Indies in Due Time: Dream-Build-Play 2012 Episode 4

Kairi: We’re back with yet ANOTHER part of the Dream-Build-Play special.  Hey, there’s 400+ games entered into this year’s competition.  This shit is going to take a while to sort through.  Today’s four games were chosen by Brandon Schmidt, Managing Editor at The Indie Mine, and he also joins us.  Brandon, what brings you here?

Brandon: Well, you asked me to come.  I think you’re only bringing guests on because it saves you the time of actually selecting the games yourself.

Brian: He’s onto us, Kairi.  Abort, abort!

Kairi: Activating abort process.  Brandon, you know that suicide pill we handed you when you came in here?  Would you mind taking that now?

Brandon: Is that why you gave that thing to me?

Kairi: Yea, if someone catches onto our lazy plans, they take the pill.  So that we don’t get caught.

Brandon: Wow, where to begin.  First off, this thing is a Tylenol.

Brian: Too much Tylenol causes liver failure.

Brandon: Second, you usually take the suicide pill yourself, or you kill the person who catches you.

Kairi: So, you’re saying we need to kill you?

Brandon: Um, there’s no good answer to this.  Can we just watch the trailers?

Kairi: Fine.

One Finger Death Punch

Kairi: Wait, this is by Silver Dollar Games.

Brandon: I know.

Kairi: Do you still have that suicide pill?

Brandon: Hey, I never thought in a million years I’d be looking forward to a title from Silver Dollar Games, but this one caught my attention.  So, massive amounts of bad guys run in, try to beat the shit out of you, you fight back. I wasn’t particularly sold on the amount of button pressing here, and it’s hard to tell if specific button presses are always required. BUT the ability to unlock abilities via combos and grabbing/deflecting projectiles looks pretty sweet.  The fighting style animations are realistic and varied, at least to someone who’s received all of their martial arts education through television and movies.

Kairi: Yea, actually, can’t believe I’m saying this, it looks borderline decent.

Brandon: Was that praise?  It sounded like praise.

Brian: It was praise-like.  That’s about as enthusiastic as she gets.

Brandon: She must be fun to be around.

Kairi: I’m right here you know.

Brian: Okay, well I think the graphics look neat, and the variety of attacks, but it really looks like a quick-time-event only game, which I’m not into.

Kairi: I used to say that, but that’s pretty much all The Impossible Game is, so that theory is out the window.  I’ll pencil myself in for “morbidly curious.”

Nate: First off, go to Gear-Fish.  Okay, so Silver Dollar gets (and admittedly puts out) a lot of crap, but regardless of how anybody else stands with them, I take them serious.  I’ve played their better stuff, so I know they’re capable of quality.  Stick figure violence with strategy?  I’m sold.  Stick figure violence with lightsabers and epic duels?  Take my dollar!  This should be the game that gets people to recognize them for reasons other than copious shovelware.

Dawn of the Ronin

Brandon: If you’re hungry for more Pan-Asian after an hour, the Dawn of the Ronin trailer reads like the Ang Lee version of the last game.  For anyone who’s been into the indie scene over the last couple years, the game could easily be described as having the solemnity and graphical style of Limbo and the gore and mechanics of The Dishwasher. In other words this is what would happen if Limbo and The Dishwasher had a gory, muted baby.  I really want to hate another Limbo-esque game in terms of art direction, but man do I love me some samurais and this just seems to fit. They’re advertising over 300 unique animations and three different sword stances, along with an authentic Japanese soundtrack. They’re really building up the traditional Japanese nature of the game along with my expectations.

Kairi: I honestly don’t have anything against things that try to look all dark and shadowy like Limbo did, because that style hasn’t really worn out its welcome with me yet.  It’s not like bullet-time mechanics in shooters.  Give me enough clones and time and I’ll be ready to burn Limbo in effigy, but for now I’m pretty stoked for Dawn of the Ronin.

Brian: I like the graphical style, and since I haven’t played Limbo at all, it made me think of Japanese art and animation.  If the gameplay can capture that, this might be a leaderboard contender for you.

Kairi: I wouldn’t put it up based on the artwork.  I’m a firm believer that gameplay is all that matters.  Actually, I find games with great graphics but mediocre gameplay to be, well, obnoxious.

Chibis Bomba

Kairi: I get a “Bomberman 64 multiplayer” vibe out of this one, and that’s not a good thing.  That was my first experience with Bomberman.  I was around nine years old, and I hated that game so much that I didn’t return to the franchise until Bomberman Live almost ten years later.

Brandon: It is Bomberman-like, but it also reminds me a bit of the Power Stone games back on the Dreamcast.  You can’t go wrong with the Bomberman setup..

