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  1. Developer: nFusion Interactive Publisher: Replay Games Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux (Steam, Web), iOS Release Date: June 27, 2013 ESRB: RP (M suggested) This review is based on the PC version of the game. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was an incredibly novel game to release to PCs in 1987. The idea of arcade, computer, and console games were accepted in the world but were not as popular as they would eventually become today. Developer Sierra On-Line was one of the kings of the time and was pumping out adventure games left and right to cater to various genre fans. Co-owner Ken Williams joined up with writer Al Lowe and together the two created one of the first truly “adult” video games to see critical success. From there, Larry Laffer went on to star in a multitude of games before Sierra, and adventure games as a whole, took a nosedive in the 90s. Ever since then, Larry has made a few more appearances but they have been in tasteless drivel such as Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust where the staff had nothing to do with the originals. That“s why Al Lowe and others came back to Kickstarter in 2012 and proposed a brand new remake of Larry“s first game. Does the remake manage to draw in a new crowd with Larry“s charmingly stupid self or does it completely miss the mark? There“s a mix of both in here, but not for the reasons you might think. First, Leisure Suit Larry is as hilarious as ever. For those who have never experienced one of the games first hand, although they are about adult relationships, sex, and sexuality, they hardly ever actually become very titillating. In fact, Larry is a slimy middle aged guy who has the best intentions but no way of eloquating them in ways beyond painful pick up lines which make him sound more like a child than grown man. Seeing the poor guy stumble helps players want to aid him in his quest, although there“s still room to laugh at his mistakes too. Beyond his own ridiculous mannerisms, there is also the narrator who plays a continuous role in the humor. Basically every written piece of dialogue or description has an accompanying voice actor. The one with the most vast amount of lines is the narrator. His snide, sometimes disturbing, observations add a great deal more to laugh at. Many players will likely find themselves clicking on everything possible just to hear everything he has to say. The writing is definitely on par with where classic Larry games left off. With that said, it“s very apparent that all involved wanted to create a Leisure Suit Larry game for the old crowd, and not necessarily for new ones. This is most apparent in the stringent “copying” of the original game. Sure, it is a remake but it“s amazing how incredibly similar it does feel. Sure, the graphics have been upgraded and there are some new puzzles, but overall there is very little changed gameplaywise. Players interact with the world in the standard point and click interface that it has long had. This time around though, the game is infused with the control scheme of the more modern Larry adventures. Instead of typing, you simply use a variety of icons to talk, look, and take objects. Items are regularly used with others to solve puzzles and characters require a talking to to get information out of. It“s all standard fare as far as adventure games are concerned, except for the distinctly grungy and adult fare found in this game“s world. Adventure games “died” for a reason in gaming culture and that“s because they were seen as unable to evolve beyond simple point and click controls with inane puzzles. No, Larry is not an incredibly difficult game, but it still fits squarely in the style of “old” adventure games which repel many because of preconceived notions. For example, Larry can and will die a multitude of times throughout play. Thankfully, he is set back right where he was before so it doesn“t feel like much of a lose condition. So would a fan of the classic games enjoy this one? For the most part, most likely, if only for the nostalgic feelings it brings back. There“s fun to be had exploring the new coat of paint and wondering if things are just as they were before. Recalling that certain actions would result in death, I still decided to seek them out to see if they still did. It was a lot of fun to see, although it is a shame the graphics didn“t have as much of an improvement as possible. The graphics are better visually than Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! but still don“t look as