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Found 41 results

  1. Growing out of a prototype conceived for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario 64 hit the gaming landscape like a thunderbolt of Italian stereotypes in 1996. Shigeru Miyamoto had managed to push back the launch of the Nintendo 64 from its prime holiday release window in 1995 to give a handful of precious months to finish development on Super Mario 64. It was a massive gamble, but the release delivered a landmark example on how to create a 3D platformer on consoles that shaped generations of games and gamers. Looking back on it over two decades later, can Super Mario 64 still be considered one of the best games period or has time taken its toll? 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: Super Mario 64 'Toadstool's Groove' by Tetrimino (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03215) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! 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!
  2. Growing out of a prototype conceived for the Super Nintendo, Super Mario 64 hit the gaming landscape like a thunderbolt of Italian stereotypes in 1996. Shigeru Miyamoto had managed to push back the launch of the Nintendo 64 from its prime holiday release window in 1995 to give a handful of precious months to finish development on Super Mario 64. It was a massive gamble, but the release delivered a landmark example on how to create a 3D platformer on consoles that shaped generations of games and gamers. Looking back on it over two decades later, can Super Mario 64 still be considered one of the best games period or has time taken its toll? 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: Super Mario 64 'Toadstool's Groove' by Tetrimino (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03215) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! 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
  3. Runbow pits up to nine players against one another online in variety of game modes that use color to create and destroy platforms in a variety of interesting ways. the general premise can be summed up in the phrase, "if you can't see it, it doesn't exist." Waves of color splash across the screen and the platforms that match the current screen color vanish until the next color sweeps the stage. It's a simple premise, but the execution makes it special. While up to nine players can play together online at one time, the Switch version of Runbow supports up to eight players in local co-op with the PlayStation 4 supporting four players. Together, players can compete in Run, Arena, or King of the Hill modes in either private games with friends or open your party up to other players from around the world. Runbow also has a single-player Adventure mode with over 140 different levels that take players on a quest to save Poster District from the villain Satura. A separate challenge mode is available that has players swallowed by a gigantic creature and attempting an escape from the beast's colorful innards. Both modes can be tackled solo or with friends. The more players splash around in the colorful world of Runbow, the more fun stuff they can unlock. In addition to concept art and costumes, there are 19 unlockable guest characters, including Shovel Knight, CommanderVideo, Shantae, and Lilac. While Runbow originally released in 2015 on the Wii U and PC (as well as last year in 2017 for Xbox One), the Switch and PlayStation 4 versions have had a bit of a bumpy road to release. The Headup Games and 13AM Games teams have apologized and pushed back the release date that has yet to be specified. The two studios stated that the delay was to spend more time optimizing the game for each respective system. The delay is "just a matter of weeks" according to the developers, so hopefully it doesn't leave too many people flustered.
  4. Runbow pits up to nine players against one another online in variety of game modes that use color to create and destroy platforms in a variety of interesting ways. the general premise can be summed up in the phrase, "if you can't see it, it doesn't exist." Waves of color splash across the screen and the platforms that match the current screen color vanish until the next color sweeps the stage. It's a simple premise, but the execution makes it special. While up to nine players can play together online at one time, the Switch version of Runbow supports up to eight players in local co-op with the PlayStation 4 supporting four players. Together, players can compete in Run, Arena, or King of the Hill modes in either private games with friends or open your party up to other players from around the world. Runbow also has a single-player Adventure mode with over 140 different levels that take players on a quest to save Poster District from the villain Satura. A separate challenge mode is available that has players swallowed by a gigantic creature and attempting an escape from the beast's colorful innards. Both modes can be tackled solo or with friends. The more players splash around in the colorful world of Runbow, the more fun stuff they can unlock. In addition to concept art and costumes, there are 19 unlockable guest characters, including Shovel Knight, CommanderVideo, Shantae, and Lilac. While Runbow originally released in 2015 on the Wii U and PC (as well as last year in 2017 for Xbox One), the Switch and PlayStation 4 versions have had a bit of a bumpy road to release. The Headup Games and 13AM Games teams have apologized and pushed back the release date that has yet to be specified. The two studios stated that the delay was to spend more time optimizing the game for each respective system. The delay is "just a matter of weeks" according to the developers, so hopefully it doesn't leave too many people flustered. View full article
