(kickstarter) GoD Factory, the final push!

First of all, I’m sorry I haven’t been updating.  Been busy as hell with so very little free time.  When things quiet down, I’ll try to update more.

In the meantime, this was important enough to make me jump on to share:

That’s right.  That amazing space combat game I was raving about earlier this summer is back.

And it needs your help.

They have one week left to meet their kickstarter goal.  And they’re still far from it.

They have a (frankly awesome) alpha build up on their site to try, if you’re not convinced.  And trust me, you WILL be convinced after trying it out.

The game is awesome and the devs are community loving.  This game deserves to succeed.  Let’s make that a reality.

If you don’t want to back them, at least share their kickstarter with your friends.  Find anyone you know who likes space combat games and show it to them.

Link to Kickstarter
—-

For those who don’t know what GoD Factory is (I’d be surprised, seeing as how I don’t think I got any new followers since I last raved about how awesome this game is), I’ll give you a rundown.

It’s team-based space combat game where you customize your own ship from four different races, and thousands of parts and take two of those custom ships into battle.  There’s a huge variety of guns (from beams to homing missiles to EMP waves) racial abilities (teleportation, decoys, etc) and common abilities (shield recharge to a stall-inducing super lock on to sabotaging the enemy carrier) to choose from, each one contributing to a different play style.

The object is to cripple the enemy’s gigantic carrier ship by taking out various parts (like the Cannon, Radar or Ammo Depot) until you destroy it, while also protecting your own carrier.  Furthermore, the cannons on each of your ships will fire every 3 minutes and take a point off the enemy.  Crippling individual carrier parts with your custom gunships will have additional effects on the enemy team (Blowing up the cannon increases their charge time from 3 minutes between shots to 5 minutes between shots, and destroying the ammo depot reduces the amount of ammo the enemy can recharge when they dock their ships, for example).

Also, the game arena is littered with various bits of space debris that you can use to lose pursuers and dogfight in.  Losing someone by ducking into a curvy space pipe and then hiding in ambush as they try to boost through is really fun.  To say nothing of snatching a win from nowhere by co-coordinating a proper assault on the enemy ship’s Power Core (which is INSIDE the enemy ship).

If you’re not convinced, try out their free alpha.  If that piece of awesome doesn’t convince you, nothing will.

Oh, and did I mention it’s compatible with the Oculus Rift, AND you can play against your friends regardless of which operating system you’re running?  You can be playing on Linux, One of your buddies on a Mac, and your enemy on a PC and you can all play together.  Linux people!  You keep asking for quality games!  This is one of them!

Link to Kickstarter

Nintendo doesn’t go third party. Internet people lose their minds.

So I was browsing the net today and came across a…Well, I consider it a piece of ‘non-news’ from last week, really.  I read it, nodded and said “Yeah, that makes sense”.  And I was prepared to just close it and go back to playing Persona 4 when…

I glanced down at the comments and was forced to facepalm at the amount of people who missed the point.

What was the article about, you ask?

Talking to someone at CVG, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said the following:  “However, I’m really responsible for the long-term future of Nintendo as well, so I would never think about providing our precious resources for other platforms at all.” (emphasis mine)

Basically he was saying:  “No, we’re not going to port our big first party games to other consoles.  Our main games are all going to be exclusive to our own systems”.


Thank you, Magnets99 for summarizing this perfectly.

No one is surprised by this, right?  This isn’t shocking.  This is exactly what we expect from Nintendo.  And yet, when I saw users on TheEscapist talking about it, I saw an overwhelming amount of posts to the effect of:  “This is why Nintendo is doomed”  “But everyone wants Zelda on PS3/PS4/Xbox360/Xbone!”  “They’re being fools!  Think of all the money they’re throwing away by not doing that!”.

So I thought it’d be nice to post my own take on this.  Which is this:  Those people are totally missing what’s going on here.

So I’ll break down a few of the arguments here.

1) “The WiiU is failing”
Most naysayers were going on about how badly the WiiU is doing and how Nintendo is failing because they are selling the console at a loss.  Well I seem to remember another console to come out a while ago that was being sold at a TREMENDOUS loss, didn’t have any good games for a long long time, was regularly mocked for a long while after it’s launch, but somehow overcame all of that and became a very strong competitor.  That console was the PS3.  And you can bet your bionic arms that the Xbox 360 was sold at a loss at launch as well.

And that’s ignoring the DS which launched slowly at first before taking the gaming world by storm.  Not to mention the 3DS, which was a joke at launch and is just now starting to make them a serious profit.  The same thing is likely to happen with the WiiU as more games come out (and if you don’t think the next Smash Bros is gonna sell a ton of systems, you’re crazy).

