Haunted Temple Studios’ Skulls of the Shogun took me by surprise at last year’s PAX East. It was my first look at the game, and its attractive cartoon art style immediately drew me to it. Within a few minutes of playing, it was obvious that the developer had backed the visuals up with incredibly fun turn-based combat.
At this year’s show Haunted Temple CEO and Creative Director Jake Kazdal stated that many members of the crowds that had continually gathered around his studio’s booth throughout the weekend had followed a similar path of attraction to the inspired strategy game. “I think it’s a different dynamic for this kind of game, and people really seem to be digging it,” Kazdal said. “The art style sort of draws [convention attendees] in, and then they start thinking like ‘Wow, this is different than any other strategy game I’ve played.'” Although inspired by the Advance Wars and Fire Emblem games, Skulls of the Shogun definitely has a unique and wonderful vibe all its own.
Judging by the amount of games we expect to release this year, we already know that 2012 is going to be the biggest year yet for Xbox Live Arcade. With that in mind, we decided to ask each of our staff members to choose one game that they’re really looking forward to playing this year, and tell us exactly what we have to look forward to and why. Without further ado, we present to you XBLAFans Most Anticipated Games of 2012.
Video games have long made life after death a very diverse drag to say the least. From the loose, graphic interpretation of Dante’s Inferno to less disturbing (yet no less tragic) fates of those in Final Fantasy X doomed to monsterhood without a summoner’s sending. Haunted Temple Studios thankfully is making death a lot more enjoyable.
The tone is set very early in the demo build here at Fantastic Arcade. Fallen samurai general Akamoto finds himself missing one of his swords and waiting in a line outside a temple for entry into the afterlife like a Jersey Shore cast member awaiting for entry into an A-list Hollywood party. His prospects look about as promising as he discovers most of whom he’s in a crowd with will never get in and are being tricked into calmly waiting what will never happen to maintain order. This revelation predictably angers the deceased general whom sets off in recruiting other to fight their way into the underworld and also confront a mysterious imposter. The story it its core taps inspiration from revenge tales but mixes that serious storytelling into a more light-hearted universe.