The Behemoth Archive


Microsoft reveals huge list of new ID@Xbox partners


Microsoft has announced that over 200 developers are working on titles for the Xbox One via its ID@Xbox initiative and has released the names of 65 of these developers that are joining the 32 developers they already announced back in December.

Some of the highlights in the list include The Behemoth, developers of the extremely popular Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater; Playdead, the developers of eerie XBLA title LIMBO; Ska Studios, the team behind the beautifully violent games Charlie Murder and The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile; Warhorse Studios, the developers behind the highly successful Kickstarter Kingdom Come: Deliverance; and Zoë Mode, the developers of Powerstar Golf.

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Free prisoners in BattleBlock Theater this week

BattleBlock Theater Frankencat

BattleBlock fans, The Behemoth has something special for you! This week only, you can grab the Boot, the Moose, and the 50%-Off Prisoner (that's the one with half a body), all at no charge. Furthermore, they plan to give out new prisoners each week for the month of August.

For those of you who don't yet own BattleBlock Theater, this promotion won't work for you. Unlike your typical add-ons purchased through the marketplace, these prisoners can only be acquired after launching the full version of the game. Maybe you should fix that?

Source: The Behemoth


Free Donuts for BattleBlock Theater players


Today is National Doughnut Day in America and to celebrate The Behemoth are giving away free Donuts to BattleBlock Theater players for a week!  The special prisoner, Donuts, was previously available as a limited time only Furbottom Features unlock. To get all the Donuts you want and none of the calories, players need to sign in to Xbox LIVE, open up the full version of the game and watch as this special prisoner pops out of the vault. For those not in the know, National Doughnut Day is on the first Friday of June each year, succeeding the Doughnut Day event created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. BattleBlock Theater 'Donuts' will be available from June 7th, noon PDT, until June 13th.


What do developers want from the next-gen XBLA?

Next-Gen Xbox

Tomorrow at 10 am PDT, Microsoft will likely tell us all some things we already know. The Xbox creator will also tell us plenty that we don't already know. Some rumors will probably be proven true, others false. New games and features will be discussed and, in some cases, shown. Ultimately, the curtain is going to fall on Microsoft's event before the public hears everything it wants to hear. Microsoft is only going to tease us, with a more complete showing of all its console plans for the years ahead not coming until the console holder's traditional pre-E3 media briefing on June 10.

But tomorrow we will know something we don't know today. We'll know something about what direction Microsoft plans to steer the Xbox brand in over the course of the next generation. Sitting here right now, I can honestly say that I know nothing more than any other gamer who's followed the supposed leaks over the past few years knows about what we're going to see tomorrow. Rather than make educated guesses about what might be shown tomorrow and at E3, XBLAFans is following up last week's look at how developers feel about XBLA as it currently stands by having them speak about where they want to see it go in the next generation.

During PAX East this past March, we cornered six game developers and asked them one question: If you could change any one thing or add any one feature to the next-generation version of Xbox Live Arcade, what would it be?

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For indies, working with Microsoft is a horrifying mess…right?


Dead Space's Isaac Clarke once had to drill into his own eyeball in order to survive a ship infested with mutated freaks. Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad of Assassin's Creed fame was made to part with a portion of one of his fingers in order to join the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins. Tomb Raider's Lara Croft once had the misfortune of falling onto a piece of sharpened rebar that pierced her midsection — and all she was trying to do was go for a nice little exploratory boat ride. And that's not even mentioning the myriad scores of locust soldiers that have found themselves on the wrong end of Marcus Fenix's trusty chainsaw or colossal boots over the years.

You don't hear any of them complaining about having to endure those, shall we way, slightly disagreeable circumstances, though, do you? That's because those mere flesh wounds were nothing when compared to the great tragedy of our time: working with a certain platform holder to release your independent studio's game on Xbox Live Arcade. I shudder at the very thought.

If you've followed Xbox Live Arcade over the past several years here and on other sites, then you already know of what I speak. There lives in Redmond, Washington a great beast, massive in size with glowing red-ringed eyes of fury. It is a devious creature hellbent on tricking those smaller than it into believing they're partners, only to turn on them in their hour of need, stomping down on their hopes and dreams harder than Fenix has brought down his boots on so many locust heads. Such disdain does this gluttonous monstrosity have for the smaller creatures roaming the forest of the game industry, that it is more than happy to sacrifice its own interests if it means snuffing out the light of those cowering under its great shadow.

So evil is this…Wait. Isn't this getting just a little out of hand? Is Microsoft really that terrible of a company? Does it truly care nothing for the needs of independent game developers? Is its thirst for video game console dominance so insatiable that it doesn't mind torpedoing its, um, pursuit of video game console dominance so long as it means making life miserable for independent game studios that, by developing games for its platform, are actively working to help it succeed with its, uh, video game console dominance? It is if you've listened to the little guys with big megaphones.

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Happy Wars update enlists Castle Crashers


The fifth title update to bolster Happy Wars' cartoonish combatants has come ashore, bringing with it an invading force of familiar faces. Developer Toylogic Inc. in collaboration with The Behemoth, has introduced Castle Crashers gear which can be attained as rewards for competing in the all new "Extreme Style Match" game mode. Players who jump into the match will notice it's business-as-usual with the exception of the game balance, which has been tweaked so that everyone's on equal footing. Teamwork and strategy are key here since those super-powered items can't help you.

