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Jason Clement

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Everything posted by Jason Clement

  1. If you thought you were done with Wargroove after playing through its campaign, think again. Chucklefish announced today that its upcoming DLC, titled Wargroove: Double Trouble, is coming soon and will bring a heap of new features along with it, including a new campaign, all for the low, low price of absolutely free. The new story campaign focuses on the Outlaws faction and introduces new commanders such as the mighty Wulfar; two troublesome twins known as Errol and Orla; and the whip-wielding Vesper -- all of whom will participate in a heist after an unexpected kidnapping and some severe ransom demands. Other things in the new DLC include: 2 new units: Thieves and Riflemen New Arcade missions Competitive online Quick Play maps Public and Private Multiplayer Lobbies – you can now also play custom campaigns online! New Volcano map theme and more updates to the custom Editor tools Outlaw music tracks, composed by Phonetic Hero Editor tool updates Check out Wargroove's website to see updates on the latest balance changes and what the editor tool updates entail. Last but not least, Wargroove: Deluxe Edition (for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One) will be heading physically to stores on October 29. It will include a physical disc/cart of the game, a downloadable copy of the OST, a commander sprite sticker sheet, a poster map of Aurania (Outlaw version), a mini strategy guide with tips and stats on all in-game units, and a reversible cover sheet. As for the Wargroove: Double Trouble DLC, no release date has been announced yet but Chucklefish says it will be coming soon. Source: Chucklefish
  2. If you haven't heard yet, Super Mario Run is slated to release next month on December 15th for $10. The game is free to start and also features three modes that you can try, but to get access to everything, you'll have to pay the one-time fee of $10. While I'm sure the game will be pretty good, there's been a lot of outcry over whether the price is too high. Honestly, I'm not too sure how the price versus content comparison works out yet, but for three modes and 20-something levels (I think?), that's not terribly bad. There are no micro-transactions like in other games you can play for free or for cheaper (like Rayman Jungle Run), and the price is equal to what people pay for two coffees at starbucks or two combo meals at McDonalds. USgamer was able to put it a lot better than I did if you want to check out their reasoning on the matter. But at the end of the day, I think people are grousing on the price because the mobile app space has trained people to think that everything should be a dollar or less when most of these developers can't even afford to go on at those prices unless the games sell millions (see Candy Crush etc.). We'll see what happens, but I'm glad Nintendo is standing their ground here. If there wasn't much content at all, that'd be one thing, but no one would blink an eye at the price if this were on the eShop. What do you guys think? Is $10 too much?
  3. So my PC's rear 120mm fan has finally started making grinding noises today. I looked up the symptoms and it looks like the bearings are probably shot. I've heard that you can use a light machine oil to lubricate the fan and get rid of the noise, but I'm wondering how long that solution lasts. If you've ever dealt with this issue before, did you try to treat the fan yourself? Or did you just buy an entirely new one?
  4. Dragon Quest fans are about to get another dose of the franchise soon as Square Enix announced today that the first three Dragon Quest titles will be making its way to Nintendo Switch later this month. These include Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation -- all three of which make up what is known as the Erdrick Trilogy. Dragon Quest III in particular is largely considered to be one of the best in the series, so be sure to put that one on your radar if you haven't played any of these previously. The three Dragon Quest titles will cost $4.99, $6.49, and $12.49, respectively, and will be available to buy digitally on Nintendo Switch on September 27. Not coincidentally, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age also releases that day; it's a good time to be a Dragon Quest fan! Source: Press Release
  5. Jason Clement

    Steam Summer Sale 2017

    Pretty sure that's a bot you're responding to, DC. It's hard keeping up with all of the new ones that keep popping up here nowadays. But on the flipside, it's cool that you're still keeping an eye on this place! How've you been? Feels like forever since we've last talked. xD
  6. Jason Clement

