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I am a major fan of retro gaming, and with regards to that, the Neo Geo holds a special place in my heart. The games had so much to them and they felt like nothing else at the time. Today, I wish to highlight 7 Neo Geo games that you can play right now via Arcade Archives on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. I will only include one entry per franchise, as otherwise this list would be a little repetitive.

 

Number 7: Magician Lord

Magician Lord was a launch title for the Neo Geo and holds up surprisingly well all these years later. It has challenging gameplay yet is still fair and most of all fun. The game allowed you to transform the main character in different ways to take on enemies, sort of but not quite like Altered Beast. The game was very action oriented combined with excellent platforming gameplay that would come to show why the Neo Geo was a force to be reckoned with. With fans both old and new, Magician Lord is one to try!

 

Number 6: Neo Turf Masters

A golf arcade game doesn’t sound like an extremely exciting game that would be beloved decades later, but Neo Turf Masters is a different kind of beast.  The game has fast paced action combined with excellent fluid animation that still looks great today. I would even go so far as to say that Neo Turf Masters is the direct inspiration for games like Everybody’s Gold and Mario Golf. Neo Turf Masters is still as fun today as it was when it was first released, and it may interest you all to know that this was made by the same team that made the Metal Slug games. The game was easy to learn but difficult to master and that is something that I can appreciate.

 

Number 5: Spinmaster

This one is just fun, no other way to say it. It is a side scrolling platformer run n gun game but more akin to Mega Man than anything else. It has some of the best visuals of any Neo Geo game, visuals which stand on par with games from today in fact, and has a charm that just cannot be artificially replicated. This is a game I can play over and over again non stop and still be enthralled by. The combination of platforming and shooting is extremely well, and the different power-ups you get are all fun to use. If it seems like I am gushing a bit, it is because I am. Spinmaster is an amazing game that has sadly fallen from the minds of many. I daresay this is one of the best Neo Geo games of all!

Number 4: King of Fighter 98

A King of Fighters game was of course going to be on the list and this one deserves the spot. Considered by many to be the finest in the series,  KOF 98 combined everything that was good about the previous entries into a Dream Match game. The fighting was refined, the music was incredible, even by today’s standards, but most of all, it was just fun. This is a game that should be on every fighting game fan’s radar and is a must play at least once. SNK fighters did not get the same attention from many gamers that Capcom fighters got, but KOF 98 will show you why SNK also delivered greatness.

Number 3: Magical Drop II

The Magical Drop series  is a series of puzzle games very similar to the Puyo Puyo series, but with its own unique identity as well. The games have a colourful cast of characters and a fantastical sense of charm. Magical Drop II refined the series gameplay from the first entry and added new modes and gameplay options, as well as an improved single player campaign. The Japanese version also contained another gameplay mode as well named Hirameki, in which players are given preset puzzles to solve. I should also point out the arcade archives series contains the Japanese versions of the games as well.

Number 2: Metal Slug X

X or 3? X Or 3? I debated for a while which to include but I finally chose X, as it feels more refined. X was a remake of 2 that corrected all of the flaws of the original and added in numerous changes and improvements. Many of the highlights in 3 were also present in X, including transformations and weapons. Metal Slug is just an incredible series and one of the best Run n Gun series ever. WHile many view Metal Slug 3 as the best, I feel X is a better entry point as it is better paced and balanced for both veterans and newcomers.

 

Number 1: Waku Waku 7

 

Waku Waku 7 is one of the most off beat fighting games ever made. It parodies numerous genres, animes and tv shows while adding its own spin on things and being a great game. The fighting was excellent, and I daresay even better than the KOF series, and the music was on another level altogether. Waku Waku 7 was sadly lost among the other fighting games on Neo Geo, but in truth, was a step above them all. Like other entries on this list, it is easy to learn but difficult to master and very rewarding. There really isn’t another fighter like it and that is a shame. This is a fighting game done right that deserves more attention. It is a damn good one.

 

 

Well that was the first list. I’m plan on highlighting more Neo Geo games going forward. Leave your feedback and suggestions for what you think deserves a mention.

 

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The above is the opinion of the author of the piece and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Oct, 2017 At 03:02 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Indie Spotlight, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Indie games are a big part of the Nintendo Switch and the system already has many good titles available. There are so many great indie games coming though, that I wanted to give a spotlight to 7 games that are coming.

