Added it to the Spotlight!
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Added it to the Spotlight!
The Indie Spotlight is flashing once again! This time it is an isometric third-person, twin-stick shooter staring a dark spirited character of no given name. This video game features a random evil-natured dude that leaves his home and decides for no particular reason to kill everyone in sight. He is particularly murderous towards those that act with any type of aggression against him. Toting several kinds of guns and explosives, this guy is Hell bent on his one man crusade of destruction. Only his weapon understands him. That’s right, the spotlight has fallen on
"The earth is hungry. Its heart throbs and demands cleansing. The earth is also thirsty." Those iconic lines are the first thing the players see when they first start playing the original POSTAL. Those iconic lines for the most part also appear in Hatred. Several of the Dude’s well-known lines are actually recycled here.
So what is Hatred? Well that’s fairly easy to explain at this time! We are assuming that most of you have played the original POSTAL, be it on your computer or your mobile device. Many of you are even waiting patiently for POSTAL Redux (which was on the books before Hatred was announced!). If you played our original POSTAL you already have a good idea of what to expect from Hatred. Hatred was created to be a modern day creation of POSTAL 1. It is paying homage to our original video game. In Hatred, the idea basically, is that you attack anything that moves. If you don’t shoot it, you blow it up or set it on fire. If you are careful enough not to actually kill someone, you can execute them to regain some of your lost health too. There are no first aid kits here; performing executions are the only way to restore your health!
Each level of the game has a main mission and generally has some optional missions. You may want to do the optional missions as they unlock something that is very valuable "re-spawn credits". In Hatred if you run out of armor and health, you die and the level is reset. That goes without saying, but I said it anyway for a good reason. I say it because if you previously cleared an optional objective, you can get a second chance to continue where you left off without having to start from scratch. This is incredibly useful because it is very easy to get swarmed, turned around, or have your bullets/grenades hit objects rather than your intended target. This certainly will leave you in a very sticky and most likely fatal situation.
Mentioning the re-spawn credits makes this a good time to mention another thing. Hatred is, or at least it was for me, incredibly difficult (mind you I was playing on the highest difficulty I could). I don’t know how many times I died trying to make it to the end. Even having the re-spawn credits didn’t always save me from a level reset! If you like a really challenging game, then you will probably love Hatred. If you are looking for a cakewalk murder simulator… you will likely hate Hatred.
Speaking of hating Hatred, there were things I didn’t really care for about Hatred. I can completely understand why they went in that direction for it. It’s poetic really, but I did not at all like the Schindler’s List/Sin City-esque use of greyscale gameplay with color being used only to draw your attention or for effects. Sure, it made it far more atmospheric, but it also made it a little monotonous and boring at times. Also it sometimes causes things/backgrounds to blend together. You might lose track of where you are or where you are aiming, where the enemies are and where the heck those bullets are coming from. You can press a key to have it highlight yourself and all weapons/NPCs in the area, but that can lead to you getting killed as you examine the highlights for the enemy shooting at you.
Another thing I found very frustrating was sometimes when you attempt to run and jump through a window or over an object, it just runs you into the wall rather than doing the required action. This happens even if you press the right buttons. It increases the difficulty because you might be thinking of using that window you went through earlier as your escape route if you get overwhelmed. It might sound amusing but you can see how that would create a problem when you find yourself repeatedly running in to the wall rather than jumping through a window like you are expecting.
There are vehicles in this game but they are not widely used by the game player. When they are used they are unfortunately not too overly useful. The reason for this is that you have to move the vehicle into position. This can be challenging in itself as the vehicle may be hard to turn and can become hung up on various objects quite easily. Once you finally have the vehicle where you want it, you then have to move to the turret (if equipped) before you can start firing. Unfortunately, by the time you get all that done, the odds are your targets have already run away. There is also the high likelihood your armed enemies have been shooting at your vehicle as you attempted to get in to make your escape. This could lead to you having to bail out again quickly before it explodes. If you happen to be driving and have a turret it is still much easier to just get out and shoot up the place than it is to try to navigate the vehicle around and then move into its turret. It is sort of good for cover though!
The last thing I didn’t like is the fact there was no way to play passive. When you walk out of your house, people automatically run in terror. The police will show up and shoot you dead despite the fact you were innocently just minding your own business while enjoying your Second Amendment rights... okay, maybe that isn't a real complaint about the game, I just wanted to get one more POSTAL series reference in...
Now that I have the Hatred hate out of the way, I’ll move on to what I like. I’ve always like games where you can destroy the environment in a multitude of different but amusing and entertaining ways. Hatred does this really well. With the ability to bring the walls crumbling down, it makes the explosives feel all the more real. Often in a game the grenades or other explosives do massive damage to NPCs but very little to the environment. Maybe a little scorch mark, maybe nothing. The fact I can throw a grenade into a room full of red canisters and seconds later, that room no longer exists is very satisfying for me.
Another type of event that really captured my interest and is probably the most gruesome part of the game is the executions. Sometimes it is a straightforward as the
Despite the dreary greyscale there is enough level variety that it keeps the game interesting. The first level is similar to POSTAL 1, a guy in his neighborhood shooting up the place. The second is an escape through the sewers which changed my opinion of the game from “too easy” to “I wonder if I should restart on a lower difficulty setting.” Pressing on you encounter a train level, which was probably one of the more enjoyable levels. It really lets you become an actual psychopath. There are very few armed people on the train. This gives you the opportunity to more or less just waltz though the train-cars gleefully killing all the innocent people until you eventually arrive at the front of the train.
