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Archive For May, 2011

BMX-Themed Touchgrind Sequel Out Now for iOS

May 31, 2011 2:00 AM | Danny Cowan

110530_touchgrind2.jpgIllusion Labs was one of the first developers to strike it rich in the App Store with first-generation hits like Labyrinth and the skateboarding stunt sim Touchgrind. This week, the company launched Touchgrind's bike-based sequel, Touchgrind BMX.

Ditching Touchgrind's overhead perspective for an all-new third-person engine, Touchgrind BMX evolves the trick-based gameplay introduced in the original title. Players perform aerial stunts and combos to rack up high scores and earn unlockable medals in a variety of events.

Also new to the series is a replay recording feature that allows for easy sharing via YouTube and Facebook. One can only hope that a Skate-styled highlight reel is forthcoming.

Europe Gets 'Sugoi Oppai' Arcana Heart 3 Deluxe Edition

May 31, 2011 12:08 AM | Danny Cowan

While North America continues to languish without a disc release for Examu's all-female 2D fighter Arcana Heart 3 -- the game was only released as a PlayStation Network download stateside, and thus cannot be purchased at all as of this writing -- publisher Zen United is planning a deluxe limited edition for its multiplatform debut next month in Europe. And with the release, a new standard for ad copy has been established.

"Let robotic, Kung-Fu mistress, Mei-Fang, soothe away your combo-induced aches and pains with her LUXURY WRIST PILLOWS!" reads the somewhat unbelievable description. "Nestle your tired wrist between her SUMPTUOUS SILICON MOUNDS for a mouse-shifting experience that must be felt to be believed!"

Arcana Heart 3 isn't the first game to be bundled with an ergonomic mouse pad for anime breast fetishists -- you may remember Aksys' shameless Record of Agarest War special edition, for one -- but it's notable for its frankness, if anything. The "Sugoi Oppai [Totally Sweet Boobs] Fans Edition" is limited to 500 pieces, and in case there was any doubt as to the nature of the contents, it includes what the publisher actually, seriously calls a "Super 3D Boobie Mousemat."

The Fans Edition additionally packs a 144-page artbook, a soundtrack CD, and a collectible card set featuring art and movesets for the game's fighters. All of these items, minus the boob mat, are also featured in a lower-priced Limited Edition shipping on June 30th.

Liberty City Gets The Full Google Maps Treatment

May 30, 2011 4:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins


If you live in New York City and have a hard time concentrating on the objectives in Grand Theft Auto 4, because you can't stop yourself from obsessively comparing you real world stomping grounds with your virtual one (like I do), then this is for you.

The folks at GTA4.net have added street view functionality to their interactive map of Liberty City, which was already based upon the Google Map API, making it like the real deal at long last. It might not be as smooth and elegant as one might hope or expect, but it gets the job done, and is at least FAR more useable than the one for San Andreas, with its rather buggy Java backend. The entire thing was pieced together via 80,000 screenshots, courtesy of GTA4.net's clearly dedicated community.

There's supposedly Easter Eggs abound; been walking the streets via the app a little while and have yet to see anything, but there's plenty of ground to cover yet. Plus, hopefully a few will eventually end up at places such as this.

[via Kotaku]

IGF China 2011 Opens Call For Submissions

May 30, 2011 3:00 PM | Simon Carless

Organizers of the Independent Games Festival China, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference China, have officially announced a call for indie game submissions from the pan-Pacific area now through Thursday, September 1.

Following on its success in past years, GDC China -- part of the UBM TechWeb network, as is this website -- will continue to host the three main elements of IGF China, including the Independent Games Summit, which provides valuable conference sessions specializing in the challenges of independent game development.

These include the Independent Games Festival Pavilion, an onsite exhibition of the very best in local indie games, and the Independent Games Festival Awards, which honors the work of the talented pool of local independent game developers.