  5. Jack Gardner

    Super Cat Tales 2 Looks Fur-nomenal

    Neutronized might not be a huge name in the gaming industry, but they've been steadily working on quirky, interesting projects since 2010 from their Italy-based studio. In 2016, they released a cat-focused platformer called Super Cat Tales for iOS (or Super Cat Bros. on Android). Super Cat Tales drew heavily from the heyday of 90s platformers with many people drawing parallels between the mobile title and the high points of that generation like Super Mario World and Kirby's Dream Land 3. Professional reviews, like those from Touch Arcade, gave the game perfect scores with headlines like "Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow." Super Cat Tales was about Alex the cat on an adventure to reunite with his siblings. The sequel stars Alex and company taking on the evil Lord Iridium and his army of tin soldiers that have attacked Neko Land with a fleet of clockwork airships. The robotic forces of Lord Iridium seek a special metal hidden within the feline's planet and is rumored to be the power that holds the entire world together. Using the different powers and abilities of the various cats that join Alex in his fight, players must traverse the world and thwart Iridium's plans before the invasion destroys everything. Is it really any surprise that the bigger, richer sequel to a highly praised title would be even more impressive? The team at Neutronized have upped their game visually and the trailer really showcases that change. As players progress through an overworld filled with stages from various lands, they'll encounter a variety of new mechanics and situations. At one point, the trailer shows the grizzled cat Sergeant McMeow piloting a clockwork tank through a robotic factory. Overall, Super Cat Tales 2 just looks like a really good time, and you should keep an eye on it. Super Cat Tales 2 will release sometime in 2018 for iOS and Android.
  6. Neutronized might not be a huge name in the gaming industry, but they've been steadily working on quirky, interesting projects since 2010 from their Italy-based studio. In 2016, they released a cat-focused platformer called Super Cat Tales for iOS (or Super Cat Bros. on Android). Super Cat Tales drew heavily from the heyday of 90s platformers with many people drawing parallels between the mobile title and the high points of that generation like Super Mario World and Kirby's Dream Land 3. Professional reviews, like those from Touch Arcade, gave the game perfect scores with headlines like "Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow." Super Cat Tales was about Alex the cat on an adventure to reunite with his siblings. The sequel stars Alex and company taking on the evil Lord Iridium and his army of tin soldiers that have attacked Neko Land with a fleet of clockwork airships. The robotic forces of Lord Iridium seek a special metal hidden within the feline's planet and is rumored to be the power that holds the entire world together. Using the different powers and abilities of the various cats that join Alex in his fight, players must traverse the world and thwart Iridium's plans before the invasion destroys everything. Is it really any surprise that the bigger, richer sequel to a highly praised title would be even more impressive? The team at Neutronized have upped their game visually and the trailer really showcases that change. As players progress through an overworld filled with stages from various lands, they'll encounter a variety of new mechanics and situations. At one point, the trailer shows the grizzled cat Sergeant McMeow piloting a clockwork tank through a robotic factory. Overall, Super Cat Tales 2 just looks like a really good time, and you should keep an eye on it. Super Cat Tales 2 will release sometime in 2018 for iOS and Android. View full article
  7. Armor Games Studios, publisher of indie gems like Sonny and Pinstripe, and developer Massive Monster have announced that The Adventure Pals will be releasing early next month. The zany co-op platformer sends a pair of kids off on an adventure to save their grandpa from being turned into a hot dog. Players take on the role of one of the kids, either solo or in co-op, and ride off to do battle against the forces of wackness on the backs of their trusty giraffe steeds. Over the course of their adventure, they'll give semi sentient cupcakes to cats, make friends with rocks, and do battle against a whole host of strange baddies. The Adventure Pals features over 100 levels spread across five worlds. Each world holds a variety of quests and characters that range from zombie pirate cats to hot dogs that squelch out land mines to a very large and very insecure whale. Completing quests will level the adventure pals up and open ever more powerful abilities. As part of the announcement, Armor Games Studios and Massive Monster have released a 10-minute gameplay preview that you can view below: The Adventure Pals releases on April 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a Switch version coming soon after that date.