If you have finished the original POSTAL and are waiting on POSTAL Redux to come along but need something to tide you over, give Hatred a try. The game basically feels like the original POSTAL with a modern touch. If you liked POSTAL you probably will like Hatred.
Quote from: From the Steam Store page:
About This Game:
Oops wrong trailer
That's still not quite right
There we go!
Don't forget we have our own store too!
Now that the Steam Summer Sale is over, I was just sitting here thinking how stylish I looked wearing my RWS T-shirt. I do always try to look my best after all. It’s really amazing how many stares and comments I get on my T when I wear it up-town. I know by some of the comments that people are just jealous of my high-fashion. As I was contemplating the fact so proudly proclaimed on front of it that “I regret nothing” I started wondering what other kinds of merchandise would you like to see sold in our store. Keep in mind we are a small outfit and wouldn’t be able to stock such things as machine guns or your own personal atomic bombs. As much as we’d like to, we just don’t have the room for that kind of stuff. Keep in mind too that shipping some merchandise to you might be a bit iffy. I don’t know why but the US Mail gets kind of touchy when it comes to carrying diseased cow heads from town to town. We won’t bother carrying silencers of course since most towns already provide their own free supply.
So what would you like to see for sale. I know other developers sell things like diamond crusted bone crushers and solid silver knee bashers. You might even get lucky and find a site that will sell you your very own gold plated armored tank but like I said, we are just a small outfit with no room to stock treasures like that. We do have t-shirts for him and for her, RWS signs, Krotchy Dolls (that talk!), the POSTAL Movie and the Fudge pack available already.
Click any of the images below to be taken to the store page where you can acquire them for yourself!
Let’s hear your ideas of what kind of swag you think RWS should start carrying. You can make your suggestions just for fun or for something you actually would like to see RWS stock in our store. We probably won’t ever stock what you suggest but then again you never know. We did try to get some Ferengi tooth sharpeners once but the shipping charges to our store were out of this world and Quark refused to give us a break and lower his price. So now is your chance to let us know what you want. You know when it comes to our Fans we always aim to please so how about it. Let’s have some fun. Send in your ideas now for your chance to
*Not that they would ever believe you that it was your idea!
It’s not very often that Running With Scissors talks about or promotes games that are not actually of the video genre so this post might come as a bit of a surprise. There is a new reality television show called The Hustlers on TruTV. The game is live-action pool and the stakes are big bucks so you can bet the competition is fierce. The players are all top ranked pool sharks and are in the game to win. What makes this game show special to RWS you might ask? The reason is simple. One of the players is very well known to the CEO of Running With Scissors. Vince Desi’s cousin Bill is a major player in the series. Vince’s cousin is known to his friends and fellow players alike as Bill “The Godfather of Pool” Finnegan.
The series features both male and female pool players. It is a lot more than just a couple of players going to a table for a friendly game and trying to knock balls into a hole with a cue stick. There is terrific rivalry for the top spot. It’s not only a lot of money that is at stake, it’s the great feeling to be able to say you are number one at your game. You can believe every player wants to be the best. With such a large assortment of players, there are personality clashes and arguments to add to the excitement.
If you are a pool player yourself, you will likely be able to pick up a few handy tips and tricks by watching these pros at work. They are all very serious about their game and will do what it takes to win. It might not be a good idea to challenge any of them to a game unless you are also a very, very good player.
Some pool players are well known for the art of the hustle but it is usually too late by the time you find out just how good they are. If you are smart, you will watch out for the underdog. He/she might just not be as bad a player as he or she initially makes out to be. Some of the better players deliberately do not do so well to start with in order to mislead less skilled players or in a tournament setting, to be placed in with a less skilled group.
Bill and Jennifer “9mm” Barretta, one of “The Godfather’s” colleges from the show, were kind enough to give us an interview. They tell us a bit about themselves, how they got started in their game and some interesting facts about the show.
Quote from: Vince's Interview with Bill “The Godfather of Pool” Finnegan and Jennifer “9mm” Barretta
Tune in this Friday (June 19th, 2015) at 10:00 PM EST/7:00 PM PST to The Hustlers on TruTV to see Vince's cousin Bill in action!
« on: June 17, 2015, 02:36:48 PM »
games™ asks What's so bad about violence in games? Full Article now available!
You may remember not too long ago we were featured in “games™” when they asked the question. “What’s so bad about violence in games?” Running With Scissors CEO Vince Desi took part in a group discussion talking about the way some of the more colorful games including the POSTAL series were received by fans, gamers and supporters.
The article is not fully focused on POSTAL games but quotes by Vince are used throughout the article. This article more or less features POSTAL video games, Hatred, and a few other video games thought to have more than their fair share of violence. Since Hatred, the POSTAL 1 emulator, is considered to contain a significant amount of violence, it was on the receiving end of a bit of controversial flak itself. CEO of Hatred, Jaroslaw Zielinski talked about some of its similarities to POSTAL games and how he had not expected such a large scale reaction. RWS knows exactly what he is talking about because we certainly didn’t expect the reception we got either. RWS could not have made it for this many years without the support of its loyal fans and even after all this time we are still on the receiving end of controversy and prejudice.
This very interesting article is now FREE to read just by going to games™ site!
This is also just a reminder that POSTAL 2 is 85% off in the Steam Summer Sale and that Paradise Lost is 35% off! Hit up the widgets below to score your copy before you regret missing out!
Fandom Spotlight: Iztok Živko
We know RWS and our POSTAL games have fans world-wide but it’s always great to see how our fans support our video games. What is even nicer is when they let everybody else know how much they love our games.
