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Toto Temple Deluxe photo
Toto Temple Deluxe

Headbutting for goats in Toto Temple Deluxe!


GET THE GOAT!
Mar 09
// Caitlin Cooke
For better or worse, sometimes you just have a hankerin’ to steal a goat. Those of us at PAX East with said craving headed over to Toto Temple Deluxe, which delivered goat-stealing gameplay in a fast-paced keep-away bra...
Mineplex photo
Mineplex

Weirdest thing at PAX East 2015: Mineplex freezing cold fan line


Popular Minecraft Lets Players meet fans on the streets
Mar 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Videogame events are know for their strange sights, but after going to PAX or E3 for a few years, one can start to feel like they know what to expect. That sense of routine was thrown out the window this past Saturday while ...

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a brilliant asymmetrical game

Mar 08 // Patrick Hancock
The player with the Oculus Rift can manipulate the bomb by rotating it or by choosing one of the many different sections on the bomb to interact with. There are many different possibly sections that could be on the bomb, but the simple ones consist of a series of wires or symbols, or even just one single button with some text on it. The game allows for players to mess up two times. After that, the bomb detonates. Bombs are randomly generated each time, so it's not feasible to memorize what to do in specific situations. Plus, the sections themselves change so it would take a ton of memorization. The player with the binder has a series of instructions that need clear communication as to what the bomb actually shows. For example, one section of the beginner bomb has a set of about six wires. However, depending on what colors those wires contain will affect which wire needs to be cut. The binder will say something along the lines of "If the section contains any yellow wires, cut the third wire." It becomes a constant back and forth between players in a race against the clock that is absolutely exhilarating. [embed]288752:57653:0[/embed] After beating the beginner bomb on day one of PAX, my partner and I decided we were up for the harder bomb on day two. We were not. The first obstacle on the second bomb brought us all three strikes. It was a more complicated series of steps that also included memorization. I was not prepared to keep notes while frantically communicating, but that's exactly what I had to do in order to win. Step five would say "If the number display is a four, press the position of the button you pressed in step two." What the hell did we press in step two? BZZZT-BOOM! Well, shit. Apparently there are even harder bombs. As I was perusing the binder of information, I saw steps that were entire pages long, something called the "Who's on First" section, and mazes. Mazes! Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes looks like it would be a perfect party game for just about anyone. This may be the first and only game ever to bring me back every single day of PAX!
Asymmetrical Oculus photo
Great use of the Oculus Rift
In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a game originally developed at a game jam, one player wears the Oculus Rift and sees a bomb that needs to be defused but doesn't know how to defuse it. Their partner only has a binder...

