Lost Dimension: Deep Vision Trailer – Getting Rid Of Traitors Is(n’t) A Cinch


 

LD Screens (2)Yeah, that’s right. In Lost Dimension you need to figure out who the traitors are in your party and eliminate them as you climb a deadly tower full of enemies. Why? Well, you’re saving the earth (maybe) and you don’t want to be stabbed in the back by someone you thought you trusted, that’s why. I’ll have a hands-on preview in a couple of days but let’s just say that “Trust No One… or Else” works well enough as a potential tagline here.

Here’s a little more about the game in the form of its E3 2015 trailer:


 

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Now that your curiosity is piqued, you should probably know that Lost Dimension is headed to the PS3 and PS Vita on July 28, 2015 along with some nice free DLC for the first two weeks of its launch window. Atlus loves you, yes they do.

Guild of Dungeoneering: Make Your Doom, One Room At A Time


 

jan21_01Okay. I know I’ve been busy and all stressed out over a bunch of stuff lately but just how did I miss out on Guild of Dungeoneering, indie developer Gambrinous’ upcoming digital-only RPG creation kit/card battle game/pure genius “Shut up and BUY me!” game. Well, it’s not out YET, mind you. But just look at that trailer above and tell me you’re not suffering from shock and “D’aaaw!” at those visuals and yep, that music also gets me grinning way too much. Even in the earlier trailer below the game exudes cuteness and while being simple visually, rocks its looks better than some bigger buck in cost retro games do.


 

As a former graph paper gamer (of questionable talent) myself, I’m all over this one like a cheap meal because it’s so nicely done, has LOW system requirements (yes!) and looks like an instant genre classic. What looks like endless replay value should keep core RPG fans hooked in while those new to this old school should also have a total blast. Who needs Unreal 4 when you can have unreal FUN with something so damn charming to look at and pleasant to listen to? Anyway, the game is available for pre-order on gog.com, Steam, The Humble Store and a few other places you might be buying your digital games from already.

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“Shall we play make a game?”

Sure, why not. July 14, 2015 is when this one drops. So make sure you’re all aboard with the program. You wouldn’t want to get “accidentally” shanked by a pissed off penciled Goblin, Skelton or Fire Demon now, would you?

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No, I thought not. Get ye to the pre-order page of your choice, then.

Preview: The Deadly Tower of Monsters Looks Like A Nice Place to Visit


 

Atlus and developer ACE team are going to make some of us well-aged “B” movie fans really happy soon. The Deadly Tower of Monsters is coming to PC and PlayStation 4 soon and it looks like a total camp classic that captures the weird spirit of plenty of well-aged flicks that made for some fun weekends in front of the tube way back when. I’m gathering the humor will be lost on the more jaded gamers of today or those expecting new games to all look the same with super-shiny realism all over the place.

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Nope, you’re not getting that here at all. TDToM seems to be presented from a mostly isometric perspective so comparisons to something like Diablo III or Gauntlet will no doubt be made by some. I’m liking the wires on that rocket above, the intentionally choppy stop-motion dinosaur and the super-colorful graphics while hoping there’s an optional black and white mode in the mix somewhere.

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As I won’t be at E3 this year, I’m not going to be getting any hands-on time with the game (boo!). But I’ll keep an ear to the ground and keep an eye peeled for videos of gameplay because this one sure looks like something I’d play to death and beyond. Now, if only it was coming to more consoles. But I guess we’ll see what happens if it does well enough to expand onto more systems. As usual… we shall see.

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Review: High Strangeness (Wii U)

High Strangeness Start ScreenPlatform: Wii U (also on PC)
Developer: Barnyard Intelligence Games/Crystal Labs
Publisher: Midnight City/Majesco
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B+ (85%)
 

HS 12-bit technology
 

While “short” by whatever “today’s standards” for game length is, High Strangeness is actually about as long as many of the 8 and 16-bit games it’s inspired by. A few too many gamers today are a wee bit spoiled by the still baffling comparison of game length somehow equaling overall quality so it’s great to play a new “retro” game that doesn’t wear you down with too many gimmicks before the ride is over. What’s here is a pretty cool throwback that bridges the game between the two eras with a “12-bit” approach that allows players to travel back and forth between two distinct visual styles. There’s also a mix of sci-fi and light horror vibes going on here with creepy-looking enemies, a big mystery and even a sentient cat to keep you dialed in from start to finish.

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PONCHO Hands-On: A Beautiful Trip, 3 Layers of Parallax at a Time

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I saw screens of PONCHO a while back and bookmarked the page, but my recent computer woes knocked the game off my radar until the magical unicorn named David Bruno hit me over the head with some more screens and a preview code. If you have a Steam account, a PS4, Vita or Wii U, love platformers and puzzle games of any type and have an appreciation for all things “retro”… well, you need this game, period.


 

PONCHO is an open world puzzle game from Delve Interactive that features a cute robot (who just so happens to be wearing a poncho) who sets out to find his creator. Robots require that sort of closure, you know. What makes the game unique is not just the lovely sprite graphics and eye-popping color work, but the three layers of parallax scrolling Poncho can move through as he explores. While some online wags have made Fez comparisons, the games only share mascot-ready main characters and the ability to travel through environments in abnormal ways.

