Thanks to our friends at Kalypso Media and Reverb Publishing, we have another great console prize package to give away. As listed above, we are giving out the custom 250 GB Alien Spidy Xbox 360 and more! We were very excited to get a hold of this prize package, but we’re not keeping it for ourselves. One lucky site reader will be gaming on this console very soon! All you need to do to enter this contest is answer the following question in the comment section below:
Alien Spidy was developed by Enigma Software Productions and published by Kalypso Media. It was released March 20, 2013 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
In the interest of full disclosure, we were unable to complete Alien Spidy for this review. Finishing a game before it's reviewed is the ideal, but as you read you'll understand the issues encountered that led to these circumstances.
Enigma Software Productions may not be a familiar name to most gamers, especially on the Xbox Marketplace. Their previous titles include History Channel: Legends of War – Patton, War Leaders: Clash of Nations and several other RTS and action games. Coming from a lineage of titles like that, it's surprising to see a game like Alien Spidy come from the same studio. With its cute animation style and what looks to be fun, laid-back platformer gameplay, the game is a real step into uncertain territory — which is something we'd normally encourage. However, looks can be deceiving, and even though it's nice to see a developer step out of their comfort zone, there's something to be said for sticking to your strengths. In this case, Alien Spidy is a game that would have been better left unspun.
Alien Spidy puts players in the role of an alien spider named, you guessed it, Spidy. As the game opens, Spidy's friend Virgi sets out on an exploratory mission to the planet Earth; however, Spidy quickly becomes concerned when he loses contact with her. Being the adventurous sort, Spidy decides to set out for Earth to save his friend. As he approaches the planet, his ship runs in to some technical difficulties. Crash landing on Earth, pieces of the ship are scattered across 70 levels in three unique areas. It is here players set out to find the missing parts of Spidy's ship and save Virigi.
Kalypso Media has officially confirmed the highly anticipated Alien Spidy will come to Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday, March 20. This glowing side-scroller casts you as an extraterrestrial arachnid capable of web-slinging like a commando with bionic alterations. The press release promises "a single-player action-platformer packed with dozens of challenging levels, boss fights, and a colorful array of insectoid, mammalian, and amphibious enemies that are as cute as they are deadly."
As one of our anticipated games of 2013, we've had a few chances to play it. We also interviewed the developers about its evolution. Inside you can find some newly released screenshots, and you can check out the recent trailer to see the game in action!
Here we are once again at the start of what's sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLA Fans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can't possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we'll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA in 2013. Once it's all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Developer: City Interactive
Alien Fear is an Unreal Engine 3-powered sci-fi first person shooter headed to XBLA, presumably at some point in 2013. Though we're assuming that the above image is a target screen rather than an actual in-game image, developer City Interactive is promising that the use of Epic Games' ubiquitous engine is allowing them to create an Xbox Live Arcade title that boasts "visually stunning, large-scale environments with impressive long-range vistas and expressionistic lighting." The co-op shooter has yet to be shown in action, but XBLAFans is looking forward to finding out if the game lives up to the promise shown in the above image whenever we get our first real look at it.
Heading to XBLA later this fall, Enigma Software's Alien Spidy is a game that's about as true to the descriptor "traditional platformer" as modern games come. It doesn't arm the player with crazy weapons. It doesn't have sandbox, shooter or RPG elements. Its story is set up with the time-honored tradition of the protagonist's girlfriend going missing. Players guide a space-traveling spider from left to right and run, jump and swing over enemies, pits and other environmental hazards. Simple, right? Maybe when broken down like so, but it also has that other element of the classic platformer: when you play it, you sometimes die.
Certainly it's not the first game on modern consoles to make simply progressing from left to right a challenge. Other games featuring far tougher gameplay have come and gone over the past decade, but it's still a trait worth mentioning. Alien Spidy approaches difficulty by stripping the player of any and all offensive capabilities, putting deadly hazards in his way and keeping him coming back for more with a forgiving checkpoint system. Anyone who's played a platformer before can pick this one up and immediately start progressing, but don't expect to do so unchallenged. To find out more about how the game works, XBLA Fans spoke with Enigma CEO Daniel Parente.
Alien Spidy is, as the name implies, a game starring an alien spider. Now, it seems to me that there are plenty of good (bad?) spiders right here on planet Earth, so I have to ask: why make the character an alien?
Daniel Parente: Indeed there is quite a lot of spiders on Earth, but we thought that an alien one would give us greater freedom to make it different and less “spidery” with a more human touch to avoid the arachnophobia to take place. Plus, an alien spider was giving us the logical possibility of [a] player with power-ups [and] a cool spaceship.
Occasionally, XBLA Fans likes to take a backseat and allow members of the development community to speak openly and directly to our readers. After all, you came here to read about games, and who better to talk about them than the professionals who create them? With that in mind, please enjoy the following article written by Enigma Software CEO Daniel Parente.
In today’s post, we want to do something similar. We’re introducing the remaining cast of characters featured in the game and how we came up with consistent visuals to keep the art direction and, of course, Spidy himself in line with our vision.
Let’s start with the Ladybug, which has its own unique charm.
Alien Spidy is hard. I watched helplessly during PAX East as the game's public relations representative repeatedly subjected himself to the rigors of a particularly nasty stretch of platforming in a cave level. He died. A lot. The level required the game's space spider protagonist to fire off strands of webbing, which he can swing from to progress through the game world, at a series of stalactites with pinpoint accuracy. Missing the dripstones meant his webbing would uselessly hit a section of the cave ceiling that it wouldn't stick to, sending the spider to his doom. Certainly this could be overcome by the simple act of slowing down and carefully lining up shots, no? No. The stalagmites begin to crumble and fall under the strain of Spidy's weight.
It didn't get any easier from there. Another portion of the same level required a deft hand to guide Spidy carefully through a narrow space flanked by rows of pink crystals that were as sharp as they were shiny. More dying ensued. There is no life bar in Alien Spidy; one careless brush with an environmental hazard or enemy results in death. The development team at Enigma Software have offset the high degree of difficulty by liberally sprinkling checkpoints throughout the game's stages. As a result, death is less likely to inspire a controller throw than it is another go…and another one, and another one, and so on and so forth.