Available on: PC, PS3; Publisher: Rockin’ Android; Developer: Platine Dispositif; Players: 1 – 2; Released: September 27, 2011 (Steam); ESRB: Everyone; Official Site
The three games, Hitogata Happa, GundeadliGne, and Gundemonium Recollection, each offer several levels of bulletstorms. The main appeal of each game seems to be that the player controls girls dressed in fancy outfits and a comically large shooting weapon. Initially I wasn’t sure whether to expect a female-oriented narrative in which a female is empowered by the use of gun-based implements or a game where I shoot girls. Both options are terrible and shallow theses, and thankfully what I played instead was more sensible: Japanese anime maids (ani-maids) shooting laser bunnies, demon pumpkins, and half-naked cat swordswomen.
Available on: PC; Publisher: Paradox Interactive; Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios; Players: 1 – 4; Released: January 25, 2011/April 12, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Website
Without a large financial backing, indie games need to rely on innovation or simple, effective game design to get it critical acclaim. Curious gamers will always be on the lookout for that next Braid or Super Meat Boy, games that were able to capture the hearts of gamers and critics alike despite their humble roots. Magicka does a little of both, delivering an open-ended single player and extremely fun multiplayer experience.
Available on: PC (Retail, Steam); Publisher: SEGA; Developer: Creative Assembly; Players: 1 – 8; Released: March 15, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Website
In Total War: Shogun 2,Creative Assembly takes us back to its roots by setting the game in Feudal Japan. With a redesigned game engine that supports up to 56,000 soldiers in a single battle, it definitely pushes the Total War franchise into uncharted RTS territory. Total War: Shogun 2 is also the first game in the Total War series that has its franchise name used as the primary title and to have the Total War brand prefixed. Creative Assembly, with all due respect to Rome: Total War, has catapulted itself to the top with this game due to its breathtaking graphical engine, presentation, and simplified gameplay.
The appeal of Crazy Machines is strange. The narrative goes that I am at the service of a vaguely professor-ish colleague of popularly referenced smart guys (Einstein, Curie, etc.) and that I often have perform menial chores using engineering elements. Personally, I have never had to consider the proper trajectory that a basketball would have to travel to activate a steam powered hot dog cooker. Turns out that it’s a lot of fun.