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Granted, there have been a handful of games where hopping back and forth between planes was key to gameplay. Treasure’s Yū Yū Hakusho: Makyō Tōitsusen for the Sega Mega Drive and Guardian Heroes on the Saturn used multiple planes for their gameplay and Cobra team’s Bastard!! Ankoku No Hakai Shin for the Super Famicom featured characters that needed to be rotated from foreground to background as a major part of the gameplay. That said, those were all fighting game variants while PONCHO is focused on exploration and puzzles of assorted varieties.


 

As you can see in the videos above, the game looks phenomenal and the transitions between layers is flawless. Some quick hands-on time reveals it’s got the looks and play going for it and fans of old school/new school blends will be smiling for as long as they have their hands on a controller. There’s a slower, more languid pace to PONCHO that’s welcome in this twitch-heavy gaming age, but those timed sections will certainly keep you on your toes. Anyway, I’ll shut up for now other than to say that Rising Star Games has another winner on its hands and PONCHO will be one for the ages when it all comes together for its June release. Back with more in a bit – I have a little robot calling me to play with it. Er, find its creator I mean!

High Strangeness: What A Way To End A Week!

High Strangeness Logo While it’s also available on PC via Steam, High Strangeness makes for a more interesting experience on the Wii U thanks to the whole “retro” vibe it gives off. Barnyard Intelligence Games‘ “12-bit” action/adventure is so far one of those games that is pretty amusing, weird as heck and fun to play. However, I’m hoping it can sustain those high notes until the ending as sometimes nifty ideas and amusing dialog can’t keep some games out of trouble in their latter portions when both run out of gas and things coast to a cliff edge. We shall see come review time next week, but for now it’s a recommended title on a console going through some ups and downs of late.

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Project Root: OPQAM’s Retro Inspired Shmup Reverbs The Nostalgia Meter

Project Root shipComing up on the radar from publisher Reverb Triple XP is Project Root, an arcade-style space shooter with a nicely retro vibe and shiny modern visuals. Headed to PS4, Vita and Xbox One on April 28 after landing on Steam last year, the game packs in a few fixes over the original version as well as Cross-Buy for PS4 and Vita owners.

Developer OPQAM has added a great little twist to the usual side or vertical scrolling shmup by giving players a full 360 degrees of movement, allowing them to play levels as they see fit. If you know your game history fairly well, you’ll see that this free roaming style of shooter isn’t *new* by any means if you’re old enough to remember Thunder Force II on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (or Sharp X68000 PC if you’re REALLY old school*). The chance to preview the game via a work-in progress build popped up recently and yes, when opportunity knocks, an return call must be made… Continue reading

GTA V PC: Beyond The Almost Uncanny Valley of the Dolls


 

Oh the places you’ll go next week when Grand Theft Auto V finally hits PC. Well, those of you who have systems capable of running the game, that is. The two high-end system trailers that show off the main game and Online Heists multiplayer mode look spectacular enough to almost fool the eye. This should be the definitive version of the game, which means those who can play it will have some fine bragging rights and fun videos to post as they play through the game they’ve been waiting for for quite some time. As long as there are no crippling launch issues and day one patching woes, I’d gather there are going to be a great deal of happy campers spending all their free time with this one.

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Ember Update: N-Fusion’s Late Baby Gets Bigger and Better


 

EMBER logoYes, Ember was supposed to be out last fall, but as CEO and creative director Jeff Birns explained at 505 Games recent NYC event, the team at N-Fusion has been a bit busy making things even better. The game looked fantastic when I first saw it, but it’s even more gorgeously detailed and as noted in my previous article, the best-looking isometric RPG on any device. Many new areas have been added, older areas have gotten changes and parts that needed work have indeed been worked on. Ten years of work and a proprietary engine that won’t quit go a long way in realizing a dream, is all I’ll say about the art and vast, carefully detailed open world players will get to explore.

I’ll even go out on a limb to say it definitely gives some PC role-playing games of any era a run for their money. Apple clearly has an exclusive to be proud of (the Steam version will most likely be released at some point after the iOS version), but how do you market such an amazing game on a device where most of its games really haven’t been marketed to the masses like AAA console games are?

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Retro Sunday: The Maze of Galious

The Maze of GaliousSo, I’m soaking in La-Mulana EX on the Vita (or, it’s kicking my butt six ways ’til Sunday and today’s Sunday!) and I finally realized one game that was a huge influence on it is still out there and free for anyone to try. The Maze of Galious is an excellent fan-made remake of Konami’s 1987 MSX classic Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious.

Anyway, if you’re up to the challenge of a game made to test your skill while showing off some cool features implemented by the team who remade it, go grab this now and take it for a spin. You’ll get two playable characters, a HUGE map to explore in any order you wish and ten bosses to face off against. It’s “pay attention!” gaming at its finest, as while you can go anywhere you like, death awaits at the slightest mistake on your part. Have you got what it takes to get Popolon and Aphrodite to the end of their journey? I can very safely say that this game sure doesn’t think so because it tries its hardest to stop you from succeeding.

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