Get Capsized This Friday

By John Walker on April 26th, 2011 at 4:11 pm.

I wish I could screenshot the music for you.

Oh thank goodness. I’ve just completed the completely excellent Shadow Complex on my 360, and am absolutely craving more 2D side-scrolling platforming fun. Just in time we receive information about Capsized, a new 2D side-scrolling platformer that’s reaching Steam this Friday. Along with a copy to play. And playing it I am. I’ll let you know what I think of it on Friday when it comes out, but in the meantime you can watch the trailer below. Oh, and fill the comments with suggestions of other games that might fill my Shadow Complex-shaped hole.

It began as a university project between the two members of Alien Trap Games, and has been developed into a fully-fledged finished game. They describe it:

“As a intrepid space traveler, your ship has crash landed on a mysterious alien planet. You must navigate through the perilous environment and fight off blood-thirsty creatures to save your crewmates and escape with your lives!”

So have a trailer:

And have a lengthy interview with the developers:

It’s out this Friday, and will cost whatever $10 equals in your land.

And now recommend me other Metroid-a-likes. Thanks!

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73 Comments »

  1. BebopBraunbaer says:

    if you are so craving maybe you should care about this project no time to explain

  2. Jonathan says:

    There is nothing that will fill a Shadow Complex hole. Go back to it and make sure to pick up all of the upgrades and collectibles. It was my favourite game of whatever year it came out in (2009?)

    • Dominic White says:

      I found Shadow Complex thoroughly underwhelming, as I had just come from playing the newer Nintendo DS Castlevania games, which have Metroid-style exploration, but tons and tons of weapons, features and some fantastically designed and challenging bosses. Shadow Complex’s boss fights were pants.

    • John Walker says:

      Yeah – the only downside was that it didn’t offer a way to carry on after the final thing was destroyed.

      There’s a couple of bits I’ve missed because I absolutely cannot fathom how to destroy the relevant blue crates. I’ve figured out the ones that involve whizzing around the ceiling into them, but after that I’m stumped.

    • Henke says:

      I just finished Shadow Complex too. Think I got 82% of all items, or something close to that.

      Anyway I loved it to death. :D Have not played any of the Metroids or Castlevanias though.

    • Jonathan says:

      Actually, the easy boss fights in Shadow Complex were a blessing for me. I hate the boss fights in the DS Castlevania games (I am generally down on boss fights as a rule), and I mostly play this kind of game for the exploration.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      I’ll add another hooray for the DS Castlevania games. They’re the best games of this type I’ve played for all the reasons Dominic says, really.

    • Dominic White says:

      @Jonathan ‘Easy’ was an understatement, though. The guys with guns could at least hurt you on higher difficulties. The bosses just kinda stood around like idiots, waiting for you to shoot their obvious weak-point three times before awkwardly falling over.

      If you’re going to give me enough firepower to destroy the world, give me enemies worthy of using it on.

    • squareking says:

      If you liked the DS Castlevania games, definitely check out the GBA titles as well. A little longer in the tooth, but they are fantastic — even moreso than the DS titles, imo. Aria of Sorrow, Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, if memory serves.

    • disperse says:

      If I were to pick up one Castlevania title for my DS, which one should I look for?

    • Dominic White says:

      Depends what kind of game you want.

      Order of Ecclesia is newer, has better graphics and probably tighter combat, but the level structure is a little more linear and straightforward. As for the other two, Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin? Really, they’re both good in subtly different ways. DoS has an ‘gotta catch em all’ monster-ability collecting aspect, while PoR has a more technical two-character tag team thing going on.

    • disperse says:

      @Dominic White

      Thanks! I guess I should add that I’m kindof crap at games like that even though I enjoy them. I tend to get lost and my reflexes have deteriorated in my old age. Are any of them easier / harder than any other? Oh, and I have one of the older DS units that, I believe, supports Gameboy Advanced cartridges if one of those is worth looking for used…

    • Tom Camfield says:

      Shadow Complex is: whoop, the problem with the DS Castlevania’s is that this guy (points thumbs at self) has played all the previous Castlevania explorathons, and they really haven’t changed much since the PSOne version, so colour me underwhelmed. Shadow Complex, on the other hand, had a freshness about it that the continuous remakes and sequels to all the Castlevania’s and Metroids miss out on.

