"Reviews in Review" is a new show that releases every week where I will go over the reviews published this week on Destructoid, as well as give a score to the week in general. This week I talked about the reviews for Steins;...
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There's nothing quite like Trials and, after several games in the popular racing/platforming series, fans know what to expect from developer RedLynx: more of the same.
Yes, there will be a stupid, amazing theme song you'll hate yourself for letting get stuck in your head. There will also be moments of immense frustration made bearable by the eventual satisfaction of clearing that one particularly devious obstacle. And there will be bitter leaderboard rivalries as you fight to shave milliseconds off your best times.
Trials Fusion represents all of these things, and more -- occasionally to its detriment.
This week, we filmed a wonderful short piece in which Bill and I discussed the lack of video games that let us play as actual animals. Unfortunately, Bill's microphone cut out mid-discussion, and the camera's face-tracking started focusing on an animated GIF of some dogs having sex I had up on my monitor behind me.
Ever since Below was teased at Microsoft's E3 press briefing last year, it's been one of the titles that I've been most intrigued by. The art style and the fact that Capy Games was the developer were the two main reasons for my interest. Okay, those were the only reasons, because pretty much nothing else about Below has been revealed.
Capy's finally showing Below off at PAX East, and it is nothing like I expected it to be. That aside, my excitement remains completely intact.
When I see an artistic indie title, I subconsciously assume that it's an inviting game. It might not necessarily be easy, but something that anyone can eventually get the hang of. Below doesn't look to be like that, as it's a procedurally-generated rogue-like that's meant to appeal to the hardcore demographic.
[Update: We've acquired a weird piece of art for the game that Behemoth is calling "Game 4."]
The Behemoth is apparently working on an undisclosed project for the Xbox One, Destructoid has learned while attending PAX East. No details were given, but it will be playable this year, and there will be more info doled out at major cons like SDCC and Pax Prime.
Expect more information as we get it, but since this is Behemoth we're talking about -- it may be a long time before we get to play the final build.
Press Play proved it can make a platformer with Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, but it wasn't meant to test your muscle memory and invite speed running. It was a colorful adventure with some charm and plenty of stopping for to draw with the magic marker.
With it's newest project, Press Play is dialing up the pure platforming with a minimalist design and some nasty platforming hazards. Nasty meaning cool. The point is I got into a heck of a comfortable groove with Project Totem and maybe you should too when it comes out.
Double Helix's first season ofKiller Instinct is over, and here to close it all out is Fulgore, which makes eight total characters in the mix. While only two more fighters have come post-launch, they make a huge difference in terms of the meta-game, and help change things up considerably.
Spinal was a nice addition for sure, but Fulgore ups the stakes considerably.
The original Kinect Sports for the Xbox 360 did exactly what it set out to to do. It didn't set the world on fire or reinvent gaming as we know it, but it showed that despite some gimmicky features, the Kinect actually works -- for the most part.
And here we are almost four years later with Kinect Sports Rivals -- a souped-up version that's no longer just a free pack-in, but a premium-priced game delayed months after the release of the Xbox One.
Last year, the news of Ubisoft making an old-school throwback to the JRPG genre took a number of people by surprise. When Destructoid got the chance to check it out, there was a healthy amount of curiosity around it. Not too many people knew what to make of it, especially considering it was coming from the team that made Far Cry 3, which is a title that seems very far apart from it.
But after spending some time with Child of Light, about three hours to be exact, there might be more in common with these two titles than you think. I got the chance to talk with lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, and saw what passion and a small team working on a unique throwback to JRPG titles managed to come up with.
Rocksteady Studios has found itself in a somewhat precarious position with Arkham Knight. The team's two previous installments in the series are so universally revered that it begs the question "What can it do to live up to, and surpass, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City?" Rocksteady's opted to take the path of increasing the scope of everything and changing the formulaic approach to some of the series' conventions. It remains to be seen how well it'll work.
Arkham Knight is the first in the "Rocksteady Trilogy" (this term kept coming up, presumably to distance themselves from Arkham Origins) to give Batman free rein of Gotham City. The plot device driving this iteration is that Scarecrow has threatened to release a fear toxin so the entirety of the city has been evacuated. Well, except for all the thugs, criminals, and super villains that refuse to leave. They'll be Batman's punching bags en route to finding Scarecrow.
If this version of Gotham City sounds like semi-familiar territory, that's because it kind of is. The cynically analytical might say this walled-off playground full of baddies smacks of Arkham City with skyscrapers. The optimist might suggest that this added verticality is a welcomed progression for the series.
One of the neatest touted functionality with the Xbox One is the ability to turn retail consoles into development units, but it's still not something you can with the One now. In a GDC talk, Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer explained that the company still wants to do it, but with its indie outreach program ID@Xbox, it's not top priority.
Thousands have apparently reached out to sign on with ID@Xbox. "We want to make sure the people that are signed up are getting the most support from us," Spencer explained. "Seeing all the games in development and trying to give the teams feedback on the games as they come through," is the focus, while "further down the road" we'll see a shift towards working on discoverability and the dev kit retail conversion.
"What we're trying to do is facilitate the games coming to the platform as quickly as possible and right now there's been focus on the people that can build today."
Ubisoft has confirmed the existence of Assassin's Creed: Unity, which was just leaked a few days ago. It'll arrive on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms this Holiday season, making it the first true current-gen entry, and seems to take place during the French Revolution.
Despite what people may think about the oversaturation of the franchise, the fact is I've enjoyed most of the series, annual releases and all, with a few missteps here and there (Revelations and III). Black Flag showed that the series still has it, so to speak, so I hope Unity can deliver.
There's no two ways about it -- Microsoft had a terrible reputation with independent developers during the last console generation. Not that indie's games didn't sell well on the platform, because many of them certainly did. However, the culture and attitude at Xbox was one that didn't mesh with a lot of small teams and many of them documented their experiences in a negative light.
That's not a good position for Microsoft to be in. With the audience for independent games growing at a tremendous rate, the "triple A" development process makes less and less sense from a business standpoint. After all, an indie game needs to move far fewer units to be considered a "success." Nothing needs to sell at an astronomically high rate to be worthwhile.
Microsoft's attempt at repairing this somewhat burned bridge within the indie community was to launch the ID@Xbox -- a program designed to be more accommodating to independent developers and make it as painless and attractive as possible to publish on the Xbox platform. Microsoft held an event at GDC to showcase 25 studios' games that are part of ID@Xbox and we got a chance to talk to some developers about their feelings about the program thus far.
This week at the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft has shared more details about its self-publishing program for Xbox One, ID@Xbox. A couple different lists of who all is signed on to make games for the platform have come out since the program's announcement last August, but this latest list, viewable in full below, summarizes 25 specific titles.
With tons of indie game confirmations for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita these past few months especially, it's great to see Xbox One play catch up here; everyone wins. These relatively new platforms need as much software as they can get and it's always nice to have smaller developers pick up the slack between big-name, AAA releases.
As you may have heard, both Sony (PS3, PS4) and Microsoft (Xbox 360, Xbox One) have their own piece of exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. This isn't a pre-order bonus mind you -- it's built into every copy of the game.
Naturally this can lead to a choice between the two, so let's take a look at what you're getting.