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Found 830 results

  1. Hideki Kamiya, the director of Clover Studio's Okami, has tweeted indicating that the beloved action-adventure title will be receiving a sequel. The hints of a sequel in the works came in the form of several tweets between Kamiya and Ikumi Nakamura, the creative director formerly employed at Tango Gameworks. Nakamura has been touring a number of prominent game studios around the world with her latest stop being PlatinumGames where Kamiya now works. There are those on the internet, however, that remain skeptical. Kamiya has a history of playing with fan expectations on Twitter. The director, who know works as a game designer at PlatinumGames, teased impatient fans of Scalebound back in 2015 by routinely telling them that new screenshots would be released next week. Each week, the elusive screenshots were pushed back another week and never emerged. His account even puts forward rules for followers and fans. Those who violate his Twitter rules find themselves quickly blocked. However, the announcement was made alongside Ghostwire Tokyo's former creative director, Ikumi Nakamura. Nakamura posted a video to Twitter earlier today in which Kamiya said with a smile and a thumbs up that "Okami is going to come back." Nakamura looks surprised and asks, "Really?" "Really," Kamiya responds, before laughing. The cheeky announcement might well be a joke, but Nakamura seems to sincerely want Okami 2 to become a reality. She worked at Clover Studio as a concept artist alongside Kamiya on the original Bayonetta. While Kamiya is one to pull a joke on fans, Nakamura's sincerity and energy has made her a popular developer in the game industry, even after her departure from the recently announced Ghostwire Tokyo. Nakamura followed up her video with Kamiya by saying, "Okami is going to be back. We want to make Okami sequel and fans are looking forward to it too. You guys want to see Kamiya’s Okami again, right, everyone? I want to work on it too!” While this is all very exciting to hear, Capcom has confirmed to outlets like Polygon that it hasn't made any official announcements. However, the love for Okami runs deep. The game originally released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 before transitioning over to the Wii via a port in 2008. In 2010, a Nintendo DS sequel released called Okamiden. 2012 saw an HD remaster release on the PlayStation 3. A five year lull followed without much in the way of Okami happening before a surprise port of the PlayStation 3 remaster appeared on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017. A year later, the remaster appeared on Nintendo Switch. Capcom sits on a game franchise that has become known as one of the greatest artistic achievements in gaming. The reaction to this strange, small tweet (regardless of whether it's a joke or not) speaks to how eager fans are for more Okami. With a new console generation coming up and the recent ports selling well, there might very well be another Okami in the works at this moment or in the near future - and that's very exciting. Kamiya capped all of this off by tweeting: “Okami will be back,” he wrote. “... Someday ... I believe.” Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Hideki Kamiya, the director of Clover Studio's Okami, has tweeted indicating that the beloved action-adventure title will be receiving a sequel. The hints of a sequel in the works came in the form of several tweets between Kamiya and Ikumi Nakamura, the creative director formerly employed at Tango Gameworks. Nakamura has been touring a number of prominent game studios around the world with her latest stop being PlatinumGames where Kamiya now works. There are those on the internet, however, that remain skeptical. Kamiya has a history of playing with fan expectations on Twitter. The director, who know works as a game designer at PlatinumGames, teased impatient fans of Scalebound back in 2015 by routinely telling them that new screenshots would be released next week. Each week, the elusive screenshots were pushed back another week and never emerged. His account even puts forward rules for followers and fans. Those who violate his Twitter rules find themselves quickly blocked. However, the announcement was made alongside Ghostwire Tokyo's former creative director, Ikumi Nakamura. Nakamura posted a video to Twitter earlier today in which Kamiya said with a smile and a thumbs up that "Okami is going to come back." Nakamura looks surprised and asks, "Really?" "Really," Kamiya responds, before laughing. The cheeky announcement might well be a joke, but Nakamura seems to sincerely want Okami 2 to become a reality. She worked at Clover Studio as a concept artist alongside Kamiya on the original Bayonetta. While Kamiya is one to pull a joke on fans, Nakamura's sincerity and energy has made her a popular developer in the game industry, even after her departure from the recently announced Ghostwire Tokyo. Nakamura followed up her video with Kamiya by saying, "Okami is going to be back. We want to make Okami sequel and fans are looking forward to it too. You guys want to see Kamiya’s Okami again, right, everyone? I want to work on it too!” While this is all very exciting to hear, Capcom has confirmed to outlets like Polygon that it hasn't made any official announcements. However, the love for Okami runs deep. The game originally released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 before transitioning over to the Wii via a port in 2008. In 2010, a Nintendo DS sequel released called Okamiden. 2012 saw an HD remaster release on the PlayStation 3. A five year lull followed without much in the way of Okami happening before a surprise port of the PlayStation 3 remaster appeared on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2017. A year later, the remaster appeared on Nintendo Switch. Capcom sits on a game franchise that has become known as one of the greatest artistic achievements in gaming. The reaction to this strange, small tweet (regardless of whether it's a joke or not) speaks to how eager fans are for more Okami. With a new console generation coming up and the recent ports selling well, there might very well be another Okami in the works at this moment or in the near future - and that's very exciting. Kamiya capped all of this off by tweeting: “Okami will be back,” he wrote. “... Someday ... I believe.” Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. 2010 was the heyday for free games released online and powered by Flash. Titles like Meat Boy grew in the wild frontiers of Newgrounds and other websites that catered to those looking to play games in their web browsers. Into the mix stepped Uruguayan studio Ironhide Games. The company had found success with a few minor titles, but their latest game, Kingdom Rush, achieved a rare level of success. With more than 300 million plays under its belt, the developers created a version for the then new iPad. This portable version found massive acclaim and propelled the creation of a mobile version for iPhones and eventually Android. It became one of the most popular games in the world for a window of time. Within innovative gameplay and incredibly solid execution, it remains one of the best tower defense games of all time, arguably the best of them all. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge 'Cozy Campfire' by Yffisch (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03974) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, Spotify, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. 2010 was the heyday for free games released online and powered by Flash. Titles like Meat Boy grew in the wild frontiers of Newgrounds and other websites that catered to those looking to play games in their web browsers. Into the mix stepped Uruguayan studio Ironhide Games. The company had found success with a few minor titles, but their latest game, Kingdom Rush, achieved a rare level of success. With more than 300 million plays under its belt, the developers created a version for the then new iPad. This portable version found massive acclaim and propelled the creation of a mobile version for iPhones and eventually Android. It became one of the most popular games in the world for a window of time. Within innovative gameplay and incredibly solid execution, it remains one of the best tower defense games of all time, arguably the best of them all. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge 'Cozy Campfire' by Yffisch (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03974) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, Spotify, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. Today marks the day that Gearbox Software releases the latest entry in their flagship franchise: Borderlands 3. Having missed the opportunity to preview the game at events leading up to its release, I decided to reach out to Allison Kurtz, patient treated at Cincinnati Children’s, gamer and Borderlands fan.. As a life-long Borderlands fan, Allison was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about what makes Borderlands so important to her and others. She also had the chance to play Borderlands 3 back in June and was able to talk about the insights she gleaned from her time with the game. Strap in and get ready to Catch-A-Ride with this fun interview that sheds some light on both the Borderlands series as a whole and the recently released game. - Jack Gardner: Let’s jump into Borderlands 3, a game, I am told, that is created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. Allison Kurtz: That is true. JG: It’s coming out on September 13th- AK: And my paycheck comes to me on September 15th, so we are going to ride that two day streak like… sadness… JG: Sadness is one of the names of the horses in the back? That’s a reference you kids get right? AK: Oh, if you expect me to relate to the quote un-quote kids – I’m very sorry. I know of Lil Nas X, but all I know is that he’s gay and that I support him on that front. JG: Supposedly he has horses in the back. AK: Well… supposedly. JG: All I know about Borderlands 3 is that it’s a looter-shooter. I finished the first one, a significant amount of the second one. I loved Tales from the Borderlands- AK: Ah, so you have good taste! JG: [laugh] and then there was Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel which… I am not really sure what was going on there… AK: It’s sorta like a Super Mario Galaxy 2 thing? Super Mario Galaxy came out. Good game. This was before DLC packs were a thing for Nintendo, so they essentially made more game that was the length of a game. They called it Super Mario Galaxy 2, and they released that. Pre-Sequel uses the engine and mechanics of Borderlands 2 to make a new game out of what was already there. JG: That brings us to Borderlands 3. With that background in mind, can you tell us a bit more about your experience with Borderlands? How did it start? What really gets your attention and gets you excited about Borderlands? AK: That story don’t start off in the happiest place on earth. When I was in 8th grade to freshman year, I was not a happy camper for reasons that are pretty understandable. I was pre-transition. I did not like talking. I did not like being seen. I did not like being heard. So, I would just sink myself into video games. Borderlands 1 was like that for me. Borderlands 1 doesn’t go nearly as wild with the queer content as Borderlands 2. But I played it for hours. I played it for ages and ages. I absolutely loved the mechanics, absolutely loved the gameplay, absolutely loved the design, absolutely loved everything about it. I eventually transitioned and moved on and played Borderlands 2 and it just felt – it’s really hard to explain this – it felt like a world that I had known coming to accept me because Borderlands 2 is when they went buck wild with queer representation. And so that kind of transition that it made along with me resulted in a sort of… I kind of bonded with the game, if that makes any sense? Being in that situation where both things changed it was like, “Hey, same hat. We’re in the same hole here,” and I just felt grateful to have a series that was willing to accept that I exist. Because a lot of the queer representation at that time was new stuff – like people created new properties with queer characters in them. It was really nice to see something I had grown up with embrace queer identities and learn about it as I learned about it. JG: So what in Borderlands 2, you say it had more queer representation, can you talk a bit more about it? What specific parts of Borderlands 2 really spoke to you on that front? AK: The thing is that it’s not front and center. It’s not a big plot point in any sense. It’s just little things like how it is just as common to see a straight couple as a gay couple. Hammerlock has an ex-boyfriend. Some women would talk about their girlfriends, while other characters discussed their different sexualities. It was just… normal. That was really refreshing and honest and helpful to see in a time where I felt like I didn’t have the chance. So that’s how I got into Borderlands and then I just kinda went hog wild on it. I got in because I felt accepted and then the gameplay mechanics – normal shooters bore me which sounds a little harsh, but the customizability of Borderlands along with the humor and very diverse art style and environment really pulled me in. In a way similar to how the fallout games pull me in – at least Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 3 sucked, but that’s a totally different point. JG: Are you just saying that because you saw Hbomberguy’s video? AK: First of all, don’t call me out. Second of all, I had that opinion before he posted that video. JG: You fell in love with Borderlands 2 and then Tales from the Borderlands released. Did you feel differently about the narrative-focused direction or was it more of the same for you? It is quite a departure from the main series. AK: Okay, this is my embarrassment. It took me a very long time to finish Tales from the Borderlands. I just hadn’t gotten around to it because it was right around when shit started getting crazy with vis-à-vis my transition and coming out and everything. So I didn’t have quite as much time for games anymore since I was literally changing everything about myself and my environment. A lot of games from that time kinda slipped by me. Then I never went back to finish them because we got into 2015 and 2016 and got a ton of crazy genre defining games. Things that changed how we looked at games and took up my attention. Tales from the Borderlands just fell by the wayside… until I went to E3 and spoke to one of the writers for Tales from the Borderlands, Extra Life friend The Only Ryann. What he specifically said to me was, “Did you play Tales from the Borderlands?” and I said I never got to finish it, I got too busy. He gave me the most withering look in the world and he said, and I am quoting, “You’re busting my balls here, kid.” JG: Get called out! AK: Yeah, a little bit! I felt like, yeah, I should probably get back around to that game. Before I left he told me, “There is a sad point in Tales from the Borderlands. Please tweet at me angrily once you reach it.” I definitely, definitely went through with that promise. So I played that and I loved it and it was very nice to see Athena, local gay. Also, the soundtrack for that game kicks my ass. That soundtrack jumped out of my computer and put me in a headlock. In a good way. It’s well suited to the style Borderlands 1 and 2 had set up with musical theming. I especially enjoyed how well the ending fit with the beginning song. You would never guess that it was made by a different studio. JG: Thoughts on Pre-Sequel? AK: Pre-Sequel is excellent in my opinion. I enjoy it, but I am biased because it contains one of my favorite couples in video games, Athena and Janey. They’re just very cute. It’s basically Borderlands 2: More. It’s just more content and delves into backstory - I mean it is a prequel - but it delves into backstory and shows off new characters that come back later. It’s a game I very much enjoy even though Claptrap… well, I don’t know how I feel about Claptrap. That’s a thing for another day. That’s a thesis right there. Sometimes you’ll be like, “Aww, poor baby,” and then he’ll say something weird and perverted and you’re like, “Poor baby, stay five feet away from me at all times.” JG: So how are you feeling about Borderlands 3 now that we have talked about all the other Borderlands-y things? AK: I am incredibly excited for Borderlands 3. I love their voice acting choices. They have touched on sexuality a lot in the past but they have never really touched gender, so I am very excited that there is a non-binary protagonist who is voiced by ProZD from YouTube and Vine. He’s an excellent fellow and I enjoy his work quite a bit. It’s very exciting to see him in such a mainstream game. Before, the only game that I know of that he was in was 2064: Read Only Memories. JG: So the non-binary character and the voice acting excite you. Do any of the other aspects seem interesting? AK: The gameplay itself! It’s very excellent from what I’ve played. I played the E3 demo as Moze, and it was excellent. She rides in a big D.Va style mech which I very much enjoyed. It blends the Catch-A-Ride cars from the past games with a summonable ally. You can climb on the back, turret style, like you’ve been able to with every other vehicle. I very much enjoy that you can customize to the max. If you want to be a brawler or do explosives or anything of the sort, you can do it. It’s amazing how customizable it is to me. The visuals are very excellent. I love how varied the character design is now. In previous games when you fought a bunch of psychos, it was the same psycho over and over again. It was cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi fiery psycho, and cha boi psycho. But now all the psychos are a little different. They have different pants, some of them have hair, some of them don’t. Some of them are actually women now, which makes sense in-universe, but they had never done it before. And the colors. Okay, it has been a couple of months and I did not take notes, but I remember being very impressed by the colors. One thing about Borderlands that I have always adored is in a world of shooter games that tend to keep things muddy, Borderlands has moments where it can get really colorful and wild. The demo I played was one of those areas. In addition, the story seems really great, too. You have two villains who are very hateble and very lovable in the same way. They are equal parts… they are that perfect villain where you want to see them succeed and you also want to see them fail. So you love them and you hate them, you love to hate them. They are very well designed, too and they are very