If Upper One Games’ Never Alone sticks out to you as one of the best examples of storytelling in recent memory, don’t be surprised. It sort of has an unfair advantage. You see, the tale it tells has only been passed down throughout several generations’ time. But, while its roots are in the past, the way it’s being told is unique and wholly original.
Never Alone is a puzzle platformer that’s about an old folktale of the Inupiat people -- one of seven major indigenous groups in Alaska. The project actually came about because the Inupiat’s tribal council wanted a way to pass their heritage down to the youths, who had become more enamored by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and of course videogames than they were with their own history. They reached out to E-Line Media to see if the educational game company would be interested in helping develop a game that would share a bit about them. The result was the creation of Upper One Games.
No, the next game from The Behemoth isn't a sequel to Castle Crashers. I mean, yeah, that'd be nice to have one day, but I'm loving how the studio is continuing to try new things. And its next project, the to-be-properly-named "Game 4," is most certainly a New Thing for the team.
It's a turn-based strategy role-playing game with the style and humor we've come to expect from The Behemoth. So, pretty freaking great. Will Stamper even returns from BattleBlock Theaterto narrate again. What begins as a typical fantasy adventure with swords and shields quickly morphs into a tale of robots, vampires, and anthropomorphic cupcakes. Knights getting extracted via space shuttle? Yeah, something's not quite right here.
As shown in the teaser trailer, a space bear has crash landed into a planet -- your planet -- and the universe hasn't been the same ever since. Just chaos, left and right. I was fortunate enough to spend well over an hour with Game 4 at PAX Prime and in that time, far more questions were raised than answered. I laughed more than a few times, though, and really dug the combat.
This year, Blizzard embarked upon an interesting experiment. Instead of just charging people for card expansions, it bundled together an add-on called the Curse of Naxxramas, and released a different "wing" each week. To earn your cards you had to defeat the various denizens of the temple, which in turn unlocked more modes of play and new bosses to fight.
After completing the last wing, I can say that the experiment was definitely worthwhile, an hope Blizzard does it again -- just with a little more flair next time.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is taking Square Enix's beloved RPG series in a bold new direction. According to director Hajime Tabata, it's "much more mature in comparison with previous titles" and provides "a completely new take on the franchise" for adults.
Destructoid met up with Tabata over the weekend in Seattle to check in on how the remaster of the 2011 PSP game is coming along. Visually speaking, it looks quite good, though that's far from the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One title's most striking quality.
Mighty No. 9 is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2015. After a massive Kickstarter, creator Inafune and developers Comcept and Inti Creates have kicked off a long line of products to hype it up, including Mighty Gunvolt and a potential cartoon.
After all that hype though we finally have a chance to play the game. I have to say, it has the feel of a Mega Man game, but a few aspects definitely took some getting used to.
PAX is always a wonderful show because of the way that it melds the presence of both the industry's largest games and the smallest developers. Into giant triple-A titles? Yup, PAX has plenty of that for you to get your hands on. Indie or experimental stuff more your speed? Fret not, there are tons of hidden gems at every turn to keep you constantly busy.
Unsurprisingly, we found some amazing stuff from both categories. In no particular order, these were Destructoid's top ten games from PAX Prime 2014.
Atlus' YouTube has our first look at Persona 5, which appears to have a ruffled brown haired boy protagonist and subways. Not a lot to get excited about aside from the fact that Persona 5 is exciting inherently.
Though there was an announcement of a PS4 version of the previously PS3-restricted title. Makes sense.
You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got peanut butter in my chocolate!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are great. Personally, my favorite part is the edge, as long as you still get a little bit of peanut butter along with it. It is sort of annoying though when you peel off the wrapper and it takes a good chunk of chocolate with it, though. If you don't like peanut butter OR chocolate, I can't imagine that you'd want to indulge in a Reese's. If you don't dislike either one though, you easily understand why Reese's is some of the best candy ever.
So anyway, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney...
In case you haven't heard, Nintendo announced another version of the 3DS called the "New 3DS." It has a second stick, faster download speeds, it runs faster, has amiibo support out of the box, can communicate directly with a PC, and it has extra shoulder buttons as well as a few other fixins. It's a huge upgrade. But wait, there's more!
Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS was also announced in that same breath, which will bring the highly regarded Wii RPG straight to the 3DS. Pretty awesome right? Well, except for one major caveat -- Xenoblade 3DS is exclusive to the New 3DS. That means that your current 2DS, 3DS, or 3DS XL cannot play it.
We've heard little from Massive Chalice in the year and change since its successful crowdfunding campaign that took in over a million dollars following Double Fine's even more successful campaign for Broken Age.
Just like that, though (imagine I snapped my fingers), it exists. It is at PAX and playable if you're there. If you're not, the video below features Brad Muir walking you through the PAX demo. Third option: I played the dang thing myself last week and will tell you all about it. It is good.
[Update:Nintendo has confirmed that DS games will still work, and to not expect an international release anytime in 2014.]
Nintendo has revealed yet another 3DS unit -- the "New Nintendo 3DS." It'll feature bigger screens, colored face buttons, a second stick (a tiny nub called the "C-stick," modeled after the GameCube), faster download speeds, a better browser, extra shoulder buttons, and amiibo functionality (NFC). The Nintendo Direct showed off the second stick with Monster Hunter, with the player manipulating the camera with the right nub.
Another bit of functionality Nintendo has shown is enhanced 3D. When viewing 3D effects on the side on a regular 3DS or XL, it'll become blurry. But on the "New 3DS" it'll be very clear regardless of the direction. Look at the gallery below for a visual representation of this concept.
It'll come in white, metallic blue, black, and metallic black, and will be available in both regular and "XL" sizes. It's coming on October 11th for 16,000 and 18,800 yen (for regular and XL respectively).
Right now it's just announced for Japan, but stay tuned.
If Capcom ever decides that they're done with Mega Man, someone will carry the torch. Whether it's tireless fan creators or the father of the Blue Bomber himself, the Mega Man community is one of the most passionate collectives I've ever seen in the gaming industry.
Not content with rebooting his creation entirely with Mighty No. 9, Inti Creates has crafted a love-letter to Mega Man ZX, and the 8-bit era. If Azure Striker Gunvolt is anything to go by, I hope that passion lives on for quite a while.
Civilization: Beyond Earth isn't just a missed opportunity for transmedia synergy by way of the family Smith's After Earth. It's a game about space. About space colonization, specifically, because the Earth is a goner (wonder how that happened).
Because of this space theme, we were brought out on an elementary school field trip to the Chabot Space & Science Center up in the bourgeois hills of Oakland (you know, where it's not "scary"). We were given a brief tour of the facility and taught some things (I can't make a high grade telescope by stitching together Ikea mirrors), thanks in part to the presence of actual scienceman Dr. Stephen Kane.
Kane was part of the team that discovered Kepler-186f, the 500-light-years-away, possibly-habitable-by-humans exoplanet. He also made a good joke about getting more space research funding by fabricating a new space race with China.
Anyways, after taking pictures of laminate Bill Nye cutouts and a weird little thief man that looks like Andy Dixon (maybe I'll stop tweeting leg pictures long enough to tweet it at him eventually), I played the first 100 turns of Civilization: Beyond Earth.
Destructoid is teaming up with Square Enix Montréal and Unity to throw a Hitman: Sniper PAX Prime 2014 party!
You'll have a chance to play Hitman: Sniper before its release and compete in a high score contest where the grand prize winner will get to have their face and name added into the game as a villain for Agent 47 to eliminate. Yup, you can win a part in an actual videogame!
Other prizes will be given out over the course of the night including gear provided by Razer, rare collectibles, and free drinks. Plus we'll have live music by RAY.VS, our very own Grimecraft, and Sabrepulse.
Come join us at the Cavern Club on the second floor of the Hard Rock Cafe (116 Pike St, Seattle, Washington 98101) in downtown Seattle on Friday, August 29 from 8:00PM to 2:00AM for drinks, music, and a poutine bar! Yes, really.
There have been rumors of a multiplayer component in Dragon Age: Inquisition for quite a while. BioWare has been keeping things under wraps for months after a small hint of its inclusion, and speculation was rampant as to what exactly it might entail.
After a recent visit to BioWare's offices I had a chance to sit down with the multiplayer extensively, and I found myself slowly becoming addicted as the afternoon went on. In fact, I liked it far more than Mass Effect 3's co-op mode -- so I have high hopes for Inquisition.