I nuked the God of Lightning in Mayan Death Robots

Mar 08 // Patrick Hancock
Each player chooses one god, each with their own special attacks. The design of these gods is absolutely fantastic, and I found it hard to choose one to stick with based on design alone. Eventually I chose the Sun God, who was basically a nuke with a face who could also launch nukes and regular missiles. In retrospect, I guess that was the only answer. A nuke with a face! My opponent chose the Lightning God, who could also reign down attacks from the heavens. The object of the game isn't to kill each other -- though that certainly helps -- but to destroy the opponent's power source. Each god has four options: two unique attacks, jump, or build. The two attacks vary by god; the Sun God could either launch a Flare, which fired a tracer and then a rocket that came in at an angle. His other attack launched a different tracer, and then the next turn reigned down a massive nuke on top of wherever the tracer landed. Firing these takes some calculations. Aiming uses a power and angle line, similar to the classic Tanks game but without a meter for power. Jumping works in the same way, and is used to maneuver the god into a better position, whether it be to get a better shot or to get out of the way of the opponent's shot. Building allows the player to create terrain within a certain radius of the controlled god. These terrain pieces are placed in Tetris-esque shapes and help to protect the power source or possibly even imprison the enemy god! There's only a certain amount of terrain that can be placed, so it's not like you could just cover the screen in terrain. The most interesting part is the fact that turns happen simultaneously. Each player has a few seconds to choose which option they will perform, and then has a few more seconds to either move the angle and power of the attacks/jump, or to build the terrain. This not only keeps things moving, but also keeps things intense as you watch both sides' actions happen at once.  Every so often, a giant wheel comes up that grants each god a new single-use attack. Though it may seem pertinent to use it immediately, the situation may not call for a Cluster Grenade at that particular moment. Plus, it can be a little predictable to always use the new attack after acquiring it. Never be predictable! There are also Mayan statues and civilians running around and worshiping each god. Killing the opponent's statues and Mayans will grant buffs and can help give the player more options as to what kind of battle plan they execute. Should you go straight for the power source? Or will you go for a slower burn and start to aim for the statues? The whole match moves at a steady pace and there were event times where I was too busy watching the action unfold and totally missed choosing an action (it defaults to the last used action). Players need to be attentive, think quickly, and be unpredictable to be victorious. Mayan Death Robots is a fantastic strategy game that doesn't drag on and keeps up the intensity. The game has already been Greenlit and it is just a matter of time until we see it on Steam.
Mayan Death Robots  photo
Fast paced Worms-like
There's been a lot of games that try to copy the success of titles like Worms or Tanks, but often come off feeling too derivative. "Yeah, it's like Worms, but not quite as good" has definitely left my lips a handful of ...

Gearbox x Harmonix photo
Gearbox x Harmonix

Borderlands characters are now in Dance Central Spotlight


From Inside Gearbox panel
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
Gearbox and Harmonix have worked together in the past with a dance section in one of last year's trailers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At the PAX East Inside Gearbox panel, Gearbox and Harmonix announced a new p...
Brothers in Arms photo
Brothers in Arms

Gearbox hints at the possibility for a new Brothers in Arms


Troy Baker wants it
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
At the Inside Gearbox panel today, Troy Baker and Laura Bailey were on stage promoting Tales from the Borderlands, when Baker went into a story about how he loved working on Brothers in Arms, and how the final cutscene felt l...
Telltale Borderlands Ep 2 photo
Telltale Borderlands Ep 2

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 set to release week of March 17


Atlas Mugged
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
Telltale's panel came and went with some fun stories of the studio's journey but nary an announcement of what the developer is doing now. Judging from the comments in just about every Telltale article that goes up, the second...
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Claptastic Voyage comes out March 24


Inside the mind of Claptrap
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
During today's Inside Gearbox panel at PAX East, Gearbox unveiled the trailer for the fourth piece of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel downloadable content. The story content picks up after the end of The Pre-Sequel and leads into...
PAX East poll photo
PAX East poll

Vote now for Dtoid's PAX East 2015 community choice award!


Democracy in action
Mar 07
// Mr Andy Dixon
Ah, PAX East. What a wonderful, sexy convention you are. Are you in Boston this weekend, hanging out with fellow Dtoiders and having a blast? If so, I am totally jealous! Luckily for me and the millions of others in my shoes ...