  8. Armor Games Studios, publisher of indie gems like Sonny and Pinstripe, and developer Massive Monster have announced that The Adventure Pals will be releasing early next month. The zany co-op platformer sends a pair of kids off on an adventure to save their grandpa from being turned into a hot dog. Players take on the role of one of the kids, either solo or in co-op, and ride off to do battle against the forces of wackness on the backs of their trusty giraffe steeds. Over the course of their adventure, they'll give semi sentient cupcakes to cats, make friends with rocks, and do battle against a whole host of strange baddies. The Adventure Pals features over 100 levels spread across five worlds. Each world holds a variety of quests and characters that range from zombie pirate cats to hot dogs that squelch out land mines to a very large and very insecure whale. Completing quests will level the adventure pals up and open ever more powerful abilities. As part of the announcement, Armor Games Studios and Massive Monster have released a 10-minute gameplay preview that you can view below: The Adventure Pals releases on April 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a Switch version coming soon after that date. View full article
  9. Indie developer Spotlightor partnered with Zodiac Interactive to bring their 2017 Xbox One critical darling to PC and PlayStation 4. Candleman: The Complete Journey releases today for PC and will be coming to PS4 later this year. The indie hit stars a little candle-man who can only burn for 10 seconds as he chases a strange light in the distance. His pursuit takes him through a wide variety of light-based environments and challenges. Magic a light combine to create a visually compelling adventure that's at times enchanting and other times ominous. The Complete Journey will release with a time challenge mode, better performance and framerate over the original, and 4K support. The Lost Light DLC that came to the Xbox One version will be included in The Complete Journey, too. A re-release will probably help Candleman see a bit more attention, especially now that heavy hitting platformers like Mario Odyssey have hit and receded. Candleman: The Complete Journey is now available on Xbox One and PC and will be released on PlayStation 4 later this year.
  10. Indie developer Spotlightor partnered with Zodiac Interactive to bring their 2017 Xbox One critical darling to PC and PlayStation 4. Candleman: The Complete Journey releases today for PC and will be coming to PS4 later this year. The indie hit stars a little candle-man who can only burn for 10 seconds as he chases a strange light in the distance. His pursuit takes him through a wide variety of light-based environments and challenges. Magic a light combine to create a visually compelling adventure that's at times enchanting and other times ominous. The Complete Journey will release with a time challenge mode, better performance and framerate over the original, and 4K support. The Lost Light DLC that came to the Xbox One version will be included in The Complete Journey, too. A re-release will probably help Candleman see a bit more attention, especially now that heavy hitting platformers like Mario Odyssey have hit and receded. Candleman: The Complete Journey is now available on Xbox One and PC and will be released on PlayStation 4 later this year. View full article
  11. Celeste Mountain looms over a tantalizing mystery, one that Madeline, our young protagonist, determines to uncover. Using Madeline's reservoir of stamina, players must navigate the treacherous terrain and dangers to discover new characters and locations. Mastering her mid-air dash will be crucial to making progress. For people who are more invested in the story than the challenging gameplay, developer Matt Makes Games has included an assist mode. Assist mode allows players to tweak difficulty to find the most enjoyable way to play through Celeste. Options range from slowing down time to pure invincibility. Celeste also caters to the hardcore gaming crowd with a unique challenge mode for the most skilled players called The B-Side Chapters. Nintendo will launch Celeste as a digital title for the Nintendo Switch on January 25. View full article
  12. Celeste Mountain looms over a tantalizing mystery, one that Madeline, our young protagonist, determines to uncover. Using Madeline's reservoir of stamina, players must navigate the treacherous terrain and dangers to discover new characters and locations. Mastering her mid-air dash will be crucial to making progress. For people who are more invested in the story than the challenging gameplay, developer Matt Makes Games has included an assist mode. Assist mode allows players to tweak difficulty to find the most enjoyable way to play through Celeste. Options range from slowing down time to pure invincibility. Celeste also caters to the hardcore gaming crowd with a unique challenge mode for the most skilled players called The B-Side Chapters. Nintendo will launch Celeste as a digital title for the Nintendo Switch on January 25.
