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Archive For September, 2011

Backflip Launches iOS Boss Rush Shoot-'Em-Up Boss Battles

September 30, 2011 3:00 AM | Danny Cowan

While Backflip Studios' previous App Store output tilts toward the casual end of the gaming spectrum (Paper Toss, Ragdoll Blaster), the developer's latest App Store release Boss Battles tackles a more hardcore genre -- the vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up.

Similar to the gameplay setup featured in Cave's Ketsui Death Label for the Nintendo DS, Boss Battles ditches the genre's typical stage-based progression and focuses instead on a series of boss encounters. While each of the game's eight bosses is easily beaten at first, players can challenge them again at higher difficulty levels for greater rewards.

Each defeated boss awards players a bounty of space gems, which can be used to purchase shields, helper pods, and weapon upgrades. Gems can also be bought outright via in-app purchase bundles, which range in price from $0.99 to $24.99. The freemium model is sort of an odd fit for a shooter, but it's difficult to argue with a features list that boasts both "an adorable but deadly raccoon," and "a Russian bear who thinks he's funny."

It Took Its Sweet Time, But Psychonauts Is Finally Available For The Mac

September 30, 2011 1:00 AM | Matthew Hawkins

psychonautsonmac.jpg

Mac gamers have long been second class citizens, but things are changing. Not only did we eventually get Steam, but there's now a decent (and growing) selection of exclusive titles as well. Bit Pilot is just one example, yet also proof that iOS has been the primary reason for such a turnaround.

Anyhow, another OS X release that users can add to their list of games they can finally play is Psychonauts; from literally out of nowhere, Double Fine's near six year old cult favorite has been ported onto Apple hardware. There's two ways to nag a copy; either through the App Store or via Steam.

Furthermore, an accompanying (and totally free) iOS app has also been released that allows one to view all of the game's Memory Vaults. Plus, there's commentary from Tim Schafer and Scott Campbell!

PC users on the other hands will be happy to know that their edition has been updated as well. Achievements have been added, along with cloud saves via Steam, plus the difficulty of the Meat Circus has been toned down at least, addressing everyone's primary complain about that version of the game.

For Fans Of Nintendo Power, There's At Least The NES-Bit Magazine System

September 29, 2011 11:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

nesbit.jpg

The word on the street is that Future Publishing Limited might be shutting down their print division. This includes all three official console magazines for this country: Official Xbox Magazine, PlayStation: The Official Magazine, and Nintendo Power.

Needless to say, that's a huge blow for gamers who prefer to absorb info via the printed page. Yes, such folks still exist, albeit in clearly dwindling numbers. I'm a big fan of Nintendo Power myself, as some may know by now, and I'm confident that others will be equally bummed to see its passing.

But at least there's something else on the horizon to somewhat help fill the hole. Not too long ago, NES-Bit announced that they would be producing a print publication of their own. An open call for submissions was made on their forums, and the since updated original post might be a clue as to what one should expect form the upcoming first issue.

This includes a look at animal and human abuse in certain games, import titles that utilized the Power Glove, how some games have aged over the years, plus a head to head comparison of NES titles and their Wii Virtual counterparts. And most recently, it was noted that it'll finally be ready by the end of this week.

The plan thus far is to offer a hard copy, which might be easier to obtain in the UK, since that's where the site is located, or electronically, in the form of a PDF. But for those who want something to read asap, the site has also just posted PDF copies of Total! Magazine, another Nintendo specific publication that ran in the UK between 1991 and 1996. The first issue and a 1993 special are what's available thus far, with more to come. It too was published by Future.

Go Go Nippon Won't Creep You Out, Might Actually Teach You A Thing Or Two

September 29, 2011 9:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

gogonippon.jpg

Those familiar with MangaGamer are well aware of what they do, and that's translating and distributing visual novels for English speakers. Because many foreigners are dying to partake in one of Japan's more exotic (and often time erotic) staples of gaming.

Unfortunately, it's easy to become bored with their offerings after a point. All the various titles in which you're a teenage boy that becomes infatuated with the new girl in school, and whom he tries to show the ropes plus also have sex with (she's an alien princess, by the way), starts to blur together after a while.

Hence why their latest release, Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip to Japan~, is noteworthy. The premise is simple: you're an anime and Japanese video game dork that decides to finally check out the motherland. But the two buds you made online, and who offered to be tour guides, turn out to be a pair of ultra cute girls!

Thus the game has you being led around the city by the siblings, in a "date-like atmosphere". But what appears to be yet another cliched set-up is a (seemingly) honest attempt at enlightening the visitor/player of what Japan has to offer, or Tokyo at least.

Sure you'll get the chance to visit hobby shops and the like in Akibahara, but there's also Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza, Ikebukuro, Asakusa, even Kyoto to explore. And along the way, the sisters will inform you of the local culture and their history. You'll even get to enjoy delicacies like beef bowls and okonomiyaki.

The game is listed as all ages, so this might be the perfect opportunity for those interested in visual novels to give one a shot. Not only are the chances of feeling dirty significantly less than other MangaGamer offerings, but one might learn a thing or two.

Though the product page still has two semi-NSFW shots. Guess the publisher needs to keep their core audience happy, somehow. Go! Go! Nippon! is available for download tomorrow.

With One Week Left, Additional Venus Patrol Kickstarter Incentives Are Revealed

September 29, 2011 7:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

venuspatrolsurprise.jpg

Brandon Boyer's Kickstarter for Offworld 2.0, aka Venus Patrol, reached its $50,000 goal in less than 24 hours. And with a week left to go, there was little doubt that it will reach 200% when all is said and done. And that was before the update he just posted a little over an hour ago.

To help sweeten the deal, but mostly as a thank you to everyone that's donated thus far, two additional gifts have been added to the already epic assemblage of promised goods. The first is for those who pledged $25 or higher, a Fez soundtrack EP by Rich "Disasterpeace" Vreeland.

Boyer states: "With hints of Boards of Canada's beautifully tape-looped & corrupted soundscapes and even a bit of epic, sweeping Vangelis (!), this is definitely going to be your new favorite game soundtrack of 2011."

And in response to calls for official Venus Patrol apparel, those who donated at the $75 or higher will receive just that. It's designed by Mikko Walamies, the artist & graphic designer behind the iPhone hit Rolando, which Boyer was a huge advocate for back in the day.

Boyer also explains: "[it's] a T-shirt for a videogame website that's actually, like, sort of sexy -- a scene that conjures the kind of mystery, wonder and beauty I'd like to see more of in games themselves, rather than relying on the usual 8-bit/nostalgic game-shirt tropes."

Future updates and even more surprises have been promised. A closer look at both can be seen via the Kickstarter update page and after the cut.

You Can Finally Play Ys Origin In English

September 29, 2011 5:00 PM | Eric Caoili

After working on the project for more than three years, a small group of translators (Doppiapunta, Deuce, and Gho) have released an English patch for Ys Origin, Nihon Falcom's prequel to its long-running series released for Windows back in 2006.

The action RPG takes place 700 years before the events in Ys I & 2, and is the first title in the series that doesn't star red-haired warrior Adol Christin (naturally, as he wasn't born yet). You can read more about the game's plot and heroes at HG101.

Doppiapunta says the patch translates the text, graphics, and executables of Ys Origin into English. It also removes the region check, and the Windows Japanese version check. You will need a copy of the game to play (not pirated, please!), and should follow these instructions closely.

[Via ROMhacking.net]

Good Old Games Hits 6M Downloads, Giving Away Broken Sword: SoT

September 29, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Celebrating its six millionth customer download, digital distribution platform Good Old Games is giving away Revolution Software's point-and-click adventure thriller Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars for free until October 1 (7:59 AM EDT).

All you need to do to get your free copy is login or create a GOG account, add the game to your shopping cart, and click "download now". What fortune! Well, you're not as fortunate as the guy who downloaded the 6 millionth game, who received the entire GOG catalog for free.

But still, how can you argue with free games? With Steam giving away Portal a couple weeks ago, and Nintendo now handing out free copies of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition on DSiWare/eShop, we're getting lots of great treats from digital platforms at no cost, lately!

Wizorb XBLIG Out Now, Spectacular

September 29, 2011 1:00 PM | Eric Caoili

The finest video game to ever feature a tiny cartridge cameo and thus probably the best game in the world ever, Wizorb, is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games for $3, which is a steal for a title of such courage, such forward thinking, such class.

I don't know why I need to tell you its actual gameplay details to convince you that this will fill a crucial gap in your game collection, if not your heart, but if I must, it's a "fantasy breakout" game combining break-a-brick mechanics with RPG elements, presented with a 16-bit-ish graphical style.

It's the first title from new indie studio Tribute Games, which includes talented fellows who's worked on Ubisoft and Eidos titles like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, TMNT, Shaun White Snowboarding, and Star Wars: Episode 3.

So, yeah, this is probably something you might need in your life. Here's a link to buy it or download a free demo on XBLIG. There's also a PC release coming, so stay tuned for that.

Whatchu Talkin Bout Pac-Man, And Other Sitcom/Game Mash-Ups

September 29, 2011 11:00 AM | Eric Caoili

What happens when Happy Day's Fonzie, done up in retro video game-style graphics à la Goldfish's awesome "We Come Together" video, drops a coin into an 8-bit jukebox? Remixes of Diff'rent Strokes with Pac-Man, A-Team with Donkey Kong, Wonder Woman with Super Mario Bros., and more!

It's doesn't really make sense, but it's a very impressive production, and it makes for a nice demo video from Buenos Aires-based animation/branding studio Punga. Also, that Charlie's Angels beat'em up and Star Trek shoot'em up look pretty fun -- I want to play games that look like these, please.

Mirrored Video Game Cover Art Will Give You Many Nightmares

September 29, 2011 9:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Take a video game cover. Split it down the middle. Delete one half, and replace it with a flipped version of the other half. What do you get? "The Art That Is Called HAAH WAAW."

The results are interesting, sometimes unexpected, and mostly horrific. Somehow the ones that result in perfectly serviceable cover art are the most unsettling of all, especially the pieces that feature complete faces. John Madden, Yoda, and Rich Uncle Pennybags somehow survive the process (mostly) unscathed, while poor Edward Carnby up there isn't as lucky.

[via @ferricide, NeoGAF]

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