Final Fantasy XV looks great and feels even better

Mar 07 // Kyle MacGregor
After getting acquainted with Prince Noctis and his entourage, Episode Duscae gives players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the action-oriented battle system. The combat is fast and fluid, vaunting stylish special techniques and a warp ability that allows Noctis to teleport across the battlefield and strike opponents when they least expect it. The basic controls involve holding down or hammering at the attack button, and discerning when to back off and elude oncoming attacks. There are dodge and parry moves to do this, but my personal favorite (though least effective) is an awkward scrambling animation where our hero is on his hands and knees trying to get out of the way of an enemy assault. Noctis is equipped with a handful of different weapons, all of which have specific abilities and are useful in varying circumstances. Anticipating which technique is appropriate for the situation at hand will be key to mastering the combat system, as is monitoring the MP gauge, given just about everything the player does on the battlefield requires its use. Since players only have direct control over Noctis, the rest of the squad acts as support, and they're certainly no slouches. The other guys always followed my lead, rushing to join me in the fray and retreating when I ran for the hills, while also pointing out nearby objectives. One of their most important qualities is reviving fallen teammates. Upon depleting the life bar, characters will stagger around helplessly until they succumb to their wounds. Luckily, a helping hand from one of your pals should keep the game over screens to a minimum. Clashing with the local fauna or imperial patrols feels incredibly satisfying, especially so after dusk, when larger and more dangerous bands of frightening creatures materialize out of the pitch black night. These encounters are avoidable, though, as camping plays an important role, giving the party a safe haven to wait out the dangers of the witching hours, recuperate, and gear up for whatever hardships await on the long and winding road ahead. I look forward to coming across those obstacles and going toe to toe with the behemoth, a voracious beast causing trouble for the Duscaen residents. After following a rather bloody trail of breadcrumbs, I managed to track the monstrosity back to its lair in a lengthy stealth (!) sequence before a Square Enix representative pried the controller from my hands.  I'm not sure what happens next, but I'm certainly eager to find out. You can too, starting March 17.
Final Fantasy XV preview photo
Our first trip to Duscae
Even though the clock was ticking, it was difficult not to stop and smell the roses. I had a behemoth to hunt, but couldn't help myself. A gorgeous landscape teeming with majestic wildlife distracted me from my objective. I w...

PAX East 2015 plans photo
PAX East 2015 plans

Destructoid's PAX East 2015 schedule is here!


Party with the best damn community on Earth
Mar 07
// Mr Andy Dixon
PAX East 2015 is happening RIGHT NOW! And just like years past, the Destructoid community is there in a big, big way. Did you make the trek to Boston this year? Then check out our daily meetup schedule below! And be sure to j...
Wolfenstein: TNB photo
Wolfenstein: TNB

Check out 20 minutes of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood in action


Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale!
Mar 07
// Brittany Vincent
There's a $20 standalone expansion to Wolfenstein: The New Order, and it's called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. You aren't nearly as excited about this as you should be. I've got just the remedy here. Check out 20 minutes of f...
What Samus Wants photo
What Samus Wants

Samus tries to interview Tim Rogers at PAX about Videoball


Guest starring Lollipop Chainsaw's Juliet Starling
Mar 06
// Jonathan Holmes
We've got a whole lot of PAX East 2015 coverage headed your way over the next week. On the video front, a lot of our coverage will feature Destructoid regulars like Jed Whitiker and myself talking to videogame developers and...
Radio Dtoid live photo
Radio Dtoid live

Radio Dtoid LIVE from PAX East 2015 is happening!


Here's how to get involved
Mar 06
// nanashi
[Dtoiders Nanashi and TheDustinThomas have once again agreed to assist us with a recording of Radio Destructoid live from PAX East! Now's your chance to be a part of Radio D history! --Mr Andy Dixon] It's that time once again...