We recently got some pictures sent to us from a loyal fan in Slovenia. There is no doubt Iztok Živko is a POSTAL fan. Get a look at his custom license plate. You can imagine he will have a lot of fun just telling people what it means who don’t already know exactly what “GO POSTAL” stands for. You can bet he will either get a lot of shocked looks or a lot of laughs when he tells people what can happen in the game.
Even this fans car is similar in appearance, other than color, to the Dudes. I can't really imagine the Dude out there doing burn-outs in his vehicle. Umm…or maybe he did…maybe that’s why the Dudes vehicle never really worked right for him afterwards.
Anyway, we love it when our fans share their fun with us and especially when we can pass it on to you. There are many ways fans can let us know what they think of our games through their mail, drawings, videos and a lot of other ways we haven’t even thought of yet. You have to admit a Slovenian license plate is pretty unique. Will the Fandom Spotlight become a regular thing like the Indie Spotlight? It's up to you fans to decide! Keep your letters, pictures, cards and anything you would like to share coming to us. This is where our new players come from and is what keeps our games going. We are always happy to hear from you so get in anything to us that you want to share that you think other RWS fans might enjoy.
Added Bonus! POSTAL 2 is 85% off in the Steam Summer Sale and Paradise Lost is 35% off! Hit up the widgets below to score your copy before you regret missing out!
« on: June 09, 2015, 04:10:46 PM »
Indie Spotlight: Fallen: A2P Protocol (Early Access - Currently in Alpha)
Well now it’s as good a time as ever for the Indie Spotlight as it has already been charged up and is fully ready to shine once again. Our target this time is on an Early Access Game that successfully completed a Kickstarter Campaign and is now in its Alpha stage. I generally don’t like Spotlighting Early Access titles that are only in their Alpha stage but for this one I will make an exception. The reason for this is because they can change considerably over the course of development, sometimes they can evolve so much it almost seems like they are an entirely different game. When something like that happens it can render the Spotlight almost completely invalid upon the games release. To be honest I don’t usually even buy Early Access titles very often anymore due to how long the process can take to finalize a game. I believe most developers do their best to get their games out there but there is also the risk that the game might have the misfortune to never actually properly exit Early Access as a completed game.
Admittedly, I am a sucker for Monkey Island References
Being a classic X-COM, Fallout and Shadowrun fan, and having backed Wasteland 2 (but have yet to get around to playing it!), I had decided to just watch Fallen: A2P Protocol as it developed rather than actually buying it and trying to play it right now. I guess the Developer could feel me silently watching as they reached out to us and asked if we would consider their game for our Indie Spotlight. I agreed that I would give their game a try but being Alpha I kind of had my doubts if I would actually spotlight it, at least not right now. I figured perhaps down the road once Fallen: A2P Protocol was further developed might be a better time to showcase it since Spotlight isn’t something I want to use frivolously. I installed the game and gave it a whirl. It definitely does show itself as being Alpha, but it actually is in a reasonably good state right now!
Fallen: A2P Protocol is a post-apocalyptic, turn based, strategic tactical combat game staring a man named
Speaking of the Caravan, it’s basically your mobile base of operations. There is a screen in the Caravan where you can look at all your teammates, spend their skill points or change their equipment. You can also read a bit of useful information about them. You are able to upgrade the Caravan itself by using Scraps which you acquire from doing missions and from selling leftover items to traders. It is also possible to see any available or completed missions. Right now there are no indicators to show which ones are side quests and which are main quests. If you carefully read their description it gives you a bit of an idea but you might not be completely accurate every time. Once you have finished with your customization and are ready to move out you can go back to the world map and select where you want to go. Clicking on your destination will start the Caravan moving. You get the option to Drill as you go. This lets you find some random items which may prove useful.
There is the Rumors Menu that allows you to buy the latitude and longitude co-ordinates that will tell you the exact location of treasures. I never managed to get my Caravan to sit on the exact sweet spot so I am not exactly sure what those particular buried treasures are. Something that I would like to suggest to improve the game is to allow us to type in the Co-ordinates so that we can go to the exact spot more easily. I’m sure I could just click around a bit until I hit the exact spot but the problem is drilling and moving both cost A2P energy (fuel) so eventually you have to return to a trading post to recharge whether you have found your treasure or not. If you do happen to expend too much of your A2P energy drilling causing you to run out of energy while traveling back to base, you will find yourself being attacked by an Enemy Caravan. Victory here means you can steal some of their A2P energy. This comes in very handy as it is helpful in carrying on with your travels.
Once you reach your destination, you are able to interact with what you arrive at. Depending on the type of destination you reach, as well as doing the mission there, you might be able to trade or recruit new team members. Missions are basically the levels of the game. You are taken to the battlefield and are given your squad of 4 (or more if you upgraded your caravan and recruited more) that are set out at the starting point. Sometimes there are enemies within visual range, other times they might be hiding. Advancing your troops is a good way to spot the enemies. Action points are used to determine what exactly you are able to do. The number of action points you have available can be affected by a few different factors, but more on that later. Your best bet is to pick one of your units, select a destination that has cover but doesn’t use all the action points and advance the unit to that spot. If they encounter an enemy your unit will stop moving and wait while the enemy is revealed and quickly takes movement based turn only. Your unit can then be selected again and spend the rest of its action points either moving to the original destination or to a new destination or to attack the enemy. If you move to a point with cover as I suggested, you can spend all remaining action points to hide. This of course makes it harder but not impossible for the enemy to hit you. Once all your team members have expended their action points, the enemy then takes a turn. Only previously visible enemies will be displayed as they move.
