Entries in Indie Games (201)

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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Saturday
Jun232018

QCF: A Robot Named Fight

hat was once a niche sub-genre that was only romanticized by its rabid cult-following, has now gradually begun to spill into the mainstream of the independent video game scene—Metroidvania games are available on just about every system at this point, to the point where the style is bordering on stagnation.

In an intriguing twist, however, similar to the Nuzlocke challenges that have swept numerous play-throughs of the Pokémon series, the iconic games that pioneered the formula, like Super Metroid, and Castlevania Aria of Sorrow, are now getting modded with the “randomizer” treatment. This modification works to alter the order and location of key upgrades and items in their core game, forcing an entirely new Meta into the gameplay for players to tackle.

One developer by the name of Matt Bittner took notice of the trend, and took it upon himself to push the concept to an entirely different level; developing a Metroidvania adventure that would not only randomize items, upgrades, but the map layout itself, in a manner that’s similar to roguelike dungeon crawler titles. His efforts led to producing an ambitious pixelated tribute to the genre called A Robot Named Fight, releasing for Steam and Nintendo Switch, and while the release does make good on its premise, its execution leaves a lot to be desired.

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Wednesday
Jan102018

QCF: A Hat in Time

012 gave us the year of the bow, then 2015 became the year of the sequel, and while it 2017 has been a significantly memorable year for video games as a whole, there’s no denying that it will also go down as the year that hosted the return of the 3D Platformer.

Granted, while there’s been a lot of praise for the throwback titles that have dropped so far, the craze has also seen its fair share of criticism, generating a lot of commentary on whether or not the genre even deserved such a renaissance in the first place.

Of all the games in the conversation though, one KickStarted-project stuck out as the dark horse of the topic; Gears for Breakfast’s A Hat in Time. While most games like Polykid Games’ Poi or Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee were heavily promoted as spiritual successors to the iconic gems that best defined the collection-driven gameplay, the folks behind A Hat in Time were more concerned with creating an adventure where the journey itself is as, if not more rewarding than the destination. The Humble-Bundle published title establishes early that it’s 3D Platforming gameplay relegates the collectibles or objectives into being more of an accessory than a direct extension.

As novel as these ambitions were on paper however, A Hat in Time fails to step with its best foot forward at the early going, and barely manages to stick its landing, taking far too long to pick up any sort of real momentum in what’s ultimately, a clumsy outing.

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Tuesday
May022017

PPR 103

on’t have a cow man! We get that America’s favorite dysfunctional family may have hit a slump in the ratings as of late, but doesn’t mean that we’ve completely fallen out of love with the people of Springfield and their crazy misadventures. In fact, there hasn’t been a more noticeable void in gaming than the lack of Simpsons games—like, the only way you’re going to get your fill right now is through the expensive toy add-ons of Lego Dimensions, or the casual mobile app Tapped Out.

It’s a real bummer that we’re on the 28th season of the show, and that there hasn’t been any plans from EA to do anything with the license, and even to this day, Video Games owe a lot to The Simpsons.

Join George, Andrew, and Ser as they talk about their experiences with the older Bart-centric games, and the various titles we’ve seen come out of the property, among other important gaming commentaries that the show has covered in its near thirty-year run on television. The gang also talks about the discontinuation of the NES Classic, the disaster of Fyre Festival, the 2DS XL, Jack Bros, Nintendo Switch Sales, Destiny 2, Flinthook, Yooka-Laylee, the disappointment of the Wii U, and more on 103rd episode of Press Pause Radio!

Mail us at our new email Mailbag@presspauseradio.com, leave a voicemail at 469-PPR-TALK, and be sure to stop by at our Forums if you haven’t already registered and post your thoughts about the show. Finally, make sure to rate and subscribe to us on iTunes and YouTube, follow us on Twitch page and Twitter, and finally take part in our Facebook and Steam group!

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Monday
Apr032017

QCF: Night in the Woods

o matter how old you are, there’s always going to be this unspoken acceptance between you and the friends you makes; an acceptance of who’s going to stay for the long haul, and who’s going to be a memory, if anything at all. Some of the key elements that define the human condition are ones that’re fundamentally tied to the concept of loneliness and the effects that it has on people.

This leads to a misinterpretation that the relationships we form are done from out of mutual interests and similarities, glossing over the fact that mutual hatreds and fears have a lot to do with who interact with and trust on a daily basis.

There aren’t a lot of experiences that I can think of that have evoked these ugly truths quite like Night in the Woods by Finji. The tagline of the game tells its players that at the end of everything, you have to try to hold onto anything, setting a tone that consistently sticks it to you the further you dive in. The messages and themes offered in the adventure side-scroller are poignant in their relatability to the hardships of youth in modern Americana, and struggle with mental health issues that stem from the experience.

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Wednesday
Mar222017

QCF: Owlboy

he concept of “living to fight another day” has always been a strange perspective, and easily one of the most endearing when it comes to the human condition, and this underdog theme has only resonated with me more and more as I got older—it never stopped being so captivating to me.

As much as I want to believe that I identify with that try-hard sentiment though, the reality is that I would immediately weigh in on the option of cutting my losses before I ever considered staying and finishing what may end up being a losing fight. I kick myself every time I stray towards the mindset, but the realist in me can’t help but eek out some semblance of control over which hill I choose to die on, and which I don’t. It’s this weird struggle to describe, and one that I’ve never really seen explored in great detail within most narratives we consume in modern day media.

That is, until I booted up D-Pad Studio’s Owl Boy; a game starring an introverted hero who’s only wish is to do what he thinks is right in spite of his personal flaws, and the flaws of everyone else around him for that matter. Hidden in this surprisingly charming platformer is a tale that’s deceptively rich with character and heart like none that I’ve seen in quite some time.

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Saturday
Oct152016

QCF: Song of the Deep

s vast as the ocean is, nothing compares to the depth that it hides below; there’s this whole other world that exists under the fathoms, upon fathoms of the sea’s underbelly. So one would imagine just how well the explorative dynamics of a Metroidvania-direction would complement that sort of setting, especially with the caliber of a developer like Insomniac Games at the helm—and Gamestop publishing it themselves to boot.

In spite of this surefire recipe for success however, Song of the Deep only manages to live up to be somewhat endearing at best, and hopelessly mediocre at worst.

 Yeah, I know; the review is already going downhill from the start but my impression just simply couldn’t help from being deflated by the fact that the game’s biggest flaw happens to be one of the most important elements to a successful Metroidvania title.

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Saturday
Jul162016

Evo 2016: The MIX Indie Showcase

he MIX stands for the Media Indie Exchange which is a colaboration between the MIX and Evo to showcase games from indie game developers to the hardcore fighting game and competitive players. From the offical Media Indie Exchange website, the MIX states "The fighting game community (FGC) is a tight-knit culture who share a lot in common with Indies.

Both are interested in system design, have grassroots community backgrounds; both appreciate well-crafted game design, mechanics and both understand that games are only as fun as the people you can play with and talk to. The MIX and EVO are independent productions who strive to develop their cultures and bring people together to share amazing experiences". We were able to play and speak with the developers of several titles on the Evo floor, a few we enjoyed and some that seemed a little out of place but worth discussing either way. 

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