attractive as was hoped. Instead, they look more like what you might expect of an iOS game, which makes sense considering the game is on that OS. This leads into another issue which was realized quickly after launch. In order to appease Apple“s censor-happy policies, there is no nudity in Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded. It has never been a large hallmark of the series, but it is odd considering the depraved descriptions and phrases sometimes spoken. There will be new players who enjoy this game but the majority will be fans of the originals. Sure, there“s no issue with that but it just seems like a lost opportunity. If the new game makes new players want to experience more of Leisure Suit Larry, then the sequels are all available on GOG but not Steam. There are some glitches and problematic puzzles, but overall it is the same charmingly silly Leisure Suit Larry that was all the rage in the 80s. Pros: + Update to the original Larry game recalls fond memories + Easier control scheme than the original game to suit current adventure gamer tastes + Lovely soundtrack from Austin Wintory Cons: - Various glitches have been reported - Character designs aren“t particularly high quality - Not much done to attract new players Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10) Decent Leisure Suit Larry is still as hilarious as ever but is not doing anything to attract new players. Those who enjoy retro-styled adventure games who have never played the series should give it a look.
  2. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey was quite the exciting Kickstarter campaign when it was live. Like many other classic developers brought out of the woodwork, so to were the minds behind The Longest Journey. That modern adventure game series was incredibly beloved by fans and seeing it return was a huge deal. Of course, the project was an overwhelming success. When asking for $850,000, developer Red Thread Games ended up making $1.5 million. As far as everyone was concerned that was all to go toward making a PC version of the game. Now Edge brings word from the developers that Wii U is also on the agenda: “Nintendo approached us last autumn, immediately after Dreamfall Chapters was announced – they were, in fact, the first console manufacturer to do so. At that point, however, we weren“t ready to make any commitments regarding engine and platforms, so we decided to wait. We got back in touch with Nintendo in late May of this year, and they were very interested in working with us. Perhaps the most interesting thing working with Nintendo though is how interested they are in the gameplay details and how it feels, with regular questions, ideas, and suggestions which really help push the game forward. Aside from that and in more practical terms, we have had some remarkable support from them, ranging from free devkits to help us get the project started, to being given a stand on the Nintendo E3 booth to help us get noticed. It“s been a really comfortable – and fun – relationship so far.” Are you excited to see Nintendo pushing for more independent developers to bring their content to Wii U?
  3. Chances are, you've heard of the Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter project by Anita Sarkeesian. She had planned to do a small series of videos on the subject matter when internet trolls considered her a threat to gaming. In part because of the gross backlash against her, as well as her project being interesting, she managed to receive a great deal over the funding goal. Since then, the videos have begun to trickle out but at a fairly slow pace. Partially as a response to Sarkeesian's video as well as inspired by it, YouTube personality Eric Rogotsky, otherwise known as The Gaming Goose, has launched a Kickstarter campaign titled Races and Other Representations in Video Games. There are five videos planned and he is asking for $6,000 for this project. The question now remains to be seen his some 5,000 YouTube fans will pledge for this or if they just don't understand the important discussion Rogotsky would like to put forth. Unfortunately, the biggest downfall of Kickstarter is that people often "donate" to receive a reward in return. Obviously funders will get a series of videos if this succeeds, but the best reward tiers here just offer a second of fame via credits. Yes, it's a sad state that this is what Kickstarter backing often comes down to, but it may ultimately prove problematic for Rogotsky (at least until big gaming sites catch wind of his project). Funding ranges from $1 to $100.
  4. Marcus Estrada

