If you’re going to infringe on copyright, you might infringe on all the copyrights at the same time. That way you can keep track of who’s taking you to court. Mario Crossover 2.0, the sequel to the already astonishingly rippy-offy original, is a remarkably slick mash-up of all the best Nintendo games. And Zelda.
Crossover 2.0 takes the basic concept of allowing characters like Samus (from Metroid), or Link (from Meh-lda) to run around Mario levels and runs in crazy directions with it. Mega-Man tossing blocks at Koopas, Samus blasting them with her arm gun thing, Link boring them to death with his boring-ness. I love the idea of in-game power-ups upgrading the graphics, taking the player into a modern era with every mushroom, and sliding back through history when damage is taken. And Ryu fighting Bowser is just precious. Feast your eyes on the entire roster in this demonstrative video-gram from a bygone era.
Inversion is a third-person co-op shooter that combines hard-hitting, adrenaline-pumping action with a revolutionary gravity manipulation engine.
Featuring the Grappler weapon, players will be able to manipulate gravity for their own purposes. The Grappler can be used in countless combat situations by maneuvering massive objects as shields or projectiles, and moving camped enemies out of concealed cover so they can be blasted away. The Grappler is also a key tool for tactical situations and puzzle solving as players can lift, move, or create cover objects at their whim. The awesome power of gravity is right at players’ fingertips. Additionally, Inversion is one of the first games to feature the HAVOK destruction engine which bestows Inversion with massively destructible environments including an elaborate cover system.
Set in the near future, the tranquil peace enjoyed by mankind shatters with an unforeseen invasion by an unknown enemy called the Lutadore. Armed to the teeth with futuristic gravity-controlling weapons, the Lutadore easily overrun the city’s defenses. Unbeknownst to all, mysterious anomalies have surfaced in conjunction with the invasion. Random regions in the city have entered zero gravity or have suffered vector changes, throwing the world into topsy-turvy chaos. Assuming the role of Davis Russel, a hotheaded 28-year-old cop, or Leo Delgado, Davis’ neighbor, players will embark on a journey through the war ravaged gravity twisted disorienting streets of their home town and beyond, to find Davis’ missing child.
Renegade-X is a reworking of the original, awful Command & Conquer: Renegade, Westwood’s ambitious FPS with RTS acne. I’m downloading the just released short single-player preview, “Operation Black Dawn”, from the official torrent, and we’ll make brain thinks into words about its UDK-based goodness another day. In the meantime, here’s the download link and video, strategically placed below.
The current download is just a peek, with a short single-player campaign to tide you over until the multiplayer release. There’s a lot of bluster in this video, about redefining entire genres, but it does look pretty and with a cool name like “Renegade-X” you kind of have to be all: “we’re making it the best thing since that last thing that was also good”. Grab it here.
Indie platformer A Walk In The Dark has a cat rescuing a lost little girl in a dark, fantasy world; the quarter of Dexter that John owns once lost a fight with his own feet (my bit was obviously the winner there). I see now why they had to place the game in a gothic forest: as a cat owner of four years, I wouldn’t believe the skills he shows off in the trailer below.
Side-scrolling, sillouhettey lovliness seems like an effect that indie developers lean on, but the results here are perfectly pleasing as the cat leaps over spikes and flips gravity in VVVVVV fashion. He sproings rather neatly over spikey things, and gracefully hops from wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling. It reminds me of the time that Dexter ate a tapeworm that he’d just extruded. Good times.
Want to help the kitty pursue the ancient evil through the gothic forest? All we have is a vague 2012 release date. Why not rescue a real one, instead? You can pretent the shelter is a gothic forest, and the administration people are ancient demons.
Haunt, his Kinect-exclusive ghost-’em-up developed with help from the UK’s Zoe Mode, is wonderfully silly and deliciously camp. It’s also sort of scary, but not in the blood-soaked manner we’ve come to expect.
This is horror as you experienced it as a kid. It’s a theme-park haunted house, full of cheesy “boo” moments that make you jump even as you’re rolling your eyes. It’s Vincent Price in a cape, not Jason Voorhees with a machete. It’s Halloween (the holiday) not Halloween (the movie). It’s about that enjoyable chill up the spine followed by a giggle at how daft it all is.
You’re playing as some hapless stooge, lured to a crumbling mansion. Inside, the spirit of the former owner, a corpulent fellow named Benjy, is trapped in the mansion’s many paintings. He needs your help to retrieve four “phantaflasks” for an arcane machine that will free him from his two-dimensional prison.
Important disclosure: AVSEQ is created by Big Robot, the indie game dev company owned by one Jim Rossignol. Rossignol was, of course, responsible for the Crimean War and has a police record due to admitting to the kidnap of 18 hobos in 2002. Apart from that, I can’t think of anything whatsoever that needs declaring about Rossignol before I post about Big Robot’s first released game, AVSEQ.
The near-infinite sounds and combos of abstract musical puzzle game AVSEQ are primarily the design and creation of Big Robot’s programmer Tom ‘Nullpointer’ Betts, so don’t expect too many traces of Rossignism in this one (although he’s been helping out with tweaks), but it is the studio’s very first release, and it is jolly clever, as you’ll see below.
Yes, the latest in a long line of labour machinery-based sims you would never dream existed is Airport Firefighter Simulator, in which you are all that stands in front of certain, explosive disaster. Quotes like this are simply amazing: “Even the most routine duties of aircraft refuelling and cargo management carry the chance of conflagration so you must always be on your guard to prevent a minor incident becoming a major inferno.”
Omigodomigodomigod. What could such a game possibly be like in action?
The endearingly titled Here Comes Launchman is the retro equivalent of a cat rolling about at your feet as it’s purring and looking up at you with it’s big, wet eyes: the trailer makes me want to pick it up and snuggle it.
It has everything: a simple colour palate, chiptunes, improbably surreal level design that only ever existed in the world of 8-bit platformers. Very catlike, indeed. I’d almost suggest it was trying to hard, but that would be mean and I can’t even begin to be negative about it. Instead I’ll be factual and then excited: it’s a physics-based platformer, where you guide the little guy around Puzzle Planet. Time to excitedly gesture towards the video they’ve just released, showing the complicated mouse-flinging you’ll have to achieve to toss the little chappy through those levels. Oh look, there it is there!
It’ll be out this year. I know what I’ll be doing in one of the 343 days left this year.