Art and Horror in Mundaun

Explore Alpine mysteries in a Puzzle based Horror with Mundaun! This game has a focus on Art and storytelling, and its overwhelmingly positive reviews rave about the vibes this art piece gives off.

The art of the game has a combination of Two and 3 dimensional aspects, and is entirely in black and white. The overlay of 2-d textures heightens the uncanny valley often seen in 3-d video games.  The consistent  art style provides a feast for the eyes and increases the spook factor when a monster fades into view.

The atmospheric ambience  is achieved through the use of  rough textures of the mountain , while things like plants and animals are carefully detailed. By making the sky light grey and the mountains dark, there is just enough contrast to distinguish the two as you traverse the map.

The simplified human shapes of the characters lend credence to the appearance of the monsters. Having a simple style throughout  lets the player maintain their suspension of disbelief.

The story-book-esque style contributes to the games easy-going gameplay, with minimal stats to keep track of an the ability to run or avoid monsters. The game only has  a few jump scares, relying on psychological horror to keep you on the edge of your seat.

A pleasant vista
From the game’s STEAM page

Blaseball’s Boom

Musicals and Music video, fan animations and artwork…. for a fantasy baseball browser game?

It’s indeed the case!

Blaseball is an absurdist online baseball game that was split into “seasons” (a la Apex Legends) with a rulebook with chunks that are redacted for the player. There’s a shop with in-game items purchased with in-game money won by backing teams, similar to various irl fantasy leagues.

The trick with this game is the unusual stats, the ability for you (as a player) to vote on actions of the teams or rules of the game, and “blessings” (random powerups) get randomly assigned to the blaseball players on the teams, like “performance enhancing demons” and “bloodlust”.

The trick is both in choice making, and knowing the players enough to decide which teams to bet on.

For fans, the joy is in the story telling, the characters, the competition, and the eagerness of waiting for your team to win.

Robotech: The Macross Saga HD Edition

Robotech: The Macross Saga HD Edition was released on the Nintendo Switch on March 4th. It’s a remaster of the original Game Boy Advance side-scrolling shoot em up game that came out in 2002. The game is based on the anime, Robotech, from the 1980s. The original game was developed by Lucky Chicken Games and published by TDK Mediactive, both of which are now defunct. The remake was released by the California-based indie developer Galaxy Pest Control, founded in 2010. Many of the people at GPC who worked on the remaster were also a part of the team that made the original Game Boy Advance version, so the game mostly stays true to its origins. The remaster mostly focuses on enhanced assets, models, and audio.

There are a total of 10 playable characters if you include the unlockable characters.

Blast from the Past

Robotech: The Macross Saga takes the player through the events of the first season of the Robotech anime. You play as one of the characters from the show while piloting a Veritech fighter. Veritech fighters are unique mech units that can transform into three different modes. You can switch between all three modes in the game. Fighter mode is like a military aircraft, Battloid mode is like a huge robot suit, and Guardian mode is like a mix between both. There are also special missions where you play as a Destroid. Destroids are essentially walking tanks that cause major damage to the enemy. The game features five playable characters from the show to start and you can unlock an additional five more characters by playing the game.

The game’s visuals have been fully overhauled.

A Major Update

While most of the gameplay features remain the same, the game looks very different. The player and enemy models have all been enhanced to 3D. All the backgrounds have also been updated with higher resolutions. The developers also added enhanced lighting and various other effects. Beyond the graphics, the audio also received an update. The developers added soundtracks from the anime in hopes to connect players more with the story. Plus, you’ll be able to play local multiplayer on the Switch. You won’t need to use a link cable like back in the old gays with the Game Boy Advance. The game is only $9.99 USD on the Nintendo Switch store, so consider picking it up if you’re a fan of classic side-scrolling shoot em ups.

#Robotech #Macross #Remaster #Sidescroller #Mech

Dungeon design in DnD: The Rooms, Hallways, and the bits between your players and the Boss

A home is not an empty house; even the most neat space still has stuff in it. In Dnd,  the problem is how to describe a space without tripping up your players, while maintaining the atmosphere you want.

Where is this place going to be? Will you build the building around the location? Will you develop the building based on its occupant? Both?

Think about what people would need to live in your chosen location. For example: A Cult that lives below ground; where do they get their food? What do they do for entertainment? What do they find important in their cult, and what kind of space does that occupy? In that case, you could add in pantries, game rooms, a few sacrificial alters in front of a statue with it’s own room, a space for priests in the cult, a space for digging tools, an area for certain building or support materials, and some sort of path to remove dirt that’s been freshly dug.

