Shhhh… Don’t tell Breath of Death VII, but I may have a new retro indie sweetheart. Like the retro-themed RPG, The Tempura of the Dead lovingly replicates the best aspects of 8-bit games and infuses them with a dash of modern sensibility. The resulting experience feels like an undiscovered Nintendo gem, but at the same time is legitimately superior to some frustrating classics because it takes advantage of lessons learned over the last twenty-five years.
Tempura opens with a familiar enough scene: the world has been overrun by zombies, and someone has to do something about it. Who better than a samurai and the President of the United States? This isn’t just any old boring suit that we’re talking about though, and I’m not sure how many world leaders have the balls to leap from a helicopter into a zombie-infested city with only a Tommy gun to break his fall. So, yeah, it’s gonna be that kind of game, and yeah, I’d say it’s safe to assume President Thompson and his samurai buddy are bad enough dudes to save the country.
Having a hard time finding what you’re looking for on the Xbox Marketplace? You might not be alone. Matthew Doucette of Xona Games wants to increase games’ visibility on the Marketplace, but he needs your help. Douchette has proposed an initiative on the Microsoft Connect site that suggests altering the current lists in the Game Marketplace to include separate XBLA, Demos, Indie Games and Games on Demand lists; a featured list, miscellaneous and search function round out his suggested categories. He wants to “make games first priority,” as they are currently conspicuously clumped into just 1 of the 7 lists.
“As is, game add-ons, extras, miscellaneous, and search dominate and squish off the actual games into 1 of 6 tabs. Worse, they bump them a level deeper, which cuts of traffic according to the laws of traffic flow,” wrote Doucette. Games first? But what about those 290 million Avatar reconfigurations that Microsoft is so proud of? Where will I go to buy my Lips DLC?
The suggestion can be voted on at Microsoft’s Connect site (requires free membership).
Out of all the mysteries in the world, there is one that ails me the most: when will Sega make another good Sonic game? After playing Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, I’m sad to say that now is not the time.
When a teaser trailer for Sonic 4 was posted back in February it boasted the game was “built from the ground up.” This was meant to ease the worries of cautious fans who were continually disappointed by a series of poor and mediocre titles. But when a trailer was released a few months later demonstrating the gameplay, some keen observers immediately noticed a flaw in Sonic’s movement: the momentum was off.
In this 28th installment of the Octocast the guys crank up the indie talk as it’s a big review and news week:
- Xbox Indie: Miasma
- Xbox Indie: Tempura of the Dead
- Xbox Indie: CheneyStar
- Xbox Indie: Garden Gnome Carnage
- Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Launch Date Announced (Feb. 25)
- Indie Games Winter Uprising
- Microsoft looking for more XBLA talent
- Super Meat Boy PC adds headcrab, Goo (World of Goo) to roster
Be sure to get your fix of weekly Xbox indie and gaming news and reviews right here on the Armless Octocast!
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Seldom do I browse through the Xbox Indie titles and download trials for games that we don’t already have review tokens for, because more often than not, there are more games than I have time to play. It’s an even rarer occurrence for me to play through a demo’s allotted time. Miasma was the exception to both of those rules, so when developer ESP Games offered a review code, I jumped at the opportunity.
Miasma is a turn-based strategy game; Hey wait, don’t click the back button on your browser just yet – this game is actually worth reading about! Like I was saying, a turn-based strategy game where players control three characters on screen in an attempt to destroy enemies and complete mission objectives. If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy Tactics – and we’ll forgive you if you haven’t since 1) The game is nearly 15 years old, 2) It is insanely difficult, and 3) It is extremely slow – then you know what to expect here. That’s not to knock the game by any means, but players must understand that turn-based strategy titles tend to move at a sloth’s pace. Each turn must be made with precision and executed with a well thought-out plan in mind. A character’s placement in reference to the enemy can also affect damage bonuses, such as flanking, or point blank shots. Get too close to an enemy though, and they will be alerted to the player’s presence, turn face-to-face, and remove the bonus for sneaking from behind.
It’s so, so much easier to write a review for a game that is either exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. Those sorts of games give you an automatic launching point for a review – you can open up with a gushing endorsement or a brutal list of complaints that will let readers know how you feel about the game in question right off the top.
With games that run smack along the center line on the highway, it is frustrating trying to come up with words to adequately describe them. A Shooter is undoubtedly one of those games.