Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Action game

I guess that means I owe everyone an update. Here goes nothing!

 

The information blackout this summer has turned out to be a pretty good thing for my work, I think. It’s kept me focused on making rather than presenting, and I haven’t spent more than a few weeks at a time focusing solely on other work. I think it’s safe to say that my current project is not only at the point where Hysteria and The Outer World managed to get to, but it’s already beyond that. I have already programmed and art-ed in every major mechanic for the player character, created a useful tile system that allows me to fairly quickly create and apply a new set of tiled graphics to an area without worrying about setting the right tiles for the right spots (as they automatically set themselves to the right tile graphic based on what’s around them), coded a nice little Baby’s First NPC Dialogue System complete with branching dialogue paths and my own syntax codes to make certain actions happen when the text reaches a specific spot, and even put together a few enemies to fight, all with their own simple AI systems.

Right now, I have the foundation just about completely laid down. It’s quite playable in its current state, and even rather pretty, save for the lack of UI elements and various things I intend to sprinkle around levels. But even so, I feel like it’s too soon to show it off just yet.

This game’s mechanics are simple even for a sidescrolling action game. If you’ve played Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero, you know the kind of movement system I’m putting in place. It’s very much a modern take on an oldschool gameplay style. You have quite a few actions at your disposal, but they are all limited and balanced in their own ways, so you need to think through how you’ll go about each scenario you end up in. It’s like if you took the old NES Castlevania games, how they handled moving around and how each weapon or item you used had its own limitations, and applied that same sort of thinking to 2D Metroid game progression, where you obtain new skills and items as you progress, which open up new possibilities. Dare I say… Metroidvania?

Surely this is nothing new. It probably sounds a lot like things you’ve already played. To be fair, this IS a smaller project than those before it and I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I have ideas that I’m sure will make it a very fun play, but the problem is that they mostly rely on a more finished state to show them off. I still want the ‘full reveal’ to be a surprise for everyone so I’m not really going into detail about the game until I’m really ready to lift the curtains. When that happens, I’d like to have a demo to throw out there to let you experience the first couple levels for yourself and see what I’m really on about here. Or at least have it coming soon.

With school back in session, I have less time to get work done on the game, but this has been a very productive summer and an interesting game project so far. I plan on continuing my work on the game alongside schoolwork and art commissions. I’m hoping that this will be successful and everyone likes what I’ve done!

Just a cheeky little bastard~

Today is apparently Play Some Really Freaking Furry Games Day because both games I’m talking about are ANIMALERRIFIC. Both for very different reasons.
Let’s start with Dust: An Elysian Tail, an Xbox 360 Arcade game.

More like Dust: My Videogame Fantasy. Seriously, it’s like someone sat down and looked at all my favorite things and stuck them together: furries, cute characters, Metroidvania, beautiful flowing 2D animation, super high difficulty available. Dust had every opportunity to be a mediocre game with amateur art and a cliche storyline about some overpowered dude getting redemption for bad things and just being SUCH A BADASS I MEAN LOOK AT HIM.

But no, crazy as it sounds, this Metroidvania adventure full of fuzzy, cute things, made mostly by ONE GUY (he seriously did all the art, animation, coding (he knew nothing about programming before this. It doesn’t show at all), and putting everything together. He only got outside help for voices, writing and music,) actually has a really good story with well-written characters and it’s fun as heck to boot. Combos are so much fun to pull off, and enemies give just the right amount of warning and dish out serious hurt to make you watch out to not open yourself to attacks.