    Game Podunk Suggestion Thread

    Got a suggestion? Let us know in the comments below and we'll put it under consideration! Thanks!
  7. A new Games With Gold lineup announced on the same day as the October 2017 PS Plus lineup? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? Anyhoo, here's the October lineup for Microsoft's Games With Gold: Gone Home (Xbox One, Oct. 1-31) The Turing Test (Xbox One, Oct. 15 to Nov. 15) Rayman 3 HD (Xbox 360, Oct. 1-15) Medal of Honor: Airborne (Xbox 360, Oct. 16-31) Not a bad lineup either. I can't imagine many people haven't played Gone Home at this point, but that's just me. I'm definitely interested in The Turing Test, though. Shame I don't have XBLG right now...
  8. Jason Clement

    Black Friday Dealio: $15 games galore, oh my!

    Uh, so this was a pretty good deal that I saw on Twitter, especially since @Shin GenX was looking for Cuphead on the cheap. Granted, Cuphead's normal price is $20, so you're only saving $5 here, but it's the best price you'll find right now. Anyhow, here's a list of pretty good games for $15 and where you can get them. Cuphead - $15 Newegg link (use promo code EMCBBCD55) Super Lucky's Tale - $15 Newegg link (use promo code EMCBBCD56) Target link Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - $15 Target link Injustice 2 - $14 (PS4) Gamestop link (XB1) Gamestop link Everybody's Golf - $15 Target link Knack 2 - $15 Target link Ratchet & Clank - $15 Amazon link Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD Remix - $15 Target link World of Final Fantasy - $15 Target link Let me know if I forgot any!
  9. Jason Clement

    Favorite Movie Music of 2013?

