Thursday 30 January 2014

Indie News - La-Mulana sequel in the works via Kickstarter!

La-Mulana 2 - sequel in development

The cryptic mind-fuck, masquerading as a 2D Metroidvania platformer, La-Mulana, is getting a sequel. This brand new adventure is being developed by Japanese developers, NIGORO - who brought us the original PC version back in 2005, and Playism, who brought us the remakes for Wii & PC. Using the popular Kickstarter site to fund the title seems like a wise move, as it's already raised $140,000 of its £200,000 target, with another 2 weeks to go.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Retro Review - Mean Arenas (Amiga / CD32)

The Running (Pac) Man

Top down Maze games are one of the oldest and longest running video game staples. When Pac Man sent everyone maze-crazy in 1980, there followed a decade long tsunami of clones, rip offs and cheap imitators, especially for the home computer systems of the time. With the advent of the 90's, it seemed that these simple arcade eat-em-ups had become stale and developers moved on, but there were a few notable exceptions. While the 16-bit consoles only received a few Pac Man inspired games; such as Zoom and Mr Do, Commodore's Amiga got its mitts on a fair few, thanks to its more homebrew nature, and cheaper disk based format. Most notable of these Pac Man spin-offs is Mean Arenas, which blends dot collecting and enemy avoiding with a deadly game show theme 'borrowed' from cheesy 80's action flick, The Running Man, or Robotron 2048 follow up, Smash TV.

Monday 27 January 2014

Review - Into The Underdusk (PC)

Stuck in Limbo. Again.

Back in 2010, when cult XBLA platformer Limbo was released to commercial success, it paved the way for more emotional, sometimes disturbing, platform games, proving that they needn't all be about colourful cartoon worlds full of sweets, coins and hearts. Into the Underdusk, a new indie title from Almightyzentaco, follows suit, featuring a hero who exists in a world being overcome with darkness. With all the world's memories fading away, he wants to obtain a precious locket so that he can remember his beloved one last time before blackness consumes everything.

Friday 24 January 2014

Retro Review - Shinobi X (Shinobi Legions) (Sega Saturn)

You can't keep a good ninja down

Poor old Shinobi, he doesn't get much love these days. Like many other Sega franchises - Toejam & Earl, Streets of Rage, Alex Kidd etc. - Shinobi peaked in the late 80's and early 90's, before fading away, leaving only lackluster titles on more modern systems in its wake. The original Shinobi, released into arcades way back in 1987, is actually one of my all time favourite coin-ops, with some powerful nostalgia attached. Likewise, Revenge of Shinobi, Shadow Dancer and Shinobi III are some of my favourite Mega Drive games, and remain the pinnacle of 16-bit action platform games. 

Thursday 23 January 2014

Indie News - Vindicator : Uprising - Demo released

Welcome to Hell

Welcome you ungodly heathens, please take a seat and wait for your ticket number to be called, upon which point you will be heading straight to Hell. Fire up the BBQ, I'll see you down there. Who doesn't enjoy a bit of casual blasphemy. Apart from, y'know, God, or whichever deity you waste your precious time adoring. Well the guys over at Gamephase have certainly reserved their seats in eternal damnation for this effort - their new game, Vindicator : Uprising. 

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Review - Destroy The Porn (PC)

A Sticky Situation

What could be worse than dying and being sent to the bowels of Hades? Why, leaving behind a filthy stash of porn in your wake, just waiting to be discovered by your grieving family. This is the exact predicament our hero Joe finds himself in. Upon meeting the Dark Lord, he realises the gravity of his situation and asks to be sent back to Earth one last time, in order to rid the house of his epic assortment of spooge materials. Being the fair sort, Satan allows this, and sends Joe off on a short mission to defeat a boss monster and tidy up his home.

Monday 20 January 2014

Homebrew Review - Classic Kong (Super NES) with full cartridge release!