While the Blue Knight gear can be attained through the Extreme Style playlist, act fast because the first round of rewards are only available until May 1, when presumably the next batch of equipment is rotated into the reward coffers. Those of you with an achievement unlocked in Castle Crashers will automatically be gifted the Barbarian's helmet. Unfortunately all of these goods can only be used with the Warrior class, leaving the Cleric and Mage out of the party, for now.

This isn't likely to be the last collaboration we'll see between the free-to-play brawler and other prominent Xbox Live Arcade titles. "I hope to deliver more collaborations like this one with other Xbox game developers too," states Happy Wars Game Director Yoichi Take. "And make the game even more enjoyable for our more than 2 million Happy Wars fans all over the world."

Happy Wars is an online team-based arena battler. It's easy to pick up, surprisingly deep and completely free. You can check out our official review for more convincing.


BattleBlock Theater review (XBLA)

BattleBlock Theater was developed by The Behemoth and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released April 3, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.


It's hard to believe it's been almost five years since the release of Castle Crashers, the side-scrolling brawler brainchild of The Behemoth that grew up to be an XBLA darling that still sits atop sales charts today. Needless to say, the next game made by The Behemoth would have big shoes to fill. Instead of playing it safe, The Behemoth dared to be unique with BattleBlock Theater. Not only did they dare to take on a whole new side-scrolling genre, they also dared to create one of the craziest premise in the history of gaming.

BattleBlock Theater puts you in the shoes of one of the hundreds of prisoners who, after a terrible boat crash, washed up on a mysterious island and were taken captive by giant cats. These cats love their theater, so they force their prisoners into deadly plays. The story mode revolves around platforming and puzzle solving, navigating death traps and fighting crazy animals. When you're tired of exploring the theater, you can dive into a host of multiplayer modes. BattleBlock Theater is a wonderful platformer not meant to be taken seriously, and made even better when you play with friends.

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BattleBlock Theater debuts launch trailer

Finally, the long-awaited return of The Behemoth to Xbox Live Arcade is here! BattleBlock Theater released this past Wednesday for 1200 MSP, and has been generating quite a bit of buzz amongst the community. The Behemoth's first major release since 2008's Castle Crashers can be classified as a platformer with both cooperative and competitive elements. However, it would be disservice to write it off as something so simple, so do yourself a favor and download the demo here to give it a try!

Source: The Behemoth


BattleBlock Theater is finally out — What took so long?


It's out now. For 1200 MSP, you can buy it and start playing it right away if you'd like. Funny thing about that, though — that should be old news. And it would be if The Behemoth had followed through with its plan to release BattleBlock Theater on XBLA back in 2010. Obviously, things didn't quite work out that way, with the beat-em-up platformer having only just released yesterday. What happened? How could the developer have been so confident about 2010 that it was ready to tell the world that was the year and then ultimately be unable to finish BattleBlock Theater until three more calendar years passed it by?

Level Designer Ryan Horn has an explanation: the game wasn't as fun as the team thought it was going to be. "I think we were hopeful about where the game was gonna be when we [planned] to release it," he tells XBLAFans while sitting down for an interview at last month's PAX East. "And then in between the time when we announced [the release window] and when we planned to release it at the time, we saw the game going in a direction that was fun, but we realized that we could take it in a slightly different direction that was going to be a lot more fun."

With Horn having said his piece, studio President and co-founder John Baez expounds upon why The Behemoth felt its game could reach a state in 2010 that was up to The Behemoth's considerably high standards of fun. Instead of going back to 2010, though, he looks a little deeper into his past. "The other component of [the delay] is that in our previous experience — I mean, Alien Hominid? Fifteen months, two consoles. Done out the door with an Xbox [version] following three months after that," he begins. "And then Castle, it’s like, ‘OK, bigger game, three years.’" The prevailing feeling around The Behemoth's San Diego office during the earlier development phase of Game #3, as BattleBlock was codenamed back then, was that it would not be as an ambitious of an undertaking as Castle Crashers.

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Ball control: Lessons from the BattleBlock Theater beta

BattleBlock Theater Evil Chaingang

It's for The Behemoth's booth at PAX East and Prime conventions to draw large crowds of gamers willing to wait in line for the chance to step up and play BattleBlock Theater. At each PAX for the past few years there's always seemed to be an an amorphous throng of bodies awaiting their turn. As with anyone waiting in line, they could work together in groups of friends to navigate closer to a machine, or they could get a little more sassy and exploit someone else's momentary pause or inattentiveness to edge their way ever closer to playing a game that also lets you work with or take advantage of others.

Last month, 10,000 more gamers were presented with the option of cooperating with or causing trouble for fellow players in the BattleBlock Theater beta. It wasn't meant to be a free-for-all, however. Invitees received daily emails asking them to play certain game types on certain days. The Behemoth didn't just want to let more gamers play its game early; it wanted gamers to help it make a better BattleBlock Theater. So when XBLAFans caught up with The Behemoth President and co-founder John Baez and Level Designer Ryan Horn in Boston two weekends ago, I had to know: did gamers follow instructions? Or did they give in to a desire to have fun their own way at the expense of helping to better the experience for the masses who will play the game for the first time tomorrow?

"They were really good," said Horn of the beta testers' willingness to follow instructions. "I mean, we didn't expect 100 percent compliance — everybody's busy. For the most part, all of the beta participants, they wanted to help us make the game better, and that's what we got from them."

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