Currently as the game stands right now, I prefer using melee weapons. They seem to be very overpowered at present whereas guns seem to be quite underpowered. This most likely is caused by the fact that guns require ammo. This is what led me to favor melee weapons early on before I realized how plentiful basic pistol ammo was. Higher-powered guns ammo drops far less frequently, so I have to be careful not to really use them much. The game levels your character up based on their actions meaning if they kill with melee they get melee skill experience as well as the normal experience. This likely led to my characters being left behind in the ranged weapon skills department. I made my newest recruit a gunner but since she started at level 1, while everyone else is level 21, she isn’t able to help much at ranged but can still kill well with melee in a pinch.
I have encountered a few issues with the game but I just want to remind you that it is currently in Alpha. Those issues will more than likely be fixed long before Fallen: A2P Protocol is released. One of the missions told me I needed to explode a barrel to be able to get through a wall to reach my destination. It even showed me the barrel to blow up but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to make the barrel blow. I tried shooting it with a pistol but it told me I had no target so the pistol wouldn’t fire. I tried hitting it at melee, but still nothing. I checked all the contextual buttons on the HUD but none of them were explode barrel. Eventually I resorted to pressing every button until I found one that actually worked. No the barrel didn’t explode for me, it was the Debug Auto-Win that I had stumbled upon! Another issue occurs if you are on a kill all enemies mission. As soon as you kill the last enemy the game displays the victory screen. This makes it impossible for you to loot the last enemy or any other lootables that may be around. Due to enemies hiding you might not even know that you are killing the last one. There are also ? mark items that I am not quite sure how to use. They tend to just vanish from my inventory if I try to apply them so I am wondering if those are something currently being developed. The only other thing that I dislike right now is the fact the trader has limited slots for you to sell your goods. Once you fill all the slots, you have to leave the trade screen and return to the map screen. You then have to return once more to the trader screen for him to have opened up a few more slots. It makes it a little tedious to sell things that way but it does make it much easier to find stuff you actually want to buy. That’s how I managed to get a full suit of armor for all my characters and some nice augments! One other gripe is the stack sizes for ammo and consumables could be a little larger when on the caravan screen. It’s understandable that your character can’t carry a single stack of 100,000 first aid kits, but your Caravan should be able to carry more than 4 in a stack!
I would like to go in to a bit more detail about the combat system and movement system. When you select a character, that character will have two movement fields displayed. One is the range they can move and still do the basic attack, the other is their maximum movement range. Depending on your abilities, you can actually cheat a little once every 4 turns by moving further than your normal attack range and using that ability to finish of an enemy with any remaining Action Points. Melee of course means you have to get right up close to your enemy, range lets you be further away. Some weapons place status effects on the enemies which will slowly take away their health over time until they die or enough time passes. This is very useful when you bring in a low-level character as they might not manage to kill the enemy outright themselves, but on a cheerful note, they might make them bleed to death! Failing either of those solutions, you could just have another character take a shot at them with the gun they just looted from the enemy’s dead brethren.
The story is still in development, but it is driven by in-game cut scenes. The story line involves Herk hunting down his brother, feeling brotherly love enough not to kill him and then getting seemingly betrayed by his brother yet again. It’s an interesting story with enough mystery to it that it makes you want to progress to see how the story will unfold.
One thing that is quite interesting is the weather effects. As you play, the weather changes! The changing weather affects your abilities. You might not have as many action points, it might be more difficult to aim, or perhaps you just can’t see as well. This can change over the course of a single mission so it really can help keep you on your toes.
If you like watching a game being developed and are a fan of classic X-COM, Fallout or Shadowrun then you may want to give Fallen A2P: Protocol a chance. It’s currently being updated fairly frequently with the last update being only a few days ago. Supporting the game now will help them make it even better. If you don’t like to take a chance on Early Access or Alpha Stage games, then consider adding it to your wishlist for later. I’m glad I gave it a shot right now rather than waiting as I had planned because I was happy with the current results. If it is like this in early Alpha, I’m sure Fallen: A2P Proticol will turn out to be a new classic once it finally gets released in full.
Quote from: From the Steam Store Page
About This Game:
Paradise Lost is Overwhelmingly Positive too!
It wasn't too long ago we were very pleased and excited to announce that POSTAL 2 had an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam. Considering back in the day when POSTAL 2 first came out how badly critics treated our video game, it was very refreshing to see the high scores we received on Steam. The people whose opinion really matters to us, our fans, let us know they back us up and love our game. Thanks to the overwhelming support and feedback POSTAL 2 received on Steam we decided to release Paradise Lost so that our fans could continue in another week of the long suffering Dudes life.
Less than two months after its release, Paradise Lost has received its very own OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE rating! Thank you so much to all those that gave us the nice positive votes. If you have enjoyed Paradise Lost and have not yet let your opinions be heard, we welcome you to either go do that now or whenever you can squeeze in the time. We won't push you into it, but you know, the more positive votes we get the more likely we are to celebrate, and that is how things happen. Paradise Lost came in to being because of that! Who knows what the future may hold... wait we already said, POSTAL REDUX.... but after that who knows what the future will hold!
« on: May 28, 2015, 03:13:17 PM »
POSTAL Mentioned as an Inspiration in an Interview!
What can I say...POSTAL just keeps making the news. Our most recent appearance is in GAMASUTRA. Jaroslaw Zielinski, CEO of Destructive Creations was recently interviewed by Albert Palka. Under scrutiny was Destructive Creations' new video game “Hatred”, which was described in the article as “the new age POSTAL”.
