Lost Ember: Making Mooneyes at This Great-Looking Game

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I’d been quietly following Mooneye Studios upcoming Lost Ember for a few years with the hope that the dev team would be taking their time to make an already gorgeous  game even more so. So this new trailer and actual launch date are making me really happy:

Lovely, isn’t it? Well, that July 19 release date for PC, PS4 and Xbox One is indeed a good thing, and with a Switch version also in the works, it’s safe to say about the only folks who might be a tad perturbed will be Mac and Linux die-hards who have to be a bit less grumpy unless their wants are taken care of. Anything is possible, so who knows what will happen in the future, I say. Go stick this one on your watch and wish lists, folks.

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A wolf whistle to the art team for such spectacular environments might not be a bad thing here.

– GW

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Super Phantom Cat: Or, Meow-Rio World, Switch Bound

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Currently available on Steam, and in the App Store, Veewo’s colorful, super-cute Super Phantom Cat will make the big leap to Nintendo Switch around March 21. This retro-inspired platformer with is super-colorful visuals seems geared for more casual play, but this isn’t a bad thing at all given the more or less “Try and die!” fervor some of these old school themed games go for on a regular basis.

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with these more difficult experiences that hearken to those days when checkpoints and auto-saves weren’t a thing and you had to replay maps from the start each time you lost a life. On the flip side, both kids and adults who aren’t as fast on the jump buttons these days deserve games they don’t need a walkthrough for because they’re nigh on impossible to complete sans some sort of online assistance. Granted, there are indeed walkthroughs for this game out there, but I think most of you who want to can complete this gem of a game with no help at all. This is a good thing, I say.

-GW

Hell to Pay 4: The Savior’s Gang is a Holy Hoot

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This post probably needs some (im)proper  mood music, so feel free to click here or here if you want like a bit of earwiggy sacrilege. Catness Game Studios (HIVE: Altenum Wars) second game, The Savior’s Gang ($4.99) is guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers among the easily offended, but you have to give the developer credit for knowing how to get a few laughs in the right places. Here’s five minutes of gameplay for you (and nope, you won’t go to heck in a hound biscuit for watching):

There’s quite a bit to like here, from the isometric viewpoint to the amusing quips when some poor soul buys the farm in one of many painful-looking ways. A few bugs are being fixed thanks to user feedback, so the game is in that improvement phase pretty much every game goes through post-launch. Fortunately, all this mayhem won’t be exclusively for PC players, as Catness is working on console ports (nice!) to be released at some point in the future. It’ll be interesting to see how this translates to a game pad, but I think it can indeed be done and work quite well.

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So, The Life of Brian meets Diablo, but as a simulation/action game? OK, I’m in.

Of course, we shall see what happens in regards to those ports, but unless there’s lightning bolts randomly hitting the space around Catness’ studios (hey, who called Zeus up anyway?), let’s keep a finger crossed that this one gets played and enjoyed by as many gamers as possible

-GW

Hell to Pay 3: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Launch Trailer

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Shadows may Die Twice, but I’ll die quite a lot more playing this and be totally happy with that.

Confession: I’m notably terrible at FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls games and Bloodborne, but I keep playing them all because of my overall love for the developer’s work and generally very solid lineup since the King’s Field days and the fact that they make some really damn fine games that have been varied, fun to play and challenging. I fully expect to be even more terrible at their new game, Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice, set for a PC, PS4 and Xbox One release on March 22, 2019.

This trailer is, to put it mildly, absolutely magnificent:

Granted, it’s a given that Activision and From have a guaranteed evergreen hit here that’s a gorgeous reminder the dev cut its teeth on some superb single player experiences way back in the 32-bit era. But this game also makes me wish someone would nudge the developer to get to work on Otogi and Otogi 2 remakes or remasters, as those were two very well-made original Xbox titles that deserve a new life on current-gen hardware or hardware yet to come. We shall see, of course, but hey – if we’re also getting Metal Wolf Chaos XD this year from Devolver Digital, anything is somewhat possible in the future.Micro

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Hey, pal… got a light?

-GW

RIVE: Two Tribes’ Final Title Looks Like a True Treasure


 

15 years in the game development business is a long enough time to do a lot of different things and Two Tribes has indeed done just that and then some. The indie developer has decided to pack it (at least as far as making new games) in after a decade and a half of console and PC titles with what looks like a dangerously fun arcade-style romp called RIVE. The game has the look and feel of a classic Treasure game but with that even more notorious European difficulty scale that makes for a supremely challenging and highly replayable slice of nostalgia. If there’s a ‘Metal Wrecking, Robot Hacking Shooter’ sub-genre, my money is on RIVE being among the best of the best.


 

These guys at TT are going to be missed, but at least RIVE is coming out on multiple platforms so console and computer gamers who need their big meal bang-boom-boom fix can get in on the fun at a glorious 60fps soon-ish. PC/Mac/Linux (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One are all supported here, but I’m betting Vita owners are hoping for some Cross Play action because this looks as if would be perfect on the road. Then again, the game also looks as if one would need to have at least one extra controller handy just in case one “accidentally” busted their main gamepad. Hard walls and game controllers are a poor mix. Padded walls on the other hand – those get the DAF seal of approval every single time.

