As if you needed another reason to love retro-retailer Good Old Games, they are now running a sale on the Roller Coaster Tycoon series in honor of the franchise’s 15th anniversary.
My god….has it really been so long?
Yes it has, but thankfully these games haven’t aged a day in all that time, making the sale bundle price of $8.17 for the deluxe editions of every Roller Coaster Tycoon game one of the more outrageously good deals to come along this year.
There’s nobody I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend these games to, and that’s especially true at this price. Don’t think twice about snagging this while you can.
In the 50+ hours I’ve spent with FTL, I’ve only “beaten” the game on four or five occasions. However, as a practical man who doesn’t choose to measure something like success by the trivial notion of victory, I instead choose to look upon my time with FTL by focusing on the journey, rather than the results.
A journey that will continue on April 3rd when FTL Advanced Edition, and FTL for the iPad are released.
The Advanced Edition will add quite a bit of new content to FTL, including new systems and tools to play around with such as a clone bay and mind control devices, as well as new ships and layout variations to cruise the galaxy in, and a new alien species to meet while you’re out there.
The iPad edition will incorporate the Advanced Edition changes, though on both platforms, many of the major additions it brings can be toggled on and off.
FTL is arguably one of the greatest indie titles out there, and fans everywhere will certainly be happy to know they won’t have to wait long to experience more of it, and be able to take it with them on the go. Expect a full review of the Advanced Edition when the free update is available next week.
Perhaps I should have expected that developer Roll7 was capable of anything after their last title OlliOlli reinvigorated a skateboarding genre that’s been dead since the peak of the Tony Hawk empire, yet I didn’t think they were capable of making a game where a human-like rabbit with political ambitions tasks a band of psychopaths with the duty of cleaning up the city before election season.
Yet, here we are with the studio’s next title Not A Hero.
The plot of Not A Hero may be absurd, but its gameplay is surprisingly familiar. Based on the information provided so far, it looks to be a cover based shooter with a penchant for stylized violence, that results from a variety of weapons. Think Hotline Miami.
Yet like so many great indie games, what makes Not A Hero so notable in its early build is it’s style. That’s certainly true of the game’s overall pixel art aesthetic, but it also extends to the almost playful implementation of ultra-violence you’ll find within, as well as the title’s seeming intention to not re-create not film shootouts, but rather to give form to the most ridiculous notion of a movie shootout you could conceive.
From the very early outset, it looks to do a damn good job at that. There’s something to be said for a game that’s clearly having fun with itself (and has personality to spare), and so far Not A Hero looks to be on of those games. While it’s difficult to tell yet if the gameplay will be able to match the twisted brilliance of the game’s style and set-up, the simple perfection of OlliOlli gives Roll7 more than enough benefit of the doubt in that regard.
If you haven’t yet had your fill of stylized shooters, Not a Hero looks to be more than worthy of your consideration when it hits the PC this Summer.
Perhaps it was inevitable after the pre-release success of Goat Simulator 2013, but I have to say that I was surprised to hear that there was indeed going to be a game called Bear Simulator that sees you virtually participate in the daily happenings of an average bear.
“Now surely this is a joke.” I said. “There’s no way that very bizarre and specific lightning can strike twice, and this ends up being a real thing.”
But, as is usually, the case it turns out I was dead wrong. After surpassing its $29,500 goal on Kickstarter (with 23 days to go no less) Bear Simulator is indeed going to be a real game, that you will buy with real money no less.
Described as “mini-Skyrim, but you’re a bear,” Bear Simulator promises to combat the Bear bias in games these days by offering players the chance to live their bear dreams and do…bear stuff. Early $15 backers get a copy of the game on Steam along with a “mystery key” that opens up a cabin, or some damn thing.
More generous backers will receive gifts like: bear sunglasses, an in-game squirrel buddy or even a “pointless game case” (the developers words, not mine) for a mere $85 donation.
A less amused perspective may be coming regarding this topic once I can actually wrap my head around it, but for now I’m going to invoke the “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” rule and leave you with this video of a bear cub attacking a human with cuteness.
Hot off the heels of the controversial “Death to the Three-Act Structure!” speech that made some waves at GDC, Shawn Robertson of Irrational Games shed some light on what the studio is working on next, and it’s also concerned with the evolution of video game plot.
According to Robertson, Irrational’s next project look to “push past cutscenes for what’s narrative in games.” He specifically touched on Elizabeth’s role in Bioshock Infinite, and how her presence helped to make the story sequences in that game feel more player driven.
These comments would seem to support Ken Levine’s e-mail on the cuts at Irrational, where he mentioned the companies new goal was to make narrative driven, highly replayable games.
While further details are largely speculation at this time, its interesting to get a glimpse into what exactly Levine and crew are working on, and especially interesting to hear that they may be challenging the still very popular convention of cut-scenes in gaming.
Hopefully we’ll know more specifics regarding this new project soon.
The Shenmue series has an interesting place in history.
Sales wise, it was something of an utter failure, but it’s sheer scope helped many fans and developers expand their mindset of what was actually possible in a video game, while the game’s sprawling tale and memorable set-piece moments ensured it would attain cult classic status.
Unfortunately for those passionate fans, sales figures ultimately won the day, and Shenmue II looked to have spelled the end of the series. Considering that game ended on a particularly tantalizing cliffhanger, accepting the death of Shenmue has been quite difficult for many.
While the rumors of Shenmue III has been a piece of internet lore for years, perhaps the most viable piece of hope for a sequel emerged recently when series creator Yu Suzuki revealed at GDC that he still has interest in making a Shenmue follow up if he had the right opportunity, and has also considering crowdfunding to make it happen.
Shenmue III may be on the Half-Life 3 level of “believe it when you see it” until further notice, but hearing the Suzuki mention that hope is still alive is tantalizing enough to keep the dream afloat for many fans. Although, given the massive budgets of the first game, one must wonder how much a crowdfunding campaign would have to ask for in order to make a sequel that live up to the standards of the original.
Ultimately time will tell if Shenmue III will ever see the light of day, but until then fans everywhere can take a small comfort in the fact that there is still a chance we may see a conclusion to Ryo Hazuki’s quest for revenge.
The line between the Triple-A and indie game industries got a little blurrier recently, as two major game companies revealed they are making their game engines available to developers everywhere.
Epic Games (makers of the Unreal and Gears of War franchises) announced that the powerful and popular Unreal Engine 4 is now accessible to independent developers everywhere, for use on PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Access to the engine tools will require a $19.99 a month subscription fee, along with a 5 percent of gross revenue fee on all products the engine is used on.
Not to be outdone, Crytek announced that they will be making the CryEngine available to independent developers, also via a subscription service. Besides the engine itself, the major difference between the two services would be the price, as Crytek is charging a $9.99 a month subscription fee, and are not asking for royalties.
This is pretty big news for the independent scene, as it gives developers everywhere an entirely new visual direction to consider, that was not easily available to them before.
These engines are arguably the most popular, non-exclusive engines in the Triple-A industry, and it will be interesting to see how future independent projects that make use of them will match up to their big-budget counterparts in the near future.
Good news came for PS4 streamers and YouTubers everywhere, as Sony announced at GDC that their next PS4 patch will let you turn of HDCP, and capture via HDMI.
The ability to do so has long been one of the most requested features for the PS4, as the inability to disable HDCP through the PS4 led to many users resorting to homemade solutions, in order to optimally capture footage.
That same patch will also let PS4 users export videos and screenshots to your USB drive through the PS4’s Share button, and will even add a video editing program to the PS4.
Sony also mentioned they are working on a system which will allow for 720p archived streams through Twitch, though that will not be a part of the next patch, and will instead arrive at an undisclosed date.
From the moment Sony unveiled the Share button on the PS4’s controller, it was clear that they had an interest in making the PS4 a versatile tool for the burgeoning streaming/capturing market, and this new update seems to suggest they intend to keep the PS4 relevant in that field for some time to come.
In what’s seemingly becoming a daily occurrence, another group of former Triple-A developers are jumping ship to indie waters, and forming their own studio.
Former Infinity Ward artist Richard Smith, Tomb Raider (1995) game director Toby Gard, Spec Ops: The Line lead designer Cory Davis, and five team members from Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, who worked with Davis and Gard, announced their decision to form a new game studio by the name of Tangentlemen.
In a statement explaining the decision, Smith echoed some of the sentiments of Triple-A refugees of the past by stating: “I was finding the structure of making big games to be too rigid and restrictive. There seems to be a problem with chasing after photo-realism, and it makes everything else about the game very myopic. It’s indie games that are really progressing the art form of game making.”
While details such as the studio’s funding are still up in the air (the team is currently working out of a garage), they have announced that their first title will be a game called Daedelus, which is described as: an existential, surreal horror trip.”
The enthusiasm of the Tangentlemen crew is as clear as their talent. Hopefully we’ll know more about Daedelus soon.
Online game retailer Good Old Games have officially announced their plan to support Linux based games.
Along with making the Linux client available for games that already natively support the operating system, GOG is also working to adapt some of its massive classic games backlog to be compatible with Linux as well. While the exact titles that will be available are currently unknown, GOG is currently planning to make 100 games available for Linux when the service launches in the Fall.
This announcement comes on the heels of Steam’s decision to fully support Linux games in 2013, as well as their reveal that the Steam operating system, as well as all Steam Machines, will be Linux based.
It appears the Linux revolution isn’t losing steam (no pun intended) anytime soon. In any case, the growing number of Linux gamers out there will certainly be thrilled at the prospect of having a new catalog of DRM free classic games available to them, when GOG launches their Linux support later this year.