Focus Home Interactive has released an overview trailer for its upcoming side-scrolling monster actioner, Final Exam.
Tag - psn
PARIS and MONTRÉAL – (May 24, 2013) – Focus Home Interactive and Compulsion Games™ are pleased to announce today the formation of a new publishing partnership for the release of CONTRAST™, a breakthrough 2D/3D puzzle platformer, in which the player can shift between the striking 3D fantasy world into the mysterious 2D shadowscape. Originally set to launch on PC, CONTRAST will now also be available on PSN (or PlayStation®Store) and XBLA (or Xbox LIVE® Arcade) end of 2013.
Compulsion Games is an independent game development studio located in the heart of Montréal, Canada and driven by their passion for artistry, gameplay fundamentals and a rare sense of levity.
“CONTRAST is a very special project with its atmosphere, artistic direction and innovative gameplay and we knew that from the moment we saw the game,” said Cédric Lagarrigue, CEO ofFocus Home Interactive. “We are delighted to be partnering with Compulsion Games and believe this project to be one of the biggest indie surprises of the year.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with FOCUS to bring CONTRAST to the public. With all the effort and dedication the team has poured into this project, we feel we have found the partner that understands and fully embraces the creative artistry we have instilled in our game,” stated Guillaume Provost, creative director and founder at Compulsion Games. “FOCUS’s strong international presence, their experienced team and their unique understanding of CONTRAST make them the ideal partner to communicate the game’s vision to a worldwide audience.”
In CONTRAST, experience and explore a surreal 1920’s dreamscape, set in a vaudevillian-inspired, film-noir styled backdrop. In a world full of performance, magic, intrigue and deception, the player takes on the role of Dawn, the imaginary friend of a little girl, Didi. Every kid’s imaginary friend is special, and Dawn is no exception. She has the power to shift from the reality of the vibrant game stage into the shadowy parallel world. Gamers will be challenged to unravel the drama by leveraging light sources and manipulating real-world objects to affect the shadows placement, depth, height and overall weighting to solve mind-bending puzzles.
Delve into CONTRAST, a world filled with incredible atmosphere, amplified by a rich cabaret soundtrack and professional voice actor cast. Use Dawn’s special abilities to uncover the mysteries of this world, and help Didi unravel the web of secrets, experienced through the eyes of a child.
CONTRAST will be presented to the press at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles at the Focus Home Interactive booth (West Hall #5622). More information about CONTRAST can be found at www.contrastgame.com. This title has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
Black Knight Sword is an M-rated, 2D side-scrolling platformer that conjures up not only feelings of nostalgia, but also a welcome sense of refreshment. While it may be your typical hack n’ slash title that follows an age-old, linear formula, this Grasshopper/Digital Reality title is far from average. It’s… odd, to say the least. Very odd – with Goichi Suda being a main collaborator on the project. From riding a giant, egg-shooting chicken to slicing up a gas mask-wearing spider, Black Knight Sword takes a shot at the dark, macabre, and downright silly. The result: A thoroughly charming and ridiculously-entertaining experience.
From the moment the deep red stage curtains open at the start of the game, you find yourself mesmerized by the abstract Medieval European puppet show art style. There are 5 levels of gameplay, each having a distinct nightmare-like theme, all while maintaining a level of vibrancy that resonates well with the witty and somber Poe-esque narrative. Each of these 25-35 minute stages are foreshadowed by a short introduction, reminiscent of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and, as you hack your way through the onslaught of increasingly bizarre creatures, the background is constantly changing, giving Black Knight Sword an even greater sense of movement. The levels look very much alive, keeping what could have been a boring adventure absolutely engaging. Enemies are animated well and whimsically-diverse, despite the larger of the lot being predictably “attack and dodge”. Once down, each explodes into a satisfying bloody mess, making each kill well worth the effort. That, coupled with Akira Yamaoka’s haunting and erratic score, makes for a tastefully-gloomy, good time.
While the controls are simple enough, the first level being an in-depth walk-through of sorts, I found them to be unresponsive. They work, but it’s easy to find yourself stuck in an attack animation, swinging your sword at the air and getting pelted by the enemy, rather than striking. You’ll find yourself mashing the “square” button more often than not, despite having a ranged attack, hoping that your advance has been angled in the direction of your current foe. As the game progresses, you’re awarded with a powerful magical attack, as well as a few other moves for your sword that only proved to be useful in a handful of situations. Upgrades, such as armor and health slots, can also be purchased at mid-level points from a giant eyeball, using hearts dropped by each enemy you’ve slaughtered along the way. These become irreplaceable, especially when you’re going to encounter a boss, as health is sparse, to say the least.
