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17 Games That Left Us Wanting More at BitSummit X-Roads

Among my favourite gaming events every year is BitSummit. Held in Kyoto, it sees developers from around Japan – and even, the planet – descend upon the former capital to showcase what theyre focusing on. This season saw the return of a physical show, and I spent two full days doing offers on the show floor. However, there was an excessive amount of for just one person to tackle, just what exactly follows is really a collection of the games that a lot of jumped out at me, with apologies to the projects I didnt reach. Oh, and I will also remember that Im excluding games which have recently been released – upcoming titles only.

Cursed to Golf

Developer: Chuhai Labs | Platforms: PC, Consoles | Release Date: August 18, 2022

That one only squeaks in, as its because of be released on August 18. From the small team at Kyoto-based Chuhai Labs – a brandname of Vitei Backroom – it sees the unlikely pairing of the roguelike genre and golf. The twist, however, is that the ball player is in golf purgatory and must complete 18 increasingly difficult courses to be able to escape. You merely have a restricted amount of shots to beat each hole, but there are many methods to supercharge your set you back the cup, with power-up cards which can be spent to have a mulligan or change the balls course in mid-air, along with the capability to put backspin on your golf ball in the air to finesse your shot.

Unlike many roguelikes, the levels in Cursed to Golf arent procedural – each has been handcrafted for optimal golfing challenge – however the fact that you can find 70 overall implies that each run will undoubtedly be largely not the same as the final. With several options on the road through the games four biomes, and also needing to best utilise power-up cards as you acquire them on the way, theres a tonne which will make each playthrough feel unique. Lovely pixel art, too.

Cassette Beasts

Developer: Bytten Studio | Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox | Release Date: TBA

BitSummit was the initial hands-on for Cassette Beasts, a casino game heavily inspired by Pokemon, but with monster collecting and battling gameplay seen via an analogue lens, and a dash of Persona in its character interactions. What does this mean? Well, you capture monsters out in the open, but theyre cassettes, and rather than sending them out to fight for you personally, you pop the cassette into your tape deck and transform into said monster. From there, the play button enables you to select a move (which are represented by stickers on the cassette, and will be taken off and replaced), stop enables you to switch cassettes, pause can be used to choose something, fast forward is flee and record enables you to try to capture the monster youre fighting.

Its a cute overlay, and youre always fighting alongside somebody, which in turn ties into what could possibly be Cassette Beasts biggest point of difference – the opportunity to fuse your two monsters into one. This creates a fresh hybrid which has all of the moves and abilities of the constituent parts, but charges up because of its attacks doubly fast. Considering that you can find 120 beasts to get, that results in a lot more than 14,000 combinations, all of that will have its procedurally generated sprite, not forgetting the chance of finding truly busted loadouts.

Cassette Beasts also offers another overall structure from Pokemon. Rather than journeying by way of a particular region, moving from town to town, Cassette Beasts has one large and somewhat open island setting. That’s where your character washes up in the beginning of the game, and just like the other inhabitants of the island, is stuck. Its a big location, based on the devs, even though some paths are locked off until players learn new abilities, such as for example how exactly to break rocks or dash to obtain through gusting wind, I was told there are more often than not different ways around. Exploration will probably be a big section of the experience, then, and can mean different players will need different paths through the overall game.

Each one of the various characters youre introduced to on the planet could have their very own story to check out too, so when you quest using them youll level up your bond and unlock the opportunity to fuse during battle. Hopefully Cassette Beasts will deliver on interesting characters that you would like to access know, and also giving the island the air of a mystery waiting to be solved. Ive already seen hints of the latter, sounding a otherworldly entity in the demo, where in fact the screen suddenly has VCR-style scanlines and I was confronting a thing that simply didnt match the planet around it.

Last Time I Saw You

Developer: Maboroshi Artworks | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

Imagine if Night in the Woods was occur a rural(-ish) late 80s Japanese setting. Which should offer you a reasonable starting place for Last Time I Saw You, a truly gorgeous adventure game that impresses using its focus on detail and lovingly crafted visuals. While I only played a little slice of its opening; exploring several locations in its somewhat idealised but authentic-feeling recreation of a Japanese town, it really left me interested in where in fact the story may potentially go, particularly given the countless characters and items you can find to connect to, not forgetting the entire story set-up, where lead character Ayumi finds himself dreaming of a mysterious girl and also require put a curse on his town.