    Was going through some of my favorite movie music from 2013 earlier today, so I decided to make a thread for this. I'm sure there are more tracks that I can't think of at the moment, but here are a few of my favorites from throughout the year. http://youtu.be/hvxyzWIwQA8 Starts out slow but picks up around 1:08. This still might be my favorite track of the year. Pretty epic-sounding stuff. I can also imagine Marshall in the background saying "I WILL FIND HIM, JOR-EL!!!" For some reason it sounds a little quieter here, I dunno why, but you may have to turn the volume up a little to hear it. The riff at the beginning is extremely catchy but I especially love when the whole orchestra comes in at 0:45. Great stuff! Howard Shore's stuff is always usually pretty great, but his elvish tracks are pretty spectacular, what with the chorus and all. This is pretty low-key stuff, but I especially like the percussion and beat that happens at 2:15. Such a catchy little song, lol. I'll probably add more later too if I can think of anything else. What about you? Any songs or themes that really stood out to you this year in movies?
  10. Technically Leah posted this topic about two years ago, but now it's time for an updated thread! Yesterday I finally got a new phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) after having the same bulky one for 3-4 years and I have to say it's nice to finally have something up-to-date, haha. In any case, I'm curious to hear what everyone else has, so which smartphone do you have (if any)? And do you like it, or are you eyeing a new one sometime soon?
  11. Knights and Bikes, London-based Foam Sword Games' first game, has officially gone gold and is coming to a PlayStation 4 or PC near you soon. Dubbed a "Goonies-inspired adventure," Knights and Bikes is a co-op, story-based adventure game that centers on two girls who are searching for the legendary cursed treasure of Penfurzy Island. Across the course of six days you'll explore the island, solve puzzles, talk to different people, and fight off the ancient curse that protects the treasure using such items as frisbees, water balloons, toilet plungers, a game gauntlet, and more. Also central to the gameplay are bikes, which you'll need to upgrade in order to visit certain areas of the island. If the game's painterly, cartoon-like aesthetic seems familiar to you, there's good reason for it: the game's central creators, Rex Crowle and Moo Yu, previously worked at Media Molecule on award-winning games such as LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway. Further bolstering the pedigree on the title is Kenny Young, another Media Molecule alum who also most recently worked on 2018's breakout VR hit Astro Bot Rescue Mission; and Daniel Pemberton, who composed much of the music for LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2, and was the composer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Originally launching as a successful Kickstarter project in 2016, it's been a long ride for Knights and Bikes through its 3+ year development but you'll finally be able to play this whimsical adventure when it comes digitally to PlayStation 4 and PC on August 7. Check out the game's E3 2018 trailer below. Source: Foam Sword Games
  12. I have to admit I've had a growing interest in ripoff games in recent years, if only to see what they come up with. And if I'm not mistaken, some of these ripoff developers have been getting somewhat better with what they produce. Case in point, this Smash Bros. ripoff that combines Smash Bros. with a card-based RPG battle system in place of a fighting game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAMmbVc-ytg While they use a lot of existing assets from games that have already come out (like the art and music), the actual character models they came up with and the battles look sort of cool. I'm sure this'll get shut down at some point, but maybe it'll give Nintendo inspiration to do something similar?
  13. Alright folks, the Fall gaming deluge is upon us. Though August was a busier month than normal (for an August), September looks to be opening the floodgates for great games. Here's a look at the biggest games out this month. Sept 5 Knack 2 (PS4) Sept 6 Destiny 2 (PS4, XB1) Sept 8 Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Sept 12 Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PC, PS4, XB1) Ys: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4, PS Vita) Sept 14 Divinity: Original Sin II (PC) Sept 15 Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PC, PS4, XB1) Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS) NBA Live 18 (PS4, XB1) NHL 18 (PS4, XB1) Sept 19 Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (PC, PS4, XB1) NBA 2K18 (PC, PS4, XB1, Switch) Sept 21 Steamworld Dig 2 (Switch, PC) *PS4 and Vita versions on 26th Sept 22 The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame (PC, PS4, XB1, Switch) Pokken Tournament DX (Switch) Project Cars 2 (PC, PS4, XB1) Sept 26 Blue Reflection (PS4, PC) Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4, PS Vita, PC) FIFA 18 (PC, PS4, XB1, Switch) Ruiner (PC, PS4, XB1) Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (PS4) Total War: Warhammer 2 (PC) Sept 29 Cuphead (XB1, PC) Gundam Versus (PS4) Yokai Watch 2: Psychic Specters (3DS) What I'm Buyin' Despite that massive list, the only two games I'm looking forward to digging into are Metroid: Samus Returns and Steamworld Dig 2 (aside from what I'm already playing from August). There's a few that I'm curious about (like MvC Infinite), but purchases on those can wait, especially since Black Friday is getting closer and closer. Not sure what the pricing is on Cuphead as well, but I may wait on that one. We'll see. WHAT ARE YOU BUYIN' THIS MONTH?