In all, if you were ever a fan of classic titles such as Ghosts N’ Goblins or Castlevania, then this is the game for you. It maintains the retro feel of classic hack n’ slash titles while bringing something entirely new to the proverbial table. Black Knight Sword is dark, bloody, and morbidly fun. Despite its moments of unforgiving, platforming Hell and dreaded level restarts at a cursed “Game Over”, it was a joy to play through and definitely recommended as a weekend standalone title or a small-dose adventure!
There is just something I really like about the SNK PlayStation Minis: yes they download to my PSP in less than 5 minutes and they also take up almost no space and give you a full game, but I really think it is the fact that it gives me a chance to relive the glory of the arcade days and giving a whole new generation who might have missed it a taste of gaming days gone by. They aren’t going to win any graphic contests anytime soon and some of them might remind you more of their popular “cousins” in from the arcade but the ones they pick still have the same addictive gameplay that got people shelling out quarters back in the day all for a couple bucks and all as portable or console as you want it to be.
I played this one first because I remembered the name. Many of these I don’t remember the name but the play style immediately makes me go “oh yeah this one plays just like ‘1943’!” which is a point that could be made with this one since it is similar to that arcade classic just with a chopper instead of a bomber and no flipping.
This game is a vertical scroller that allows full movement around the screen which is good because the enemies are maniacally all over the place. This game was a quarter chewer back in the day and those with the best reflexes tended to be the only ones with change left in their pockets for the prize claw machine in the corner. It was a great day when this came out on console simply because then you paid your one price and played as much as you wanted until exhausted.
This game is constant work, with enemies flying in from all directions, rail guns firing off constant rounds, anti-air placed on most bluffs and constant aerial attack by other helicopters. It even had those painful spawn moments where you spawn right in the middle of a barrage of enemy fire and die before you can make a single move.
Yet the game is STILL addictive, probably for all it’s challenge and probably more fun since you know how much your wallet is saving. Boss battles are outrageously hard but satisfying to complete and you have a never ending supply of credits. Definitely worth the couple bucks to purchase and you will find yourself playing it anywhere since its available on PSP and PS Vita and easy to pick up and just a bit harder to put back down.
The Next Space
There was a whole bunch of space fighter games that came out where the ship moved around the screen and enemy ships came flying down in formation, shooting streams of plasma shots then heading off the bottom of the screen. In some games they return until you take them down and others a new wave would move on after that wave past.
Galaga was a good example of this and The Next Space is another fine one. It is pretty straight forward, enemies fly down and you have to shoot them without being shot. You can pick up powerups as you go. The concept seems so simple that if you were to describe it to someone who wasn’t part of the arcade generation they probably would pause, look at you, and say “So?” because it truly is something you have to experience to fully understand.
With the PSP, Vita, or PS3 you really do experience it as close to the arcade as possible since the controls are set up to use the stick on the controller to move around and use one button, just like the old days. One of the particularly fun things about this title is that you can play two people on the screen at the same time instead of taking turns. Back in the day in video arcades taking turns tended to build a competitive nature whereas both playing on the screen created a co-operative atmosphere where you were both just trying to stay alive through the onslaught.
This brings back fond memories of playing such games back in college on older systems with my good buddy in his dorm room late into the night trying to finish one of the co-op games or at least get as far as the two of us could as a team.
These game are total nostalgia plays for just a couple of bucks. They get you hours of playtime or minutes and can be on the go played standing in line or with a buddy sitting on your couch. They have versions of these games or their cousins that you can get on the computer as well but they tend to lack the vital feel that you get playing these on a console or portable system and I have to say I like that these are so true to the originals that you are plunking in quarters and playing with a joystick and a button. It can be a reminder of when 3 buttons were considered confusing on a game and it can show that just because newer games require more controls doesn’t mean old school can’t be fun.
SNK Playmore USA Corporation has been doing their best to get some old school gaming to the new generation who never owned a Nintendo or Sega Genesis or never got to spend tons of quarters in a video arcade where the controllers were a joystick and two or three buttons. They know their audience well enough to know that since these are “retro-arcade emulations” that they should be portable, affordable and since they are less graphically detailed than a lot of todays games, playable on smaller screens. So their main platforms have been smart phones and my personal favorite the PS Minis. PS Minis are compatible with your PSP or your PS3 and are incredibly small files. They pack whole classic games into five minute or less downloads and the controls work superb with PSP. They have several titles out now but I sincerely hope that the numbers of PS Minis grow in the future because their prices are right ($2.99) and the nostalgia is priceless. The PSP screen is the perfect size for these games as well. To find the games below and other retro titles check the “NEOGEO” section and follow them at http://www.facebook.com/NeoGeoStation.
