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Considering how red-hot the 8-bit aesthetic is these days, it's no surprise to see attempts at cashing in on its popularity by marketing types and the like, to address an audience that they're clearly unfamiliar with. And the end result is usually something that is both obviously pandering and clearly contrived. Take the band Incubus for example, their new game Incubattle: Stop The Album Leak to be exact.

Presented as an unreleased game from Japan, it's a side-scrolling beat 'em that takes it cues from Scott Pilgrim for XBLA/PSN, but without much of the polish, charm, and everything else. One cannot help but make comparisons with a similar effort, Linkin Park's 8-Bit Rebellion. At the very least, on a visual level, Incubus's take on retro graphics is far more consistent than Linkin Park's all over the place effort.

But that's not to say it's all that impressive looking either; Paul Robertson need not lose any sleep. Given how unfamiliar I am with any of the band's music, my best guess is that the audio is chiptune renditions of their hits. And considering the genre, the keyboard controls are about as satisfying as one can guess, which is to say not very. The first level is a cakewalk, but the end boss, a doppelganger from the band Stinkubus, robbed me of my last life and sent me back all the way to square one.

Easily the most head scratching thing about the whole affair is the reference to Kill Screen seen very early on. Are the band members fans of the magazine, or were they somehow involved in the game's production? So strange.

[UPDATE: Turns out, Kill Screen was involved after-all. Was finally made aware through a friend from the KS camp. In my defense, tried looking for a connection when putting together my post, but found nothing; the only after the fact mention I could find is this tweet. Perhaps I should have mentioned the following: I honestly thought it was a reference to this other band that shares the same name.]