right, it could work this situation to the benefit of both game versions.

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7:30 PM on 04.09.2014

Natasha Allegri pays tribute to Smash Bros.' new high heels

When Nintendo unveiled Samus' new footwear in yesterday's Smash Bros. presentation, the internet went wild. "How dare they!?!" they cried, tears of shoe-serious stress and tension streaming down their faces. "Just because she...

Jonathan Holmes



Sup Holmes kickstarter offers free game, dancing idiot photo
Sup Holmes kickstarter offers free game, dancing idiot
by Jonathan Holmes

The Sup Holmes kickstarter is less than 60 hours away from completion and we've almost prestigued 3 times already. Thank you so much! We're going to stretch that funding towards creating as many extras as we can. There's a lot in the planning stages at the moment, including a new show with Caitlin Cooke, a new show with Samus and Sagat, a new intro song by Jake "Virt" Kaufman, and a load of other sweet surprises. That's all on top of the additional 50 episodes that we've committed to doing on top of the initial proposed season 3.

We did it, guys.

In case you missed it, we've also got the announcement that Gordon Midwood of Different Cloth/Different Tuna is offering a code for Derrick the Deathfin on Mac/PC to anyone that backs at the $20 level. That's on top of the Steam code for Retro City Rampage and the weird comic book that I'm going to draw for backers at the $15 level! So many things!

And on top that, James Montanga has created a free game for all to love called Holmesball 64! It's like a cross between Pong, Bit.Trip CORE, and a conversation. It's so great. I love it a lot. And on top of even all that is a free digital toy/app/thing by Mike Lambert (Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Cave Story 3D, 1001 Spikes) that simulates what it's like to stare into my face and make the face do things while the body dances forever. My life is great and I wish I could make you all feel great too.

Sup Holmes Season 3 [Kickstarter]

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6:00 PM on 04.06.2014

Retro City Rampage 3DS revenues already surpassed 360, new patch live

When Retro City Rampage was released last year, developer Brian Provinciano was inundated with requests to put the game on the 3DS. It didn't look likely at first. Brian was already tackling the job of building the game on P...

Jonathan Holmes

1:00 PM on 04.06.2014

Rhythm Heaven music producer diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer

The Rhythm Heaven series hasn't become a household name outside of Japan (yet), but in its native country, the games sell in the millions. That success is due in no small part to the work of Tsunku, the singer/songwriter/prod...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 04.06.2014

Vlambeer apologizes for 'discomfort' from Luftrausers imagery

Vlambeer are no strangers to positive press, having endeared themselves to many through their tenacity in the face of a sometimes malicious marketplace, constant efforts to help others find success, and most importantly, prod...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 04.06.2014

New Joylancer build adds new enemies, attacks, and more

The last time we talked about Joylancer it was just starting out in this world. While many were impressed with the premise and mechanics, most wanted more -- more enemies, more action, more multi-player, more everything. &nb...

Jonathan Holmes



Art Hawk: Tetris photo
Art Hawk: Tetris
by Jonathan Holmes

I

I had the opportunity to interview with the creator of Tetris a few years ago about the research on his game's ability to help curb the kind of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks commonly associated with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. More recent studies have show that it can also help with cravings for food and alcohol. Ever since then I've wondered what Tetris does to the brain that helps prevent it from getting stuck in fight or flight mode, obsession with potential threats, or unwanted thoughts in general. It's certainly not the most relaxing game ever made, though there is something oddly comforting about its cold, methodical, relentless demands for optimal spacial organization.

What is it about the repetitive analysis and processing of new blocks into a collection of old blocks that helps us to remain in control of our feeling/thought patterns? As always, Art Hawk has the answer!

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9:30 PM on 03.31.2014

Kero Blaster coming to PC and iPhone in May

A couple of days ago, we showed you the first trailer of Kero Blaster (formerly known as Gero Blaster), the new game from the creator of Cave Story. It turns out that trailer was leaked so we were asked to take it down, like...

Jonathan Holmes



Sup Holmes Kickstarter runs amok, Retro City Rampage reward added photo
Sup Holmes Kickstarter runs amok, Retro City Rampage reward added
by Jonathan Holmes

First, the sad news-- Sunday's episode with Chris Seavor was the final Sup, Holmes? on Dtoid's Twitch/YouTube channel. The glad news? We launched a Kickstarter for the show yesterday, and due to overwhelming support, we were fully funded in less than 12 hours. Holy smokes.

