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Cartoon Carnage: Showdown Effect Shows Off Its Cast

I do so love games that are unabashedly cheeky. I know, I know: that's pretty much like scaling my way to the highest mountain tops and proclaiming my love for breathing and blinking to the calloused undersides of god's feet, but apparently, some people only play games through gritted teeth and furrowed brows. I think those people are silly, though, and I won't be inviting them to my games of Magicka developer Arrowhead's The Showdown Effect because a) they'd hate it and b) I'm very petty. Boasting grin-inducing gems like "Fight to the death, or die trying," the sidescrolling multiplayer mash-'em-up lampoons just about everything - including itself. Watch its creators have a laugh at their own characters after the break.

So that looks suitably frantic and ridiculous. I'm digging the personality, too - though it mostly seems to be window dressing for zany, over-the-top hacking, slashing, thwacking, hopping, bopping, and shooting. Even so, a gore-spattered, cliche-bashing Super Smash Bros on PC? I've heard of far, far worse ideas.

Here's hoping it'll be a bit less rickety on launch than Magicka. Also, on the list of potential cons: content. These sorts of games require a deft mix of satisfying mechanics and modes or else they run dry fairly quickly. Don't get me wrong: I've been loving the recent trend of smaller-scale, multiplayer-focused releases sans tacked-on single-player modes (see: Natural Selection 2, Chivalry, War of the Roses, etc), but they tend to struggle with longevity.

If you're interested, Arrowhead's now taking beta signups, so get to it... or die trying, I guess? I mean, I don't anticipate there being much trouble involved either way, but I suppose you never know.

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