Donkey Kong comes to SNES, with actual cartridge release

Unless you have been living under a rock for the majority of your life, or have never played a video game, you will be familiar with Donkey Kong. The classic Nintendo platform game appeared in arcades in 1981 and kick-started the entire platform game genre and the seemingly generic protagonist, Jumpman, would go on to become Mario - you may have heard of him. 

Friday 17 January 2014

Review - Final Freeway 2R (Android)

Magical Sound Shower

Sega's Outrun is an arcade classic, and a major player in the evolution of the arcade racer. Yu Suzuki's  high speed coin-op featured sprite scaling, to give a real sense of speed, and coupled it with the iconic convertible red Ferrari and the glorious seaside roads to drive on. It also featured branching paths, which allowed the player to choose which route to take at the end of each stage simply by heading left or right, with each stage providing a different and colourful environment to race through.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Indie News - The Dungeoning - A New Roguelike Platformer

Back to the dungeon

Good news for fans of the Roguelike genre - especially those of the 2D platforming variety - for there is a new game in town, a game called The Dungeoning. Hot on the heels of excellent 2D platform Roguelikes such as RedRogue, Risk of Rain and, need I mention it, Spelunky, The Dungeoning brings classic underground looting, monster slaying, levelling up and, of course, randomly generated levels and perma-death. 

Monday 13 January 2014

Review - Artibeus (PC)

Artibeus is a simple indie game for the PC which tasks you with collecting fruits around a spooky castle. Oh, and you are a bat. A fruit bat maybe? (ho ho). Terrible jokes aside, the game is a 2D game that requires nothing more from you than using the arrow keys to move said bat around the single screen stages, nabbing all the fruit and avoiding the instant death enemies that float randomly around.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Homebrew Review - Solid Gold (Amiga)

Homebrew Treasure

It's always a pleasant surprise when a homebrew game turns up and genuinely feels as though it could be have been an official release for the system in question. It's even better when the game is loads of fun and gives you bags of entertainment with a dash of nostalgia. Solid Gold, an Amiga homebrew title from Germany's Night Owl Designs, does just that, looking and playing just like any number of other 2D platformers released in the late 80's and early 90's on Commodore's excellent 16-bit computer.

Sunday 5 January 2014

Review - SteamWorld Dig (PC)

Indie platforming action, Ya Dig?

SteamWorld Dig is yet another one of those super tedious mining games. You know, those games where you constantly dig for minerals, return to the surface, and repeat ad infinitum. Big fucking yawn, right? Well normally, yes, but SteamWorld Dig is actually good. Really good in fact. I admit, I'm a little late to the party, as SteamWorld Dig has garnered positive reviews across the board over the last month or so, but it escaped my radar as I simply couldn't be arsed with a mining game. But it was one word that changed my mind, a word that may not even really fit this digtastic title, but one that got my heart pumping. That word was Metroidvania. So it was with new found excitement that I picked up my tools and headed into the desert.

Friday 3 January 2014

Putty Squad - Commodore Amiga ROM officially released!

With a modern HD reboot almost upon us, System 3 have released the original Amiga ROM of Putty Squad for free. The main selling point of this story is that Putty Squad was never actually released for Commodore's 16-bit home computer as the publishers felt that, in 1994, the Amiga was no longer a competitor in the video games market. This was due to the 16-bit consoles from Nintendo and Sega being the main players at this stage, with the Playstation and Saturn just around the corner. The finished game didn't go entirely to waste, however, with a port released for the Super Nintendo released by Ocean. Now, 20 years later, System 3 have unleashed the final version of the unreleased Amiga version onto the internet, for retro gamers to enjoy via their emulator of choice, or even on the original hardware - if you are lucky enough to still have one.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Indie & Retro Awards 2013

A year in review

So, the year has finally coming to a close, leaving behind 365 days of indie gaming excellence. I have experienced many games this year - too many to count, in fact - from triple-A blockbusters such as The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite to indie titles like Papers Please, I am Level and Tiny Thief. 2013 was the year I finally viewed mobile gaming as more than something you only do when very bored, thanks to some wonderful Android games, and it was also the year I finally gave the Sega Saturn the (re)attention it deserved.