Jaroslaw openly admits the creation of his video game Hatred was heavily influenced by POSTAL. We are of course delighted to be a positive influence on anyone. We have to disagree with Mr. Zielinski on one point though. The world certainly has not forgotten POSTAL 1. It might not rank up there in the number one spot with big time names like Skyrim but it is still holding its own as a very popular game. In fact, POSTAL 1 was just recently released for Android and is proving it is still well loved by our fans. POSTAL 1, and the rest of the series for that matter, is not quite ready to limp off into the sunset just yet. We really don’t have to say anything, the fact that people are still playing and talking about POSTAL 1 after all these years speaks for itself.
As for being thought of as a comedy, the series is meant to entertain and keep the fans happy. If a fan gets a laugh out of playing our games, that is fine with us. It would be a mighty sad world if everything was doom and gloom. We are pleased to know our fans leave our games feeling a sense of amusement. Video games are, after-all, fantasy. If we can make someone feel good or happy just by playing our games, that’s our intention. If someone smiles when they hear the name POSTAL, we know without a doubt that we have succeeded.
Read the entire Destructive Creations Interview article exclusively at Gamasutra. It is titled, “Real talk with Destructive Creations (Hatred interview). You can also see a Hatred trailer there too.
Indie Spotlight: Inside my Radio
It’s time for another long awaited Indie Spotlight! Surprisingly, this game actually contains a number of Spotlights! You may have heard of this game before because we did touch on it in the past but now it is time for it to receive the full Spotlight treatment.
Inside My Radio is a Rhythm-Action Platformer set inside a dying boom box. Those of you who have read the past Indie Spotlights will know that I particularly like Platformers and Action games. Rhythm games though are a fairly new endeavor for me and I can honestly say I am not overly skilled at them. I’m not sure if I am just a bit too slow to react or perhaps I am just totally tone deaf. In any case, rhythm games usually end up making a fool out of me.
When I was asked to do a write-up about Inside My Radio by a fellow RWS staff member, I took it as a challenge. During the tutorial the game began telling me how to play it. Side to side sliding movements are free, but everything else has to be done on the beat. I could handle the side to side easily and that was fine. The game then told me to jump. I failed. I tried again and got it. Hurrah I am getting the hang of it. Then I had to do an jump and air dash…. for that I even got an achievement….no the achievement wasn’t for pulling off my first air dash… unfortunately it was a joke achievement for failing so many times in a row. That was the point where I gave up trying to do it by myself and turned on the beat assistance. Now I could make all my moves most of the time due to the handy dandy moving dots. When they met at the top or bottom, I could do an action. I felt like singing “I’ve Got Rhythm”. Actually, I felt kind of guilty relying on the pseudo-cheating method but it helped get me going and made the game much more fun for me. At least I no longer felt like a total failure.
As mentioned, the basic play of the game is to keep moving in time with the music. You work your way through two-dimensional levels. In the typical Platformer fashion, each level increases in difficulty as you progress. It only took a short while for my movements to start becoming much more fluid and I was increasingly enjoying the game. Eventually another achievement popped up for not using the beat assistance for an entire level…. At some point in my playing I had disabled the assistance and had not even noticed it. It likely happened when I pressed Shift-Tab to access the Steam Overlay because Tab is also the key needed to enable or disable the assistance. It was quite the confidence boost I got… that is until I realized I had suddenly lost my ability to play without the assistance and became utterly tone deaf once again.
The game isn’t all just rhythm based platforming, there are several mini-games scattered throughout it. There is a piano, where basically you slide on to the key that the note is about to hit in order to play the note. This one was quite simple for me. I was quite good at sliding back and forth at that point what with not needing to keep time with the music. There were puzzles where you had to turn on spotlights. I got another achievement in this area for successfully doing the same action a ton of times until I realized how to do it properly. Not only do you have to time your actions to the beat, but you also have to do it on certain parts of the beat. Luckily, there is a screen there to assist in your timing and make the task a little less difficult.
You transition though three types of music as you play through Inside My Radio. Taek (the green LED featured in the header) uses a kind of techno/electropop genre, Barry (who is the best looking of the bunch in my opinion) features disco funk, and Root (loved his intro reference) has reggae. The category of music playing has the background altered to suit the music style. While I have never really been into techno, dubstep or any of those other beat based music types, I did enjoy this games soundtrack as it really seemed to fit the action.
A Platformer wouldn’t be a Platformer without boss fights and this game definitely has those. One of the boss fights is a sort of Simon Says/Guitar Hero style which I found particularly fun although a bit too easy for the first half and a little but not too punishing in the second half. It’s at this point in the fun where the game introduces enemies. Up until this point it was pretty much just you versus the environment. The addition of enemies added a little more challenge in making your way through the various platforming levels. Now, not only do you need to time your jumps, but you also need to time them so the enemy wouldn’t get you. This might be as simple as waiting for the enemy to move then quickly moving on, or it could mean rapidly and successfully keeping time to the music to quickly get yourself out of there. Ultimately like any good Platformer, you reach the end boss chamber.
The final boss battle is split into three phases. The difficulty of the battle ramps up too as the fight changes phases. The third phase I played for over an hour before I finally managed to make it through. Turns out I wasn’t as good at side to side sliding as I thought I was. Unlike the rest of the game, which is littered with checkpoints so one little error never really made that big of difference, the third phase of the boss fight has no checkpoints. One error resets the entire phase of the battle. That’s right. Just one error! The first two phases of the final boss battle were dodging and then striking when you could. What made this really unique is that getting hit healed the boss up a bit each time, so it really encouraged you to be careful and not take risks. The third stage turned into bullet-hell. Thankfully you didn’t really need to time anything to the beat in this stage other than maybe a quick emergency dash.