 

Heroes of The Monkey Tavern

 

Let’s start off with a  game that is coming very soon. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is a rougelike dungeon crawler similar to Legend of Grimrock. With a first person perspective and real time combat, this game is one that fans of classic CRPGs will want to keep an eye on. The game was received very well on Steam and has been adapted for consoles already. With hours of gameplay at a decent price, Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is great for scratching that RPG itch. It may not have the deepest gameplay or immersion but it is a great experience that is not to be missed. Plus the portability of the game on Switch will make this great for long trips. Few seem to be aware that it is coming, and that is a shame as this is one Nintendo fans will appreciate.

 

Blade Strangers

 

Fighting games are not plentiful on the Switch right now ( not including the Neo Geo library), so whenever one is announced, it gets attention. Blade Strangers is a crossover fighting game from Nicalis that combines characters from several different indie games. What has been shown so far is an incredible looking game with anime inspired visuals and intense action. It may seem like a niche game, but for fighting game fans on Switch, this is definitely one to keep your eyes on when it releases next year. This will no doubt be a blast to play. and to be honest, more fighting games just means more fun. It is also great that this is a fighting game that combines several indie characters, something that is always a good thing.

 

Pocket Rumble

 

Sticking with fighting games, Pocket Rumble is coming to Switch as a console exclusive. The game is a throwback to the fighting games of the Neo geo Pocket Color and is designed to resemble them in look and sound, with gameplay based on two button controls that work well with an analogue stick. The game comes with built in multiplayer with the joy-cons as a result, but for those wanting more opponents, there will be a variety of online modes that will use GGPO for netplay. The game has been well received in Steam Early Access, and while it was delayed on Switch for a time, the product just keeps getting better and better. Though it may seem like a small title, the game will have plenty of content, including single player content, and have a roster full of interesting characters.

 

99Vidas: The Game

99Vidas: The Game is a beat em up inspired by classics like Double Dragon and Final Fight, as well as newer retro style beat em ups such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. It is some of the most fun ever in a beat em up, with a large variety of enemies, great action, and cool moves to pull off. This is one of the better beat em ups in years and Nintendo Switch owners will get a kick ( and a punch or two) out of it. The way you can defeat your enemies is so over the top, and that is what makes this awesome. This is one I am very much looking forward to, because I know just how fun this is, and on the Switch, it will be even better with portability ( and hopefully HD rumble support).

 

 

Dragon Marked For Death

 

Inti Creates has been a strong supporter of the Switch since launch, with Blaster Master Overdrive, Mighty Gunvolt Burst and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Now they have a new game coming to Switch with Dragon Marked For Death. The game is a 2D dark fantasy action RPG made by a team with an incredible history behind them, including the makers of the Megaman Zero and Megaman ZX series, and from the brief showing in the Nindies showcase, this game looks to continue their tradition of quality. There will be a variety of roles you can take in the game as you make a pact with a dragon and set out on your quest. This is currently a winter title for Switch so look for it soon.

 

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap released this year for PC and Consoles and it was a great game….but it was still a remake of an already existing game. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom however, will be doing things differently. This successor to the classic series will be a new experience and a new adventure for fans to enjoy. The game is being made as a love letter to the Wonder Boy series but not being held back by being too devoted to keeping things exactly the same. It will try new ideas, have new transformations and innovate in creative ways. The game looks amazing from what has been seen so far, and this is one that gamers of all kinds should be excited for.

 

Owlboy

 

 

Owlboy is a labor of love. It began development in 2007 before releasing late last year to great acclaim. The game was inspired by classic Nintendo games that the creator played growing up. The game has beautiful visuals and combines platformer adventure gaming with some 2D shooter elements that make the game feel like a spiritual successor to Kid Icarus. This makes sense as Kid Icarus is one of the major inspirations behind Owlboy. The game serves as both a loving tribute to classic games while still using new ideas to push things forward much like  Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, albeit going even further. This is a game that belongs on a Nintendo system and thankfully it is coming sometime soon!

 

Well these are just seven of the games I wanted to highlight. I may do more of these in the future. Let me know what indie games you are looking forward to and why.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

By Cataclysmic Knight On 9 May, 2017 At 03:48 PM | Categorized As Indie Spotlight, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Developed By: Fire Face Corporation
Published By: Adult Swim Games
Available For: PS4 (reviewed), Windows

One side of the second building.

I had never heard of Small Radios Big Televisions before I received a review code for it, but a quick glance online made it look like Fez if it was a point-and-click puzzler. Diving in, I was presented with a building against a rather plain red background and absolutely no tutorial or clue as to what to do. Moving the left joystick moved the cursor, and when it moved over the only door present it became clear this was what I was meant to do – open the door and begin. Exploration is unique: instead of being given a character to move around, you merely move the cursor and whatever room you’re currently in tilts to allow the cursor to reach everything. To enter a room or interact with things, just press X with the cursor over it. Some things, like cogs, require dragging to complete puzzles. This may sound pretty standard, but the fact that I never saw myself and the view was pulled so far out gave the game an entirely different feel.

It was when I found my first cassette that the game really became special. These cassettes are better than music (yes, even Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixes), they’re virtual reality! Each one has a very specific experience and is clearly labeled with things like Road, Forest or Stream. Like any VR experience these are all first-person, and while some of them offer automatic movement along a pre-programmed track you can’t actually control yourself at all. You can, however, look around with the cursor, and the goal here is to find green gems. To make matters even more wild you’ll come across magnets as you explore the main game which warp any cassettes you currently have. Idyllic, lovely settings become ruined and corrupted when entering them again which is necessary to find additional gems.

Your TD-525 provides some simple diversions, but at what cost?

After each area is completed there’s a mysterious conversation between two people. As a huge fan of story in games this was an excellent addition. They’re all very short, so folks who couldn’t care less don’t have to wait long, and they’re just long enough to tease at what’s going on. Between the lack of any kind of setup, the mysterious setting, the VR tapes and these dialogues the game’s world is constantly unraveling into something interesting. There’s also writing and graffiti on the walls of several of the rooms that elude to a much darker tone. It’s almost painful how much I want to talk about the story of this game! Unfortunately, this is one of those games where giving any details would hurt the experience.

Things get a little dark at times.

I am NOT good at puzzle games. A quarter or a half of the way in I typically start needing a walkthrough here and there, and by the last quarter or so I usually end up spending more time watching videos on how to solve the game’s puzzles than actually playing it. That wasn’t the case here, and while I ended up feeling rather smart a few times I worry that hardcore puzzle fans will be rather bored here. The difficulty in the game comes mostly from navigating through the areas and locating the green gems in the cassettes: as the game progresses rooms end up having quite a few diverging paths that make it easy to forget where to go or where you just came from. There is a map in the game, but I didn’t get any use out of it personally. The fact that doors are always closed until you first enter them and stay open once they’re opened helps, but the later areas require a fair bit of backtracking.

The audio and art fit the retro theme incredibly well. The 3D styles of the last century are evident here and the music is subdued and enjoyable, although one or two of the pieces may have been a little repetitive in the background as I hunted down gems. I also liked that the game took advantage of the DualShock speaker for inserting cassettes; as someone somewhat new to PS4 I’m always excited when a game takes advantage of it. It all came together to draw me far more into the world of Small Radios Big Television than I could have expected.

Small radios provide big insight into the plot.

I really loved that the game doesn’t hold your hand yet still ended up making perfect sense. It was awesome that even a mediocre puzzle gamer like myself could figure things out! Although the gameplay is rather simple and half the puzzles are just hunting for green gems in cassettes or navigating small labyrinths of doors the setting and story more than made up for it to me. I even felt compelled to go back through and find the two lenses I missed the first time around; completing the game unlocks the ability to go back and the doors are thankfully all closed once again. The mystery was a bit simple but deep enough to keep me excited about every scene, and the ending had a really unexpected, Twilight Zone-ish twist. If you’re a big fan of story games like me and have a few hours to spend on a unique little puzzle adventure title I’d highly recommend Small Radios Big Televisions.

Disclaimer: A code was provided for the purposes of this review

By Stark Wyvern On 17 Apr, 2017 At 10:17 PM | Categorized As Indie Spotlight, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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The world of games certainly is changing and indie games are becoming better and better. It is no surprise then that the fantastic folks at Tequila Works have put out another great indie game. The Sexy Brutale which follows the Groundhog Day-Esque story of Lafacadio a priest out to help those in need is truly a great one. This game is unlike other games I have played recently, but it fit it with my time as I have also been playing other games.

The idea that this game also takes place in a casino resort where everyone wears masks is pretty cool. The characters all have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies, and you really don’t know who you should root for. In a bare bones sense, this game is a murder mystery, with the main character hoping to uncover the culprit. Now as the characters all wear masks, there is already a sense of distrust. Could one of these weirdos actually be the killer, or is something out there in the darkness really doing it all?

Playing through a decent chunk of the game, I’m still unsure, but it is certainly something I am enjoying. The characters are completely their own person, and it will certainly take some more discovery to figure out this mystery. The thing that really does make this game stand out is the fact that, you do relive the same day, in hopes of discovering the truth. Now, the puzzles aren’t to be taken lightly but, as I have no intention of spoiling them for you, just know it is a challenging game.

Lafcadio certainly does need help, and if you play this game, I’m sure you will help this poor man. All he wants to do is to help find out who is killing all of these people. Just don’t let yourself overstep your bounds, or you will certainly wake up at the start of the day once more.

Hopefully, you think of this game as highly as I have. It doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but if this has piqued your interest at all, it is certainly worth buying. The Sexy Brutale comes out on April 11th on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. For the purposes of this review, I did play on the PS4 and it was a great gaming experience.

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Mr.Shifty which was created by Team Shifty is coming out tomorrow, on Nintendo Switch and Steam. I was lucky enough to score a review copy and let me tell you, I enjoyed it. This crazy game is similar to certain top down games like Hot Line Miami but has its own twist. The main character Mr.Shifty can teleport. It honestly is quite similar to Nightcrawler of the XMen and his teleporting skill.

This game may seem simple on the surface in that you just need to climb a tower and take down goons, but it gets hectic fast. This game is unforgiving in that if you die you start the stage over.

Enemies appear seemingly out of nowhere in certain stages. In other stages they are planned, but they do tend to walk towards sounds. You need to have quick reflexes in order to take down all of the goons.

Mr.Shifty’s power is hard to handle sometimes especially in moments of high stress. Taking down 50 enemies who all can one shot kill you makes things tense. This mission that Shifty and his assistant are on is something clearly worth it all, but it certainly isn’t a game for those who hate to lose.

I died plenty of times but honestly it felt good to start floors over. You honestly learn how to play the game as you die. You learn where you need to go and how you can wipe out more men in a single attack.

This game is certainly worth picking up if you need another game worth playing. It might fill some of the void of time you may now have after beating Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch!

So, if this game sounds at all interesting it is certainly worth the 15$. If you need some convincing they did release a demo online in February for people to try!

Feel free to watch the trailer below to find out if you may like it, and get ready to Shift into crime with Mr. Shifty tomorrow!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/PslLAK67vSM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Jan, 2017 At 10:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games To Watch, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I often come across many indie developers on Twitter and one who caught my eye was Warren Smith, developer of Dark Flame. Dark Flame is a 2D metroidvania style game that takes some influence from the Castlevania series, while also taking a lot of influence from the Dark Souls series. I have been watching this game come together for a while now, and Warren has been kind enough to let me play early builds of the game. I want to give some attention to this game because it is one you should keep your eye on.

As I said, this takes inspiration from Castlevania but much more from Dark Souls. This is the perfect marriage of those 2 series in many ways, and I love seeing this come into its own. I have played 3 builds of the game so far, each more expansive and revealing much more of the game. These builds are available for people supporting the game’s development on Patreon ( not a plug, just pointing this out) and are quite extensive. Dark Flame is a game in which you will die numerous times, in many frustrating ways. But it has that “it factor” that just keeps bringing you back, no matter how frustrating it gets. rather than give up on it, a player learns to become more strategic, to plan things out better and find the right way to go about it. It still has a ways to go, and things such as enemy placement and lighting are in need of improvement, and the pacing could be handled better. That said, I am excited with each new build of the game, as it just gets better and better.

The reason I feel you should keep a watch on this game, is because Dark Flame is that indie game that will serve as both a castlevania replacement ( its got the look and wow is that music awesome. I wish you could hear it, because it sounds great), and a game for people wanting a Souls alternative. It is addictive in the best possible way and I think that is the best I can say about a game like this. I am extremely impressed with it, and even with its faults, I think this is an amazing experience. I eagerly await both the next build of the game, and the day it is completed and released to the public. This is indie gaming at some of its best.

You can follow Warren on twitter here. He frequently posts updates.

By otakuman5000 On 17 Dec, 2016 At 02:25 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Indie Spotlight, News, ROG News | With 1 Comment

