Things X 5 – March 3, 2014

by Francois Joron

1

Sketchy indie

01_Ballpoint

The Wii U might be struggling with retail titles – although many people here at 4CR claim DK Tropical Freeze to be one of the best platformers they’ve played – but the eShop library is steadily growing with great indie offerings. I’ve been eyeing Ballpoint Universe for quite a while now since its PC debut and its developer, California-based Arachnid Games, has announced the game will be released on March 18. The title mixes platforming with shoot’em up portions where you can customize your ship, all presented with a striking artistic flair resembling sketchbook doodles. Simply put, it looks fantastic.

2

… and even more indies

Sorry if that sounds like a bit of PR, but I’m quite happy the Wii U is being embraced by indies, it gives the unloved machine a kind of unexpected vocation. And it’s a voaction that seems much more fitted to my tastes anyway. Just last week, two new promising titles have been announced for the eShop. Italian developer MixedBad announced forma.8, a space exploration/metroidvania hybrid that sports some neat visuals that are part iOS hit Badlands, part Pixeljunk Shooter but all beautiful. It’s also coming out on the PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac and iOS. So, one way or another you’ll be able to play it.

KnapNok Games (Spin The Bottle) and Nifflas (NightSky, Knytt Underground) are collaborating to create the eShop exclusive Affordable Space Adventures. A game that not only has the best name ever but that also utilizes the GamePad second screen heavily. Something that even Nintendo has failed to do so. NintendoLife has the full rundown on the upcoming eShop game.

By the way, Nifflas’ Knytt Underground is currently on sale on the Wii U eShop at 50% or $6.99. In other eShop news (which seems to be my trend lately) the first Nintendo Framework game Blok Drop U by RCMADIAX will be released this week. A physic puzzle game that seems to be worth a look (plus, it’ll only be $1.99) and I’m pretty sure our fellow “play-everything-love-everything” rebel Antonio Garcia will soon have a feature on the game.

no31

Analysis of a checkpoint

03_LastofUs

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera published an interesting article detailing the anatomy of checkpoints in games and more importantly, why bad checkpoints still exists today. Joining the conversation is Benson Russell, senior game designer at Naughty Dog who worked on the save system in The Last of Us, one of the technical features that impressed me the most in the game by respawning your character almost in the heat of your last confrontation. “It benefited the gameplay like crazy but, it was a pain in the ass from our perspective.” It’s a great read, check it out.

4

3 years of 3DS with 30 menu previews

BitBlock‘s Josh Thomas compiled 30 menu previews to celebrate the 3-years anniversary of the 3DS in Japan.

I’ve always liked those little dioramas rotating on the 3DS upper screen, some of them are pretty creative, like the VVVVVV one. I kinda miss those splash screens intro in the Wii U interface, it was a neat way to put you in a mood for a game or just browse around when wondering what to play.

no5

Coffee and red seeds with Haitian rhum, my new addiction.

05_DPCut

I was going to wait until our upcoming Games Rebels Play but I just need to let it out. But I’ll keep it brief: I’m overly obsessed with Deadly Premonition. I picked the Director’s Cut edition for my PS3 during the holidays, expecting a laughable, so bad it’s good video game but not such a strange, fascinating experience. I’ve been religiously playing the game almost every evening (for the record, a glass of Haitian rhum has been my consistent companion) for the past two weeks and I can safely say it’s the most disconcerting game I’ve played. I’m telling you, Deadly Premonition is most probably a masterpiece but, more on that in the next Games Rebels Play.

Don’t forget, you can drop me hints on my Twitter account. Also, you are welcome to send me a friend request on my Wii U, my Nintendo Network ID is Jorf-Jorf. My 3DS Friend Code is 5069-3920-3758. If you want to snoop at what I’m playing on PS3 my PSN ID is l_am_error. Have a great week!

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