      Plus, despite the controversy surrounding Orsen Scott Card’s views on homosexuality, the guy can tell a story, one that Shadow Complex definitely benefits from.

    • Dominic White says:

      Shadow Complex was GI Joe with occasional blood and swearing. The villain was practically Cobra Commander! They’re an evil organization in an enormous underground fortress with an army of expendable masked goons, planning to overthrow the US government.

      There was barely even a plot there.

  3. Miker says:

    Looks rather excellent, though a bit busy on the visual side. I’m a die-hard Metroid fan, so I’ll have to pick this up if it’s the right price.

  4. PanzerVaughn says:

    I certainly hope youve wedged some ‘Cave Story’ into that hole of yours.

    Im not sure how widely known ‘Aquaria’ is, it WAS in the first Humblebundle though, so i hope thats in your hole too. If not, zomgrawr ‘Aquaria.’ It begins deceptivly cutesy, but you quickly get laserbeams and disintergrate nameless horrors of the deep. Its also super pretty. ^_^

    • Big Murray says:

      Aquaria isn’t just pretty, it’s beautiful.

    • PanzerVaughn says:

      When i found out Bit-blot was breaking up i was squirt-acid-out-of-my-eyes enraged.. I think i few months ago i checked and it said the one guy was working on a spiritual sequel… i better look into that again.

    • FalseMyrmidon says:

      I think Aquaria is massively under-appreciated.

    • Waltorious says:

      Another vote for Aquaria! It’s completely excellent.

      I actually haven’t played Shadow Complex (I lack a 360), but I like Metroidvanias. I recommend the following:

      Iji – A free indie game that is, quite frankly, completely awesome. It’s like System Shock 2 meets Super Metroid. Not technically a Metroidvania because it’s split into distinct levels (but within those, you can roam wherever you want) but it makes up for that with incredibly good action, especially later in the game. (oops… looks like someone else already pointed this one out!)

      An Untitled Story – Another free indie game, this time a metroidvania that’s all about the jumping, and being difficult. It’s like a super-hard platformer (like Super Meat Boy but slower) except each “level” is just one of the screens you can visit in the map.
      (man, someone recommended this already too! Well, count me as a second recommendation)

  5. Premium User Badge shoptroll says:

    Ooo nice. I remember the preview from a while back and I’m certainly intrigued.

  6. Dominic White says:

    Capsized doesn’t look much like Metroid.

    It looks a LOT like Exile:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI4lA3A30lo

    This is a very good thing. There was a kinda-awkward fan-made update a while back (http://exile.ovine.net/), but Capsized looks like the one to get the update formula right. Now to see if I can’t get a review copy.

    • Dominic White says:

      And like that, I’ve secured myself some review code. First impressions soon, followed by a proper DIYGamer review later this week.

      Edit: First impressions… Strange game. It looks and feels like Exile, but while it’s unrelentingly old-school, it feels closer to mid-90s shareware games than anything. It’s strictly level-based. You collect powerups, lives, fight aliens, solve basic puzzles and platform all over the place. It does have a lovely grappling hook though.

      Not a bad thing that it’s a straightforward action game, just not what I was initially expecting.

    • Wulf says:

      That doesn’t sound bad at all coupled with those visuals.

  7. squareking says:

    Oh man. I should do a second runthrough of Shadow Complex. So good.

  8. Premium User Badge Revisor says:

    I had a great time playing Aztaka. Metroid-like exploration, beautiful presentation and for once something different from the usual western settings.
    Gameplay of the first levels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7l7VsQO6M
    Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/37100

  9. Premium User Badge Rinox says:

    I already capsized my laser (a boat type, not the cool type) last week. Fail? :(

    • Lacessit says:

      I think ‘capsizing your laser’ should be very naughty slang for something. Cockneys should snicker when they hear it.