There’s one issue I have with the game, and that’s a fairly bad design decision involving these bubble things that randomly burst with deadly poison droplets all over. I’m playing on the hardest difficulty (not recommended unless you love pain like me) and made the choice to drop most of my stat points (DID I MENTION THIS ALSO HAS RPG ELEMENTS <3) into attack, purposely ignoring HP and defense, so I die in two hits at most. (seriously not recommended) Well, the problem is there’s such a short amount of warning before those things explode on you, there’s often not enough time to get out of the way, and the randomness of it can cause them to go off after 10 seconds… or 1/5th of a second. And they’re all over, so it’s not uncommon to have them all around you, rapid-firing until you’re screwed into a corner. I died a lot at those parts.
Though, during a miniboss fight I noticed they gave a lot more warning and it was actually possible to not die horribly there. I THINK they do that normally on the lower difficulties, only going bats*** crazy on you on Hardcore. That’s really the only way I can see that sort of thing getting through testing, honestly.

So, as long as you’re not a super-masochist you’ll be fine. If you are a super-masochist, you’ll probably enjoy it in some dark way anyway. (hehe…eh..) Overall, it’s a really great game regardless of the problem I ran into. I can hardly recommend it more if anything I said about it piqued your interest. Go watch some gameplay.. I won’t be going anywhere…

SO, on the subject of dying, let’s talk about an equally fuzzy game about animals!
This one features a lot of dying. Lots of eating things and if you’re like me, lots of being eaten. (I’M A TERRIBLE POMERANIAN)

Yes, it’s Tokyo Jungle, a PS3 downloadable about an animal- and plant-infested Tokyo where every furry’s favorite apocalypse scenario somehow took place. All humans died off 10 years ago but everything else is okay!

It’s an action/stealth game all about surviving in this harsh jungle-ified Tokyo. There’s a story mode which has you playing different animals and slowly telling the story of how the humans all died out as you find clues left over from civilization. Then there’s Survival mode, where you just try to last as long as you can. (and everything wants to kill you) You gain points for completing little mission objectives (usually having to do with stuff to help you survive) and lasting a long time and you find all sorts of collectibles as you explore. It’s really well done but so far I haven’t had the chance to unlock something less… prey-ish. I mean, the deer can kick a cat off a roof, and the pomeranian is the cutest rabbit-mauling machine ever, but both of them are pretty low on the food chain.

Not that I mind being low on the food chain, but it means a lot of running, and a lot of running faster than the other thing running from the thing that wants to eat you.

It’s a great mix of action and fight/flight, and already I’ve run into a LOT of interesting scenarios and one CRAZY near-death experience I’m still shocked didn’t end my poor deer’s life prematurely. There’s a great mix of mechanics at work, and I’ve only had it for a day. So far, it’s been very much worth the $15. And I’ve played two of the like-60-something animals in the game. It’s crazy how many there are, and they’re all playable. I’ve done one survival session that lasted over an hour (I think) and I still don’t have a clue what the stamina bar is for, so there’s a mechanic in play I probably don’t know a thing about yet.

From here, it looks like there’s a LOT of content to spend time on. And I just love the fact that everything is playable. Even the chicks. They’re like the popcorn chicken of the game, almost no defensive abilities, really slow movement, such a small target that they’re in a whole new low tier all their own compared to everything else. You kind of feel bad slaughtering them for food. And I just unlocked them for play!

Speaking of slaughtering for food, while the “gore” in this game is really more arcadey than realistic, it still heavily features visceral throat-biting, face-clawing, chewing on dead things, etc. You will have to abandon your brothers and sisters as a pack of wolves mauls them and you escape alone to live another day. You will be forced to tear apart cute little dogs and cats and rabbits for the sake of survival.
Tokyo Jungle is a very flatly natural sort of game, very much focused on eat-or-be-eaten. It’s almost like an action game adaptation of the nature channel. Things die, mates must be found and babies must carry on the survival of the family. Most won’t make it to see another year, and when you inevitably die you’re just some predator’s lunch. I really like that about it. Not many games really make use of the different skills of animals, and fewer still try to mimic natural selection and survival of the fittest, but it really does make a great game.

If I haven’t scared you off yet, I’d recommend checking it out. If I have, please watch the following “Tokyo Jungle” gameplay footage and tell yourself it’s all going to be okay: http://youtu.be/AD-B2NcxZDs

%d bloggers like this: