Maybe you've been paying attention. If so, good. Thank you. We're not going to preview the game again, but we did want to make sure that everyone is paying attention. Skulls of the Shogun is too great of a game to miss.
Haunted Temple Studios' founder Jake Kazdal told us that he adores the classic tactical strategy games that came out of Japan, but that he knew he wanted to freshen up the genre a bit. I was quickly on his side as he won me over with some serious gaming cred, on both the professional and playing sides. Any guy that loved Shining Force and helped make Space Channel 5 and Rez is good in my book.
His idea for a new strategy game? Fast, arcade-y action, with no fuss. Pull influence from all the great arcade games and work them into strategy. Screw the grids. Throw out the technical crap. Cut back on the unit types. Throw in some cartoon-sh samurai skeletons, some cool innovations on map power-ups, and some broad tweaks to old SRPG mechanics and you've got a game that's really easy to pick up, but hard to stop playing.
Many of the changes to Shogun to make it more accessible and fast are brilliant. The biggest change from the old formula is that you won't need to step, count, step like in most older strategy/tactical games. Instead, Shogun uses a different sized circles to set your move range. You can move freely within them on your turn. Also, there's only calvary, infantry, monk and archery movement types, so games have just enough strategy, but not so much that it becomes bothersome or overly technical. The Haunt mechanic is also pretty cool. You can position a unit over rice paddies or shrines to earn currency or spawn more units. But my favorite bit is that you can munch on the skulls of fallen (or re-fallen, as all of them are already dead!) enemies to gain some of their powers. This really keeps you on your toes!
I played a round with Wesley and we both enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to leave for my next appointment. I ignored calls from my boss. I blew off some urgent texts. Really! It really only takes about two rounds of play before you really get into it, and then you're really into it. After that it was maniacal laughter from power plays, or exclamations of surprise from how quickly the lead changed between us. Cussing, mumbles, winces -- I wanted to slam my elbow into his chest when he surrounded my general all of the sudden.
This game is fun, people. Strategy/tactical game fans won't need to think twice. It's not necessarily dumbed down in any way from your beloved Advanced Wars or Shining Force games, Mr. Smartypants SRPGer -- it's just different. Faster. Slicker. Fresher. And to those that really never took to turn-based strategy titles? You have to at least try this. I've had several others from your camp tell me that this game won them over. Someone finally made the perfect strategy game for you! Kazdal told me that he was thinking of you when he made this.
The whole point of this article is to make sure that no one misses Skulls of the Shogun. It's too good to miss. It should be coming to Xbox Live Arcade some time this year, and you should be downloading it when it does.
|6:15 PM on 03.01.2013|
Skulls of the Shogun gets a price drop on all platforms
Have you played Skulls of the Shogun yet? Why the hell not!? It's pretty awesome, and a blast to play. Well for those of you who have yet to pull the trigger, good news! Skulls of the Shogun just received a price drop. The Xbox Live Arcade version is going for 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99), and the Windows 8 and Surface versions are $6.99 now. The Windows Phone version will remain at $4.99.more
|10:00 PM on 01.30.2013|
Celebrate Skulls of the Shogun's release with MURDER
Skulls of the Shogun is now out for Xbox Live Arcade, Windows Phone, and Windows 8! With the release comes a launch trailer, and I'm going to just go ahead and say that this is the first best trailer of 2013. Check out our o...more
|11:15 AM on 01.30.2013|
Review: Skulls of the Shogun
The Xbox Live Arcade, after nine long years, still doesn't have a whole lot of classic style strategy RPGs. Discounting tower defense, there's Band of Bugs, Greed Gorp, and a scant few others. Enter Skulls of the Shogun: a ne...more
|12:30 PM on 01.10.2013|
Skulls of the Shogun releasing on January 30
Freaking finally. We've been looking forward to Skulls of the Shogun for literally years. Well the wait is finally almost over as developer 17-Bit has announced the game will be launching on January 30, 2013. It'll be availa...more
|10:00 AM on 06.28.2012|
Skulls of the Shogun will feature cross-platform play
Developer 17-Bit has announced that Skulls of the Shogun will feature cross-platform play across the Xbox 360, Windows 8 PCs, Windows 8 tablets like the Microsoft Surface, and Windows Phones versions of the game. So for examp...more
|4:00 AM on 06.01.2012|
New Skulls of the Shogun trailer explains the story
In case you haven't heard of Skulls of the Shogun, it's an awesome and fast-paced strategy game. This trailer should give you a clue to how the game feels. The plot revolves around a shogun who has died, and now he has ...more
|7:00 PM on 04.08.2012|
PAX: Skulls of the Shogun has a kickass new trailer
If you are at PAX East and you haven't had the chance to check out Skulls of the Shogun, then you are really missing out on one of the best games here. It's fast paced, easy to learn, and you can play the multiplayer in just...more
|10:15 AM on 07.26.2011|
Let the dev tell you all about Skulls of the Shogun
Now that Skulls of the Shogun has been announced for Xbox Live Arcade, Haunted Temple Studios' Jake Kazdal is here to tell you more about what the game is about. While I can't vouch for the American football references, mostl...more
|8:00 AM on 07.16.2011|
Skulls of the Shogun is heading to Xbox Live Arcade
Microsoft Studios is publishing Haunted Temple Studios' Skulls of the Shogun and bringing it to Xbox Live Arcade later this year, Gamasutra reports. The lovable and charming turn-based strategy game with undead samurai has be...more
|8:30 PM on 05.22.2013|
First details on Slitherine's Warhammer 40K: Armageddon
Going off the original announcement for Slitherine's Warhammer project, we knew that it would be a turn-based game but not much else. That tidbit is correct, and now we've got more to go on: Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon will ...more
|5:00 PM on 05.20.2013|
The prosperous settlement of Castletown had everything its residents could possibly desire. Lumbering giants had turned a once barren wasteland into a fertile coastal forest, and like titanic servants they had places mines, p...more
|7:00 PM on 05.17.2013|
Viking shenanigans in Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
Over the last year and -- almost -- a half, Crusader Kings II has grown considerably. What started of as a vast grand strategy game where players could take the reins of a Christian noble dynasty now contains playable Islamic...more