Built by way of a 4-5 person team who’ve been focusing on it privately, the beginning of Last Time I Saw You is fully fleshed out – and the complete script has been written – however the team needs funding to really build out the entire game. You can examine out the demo on Steam to obtain a concept of the promise that one holds.

Tokyo Underground Killer

Developer: Phoenix Game Productions | Platforms: PC | Release Date: 2023

This first person action game is all clean neon visuals, samurai sword-based combat and punching enemies so difficult they explode in a shower of blood. As Kobayashi, the Shinjuku Vampire, its lots of fun dashing about Tokyo Underground Killers stylised vision of 1 of the worlds great metropolises, and blood itself informs most of the design. Collect enough and you could unleash a robust one-shot special attack (i.e. punching enemies so difficult they explode, amongst others). Overfill the meter, meanwhile, and youll get time-limited agility perks that make sure that the blood vials youve collected dont head to waste.

The katana combat is effective, enabling you to both slice and dice, also to turn a block right into a spinning attack to clear several enemies in a single fell swing. A dash move helps supply the gameplay greater kinetic energy, when you can also grab a range of guns. These have limited ammo to power through before Kobayashi literally throws it away, hopefully clocking an enemy in the top. Unfortunately, aiming together with your gun replaces your capability to block with the sword, so theres some friction there that I believe must be resolved as development continues.

The in-game art is stylish, but among Tokyo Underground Killers greatest strengths is its manga-style cutscenes, which are beautifully realised. Within my playthrough I really was starting to get yourself a sense of a dark, smudged world through the dialogue too, so Im looking towards seeing where in fact the team go on it.

Soup Raiders

Developer: Team KwaKwa | Platforms: PC, Switch | Release Date: TBA

Maybe you have imagined sailing the seven seas through the age of adventure? Well, Soup Raiders could be just the overall game for you personally, albeit with several minor adjustments. For just one, the games pirates, adventurers and curious onlookers alike are anthropomorphic animals. For just two, its not really much seven seas as you plate of soup. How come this world contained inside a plate of soup? I’ve no idea.

Regardless, the very first thing that jumps out about Soup Raiders is its charming graphical style using 2D sprites in a 3D world. The characters look great active the world, as the limited animation found in cutscenes help supply the game a tonne of personality. The demo introduces lead character Peanut, whose family are increasingly being held prisoner over the games ten main islands. First to be rescued is his bombastic older sister, Dorothy, with a group of real-time combat encounters against seagulls, bulldogs and lastly, The Red Bearon (a bear, naturally).

Peanut and his two party members, the fast-attacking cat White Fur and the lumbering, cannon-wielding crocodile Krokoss, stick to one side of a gridded battle arena, as the enemies can move about on the other hand. Real-time movement means you will get taken care of of telegraphed attacks (harder for Krokoss, who occupies four squares and moves slowly, but additionally hits the hardest), while offensive moves recharge after used. Players can swap between their squad at will, even pulling off combo moves because they achieve this.

With a lot of charm, not forgetting a score by David Wise, who’s most widely known for his just work at Rare, and specifically on the Donkey Kong Country series, Soup Raiders is shaping around be considered a tasty concoction.

Keylocker | Turn Based Cyberpunk Adventure

Developer: Moonana | Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch | Release Date: TBA

A lot of games enable you to build out a celebration, however in Keylocker – which occurs in a global where music has been prohibited – you build out a band. Here, music is controlled by the powers that be and will create literal electricity, in order singer and guitarist Bobo, alongside your bandmates, its time and energy to fight the energy.

Keylocker includes a lovely 8-bit-inspired presentation and incredibly otherworldly aesthetic, helping it feel distinct from other games with a cyberpunk theme. In addition, it takes inspiration from some interesting sources because of its gameplay, having an action command system in its old-school grid-based battles similar to the Mario & Luigi series, in addition to a Guitar Hero scrolling fretboard for the band’s performances. Is actually a hit.

