I have a bit of a penchant for intense sci-fi games, especially if the star is a robot with a heart. Shiny looks like it’s going to rip my entire heart out as the premise has Kramer 227 racing against the clock the save his robot brethren. There’s puzzles and exploration to be had, and I just really worry he isn’t going to be able to rescue his species before his planet crashes into the sun. It’s already out on Steam, but look for it in stores early next year! Check out the gameplay trailer and full press release below!
SOEDESCO and 1C Company team up
Publishers SOEDESCO and 1C Company are excited to announce their cooperation. The first project in this cooperation aims to release boxed editions of award-winning hardcore sci-fi platformer Blackhole and non-violent sci-fi platformer Shiny to PlayStation®4 and Xbox One, with more titles expected in the future. The two games can be found in stores in early 2018.
Blackhole is a hardcore sci-fi platformer made by FiolaSoft Studio. The game revolves around a spaceship which crashes on Entity, an unidentified object resembling a planet. The player takes on the role of the coffee guy of the crew, who wakes up all alone after the crash. The player’s only company is Auriel, the ship’s computer’s sarcastic A.I. Together, they need to fix the spaceship, save all the others and become heroes of planet Earth, while mysterious caves, lost cities, towering mountains and deep forest full of tricky, gravity defying puzzles and deadly traps stand in their way.
Shiny is non-violent family friendly sci-fi platformer made by Garage 227. Players play as robot Kramer 227, who has to find a way to harvest energy and rescue its robotic friends before the doomed planet of Aurora crashes into its sun. On their journey, players need to overcome obstacles and manage their energy levels to power themselves and their friends on their way to safety.
“We’re glad 1C Company has put their trust in our skills.” Says Hans van Brakel, Executive Manager at SOEDESCO. “With our expertise in boxed games and their outstanding marketing and public relations support, we think this will be a long-standing cooperation.”
Nikolay Baryshnikov, VP Interactive Entertainment 1C Company, says about the partnership: “We’re happy to be teaming up with SOEDESCO for these two titles, because we realize that there are still players preferring boxed editions of games. We hope this cooperation will continue in the future.”
SOEDESCO® is a worldwide publisher of both digital and boxed games on multiple platforms. Our past line-up includes third party titles like Toki Tori 2+, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Director’s Cut, Among the Sleep and N.E.R.O. SOEDESCO also published Adam’s Venture Origins®, a new title in the Adam’s Venture-series, music themed action RPG AereA® and is currently working on Real Farm Sim®, a simulation game which offers the real farm experience. Adam’s Venture, AereA and Real Farm Sim are original SOEDESCO IP.
More information about SOEDESCO® and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.soedesco.com or by following @SOEDESCO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About 1C Company
Founded in 1991, 1C is a global games publisher with offices located in Europe and Russia. The company releases PC games through its global network of independent distribution partners, digitally and at retail.
www.1cpublishing.com | 1C Showreel: https://youtu.be/8xcX4OeSPj8
About FiolaSoft Studio
Discover new worlds beyond your imagination. We are a group of friendly creative people since 2002 and we love to be involved in the media production. Developing own computer and console video-games, providing professional audio and video services. We get things done in the most convenient way: by having fun. FiolaSoft Studio is an indie multimedia studio formed in 2002, and ever since then the team has been using GameMaker: Studio as a primary tool for creating games. The studio is made of a group of creative people who are ready for any IT challenge.More information on FiolaSoft Studio, our logo & relevant media are available here.
About Garage 227
Garage 227 Studios is a Brazilian independent game development company founded in 2014, with Studios in Sao Paulo, Brazil and an office in Los Angeles, CA. Garage was founded with the mission of turning passion into games and the firm belief that games can have a positive impact in the world. www.garage227studios.com
Our first impression is of a grim, but beautifully presented game. The music seems harrowing and emotional while not overbearing and gameplay seems smooth with a cute character design. It’s overall a pretty sweet looking little game with original pencil drawn art, but you can kind of tell with this amount of detail.
Will you be checking out Original Journey? Peep the trailer and full press release below:
Original Journey Invades Windows Today
The other day I stopped into my local GameStop to see if they had any of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Funko Pop!s available. What I discovered when I walked in, however, was much more exciting. Recently, Mega Construx released a line of Pokémon-themed building block sets. Being the Pokémon fan that I am I was at first embarrassed that this line had completely flown under my radar when it was announced back in February, but at least stumbling on them the way I did was validating.