No GravatarI had the pleasure of exchanging emails with the creators of the new indie comic Godhand, and boy, do they have a story to tell. Conrad Iwanicki is the writer of the comic and the artist is Ronald Nelson. Together, they have with a uniquely compelling story about a deeply “flawed” individual, along the lines of Deadpool and Batman.  Please take the time to check it out. What drives Conrad was the suicide of his mom, who is a Disabled Veteran two years ago.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED FOR “GODHAND” Partial Proceeds to Benefit Veteran Mental Health Organization, Give An Hour Sneads Ferry, NC, December 16, 2016– Effective immediately, the official Kickstarter campaign has been launched for ‘Godhand’, a graphic novel. A relevant story propelled by an average guy going through the mundane motions of the corporate world. The lead antagonist, Bryce Powers (i.e. “Godhand”) finds himself at a fork in the road where he ultimately becomes the anti-hero. Written to substantiate that all who walk this world aren’t out of redemption’s reach, “Godhand” touches on a variation of descriptions: contemptuous, witty, poignant, cheeky, and harrowing. This graphic novel written by first-time author Conrad Iwanicki and illustrated by established American Manga artist Ronald Nelson, known for his work on (H)afrocentric, is, above-all-else, relatable, significant and noteworthy amongst modern comic literature and prose. While the ultimate objective is to self-publish and create a franchise with staying power, the story behind “Godhand” is both somber and inspiring. Iwanicki found the inspiration to create “Godhand” upon the recent suicide of his mother, Carrie Iwanicki [1962-2014]. A veteran of the United States military, she found herself in a compromising position, one familiar to countless veterans of our armed forces: lacking proper mental health care, disheartened, disconnected, suicidal. Page | 2 “My mom had a heart the size of the ocean, she truly lived to help others. Her suicide was senseless and fairly ironic considering a person that would help anyone couldn’t get the help she needed. With the success of ‘Godhand’, not only can I continue her legacy of selflessness, but hopefully I can do my part to stem the tide of 22 veteran suicides a day, so no other son or daughter has to experience the needless loss and sorrow I have.” -Conrad Iwanicki, Author Piecing together his personal relationship with the effects of the mental health of those who so selflessly give their services to our country and their families, Iwanicki will be donating proceeds from “Godhand” to the non-profit organization Give an Hour, “a national network of mental health care providers who give an hour of their time each week to help members of the military and their families cope with the “unseen wounds” associated with military service.” [www.giveanhour.org] A sample of dialogue and concept art can be obtained and viewed, respectively, at the website, www.godhandcomic.com. This project is in need of immediate funding to successfully reach its ultimate potential; more information on “Godhand” and how you can help is available on the Kickstarter campaign page now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1092670955/godhand-a-graphicnovel/description.

Please check it out and share this article with any veterans in your family. The free sample of the story can be found here.  Also check out and donate to Give an Hour.

Here are some concept art:godhand-bryce-turnarounds-page-001_1_orig godhand-punch1 godhand

No GravatarRecently I had the chance to talk with Edward Di Geronimo of Saturnine Games and discuss the upcoming game Antipole DX. Take a look below

antipole 1

JB: Antipole was originally a game on the DS, the Xbox and PC marketplace. What made you decide to remake the game?

EG: I always loved the gameplay of the original, and it seemed to resonate well with the people that played the original. Unfortunately the original never looked as good as I would’ve liked, and I think that prevented a lot of people from giving the game a chance.

JB: The Nintendo eshop has been a very interesting place for indie games, some succeed and some do not. How have your experiences been with the eshop so far?

EG: The eShop isn’t that different from every other digital store front. Some games do well, while many games don’t. Making games is a tough business, no matter what market you’re looking at. If you’re a big developer, you can release everywhere and find your audience that way. If you’re a small developer, that’s not really a practical approach, so you have to pick your spots more carefully. My game design senses are heavily inspired by Nintendo, and I think it shows in the games I make. As a result, I’ve seen better results when I release games on Nintendo platforms than elsewhere.

antipole 2

JB: What do you think of miiverse as a means for developers to promote their indie games on Nintendo systems?

EG: I’ve been a big fan of Miiverse. Developer posts get very good visibility, and everyone reading the posts have either a Wii U or a 3DS. It’s a much more effective way of getting word out to my target audience than general social media is. I try to post a screenshot every week or two along with a short development update. The reception has been very positive. I think I’ve been able to build a good following on Miiverse.

JB: What made you decide to make the Wii U one of the target platforms for Antipole DX?  What do you think of the audience on Nintendo systems for this type of game? Do you feel they are particularly receptive?

EG: Nintendo has been developing high quality platformer games for decades. I think their audience is highly receptive to them. They also have a core audience that’s been gaming on their systems for decades. This crowd grew up playing pixel art platformers. I think the audience is going to be very receptive toward games like Antipole DX.

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JB: Can you tell us a few of the new things and changes we will see in Antipole DX that are different from the original?

EG: There’s not a lot left that’s the same! The code is largely the same, but we’ve replaced all the assets. The graphics are all new, with a pixel art style that feels like a 16-bit era game. Last time around the audio side of the game suffered due to the tight space restrictions of DSiWare. The music and sound effects are all new this time around, and are much higher quality now that we don’t have to worry about space restrictions. Players familiar with the original game will still find plenty of surprises in the DX version. The levels have all been recreated from scratch. I usually tried to stay faithful to the original designs, but there are plenty of cases where I removed or changed sections that I wasn’t happy with. I made sure to add new sections to every level, and also included several all new levels. The DX version is on track to have about 50% more rooms than the original game did.

antipole 5

JB: Who are some of your biggest influences as a game developer?