Kairi: Yes you can.

Brandon: Grrrr, as I was saying, you can’t go wrong with the Bomberman setup but it’s difficult to tell with multiplayer-only games if they’re going to have the staying power of party-game favorites like Hidden in Plain Sight, SpeedRunner HD, etc.  I’m always ready to try games with competitive local multiplayer support so hopefully this one pans out.

Kairi: Oh I’m willing to try it out, but I saw a few troubling things in the trailer.  The blast radius of the bombs is kind of small, and the whole point of having corridors in Bomberman is so you eliminate avenues of escape.

Brian: I like the look of it, but I’m not sure if there’s room for strategy.  It’s hard to say.  It might be dumb fun.

Kairi: I prefer my fun smart.

Brian: Oh really?  So why did you spend all night Friday playing Ratchet & Clank with me and my friends?

Kairi: You got me there.

Brandon: Did he just insult himself and his friends?

Kairi: I think he inadvertently might have.

Brian: Hey wait, that’s not how I meant to say it.

Kairi: Too late.

Fist-Puncher

Brandon: Fist Puncher is an old-school beat-em-up that follows Dr. Karate and a team of vigilantes as they take back the city from crime lords and petty thugs. It’s from the guys who recently won that IGN competition, so it’ll likely get some extra attention.  I like the 80’s revenge movie parody of the trailer. I just hope it has enough I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and Black Dynamite kind of humor to keep that feeling going.

Brian: These guys won IGN’s Next Game Boss.  They obviously have the chops.  Ha, see what I did there?

Kairi: Such wit.  I’m not as enthusiastic as Brandon.  To me, the brawler should remain a thing of the past.  I’ve played a few since starting Indie Gamer Chick and they’ve all disappointed me.  Not to mention I reviewed the Simpsons Arcade and I’m still pissed that I spent an hour with it.

Brian: Well you did spend that time with me.

Kairi: Still wasn’t worth it.  Our time would have been better spent watching a documentary on geology.

Brian: Hey wait, we do stuff like that.

Brandon: Are you saying that you prefer watching shows about rocks over playing games like this?

Kairi: In general, yes.

Mike: First off, go to Armless Octopus.  Second, I wish I was a bad enough dude to train in the Fist Puncher dojo.  Just look at Steroid Jackson break that dude’s back. Seriously ridiculous.  That gets the Armless Octopus Seal of Quality.

Kairi: You know, I love Armless Octopus and everything but maybe you should rethink the whole seal of quality thing.  I mean, if I called a game an “Armless Octopus” I would think it would be an insult.  Maybe you guys should call it the “Armless Octopus official Octopus with Actual Arms Seal of Quality.”

Brian: Yea, and all the arms should have a gun!

Brandon: It would be an Armed-Armed Octopus!

Kairi: That represents the best from Armless Octopus!

Mike: You want us to call our seal of quality the Armed-Armed Octopus of Armless Octopus?

Kairi: Yea.

Mike: You guys suck.

To be continued. 

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About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

6 Responses to Indies in Due Time: Dream-Build-Play 2012 Episode 4

  1. BrunoB says:

    Dawn of the Ronin looks cool, but the song that plays in the second half of the game, while cool, spoiled the mood for me, as it’s one they also use in Epic Meal Time. “Bacon strips, & bacon strips, & bacon strips”…

    Great series of posts anyway. 🙂

  2. Definitely a Martial Arts theme to this episode – was nice to see all these games together. Loving the visuals in Dawn of the Ronin, the sound effects and music in One Finger Death Punch, and the all round feel of Fist Puncher.

  3. The Grumble says:

    Dawn of Ronin looked to be the best of the bunch, my only issue is even during the trailer I lost track of the player character due to the character models being very similar. Maybe a small touch of colour say a blue sash / belt or something on the main character would help just to differentiate him from the other. I mean if it gets hectic the worst thing would be to lose track of your character in the scramble.

    • Tom Happ says:

      I agree. Worked for the cartoon/game version of the Ninja Turtles (in monthly comics there were no colors, and in the graphic novels they all had red headbands and were indistinguishable).

    • x35mm says:

      Thanks for showing off Dawn of the Ronin, I’ll be trying hard to make sure it’s fun to play above all else!

      @ The Grumble, it’s a common concern and one I’ve looked into, it’s not as difficult to keep track of the player when actually playing, but any problems like this will hopefully come out in playtesting. The sash idea is good, makes me think of Outland for some reason.

      I think my favourite of the bunch is One Finger Death Punch, it just looks great fun to play, looking forward to trying it out!

  4. I love reading these each year.

    Far more fun to see everyone else sift through the garbage to find the gems, than doing it myself!

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