Most Recent: Features

Kickstart This! Columnae: A Past Under Construction

As I was discussing last time around on Kickstart This! with regards to Mighty No.9, nostalgia can be a powerful thing, but also something that potentially cripples any chance of success should it not rekindle that warm fuzzy glow from your childhood memories.

So when Nightdive Studios launched a Kickstarter campaign for a remake of classic horror FPS System Shock, I was of two minds whether to recommend it or not. It has enough fans to have passed its hefty $900,000 target, but will it be as good as promised? I’m more than hopeful. For one, Nightdive released a demo to persuade people to back the game, but the pitch video takes a very satirical approach, and the dark humour makes me believe it may just live up to expectations. Go check it out, especially if you are thinking of launching a campaign, as it is well crafted.

But System Shock has its money in the bag, so I wanted to recommend something that needs your cash to succeed. I originally thought about Prey for the Gods, which looks like a close sibling to Shadow of the Colossus with the added benefit of a grappling hook to help you climb the giant gods that you must destroy. It looks amazing, and worthy of the comparisons to Shadow of the Colossus as well as your donations. However, it is getting a lot of global press, and is well on its way to reaching its $300,000 goal, so I wanted to highlight a little gem from the Belgrade-based Moonburnt Studio that may need more help to hit its target. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

Kickstart This! Escape from Pleasure Planet

This month, Kickstarter faced one of its biggest challenges in the form of Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9, his long-gestating Mega Man clone that raised just shy of $4 million back in 2013. Three years later, the massive amount money hurled at the game seems excessive, as it was poorly received by both critics and players alike. Were backers naive to think that the final game would look and play as gorgeously as the original concept? While companies like Nintendo manage to successfully trade on nostalgia, it seems this homage to Inafune’s beloved character has forgotten to add anything new into the mix, leaving players with a bland, uninspiring journey. The reception was not surprising, but the reaction made me look at Kickstarter with a more critical eye.

I had found a great game called Ikenfell to feature, but it managed to achieve its funding days before I posted, and has now achieved double its initial target. This left me to trawl through a myriad of projects whose campaigns were either dull, confusing, or tragically launched in a premature state. Rather than single one out, I’ll go through a handful to underline exactly what I mean.

Take Rise of the Infection: it has no video; its poster is a stock image of a city; and upon reading the project entry, I found it had no game whatsoever. The developer, Joseph Rottet, teases a promise of a game “that starts as the world ends… with fully destructible environments, creature decay, and RPG elements.” And yet, there are no assets here at all… there’s just a pitch. It is a Kickstarter project in the purest form, as he is asking the world to invest $100,000 in an idea, and to give college graduates an opportunity to show their skills. He is not looking for funding for a game, as is promised; he is looking to fund a company that will then make this game in five years.

Five years.

This one project depressed me on a whole other level, because it is essentially someone asking for money in exchange for literally nothing. No work has been put into this idea, no assets have been created, no pitch has been recorded… absolutely nothing. The world seems to be rewarding the effort in kind, with zero donations thus far.

Is it a con? Who knows. Kickstarter has had its fair share of controversial projects, both funded and cancelled, which were later found to be the poorly conceived abominations spawned from less than reputable individuals. Yet there are other projects in a similar state to this one. Indigo Park has no video, and its handful of screenshots look fake, with the protagonist Laura placed in environments that do not match the style of the character.

At this point, I stopped looking at Kickstarter. It was becoming an irritation, a sea of badly run campaigns that may or may not be funding someone’s lavish lifestyle, while the rewards I would receive may later prove to be inferior, if I received anything at all.

And yet, I still believe in the notion of crowdfunding. I guess we have to take the good with the bad, and trust our own judgement, but if we cannot rely on industry veterans like Inafune to deliver what they promised, who can we trust?

The answer, it seems, is an Australian bloke named Luke Miller. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

The Games of July 2016

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After a surprisingly full June, publishers decided to cut the new release calendar for July all the way down to the bone… especially after Hello Games pushed the unfortunate delay of No Man’s Sky into August. But there are a number of smaller scale projects set to come out this month, and the Warp Zoned staff took a look at a few of them after the break. (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |

Warpback: What We Played in June 2016

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Even with the E3 Expo in the air, the Warp Zoned staff got the chance to play a lot of games during the month of June. And that includes Mighty No. 9, probably the most famous/infamous Kickstarter project ever. Did Keiji Inafune nail it? Or was Mighty No. 9 just a speed bump on the way to the rest of what we played last month.

You can find out after the break. (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |




It’s In Your Blood: A History of Horror Games (Part Three)

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If you’re anything like me, you like to be scared. Horror movies accomplish this nicely from time to time, but for a truly memorable experience, horror games are unmatched. They drop you into terrifying situations, leaving you no choice but to wade through unforgiving environments and do battle with grotesque creatures… but when did this genre begin? How did it evolve? If you find yourself asking these questions, take a seat. Welcome to our domain!

We recently covered the birth of horror games, and then waxed poetic about the genre’s evolution. This time around, you’ll be reading about a far more stable period for this type of game. As certain horror titles began to stand out from the crowd, developers and publishers quickly took notice. This leads us directly into… (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Retro, Top Story | Tagged

Kickstart This! Transmission

Sometimes a game comes along that just speaks to your soul before you have even played it. You fall in love with this game through its character design and music, and marvel at its art style in screenshots and trailers. You eagerly anticipate an exciting new adventure come release day. Of course, many of these games are backed by a studio and publisher that have a budget to spend on PR and marketing, with many coders cracking out footage needed to whet the appetites of potential players. To find a game on Kickstarter that manages to create a trailer so moving, so near to perfect as you could hope for, is remote, and yet, that is exactly what Paper Unicorn has achieved with Transmission.

Prepare for contact. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, PS4, Top Story, Xbox One |

Kickstart This! Death Story

I’m going to begin by offering an apology. A few weeks ago, I highlighted a game on Kickstart This! called Lynn and the Spirits of Inao by Bloomylight Studios. The project was cancelled after it was revealed that Bloomylight founder David Tollari had been using unpaid interns to complete the game, which is a violation of French employment laws. Like many of the games journalists who covered the project, I was unaware of these infractions, and while it may not have been something we could have foreseen, I still feel sorry for those who wasted their time on the recommendation.

So let’s move on to another project… though Kickstarter seems to have gone all dark and gloomy this week, and there’s nothing but death, death, and more death! First, I found Death of Humanity, an online multiplayer survival game from Dingo’s Nest. There is also the visual novel Undead Darlings, where you explore the funpocalypse with a group of half-dead girls?

But my choice for today’s Kickstart This! is the rather cute Death Story from Team Neko. So let’s swing our scythe and find out why it rose above the other undead offerings. (more…)

Posted in Features, PC, Top Story |

The Games of June 2016

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We’re all over the map here at Warp Zoned when it comes to what we’re excited to play this coming month! God Eater: Resurrection, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, and Mighty No. 9 are all games we’re looking forward to – though we are pretty disappointed about No Man’s Sky. That’s OK, though, because we’re all really excited about E3!

Anyway, hit the jump to see what we’re looking forward to playing in June. (more…)

Posted in Features, Top Story |