EG: Nintendo is definitely the biggest influence on my design senses, with Mario, Zelda, and Metroid being the games I look at the most. NES/SNES era Capcom is another big influence, with games like Mega Man and Duck Tales standing out. In general I tend to look toward the 8/16 bit era for the basics of gameplay, and look at more modern games for ideas on how to create a nicer experience.

JB: What are some of the biggest influences and inspirations for Antipole DX in particular?

EG: The core gameplay is heavily Mega Man inspired, although you’ll certainly find some hints of Metroid in there. The speed run challenges are inspired by Metroid’s rewards for beating the game faster. The fast speed of the character was originally a nod to Sonic. I was never as big a fan of Sonic as the rest of the team though, so that aspect of it got downplayed over time. I found that Sonic style wide open levels didn’t work well with the gravity mechanic.

antipole 3

JB: What are some of your biggest concerns for this game?

EG: I don’t think my concerns are any different than they are with other games. I worry about how much time I put into the game, and if it’s worth it. The industry is always changing, so I wonder if the assumptions I made about the market are right. I think everyone gets afraid that other people won’t like the game.

antipole 6

JB: Is there anything you wanted to do differently with Antipole DX that you have not been able to?

EG: Coming into this project, I had a list of things I wanted to add to the original but wasn’t able to. I made sure to get those things in. While there’s always room to add more, I don’t think there’s anything I didn’t get in that I felt strongly about. I do have a list of things that would be a better fit for a sequel though!

antipole 6 antipole 7

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readership of Real Otaku Gamer?

EG: We went all out to include as much as we could in this game, and make it as great as we could. We’re extremely proud of how it’s turning out. I hope you give it a shot and enjoy it!

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You can see a trailer for the game below

You can follow Saturnine Games on twitter here and you can follow Edward on twitter here.

Thank you again to Edward and Saturnine Games for the interview

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jul, 2016 At 02:13 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Indie Spotlight, Interviews, News, NINTENDO, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI recently had the chance to talk with Ezekiel Rage, developer of Citidale: Gate of Souls, and discuss the upcoming indie game. Please have a look at our conversation

 Citadale01

JB: Where/How did you get the idea to make your game Citadale – Gate of Souls?

ER: It actually started as a Castlevania fangame. I wanted to do a remake of Castlevania Legends. It was my first time using the engine I use and as such I figured creating a remake would teach me a lot about the program. And as development kept getting more complex and different from the original, I decided to make it its own thing instead of a remake.

JB: Obviously Citadale takes influence from the Castlevania series, but are there any other game series that Citadale was influenced by?

ER: There is a rather obscure NES game called Faxanadu that inspired me greatly. Another influence was the SNES game Demon’s Crest.

JB: Konami’s reputation has taken a beating over the last while. Do you think that will help you with promoting a game that is essentially a spiritual sequel to the classic Castlevania games?

ER: To be honest, I have no particular thoughts on that subject. I hope that the game will be doing well but whether the success of the game is influenced by Konami’s decisions or not is not something I am concerned about. I suppose this discussion would probably be worth having after the game has been released.

JB: You have some interesting ideas for this game, such as it being primarily played on the gamepad, while the TV screen shows a bigger map. What made you decide to do that?

ER: When I decided to port it to Wii U, which was in 2014, I thought that it would be an interesting way to play the game. Of course you can switch views at any given time or not use the GamePad at all, and we do support most input devices on Wii U. The main idea I had was a boss fight that would take up more vertical space than the TV can give you. I realized this boss fight in Stage 3, by the way.

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JB: Besides Castlevania, what were some of your favourite games growing up?

ER: I am a HUGE Zelda nerd. I have a Zelda shrine, so to speak. I own all the games with packages and manuals, lots of merchandise, and I even have a Zelda tattoo. There was also game on Super Nintendo (and Sega Genesis, but the SNES version was better) called Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow – I love this game. Terranigma and Lufia are among my favorite games, along with the aforementioned Faxanadu, the classic Mega Man series and of course the Metroid series.

JB: What Castlevania games influenced this game the most? That is, besides Legends, what other games inspired the design and gameplay?

ER: Well the very first NES Castlevania was not only hugely influential on this game, but also on my younger gaming self. I also took some inspiration from Dracula X on SNES (yes, I know, Rondo is better), in that you can’t upgrade your main weapon for example.