2)  “They could make a lot of money going third party”
This one is understandable.  We’re used to North American game companies being greedy bastards who wildly chase short term profits to the detriment of all else.  So when a company doesn’t do that, it feels weird.

Well, ask yourself this.  What is the long term benefit for Nintendo to put their main games on other consoles?

There really isn’t any.

So they’ll sell a bunch of Mario PS3 edition NOW, but what about in the future?  Will selling Zelda games on the PS3/4 make people want to buy a WiiU?  I guarantee you that’s not going to be the case.  Making any of their high value IPs multiplatform would be like stabbing themselves in the back, as it would kill people’s desire to get Nintendo consoles since they can just get the good games for their competitors’ console.

Even if they pull some EA levels of ‘Big-Corporate-Meanie’ and release one Mario/Zelda game on other systems just to tease/interest new people and then go back to making the games Nintendo exclusive again, that’s one game that could have drawn support for the WiiU instead.  Not to mention most people who would actually be intrested in playing Zelda/Mario/whatever will have bought a WiiU already.

In the end, it brings few new sales at the expense of screwing over their struggling new console.  While in the short term they’d make some more money, they would kill the WiiU and put their long term future at risk.

3)  Conclusion
Finally, let’s look at the kind of company that Nintendo is.  While their game consoles are innovative to a fault, as a business they’re firmly old-school, traditional, and even archaic at times.  They don’t spazz out about the short term.  They take the long view and adapt extremely slowly and cautiously.

In a time when most gaming companies are doing massive layoffs (EA just axed their Montreal division, putting some of my friends out of work, for example.) to keep posting a profit and keep their stocks high, Nintendo’s upper management instead took a pay cut (a 50% cut in Iwata’s case).  Business people were astonished and some claimed that Nintend’s bucket had been kicked.  That was 2 years ago, and Nintendo is looking pretty lively for a company that was supposed to be on its way to the morgue.

They’re also just now starting to maybe-kinda-hopefully think about of putting some of their digital releases on sale (at least a friend told me there was a sale recently), when a year or two ago they were dead set against it.  They almost didn’t bring Xenoblade or The Last Story to North America because conventional wisdom told them that these kinds of games didn’t “sell” in the West, and we had to drag those games kicking and screaming across the ocean to be able to play them.

Nintendo ALWAYS adapts slowly.  They always weigh every decision carefully.  Often TOO carefully.  So expecting them to make a huge shift like going third party is like expecting the oil establishment to make a sudden and massive shift towards Green Energy and away from fossil fuel.  It CAN potentially happen, but it’ll need something huge and possibly catastrophic to push them over that edge.

And judging by the fact that Nintendo finished their first Quarter with a net profit of $88 million (largely due to the 3DS selling really well), It’s hard to argue that this ‘slow but steady’ strategy isn’t working for them.

You know, I’m reminded of that old story of the Tortoise and the Hare.  And you can call me crazy all you want, but my money’s on the Turtle this time.

Because I’ve seen the Turtle.  He’s over 10 feet tall, has spikes on his shell, can breathe fire, and has his own personal army.  And although he suffers setbacks from time to time, he never goes down for long.

Oh look, here he is!

Edit:  Just to be clear, I don’t think old Ninty’s gonna pull another Wii Miracle and dominate the next console generation.  I DO think that they’re sure as heck going to stick around for a very long time to come, however.

Sources:  CVG, Escapist Magazine

Diamond Version Nuzlocke Run – Part 11 – Scream

Current Team:
Beat (Grotle)
Ace (Staravia)
Lilli (Shellos)
Malice (Zubat)
Buddy (Budew)
Kazza (Kadabra)

Chapter 11 – Scream

“Buddy.  CUT!”

I kicked the door to Eterna’s Team Galactic hideout wide open, razor sharp shards of spiky tree flying in after me, Beat bringing up the rear.

The grunt nearest the door (he was snoozing at a table) barely batted an eye.  “Yeah yeah, keep it down, we’re happy that you wanna voluntarily donate your pokemon, but no need to-”

<*ROAR*>

The grunts scrambled, and two rushed at me, sending out a Zubat and a Wurmple.

“Oh yeah?  Two on one, eh?”  I grinned.  “KAZZA!  Time for you to shine!”  <KEKEKEKEKEKEKE->  <DAMMIT KAZZA!  STOP MESSING AROUND!>  Then he stopped and looked at me.  <Oh FINE.  I’ll pester someone else for a change.>  It looked at the enemy zubat, which immediately screamed <MAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOP!> into my Link and flew straight into a wall.  Kazza let out a mental chuckle.  <Oh that WAS more fun than pestering you!>

Ace barely got a hit in.  Everything the grunts sent after us keeled over, drooling with just a mental nudge from Kazza.

