Saturday, July 17, 2010

blogspot receives a little love as I prepared for indie takeover

I have been working fervently on the rise of INDIESUPERSTAR
I have edited its first two debut articles:

The art and layout are thanks mainly to Dejobaan's
Ichiro Lambe. Dejobaan's PR man Leo Jaitley has been instrumental in making me a productive member of Dejobaan's new blog project.

Here's to the future!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Deathsmiles IIX and more love from siliconera

Thanks to gracious Aksys, USA gamers will get to play Deathsmiles soon! However, XBOX360 users in Japan will be getting the sequel on May 27. Check out the HOT game play footage at Siliconera. And yes, Siliconera writers are just as keen in noticing quality tipsters as they are in reporting on quality games!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

deathsmiles preorder start!

Out for preorder today on

Here's to hoping this genre gets the attention it deserves in 2010!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scrap Metal, now with 3D!

Scrap Metal for XBL by Slick Entertainment was on the PAX floor for play in regular view and 3D. The latter view required those not-so-fancy blue/red glasses. The glaring 3D effects I witnessed were a score bar, light polls, flags, menus, and explosions.
The gameplay felt like a great tribute to games like Destruction Derby or Twisted Metal.

The game is out now and is 1200MS points.

First gameplay of Comic Jumper revealed... with words

Twisted Pixel had their two previous games, The Maw and Splosion Man, for play at PAX East. However, there were select times that representatives showed a live demo for their upcoming game, Comic Jumper, releasing on XBOX Live later this year. Captain Smiley and his sidekick Star, the aptly named anthropomorphic star on Smiley's chest, are not the comic duo they used to be as seen in the demo. They ultimately need to fight their way through their own comic book story line and "jump" into other comics to regain "star" status.

There was intense melee combat in the first stage. Each finishing blow sent an enemy flying to the background, knocking over various furniture or flying out windows. The attacks had the cliche "BAM!" "BASH!" printed effects during combat. There was also shooting gameplay that the rep compared to "Contra" and "Gunstar Heroes."

Some unique features are as Smiley takes damage, the character will look more sketch-like, extending the metaphor of Smiley's impending doom in the comic biz. For him to remain vibrant in the comics and in the game, he has to avoid dying! The game featured very stylish comic book panel segues, as action sequences changed.
There was a lot of spoken dialogue throughout the game, cheesy and fitting for a comic book game.

(Minor spoilers)
In the demo, one of the robots was used to surf down the side of the building. Smiley even did minor tricks with his hop, making the robot spin around in the air. Lastly, we saw Brad, the presumed antagonist, who has his own theme song and Bradcopter to fly around and terrorize Star and Smiley. Star happens to idolize Brad to the extent that I felt the presence of a heavy man crush. Comment below if anyone else felt the Brad/Star man love vibes.
(spoilers end)

Hopefully the positive reactions from the crowds will encourage Twisted Pixel to update their demo for E3 or a sooner press release!

First news tip used by large gamer site!!!

Siliconera appreciated my PAX news tip and gave me credit!
Thanks, Spenecer, for recognizing the great journalism!

Bit.Trip Runner heading home

Another Gaijin Games developed Aksys published Bit.Trip game will make its WiiWare debut in April 2010 for 800 WiiPoints. I played the game briefly twice. My first time was part of a competition. Epic fail. The game is a horizontal speedfest through tons of meticulously placed death traps that require lighting fast reflexes. If you lack these, you can easily submit to what I used my second play through: a little bit of memorization. Knowing what was ahead allowed me to plan my timing better. I can't knock the game for providing this replayability factor. Having a rewind option would only sever the tension the high speed twitching the game seems to capitalize on.

I used the basic motions of jump to climb graduated steps, pits, and roadblocks. Well timed jumps were required if I wanted the gold stacks placed nearby the roadblocks. I kicked some obstacles that were too high to jump over and slid under enemies that would have been otherwise unaffected by my foot. It was an intense adrenaline experience. The colorful retro graphics that have been a staple to the Bit.Trip series seemed even more colorful this time around.

If you know who won the Bit.Trip competition at PAX, have any found Bit.Trip series memories or any trippy memories in general, comment below!

Power Gig rocks the expo, gameplay not included

Power Gig, possibly the next generation of music games, made a cameo appearance of sorts at PAX. Representatives promised actual gameplay at the upcoming E3 and said the game would be released this Fall on XBOX360 and PS3. I believe this was the first real-time exhibit of the guitar controller. One has to wonder how realistic the other instruments will be, and further if the gaming audience that has pumped millions into RockBand and Guitar Hero will want to learn how to practice and play more realistically. Either way, the controller seems to add a pretty novel approach to a formula that began with Konami in Japan around a decade ago with GuitarFreaks.

Deathsmiles domesticated in June

Deathsmiles on XBOX360 is a Gothic, frantic, horizontal shooter that was released in Japan last year by CAVE and has been localized by Aksys. The Gothic and horizontal elements are easily observed, and the frantic begins mid-boss when the bullets start filling up the screen. Luckily the character sprite is not totally vulnerable, only the tiny hitbox that glows in the character's center. I used the trigger buttons to easily switch my character's fire from left to right, which was necessary when enemies invaded from both sides. The screen was filled with vibrant color, at times with tons of enemies, and at other times with giant ghouls and monsters, fitting its Gothic theme. Think of games like Gradius or Darius Gaiden but on steroids.

New at the PAX booth was a release window for Deathsmiles. I asked Aksys representatives for a more solid date, and was told "June 29." Aksys is assembling a limited edition package that will be announced in the next couple of weeks. The price is not yet determined.

Comment below if you think the Goth cosplay girls above are helping or hurting the promotion of this game.

Shanked at PAX, and I liked it

I was able to play the gorgeous upcoming Shank, by Klei Entertainment. The animation of the game was very fluid, and the gameplay matched that fluidity. The game's controls felt comfortably mapped as shown in the above photo and responded well. I could begin a combo with the shank and go into shooting or the chainsaw. I could also start a combo with the other buttons. I climbed walls with ease and swung across rooftops with well placed pendulums in the background. The demo's climax was a boss battle that involved (spoiler-free) strategy to defeat him and not random button mashing. The grapple button (semi-spoiler) initiated a gory death sequence to the boss.

I spoke briefly with the art director Jeff Agala on the PAX floor. He said the inspiration for the game came from among Final Fight and Double Dragon. The graphics were partially an ode to Sin City, and the game also has a Tarantino film feeling. Agala wanted the game to have a feel of "cartoon playing" and considered the game's genre to be a cinematic brawler with platforming.

Shank was one of the hottest looking and playing games at PAX. In a world of multimillion dollar gaming budgets, I am so thankful for digitally distributed games that respectfully move away from realism and explore the more colorful side of imagination.

EA Partners is working on releasing the game for XBLA, PSN, and the PC. The release date and price point have not been set.

Some of Agala's artwork are here:

Monday, March 29, 2010

PAX East photo fun

Check out my newly added PAX photos. Why? Because the tall, darkly outfitted witch lady compels you to. Maybe there's even a lollipop in it for you!

Calling all gamers

"Ubiquitous Gaming"
Gaming is becoming omnipresent, thanks to technology and thanks moreover to those people whose cravings for games have forced technology's hand to make products available on more platforms than ever before.

How does one author begin to cover something that exists seemingly everywhere? He doesn't do it alone, that's for sure. Here begins my journey to build my legion and my legacy.

Thanks goes out to the Boston Indies scene for the inspiration!