The 2011 IGF China Main Competition will give out awards and cash prizes in five categories, including:

- Best Game (RMB20,000 ~ $3,060 USD)
- Mobile Best Game (RMB10, 000 ~ $1,530 USD)
- Excellence In Audio (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
- Excellence In Technology (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)
- Excellence In Visual Arts (RMB5,000 ~ $760 USD)

Finalists -- who will receive VIP and expo passes to attend GDC China and the IGF awards ceremony on November 12, 2011 -- will be chosen by a panel of expert jurors including Kevin Li (CEO, TipCat Interactive); Monte Singman (CEO, Radiance Digital Entertainment); Xubo Yang (Director of Digital Art Lab and Assistant Professor; Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Software), and jury chairman Simon Carless, IGF Chairman Emeritus and EVP of the GDC shows and Gamasutra.

CraveOnline Setting Up E3 Lounge, Attempting To Break Fighting Game Record

May 30, 2011 2:00 PM | Eric Caoili

CraveOnline, a portal and blog network specializing in "next-generation male lifestyle sites" is hosting a kind of silly (alright, not just kind of) event near E3, where it will attempt to break the world record for "longest video games marathon playing a fighting game".

The network's team members intend to play the latest Mortal Kombat 3 (PS3) for 31 hours straight at its "Non-Stop NOS Gaming Lounge" outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This lounge will be open 24/7 from June 7 to 8, and everyone is invited to stop by and play on two other screens/consoles that will be available there. It will also feature a "Non-Stop DJ", as well as models handing out NOS Energy drinks to visitors and the CraveOnline gamers..

CraveOnline says the highlight of the event will be the "Final Power Hour" from 5PM to 6PM on June 8th, when its team wraps up its 31st hour to break the Guinness World Record.

NSS5: Reason To Get Excited About Soccer Games Again

May 30, 2011 12:00 PM | Eric Caoili

I rarely feature sports games here -- not unless they're of the Mutant League variety -- because it's rare for me to see one that excites me, but New Star Soccer 5, despite its graphics looking several generations behind the FIFA/Winning 11 series, is cause for excitement.

Instead of having you control the whole team, New Star Soccer 5 has you playing as just one player, training and leveling up in between games. You'll also manage the football star outside of the pitch, too, helping him pick up sponsors, get drunk, gamble his money away at the track, and more.

Its fast-paced play is addictive even when you're just watching it -- check out the gameplay introduction after the break to see what I mean (skip to 08:30 to see a match). You can preorder New Star Soccer 5 now to receive beta access, but hurry because there are only around 380 beta slots left!

This Week In Console Digital Download: From Dungeons & Dragons To Chrono Trigger

May 30, 2011 10:00 AM | Ryan Langley

upboticon.png[Every week, we round up the titles released for the major console and portable digital delivery services, as compiled by console digital editor Ryan Langley, including Dungeons & Dragons on XBLA, Upbot Goes Up on Xbox Live Indie Games and more]

This week gets us some unique titles on all sides -- Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale, a cooperative hack-and-slash for XBLA, Upbot goes up for XBLIG, Chrono Trigger sees its first SNES release ever on Europe, and Puzzle Quest goes to DSiWare. Still no PSN releases at this moment, but hopefully we'll see the return of them soon.

Xbox Live Arcade


This week's new release is the latest in Atari's attempts on the Xbox Live Arcade: Dungeon And Dragons: Daggerdale. While previous endeavors, like Yar's Revenge and Haunted House, have been a bit of a failure, this actually looks like it could be good. Check out GiantBomb's Quick Look at the game from a few weeks ago. If Torchlight ticked your fancy, this might be worth a look. It's got co-op too, and costs 1200MSP.

Xbox Live Indie Games


Upbot Goes Up is the latest game from Ishisoft, who has previously been known for the great XBLIG titles Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp, its sequel, and Treasure Treasure: Fortress Forage.

It's a great take on the box-pushing puzzle game with a unique twist: Upbot goes up, Leftbot goes left, Rightbot goes right, and Downbot goes down. You have to use these very simple rules to push other blocks around and solve 60 puzzles. Check it out for 240MSP.

