Posts Tagged ‘Exclusive’

At Gamescom, the announcement heard around the world was finally made. Gamers including myself have anxiously awaited the news about the impending release of the PlayStation 4. Since E3, things have been pretty quiet at Sony, but there was no reason for anyone to be concerned. Unlike Microsoft that had to change their policies to keep up, Sony stayed the course by sticking to a vision that had gamers in mind as they brought the PS4 to life. The big question we all had was when, and at the closing moments of Sony’s press conference that answer as given. November 15. In less than three months the next generation will officially begin. While excitement rang, there was an ominous dark cloud looming that had some gamers rather upset. Why?

Indie Games

The main reason that had some hardcore gamers a little perturbed at Sony had to do with the large indie games presence at Gamescom. Hardcore gamers wanted to see more big blockbuster AAA first party games that has Microsoft execs busting out of their expensive Don Mattrick inspired jackets. However, Sony wanted to show gamers their commitment to the indie scene by showcasing games that don’t get the large stage, or over the top trailers to bring excitement to the masses. Microsoft may have all the money (due to the $60/year Xbox Live Gold price) to buy timed exclusive games and have DLC first, but Sony decided to flex their muscles elsewhere and give smaller budget game developers the spotlight which has some dishing out indie hate.

Now I’m not a hater when it comes to this subject, because I like what Sony has brought to the table with their endless supply of indie games. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted a PS4 over the Xbox One. Games including Helldivers, Hotline Miami 2, Ray’s The Dead, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Mercenary Kings, Outlast, Secret Ponchos, and countless others have me more excited than the usual big budget sequel driven franchises including Call of Duty, Battlefield, Dead Rising, Assassin’s Creed, and even Halo. Indie games bring some new visions and ideas to the table that help shape the way we will play games in the near future. Basically, indie developers are willing to take big risks and sacrifices to help broaden the horizons of the gaming world.

Do you want to know what really separates the indies from the big dogs? Allow me share something with you.

Let’s take a look at the big picture when it comes to video games. Big name publishers and developers are basically playing it safe by creating sequel after sequel of popular franchises knowing that they will get your money. Most of these games show up yearly including sports games, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed. These yearly games have either peaked, or they’re past their prime, because these games either make minimal tweaks to slightly enhance the gameplay, or are not willing to experiment with anything new at all. In essence, your just playing the same game with a minor graphical bump to make it look shiny and special. Still excited about Madden 25, Battlefield 4, or Call of Duty: Ghosts?

Indie developers, on the other hand, are willing to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating new and exciting games. These developers will take a concept that you and I are familiar with, and throw a monkey wrench within the programming thereby creating a new way to experience the game. Most will call this weird while others will call this genius.

Everyday indie developers are coming up with new ways to enjoy the genres we love. So why should we hate on them when a company like Sony is willing to invest big on these new and innovating ideas that they create? Sony is bringing these indie developers to the forefront, and not burying them in the back of a marketplace so that we would have to sort through a huge clutter of shit to find the diamonds in the rough. As gamers we should be happy to see that a company is willing to take risks, and not play it safe by buying up timed exclusives just for the sake of sales. Besides, these games that Microsoft has bought as so-called “exclusives” will soon be available on the Sony platform for us to enjoy. Add on all the indie goodness that came before it, and what you have is a win for gamers.

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Pros:
A fun platforming game with multiplayer in mind
Everything you love about the television show is well represented
Coon and Friends

Cons:
Playing in single player could lead to some frustration
Character selcetion mid-level would be nice
Where’s Butters as a playable character?

Previously on South Park:

Eric Cartman buys Scott Tenorman’s pubes. Cartman gets screwed. Cartman tries to get his money back only to get humilated by Scott. cartman then exacts his revenge by having Scott’s parents killed and placed in chili. Scott eats said chili only to later find out that he ate his parents. Scott cries in front of his favorite band Radiohead who eventually calls him a pussy. Cartman then enjoys the simple pleasure of Scott’s tears. (Season 5, Episode 4 “Scott Tenorman Must Die)

With his teenage life now in shambles, life for Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny eventually went on in South Park. Scott however had different plans in mind. It’s obvious that he knew the ancient Klingon proverb of “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” He starts out by stealing the hard drive from Eric Cartman’s Xbox 360 containing the gang’s game saves, and the travels to the future. There he creates a ginger robot army to keep Eric and company from getting it the orecious hard drive back. This begins our adventure.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge, from Microsoft Studios and Other Ocean Interactive, takes you on a platforming adventure spanning some of the memorable moments of the last fifteen years of the television series. From the opening cinema to the end credits, the game gives you everything you love about the show and holds nothing back. It’s action packed, funny and uncensored. However, the game is not without it’s faults which may turn off some, but fans of the show are not going to care because it’s quite fun to play.

Playing as a side scrolling platform game, South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is well executed with plenty of jumping, weapon usage and special abilities for each of the four characters you get to play as. At first, I felt like I was playing Super Mario Bros. as I would jump on Ginger kid robots to destroy them. Along the way you’ll come across other enemies that will need something other than a jump or two to defeat them. Weapons also come into play as you’ll wield baseball bats, crowbars, etc. to swing away at enemy characters. Each character also has a special ability like Cartman busting through walls with his belly and Stan throwing footballs. Another interesting feature is the time system where you collect time orbs to keep the game clock down to a minimum. Besides you only get ten minutes to finish each level. Boss battles also take place on each level allowing you to take on Scott Tenorman and his creations and dare I say the return of ManBearPig!

Each of the game’s levels are themed to some of the popular episodes of the series. Levels include the future world based on the two part epic “Go God Go” to places like Peru from the two part episode “Pandemic” complete with wind flutes. Everywhere you look on each level has the authentic South Park look and feel filled with plenty of humor that you would expect. The boys also can transform into their superhero alter egos from “Coon and Friends” allowing them to access areas of each level that the other characters cannot reach adding for some fun moments. Cartman as The Coon can climb walls, Stan as Toolshed can dig holes on the ground, Kyle as The Human Kite can fly, and Kenny as Mysterion can die and access hidden areas unaccesible to other characters.

With all the fun you may be having, there is one major drawback. This fault is the fact that Tenorman’s Revenge is more of a multiplayer game which could impact some who prefer single player. Let me just state that multiplayer is great featuring drop in drop out co-op for up to four players locally or on Xbox Live. This is clearly fun with friends. Single player is a different story which at times could lead to frustrating moments when it comes to timing jumps, taking on hordes of enemies with little life to spare and dying a lot. It’s almost enough to drive you crazy. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but there will be times where you wish you had a friend helping out in the three to five hour adventure.

I do have another beef with Tenorman’s Revenge and that has to do with character selection. A good idea would be to allow the player a chance to select another character in case they die or possibly try to reach another area as their superhero form. Sadly, once you choose your character before the start of the stage that’s who your stuck with for the duration. I also wish there was more characters to select from to play the game. The previous South Park tower defense game had multiple characters to play as. This is the type of game that I wish I had fan favorite Butters to play as along with his alter ego Professor Chaos. That would be fun.

South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge is clearly a game dedicated to fans of the series. The game is not perfect, but it’s still fun to play with friends even if you throw your controller down and yell obscenities at your television in fits of rage. The game is like it’s own episode which is a nice addition. Platform game fans should also give it a shot. I suggest downloading the demo first and see for yourself. Oh, and to Other Ocean Interactive, let’s work on bringing in Butters as DLC.