Y2K began with protagonist Alex Eggleston returning to his his hometown from college. I watched him gaze out of bus windows until the scene shifted to him sharing a seat with a man in a panda costume.
This was jarring enough to give Alex reason to look completely shaken and offended, and as the jaunty soundtrack suggested, should have felt super quirky and weird. It didn't.
I got the opportunity to play a decent chunk of Revelations 2 last year, and I was pretty impressed with how the mystery was being brought back to the series. Dabbling into episodic gaming, this installment is set to be released through four episodes; one will release every week from February 24th to March 18th. It's a pretty experimental, and unique take on Resident Evil, and that might be just what the franchise needs.
But just before its debut next month, the folks at Capcom invited me out to get another crack at their experiment. And during my session, I got reacquainted with an old buddy from the series' past, and even got to take the new and improved Raid Mode for a test run.
Confession time: I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to the indie game scene. I love me some Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Crawl, but it's not uncommon for me to have only heard about these games just before release or later. With that track record, you won't be surprised to hear that I knew nothing about Titan Souls before sitting down with it at PAX.
I am so glad that I did, though. Between the music, art, and the brilliantly challenging combat, Titan Souls is far and away one of my most anticipated releases.
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.
Sure, Natural Doctrine doesn't look great (well, the environments; it does look better in miniature on the Vita). It's a far cry from director Atsushi Ii's gorgeous minimalism in Patapon.
But Kadokawa Games' first internal venture can get a pass for looking a bit dated if the core gameplay can hold up, and it just might. Producer Kensuke Tanaka felt that JRPGs were "lacking in difficulty," that they didn't "make you think," NIS America representatives explained. Natural Doctrine is an answer to that.
However, NIS America was not able to answer why exactly the lead in a fantasy RPG of orcs, magic and lizard men is named Jeff.
I tried my hardest to imagine what the combination of pinball and RPG would look and play like before meeting with Atlus at E3, but I kept coming to mental roadblocks so I decided to wait and be surprised when I got to see it. When I finally did see and play this unimaginable creation from indie debs Phantom Compass, I certainly was surprised.
First, I was surprised at how off-base I was with my imagined concepts. More importantly, I was surprised at how well it all came together in upcoming game Rollers of the Realm.
As Miku fans likely already know, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd is coming to North America this year, to both PS3 and Vita. It was through your support for the first title that this sequel's release is possible, Sega tells Destructoid. That strong support also made it so that Sega will be bringing physical releases for both versions. That's great news for fellow Vita fans.
I spent a little bit of time with DIVA F 2nd. As you know, the gameplay is pretty close to that of the first game. But they've made a few changes and improvements to that gameplay. In playing through "The World is Mine," "Decorator," and "Doppelgänger," I had to get used to the stick flicking and linked stars (tracing shapes with analog sticks), but those are fun after you get them down. I liked being able to tweak the difficulty settings even further with items, especially on stages I sucked on. Even Normal setting is pretty challenging at first.
There will be 40 songs in this release, some of which have only been available in Japan until now. Old ones were upgraded to HD, too. Some of the videos for these stages were crazy busy, but that's how I like it.
No surprises here, though. Series fans know what they're getting. Stay tuned for more news on DIVA F 2nd's release.
In upcoming online Vita action RPG Freedom Wars, you are sentenced to a million years in prison. Not a typo. In fact, everyone in this messed up future world is born with a million year sentence. But you can work that sentence down by taking on missions to rescue captured civilians from an attacking alien race.
But mess up on that mission and your sentence goes back up. Actually, this world is so strict that if you run you're technically breaking the law, and that can increase your sentence.
Yep, you're kind of hunting... monsters. But that's okay, right?
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will have a level editor on the PC! Fans can create their own demented levels, decorate it however they want to. And yes, you'll be able to share these custom created levels with other players.
Max hung out with Dave and Daniel of Spry Fox Games to check out their upcoming title, The Road Not Taken. From the makers of Triple Town, this puzzle roguelike puts the player in an adorable world, with dark undercurrents. It's up to you to save the village's children from perilous evils using sheer wit, and the ability to throw things around. Coming this year to Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, PC and Mac (via Steam).
I messed up plenty playing Galak-Z as well. It took a while just to unlearn Luftrausers flying controls, though that constant fear from imminent danger remains from a multitude of enemies. Peons, Gundam-esque mecha, space spiders. 17-bit's Jake Kazdal explains that Galak-Z has the best AI around.
It's certainly aggressive, with a little bit of wiliness.
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.
Hyper Light Drifter is on the top of a lot of people's lists of most anticipated games. For good reason, too. The quick-paced, action-RPG with a retro aesthetic looks like it's going to be an absolute pleasure to play. If you're not familiar with it, Alessandro wrote a preview of the build we saw at GDC.
Heart Machine has a new experience to show off for PAX East. Hyper Light Drifter has a cooperative mode that we hadn't gotten to try before. It's basically a horde mode with endlessly spawning enemies. However, unlike most co-op endeavors, your partner could very well be more trouble than he's worth.
Sony discovered the 12 person team's game as part of its Latin America, Incubation Program and has been "instrumental" in getting it exposure, flying Palacios out to GDC to rep the game, and technology, giving the team dev kits.
Palacios discovered me, hustling to take advantage of his good fortune, while I shambled, eyes glazed over, trying to remember where I was going and where I had been. I'm glad he did, because chatting with him and playing To Leave perked me right up.
Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes was a great concept. It launched way back in 2011 on the Xbox Live Indie store for a whole dollar, and remains one of the best games on the marketplace to this day. But the folks over at Nicalis knew that it was meant for something greater -- enter 1001 Spikes.
This confusingly named follow-up is set to rock on the Wii U, 3DS, Vita, and PS4 sometime this year, and if what I've played of an updated version is any indication, it's worth the wait.
Strategy RPGs seem to thrive on handheld systems. While many are released on console, it often takes a port to a portable build for gamers to take notice. With a sequel already in the works, EastAsiaSoft has seen fit to port last year's Rainbow Moon from PS3 to Vita, and the experience remains mostly intact from the console version.