Illustrious game designer Ron Gilbert has fascinated audiences with classic adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. He’s really the father of adventure games, and has been kicking around the idea for The Cave for a while now. However, frustrating design decisions and a myriad of technical bugs mars The Cave’s attempts to elicit old-school adventure game humor and style. [Read more...]
In a feverous haze one Tuesday night, Evan sent me a link to a new Kinect indie title. Within moments of briefly skimming the press release and seeing that it said FMV, Kinect, and Chris Evans, I dropped everything I was doing and rushed to my Xbox. Fearing this was some kind of joke or PR stunt or something, I thought I should download it as soon as possible before it gets pulled for being too crazy or something. Well, it’s plenty crazy and we played through the whole thing so you won’t have to. [Read more...]
There was a time long ago, before Rock Band and Dance Central, even before Guitar Hero, when rookie developer Harmonix came out of the gate swinging with FreQuency; a unique and interesting foray into the largely niche rhythm genre. That was 2001. Now it’s 2012, and Harmonix has released Rock Band Blitz, a downloadable game in the style of their earliest work. Is there a place in today’s video game climate for this return to rhythm’s roots?
Dean Dodrill. That’s a name anyone interested in playing XBLA’s Summer of Arcade closer Dust: An Elysian Tail should know. An artist by trade, he decided he wanted to make a video game, all by himself. So he taught himself how to program. That was nearly three years ago. The road to release has been a long one, for sure, and I can’t imagine how difficult designing a game by yourself must have been. I’m happy to report that from the designer’s perspective, it was worth the effort, and from the consumer’s perspective, it was worth the wait. Dust is fantastic.
When looking at this year’s XBLA Summer of Arcade line-up, it would have been easy to peg Tequila Works’ Deadlight as a promising outlier. It’s minimalist aesthetic reminds vaguely of Limbo, and its deliberate but smooth platforming challenges seem ripped from Out Of This World. In reality, though, this side-scrolling survival horror game is a mess, where involving and excellent aspects blend with bafflingly poor design decisions.
Since Saints Row the Third is my personal game of the year, I was extremely excited to hear that new DLC wasn’t far off. Now that the first of a few mission packs have released, I jumped back into the game and was ready for some crazy scenarios, explosive missions, and hilarious writing. Genkibowl VII delivers in most of these areas, but it can never grab hold of one main draw of Saints Row the Third; the fun. While there are good times to be had with Genkibowl, they come few and far between mundane tasks and areas of missions with lack of polish. [Read more...]
The triumphant return of Error! Report is here! [Read more...]
Finally, after all the hoopla, Xbox’s Summer of Arcade 2011 has come to an end. From the critical darling Bastion to the party game Fruit Ninja Kinect, its been a pretty great year for the promotion. The final game released was Toy Soldiers: Cold War, and it’s a nice way to go out.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a pretty basic tower defense title with a few fun twists. For one, at any point you can hop into any of the turrets or battery-powered vehicles and fight the Commie scum yourself. If you do well enough in these sections you can unlock a barrage, which is essentially a killstreak. These are a lot of fun (one even allows you to play as a muscle bound Commando who constantly shouts “DON’T TREAD ON ME!” in hilarious fashion) but they are unfortunately a little too difficult to obtain, as I only got one a few times the whole campaign. Otherwise, the game performs quite well aside from a camera that wouldn’t perform correctly a couple of times.
The game does have a nice smattering of modes to help it out, including a survival mode (with co-op), versus mode, and a few minigames. All game types also have challenges you can complete and leaderboards for the competitor in you.
Probably my favorite thing about this game is the extremely well done Cold War vibe, which is played up nicely. The game constantly plays absurd 70′s and 80′s music, and the environments are as deliciously cliché as you can get. The game itself looks extremely good for a downloadable title; even the animations of the infantry are pretty solid. Ultimately, Toy Soldiers: Cold War won’t win over strategy game naysayers, but it’s a nice title to round out the Summer of Arcade.
The Good: An excellent homage to the era of Commando and Top Gun, tight strategy gameplay, a nice smattering of modes
The Bad: Some of the more ambitious aspects of gameplay could have been better, a disappointing lack of story
The Ugly: An occasionally finicky camera can annoy
Final Comments: Toy Soldiers: Cold War is worth a purchase almost as much for the atmosphere it exudes as the polished gameplay
Score: 8 out of 10
Shenanigans, news, and mini-reviews abound in this late but exciting, extended edition of Error! Report!
This week Clint talks about Another Earth, an indie film that is tough to explain; Nick gushes over Breaking Bad; Ryan talks about overweight ladies in bikinis; Matthew goes camping; and Cayci moves into a new place! Along with discussions on Game of Thrones, video games, and the future of television, you should stop whatever it is you are doing and listen!
Click the link below for the episode, from there you can listen to it on your web browser or download it for a future listen. We’re still working out getting it on iTunes so bear with us.