The two grunts fell back, looking nervous.”You…You wanted to go up, well, why didn’t you!  Go on!  Have fun!”.  The rest of the Grunts were now openly ignoring me, and I saw one starting to not too subtly pack his bag.  Determined, I marched up the stairs to the next floor.

I came out onto some kind of research floor, filled with Grunts absorbed in their work.  I looked over the shoulder of the first grunt I saw, trying to catch a glimpse of his work and he suddenly turned to grin at me, saying “I have no idea what I’m doing either, but I don’t care!”.

Before I could tell him how stupid this made him look, he spun around and something hard connected with my jaw.  “You son of a-”

<*ROAR!*>  Beat came out of his ball.  The grunt fired out a Wurmple to defend himself.  <I’m going to eat you alive!>  Beat growled and pounced on the Wurmple.  Suddenly, a thought arced through my head.  “BEAT!  DON’T KILL-”.  Too late.  The Wurmple was now a steady drip of goop dripping from Beat’s fangs.  “Beat…You idiot.  These aren’t even their own pokemon.  They STOLE THEM”.  Beat’s eyes went wide and he retched on the dead bug.  The enemy Grunt laughed “Well, yeah.  We’re only allowed to capture one pokemon per zone, right?  There’s nothing in the law about us using pokemon that OTHER people captured from that zone, right?”.  He threw out a zubat.  Beat didn’t wait for an order.  He pounced, swatting aside the zubat with ease and going right for the Grunt.  The Grunt’s eyes went wide.  “Wait, that’s not allo-”

*SMASH*

The grunt hit the wall with a thud and he collapsed, groaning.  Beat’s leafy mane rustled as he prepared a Razor Leaf storm.  “Beat, STOP.  You do that and I lose my trainer license, all of you guys, and our mission is shot.  Not to mention that I’ll go to prison.”  Beat hesitated and then backed down, giving the cursing Grunt a baleful stare before spitting out what was left of the enemy Wurmple.  <Ark, we are going to stop them.>  It wasn’t a suggestion.  It was stated as a fact.  I turned to the other Grunts.  “Anyone else want to stop us?”.  I got a roomful of shaking heads.  Beat growled and refused to be called back.

I asked them what the hell they were planning, but no one seemed to know what they were working on.  All I could get out of them was that they were looking to use pokemon as some kind of energy source.

The next floor was ill prepared for my wrath as well.  No sooner had I stepped off the stairs when a very excited young Galactic member approached me.

“Donate THIS.  LIlli, knock ‘em down!”  And knock ‘em down she did.  And then she took on a scientist that came skidding around the corner, wondering why the walls had gone all wet.  With a Kadabra at his side.  “Lilli, Water pulse him!”  It connected.  The Kadabra’s psi fields were distorted by the rings and drove it to confusion.  Lilli took it down without much more trouble.  I was getting proud of her.  The incident with Breaker was growing further and further from my mind.

At last, I burst up the stairs to the top floor, to see a bald guy cowering as a sniffling Buneary wailed on him.  A stern looking woman in a ridiculous purple haircut sneered at him.  “I’m warning you.  Give us all free bikes or your Buneary is going to beat them out of you!  And then your Clefairy’s gonna be next!” she said, holding the terrified Clefairy upside down by the tail.

“OY!  Cut that out!”.  The woman turned, annoyed.  “What do you want?  Oh, silly me.  You must be some loser here to free all the pokemon.  Like that’ll happen.  Hand yours over over now, or they’re going to die.”

Beat grumbled and pawed the ground.  <Let me at ‘em.  Let me at ‘em!   I want a piece of these guys!>.  “No, not against a Zubat.  No risks.  Kazza.  Take it down>.  Not two seconds later, the Zubat dropped.  Kazza chuckled <Keep bringin’ on the poison types!  Keep ‘em coming!>.

And then she sent out a Skuntank…”Another poison type.  No, Beat.  Not this time.  I’m sorry.” I recalled him before he could do anything stupid.  “Kazza.  Take it down.”.  <KEKEKEKEKEKE!>  The skuntank blinked, unimpressed and clearly unaffected.  Kazza cocked his head <Eh?>.  I frowned.  “Wha-Why didn’t it affect…”  Then the Skuntank pounced, going right for the eyes.

The resulting scream drove all else from my mind.

I felt a sharp, agonizing pain shoot right through my eyes and into the back of my brain stem.  I nearly blacked out, static filling all of my senses at once.  And then, total silence.  I opened my eyes and realized I was on the floor, flat on my face.  Groaning, I sat back up.  “Kazza?”.

