Hot Chip: Spud’s Quest Gets A Demo

Hi.
One of the more delightful current retro Kickstarter’s is Spud’s Quest, which is asking for a mere £5000 in the effort by the one-man dev team to create a retro platformer that “draws it’s inspiration from retro classics like the Dizzy series, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid.” With just under two weeks left on the clock, there’s now a demo available. This contains “the whole of the Earth Temple, which is the first temple/dungeon in the game.”

I’ve posted the Kickstarter pitch video below for good measure.
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(Wind) Waking Memories: A Hat In Time

If the world was a good and just place (that just so happened to be molded in my image, but I don’t see how that tarnishes the goodness and justness of it), everyone would’ve hopped aboard Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’s artistic bandwagon lion man boat thing instead of bee-lining straight for the uncanny valley of eternal brownness. It’s just so rich with gorgeous, timeless whimsy. And sure, maybe platformer A Hat In Time‘s style has maybe fallen a bit too close to the tree, but its central time-traveling conceit and extreme hatness give it plenty to, um, hang its hat on.

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Look! It’s A Real Bigfoot! No, Wait, Elite IV Footage

Hopefully, a giant, planet-sized David Braben will not be part of the UI at all times in the final version.

Continuing in a very unfortunate trend of talking a lot and showing suspiciously little, David Braben and co have finally seen fit to take the wraps off a teensy tiny meteorite bite of Elite: Dangerous footage. Yes, that’s right: RPS can now well and truly and probably Universe And All Alternate Dimensions And Timelines Exclusively confirm that the new Elite game has graphics. There are rocks and stars and even some clouds! Also, Braben says some interesting things about procedural generation. But I know you. You’re here for seven-and-a-half minutes of excruciatingly slow background panning.

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Left 4 Dinosaurs: Primal Carnage’s Free ‘Chopper’ DLC

This week, on Primal Carnage: The Sitcom... 'Dude, I swear, I've got things under control. Just get off my back, OK?' [cue raucous studio audience laughter]

I opened my nasally Pteranodon vocal passages and shrieked for more interesting stuff to do in Primal Carnage, and – as if by magic/coincidental timing/but I really hope it’s magic – Lukewarm Media answered. The first batch of DLC’s been officially dubbed “Get to the Chopper,” and it’s about, well, getting to a chopper. And also away from dinosaurs. Both of these goals seem fairly conducive to that oh-so-admirable goal of not being used as a chew toy by a slobbering T-Rex, so hooray. Better still – that is, if you value good deals over your own mortality – it’s free!

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The End… ? Walking Dead Ep 5 Rises Next Week

Look, let's not get crazy about this. I just really, really need to touch that hat for some reason.

Are you ready to be sad? Probably sadder than you’ve ever been in your whole, entire life? Do you have a reliable donor lined up for a full-blown tear transfusion? Because Telltale’s brilliant The Walking Dead series is headed for its absurdly heavy season finale, and – if previous events are anything to go on – it will probably crush you. Like a pancake. A really, really sad pancake. Like, someone tried to draw a smiley face on it with whipped cream and chocolate chips, but it came out looking like this.

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Dragonborn Has New Screenshots, But No PC Date

Come along, PC users, to my special cave.

Bethesda still haven’t announced the big Skyrim expansion, Dragonborn, for PC. 360 owners are getting it on the 7th December, but for reasons that absolutely elude us, the PC is left unmentioned. What’s more frustrating is that this is normal for Bethesda. The chances are it will come to PC, and therefore your seeing the screenshots below will be a worthwhile whetting of your appetite. But they so far haven’t acknowledged even the possibility that the machine on which the Elder Scrolls games have thrived for decades will be graced by the extra content. Which is rather lame.

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OXM Breaks Down The Girls ‘N’ Gaming Argument Forever

The latest OXM Breakdown has little to do with Xbox, and more to do with games in general. And thus I take this excuse to post the excellent content on our own site, thus taking my final revenge on Future by profiting from one of their videos! MUAH HA HA! Also, it’s a splendid distilling of the arguments regarding both the lameness of the portrayal of women in games, the lameness of how the media discusses it, and most of all, the lameness of the gobshite apologists who will inevitably appear in the comments acting like the spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists they are. Do welcome them.

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Impressions: Gone Home

BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den was quite a special thing. It viewed the wildly fantastical world of Rapture through a surprisingly personal, down-to-earth lens, leading to one of the more brilliantly understated conclusions I’ve ever seen in a game. It was, then, with tremendous glee that we collectively squealed when we found out that the main thinkers behind Minerva were forming their own independent studio, The Fullbright Company. But what of their first game, Gone Home, which ups the character-driven mystery drama but throws out the undersea cities and drill arms (there’s not even one!) altogether? Can the seemingly simple act of exploring a house make for a good game? I recently got the chance to take a closer look.

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Hands On: Retrovirus Single Player

After the disappointment of a failed Kickstarter in July this year, Retrovirus developers Cadenza fought on regardless. Instead they found funding through Gamestop, in exchange for their launch being via the US store’s digital download service. They got a pretty sweet deal, the sort that usually only goes to AAA games, with in-store promotion and a lot of exposure. Other release platforms will come later, with the full game due early next year, and it’s all DRM-free from the off. Right now buying it for $18 gets you into the game’s alpha. Meanwhile, I’ve had my hands on the about-to-be-launched beta version, written about below, along with the latest trailer.

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Last Flicker Of Life: Glitch Is Over


Tiny Speck announced last night that Glitch is coming to an end: “The live game/world will be closed on December 9th at 8pm Pacific time.” The enormously ambitious browser-based MMO attracted loads of talent to the development process, but failed to interest gamers. At one point the game was actually unlaunched, due to serious issues with the design. Tiny Speck explain: “Unfortunately, Glitch has not attracted an audience large enough to sustain itself and based on a long period of experimentation and our best estimates, it seems unlikely that it ever would. And, given the prevailing technological trends — the movement towards mobile and especially the continued decline of the Flash platform on which Glitch was built — it was unlikely to do so before its time was up. Glitch was very ambitious and pushed the limits of what could be done in a browser-based game … and then those limits pushed back.”

It was a brave idea, but one that definitely didn’t do what it set out to do. A sad day. More details and information about the closure can be found here.

Little Inferno Kindles Release Day Fires


Tomorrow Corporation’s combustion-based game, Little Inferno, has released a launch trailer, which you can see below. It’s still not much clearer how the game works, but it appears to be a game of burning things, and then buying new things to be burned, with a bunch of side-effects from the things which are turned to ashes. If you are intrigued you can now buy access to the beta over here, or the game is out proper on the 18th. I’ll have some thoughts on it for you in a day or so.
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Wot I Think: Primal Carnage

Dinosaurs vs humans with high-powered modern weaponry. It’s a tale as old as time – or at least Jurassic Park. Games, though, have struggled desperately to strike a proper balance between man and his planet-populating predecessor, but to little avail. So then, can Lukewarm’s Primal Carnage finally break the lukewarm streak kicked off by the likes of Dino D-Day and Orion: Dino Beatdown? Here’s wot I think.

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Bowsplosion: Crysis 3’s Campaign Goes Very, Very Loud

Argh, you got flecks of rock right in my eye scales.

After watching six solid minutes of Crysis 3‘s “The Fields” campaign mission, I can pretty safely say that I don’t play Crysis like Crytek plays Crysis. I tend to spend most of my time invisible, skulking and striking with my trusty shotgun. Which might sound like the most counterproductive thing since weight-loss soda, but there’s nothing else quite like super-speed sprinting away, re-cloaking, and slowly but surely picking off increasingly confused baddies one-by-one. In this video, however, Crytek takes a much more, er, forward approach.

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Here’s A Procedurally Generated Permadeath Stealth Game

Eli Piilonen – he of clever (and admirably top-hat-clad) time-echo puzzler The Company of Myself, among many others – has plans. Big plans. He’s making a stealth game – of which, happily, there are roughly a billion of these days – but his is different. Very different. Excitingly different. But also worrisomely different. Different different different. There. Now you probably hate that word. Anyway, the still-untitled sneaker sees players heist their way through increasingly complex procedurally generated levels of a sci-fi office building. And if you fail? Well sorry, friend. No do-overs.

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Wot I Think: CODBLOPS 2 (Singleplayer)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is the 4192nd Call of Duty Game, and as such predominantly requires you to run forwards while firing a machinegun and following an indestructible friendly NPC whose main purpose is to open doors. It’s developed by Treyarch rather than Modern Warfare-makers Infinity Ward, and it’s the direct sequel to the Cold War-set Black Ops 1. This time, the setting switches between the Cold War and a new war on terror in 2025, as starring the son of Black Ops’ protagonist Alex Mason.

It came out on Tuesday, and I blitzed through the singleplayer yesterday. (I probably won’t write about the multiplayer because, not being terribly well-versed in the fine detail of the earlier ones, I can’t say anything useful about it. Also I don’t want to.)
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Free Tomb Play: Guardian Of Light Goes F2P

Wait, it's not what it looks like! I also don't really know what it looks like.

Welcome, friends! Welcome. Come in. Take a seat. Here at Crazy Tom Braider’s Gently Used Car and Videogame Emporium, we have everything you could possibly want to suit your baddie-horde-bashing, 2000-year-old-Mayan-warrior-co-oping needs. We also have one car, but that’s not for sale because it’s mine. Then again, I suppose that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light isn’t technically for sale either, given that it’s actually free-to-play by way of this crazy ad-powered Core Online gadgetmowhatsit. Yessir, our prices are craaaaaazy. And by that I mean kind of confusing.

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Fractal Rock: Guild Wars 2’s New Mini-Dungeons

It was like this when I got here. I swear!

AAAAAH TOO MUCH GUILD WARS 2. But then, I suppose ArenaNet’s adding quite a lot of fairly novel content with its Lost Shores event, so there’s a decent deal of ground to cover. So cover it we will. Exhaustively. On today’s docket is the Fractals of the Mist dungeon, which actually takes the form of multiple itsy-bitsy baby dungeons. Now, when I put it that way, they sound cute as the dickens. In reality, however, Fractals is more like one of those giant horrifying spiders that carry writhing tangles of young on their backs. Each mini-dungeon scales and gets progressively tougher at higher levels. And then, of course, there’s the matter of that whole Ascended gear brouhaha. Take a brief tour after the break.

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Editorial: The Pre-Order Heist

NOWWWWWWW!

Over the last few years we’ve seen the pre-order become a central aspect of gaming. Heavily relied upon by both major publishers and the smallest indies, more people than ever are paying for their games long before they’re even finished. And with Kickstarter and its crowd-funding sisters, the matter’s become even more complex and nuanced. Shops tend to so massively over-stock on major console releases that there’s no real need to bagsy a copy, while PC games are of course infinitely available via digital channels. And yet pre-ordering games is a bigger thing than ever before. Why’s that, eh?

Time was you could loudly declare yourself for or against the concept – now it’s a subject that requires a little more thought. I’ve given it some below.

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Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden Getting A Sequel

Beautiful.

There are some strong RPG parodies out there, certainly. Cthulhu Saves The World and Zeboyd’s other stuff springs to mind – among others. But there are others still that use the RPG parody as a mere canvas for a long, unwavering stare into the heart of madness. “Others,” you see, is plural because post-apocalyptic basketball insane-o-splosion Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is getting a sequel. For the uninitiated, the original saw former basketball star Charles Barkley (allegedly) perform the forbidden Chaos Dunk, killing millions and ending the world. And that was only the beginning. The new one, meanwhile, is titled The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 – Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie – Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa. Seriously.

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Tentacles On Broadway: The Secret World Issue 4

The Macy's window display has escaped!
The Secret World‘s “Issue 4” update will burst flailing onto the streets of virtual Manhattan later this month. It’s going to include a raid in which you fight your way across the streets of the Big Apple, as well as a range of other content, including chainsaws. How you get the chainsaw seems a little gruesome. Can’t secret society soldiers just go to a hardware store?

The update is also – bizarrely – going to introduce The Albion Theatre, which will allow groups of players to use props and sound effects to put on “plays” in the game for other Secret Worlders to watch. Bonkers.
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