Bad Bots prides itself on being molded from the past generation of two-dimensional shooter/platformer legends like Gunstar Heroes and Contra. While they share a gorgeous 16-bit style presentation, Bad Bots and the aforementioned games differ in one distinct aspect: fun.
Bad Bots puts you in the role of generic buff action hero Sam McRae who awakens on the Titan Hauler space cargo ship. His mission? Put down an army of rampaging former-worker robots and a meddling AI intent on generic destruction of things and stuff. Right from the get go, the game revels in its homage to the ’80s with comic book style openings and even a Star Wars-esque trash compactor scene.
Guilty Gear XX AC Plus is one of those fighters that many gamers gush over, but very few have played. Since the fall of 1998 and the dawn of the “anime fighter,” the Guilty Gear series has set a standard for deep and engaging combat that don’t involve Capcom characters. You’ve likely heard gamers talk about the series’ flashy fast- paced action and incredibly steep learning curve, but don’t let it sway you from jumping into the fray. If you missed Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus for Xbox 360 or PS3 (or any of the other games in the series), this newly updated and re-balanced PlayStation Vita game is a great place to start.
I won’t mince words here: Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (a $4.99 universal iPhone and iPad game) is a mobile Mirror’s Edge with a Marvel Comics skin. Gamers are charged with guiding a sprinting, leaping, sliding, pole-swinging, and wall-running Steve Rogers through a HYDRA stronghold to bash WWII-era baddies. Packing 24 levels, a story by Marvel scribe Christos Cage (who also wrote Captain America: Super Soldier), art by Ron Lim and Christopher Sotomayor, this Disney Mobile game is a fun, lightweight diversion, but the focus on running may turn some away who were expecting a more hand-to-hand and stealth action.
Captain America: The First Avenger hit theaters this week, garnering very positive reviews. To help build hype for the movie, Marvel released a Web-based flash game, Captain America: Shield of Justice, which adopts many of the cutesy, 16-bit stylistic elements found in Thor: Bring the Thunder. The game, however, feels very much like a Mega Man rehash that subs the Blue Bomber with a badly animated Captain America sprite.
The horribly named Thor: Bring the Thunder, the promotional tie-in for Marvel’s big screen adaptation of its own Norse god comic, hit the Web this week. The Flash-based 2D game, which is free to play at Marvel’s site, puts you in control of the hammer-toter as you attempt to rescue a kidnapped maiden. The plot and gameplay are bare-bones–it is a Flash game, after all–but the retro music and visuals may prove enticing to those with an affinity for sprite-based video games.
Midway Games and WB Games released a fighter in 2008 that combined one of the most violent and controversial video game series of all time with one of the most popular comic book houses of all time: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. It appeared the perfect underdog pairing. Mortal Kombat lived in Street Fighter’s shadow since its inception, and DC Comics never carried the same swagger as Marvel Comics. Despite featuring several interesting gameplay elements — visual damage, Free-fall Kombat, Rage Mode — Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe was met with mixed reception. Fast forward five years and the Warner Bros.-owned Midway Games is now the Ed Boon-fronted NetherRealm Studios, the development team behind Injustice: Gods Among Us, a second stab at a DC-based fighter.
It’s much better than its predecessor by leaps and bounds.
Nostalgia is all the rage in gaming these days. In the midst of massive, multi-million dollar shooters and sports games dominating the industry, the smaller indie market has blossomed. It’s in this route that downloadable titles have resurrected an entire dimension and genre from beyond the 8-bit grave.
Side-scrollers were the lifeblood of the industry, but when the third dimension became prevalent in the PlayStation era, the 2D side -croller all but faded into our Tanooki suit-colored glasses of nostalgia. Our favorite 2D sidescrolling heroes like Mario, Rayman, and Simon Belmont went 3D and rarely, if ever, looked back. It seemed like we’d never experience that perilous feeling of timing a jump perfectly like only the 2D sides-croller can deliver.
But this recent generation has seen the 2D side-scroller rise from the ashes of its former glory into a new Golden Age lead by great titles such as Limbo, OutLand and Rayman Origins (my GOTY of 2011) and most recently, Drinkbox Studios’ PSN-exclusive title, Guacamelee!.
Fuel Overdose is a brilliant idea which lost its way during production. At first glance, Fuel Overdose looks like a game that harkens back to Micro Machines — which wouldn’t be a bad analysis — but it’s much more than that. Instead, think of Fuel Overdose as a Micro Machines-inspired racer with Street Fighter and Twisted Metal elements thrown into the mix. It’s a strange combination of gameplay elements and it’s, unfortunately, the game’s main flaw while also being the main attraction. If you can ignore the simple and shallow plot, which ultimately boils down to a death race for a life saving vaccine, you can suss out some mild enjoyment. But to fully enjoy and appreciate Fuel Overdose you’ll spend a bountiful amount of time with the game.
When a child only receives video games for Christmases, birthdays, or when he can save enough allowance to purchase them on his or her own, some series get lost in the process.
I’ve always been a JRPG fan, but never had the eyes to find Nihon Falcom’s seemingly unpronounceable Ys games. Ys I and II have recently been released to PC via Valve’s Steam service as Ys I & II Chronicles. As a spiritual successor to the Dragon Slayer series, Ys and its myriad of sequels, remakes, and ports has proven to be one of the most time-withstanding series in the history of the JRPG genre.
When I saw the misspelled title on the box art I didn’t know what to say. Was this an omen for what I was about to experience?
Thankfully, I have never been happier to be proven wrong. Naruto: Powerful Shippuden is a surprisingly fun child-friendly beat-em-up that captures the anime’s humor and charm. Although an enjoyable distraction, I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is a genre changing title. It does have its share of issues — like low difficulty and lack of variety — but series fans or those looking for a quick pick up and play will find it suitable.