I haven’t done “breaking” news in… well, ever really, but I saw this trailer and really wanted to share this game. The Swindle‘s first trailer was released today. It has a very Mark of the Ninja feel to it but with a steampunk aesthetic. I had a great time with Mark of the Ninja and i absolutely adore steampunk everything and anything. I’m sold, even before hearing the awesome music and seeing how fast the game can be. One of the issues I had with Mark of the Ninja was that if you wanted to get it right (best scrore) you usually had to take things at a very deliberate pace and plan things out. The Swindle looks like it doesn’t care what the means are, just get the money and GTFO.

The Swindle Announcement Trailer


My second point today is for a game called Dungeon of theEndless. I saw this title pop up on the Steam homepage saying it was in full release, just out of Green Light. I don’t recall having seen anything about it before, I habitually avoid Green Light programs for the same reason I don’t back every kickstarter that looks cool to me. I checked out the autoload/autoplay trailer and was mildly curious about it but it didn’t give me a really good idea about what the game is, then I saw the second trailer (posted below) and when the video ended I purchased the game and stayed up way too late playing it.

Much like what Borderlands did for the FPS-RPG genre that nobody had done before, I felt similarly refreshed when jumping into Dungeon of Endless. It takes a lot of what we’ve seen in gaming trends recently and put them together in an expertly crafted manner with some great art and entrancing music. The second I’m done with this post I plan to lose the rest of my evening to trying to get through the game once, just once, on very easy, cause this game is definitely not easy.

Dungeon of the Endless: Best Game-like Trailer



I talked about Hyper light Drifter quite some time ago when it was only a recently (sucessfully) funded KickStarter. We didn’t have much video at the time but it was clear the game looked incredible and played sharply. The game is finally out for backers in a sort of beta. It isn’t due out in a couple weeks, this isn’t an early release, this is another step in polishing the game. The release date is some time this year, but don’t be surprised if its the beginning of 2015. GiantBomb took a lengthy look at the beta/backer preview build (lengthy but far from everything) to show off where the game is at. I gotta say, I eagerly await it’s fully polished release.

GiantBomb Unfinished: Hyper Light Drifter


It has been quite a while since my last substantive post but I feel a gaming resurgence coming. Perhaps it’s the time of year or maybe just coincidence that so many really exciting titles are coming out at the same time, but I’m getting energized about games again. The last big title I bought day 1 and played as often as I could to finish it (and then even replay it) was Bioshock Infinite. Last week Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC) was released and I absolutely dove into it day 1 with rather high expectations. I’m a huge Tolkien fan so I was really hoping for a very lore heavy game and while it seemed faithful I’m not sure how I feel about the story and the setting. Despite that I played through it in a week, about 20 hours for about 90% completion. I have no desire to get 100% and do not intend to replay it until/unless substantial DLC is released. I’ve been in a writing mood recently and while I’ve been putting it to other literary pursuits I may end up writing up something about it.

I was considering a post about my view on the current status of gaming, particularly discussing consoles and their roles in the new age of Steam/PC, but I think I can sum it up with”Unlimited Power“. My new PC can pretty much play everything at near max settings, including the enhanced/HD texture packs and such, full light effects, physics, whatever you throw at me. Given this, I’ve been all over Steam Sales since I got it and though I haven’t been playing a lot I’ve been stockpiling titles for a rainy day. I’ve got titles like Far Cry 3 + FC3 Blood Dragon, Tomb Raider, Metro 2033 + Last Light, Assassin’s Creed 2+ Brotherhood + Revelations + AC3, FEAR 1-3, GTA 4, Saints Row 3+4, and The Witcher 1+2. Those are just the AAA titles, I have another dozen or so smaller titles like Transistor, Rogue Legacy, Gunpoint, Broken Age, Antichamber, and more. In the last two weeks I’ve managed to also play through Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3 + Blood Dragon making a bit of a dent in my backlog. There was also a really nice mid-week Assassin’s Creed sale and I picked up 4 for 20$ and have about an hour into AC2 now. I’m really glad I can make time to play games with school and training not taking a hit.

