Roadwarden main title

Interactive Fiction Roadwarden Is A Dark, Humble Adventure

Roadwarden is a new interactive fiction title in which the player explores a hostile realm. It’s coming from Moral Anxiety Studio who developed The Tavern.

The game combines complex dialogues and the simplified graphics of visual novels along with an open story structure and the mechanics of RPGs.

With around 10 hours of content, Roadwarden also features an impressive ‘attitude system’.

Whenever the player encounters new characters, they can select one of five attitudes: friendly, playful, distant, intimidating or vulnerable. Their choice impacts the subsequent interaction and changes the mood and the direction of the general conversation.

Roadwarden dialogue system image.

Roadwarden uses isometric pixel art to present areas, items and events, and various sidequests and hidden interactions have been developed to ensure multiple playthroughs for enthusiasts.

It’s due out in the first half of 2020 as a digital download for PC and Linux.

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Reggie Leaves Nintendo

Reggie Leaves Nintendo This April, Bowser Takes Over

It what comes as the most surprising news of the month, Reggie Fils-Aime is leaving Nintendo.

The Nintendo of America president, known around the world for his meme-creating presenting style, has served 15 years in the position — it feels like longer — and will be replaced by the amazingly named Doug ‘Bowser’. (Nominative determinism anyone?)

Doug Bowser next to Bowser
Doug Bowser will lead NOA

Bowser is the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing and has been mentored by Reggie for the last four years. Doug will be taking over from April 15th, which means the Regginator, sadly, won’t even be making another E3.

A Brief History Of Mr Fils-Aime

Reggie’s time at Nintendo has stretched across numerous consoles, including the following:

  • Game Boy Advance
  • GameCube
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Nintendo Switch

His grand entrance was in May 2004, at Nintendo’s E3 press conference, in which he said:

“My name is Reggie, I’m about kicking ass, I’m about taking names, and we’re about making games.”

Reggie’s exit is being marked with a goodbye message to his fans:

“I leave in good health and in good spirits, and believe me, my body is still ready.”

Bowser, no doubt, will be doing his best to take over the world and kidnap the prin… sorry — lead Nintendo of America.

QUO VADIS 2018

QUO VADIS 2018 kicks off registration for this year’s Indie Game Expo

By kicking off the registration phase for Indie Game Expo at QUO VADIS 2018, organizer Aruba Events extends a long-standing tradition; up to 60 selected indie studios have the opportunity to present their works at their own booth.

QUO VADIS 2018 – The Indie Game Expo

QUO VADIS 2018, Europe’s longest standing developer conference enables aspiring studios to present their viral hits of tomorrow to an expert audience.

Speakers
Meet The Speakers

Up to 60 indie developers will be selected and can choose between three packages. All three comprise a booth with furnishings, include wide-coverage media presence for the first time, as well as a contingent for the matchmaking platform MeetToMatch and more.

Interested developers can apply via the official homepage, which also offers more details about packages and optional extras.

In time for the Indie Game Expo registration kick-off, the website received a redesign to give a better overview of the conference’s many attractions. The improved appearance offers a more engaging interface for the confirmed speakers and bundles all details about schedules, event location, offers into an inviting package.

For example, ordering a Business Pass before Tuesday, March 6th 7 p.m GMT, secures the buyer a Conference Pass for free. This and more offers are available here.

QUO VADIS, the longest standing developer conference in Europe, awaits the gaming scene on April 24th and 25th this year at Station in Berlin.

Starsceptre 2.0

Starsceptre 2.0 Update: A Thank You To The Fans

When Starsceptre originally released it was to introduce a retro shmup with a new kind of control – Tilt ‘n’ Shmup. What I realized early on was not many people liked tilt, favouring touch instead.

Starsceptre 2.0 Update

The more I looked into it, the more I realized I needed to rework the game to give the ship the freedom of the whole screen that gamers were yearning for.

As a result, I redesigned, not just the controls, but the powerups too because when the ship moved around its rear became unprotected.

Starsceptre 2.0

Backwards canons and beams meant destruction happens behind you now as well as in front.

