Platformer Archive

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Composer interview: Super Time Force

Super Time Force

Xbox Wire recently posted an interview with Jason “6995″ DeGroot, composer for Capybara Games’ highly anticipated downloadable title Super Time Force. DeGroot describes the soundtrack as based “around NES [Nintendo Entertainment System] sounds — simple pulse/triangle/noise waves.” Unlike sidescrollers of the past, however, this retro soundtrack is processed with modern technology, creating what chiptune audio enthusiasts refer to as a “9-bit” sound. For readers unfamiliar with this type of sound, think of the soundtracks to Dustforce and Fez.

DeGroot cites classic NES titles such as Ninja Gaiden II, Mega Man and Metroid as influences. Metroid is an interesting choice that DeGroot notes as “so sparse at times — a bold departure from most games of the era.” Such an unapologetically retro title with modern gameplay twists needs an equally well conceived soundtrack to match, and it sounds like Capybara has found exactly that fit with DeGroot’s tunes.

Source: Xbox Wire

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams reaches 1 million downloads

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Indie developers Black Forest Games have revealed that Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams has now sold over one million copies. The game was released on XBLA one year ago today at the 1200 MSP price point following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Twisted Dreams was said to be the spiritual successor to The Great Giana Sisters, a hit ’80s platformer famed for its similarities to Super Mario Bros.

It’s not clear whether the figure includes the free download made available to PS+ subscribers in Europe or the copies sold as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 11 on PC.  Either way it’s always good to hear an indie game success story. Check out our review for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams here.

Source: CVG

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Dustforce releasing in January

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Capcom has announced that its 2D “sweep-’em up” title, Dustforce, will be headed to the Xbox 360 this coming January. Developed by Hitbox Team, Dustforce is a platformer in which players must use acrobatic skills to rid the world of dust and filth. There are four different types of characters to choose from in Dustforce: Dustman, Dustkid, Dustgirl and Dustworth. Each character brings a different skill set that will help players cleanse each level.

Online multiplayer will feature modes such as King of the Hill, in which 2-4 players will battle for points by capturing lamps. In survival mode, two players will be able to compete against two others in matches with the objective being to knock the other team into hazards until it runs out of lives. For those who like to clean, there will be 56 single levels coupled with 10 multiplayer maps. More maps will be released at a future date, but they will be free of charge.

As well as coming to the Xbox 360, Dustforce is also heading to PlayStation 3 and PS Vita as a digital download.

Source: Capcom Unity

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Dustforce coming to Xbox 360

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Hitbox Team’s 2D sweep-’em-up platformer, Dustforce, was released to PC and MAC users back in early 2012. Last week, Capcom announced that Xbox 360 gamers will now too get a chance to clean things up.

According to a post on the Capcom Unity site by Brett Elston, Capcom’s Community Manager, Dustforce is coming to platforms such as the PS3, PS Vita and the Xbox 360. At the time of this post, there are no details about a release date or the price for Dustforce.

There was also no information if this is going to be a straight port from the PC or if new features/modes are in the works to breathe some new life into this almost two year old title. Currently, the PC version has more than 50 levels, an online leaderboard, and 4-player local multiplayer modes.

Source: Capcom Unity via Joystiq

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Castle of Illusion coming to XBLA on September 4

Castle of Illusion

Publisher Sega has confirmed on its blog that Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse will be launching on Xbox Live Arcade on September 4 for 1200 Microsoft Points. This reimagining of the Sega Genesis classic is built from the ground-up with voiceover and tweaked content to modernize an old favorite. The creators were very clear to say this is not a kid’s game, but a love letter to classic gaming.

To learn more about Castle of Illusion, check out our full preview.

Source: Sega blog

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Sega’s Castle of Illusion looks to change the game for remakes

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XBLAFans stopped to chat with Sega Studios Australia’s Omar Woodley, producer on Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse during E3. We discovered that calling the new version of Castle of Illusion a “remake” or “rerelease” doesn’t do it justice. Unlike other modern ports of classic games, such as Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia Classic or Capcom’s soon-to-be-released Ducktales Remastered, Castle of Illusion was described to us by Woodley as “a full reimagining of the game.”

