Thursday
Aug162018

QCF: Yoku's Island Express

ith so many open-world adventures on the indie game market today, a majority of newer titles are now throwing all of their weight behind the craziest gimmick they can offer with their experience in hopes of finding a large enough of an audience that will praise it. While the experimentation hasn’t paid off every title, there is one new idea that has crossed expansive level-design into a territory that it has never been in before—pinball dynamics.

Villa Gorilla’s premier title explores the juxtaposition between side-scrolling platforming and a pinball table turned on its side in Yoku’s Island Express, a tale about a dung beetle who employs his spherical excrement as a means to bounce around and about through the obscure tropical arrangement of flippers and bumpers just so he could deliver some mail. In all honesty, the game is a lot weirder than that made it sound, but fortunately, it’s a whole lot more enjoyable too.

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Thursday
Aug162018

QCF: Fox 'N Forests

hen people think about video game nostalgia, their minds immediately fix upon images of pixelated sprites, alongside beats of synthesized chiptune sounds, and other trademarks from the early years of the medium. With so many throwbacks, and love letters out on the market these days, developers are now more pressed to celebrate the past in a way that’s more innovative than a majority of the retro-inspired titles that are currently flooding storefronts; callbacks are now starting to pull from some of the more nuanced moments of gaming history.

Which brings us to Bonus Level Entertainment’s Fox ‘N Forests, a 2D action-platforming side-scroller that was Kickstarted back in 2016 in an effort to deliver a very specific kind of nostalgia—the kind that’s reserved for a majority of the early SNES titles that defined the system before fighting games swept the scene. While there’s plenty of fan service to indulge upon and enjoy in this self-aware romp, a majority of Fox ‘n Forest’s charm is fleeting at best, and largely obnoxious the rest of the time, or worse—all too forgettable.

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Thursday
Aug162018

QCF: Lumines Remastered 

s many can attest, falling-block type puzzle games are my jam. I love me some Tetris, Dr. Mario, Panel De Pon…you name it. If it has a block that falls and can be combinated with others for big score payouts, I'm there. One such game that I've spent a lot of time with over the course of its existence through many iterations of the franchise is Lumines, originally released on the PSP in 2005 with numerous sequels finding their way mainly to Sony consoles and handhelds with the odd installment appearing on XBLA.

Lumines ended up being one of the more addictive puzzle games I've played, going so far as instilling intense “Tetris-Effect” visions of the playfield on shower tile walls, square linoleum patterns on the floor, even just in my creeping subconscious with my eyes closed before drifting to sleep. At a certain point, I was also one of the best players in the world, holding high, top-10 rankings in the XBLA version and utterly crushing all of the local competition.

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Wednesday
Aug152018

PPR Presents Late to the Party: Kirby Star Allies

ver the years, Nintendo has been privileged with a large stable of iconic franchises, and enduring characters that have gone on to appeal to audiences across the world, both old and young alike. Among those properties is their adorable pink puff-ball hero, Kirby, a character who had a title on nearly every platform from the company since the days of the NES and GameBoy.

After a year on the market, the gluttonous do-gooder is finally making his debut on the Nintendo Switch with Kirby Star Allies, which, in a surprising twist, is an adventure that’s far more traditional with his earlier outings than some of his more recent affairs. Opting more for refinement than innovation, Star Allies may arguably play it a bit too safe to make a splash among the other stellar platformers currently offered on the new console, but the game is still amazing entry in its own right.

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Sunday
Aug122018

Interview with Electric Underground: Bullet Heaven

  had a chance to sit down and smart-bomb the breeze with the Electric Underground Shooting Game Podcast! If you've ever wanted the real nitty-grooty on Bullet Heaven, the processes behind it and more, this is the place to find it! Special thanks to @Mark_MSX for having me on! 

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Thursday
Aug092018

QCF: 20XX (Switch)

ega Man is a pretty formulaic game. Fight six to eight combat-enabled re-purposed robots by using other robots' weapons against them rock-paper-scissor style, then take on a few extra nefarious machinations before defeating a balding, mad scientist with illusions of grandeur and seriously questionable choices in home decor. There have been 10 of these so far with an 11th on the horizon, so the setup seems to work. So much so, actually, that a parallel, edgier series with an X tacked on that incorporates caped villains, mysterious allies including one with long, flowing blonde hair and a cyberzoo's-worth of crazy mechanical fauna also, itself, saw a solid 8 entries. And an RPG.

20XX, while very obviously inspired by the Rockingest Man of X himself, is not such a game, despite the many mechanics it borrows. If you've ever wondered what Mega Man X would be like if it were a completely differently structured roguelite, well, we might have the answer for you.

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Thursday
Aug092018

Mudprints Unboxes: Senko no Ronde 2 Limited Edition (PS4)

enko no Ronde 2 came out a while ago, but we've been itching to check out the Limited Edition from Limited run games! In this episode of Mudprints Unboxes, we're checkingout the finer points of this rather large big box collector's edition for Senko no Ronde 2!

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Thursday
Aug092018

QCF: Code of Princess EX

utside of the XBLA re-release of the Treasure classic, Code of Princess is the kind of game that players pining for some of that Guardian Heroes gameplay have been able to find their fix in recent years. With its original release on 3DS, it offered players the ability to play a Guardian Heroes-style game anywhere they might be without having to resort to the vastly sub-par Advance Guardian Heroes on Game Boy Advance.

For those looking for some Code of Princess action on more powerful hardware and on a bigger screen, Degica's re-release on Steam was primed to be the answer. However, not only did it suffer from blurry textures on 3D elements, all of the characters and enemies were the same resolution as their 3DS counterparts, making for a jarringly ugly time. So where can players find the best of all worlds with proper, high-def visuals and extra features? The answer: the Nintendo Switch's Code of Princess EX, developed by Studio Saizensen and published by Nicalis!

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