Indie Shack - Charles Barkley, Giraffes, and Aliens
1. Super Adventure Pals
2. Alien Hominid
3. Tales of Game's Presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa
Hey guys, what's up? Alpha Unit here! I'm with lots o' good stuff here now in this here edition of Indie Shack! Okay, not good, but I guess alright. As of now, Indie Shack is bi-weekly. Not because there aren't any indie games to review (there ars plenty), but rounding three up and writing them down to review takes quite a lengthy amount of time to set up, and it's made more difficult by the fact that we don't really get enough writers to help out. Still, the Indie Shack is still alive and ready to kick ass because even if we have low ratings, we have glowing reception.
For maybe the kajillionth time in a row, I'm posting yet another blog on g1 Features so others can check out the epic-ness of the independant development world. Scroll down further down, man.
Just a bit.
Game Title: Super Adventure Pals
Release date: August 2, 2012
Price: Not a single damn cent
Have you watched Adventure time? A or B? Answer one, skip the other.
A) Fuck yeah, it's got to be the best cartoon airing on television now! A neat array of characters, plots, adventures, and battles along with it's charming style have made it pop to life and Super Adventure Pals is the closest you'll get to that very experience until that Adventure Time game comes out on DS and 3DS. It's filled to the brim with childhood spirit and plenty of wit, despite the fact it's just a mere game Newgrounds.
B) Wait? What? Oh Jesus Christ. Dude, if you can go watch Cartoon Network or go onto Netflix. It's a really sweet show filled with memorable characters and excellent stories. It's been CN's best show for a while now. If the silly phrases and the bouncy-cutesy art style are pushing you off, watch it. It'll grow on you like some stong fungus that won't leave. Okay, moving on to the game similar to Adventure Time:
Super Adventure Pals is a platformer with strong beat 'em up influences and light touches of RPG at it's warm core. It's got the makings of a great indie game, but thankfully, it's one of those games where it's not even attempting to further jump into the retro and artistic fads that have become so common nowadays.
First up, the gameplay of course. It's a platformer simple enough, and as mentioned before, it has elements and principles that make up RPGs and the long since dried up beat 'em up genre. You're job is to look for rubies to progress further into the overworld, but to do so, you need to go through some of the sidescrolling levels which contain said rubies. Some rubies can of course be found in the levels in the overworld, but some levels can only be opened up by pleasing the small pool of wacky NPCs scattered through the game.
The things you do in those levels for the rubies is quite minimal. You run around hopping on platforms, avoid spikes which cause instataneous death, and slay monsters which yield special items and some experience Getting to the other side is just what you do. Some levels are boss levels of course. Slay the beast, you are good to go.
The story of the game is straight-up simple and nothing more. Some dude in a monocle has taken your pet rock and it is up to you and your pet size-shifting giraffe to save him. And it doesn't ever get more complicated than that. You beat the villain and get the rock back. I'm glad I didn't get a middle finger at the end just like ever other indie game, but there's just a lack of substance to be had in this game.
The graphics of the game are very charming, basically stylized to be like a cuter version of the Super Meat Boy character designs mixed in with Adventure Time's shading and coloring. For a flash game, it's pretty damn good looking. It doesn't attempt to mask itself with retro graphics like other games, and that's a very good thing. It's played out.
The music isn't too memorable. Not terrible, and it doesn't get repititive to listen to, it's just not something that will remain deep in your memory.
The underlying problem of this game is that there's not enough. There's only three worlds, the track is all right but it could've used more, there aren't many boss fights, and the level designs only get creative every once in a while. Neat at first, but it has real trouble shaking it up soon after. The enemies you fight in the game aren't varied enough as they're just reskinned sasquatches most of the time. The level up system in the game becomes useless in the game as getting half of the upgrades is all you need and accumulating EXP really isn't worth it, couple that with the fact you only upgrade the sword and the HP.
All in all, it's a neat game. I really hate playing games that are hard to chew these days now that I've gotten busier and the games I desire for are ones that are simple and easy to master. It's not going to last long, but it will be a sweet but short experience. It's not memorable by any means, and it doesn't push any real boundaries, but be pleased to play a time waster with a little more substance than a physics game on a smartphone.
