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Digital Down-Low for 08/27/2020: Geocities burning with AngelFire

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
New week, New Games, New Forum, let's mosey, shall we?

First up is what would be the headliner on a week where I wasn't spoiled for choice on what to headline with, we have No Straight Roads. A game which I had assumed, based on the title and nothing else, to be a sad and contemplative game about LGBQ people living in the Ozarks or something. Maybe a racing game. Then I noticed that the art-style doesn't quite match the tone of those kinds of games. Then I watched a trailer and realized that my assumption was *quite* mistaken. What we have here looks to be some kind of crazy-ass middleground between Jet Grind Radio, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Psychonauts and my dearly departed P.N.03.


Over the Alps is a talky-based myster-em-up, writ-up from the same chap what made some other highly regarded talky-based word-em-ups like 80 Days and Heavens Vault. This one is all Hitchcocky witch a guy on a train who accidentally get's too involved with SPY JUNK!


Now let's propose you want an adventure about finding a secret truth hidden from the everyone, but don't want any murders involved, well, Giraffe and Annika is basically one of them. A dang ol' anime girl with cat ears dunn got herself some amnesia and only Exploring and Light Puzzle Solving can get that dang ol' thinker of hers all up and running proper.


Moon is another one of this weeks Big Games; as it's a Reverse RPG for the PS1 that never left Japan until now; and it also kind of beat Undertale to its whole thing by more than a decade. You're a weird kind of Rayman-y Jester guy who's following in the steps of the Brave Legendary Hero who destroyed whole armies of monsters, and tries to tidy things up after him, restoring the damage he did and helping foster positive relations between Human and Monsters, using Love and Understanding to do a better job of saving the world than chopping stuff up with a big magical sword.


Speaking of Things from the 90s, we've got Hypno Space Outlaw, a 90s Internet Simulator, as you take on the role of a CYBER DETECTIVE poking through the maze that is Web 1.0 webrings and Fansites trying to uncover VIRTUA CRIMEZ, like MIDI pirates and Neopet trafficing and the like. It's also totally playable with a mouse and keyboard, since the prospect of playing the game with a controller just *bewilders* me.


Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Remastered is another solid contender for Thread Titler this week; as they've finally *finally* done what they should have done back when Console Video Games On the Internet became the domain of the many, made a port of Crystal Chronicles that uses the Internet instead of Gameboys to facilitate multiplayer. Moreover, it's also Crossplay, so you can play together regardless of platform! Now, because "Complicated Multiplayer Set-Up" is part-and-parcel of the FFCC experience, this requires a seperate Friend Code for every player, and they update every 30 minutes, and also one person can't actually play because they're busying themselves holding a cup, but at least we can play the game anew!


Blast Brawl 2 looks to be some kind of cross between Smash Brothers and Bushido Blade and... maybe Titan Souls? Everyones got the one hit point and OH BOY does that not mean that you can win easily.


Speaking of things that look like several other things put together, Struggling fits that description for multiple reasons; partly because it's a game where you're some kind of Human Centipede/Brundlefly flesh-heap and also because it kind of looks like a combination of Octodad and Carrion. Puzzlatform your way through a Weird Place solving puzzles and co-op yourself with a buddy as each of you control one gross arm on your people-glob


Speaking twisted nightmare worlds, that's a pretty poor description of Commander Keen: Keen Dreams: Definitive Edition in comparison. Because these nightmare worlds are, like... large carrots because a child doesn't like vegetables. That kinda thing, y'know? Anyway, Keen Dreams was previously, inexplicably, re-released on Switch but now it's BACK and twice as long as before because they made a bunch of new levels and also made the game look better on wide-screen modern TVs. Out of the entire Apogee catalog, why they keep coming back to *this* game is still beyond me, though. I mean... you guys got Biohazard Battle... you could do that again.


Now what if you want to play Pokemon, but don't want to give those FATCATS at Gamefreak any money (the FATCAT is named Purugly). Well... then there's World of Final Fantasy and also Digimon Cybersleuth. But what if you don't want to play THOSE either? Good news, because now there's also Nexomon: Extinction! A competitive field is stronger! It's definitely got the aesthetic of the Commonly Accepted Monster Raising RPG down pat in combat, and looks... less impressive outside of smackin' pets together until one takes a nap.


Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions ain't my cup of tea as I'm not enthralled by soccer, even Anime Soccer, but this is Long Running Anime Soccer in its purest form, the kind of thing that Blitzball tried so hard to be, but failed to achieve. So if you like doing a sports, and wished that more sports had kicking and lightning bolts in equal measure in them... now you can fulfill your deepest wishes!


Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is not Othercide, the game I've been waiting for a Switch port on for a while, but they're both SRPG with a heavy focus on the downtime management of your armies and choppin' down Draculas, so my confusion can be understood. Anyway... I just described the game, so I'm not going to do it again. Deal with it.

Oh, there's some card game elements, didn't mention that before. That's the other thing about this.


Jump Force is the Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue of Manga. I could have said "Super Smash Brothers" there but, form its reputation, I think I made the right comparison. And the prospect of Jotaro and Luffy teaching a kid about the dangers of doing drugs, while Frieza and Sesshomaru encourage his bad behavior is... amazing.

