Battleblock Theater Archive

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The Behemoth's Game 4 preview: Flying circus

Game 4 Ship

Like most worlds The Behemoth has created, that of Game 4 is a little outrageous and more than a little deranged. If you know anything at all about the studio's fourth game, it's probably that a gargantuan, six-limbed, space-faring bear has slammed into the planet and unleashed all manner of chaos. So comically massive is this Goro-like animal that it's a wonder anything on the hapless planet it strikes survives the impact. But survive some inhabitants do; after all, it would be more than a bit tricky to build a turn-based strategy game without a plethora of units to conscript and command.

Though the early section of Game 4 on display at PAX East is brief, we see or hear about units as varied as humans, trolls, robots and some sort of living cupcake creatures. Yeah, cupcakes. Playes are given control of Horatio, a simple blueberry farmer and father of one. The extravagantly mustachioed Horatio is forced to take up arms when a band of "Child Eaters" threatening to — what else? — eat his child show up alongside an unseen narrator hurling threats at him. Before you know it, green bear blood pours down from the sky and destroys Horatio's house, killing his son in the process. It's as dark as it sounds.

At least, it would be if not for the fact that Game 4 is also utterly goofy. In a repeat performance from his turn in The Behemoth's BattleBlock Theater, narrator Will Stamper uses his absurd, tangent-filled rants to bring the funnies while also making you question whether or not it's appropriate to chuckle after witnessing a child being disintegrated by caustic alien bear blood. Of course, this sort of irreverence is nothing new for The Behemoth. Castle Crashers had poop-propelled deer mounts, a literal catfish that coughed up hairball projectiles and princess make-out sessions. Then there was BattleBlock Theater, for which the setup was a group of anthropomorphic cat overlords forcing shipwrecked sailors to perform in a deadly game show. Game 4 is clearly being made from the same mold.

My only means of conveyance

Game 4 Giraffe Guy

Dan Paladin has served as the main art director for all of The Behemoth's games, and it shows. But you get the sense that even were Game 4 bereft of Paladin's bright and charming visuals, you'd still pick up on the connection to the studio's other games, despite the fact that they are all set in different genres. Production Coordinator Ian Moreno agrees that The Behemoth's titles all carry a similar tone, but he's not entirely sure how that happens. Or even whether or not it's on purpose.

"It's very much…" he says before pausing a few seconds to search for the answer, "there's an overall feel and vibe. It's not just a platformer or a shooter or a turn-based strategy [game]. There's always more to it, and, yeah, that's a really tough question. I think it's just in our DNA, whether it's the humor and the way we present things, we like to present things very differently.

"When you look at say, how we design our HUD or something, it has to have a little more nuance to it, whether the nuance is just humor or is just offbeat or different."

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The Behemoth’s Game 4 is a turned-based strategy adventure

Game4_BearHitsPlanet

XBLA veterans The Behemoth teased their fourth game last week, aptly dubbed Game 4 for now, which takes place during the apparent aftermath of a bear hitting a planet. A new playable demo at PAX Prime and the below gameplay trailer, has now revealed the game to be a turn-based co-op adventure featuring a faceless narrator similar to the one featured in last year’s hit Battleblock Theater. Players will find themselves exploring and looting with three unique customizable heroes through a world littered in bear blood and hex grids. Along with a single player campaign, the game will feature two player co-op and an up to four player 2 v 2 mode. Game 4 has no set release date as yet but will be arriving on both Xbox One and Steam.

 

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Behemoth reveals first Game 4 trailer

Game4Behemoth

The Behemoth has revealed the first trailer for their fourth game, temporarily titled Game 4. The studio's previous works inclue Castle Crashers and BattleBlock TheaterYou can see the trailer for Game 4 embedded below.

The Behemoth's announcing blog post reads: "Shortly before the release of BattleBlock Theater we started working on something new. We schemed up a bunch of concepts and picked our strongest one. From there we fleshed out the lone survivor prototype!!! As it grew stronger and stronger, we polished it, furnished it with delights, and added (gluten free?) sprinkles. Yes, as the chicken dictates, this game is of a genre we haven’t covered before and seek to breathe a new flavor into. Maybe you can find a hint in the video below about which genre it is??"

