Most Recent: Previews

Interview: Crossing Swords in Knight Squad with Chainsawesome’s Jean Simon Otis

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We played a ton of Knight Squad at PAX East. Read our Hands-On Preview here.

Every year at PAX East, there’s always one game that attendees begin to whisper about as they’re chatting with strangers while waiting in one of the many lines. This year, that game was Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games. All weekend long, crowds were pushed towards their little booth to play their eight-player game that very closely resembles the love child of Gauntlet and Bomberman. This left the developers, including Lead Programmer Jean Simon Otis, completely exhausted, but also excited.

Both feelings were very present when we sat down to talk with Otis at the show. (more…)

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Knight Squad Hands-On Preview: (Gauntlet + Bomberman) x Knights = Awesome

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Cramming eight people around the television set in my living room for a night of gaming seems like the worst idea of all time. For one, I’ve only got enough couch space for about four-and-a-half people, so an unlucky few would be regulated to the floor. I guess they could ask my beast of a dog to share her floor pillow, but she’s a drooler and a licker. That’s bad, though most of my sympathies would lie with the poor sucker who has to wedge himself in the fireplace. But you know what, having a full complement of players for Knight Squad might make it worth it. (more…)

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In the Year 20XX: An Interview With Chris King of Batterystaple Games

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Back in the day, Sega used to run an advertising campaign that claimed “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” Aside from angering my inner nerd (I was an excellent speller in grade school), I could never actually figure out what Sega did that Nintendo didn’t. The same benefit of the doubt does not apply to the people who currently run Capcom. We know exactly what they aren’t doing, and that’s treating Mega Man, one of gaming’s most beloved characters, with the respect he deserves. There hasn’t been a new Mega Man game in nearly five years, and aside from an appearance in last year’s Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Wii U (a Nintendo production), the character has been completely forgotten.

Enter Chris King, the programmer for Batterystaple Games. He saw the Mega Man-shaped hole in the market and decided to give the people what they wanted. His new game, 20XX, is a loving homage to Mega Man (more specifically, to the Mega Man X series) that adds in a lot of things that Capcom couldn’t do back in the 90s.

What does Capcom think of 20XX? After playing a few rounds of 20XX, we asked the developer that question, and a few more, at this year’s PAX East expo. (more…)

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20XX Hands-On Preview: A Mega Man Game Minus Mega Man

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Let me paint you a picture of two different titles.

When I hear the title Echoes of Eridu, I’m reminded of the late 80s/early 90s and the, let’s say less enlightened, state of sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks. You know the ones. The women have hair teased out in every direction and, whether the setting of the story is outer space or the English countryside, they’re dressed in skintight spandex bodysuits. If we’re lucky, there might be a unicorn or a spaceship to spice up the scene.

Echoes of Eridu was never a sci-fi/fantasy story from my childhood years. It’s actually an in-progress video game that’s now known as 20XX.

20XX should also evoke feelings of the late 80s/early 90s, but for a slightly different reason. According to Capcom, every game in the Mega Man X franchise takes place in the year “20XX,” so any game that carries that title instantly makes me think of side-scrolling platformers, arm cannons, laser swords, robotic baddies, and spikes… so many spikes. Batterystaple Games’ 20XX delivers all of those things and much more. Changing the name of their in-progress platformer was just one of the many great decisions they’ve made so far. (more…)

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The Behemoth’s Game 4 Hands-On Preview: Turn-Based Strategy From The Behemoth!

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Once again, The Behemoth built an elaborate demo station for their currently untitled turn-based strategy game, Game 4, at this year’s PAX East expo. In previous years, the developer has outfitted its arcade-like offerings in arcade cabinets, but the more tactical gameplay of Game 4 required something a bit more elaborate. So out went the arcade cabinets and in came a towering command module complete with a Y-shaped lever that set the action into motion. (more…)

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Hyper Light Drifter Beta Impressions: How To Do A Beta the Right Way

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Who doesn’t love the sweet, slick, retro style of Kickstarter darling Hyper Light Drifter? This 2D action RPG took the indie world by storm last year, ultimately collecting more than $640,000 from backers during its Kickstarter campaign. Watching the videos and seeing the magic unfold as developer Heart Machine met its goal, beat it, and then left it in the dust was a joyful experience. I got a chance to play Hyper Light Drifter at PAX East this year and the staff loved it so much we chose it for our PAXpocalpyse list. And now I’m getting the chance to play it early in my living room thanks to a backers-only beta. The PC beta was originally supposed to be available from October 3rd through the 5th, but after some “internal discussions, the team decided to extend the beta to the 31st. I couldn’t be happier, and I’ll admit – I’ve had a hard time putting it down. (more…)

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EGX 2014 Report: Assassin’s Creed Unity, Arkham Knight, The Order 1886, and More

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EGX London, formerly known as the Eurogamer Expo, finally gives UK players a chance to their hand at unreleased games after all the other big Summer shows: E3, PAX Prime, Gamescom, and TGS. It sits at the right time of year too! I always tend to get a bit down on games over the Summer when my consoles sit mostly unused.After playing a dozen of the biggest games scheduled to release over the next nine months, I’m excited to finally charge a DualShock 4 again.On top of that, talking to so many gamers in one place really gives you a nice vertical slice of where the industry sits at the moment. But first… the games! (more…)

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The Evil Within Preview: Shinji Mikami Made A Game With Zombies In It (Again)

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Marketing a horror title is tricky business. If you give away too much, that will spoil the scares and dissipate the tension. But you also don’t want to play things too close to the vest, as then your audience won’t have any clue what to expect. This has been the problem for Bethesda’s The Evil Within almost from the start.

The Evil Within is in development at Shinji Mikami’s new studio, Tango Gameworks. Mikami is most famous for creating Resident Evil and the franchise’s signature sequel, Resident Evil 4. So far, The Evil Within’s marketing has lead audiences to believe that it would be a tense and claustrophobic affair that would force players to run and hide from the imposing and seemingly unstoppable residents of the game’s sanitarium setting. But during a live demo presentation during the 2014 PAX East convention, we got to see a new side of The Evil Within that belies the game’s previous marketing approach and goes in a different (and not altogether wanted) direction. (more…)

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