Two Player Co-Op Shooter Enter The Gungeon is Ridiculously Fun


Last night during the first and last PC Gamer Show, Enter the Gungeon devs announced and revealed that one of their latest top down shooter titles coming to the PS4 and PC later on in the year and that it would feature co-op. Apart from being absolutely bonkers, thislooks like another indie game I’ll be downloading on my ever growing PS4 games list. Some new co-op screens were released earlier today along with a new trailer showcasing the fun.

From the press release:

Adorable gunslingin’ developers at Dodge Roll Games and the Val-Kilmer-look-alikes at Devolver Digital revealed the incredible co-op feature for the upcoming PC and PlayStation 4 game Enter the Gungeon at E3 2015. Making its debut at last night’s PC Gaming Show at E3, the two player co-op mode allows the primary gunslinger a ‘gun cultist’ back up player to help quell the many disciples of the Cult of the Undead who will stop at nothing to preserve the very treasure you seek – the one gun in the world that can kill the past, absolving you of your deep regrets, wrong doings and bad decisions.

This bullet fortress hell game will have players traverse hand crafted death chambers with enemies set to kill anyone who enters.

You can learn more about the game at www.enterthegungeon.com or on Twitter, of check it out on Steam.

Beyond Good and Evil’s Jade is the Focus of Anita Sarkeesian’s Latest Video


Anita Sarkeesian has released another video in her ‘Positive Females Characters in Video Games’ series, focusing on Beyond Good and Evil’s protagonist, Jade.

Anita goes into detail about what makes Jade such a wonderful character from her visual appearance conveying her capability in her in-game work to her strong sense of agency and determination. Jade also has everyday worries in her financial situation but still strives to help people and her friends.

This is the second video in the series with more to come.

10 Minutes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Epic Menu Music to Get You Excited for May 19th


Thanks to Bandai Namco Australia, we here at OXCGN have had the pleasure of playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on a debug Playstation 4 to bring you our currents thoughts to which you can read here, prior to the game’s release. In that time, we captured dozens of images (Direct images from the PS4 with an Elgato HD Capture Device that doesn’t provide native quality as it does compress the images), however the quality is still enough to get you excited for the game.

We captured hours of footage to re-watch, made some gifs (You can see some of those here) so we could also get a better feel for the game and its environment. In that we also decided to continue what we started with the Halo 5: Guardians Beta and that’s record the menu music and its epic score.

If you don’t want to spoil the fun and surprise of playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the first time by watching countless videos of it’s gameplay, then this is the video for you. Captured direct from a PS4 debug unit with an Elgato HD Capture Device, here is 10 minutes of The Witcher 3’s menu music. It’s the same song that’s played over the course of the 10 minutes but it is a damn epic song for that matter.

Watch The Monsters You’ll be Fighting in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


We’re deeply excited for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt here at OXCGN. We wrote about the game back in July of 2014 which you can read here, and again this year in February. The world of The Witcher 3 is not only beautiful but alive. As made apparent by the latest trailer titled “Monsters’ released by CD Projekt Red.

If you can’t wait until May 19th to get your fix, why not watch the video embedded below and learn about the terrors that wait for you.

Here’s Why You Should Watch Gameloading: Rise of the Indies


I normally don’t put my hand up for reviews. As most of you know from what I write, I simply attempt to be funny. But I like being analytic and critical on occasions, most especially if I can contribute to debate, or a conversation that inspires higher learning, or just a bit of ‘hmmm-ing or ahh-ing’ at the very least.

Gameloading: Rise of the Indies is a seriously thorough documentary highlighting and introducing us to the world of indie games and the developers behind them. Furthermore, this documentary tries to explore the wider impacts that indie game development have and are having on media and culture.

“Indie game developers are like misfits”

The Documentary opens with an introduction to the developers of the Stanley Parable, who happen to be a two man team (Davey Wreden and William Pugh) who are barely in each others’ presence due to one living in Texas and the other in the UK. They communicate predominantly through Skype and despite all this, they have managed to develop a fantastic puzzle game that received numerous accolades including the IGF Audience Award in 2014.