One of the secret features, built-in from day one, was a hidden code screen, accessible from a flashing star on the main menu screen. Clicking that took you through to an 8Bit controller whereby you could try out a 10-digit code to see what you could unlock.

Starsceptre 2.0

Retro gamers who knew the original Konami Code unlocked some additional weapons to start the game better off. And if you don’t know the Konami code, here it is:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A then Start.

But I also used this mechanic to unlock players for the game who had supported us since day one. Gamers, reviewers and game devs were selected to become unlockable Avatars on the home screen using a unique Konami-type code.

Starsceptre 2.0

Getting Starsceptre to launch and now to redesign has taken 2 and a half years of coding in my spare time on my commute to and from work. Coding on the iPad meant I could code and test straight away without needing to sit down at a computer. It’s been this approach that led me to make my dream of finally making a shmup that people could play. I hope you enjoy playing the updated game available on iOS now!

Richard Morgan

8Bit Magic Games

Starsceptre is currently at its lowest price of £0.49 GBP/$0.99 USD/€0.49 EUROs/¥1 CNY until the 7th March.

Play Nintendo Upside Down

How I Play Nintendo Games (And Super Smash Bros.) Upside Down

Hello everyone, my name is Beewito (Nate) and I’m a gaming YouTuber. I like to think that I bring a very distinct quality to playing video games, so let me explain.

Around the time I was 2 years old the Nintendo 64 had just come out. Obviously, I hadn’t known this at the time, but I knew someone who did… That person was my older brother, he was 8 at the time, and had received an N64 for his birthday. For a while, being a 2-year-old, I didn’t understand the concept of video games at all. That is until the day I became a ‘gamer’.

“Ever since I could remember, I have been a Nintendo enthusiast. Nintendo was the first to grab my heart for video games in general.”

One day my brother was at school and I was bored of playing with my action figures and messing around with paper. You know, kids stuff. I noticed the N64 across the hallway in my brother’s room, just sitting there being unplayed… Inevitably, being the toddler I was, I got curious because it wasn’t something I’d seen before, and mainly, because I thought it was a toy. So I walked over to it, feeling and holding the actual console for a bit, feeling some of the games. I almost lost interest until I saw a little switch on the top front of the console, I decided to push it up, and voila this is where it began (the TV was on already and the controllers were already plugged in). Super Smash Bros. was in the console, and that’s the game that came up on the TV. I distinctly remember jumping up and down with excitement!

“That first match I played against the CPU Yoshi… I, of course, lost against him – practice makes perfect!”

At the time, figuring out something like this was amazing to me. Anyways, before touching anything I watched the opening intro/cutscene of the game, with my mouth wide open, stunned with amazement. After the cutscene was over, I picked up the controller and pressed one of the buttons to start the game.

The Upside Down

After some general “being confused” time, messing around with modes, and playing with the menus, I had, outstandingly, started an actual match. So the match begins, I was Mario, and I had chosen a Lvl. 3 Yoshi as a CPU. We were fighting on the Hyrule Castle stage. Since it was my first time playing any sort of video game in my life, I obviously didn’t know how to hold the controller to play. In fact, the only way I was able to start the game was by pressing random buttons and holding the controller by the tip of my fingers.

After turning the controller all which ways and trying to hold it in different positions, I had finally found a semi-comfortable way to hold the controller, which was, believe it or not, UPSIDE DOWN!

Fast forward: this became the normal way for me to hold the controller – to this day. It’s not just THIS specific controller either. I also hold the GameCube controller upside down too, which is what you see in my video. The video goes in-depth on what goes through my mind as I’m playing games like Smash. Like the optimal positions to hold the controller upside down to do certain moves, or what to press and how to press buttons.

Smash isn’t the only game I play upside down, by the way, I basically play all games on the N64 and GameCube upside down, unless the controls are inverted. I’m going to post more content in the future of me playing different games, so you can all get weirded out even more. Anyways, I hope you like the video above and my story. You can follow me on my upside down quest to find and play every game on these systems.