We've still got to work out the details of the stretch goals, so chime in if you have ideas for things you'd like to see. A new animated intro, a Sup, Holmes? album featuring your favorite game music artists, a Sup, Holmes? Game Jam with your favorite developers, and a dedicated website (complete with an advice column) are just a few of the ideas we're hoping to put together. If you're a developer or musical artist and you'd like to get involved in any of that, let us know.

In the meantime, Brian Provinciano of VBlank Entertainment has offered to donate a Steam code for Retro City Rampage to everyone who backs at the $15 tier and higher. Brian was a part of the show from the very start, so it's fitting to have him be an integral part of its reboot. You can bet your butts that we'll have him on the show again as soon as he's got a new game to talk about. Speaking of which, past and future reruns of the show will appear on this Youtube channel going forward, so re-calibrate your subscriptions accordingly. 

Thanks again to Dtoid for helping to create the show, giving it a home for the past two years, and to all the people who've backed us so far. We're going to do our best to give you your money's worth. 

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5:00 PM on 03.29.2014

Nightsky is free on iOS, ya dingus

Nightsky is a meditative puzzle platformer with satisfying physics and brilliant level design, and its free right now on iOS. It's a game best played with a traditional pad and button set up, but its still a lot fun on your p...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 03.29.2014

Ducktales Remastered dev puts out Flappy Bird inspired charmer

[Update: Austin has detailed his process in developing Flippy Bard here.] Ducktales Remastered director Austin Ivansmith has released a free game on iOS and Google Play called Flippy Bard. Like Maverick Bird and Flappybalt, i...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.29.2014

Renegade Kid is launching something on April 2

Word from Renegade Kid (Mutant Mudds, Treasurenauts, Moon, Dementium) is that they'll be launching a new Kickstarter on April 2nd. They're keeping the specifics under wraps, but I did get a hint that there may be first person...

Jonathan Holmes



Mind-controlled games, knife crime, and more with Roll7's John Ribbins photo
Mind-controlled games, knife crime, and more with Roll7's John Ribbins
by Jonathan Holmes

Almost two weeks ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed John Ribbins to the program. John's been making games on his own since was a kid, but it wasn't until BBC Channel 4 commissioned him and his partners at Rolling Sound to make a game about knife crime that he got his first big break. It was made in collaboration with actual perpetrators of knife crime in a effort to help the world understand their story. That's not something you can say about most videogames.

He and Rolling Sound stuck with "Socially Responsible" side of game development for a while, going on to develop Focus Pocus -- a game you control with your mind (via the NeuroSky MindWave portably EEG reader), designed to help children with ADD and ADHD develop their ability to focus. Creating a game that you control with your brainwaves pitted the team with some interesting challenges and surprises. 

John grew up with two great passions, coding and skateboarding, though he one of those pastimes was far more socially acceptable than the other. With Roll7 (and outgrowth of Rolling Sound) he was finally able to bring them together with OlliOlli, the critically acclaimed skaeboarding platformer (now on Vita, coming soon to Steam, PS3 and PS4). We talked about the game's one-death system, its previous iteration on iOS, how it combines the psychology of skating and coding into a cohesive whole, and a lot more. We also talked about Not a Hero, the little action game that takes offers concentrated anti-hero violence mixed with classic arcade run-and-gun fun. It was great to talk to John about all these things!

Thanks again to John for appearing on the program, and if you liked Sup Holmes, check out our newly launched Kickstarter. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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9:00 PM on 03.23.2014

PSA: You should never feel bad about liking a videogame

Someone recently made a handy infographic of "videogame journalists" who are "social justice warriors". Isn't that fun? People think that by talking about some videogames that I'm fighting for social justice, like Rosa Parks ...

Jonathan Holmes

7:00 PM on 03.23.2014

Animal Crossing Drawing Challenge reaps creepy magic

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was a lot of people's game of the year for 2013, but that doesn't mean that passion for the title has cooled now that we're well into 2014. Oh heck no. Kiseki Kokoro has challenged the Animal Crossin...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.23.2014

Sup Holmes finishes off with Conker's Chris Seavor

Oh my god, it's the last Sup Holmes on Dtoid! Ahhh! What does that even mean? We'll find out soon enough, as the Sup Holmes year 3 Kickstarter is set to go live any second now. In the meantime, why not tune in to the show tod...

Jonathan Holmes

3:00 PM on 03.22.2014

Ackk Studios mysterious new game appears on the Vita

The brothers Allanson are currently hard at work on on a least one new game. It's code named Project Y2K, and it's an RPG that gives you stuff to do. You can do stuff in the overworld. You can do stuff in battles. You ca...

Jonathan Holmes