Previously I was an almost exclusive console player (XBOX 360) and I would hit droughts all the time be it time of year, console exclusives (on wrong console), or just that the games being released had zero appeal to me. Also, probably the bigger issue, is pricing. I just don’t care to spend $60 on a brand new title when I know at some point I can get it for $15 within a year on Steam. Shadow of Mordor was sort of an anomaly as the games I’m looking forward to (at AAA pricing) I will most likely not get day 1. Fortunately my backlog should keep me relatively busy until the opportune moment to get these awesome looking titles: Legend of Grimrock 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 4, Civilization: Beyond Earth, Titan Souls, and Hotline Miami 2.

Legend of Grimrock 2

The other day while looking through the new “Steam Queue” this popped up and I immediately got psyched for it, then the trailer started playing and I absolutely cannot wait for LoG2 to come out. Wanna know the best part? It comes out THIS WEEK! October 15th. I absolutely loved the first Legend of Grimrock. It was a really unique experience for me as I’d never played an RPG or dungeon crawler quite like it before. The combat was a unique feel for me and the environmental puzzles were great. I played through it twice before SteamWorks was released and then there was a really insane overhaul put out by a fan that changed a lot of things and made it an almost new experience. Even better for LoG2 is they’re releasing a dungeon editor day of release so people can start modding and expanding the LoG2 world right away.

It looks absolutely gorgeous. The first LoG resigned you to an actual dungeon crawl being that it took place in an underground prison fortress (i.e. a dungeon). In LoG2 one of my favorite parts is that you get to go outside! New and varied environments, new enemies, characters, spells, abilities, etc. So cannot wait to play this game. It just couldn’t come out at a worse time being in the middle of my midterms and the week/weekend before I have several papers due. I guess I’ll be pulling a lot of late nights soon, either up late working or up late playing, can’t decide yet. School is one thing, I just can’t let it get in the way of personal endeavors.

Legend of Grimrock 2 Reveal Trailer

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I think the last time I was THIS excited about a game was Skyrim. This looks absolutely amazing. HOWEVER! Having played The Witcher 2 (Enhanced Edition) for 360 and I can say that I didn’t finish it because the combat just felt wonky. I tried playing the first one on PC some time ago and felt the same way. I might try and play through 2 again but really I just hope that Wild Hunt controls better; though I doubt they’re going to change anything. Still, this game looks gorgeous and will probably be the gap filler for people until the next Elder Scrolls (or Fallout) game for those seeking a grand RPG adventure.

Travelling the World of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Far Cry 4

I had no interest in this game before I finished Far Cry 3 this past week. While the story itself (of Far Cry 3) wasn’t that interesting, the characters of Vaas and Hoyt were brilliantly done. Hoyt got much less time on screen than Vaas, but both were well portrayed as complete psychos. FC3 also has solid shooting and action so when I saw what they were doing with (one of?) the new bad guy(s) I’m very much interested in Far Cry 4. From the reveal trailer at this past E3 (I think) it seems they’re keeping the high standards for action and psychotic characters. Here is one of the more recent trailers introducing us to Pagan Min while showing some of the intense action.

Far Cry 4: Meet Pagan Min

The only disgusting thing that I see is on the backend of the sales stuff: “3 bonus story missions for preorder” is utter bullshit. This needs to stop happening. It’s like the issue with On-Disc DLC. It’s on the freaking disc and people need to pay to unlock the content. If this is a story mission it should be part of the game and not put behind a pay wall.

Civilization: Beyond Earth
I’ve never played a Civilization game before and I don’t know if I would actually like it, but this game looks pretty good. I like how deep the game goes with the 3 paths of humanity in terms of the skill web. I’d really like to find out more about the espionage and political systems before I make a purchase since I think that’s where the most difficult gameplay will be. Other than that it looks like a pretty standard base + unit building and expansion RTS, albeit slower than some RTSs.
Giantbomb did an hour-long Unfinished (Quick Look) that I’ve posted below, but if you’d rather watch it on GiantBomb then be my guest. Before that though I have one of the introductory trailers that explains some of the key elements of the game.