It is a Wrap

Developer: Chanko Studios | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

This puzzle game includes a truly standout central idea. In It is a Wrap, you’re both star in and the director of some B-grade action movies. You’re offered a sequencing timeline that presents when certain things may happen on set. You can represent a number of platforms toppling over, another may be the trigger for a huge boulder to start out rolling by way of a tunnel. The theory is that you make changes to the events in the scene (even though some will undoubtedly be locked) then call “action!” and make an effort to run the gauntlet of the scene yourself, invariably having to get back to edit mode to create more changes. It is a great concept, and it’ll be interesting to observe how the team plays to the many genre tropes and attempts to help keep the theory fresh through new puzzle ideas.

Ninja or Die

Developer: Nao Games | Platforms: Mobile, PC | Release Date: TBA

It’s all perfectly for Ninja or Die to inform one to ninja or die, but this game’s ninja isn’t your ordinary black clad killer. No, this ninja gets around entirely by leaping. Leap via an enemy and you will automatically attack. Leap to a wall and you may quickly aim and leap off it. This control method results in fast-paced gameplay, where avoiding projectiles and so on becomes a fairly interesting puzzle that ties in to the overall roguelike design. I’ve only played a small amount of this one up to now, but I love the theory, love the trendy presentation, and am looking towards ninja-ing more. Theres a demo you can test on the developers website.

Akurra

Developer: Jason Newman | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

I absolutely love the appearance of the one. Think the initial Legend of Zelda – 8bit, top-down graphics, screen by screen exploration, but theres no combat, only puzzles to resolve. From the BitSummit demo and different gameplay videos on the market, they are all quite clever, playing to the theme of every biome, and utilising numerous straightforward but complementary mechanics to gradually access all of the keys, chimes and interactive elements on each screen. And on top of that, in the event that you get stuck therell more often than not be the areas to explore, enabling you to keep coming back later. Pretty amazing stuff from the solo dev.

Fashion Police Squad

Developer: Mopeful Games | Platforms: PC | Release Date: August 16, 2022

Most throwback FPS games tend to be in the Doom school of visual design, where in fact the gore is front and centre. Fashion Police Squad, however, swaps out gore for couture, and the thing thats front and centre may be the parade of newly fabulous citizens on the games end of level catwalk. Yes, because the name suggests, in this game you play being an officer of the style police, out to remove crimes against style having an selection of attire-enhancing equipment.

Its a hilarious premise made even more likeable by the charming characters and booming voice-over announcing each makeover. The weapons Ive tried up to now all feel pretty familiar for an FPS, however, even though the opportunity to swing from indicate point making use of your belt is really a nice touch, Im uncertain theres enough to create the traversal elements apart. Indeed, my biggest question entering the entire version of Fashion Police Squad (obtainable in a couple of days in accordance with Steam!) is whether it could discover the gameplay to back up the premise. Fingers crossed. And when youre curious, theres a demo on Steam.

Pixeljunk Scrappers Deluxe

Developer: Q-Games | Platforms: PC | Release Date: Just around the corner

It is a tiny cheeky someone to include, as Scrappers was actually originally released being an Apple Arcade game, but hey, this is actually the Deluxe edition and I believe the proceed to PC is really a pretty big deal. Whats everything about? Well, youre a robot garbo in a city overrun with trash, etc the main one hand youre picking right up rubbish and chucking it in to the back of the garbage truck. On another, rival gangs may also be attempting to make bank by collecting the (somehow valuable) refuse, so youre also fighting all types of thugs and bosses with a wide selection of weapons. Streets of (Ga)r(b)age, basically. Its the four player co-op that basically makes Pixeljunk Scrappers Deluxe successful though, enabling you to toss towering stacks of garbage to a waiting ally who then hoicks it in to the truck.