Today this name would make someone think maybe a first person shooter set in South Central L.A. or a sandbox game set in Prohibition. Well this is more like a take on the Warriors movie from the 80’s. You play Mike and have to fight your way through New York past the Jaguar, a gang that has been terrorizing the city and kidnapped your girlfriend. Mike looks a little bit more like a rodeo clown than a vigilante in his yellow shirt, blue jeans, red gloves and brown cowboy boots but he kicks plenty of butt. It is a standard scrolling fighting game that harkens back to the days of Double Dragon, actually it is very much like Double Dragon.
If you like the wailing around, button mashing attacks from that game then Gang Wars is for you! There is a kinda strange aspect of the sound just as a warning that when you miss a bunch of hits or kicks it laughs at you, like a canned studio audience. You get used to it quick or you can play your own music because this game now, much like it was then, is all about the arcade fighting.
This game is another fighter but of a different style very popular back then, particularly on consoles. It is a prime example of a vertical shooter where you fight your way up an ever scrolling screen. These all had their own style or edge to keep them from all feeling the same which at their core game they are. The edge on this one is you are a time soldier fighting your way through bad guys as you trip through time. Now there is quite a bit of suspension of disbelief necessary with this concept because when you go back in time the dinosaurs shoot stuff at you, maybe it is supposed to be spines but they look just like the laser bullets and they drop rocket weapons.
Actually all the time zones do but that doesn’t change the novelty of fighting dinosaurs, knights and militia all in the same game. The times skipping is one of the coolest aspects of this game because you don’t find yourself fighting the same guy in a different colored outfit which happened a lot back then, each time you jump time you wind up with an entirely new enemy to fight.
There was something I remembered when I played this game again that I had totally forgotten… this game is HARD, like suicide mission hard. Luckily though both the PSP minis have the ability to “insert coins,” you actually hit a button to put as many credits into the game as you want to keep playing. You hear the “clink” of your change going into the game and you keep fighting!
These games are small in download but have all the scope they did back when they were the bomb and arcades blasted “Tom Sawyer” over the speakers. It even has the same “insert coin” intro screen it had back then! SNK has brought back lots of games on different platforms but I think this is probably my favorite since the PSP in a lot of ways can be played just like the old school arcade games which does that much more to transport a person back to the game’s hay day. Games like these make me feel more comfortable about the fact that my Nintendo is gathering dust since they are letting me relive the experience on the go.
Following up on a great E3, City Interactive released the first screenshots of its upcoming XBLA/PSN shooter, Alien Fear. These screenshots showcase the beauty and power of the Unreal Engine 3-powered title and reveal some intriguing hints about the arcade action coming soon to Xboxes and PlayStations everywhere.
Alien Fear puts the player in the role of a highly trained elite commando on a mission of sabotage. Featuring non-stop, visceral run-and-gun action in an explosive environment with meaningful co-operative gameplay and using proven Unreal 3 technology, Alien Fear sets a new standard for digitally distributed XBLA and PSN titles.
Scheduled for release Fall 2012, Alien Fear delivers beautiful, arcade-style aggression against relentless alien hordes.
From the creators of Shank 2 comes Mark of the Ninja, a game focusing on stealth and ninja tactics. Not much is known just yet but, after participating in the link below, I feel as though this will be one to watch.
Bethesda Softworks has announced that the demo for their popular shooter, RAGE, is now available on the PlayStation Network in North America and will hit European PSN customers later today.
Ratloop Asia has announced that their upcoming PSN title, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, will be released on October 18, one week later than previously-planned. The developer stated that the push back was to make sure the game was “fully cooked”. Hardboiled Chicken will retail for $11.99 and feature both single and multiplayer game modes.
“Yes, Hardboiled Chicken was originally going to make his debut a week earlier, but cluck, we prefer our chicken fully cooked and our eggs completely boiled,” said Sian Yue Tan, Producer / Studio Head, Ratloop Asia. “The artistically bloody cinematics, clever-action puzzle gameplay and tastefully poultry seasoned humor will be worth the wait!”