Even with just this, there’s already a map being developed.

To build a place around its occupants can be more complex than just location-based design. For example, If you have archers in your castle, you’d want the tall, thin windows and battlements that will protect them; however, non-European cultures tend to use mounted archers (those on horses) more often, so the buildings in those areas don’t account for defense-based archery.

More simply, you can examine the origin and design of your boss, and what pieces of architecture would accentuate those traits. an Eldritch beast would call for a dark and imposing building, with heavy materials, the tall ceilings oozing with foreboding shadows, and stained glass windows alluding to something far beyond the Players’ knowledge. There is also a need to consider the atmosphere you’re trying to create, and creating a moodboard (a selection of images associated with what emotions you want to convey) can help.

For the individual rooms, you can search up a list of items created in the era you wish (for more historically-inspired pieces), or a list of items found in books or media for the location (for sci-fi or high fantasy). You can also review your list of occupants and wonder about what they might need for daily life, and then scatter about these items.

To spice up the interior, you can add in Furniture! Use words that can describe the atmosphere or boss as well. The furniture a person has can tell you something about them. A “bone-thin chair with a black metal back” has a much different vibe than a “warm, plush couch, made of quilted velvet”. A visible lack of furniture can set up an atmosphere of barrenness, or even when placed in context, an air of suspiciousness.  Furniture can be minimalistic, decorated, homely, and can help set up your atmosphere as well as any sounds made by a you-tube playlist.

The materials used in the room can also give it flavor. Describing types of stone using their textures or appearances, or using the wallpaper to its maximum effect. Add in color-meanings or flower symbology to tell the story of the place or its inhabitants. How well-maintained are the rooms? Do people care about the place they’re in?

You can also Give clues about your Boss in main rooms. Shed skin for scaly beasts, the odd hair or piece of fur, or even a closet with the Boss’ preferred outfits. Does your Boss have a particular diet, or habits that are unique to their species or situation?

All of the above can be used to world-build in a way can be as subtle (or dramatic) as you’d like!

Have fun designing!

Astrokicker

Astrokicker was released as an Early Access game on Steam on January 29th. It was developed by the small and relatively new indie studio Quadrivo Software, LLC. Founded in 2019, this is their first game on Steam. But their founder, Lee Lorenz, has almost four decades of experience in software development. Having sold his first game in 1983, he’s a fan of the classics. Astrokicker pays homage to classic shootemup games while also adding a few twists to the game. It tells its entire story without any cutscenes, allowing the player to experience it entirely through gameplay instead.

Astrokicker will take you back to the old days.

It’s Astrockickin Time

As soon as you start playing Astrokicker, you’ll start to feel the nostalgia of games from years past. Everything from the visuals to the gameplay will  remind you of games from decades ago. At its core, Astrokicker is an arcade space shooter with 100 levels, numerous powerups, and over 25 variants of enemy fighters. But even deeper than that, it’s a fresh take on the experience that gamers were given when they played a classic space shooter. The game features both a modern and a retro mode. The modern mode lets you fly in any direction and has more advanced graphics. Ships are rendered in 3D, the user interface is more detailed, and there are 100 unique parallax scrolling backgrounds. The retro mode gives the game a much older feel. Ships are limited to 8 directions and the graphics will reflect the older look that the mode is going for.

There’s plenty of unique gameplay to experience through the game’s 100 levels.

Astrokicker is expected to be in Early Access for another 2 to 3 months. While the game is already fully playable, Quadrivo wants to listen to community feedback and optimize every user’s experience within the game. Improvements might be made to the music and sound effects. There might also be a new boss fight added before the final release. That being said, there’s already a full game on display. At only $10, it’s an inexpensive option for any gamer. But make sure that you have a controller if you intend to pick this game up. Keyboard and mouse gameplay isn’t currently supported.

#Astrokicker #Quadrivo #Space #Shooter #Retro #Indie

Skul: The Hero Slayer

Skul: The Hero Slayer had its Version 1.0 release on January 21st of 2021. The game has been in Early Access on Steam since last February and its developers have finally decided to present its full release. The game is developed in South Korea by SouthPAW Games and published by NEOWIZ. Skul: The Hero Slayer is a rogue-lite 2D action platformer where you play as a skeleton on a mission. You must save your king from the Imperial Army and the Adventurers that took him as a prisoner. But saving the Demon King won’t be easy.

Skul can appear in many different forms.

