Category:  Features

By Pixelitis Staff, January 30, 2014 0 Features, Pixelitis Picks

The Humble Bundle has grown enormously over the years, and it’s pretty fascinating what that site is capable of pulling off.

Giving people the option of paying what they want (within reasonable restrictions) for a hodgepodge of games while also allowing them to designate where those funds go is a novel way of purchasing entertainment. While the assortment of indie games the site has offered has been more than sufficient, the site broke new ground last year when it partnered with game publishers like EA and the now-defunct THQ to feature digital codes for their respective games.

Keeping this in mind, a few of us decided to conjure up our own wishlist of games and Humble Bundle ideas that we would love to happen. Feel free to share your own Humble Bundle wishlist in the comments section below.

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By Stephen Hilger, January 28, 2014 1 Features, Top 10

Whether it’s because they simply exist as the foil to their respective leading character or because they’re just not that interesting, sidekicks are generally an under-appreciated bunch.

Regardless of their role in any given game, videogame sidekicks ideally prove themselves to be helpful, memorable and lovable characters. In rare cases, they can even be more interesting than their protagonist buddies.

So feel free to tag along with us as we run down the top ten sidekicks in games – in no particular order, of course.

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By Stephen Hilger, January 27, 2014 0 Features, Postcard Review

(Editor’s note: In the Postcard Review, members of the Pixelitis staff write small, easily digestible reviews big enough to ‘fit on a postcard’ – hence the title. It can be about the whole experience or just a small piece of the pie. No scores needed.)

When a game’s selling point is bad controls, does the irony actually pay off?

I’m still asking myself that question, though being that I’ve been playing this game for at least a poorly-controlled handful hours, I suppose I would say yes.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 opens brilliantly, indirectly telling you how to control your hand, which is either your greatest ally or worst enemy. The A, W, E and R keys control each of the hand’s fingers while the mouse controls the position of the hand and the space bar is the thumb. What you immediately discover is that this “surgeon” is barely capable of doing desk-work, nevermind the impending heart transplant.

Above anything else, the game is hilarious. Every organ transplant involves you clumsily removing vital body parts before haphazardly tossing in the replacement organ. Another doctor says “close enough” and that’s it.

If you really want to be a renegade, you can get the achievements for flipping off the patient or throwing the brain into the skull like a basketball.

The gameplay is fun in a visceral and sick way. That being said, I had a lot of trouble trying to find where to cut certain organs.

For me, the game truly shines when you begin operating in the back of a speeding ambulance. That’s where the game had me laughing the most and actually having fun.

You know, like real surgery.

By Patrick Kulikowski, January 23, 2014 0 Features, So I Heard You Like Cosplay

You’ve seen me raving about MAGFest 12 for weeks now, and before I shut up about it, you have to see some of the cosplays I came across at the festival this year.

In the gallery below you’ll come across armored soldiers crafted out of your favorite soft drinks, a female crossplay of Mega Man X series villain Sigma and three of Final Fantasy V’s protagonists duking it out with a Marlboro. And if all of that didn’t sound awesome already, we’ve snapped a few pictures of a cosplay of Ryu from Breath of Fire II.

Yes, you could say that my MAGFest was made by seeing that cosplay.

Proceed past the break for the full gallery. And if you happen to be any of these crafty cosplayers, give us a shout in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of DamKul Photography. Check out his website (and Facebook) for more awesome photos from MAGFest 12. (more…)

By Maxwell Coviello, January 22, 2014 0 Features, Staff Musings

We often accuse people of wearing “nostalgia-tinted” glasses when they defend a game with outdated graphics or gameplay that no longer meets the current gen status quo. No more often does this nostalgia vs. reality fight come into play than when discussing the Final Fantasy series, especially the original PlayStation’s Final Fantasy VIIIX.

But following the release of the mobile port Final Fantasy VI, I think we can all come to a consensus. This is a hideous looking port, or at the very least the most divergent from the original art style of the game. As Jane Austen once famously wrote: “It is a truth universally acknowledge that the graphics for the smartphone port of Final Fantasy VI are ugly as sin.”

At least, that’s totally what dear Jane would have said if she had ever laid her eyes on this sad excuse for a port. Now, I am not going into the gameplay. I’m approaching this game from a purely visual standpoint, and indeed I am comparing it to its original art. I am also aware that smartphones still have kinks to work out when it comes to upscaling graphics.

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By Stephen Hilger, January 22, 2014 0 Features, Staff Musings

Disney, the now-protective parent of the Star Wars Franchise, has recently allowed their trademark for the upcoming Star Wars 1313 to lapse.

