Got them post-EVO blues? Don't worry, the perfect solution has arrived. Abyss Odyssey is the latest offering of ACE Team, the Zeno Clash fellas and fellettes, and it's a 2D combo of roguelike, platformer and fighting game. The most interesting of those is the last, with everything from move-cancelling to combo systems and character selection integrated into its campaign. Absorbing slain enemies' souls will allow transformation into them, with a whole new set of abilities, in possibly the one single idea that's had me most excited in months.
Honestly, the entire concept interests me. Fighting games are just gorgeous to watch in motion, but the ultra-competitive nature and learning curves more wall-like than Dota and EVE combined mean most fall short of experiencing them. After-thought singleplayers (Netherrealm Studios' great works aside) don't help either, nor the laughably inadequate tutorials. But ACE Team have taken the essence of them - the high skill ceiling and experimentation - and distilled it into a gorgeous shell that, hopefully, more people can enjoy.
Beyond those elements there's a really interesting tidbit: a central server tracks every time the final boss is defeated, then will change the boss and other monsters forever at certain thresholds. How much of this is pre-programmed or an elaborate patching mechanism remains to be seen, but this sort of global co-op is brilliant for community building. The challenge for ACE will be to ensure it does not fall off as the game's popularity naturally declines over time.
There's more traditional multiplayer too. The campaign is full co-op-able, either locally or online, which could lead to some frightening combinations of title joke proportions. Versus, meanwhile, takes a form that may also be reminiscent to Nintendo fans as shown off in this trailer. If that just leaves you begging for more, and you've already checked out the 7 minute video from last week, here's the new release vid:
You can grab Abyss Odyssey right now, still on its discounted pre-order price of £7.33 until around 5pm today. Alternatively, or additionally, use the comment section below to shout Justin Wong over and over again.