The Bearable Heaviness of Being

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe other good news from yesterday was getting back from an appointment and discovering a package from Mega Cat Studios had arrived completely without warning (Thank you very much, James!). This is both excellent and somewhat timely, as it had a copy of the rather intriguing Devwill Too MD inside along with a nice note for me. This will get reviewed on the weekend, but when a game starts out with a quote from Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, you kind of realize it’s sort of special.

Here’s a little look at the trailer:

 

 

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Yes, you should!

I got a proper Krazy Kat meets Super Mario Bros. vibe here, but I’m a bit nuts, so you can decide on your own. Oh, also please go sign up on the Mega Cat site for info on the many other cool and sometime very unusual retro games they’ve released or are working on. A while back I made a small pledge to the Phantom Gear Kickstarter, so I can’t wait for that to be completed, as it looks pretty solid.

By the way, if you have or want a Steam account, you can even get free beta demos on some titles there as well for that platform, which is a good thing as Mega Cat is cooking up some really nice titles. If for whatever reason, you’re working on a retro-style game and need a publisher, well, I think they do that as well.

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Review: Turbo: Super Stunt Squad

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TESTING, TESTING: For some reason, WordPress isn’t auto-saving drafts (again), which for me, is a problem of the very large variety as I may need to pre-load some future posts if I need to get some medical stuff taken care of.  So, I dug up an old post from my older extinct blog and converted it over to see if I can see what’s going on.  Hmmm. I see that I’m still experiencing failed draft saving, but let’s go post this using manual saves every few minutes try to figure out a few things. Time machine, activate!

TSSS_Wii_UPlatform: PS3/Xbox 360, Wii U

Developer: Monkey Bar Games

Publisher: D3Publisher of America

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site

Score: B (80%)

Just like the DreamWorks film, Turbo on consoles is a nice surprise of a game that’s not bad at all for its target audience. Rather than retell the movie plot or do some sort of follow up to the films events, Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a cross between a racer and and extreme sports game (more specifically, the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series). This oddball mix actually makes the game quite enjoyable and thanks to optional tutorials, a slice of shell customization and some interesting course layouts. It’s certainly not a bad bit of diversion for adults who shell out for this one expecting the usual too-short licensed experience, only to find a game with a few tricks up its sleeves.

Monkey Bar Games has cooked up a pretty nice-looking game with a fair bit of content and some definite replay value for those looking to see everything. Granted, it’s not the hardest game in the world for expert players or even novices. But again, this game’s made for the kids who saw and loved the movie. The 3DS version isn’t as successful, but that one will get its own review when I can get to it.

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Ghosts ‘N DJ’s: Monday’s Been Made, Charities Get Paid

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This is priceless. No, seriously, it’s going to be FREE.

Ghosts'n DJs artSometimes, you wake up and see something that makes your day, as as it’s a Monday, that goes double because it kicks off the week on a high note. I woke up earlier this morning to go to a medical appointment, checked my email and saw this game info, then the trailer and yep, my day was made instantly.

Solo developer and creator Daniel Manzano (aka Dr. Kucho!) has cooked up such a thing with Ghosts ‘N DJ’s, which… well, just take a look at the game trailer while I go put on a pot of coffee:

Screenshots and a good and lengthy game description are below the jump. I know you’re curious, so you get the long version this time.

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Project AETHER: First Contact Demo Takes Me Back A Bit

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Designed as a fast-paced twin-stick shooter, Project AETHER puts you in the pilot’s seat of the prototype mecha Aether as you face off against a robotic alien force bent on the destruction of mankind. Aether features a customizable loadout of ranged and melee weapons as well as an EMP Burst system, allowing you to detonate weakened enemies in a devastating chain reaction.

Toronto-based Sleepy Spider Studios is nicely time-warped in the 2000’s, but I like that a lot. Their first game was Legions of Tyrandel, a PC deck-building turn-based strategy game made for two players (although single player challenge maps are available), and now we’re getting Project AETHER: First Contact, which is coming to Steam on February 24. There’s a free demo to try here, and it’s pretty good stuff that blends twin-stick arcade shooting action and some nice visuals in what’s shaping up to be an excellent game.

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Gallery: Hockey Manager 20|20

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Ice, ice, maybe?

I used to play a lot of sports games a long time ago on a number of systems I own or have owned. I don’t these days save for assorted racing games I like and some “extreme” sports games, but Netamin’s Hockey Manager 20|20 does look somewhat intriguing with all those charts and graphs to peruse and use. The trailer isn’t at all that exciting unless anything about the sport automatically gets you cheering, so here you go – a little test, followed below the jump by a slew of screenshots and some game info.