I love this fictional video game story I've just crafted.


And finally, we've got Collapsed, which looks a lot like Sundered, except you can play as a Skellington Man. You can also play as something besides a Skellington Man, but I see no reason to limit yourself in that way.

 
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Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
You missed Windbound, which looks to answer the question “What if Breath of the Wild was just 100% Eventide Island?”
 

Tiers in Rain

Gaming Replicant!
Regarding Keen Dreams, my understanding is the company that owns the rights to Dreams doesn't own the rights to the other Keen games, and they seem to be the only one to show any interest in re-releasing anything Keen related on modern consoles. I believe id still owns episodes 1-5 (which you can get on Steam), but weirdly enough not 6. It probably won't happen but I'd love one big collection with all the games.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Early reviews of No Straight Roads are saying it’s buggy and has performance and control issues, which is simultaneously disappointing and a relief with everything else that has came out in the past two weeks I want to buy.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
Regarding Keen Dreams, my understanding is the company that owns the rights to Dreams doesn't own the rights to the other Keen games, and they seem to be the only one to show any interest in re-releasing anything Keen related on modern consoles. I believe id still owns episodes 1-5 (which you can get on Steam), but weirdly enough not 6. It probably won't happen but I'd love one big collection with all the games.

Keen Dreams was available on Steam for a while, then there was a rights kerfuffle that I think wound up with the publishing head showing his complete bare ass to the world metaphorically and the game taken down. It is odd to me that this current publisher has not thought to put Keen back on PC; I for one would celebrate it.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I want to play Moon but I have to knock some other things off the backlog before I can convince myself to purchase it.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Early reviews of No Straight Roads are saying it’s buggy and has performance and control issues, which is simultaneously disappointing and a relief with everything else that has came out in the past two weeks I want to buy.

Oh good!

ish!
 

Tiers in Rain

Gaming Replicant!
Keen Dreams was available on Steam for a while, then there was a rights kerfuffle that I think wound up with the publishing head showing his complete bare ass to the world metaphorically and the game taken down. It is odd to me that this current publisher has not thought to put Keen back on PC; I for one would celebrate it.

Ugh, well that sucks. I really dislike it when publishing heads show their entire ass. Rarely does it lead to anything productive.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Looks like The Last Campfire is surprise dropping today/tomorrow. Also World of Tanks, I guess...
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
OKAY, ROUND 2! BRINGITONCOMEON!

First thing worth commenting on is Hero Hours Contract, which I was going to write off on first blush, but the description kind of won me over; by appearances, it looks kiiind of like an SRPG take on Chu Chu Rocket where, instead of guiding a bunch of mice around... whatever the threats in that game were (cats, nominally), you're instead part of a team of Sailor Moons looking to charge like hell through armies of monsters, and using your proficiency at wholesale monster obliteration (and Friendship) in order to bargain for better wages at your after school job.

Everything about that description is BONKERS and I am HERE FOR IT


Next up is West of Dead a top-down, twin sticky Roguelite Ghost Rider game. But specifically, it's a game about one of those Ghost Rider stories that take place back in Cowboy Times, where Ghost Rider is on a horse. Another caveat, it;s not literally Ghost Rider, but you show me a skeleton dressed in black with a flaming head who kills monsters as his day-job and there's only so many places my imagination can run.


Now, for those of you who love tanks and wonder every day what it must be like to live in their shows, or else HATE tanks and want to visit ruin upon them (the two types of people in the world), we have World of Tanks Blitz! Which is the latest (?) entry in the long running and really prolific FTP Tanks-em-up series of games about taking them big ol' gun lumps and have them doing what they do best; splodin'


Windbound, as noted before hand, is a game that looks a lot like Breath of the Wild, except only the Eventide Island quest, which is stretched out to An Entire Videos Worth of Game, instead of one single side-quest. And furthermore, when you fail you probably don't have to spend, like, 20 minutes either making Ice Burgs to jump back to the island, or else stocking up on Deku Leaves and trying to blow your way over there. Anyway, you're on an island with nuts all else to your name; have fun


Witcheye is a platformer where... you play as... a witches eyeball. I mean... I... I can't lie about that. That's what the game is. It's an eyeball game. The eyeball was a witches. Now you're it.


The Last Campfire is another game I was ready to writeoff as being a Sads-based Walk-em-up, and while it is, it's also a Zeld-em-up where you're a little tiny Robespierre tracking down magical fires to revive his deceased widdle friends and it kind of looks like Hob (which came out a few years ago, and which I am playing presently) and that's a GOOD LOOK TO HAVE.


And finally, for the ol' Arcade Re-releases you're... spoiled this week. Arcade Archives itself brings us Super Dodgeball (arguably the finest way to experience dodgeball, sans Alan Tudyk) and various compilations of the Johnny Turbo Data East games; Shoot Out, Express Raider, Super Burger Time, Heavy Barrel, Sly Spy, Super Real Darwin, Wizard Fire, Bad Dudes, 2 Crude Dudes, and Gate of Doom. Whether Golem Entertainment is a better option for arcade re-releases than Flying Tiger was, I can not say but of that collection... Wizard Fire looks pretty cool, at least.

 
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