I saw him totter over, and fall flat on his back.  I gagged as I saw the wound on his face. It was nauseating to look at.  There was no way Kazza could have survived that.  Jupiter laughed “I told you, Hand ‘em over or they die.”.

Silent fury mixed with horror filled me.  I moved on instinct.  “ACE.  GO.  DO NOT LET THAT THING HIT YOU”.  Ace came out.  He took one look at Kazza’s fallen body, then to the Skuntank.  Silence filled my link.  Ace didn’t say a word.  He didn’t need to.  He just moved.

He began to fly rapidly around the small room, touching the walls and launching off them for more speed, rapidly reaching Double Team State.  Jupiter laughed and with a gesture, the Skuntank filled the room with a poisonous gas.  I covered my mouth.  This wasn’t good for me either.  The Skuntank let out loud screeches as well, shaking Ace’s defenses sharply.  “NOW!” I yelled, trying not to breathe in any more of that gas.  Ace plunged, and the Skuntank took it right in the face, a critical hit.  The Skuntank fell back, munching on a berry to nurse its wounds, a large and nasty cut marring its face.

I gritted my teeth.  “Ace!  Enough!  BACK!”  <Not a chance!  I’m gonna->.  I recalled him before he could even finish his sentence.  I wasn’t taking a chance.  With all those screeches, if that Skuntank got even a single hit on Ace, I wasn’t sure he could take it.  I wasn’t going to lose Ace too.

“BUDDY!  STUN SPORE THAT PIECE OF TRASH!”

“LILLI, TAKE IT DOWN!”.  The skuntank reeled growling in annoyance as it was unable to avoid shot after shot of water pulses, now getting confused as well as paralyzed.  It was at my mercy.

“ACE!  you’re on again!”  Ace popped out and flew right at the Skuntank not even waiting for an order.  The befuddled Skuntank didn’t even see it coming.  Ace rushed out, talons extended.  I knew what he planned to do.  I opened my mouth…And then closed it.

I looked away, and tried to shut my mind.  Although the scream was only on the outside of my head this time, it still made me shudder.  Ace flapped back silently to my side, something red dripping from his claws.  I looked back at the dead Skuntank and shuddered.  Ace had given about as good as Kazza had gotten.  I hoped that one wasn’t someone’s stolen pokemon…

Jupiter laughed.  “There’s more where that came from!  Clefairy, Buneary I order you to-”.  She stopped when she realized that the two stolen pokemon had taken the opportunity to run back to their master’s side cowering behind him, safe.

“No.  This is YOUR last warning” I growled.  “If we ever cross paths again…”.  Jupiter laughed “Oh we WILL meet again.  Next time, we’re taking ALL your pokemon.  Dead or alive.  This loss today wasn’t even a setback!  Our leader will uncover the secrets of the mythical pokemon, and he will rule Sinnoh.  Stay out of our way if you value your life.”  And then she was gone.

I approached Kazza’s body.  I couldn’t tear my eyes away from what what left of his.  It was a terrible way to go.

The bald guy approached me.  “Thank you, Trainer.  Thanks to you, my Clefairy and Buneary are safe!”.  I nodded absently.  I vaguely heard him mention that they wanted his Clefairy since they believed it came from space and that I should come to his bike shop.  Then he was gone, leaving me with my thoughts, and two pokemon bodies.

I felt Beat break out of his ball and come next to me.  <Why didn’t you let me fight?>  “You would have died.  It was a poison type.  You had no moves that would work.”.  <But I wanted to-> “NO, Beat.  That doesn’t matter.  What matters is keeping you alive.”.  Beat snarled at me.  <So you prefer to let others die instead?  That’s really selfi->  That did it.  I spun and violently grabbed the sides of his head and glared pure poison directly into his eyes.  “Stop that.  Not another word.  If you die, we lose one of our best teammates.  I need to keep you all alive or else we can never take on the league.  This isn’t about just you.  It’s about all of us.  It’s about everything we’re on this damn mission for.  You’ll fight when it’s time for you to fight.  I’m not letting you fight a hopeless battle just because you want your own revenge!  You’re the one being selfish, Beat.  Now, can it.”

Beat was silent a moment, then looked at Kazza’s remains.  <Promise me.  That we’ll stop these guys.  Promise me they’re going to pay.>.  I looked at Kazza’s destroyed face, then at the Skuntank that Ace had killed, both seeping red onto the floor.  The world was dangerous enough already.  Too many pokemon were already dying pointlessly.  Throwing this criminal danger into the mix was making everything a million times worse.  I clenched my fists, Kazza’s dying scream still burrowing into my mind like a drill.  “We’re going to stop them, Beat.  One way or another.  I won’t let them get away with any more of this.”

