Kero Blaster stands directly in the shadow of not one but two other games by creator Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. First is Gero Blaster, the original build of Kero Blaster which was announced back in early 2013. Gero Blaster was based on comics that Amaya drew in college about himself as a frog and his girlfriend as a cat. The cat is kidnapped by cyclops aliens and the frog must head off to rescue her. The game looked to be a lot of fun, and was quite far along before Amaya reportedly scrapped the whole thing and rebuilt it as Kero Blaster.
The other game that Kero Blaster has hanging over its head is Cave Story. Released in 2004, Cave Story changed the way many people viewed independent game development. It took Amaya five years to develop the game, and he released it for free. Later, it would receive enhanced ports for WiiWare, DSiWare, 3DS retail, 3DS eShop, and Steam. Fans of the game will tell you that it's one of the greatest Metroidvania titles ever made.
Seeing that Kero Blaster is the first action-platformer that Amaya has released since Cave Story, expectations are understandably high. Ironically, it's diehard fans of Cave Story who may be the most disappointed with Kero Blaster, as they are in for a much shorter, less ambitious experience. That's not to say it's any less worthwhile. If Cave Story is a rock opera, then Kero Blaster is an album of energetic, perfectly paced pop songs. As long as you don't go into one expecting the other, there's no reason you can't enjoy both in equal measure.
Agent 47's steely gaze and austere demeanor are far too threatening to be properly translated to a stoic board game piece. That, and given the nature of the Hitman series revolving around stealth and murderous intent, a mobile game that distills the finer points of assassination into a kitschy series of diorama puzzles seems laughable.
And yet, here I am to sing the praises of Hitman GO, Square Enix's bizarre addition to the franchise. It's a minimalist series of wordless, ambient vignettes taking place inside virtual dollhouses dotted with tiny figures representing the hunter and the hunted. It shouldn't work as well as it does, but the end result is a satisfying blend of strategy and turn-based problem-solving that should appeal to a much larger demographic than that of the classic Hitman ilk.
Republique started off with a lot to prove. As a Kickstarted stealth game featuring stars like David Hayter and Jennifer Hale, the project garnered an equal amount of high expectations and skepticism. The move towards an episodic format and a backer reward snafu further added fuel to the fire.
But after playing through Republique's second episode, it's very clear to me that they have a long-term gameplan for this.
It's the end of the week which means that it's time for another episode of Reviews in Review. This week a TON of games came out, so if you missed any of our reviews just check out the video for a quick recap.
Seriously, what else are you going to do for four minutes? This week I use some really bad accents.
"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;Gate, Half Minute Hero 2, and Putty Squad.
Otherwise, check out the recap of all the reviews that ran this past week on Destructoid below. Make sure to stay until the end of the video too for a DESTRUCTOID EXCLUSIVE interview.
January has come and gone, but that doesn't mean there weren't some great games to play. Just look at all the amazing "indie" games that hit the PC this month.
We had the fruition of two KickStarter campaigns finally see the light of day -- The Banner Saga and the first act of Double Fine's Broken Age -- the quirky Octodad, and the totally rad OlliOlii on PS Vita.
There was definitely some great stuff to keep us busy this month, and February is looking just as smooth. I can't even tell you how much I can't wait to get my thumbs on Bravely Default on the 3DS. Well... I guess I just did.
Republique was quite the ambitious Kickstarter project. With big names like Jennifer Hale and David Hayter attached, not to mention the million dollar budget, to say this stealth adventure promised quite a bit is an understatement.
Having played the first of five episodes, I can safely say that most of the lofty goals have been met, but there is a bit more that's yet to be seen.
Plants vs. Zombies launched in 2009 on the PC and absolutely changed the face of tower defense games. It was a cultural phenomenon, inspiring even the most infrequent of gamers to play for hours on end, popping off one zombie's head after another with reckless abandon.
But the original game was also a premium purchase, and with $20, you got every bit of content right away. The sequel, Plants vs. Zombies 2, offers up a very different approach -- it's free-to-play only, and, at first, it's launching exclusively on iOS devices.
Everything about this approach has disaster written all over it, but somehow, Plants vs. Zombies 2 actually pulls through mostly unscathed.
After a pretty tantalizing teaser, Square Enix was all set to announce the anticipated follow-up to the successful Deus Ex Human Revolution -- and much to the ire of fans, it ended up being a mobile exclusive.
It's not all bad news though, as Deus Ex: The Fall actually works pretty well considering the platform, and offers up a lighter, more portable version of Human Revolution. That said, it would have been a much better experience on a dedicated portable -- or at the very least, anything offering tactile controls.
May was largely a quiet month for new game releases. Despite what felt like a slower schedule, especially coming off of a rather absurd April, here on Destructoid we did have a pair of 10s with the portable Donkey Kong Country Returns 3Dand captivating, clay-fueled puzzler The Swapper. Quantity isn't everything!
One thing is for sure, May presented us with an eclectic group of titles. Take a look at some of the genres represented in this breakdown of everything we covered.
This review recap is brought to you by Daft Punk's Alive 2007, which fueled the incessant copying and pasting efforts needed to put one of these together. I don't feel like I've blinked since I started working on this, but it's worth it!
April was notable in that most of what we covered was smaller-scale and released through digital channels rather than at retail. We had Dead Island Riptide, sure, but there was also the likes of Don't Starveand Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Speaking of which, did you notice that video reviews are back? There's going to be plenty more of those on the way.
Which games released in April, if any, decimated your free time?