  10. Deimorz says:

    Monster Tale, perhaps? Haven’t gotten around to it yet myself, but I’ve seen it recommended a lot recently.

    • Wulf says:

      Monster Tale is absolutely amazing and I’ve spoken highly of it myself, as did a bunch of critics, and a lot of this is due to it being the most bizarre mix of genres ever. And yet… somehow, they made it work, in that special way that only an indie developer seems to be able to manage, these days. But considering that this group was the same talent behind Henry Hatsworth, I hardly find it surprising.

      If you like Metroidvanias, even slightly, even just a bit, then you owe it to get yourself Monster Tale, you’re seriously missing out if you don’t at least try it, and I’ll say that to everyone who owns a DS. My first impressions of this were so good that I imported a copy from Play-Asia, and I’ve been loving it for every moment I’ve played of it since.

      I’d certainly like more of that.

      (In fact, I dare say that Monster Tale ranks within my top 5 of all handheld things. That list would look something like this:

      1. Anything Phoenix Wright.
      2. Disagaea Infinite (the only reason I turn on my PSP these days is either to watch films on it or to replay this game again, again, again.)
      3. Patapon (and 2).
      4. Monster Tale.
      5. Loco Roco 2.

      And there’s my handheld top five, right there.)

    • sabrage says:

      oh! Monster Tale came out! I loved Henry Hatsworth!!!

    • Hatsworth says:

      While I would recommend Monster Tale, and I fear it tanked dreadfully, the metroid elements are really badly implemented. You are always told exactly where to go, like metroid fusion(shudder), and straying off track will only result in more backtracking every single time. There are next to no secrets to find, and the game world is smaller than most games in the genre. You go back and forth through the areas far too much, it really seems like they felt the need to stretch out the length of the game. No teleport system ala Castlevania to speak of. The action is also far too easy — it seems they listened to game critics offended that Henry Hatsworth didn’t fellate their egos like NSMB did and decided to neuter Monster Tale. Despite all of this I still do not regret importing it. It’s simply some of the best sprite work on the system, beautifully animated with a varied moveset, it’s just unfortunate that you’ll never have to master its mechanics. The upbeat soundtrack is also stellar.

      Retro Game Challenge — another overlooked DS game unavailable in Europe — includes a quite good metroidvania game in Robot Ninja Haggle Man 3(yes, really). It’s quite a good game in general, the only real low point for me being the archaic dragon quest clone, most of which you can skip if so inclined.

      Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is looking pretty damn good. Unfortunately Microsoft has attained XBLA exlusivity, it was originally coming for PC. I’m sad to say their tactic may end up selling me an xbox eventually. Apart from a few outliers like Bayonetta(the PS3 port is terrible), XBLA titles are the only exlusives I want. Trailer:

  11. msarge says:

    Shadow Complex was fantastic, and I have been waiting for a sequel or successor for a long time now. I also remember seeing this game a few years ago when Kieron first posted it.

    Actually I am surprised I somehow remember this game, but I was thuroughly excited by the idea of it back then, despite knowing nothing of this Exile game. Anyway, I hope this game is good!

    • Jonathan says:

      Chair are supposedly going to be doing a sequel at some point. I saw an interview where they said they definitely wanted to, at least.

  12. nuh uh no way says:

    oh lord, shadow complex was the bees knees. completely loved it and could play it over and over. the only thing i didn’t like was that it ended!

  13. kalidanthepalidan says:

    That looks quite good! The jetpacking around while battling enemies reminds me a bit of playing Aquaria. But I love these types of games when the developers realize that jumping is not the primary source of enjoyment in metroidvanias. The fun part is exploring! And anything that aids in exploring (jetpacks and grappling hooks in this case, or swimming where ever you please in Aquaria) makes the game that much better!

  14. Jimbo says:

    Shadow Complex is probably the best 360 exclusive. Close between that and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

  15. magnus says:

    Shite and I’ve only just this minute bought Creavures from Steam! Oh well, I hope Capsized is reasonable. It’s not as if I can afford Cargo! right now. :(

    If it’s as big as Aquaria then it’s a definate.