  13. The fine folks at Robot Loves Kitty found themselves in a bit of a bind recently. For the past few years, they'd been working on a game called Upsilon Circuit, a crazy mixture of game show, RPG, and online multiplayer. The studio consists of the self-taught indie duo Alix Stolzer and Calvin Goble. The scope of Upsilon Circuit and grew to the extent that it required more members on the team than Stolzer and Goble, so the team hired additional staff. Unfortunately, the funding source that they tapped into to hire those team members pulled out before the game was ready to be done. As part of the cancellation announcement, Robot Loves Kitty put out a statement saying, “We just wanted to make this game we were both so passionate about, and we were sacrificing so much to do it. When things fell apart it left both of us feeling overwhelmingly sad, angry, ashamed, and depressed.” The lack of funding brought the entire project to a screeching halt. As of right now, the quirky indie dream that was Upsilon Circuit is no more and the gaming landscape is poorer of the loss. That being said, Robot Loves Kitty has a new project on the horizon called Super Tony Land! The indie game thumbs its nose at the Super Mario Bros. series in an adventure starring Tony, a plumber from Brooklyn who finds himself in the world of video games. Players can build their own levels, share them via Steam Workshop, and even create entire story lines! The tool set being used to give players the power of creation is called Tronics, a visual programming language that can be used to make functional robots, ships, clockwork contraptions, or even dialogue trees. It opens up some really interesting possibilities that allow for never before seen mechanics, stories, and characters. Players will also be able to make use of power-ups and a character creator to really bring their world to life. Super Tony Land should be available on PC Spring 2018.
  14. The fine folks at Robot Loves Kitty found themselves in a bit of a bind recently. For the past few years, they'd been working on a game called Upsilon Circuit, a crazy mixture of game show, RPG, and online multiplayer. The studio consists of the self-taught indie duo Alix Stolzer and Calvin Goble. The scope of Upsilon Circuit and grew to the extent that it required more members on the team than Stolzer and Goble, so the team hired additional staff. Unfortunately, the funding source that they tapped into to hire those team members pulled out before the game was ready to be done. As part of the cancellation announcement, Robot Loves Kitty put out a statement saying, “We just wanted to make this game we were both so passionate about, and we were sacrificing so much to do it. When things fell apart it left both of us feeling overwhelmingly sad, angry, ashamed, and depressed.” The lack of funding brought the entire project to a screeching halt. As of right now, the quirky indie dream that was Upsilon Circuit is no more and the gaming landscape is poorer of the loss. That being said, Robot Loves Kitty has a new project on the horizon called Super Tony Land! The indie game thumbs its nose at the Super Mario Bros. series in an adventure starring Tony, a plumber from Brooklyn who finds himself in the world of video games. Players can build their own levels, share them via Steam Workshop, and even create entire story lines! The tool set being used to give players the power of creation is called Tronics, a visual programming language that can be used to make functional robots, ships, clockwork contraptions, or even dialogue trees. It opens up some really interesting possibilities that allow for never before seen mechanics, stories, and characters. Players will also be able to make use of power-ups and a character creator to really bring their world to life. Super Tony Land should be available on PC Spring 2018. View full article
  15. Sonic the Hedgehog may have been a well known character before Sonic 2 hit the shelves, but Sonic 2 gave his series of games the momentum to continue all the way to this very day, made the Sega Genesis a must-own system for kids around the world, and set the blue blur up as the pinnacle of anthropomorphic protagonists with attitude. Game critic and Sonic enthusiast Marcus Stewart joins the show to argue for Sonic 2's inclusion among the best games period. Some people love Sonic the Hedgehog, while others find the series lacking. This week, we pit the two views head to head to see which comes out on top! 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: Sonic CD 'Take It All the Way' by Magellanic and PROTO·DOME (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02940) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! 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 Be sure to follow Marcus Stewart on Twitter to keep an eye on his work and tweets about wrestling: @MarcusStewart7 New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  16. Sonic the Hedgehog may have been a well known character before Sonic 2 hit the shelves, but Sonic 2 gave his series of games the momentum to continue all the way to this very day, made the Sega Genesis a must-own system for kids around the world, and set the blue blur up as the pinnacle of anthropomorphic protagonists with attitude. Game critic and Sonic enthusiast Marcus Stewart joins the show to argue for Sonic 2's inclusion among the best games period. Some people love Sonic the Hedgehog, while others find the series lacking. This week, we pit the two views head to head to see which comes out on top! 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: Sonic CD 'Take It All the Way' by Magellanic and PROTO·DOME (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02940) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! 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 Be sure to follow Marcus Stewart on Twitter to keep an eye on his work and tweets about wrestling: @MarcusStewart7 New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  17. Daniel Jones

