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Digital Down-Low for 06/23/2023: Space Sectors and Great Hectors

Octopus Prime

I hope I'm not saying anything controversial here; but I believe I would be capable of jumping over the skeletons of most US presidents.

Barging into town to con the citizens out of most of their money by establishing a fake marching band school this week is Dordogne, which actually came out last week, but last weeks release window was pretty thin so I opted to skip it. It's a walky emotes 'em-up that promises "a unique narrative experience", so it probably makes you feel angry, sad, happy and hungry. You know, the four emotions. Explore scenic "Summer, When You Were A Child" and think "Man, it sucks that my grandma beefed it".

Despite the name, I don't think dogs play into the narrative too much, but I bet if they did, it'd be tragic and they'd make you sad!


Now, a game that definitely includes dogs, and has much more video game friendly activities and emotions like "Exploding Bad Guys" and "Shooting Lasers", we have Proto Corgi. It's a shmup-em-up where you're a flying cyborg corgi (oddly, despite all the strained dog puns in the press release, it's NOT called a Cycorg) who does all the necessary shmuppy activities like flying in a straight line, avoiding and exploding patterns of attacking enemies and shoot(ing) the core.


And speaking of mechanized animal friends, we have one of the rare instances of Squenix learning from their mistakes, *kinda*, with Chocobo GP, a mulligan on their disasterous attempt at making a Free-to-play Chocobo Racing reboot that left absolutely nobody happy, especially those who spent the money on making it Fun To Play. This time the paywall aspects have been excised, so all the content is available within the game and not behind multiple tiers of Hard Currency. So that's Good. And the Base game is also apparently pretty fun, so that's also Very Good.

But still; unlocking all the stuff that's in the game is a ridiculous grind, you're just not paying out of pocket to do so.

Anyway; go in Circles around scenic "Final Fantasy Places" and prove, once and for all, who is better at go-carts; Adelbert Steiner or a Behemoth.

The answer MAY surprise you!


Speaking of perhaps ill-advised re-releases; we have the latest from Piko Interactive (the retro publishing equivalent of that spider from Muppet Christmas Carol) Beat 'em Up Archives, a re-release of no fewer than two beat-em-ups that never left the Super Famicom; Iron Commando and Legend. They're... umm... we... didn't miss much by not having them released on the original hardware.

They're good enough to make you appreciate the Rushing Beat trilogy


Next up we have a video game based on a popular anime that lends itself very well to video games; everyone's favorite Golf Except Far More Gay and VASTLY More Bonkers series; Birdie Wing! That's good, and it's easy to envision how a Birdie Wing themed video game could work; just... do Baseball Simulator 1.000 again with a different sport and make everyone smooch after every hole; JOB DONE. But apparently this kind of misses the mark pretty severely; there's only a handful of the characters from the series playable, it's a loose adaptation of a few episodes, and the Golf Game aspect, something video games have had a solid template for since the mid-80s, is mediocre at best.

Now we all love farming right? Of course we do. Now, what if, instead of farming in the dirt, like a COMMON BUG, you did it in outer space; the place farthest from the dirt you know? And what if a sizable percentage of the act of dirt farming was spent blasting varmints with space lasers? Well, that there is Nova Lands you're describing, pardner. It looks very much like Factorio, except Colourful and Friendly, and not developed by a Known Scumball.

Get your ass to mars (or thereabouts) and start converting trees and rocks to planet sized factories, why don't you?


And speaking of building up the future by means of physical toil, we have a video game where you run a school! But specifically, a school for Potential RPG heroes; Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story 2! You've got about a decade before an apocalyptic prophecy comes true and you realize that, like... nobody is really properly equipped to deal with resurrected demon gods, so you start yourself a college in order to make sure that at least SOMEBODY has a chance to save the planet.


Next up we have the latest from Ed McMillan, so you can probably guess what kind of content you can reasonably expect, even before you see that the title of the game is Dr. Fetus' Mean Meat Machine. As implied from the title, it's effectively Dr. Robotniks Mean Bean Machine (or "Puyo Pop", if you're nasty), and as further implied by the title, it's also much more scatological.

Now, to be fair, "Puyo Pop except you have to maneuver around chainsaws and the like trying to eviscerate your pieces while they're in transit" is a good concept.

Just, like... aesthetically... not my cup of tea.

Fewer bloody poop monsters in this at least; based on the trailer.


Skautfold: Usurper is the sequel to Skautfold: Shrouded in Sanity, which I didn't know was a thing either, but here we are. While the first game was a 2D Souls-em-up, this one is a Troid-em-up. It don't look too shabby, but also the avenues available to you for Troid-em-ups are many and varied.


Ever want to just get into a spaceship witha crew of weird people and travel to space, and then go "Oh... oh dammit... oh dammit, every part about this is going wrong!" But without the hubris induced explosions that that chore usually entails? GOOD NEWS! Sky Caravan looks to be much in the vein of, say, King of Dragon Pass, or Citizen Sleeper, except your doing some kind of trek through the stars.

Explore astounding new worlds, discover your heroic destiny, and meet weird bug creatures and stuff.


And finally, this week has an update for the NSO, and while it's just one game it's a doozy: Fire Emblem! Specifically, the one on the GBA, which was the first one localized in English so it didn't warrant a fancy subtitle, or acknowledgement that it was the seventh one. Can never remember if it's Binding Blade or Blazing Blade, but definitely one of those two. Either way, FE7 is frequently considered to be among the high points of the series, and thanks to the NSO offering savestates and rewinds, the whole Permadeath thing is basically rendered optional so now you can play it without stressing that the characters you like dunn got GOT


Okay, that's everything, but they also announced a direct for tomorrow when I was in the middle of writing this so... probably going to need to update this


Fearful asymmetry
Hey, Iron Commando is arguably a better version of Capcom's The Predator than the real thing was on Sega Genesis. (Oh man, Sculptured Software totally dropped the ball on that one.)