    Ouya GUI

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  5. Marcus Estrada

    Ouya NES Emulator

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  6. Marcus Estrada

    Ouya Bombball

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  7. Marcus Estrada

    Shadow of the Eternals is Back for More

    Yes, Shadow of the Eternals was serious when they said they weren't done after cancelling their Kickstarter campaign. If you missed it, Precursor Games decided to try and crowdfund a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. What would have once been a surefire success was fumbled as the developer first tried crowdfunding on their own site with confusing terms. Alongside this, they launched a Kickstarter campaign that simply wasn't succeeding - so they closed it. Along the way, a whole lot of negativity was thrown at them, and at least one member of their team was fired due to some intensely messed up stuff. Basically there has been a ton of drama surrounding Shadow of the Eternals. Nearly two months after it all they have now returned to Kickstarter. The goal is $750,000, a far cry from their initial asking price of $1.5 million. Will it succeed this time? Who knows. At the time of this writing it has raised $82,000 in one day. Some of this may have to do with the fact that Precursor Games has added in a Wii U option. In case you were wondering, here are some of the reward tiers: $20 - A download of the game (PC/Wii U) $100 - Access to beta + digital copies game, soundtrack, and art book $250 - Signed/numbered copy of Ephemeral Codex Do you think Shadow of the Eternals will succeed this time or does it have too much baggage attached?
  8. Marcus Estrada

    Ouya Kicks Off Free the Games Campaign

    It's likely that you've heard of the Ouya. It saw such impressive success on Kickstarter that it was pretty much hard to ignore. All the same, now that the device has finally shipped and arrived in stores, there's less to say about it. Already it appears that most except those with the console themselves care much about the device now. As you might expect, the underwhelming release means that indies are less prepared to put their game onto Ouya. That's where Ouya's Free the Games campaign comes in. This fundraising campaign of sorts will basically give developers money if they have a Kickstarter and follow the rules. Basically, in order to qualify for this you must be running a Kickstarter campaign with at least a $50,000 goal. As long as you reach that, then you qualify for Ouya doubling your funding (up to $250,000). The money is meant to lure indie developers into following up on their end of the bargain which is to make their game exclusive to Ouya for six months. This may seem like a good idea but there are other things to consider. For example, would a game touting initial Ouya exclusivity necessarily make $50k to begin with? If nothing else, Ouya fans have proved themselves thrifty by buying a $100 console to begin with. There are also reports from many developers on the system that they see horrible revenue from the shop. With all that said, we'll see how many exclusives Free the Games can net.
  9. Police Quest megafans already knew that something new by series director Jim Walls was coming, but this is likely a surprise to anyone else. Police Quest was a popular Sierra series which veered away from the fantasy and sci-fi nature of King's Quest and Space Quest. Instead, it honed in on police encounters pulled from real events. Walls himself was involved in California law enforcement at the time which allowed him to bring his expertise into the titles. Now Walls has returned on Kickstarter to see if there is still a willing audience for the more tactical, realistic side of the police force in games. Precinct will be similar to the Police Quest games in that it will also base encounters on the stories of actual officers. Although Walls is now retired he still obviously has a great deal of interest in busting criminals. The biggest obstacle Precinct may face is the Kickstarter cost. Before the massive successes, many companies played it safe with low goal ranges. In the case of Precinct, they are asking for $500,000. Maybe the community is there for this game though as it has already made $25,000 on the first day. Here is a small selection of backer rewards: $30 - Receive digital copy of game $120 - A real piece of game artwork signed by the artist $300 - Hard copy of Special Operations Manual made for the game Unfortunately, there is no tier which grants a physical copy of the game. The campaign has until August 16th to make its goal. We shall see if Police Quest fans come out in force to support it.
  10. Okay, so the article for this title isn't perfectly accurate, but it's definitely what many people are going to think when they hear about this new Kickstarter project. StudioBento have started up a crowdfunding campaign for a feature length film titled GAMELOADING: Rise of the Indies. As you might expect, it focuses entirely on independent games, as well as the culture surrounding them. Many may expect this to be some sort of Indie Game: The Movie redux but that doesn't seem to be what StudioBento is working toward at all. Instead of focusing on the trials and tribulations of just a few developers, they are showcasing a whole host of creators. The minds behind 10000000, Antichamber, Incredipede, Mechanarium, The Unfinished Swan, and many other games all get their shot in the film's spotlight. If you choose to support Rise of the Indies then you likely want to know what kind of backer rewards there are. Here are a snippet: $5 tier: Curated free game bundle $15 tier: HD digital download of film $25 tier: Premium game bundle $35 tier: DVD copy of film $40 tier: Blu-Ray copy of film The free bundle includes indie games that are already free to download, which is a bit of an odd choice. Those games are: A.R.C.S., OPENCLONK, QBEH, Zombie Grinder. Of course, the premium game bundle includes paid games which include: Livalink, Recruits, Spyleaks, Ubinota, Underrail. StudioBento is asking for a sizable sum of $50,000 and their project has 32 days to go.
  11. Things just have not been going Precursor Games' way since they tried to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Shadow of the Eternals. This episodic series was meant to be the sequel to GameCube favorite Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Despite being a loved title, there were just too many things working against Precursor Games to make the project a success. Because of some mismanagement, as well as nebulous terms and people with bad records on the staff, the original campaign didn't get anywhere near their asking price of $1.5 million. They then announced they would try and run the campaign again later and canceled what had currently been funded, returning that money to customers. Today Precursor Games updated their Facebook page to announce the relaunch of their Kickstarter. Shadow of the Eternals will be back on July 25th. Here's what they said about bringing it back: "We really want to thank our community and followers for the unwavering support and patience over the past few weeks - it“s been a huge inspiration and motivator for us. Your feedback has been instrumental in many ways throughout the process of creating the new campaign and we can“t wait for you to see what we have in store for you all." Do you think they will be successful this time or are there too many factors counting against them?
  12. Marcus Estrada

