Sunday, March 31, 2013

PAX East 2013 Part 2 - Transistor, Rain Slick 4, Duck Tales Remastered, KH 1.5 HD Remix


Supergiant Games, creators of the marvelous and beautiful Bastion, just released the debut trailer for their upcoming title Transistor. In this title, you take control of Red, a famous singer in a futuristic world whose had her voice stolen and life threatened. Upon picking up a sword with the spirit of what seems to be her body guard, maybe her boyfriend, in it, Red is on her way to beat The Process, an all-seeing technological hivemind that polices her city.

The game features the narration stylings of Logan Cunningham, the same narrator from Bastion. His character is different and voice is less deep and grumbly, but it’s definitely him. The gameplay is similar to Bastion in that the fixed camera is set on an isometric plane. What’s new, and quite frankly wonderful, here is the new fighting system. Though you can wail away at enemies with a few different attacks, the strategy comes in when stopping time. Red moves at super speed, meaning you can plan your attacks and execute them with the same button. This mechanic is balanced in that you have a meter which goes down with both movement and actions, not unlike Valkyria Chronicles. After the onslaught, Red is left defenseless for a few seconds in order to recharge her meter. The demo also added another power which blinks the player across the map quickly, consuming the same attack meter mentioned earlier. These powers are culled from the bodies of the dead you find lying around in the road, so it’s almost as if their spirits are trying to help you beat the Process.

The writing is incredible, the gameplay is frantic at times and calculating at others, and the art is absolutely gorgeous, filled with colorful buildings, backgrounds, and characters. Remember how I mentioned Watch_Dogs was near the top of my watch list? Transistor is higher.

Release Date: 2014 maybe (their words, not mine)
Platform: I dunno man it’s like platforms are hard, y’know? They’re developing on PCs though!

Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4

That title never gets shorter. Zeboyd is back at it with the finale of the Rain-Slick series. Done in classic Zeboyd style, the game features turn based combat with the same mechanics we saw in Rain-Slick III, along with some high quality sprite art and an extraordinary level of writing. Well duh, what’s different? you may ask.

A number of things, actually!

First off, you control the main characters of the game, Gabe, Moira, Jim and (dun dun DUN!) Dr. Blood, but you don’t fight as them. Instead, you use avatar monsters that live in MonstOrbs to do your bidding. You can catch more monsters along your journey and they take on the stats of their trainers, this way the fighting system is a bit looser and allows you more choices and customizations to your characters. 

Another large change is the map. No longer are we on node-path world maps, ladies and gentlemen. We’re off to a true world map! You have no idea how happy that makes me. Node-path always feels so claustrophobic to me and having the ability to run about the overworld, even if it’s only the illusion of choice that I’m granted, feels so much freer and like I’m actually exploring instead of being led by the hand. The demo only covered the first few areas of Underhell (finish the DLC for an explanation on that), but they all seemed pretty red/brown/yellow to me. Lava and bones will do that I suppose. Hopefully we’ll see some more color variations as the game progresses.

One last thing — the developers have confirmed with me that, yes, you will be able to fly around the world map at some point. They didn’t want to commit to the word Airships (knowing Jerry, it’s probably going to be a dragon made entirely of spines), but I’ve been assured that I can fly around on the map. My life got about 2x better in that moment.

Release Date: Spring 2013 (boy that’s ending pretty quick)
Platforms: PC, XBLA

Duck Tales Remastered

If you didn’t know, Duck Tales Remastered exists and it’s coming out! It looks and feels like the old version, but looks worlds better. Capcom also got all the original voice actors form the show to reprise their roles to make this game as accurate as possible. That’s really all there is to say. Have a pretty picture and if you want some gameplay, to play the original, then just imagine that in 1080p. Rock out to the moon theme.

Release Date: Summer 2013
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix

Square has finally decided to cash in on the Kingdom Hearts franchise in the form of a compilation HD remake. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix includes Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, the version not released in America, along with Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, both remastered in glorious HD graphics. Also included on the disk is 2.5 hours of cinematics explaining Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Besides the graphics, not much has changed. Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix finally has the camera mapped to the right joystick, helping to alleviate the camera issues in the Atlantica level. The cinematics explaining 358/2 Days are also new and aims to compress the incredibly depressing story down to 2.5 hours of straight watching. Yes, these scenes aren’t spliced into Re:Coded despite taking place at the same time, but are rather one large chunk of viewing. A bit of a poor choice to not let us take it in chunks during the game, but at least they put in the effort of summing up the third worst KH game so we don’t have to play it to be thoroughly saddened.

If you like Kingdom Hearts, this is going to fill your need until KH3 is announced, or at the very least KH2.5HDR is announced. Man that’s a terrible acronym.

Release Date: Q3/Q4 2013
Platform: PS3

Read Part 3!
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