Inside My Radio isn’t a long game. I actually got through it in one sitting the first time. I then replayed it to get some, but not all of my missing achievements. There is nothing really wrong with it being short as it made as an entry for Ludum Dare 23: Tiny World (and it won), but it would be nice if perhaps some DLC or a sequel was released with other genres of music available. If I could change one other thing about the game it would simply be the platforms themselves. While the background is generally vivid and pretty, for the most part the platforms are devoid of any color just being plain black. I think if they were to be colored in a bit it would make the game a little more visually appealing. I do believe the reason for having the all black platforms is it makes the background colors seem all the more stunning.
If you usually like Platformers games, you really should give Inside My Radio a try. It adds a pretty unique twist on the genre. If you like Rhythm games then there is even more reason to give Inside My Radio a try. This game has lots of unexpected twists and turns to keep you interested and make sure you end up loving it.
Quote from: From the Steam Store Page
Can you beat the beat? Journey as a green LED mysteriously trapped inside a dying boombox and play the ultimate musical experience. In this rhythmic platform adventure where your every action needs to be right on the beat, bring electro, dub and disco music back to life!
« on: May 19, 2015, 04:22:37 PM »
Indie Spotlight: Oceanhorn - Monster of Uncharted Seas
Due to all the excitement of Paradise Lost coming out last month, it’s understandably been a while since we had an Indie Spotlight. Oceanhorn - Monster of Uncharted Seas was actually going to be posted about about two weeks ago but I ended up playing it to the very end. I was able to find every item there was to find in the game and caught myself a Botfish for my outstanding achievement! Normally for an Indie Spotlight the game is played quite a bit but I might not make it to the very end before I have a good enough feel for the game to write or give my opinion about it. This time, I went even further and actually 100%’d the game before even starting the Indie Spotlight! No, it isn’t that I didn’t have a good enough feeling about the game before then, it’s just I just had to press on a little further. This is one of those games that hooks you in and keeps you going. I just found a new weapon, maybe I should play a little more and see what the next weapon I find is… oh it is a spell this time… well then, I better keep going. I simply couldn’t stop until I found myself fishing for the various types of fish in the world to get the Achievements including the Botfish. More on fishing later, for now let’s get in to the Indie Spotlight properly.
No discussion of Oceanhorn - Monster of Uncharted Seas goes without mentioning the Legend of Zelda and this Indie Spotlight won’t be any different. Most of the time it is compared to Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker but I won’t be doing that because I have never played Wind Waker. I will make an interesting note about Wind Waker though. Wind Waker came out in 2003, as did POSTAL 2. It doesn’t stop there though, the updated Wind Waker HD came out in 2013 for Wii U… and POSTAL 2 was updated and released on Steam in 2013. Oceanhorn also made its iOS debut in 2013. Now that the compulsory reference to Wind Waker is out of the way let’s get back to Oceanhorn and why Zelda is even mentioned in the same sentence.
“Oceanhorn appears to have drawn it’s inspiration from the Zelda series”. This is a line that appears in almost every comment made about the game no matter who is discussing it. That isn’t a bad thing at all as Zelda is one great series played on Nintendo but one that has never been officially ported to PC. For all those out there that grew up with the Legend of Zelda series and are looking for Action-Adventure games in a similar vein, you should definitely pick up Oceanhorn.
Oceanhorn – Monster of Uncharted Seas as mentioned earlier, started its life for iOS and then was ported to PC . Many people groan when they hear a game is a port, but in this case the port was really well done. Other than the Ocean Map, which feels like it would work better with touch controls but still functions well with the mouse, the game seamlessly uses the PC controls to the point it is hard to think of using any other control scheme for it. If you prefer to use a controller with the game you can and the on screen display even looks like a controller was in mind when it was designed. Other than reflecting things with the shield and maybe fishing, the controls are very intuitive.
Let’s get down to gameplay. The gameplay feels very much like Zelda so right off the bat that scored points with me. It is actually one of the main reasons why I decided to Spotlight Oceanhorn in the first place. Your character is young boy who collects his father’s sword and shield and sets off an adventure to collect three emblems and then stop Oceanhorn. Your health is displayed as hearts in the upper left corner of the screen. You can raise the number of health hearts you have by collecting four pieces of heart. There are pieces of heart scattered around the various islands you will visit and over the course of the game you will collect them all assuming you do a little side questing and exploration. You can buy one additional heart from the store giving you a total of 9 possible hearts. As you play you will find items and magic that you can use to help you progress though the game. You will collect bombs, which obviously are used to blow up things, such as a barricade or wall in order to progress or find hidden things. They also double as a nifty weapon as well. There is also a Bow and Arrow to collect which allows you to hit targets from a distance, be them enemies, or gate controls. Various spells are available to you as well. The ability to hit buttons from a distance by spawning an object in the air above them, or setting things on fire such as enemies or torches, or freezing things are all spells you will collect as you play. If you go to an optional area, you can get a useful cure spell, and if you collect enough collectible Bloodstones, you can buy the final spell which I won’t spoil for you, but it is incredibly fun and wee bit dangerous. Other than offensive weapons, you encounter some helpful boots that allow you to roll or jump over small gaps. Once you have those boots you can go back to all the earlier islands and finish finding all the collectibles.