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The Behemoth will debut life-sized Game 4 Cupcake at RTX

Game4,

The Behemoth will be unveiling a life-sized goodie from Game 4 at the Rooster Teeth Expo this year, seen above. The treat looks quite fantastic especially for a life-sized cupcake and if you are headed to the expo be sure to stop by and snap a picture with it (RTX Booth 131). While there is still almost no information for Game 4 these little stunts only further our anticipation to see all be revealed.

The Behemoth is also bringing their arcade cabinets for their previous games, Alien Hominid HD, Castle Crashers, and BattleBlock Theater so there is certainly going to be plenty to do at The Behemoth booth.

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Gotham City Imposters now free for Gold users

Gotham-City-Imposters

As of today Games with Gold has now been updated to include Gotham City Imposters and it will remain there until July 16th when Battleblock Theater will take its place in the lineup. The game reviewed favorably among critics when it first came out back in the begining of 2012, especially with us. Our major problem with the game, matchmaking, has since been fixed in later patches and with a suddenly increased player base now is the perfect time to get into the game. We look forward to seeing more players get their hands on the game that we loved and hope everyone enjoys it just as much we did.

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July Games with Gold titles announced

games-with-gold

Just in from Major Nelson today is the list of games that Xbox Live Gold members can download for free during the month of July. For the Xbox One, these include Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (which was also available this month). For Xbox 360, games will be able to download Gotham City Impostors the first half of July, and Battleblock Theater toward the end of the month.

Guacamelee is an excellent platformer that is welcome on the Xbox platform — Playstation and PC gamers have already had it for some time — readers will be able to check out the XBLAFans review shortly after it goes live. XBLAFans thought Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was "one of the best XBLA-styled Xbox One games to date" when the review originally went live in December, so platforming fans are in for a treat next week when July rolls around. For 360 players, the focus is towards multiplayer action instead. When it released in 2012, the XBLAFans review of Gotham City Impostors is "one of the most downright fun shooters available today." Similarly, BattleBlock Theater, with its focus on multiplayer, "is the one of the best multiplayer games to hit XBLA" according to the XBLAFans review.

One last reminder: if you've not yet downloaded Halo: Spartan Assault, you have only another four days to do it before that rotates off of the free list, so make sure you get it soon!

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The Behemoth helping other indies with funding, user experience & QA

The independent developer who brought XBLA gamers BattleBlock Theater, Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers has announced that, in addition to game development, it has two other ways it hopes will result in the best indie games possible making it "from conception to physical reality in the industry." The Behemoth is now providing quality assurance and usability testing and what it describes as "no strings attached" funding for external indie developers.

Its testing lab, which the Sand Diego developer previously talked to XBLA Fans about at PAX East 2013, has been dubbed The Research Centaur and is said to staff testers with an average of six and a half years worth of experience in game testing. When he spoke of the testing center last year, The Behemoth President John Baez told us that it started as a purely internal department. Things went so swimmingly when testing BattleBlock Theater, though, that the developer decided to begin offering its testing services to external indie studios.

"I mean, one of the things we’ve done to kind of contribute to that [indie developer survivability] is we built a usability lab for Battleblock Theater, which has gone really, really well," Baez said last year at PAX East. "It’s about a year old, and it’s only internal, and now we’ve opened it up. Well, there’s that and a QA department — very small, four people — but they’re very, very good at what they do. And now we’re beginning to open that up to other developers. So Bastion for all of iOS, we tested [it] and certified [it] to make sure that [Supergiant's] game was good.

"So we’re opening that up to independent developers as a resource so they don’t have to go — I mean it’s not any cheaper than going to a big, gigantic test firm — but you’ll get the absolute attention to detail."

