Like many genres steeped in nostalgia, there has been a first-person dungeon-crawler renaissance, specifically on handhelds. One of the key factors of this slow, undeniable resurgence of the genre is Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. Etrian Odyssey’s focus on providing a challenging and rewarding dungeon-crawling experience over an expansive narrative was admirable, but the potential for a story-focused adventure was there.
Two years after the release of the original Untold, Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is here and takes the concept of a story-focused Etrian Odyssey title and expand on it. Unfortunately, like the original, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
“Trust no one.”
It’s a phrase that’s often uttered, but no game has really delivered on the promise that lies within it. After all, you may find a traitor in your midst in a game, but it’s usually an isolated incident and always something you can know ahead of time with a little research. Lost Dimension‘s very premise takes on the challenge: anyone around you could turn on you at any moment. In fact, the game’s main adversary, a fellow appropriately named The End, comes across as the most trustworthy of them all: you can trust that he’s up to no good and messing with you at every turn.
Or can you? This is a game that revels in challenging your assumptions, and pays off just often enough to keep your suspicions high. READ MORE
Tony Hawk is back, and it has halfpipes! Manuals! Rails! Reverts! Projectiles!
“Yeah, that really shouldn’t have been included in the announcement.”
Activision and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 developer Robomodo know what they’re trying to do is a difficult dance: update Pro Skater for modern players while still feeling like the old days. A slip-up like the “projectiles” line in the initial release frustrates the team as much as it instills doubt in the fan base, because it really does seem like the franchise could finally be on the right track after years of experimentation and failure. READ MORE
Developer PlatinumGames is taking on a lot of work lately. The team’s adding to the already-announced Scalebound with the new Nier, a chunk of Star Fox Zero and, of course, Transformers: Devastation. We had a chance to check out the latter at E3, as well as speak to the two leads behind the project.
Transformers: Devastation is meant to pay tribute to the history of the Transformers brand, staying away from the movie universe but immersing itself in many of its other incarnation. In particular, PlatinumGames took inspiration from the IDW reboot comic series, the Generations toy line and, of course, the original cartoon. Some familiar voices are making a return, like Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Frank Welker as Megatron, and the story’s penned by Andy Schmidt, who was behind much of the IDW series. READ MORE
Maybe it’s my fear of the unknown that sways me away from playing open-world games. I take directions, orders, coaching and guidance well enough to at least pretend to interpret the advice. I definitely like exploration, but I hate the feeling of being hopelessly lost, particularly if there’s a pressing matter present. I rarely have the time to experiment with new routes, or try to find somebody to beg for directions. Why risk going wrong when you can prepare for going right?
I’ve changed my stance slightly, thanks to fantastic titles like Fallout 3, Red Dead Redemption and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. How can you not feel completely immersed in these worlds? Despite my initial reservations of not being told what to do (no, seriously, what do I do and where do I go?), I learned to trust myself and embrace the nature of what an open world means: relying on my previous experience and shedding fear of the unknown. READ MORE
After three games and a handful of titles borrowing its approach to combat and stealth, the “final” game in Rocksteady’s Arkham series is here. Batman: Arkham Knight follows the tradition of the previous games, seeking to expand the scope even more by giving you a handful of new abilities and way to traverse the gigantic city of Gotham.
What does an indie team do after its first big hit? We talked to Brjánn Sigurgeirsson, CEO of SteamWorld Dig developer Image & Form, about its new project: SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game set in the world of the breakout mining title. In the game, you’ll assemble a team of robots and take them into spaceship shootouts in a fight for resources and survival.
Snackbar Games: What is it like making a game after making a successful one?
Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: It’s hard. It’s not automatically easy. When we were done with the development of SteamWorld Dig, that was June, like exactly two years ago. It came out in August on the 3DS first. And we didn’t know. I mean, we’d been so engrossed in making the game, so we didn’t know if it was flawed, or decent, or good, or bad, or great? But we knew that we were very tired at that point. So it’s like “okay, everybody, let’s go for vacation,” so everyone went for vacation in July, and we’ll just pick it up in August and see what we do. So the first few days, we were talking about what kind of PR and marketing we were going to make for Dig. It’s coming out in seven days, and we didn’t have a plan for it. READ MORE
The Xbox One may not have quite the indie support of the PlayStation 4, but it’s home to some truly engaging experimental titles and more than worthy of a look for fans of local multiplayer experiences. Here are the best titles for play by three or more that the system has to offer!
Super Exploding Zoo, at first glance is a simple puzzle game with cute graphics. It looks like something you might find on Kongregate: fast, easy to explain and teeming with short enough levels to play four or five while waiting for something else to happen. The first few levels do nothing to dispel that notion. You’ll guide an animal through a simple level, collect some companion animals, blow some stuff up along the way, kill the monsters and win. READ MORE
Massive Chalice isn’t perfect. I could spend 30 minutes complaining about poor enemy placements, stupid house mottos and enemies that just aren’t fun to fight. But after finishing a campaign and failing to save the kingdom, what I’m left with is an appreciation for the terrifying enemies, the intricacies of arranging marriages and the strategy that goes into deciding whether I should force one of my fighters into the Sagewright Guild to aid in research instead of leaving him on the roster in case I need his battle expertise in a few years. READ MORE