  14. I believe we've had this discussions before but because the last one was so long ago and because peoples' methods change, I believe it's relevant to ask again -- how do you deal with your backlog? There seem to be a few popular methods for it, as far as I can see. "Finish one or two games before you can start a brand new game" probably works well for some. I personally haven't tried this too much lately, mostly because my gaming philosophy is to play what you're most excited for when it comes out. But I can see this being pretty effective if you have the right mindset for it. "Finish one or two games before you can BUY another." Basically a variant on the last one, except you're basically ensuring that you're buying a game for every two you complete, thus ensuring that you're halving your collection over time. Not a bad route either, and has been very effective for many. Again, I have the same issue where I buy games that I'm most excited for as they release AND if I can play them right away. "Play one or two games at the same you're playing a current one." This is actually my current method of playing backlog games. I'll play what I'm most excited to play, and switch between one or two other games depending on the day or time of. To give you an example, probably the most popular way of doing this is to play one game on each platform and switch between them, so Fire Emblem on 3DS, Rare Replay on Xbox One, and then Horizon on PS4, let's say. What I've also been trying (and somewhat failing at recently) is actually switching between three games but playing just one a day. This was actually a pretty successful way for me to play for about a week or two as I tried to tackle that glut of games that released in April, but it's kind of fallen off now that some bigger games that I've been wanting to play are out. It's definitely tough but if you can make it work, this is a pretty effective method overall. The best way of doing it is probably one game per platform though. "Play backlog games when you feel like playing them." This is, by far, probably the biggest way people tackle their backlog. It's also probably the least effective because there's no built-in culpability, but if you have really good self-discipline, hey, maybe you can make it work. But overall, this is the no-sweat, go-at-your-own-pace method. Chances are this won't help much unless you get in a mood where you want to play several backlog games in a row and/or have nothing else to play. Anyhow, those were the four biggest methods I could think of for tackling backlog games. Which one(s) do you guys use? And do you guys know of any others?
  15. I have to admit, I wasn't incredibly interested in this at first, but this is by far one of the best Kingdom Heart compilations yet. In addition to having an HD version of the previously 3DS-only Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, it also contains a new playable campaign featuring Aqua (from Birth By Sleep) and a movie version of KINGDOM HEARTS χ [chi] Back Cover, which features the origins of five Keyblade masters from the past. Take a look at the new trailer and let us know what you think! EDIT: Apparently it launches on January 24, 2017 in the West.
  16. If you guys haven't seen yet, Lay's has three new chip flavors that have been circulating for a few months now. They are... I've gotten to try all three, so here's what I think of them. CRISPY TACO Surprisingly tastes a lot like Tacos, honestly. Your first thought might be, "Sure, it probably tastes like that because it's just a taco seasoning mixture used on the chips," but you can almost taste the meat as well, if that makes sense. All in all, it's a really good chip flavor. EVERYTHING BAGEL If you like bagels, then you know the Everything Bagel (which has onion, poppyseed, and sesame seed) is far and away one of the best and tastiest ones. UNFORTUNATELY, this doesn't taste much like it, imo. Maybe it tastes like the cream cheese? Honestly, it tastes a lot more like a cheese flavor overall. FRIED GREEN TOMATO This one is difficult to describe. I've never had real fried green tomatoes, so I can't speak to the authenticity of how true it is to the real thing, but it's not bad. There's a certain taste to it that I can't pin; a certain spice they use. Not my favorite of the flavors but not bad either. SO WHICH ONE IS THE BEST?
  17. Jason Clement

