Armless Octocast Episode 105 - Can There Really be Too Many Games?

After experiencing Too Many Games down in Philly, Mike drags Dave back to the podcast to talk about the Read more

Chompy Chomp Chomp patch aims to add to the fun

Good party games are hard to find on Microsoft's Indie Games service. Even harder to find are games that Read more

TooManyGames: Hands on BaraBariBall

“One of the goals was to make a Smash Brothers type game that is deterministic. It has no randomness Read more

Doom & Destiny Update Adds New Monsters, Sidequests, and Raises Level Cap

Nearly a year after its debut during the Summer Uprising, Doom & Destiny has received a new update that Read more


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Game Type Review: Parkour Power

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, XBLIG News, XBLIG Reviews | 2 Comments

While there are lots of things to like about the new flashy Xbox Dashboard, there’s also one glaring problem. Okay, there are tons of problems, but let’s just pretend there is only one: you need a goddamn road map to find where to go to buy games. Microsoft seems so focused on chowing down on the Doritos dollars and cramming UFC down our throats that they’ve neglected to provide a convenient way to give them money for actual games. It’s frustrating as someone who enjoys playing games, but apparently more infuriating for those who depend on selling them for a living.

All downloadable games have been relegated to murky corner of the Marketplace behind an obscure “Game Type” tile depicting a girl in a hoodie hopping in the air. That same girl stars in Mommy’s Best Games’ latest game, which is one part side-scrolling shmup, one part parody of the new dashboard, and five parts bonkers. The game was created in just a few days in reaction to the new dashboard, and while it’s impressive that the developer was able to rush it to the Marketplace in such a short timeframe, the truncated development schedule shows. Neither the cynical parody elements, nor the gameplay of the shooter buried beneath the fake dash feel complete enough on their own to warrant adoring praise, but combined they create an unique package that is worth experiencing.

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I, Zombie Video Review: Undead Gear

Posted on by Daniel Campbell in XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

With hundreds of indie games trying to make a quick buck by including zombies, how can a cute little game like I, Zombie stand out against the crowd? Does it prove itself to be worth the $1 price tag or does it deserve to be filed away with the rest of the blatant zombie cash-ins? Find out with our video review of I, Zombie. Happy watching! I, Zombie was provided for review by Awesome Games Studio. It is available for $80 MS points ($1) on the Xbox Marketplace. 

Trine 2 Review: Trine Harder

Posted on by Dave Schectman in PC Reviews, PSN Reviews, Reviews, XBLA Reviews | 5 Comments

These days, it seems like there’s been a concerted push by the video game industry towards the fantasy genre. From big names such as Skyrim to indie releases like Orcs Must Die! and Dungeon Defenders, you can hardly turn around without being overwhelmed by options to get your fill of goblin and dragon slaying. But with so many titles to choose from and a limited budget, you may be wondering where to start. To that, I say look no further than Trine 2.

A little history, first and foremost: Two years ago, Frozenbyte Software tried their hand at a fairytale storybook plot in a puzzle game with platforming elements, layering stunning graphics and a brilliantly arranged soundtrack on top of it all. Throw in more than a few word-of-mouth reviews praising it as a return to the design of games from over a decade ago like The Lost Vikings, and they effectively captured my attention. Considering the budget-conscious price, it wasn’t as though I was breaking the bank by taking the plunge.

Several hours later – maybe days, really – I found myself scratching my head, wondering what the hell I had been thinking. The environments were appropriately themed and extremely lush, with such well-designed levels, clever puzzles, and the music was an excellent mood-setter. But even with all of this, the game felt so damn flawed. The plot was thrown together from a fantasy word generator, and the characters were extremely cliched and managed to feel less than two dimensional, which is an impressive feat to achieve in a side scroller. The enemies were also boring and unimaginative: limited to skeletons and skeletal archers, while the combat system’s controls also felt sluggish (and I imagine are also a skeleton). There was also a multiplayer mode, provided you don’t mind a half-assed local co-op system.

And that brings us back to the present. Yes, the characters still feel bland and lacking. And yes, the plot (“Hark! The Trine is back! We must adventure!”) is still as banal as the last time around. However, seemingly everything else has received a laser-like focus in attempt to refine and polish the game, shedding it of the weaknesses present in the original.

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Invasion Review: Parasitus Invasion!

Posted on by Mike Wall in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | 2 Comments

If I were evaluating Invasion based on how much I wanted to like it, I would give it fifteen out of ten smoking laser rifles. A heavily Contra-inspired shooter that demolishes the fourth wall so thoroughly that it practically serves as a demo for another game? What could go wrong? Sadly, quite a bit, but not nearly enough to completely sour the experience. It might be a bit awkward at times, but damn do I love shooting aliens, and Invasion manages to keep the experience feeling fresh and fun for the whole ride.