    Review: Slime-San

    Indie retro platformers are a dime a dozen in 2017. Since the success of Super Meat Boy in 2010, the independent scene has become cluttered with also-ran, ultra-challenging, quirky platformers of the 8-bit variety. As an ultra-challenging, quirky platformer of the 8-bit variety, Slime-San, from developer Fabraz and publisher Headup Games, will likely fall squarely into that also-ran category, to no fault of its own. Slime-San’s titular protagonist finds himself trapped inside a worm. The reasons are unknown, but probably have something to do with the fact that it’s… ya know, a slime. Inside the worm, an entire community of slimes has developed, with NPC’s offering up quirky flavor text and gameplay modifications. Everyone seems to have resigned themselves to their fate, eternally trapped inside this volatile invertebrate, but not Slime-San. He’s going to get out, and he’s going to free everyone else in the process. Slime-San’s amusing story, but silly story made me laugh more than a handful of times. Slime-San is a fine example of what has made the platformer genre so enduring even three decades after Mario first bounced off a goomba’s head. The platforming presents an intense dance of thumbs and reflexes as each level tests your ability to flip back and forth between the numerous pitfalls and traps in each stage. Those obstacles range from enemies that chase you around the level, to lasers that rise and fall in tandem, to an ever-present red slime that acts as a timer lending some more tension to each stage. The environments inside the giant worm in which Slime-San is trapped, mainly consist of green and red surfaces. You can bounce and climb up green surfaces, while red surfaces will kill your gungy, little protagonist. You can slow time to pass through green surfaces or perform a quick forward dash to more easily maneuver through the game’s many obstacles. These abilities are key to Slime-San’s mobility, which feels tight and joyful, always keeping you on your toes without becoming too frustrating. This is greatly aided by the game’s generous checkpoint system. Death in Slime-San serves as a lesson in how to avoid it on the next run through a level, rather than a frustrating penalty. That’s not to say Slime-San avoids frustration altogether. As the game progresses, new concepts and obstacles are introduced at a steady drip. While some effectively enhance the challenge, others detract from what Slime-San does well. There are a number of puzzle levels that, when combined with the game’s already perplexing platforming sequences, serve to slow things down and create a repetitive loop that often tested my patience to its breaking point. In addition, underwater levels show up more often that they should, which is to say they should’ve been nixed completely. The underwater stages simply don’t play to Slime-San’s strengths, slowing Slime-San’s movement speed to a crawl and evoking the feeling of swimming through a bowl of Jell-O rather than zipping around tightly designed corridors. At times like this, Slime-San’s creativity undermines its tight, smooth game design. Slime-San’s best moments are challenges that require unimpeachable control, precise timing, and speed. Slime-San is designed for forward momentum, and each one-screen stage lays out where you need to go right from the beginning, so all you need to do is figure out how to get there and the quickest route to take. Boss fights break up the challenges nicely, allowing you to experiment with different techniques to take down each beast. These fights test your skills to the max, but they’re also a lot of fun. I only wish there were more of them. My biggest issue with Slime-San relates directly to the platform I played it on. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers were not designed well for someone with large hands, and playing Slime-San exasperates that problem. The game demands precise timing and thumb-work, but the Joy-Cons can’t accommodate that for someone like myself. Whereas I find that minimalist, chill games like Death Squared seem perfectly suited to the Switch, games like Slime-San and, similarly, Super Meat Boy (which also recently released on Switch) are hindered by the console’s standard input controllers. I have never wished I had a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller more than after some of the more harrowing sections of Slime-San. The lack of a real d-pad and the close proximity of the face buttons and the shoulder buttons on the Joy-Cons force my hands into a claw position that aches for about ten minutes afterwards. Listen, I know that not everyone will have this problem. Maybe I’m just old, or maybe I just have big hands, or god forbid, maybe I’m developing carpal tunnel or early stage arthritis, but playing Slime-San on Switch made me feel like my hands were falling apart. It’s a shame, because this is the kind of game that can ensnare you for hours on end as you try “just one more level” over and over until your thumbs go numb. Conclusion: Slime-San isn’t perfect, but it is charming, and provides a challenging good time for any fan of the genre. I’m glad it released on Switch, so that it’s now on all of the major platforms; PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam. It’s the kind of game that fits nicely on Switch (provided you have a pro controller, or the joy-cons fit your hands perfectly), and especially benefits from the new Nintendo system’s less-congested marketplace. It’s a great game, but it doesn’t stand out from the pack of indie platformers on offer. Heck, it’s not even the most recognizable slime-themed game this year. While never quite reaching the heights of some of its predecessors, Slime-San makes for an enjoyable, but imperfect little platforming adventure.
