By Jared Cornelius
Welcome back to Live(ish) From The Games Shop. Another E3 has successfully passed us by, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s excited for the hot new games that got shown. It almost makes me anxious for new releases. However, when I turn my gaze to the calendar this week we again have slim pickings. If you must have a product in a retail box, UFC is out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I hear it has Bruce Lee in it, that’s cool, right? So without any big budget release for the week let’s shine the spotlight on the digital front again.
For me Xbox Live’s Games With Gold program has been pretty flat compared to PSN’s slate of releases every month. However, they may have started to turn things around a bit with the release of Charlie Murder for free this week. Charlie Murder’s a classic styled 2D brawler with a punk rock sensibility from indie developer James Silva and Ska Studios. Staring the titular Charlie Murder as the front man of a punk rock band who’ve found success, much to the dismay of former band member Paul, who makes a pact with the devil to destroy the band. Charlie and his bandmates must battle Paul, the undead, and demons to escape hell and get revenge. Charlie Murder has four player co-op, upgradeable characters, and an awesome soundtrack. The games visuals are sketchy in a good way with a Silva’s art fitting the beat’em ups’ punk rock aesthetic. This was one of my favorite brawlers of the generation, second only to Castle Crashers and it’s free until the end of the month so no excuses if you have Xbox Live Gold. The soundtracks also free and really good, you should download that too.
Knightmare Tower, is a momentum based action game from the good folks at Juicy Beast Studio. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a small indie team that made another popular momentum title, Burrito Bison for Adult Swim Games. Knightmare Tower features a knight lighting a rocket on fire, and using momentum to make his way to the top of a tower with the goal of rescuing 10 princesses. On his way up, he’ll have to deal with an onslaught of monsters of which he’ll use to ping pongs back and forth slaying, trying to maintain momentum. You collect gold on each attempt that can be used on upgrades to progress your knight. Knightmare Tower features a campaign and survival mode, an upgradeable knight, and a soundtrack by Hyperduck Soundworks, who did the soundtrack on indie darling, Dust an Elysian Tail. Knightmare Tower is already available on I0S and will launch on Steam Monday. Burrito Bison had me hooked for several weeks, I’ll be picking this one up for sure.
For fans of block rock’in beats, and old school shoot’em ups or “shmups”, we have Rhythm Destruction. From as far as I can tell virgin games studio Curious Panda, Rhythm Destruction’s gameplay is based on the classic 2D shooter genre with a twist from modern rhythm games. Players destroy enemy ships and obstacles by keeping in time with the beat. Rhythm Destruction features 10 stages with unique music, and a heavy emphasis on score chase with real time leaderboards. Ikaruga was the last “shmup” that I thought really did something creative with the genre, so I’m real curious to check this one out, and its only $5, I can live without a large coffee chain coffee today. Rhythm Destruction launched Monday on Steam.
Do you like racing sharks? Well if so, Derrick the Deathfin is your jam. From indie developer Different Tuna, Derrick the Deathfin, is a 2D racing/eating game. Made with a really cool paper craft art style, Derrick the Deathfin has a fairly straightforward race from start to finish, but Derrick must deal with an ever shrinking health bar in his quest to reach each level’s end. 11 levels of glorious paper craft art, a humorous story about murdered shark parents, round this indie game out. Derrick the Deathfin was released Monday on Steam and is also available on PSN.
Another week of small releases. I guess the big game companies want your pre-order dollars. As for next week we have some real niche titles, some of which are heavily anime influenced if that’s your thing, but I’ll keep pushing on if you do too. If you’re going to be attending Wizard World Philly this weekend I’ll be there too, you can come say hi and tell me I’m great or I’m a hack whatever, share your thoughts over a roast pork sandwich at DiNic’s in Reading Terminal. The best way to find me is by following me on Twitter @John_Laryngitis where I share all the hot news about whatever is bugging me at that particular time. You can also check out my recap of each issue of The Walking Dead with my column, Typing on The Dead, and the other random articles I do throughout the week.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from New Jersey’s coast who’ll be hanging around the show floor at Wizard World Philly. If you’d like to get your picture taken free of charge, contact him on Twitter @John_Laryngitis