Civilization: Beyond Earth – Discovery Gameplay Trailer

Unfinished: Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth

Titan Souls

Titan Souls was talked about on the GiantBomb Morning Show a while back and is still some time from being released, but the feel of the game (from trailers) is very intense; reminded me a bit of Below. The core of the gameplay relies on the idea of one-shot-one-kill; you get one arrow as ammo and only one, one hit kills you, but one hit kills the enemies/bosses too (or at least proceeds to the inevitable second/final form). If you miss your shot you need to pick your arrow back up or reel it in and try again. Since it isn’t about dumping bullets you’ll work around enemies in a bullethell-like manner dodging attacks and projectiles until you get an opening and then pray you don’t miss your shot cause in Dark Souls fashion you will die. A lot. Throw that in with a clean pixel/minimalist art style and super moody music and it sounds like a good time to me. It was previously described as a mix between Demon/Dark Souls and Shadow of the Colossus, but I like to add Ikaruga and SuperBrothers into the mix.

Titan Souls Gameplay Trailer

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Because it’s the fucking sequel to Hotline Miami.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Dial Tone Trailer

I still listen to the Hotline Miami Soundtrack pretty regularly. Damn MOON… so good.

This is no guarantee that I’ll be back to more regular postings, but I’ve been managing my time more efficiently lately and if I have a list of games or a piece of news to go over I’ll make an effort to do so. Maybe a review or something. No promises. Peace.


So, this is a thing. Weird right?

This kinda came out of nowhere but it’s not really surprising since it’s not a real Borderlands game. By that I mean it’s been farmed out to a different company that has received assets and direction from the Gearbox creative team and made a game from it. Like Bioshock 2; though that was arguably the best gameplay the Bioshock franchise has seen, it just didn’t have the same impact. And I grant you that Borderlands 1 and 2 have nothing for story or character development, save for Handsome Jack who actually got some decent story elements, I don’t know how I should feel about it.

It looks like Borderlands since 2K Australia, the developers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, got all the assets from Gearbox and I’m assuming the engines running it to make some of their own, and it even seems over the top enough to be an acceptable iteration. I haven’t looked as deeply into The Pre-Sequel as I did for Borderlands 2 where I was posting all the class information I could find and whatever story and gameplay elements I could scavenge, but maybe that’s for the best.

I’ve seen one trailer (embedded below) and I think that is all I need to see. It looks like more Borderlands. After Borderlands I wanted more, I consumed the DLCs with ravenous hunger and have replayed it about a dozen times. When I saw Borderlands 2 I thought I’d enjoy it, but I’ve only once barely even finished the main story of Playthrough 1 (haven’t done any of the DLCs); my highest character is 34 with crap for weapons. So I don’t really know if I want more. They made so many changes between BL1 and BL2 that it lost what appealed to me, and I think that was the guns. They became too distinct between the brands and it limited what was a viable arsenal. I don’t know how the weapons and loot will work in what is essentially BL1.5, but if it’s more like BL1 then I’m in, if it’s more like BL2 then I cannot say for sure. They are introducing at least 1 new weapon type, Lazer weapons, if not more. Whether the enhanced personality of the weapons from BL2 is already in effect is unknown at this point; though probable.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – Developer Overview

The most unique thing about The Pre-Sequel is the anti-/low-gravity mechanics. Since the whole thing takes place on the moon they’ve added a few pretty interesting gameplay mechanics surrounding the gravity situation. First off, Oxygen becomes a resource to manage much like ammo, health, and shields. You need it to stay alive, but can also use it to boost yourself like a jetpack for aerial combat scenarios.


