The “point and click” adventure game genre simply refuses to die. Ron Gilbert, creative mastermind behind Monkey Island, leads Double Fine‘s upcoming console-bound return to adventure games, The Cave. Gilbert isn’t redesigning the wheel here (though I wouldn’t put it past him) but The Cave definitely has everything for the contemporary adventure game fan.
The Cave is an adventure game of the 2D platform and puzzle variety wherein you guide three characters along a journey through a mysterious, question-answering cave. Seven characters — amongst them a Hillbilly, Knight, Scientist, Monk, Time Traveler, Adventurer and a set of creepy Twin children — each find themselves with a deep desire which they believe the cave can satisfy. Though they have an overt motive for venturing into the cave, Gilbert says there’s something deeper going on in The Cave.
Shoot Many Robots was developed by Demiurge and produced by Ubisoft. It was released on March 14, 2012 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Shoot Many Robots joins the realm of this recent genre deemed “shoot and loot” wherein players mow down enemies for stuff ad nauseum, laughing all the way (ha ha ha!). The premise is incredibly simple (as the title indicates) but the gameplay is solid, replayable and so magnificently supported by its features that this game’s simple concept becomes the key to its brilliance.
A sad sad day when robots destroy P. Walter Tugnut’s truck takes a turn for the worse when he finds out they also destroyed his house. Walter is able to escape in his RV where he must thenceforth embrace the best of both worlds on his crusade to eliminate the robot outbreak. Him and his three brothers (all named P. Walter Tugnut) travel through farmland, destroyed urban environments and through dark ominous factories to bring the fight to the mechanical menace.
This 2D sidescrolling shooter embraces simple platformer gameplay complete with hovering, slides and ground-pounds. Up to four players can play offline, online or any combination thereof. Each player collects loot in boxes dropped in crates and from robots which they can then purchase from the store with nuts they collect throughout each level. Equipment ranges from regular and special weapons to hats, backpacks and “pants” which alter the player’s stats and abilities.
We love ourselves a good 2D anything here at XBLA Fans, so this week we interviewed Jamie Cheng, Founder of Klei Entertainment. Klei is known for many things, but chiefly here on XBLA we know them for developing Shank, a 2D brawler filled to the brim with weapons, stabbing, shooting and most of all, shanking. We’ve interviewed Jamie before about the game, but this time we got in-depth and talk at length about all things Shank, Shank 2 and Klei in general.
Specifically speaking Jamie discusses a bit of his opinions on Shank and how he and his team wanted to improve on what they achieved with Shank. We discuss some of the flaws in Shank and how they’ve been addressed in Shank 2. On top of that, we discuss the reasoning behind choosing a survival mode as this game’s multiplayer mode instead of another co-op campaign. There’s also plenty of Klei-related talk for those interested in learning more about an indie developer.
Any fans of brawlers should check out Shank and Shank 2, the latter of which has had plenty of awesome coverage over the last couple months. There’s single player footage and footage of the new survival mode as well as all kinds of cool things for fans like this Shank 3D papercraft. There have been quite a few changes to the Shank experience for Shank 2 and Jamie and I spare no detail when discussing them, especially with survival mode.
Shank 2 is out on XBLA on February 8 for 800MSP.[podcast]https://xblafans.com/xblafancast/XBLAFancast_Interview_Klei.mp3[/podcast]
Awesomenauts, upcoming 2D MOBA game from Ronimo Games, is paving the way to an entirely new way to play MOBA games without abandoning all the things we love. However, with a change of dimension comes several other things. Arguably games like League of Legends are actually pretty simple to understand and can be very accessible. However, getting good, or passing the “barrier of competency”, is a very long, uphill battle requiring either tons of gameplay experience or a lot of research. Awesomenauts seeks to simplify and streamline the mechanics surrounding the depth that MOBA games are known for without removing any of it. In that effort, Ronimo Games has employed a simple, understandable and customizeable “item”, or rather upgrade, structure and shop system into Awesomenauts. How exactly that lofty goal will be achieved is, in short, explained below and after the jump.
Not every game is about destroying every single thing you see in sight, and it’s so easy to see a helicopter and think missiles, rockets, miniguns, explosions, but in inXile Entertainment’s upcoming game Choplifter HD it’s more about the lives to be rescued than the enemies to blow up. If that doesn’t tug at your heart strings, then feel free to return to blow stuff up, dodge missiles mode because Choplifter HD has that too even if it’s not all that goes on.