1313 was going to be a game set in the crime-ridden underground of Coruscant. Darker in tone than the usual franchise, 1313 strayed its focus away from Jedis and took a closer perspective on  morally ambiguous bounty hunters and gangs. The developers also stated that it was going to feature strong influences from Dante’s Inferno.

From the clip you can watch after the jump, one can see the visual homage to the epic poem, as the elevator goes deeper and deeper into the center of Coruscant’s corruption and sin.

Alas, Disney did not show a strong interest in this promising title. While the reasons are unclear, perhaps 1313‘s departure from PG-marketability had something to do with it. Disney has a certain family image to uphold, so it makes sense that it would scrap a game that makes its newly acquired franchise dark and not for kids.

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By Pixelitis Staff, January 22, 2014 0 Features, Pixelitis Picks

Recent days haven’t been so bright for Nintendo. While low Wii U sales are by no means a doomsday for the company, there’s enough going against Nintendo right now that it may be time for some constructive criticism.

We have some pretty big Nintendo fans here at Pixelitis and we’d really like to see the company return to its former glory days.

Between making new games or changing business practices (and perhaps another Year of Luigi) here are some ideas on our wishlist for Nintendo. Feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments section below.

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By Stephen Hilger, January 20, 2014 0 Features, Postcard Review

(Editor’s note: In the Postcard Review, members of the Pixelitis staff write small, easily digestible reviews big enough to ‘fit on a postcard’ – hence the title. It can be about the whole experience or just a small piece of the pie. No scores needed.)

What a bizarre game.

Conker’s Bad Fur Day was an action-platformer developed by Rare, who were in somewhat of a golden age with their N64 lineup. Between Goldeneye, Diddy Kong Racing and Banjo-Kazooie, Rare had proven themselves to be the metaphorical Paul McCartney alongside Nintendo’s John Lennon.

Nintendo has a certain PG image they like to retain, which is why Conker’s Bad Fur Day got almost no direct marketing. The game takes Conker, a happy-go-lucky squirrel from Diddy Kong Racing, and makes him a foul-mouthed drunk who lusts after vices that usually lead one to mob involvement.

I remember this game narrowly avoiding an “Adults Only” label; the videogame equivalent of an NC-17 rating. It was a forbidden fruit of its time. Owning this game and watching South Park made you the coolest eleven-year old at recess. But how does the game hold up?

Graphically, it’s one of the best looking games on the N64, and the gameplay is rooted in the excellence of Banjo-Kazooie with a bit more simplicity.

But honestly, the humor has not aged well. What was perhaps cutting edge in 2001 just feels desperate by today’s standards. Most of the jokes involve shock value or film parodies, and while there are moments of brilliance (such as a neckless character trying to hang himself or the infamous opera singer) most gags just make me feel uncomfortable.

While it was ambitious for its time, I would say stick with Rare’s other classics.

By Stephen Hilger, January 16, 2014 0 Features, Staff Musings

While the mystique of New Year’s is so two weeks ago, 2014 still has yet to truly begin. And based on the amount of games we are excited to see, I thought it’d be a good time to think ahead and dream of the impossible.

In recent years, game developers have worked more closely with the players to craft their final products. Betas allow players to directly give their feedback; stating what works, what doesn’t and what they’d like to see.

So here’s a list of games that should exist; metaphysical ideas that I’d like to see manifest into our reality. While you may deem some of these choices slightly absurd, I’d genuinely like to see all of these games happen. Picture it as a personal Christmas list that’s just a couple of months too late.

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By Pixelitis Staff, January 15, 2014 0 Features, Pixelitis Picks

Who doesn’t love a good dance/rhythm game?

Games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are the gamer’s equivalent to karaoke, mostly because they provide perfect amounts of fun and embarrassment; something to whip out during a party when everyone is just the right amount of tipsy. It’s a genre that simultaneously takes itself seriously and doesn’t — look at the strange, colorful fever-dreams of Parapara Paradise and Samba De Amigo for proof that the Japanese are confident in their beliefs that there is a market out there for everything.

But when does a dance game go too far? Perhaps when the powers that be start releasing musical spin-offs of already well-established series. The disastrous DDR: Mario Mix comes to mind. On the other hand, these musical conversations can pay off quite nicely (as is the case of Final Fantasy Theatrythm) when the core series already has a rich pool of music to draw from.

Then there is the recently announced Persona: Dancing All Night, which may end up falling somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. A most unlikely spinoff indeed, its announcement has both befuddled and beguiled the Pixelitis staff. It also got our gears turning and our feet a-tappin’ — what other series could benefit (and hilariously so) from a musical spinoff?

How low can you go? How low can you go?

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