    Kickstarter-Backed Tex Murphy Sees First Trailer

    With so many Kickstarter projects succeeding over the last few years it is hard to keep track of them all. One project that saw some nearly $600k success was Project Fedora last year. It was touted as the return of Tex Murphy - a series which had been otherwise completely stagnant for years. Although the detective-styled adventure game was meant to release last December this didn't come to fruition. Really, it seems few Kickstarter projects can ever manage to make their own deadlines. Half a year after that, the first trailer has been produced. What took them so long? It seems apparent now. They of course have a full motion video (FMV) game which they apparently have shot the bulk of. That, paired with some CG backdrops, probably took a good deal of effort. Project Fedora is also now known as Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect. Here's Tesla Effect's trailer if you want to get the slightest idea of what the game will offer:
  13. Marcus Estrada

    Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images

  14. Marcus Estrada

    Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Screenshot 2

    From the album: Review Images

  15. Marcus Estrada

    Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded Screenshot 1

    From the album: Review Images

  16. Jordan Haygood

    Barkley 2

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Tales of Game's Studios

  17. What are your favorite sites to visit to check out gaming news? Likely choices include Joystiq, Polygon, Siliconera, and a host of others. Although these sites all serve their purpose well it's safe to say that most do not offer many very interesting editorials. This is not their fault, as they require a great deal of "samey" news content posted daily to simply survive. Now, here's another question for you: Would you pay money to see a gaming site focused purely on editorial content that is outside the realm of what we're used to seeing? This is a question currently being tested by the re/Action Zine 2013 IndieGogo fundraiser which is seeking a $41,000 goal. Their mission statement is as follows: "re/Action evolved out of the need for change. Critical, experimental writing suffers in a media landscape based on traditional publishing models, and diverse readerships only find hostile environments without proper inclusivity policies. This publication aims to celebrate the amazing writing often turned away from the mainstream sites and left unpaid. We want to capture the conversations that need to happen and create a safe space for all to participate." It is certainly the case that minority writing is often shoved out of the limelight due to the commercial needs of sites (wherein "minority issues" are considered incompatible with financial stability). On the other hand, when such material is published on Kotaku, Destructoid, or elsewhere, it receives a great deal of backlash. Although some may not be ready to pay for a truly 'safe' online environment, it's likely many would enjoy one if such a place existed. Those who do find the cause of supporting critical game writing within a safe space worth investing in can simply head over to the IndieGogo page and make a contribution. The site is maintained by Mattie Brice, Andrea Shubert, and Stephen Wilson. Brice in particular has circulated herself around to many convention panels to speak on issues important to the industry that are otherwise rarely discussed. Curious readers can check out the re/Action website which already features a host of editorials.
  18. Marcus Estrada