Amongst other groups, we are also introduced to the immensely fun Train Jam initiative, a collective of game developers who travel together by train from Chicago to San Francisco and collaboratively design new indie games during the 52 hour trip.

We don’t even need that much of an introduction to the now well known Zoe Quinn and her game, Depression Quest, which she describes as an exploration of the idea that choices, or the taking away of such choices can affect game outcomes. As a result, her game is an interesting way for players to understand and relate to serious issues such as depression and how it affects day to day living.

The documentary explores the experiences of various developers, from the creative explorations of Soundself as being developed by Robin Arnott, to the visual ones of Tale of Tales and their obsession with visual story telling.

Soundself
Soundself

These are all people who live and breathe games in ways that your average gamer and maybe your average AAA game developer does not. These are the people Peter Molyneux probably wishes he was, or had in his development team.

These developers see indie game creation as a way to extend their world-view to others. The way many of these indie developers speak about their creations imply a broad emotional affection towards gamers and games in general.  There is a strong sense that they want to share, be it their personal story, a new way of seeing the world or sharing a way to connect with new people you’d normally not meet.

There is a lot of love in the indie game community apparently, and everyone likes to hug each other.

Indie games are a great opportunity to explore new methods to learn. As opposed to the current stereotype that video games isolate the player from their immediate environment (the usual glued to the screen or phone trope), indie games are exploring ways to make games interactive, physical and social experiences that apply the console, computer or handheld as only one part of gameplay.

In short, indie games are made the way they are because the developers behind them aren’t exactly pandering to the stereotype of a screaming multiplayer kid mashing his or her fingers on a console (ie. the horrible way I happen to play Age of Empires).

The one thing I got out of this documentary is that indie games are a deeply personal endeavour, and the developers behind them are literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves in bringing these to the public.

Further, what struck me about the mindset behind indie games was how strong the need to tell a story through games was. Several developers intimated as to how they no longer saw games as quests that needed to be ‘won’, but as journeys that educate and impart wisdom through experience. Soundself could be seen as a new spiritual method to explore meditation and the heartbreaking indie game, That Dragon, Cancer is a deeply personal journey to relate to and understand the devastating real-life effects of cancer. Sometimes, the game doesn’t let you win, but it does help you change.

That Dragon, Cancer
That Dragon, Cancer

It was also a new avenue for people who never even saw themselves as video game creators to become one, such as Christine Love, who used the Japanese game format of the visual novel to tell an innovative alterative history tale about the struggle of women living during the Chosen Dynasty in Korea.

On a technical level, the film is quite polished. And while the documentary segues into different topics, it still feels a tad manic in its exploration of the genre. If it is not conveying the development of one particular game and the personal development of its developer, it is jumping with little to no context on to the next theme or subject. As a result, we are watching the development of the Stanley Parable in the first five minutes, to the background of Soundself’s creation to theories regarding learning and development to the history of indie gaming to exploring games through narrative to Zoe Quinn to visual representations in games to Train Jam to sound editing.

As a result, I never usually get where the story transitions or whether there was a point being made in certain sections.

Nonetheless, the documentary is jam packed with information. The interviews and depictions of certain developers’ journeys are enthralling to watch. These developers are genuine people, with fears and hopes and want nothing but to express themselves through the medium and have their game played.

I tip my hat to the segment charting the journey of Australia’s own Armello. That particular segment was informative in how a small development team pushed to get their game seen at major conventions such as PAX using guerrilla marketing tactics.

It was particularly useful to also have the various challenges of indie game development addressed. From lack of funding (and sleep); to inappropriate marketing skills; to the great scourge of online harassment, we become privy to the tears of stress during game launch, to finding a spare square metre of space at a convention to promote a game.

It is notable that great tact was used to address the spectre of that weird movement that I-shan’t-dignify-with-its-name. It made no reference to the personal reasons for the vitriol between the parties involved.  But rather, painted a picture as to how damaging this kind of harassment is to nurturing an indie community, from discouraging people to create new games to how easily a game developer’s dream can become a personal and deeply intimate nightmare.  None of which is necessary, or particularly helpful to the genre, which takes diversity in storytelling, creative ideas and accessibility seriously.

One thing that the documentary highlighted is how intricately tied a game is to an indie developer’s self esteem. Many developers confessed to feeling ‘impostor syndrome’ on occasion when trying to promote their game, as if being an indie developer somehow made them fake or unworthy to show their talents to the world.

Again, indie game developers just want to hug and get hugs in return, and they really do. The documentary makes the indie gamer scene feel far more collaborative and self supportive than mainstream developing companies do.  Whether because of the lack of general corporate and business support that larger companies can access, or because indie gamers are much more lovable is up to the viewer to decide I suppose.

This documentary has packed a lot of themes and stories into one hour and a half, which, either because of jumpy editing or just through wealth of information, feels a tad longer. But it is hugely informative and you cannot help but feel a strong fondness towards the people featured in it. It is obvious that the documentary’s message is that Indie Games are becoming a genuine cultural movement, filled with a lot of heart and personality and that it is getting bigger. With all these developers also creating easier access to developer tools and creating cultural spaces where these new and diverse ideas can be explored, the rise of the Indie Game is inevitable. And while it doesn’t explore the possible future direction of these games, it certainly shares its hopes for more diverse story telling and exploration of new ways to experience games.

Gameloading: Rise of the Indies
Gameloading: Rise of the Indies

Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages Teaser Trailer For New Feature Length Pokémon Movie Revealed


Pikachu, Ash, and friends are having red-carpet adventures in Cannes this week, where a brand new teaser trailer for the latest Pokémon feature film has been revealed. Fans across the world can also check out the English version of the trailer below:

The 70 minute animated movie takes Ash, Pikachu, and their friends to a desert city by the sea. Here they meet the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa, which has the ability to summon all sorts of things including people and Pokémon through its magic rings.

After a strange and scary incident, they learn a story of long ago, when the rampage of a terrifying Pokémon was stopped by a brave hero. Now, the threat that has been bottled up for years is in danger of breaking loose again! Can Ash help his new friend overcome the darkness within…or will a dangerous secret erupt into a clash of legends?

Pokemon_hoopa_and_the_clash_of_ages_art

Nintendo Announce GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U


Just in time for a Final Smash

Nintendo announced earlier today in video on the Nintendo YouTube channel more information regarding the Super Smash Bros. Invitational, being hosted during E3 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Players will get a their first chance to witness the game up close with the already announced character for the game.

Shown at the end of the video was an official Nintendo GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U. The GameCube controller, is said to be the best controller than Nintendo has made, and Nintendo seem to have acknowledged this with said adapter.

Also shown was a custom GameCube controller, with the Super Smash Bros. logo printed on it. One would assume this controller would be available for purchase, but unfortunately no other details were given in the video.

The Super Smash Bros. Invitational will begin on Tuesday, the 10th of June, during E3. Those who cannot attend E3 and are fortunate enough to live near a BestBuy in the US can play the new Super Smash Bros., which was announced a month ago with the help of the video game comedy group, Mega64.

© Yvan Zivkovic 2014

Child of Light: 2014’s Masterpiece?


“Let me tell a story of Lemuria, a kingdom past, and a girl born for glory…”

When I first saw the trailer for a small Ubisoft game entitled “Child of Light”, I was utterly mesmerised. The art style, narration and score of the announcement trailer cemented it as a game to watch out for in the future, and after seeing the trailer announcing the release date I’m convinced that it has the potential to be one of the best games to come out in 2014 (April 30th, to be exact!).

Using Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework the developers have been able to use concept art in the game as assets, 2D animation combined with 3D models and animation to make for a unique art style. Previously used in Rayman Origins and Legends, Child of Light adopts the same technology to bring it’s watercolour world to life. The developers say they aimed for it to feel like “A playable poem”, the visuals capturing all the rhythm, flow and beauty a poem can hold.

Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming
Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming

Aurora, our young heroine, awakes to find herself in the dream-like world of Lemuria instead of her home in 1985 Austria. In this new world the Queen of the Night has taken the sun, stars and moon, and it’s up to Aurora (joined by her glowing companion Igniculus) to retrieve them whilst conquering her fears in order to return home to her ailing father. Along the way you’ll discover there is a lot more is going on than it initially seems as you delve into this new world.

This coming of age story is deeply woven into both the narrative and gameplay progression. As Aurora traverses the world and grows herself she will also gain access to over two hundred skills. During an interview, the writer, Jeffrey Yohalem, said he wanted to create a story that touched upon the darkness in the world, and the progression from the perceived world into the truth of it. These systems run deep within the game and help to give it a unique feel and fast connection with the character. As per usual, experience points are collected from slain enemies and allow you to both level up Aurora and access new skills.

A look at one of the skill trees
A look at the skill tree available to Aurora

Designed around accessibility, the game aims to both honour the JRPG style it’s born from and engage both inexperienced and veteran players in a new way. It uses and builds upon well-developed gameplay at it’s core similar to that of Rayman Legends, but also introduces a classic but refined basis for combat. The system encourages strategy and tactics through it’s turn based style, encapsulating the rhythm and timing aimed for in it’s direction as a playable epic poem. Timing, thought and watching the enemy’s moves allows you to master the flow of combat, interrupting attacks and dodging damage to beat down even the toughest of foes. The spin put on a classic turn based system, the introduction of the timing bar, allows a fresh reinvention of a popular mechanic which is sure to keep things interesting.

On top of the inventive combat, Child of Light has puzzles at its core. Though I haven’t been lucky enough to go hands on with the game myself, from all reports the puzzles are clever and well executed, with a good amount of difficulty to keep the player on their toes!

If all this wasn’t enough the game features both a vast world to explore packed with enemies and treasures, and over six hundred crafting recipes to be used with your newly acquired gems. Even from the trailers we can see there’s quite a diverse set of environments and atmospheres packed into this title. Scenes of ruins with an almost aquatic appearance conjure up memories of Journey’s darkened caverns, whilst brightt towns filled with towers and houses feel like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. I seriously can’t stop appreciating how beautiful this game is.

Child of Light also features local co-op, designed to be experienced with a friend or family member in the same room. Whilst it can be played completely solo, the addition of a partner however adds a new perspective to the tale. The second player takes on the role of Igniculus, Aurora’s small luminescent companion. He comes into play both during combat and in general play, illuminating dark passageways and helping to solve puzzles. In combat he can be used to heal our heroine and disadvantage enemies, but your choices in how you use his abilities play into the strategy of the battle. The more in sync the players, the more useful each character’s moves will be. The co-op aspect is about traversing this new world together and sharing the journey of Aurora and Igniculus.

Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world
Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world

In my opinion this game has all the hallmarks to be a huge hit. It seems like it will have a real deep and compelling narrative  married quite deeply with the gameplay systems and stunning art. Some of the most impressive and iconic titles over the last few years have done a similar thing, with Journey and The Unfinished Swan immediately coming to mind. Only time will tell whether it will be as successful as it seems, but it certainly illuminates itself amongst the majority of popular, more gritty and ‘realistic’, titles topping the market in recent times. In my mind this lesser known title has the capacity to at least match or succeed the acclaim of the big hitters this year, possibly even earning itself a spot as the unsung masterpiece of 2014. Either way Ubisoft Montreal have done an amazing job thus far and I can not wait to play Ubisoft Montreal’s beautiful epic poem when it launches.

Child of Light releases April 30th (digitally only!) on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC for $19.95. For more information on the game you can visit the game’s Tumblr which contains interviews, behind the scenes content and even more beautiful artwork! The announcement trailer can be viewed here, and the latest release date and features trailer below!