  18. Daniel Jones

    Gaming News:Review: Slime-San

    Indie retro platformers are a dime a dozen in 2017. Since the success of Super Meat Boy in 2010, the independent scene has become cluttered with also-ran, ultra-challenging, quirky platformers of the 8-bit variety. As an ultra-challenging, quirky platformer of the 8-bit variety, Slime-San, from developer Fabraz and publisher Headup Games, will likely fall squarely into that also-ran category, to no fault of its own. Slime-San’s titular protagonist finds himself trapped inside a worm. The reasons are unknown, but probably have something to do with the fact that it’s… ya know, a slime. Inside the worm, an entire community of slimes has developed, with NPC’s offering up quirky flavor text and gameplay modifications. Everyone seems to have resigned themselves to their fate, eternally trapped inside this volatile invertebrate, but not Slime-San. He’s going to get out, and he’s going to free everyone else in the process. Slime-San’s amusing story, but silly story made me laugh more than a handful of times. Slime-San is a fine example of what has made the platformer genre so enduring even three decades after Mario first bounced off a goomba’s head. The platforming presents an intense dance of thumbs and reflexes as each level tests your ability to flip back and forth between the numerous pitfalls and traps in each stage. Those obstacles range from enemies that chase you around the level, to lasers that rise and fall in tandem, to an ever-present red slime that acts as a timer lending some more tension to each stage. The environments inside the giant worm in which Slime-San is trapped, mainly consist of green and red surfaces. You can bounce and climb up green surfaces, while red surfaces will kill your gungy, little protagonist. You can slow time to pass through green surfaces or perform a quick forward dash to more easily maneuver through the game’s many obstacles. These abilities are key to Slime-San’s mobility, which feels tight and joyful, always keeping you on your toes without becoming too frustrating. This is greatly aided by the game’s generous checkpoint system. Death in Slime-San serves as a lesson in how to avoid it on the next run through a level, rather than a frustrating penalty. That’s not to say Slime-San avoids frustration altogether. As the game progresses, new concepts and obstacles are introduced at a steady drip. While some effectively enhance the challenge, others detract from what Slime-San does well. There are a number of puzzle levels that, when combined with the game’s already perplexing platforming sequences, serve to slow things down and create a repetitive loop that often tested my patience to its breaking point. In addition, underwater levels show up more often that they should, which is to say they should’ve been nixed completely. The underwater stages simply don’t play to Slime-San’s strengths, slowing Slime-San’s movement speed to a crawl and evoking the feeling of swimming through a bowl of Jell-O rather than zipping around tightly designed corridors. At times like this, Slime-San’s creativity undermines its tight, smooth game design. Slime-San’s best moments are challenges that require unimpeachable control, precise timing, and speed. Slime-San is designed for forward momentum, and each one-screen stage lays out where you need to go right from the beginning, so all you need to do is figure out how to get there and the quickest route to take. Boss fights break up the challenges nicely, allowing you to experiment with different techniques to take down each beast. These fights test your skills to the max, but they’re also a lot of fun. I only wish there were more of them. My biggest issue with Slime-San relates directly to the platform I played it on. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers were not designed well for someone with large hands, and playing Slime-San exasperates that problem. The game demands precise timing and thumb-work, but the Joy-Cons can’t accommodate that for someone like myself. Whereas I find that minimalist, chill games like Death Squared seem perfectly suited to the Switch, games like Slime-San and, similarly, Super Meat Boy (which also recently released on Switch) are hindered by the console’s standard input controllers. I have never wished I had a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller more than after some of the more harrowing sections of Slime-San. The lack of a real d-pad and the close proximity of the face buttons and the shoulder buttons on the Joy-Cons force my hands into a claw position that aches for about ten minutes afterwards. Listen, I know that not everyone will have this problem. Maybe I’m just old, or maybe I just have big hands, or god forbid, maybe I’m developing carpal tunnel or early stage arthritis, but playing Slime-San on Switch made me feel like my hands were falling apart. It’s a shame, because this is the kind of game that can ensnare you for hours on end as you try “just one more level” over and over until your thumbs go numb. Conclusion: Slime-San isn’t perfect, but it is charming, and provides a challenging good time for any fan of the genre. I’m glad it released on Switch, so that it’s now on all of the major platforms; PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Steam. It’s the kind of game that fits nicely on Switch (provided you have a pro controller, or the joy-cons fit your hands perfectly), and especially benefits from the new Nintendo system’s less-congested marketplace. It’s a great game, but it doesn’t stand out from the pack of indie platformers on offer. Heck, it’s not even the most recognizable slime-themed game this year. While never quite reaching the heights of some of its predecessors, Slime-San makes for an enjoyable, but imperfect little platforming adventure. View full article