I like that they’re continuing to add more classes for a taste of variety, especially since I only really liked Gaige’s ActionSkill in BL2, but depending on how they play it might be another BL2 for me that I don’t end up having fun with. We don’t really have much info about what these classes are, but we do know who they are: Athena the Gladiator (whom you might remember from General Knoxx DLC in BL1), Wilhelm the Enforcer (from BL2), Nisha the Lawbringer (also from BL2), and Claptrap the Fragtrap (formerly known as Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap). From the trailer and other gameplay demos we see a glimpse of Athena’s ActionSkill: Aspis Shield where she can hold it up to absorb bullets/damage and/or throw it to chew through enemies with a modifier based on the damage absorbed. I couldn’t find anything showing off the other class’ skills so I might make posts as they’re revealed.

Also, from various sources this game will probably not be the same length as either BL1 or BL2, but may also come at a non-full retail price. Whether this means available as digital download or just a $40 retail box is also unknown.

As for now, I’ve started replaying BL2. I’ve left behind my 34 Mechromancer and my 20something Gunzerker for Axton who is now at level 15 or 16. I’m playing on the XBOX360, my GT is on the right side of the page, would definitely like to play more co-op if anyone else is interested.


Well, it has been almost a year since my last post. I’ve entertained the idea of posting things over the last several months, but to be frank, there was not much in the way of interesting games or news that I found worth reviving this blog for. To be fair, I haven’t really been following the news sources I used to frequent, sticking primarily with my often publicized favorite gaming site, GiantBomb, who doesn’t do much of the news side of the industry so much as entertainment and reviews/quicklooks of games.

With the exception of a possible Bioshock Infinite & Burial at Sea Ep1/2 review(s) or a discussion about the dissolution of Irrational Games, or maybe something about Dishonored and the various DLCs, or my time with DMC, I have not seen any games that have gotten me excited. This new generation of consoles, and their games, has done nothing to gain my interest. I’ve been spending more time on my old PC with Steam, indie/greenlight games, than on my 360. Been playing a decent amount of Terraria and FTL (more on that later), I’ve even started Tactics Ogre (PSP) over which is something I never thought I’d do.

However, in the last couple weeks I’ve come across a handful of awesome titles that have me excited for gaming again. The cool part is that they’re not huge AAA games, they’re smaller games. With the exception of Child of Light, all the developers are small indie teams. Today I have: Child of Light, Hyper Light Drifter, Transistor, Below, and FTL: Advanced Edition.

Child of Light

Being touted as a return to the more old-fashion turn-based RPGs of the 90s (JRPGs to some) while showcasing some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve seen in a game in a good long time is enough to get my attention. Combine that with a breathtaking soundtrack, exploration/traversal mechanics, crafting systems, and what I can hope is an engaging story.

I feel I should stop talking and just show the game.

Child of Light – Lemuria Trailer
If you don’t want to play this game after that trailer, you probably don’t have a soul.

Child of Light – Making-of #2: Sound and Artistic effects

Child of Light will be released on April 30th for just about every platform.

Hyper Light Drifter

I knew nothing about this game til a few days ago when it was mentioned at the GiantBomb PAX East panel as being inspired by Link to the Past, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, and Diablo. Hooking me after that description I searched around for information and found a well of information via Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter Kickstarter page. Yes, another kickstarter game; that went about $600,000 over their asking price resulting in this game becoming so much more than originally planned and seemingly has turned into something truly awesome.

Drifters of this world are the collectors of forgotten knowledge, lost technologies and broken histories. Our Drifter is haunted by an insatiable illness, traveling further into the lands of Buried Time, steeped in blood and treasure hoping to discover a way to quiet the vicious disease. Echoes of a dark and violent past from the dead eras resonate throughout and he can’t help but listen.
~Heart Machine’s Kickstarter page

It has a very fast paced combat system with upgradable skill systems, lots of weapons and armors to loot, a number of exploration mechanics (while not locking content), co-op play, a story and arena modes, and a really cool electronic soundtrack by DisasterPeace.

I have a couple images from the game and a decent bit of gameplay from Polygon’s interview at GDC last month.

Hyper Light Drifter – Polygon Live at GDC 2014

For backers HLD will be out this summer, for everyone else it will be a bit later, probably some time around the Holidays (specific dates unknown)

Transistor

click for wallpaper

The funny thing about this is that the last time I posted anything Newsworthy was from PAX East 2013 in which I talked about Transistor and how excited I was for the next SuperGiantGames release. I actually forgot about Transistor until this past weekend when trailers from PAX East 2014 were making their rounds. They didn’t have much in the way of new content to show. They had the same gameplay as last year but in a demo that was showcasing the content in its most polished state. Though the gameplay hasn’t changed, it has received visual changes all across the board, runs smoother, plays faster, and still delivers the action we’ve now come to expect from the creators of Bastion.

SuperGiantGames hasn’t put out a lot in the way of media over the last year so it’s really good that PAX coverage put this back on my radar. It was hard to find a good video that showed what’s been done in the last year, but looking at the trailer below and the one I posted last year (linked above, and should still be on the front page below) the differences are noticeable.

Manipulating Time with Transistor – PAX East 2014

Transistor will be released May 20th for PS4 and PC.

Below

I’m actually quite surprised to be talking about Below. Last year when I saw it I wasn’t super impressed nor was I interested in Below. Don’t misunderstand me, this wasn’t because the game looked bad or wasn’t what I was interested in, it was because when it was first announced at E3 it was an XBOX One exclusive and I had no interest or intention of purchasing an XBONE (still don’t). At PAX this year it was announced that Below would be coming to PC via Steam as well. Now we’re in business.

Below is a deeply atmospheric and moody isometric action-adventure dungeon crawler, with rogue-like elements, a touch of Dark Souls, and music by Jim Guthrie (of Sword & Sworcery LP fame). You can find a more detailed description and a peek at how it plays in the video below.

First Look: Below demo with Capybara Games
*I think there is an issue with the contrast because other videos/trailers have a much better black scale.

Below is due out some time this year.

FTL: Advanced Edition

It turns out I never talked about FTL when I was maintaining the blog even though I’d been playing it off and on since it’s release about 2 years ago. It’s an unforgiving game that punishes you whenever you least expect it to.

Each time you start you can choose your ship (from those you’ve unlocked) each with their respective crew members (of various races) and their own default weapons and systems setups. You’ll progress through 10 sectors, each with many locations to visit that will have either nothing, some sort of random encounter (good and/or bad), combat situations, stores, and more. As you progress through you’ll be able to acquire new crew members, level them up, get new weapons, augments, systems, upgrades for the installed systems, and more. If you lose a crew member they’re gone, unless you have a Cloning Bay (a new system added in the free update). If the ship’s hull reaches 0, BOOM!, it all goes away and you start all over.

Just 2 weeks ago FTL:Advanced Edition was released (free update to owners of FTL on Steam), with the iPad version release, that added a bunch of new content. It added a new race (making 8 available races), 2 new systems to install on your ship (mind control and hacking), a handful of new weapons and variations on existing weapons, new effects on old and new weapons (such as stun and freeze), and one of the best pieces of the update is improved information relayed to the player in encounter/on weapons/etc (simple but very handy).

FTL: Giant Bomb Quick Look Solo

*Alex Navarro posted his own Quick Look of FTL:AE that is better than both of the others in terms of quality, detail, explanation, and skill, so I replaced the other one with this one.

If you have not played FTL before and think you might like to, and if you have an iPad, I highly suggest the iPad version. The guys at Subset games did a phenomenal job in porting the controls and the feel incredibly smooth. The iPad was made to be able to play this game. I have it on both and very much prefer the iPad version for the ease of control and the ability to take it anywhere I want.

FTL:AE is out now for PC and iPad.

Feels good to breathe some life back into this place. I cannot say for certain I’ll make more regular attempts to maintain it, but it is something I’d like to do. I will clean up the side stuff after this goes up since it’s all out of date.

I wish I had more to post but I haven’t been playing much in the way of new games. Broken Age, a game I publicized at length and a game I personally backed on KickStarter, came out and I have yet to sit down and play it. It’s loaded up on Steam, I just haven’t felt like jumping into it. I’ve watched some of DoubleFine’s TeamStreams for their other KickStarter title, Massive Chalice, that I also backed, and it’s looking pretty good. For the time being I’ll be playing Terraria while eagerly awaiting it’s next big patch (the last one before the original creator moves on to other projects and passes the torch to a trusted group for any future updates), FTL: Advanced Edition (iPad version), I’m about 30 floors deep in my very first trip through the Palace of the Dead in Tactics Ogre (PSP), and I’ve put a few hours into my first replay of Bastion since my review. At least for the next two weeks until Child of Light comes out.


It’s been a while and I’ve not given up on the blog despite my lack of postings. Now that summer break is here I’m finally diving into Bioshock Infinite and I have Dishonored and DMC waiting patiently. I’ve been putting more time into Terraria than expected, especially considering I’ve been playing it on/off since about 2 weeks after release on XBLA; definitely looking forward to the V1.2 update coming in near future.

I posted before about Double Fine’s Kickstarter funded adventure game, Broken Age, which I backed and am more than pleased with the developer vids showing and explaining the process of the game’s development, and look forward to playing it.

Now I’m posting about another Double Fine Kickstarter project titled Massive Chalice. This is a game that is so in my wheel-house that I backed it at a higher tier than I did for Broken Age. Rather than bore you with details, the Double Fine team put out a funny and informative video explaining what Massive Chalice is along with a lot of extra details.

What is really cool about this is that I found out about it via GiantBomb, like many things, and the article was posted at about 3:30pm PST at which point it had just over $300,000 of the $725,000 goal. When I backed it roughly 10 minutes ago it had already hit $385,000; that’s 85k in under 4 hours!

I encourage anyone and everyone to back this project! Let’s escape from the age where everyone makes the same copy&pasta shooters (like what FUSE became) and back new and creative titles like the one’s coming from Double Fine.


Metacritic Matters: How Review Scores Hurt Video Games by Jason Schreier @ Kotaku.

I posted something about Metacritic back around the release of Dragon Age 2 and have often been vocal about my despise for Metacritic and using review scores for videogames in general; as well as anything of an entertainment purpose like movies and books. The above article by Jason Schreier is a really nice cover of what’s wrong with Metacritic and has some big voices from the industry chiming in on the topic.

This is a must read for anyone who uses or has ever used Metacritic or wants to be more aware of the problems in the gaming industry resulting from Metacritic.



A very teasy teaser trailer was released for Broken Age, the KickStarter funded old-school point-and-click adventure game, by the awesome guys at DoubleFine. I’m absolutely in love with the art style (classic DoubleFine designs) and if the music is any indication of the rest of the game, it sounds wonderful.

From the DoubleFine PAX East 2013 panel we got a little bit of the story behind the game, thanks to the ever reliable GiantBomb wiki for Broken Age:

    “As described, the title “Broken Age” is supposed to invoke a sense of what occurs during the game. The game will focus on two parallel stories of children, a boy and a girl, who yearn to break free from the banalities of their everyday lives and follows the pair as they attempt to alter their fates. The boy lives a solitary life under the care of a motherly computer, but wishes to break free, while the girl has been chosen as sacrifice to a terrible sea monster by her own village and decides to fight back.”

I’ve never actually been a huge fan of point-and-click adventure games. I never played the Monkey Island series or the older LucasArts titles that many of those at DoubleFine pull experience/inspiration from and I haven’t really had much interest in them. The only one I can recall ever putting any time into was Machinarium which I mostly played because I was very fond of the art style and of the world; also some of the puzzles were pretty good.

Since I don’t have a lot of the baggage that many who want this game, and possibly who funded it, I don’t have specific expectations or really anything to say about it [this trailer] except that I’m very excited. While I’ve been a backer on this project I haven’t taken advantage of the numerous vidocs and news/updates that the team has been sending out (they’re just piling up in my inbox), but now that I’ve seen a little bit of it I think it’s about time I watched them.

Keep it up guys, I have faith it will be amazing.

Broken Age Teaser Trailer




Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.