Archive for XBLA

“Gross! There’s goo on my wang!” (Guwange Released on North American XBLA)

Posted in Game News, Game Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by Mat$kat

Here we have it (albeit a tad late on my part, sorry folks)Cave’s magnificent feudal Japanese manic shooter : GUWANGE! Only 800 MSP on Xbox Live Arcade!

Anyone who reads my blog or knows me personally can attest to the fact that I am a big fan of the Japanese arcade game developer, CAVE. Some time ago Cave held a survey asking which one, of several of their back-catalogued games, the fans would like to see fully localized and released on XBLA. Among the choices were Progear, Dodonpachi, ESP Ra.De., and Dangun Feveron (aka Fever SOS).

Votes were cast and Guwange (pronounced GOO-WANG) came out the victor! On November 10th 2010 , Cave fans around the globe saw the interspectacular sight of Guwange available on XBLA for ten bucks!

I encourage Cave fans in the USA to go ahead and drop a Hamilton on this game. Consider it your vote for more Cave games released in the US. Officially the only North American releases thus far have been Deathsmiles NA and Guwange.

What’s up next for Cave on XBLA?

The discomen collecting romp known as DANGUN FEVERON! Keep checking back for news on a release date, etc.

But back to Guwange

I’m not going to bother reviewing this game…I’ve seen several game sites with the headline “REVIEW: Guwange is Bullet…HEAVEN?” – so I’ll spare you all the pun laden review. I’ll just say that the game is a faithful port and also incluses two interesting extra modes of play : Xbox360 Arrange Mode (basically a novice mode) and the PUNISHINGLY difficult “Blue Label” Mode. Blue labe mode is a port of a very rare, specially made version of the original Guwange arcade PCB. Originally given to the three highest scoring players at a Cave hosted event in Japan, the “Blue” version is an extremely tough arrange mode. Imagine walking without an umbrella in a severe rainstorm, where the rain is bullets…

Well, whether or not my attempt at evoking an image just now was successful or not, I digress…

How about some pictures and video? Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!


KOF:Sky Stage – SNK Developed Shooter Gears Up for US Release

Posted in Game News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Mat$kat

In a surprising twist, I discovered today that the SNK Playmore developed King of Fighters spin off, KOF Sky Stage, is heading to the USA by way of Xbox LIVE Arcade.

Sky Stage is a vertical scrolling shooter, populated by some of SNK‘s most prolific characters including Mai, Kyo, Iori, Terry, Mai, Athena, and Kula – each with their own unique feel and shooting style.

Frankly, the game looks startlingly similar in style to the Shikigami no Shiro series (Castle of Shikigami in the West) – we’ll just have to wait and see if the similarities stop at the visual style or if this game has a heavy grazing mechanic like so many of the modern shooters do.

The game recieved an aracde only release in Japan to mediocre reviews, but to US shooter fans this news is great – as we don’t get a lot of shooters.

Xbox 360 owners can, aparrently, get hold of this game Fall 2010 – most likely following the release of King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match on XBLA.

This news comes courtesy of Siliconera, and you can read their write-up here.

More news, including a firm release date, will follow as it becomes available.

As usual, here’s a few screens:

Three Indie Games to Watch For….

Posted in Game News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by Mat$kat

I love indie games…

Not ALL of them, heavens no…there’s a lot of crap out there – but while shoveling through the shit over the past few months, I have discovered several great looking indie titles.

There are three in particular that are worth notice, take a look:


Klei Entertainment


Shank is a beautiful 2-D brawler in the vein of Metal Slug. The animation looks great, very cartoony (and if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was somehow related to Penny Arcade, as the visual style is very similar). Klei Entertainment has a big hit on their hands with this game. The main character, a bad-ass looking dude with a knife, has several fluid moves: a flying stab, brutal punches and kicks, the ability to fire weapons, and awesome platforming abilities – all of which appear expertly animated. The attention to detail in this game is awesome. Although there is no demo available yet, it appears that although the game has simple controls. the complexity is in a contextual combo system, evident in the video clip below:

Shank’s spaghetti western setting, and excessively exaggerated violence combined with a pleasing color palette and 70’s exploitation-flick soundtrack are certainly making the wait for this game even more difficult. Considering there is no specific ETA, gamers everywhere may have a while to go before we ourselves can “Shank” some bad-guys. Keep your eyes open for this one.


PlayDead Studios

Xbox Live Arcade

Limbo looks very promising. The info we have on this game is sparse, but from what I gather the player takes control of a young boy who, in searching for his missing sister, finds himself lost in a dream-like world called….yep, “Limbo”. The game’s style itself is very surreal, the game is 100% black and white, with simply GORGEOUS lighting and animation. The style is likeĀ  shadows projected on your screen – the foreground details are solid black, and depth is achieved using parallax scrolling and several shadowing, shading, and blur effects. This game, though it stars a young boy is NOT for kids. The ways your character can die in this puzzling game are quite brutal and explicit. In one clip, I saw the boy decapitated – his severed head gently rolling down a hill before the game prompts to try again. Another scene has the player dragging the obviously dead bodies of children out of a swamp. Despite the violence, this game is beautiful. A puzzle game at heart similar to last year’s “Braid“, Limbo has firmly planted itself on my radar. Check out some gameplay :

Eerie huh? I personally can’t wait. Danish developer PlayDead Studios very well may have a strong competitor here with their surreal nightmare…Limbo.



Xbox Live Arcade

Fez is a forthcoming platforming game developed by independent software developers Polytron. Personally, the art style looks similar to Cave Story- a decidedly 8-bit pixel-art presentation. In fact, Fez won the “Excellence in Visual Art” award at the Independent Games Festival in 2008. The feature of Fez that is most notable is a gameplay mechanic where the 2D perspective shifts to 3D in a manner similar to Nintendo’s Super Paper Mario and the use of M.C. Escher-like illusions similar to the PSP title Echochrome – bringing unseen angles and solutions into view momentarily. I cannot say enough about how exxcited I am for this game. It has been in production for some time, and considering it won an award in 2008 and there is STILL no solid release date , makes the wait even more painful.Just take a look at the clip below and tell me you aren’t interested:

It has been announced that the Fez will come to Xbox Live Arcade in early 2010. Keep your eyes open.

So, there they are. Whaddya think?

I’m gonna try to feature more upcoming, niche games here – as they are my favorite type…

Until next time.