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HARDCORE MECHA Comes In For Its Close-Up

Well, this looks like fun times are guaranteed. After appearing on PC last year to solid reviews, developer Rocket Punch’s HARDCORE MECHA finally blasts onto PS4 for $19.99 with a few optional add-on paid DLC for those who can’t get enough. The game also packs in a multiplayer mode for 1-4 and from what I’ve read, the game uses a unique “weight balance” system fot the mechs that makes piloting each one a bit different and requires skill to master. Granted, my own weight balance shifts enough that I’ll probably get used to the controls sooner that later (ha and ha). but I’m up for anything if it looks this good and reminds me of a few mech-filled classics such as Assault Suit Leynos, Assault Suits Valken , and Front Mission: Gun Hazard, among others.

Did someone ask for screenshots? Yes you did:

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Color me thrilled to see something like this pop up on consoles and I cant wait for some hands-on time. Of course, I’ll report back with impressions here, so get ready for those, too.

-GW

SEGA AGES Sends Shinobi and Fantasy Zone Westward

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Get ready for the tough stuff…

SEGA AGES on the Nintendo Switch gets more classics with developer M2 offering up two more Sega hits of yore with the developer’s stellar ports, and yes, each will arrive with new enhancements in tow that offer more accessibility options and new ways to enjoy these titles. First up, it’s the Ninja-packed action classic, Shinobi:

Ninjutsu master Joe Musashi returns in this classic side-scrolling platformer. He has been sent on a mission to single-handedly find and rescue all the children of the Oboro clan who have been kidnapped by a criminal syndicate known as ZEED. Utilize your sharp sword, shurikens, throwing knives, and even magic to defeat the enemy and free the hostages.

The challenging side-scrolling action title Shinobi strikes back with an AGES mode that gives a white-robed Musashi extra health and damage, and an added Melee button that lets you dispatch enemies up close and personal. And if the hordes of ZEED are proving too much of a test, difficulty and stage select options have been implemented, along with a reverse time feature.

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Disaster Report 4: Survival Instinct Keeps You Moving

 

Well, here’s a game that was initially canceled a few years ago thanks to a real-life disaster a few years ago in Japan, but thanks to developer Granzella (R-Type Final 2) taking up the reins on the project, we’re finally getting Disaster Report 4 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch this spring. The console versions will come digitally downloadable as standard editions on their respective shops, while the NISA store will be selling the Limited physical editions and retailers GameStop and Amazon, physical standard editions for those who don’t want that extra omake swag shown below:

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I kind of want the bag, but my wallet is screaming at me from a coat pocket, and I’m trying to keep it happy these days. I still have my old copy of Disaster Report on the PlayStation 2 and I think there’s a copy of the sequel here in the game library, so I’m ready as ever for this one. Here’s the newest PS4 trailer, so yon can see more of the game from a few new angles:

 

I was all set to give up on “survival” games. but this series has never let me down and it’s lovely to see it come back, albeit at a really crazy time in the real world where every day there’s a disaster of some sort. Thanks to Granzella for saving this from the abyss and tweaking it up for its close-up and NISA for choosing to publish it.

-GW

 

Starlink, Here We Go…

 

In 2019, Ubisoft released Starlink: Battle for Atlas (PS4, Xbox One and Switch. with PC coming later), which was designed to bring the “Toys to Life” sub-genre started in games like the old PS1 import ZXE-D: Legend of Plasmatlite (I have a complete box set here with un-assembled robots. I really need to photograph it one day!) and the Skylanders series raring back to life. While it was a really good game, there seemed to be an assumption that players needed to start collecting a bunch of pricey toys in order to play and yep, the game didn’t move units as it should have.

Given that Ubisoft Toronto explicitly made the game to be played as either a physical disc or game card as well as in digital formats, it seems gamers failed to notice this and retailers who thought this would be the next big thing were stuck with who knows how many thousands of copies. You could say it was Disney Infinity all over again, but Ubisoft only released six Starship Packs, four Weapon Packs, and four Pilot Packs outside of the Starter Packs and killed support for the toy line in Spring 2019. Those packs, by the way? They cost more than the game does if you ever need to get them new.

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Preview: The House In The Hollow (PC)

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Well, this looks innnntersting, department (Volume 1174): While it’s not complete yet, PSINE Studios in progress title The House In The Hollow caught my eye as a game to watch for 2020 or whenever it’s released. Take a gander at the trailer above and below and go wishlist this on Steam if it floats your boat. This looks right up my dark alley, as these days I’m older and slower (creak, groan), but still like adventure games as long as they don’t require lightning fast reflexes. The Unreal 4-powered visuals are the icing on the cake here, so it’s good to-see even with some early alpha testing, it looks really fantastic.

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I’ll flit back in at some point to post a follow up on this. I do like these sort of games, so let’s hope it all comes together and maybe gets some sort of console port in the future.

-GW