There were about twelve sets in total, roughly six larger boxed sets and six little minifigs sort of that come in a Pokéball. I bought a little Eevee Pokéball on the spot. I figured I’d get one of the small ones to dip my toe in a bit, see how I like them. When I got home, it took me about ten minutes to put together (which really only took that long because I kept dropping all the pieces.) Once the figure was complete, I was hooked. At first it looked a little janky with the thick little legs and awkward tuft of fur on its chest but eventually all that became part of its charm.
A couple of days later I went back to the store and pored over which of the larger sets to buy. What I like most about the line is there are a few different themes; besides the smaller figures, a couple of the larger Pokémon are represented, like Charizard and Gyarados. The line also includes the starter mid-evolutions, Charmeleon, Wartortle and Ivysaur as their own stand-alone sets. Each of the starters, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur, along with Pikachu are paired off for battle scene building sets.
After much, much deliberation, I decided to go with Charizard. I also picked up Abra and Magikarp, a couple of my favorites, from the line of smaller sets so I can display next to little Eevee.
Again, the little ones were quick to assemble; total time for both of those was about fifteen minutes. Charizard, on the other hand, took roughly an hour to build. The build instructions were slightly confusing as the way they’re drawn isn’t as clear as what you’d get from a LEGO manual. I managed, though, and I’m really proud of myself.
I’m also really proud of this Charizard, which turned out to be a nice display piece. A lot of the articulation is really good, especially around the head, legs and tail. I would have liked if there was a bit more articulation, like maybe if the arms moved a little better and get some moveable fingers and jaw in there but I also realize that those features would impact the price, which may turn off a few potential fans.
As far as quality, it’s easy to tell why LEGO is the cream of the crop. That’s not to say Mega Construx are bad; in fact, they’re intricately designed and really capture the likenesses of the Pokémon they’re meant to replicate. However, the building aspect of the set was difficult at times. I found myself struggling to click blocks in place, having to rely on using my teeth to get the amount of pressure that I needed. This could have been due to some microscopic defect in the stud that made it just too big to fit. In fairness, though, it could have just been small parts and sweaty hands (it was a really hot day, you guys.)
If you do manage to get them clicked into place and realize you put the piece in the wrong spot, good luck getting it apart. Unlike LEGO, Construx don’t come with a handy separating tool so, once again, I lucked out that I had a mouthful of teeth to do the job. In fairness, though, I don’t fault Construx for this. It took LEGO years to realize a tool like this was a necessity and since they likely have a patent on it, Construx will need to design their own.
As I mentioned earlier, in addition to the larger sets, the series offers a few single figures, such as Pokémon’s mascot, Pikachu, and a few other fan favorites, like Eevee, Magikarp, and…Zubat. What I like most about these are the packaging; they all come in a plastic Pokéball that can be used as a display base once building is complete. And at around $7 each, they’re a pretty good deal. Considering LEGO minifigure blind bags can retail for right around $5 and only have about 5 pieces each and a substandard display, these Pokémon characters are basically a steal.
Even the larger sets are a good value. At this time, the biggest set was Gyarados, with a total of 352 pieces retailing for $30. Compared to some of LEGO’s franchised sets, that’s an amazing deal. The LEGO Batman Movie Riddler Riddle Racer playset has 254 pieces and is regularly priced at $35 (though was on sale for $24 at the time of this writing, for whatever that’s worth).
Then again, you get what you pay for. With LEGO being the Cadillac of building blocks, the Pokémon Mega Construx don’t size up to quite that level. Sure, the models are well done and really capture the likenesses of the Pokémon, but the builds aren’t as sophisticated as what one would expect from LEGO.
It was a great choice for Mega Construx to jump into the Pokémon arena, especially given the mainstream popularity of Pokémon GO. Building sets like these now appeal to a wider audience since they are familiar with the characters. Even though they aren’t perfect, they are fantastically modelled and offer great playability.
Bottom line: I want more. Not just “I want to buy more sets,” which is definitely true. The low price point and great showcaseability really make these sets a good value despite their shortcomings. When I say I want “more,” I mean more sets. I want this line to do well so that Mega releases additional sets, like maybe the Generation 1 legendaries, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Mewtwo. Even a tiny little Mew hovering over a Pokéball would be sweet.
Also, I want to see some from the later generations of games: Tyranitar, Hoot Hoot, Lucario. There are so many great Pokémon that would make amazing display pieces that this could go on forever…just like the games!
With the head start of the relaunch of The Secret World into the new Free-to-Play Secret World Legends happening on Friday, June 23rd, and the official launch of Secret World Legends happening on the 26th, there isn’t much time left. Anticipation levels are running quite high as Funcom has been relatively tight lipped for the past couple months on complete details on the new game, including keeping beta testers under NDA up until launch and eschewing an open beta entirely. Still, in true Secret World fashion, a new ARG has come into play as a lead into Secret World Legends’ launch entitled “Kiss of the Revenant”.
If you’ve never played The Secret World then let me be the first to tell you about the game’s famed ‘investigation missions’. They are on a complete other level of devious. You think you’ve encountered tricky puzzles in other games, have you? Have those puzzles needed you to translate Morse Code from flashing headlights, research passages in the Vulgate Bible, or brush up on your Romanian? Didn’t think so. Solving these puzzles is a complete head rush, and the sense of accomplishment is like no other. Sure, you could just look up the answers, but you’d be shorting yourself of one of the best experiences in gaming today.
With that sort of history to live up to, this lead up has to be smart. To that effect, Funcom had the makers of one of the game’s previous tie-in ARGs, Alice & Smith of The Black Watchmen fame, set to work creating a new ARG to celebrate the release. According to a June 16th press release from Funcom, Kiss of the Revenant will have participants “Focusing on the solving of intricate puzzles and mysteries” where an “unsettling storyteller invites players to take a second look at a tragic love story on the Savage Coast”, the second zone of the game, which is also the location of The Secret World spin-off The Park. “Players will be challenged to decipher and perform a ritual that crafts an exclusive set of weapons for use in ‘Secret World Legends’.”
The ARG is currently up and running with participants helping to unlock milestones to release further content as the game progresses. It will run up to the launch of Secret World Legends on June 26th, 2017, and is free to participate. Just head to www.KissoftheRevenant.com to join. Also, be sure to check out the relaunch of Secret World Legends, starting Monday, June 26th, 2017. Details can be found at www.SecretWorldLegends.com. I know I’ll be checking it out and streaming it often as it has been hands-down my favorite MMO to date, and I can’t wait to see where the story will finally lead, to Tokyo and beyond.
Sidenote: Come check out the premier Secret World podcast Beyond the Veil’s live broadcast this Thursday, June 22nd, on Twitch. The show’s hosts, including myself, will be interviewing Andrea Doyon from Alice & Smith as well as Romain Amiel, Game Director of The Secret World and Secret World Legends.
** NOTE: During the time of writing the SNES Classic had yet to be announced, and as such Nenedamus was still awesome and ahead of the game **
Nostalgia is wasted on the young. So many things in gaming these days are sequels, or updates, or HD special editions, or whatever the hell most companies feel like repackaging to sell to the old folks like me. And thankfully for something refreshing from that formula, the NES Classic was released – a mini console that thanks to today’s technology was able to pack 30 classic games from Nintendo’s 8-bit era into one convenient unit. It opened for $59.99 and it sounded pretty good at the time. Classic Nintendo IP like the Mario and Zelda series along with Metroid were now plug and play, with many other popular titles rounding out the 30.
And those positive vibes lasted for roughly 38 seconds.
There was absolutely no way in the infinite 8-bit hells that this price was going to remain steady. Just like all other re-issued nostalgia it was going to be bought in bulk, stocked out, and sold to gouge the highest bidders for profit. I saw the device go as high as $600 on eBay (a 1000% price hike for those playing along at home) and people jumping at the opportunity to have one. 1.5 million units were sold in just a couple months on the market. Which turned out to be… well, all of them.
So now we come to the recent development in the NES Classic saga. Recently Nintendo, without any warning or heads up, stopped production on the mini console a couple weeks ago. They have since announced that they would cease production in not only the North American region but in Japan and Europe as well. What happened next, though, surprised the hell out of Old Man Nene though for such a simple thing – the gaming community, at least what I’ve seen on social media, lost its damn mind. But it didn’t make any sense to me. Most kid gamers my age still have our NES and games intact. Younger gamers have online emulators and ROMS. Why was this such a big thing in the gaming community that I simply couldn’t bring myself to care about? What was the draw? Well kids, to all you Aging Gamer faithful that listen to Old Man Nene in his rocking chair tell you how it used to be – I can only offer the immortal words of DJ Khaled:
Congratulations. You played yourself.
It’s basic economics and mindshare. Firstly, Nintendo never meant for this to be an ongoing product – why would they when the Switch was just around the corner? This was always going to be special edition and never a permanent offering. The number of units manufactured was set to reflect that. Look at any supply and demand scenario – the second the “super rare” tag gets slapped on an item the price spikes like a rocket, and people are willing to pay more for a scarce product. What Nintendo did was create an artificial demand and gamers responded precisely the way they were supposed to.
It’s like some small restaurants that have lines for blocks leading to their front door. Sure it’ll draw more people and generate more demand, but they don’t tell you that there’s only 10 seats inside and that’s what causing the line.
[Side note: that was an angry morning in Philadelphia for Old Man Nene. I just wanted some pancakes.]
Secondly, they created an environment where gamers would have Nintendo control every free thought in their brains for the foreseeable future. The NES Classic dropped in November 2016. The Switch hit shelves four months later in March 2017. Look at the timing of those events, including the NES Classic price gouge in the middle. This is not a coincidence. It could be argued that hands clamoring for the NES Classic could ultimately lead to a Switch sale. Bummed that the NES Classic is done for? That 8-bit longing, along with murky rumors about a virtual console on the Switch, could be enough mind control to have gamers shelling out fistfuls of cash in the future for games they bought already via the NES Classic. I mean it’s not really that far a stretch… I’m sure there’s a bunch of Square-Enix fans that have 7 different versions and releases of Final Fantasy IV.
In the end, my prediction is this: The NES Classic is dead, but I can see a SNES Classic in the not too distant future.
So go ahead and be mad that you couldn’t get an NES Classic. Celebrate and rejoice if you managed to snag one. But remember this kids – in the end we’re all just logic boards in the gaming machine.
[And while I cannot condone a workaround that theoretically involves easily constructing a Raspberry Pi powered RetroPie DIY unit, legend has it (seriously you guys) would only take an hour to get together, be ultra cheap and allow you to play your old 8 and 16 bit games. I can also neither confirm nor deny such things exists.]
There are independent games everywhere you look at PaxSouth and for fans of multiplayer madness, we tried out a couple of the best!
While I am not a fan of the fighting genre, I engaged in a few rounds of Brawlout due to the eye-catching character designs. They’re animated and dynamic, and kept me interested, long after my fingers became sore from mashing buttons. Watching excited con-goers pummel each other round after round definitely gives the idea that Brawlout can be the next big mainstay in the pro gaming circuits.
Brawlout is a competitive fighting game mixing the precision of violent fighters, with a gorgeous animated style. Up to 8 players can go at once in a match, along with ranked tourneys, a story campaign, and local party mode. Characters are based on different cultural deities, complete with unique combat styles, and can be customized for better abilities and special attacks. It’s perfect for fans of Smash.
Brawlout is currently scheduled for release in late Srping 2017 for XboxOne, PS4, and Steam.
Australian studio SMG markets Death Squared as a multiplayer puzzle game about cooperation, communication, and robot explosions. However, I am pretty sure this game is going to be how my friendships with the other Sub Cultured writers end. I found the four robot characters adorable (and they have a backstory!), and the levels challenging. If you liked all the minigames in other friendship ending games like Mario Party, this will be right up your alley.
Death Squared boasts over 120 levels with more on the way, ranging from intense problem solving with your teammates to simply maneuvering your character onto a button to finish the stage. A bit of warning: deaths are hilariously catastrophic and surprisingly meeting your end is very, very easy.
The game releases March 14, 2017 on XboxOne, PS4, and Steam, but keep an eye peeled for our Twitch stream where we will be giving out keys. There’ll probably be lots of swearing.
Want more PAX South 2017 coverage? All you had to do was ask!
Prisma and The Masquerade Menace, Sundered, and RiME
Minit, Beat Cop, and Strikers Edge
Arms, Splatoon 2, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Monster Boy, Warlock’s Tower, and Has-Been Heroes
Gorogoa & What Remains of Edith Finch