The Great Giana Sisters is a game with an unusual history, but what started off a flagrant imitation of Super Mario Bros has evolved into a successful platform series. Designed by the now-deceased founder of Black Forest Games, the company has finished a Kickstarter project to release a brand-new game for the series that will serve to celebrate the original title's 25th anniversary. Freelancer Christopher Floyd spoke to the team to get the skinny on the benches that morph into coffins, "chiptune metal," and the full story on Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.
Extra Credits has an interesting two-part discussion about the hero's journey, a concept explored by Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Thatgamecompany's Journey is the game example featured here (along with The Legend of Zelda) but this seems to be a concept exploited in all entertainment genres.
What do all of these big-name games have in common? They were all worked on by a studio you might not recognize—Demiurge. After helping the big boys with these heavy-hitting titles, they've stepped out of the shadows with Shoot Many Robots, their own original IP.
The guys at Extra Credits take a look at "power creep." For those that don't know, power creep is when elements introduced in a game grow in power compared to when the game was originally launched. Or something like that. Given how prevalent persistent worlds have become and how common it is for games to be patched with new areas, features and items, power creep can become a huge issue for the loyal fanbase. This Extra Credits video takes a look at power creep and solutions that would fix it—or at least keep it at bay.
Here's our interview with Derek Yu and Andy Hull of Mossmouth Games, creators of this Summer's fantastic adventure game, Spelunky!
In this interview we learn all about Spelunky's march from freeware lark to Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) powerhouse. We also hear all about Derek and Andy's history in the indie scene, as well as Derek's award-winning Aquaria!
Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for The Last Story.
The best-regarded cinematic games of today owe much of their structure to the currently-derided Japanese role-playing game. For all that players heaped scorn on the running-in-tubes gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII, it shared with the Uncharted games the feature that the player's task was to kill his way from one cutscene to the next.
When I wrote a post about the Camp aesthetic in games a few years back, I suggested that one of the greatest areas of camp potential in games lay in violence. A commenter suggested I take a look at Rogue Warrior, a universally-panned game inexplicably starring Mickey Rourke as real-life SEAL team commander Richard "Demo Dick" Marcinko. The game did not disappoint: Rogue Warrior is a great example, perhaps the best example, of a game that in its violent excess becomes unintentionally comic.
Looking back at the various ninjas that have populated the gamescape over the years, the vast majority of them have focused on combos and combat, rather than truly employing stealth to its greatest degree. Klei Entertainment wants to change all that. With its upcoming XBLA release, Mark of the Ninja, they aim to bring sneaky back, and they're doing it in a big way—2D.
In a recent commentary on Valve's Half-Life 2 Episodes, Marsh Davies criticizes much of Episode One for its "failure to make your navigation comprehensible, either spatially or narratively." He goes on to praise Episode Two for remembering to provide the player with an overview of its regions, so that the spaces allow the player to see the places he has been, or is going to. As I was reminded in my own recent replay of the original Half-Life and its companion games, this is not a recent improvement by Valve, but a return to form.
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