I stepped out of the building and blinked in the sunlight.  Dawn had broken.  Team Galactic was long gone, and the city was safe.  I shouldered my pack and headed for the Center.  I had someone to bury.  I wasn’t even sure I was tired anymore.

Kazza the Kadabra has Died…

—-

Yeah, that’s right.  I had a freaking Kadabra on my team (one of my favourite psychic pokemon), and I LOST IT.  I am very upset.  >: (

Diamond Version Nuzlocke Run – Part 10 – Kicking Grass

Finally got back around to it.  Enjoy.

(Also, apparently learning about who Dialga and Palkia are is part of the storyline, so I’m going to go back and remove any reference to me knowing them.  Sorry about that)

Kicking Grass

I opened the gym doors…And had an idea.  Before the helpful tip guy could say “Grass is weak to fire”, I was gone.  I came back with a grin on my face and a plan in my head.

The Gym Leader, Gardenia, was waiting for me in the lobby.  “Greetings, Challenger.  The rules of engagement are simple.  Once you have defeated all of the trainers hiding in my gym, you may challenge me.  I will see you later.”  And with a flick of her hair, she was off, into the gym proper.

I looked sideways at Beat.  He did his best to shrug.  <Hide and seek, huh?  Fine by me>.  I shook my head “You might not be getting that much action this time around, Beat.  You’ve only got strong grass type moves to rely on.  That might not be the best tactic here…”.  Beat grumbled, upset.  <Then let’s hope Ace and our plan is gonna be enough to carry us.  I don’t think Malice is ready yet.>  I nodded and entered the foresty interior, almost immediately gagging on the pollen in the air.  It looked pretty lifelike in there.

I poked around in the gym for a bit until I found my first opponent hiding behind a tree.  Her long blonde hair gave her away.  “TAG!” I shouted, as the young girl jumped in surprise.  I pulled out a PokeBall.  “You’re it”.

It wasn’t long before I was approaching the Gym Leader’s platform.  The only problem had been a Turtwig.  For the shortest of instants, I hesitated before giving the order to take it down.  This had been a small mistake.  Fortunately, my plan was working.  I would probably be ok against the Gym leader.

I approached cautiously, and Gardenia raised an eyebrow.  “No need to be shy, you know.  I know why you’re here.  You’re here for my badge, aren’t you?  Well, prove to me you want it!  Let’s do this thing!”

I immediately knew I was in for a rough fight.  Her first pokemon was level 19.  A bit higher than most of my party…I took a deep breath…And put my plan into motion.  I hurled a pokeball out and as a fluffy brown creature emerged, I yelled “Nightwing!  You know the plan!  Lights out!”

Nightwing the HootHoot let out a low noise, somewhere between a sigh and a growl and opened it’s red eyes wide.  <hootHOOOOOOOOOOOT>.

Cherubi was out for the count.  “Nightwing, take it down!”. He turned to give me a baleful look that clearly said ‘Why?  What did the poor little radish ever do to hurt you?’ before flapping towards his target.  Unfortunately the Cherubi refused to stay asleep.  I had Nightwing put it under once more, now worried about the Leech seeds sucking at his talons… “Alright, enough.  Ace!  You’re on!  Take it out fast!”.  Ace wasted no time in flicking the little radish monster up into the air with a Quick Wing attack.  It tried to retaliate with more leech seeds, but Ace was too fast for it.  Gardenia was having none of it, though, and before Ace could make another pass for a quick attack, she had already healed it with a potion.  Fortunately, one last clap of Ace’s wings were enough to finish it.

She sent out yet another Turtwig.  This time I didn’t hesitate.  And I knew what weakness to exploit.  “ACE!  Avoid the razor leaves!  Double team!”.  Ace clucked, amused. <My thoughts exactly!>.

Ace and the turtwig played defensively for a while, gaining evasive speed and withdrawing into a shell respectively.  Finally Gardenia gave a quick gesture and the Turtwig fired.  Ace ate the full load of Razor Leaves.  I winced, but let out a sigh of relief when I noticed Ace’s flight pattern had barely changed <Barely grazed me. I’m good!>.  “One more Double Team, then hit it HARD!”.  Ace circled rapidly once more, picking up even more speed, dodging side to side to rapidly that he really did look like he had split into two, then dive bombed.  The enemy Turtwig fired another spray of leaves.  It wiffed past Ace easily.  The Turtwig dug itself in and braced itself for the incoming Wing attack and survived the hit well.  But even the toughest defense would have to buckle eventually.  Finally, the enemy Turtwig could not take anymore, and collapsed, panting, never having landed another shot of leaves.

Gardenia clapped, looking rather happy.  “Oh you ARE good!  Come on, let’s see you take on my best buddy!  Rose Rocker, show ‘em our Eterna City pride!”