Firefly Online: The “Little” MMO That’s Gonna

Even though I don’t play online games these days, Firefly Online has had me intrigued every since I heard there was an official game underway. Oddly enough, no one from any PR firm contacted me about covering it, so I assumed that was some sort of warning sign or worse, someone not wanting to do the hard work of getting the word out on something they thought was going to be too niche for its own good. Well, I was wrong on both counts as I found out when I bit the bullet and signed up for Firefly Online Cortex, the companion pre-game app currently available on Steam, Google Play and the App Store.

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There’s not much to do in Cortex other than collect digital trading cards and points playing mini-games on a map of The Verse or reading news updates. That said, the cards are cool, there’s a second series coming soon and you can also score some even better bonuses by ponying up five bucks to attain Big Damn Hero status. This status will get some some great perks for the main game when it launches this spring on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android OS. What kind of perks? Well, exclusive gear for your crew mates, access to items non-BDH players won’t have and some other neat stuff. Hey, they got my five clams without hesitation. I’m not here to babble about anything you can read in the FAQ here other than to add I like where this is all going and if you ever were a Firefly fan at some point in the past, you may want to think about signing up yourself.

What I like about the game based on the descriptions and video above it that it’s NOT at all forced social interactivity. You can play along with your virtual crew as you rise up in the ranks, taking your customized ship into charted and uncharted territories for fun and profit. The game is in fact, a single-player experience that just so happens to have some social elements added in like the ability to create and share quests with others. As it’s also powered by Unity, this means there’s a slim chance it may end up on other platforms (as in consoles) if it does well enough on the initial platforms it launches on (and there’s enough demand for a port in every port, of course).

Right now, my own personal choice will be what to play this on when it does ship. I’ve been eyeballing a few inexpensive tablets recently (primarily for gaming purposes) as well as dinking around on devices owned by a few friends while I decide to make up my mind. I suppose I could just run the game on the laptop just fine. However, I want to keep it freed up to write and have something else dedicated entirely to FFO. So, it may be a mobile platform after all that’s bigger than a phone and smaller than a breadbox. We shall see, but whatever I choose, Firefly Online will be played. At my own pace, of course.

The Dark Eye: Demonicon Launch Trailer – It’s Not Fellini, But RPG Fans Should Be Pleased…

Demonicon_1While I haven’t played a game in this long-running RPG series in a few years (that would be Drakensang in case you’re asking or even if you’re not and just curious), The Dark Eye: Demonicon looks like something I’d enjoy on a certain level. Sure, I’m not expecting perfection nor a game that’s going to be some sort of instant candidate for a “best of” list at all. But if it’s challenging, has a halfway decent story and a few likable characters, I’m all in for the ride. This one’s out now as a digital download, but I see that consoles are listed on the game’s official site. Hopefully this means the game will be headed to the US at some point in an easier to access for some folks disc form. Hey, not everyone can get into the wonders of the invisible media age as much as these developers and publishers think, wish and want them too.

Random Indie Game of the Week: Vampire Volleyball? Okay, I’ll Bite…

vv_iphone5_ungerWell, I was in quite an emo mood earlier, as things were quite bumpy on the whole me getting stuff I needed to get done DONE department. So thank goodness for Retro 64’s just released Vampire Volleyball for helping me kill some time with a smile rather than kill my laptop for freaking out for the better part of the day. It’s pretty simple to hop into and good silly fun for a while, those round-headed vamps and their fight to be champs against some foes who don’t all play clean. The nice thing is, the game is out for FREE on four of the six platforms it’s playable on (Windows, Mac, Linux, and Flash) while Android and iOS versions will set you back a mere 99 cents US. At that price (or FREE if you’re luckier to be a “low-tech” kinda guy or gal), it’s a definite must and you may find yourself calling on a friend to give you a fang, as the game supports two players.

Of course, SOME of you too strict sporty-sport fans will note that these globe-domed bloodsuckers and other creeps knock that ball around with their HEADS like it’s a soccer ball (or football in countries other than the US), but who’s going to stop a vampire from doing what it wants? YOU, Van Helsing? Well good luck with that, then. I’ll see you (or at least your head) in the game as the ball being butted over that net for the score, Spike…

U55- END OF THE LINE: Lovecraft-Inspired PC Game Kickstarter Needs Some Love (It’s Already Got the Craft Part Down)…

Hmmm… there are only a few days left to get this one funded (the campaign ends on 9/19), and it’s a bit far from its goal. I thought people LOVED horror games? Unless they’re all free version of Slenderman-playing posers, of course (none of those games is actually “scary” – I find them annoying and one-note jump scare-fests for the most part). Anyway, if you have some spare loot burning a hole in your jeans, take off those jeans before you get a bad case of hot ass and pledge a few of those dollars, dinars, Euros or whatever to these fine guys from Germany HERE. If anything, at least READ the pitch page for the testimonials, some of which are pretty interesting. Kurtis Blow is still around AND a gamer? Wild!

Windows Update: The Old Normal Returns (Or: “What The What?”)

It figures. I go ape online for a few hours redoing passwords and getting used to my files being reorgani-zized by Windows seeming at random, shut down my PC to get out for some air, come back a bit later, turn the damn thing on to resume my stress testing and BOOM. I see ALL my old stuff back where it was before I freaked out. DUH. But still, WTF, Microsoft? ake be bend over backwards, pull my hair out and run around screaming in circles, THEN let me know (silently) that all was not lost after all.

Hmmm… It’s like being married, but without the romance. Er, wait a sec…. Oh, never mind… Feh. OK, let me go glue my hair back on and resume my regular stuff that I was ALREADY behind in getting to! Grrrr…