Switch your Skull Up

Skul has a powerful ability. He has the ability to totally change his form by replacing his skull with another. When he finds a new skull, he completely changes his fighting skills and abilities. For example, he could equip a skull that transforms him into a fighter like Robinhood. With each pre-release update, the developers added more and more skulls and unique looks for Skul. There are now over 50 different skulls that give Skul a unique combination of attack range, power, and speed. You can also carry two skulls at once. That means you can switch forms to take on multiple enemies in the smartest way possible.

The game features a wide cast of enemies.

The Power of Dark Quartz

Skul flips the typical plot of an action game on its head. In this game, you’re actually fighting the demon-slaying Adventurers and you’re trying to save the Demon King. Most of your enemies are soldiers in the Imperial Army or in the party of Adventurers. But the hardest fights come when you have to fight against the game’s massive bosses. Dark Quartz is a powerful material that corrupts life and creates giant monsters that Skul must vanquish. Skull is usually $19.99, but it will be 20% off until February 3rd to celebrate the game’s full release. If you’re a fan of rogue-lite games or 2D action platformers, consider giving this game a try.

#Skul #Indie #2D #roguelite #platformer #action

Flea

Flea is an indie game released by the one-man studio Lowtek Games on October 30th 2020. Alastair Low ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a platforming game that would support a physical NES release. The NES was originally released in 1983 by Nintendo and changed the gaming industry as a whole. Having been a huge fan of NES games when he was younger, Low wanted to create a new game that would run on his favorite old console. Alongside the Flea physical NES cartridges that have been produced, you can also buy physical discs for the SEGA Dreamcast or download the game on Steam. All in all, this is a very unconventional 2020 release with a fun backstory behind it.

Flea uses other bugs as enemies, like mosquitoes.

Back to the Basics

Flea is a 2D retro platformer. It’s a relatively simple game where you play as Henry the Hyperactive Flea. Henry jumps around and navigates enemies that take the form of different types of bugs You also collect blood in order to complete the levels. There are a total of 80 levels with plenty of interesting characters in the game. Characters include the Fleadom Fighters, Humflea, Taiflea, and the Itchhiker to name a few. This game doesn’t bring much innovation to the table, but that’s the point. Flea attempts to entertain the player by bringing them a classic video game experience straight from the 80’s.

Nostalgia Galore

Like many of the games that appeared on the original NES, Flea can be very challenging. Although certain levels might be brutally difficult, there is enough fun to be had so that most fans of retro games will be able to get through to the end. Flea is $10 on Steam but it’s 50% off until January 5th at noon. If you’re a fan of retro platformers, then consider giving Flea a shot.

#Indie #Platformer #NES

Call Of Duty World At War (Retro)

Call Of Duty World At War

The year was 2008. Call of Duty: World At War was a thing. Look at these platform release dates..

Call of Duty - World At War
Call of Duty – World At War

I honestly did not play this game a lot – but it had one of the best promo trailers I have ever seen:

[fvplayer src=”https://chrisjonesgaming.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/Cod_WAW.mp4″ splash=”https://chrisjonesgaming.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Vendetta_-_Surveying_the_Field.jpg”]

Call Of Duty – World At War
Call Of Duty – World At War

Call Of Duty – World At War
Call Of Duty – World At War

Crash Bandicoot Launch Event in Queensbury NY

Gamestop - Crash Bandicoot - Chris Jones Gaming

Queensbury NY USA – 29 June 2017 – The Gamespot Store in Queensbury NY was jam packed with fans of the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, in a 30 minute early launch event Thursday evening June 29.

London, UK. – June 2017 – It’s an epic blast from the past, as both your favourite marsupials from Crash Bandicoot™ are back! Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), announced today that for the first time Crash’s smart and spirited little sister, Coco, will be playable throughout the Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy. In Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, players can take a visually stunning, nostalgic ride as Crash or Coco in all three Crash games that started all of this: Crash Bandicoot™, Crash Bandicoot™ 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot™ 3: Warped. E3 attendees can take the famous duo for a whirl by visiting the N. Sane Crash Experience in the lobby of the South Hall, where Activision is rolling out the orange carpet with hands-on demo stations and daily giveaways to welcome Crash Bandicoot fans and new players alike.

For the First Time, Fans will be Able to Play as Crash’s Sassy Sister in All Three Games!

“We are so excited to give players the ability to play as Coco in all three games in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy,” said Jennifer Oneal, studio head for Vicarious Visions. “She’s not just Crash’s little sister, she is a force to be reckoned with. Our vision was to create a modern Coco for Crash fans and newcomers and we think they’re going to love playing as her.”