Planet of the Eyes is a treacherous place for Polaroid robots

Mar 06 // Darren Nakamura
Indeed, the most striking element of Planet of the Eyes is its art direction. The vivid blues and purples and the sharp edges look amazing. In a conversation with Destructoid, writer Will O'Neill described the art design as retro futuristic, which is evident from the protagonist, a robot whose head resembles an old Polaroid camera. The planet itself is more organic, featuring the titular eyes on tendrils that just seem to want to watch the havoc. Early on in the demo, the robot finds an ominous audio log from a gravelly-voiced man. Addressed to the robot, it hints at the bot's function and at what the player might find on the adventure. It ends with an apology, perhaps in advance for all of the horrible deaths awaiting the robot. The environment is hostile, and survival requires the player to be alert. A lot has been put into making the traps feel ominous, where a pillar teeters for a few seconds before crushing the robot or the ground slowly sinks away. With enough wits, the player can react and push through, but the tension of an imminent death is special in its own way. [embed]288688:57638:0[/embed] The puzzle section featured fairly standard gameplay. I found myself pushing and pulling on objects to circumvent deadly obstacles, and sometimes setting in motion the very things that would crush or maim me. The more action-oriented half of the demo focused more on precision timing over bottomless pits or spikes that seem to take pleasure in skewering hapless passersby. It betrays slightly loose control, where the robot seems slow to respond at times. With constantly toppling platforms it got pretty dicey toward the end. Cococucumber has been quietly working on Planet of the Eyes for a couple years, and the studio is closing in on a final release. The puzzle platformer blazed through Steam Greenlight in just four days, and is set to come out in summer or fall of this year.
Planet of the Eyes photo
I always feel like somebody's watching me
Crash landing on an alien planet is the worst. There's hazardous flora, deadly fauna, and even rock formations that seem to have some sort of blood lust. That just piles on top of the existential crisis of being a robot with ...

Telltale x Penny Arcade photo
Telltale x Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade would team up with Telltale on a Thornwatch game


You know, if Telltale would have it
Mar 06
// Darren Nakamura
In a question-and-answer session at PAX East today, Penny Arcade founders Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik got onto the topic of their fantasy IP Thornwatch, which Krahulik has developed into a tabletop game. In an offhand com...

Downwell has a simple premise but it's damn fun

Mar 06 // Darren Nakamura
In the well, there is an assortment of enemies to shoot. In the first area, frogs hop, bats fly, and spike-shelled snails climb up the walls. Some of the foes can be stomped, but the more dangerous ones must either be shot or avoided. So there's a lot of shooting involved, and the shooting serves a dual purpose: keeping from falling and defeating enemies. However, there's also a drawback. Platforms can be fired through, but most of the blocks are destructible. Fire too much and the nearest safe landing will disintegrate, leaving the player to plummet into unknown territory. Still, there are reasons to destroy blocks. Nestled inside some blocks (and all enemies) are gems, which also serve a dual purpose. Collected gems can be spent at any of the randomly-occurring shops that line the well. Here, the player can restore or increase health or increase the magazine size on the gun boots. The more interesting function for gems is a system wherein a steady gem income will result in more powerful shots to be fired. What falls out of that is a constant risk/reward assessment, where the player can opt to advance downward quickly, chaining together gems to keep the power shots fueled. Another approach is to take it more methodically, carefully dispatching enemies to avoid taking damage, but at the cost of reduced firepower. The impressive thing is that both are equally valid philosophies, though I found the most success with a hybrid of the two. Downwell is releasing for PC and mobile platforms. I tried it on both, and while the controller and the big screen were ideal, it only took a little bit of time to get used to playing it on an iPhone. The big pitfall with the mobile version is that a lot of the action to keep an eye on is at the bottom of the screen, precisely where the controls -- and therefore the player's thumbs -- are set up. That said, the mobile version still worked well enough to dig into. Perhaps ironically for a game about a semi-chaotic descent down a well, Downwell is built on a solid foundation. Like other recent lo-fi games, it focuses on gameplay, and it really nails it. I had a ton of fun playing, so much that developer Ojiro Fumoto commented on how long I stayed at his booth. The PAX weekend is still young and there is still a lot to see, but I can imagine going back just to get a few more rounds of Downwell in.
Downwell at PAX East photo
Three-button bliss
A glance at Downwell's tricolor palette in still shots doesn't really do it justice. Watching it in motion gives a better idea what it does, but not until actually playing it does it all click. It is built around a simple mec...

Telltale Storytime photo
Telltale Storytime

Telltale founders discuss the studio's evolution at PAX East 2015


2700 people in the Main Theater will remember that
Mar 06
// Darren Nakamura
At PAX East's big opening panel, Telltale Games co-founders Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner talked about how Telltale came into being. They began by following the storytelling path through the ages, from telling stories around a...
FFXIV photo
FFXIV

Square Enix is streaming its Final Fantasy XIV expansion PAX East panel


More Heavensward info
Mar 05
// Chris Carter
Final Fantasy XIV's Heavensward expansion is coming this year, with a host of new classes, dungeons, and changes. On March 7, Square Enix will share more information about what's to come as part of the PAX East festiviti...
Amplitude photo
Amplitude

I fear for my fingers after seeing Amplitude in action


Playable at PAX East booth #4224
Mar 02
// Jordan Devore
Harmonix is reviving Amplitude this summer and, if recent rumors hold up, Activison might bring back Guitar Hero. The lows of the rhythm genre are real low, but I'm ready for that high again. Going into this weekend's PAX Ea...
Necropolis photo
Necropolis

Harebrained Schemes' new adventure has shark men


Swing by Necropolis at PAX East
Feb 27
// Jordan Devore
"A third-person action game with shark men? Okay, I'll let them know." I ever so foolishly forgot that Shadowrun Returns maker Harebrained Schemes has Necropolis, "a game of brutal combat and survival," in its pipeline. The ...
Announcement trailer photo
Announcement trailer

Masquerada is a very pretty Baldur's Gate-style RPG


Banner Saga levels of isometric, 2D goodness
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Leading with the Dragon Age comparison probably would've gotten more eyes on this these days, huh? The Baldur's Gate reference point just makes the most sense, though, especially with the isometric view. And there are plenty...
Liege trailer photo
Liege trailer

Liege is like chess, but with more face-stabbery


It's looking badass in this new GDC/PAX East trailer
Feb 25
// Rob Morrow
Coda Games' sole developer John Rhee just uploaded a revealing new pre-expo teaser for his Kickstarter-funded SRPG trilogy, Liege. In it, we get to see the most recent gameplay footage of the elegant, turn-based/tactica...
Indie Megabooth photo
Indie Megabooth

Indie Megabooth is the place to be at PAX East


Say hi to Holmes and crew when you're in Boston
Feb 23
// Jordan Devore
"Dad By The Sword is a game about YOUR DAD running around in jorts and slaying Anti-Dads with a claymore. Experience a unique First Person Swordplay experience as you try not to get killed by leaping hot dog monsters. Out...
PAX East photo
PAX East

Developer Giant Spacekat exits PAX East due to threats


Remember when we played games?
Feb 18
// Robert Summa
The embarrassment caused by a certain faction of the gaming space continues to make things terrible for just about everyone. Because some keyboard warriors refuse to see reason and behave with basic human decency, developer G...