The story itself is driven primarily through small voice acted cut scenes that are supported by written text in the form of NPCs, notes, and books. When you are on the Ocean Map screen it often reminds you of your next main goal. When you first arrive at a new area by boat, your father’s journal is read aloud to you giving you his thoughts on the area. I rather enjoyed the story for the game. I won’t go in to details to avoid spoilers, but it is a rather interesting and unique story involving magic, technology and blood…. and a living fortress by the name of Oceanhorn.
The game is played in real time, if you decide to get up and get yourself a drink, you might find you have died while you were gone if there were any enemies nearby. Dying makes you drop a little bit of experience, but not enough to make it that punishing, plus if you are fast enough you can get it back. For 150 gold you can actually cheat death once and revive with one heart. You can’t really exploit that as you then need to head back to the store to buy another Revive potion.
Basically, if you have never played a Zelda game, or an Action-Adventure before, to sum up the gameplay in a nutshell, you wander around various areas, swinging your sword to kill things and using your shield to block/reflect things. There are plenty of puzzles for you to solve as you adventure your way though the game. Most of the puzzles in Oceanhorn involve finding keys, moving blocks to pressure plates or hitting buttons. That might sound a little mundane, but it really isn’t. You have to look at the blocks available to you and try to figure out how to get them where they need to be. Perhaps you don’t actually have to push them on to switches, you might just need to make yourself a stepping stone later. Oceanhorn is forgiving most of the time as it has a handy reset switch nearby if you happen to mess up badly. Each main dungeon/cave you encounter will contain a Master Key locked chest and door. Inside the Chest is usually something very useful to you so you want to make sure you collect it. Once you are almost done with the dungeon you will reach the boss. The boss usually is defeated by using the item you found in the dungeon itself. It’s really handy the way the bosses always hide the exact weapon you need to kill them in their own dungeon. If you are a completionist you will want to open every chest and collect every Bloodstone as you go. The game lets you know how complete the island is as well so there is no exploring endlessly for nothing.
I mentioned earlier about Islands, there is even a floating island, but I made no mention of how you move between them. I’m assuming this is where the Wind Waker comparison comes in, because the blue tunic’d sword and shield barer takes to the seas in a boat… and from the pictures I have seen, that is how
There is one thing I never liked in Zelda Twilight Princess… fishing. I played the Wii Version, and it was actually the first game I ever played with motion controls so maybe it was just me not doing it right at the time, but I really hated fishing. It never seemed to respond the way I wanted, I lost so many fish just because of the gimmicking motion controls. I have a similar feeling about the fishing in Oceanhorn. It never actually explains how you do it (unless I missed it), but as far as I can tell, you just basically move the fishing rod in the opposite direction to the fish. This will slowly eat away at the fish stamina until it is too weak to fight and you bring it in. Once you start catching bigger fish, this is an incredibly slow process. The reason why it is slow is because their stamina seems to reduce so slowly, and regenerates very quickly when you make a mistake (such as not moving the rod to oppose the fish fast enough. Sometimes the fish more or less chases your rod around, regenerating its stamina, despite your best efforts. If you stop paying attention for more than a second odds are you will lose the fish entirely when it swims off the side of the screen. Luckily fishing in Oceanhorn is completely optional.
With all that said, other than time consuming, it is not that hard… except the Ghostfish and the Botfish. The Ghostfish reverses you controls. If you forget the controls are reversed for even a split second, that 5 minute battle you had with that fish will end with it escaping. The Botfish makes me think though that I must be doing something wrong. The Botfish fights back in an additional way. It sends out weak electrical charges that drains half a heart at fairly regular intervals. I had to have tried to catch one of those 20 or more times before I managed it. A few times I came really close, but the fish managed to drain all 9 of my hearts before I drained all its stamina. For the one I actually managed to catch I think the game must have taken pity on me because I still had about half my health when I finally won. I read on the forums that using a mouse makes it a lot easier, but while I did do it with the mouse when I finally caught it, it didn’t seem that much easier. I also read a single comment saying that a patch removed the easy nature of using the mouse.
Other than not really liking the Fishing element of the game, Oceanhorn - Monster of Uncharted Seas is still one I would strongly recommend to any of you looking to find a good Action-Adventure game for the PC. It feels enough like Zelda that any Zelda fan would most likely really enjoy this game. It is a very playable, great Action-Adventure game on its own merits. It’s a game I am glad I took the extra effort and 100%’d rather than just playing it to the end and ignoring the extras. Sometimes you just want to be done with a game so you end up giving up on your 100% quest and just burn through to the final boss just to be done with it. When doing an Indie Spotlight I sometimes have to sacrifice at least a bit of exploration just to get far enough in to the game to be able to speak about it accurately but in a timely fashion. That is how I started out in Oceanhorn. I hadn’t really planned on exploring that much, I just went for the goals and moved on. When I reached the third emblem and Oceanhorn was my next phase I didn’t want the game to end since I was enjoying it so much. My solution was to go back and fully explore all the islands until they were 100% completed. Now that is over, I can say I am definitely looking forward to an Oceanhorn sequel!
Quote from: From the Store Page
About This Game:
As an aside: One thing that has always bugged me about these types of games, are normal keys. You find keys scattered around and they can be used on any door. This of course makes it a little easier for you because you don’t have to find the exact key for the lock in order to progress, but the fact that any normal key works on any normal door means really that I should only ever have to find one normal key. It feels like the characters in Action-Adventure games are very wasteful. Hmm, well I used this key once, it’s not quite as shiny as it was before, has a couple of scratches from the lock on it… oh well I will just throw it away then and find myself a brand new shiny key for the next door! The Master Key is always an exception though; the hero realizes a key that fancy and big must be too important to just throw away once it is used. With that aside, it would be far more annoying if every door needed a specific key, so I won’t complain about that element any further!