I focused.  “One more, Ace!  Go for it!”.  Ace crowed and swooped, evading a Grass Knot with ease.  Two quick slams of his wings later, and ‘Rose Rocker’ the Roserade raised its twigs in surrender, barely still standing.  <Alright, alright, you got me, stop it already!> It yelled into my Link.  Ace barely pulled up in time to avoid dealing a needless blow.  <Next time, don’t wait until I’m in the middle of a dive bomb, twiggy!>.  Ace landed on my shoulder, a lot heavier than I was expecting.  <So, how’d I do, Ark?  No wait, don’t tell me, I already know I’m awesome!>.  Gardenia giggled.  “Your Staravia’s got quite the personality!”.  Before I could fully process the fact that she could Link as well, she stepped towards me.

I blinked in surprise.  “Wait, that’s it?  Really?  I thought this was gonna be a lot harder…” “You were nervous, I can tell.  Don’t be.  You and your Pokemon will go very far, Ark.  I’ve got a good feeling about you.  Was it hard to raise your Pokemon to be this strong?”.  I was thrown by her question.  “I….Yes and no.  We’ve had some tough fights, and we’re been working hard, but…I think it’s mostly that my team believes in me.  They know what we’re fighting for and they’re giving it their all.”.  Gardenia chuckled.  “A bond of love, huh?  That’s good to see.  A lot of trainers come through here just see their Pokemon as weapons and don’t even try to care about them.  I guess they just don’t want to think of losing a friend.  I don’t blame them.  It hurts when a Link dies…”.  I nodded hoping I’d never have to feel that. “I agree.  If the rules were different…If we could change them…”.  Gardenia looked surprised for a moment, then grinned wide.  “That’s why you’re taking the Gym Challenge?”

She held out her gym’s Badge.  “If you’re actually gonna do it, I’m gonna wish you luck.  I want the rules to change too.  I’ve lost a few friends, and I’d like to never have to lose one again.  I hope that if we meet again, you’re in the champion’s seat!”

Ark earned the Forest Badge!

Outside the gym, Nightwing cocked his head at me and looked at the sky plaintively.  Even without words, his emotions seeped into my link, and it was making my stomach turn.  “Sorry, Nightwing.  I can’t just yet.  But I’ll try not to make you fight again.  I’ll let you go when I can, alright?”.  Nightwing hooted softly and looked away as I recalled him to his ball.  Questions began to surface in my mind.  I had captured Nightwing just gain a slight advantage, and now I was going to stuff him in a PC box for Arceus knew how long.  Was I just as bad as team Galactic, just taking him and making him fight for my cause like this, not especially concerned for abducting him like that?

Nightwing the HootHoot joins the team

Speaking of which…

I glared at the Team Galactic building up the street, and the little spiky bushes in front.  I glanced down at the Cut TM in my hand…

After a quick trip to the Center, I thought, it’d be time to kick that door down to give that gang of scum what for.

“Beat, Ace.  Let’s go.”!

Steam Summer sale 2013 – Games to look out for.

So it’s that time of year again.  The time when Steam comes around and says “Hey, that’s a nice wallet out have there!  It’d be a SHAME if someone emptied it…OH LOOK CHEAP GAMES!  EVERYWHERE!  :D”

Given that, I thought it’d be nice for me to hammer out a list of games that I think are work picking up if they go on sale.  I’d like to have Spotlighted all of them, but…You’ll just have to settle for a list.

XCOM Enemy unknown:  A fantastic Turn based strategy game that I’m shocked I haven’t spotlighted yet.  It’s extremely challenging and will suck you in for hours at a time.

Bastion:  A tight, immersive and all around fun action RPG.

Borderlands 2:   Yeah yeah, I know.  Most of you have already decided a long time ago if you wanted it or not.  But I’ll recommend it all the same.  Especially if you have friends to play it with.

Deus Ex, and Deus Ex Human Revolution:  Ok, The Deus Ex games are way up there among my favourite games.  Human revolution is actually my favourite game of all time, for the moment.  If you can snap these games for cheap, do it.  If you get the original game, though, be prepared for some clunkyness.  If you haven’t played a Deus Ex game yet…Wait…Why HAVEN’T you played a Deus Ex game yet?!

Dreamkiller:  It’s one of those oldschool run-and-run-circle-strafe-twitch-reflex FPS games.  It’s also really fun.  My only complaint is that it has the best premise EVER (you are a psychologist who can dive into people’s minds to literally KILL their phobias) and it doesn’t really do it justice.

Dungeon defenders:  Got friends who like Action RPGS and tower defense?  Get this and get them to get it.