  19. Slime-san released on PC back in April, but the charming, goopy platformer about a slime with a heart of gold has released for the Nintendo Switch. The adventure is simple enough - Slime-san was living happily in the forest until one day a gigantic worm ate him! Players must help the intrepid little slime ball escape the digestive tract of the worm while navigating around hazards and making new friends who survive within the gargantuan worm. However, in order to complete his escape, Slime-san will have to conquer 100 different levels, all rendered lovingly in a retro art style. Players will be able to unlock new play styles, outfits, shaders, and multiplayer mini-games that make use of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. Mastery of the fast-paced platforming is a must for players looking to escape the worm alive and avoid an oncoming wall of stomach acid. Slime-san uses his slime body to his advantage, squeezing through tight nooks, dashing through broken obstacles, slipping and sliding off of walls. Sliming around on the ground slows time, while dashing speeds it up. Players looking for a more competitive challenge will definitely find one in Slime-San. Fabraz, the title's developer, has added a timer to each level. Players can compare their times with online rankings to see how they measure up to Slime-san players around the world. New challenge modes like a New Game+, Speed Running, and Boss Rush can also be unlocked to up the ante. Last, but certainly not least, Slime-san features a wonderful soundtrack from over 10 different composers including the likes of Richard Gould, Adhesive Wombat, Tiasu, Meganeko, Kubbi, and Inverse Phase. It's definitely worth a listen, even if you're not a fan of platformers. Slime-san has been recognized on numerous occasions for its standout gameplay and aesthetic, including being part of the Smithsonian Arcade Selection in July.
  20. Slime-san released on PC back in April, but the charming, goopy platformer about a slime with a heart of gold has released for the Nintendo Switch. The adventure is simple enough - Slime-san was living happily in the forest until one day a gigantic worm ate him! Players must help the intrepid little slime ball escape the digestive tract of the worm while navigating around hazards and making new friends who survive within the gargantuan worm. However, in order to complete his escape, Slime-san will have to conquer 100 different levels, all rendered lovingly in a retro art style. Players will be able to unlock new play styles, outfits, shaders, and multiplayer mini-games that make use of the Switch's Joy-Con controllers. Mastery of the fast-paced platforming is a must for players looking to escape the worm alive and avoid an oncoming wall of stomach acid. Slime-san uses his slime body to his advantage, squeezing through tight nooks, dashing through broken obstacles, slipping and sliding off of walls. Sliming around on the ground slows time, while dashing speeds it up. Players looking for a more competitive challenge will definitely find one in Slime-San. Fabraz, the title's developer, has added a timer to each level. Players can compare their times with online rankings to see how they measure up to Slime-san players around the world. New challenge modes like a New Game+, Speed Running, and Boss Rush can also be unlocked to up the ante. Last, but certainly not least, Slime-san features a wonderful soundtrack from over 10 different composers including the likes of Richard Gould, Adhesive Wombat, Tiasu, Meganeko, Kubbi, and Inverse Phase. It's definitely worth a listen, even if you're not a fan of platformers. Slime-san has been recognized on numerous occasions for its standout gameplay and aesthetic, including being part of the Smithsonian Arcade Selection in July. View full article
  21. When I woke up this morning, I didn't expect to be writing about a new Bubsy game. I mean, for crying out loud, the last Bubsy game released in 1996 - that's over two decades ago! Through some kind of alchemy that doubtlessly included human sacrifices, Bubsy has a new game slated for release this year. With the aid of Billionsoft, an investment company that revives old gaming IPs with an eye to make a profit, Accolade has risen from the grave to create an all new Bubsy game. Titled Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back, the reinvention of the classic platformer has our furred hero traveling to various locales in search of the golden fleece. Bubsy returns this September on the PlayStation 4 and PC.