Invasions’ individual elements aren’t always solid, but it succeeds in spite of them thanks to a great sense of personality and constant shifts in the game that prevent it from feeling dull. This is actually the prequel to Heart Attack Machine’s prior release, Parasitus: Ninja Zero, a game that had more in common with the hack ‘n slash ways of The Dishwasher than old school shooters. This time around, you play as Stockton, a cocky soldier looking to escape the city as it’s being overrun by aliens. The fragmented shooting sequences are broken up by dialogue sequences as Stockton chatters on his comm device with his commander who provides directions on how to heroically run for your life.

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Flowrider Review: Keeping Ahead of the Flow

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

Triple B Games has historically been known for their sports titles, including Fitba and a slew of well-received lacrosse titles, before they took their obligatory crack at zombies with Zombiez 8 My Cookiez. The Scotland-based developer continues to diversify their portfolio with the recent release of their racing title, Flowrider. Surprisingly, there aren’t many racing titles on XBLIG, so it was about time a good one made its way into the marketplace.

As I played through Flowrider, thoughts of RC Pro-AM, a solid racer from the days of the NES, ran through my mind. Both titles share a similar camera, small vehicles, and sense of speed. Those of you who have played the XBLA title Hydro Thunder will feel right at home with this as well, as the water-based physics allow the boats to glide across the surface, remiss of the friction we’ve come to know and expect in our everyday lives.

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Last Dragon Standing Review: Dragon Ballz

Posted on by Dave Voyles in Reviews, xblig, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

The XBLIG marketplace can be a funny spot. Between the Avatar massage apps and generic side scrollers, there are quite a few hidden gems. More than anything, it allows developers to think outside the box and mine the depths of their brains to reward us with unique titles, thanks to the low barrier of entry, minimal financial risk, and genuine creativity. Last Dragon Standing is one such example, as it reinvents the formula of air hockey we’ve come to know and love as children.

As the name implies, your goal is simple: be the last dragon standing. To do so, players must slide their dragon from left to right, defending their nest eggs found immediately behind them, while firing projectiles toward the opponents’ eggs.  There are 4 dragons on screen at once, one corresponding to each side of the screen, and each can be controlled by the AI or a local player. Deflecting projectiles is possible as well, simply by sliding your dragon into the projectile’s path, which also turns the projectile into one of your own color.

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Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Review: Seriously Scrambled

Posted on by Alex Esten in PC Reviews, Reviews | 3 Comments

Serious Sam: The Random Encounter is the kind of game that you enjoy while not really understanding why you’re enjoying it. It’s a Dude Where’s My Car title, where there’s something compelling and entertaining, but pinpointing those qualities is difficult and explaining them is even harder. At least initially.

At a base level, TRE offers a truly unique gaming experience with a refreshing, if completely bizarre and atypical, approach to “standard” RPG formatting, a profound sense of manic creativity that permeates the game design through and through, and pitch-perfect humor. It’s different in a good way…mostly.

While the story is nothing to really write about (Mental is attacking again, and Sam has to shoot things to stop him), and the two additional characters are basically just extra firepower and offer little in the way of character development, the game still tends to win you over on account of the little throwaway jokes and puns. For example, there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it joke involving a post-swim afro. The notion of puzzles in a game about shooting things is ridiculed constantly and mercilessly, almost to the point where I was wondering if it was all still in good fun. Even the puzzles themselves are ultimately solved by “shooting things.” The game consistently breaks the fourth wall but never feels too awkward when doing so, mostly due to its tongue being planted firmly in cheek the entire time. TRE’s action sequences lampoon the RPG genre, and its RPG elements lampoon the action genre. It’s a strange combination, but it absolutely excels in many ways. It kept me grinning almost the entire way through at least…a difficult feat, to be sure, given that I’m a hardened, cynical, antisocial bastard. Read more

Clear time in your schedule, not the town, as Volchaos erupts onto XBLIG today

Posted on by Dave Voyles in News, XBLIG News, XBLIG Reviews | Leave a comment

With three titles under his belt, Nathan Drake has had his time to shine with the successful Uncharted series on the Playstation 3. Now it’s time to make way for a new unnamed Indiana Jones-esque adventurer, who is looking to get into the spotlight himself, while keeping out of the lava.

Volchaos is the latest title in the growing catalogue of games from developer Fun Infused Games, the studio led by Kris Steele, whose name you may recognize from his role as co-coordinator of the Indie Games Summer Uprising. Fans of old school platformers will be happy to find that there are 42 levels that will require a hefty amount of temple raiding and plenty of dexterity to avoid the constant tide of lava. While there is no guarantee of fortune at the end of your journey, it’s all about the adventure, and not the end result, right?

You can pick up Volchaos today for 80 Microsoft Points ($1) on the XBLIG Marketplace.

Source: Fun Infused Games

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