Big thanks to Nitchigamer, (who I started following when they were known as D-pad Joy), for letting me post on their blog too – in case you didn’t know already, these guys rock!

Looking Back at Lollipop Chainsaw – Saving Classmates, Decapitating Zombies

Grasshopper Manufacture has released a pretty solid library of games. It was set up by gaming luminaries Suda 51, Shinji Mikami and Akira Yamoaka. Shadows of the Damned managed to be an entertaining, chaotic trip through hell. Grasshopper then set its sights on small-town America with Lollipop Chainsaw. But was it a Past ‘Blast’?

Produced by Kadokawa Games and Grasshopper Manufacture, Lollipop Chainsaw tells the story of all American cheerleader Juliet Starling. Juliet spends her days eating lollipops, cheering and being incredibly annoying while her nights are spent battling legions of the undead with her zombie hunting family. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossed with The Walton’s.

The story, what little of it there is, is penned by Hollywood writer and director James Gunn. Suda 51 sprinkles his trademark brand of lunacy over the proceedings as creative director and overall the writing is pretty funny if at times bordering on highly irritating in the case of Juliet. The tale of severed heads, disco zombies and over-sexualised teens is entertaining enough and delivered with a strong tongue in cheek theme that enables it all to be likeable if you can look past all the upskirts and creepy lollipop sucking from the games’ lead.

Story and writing, however, aren’t Lollipop Chainsaw’s main selling point, and I only mention them first because the gameplay, the meat of the game, is so painfully average. Juliet’s adventure plays out in your basic hack and slash style with the titular cheerleader exploring the games’ six levels, saving classmates, decapitating zombies and eventually taking on an end of level boss.

The basic “light, light, heavy” God of War style gameplay was broken up admirably with some pretty cool moments that I won’t spoil here, but aside from these moments and a few QTE’s, gameplay in Lollipop Chainsaw basically amounts to running through corridors hammering a few attack buttons then running on. Now this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, the previously mentioned God of War and many other titles stick to this formula and are brilliant games, but combat in Lollipop Chainsaw feels incredibly dull and formulaic. After unlocking a few combos I found myself sticking to the same two for the entire game, never experimenting with any others because the combat is so dull that I  was just ploughing through it.

There’s little enemy variation outside of the tried and true “exploding enemy, flying enemy, slow enemy, fast enemy, rinse and repeat” approach to character design which just adds more to this glazed over “hit things until they stop moving” feel of much of the game. There is a few bells and whistles such as the “Sparkle Hunting” mechanic which rewards multiple decapitations at the same time and the inclusion of a few semi-vehicular sections but these trimmings do little to improve the overall experience.

Games like Lollipop Chainsaw live and die by the quality and feel of their combat. God of War worked brilliantly because it made you feel like the most powerful badass in the world, Bayonetta worked because you felt like an agile and magically sadistic killing machine. In Lollipop Chainsaw controlling Juliet in combat, navigation and even in the poorly presented QTE’s just feels like a chore.

It’s clear from the large amount of unlockable costumes and the online leaderboards that Lollipop Chainsaw is a game that’s meant to played multiple times, especially when it can be beaten in around six hours on normal difficulty. This is a great idea and one shared by many games of this type, however, this idea falls down a little when there’s nothing worth actually unlocking from all this work. Outside of the before mentioned costumes and a few pieces of concept art, Lollipop Chainsaw does little to hook gamers in for that third or fourth run through.

It’s not all bad though, the presentation in Lollipop Chainsaw is exceptional. The gorgeous cel-shaded look of the game blends in with its overall comic book feel, hand-drawn hud elements flash up looking like a golden age comic and every inch of the menu system follows this theme. It really looks like a pulp comic from the 1950’s, albeit a far gorier and filthier version.

The boss encounters are the only hint of how off the wall and great this game could have been. Taking cues from music genres Lollipop Chainsaw’s bosses are fantastically designed. One level you’re fighting a punk rock zombie that uses swear words as attacks the next you’re on a flying black metal Viking ship shooting at a severed head covered in corpse paint. These encounters really are entertaining, showing that if this level of detail and thought had been given to the rest of the game it could have been something special. However the gameplay complaints still remain and while these boss fights look and sound great, they’re far too easy and boring to actually enjoy.

