Sunday, June 16, 2019

Microsoft Acquired Double Fine

Tim Schafer posted a video explaining that Microsoft has acquired Double Fine Productions.

Games already announced won't be affected, such as Psychonauts 2, which will still launch on Linux, macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as planned, and crowdfunding backers will still get everything for which they pledged.

 However, the company will focus on Microsoft platforms going forward.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Yakuza 0 Review

Yakuza 0 is a prequel to Sega’s popular Yakuza series, which follows the regular series protagonist Kazama Kiryu and the regular series minor antagonist Goro Majima as they begin their Yakuza careers in the late 1980s.

The game takes place in 1988 as both characters are expelled from the Yakuza. Kiryu’s expulsion is done at his request to protect the man who ran the orphanage he grew up in, Shintaro Kazama, after being accused of a murder he didn’t commit. Majima’s expulsion, on the other hand, is involuntary and comes after being tortured for two years for not going against his oath-brother as demanded by his patriarch.

Although the two never interact directly in the game, both stories are intertwined with each other, with each character getting more playtime after the other’s story has been told in two chapters. Each character’s respective Yakuza family wants an empty lot in Kamurocho that is worth one billion yen.  Someone is using both characters to accomplish this, and it’s up to Kiryu and Majima to find out who is pulling the strings and why they are manipulating them to do so.

The story is held up by the excellent voice acting, which remains in Japanese with English subtitles, and the cinematic music that is used in the game’s many cutscenes.

As with most games in the Yakuza series, the game is an open-world action-adventure that takes major cues from both the Shenmue series and the Streets of Rage series. The latter is apparent in the combat, which is accomplished in martial arts through hands, feet, and weapons, as well as from objects around the city which can be picked up and used as makeshift weapons against enemies. Both characters have four types of fighting styles, each of which can be leveled up by gaining experience from fighting, eating, and completing side-quests.

The game takes place in two cities, Kamurocho, a fictional district in Toyko, and Sotenbori, a fictional district in Osaka. Both cities are quite vast, detailed, and have a lot to do. This is where Yakuza 0 really shines. There are a bunch of events where the protagonists must do quests for people which more often than not resorts to the use of martial arts. However, there are also a bunch of mini-games that can be played, ranging from Sega arcade classics such as Space Harrier, Outrun, Super Hang-On, and Fantasy Zone, to UFO Catcher crane games, to parlor games such as darts, billiards, and bowling, to gambling games such as poker, baccarat, and blackjack. The localization team even went so far as to provide detailed games on how to play Japanese gambling games which are not as well known in the west such as koi-koi and oichu–kabu.

Yakuza 0 is not only one of the best games in the Yakuza series, but it is one of the best games that Sega has ever made. The story is fantastic, especially the half focusing on Majima, which gives a lot of depth to this usually two-dimensional character. The Japanese voice acting with English subtitles helps keep the uniquely Japanese feel of the game intact, and the cinematic music helps to set the story nicely. With tons of fun side-quests and mini-games, this is also a title that has tons of replay value even after the main story has been completed.

Final Verdict:
5 out of 5

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry Coming November 7


Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry is the seventh official Leisure Suit Larry game starring Larry Laffer, as Leisure Suit Larry 4 doesn't exist, and this fact is lampooned in the plot of Leisure Suit Larry 5. Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust star Larry Laffer's nephew, Larry Lovage.

It is being developed by the German game studio CrazyBunch, and, although it has had no input from series creator Al Lowe, it will be a point-and-click adventure, in the same vein as the classic Sierra series.

It will be released on the 7th of November and is currently available to pre-order for a 15% discount from GOG.com and Steam.

Monday, October 8, 2018

GOG.com Is 10, Sells Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine

GOG.com turned 10 years old this year, and to celebrate they held a sale and had added some more new games, alongside some more good old games, to their store.

One of those good old games is Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, the 1999 LucasArts title that brought Indiana Jones into the third dimension. This game borrowed heavily from the Tomb Raider series, which was fitting since Tomb Raider borrowed from heavily from the Indiana Jones film series.

Although it's in a different genre, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is a sequel-of-sorts to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, as the game sees Indiana Jones reuniting with Sophia Hapgood, the secondary player character from the earlier title.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Skybound To Finish Telltale's The Walking Dead Final Season

The official Twitter page of The Walking Dead was updated with news that Skybound, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman's company, will be finishing the final two video game episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

Telltale previously stated that they were looking towards multiple partners to hire the staff of The Walking Dead Season Four so that they could finish the season properly. So, it looks like there's a (tiny) bit of good news for at least some the staff members that were let go from Telltale without warning last month.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mark Darin, Telltale Alum, Starts Nick Bounty Kickstarter


Mark Darin created a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. You may remember Mark Darin as a designer at Telltale that helped create some of their best games (Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Puzzle Agent, Hector: Badge of Carnage, The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and Batman Season Two, among many, many others).

Now he is going back to his roots. Before he became a designer at Telltale, he designed two free adventure games: Nick Bounty: A Case of the Crabs and Nick Bounty: The Goat In The Grey Fedora. He is now creating the third game in the series, that you can help fund now by going to the Nick Bounty and the Dame with the Blue Chewed Shoe Kickstarter page.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Telltale Games Lays Off Its Staff Except 25, Cancels Most Projects

Telltale's CEO Pete Hawley released a statement on Thursday that Telltale Games began a majority studio closure, keeping a staff of 25 on to fulfill the company's contractual obligations to its board and partners.
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company's contractual obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley released the following statement: 
"It's been an extremely difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry." 
Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.
Mr. Hawley also responded to a question about the future of the remaining staff, stating, "to be clear, we're not shutting down. As odd as that may sound, 25 of us will continue, foreseeable. I'll make further comment in the coming weeks."