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Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like photo
Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day: A confusing mess of things I like
by Steven Hansen

I finally got to play Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day last week. The lovechild of Suda 51, Tokyo Jungle director Yohei Kataoka, Silent Hill sound director Akira Yamaoka, and a bunch of other Japanese development talent, I've followed Ranko Tsukigime closely. 

So I was excited to finally get to play it. But I couldn't talk about it until today. Despite the fact that it decided to up and release in Europe last week. Even though it doesn't have a firm North American release date.

Whatever. I'm going to go see Short Peace in theatres this Thursday at least.

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Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates photo
Namco takes Gundam Vs gameplay west with F2P Rise of Incarnates
by Steven Hansen

The 2 on 2 Gundam vs. Gundam series is as big in Japan as that full-scale Gundam model in Tokyo. It's also big on the Destructoid Forum, in that one Gundam fan keeps explaining how it's the best fighting game and tries to get people to import it. I'm more of a Gundam Battle Assault 2 kind of guy.

Anyway, Namco is taking the format of Gundam Vs. and bringing it west with a new IP, the free-to-play Rise of Incarnates. Because the 2 on 2 format is a bit different for Western audiences, Namco went with a F2P model to build a player base.

And you know it's been developed specifically for the west for several reasons. First, the initial stage being shown off is New York, with the post-apocalyptic staple crumbling Statue of Liberty. Second, there is a blond character with big hair. He looks just like us, my fellow Americans, with his rock and roll nonchalance and red leather jacket.

Though he turns into a monster and there is a mad scientist who rides on a tidal wave of corpses.

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Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills photo
Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills
by Steven Hansen

Hot on the heels of last year's GRID 2, Codemasters is coming back with GRID Autosport, a "celebration of pure, unadulterated motorsport." This is going to be less of an arcade racer than GRID 2 ended up being, but without drifting too far into stodgy simulation either.

We'll see if the middle ground pleases anyone on June 24. It did please me, though, despite the insurmountable damage I did to all of the cars. I am a much better driver in real life.

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Prodigy ventures to places most hybrid board/videogames shy away from photo
Prodigy ventures to places most hybrid board/videogames shy away from
by Darren Nakamura

With board games continuing to increase in popularity, it is no surprise that there has been a lot of crossover between that space and videogames. Not only are a lot of board games being adapted or reimagined digitally, but some developers are trying to merge the two, creating games that function in both the digital and physical worlds at the same time.

Prodigy is one such game, but what really sets it apart from titles like Eye of Judgment or Golem Arcana is that it aspires to be more than just a board game about tactical combat with videogame flourishes. It looks to be equally inspired by traditional videogame RPGs, with elements like exploration and narrative focused on as well.

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/19] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/19]
by Steven Hansen

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

Some kids want to be astronauts or doctors or lawyers or hedge fund managers. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a garbageman. Kid me is much brighter than real me. I'd probably be making three times more money annually, have health benefits, and a retirement plan. 

And I'd have garbageman arms. Strong arms. Weathered and leathery. Not vein laced or ripped. Just thick. The sort of arms that could squeeze the life out of another human being if they needed to, but not with malice. With an exasperated sigh. With a rote understanding of doing what needs doing (and only if it did need doing). Forlorn, but with a stupid persistence for a lack of alternatives.

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

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The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me photo
The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me
by Patrick Hancock

Hot off its huge Kickstarter success, Darkest Dungeon is already in a playable-enough state to have a demo at PAX East 2014. Although the demo was only a short snippet of what's to come, it was easy to get a sense of the themes Red Hook is shooting for with this roguelike RPG. 

It looks great, it plays like a strategy-RPG, and its structure was likened to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This game is brilliant.

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Aaru's Awakening is all about movement photo
Aaru's Awakening is all about movement
by Patrick Hancock

I’ve been interested in Aaru’s Awakening ever since its announcement captivated me with its hand-drawn art style. It’s pretty hard to pass up playing a game that looks the way Aaru’s Awakening does. From there, one can only hope that the mechanics draw players in enough to make it an enjoyable game. After all, we’re talking about videogames here, not paintings.

Aaru’s Awakening has a solid set of core mechanics that really make the player feel powerful, yet vulnerable at the same time. After playing through the demo at PAX East, I’m glad the game sucked me in with its art.

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Read the writing on the wall with Invisible, Inc. photo
Read the writing on the wall with Invisible, Inc.
by Darren Nakamura

Turn-based tactical espionage. Those words were all it took to sell me on the idea of Invisible, Inc. Going into the PAX demo, I knew I would have to be cunning, thoughtful, and sneaky if I wanted to successfully steal intelligence and make it out alive.