In the remastered Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Coco has decided to hack into the Time Twister to travel back in time to help Crash in his previous adventures. Now as a fully playable (and a bit sassy) character across all three games, fans can switch between playing as Crash or Coco. Both characters have an N. Sane set of special attacks – each with their own style! Where Crash body slams enemies, Coco takes them out with the impact of a double leg drop! Fans will love to see all her new moves and animations, including idle moves like dancing with Crash.

Activision recently left a nearly complete build of the remastered Crash trilogy at Naughty Dog, and I’ve played all three games,” said Evan Wells, President, Naughty Dog. “Vicarious Visions took amazing care in maintaining the feel and soul of the originals but brought the visuals up to modern day standards and added a number of new features that’s made them even more fun to play than remembered.”

Fans will enjoy seeing their beloved ‘90s video game icons like never before in this fully-remastered game collection. Developed by Vicarious Visions, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy takes advantage of PlayStation 4 features and offers brand-new lighting, animations, textures, models and recreated cinematics—all in dazzling “N. Hanced Fur-K” and PS4 Pro HD.

Full analogue stick support and a unified save system and checkpoint system will make it easier for new fans to enjoy the classic adventures. And improved bonus levels and time trials in this epic trilogy will challenge the hardest of the ‘Coot core! Fans will enjoy seeing how they stack up against their friends and other players around the world via the online leaderboards.

Activision and Vicarious Visions are honouring the heritage of Crash throughout the trilogy in a variety of ways, including a fully-remastered game soundtrack packed with all the didgeridoos, xylophones and thumpin’ bass lines you can handle, as well as newly recorded dialogue from some of the familiar voice actors who appear in the original Crash Bandicoot games, including Jess Harnell, Lex Lang and Debi Derryberry, among others.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is slated to spin, jump and wump onto store shelves on 30th June, 2017 and is available now worldwide for pre-order on PS4 and PS4 Pro. For more information about Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, please visit www.crashbandicoot.com or follow @CrashBandicoot on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Retro – 10 Years – Star Trek: Legacy

First Contact

I just had to post this..

10 years ago (or so), in a galaxy far away…

Rockville, MD – August 14, 2006 – Bethesda Softworks® announced today that all five actors who portrayed the STAR TREK series captains – William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew – will provide voiceovers in the STAR TREK: Legacy™ video game. The collaboration marks the first time the five actors have participated in a single STAR TREK project together.

“I am delighted to have the chance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Trek with my fellow captains by providing our voices to STAR TREK: Legacy,” said Shatner. “Bethesda Softworks has done an excellent job in creating an exciting game that stays true to Star Trek’s roots and accurately incorporates elements from each series.”

STAR TREK: Legacy is in development for both the Xbox 360™ videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. STAR TREK: Legacy is scheduled to launch this fall under license from CBS Consumer Products. The STAR TREK franchise, which debuted with the Original Series in 1966, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the five actors who portrayed the STAR TREK captains take part in this project,” said Todd Vaughn, vice president of development, Bethesda Softworks. “Their participation, especially since it takes place during the series’ 40th anniversary, will add to the fun and excitement of the game and emphasizes our commitment to provide fans with the most authentic STAR TREK experience possible.”

The five actors will reprise their roles from their respective series as follows:
• William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk from the STAR TREK: The Original Series – 1966-1969
• Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from STAR TREK: The Next Generation® – 1987-1994
• Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko from STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine® –1993-1999
• Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway from STAR TREK: Voyager® – 1995-2001
• Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer in STAR TREK: Enterprise™ – 2001-2005

STAR TREK: Legacy places you in the role of the Admiral of a task force of warships, which you control in small and large-scale battles. Test your strategic and tactical skills in real-time combat featuring over 60 authentic spaceships, full damage modeling, and spectacular visual effects. Play through the single-player campaign or in the extensive multiplayer mode with a group of friends online.
The compelling storyline in Legacy spans the entire STAR TREK Universe, including the Original Series, STAR TREK: The Next Generation®, STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine®, STAR TREK: Voyager®, and STAR TREK: Enterprise™ eras. STAR TREK: Legacy is being developed under the direction of Bethesda Softworks at the studios of Mad Doc Software, creators of the highly successful and critically acclaimed STAR TREK Armada II.
Celebrity acquisition and voice production services provided by Blindlight LLC.
STAR TREK: Legacy has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information on the title, visit the official Web site at http://startrek.bethsoft.com.