XBLIG Fridays: Cthulhu Saves the World

Well, I missed last week’s XBLIG Friday.  I’m so upset with myself! But don’t worry, I still have plenty of weeks of Indie Games ahead for you… so let’s dive right into the good stuff!

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You might recognize the name Zeboyd Games from one of my earlier Friday posts: Chtulhu Saves the World is the spiritual successor to Breath of Death VII: The Beginning.  As you might expect, you’ll get lots of laughs, and fast-paced gameplay that’s a parody of the role-playing genre itself.

But, at least to me, everything about this 16-bit style game is just… better than its predecessor.  The graphics are updated and cleaner, the battle theme is completely rocking, and the story better facilitates for the lulz (I mean, it’s Cthulhu saving the world, with the tagline “Save the world to destroy it!”, what more could you want?).  In addition, everything that was good about Breath of Death is still here, such as the battle counters and the branching level-ups.  It’s practically better than Breath of Death in every way.

But, this edition of XBLIG Fridays comes with a special cause… Zeboyd Games is running a pledge-donation-thingie to get an enhanced version released on the PC (and 360 too maybe?) with new modes and other fun things.  I really like the idea of one mode, where Cthulhu is too lazy to go and save the world, so he enlists angels to do his dirty work for him.  Of course, that leads to new story stuff, so it sounds pretty awesome.  The developer wanted to raise $3,000, which he’s really done, and the more he gets, the more cool things that’ll get added to the enhanced version.  If you like Zeboyd Games and want more cool stuff, then it’s helpful to make a pledge if you can!

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That’s it for this week.  There’s plenty more Indie Games to go through, so make sure to stay tuned!  I won’t forget to post next week.

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Earth Defense Force Extravaganza

Earth Defense Force is certainly getting a lot of attention lately, eh?  D3 recently released a trailer, highlighting four (!!) new EDF games.  If you’re like me, you can’t read that crazy moonspeak, I’ll here with all the foreknowledge too tell you what’s going on for your EDF fix.

The first game shown is Earth Defense Force Portable 2, a game coming out in Japan… um, relatively soon.  Anyway, this appears to be a remake of the PS2 game Global Defense Force, and apparently there wasn’t a first Earth Defense Force Portable, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on with that 2.  Anyway, the game actually comes in a ‘Double Pack’; you get two UMDs when you buy the game, so that friends can’t have an excuse to not play with you.  They don’t have the game?  No worries, you got an extra.

Next is Insect Armageddon, which I’ve already looked at and is coming out in the US in March. Something that isn’t in that article, though: Apparently you can upgrade different types of armor, and adds more customization.  Combining that with over 400 different weapon types, you’re fittin’ for a varied experience.

The last two games… well, I don’t know much about them.  Sometime in this month (January), EDF Mobile supposed to come out.  I don’t know anything about it, nor will I probably ever, given that Japanese cell phones are light years ahead of the US’s.  Maybe in 2020, or something.

And, at the very end of the video, along with the “EDF” chant, is a logo for Earth Defense Force 4.  Not much is out about it other than… well, that, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be another nice sequel that’ll make it Stateside.

That’s all for this little… deluge of information.  If you’re an EDF fan like me, hopefully this’ll bring some good news.  I’d sure love to see the PSP port make it over here… 2 UMDs or not!

XBLIG Fridays: Epic Dungeon

It’s Friday, and you know what that means:  Time to show you another Xbox Indie game to suck away your weekend boring-ness!  This week’s gonna be a shorter entry -homework and Minecraft are ruling my life- but this game doesn’t need much explanation… it just rocks!  So let’s get to the summary.

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This week’s XBLIG Friday pick comes from the Indie Games Winter Uprising, a community driven promotion to show the general public that the Indie Games section is full of more than just crap.  The first game to come out  for the Uprising was Epic Dungeon, an interesting and fun rouge-like.  I picked it up the second I could, and it was only a buck (or 80 MS Points, if you prefer), what was I to lose?

Now, don’t assume the wrong thing: I hate most rouge-likes.  The random luck of finding items combined with the genre’s typical insane difficulty makes me more frustrated than entertained.

But Epic Dungeon is different.  Way different.  Sure, there’s still the random luck with the items, and it’s still a bit on the tough side… but it’s so fast paced!  The action doesn’t wait patiently for you to take a move: Enemies will run up and start hitting you while you’re standing still.  It’s just injection of the Action RPG aspect that makes Epic Dungeon so much fun; it’s frantic, you kill fast and hard, and it feels like you have a chance.  Of course, like in all rouge-likes, you really are bound to die quickly, but unlike most where that ‘quickly’ is a few hours of careful planning gone wrong, dying in Epic Dungeon only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  Even though I died three times in the course of an hour, I still found it a blast.  This game it great for bite-sized action.

With this fast-paced gameplay and five different classes to choose from, this game will surely be a hit with rouge-like fans… and even if you’re not, it’s worth downloading the demo and trying it out!  You just might find you like the genre more than you thought.

Towel Slappin’ Pro Jumper

I sure do love my quirky games.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen any, though; it almost seems as if the fad of “OMG CRAZY JAPAN GAMES ARE CRAZY AWESOME” has died out over here in the US, which makes me a bit sad.  How will I get my quirky game mix without resorting to importing/learning another language/pirating?

Thankfully, I’ve found the answer.  And that answer is Towel Slappin’ Pro Jumper.

Let that image sink in for a moment.