An Interview with Cultured Vultures
Running With Scissors is very happy to say Paradise Lost is gaining the POSTAL Series more positive attention than we could ever have hoped for. We were reasonably confident that our fans would stick by us but we hadn’t expected the overwhelming support we received from other representatives of the gaming media. We are always happy to talk about our games.
Jay Slayton of Cultured Vultures very recently spoke to Vince, Mike J. and Jon Merchant about video game culture in general and inquired about some of the controversy that has plagued the POSTAL series. The guys talked about some of the challenges faced making the game similar to the town of Paradise yet with fresh new humor and twists that would hold the fans interest.
Vince mentioned the awesome support given to the POSTAL video games by their fans and how it had been his pleasure to personally answer thousands of their emails over the years.
Quite a bit of ground was covered talking about various aspects of the POSTAL Series and the reception games and gamers frequently receive. To read the entire article head on over to the Cultured Vultures site.
It’s Mothers Day
Today’s a day we definitely don’t want to forget. It’s the day we all have to make a big fuss over that very special female. Nope I don’t mean your wife, girlfriend or mistress. This is somebody even more special than that. This is the lady who did her best to keep you in line and set you on the straight and narrow. It’s dear old Mom!
Whether you give her a phone call or send her some flowers or better yet get over for a visit if you possibly can, today is the day when you should make a special effort to let Mom know you appreciate everything she did for you or if you are at home, is likely still doing for you.
Take the time to stop and think about it. Most of us likely put our Mom’s through a lot more than we would like to admit yet in the majority of times, our Moms stood by us all the way. Always quick with smiles and hugs and lots of laughs, Mom is the one person most of us could count on being there for us.
Mom is the one that as youngsters we always thought was just about the prettiest, smartest person in the world. Mom taught us how to do almost everything we needed to know… how to get our-self dressed, tie our shoelaces, wash our hands and face, wash the dishes, scrub the floor..hmm ...wash the windows…wash the walls….hmmm…. cut the grass…weed the garden…..make the beds…tidy the rooms…shovel the snow…..hmmmmm...take out the garbage……clean the litter box……pick up after the dog……………..do the laundry……………………………..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Yup! Mom is one pretty smart cookie all right!!!!
Anyway, I know I wouldn’t be half the person I am now if it wasn’t for dear old Mom. The warden says I will be getting out a bit sooner because of my good behavior. Mom always said act your best because you never know who might be watching! Happy Mothers Day Mom!
« on: May 05, 2015, 03:59:11 PM »
The One Up Gaming 100th Podcast Special Featuring Mike J!
Running With Scissors would like to send its congratulations to One Up Gaming on presenting their 100th Podcast! Our own Mike J joined in their Special with a detailed discussion of the POSTAL series and some of the pitfalls and triumphs the RWS video games have encountered along the way. Mike even gave us an idea of what happened to POSTAL 3 and why it is not available at the RWS store and why it never reached the popularity of the rest of the series.
You can tell the guys are pretty happy and having some fun at the beginning of the podcast. That is easily understandable considering the occasion but it is well worth waiting the couple of minutes until Mike comes on to hear the conversation. The guys settle down and have a very informative, in-depth discussion on the struggles RWS went through to present their games despite the positive reception the video games had from fans around the entire world. Mike gives his opinion of why POSTAL is welcome in some areas but not in others, compares the appearance of old style games to more modern games and he touches on the success the POSTAL video games are now having.
You will need a little extra time to listen to this discussion as it is a fairly lengthy conversation. I think it will hold your interest from start to finish though. To hear the entire Podcast go to www.oneupgaming.co.uk. Mike is the first guest featured on their 100th Podcast.
games™ asks What's so bad about violence?
games™ Issue 160
It seems almost inevitable that as long as there are video games, there is going to be controversy surrounding every aspect of their content. Games containing violence or gore are easy number one targets at the top of many critics hit-lists. Ironically, critical groups will often seek to destroy that which does not meet with their complete approval. Perhaps they think a game is too violent or they simply don’t understand the concept portrayed by the video game creator. Perhaps in some cases they are just seeking their own fifteen minutes of fame.
Running With Scissors President and CEO Vince Desi recently was privileged to join in a group discussion concerning the reception games such as POSTAL receive from gamers, fans and supporters. Thrashed out under the gun, so to speak, was the value to society of being able to act out violent or destructive, blood splattered attacks and murders. Vince states “Human beings live for fantasy” and “Imagining oneself as a hero, a lover, a killer, all go hand in hand with fame, fortune and fantasy. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we acted out all our fantasies. Thank God humans can fantasize as a way of exercising their desires and satisfying their emotions.” If these types of games are to be continued, what exactly should be expected in games made for the over or under 18+ age?
How much is too much? It seems quite clear that gamers everywhere love games that along with a reasonable story line contain generous amount of gore and violence. It all adds to the thrills, the fun and the relaxation. Unless a person goes around with blinders on and wrapped in cotton wool it should be obvious to them that violence and video games are here to stay. Vince made a very good point. Certainly, everyone has to agree that it is much better to vent your anger by blasting through imaginary people and buildings in a game rather than going after some innocent by-stander. Fantasy violence is obviously a lot safer and better for everyone than letting everyday frustrations escalate to the point where it causes people to act-out and create death or destruction in real life.
We would love to be able to share the entire article here with you as it is well written and makes some very fine points but unfortunately it is out of our control. For those of you who would like to read the article in its entirety, you can purchase games™ Issue 160 over at greatdigitalmags.com or at imagineshop.co.uk.