Also an extra note: Craig Forrester, who is Ishisoft, also worked on the wonderfully creative Coin Drop on iOS! The man is certainly talented.

You Can Buy An Unofficial Portable Dreamcast Soon

May 30, 2011 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

PachimonTV, a Japanese site that sells somewhat shady goods like console hacking kits and SNES/MD flashcarts, is taking preorders for portable versions of Sega's Dreamcast console (R.I.P).

I've seen several modders build portable Dreamcasts in the past, but this is the first time I've seen anyone producing a run of devices and selling them. PachimonTV will begin shipping them out next month.

They aren't cheap, though! Just one of the handmade handhelds will set you back ¥38,000, or $470, before shipping. That's an awful lot of money to put down for an 11-year-old system.

[Via Andriasang]

Okabu's Colorful New Trailer, Music Delights

May 30, 2011 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Even if you'd seen the similarly bright and vibrant 2D style of Sony's LocoRoco first, the visual design of HandCircus' Rolando games on iOS was refreshing and full of charm, a warm world populated by animated creatures.

The indie developer's next game, Okabu for PlayStation 3, has that same peppy feel in a 3D environment, promising "a hyper-tactile toybox world filled with a huge number of puzzles, playthings, adorable creatures and devious machines".

Okabu features a co-op campaign in which players "guide Kumulo, Nimbe and the cloud-flying heroes as they battle to save their people and their world from the industrialized threat of the Doza".

HandCircus expects to release the game some time later this year. The wonderful soundtrack featured in this trailer is from Resonate Music.

Best Of Indie Games: Right on the Money, Officer Alfred

May 30, 2011 12:00 AM | Tim W.

[Every week, IndieGames.com: The Weblog co-editor Tim W. will be summing up some of the top free-to-download and commercial indie games from the last seven days on his sister 'state of indie' weblog.]

This week on 'Best Of Indie Games', we take a look at some of the top independent PC Flash/downloadable titles released over this last week.

The goodies in this edition include a Ludum Dare 20 competition entry, a 2D platformer that encourages players to rebuild stages, a Unity-based arcade game with balls, an unorthodox defense game from Japan, and an arena shooter where you control two characters at the same time.

Here's the highlights from the last seven days:

Game Pick: 'Officer Alfred' (Arvi Teikari, freeware)
"In Officer Alfred you play as the titular character who has to escape from a research facility after it had been discovered by the enemy, guided along by a voice that's coming through the building's PA system. The game features a time shield gimmick that prevents you from getting hurt by the complex's automated defensive weapons."

Game Pick: 'Money' (Enokitake, freeware)
"By the Power of Money is a 2D platformer that encourages players to rebuild a stage as they play, buying and laying blocks with unique properties while trying to keep their spending budget under control."

Game Pick: 'Ball on a Wall' (SmallGreenHill, commercial indie)
"Ball on a Wall is a Unity-based arcade game in which the player has to guide a ball towards randomly-appearing pickups, using only a limited number of blocks that can be pulled out of the wall to prevent said ball from falling off the screen."

Game Pick: 'Warlock Card' (Yoko, browser)
"Warlock Card is an unorthodox defense game that mixes RPG and card-based strategy elements together. You assume the role of a powerful wizard who has the capacity to remember just four spells in his mind, standing firm against whatever adversities that the enemy force decides to send your way."

Game Pick: 'Grief' (Magnesium Ninja Studios, freeware)
"Grief is a puzzle platformer that features twenty levels to play through, where the gimmick revolves around using special platforms to switch between light and dark worlds. The objective of the game is basically to collect the teddy bear found in every stage before guiding the young girl to the exit."

Game Pick: 'Collte's Spoon Devil' (Q Handmade Games, commercial indie)
"Collte's Spoon Devil (Koruruto no Saju Akuma) is an arena shooter with an interesting gimmick: you control two characters at the same time, each with their own set of health meter and weapon. Both of them can get hurt, but you will only lose the round if the witch Collte loses all of her health."

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