    • Wulf says:

      You really won’t be disappointed by CreaVures. It’s not a hard game but it’s beautiful, the different areas of the forest are a wonder to behold, and those little guys are so endearing with their antics. But really, some areas of the forest can be vivid and breathtaking with all that bioluminescence going on.

      It’s criminally underrated, and I’m more than a little disappointed that it’s so unknown. As I recall it raised $2,000~ over its original goal on KickStarter based on its visual style alone. It makes me genuinely sad sometimes that there’s so much generic pap out there that gets praised, but a wonder like CreaVures goes undiscovered. C’est la vie, but it’s not so fun for the developers, I imagine, and it’ll convince them to stay away from more original designs and to hop on the generic bandwagon instead. (And this is why we can’t have nice things.)

  16. Jimbo says:

    Chess?

  17. Dana says:

    Reminds me of Exile on Amiga.

  18. Dominic White says:

    So, I got some review code. Just played for half an hour. Initial impressions follow:

    Good news/bad news.

    It feels, looks and sounds like Exile. Lots of physical interaction with the environments, a lovely energy-grappling hook, jetpack and all that malarkey. It isn’t Exile, though. It’s not an open-world game at all. It’s a linear level-based campaign with a simple ‘get to the end of the level’ objective, so far. Not sure whether this is good or bad, but for those wanting a Metroid-esque game, you’re not going to find it here. At least, not from what I’ve seen so far. Only played the first couple of levels so far though, maybe it opens up a bit later.
    You start each level with no equipment, oddly, even if you had a mountainous stockpile of ammo by the end of the previous stage.

    • Soon says:

      So, when people say Metroid, am I safe to use Exile as my point of reference instead? I don’t know the Metroid games, and they seem to come up often.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, the Metroid games are cut from the same cloth, although they’re platformers rather than jetpack low-gravity games. You find new abiltiies/keys to open new areas and gradually unlock access to a big underground alien complex.

      This? This so far feels like a bit of a cross between Exile and maybe Abuse. The weapons so sound/feel rather weak, though.

  19. Wulf says:

    THIS! I’ve been waiting forever for this!! I was wondering if it would ever get released.

    But something that unique looking kind of burned itself into my memory.

  20. thebigJ_A says:

    Wow, that looks sweet. Shadow Complex was my 2nd favorite XBLA game ever (after Super Meat Boy). If this scratches that same itch, I’m in.

  21. Jesse L says:

    Console-owning Shadow Complex/Metrodvania lovers – what about this thing? “Outland”?

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-04-26-outland-review

    I didn’t know this existed until today.

    • Wulf says:

      Blargh. That doesn’t have a PC release why? It does look like the sort of thing that would sell on our platform. I’d buy it, at least, as it looks absolutely amazing… the levels themselves remind me of ArenaNet’s concept art in places and there’s no way that that can be a bad thing.

      If there’s one thing I hate the current generation of consoles for, it’s for getting exclusives on games like this. :P Still, it’ll probably be ported to the PC eventually and find that it has better sales here than it had on the consoles, much like many devs have found. My favourite example of this being Shatter, as I recall that sold about ten times better on the PC than on the PS3. Though I can understand why, I was absolutely smitten with Shatter, and that’s another game I’d vehemently recommend to anyone who’d listen and hasn’t played it yet.

      Edit #1: And thinking on Shatter, it amuses me how terribly meta it is. It’s a very gamer thing, in its own special way. It’s a heartwarming tale about a pong paddle, essentially. Or rather, a mining drone that used a perpetual energy orb to mine. And one day something broke, it found it had fun batting its projectile around randomly, it gained sentience. And from there it ran, it ran, and when confronted, it fought – against its machine gods who would sooner see its mind so recently gained erased, or the drone itself destroyed. There was too much at stake there for that little drone, and potentially for all the other drones whom hadn’t experienced the emotion of joy, yet.

