I was at the interactive technology part of South by Southwest this past Saturday. This is the third time I have been to this part of the multi-day event. I know the big focal points of this event were the Mario Kart 8 demos and the press events, but I always like to go to these events to play some demos of upcoming games, or games that are already out. I decided to stick to the indie side of the event since none of the bigger named companies besides Nintendo were that interesting. I found three demos that really impressed me by how much fun I had playing them. I am not going to put them in any order since they were all good in their own right. Let us get started with the first demo I played!
Tengami takes place in this beautiful, but dark world of feudal Japan as you play a samurai who is hoping to restore the land he lives in to its original magical self. This game might already be out for the iOS devices for $5, but it will be coming out in a few months for the Nintendo Wii U. This was one of the many downloadable games that I was on the lookout for when I made a list of them a few weeks back. I was curious to see what the touchscreen controls would feel like, and I was happy to see how smooth they were. I didn’t experience any hiccups playing the iOS version of the game and I bet this game will play well on the Wii U’s GamePad. The game is a point and click adventure game as you travel across the pop-up book style world. You will be sliding your finger across different parts of the pop-up book world to solve puzzles and get to your destination easier. The graphics are really beautiful. I just love the unique paper craft look of this game. It also doesn’t hurt that David Wise is composing the music for the game. As some people know, David Wise was the composer for the recent Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Most of the puzzles were required me to slide my finger to move a part of the level in front of me around, like flipping a piece of paper to make some stairs or moving an entire part of the mountain so you can traverse it easier. The only thing I worry about is that this game is advertised to be a calming experience, but I found myself stuck on a slider puzzle and getting frustrated. Hopefully, they give you some kind of answer or hint if you have been stuck on the puzzle for 10 or so minutes. Other than that, I really enjoyed the demo for this game. I would recommend trying Tengami out on your iPad, or wait for the Wii U version if you want a home console version of this game. Sully: A Very Serious RPG
I originally didn’t know about this game until I went to this event. It is being made by a developer called Breadbros Games. The story is that you are Crystal and Darin, who are boyfriend and girlfriend, and are going to go on one last adventure before they go off to different colleges in this JRPG world. However, they must deal with Stan, “the ruler of Heck,” a rather snarky clam, a depressed octopus, and a multitude of other characters in this silly RPG. The graphics in battle are beautiful to look at and have smooth animation. The humor and the look of the game reminded me of something you would see in Adventure Time or The Venture Bros. The combat system felt natural, and reminded me of games like Lunar for the original PlayStation, the upcoming HD remake of Pier Solar, and more traditional RPGs like Final Fantasy VI and Breath of Fire 2. My only real concern is that the humor doesn’t become stale and repetitive. I enjoy a game with good comedic writing, but I kind of felt at times, the humor was trying a bit hard to get a laugh out of me. I also felt a little motion sick because of how fast you moved around in a village. Maybe it’s because the main character sprites look like they were from the Sega Master System RPG, Phantasy Star, when not in a battle. Something just made my eyes hurt a little with how fast you moved. I also found the menus in combat too big; they took up a good chunk of the screen. I also hope we hear more home console news, since I would love to play this game on a PlayStation 4 or Wii U. I had a lot of fun with this game, and hopefully it will stand with the downloadable RPGs like Child of Light and Pier Solar HD in terms of high quality RPGs that are coming out this year. Broforce
Out of the three games I played, Broforce was just pure unadulterated fun. You play through a multitude of side-scrolling levels as different “bro” versions of action movie icons, blowing @#$% up as you blast your way through the hordes of enemies to kill the devil at the end of each level. Each bro character is a parody of action film icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger from Commando and Predator, Bruce Willis in Die Hard, Kurt Russel in Escape from New York, Danny Trejo in Machete, Sylvester Stallone in Rambo, Peter Weller in Robocop, and you get the idea. Each character plays differently, which gives the game variety with how you tackle each level. I also like the little touches, like giving the characters a wall-grabbing mechanic so you don’t die if you fall into a bottomless pit. You can play this game with up to four players and there is online multiplayer, a level creator, and just a lot of interesting features that will keep you playing this over-the-top action game for a multitude of weeks. My only real complaint is that when you are playing with four people, the action on screen gets to be too much. I ended up dying without knowing what I did or how I died. They want you to blow everything up, but you can’t just rush through the level blowing everything up when you have four players. You will need to take your time when you have four players or else you might end up causing the death of one of your teammates. Even with this minor gripe, I would highly recommend you try this game. You can download the beta, and I would say get a few friends, have a load of laughs, and a load of fun with Broforce. Overall, I had a fun time with the interactive parts of SXSW. Though I wish more big companies would come to this event to show off what they have to offer on the show floor or are going to offer in the future. I enjoyed these three demos and I hope they become well received and highly recommended titles when they are released in the future.