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JB: What were your favourite Castlevania games to play?

ER: Obviously I love Symphony of the Night. I am also very partial to Legacy of Darkness and Simon’s Quest. Super Castlevania 4 and Portrait of Ruin also rank among my favorites.

JB: With regards to the last question, what were some of your favourite game genres growing up?

ER: I love action adventure games, really. I like to explore interesting settings – be it old castles or intricate dungeons.

JB: Making this game focused on the Wii U could be considered risky at this time. What led you to that decision?

ER: I have been a huge Nintendo fan growing up. I always wanted to create a game for a Nintendo system so this was really an easy decision to make.

JB: What do you think of the indie scene on the Wii U?

ER: It is far bigger than most people think, and from what I can tell quite popular. Of course there are positive and negative examples but overall most Nindies are actually very good games.

JB: Do you have any plans to integrate Miiverse into this game?

ER: We actually do support Miiverse. We also have stamps in the game.

JB: What are your hopes for this game? Would you want to make a sequel if this does well?

ER: My hopes are that it does well enough to warrant a release of story DLC. I could do a sequel but I’d much rather release the continuation of the story as DLC – a sequel would use the same graphics and graphical style anyway, because I am a one man development team (well, one and a half, I have an amazingly talented programmer/publisher friend) and creating complex graphics is simply not within my field of expertise.

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JB: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

ER: Well, obviously I hope you check out my game and my upcoming projects. I would also like to thank you for taking the time for me and I wish you all the best 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the game.

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You can follow Ezekiel Rage on twitter here and check out his website here

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I recently had the chance to speak with Austin Harper of ScrewAttack Games and Sam Beddoes of FreakZone Games. We discussed how some of their projects came to be, what the future holds and more. Please take a read below.

JB: ScrewAttack is best known as a gaming website. What led to you guys deciding to make your own games?

AH: We are all gamers at heart and we’re really passionate about video games; we decided to take that passion for games and apply that to design. I think all of us at some point in time have daydreamed about being able to make a video game. It’s kind of a childhood dream, you know? We were just very fortunate in having a platform and a great community to support us in trying to fulfill that dream.

JB:  ScrewAttack came out with a rather interesting mobile game a few years ago called Texting of the Bread. What was the inspiration behind that?

AH: Haha, it was very much inspired by the Dreamcast game Typing of the Dead. Essentially we were sitting around talking about how cool Typing of the Dead was, and wondering why nothing like that had been done in the mobile market. We really liked the punny name we came up with, so we decided to take the theme and run with it — hence the main character with a cow strapped to her back and the hordes of gingerbread men.

JB:  What lead to the Nerd being a character in the game? Was it a test run to see how he would be in his own game?

AH: Honestly, we were just really happy that we got to make a game, a real game, with our name on it and wanted to share it with our friends.?

JB:  How was the reception to Texting of The Bread? I understand that one mobile version of the game itself was cancelled?.

AH: The reception was actually pretty good, and we wanted to bring the game to Android, but at the time the ShiVa Engine we built the game in just didn’t have Android support. Our developer made a few test builds anyway, all of them had really ridiculous bugs, like not being able to close the application without removing your battery… Long story short, we parted ways with the developers before we ever got the build completed. Though, you may hear something about our mobile titles in the near future.

JB:  Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is probably the most well known of the games ScrewAttack has produced. How did it come about?

AH: We were talking about making a new game, specifically considering the Angry Video Game Nerd franchise, but we didn’t have a developer in mind. Around that time, Sam Beddoes of FreakZone Games reached out to us, asking us to do a review of his game, Manos: The Hands of Fate. We really liked the game and got along with Sam pretty well, and he happened to mention he was a big fan of the AVGN series. The rest just kind of clicked.

JB: Sam, how did you come to be the developer that worked on AVGN adventures? Did ScrewAttack reach out to you? What was the experience like to work on an officially licensed game based of a reviewer of crappy games? Was it intimidating?

SB: A few years back I made a similar project “MANOS: The Hands of Fate” – A retro-style adaptation of the infamously bad movie of the same name. It was a pet project which did pretty well. The idea was to adapt the movie in the way movies were adapted to games back in the 80s on the NES, and a lot of my research involved binge-watching AVGN, who I had been a big fan of for quite some time, to try and capture that “LJN” feel. Also being a big fan of ScrewAttack, I approached them to try and get MANOS some coverage, and the retro style impressed them, at which point they allowed me to pitch a collaboration to them – that pitch was AVGN Adventures, a game I’d dreamed of making since before I even started MANOS. They liked the pitch, and my life was changed!

JB:  You brought to AVGN Adventures some elements from your game Manos the Hands of Fate, based off that infamous movie. I’m curious how that game came about, being based on a notorious film from decades ago.

SB: MANOS is an interesting one. I’ve been fond of watching terrible movies with friends for as far back as I can remember, and when I caught Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie on TV I ended up obsessively watching that show on the internet (we didn’t have the show here in England, only the movie, which was essentially just a higher budget episode!), and through MST3K I discovered the film MANOS. Since I’d been making games as a hobby since the late 90s, my “bad movie buddy” Chris and I always joked about making a game of MANOS, how it’d be adapted, how it’d play. We joked around with the idea of a point and click adventure, for example. Whilst reading about the history of that film one day I found out that the film and everything in it was in the public domain due to the director’s failure to take all the necessary steps to copyright a work back in the time it came out (similar to what happened with George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”, thus giving birth to the entire zombie genre), and I was amused to think that I actually COULD make MANOS due to this! I believe I was thinking about AVGN when I realized how much fun it’d be to adapt MANOS the way game developers adapted movies on the NES in the 80s, and so I went for it – The main idea would be to “celebrate badness with something good”; to include all of the tropes of bad game adaptations and bad movies alike, but without making the game itself bad! Not long after the release of the game, I was befriended by most of the remaining cast of the original film, so I suppose you could even say it’s the “official” video game adaptation at this point.

JB:  What is your philosophy to game design and what are some of your biggest influences and inspirations in gaming? I’m talking about both games and game developers.

 SB: I like to keep things simple, challenging, fun and exciting! My greatest influences on my platformers are Yoshi’s Island, Mega Man X and the original Sonic games, but I also find myself inspired by some modern indie developers like Edmund McMillan and the guys at WayForward. Of course not forgetting the masters themselves, Miyamoto, Inafune, Igarashi. There’s so much more, though. Games have been an enormous part of my life and they’ve never not been inspiring me, so it’s a tough question to ask!

JB:  What do you personally hope to Accomplish with AVGN adventures II? Will it come to consoles like the first game did?

SB: Regarding Consoles, that’s up to ScrewAttack to talk about, but obviously that’s something I really hope to see happen. As for the game itself, we’ve learned a lot since the first, so I hope not just to make fans of the original happy, but perhaps win over some people who weren’t too smitten with the first game as well!

JB: Austin, Disorder is an interesting game. How did that one come about and how has the reception been?

AH: Chad and Craig were walking the floor and checking out indie games down at SXSW Gaming when they came across Disorder. Both of the guys thought it was a really awesome game and spent the weekend hanging out with the Swagabyte Games team. After a night of playing games together and drinking, we decided to take on the project as the publisher. Disorder is a different tone than our other titles, it’s bit more serious in subject matter, but most everyone who has played it has responded pretty positively.

JB:  Jump ‘N’ Shoot is an awesome throwback to classic games but I have to ask, why is it on mobile devices only?

AH: Jump’N’Shoot Attack is kind of Sam’s passion project to try and bring a real platforming game experience to the mobile phone that gamers will enjoy.

JB:  Is there any chance there may one day be a Death Battle game? I understand it would be a licensing nightmare but you could use stand ins/obvious parodies for the real characters and even include Wiz and Boomstick (and Jocelyn).

AH: It has definitely been talked about, but at this point I can’t really say much either way.

JB:  Do you see ScrewAttack continuing to pursue video game production? If so, what are some genres that you would like to see tackled?

AH: I think, like with most things, we’ll continue doing it as long as it makes sense and people enjoy it. Being a super small publishing team, we try to focus on a limited number of projects so we can give proper attention to them all. I can say that I’m busy for the foreseeable future. I think one of the hardest genres to do well is horror.

JB:  Do you have any regrets about how things were done in any of the games ScrewAttack produced?

AH: Looking back, if we could do it over again we would have launched Texting of the Bread with a Free to play model.

JB: Have there been any games that ScrewAttack was producing that have ended up being cancelled along the way that people are not aware of?

AH: There have been a few publishing opportunities that didn’t pan out. One example was a small development team that disbanded before the contract was finalized. It’s a bummer, because it was an awesome game that will never see the light of day. I hope one day they reconnect and continue work on the game.

JB:  Do you have anything that you would like to say to the audience of Teal Otaku Gamer?

AH: Thanks so much for reading the interview! If you’re a fan of retro inspired games, we hope you’ll check out our stuff!

Thank you again for doing this.

 

You can follow ScrewAttack on Twitter at @ScrewAttack, Austin can be followed at @PotatoHound and Sam at @FreakZoneGames