    Double Fine's Broken Age Coming in January

    If you're sick and tired of hearing about Kickstarter/IndieGoGo projects then Broken Age is who you have to thank for all the zillions of game projects on there. Although the website existed before then, it was the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter which drew massive amounts of attention and funding. Later announced as Broken Age, we've seen very little of Double Fine's new game since then. Heck, they even recently ran a campaign for another game. Anyway, Broken Age is not just lying dormant. VG247 has shared a backer-only Kickstarter post which reveals the title is nearing a public launch. As it turns out, even with the massive funding, they wouldn't have enough to work on the entire game full time until 2015 (the estimated completion time). As such, they will instead release the first half of the game in January 2014 on Steam Early Access. Players who purchase it will be funding further development of the rest of the game. Will you buy Broken Age during its time on Steam Early Access or wait for the entire game to be completed?
  19. Marcus Estrada

    Leisure Suit Larry Ambles onto Steam Today

    A little over a year ago, Al Lowe and Replay Games launched a Kickstarter project to reboot the Leisure Suit Larry name. Instead of allowing Larry to get stuck in stinkers such as Box Office Bust they wanted to bring him back to his glory days. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards deserved a remake and they promised they'd make it. Now we see that they've held true to their end of the bargain. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded was made available on Steam today. It features hand drawn art and animation, a soundtrack by Austin Wintory, and new puzzles. For the Steam version there are also achievements to unlock. The game has launched for $20 and was made immediately available on the service thanks to being a Greenlight success. Although the stigma surrounding this series is that it is completely raunchy/seedy, the old games were actually far more reserved than you might expect, excusing a few raucous jokes. All the same, the content in Reloaded must not be too bad either as Steam blocks anything that exceeds an M rating from their store.
  20. Marcus Estrada

    Ouya Finally Launches at Retail

    It's been a long ride for Julie Uhrman and company. In July of last year they successfully funded their open Android console via Kickstarter and now, one year later, it is making its way out to store shelves. It's kind of amazing to realize the timespan was that short considering they did produce a great deal of consoles. The system is $100 and primarily plays games and apps from the Ouya Marketplace, although it is possible to side load other Android content. The system previously saw some less than stellar reviews but it is said the final release version is better than the one Kickstarter backers received. You can buy an Ouya from many sources. These include: Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target. Previously it was noted that the system would appear at even more stores (such as Wal-Mart) but all were not named in the press release.
  21. Marcus Estrada

