Game Type

I sympathize with Xbox Live Indie Game developers. I really do. It’s a tough little market you guys are trying to conquer. Only a select few have been truly successful in their attempts at it. It’s mostly because your games suck. But if your game is good, it’s probably because Xbox Live Indie Games are sort of buried in the dashboard. People who were hoping that the winter update would fix the issue had good news and bad news. The good news was that Xbox Live Indie Games were now on equal footing with Xbox Live Arcade Games.

The bad news was they were both kind of buried. And the worst news is how many of the new, highly touted features of Xbox Live do not work for XBLIGs.

Mommy’s Best Games wanted to express the frustration of everyone involved and created Game Type. It’s part dashboard parody, part shoot-em-up, and completely useless rubbish. If DLC Quest restored my faith that developers were able to successfully parody the gaming industry, Game Type reminds me why most shouldn’t bother. It has nothing to do with my dislike of shooters or my somewhat indifference to the whole dashboard situation. Game Type is just not funny.

So the idea is you start in a mock-up of the Xbox dashboard. You have to “find” the actual game here. Along the way you’re bombarded by stuff not related to gaming at all. Which is what Microsoft intended the Xbox to be from day one. It was Microsoft’s Trojan Horse. Gaming was just the entry point, because making a console was cheaper than acquiring a cable provider, or a telecom company. No, really! That was the point.

Oh my God, a cat! LULZ or something.

Gamers who feel “betrayed” by the new Xbox dashboard don’t get it. Gaming was just part one of their strategy of getting a consumer item into the living room. It happened to be the cheapest way to get there. And by cheapest, I still mean they took a bath somewhere in billions to get it up and running.  It’s not easy to launch a consumer product. It will probably be another decade or more before they’re not taking on any losses with the Xbox brand. But that’s how it works, and they knew that. It’s a long-term project, something most gamers didn’t realize. They just happened to be the conduit for this expansion.

The time has arrived for Microsoft to start rolling out all the other plans for Xbox, and that rubs Xbox fanboys the wrong way. I guess that’s why Game Type exists. It might aim to take the piss out of the dashboard, but it doesn’t do so very successfully. That’s mostly because they were so lazy in implementing it. There’s only a small handful of things in the fake dashboard to click on, and most of them just offer the same non-gags many times. For example, on the TV page, if you click something it takes you to a crude picture of a football player. Click something else on that page, and you get the same picture.  Um, hilarious? And why does the football player also appear in the movies part of the dash? Is this some kind of Friday Night Lights tribute?

It also doesn’t help that there are ads for other Xbox Live Indie Games all over the fake dashboard. Now wait a second. If this thing is supposed to be lampooning the actual dashboard, why on Earth are XBLIGs everywhere here? I get that these guys are all friends and that Mommy’s Best is just trying to throw some of its chums a bone here,  but you can’t rally against something for not doing something and then show the thing you’re making fun of doing exactly that!

Once you get to the actual game, the entire joke, gag, and purpose of this whole thing falls completely on its face. The game is fucking horrible. It’s a shoot-em-up where you play as the hoodie-wearing girl who occupies the actual GAME TYPE option on the real dashboard. You scroll her up and down, shooting at various guys, collecting the stuff they drop, and going for a high score on the global leaderboard.

Here’s the trick to it: hold down X. A semen geyser will erupt from the hoodie girl, destroying everything it touches. There’s no limit to the amount you can use this, so grab some duct tape and enjoy the ride. It ain’t much of a ride. There’s only one stage that repeats at a faster speed when you clear it. It says it adds some baddies too, but if it does the amount is negligible. Anyway, the game is a total piece of shit. And then once I finally died with a score close to four-million points, it didn’t record it. It recorded my previous efforts, but not that one. Bull. Shit. I had four million points, and I want my four million mother fucking points.

So in a nutshell, Game Type wanted to poke fun at the plight of all XBLIG developers. To do so, Mommy’s Best Games made an unfunny dashboard parody and then a game that would be embarrassing to own if it was a free iPhone app. Take that, Microsoft! I guess it was supposed to be a winking nod to other developers, but it still falls flat. Most of the XBLIG developers I know have practically been in a funeral-like mindset ever since the dashboard update took place. If that’s the case, Game Type is like eulogizing your best friend by walking up and farting in the widow’s face.

Game Type was developed by Mommy’s Best Games

80 Microsoft Points are really truly honestly going to post a World Wars II review this week in the making of this review. 

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

16 Responses to Game Type

  1. But it’s 80 mspoints, what did we expect, Gears of War 4 or something?

    • Kairi Vice says:

      80 Microsoft Points have bought me plenty of great games on here. If you are implying that I need to lower my expectations, you are officially a magnificent retard.

      • Just another XBLIG dev guy says:

        Well… yes and no. I mean, if there is a type of game that I am really hooked on, I think it is valid to buy a $1.00 game of such type, even if it is a bad one. If I like it even a bit, then I made a good purchase.

        Moment of truth: Yes, I’ve purchase a couple of Indie games that have gotten bad reviews. I don’t play them that much, but when I do, I get entertained.

    • Dcon6393 says:

      by that statement there you should have no issue going out and buying every single 80 msp indie game. I mean they are only 80 msp, they must be a steal

      • Just another XBLIG dev guy says:

        Well, the other extreme is bad too, that is, why bother with Indie games when you can go and buy a high-standard game at a mega-superstore.
        I think it is best to keep an open mind. If a game is good enough for you, then it is ok to buy it, even if it cannot measure to other game’s standards.

  2. Mike says:

    It’s a stretch to say XBLIG is on equal footing with XBLA.

    XBLIG is only accessible from the Game Type menu, and not included with all other games in the Genre, New Releases, and by Title lists (all of these existed in the old dashboard). XBLIG do not show in your history or status, and you cannot set a beacon for an XBLIG. XBLIG cannot access cloud storage, have achievements, or leaderboards without some peer-to-peer hacks that only work if someone is playing the game non-stop. The system behind XBLIG breaks frequently, causing new games to appear far down the new release list and missing the one chance to get exposure (this matters because even favorable exposure on penny arcade has not translated to game downloads – dashboard placement trumps all). XBLIG is limited to a zip file of 150MB as well, but really its 50MB because more than 50MB means the XBLIG must be priced above a $1, and we know what happens if you price more than $1…

    So yea, after all that (and a few more things I left off like requiring you to be online to play, can only be played with a LIVE account, no internet connections allowed), XBLA is “equal” with XBLIG.

  3. Nathan Fouts says:

    Hi Kairi,
    Thanks for checking the game out! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the game. I apologize for the score sharing bug you encountered and I’m working on a fix for the score sharing issue (on games past loop 3). Based on your review, I realize you may not be interested in playing the game again, but for any readers that are, I’ll mention it here when the update is finished.

  4. darthuvius says:

    Your first paragraph made me lol, thanks. You do make a few good points concerning MS and the XBOX. I bought my XBOX for games but I also watch a lot of movies on there. I don’t use it for music though, it seems like a large amount of energy to use for a song.

    Soon enough the standard interface will be gone, replaced by a personalized dashboard that responds to all sorts of individual user input, audio, visual, and kinetic.

    • I think you mean: “Soon enough the standard interface will be gone, replaced by a personalized dashboard that responds to all sorts of individual user input, audio, visual, if you own a kinetic.”

      The most disappointing this about the dashboard update for me (aside from indie games being harder to find of course) was that it seemed to make it harder for those of us who just use a controller to navigate. It seemed to me most of the goodies thrown in were just to try to get people to buy a kinect.

      As for the game, I got enough of a kick out of it to drop a buck, but it’s certainly nothing stunning. Still, I’m a sucker for shooters, even bad ones.

  5. Gamertag: Alfred Saxon says:

    Miss Vice doesn’t get Japanese Shooting Games. You suck at Chain Crusher. But if you are buying theses XBLIG’s with your money and not taking free codes from Devs more power to you. I hate people who don’t buy games like the rest of us. I like you. Your brutal.

  6. Alan C says:

    I hoped I’d like Game Type. In the event, I didn’t hate it but didn’t get that much enjoyment from it either. The main problem for me was the way it was handled.

    I actually quite like the thing about repeating with growing difficulty. Whether it would sustain me for long periods of play is a different matter, but it’s a novel idea and I think it has potential. Sadly, the actually shooting element of the whole thing falls flat. With one weaker attack (A) and one stronger (X), there needs to be some sort of balance. But really you can just hold X and weave up and down. That attack will power through anything pretty quickly. The only reason to release X is to collect money – which, since it gives you nothing but score, is kind of pointless.

    With a better balance between the strong and weak attacks, and/or use of money for upgrades or even superficial unlocks, Game Type could have been better. The satire is less elegant than in DLC Quest, but I still found it quite charming. As it stands, though, the game comes down to just holding a button for a few minutes. Not terrible, but wasted potential.

  7. Nathan Fouts says:

    There is a new version of Game Type available. This update includes
    1. High Score sharing works properly now.
    2. The weapons have been updated (basic is stronger, and shoots up/down/forward), beam weapon has extra attack which turns enemy bullets into score drops.
    3. Beam weapon is now powered by score drops.
    4. Score multiplier now builds off of picking up score drops.
    More fixes explained here:

    • I approve of powering the X attack using drops. That solves two problems in one go – it prevents you just using X all the time, and it gives the collecting the drops some purpose beyond just increasing score.

      Does the beam really turn bullets into score drops now? I haven’t seen that at all, even though I’ve been looking for it. Curious.

      • Nathan Fouts says:

        Hi Alan C,
        I like tea as well.

        The Kick Beam can convert enemy shots into score drops in the following manner:
        0. Get the new update of the game. Start playing the shmup part.
        1. Enter the new Time Pulse mode (right trigger by default).
        2. When you see a line of bullets (like from the crabs) shoot them with the Kick Beam (X by default).
        3. As long as the background is red, you’re in Time Pulse mode, and this will work.

        You can chain this together by releasing fire, which sucks up cash drops and then shooting again. This works well in really crazy moments when the screen is filling with bullets.

        • Thanks! I’ve played the updated version, but completely missed the addition of Time Pulse mode. Now I know about it, I’ll play again later and see how that alteration pans out. Thanks again.

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