excellent. The four main characters are also excellent. I love how they tie into the past of Borderlands. Zane is part of one of the most gosh dang cursed families in Borderlands history because you kill every member of it throughout the series. We know Moze’s past, but I don’t remember if we have seen her in things before. Flak does what I have been wanting for the entire game series and shows us the skags, like, “Here are some nice bois that you can pet and you are expected to pet.” And I’m like yes this is all I have ever wanted! And Amara is a tall, buff GF. That’s all I have to say about her. I said, when I was at the E3 event, “Oh my god, Amara, my lesbian wife!” out loud without thinking about it. The PR person who was showing me the video laughed and then said, “I think they designed her with that in mind.” I honestly can’t imagine any other scenario, but that's because she exudes strong lesbian energy. JG: What’s your take on the story? You said it seemed good – is that impression due entirely to the villains or…? AK: One thing I can speak on is that I love how past characters are returning and they look different. Borderlands 1 to Borderlands 2, there was a time skip there and they look the exact same. Just the same dudes. But Borderlands 3, people look different. Maya, the siren from the second game, she looks different now and you can tell that a number of years have passed. Lilith looks the same, but that’s how it be sometimes. She’s one of the most, if not the most, recognizable characters for Borderlands except for Claptrap. I just enjoy how the world is changing now. We don’t know too much about the plot beyond the basics being that it has the Calypso Twins as the two villains. They run a cult called Children of the Vault, and they exploit their followers to try and unlock a vault for themselves. Lilith leads the army trying to fight back against them. Though she talks a big game, they have shown cutscenes of her being scared and beaten, so you know that it’s not as easy as she makes things seem. It’s interesting that we get to see Lilith, who is a very strong-hearted, strong willed, strong-in-general individual, get pushed to her limits, and I am excited to see that in full on the 15th, two days after it comes out. JG: Anything you hope to see in Borderlands 3? AK: I hope they show me post-marriage Athena and Janey. That’s kind of a separate thought, but there HAS been a time skip, time has passed! OH, and I totally forgot! We saw Rhys from Tales from the Borderlands in the trailer. Where’s Fiona, my dog? Where’s Fiona? Where’s the love of my life, Fiona? Where have you placed her? If they hurt Fiona, I will personally go to Gearbox and cry. Not to anyone in particular, just to the receptionist. Also, I have a soft spot for any robot that ever exists in any story ever, so Loader Bot better show up. If you tell me Loader Bot died, I will personally die, too. - A huge thank you to Allison for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with me for this silly and insightful interview! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. Today marks the day that Gearbox Software releases the latest entry in their flagship franchise: Borderlands 3. Having missed the opportunity to preview the game at events leading up to its release, I decided to reach out to Allison Kurtz, patient treated at Cincinnati Children’s, gamer and Borderlands fan.. As a life-long Borderlands fan, Allison was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about what makes Borderlands so important to her and others. She also had the chance to play Borderlands 3 back in June and was able to talk about the insights she gleaned from her time with the game. Strap in and get ready to Catch-A-Ride with this fun interview that sheds some light on both the Borderlands series as a whole and the recently released game. - Jack Gardner: Let’s jump into Borderlands 3, a game, I am told, that is created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. Allison Kurtz: That is true. JG: It’s coming out on September 13th- AK: And my paycheck comes to me on September 15th, so we are going to ride that two day streak like… sadness… JG: Sadness is one of the names of the horses in the back? That’s a reference you kids get right? AK: Oh, if you expect me to relate to the quote un-quote kids – I’m very sorry. I know of Lil Nas X, but all I know is that he’s gay and that I support him on that front. JG: Supposedly he has horses in the back. AK: Well… supposedly. JG: All I know about Borderlands 3 is that it’s a looter-shooter. I finished the first one, a significant amount of the second one. I loved Tales from the Borderlands- AK: Ah, so you have good taste! JG: [laugh] and then there was Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel which… I am not really sure what was going on there… AK: It’s sorta like a Super Mario Galaxy 2 thing? Super Mario Galaxy came out. Good game. This was before DLC packs were a thing for Nintendo, so they essentially made more game that was the length of a game. They called it Super Mario Galaxy 2, and they released that. Pre-Sequel uses the engine and mechanics of Borderlands 2 to make a new game out of what was already there. JG: That brings us to Borderlands 3. With that background in mind, can you tell us a bit more about your experience with Borderlands? How did it start? What really gets your attention and gets you excited about Borderlands? AK: That story don’t start off in the happiest place on earth. When I was in 8th grade to freshman year, I was not a happy camper for reasons that are pretty understandable. I was pre-transition. I did not like talking. I did not like being seen. I did not like being heard. So, I would just sink myself into video games. Borderlands 1 was like that for me. Borderlands 1 doesn’t go nearly as wild with the queer content as Borderlands 2. But I played it for hours. I played it for ages and ages. I absolutely loved the mechanics, absolutely loved the gameplay, absolutely loved the design, absolutely loved everything about it. I eventually transitioned and moved on and played Borderlands 2 and it just felt – it’s really hard to explain this – it felt like a world that I had known coming to accept me because Borderlands 2 is when they went buck wild with queer representation. And so that kind of transition that it made along with me resulted in a sort of… I kind of bonded with the game, if that makes any sense? Being in that situation where both things changed it was like, “Hey, same hat. We’re in the same hole here,” and I just felt grateful to have a series that was willing to accept that I exist. Because a lot of the queer representation at that time was new stuff – like people created new properties with queer characters in them. It was really nice to see something I had grown up with embrace queer identities and learn about it as I learned about it. JG: So what in Borderlands 2, you say it had more queer representation, can you talk a bit more about it? What specific parts of Borderlands 2 really spoke to you on that front? AK: The thing is that it’s not front and center. It’s not a big plot point in any sense. It’s just little things like how it is just as common to see a straight couple as a gay couple. Hammerlock has an ex-boyfriend. Some women would talk about their girlfriends, while other characters discussed their different sexualities. It was just… normal. That was really refreshing and honest and helpful to see in a time where I felt like I didn’t have the chance. So that’s how I got into Borderlands and then I just kinda went hog wild on it. I got in because I felt accepted and then the gameplay mechanics – normal shooters bore me which sounds a little harsh, but the customizability of Borderlands along with the humor and very diverse art style and environment really pulled me in. In a way similar to how the fallout games pull me in – at least Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout 3 sucked, but that’s a totally different point. JG: Are you just saying that because you saw Hbomberguy’s video? AK: First of all, don’t call me out. Second of all, I had that opinion before he posted that video. JG: You fell in love with Borderlands 2 and then Tales from the Borderlands released. Did you feel differently about the narrative-focused direction or was it more of the same for you? It is quite a departure from the main series. AK: Okay, this is my embarrassment. It took me a very long time to finish Tales from the Borderlands. I just hadn’t gotten around to it because it was right around when shit started getting crazy with vis-à-vis my transition and coming out and everything. So I didn’t have quite as much time for games anymore since I was literally changing everything about myself and my environment. A lot of games from that time kinda slipped by me. Then I never went back to finish them because we got into 2015 and 2016 and got a ton of crazy genre defining games. Things that changed how we looked at games and took up my attention. Tales from the Borderlands just fell by the wayside… until I went to E3 and spoke to one of the writers for Tales from the Borderlands, Extra Life friend The Only Ryann. What he specifically said to me was, “Did you play Tales from the Borderlands?” and I said I never got to finish it, I got too busy. He gave me the most withering look in the world and he said, and I am quoting, “You’re busting my balls here, kid.” JG: Get called out! AK: Yeah, a little bit! I felt like, yeah, I should probably get back around to that game. Before I left he told me, “There is a sad point in Tales from the Borderlands. Please tweet at me angrily once you reach it.” I definitely, definitely went through with that promise. So I played that and I loved it and it was very nice to see Athena, local gay. Also, the soundtrack for that game kicks my ass. That soundtrack jumped out of my computer and put me in a headlock. In a good way. It’s well suited to the style Borderlands 1 and 2 had set up with musical theming. I especially enjoyed how well the ending fit with the beginning song. You would never guess that it was made by a different studio. JG: Thoughts on Pre-Sequel? AK: Pre-Sequel is excellent in my opinion. I enjoy it, but I am biased because it contains one of my favorite couples in video games, Athena and Janey. They’re just very cute. It’s basically Borderlands 2: More. It’s just more content and delves into backstory - I mean it is a prequel - but it delves into backstory and shows off new characters that come back later. It’s a game I very much enjoy even though Claptrap… well, I don’t know how I feel about Claptrap. That’s a thing for another day. That’s a thesis right there. Sometimes you’ll be like, “Aww, poor baby,” and then he’ll say something weird and perverted and you’re like, “Poor baby, stay five feet away from me at all times.” JG: So how are you feeling about Borderlands 3 now that we have talked about all the other Borderlands-y things? AK: I am incredibly excited for Borderlands 3. I love their voice acting choices. They have touched on sexuality a lot in the past but they have never really touched gender, so I am very excited that there is a non-binary protagonist who is voiced by ProZD from YouTube and Vine. He’s an excellent fellow and I enjoy his work quite a bit. It’s very exciting to see him in such a mainstream game. Before, the only game that I know of that he was in was 2064: Read Only Memories. JG: So the non-binary character and the voice acting excite you. Do any of the other aspects seem interesting? AK: The gameplay itself! It’s very excellent from what I’ve played. I played the E3 demo as Moze, and it was excellent. She rides in a big D.Va style mech which I very much enjoyed. It blends the Catch-A-Ride cars from the past games with a summonable ally. You can climb on the back, turret style, like you’ve been able to with every other vehicle. I very much enjoy that you can customize to the max. If you want to be a brawler or do explosives or anything of the sort, you can do it. It’s amazing how customizable it is to me. The visuals are very excellent. I love how varied the character design is now. In previous games when you fought a bunch of psychos, it was the same psycho over and over again. It was cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi psycho, cha boi fiery psycho, and cha boi psycho. But now all the psychos are a little different. They have different pants, some of them have hair, some of them don’t. Some of them are actually women now, which makes sense in-universe, but they had never done it before. And the colors. Okay, it has been a couple of months and I did not take notes, but I remember being very impressed by the colors. One thing about Borderlands that I have always adored is in a world of shooter games that tend to keep things muddy, Borderlands has moments where it can get really colorful and wild. The demo I played was one of those areas. In addition, the story seems really great, too. You have two villains who are very hateble and very lovable in the same way. They are equal parts… they are that perfect villain where you want to see them succeed and you also want to see them fail. So you love them and you hate them, you love to hate them. They are very well designed, too and they are very excellent. The four main characters are also excellent. I love how they tie into the past of Borderlands. Zane is part of one of the most gosh dang cursed families in Borderlands history because you kill every member of it throughout the series. We know Moze’s past, but I don’t remember if we have seen her in things before. Flak does what I have been wanting for the entire game series and shows us the skags, like, “Here are some nice bois that you can pet and you are expected to pet.” And I’m like yes this is all I have ever wanted! And Amara is a tall, buff GF. That’s all I have to say about her. I said, when I was at the E3 event, “Oh my god, Amara, my lesbian wife!” out loud without thinking about it. The PR person who was showing me the video laughed and then said, “I think they designed her with that in mind.” I honestly can’t imagine any other scenario, but that's because she exudes strong lesbian energy. JG: What’s your take on the story? You said it seemed good – is that impression due entirely to the villains or…? AK: One thing I can speak on is that I love how past characters are returning and they look different. Borderlands 1 to Borderlands 2, there was a time skip there and they look the exact same. Just the same dudes. But Borderlands 3, people look different. Maya, the siren from the second game, she looks different now and you can tell that a number of years have passed. Lilith looks the same, but that’s how it be sometimes. She’s one of the most, if not the most, recognizable characters for Borderlands except for Claptrap. I just enjoy how the world is changing now. We don’t know too much about the plot beyond the basics being that it has the Calypso Twins as the two villains. They run a cult called Children of the Vault, and they exploit their followers to try and unlock a vault for themselves. Lilith leads the army trying to fight back against them. Though she talks a big game, they have shown cutscenes of her being scared and beaten, so you know that it’s not as easy as she makes things seem. It’s interesting that we get to see Lilith, who is a very strong-hearted, strong willed, strong-in-general individual, get pushed to her limits, and I am excited to see that in full on the 15th, two days after it comes out. JG: Anything you hope to see in Borderlands 3? AK: I hope they show me post-marriage Athena and Janey. That’s kind of a separate thought, but there HAS been a time skip, time has passed! OH, and I totally forgot! We saw Rhys from Tales from the Borderlands in the trailer. Where’s Fiona, my dog? Where’s Fiona? Where’s the love of my life, Fiona? Where have you placed her? If they hurt Fiona, I will personally go to Gearbox and cry. Not to anyone in particular, just to the receptionist. Also, I have a soft spot for any robot that ever exists in any story ever, so Loader Bot better show up. If you tell me Loader Bot died, I will personally die, too. - A huge thank you to Allison for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with me for this silly and insightful interview! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. Having been in development since 2015, Eastward's train finally seems poised to pull into the station. A new trailer has been released pinning the visually unique indie RPG down to a 2020 release window and revealing that the title will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developer Pixpil's latest peek at the world of Eastward reveals a stunning landscape rich with character and incredible animated details. We last saw Eastward at the beginning of 2018 when Chucklefish, the publisher behind Eastward, Starbound, and Stardew Valley, released an impressive announcement trailer. With the reveal of Eastward, we learned that it tells the story of John, a miner who uncovers a scientific facility while working his claim. Inside the dark facility, John encounters Sam, a strange white-haired young girl. This discovery sets the pair on a journey across the ruins of a world plagued by monsters. Their adventure will take them through towns where the remnants of humanity band together for survival, scavenging resources from ruins and creating bold new technologies. The mysteries behind Sam's origins propels the story forward as John struggles to care for the young child and get them through just one more day. A new trailer surfaced at Gamescom offers such an intriguing look into the world of Eastward. A pristine train takes viewers through a world where a boat has been made into a salvaged house on top of a mountain, complete with a beached whale on its roof. Bustling tent markets sit among the ruins of metropolises, with some stalls run by steampunk androids. We watch as John leads Sam through a wilderness populated by aggressive vultures and multi-legged mushrooms. Skeletons with gatling guns, rampaging mechanical monstrosities, carnivorous snake plants, flaming slugs, sentient bundles of electrical cords, and a robotic eyeball boss all inject Eastward with a sense of danger and wonder. The combat shown so far seems to revolve around John swinging his frying pan into monsters, dodging attacks, and solving puzzles. There are brief snippets of John wielding a shotgun and charging up a melee attack, but the lack of focus on the battle mechanics implies Eastward has other ambitions. While we haven't seen nearly enough of the game yet, Eastward's priority seems to be presenting a narrative journey through a world rich with detail and history. We see glimpses of charismatic supporting characters like Alva and the antagonistic Mayor Huffman along with a slew of unnamed and intriguing characters. Pixpil set out to create a modern pixel game that took inspiration from Earthbound and The Legend of Zelda as well as more recent releases like The Last of Us. Eastward seems like a near-perfect realization of that goal. Shockingly gorgeous, imaginative, and armed with an intriguing narrative, Eastward should be on your radar. It's clearly something special. Eastward releases in 2020 for PC and Nintendo Switch. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. Having been in development since 2015, Eastward's train finally seems poised to pull into the station. A new trailer has been released pinning the visually unique indie RPG down to a 2020 release window and revealing that the title will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developer Pixpil's latest peek at the world of Eastward reveals a stunning landscape rich with character and incredible animated details. We last saw Eastward at the beginning of 2018 when Chucklefish, the publisher behind Eastward, Starbound, and Stardew Valley, released an impressive announcement trailer. With the reveal of Eastward, we learned that it tells the story of John, a miner who uncovers a scientific facility while working his claim. Inside the dark facility, John encounters Sam, a strange white-haired young girl. This discovery sets the pair on a journey across the ruins of a world plagued by monsters. Their adventure will take them through towns where the remnants of humanity band together for survival, scavenging resources from ruins and creating bold new technologies. The mysteries behind Sam's origins propels the story forward as John struggles to care for the young child and get them through just one more day. A new trailer surfaced at Gamescom offers such an intriguing look into the world of Eastward. A pristine train takes viewers through a world where a boat has been made into a salvaged house on top of a mountain, complete with a beached whale on its roof. Bustling tent markets sit among the ruins of metropolises, with some stalls run by steampunk androids. We watch as John leads Sam through a wilderness populated by aggressive vultures and multi-legged mushrooms. Skeletons with gatling guns, rampaging mechanical monstrosities, carnivorous snake plants, flaming slugs, sentient bundles of electrical cords, and a robotic eyeball boss all inject Eastward with a sense of danger and wonder. The combat shown so far seems to revolve around John swinging his frying pan into monsters, dodging attacks, and solving puzzles. There are brief snippets of John wielding a shotgun and charging up a melee attack, but the lack of focus on the battle mechanics implies Eastward has other ambitions. While we haven't seen nearly enough of the game yet, Eastward's priority seems to be presenting a narrative journey through a world rich with detail and history. We see glimpses of charismatic supporting characters like Alva and the antagonistic Mayor Huffman along with a slew of unnamed and intriguing characters. Pixpil set out to create a modern pixel game that took inspiration from Earthbound and The Legend of Zelda as well as more recent releases like The Last of Us. Eastward seems like a near-perfect realization of that goal. Shockingly gorgeous, imaginative, and armed with an intriguing narrative, Eastward should be on your radar. It's clearly something special. Eastward releases in 2020 for PC and Nintendo Switch. One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. In November 2017, Trinket Studios released a unique puzzle-fighting game onto PC and Nintendo Switch. The title, Battle Chef Brigade, had garnered a colossal amount of support following a successful Kickstarter campaign raised over $100,000 in 2014. The game focuses on Mina Han, an up and coming chef who leaves her rural home to make it as a member of the Battle Chef Brigade, an elite group of chefs who battle monsters and use the spoils to make the most delectable dishes in all the land. Battle Chef Brigade currently sits with a spotless rating of 10/10 on Steam and has earned itself a persistent cult following since release. This week we are joined by game critic and noted Battle Chef Brigade evangelist Caitlin Galiz-Rowe to talk about the wild world of culinary contests. Is Battle Chef Brigade one of the best games of all-time? Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Fantasy Zone 'Opa and Over' by Rexy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03954) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! Follow Caitlin Galiz-Rowe on Twitter: @CGRRRRRRRR If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  10. In November 2017, Trinket Studios released a unique puzzle-fighting game onto PC and Nintendo Switch. The title, Battle Chef Brigade, had garnered a colossal amount of support following a successful Kickstarter campaign raised over $100,000 in 2014. The game focuses on Mina Han, an up and coming chef who leaves her rural home to make it as a member of the Battle Chef Brigade, an elite group of chefs who battle monsters and use the spoils to make the most delectable dishes in all the land. Battle Chef Brigade currently sits with a spotless rating of 10/10 on Steam and has earned itself a persistent cult following since release. This week we are joined by game critic and noted Battle Chef Brigade evangelist Caitlin Galiz-Rowe to talk about the wild world of culinary contests. Is Battle Chef Brigade one of the best games of all-time? Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Fantasy Zone 'Opa and Over' by Rexy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03954) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! Follow Caitlin Galiz-Rowe on Twitter: @CGRRRRRRRR If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  11. Cuphead might just be one of the most memorable games to come out in the last few years. Hitting Xbox One and PC in 2017 four years after being announced and undergoing a difficult development process, the Contra-like side-scrolling shooter captivated audiences with its charming and controversial art style, tight gameplay, and engaging soundtrack. With very few games existing with a comparable aesthetic, Cuphead stuck in the brains of everyone who even briefly experienced it. Studio MDHR's first game stands with a perfect score on Steam and almost universal acclaim. A couple years after release, is Cuphead one of the best games of all-time? Joining us to help answer that question this week is none other than friend of the show, voice actor, podcaster, and game critic extraordinaire Marcus Stewart. Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kirby's Return to Dream Land 'Cocoa 'n' Cookies' by jdaster64 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03922) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  12. Cuphead might just be one of the most memorable games to come out in the last few years. Hitting Xbox One and PC in 2017 four years after being announced and undergoing a difficult development process, the Contra-like side-scrolling shooter captivated audiences with its charming and controversial art style, tight gameplay, and engaging soundtrack. With very few games existing with a comparable aesthetic, Cuphead stuck in the brains of everyone who even briefly experienced it. Studio MDHR's first game stands with a perfect score on Steam and almost universal acclaim. A couple years after release, is Cuphead one of the best games of all-time? Joining us to help answer that question this week is none other than friend of the show, voice actor, podcaster, and game critic extraordinaire Marcus Stewart. Each week on The Best Games Period, we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Kirby's Return to Dream Land 'Cocoa 'n' Cookies' by jdaster64 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03922) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  13. Supergiant Games' Pyre released in 2017. It presented a bold and exciting new world created by the people behind the brilliant Transistor and indie darling Bastion. The title offered conflict filtered through the lens of sport mixed with religious undertones, the theme of loss, and a fantastical imagining of purgatory, where the unworthy vie for the chance to return to the "real" world, the Commonwealth, as reformed champions. While a fantastic title, we might never get the chance to talk about it on the main show, so here's a shorter (not by much) monologue about how great it is and what might have kept it from achieving the same popularity of the studios' first two titles. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Escape from Monkey Island 'Rum Barrel' by Yffisch (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03921) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  14. Supergiant Games' Pyre released in 2017. It presented a bold and exciting new world created by the people behind the brilliant Transistor and indie darling Bastion. The title offered conflict filtered through the lens of sport mixed with religious undertones, the theme of loss, and a fantastical imagining of purgatory, where the unworthy vie for the chance to return to the "real" world, the Commonwealth, as reformed champions. While a fantastic title, we might never get the chance to talk about it on the main show, so here's a shorter (not by much) monologue about how great it is and what might have kept it from achieving the same popularity of the studios' first two titles. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Escape from Monkey Island 'Rum Barrel' by Yffisch (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03921) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday One of the common misconceptions about Extra Life is that someone can only participate if they play video games. Not true! Extra Life supports and encourages all kinds of play. To that end, we have been supporting Tabletop Appreciation Weekend for the past few years. This year, the event takes place August 24-25th and will be a time for players to gather together and play board games for the kids. Learn more about Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation Weekend and be sure to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  15. What can you accomplish in 21 days? That's the question the narrative adventure game A Place for the Unwilling poses its players. Live out the handful of days finding rich and fulfilling moments with new friends, dominate the markets, or uncover the secrets lurking beneath the layer of normality throughout the city. ALpixel Games pitches it as a game that mixes Sunless Sea with the time limitations of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, along with dashes of authors like Dickens and Lovecraft. With a ticking clock, players have three weeks before the city and all who live in it find themselves among the dead. Following the death of a close friend who leaves you his house and trading business, players move to an unfamiliar city full of quirky characters and dark mysteries. Players can choose how they approach living in this new location, exploring the streets and meeting locals, investigating the death of their friend, or carrying on with running the business. While many activities might overlap, there isn't enough time to go deeply into everything, meaning that players will have to playthrough multiple times if they want to experience everything that A Place for the Unwilling has to offer. Developer ALpixel Games has tried to give all of the NPCs quirks and hooks that make them interesting and draw player attention, whether it's the crazy old man who runs the local bookstore or the strange mother of the player's deceased friend who holds a stilted party shortly after the player arrives in town. Since this is an adventure game, how players spend their most precious resource, time, will have huge consequences. The open world nature of A Place for the Unwilling forces players to decide how best to tackle living in the city, both opening new paths and closing others. Diving into trading, for example, means that the player will have money to throw around. Money can be used to bribe NPCs or buy items that would be impossible to acquire otherwise. Of course, the distinctive aesthetic of A Place for the Unwilling stands out as another selling point. The character designs are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, but with some slightly unnerving undertones. As players explore the city, NPCs go from being faceless, scribbled outlines to being fully realized people. However, despite how aggressively normal many of the city's residents might seem, the gloom that hangs over the city feels oppressive, constantly conveying that something isn't right underneath it all. And perhaps that twisted heart is better left alone and fate simply left to its own devices. How players choose to interact with the city's denizens, what paths they choose to pursue, and how they spend their time, all contribute to a changing world and, perhaps, the eventual outcome for the city itself. And, yes, the player can even choose to do nothing at all to change life in the city. The city itself isn't in the best shape - the developers want to investigate issues of income inequality, loneliness, and the way those concepts could fuel an oppressive and overwhelming eldritch evil. The king is coming. A Place for the Unwilling releases later this year for PC. If it interests you, take the warning of the developers, "The city is hungry. It will devour us all. Dream with caution." Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  16. What can you accomplish in 21 days? That's the question the narrative adventure game A Place for the Unwilling poses its players. Live out the handful of days finding rich and fulfilling moments with new friends, dominate the markets, or uncover the secrets lurking beneath the layer of normality throughout the city. ALpixel Games pitches it as a game that mixes Sunless Sea with the time limitations of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, along with dashes of authors like Dickens and Lovecraft. With a ticking clock, players have three weeks before the city and all who live in it find themselves among the dead. Following the death of a close friend who leaves you his house and trading business, players move to an unfamiliar city full of quirky characters and dark mysteries. Players can choose how they approach living in this new location, exploring the streets and meeting locals, investigating the death of their friend, or carrying on with running the business. While many activities might overlap, there isn't enough time to go deeply into everything, meaning that players will have to playthrough multiple times if they want to experience everything that A Place for the Unwilling has to offer. Developer ALpixel Games has tried to give all of the NPCs quirks and hooks that make them interesting and draw player attention, whether it's the crazy old man who runs the local bookstore or the strange mother of the player's deceased friend who holds a stilted party shortly after the player arrives in town. Since this is an adventure game, how players spend their most precious resource, time, will have huge consequences. The open world nature of A Place for the Unwilling forces players to decide how best to tackle living in the city, both opening new paths and closing others. Diving into trading, for example, means that the player will have money to throw around. Money can be used to bribe NPCs or buy items that would be impossible to acquire otherwise. Of course, the distinctive aesthetic of A Place for the Unwilling stands out as another selling point. The character designs are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, but with some slightly unnerving undertones. As players explore the city, NPCs go from being faceless, scribbled outlines to being fully realized people. However, despite how aggressively normal many of the city's residents might seem, the gloom that hangs over the city feels oppressive, constantly conveying that something isn't right underneath it all. And perhaps that twisted heart is better left alone and fate simply left to its own devices. How players choose to interact with the city's denizens, what paths they choose to pursue, and how they spend their time, all contribute to a changing world and, perhaps, the eventual outcome for the city itself. And, yes, the player can even choose to do nothing at all to change life in the city. The city itself isn't in the best shape - the developers want to investigate issues of income inequality, loneliness, and the way those concepts could fuel an oppressive and overwhelming eldritch evil. The king is coming. A Place for the Unwilling releases later this year for PC. If it interests you, take the warning of the developers, "The city is hungry. It will devour us all. Dream with caution." Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  17. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  18. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  19. Dario Argento, the writer and director of the 1977 cult classic Suspiria (recently remade in 2018), has decided to turn his talents for visual storytelling to the world of video games with the help of Clod Studio. Argento got his start as a film critic before breaking into screenwriting, helping to pen the script to Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. From there, Argento went on to specialize in giallo film, a style and genre of film making that blends pulp thriller with horror and psychological drama. This landed him jobs collaborating with a number of great horror directors like George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead. Director John Carpenter has frequently cited Argento's work as a major inspiration for the film Halloween. Unfortunately, outside of a few breakout hits, many of the director's films failed to find a large audience and the critics of his time viewed his work as low-class. Luckily, many of them found cult followings and today many of them are held up as the finest examples of horror and giallo film making. However, in more recent years he's become less active due to age, but at 78 years old he still shows a passion for creating new films and has taken a liking to Clod Studio, becoming their artistic director. "Dreadful Bond is a project that's very close to my themes, to my films, to my dreams: it has something deep that struck me immediately. I got carried away on this new journey with Clod Studio," said Argento while explaining how he had fallen in love with what the game could be. Clod Studio itself is relatively new. It formed in Milan, Italy in 2016 and has been refining their idea of what Dreadful Bond might become since then, growing to over fifteen people in the years since. Their vision of a giallo-like game exploring issues both psychological and supernatural culminated in a Kickstarter that has unveiled both a short film created in-game with the direction of Dario Argento and a playable demo that allows players to explore Wharton Manor. Dreadful Bond is an atmospheric, first-person dive into surreal horror. Players take on the role of a mysterious individual whose identity slowly reveals itself as Wharton Manor's estate is explored. The mansion, as one might imagine, is not a happy place. It's glory has long since faded and been replaced with a collection of horrible events that have left their marks strewn through its many rooms. The developers warn that the underlying horror of Dreadful Bond might strike people as an incredibly disturbing and possibly off-putting reveal. Their Kickstarter reiterates this point by saying, "We are serious about this: if you're not willing to face a disturbing truth, do not support this project!" The mansion plays host to a variety of supernatural entities, visions, and memories. The memories play out in a unique style, they are projected onto walls as shadows. At the heart of all of this lies something called "Empuros," something that inspired the horrific acts that afflicted the people who entered Wharton Manor. The team describes the player's journey as an experience of that individual's personal hell, melding science and mysticism to concepts of love and death. One of the interesting stylistic choices for Dreadful Bond is the use of hyper-realistic environments mixed with the decision to make the entire production a black and white affair. It even makes use of a subtle film grain effect to harkens back to the game's roots in giallo cinema which also used black-and-white heavily during the 60s and 70s. The team at Clod Studio has created the game using a technique called photogrammetry in which they scan objects and environments that can then be reproduced in-game almost perfectly. Even the shadows seen in-game were captured from real actors performing the scenes. This lends the game a very grounded feeling and heightens the feeling of disconnect when supernatural events begin to occur. The Kickstarter... might not make its goal. As of this writing, the project has only amassed a little over $24,000 of their $67,000 goal. Less than five days remain for the team to raise the remaining funds. However, the game appears to be far enough along that it seems inconceivable to me that it won't get made. It already has an impressive short film, "For Bridget," that you can watch below and a demo of Dreadful Bond has released that shows off a good chunk of the mansion. At the very least, I hope the world is blessed with the insanity that is a horror game created under the artistic direction of Dario Argento, one of the best horror directors working today. Honestly, if you are a fan of horror games, this should be on your radar. It looks like a lot of time and care has been poured into this project by a team that feels passionate about horror alongside the input of one of the greats of the genre. The presentation feels fresh and eye-catching. The subject matter seems bold and twisted. Even if this eventually comes out and receives some harsh criticism for elements we haven't seen yet, I have no doubt that Dreadful Bond will be incredibly interesting and unique in a genre that has contented itself with ripping off Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the past seven years. This could be a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs it. The Kickstarter ends on the April 24, so be sure to back it if you find it interesting. Dreadful Bond, if successful (and hopefully even if it fails to succeed on Kickstarter) will release for PC and, possibly, PlayStation 4 in late 2020 or early 2021. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  20. Dario Argento, the writer and director of the 1977 cult classic Suspiria (recently remade in 2018), has decided to turn his talents for visual storytelling to the world of video games with the help of Clod Studio. Argento got his start as a film critic before breaking into screenwriting, helping to pen the script to Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. From there, Argento went on to specialize in giallo film, a style and genre of film making that blends pulp thriller with horror and psychological drama. This landed him jobs collaborating with a number of great horror directors like George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead. Director John Carpenter has frequently cited Argento's work as a major inspiration for the film Halloween. Unfortunately, outside of a few breakout hits, many of the director's films failed to find a large audience and the critics of his time viewed his work as low-class. Luckily, many of them found cult followings and today many of them are held up as the finest examples of horror and giallo film making. However, in more recent years he's become less active due to age, but at 78 years old he still shows a passion for creating new films and has taken a liking to Clod Studio, becoming their artistic director. "Dreadful Bond is a project that's very close to my themes, to my films, to my dreams: it has something deep that struck me immediately. I got carried away on this new journey with Clod Studio," said Argento while explaining how he had fallen in love with what the game could be. Clod Studio itself is relatively new. It formed in Milan, Italy in 2016 and has been refining their idea of what Dreadful Bond might become since then, growing to over fifteen people in the years since. Their vision of a giallo-like game exploring issues both psychological and supernatural culminated in a Kickstarter that has unveiled both a short film created in-game with the direction of Dario Argento and a playable demo that allows players to explore Wharton Manor. Dreadful Bond is an atmospheric, first-person dive into surreal horror. Players take on the role of a mysterious individual whose identity slowly reveals itself as Wharton Manor's estate is explored. The mansion, as one might imagine, is not a happy place. It's glory has long since faded and been replaced with a collection of horrible events that have left their marks strewn through its many rooms. The developers warn that the underlying horror of Dreadful Bond might strike people as an incredibly disturbing and possibly off-putting reveal. Their Kickstarter reiterates this point by saying, "We are serious about this: if you're not willing to face a disturbing truth, do not support this project!" The mansion plays host to a variety of supernatural entities, visions, and memories. The memories play out in a unique style, they are projected onto walls as shadows. At the heart of all of this lies something called "Empuros," something that inspired the horrific acts that afflicted the people who entered Wharton Manor. The team describes the player's journey as an experience of that individual's personal hell, melding science and mysticism to concepts of love and death. One of the interesting stylistic choices for Dreadful Bond is the use of hyper-realistic environments mixed with the decision to make the entire production a black and white affair. It even makes use of a subtle film grain effect to harkens back to the game's roots in giallo cinema which also used black-and-white heavily during the 60s and 70s. The team at Clod Studio has created the game using a technique called photogrammetry in which they scan objects and environments that can then be reproduced in-game almost perfectly. Even the shadows seen in-game were captured from real actors performing the scenes. This lends the game a very grounded feeling and heightens the feeling of disconnect when supernatural events begin to occur. The Kickstarter... might not make its goal. As of this writing, the project has only amassed a little over $24,000 of their $67,000 goal. Less than five days remain for the team to raise the remaining funds. However, the game appears to be far enough along that it seems inconceivable to me that it won't get made. It already has an impressive short film, "For Bridget," that you can watch below and a demo of Dreadful Bond has released that shows off a good chunk of the mansion. At the very least, I hope the world is blessed with the insanity that is a horror game created under the artistic direction of Dario Argento, one of the best horror directors working today. Honestly, if you are a fan of horror games, this should be on your radar. It looks like a lot of time and care has been poured into this project by a team that feels passionate about horror alongside the input of one of the greats of the genre. The presentation feels fresh and eye-catching. The subject matter seems bold and twisted. Even if this eventually comes out and receives some harsh criticism for elements we haven't seen yet, I have no doubt that Dreadful Bond will be incredibly interesting and unique in a genre that has contented itself with ripping off Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the past seven years. This could be a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs it. The Kickstarter ends on the April 24, so be sure to back it if you find it interesting. Dreadful Bond, if successful (and hopefully even if it fails to succeed on Kickstarter) will release for PC and, possibly, PlayStation 4 in late 2020 or early 2021. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  21. The solo indie developer that goes by bcubedlabs has returned. After an impressive showing with The Onus Helm's Kickstarter demo early last year failed to gain crowdfunding traction, bcubedlabs hit the drawing board. They have finally returned with their next project, an action-oriented boss rush game titled Far Blade. Unlike The Onus Helm, Far Blade has launched on itch.io for $5.99, allowing players to support the developer while the project finishes and reaches full retail readiness. Admittedly, bcubedlabs makes it clear that a considerable amount of work still needs to be done, like completing the design of all seven hand-crafted boss encounters. The current build possesses finalized mechanics and camera control, so while much of it remains to be completed, the basics are all in place. It seems like the intent with Far Blade is to see it through to the end without relying on crowdfunding; meaning that the finished project will actually see the light of day. Far Blade tells the story of a lone adventurer who must fight seven huge creatures while exploring an unknown corner of the world. The story has been left deliberately vague to serve as the central mystery of the title. As players explore and conquer their foes, bits of the story will come together to form a larger whole. It seems like this might take a bit of conjecture, but many people have excelled at parsing that sort of storytelling in recent years. It should be easy to recognize several different influences at work in the basic mechanics and ideas behind Far Blade like The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, and more modern pixel action-adventure games like Hyper Light Drifter. While the boss design and environments undergo polishing, the striking aesthetic has been drawing many eyes to Far Blade. Bcubedlabs has been working on the project alone and developed a new technique that creates 3D models in a pixelated style, making camera movement possible without remaking the art for all the different angles shown. It manages to somehow look a bit like a beautiful version of an N64 game, straddling the line between two very different retro aesthetics in a way that few titles can. At the moment, Far Blade makes use of royalty free music, but depending on how well the game does in these early development days, bcubedlabs intends to hire a composer for a personalized soundtrack. So far only PC platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux) have been confirmed for the final version of the game. However, Far Blade includes built-in support for Xbox controllers, meaning that a console port could very well be a possibility in the future. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  22. The solo indie developer that goes by bcubedlabs has returned. After an impressive showing with The Onus Helm's Kickstarter demo early last year failed to gain crowdfunding traction, bcubedlabs hit the drawing board. They have finally returned with their next project, an action-oriented boss rush game titled Far Blade. Unlike The Onus Helm, Far Blade has launched on itch.io for $5.99, allowing players to support the developer while the project finishes and reaches full retail readiness. Admittedly, bcubedlabs makes it clear that a considerable amount of work still needs to be done, like completing the design of all seven hand-crafted boss encounters. The current build possesses finalized mechanics and camera control, so while much of it remains to be completed, the basics are all in place. It seems like the intent with Far Blade is to see it through to the end without relying on crowdfunding; meaning that the finished project will actually see the light of day. Far Blade tells the story of a lone adventurer who must fight seven huge creatures while exploring an unknown corner of the world. The story has been left deliberately vague to serve as the central mystery of the title. As players explore and conquer their foes, bits of the story will come together to form a larger whole. It seems like this might take a bit of conjecture, but many people have excelled at parsing that sort of storytelling in recent years. It should be easy to recognize several different influences at work in the basic mechanics and ideas behind Far Blade like The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, Dark Souls, and more modern pixel action-adventure games like Hyper Light Drifter. While the boss design and environments undergo polishing, the striking aesthetic has been drawing many eyes to Far Blade. Bcubedlabs has been working on the project alone and developed a new technique that creates 3D models in a pixelated style, making camera movement possible without remaking the art for all the different angles shown. It manages to somehow look a bit like a beautiful version of an N64 game, straddling the line between two very different retro aesthetics in a way that few titles can. At the moment, Far Blade makes use of royalty free music, but depending on how well the game does in these early development days, bcubedlabs intends to hire a composer for a personalized soundtrack. So far only PC platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux) have been confirmed for the final version of the game. However, Far Blade includes built-in support for Xbox controllers, meaning that a console port could very well be a possibility in the future. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  23. Resident. Evil. Shinji Mikami's debut survival horror game that single-handedly invented the entire genre in 1996. Since then, it has been retooled and rereleased numerous times throughout the years, culminating in the release of the 2002 GameCube remake that overhauled the graphics, added new mechanics and enemies along with a few special secrets. That version has stood the test of time so well that an HD version was ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2015. What makes Resident Evil worthy of decades of rereleases and ports? Is Resident Evil one of the best games of all-time? To help us answer this question, we are joined by the excellent Kazuma Hashimoto (who previously came on to discuss Catherine and Resident Evil 4). Be sure to follow him on twitter: @JusticeKazzy_ Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Shadow of the Colossus 'For Her Soul' by RoeTaKa (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03791) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  24. Resident. Evil. Shinji Mikami's debut survival horror game that single-handedly invented the entire genre in 1996. Since then, it has been retooled and rereleased numerous times throughout the years, culminating in the release of the 2002 GameCube remake that overhauled the graphics, added new mechanics and enemies along with a few special secrets. That version has stood the test of time so well that an HD version was ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2015. What makes Resident Evil worthy of decades of rereleases and ports? Is Resident Evil one of the best games of all-time? To help us answer this question, we are joined by the excellent Kazuma Hashimoto (who previously came on to discuss Catherine and Resident Evil 4). Be sure to follow him on twitter: @JusticeKazzy_ Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Shadow of the Colossus 'For Her Soul' by RoeTaKa (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03791) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  25. In an industry that likes to latch onto indie devs and hold them up as self-made creators who were able to create their piece of art all on their own, Toby Fox dominated headlines with the 2015 release of his critically acclaimed RPG Undertale. As is often the case with these narratives, Undertale was not created by Toby Fox in a vacuum. Undertale did, in fact, have a lead artist named Temmie Chang. Chang has now released a short, narrative game on itch.io called Escaped Chasm. Escaped Chasm tells the story of a lonely girl who dreams of another world and an end to her isolation. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete a run through the game and there are "around 4 different endings" to discover according to the game's page on itch.io, meaning that to experience all of them will take a little over an hour. Temmie Chang created Escaped Chasm with RPGmaker, following in the footsteps of games like To The Moon and Star Stealing Prince. The story lives up to the emotional tone of the images and trailer advertised on Escaped Chasm's page. It's melancholy, knows exactly what it wants to be, and executes on its potential in interesting ways. Toby Fox himself pitched in to create the music heard throughout Escaped Chasm. Meanwhile the television music included in the game comes courtesy of James Roach, the composer known for his work on the Hiveswap game. With games built in RPGmaker, especially with the assistance of the people who helped make Undertale a reality, there's a chance that this isn't the last time we will be hearing from Temmie Chang or Escaped Chasm. Chang closes out her game's page by saying, "Thank you for stopping by!! I hope you like it!! I'll try to make more one day." We could be seeing a many more games come out of Undertale's team if the talents behind it all begin branching out to make their own personal projects and that's a freaking cool prospect. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
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