Playing Catch-Up: With three years worth of XBLIG

Posted on August 27, 2012 - 5:00pm by Problem Gamer


If you don't care to read it, just do yourself a favour and navigate away to  this page.

 XBLIG (that’s XBOX Live Indie Games, for people like me up until 4 days ago) are easy enough to pass over, given their marginalized presence on the XBL marketplace. As far as I know, they’re never been featured on the Dashboard, on, or anywhere prominent–because, hey, why would Microsoft advertise an amazing game if they only get a cut of $3, or even $1, or maybe just that annual XNA Publisher’s Club fee?

A sweeter plum to them is a $10-to-15-dollar sale, even if the game itself is mostly pit. It’s a crying shame, I tells ya–but the player is by no means blameless, either. I must have ventured too far into casual or mainstream territory, because for some time, I’ve been wearing those complimentary blinders they hand out at the border… and paid the price in shitty games.

A few days ago I pried said eye-wear off, however, and went on a little shopping spree. A very little one, to be sure, but I found out that a little gets you an Indie games extravaganza. First up, Exhibit A….

Protect Me Knight

Do you know this game? If you’re over the age of, say, twenty-three, you do: it’s every NES or Master System game you dreamed of as a kid, and it will sure as hell take you back. Despite offering some 8-bit impossibilities–flicker-free four-player, sprites far larger and more numerous than a hundred NES’s combined could produce–Protect Me Knight (Japanese: Mamotte Knight) will convince you you’re playing a 100% genuine retro article.

It’s not so much a tower-defense title as an insane take on the beat-em up. An array of classic monsters want to hurt the princess, and you, as the Warrior, Ninja, Mage, or Amazon, want to save the princess. Having the skills, combos, and special attacks to do so, it’s a conflict you can best resolve by fortifying your position with some upgradeable barricades, maybe a few catapults here and there, allocating a few skill points, and beating the piss out of the ever encroaching hordes.

The pedigree alone was something I couldn’t ignore, as the maker is VGM maestro Yuzo Koshiro’s studio, Ancient, producer of some of the best games I’ve ever played starting with the Streets of Rage series. Not to mention–and this is a certifiable “no shit” moment–his music KICKS ASS all the way to Uranus. A thumping bassline ripped straight from Konami musical lore, true-to-triangle-wave synths–and, I’m pretty sure, all the untapped geothermal energy of Japan–inhabit the tracks of Protect Me Knight. I only wish I could find the complete thing somewhere for download, but I’ve half a mind to rip it myself.

I love this game more than anything I’ve played in a long time. Do yourself a favour–buy it here, buy it now.

I love this game more than anything I’ve played in a long time. Do yourself a favour–buy it here, buy it now.


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