Dust, an Elysian Tail:  Just go read my spotlight, I gave it a glowing review  :P

FTL – Faster Than Light:  A fantastic little space themed roguelike where defeat comes often, and the victory must be EARNED.  I got a lot of mileage out of this game.

Galactic Civilizations 2:  You want a civlization game in space?  Where you can make your own ships?  And face off against wacko aliens?  GET IT.

Half Minute Hero:  Bite sized RPG packed with humor.  It’s like a large collection of RPG themed puzzles!

Hotline Miami:  It’s super meat boy meets no more heroes, from a top down view.  If any of that perked your ears up, GRAB IT.

Lone Survivor:  For a 16 bit sidescrolling horror game, it really manages to nail the atmosphere, even though it ends a little too soon.

Mark of the Ninja:  I spotlighted it.  :D  Go get it!

Poker night at the inventory / Poker night 2:  Did you ever want to play poker with Max from Sam and Max and other various game and internet characters?  Get it.  They’re both fantastic games.  While Poker night 2 had more “game” to it, I prefer the first one just because I find the characters in that one funnier.

Recettear:  An RPG where you also run the Item shop.  It’s a nifty idea and I really enjoyed it.

Sanctum 2:  Think Borderlands style carnage meets Tower Defense. It’s fantastic.  Get some friends in on it too if you can.

Sequence:  An RPG that fusion danced with a Rhythm game and then decided to fuse with a really funny and smart little story.  It’s a surprisingly awesome combo.

Strike Suit Zero:  Probably gonna spotlight this soon.  It’s a Fantastic space sim dogfighting game.  You want to be a Gundam pilot?  This game captures that kind of feel VERY well, with great ship dogfighting to boot.

Unreal Tournament 1999:  It’s a classic twitch arena style FPS.  If that’s your thing, this game is a great little nostalgia trip.  At least, it was for me.

Uplink:  You want all the glory of being a hacker, but you don’t want to go to jail, and you don’t want to learn how to sift through code?  This game’s got you covered.  It makes hollywod-hacking really fun.  AND STRESSFUL.  You will be paranoid after just a few missions.

Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines:  I spotlighted it.  It’s Deus Ex with Vampires.  What more do I need to say?  It’s amazing!

Psychonauts:  A hilarious and witty platforming adventure romp through the demented minds of various people.  It’s really fun and deserves all the praise it gets.

The Walking Dead:  Ok, I don’t tendto get emotional over games much.  This game almost made me cry.  Ok, no I mean, I got the sniffles for a good twenty minutes but…   Whatever, it’s a fantastic point and click adventure game with great story, characters, and it’ll stick with you for a long long time after you put it down.

Spec Ops The Line:  If you don’t know why you need to play this game, then I’ll just say this:  This game blew my modsbanned mind with the story.  It’s a fantastic deconstruction of the modern military shooter genre.  Not for the faint of heart, though.

And that’s all I got for the moment.  I’m sorry for contributing to the untimely demise of your wallets, friends!

Game Spotlight – Dust; an Elysian Tail

(Dust: An Elysian Tail is available on Steam and XBLA)

I’ll cut to the chase.

Dust; an Elysian Tail is a vertical beat-em-up.  As in, it’s one of those sidescrolling beat-em-up games where you not only go left and right beating up your foes, but you can also combo your enemies way up into the sky, and then all the way back down.

This looks like some kind of super attack that’s hard to pull off and requires some kind of super meter, right?  WRONG.  You can do these kinds of explosions all the time once you get the right projectile element.  And that’s not the only badass thing you’ll be doing once you pick up that mysterious talking sword…

So, let’s start with story.

The game opens with a playable segment wherein the legend of shadowy and merciless warrior is told.  Soon after, you see the hero of the story, the titular Dust, wake up in a clearing in a strange forest with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or how he knows how to use a blade with such grace.  From there unfolds a story about heroism, justice, discrimination and finding and reforging one’s own identity.  It’s really engaging, emotional, and isn’t afraid to get dead serious when it’s appropriate.  And it’s got a downright awesome climax and final act that stuck with me for days afterwards.

By the way, did I mention that it’s all those three things even though everyone is an anthropomorphic animal?  Yeah, yeah, some of you might balk at the idea of there being talking clothed animals in a great story with lots of serious bits to it, but if that’s the case you really need to get over yourselves.

Yes, Dust.  Yes they are.  See?  Even the hero agrees!  Discrimination against anthropomorphic animals is BAD!

The game also loaded with little funny moments, many of them coming from your trusty sidekick and projectile master extraordinaire, Fidget the Nimbat (Yes, Nimbat is actually the name of her species), as well as making gags that poke holes in the fourth wall from time to time.