Yeah, the DSiWare’s got me covered, and it’ll be coming out sometime this year in the US.  As you might get from the title, Towel Slappin’ Pro Jumper! involves getting the creepily cute Chamaki to the legendary hot spring, to relieve his back pains. (At least that’s what Siliconera tells me.)

Oh, what, that’s not what the title implies?  Well, I guess not.  But this awesome trailer should give you a better idea about it all:

Yep, it’s a platformer with some really neat sprite graphics.  Oh, and did I mention it’s a Guilty Gear spin-off?  Yeah, the main character here was in Guilty Gear 2 (somehow).  You know, the Guilty Gear no one ever played.  Regardless of that, though, the gameplay seems solid enough, and it’s just oozing with the quirky-ness we all know and love.  I don’t know the price when it comes out on DSiWare, but I hope it’s under 500 points, so I can get it…

(Super ending special!  The ESRB has already rated this game, and the comments on it are pretty funny.  Check out the tidbit here.)

XBLIG Fridays: Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

Hello, and welcome to the first XBLIG Friday of 2011!  You’d think, with such a momentous occasion, I’d pick a game that came out during this year and show it off… but I didn’t.  Yeah, I’m boring, so this’ll just be a good pick in general.  I didn’t want to throw up a game I wasn’t somewhat sure about, and really, most of the new year’s games don’t look too hot right now…

…Oh, but I did see a New Year’s Countdown game that maybe I should have featured last week!  Although, I’d think no one would appreciate that very much… and now that it’s the New Year, I wonder how it works?  Oh whatever, onto the pick of the week…

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Push the questionable art aside for a moment; Breath of Death VII: The Beginning is a good RPG for a platform that has few and far of them inbetween.  The indie game art states that it’s a ‘retro parody role playing game’, and for the most part, that sums the game up very nicely.  It’s certainly a parody of not only role-playing games, but gaming in general.  It parodies old 8-bit RPGs like Dragon Quest in its overall presentation, though the battles and traveling are set at an intentionally fast pace.  This makes Breath of Death an unusually quick RPG to play; it’s a nice breath of fresh air from the genre.  And yea, I meant that pun.

Oh, and while Breath of Death VII rips off of retro RPGs, it does incorporate a few different mechanics.  First off, every time a character levels up, you can choose between two level up options; for example, our skeletal silent protagonist Dem’s first level up had you choosing between two versions of a technique.  You get to choose one or the other, and you can’t ever get the other version.  There’s also choices between what options of stats to level up as well, so you can somewhat customize your heroes.

 

It's either that, or something that focuses solely on Sara's magic. It's a tough choice.

In addition, random battles work a bit differently.  After fighting a certain amount of battles (as indicated in the menu), you wont’ have to fight any other creatures on the area, which is nice is you get lost/want to explore a dungeon fully. Of course, you can call enemies to you if you want, but it helps in the favor of it being a ‘fast-paced’ RPG.

I do have a few problems with the game, mainly with the overall graphic design (they could have tried a bit harder for a better looking 8-bit aesthetic) and the sometimes uneven difficulty.  But the good far outweighs the bad, and is only 240 MS points, or $3.  I know, more pricey than my previous entries, but I think it’s the extra two bucks for most people.  If you’re a fan of RPGs, it’s well worth wasting a Sunday afternoon with.

A new twist to Pac-Man: PacMap

We’ve all played Pac-Man Championship Edition DX by now, and loved it.  It was a breath of fresh air into an archaic series, and an acid-induced one to boot.   But that’s old news, it’s time to look into the FUTURE of Pac-Man.

And that future is PacMap.

PacMap is an interesting little app being developed for Andriod phones.  What the app does is Google Map your neighborhood, then plops Pac-Man and the ghosts down for some road-based pellet eating action.

Something… worries me about it, though.  Check out the video out for it:

Look at how slow and sluggish it is!  I know it’s not the final version, but come on… a game like that would take AGES to simply walk down the street!  Hopefully they’ll spice and speed it up in the final version.

…Okay, okay, so maybe I lied.  PacMap isn’t really the future of our beloved yellow circle, but it certainly is an interesting concept.  I just hope that the developers will realize its potential, and not squander on some of the finer points.

XBLIG Friday: The Impossible Game

Alright, it’s Friday, so it’s time for another edition of XBLIG Fridays!  This one’s gonna be short and sweet, since I have a headache and I want to get some sleep.  Regardless of that, don’t think that the pick is shabby and not worth your time!

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The Impossible Game is very simple.  You’re a block, and you jump over spikes and other blocks, and don’t die.  That’s pretty much it.  Even though the graphics are simplistic, the gameplay is completely solid.  It’s also hard as hell, as there are NO checkpoints whatsoever (unless you’re a pansy that plays on Practice mode), and dying means starting back over from the beginning.  The game becomes a test of patience and memorization, which obviously isn’t up every gamer’s alley, but is worth looking into for the 80 MS points for those who are.

Oh yeah, and the music’s pretty awesome, too.  You actually jump somewhat with the beat of the track (though which particular beat it is won’t be the same throughout the level), and is something I found a bit helpful to combat my terrible timing.  Of course, relying on a trick like that would get you killed quickly, as the timing’s not always right, but that adds to the challenge.

It’s good to note as well that The Impossible Game Level Pack (it’s really just a sequal as opposed to DLC) recently came out on XBLIG, which gives you two harder new levels with some crazy effects, all for a buck as well.  Of course, as the developers warn, it’s best to play and beat the original first.

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