Dungeon Defenders II is shaping up nicely on both PS4 and PC

Jan 28 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286809:57064:0[/embed] At PAX South I had the chance to check out the four player cooperative role-playing tower defense title. Okay, it might not fit nicely into a traditional genre, but it ends up making sense when you play it. Even for complete newcomers to the series, it works -- it just takes a bit longer than expected. Playing on the one PlayStation 4 build at the kiosk, the developers walked me through an introductory five-wave map of Dungeon Defenders II that proved to be challenging yet manageable. Eschewing the role of squire, wizard, and monk, I opted to play as a huntress, as I figured her bow would (hopefully) make for some interesting cross-map headshots. After setting down a smattering of traps to guard each lane, I initiated the action. Baddie after baddie swarmed the core I was assigned to protect. Damn. It took some brute force, but I eventually whittled their numbers done to nothing. Turns out that the pre-combat planning may be just as (or more) important than the actual fighting. Throughout the remaining four rounds, I set increasingly elaborate traps, combined them with my weapon's elemental buff, and made better use of the environment. It sort of clicked, and I got to imagining what playing as a full team might be like -- everyone wreaking havoc, causing even more bright swathes of color to fly across the already radiant screen. That was all before I got into the RPG elements of Dungeon Defenders II. I saw a fair amount of loot and currency dropped, but didn't have much of a chance to grasp how they could be set in motion to ensure constant progression. But, assuming it's as personal as customization in RPGs tends to be, it's easy to see how it'd be especially easy to get attached to the advancement of a particular character. Where Dungeon Defenders II's uncertainty lies is within the finer tuning of the PS4 adaption. While the action handled nicely enough, the button combinations for certain moves and trap placement felt cumbersome at times. Also, the menus sported a mouse cursor controlled by the analog stick (a feature which will presumably be swapped out for something more traditional and fluid). All that made a bit more sense when Trendy told me where its priorities were with Dungeon Defenders II. This one, unlike its predecessor, was build with mouse and keyboard in mind. Porting that all over to a controller scheme is a challenge that the developers accepted as a trade-off for making sure the PC version is ideal. While not many have tried their hand at the PS4, plenty have played it already on PC. At the Dungeon Defenders booth, an excited frenzy broke out as a team of players made it to wave five on nightmare mode. Everyone tending to the kiosk was beside themselves as this was the furthest anyone at the show had made it. I wondered if that were something truly special. I inquired as to whether the Early Access players had made it that far. Yeah, they had. Of course they had. In fact, they were doing things that were surprising the developers. After a very rudimentary go at Dungeon Defenders II, I can't help but think that if it's those players that are helping shape the game, it's probably in pretty good hands.
Dungeon Defenders II photo
The PC version's ahead by a light-year, though
Trendy Entertainment has already bestowed Dungeon Defenders II upon its most invested fans. In fact, they've had it for more than a month now. "Invested" is the only way to describe those people -- both financially and m...

Knight Squad was the most fun I had at PAX South

Jan 28 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286807:57063:0[/embed] Like any party game worth its salt, Knight Squad forces you into a good-natured competitive flurry for a few minutes at a time. And, when any given round is over, everyone will want to immediately start a new one. It's easy to pick up and difficult to put down. Boasting eight-player action, Knight Squad either pits everyone against one another separates them into four person teams. There are eight game modes -- a few vaguely innovative, most classics everyone knows and loves. The likes of team and free-for-all capture the flag are present, and were maybe the biggest hits all weekend. For my money, working as a team to push a giant soccer ball while fighting off the other side was the most enjoyable. Honestly though, it didn't really matter which mode was played, as all players were fully into every round. Littering the battlefield are power-ups that constantly regenerate. Some are a bit more passive like boots to increase speed, or a sword to give a tiny bit more reach. Others were brazenly in-your-face like a kamikaze bomb and a lightning rod that shot streaks across the screen. Whatever your method, Knight Squads brisk-paced action ensures you won't remain dedicated to it for too long. Deaths come at a quick clip, and that power-up you really liked suddenly isn't yours anymore. No worries, some other combination will manifest itself this time -- oops, you're dead again. Oh well, right back into the fray. Despite being surrounded by seven other players, I flexed my Knight Squad prowess immediately. You see, I had a bit of an unfair advantage. I played it at PAX Prime during an impromptu play session at an indie showcase. When I got an email from the developers asking to book a PAX South appointment, I didn't have to wonder what kind of coverage I'd get out of it. I just wanted to play again. That's why, of all the bookings at PAX South, Knight Squad was the only one I insisted Kyle accompany me on. For the life of him, he couldn't understand why. Admittedly, it doesn't look like much at first. Once we had one round under our belts, we didn't want to leave. It's the kind of game that just grabs you and never lets go until the party's over. We stayed and kept playing, damn the ever-increasing mess of people behind us. It's unknown if that magic will transfer over to an online crowd. It's unlikely that many will be able to accommodate eight players in their living room, so online is where most will see Knight Squad in full force. While the game's Early Access right now, the first online version should go live sometime this week. The final retail build is scheduled to release sometime around late March on PC and Xbox One. For ID@Xbox parity clause reasons, Chainsawesome will start thinking about other platforms (likely PS4 and Wii U) at a later date. Whenever it comes to your platform of choice, there's a good time awaiting you. It's a dose of Bomberman, a dash of Gauntlet, and a whole heaping of trash-talking your friends. That is, until you inevitably get shanked in retribution. Alas, that's the circle of life in Knight Squad.
Knight Squad preview photo
And it wasn't even close
If you were to take booths' popularity at PAX South and plot them on a heat map, most of the obvious candidates would stick out. Twitch would be red hot, as it constantly had a flurry of people swarming to watch their favorit...

Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's new downloadable character is out this Tuesday


Gearbox hints about the upcoming story DLC too
Jan 25
// Darren Nakamura
The inaugural PAX South is wrapping up today, and Gearbox's panel just ended. We heard about the plans with Homeworld earlier, but the studio's cash cow for the past several years has been the Borderlands series, so of course...

You might be tempted to call Ronin 'Kill Bill: the Videogame'

Jan 24 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286521:56979:0[/embed] It's that emergence of two conflicting styles that makes Ronin so satisfying. In the three-stage demo I played, I was tasked with working my way through buildings, hacking terminals, and eventually assassinating a target. Outfitted with a target marker outlining where any particular leap would transplant me, I hopped across levels and climbed up walls. Easy enough, no real threat there. However, when running across the increasing number of guards patrolling the secured area, that's when the turn-based action took a front seat. As soon as an enemy sees you, Ronin immediately switches formats. As a laser sight trains on you, you're given a ton of options and an endless amount of time to determine the best approach to the situation. An early encounter had me jumping to the ceiling of a room to dodge a single shot. On the next turn, the guard's focus followed me, so it required jumping back down the ground so that he shot high. Repeat until close enough to dispatch him with a melee kill. In the event that no guards in a room saw me (which happened often because sticking to the shadows is the way to go), real-time could be employed to stealthily sneak up on them one at a time. But, once spotted, it was back to the challenge of figuring out what sequence of jumps and kills would result in simply living past the encounter. That's not to say that Ronin funnels the player into two distinctly different combat approaches. At any time, a button press will switch the action to the other method. If you'd rather take a stab at brute-forcing your way through a section, go ahead. Although, chances are you won't make it very far. The method may feel new, but the reason for the madness will probably come with a twinge of familiarity. In a lot of ways, Ronin is kind of Kill Bill: the Videogame. It follows a helmet-clad, motorcycle-suited protagonist on a quest for revenge. Bloodshed is the only acceptable method, as she tries to infiltrate complexes and assassinate the leaders who wronged her. Then, at the end of each level, she gets away on a slick, souped-up bike. Even though it cribs from Tarantino fairly heavily, Ronin is still an absolute joy to play. A Devolver representative who hadn't played much presented the game to me, and we essentially figured out the last stage together. It was like a chess match against the enemies where we had to think three steps ahead at all time. Many deaths occurred, but we eventually got through all of the hairy situations. I was playing, but it honestly may have been just as enjoyable in his shoes -- helping outline the strategy turn by turn but not executing. The culmination of all of that was an appointment that ran over on time, but felt like it passed by in a breeze. I simply lost myself playing Ronin. I think that might be the case for a lot of people when they get to try it first-hand. It's so much more clever than it initially looks, and you'll consume yourself with trying to figure it out. And to think that its exposure was almost limited to a few who tried it at a game jam.
Ronin preview photo
But it's so much more than that
Devolver Digital has a penchant for picking up clever game jam submissions and giving them a chance to grow into fully-realized titles. Titan Souls is a fine example, and it would have never had any exposure outside of t...

Cave Story photo
Cave Story

Cave Story 2 folder spotted on Nicalis desktop at PAX South


Could mean nothing, or it could mean everything
Jan 24
// Jonathan Holmes
PAX South is going on right now, and two of our most honey-loving sugarbears are in the fray as we speak, lapping up all that sweet golden joy. One of the games they're set to check out is Nicalis's Castle in the Darkness, a ...

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