Game title: Alien Hominid
Release date: Various release dates
I like to think anyone that has followed Newgrounds in his or her (mostly his) lifetime has known about Alien Hominid, one of the key games that site developed itself, which in itself had gone on to build itself into a full retail release! I had such fond memories playing this game on the Nintendo GameCube with my father, who had managed some video game skill. This was the "it" game of Newgrounds/The Behomoth before Castle Crashers came along. (Battle Block Theater is also on the way.)
Gameplay, I want to start with that again if I may: It harkens back right to the fast everythingwillexplodeorbleedifyoushootatitlikeamotherfucker magic that happened at the arcades and continues to happen with some of the arcades that still remain today. (Basically, the stuff you found in Metal Slug.) Bad guy, helicopter, van, evil robot? Just shoot the damn thing and stay out of the way of any stray bullets of the game. If the going gets tough, pick up shields and some of the extra weapons in the journey to ease things a bit to roast the asses of your opponents... that is if you don't want to ride them and bite their heads off when you're done with them.
Visual aspect: Ah, this was back in the day where everything made by an indie game dev liked drawings that were akin to bored teenager's highschool notebook full of abstract doodles that come to mind. You can see in that backgrounds and in the beady eyes of the many wild characters that this game wanted to look juvenile to appeal to that little beat in all of us. It's colorful, nothing artistically stunning, but it works for what humor and style this game is trying to push for as it seems.
If you want to know what I'm not impressed with, it's the length and complexity of the game. It's just shoot this and shoot that, and while that works for most of us, I just need something more at times. The audio isn't memorable I think. And what I think is worst offender is that this game is way, way too short. I honestly wished I could have more...More... Even if there's no real compexity, this game would've been an excellent way to blow steam if it hadn't of been for that damned length that left me hungering for more.
Nice arcadey feeling shooter with rife bits of laughs thrown into it just makes an awesome experience, and playing it with a 2nd dude makes this a better experience. It won't hurt your wallet much and it's one of the few indie games able to find a console release on the GameCube and PS2 systems, and the free prototype version is on Newgrounds (not as good as the other versions). Also, an HD version of it is availabe on XBLA, so you have no excuse not to play if you haven't already because there's plenty of places to play it. Oh, and bring a friend.
(Simplified) Game title: Charles Barkley: Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
Release date: January 22, 2008
Price: Free ninety nine
Charles Barkley's Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is a freeware title that is unlike many JRPG clones in the fact that it's not the uber-Jap humping material that you regularly find in many games developed with Game Maker. No one in the world would've thought that a game about a basketball player could become this SNES-rpg throwback, so of course, this game throws plenty slices of humor onto the grill to further keep the party going.
Being the most notable part of an RPG, I'll serve up the story here: This game takes place in a sorta post-apocalyptic future in which Charles Barkley accidently unleashed an all-powerful basketball move known as the "Chaos Dunk", in which Barkley killed millions. Basketball became outlawed and most basketball players were soon hunted. Barkley quickly retired and soon lost his reason to live. Twelve years later, another chaos dunk was preformed and Barkley is quickly blamed and is now out on the run where his current mission is to clear his name and the ongoing confusion.
The gameplay is really the standard fandmade RPG-fare, so expect turn based battles, but fortunately, it includes timed button presses akin to the Super Mario RPG series. Select your options, make your move, and your good to go in a battle, you just figure out which move is best for battle. The overworld is of course the same in many RPGs, you interact with hilarious and melodramatic characters who seem a little..Cookoo.
But then again, those exact same characters and the melodramatic jokes built around them is what makes the game hilarious. The dark and brooding aspect of the game is all a ruse (an obvious ruse at that) of the true nature of the game.Then again, this game is considered *giggles* a sequel to Space Jam. Yes, that Space Jam. Space Jam is canonical, and not only that, diabetes is a status effect and an important plot point in the game. And if that isn't humorous/weirdasfuck enough... screw it, find out for yourself. You'll see when you play. Humor is a vital part of this game or perhaps the most important part of it.
With that being said, I'm readily mentioning my distaste for retro-stuff we see in indie games. The graphics are all right, but again with the pre-32 bit stuff. Like I don't see this enough in my lifetime...*sigh*... But luckily, none of this really soils the game in itself, I'm just getting tired of this. I had enough, man.
Shit be whack yo
Let's leave it at that.