    The GP Moderators

    Hey everyone, A lot of you already know who the moderators are, but for those who don't, I'll list them below. They're some of GP's most knowledgeable and veteran members, so if you need help finding something or just have a general inquiry about how something works, feel free to talk to them in the chat or by private messaging them. Moderators/Site Managers barrel Emilia Clarke (Ludono) Jordan Haygood The Site Managers are responsible for the everyday activities and events happening in the forums. They will police spam, control bots, and regulate to enforce GP guidelines. Our SMs are peace keepers and will take appropriate and reasonable actions against malicious, hostile, or vulgar behaviors or comments. When possible, our SMs will also help in keeping members connected by managing various social network applications (Digg, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) and keep everyone plugged in so you'll never miss another contests, deals, news, and more. Link to the Official Moderating Team page.
  18. Hello Games has been gradually teasing No Man Sky's next update, Beyond, over the last year, but today they've finally announced when you can expect to play through the upcoming content: August 14. Beyond is described as 'three updates in one, and like prior updates, this one will also be free. Chief among the new inclusions is the inclusion of a 'radically new multiplayer and social experience' as well as support for VR, letting you become more immersed in the vastness of space and alien planets as you experience it first-hand. It's still a bit vague as to what the update entails in full but Hello Games will be trickling out information leading up to Beyond's release in a few weeks. Source: Hello Games
  19. Greetings and salutations, Podunkers! Welcome to 2016! ...what? We're two thirds of the way through the month already? WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?? Ahem... anyhow, you may have noticed things have gotten off to a little bit of a quiet start this year in the last two weeks. There are various reasons why but I'm hoping to alleviate that a bit starting this week, and take this GP locomotive... Yup, you tell 'em, Abe. Anyhoo, if you're still with me and haven't tuned me out yet, I decided to try doing something a bit different recently with something we're calling GP Daily. For the past two years, the staff and I have struggled over what to do with news, especially since there are so many other bigger sites that cover things faster and more effectively than we do. So did it make sense to keep doing it at all? Even still, I tried to keep on with it with the help of Jonathan, even though pretty much everyone else on the staff had no interest or motivation to do it (sorry guys, I'm throwing you all under the bus, haha). And then... it struck me - what if we could recap most of the day's biggest news along with some smaller stuff that people might not know about (new indie games and such) and display it in a way that's no nonsense, straight to the point, and presented in an appealing way? Granted, there are some sites that do stuff like this, but the only ones that come to mind are IGN's Daily Fix video (which I don't care for watching news recaps) and Destructoid's recap at the end of the day, which is literally a list of all of their articles for the day. In any case, GP Daily -- you may have seen some of the news listed through other means, but it serves a number of purposes here on GP. 1) It serves as a recap for members and visitors who may have read something and forgot it 2) It serves as a legitimate source for news for people who might not be tuned into video game news the way others are. 3) It helps us produce content and stay on our writing toes (?). And most importantly... 3) It serves as a potential point of discussion for members here. The End No, I'm kidding. Don't go away. I'm not finished with you just yet (hey! I see you getting ready to close that tab). But I really do have to thank members like Shin GenX for expressing some of his opinions on how GP could use something more original and different to help make the site stand out. This got me thinking a lot more about what kind of content we could produce that's less marketing spiele and more interesting and... us, I guess. Is GP Daily going to start netting tons of traffic for the site? Probably not. Will it continue forever? I don't know. Does this mean the end of individual news pieces? Not necessarily; I'll still do the occasional news piece, but it depends on what it is and how urgent the news is. What I do know is that I'm committed to producing high quality content that's entertaining and informative for you wonderful people. I'm pretty proud of what we accomplish with our reviews and especially our GOTY material every year; we actually do get a number of comments on Twitter about how well they're produced, so it gives me a lot of pride when I look at what the staff and I have accomplished there. I guess I hope GP Daily ends up being a cornerstone for the site in that it's there for you to read most of the time. I'm in the process of streamlining how it's produced so I can spend less time composing it each day. I may not get to it every day either, but my goal is to get it out at least 3 days a week minimum, with the main goal being to do it every weekday. But I digress. I've meandered on far too long about this, like I usually do. So here are some closing thoughts. A new State of the Podunk Address is in the works; I'm aiming to get it out sometime in the near future; I'll be detailing what's ahead for GP; this was actually one part of it, in fact. So I guess you could say the rest is Part 2? I'm also working on getting the rest of the staff up to speed on certain things, so hopefully things will start to pick up and be a little bit busier around here from now on. Anyhoo, that's that. Hope you enjoy GP Daily, and stay tuned for some more forum-oriented talk coming up in the State of the Podunk address. Peace out~ Jason
  20. Jason Clement