The biggest, most immediately noticeable change beyond updated graphics and sound (which includes a charming voiceover for Mickey during gameplay) is the addition of a hub world. In the original game, Mickey wandered the Castle of Illusion to introduce each new level. Here, the castle is envisioned along the lines of Super Mario 64, as a three-dimensional hub world by which all of the levels are accessed. It’s a fun change that makes the castle feel like an actual place, instead of merely a setpiece for the plot.

According to Woodley, Sega Studios Australia had lots of “creative freedom to redesign the levels… When we played the original and we tried translating that to the new 3D world, some of those levels weren’t as challenging as they were back in the day. They actually played out to be quite long in length to this contemporary feel so we had to compensate for that, and we also just wanted to challenge the player and keep that difficultly setting pretty high to what the classic was. So we added these various components and a few different puzzles and tricks here and there to keep the challenge intact.”

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Laika Believes: The Sun at Night trailer teases some pawsitive gameplay

The recently debuted trailer for Laika Believes, a metroidvania style 2D platformer from Minicore Studios, finally gives us a sniff at some actual gameplay. The game revolves around Laika named after the first dog to orbit the earth, however in this alternative reality Laika makes it back home as a half robot-half dog with advanced intelligence to find the Soviets standing supreme as rulers of the globe, having reduced America and Great Britain to little more than smoking heaps of ash. Whilst the game has still not been confirmed for XBLA, the plan is to release Laika Believes in three parts. Expect the first episode, titled The Sun at Night, sometime in 2013.

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams review (XBLA)

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is the rare platformer in today’s world that is simultaneously incredibly demanding and very satisfying. The game, ported to XBLA from the first batch of Steam Greenlight games, was originally part of a successful Kickstarter project. The game’s protagonist, Giana, derives her name from the original Great Giana Sisters of the 1980s which was most well known for being successfully sued by Nintendo for its close similarities to Super Mario Bros. The new game maintains the charm of an older era while demonstrating a keen awareness of how graphics and sound have improved in 25 years between the original and Twisted Dreams.

The game’s main mechanic involves Giana’s ability to shift between two different forms, which shifts the entire world’s graphics and music accordingly. Players will find themselves shifting back and forth between worlds extremely rapidly at times — it recalls the shifting of Ikaruga and Outcast, though with substantial changes to the environment also, not just the main character.

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Rumor: Steam listing hints at February release for Bit.Trip Runner 2

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Our sister site, Steam Game Fans, recently spotting a release date of February 26 for the PC version of Gaijin Games’ upcoming rhythm-based platformer, Bit.Trip Runner 2. Whilst no official announcements have been made there’s a good chance we may see an XBLA release the following day on Wednesday, February 27. The game is currently available for pre-order on Steam with 10 percent off a recommended price of $14.99, so expect a 1200 MSP price tag when it hits the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Source: Steam Game Fans

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Cave Story receives ESRB rating for Xbox 360

In case you haven’t yet played the popular indie masterpiece, Cave Story received an ESRB rating for the Xbox 360, hinting that some announcement of a release for the platform might be forthcoming.

Unfortunately, there are no concrete details on what will be included in the port just yet. The most likely candidate for a console port is the Steam version, which features a number of bonuses — the above title screen (taken from the Steam edition) is part of the holiday artwork for Halloween today. The Steam port also includes two alternate soundtracks for the game: a “New” option originally releasing for the WiiWare port of Cave Story, and a “Remastered” soundtrack arranged by Danny B, the composer on Canabalt and Super Meat Boy that originally premiered with the 3DS edition. Getting all of these bonuses in addition to the already brilliant base game would be a great way to bring the game to XBLA.

Again, there are no details just yet, but readers will find them here as they become available — this is a game to be excited about!

Update:  Jonathan Holmes over at Destructoid has posted a whole bunch of Cave Story related information about the brand new Halloween sprites and artwork — readers interested should check out the Destructoid article in question, which includes a sweet Halloween illustration of Cave Story’s cast. Nicalis points out that they currently have no plans to port the game to either Xbox 360 or PS3.  Tyrone Rodriguez, president of Nicalis, stated that they “…submitted all the consoles so that we wouldn’t have to resubmit in the future, IF we ever decided to bring to those consoles.”

Sources: ESRB and Jonathan Holmes via Destructoid

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