Forestrike

Developer: Skeleton Crew Studio | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

It has to be probably the most stylish 2D representations of fighting techinques combat in a casino game yet, and its own backed by some strong design ideas too. Chief included in this may be the foresight mechanic, that allows one to practice fights beforehand, working out how exactly to most efficiently remove enemies as fast as possible and take full advantage of your limited pool of dodges. You can find tonnes of small but neat touches in as soon as to moment combat, from punching an enemy, sending them spinning up in to the air, and back off to knock out an ally, to disarming enemies then catching the weapon yourself. Forestrike includes a roguelite structure, so after every battle youre given either three upgrades, enabling you to hone your personal make of kick-ass kung-fu as you complement.

Grappin

Developer: Ahmin Hafidi | Platforms: PC | Release Date: 2022

Grappin is really a game about traversal. It drops you right into a mysterious mountain landscape, and provides you a grappling hook that may target the wooden boards that dot the planet, enabling you to fire it out and reel yourself in, with the target to ascend the mountain, piece by piece. Mechanically, theres a satisfying rhythm here, helped along by immersive music and sound design.

The demo I played was just the beginning of the climb, and after obtaining a feel for the essential Grip (the grappling hook), it evolved in ways I wasnt expecting, giving me a super-powered version of these devices with the capacity of grappling onto far distant targets, yanking me across huge stretches of landscape searching for Relics – hidden collectables I had a need to open just how forward. It had been a great twist; the deliberate, step-by-step climbing of the bottom Grip, shifting right into a super-powered version that i want to explore the entire scope of the region Id just climbed through.

This seems more likely to turn into a familiar pattern across Grappin, and the solo developer Ahmin Hafidi explained that the variety should come from the particular level design itself, instead of piling on more player abilities. That one is quite promising and contains a demo on Steam if you are interested.

Hunt the night time

Developer: Moonlight Games | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

This stylish dark fantasy action RPG takes the mood and challenge of games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and distils it right into a top-down 16-bit world. Lead character Vesper feels nice and versatile from the get-go, in a position to switch between melee and ranged attacks and dash in order to avoid damage or even to reposition. Its fast-paced, skill-testing combat, made even more enjoyable by the menacing world design which makes great usage of lighting (or lack thereof) to create atmosphere. While Ive only had a little taste up to now, Hunt the night time looks to possess pretty involved upgrade and equipment systems, in addition to a heap of different locations and bosses.

Kitsune: The Journey of Adashino

Developer: Rias | Platforms: PC | Release Date: TBA

Kitsune may be the project of japan artist Rias, who was simply inspired to generate an adventure game fleshing out a few of his – absolutely beautiful – illustrations. The effect to date can be an alluring world steeped in Japanese traditions, when a fox girl and her frog friend make an effort to unravel the mystery of the island where they end up stranded.

Bat Boy

Developer: X-Plus Games, Sonzai Games | Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox | Release Date: TBA

This 8-bit action platformer includes a large amount of fun using its sports-based theme, with a lead character (Bat Boy, naturally) who wields a bat that may bowl enemies over, whack back balls they throw his way, and ties into traversal too. With a villain called Lord Vicious who would like to host sinister athletic events for their own amusement its clear this game doesnt take itself too seriously, but from the tiny amount Ive played, it includes a good mechanical foundation for fun gameplay, and the trailer (below) showcases a few of the moves Bat Boy will learn on the way. Its on Kickstarter.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge

Developer: Inti Creates | Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox | Release Date: TBA

Using what is apparently a vintage Castlevania-inspired backbone (and soundtrack), this new project from Inti Creates sticks out because of its tight mechanical feel, crisp 2D presentation and dual character gameplay. The characters involved are sisters: Shinobu, who wields a submachine gun, and Maya, who slices enemies in two with her halberd-like weapon at close range. Both have several sub-weapons to pick from, but its Maya who really sticks out thematically for me personally, as all her skills are origami-based, from her paper figures she can summon to shield herself to tossing out a paper crane to utilize as a platform, or her basic attack combo which sends out spinning origami shurikens. Played solo, it is possible to alternate between your two at will, however the real fun is using a pal and having both on-screen simultaneously, in a position to boost off each others heads to attain high platforms or revive each other in case a sister falls.

Grim Guardians: Demon Purge Screenshots

Cam Shea spent some time working at IGN since prior to the before times, and contains played more Breath of the Wild than simply about any game. When he’s not doing offers he’s mixing records.

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