    About Game Podunk

    About Game Podunk Welcome to Game Podunk (GP), an exceptional online community dedicated to the gaming industry and to the people who play, read, and write about video games. Our mission is to inform and endorse the positive views around the culture of video games while working with our members to generate rich original content for meaningful discussions. At Game Podunk, we offer a place for gamers to build a positive social identity, and to combat the many negative stereotypes broadcasted by the media and even some gaming sites today. In short, we respect gamers and want to set an example of how civil, fun, and intelligent a gaming site can be. This is why unlike other sites, you“ll find little or no acts of trolling, flaming, spamming, and immature comments from our members. We hope that“s good news to you, and that you“ll be interested to stay around and take part in what we“re doing here. GP also takes pride in offering our readers quality content to carry on worthwhile discussions. We“ve been awarding our top contributors with exclusive deals, free game contests, and even cash through our shop, featured blogs, and ongoing prize vaults. If you“re an aspiring writer or an avid blogger on video games, GP is a great place to build your portfolio with a supportive community that takes interest in your work. We love to hear what gamers have to say and to maintain the best conversations, Game Podunk expects everyone to respect each other“s differences and opinions. Moderators will not tolerate anyone firing personal attacks or insults on another user. If you don“t agree, learn to disagree and present your argument in an intelligent and respectful manner. We don“t mind a little heated debate just as long as you“re being smart and mature about it. GP is seriously committed to being community-centric and relies heavily on our members to help us grow. We hope you“ll take part in what we have to offer by registering for free and introducing yourself in the forums. For any questions or assistance, please contact our moderators or refer to the help thread. The above is the original mission statement for Game Podunk as posted by our last site admin, Nashkirb. We're actually in the process of revising a new one as I type this, but it won't stray far from what Nash has established already.
  21. It's been crazy hot this Summer so I've been thinking about getting a portable air conditioner, but I'm not sure yet. One of the issues is the exhaust -- I have a crank window, not a sliding one -- so I've been looking up videos and such to try to find a solution for that. The good news is it isn't a huge issue to get around, but I'm curious -- have any of you used a portable air conditioner before? If so, do you recommend it?
  22. PQube's and JoySteak Studio's Songbird Symphony is out on digital shops this week, and it stars a cute little bird named 'Birb' that sets off on an adventure to discover his heritage. As Birb, you'll move the environment around you by tapping in sync with background beats, solve different puzzles to add new sound queues to the background music, collect feathers to learn more about different birds, and explore interconnected levels with many different passages. Oh, and you'll participate in rhythm battles as well, and with its combination of platforming, rhythm, and puzzles, it definitely looks to be one of the more unique indie titles out this year. If that all sounds good to you, you can check out Songbird Symphony on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Steam) for $16.99. And be sure to check out the trailer below! Source: Press Release
  23. Team17 is no stranger to games based on cooking thanks to publishing Ghost Town Game's mega smash Overcooked! series in recent years, and this week they're introducing a new game from Hermes Interactive that puts a bit of a different spin on the genre called Automachef. Instead of directly controlling the chefs like in the Overcooked! games, Automachef is all about automating the process via machinery. Essentially, it's one part puzzle game and one part resource management, in which you create the ideal layout for your culinary creations. There are three modes to play through: Campaign, Contracts, and Sandbox. Campaign focuses on having the player create efficient kitchens while keeping in mind spatial, energy, and resource management challenges. Contracts mode puts you in the role of a business owner in which you'll manage funds and expand your business. Lastly, Sandbox mode is exactly what it sounds like, letting you roam free and experiment with creating any type of kitchen you'd like. Oh, and if you play the game on PC, you'll have the option to use Steam Workshop to create your own recipes, ingredients, and levels. Automachef is available to buy digitally right now on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam for £10.99/14,99€/$14.99. Check out the launch trailer for the game below! Source: Press Release
  24. Over the weekend, Bandai Namco announced at Anime Expo that a pair of Digimon titles would be heading to the Nintendo Switch later this year -- namely, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, and its sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -- Hacker's Memory. Both will be included in one collection called Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition. The announcement comes as good news for fans of the series since the PlayStation 4 version of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (the English version of which originally released in 2016) is now out of print physically and was removed from the PlayStation Store in December 2018. While Bandai Namco's official response as to why it was removed is a bit cagey, it's largely assumed that it was due to the license (which Saban currently owns) ending for that particular title. In any case, fans can look forward to playing Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition when it lands on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam later this year on October 18. Source: Press Release