As for Dust, he’s very expressive and develops rapidly as a character despite his amnesia condition.  It’s honestly great to see another one of those extremely rare amnesiacs who can still remember how to have emotions.  By the time you reach the end of the game, he’s a full on badass and extremely likeable.  The way he bounces off the optimistic and hilarious Fidget, as well as his dead serious talking sword and the variety of other characters you’ll meet works beautifully.

Now, onto gameplay…

The action flows really well, and is a joy to play.  Dust can perform basic sword combos, throw in powerful grabs, knock enemies into the air, and perform a useful twister move (the Dust Storm) in the air and on the ground that’s great for chasing and comboing enemies.  Further, your trusty partner Fidget can fire little weak projectiles that can be amplified to ridiculous levels of usefulness when combined with the Dust Storm.  By combining these sword combos with the projectiles and Dust Storm, you’ll be able to combo the many foes in your path to hell and back.

As to combos, not only are they fun, but they’re rewarding.  The longer your combo, the more bonus EXP you’ll get once the combo naturally ends.  Making long combos is thus one of the best ways to level up.  However, taking a hit during a combo will immediately break your combo and you’ll get no bonus.  And make no mistake, the huge swarms of enemies you’ll face will do everything they can to break that combo and make you rue the day you decided to wake up in a clearing with no memory.

Fortunately, you’ll have a few other useful mechanics at your disposal.  On each level up, you’ll get a “skill gem” that you can allocate to either Attack Power, Health, Projectile Power, or Defense.  This allows for a decent amount of wiggle room on how you play.  Personally, I prioritized defense, since I’m very careless in these kinds of games.  Plus, you can assign purchased and looted healing items to a convenient button to heal with one button press so you don’t need to go into the menu in the middle of a fight to heal (although this is still a valid option).

Finally, there are tons of secrets to find, and lots of quests to complete.  Every area you visit is littered with magical keys and chests, tucked away in various nooks and crannies, many requiring you to return later with new abilities.  By slamming one of the keys into a chest, you’ll enter a brief unlocking minigame, and then be rewarded with a shower of money, healing items, blueprints for armor and rings, and sometimes a whole party of enemies.  Rarely you’ll even find a character from another game hidden away that will be both a funny reference and also boost your maximum health by 5% just for finding them.  As to the quests, there are many of them, usually “bring back X item” or “find X person”.  But more than that, they’re fantastic at helping you get in touch with the world and the characters in it.  Some of them are downright clever in the way they unfold (A certain quest involving a “box” was especially interesting), and are very much worth doing, even just on story value alone.  Although…Make you use the poison ivy when given the option.  Son of a rat deserved it and I’m very upset I didn’t give it to him.  >: P

The game also has absolutely fantastic visuals.  For an indie title, they’re incredibly sharp, colorful and gorgeous to look at, looking great even in the heat of combat.  The game has some SERIOUSLY good art in it.

No Fidget, that’s not a good example!  I know you’re proud of your work, but…

Here’s a much better example of what I’m talking about:

You’ll want to right click on this one and view it fullscreen.  Trust me.

If you think that picture looks good now, you’ll be very impressed to see it in motion.  When I saw this particular vista I literally stopped in my tracks and just admired it for a minute.  There are plenty more great views like this as well.  Archer’s Pass is another particularly impressive place you’ll visit early on, for example.

The only way I can criticize the art is to mention how cluster!@#$y it gets in full on combat.  Yeah, the colorful projectiles and vivid animations and large enemy hordes are nice.  But sometimes I found myself losing track of potential threats to my combo meter when in the thick of combat, with fireballs exploding everywhere and Dust zipping all over the place, and then getting a wolf bite to the tail when I least expected it.

To conclude, Dust: An Elysian Tail is a fantastic game, and a superb beat-em-up action game.  This one comes highly recommended.  If  you’re one of the people who actually played and liked Muramasa The Demon Blade for the Wii, you need to get this game yesterday.

Link

GoD Factory Playable Alpha Build is up. AND IT IS AMAZING.

Ok, go to the link.  Download that build.  Play it.  Believe it.

I just came off a match and it was amazing.  I may have lost, but I scored one kill, one almost kill, and I managed to impress one of the Devs who was on by repeatedly evading him every time he had me in his sights.  And I would have dome a million times better if I had managed to rebind my “maneuvers” properly when re-configuring the controls to my liking.

So yeah, the game, even in alpha state, is pretty freaking amazing.

Play it.  Tell everyone you can.  Get ‘em to back this game!  We only have about 3-4 days left before the kickstarter closes, but with a game this good…

I really, REALLY think it would suck if the kickstarter failed.  This is one of the most ambitious and fun space sim games I’ve ever played.

and now I really need to go to bed-….Dammit, I’m going to be tired at work tomorrow, aren’t I?