  22. When I woke up this morning, I didn't expect to be writing about a new Bubsy game. I mean, for crying out loud, the last Bubsy game released in 1996 - that's over two decades ago! Through some kind of alchemy that doubtlessly included human sacrifices, Bubsy has a new game slated for release this year. With the aid of Billionsoft, an investment company that revives old gaming IPs with an eye to make a profit, Accolade has risen from the grave to create an all new Bubsy game. Titled Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back, the reinvention of the classic platformer has our furred hero traveling to various locales in search of the golden fleece. Bubsy returns this September on the PlayStation 4 and PC. View full article
  23. Swedish game developer Villa Gorilla announced today that they will be partnering with publisher Team17 to bring their combination pinball-platformer to life. Yoku's Island Express offers a strangely enticing mix of pinball gameplay and platforming with pinball elements. Players take on the role of Yoku, a heroic dung beetle wh- wait, hear me out! I know video games are sometimes weird just for the sake of being weird, but this one seems weird AND cool. Yoku has arrived on Mokumana Island, a land of anthropomorphic animals, in order to take over for the old pterodactyl's mailman job. Though he thought this island gig would be relaxing, he soon discovers that Mokumana's guardian deity has fallen into a deep sleep plagued by nightmares. The slumbering god's troubled dreams create earthquakes and misery for the colorful characters of the island, even bringing down Yoku's post office. So, in order to get the relaxation he always wanted, Yoku sets off on a mission to awaken the troubled god and restore peace to Mokumana. Using Yoku's travelling ball, you know, as dung beetles do, players can help him navigate the pinball-like stages to explore the world, collect fruit, and rebuild the ruined post office. The hand-painted world of Yoku's Island Express was created by industry veterans and ex-members of Starbreeze Studios (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons), Jens Andersson and Mattias Snygg. Andersson explained the new relationship with Team17 by saying, "with Team17 we’ve found a publishing partner that cherishes innovation and style – something we recognized way back when we played Alien Breed on our Amigas. We feel that their commitment to quality and fun gameplay is a perfect match for us." Yoku's Island Adventure will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018. View full article
  24. Swedish game developer Villa Gorilla announced today that they will be partnering with publisher Team17 to bring their combination pinball-platformer to life. Yoku's Island Express offers a strangely enticing mix of pinball gameplay and platforming with pinball elements. Players take on the role of Yoku, a heroic dung beetle wh- wait, hear me out! I know video games are sometimes weird just for the sake of being weird, but this one seems weird AND cool. Yoku has arrived on Mokumana Island, a land of anthropomorphic animals, in order to take over for the old pterodactyl's mailman job. Though he thought this island gig would be relaxing, he soon discovers that Mokumana's guardian deity has fallen into a deep sleep plagued by nightmares. The slumbering god's troubled dreams create earthquakes and misery for the colorful characters of the island, even bringing down Yoku's post office. So, in order to get the relaxation he always wanted, Yoku sets off on a mission to awaken the troubled god and restore peace to Mokumana. Using Yoku's travelling ball, you know, as dung beetles do, players can help him navigate the pinball-like stages to explore the world, collect fruit, and rebuild the ruined post office. The hand-painted world of Yoku's Island Express was created by industry veterans and ex-members of Starbreeze Studios (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons), Jens Andersson and Mattias Snygg. Andersson explained the new relationship with Team17 by saying, "with Team17 we’ve found a publishing partner that cherishes innovation and style – something we recognized way back when we played Alien Breed on our Amigas. We feel that their commitment to quality and fun gameplay is a perfect match for us." Yoku's Island Adventure will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018.
  25. The folks at Lizardcube release their side-scrolling action-platformer Wonder Boy today. The vibrant, dream-like game follows the either Hu-Man or Hu-Girl as he/she ventures into Monster Land in search of the dragon's room. Unfortunately for our hero, the room isn't without its traps. The dragon curses Wonder Boy, dooming him to live in various animal-human forms. The trailer shows these forms in action: Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Lion-Man, Piranha-Man, and Hawk-Man. Each one has different advantages, like a fire breath attack as Lizard-Man or the ability to fly as Hawk-Man. Players will need to master each form in order to recover the Salamander Cross and remove the curse for good. As a nice added bonus, players can switch back and forth from the modern, hand-animated style or a retro 8-bit aesthetic. These changes can be made on the fly and even extend to the audio and sound effects. Wonder Boy is an old Sega franchise that had some of the strangest numbering and naming conventions, even by gaming standards. The series goes Wonder Boy, Wonder Boy: Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Wonder Boy V: Monster World III, and Monster World IV. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a modern reimagining of the 1989 Sega Master System title Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap for modern consoles and possibly an attempt to revive the dormant Wonder Boy IP for a new era. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch