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Posts Tagged ‘Platformer’

mckids-asd

Give that spider a McSmack.

Commercialization in games is a controversial subject. As the medium has attracted more mainstream appeal, it is inevitable that it’ll be considered as a potential marketing vehicle. Nowadays, we bemoan the fact that endless product placement appears in AAA titles, but it’s hardly a new occurrence. Back in 1992, McDonald’s – considered by many to be the de facto face of unrestrained consumerism – lent its likeness to several video games, the best of which is arguably M.C. Kids.

Being a platformer originally for the NES released in the wake of Super Mario Bros. 3, many dismissed it as a lacklustre attempt to wedge in on the Italian plumber’s turf. Indeed, there are superficial similarities, such as a world map and collecting coins, albeit in the guise of the McDonald’s “M”. However, those who looked past its branding and apparent unoriginality quickly found a surprisingly playable chunk of platforming goodness.

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never_alone_1

The Iñupiat are a people native to Alaska. Their total population spans around 13,500 people. It’s safe to say that they are a minority culture, and it’s likely you’ve never heard of them. Development team Upper One Games hopes to remedy that – their team is made up of native Alaskans, and they’ve set out to create a game that captures the culture, stories and ideas inherent to the Iñupiaq people.

That game is called Never Alone, and it stars a young Iñupiaq girl called Nuna and her pet arctic fox. From the looks of the trailer, the game will be a side-scrolling platformer with some puzzle elements thrown in. It gives off a bit of a Limbo vibe, albeit with less death and horror.

Hit the jump to see the game in action. It’s a captivating introduction to the title, but that’s likely thanks to the narrator speaking in the Iñupiaq language and saying things like, “What good are old stories if the wisdom they contain is not shared? That’s why we’re making this game.”

Wow, it’s like a head-on collision between technology and this minute, age-old culture. I won’t lie, I got goosebumps, man… goosebumps.

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loveplus1a

Platformers tend to go in either one of two ways: elaborate fusions of experimental gimmicks that ooze style, or barebones, minimalist endeavours that harken back to a simpler time when platformers were the dominant example of the video game artform. Love is an example of the latter, taken to its logical extreme.

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olliolli

Roll7’s excellent PlayStation Vita skating game, OlliOlli, is heading to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The game has been lauded as an essential purchase for anyone who owns a Vita, so it’s great news that the game’s market is about to be widened considerably.

The critical success that Roll7 has experienced is something that took the team off-guard: “there were numerous late-night emotional drinking sessions in central London as we essentially came to the realisation that we were a ‘proper’ studio with a hit game – it has still not properly sunk in for most of us!”

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Seriously, you have to watch this trailer. This is the greatest trailer that has ever been put together for a video game. Every other trailer in existence is rubbish compared to this masterpiece of marketing. Did you play BattleBlock Theatre Theater (sorry… American spelling) by developer The Behemoth? You probably didn’t, so it’s good news then that the game is coming to PC via Steam.

Here’s the announcement trailer. It made me literally LAUGH OUT LOUD more than once. It is a perfect attempt at poking fun at the Glorious PC Master Race – which, let’s face it, needs to be made fun of every now and then. Press play below. Do it. WATCH IT. YOU WILL LAUGH AND HAVE A GOOD TIME.

abyssodyssey_01

ACE Team, the developers behind the surreal first-person brawler Zeno Clash, have recently announced their latest title, called Abyss Odyssey.

Abyss Odyssey is an action-platformer that merges traditional platforming with tenets from fighting games and procedurally-generated levels. Each of the three playable characters has a distinct move set that requires the technical finesse of fighting games to pull off. Dodge-cancels, cancel-into-supers, and other fight-y jargon-y things form the framework of the combat system — and players will need to master all of these to be truly effective.

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rayman_legends_header

First things first: for Nintendo’s sake, it is a damn shame a bigger effort wasn’t made to keep this game a Wii U exclusive. Rayman Legends would have sold Wii U consoles – something Nintendo really needs to do right about now. On the opposite side of the coin, it would have been a complete travesty having this game locked into a platform with a limited audience; it’s a game that deserves to be experienced by as many people as possible.

Rayman Legends is pure, unadulterated gaming. There’s no fluff and padding to artificially elongate the experience. It sticks to its refined mechanics and pulls off the whole package with honesty and style, but without taking itself too seriously. In fact, there isn’t an ounce of seriousness to be found anywhere, which is refreshing considering the vast majority of contemporary gaming themes. The game is unbridled fun and a grin-inducing ride from start to finish. Ubisoft did the right thing delaying the title in order to turn Rayman Legends into a multi-platform release.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Ubisoft’s latest platformer is a brilliant game, but it’s not without some minor annoyances. Do those annoyances detract enough from the experience to be considered a problem, glaring or otherwise? Absolutely not.

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shortpeace_00

Namco Bandai Games has announced a Western PlayStation Network release for Suda51′s Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day, along with a pumping English trailer. Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day is a 2.5D sidescrolling platformer with shoot-’em-up elements that forms part of the animation omnibus Short Peace. Short Peace highlights four short animated films from a number of renowned anime directors such as Akira‘s Katsuhiro Otomo. Releasing sometime in the first or second quarter of 2014 in both Europe and the US, Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day will include the four films along with the game.

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muri1

We’ve seen no shortage of modern platformers done in the classic 16-bit style, but how many pay homage to DOS games of the early ’90s, complete with EGA graphics and PC speaker-style sound effects? So far, the only one I’ve been able to find that fits the bill is Muri.

The game is the brainchild of none other than Daniel Remar, who some of you may remember as the developer of the delightful Iji, which has previously been discussed in-depth. Muri takes its cues from a host of early ’90s DOS platformers, but the most obvious inspiration is the original Duke Nukem; the HUD, the platforms, the static background, the robotic enemies and the general aesthetic is very reminiscent of the Duke’s original outing all those years ago.

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lamulana2_01

La-Mulana. A conundrum, the birthplace of mankind. Riddles in the dark. Death. When it was originally released, La-Mulana – with its quaint graphic style reminiscent of the MSX, quirky humour and brutal challenges, both mechanical and intellectual – engulfed the hearts and souls of many Metroidvania lovers in its ample depths, myself included. Since its release in 2005, it’s seen a number of remakes and releases, the most recent being a Steam version in April 2013.

So it’s with some delight that I saw the developers NIGORO launch a Kickstarter for the sequel, La-Mulana 2. It’s already earned over a quarter of its $200,000 goal at the time of writing, which just speaks to the strength of the original.

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