By Nathan Grayson on October 3rd, 2012 at 8:00 am.
I saw many, many excellent things while I was at Fantastic Arcade in Austin, Texas. You’ll probably continue to hear about them until the end of time. Here, however, is one I wish I could’ve gotten a bit more up-close-and-personal with, but sadly never had the opportunity. Teknopants‘ Samurai Gunn mixes Super-Smash-Bros-style high-speed hop ‘n’ bop combat with sudden, single-hit finality akin to a samurai duel in a sun-seared bamboo forest. Or Nidhogg, I suppose. See it in highly enticing video form after the break, courtesy of Professional Knower Of All Humans, Brandon Boyer.
This video was captured during a tournament that I attended, which makes me famous. Take that, mom. Also, if you’re curious, the competitors were none other than Super Hexagon/VVVVVV/Chatchat creator Terry Cavanagh and Infinite Blank mastermind Evan Balster. And yes, they absolutely settled a tie with a samurai duel in front of a colossal setting sun.
So here are the basics: two-to-four players square off, each with only their swords and three bullets per life. Bullets can be deflected if you have the reflexes of a thousand-armed demigod (or the guy who created Super Hexagon), and sword strikes are entirely parry-able. If, however, your timing’s even the slightest bit off, so is your head. The end result is tense, lightning-quick, and absurdly high-risk-high-reward.
Arcade-y though it may seem, Samurai Gunn’s actually PC-only. It’s still in development at the moment, but obviously, it’s coming along incredibly well. As such, I’m pretty darn optimistic about its chances of turning into something really special. Also, blasphemous though it might be for no apparent reason, I really love the idea of a local multiplayer resurgence on PC. I quite like huddling around things with other people in Meatspace or whatever we’re calling it these days – especially in games with such an over-the-top competitive element. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few others that fit the bill (Castle Crashers, Paradox’s Dungeonland, etc), but I’m up for hearing about more – especially in light of Steam Big Picture mode. So, beyond Samurai Gunn’s blood-spattered wonders, what else would you recommend?