    Unreal Engine 4 Gets Official Oculus Rift Support

    The Oculus Rift is basically a device that allows gamers to strap it to their face and then enter into an exciting 3D space. Unlike other types of 3D technology, having the screens up so close really does help amplify the effect - as long as your eyes can handle it. Technology like this could bridge the gap that the Virtual Boy had hoped to some twenty years ago. However, the only way it will manage that is if it sees a great deal of support from other companies. This step has been made much easier today thanks to an announcement from Epic Games. Epic's Unreal Engine now has integrated support for a variety of middleware companies. Although these companies include expected names such as Autodesk and Intel, Oculus VR is also listed. This means any company that licenses Unreal Engine 4 for use will now be able to implement Oculus Rift functionality into their games. They still don't have to, but with the option readily available it may prompt more developers to give it a shot. Do you want an Oculus Rift or already have one?
  22. Being nowhere near its $1,350,000 goal, Precursor Games has decided to close down the currently on-going Kickstarter campaign for Shadow of the Eternals. The campaign on their site will also be taken down. Everyone that has donated will have their funds returned. Don't fret if you're worried about Shadow of the Eternals being canceled completely, though. Precursor claims that they're doing all this to relaunch a new Kickstarter campaign for the Eternal Darkness spiritual sequel, with new developments and opportunities in mind. There's no concrete date for the new Kickstarter campaign, but it is promised to pop up sometime "in just a few short weeks."
  23. Another Kickstarter project from Double Fine? Yes, it's true, and the game is called Massive Chalice. Massive Chalice is a tactical strategy game for PC with feudal fantasy elements. Double Fine says themselves that Massive Chalice is inspired by popular strategy games such as X-COM, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem, so fans of those might be interested in this game. In the strategy half of the game, "you oversee your kingdom, arrange royal marriages, conduct research, and make the far-reaching decisions that will determine the fate of your legacy." The tactics half is where all the turn-based battles come in. Like Fire Emblem, permadeath of your characters is also a feature. Rewards for pledging to the Massive Chalice Kickstarter project include: $20: Digital download of Massive Chalice, exclusive badge on official Double Fine forums, name listed in "Backers" section of game credits $50: Early access to Massive Chalice, HD versions of the public 2PP Behind-The-Scenes videos, hi-res digital art package, digital copy of Massive Chalice soundtrack $100: Your name and House preferences included as one of the Bloodlines in Massive Chalice, name listed in "Bloodline Backers" section of game credits $150: T-shirt, poster, name listed in "Collector Backers" section of game credits $250: Poster signed by Brad Muir, Tim Schafer, and other Double Fine members; name in "Signature Backers" section of game credits And more! Will you be pledging to the Massive Chalice Kickstarter project?
  24. Armikrog, the "spiritual successor" to The Neverhood, needs your help to become a reality! The Kickstarter project has just gone up today, and needs at least $900,000. So, what's Armikrog about? In this point-and-click claymation adventure game by Doug TenNapel and buddies from The Neverhood and Earthworm Jim (Mike Deitz and Ed Schofield), you're an explorer named Tommynaut. He and his blind alien dog, Beak-Beak, have crash landed somewhere strange and have ended up in a fortress called Armikrog. That's all we know so far! Armikrog will also feature the voice talents of Michael J. Nelson (Rifftrax, Mystery Science Theater 3000), Veronica Belmont (Tekzilla), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Blades of Glory, Surf's Up), Rob Paulsen (Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Scott Kurtz (Player vs. Player webcomic). And here's the part I know all of you are most antsy about. Rewards (most tiers come with previous reward tiers)!: $5: Armikrog desktop wallpaper $20: (Early Explorer) Digital download of Armikrog $25: Digital download of Armikrog $30: 100 page PDF of Armikrog concept art, digital download sampler of 3 songs from Armikrog $35: 24 page PDF of Armikrog comic book, digital download of "making-of" mini documentary $50: 50 page PDF of animation sketches, notes, exposure sheets, pencil test drawings, and more; digital download of deluxe "making-of" mini documentary $60: Digital download of game footage with audio commentary, dance mixes of Armikrog songs $75: 100 page digital download of Armikrog "Astronaut Handbook", printed physical version of Armikrog comic book $90: Physical boxed version of Armikrog And a lot more! Armikrog is looking amazing already and I, personally, can't wait to finally play it. I'm definitely going to pledge to this Kickstarter project! Are you?
  25. Marcus Estrada

    Play the Among the Sleep Alpha Now

    Kickstarter has been the hub for game developers and others to place their projects for a few years now. It finally seems to be waning in popularity though as more and more projects just miss being funded. Until today, it seemed that the daily pledges toward Among the Sleep would allow the game to just barely succeed. With three days left, the campaign has been successfully funded. What spurred this new rush of funders? Today is when Krillbite Studios released a playable alpha for all. No, not just funders, but everyone who visits the page. The alpha is of course free and showcases the basic concepts of the game in hopes that more will be encouraged to fund Among the Sleep. If you've already funded the project, and are in a reward tier that promises alpha play, don't worry about this alpha devaluing your access. During the Summer Krillbite will release a longer, polished alpha as well as beta access later on.