  25. Developer: Image & Form International AB Publisher: Thunderful Publishing AB Platform: Nintendo Switch Release Date: April 25, 2019 ESRB: E for Everyone At this point in Image & Form’s rapidly-expanding SteamWorld franchise we’ve had two incredible Metroidvania entries; an epic, space-faring tactical strategy title; and a lesser-known tower defense game for DSiware that started it all. According to studio head Brjann Sigurgeirsson, fans had been clamoring for the Swedish developer to give the RPG genre a go and it seems his team was all too happy to oblige. Thus, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech was born. A departure from the sci-fi setting of previous games in the series, SteamWorld Quest features a storybook tale that unfolds in an era of knights, dragons, and magic, narrated by SteamWorld Heist’s Seabrass in a welcome cameo. The journey begins with two adolescent female steambots named Armilly and Copernica -- a wannabe knight and a novice alchemist, respectively – who find themselves caught up in a plot against a rising evil. Along the way, you’ll pick up a few more party members and discover some unsettling truths about what’s really happening, and maybe even experience a twist or two. Naturally, SteamWorld Quest is a bit heavier on the narrative than previous games due to being an RPG. However, the cast is wisely kept smaller and contained versus large and unwieldy, thus giving each character just enough focus and attention to keep them interesting. The writing is downright hilarious at times too, once again showing that Image & Form really does have one of the best localization teams on the indie side of the industry. And though the plot is a little formulaic (yet entirely self-aware), the writers do subvert a few typical story tropes – the two main leads are both female, for one -- and ultimately, there are fulfilling arcs for each of the characters by the time the credits roll. Unlike many other 2D RPGs where a top-down or isometric view is standard, the out-of-battle sequences in SteamWorld Quest take place in a side-scrolling manner where you’ll mostly move from left to right (and vice versa) and screen to screen, coming across the occasional treasure chest and/or puzzle, a shopkeeper, and scores of enemies. Touch an enemy (they’ll be alerted to your presence if you come too close) and you’ll initiate a battle, which is far and away the best part of this game. In fact, I’ve never played a card-based battle system that I enjoyed more than this one. The mechanics are kept surprisingly simple: at the beginning of each battle, you’re dealt eight “punch cards” randomly from your deck of 24 (which you can customize throughout the game), and you can play up to three cards each turn. Playing base cards (usually lower level attacks that have no number) will help you build up your steam power gauge, in turn allowing you to play even stronger cards that unleash powerful attacks, restore health, or cast buffs that help your team (or debuffs on your enemies). What really propels the gameplay in a big way are the variety of options at your disposal. Sure, you can play your cards as they’re dealt, but you can also strategically choose to pass on some in order to get the right combination to line up special combos that can, at times, save your bacon entirely. The battle system is also amazingly well-balanced. I played on the Normal difficulty, but the challenge remained consistent throughout, picking up toward the end. Image & Form did a great job making boss fights feel alive and engaging thanks to a number of different scenarios you’ll have to play through. For example, one boss poisons your characters every five turns, forcing you to constantly switch between damage control and going on the offense. Other bosses might have lackeys or pawns whose extra attacks and damage can add up over time unless you defeat them. Creative scenarios like this kept me looking forward to each and every battle, which is a rarity for me when it comes to RPGs. If there’s one thing that disappointed me, it’s the lack of activities and interaction with the world outside of battles. There’s little to no interaction with NPCs due to them being sparse, little to no side quests that you can carry out that either reward you with more loot or delves deeper into the game’s lore, no interesting minigames to shake things up, and no engaging puzzles aside from the ‘lite’ ones you come across (find a switch to open a gate, or rotate images a certain way to open a door, etc.). While the battle system is near perfect, the out-of-battle activities and exploration are the biggest aspects Image & Form could and should expand upon should they give the game a sequel (or create other RPGs like it). Still, the game has so much going for it that it’s easy to overlook this aspect this time around. The art, like in other recent SteamWorld games, is fantastic and draws on the strengths of Image & Form’s talented and creative team while the music keeps the story suspenseful and allows for some lighter moments as well. If you’ve played other SteamWorld titles, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that SteamWorld Quest is another great entry. And if you’re hesitant because you’re not sure what to make of the card-based battle system, be assured that this is easily one of the best battle systems I’ve ever played in an RPG; it’s both fun and engaging, as is the deck-building element. While the game still has some room to grow for next time (more out-of-battle activities, for example), SteamWorld Quest is a tremendous first step into the RPG genre for Image & Form’s ambitious franchise and more than lives up to the lofty expectations the studio has set with its prior games. Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great SteamWorld Quest is fun, zany, and boasts what is possibly the best card-based battle system in any game to date. Though not without room to improve, this is yet another genre Image & Form has shown considerable skill and expertise developing in, and I can't wait to see what's next. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Switch code provided by the publisher