River City Ransom Underground!

I wanted to make a special post about River City Ransom Underground, because this is the kind of game that we need to show support for — a legendary comeback for a legendary game, true to its roots and more charming than ever.  For those of you who don’t know about the original River City Ransom, it’s time to find out:

As you can see, this is one of the greatest videogames of all time, and it’s never had a decent sequel.  Conatus Creative is pushing for the game on Kickstarter, and it only needs $70k left before it will be funded!!

One of the gorgeous, addictive attacks in River City Ransom Underground

Check out the Kickstarter page here, and pledge something toward it, I beg you!  Let’s reach the PS4 and PS Vita stretch goal of $280k!

Woe Is Gaming! Wildman Kickstarter

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I’ve wanted to comment on Chris Taylor’s Wildman Kickstarter ever since it first appeared.  The sale of Gas Powered Games and the suffering of Wildman was fun to watch for the same reason I cheered the bankruptcy of THQ: they didn’t know what the hell they were doing and needed a wake-up call.  I’m beyond tired of game developers operating in a vacuum, making ridiculous assumptions about “what gamers want” and creating their own narrow-minded formulas for success.

In a way, Kickstarter is a much-needed dose of reality in the game industry, and I wish every major game had to survive some kind of crowd funding test before it could enter production.  We might have been spared derivative garbage like Homefront and Saints Row, since they would’ve relied on actual interest rather than cynical multimillion dollar ad campaigns revolving around dildos.  Think of how many billions are wasted in marketing instead of being spent on development — it’s impossible to sympathize.  Gas Powered Games is privately owned, of course, but that also means Chris Taylor alone is to blame for its underwhelming pitch.  Get out of the vacuum, sir.  We live in the Internet age, where millions of passionate players struggle to be heard by the industry, and although it may not seem coherent or constructive, Kickstarter encourages you to start small, listen carefully, and build on success… if you can humble yourself.

The Wildman pitch video was a raw, unblinking look into the hubris of a developer’s mind, telling us practically nothing but asking for over a million dollars in return.  That’s how they think.  And now he tries to say Kickstarter is the real problem.

Really?  Is that why Star Citizen has raised nearly $8 million using the exact same model?

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This is part of the Woe is Gaming! series, which analyzes events and topics in order to heighten the discussion of the business, design, and culture of the gaming phenomenon

Bare Mettle’s “Sui Generis” game engine is both astounding and embarrassing

Sui Generis needs help being funded:

The question is, would you give it money?  As I listen to game creator Madoc Evans explain that the goal was to create a realistic, open world like he imagined when he was younger, I feel deeply awkward, because while he explains the genius of real-time muscle simulations and nuanced combat physics, I’m watching one of the silliest fights ever take place on the screen.

Characters flail their arms like children and stumble around without a shred of grace.  Every attack is aimless and uncoordinated, and when they hit they either seem to do nothing at all, or knock the character down.  As the victim slowly and mindlessly crawls back to his feet, the attacker stands there, aloof.  Where is the aggression?  Where is the martial training?  Where is the panic and bravery?  Where is the soul of the fight?

I wouldn’t criticize any of this, mind you, except that they’re bragging about it, which means that they don’t see any major problem.  They’re not working on making the combat more engaging or tactical.  They’re happy.  I wouldn’t be.

Support Path of Exile, get early access

I don’t know about you, but ever since Activision made ruining the Diablo series a goal, I’ve been hankering for an alternative.  Of course, the most obvious alternative is the upcoming Torchlight II, which, like the first Torchlight, is made by the original Diablo team and has proven itself to be top-notch.  But my hankering is more specific than that.

I hanker for something dark and gritty, with more than four classes, and some serious lore.  Something with a non-money economy, huge freedom of choice, and a better health recovery system.  Those are just a few reasons why Path of Exile is so special to me.  I recently took part in the Stress Test weekend, and came away with very good impressions.  It’s a flagrant Diablo II ripoff at its core (thankfully), but it feels more like a true sequel because of some really creative improvements, and I suggest you take the time to find out about them:

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