And you may ask yourself, “Well… how did I get here?”
This weekend is associated with no particular holiday or milestone and yet — thanks to the munificence of Space Emperor Xerxes XIV, whose every howl is like music to his subjects — it is quite possibly the biggest discount weekend of the year so far.
Some slightly worrying news about Chroma Squad, one of our most anticipated games of the year. Turns out that Brazilian studio Behold’s parody of the Japanese super sentai TV shows of the 1980s and 90s was a bit too on-the-nose for entertainment behemoth Saban, who hold the intellectual property rights to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
In a backers-only update (entitled “A small hiccup”) to Chroma Squad’s Kickstarter page today, Behold said that Saban’s attorneys had “been in contact with [them] for a while now”. Saban has apparently played a development build of Chroma Squad provided by Behold and found that the game infringes on their IP.
Behold say that Saban have offered them a deal where the rights-holders would be cut in on Chroma Squad’s royalties. I talked today to Behold’s Saulo Camarotti and asked him if this meant the game was going to be held up. “No at all,” he told me. “We’re [about to release] a new version for the backers and early-access players. And everything is on its way.”
Camarotti told me that he’s hoping that this doesn’t end up in court. “I really want to make a win-win negotiation with them,” he told me.
After the jump I’ve got the latest Chroma Squad trailer alongside some video of Saban’s Power Rangers — decide for yourself (in your esteemed legal opinion) if Behold are infringing.
There’s a whole generation of adults alive today who have never actually seen a 1970s American cop show. I am one of them. The closest I’ve ever come to an episode of Rockford Files or Banacek is the “Sabotage” video. And yet we all possess some genetic background knowledge of 70s cop show ephemera. Big aviator shades. Short-sleeved dress shirts with shoulder holsters. Casual disregard for rules. Sedans. Mistrust of (other) authority figures. Sideburns. The 70s cop show is part of our passive cultural literacy the way The Song of Roland was for the Franks and Dora the Explorer is for Millennials.
Over at Pocket Gamer yesterday, Harry Slater gave us a look at the forthcoming PC, iOS & Android action game LA Cops. Underneath the epidermis, there is nothing about this game that wouldn’t work equally well as a more conventionally military-themed game like Breach & Clear. And yet creator Ollie Clarke seems to be one of us, haunted by 1970s cops he’s never actually watched on TV, and so LA Cops is set in that semi-mythical age of the bellbottomed trouser and it looks great.
Gameplay-wise, this is a real-time isometric shooter, but in that PG preview creator Clarke bigs up the tactical aspects. I wish in my heart that it was just a turn-based game but maybe the pace is manageable enough that it will work on a touchscreen. I’d love a cop-themed Syndicate on my iPad but if this turns out to have the wired pulse of a Hotline Miami then surely mouse & keyboard will be preferable. We’ll see.
LA Cops is due out in the last quarter of 2014 on iOS, Android, and PC. Head over to PG to read Slater’s hands-on and watch a gameplay video after the jump.
You might recall Liege, one of the Kickstarters that rode in at the tail end of the 2012/2013 mania for crowdfunding.Liege typifies what Kickstarter is for: a pitch that any traditional publisher would have emphatically said no to, being a lavishly (read: expensively) hand-animated game in a genre not known for chart-topping sales.
So far at least, it looks as though the game’s almost-3,000 backers picked a good horse: though the fantasy tactical RPG doesn’t look on track to ship this month as originally planned, developer John Rhee is making tangible progress and the game looks just like the too-good-to-be-true concepts we saw last year. Rhee has just released the first significant chunk of gameplay video.
The video shows the game’s tutorial stage, so the combat on display is nothing too titilating, and the nighttime setting isn’t a good showcase for Rhee’s colourful art style, but Liege looks exquisitely like a Don Bluth film, with smoothly waxed-over transitions between cutscenes, exploration, and fighting. If the combat engine and scenarios are as good as the game is pretty, Liege will be stellar.
Liege is in the works for a dizzying array of platforms: iOS & Android, but also Playstation 4, Vita, WiiU, PC, Mac, and Linux. There’s no new release date but Rhee has told backers that there will be a playable alpha build for them soon.
Way back in 2012 the developers of Barkley 2* told me that their epic cyberpunk basketball comedy JRPG (the sequel to 2008′s absurd masterpiece Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden) would be coming to mobile as well as PC. If this is the first time you’re hearing about Barkley, the shortest primer on the game is it takes place on post-apocalyptic Earth where NBA legend Charles Barkley accidentally destroyed the City of New York by performing the forbidden Chaos Dunk at Madison Square Garden, leading to basketball’s prohibition. It actually gets stranger than that, for what it’s worth.
Apparently inoculated against ideas like “scope creep” and “budgets”, the Tales of Game’s crew announced this morning on the Barkley 2 Kickstarter page that there’s another Barkley game — a mobile game — in parallel development. BBall Tactics will be to Barkley 2 what Blitzball was to Final Fantasy X, which is to say that it will hopefully be a ridiculous time-sink from which there is no escape. Turn-based basketball with cybernetically enhanced NBA all-stars for iOS & Android.
Obviously there’s a lot of placeholder art in that screenshot up there, but have a look at the video Tales of Game’s posted after the jump. What about the core Barkley 2 game? The once-predicted December 2013 release date has come and gone but the game is in alpha and ToG have been posting updates to Facebook with comforting regularity.
*Full title: “The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 – Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie – Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa”
Well somebody sacrificed an animal to the right deity this weekend (it wasn’t me, unless you count the dry, brillo-like chicken I overcooked for dinner yesterday) because this weekend’s price drops are a standout bunch that can be recommended almost entirely without reservation.
Normally my voice is the loudest and shrillest in condemning the gameplay-free trailer, but when a gameplay-free trailer features 1) Richard Nixon, 2) a Curtis Mayfield-adjacent funk soundtrack, and 3) extraordinary moustaches, my objections dissolve.
Anyway, I’ve got two videos after the jump of The Masterplan, a top-down heist strategy game being developed by Finno-American studio Shark Punch – one of them is actually turgid with gameplay, but lacks the music. So watch both of them.
The Masterplan a pausable real-time game where you lead a team of crooks through a series of robberies that apparently culminate a very, very big score indeed. The lead platform for the game is desktop but I asked Shark Punch about tablets this morning and the devs assure me that they intend to bring it to mobile, but PC gets the first crack.
Danish studio Full Control appear to have one last gift to bestow onto Space Hulk before they turn their attention entirely to Flashback, their Jagged Alliance prequel. They’ve just revealed a new update to Space Hulk that adds cross-platform multiplayer co-op to the game, so you can now bring a friend along to lead some of your squad’s Space Marines in clearing out a Tyranid-infested derelict.
The turn-based digital re-imaginging of the classic Games Workshop board game was very divisive at launch last year, though it had it’s share of fans, including our own Kelsey. Space Hulk had some technical hitches that have been addressed through patches over the last few months. The game is also very dice-driven and difficult to the point of unfairness as a result — but that’s exactly what the original board game was.