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6.12.2018

Maneater: The Open World, Action-RPG About an Evolving Shark Out for Revenge

EAT.

     There's certainly been no shortage of shark related games since the 1975 Atari Arcade game Shark Jaws, and later the much more entertaining film-related Jaws hit the Nintendo in 1987.  We've had a number of good ones (Depth and Shark Attack Death Match 2), bad ones (Shark), some hilariously absurd ones (Shark Simulator and Shark Dating Simulator XL), and a whole plethora of mobile ones (Google Play).   


     Now, the people behind Killing Floor, a splinter group from the previously mentioned game Depth team founded by Alex Quick called Blindside Interactive, are bringing us an action RPG where players take on the role of a Bull Shark menacing the Gulf Coast.

     According to the official website:
     "You were cut from your mother's body and left to die in the unforgiving waters of the Gulf Coast. Your only tools are your wits, your jaws, and an uncanny ability to evolve as you feed. 
     Anything and everything is on the menu... 
          ...provided you kill it before it kills you."
     Quick told PCGamer in an interview that, "Maneater was originally planned as an “expansion pack” of sorts for Depth. The idea was kicked around internally but never got traction. Eventually several members of the original Depth team splintered off to do our own thing."

GROW.

     When it comes to the growth of the shark, the developers are still toying with some ideas.  They want the game to be open world, but creating one that feels properly scaled for a 3 foot shark AND a 13 foot shark has posed some problems for the growth mechanic.  Currently, they're trying to limit growth to some more linearly-designed levels at the beginning of the game, which will switch over to the "evolution" system when entering the larger, more open world portion after that.  Doing it this way allows for a more adequate environment adjusted for the player's size at the moment, opening the door for player customization at the same time they enter the open world.
     Meaning that while the story is still in development, it sounds like the early game may start with the baby Bull Shark in captivity, exploring the surrounding area and feeding while growing into an adult, and then making its way into the open where it begin to gain notoriety and grow into the beastly moniker of Maneater.  The narrative itself is through human characters reacting to what the player is doing, and Blindside is playing with the idea of giving the shark an inner monologue.  They've made it clear that there won't be any dialogue between sharks, but tease that they don't want to give anything away yet either.
     So far enemies range from jellyfish and alligators to geared up shark hunters.  Players will be free to engage in all manner of activities like gobbling down jet skiers, battling other sharks, or even sinking ships.  Right now the goal is to create enough chaos to attract the shark hunters, and they currently serve as bosses.  But be warned, as your notoriety grows, the shark hunters gain in strength and difficulty as well.

EVOLVE.

     To become the ultimate killing machine players will need to explore a huge open world, from roaming the vast ocean full of wrecked ships to wreaking bloody chaos along the coastal waterways.  All of it is for a quest of vengeance against the human that killed your mother.  After using your deadly maw to consume the flesh of your rended victims, whether they be whales or hapless divers, players will be able customize the Bull Shark through two different paths of progression- evolving different parts of their bodies and assigning attribute points.
     Attribute points will be divided up into 5 distinct categories- Ferocity, Endurance, Perception, Vitality, and Agility- with each focusing on a particular area of the shark's power level, such as Ferocity increasing critical damage.
     Evolution will be through equippable items obtained through killing things to augment the shark.  This shark loot will have a variety of rarities, as well as being upgradable.  The evolutions will enable players to improve parts of themselves, by boosting stats or bestowing you with new abilities.  One of the choices described was between a getting a tail-whip AoE attack or an effect that can add bleeding to bites.
     It's also been stated that the attribute points the player chooses will directly effect the evolutions can equip- so if you put a lot into the Ferocity attribute, you'll be able to equip more jaw/teeth evolutions, and conversely if a player dumps a bunch into Endurance, they'll have possible survivability potential with skin/hide evolutions.  In addition to this Quick told PCGamer that, "Rarity inversely scales the equip cost of an evolution, so you can stack more of them on a single part of the shark’s body."
     For the overall evolution system, they want to ride the line between "plausible and ridiculous."  We wont be growing legs or multiple tails, but we will be able to alter the shape of our teeth or grow serrated scales.  Quick says they, "Want it to feel ‘just’ grounded enough in reality so as not to break immersion, but wacky enough that you can do some creative and fun stuff with your shark."

     Maneater has definitely peaked my interest and is definitely shaping up to be one entertainingly gruesome feast.

     Maneater is "Coming Soon" and will be available on [ Steam ]
          (The game currently has no release date) 

     Source [ Maneatergame.com ] via [ PCGamer

6.10.2018

Play as a Tiny Heroic Fox in TUNIC: E3 2018 Announcement Trailer

     I've been keeping an eye on this game since late 2016 when it was known as Secret Legend.  Since then, it has come quite a long way, and looks even more wonderful under its new title Tunic.



     This beautiful isometric action-adventure game about a sword-wielding fox certainly draws inspiration from The Legend of Zelda, with its bright, colorful world full of curious friends and strange creatures to encounter.  Washing up on a strange shore, the little heroic fox will be able to explore a vast land full of forests to wander through, ruins to delve into, houses full of pots to smash, treasure chests to plunder, new weapons to find, and dangerous enemies to defeat to make it in this exquisite new world.

     The one-man development team of Andrew Shouldice (and publisher Finji) should be proud, Tunic looks to be a truly heartwarming gem to play.  He's really pushing the boundaries of the Unity engine- I mean just look at the breathtaking lighting effects, especially in the woodland areas!  Definitely keep an eye out for this game.

     TUNIC will arrive one XBox One and PC [ Steam ] in 2019.

     Official Site [ Tunic Game ] [ Tunic Twitter[ Andrew's Twitter ]

11.08.2017

[ UPDATED ] Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition: Pre-Registration has Begun on Android & New Trailer

[ UPDATE ] Both the trailer and Google Play's pre-registration pages have been removed.
[ UPDDATE 2 ] Newer Trailer provided, Pre-registration has been returned.

     Back in August we we're given quiet the odd surprise with the announcement of a "chibi style" port of Final Fantasy XV coming to iOS and Android devices under the title of Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition.  The Android devices' pre-registration has opened and can be found here.
     The tiny new trailer gives us a look into combat, button layouts, and general action- a lot of little new bits of information.


     This new episodic take on the game will allow players to enjoy the world of Eos in the cutesy new style without being tied to a console, or beset by an overwhelming amount of side quests.  It'll be just the core story spread out over 10 episodes and done up as an isometric action game with an optimized and casual control scheme.

     [ Supported Models ]
iOS 11.1 or later
iPhone 6s (9th generation) or later / iPad Pro / iPad (5th generation) or later /
iPad Air 2 (2nd generation) or later / iPad mini 4 (4th generation) or later

Android 5.0 or higher model (RAM: 2 GB or more)
* Some models are not supported.
     [ COST ] 
Chapter 1: Free
Chapters 2-3: each 120 yen (approx. $0.99)
Chapters 4-10: each 480 yen (approx. $3.99)
Complete 10 chapter set: 2,400 yen (approx. $19.99)
※ The price is the same in the App Store, Google Play, Windows.
     This new version of the game looks to be strangely entertaining and fun.  The episodic nature of how they are breaking it up is a little concerning, but if the price to gameplay is balanced well enough, it could be a great deal.  And honestly, I'm curious to see if we'll get some other Pocket Editions such as Final Fantasy 8 or 10.

     Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is slated for a Fall 2017 for Android and iOS,
          -and the Windows 10 version will be a bit later in Winter 2017.

     Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition [ Google Play ]

     Source [ Final Fantasy Official ]

10.27.2017

Where Cards Fall: The Dreamlike Game gets Delayed

     Snowman Games has announced that they have a second game being delayed this year following Alto's Odyssey being pushed back earlier this year.  Snowman, along with developer The Game Band's, upcoming title Where Cards Fall is being delayed from its original Fall 2017 estimate with no firm release window.


     Where Cards Fall is a beautiful and curious looking game from humble beginnings as a student project, and that over the course of its last 5 years of development has recently needed a change in direction.  The creators' final vision of it is finally being put on the right course, and on this new path, they are reassuring us that the end project will be made much better for it. 

     The Game Band’s creative director Sam Rosenthal said:
     "When we first announced Where Cards Fall, I talked about how the game is meant to feel like a bittersweet memory. By revisiting the past, we want to explore how we build our futures over many years. 
     We chose our cards. We put them together. We built a house. The house wasn’t quite right. We knocked it down. We started again. 
     When we teamed up with Snowman, we caught a glimpse of our dream house. So we took everything down to the studs and built a much stronger foundation. With all that said, it’s looking like we’ll need some more time to finish decorating."  
     The Game Band says they've found the dream version of this project is in sight and they will be slowly updating us with news in the coming months of Where Cards Fall's game mechanics, its story, and peaks into the dreamlike world they've been building- along with a much more firm release date when it becomes clear.

     Rosenthal finished his message with the lovely sentiment, "Thank you for your support, and for your patience. I know delays have become a bit of a cliché in video games, but new ideas are hard to build properly on the first try. Sometimes you need to let your creation fall to see what it can become."
     It's good to hear that they have put a large importance on making the best game possible, and taking the time to do it right- instead of forcing something out as fast as possible.

     Source [ Official Snowman Blog ]

10.26.2017

Starman: Tale of light: Launches November 7th

     A Spanish indie developer, Nada Studio, comprised of two brother architects, Jacobo and Sergio Abril have created a wonderful little monochromatic puzzle game called, Starman: Tale of Light, coming to iOS soon.


     Starman: Tale of Light the story of a man attempting to bring light back to a darkened universe, with a particular interest in plot development relayed through the use of light and shadow.
     Requiring players to think outside the box, Starman is a beautiful isometric puzzle game that was designed to gradually increase in difficulty by continually adding new mechanics throughout the duration of the game.  The developers have focused on creating a complex system of interactivity through the use of both appropriate and creative feedback.  They want to give players new mechanics every level, and have players receive feedback for every click- this ranges from the usual lights and sounds, and adds more depth with haptic feedback (vibrations), and "other effects," giving players as much to work with as possible in new and original ways.

     Just from the trailer and descriptions, Starman: Tale of Light looks to be a tremendously promising puzzle game with an extremely atmospheric experience on top of it- so it's definitely one to keep an eye out for.

     Starman: Tale of Light lands on iOS devices November 7th.

10.07.2017

Untitled Goose Game: House House's Hilarious Next Game: Pre-Alpha Gameplay Trailer

     House House, developers of the Indie gem Push Me Pull You have been hard at work on an intriguing new game about a mischievous goose.



"It's a lovely weekday morning in the village and you are a horrible goose."

     In their as yet Untitled Goose Game, it looks as if players will be engaging in some hilarious goose antics.  The overall gameplay appears to be a serious of small puzzles like finding a way into a garden and getting the groundskeeper wet.  There's a even a little stealth action in stealing things like sneaking up and swiping the groundskeeper's keys.
     In general, players seem to get to be a nuisance by pestering locals, raiding gardens to assemble your own goose picnics, and distracting people by annoyingly honking at them throughout the day, all the while solving small puzzles in the form of a to do list.

     The Untitled Goose Game is set to arrive in 2018.

     Source [ PCGamer ]

8.22.2017

Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition: Trailer & Thoughts

     In a bizarre twist of fate, the creators of Final Fantasy XV have made a move that is extremely strange and hilarious, but also a little bit intriguing.  They're altering the style of the game completely to be "chibi style" and porting it to iOS and Android devices under the title Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.



     Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition takes players through the world of Eos without the anchor of a console.  Players will be able to follow the story of the main game retold over 10 episodes in the cutesy new style.  Along with the new look comes a newly optimized and casual control scheme for mobile, and the shift to an isometric view, presumably to give it a more action game feel- as the trailer appears to show.

     Over the years I've fallen away from the Final Fantasy series, and I really haven't liked much of them after FF 8, but I may give this a go just for the sake of ease and for the absolutely silly take on the visual changes.  The fact they are making it an episodic game is a little disconcerting, but if they are price balanced well enough from a money to gameplay time perspective, it could be worth it to buy them all.  Honestly, I'd probably throw down money for other Final Fantasy games redone in this style for mobile.  It's so absurd and Square Enix has definitely peaked my interest in the series again.

     Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition has no release date yet, but is expected later this year and the first episode will be available for free.