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Check out these sweet Black Friday/Cyber Monday XBLA sales!

sale

We know you've been waiting for them, and here they are! Black Friday sales for Xbox Live Arcade start now, and, assuming you don't already own them, you will definitely want to take advantage of this opportunity to pick up some of the best games of the outgoing console generation on the cheap. Notable XBLA games include Mark of the Ninja, Bit.trip Runner 2, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Battleblock Theater, most of which are at least 66 percent off! Some of these games will only be on sale for 24 hours, so check and double-check the tables below to plan your purchases. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Deal of the Week: Cowboys, Crashers, Batman and Blood Dragons

Deal_of_the_Week_Logo

This week's deal offers up some of the very best Xbox Live Arcade has to offer, dropping names and prices on a couple of the year's bigger titles and tossing in a few longstanding favorites for the late crowd. Xbox Live Gold Members can get a cut of the exclusive savings now, through Monday, September 16.

Kicking things off is the excellent Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, which can be had for a paltry $7.49, doubling the already outstanding value contained in the rich storytelling and imaginative design. Another gem of the early year, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is similarly priced at $7.49, uniting the gameplay of its namesake with the over-the-top cliches of the '80s and some laser-assisted dragons. Doodle Jump Kinect rounds out the group, which may seem like an odd choice given its company, but at a discounted price of $2.49 – who really cares?

Gunslinger          Blood Dragon          DoodleJump

Because a few must-own titles, and Doodle Jump, aren't enough to constitute a sale, Microsoft has seemingly relinquished control to Warner Bros. and The Behemoth, who've made their own respectful offers. Not much of Warner Bros. Batman-riddled offerings come by way of XBLA, but Gotham City Impostors does sneak in at $7.49, half the standard price. The Behemoth throws their entire Xbox Live Arcade collection on the table with BattleBlock Theater at $10.04 (33% off), Alien Hominid HD for $4.99 (50% off) and of course, everyone's favorite six years running, Castle Crashers at $7.49 (50% off).

GCI          BattleBlock Theatre          Alien Hominid HD          CastleCrashers

Last but not least, a few XBLA residents have had their prices reduced moving forward. Unlike the above, these prices should remain constant long after this week-long sale has expired. You can collect Realms of Ancient War (wisely abbreviated to RAW) for $9.99, but tread lightly, adventurer. The rest of the bunch groups up neatly at the $4.99 price point, featuring Invincible TigerPowerUp Forever, and the very decent Special Forces Team X. As always, you can hit the name of any title for more information, or tap the image to be whisked away directly to the savings.

RAW          Invincible Tiger          PowerUp Forever          STX

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July XBLA sales roundup

Pacific Rim

The numbers are in for the month of July, and it seems as though Pacific Rim: The Video Game is one of the more popular new additions to the store (of the games for which player statistics were available) with a total of 6,482 new players. Other new games included Scourge: Outbreak, Capsized and Zeno Clash 2, which on the whole received more favourable Metacritic scores but for which player statistics were unavailable on Gamasutra.

However, compared with fan favorite Castle Crashers, which picked up a total of 63,625 new players during the month, Pacific Rim: The Video Game did not perform quite as well. Castle Crashers, for which the overall amount of players now adds up to 3,583,918, was the most popular established game on Xbox Live Arcade. The Behemoth's most recent release, BattleBlock Theater, didn't do as well, managing to pick up 42,311 new players. Overall the older game that managed to pick up the most new players was Doritos Crash Course 2, which nabbed 345,411 people. Doritos Crash Course 2 is a free-to-play game that uses in-app purchases.

In terms of DLC, Pinball FX 2 seemed to dominate alongside Trials Evolution, Trials HD and Defense Grid: The Awakening. The latter, however, managed to pick up 837,860 new players for the base game itself. This spike in popularity was due to it being made available for free for a two-week period for Xbox Live Gold Members. The leaderboard also includes five additional pieces of DLC for the popular game.

Head over to Ryan Langley’s blog at Gamasutra for more details and the full roundup of sales for the month of July.

Source: Gamasutra

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