Music is also used to great effect. I couldn’t help but grin like a moron when I heard Children of Bodom playing in the background as I dodged lightning bolts being fired from the sky. The section where the Dead or Alive hit “You Spin Me Right Round” booms out while Juliet is using a combine harvester to mow down zombies is also a slice of genius.

It really is a shame about Lollipop Chainsaw. In retrospect, the game had some really funny, interesting moments but none of these occurred when I was actually controlling the game. The music, presentation and the concept of the game are great – it just feels rushed and poorly executed. There is little about the game to recommend to fans of the character action genre that can’t be found somewhere else where it has been done better. Besides the titillation and the gore, there really isn’t much to Lollipop Chainsaw, it’s as if years of eating nothing but Chubba Chubs has made Juliet a little anaemic.

I also wanted to like this game, I really did. I love zombies, I love this type of game and I loved the concept but there just isn’t enough actual game here – and that hasn’t changed years on. In all honesty, if you’re looking for a great character action game with a sexy lead character and insane gameplay, buy Bayonetta.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Beta Review

Star Wars Battlefront 2 was originally released in the PS2 era of gaming – it was an amazing game. You could play as some of your favourite Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader… Now in 2017, the game has been remade with updated graphics, sounds, and a completely new story.

The Details

Battlefront 2 features 4 different classes, Assault, Specialist, Officer, and Heavy. The Officer, in comparison to the other classes, is the least desirable when you first play the game – but can be quite enjoyable after spending some time with them – after playing the three game modes of Galactic Assault, Strike, and as I call it Starship Shooter. By the way, the Empire looks way better and cleaner in comparison to the ‘Rebel scum’.

The Dark Side Is Better

There has always been this idea that the Dark Side of the Force has a better gym than the “Light” side of the force. This is definitely true for Battlefront 2. In the beta, you can unlock 4, as I call it, champions from the Star Wars series through the dreaded star card system. On the Rebel side, you get Rei (why Rei of all people?), Han Solo (ok a little better). However, on the Dark Side of the Force, you get the mighty Darth Maul, and the best bounty hunter of all time, Boba Fett. You can’t tell me you would rather play with the Rebels when you can get a character like Darth Maul.

Did I Mention The Dark Side Is Better?

Not only are the champions of the Empire/Dark Side more fleshed out but the overall classes you play as and the starships you fly are better too. The Empire may not have advantages in the actual game besides who has the better star card and aim but, 8/10 I would rather play for the Empire. Visually speaking, the Empire looks shinier and more attractive than the Rebels who have been redesigned to look more like an actual army.

Galactic Assault Is Way Too Long

Taking cues from Battlefield 1’s Conquest mode, Battlefront 2 has a similar mode: Galactic Assault. Honestly, it’s not that great. It holds true to the original Battlefront game by being a third-person shooter, sure, but this doesn’t mix well with the long-range exchanges with the enemy team. The shorter version has the third-person option too, but you can go into first-person – the maps are smaller, however! I believe the shooting style should be flipped for these game modes.

But Starship Shooter Is Beautiful

The Starship Shooter mode wins the Silver medal out of the game modes. The controls are awkward at first, until you learn how to use the right analogue stick to move your ship around. The left analogue stick helps with manoeuvrability, but I only really use this when I’m being shot at. Again, the Empire ships look and feel better than the Rebel ships.

Final Thoughts

Battlefront 2 has a lot of potential to be a great game. No doubt. How patient players will be to grind star cards and how much DLC EA releases for this game, however, is the key point here. Star Wars fans deserve a lot more character and map variety in this version of Battlefront 2.

Why Not Join The Dark Side? We Have Better Ships

Want to know why this game will cause you to join the Dark Side? Check out my YouTube video where Yoda goes into the step by step process of how he joined the Dark Side of the Force. I will see you in the game! Thanks for reading.