Now for those who have never played the original Choplifter the premise might not be too familiar save for those people who have been rescued by a choplifter (hope you thanked your pilot) so perhaps it’s necessary to get some hands-on time. Well anyone headed to PAX Prime is in luck as InXile Entertainment will be there showing off the game with playable missions and even an opportunity to see some of their special guests in the game, including the one and only Duke Nukem. We strongly encourage you to check out their game and our interview with Jairo Silva, Choplifter HD‘s Senior Game Designer, which will be going live later today.
Check the PAX trailer and screenshot gallery after the jump.
Many young players will see Guardian Heroes and have no idea it’s actually a port from the Sega Saturn. This anime-styled brawler supports three 2D planes rather than a fully traversable 3D plane, tons of characters to play and unlock, a branching story arc with several different endings and encounters which, if opted out of to go down a different path, will never be experienced. This fast-paced HD-ified port brings some old mechanics into the present. The good news? It doesn’t feel a bit dated.
The controls are fairly intuitive, with X standing in for light attacks, Y for heavy, and A for a quick dodge back. B is reserved for special abilities—in the case of our Mage demo, that was magic. Those straightforward controls were balanced by a unique addition: the left bumper and left trigger, which jump planes toward and away from the player. Navigating planes takes a little getting used to, but it soon becomes second nature. (Though the adjustment period is a little more extensive when you’re trying to do this in the heat of combat.
In the interest of time, we skipped through the dialogue of the story—we were in a bit of a rush to see the meat of the gameplay. The story was told in pretty typical old-school fashion though: portraits of the characters would pop up on the screen and the camera would shift to them. It certainly feels very retro; it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but gamers that have gotten used to rich cinematics and other “modern” accoutrements may feel a bit estranged.
Battleblock Theater, the next Behemoth project, finally gets a theater of its own at http://www.battleblocktheater.com/. Behemoth intends to ration off weekly gameplay tidbits in the form of prisoner case …
Moon Diver was developed by feelplus and published by Square Enix. It was released on May 4th for 1200 MSP.
In the late 80’s there was a little game known as Strider, the development of which was lead by Koichi Yotsui. Yotsui draws back on that experience to direct Moon Diver, a side-scrolling platformer with enough style, action and frustration to blow up a planet. Ironically, that’s essentially the story to Moon Diver — Earth’s days are numbered and the Moon Divers have to come reclaim it from evil mechanical beings.
Players choose from multiple divers, each with different stat growth patterns. As they progress through the story mode characters gain stat points and MCs, or Moonsault Combinations, which manifest themselves as a variety spells and skills. Four players can jump in together offline or online, but only one player per box can join in the online experience.
Hard Corps: Uprising, developed by Arc System Works and published by Konami, is the latest in the Contra series, available now for 1200 Microsoft Points.
Hard Corps Uprising tells a zany tale about a corrupt nation or an evil dictator or both, some other evil bits here and there but truth be told the story is not the reason to buy the game, however there are many others. This latest installment in the Contra series, though not named as such, revamps the visuals with a crisp anime-esque appeal and animations and tops it off with an exciting hard rock soundtrack, as is Arc’s trademark.
Hard Corps epitomizes an action shoot ’em up in every way, for better and for worse. Tons of enemies on screen of which there are decent variety, but not too many you have to learn something new every two seconds, though the same can’t be said for the boss fights. The game starts a bit slow and there’s no formal tutorial so certain elements of the game go unexplained, but once you get the hang of the Action Ships and play some of the more inventive levels, Hard Corps shows itself to be as enjoyable and thrilling as any other Contra title.
Zeit2 is a sidescrolling Shoot ‘em Up developed by Brightside Games and published by Ubisoft. It’s available on the XBLA for 800 microsoft points.
XBLA games are frequently prone to being viewed as “casual” because of their price point, and as such it’s easy to assume any XBLA title will have a casual playing style to it; Zeit2 does not. The game has a tutorial where they explain how the game works and how to play, along with supplementary tips throughout the Arcade experience, but the handholding quickly ends and Zeit2 shows itself to be a top shelf challenge worthy of any sidescrolling shoot ‘em up lover.