As it turns out, I overestimated how cunning, thoughtful, and sneaky I am. Invisible, Inc. requires proper espionage; players who run in and try to blow stuff up like James Bond will not make it far. Even those who play cautiously will often find themselves in sticky situations, outnumbered and outgunned with no hope for a clean exit.

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I died an embarrassing amount in Hotline Miami 2 photo
I died an embarrassing amount in Hotline Miami 2
by Brett Makedonski

Anyone that has even the slightest bit of familiarity with Hotline Miami knows what defines it. The neon-swathed visuals, the gratuitous violence, the quick and unforgiving gameplay, and the blaring soundtrack all made the game as loved as it was. With regard to a sequel, any deviation from this formula would result in something that just wasn’t Hotline Miami.

So, Dennaton Games isn’t going to.

Judging by the build of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number that was at PAX East, the pieces are in place to give fans of the original more of what they want. The two stages on display showed off the exact style that many have come to know and love, but also expressed how Dennaton is ready to offer something a little new.

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Not a Hero's 2D cover-based shooting killed me about a dozen times photo
Not a Hero's 2D cover-based shooting killed me about a dozen times
by Darren Nakamura

Devolver Digital had a great showing at PAX East this year. Though Hotline Miami 2 might have had the most buzz going in, not long into the show people were shouting about Not a Hero. Developed by Roll7 (of OlliOlli fame), it could just be the next pixel shooter juggernaut.

Though its visuals are beautifully retro (complete with the neon pink and teal color palette that is in vogue right now -- though each of the game's five districts will have a different look), its gameplay takes cues from more modern shooters. Specifically, Not a Hero features a cover mechanic, and it punishes players who do not use it well.

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Music-making game Cosmic DJ has a corgi in it! photo
Music-making game Cosmic DJ has a corgi in it!
by Dale North

This past weekend, I found myself running through the crowds of the PAX East show floor, pushing people out of the way to get to the Indie Megabooth, where Cosmic DJ was waiting for me. As a musician and a fan of music games I would have sought it out anyway. But I found out via Twitter that the game features a corgi, so I took off running.

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Struggling to survive in This War of Mine photo
Struggling to survive in This War of Mine
by Caitlin Cooke

In a sea full of bright, action-packed games at PAX it was a surprise to see such a serious greyscale game like This War of Mine, an 11 bit studios title about life during war. Rather than placing the focus on combat as most warfare games tend to do, this one centers on the strategy and struggles around day-to-day survival for victims.

This War of Mine forces the player to make tough decisions for the betterment of the group. Who gets the last of the antibiotics: is it the person who needs it most or the one who's defending home base? When food is tight, who gets to eat? I struggled with these choices during my time with the demo, and unfortunately nothing got easier as I progressed.

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Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight photo
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight
by Darren Nakamura

Navigating through the outer reaches of space is hard. There are multiple systems to account for, from piloting to shields to weapons control, each with its own specialized training necessary. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime takes all of those essential tasks and leaves them up to a two-person crew on a mission to save space bunnies and fight constellations.

The result is a frantic dash to man the right stations at the right times, and although it looked dire at one point, it was never completely unmanageable. After it was all over, I got to breathe a sigh of relief, and felt closer to my impromptu space lover after having been through the ordeal together.

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11:00 PM on 04.14.2014

I hacked a bush in Double Fine's Hack N Slash

With a name like Hack N Slash, it’s easy to assume exactly what’s in the package and dismiss it. Then people hear it’s from Double Fine and expectations immediately change for the better, as they should. Hac...

Patrick Hancock



Gods Will Be Watching stressed me the hell out photo
Gods Will Be Watching stressed me the hell out
by Patrick Hancock

I have found myself both playing and looking forward to more and more “point-and-click” games in the past few years than ever before. I didn’t grow up with games like Day of the Tentacle or the Monkey Island series, so there’s no strong sense of nostalgia for games of the genre, but recent titles have offered up more than just obtuse puzzle solving and witty dialogue. Kentucky Route Zero for example has no puzzles, but the atmosphere and mystery of the universe have me highly anticipating the next episode.

Gods Will Be Watching is yet another point-and-click game that has my ears perked up more than ever. This is a game focused entirely on puzzles and micromanagement of characters. It’s stressful in all the right ways, and difficult without being obtuse. After playing (and failing) at PAX East, I’m itching to get another crack at it, and I only played one scenario!

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There Came an Echo does voice control right photo
There Came an Echo does voice control right
by Darren Nakamura

Set up in the Indie MEGABOOTH is one of the few zen locations at PAX East: There Came an Echo's sound dampening booth. In it, Iridium Studios head Jason Wishnov is showing off the tech behind the voice-controlled realtime strategy game.

To pre-empt those who would immediately go to the comments to lament voice control, There Came an Echo does feature more traditional control schemes, but it is hard to imagine players preferring it. The game has been designed from the ground up to work with voice control, and it works impressively well.

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