REPLY TO ALL takes a week off while our writers look out upon the video game industry and report back on what caught their eye.
Mega big ups to my boys at Playstation C.A.M.P. and Crispy’s for bringing the heat to all those who dare question Japan’s current game design quality levels. Tokyo Jungle is going to take the world by storm, come June 7th. You’d be hard pressed to find a Western developer with the brains or the balls to create a post-apocalyptic survival game without a single human therein. This future masterpiece features such protagonists as the mighty Weapon-X Pomeranian, Boxing Kangaroo and Hard Hat Cat fighting Tyrannosauri and big ass Grizzly Bears. Now, I don’t speak Japanese, so I don’t actually know anything about the game, but this video was all I needed to convince me that 2012 will see Tokyo Jungle on many a GOTY list and Crispy’s elevated to greater-than-snack-food company status.
I need to give a shout out to Lindsey Stirling who is putting out some awesome music videos inspired by some of our favorite video games such as Skyrim. Her latest musical piece done with Peter Hollens is phenomenal, and I think she deserves a Fus Ro Dah and a thumbs up for her work. Keep them coming!
All of my shouting (and this shout out) are for Hack, Slash, Loot, a roguelike turn-based dungeon crawler created by David Williamson that released earlier this year. Currently with six dungeons to die in, I’ve grown more and more addicted to finding victory. Floors are randomized, loot is aplenty and enemies are a pain in my ass. To add even more allure, more character types beyond the basic warrior/wizard/archer open up as the game is played. I’ve really found myself caught up in the indie scene due to the affordability, variation and risk-taking involved. Hack, Slash, Loot might not be for everyone due to the patience involved, but, for less than $10, I’ve got to salute the smaller developers out there for keeping it interesting!
My shout out goes to Runic Games for being ballsy enough to release its game a month after people get sucked into Diablo 3. Some may see this as foolish, but having played the original Torchlight I am confident in saying that the gang at Runic knows their product is worthy enough to squeeze into the spotlight of the king of dungeon crawlers. I think their strategy of being the “low cost Diablo 3” is also a very uncommon but intelligent move as they have never tried to separate themselves from Diablo 3 as much as they’ve openly admitted to being heavily influenced by and working within the groundwork laid by the game. It doesn’t hurt that there are members of the original Diablo team working for Runic. Some people don’t have the cash to drop on a full price PC game, and Torchlight 2 gives those people (as well as dungeon crawler adopters) something to enjoy.
Justin L (JDevL)
While I sat envious of the convention goers at PAX: East this weekend, I did appreciate all of the hands on previews that were flooding my news feeds. Sure the big names were there, but the screenshots and buzz that stole my localized version of the show belong to a game called Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
The first thing that struck me about Arkedo Studios‘ game was the title, as I didn’t realize the Hell Yeah was a part of it until the third preview. Then, much more importantly I noticed the gorgeous high-def 2D graphics and sprites. At first glance I thought this was a Vanillaware game. The second tidbit sealed the deal on me playing the as Hell Yeah has been placed in the Metroidvania genre. Overworld map that is open to explore with new areas unlocking as you receive items. I’ve never been so excited to play as the prince of Hell as a bunny.
I know that the topic of Kickstarters is starting to get a little stale, but I have to give a shout-out to the fan funded return of old franchises. First off, I am excited that we will eventually get another Leisure Suit Larry. I know that word on the street is that the game was already in production, but who doesn’t want to spend more time with video game’s worst pick-up artist? I know that Larry is a corny series, but I have many fond memories of trying to guess the security questions before embarking on Larry’s adventures in finding love. I am also really excited that Shadowrun is coming back (the right way). I would really like to see the Shadowrun universe get a good video game for once. Of all the pen and paper RPG franchises, I feel that Shadowrun has yet to get exceptional video game treatment. Even with the release of Deus Ex last year, I think video games could use a heavier dose of cyberpunk these days.
I don’t want to shout this out but want to recognize the fact that the video game industry lost a pioneer this week in Jack Tramiel. He gave the Commodore 64 to the world. For many that was their introduction to the world of video games and the system is still highly regarded on the internet. Last year I downloaded an emulator for the iPhone to play some of the old games that I never got the chance to play. So there are still many opportunities out there to discover and rediscover some classic gaming all thanks to Jack Tramiel. He was 83.
What deserves a shout-out from you?
Let us know in the comments.
Giant Bomb (images)