      That was one of my favourite things about it, really, and the ending had me doing this. :P

      (I wonder if I’ve just sold Shatter to a bunch of people?)

    • Urael says:

      Outland looks bloody fantastic. BRING TO PC, GAMING GODS!

    • Laneford says:

      That looks amazing! Time to get my xbox on I feel.

  22. Shih Tzu says:

    Well, you’ve played Cave Story, right?

  23. Stuart Walton says:

    If you were a massochist you could try La Mulana. I’ve not played it but did watch the Deceased Crab LP of it.

    Also, no matter how many times I’ve used it, I can’t get Wetroidvania to catch on for describing Aquaria.

    • Wulf says:

      DeceasedCrab… it took me a moment to place where I first heard that name, it was here.

    • PanzerVaughn says:

      Where does the “W” Come fr…. OOOOooh you clever devil.

  24. Wulf says:

    The way they describe it in that second video is very much like Turrican, and funnily enough, to a big degree, it actually looks like Turrican. And I’m completely okay with that. (Yes, I loved Turrican.)

    The only thing I hope is that they turn that artistic talent toward doing something really interesting, one day, I’d love to actually meet and interact with some of those bizarre, alien races rather than just shooting at them. But that’s just me.

    Still, very pleased by the world presented in this, it’s all sorts of alien, and I’m entirely for that.

    Going to pick this up, of course, there could have been no doubt.

  25. Wulf says:

    And in the vein of what we’re talking about, because I think it’s lovely and could use more exposure, is the entirely cost-free Frogatto & Friends. There’s a lot here for any Metroidvania (and Yoshi!) fan to love. I’ve been playing this for a while now and it’s very charming and story driven, which are two of my favourite things.

  26. leeder krenon says:

    Lunar Jetman 2!

  27. Tom Camfield says:

    Oh, and it would be lunacy not to recommend Orson Scott Card’s (author of Shadow Complex) book, Ender’s Game, which tends to bob near the top of best sci-fi book lists.

    360-wise, Castlevania Symphony of the Night is an absolute must as it’s available to download. The other daddy in the “Metroidvania” genre is Super Metroid, natch. On the GBA I’d recommend such gems as Metroid Fusion, Metroid Zero Mission and Castlevania Aria of Sorrow (plus more…) but I imagine you’ve checked out everything in this paragraph.

    So…

    An Untitled Story by Matt Thorson, the guy behind Give Up Robot 2, the game that was highly rated over on the AV Club.
    http://www.mattmakesgames.com/games.php

    Hero Core, which was highly rated over on Giant Bomb.
    http://www.remar.se/daniel/herocore.php

    Plus, maybe you can get your mitts on Aquaruia which Wired gave 9/10, apparently.
    http://www.bit-blot.com/aquaria/index.html

    • Wulf says:

      Thanks for the Untitled Story recommendation! Hadn’t seen that and it looks like it might just be very much my sort of thing. Checking that out now.

  28. Premium User Badge yhancik says:

    It reminds me a bit of The Salvage (which has nice pixelart. And I mean nice).

  29. Urael says:

    John, this is a bit of an oldie but if you haven’t played Iji, you really should:

    http://www.remar.se/daniel/iji.php

  30. Wulf says:

    Is it worth mentioning Seiklus and Lunnye Devitsy or are they too well known?

    • Wulf says:

      Also, another thing that’s worth checking out is the Metroidican level pack for T2002 (Turrican II remake).

      (I’m hoping this thread will be flooded with yet more examples of this sort of game, since I like this sort of game, and John did ask for it. >_> He’ll certainly have a lot to play if we keep going at this rate, and I’ll see what else I can remember, too. And perhaps all this will lead to a Metroidvania compilation article?)

  31. icupnimpn2 says:

    How about Lyle in Cube Sector?
    http://www.sitesled.com/members/bogo/lyle.html

    It’s kind of like the block-throwing mechanics of Capcom’s Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers for NES crossed with Metroid-style exploration.

  32. Pinky G says:

    edit