Fluid dynamics… You guys!! Fluid! Dynamics! Yes, it’s another side-scrolling, puzzle/platformer with a physics hook and I can’t help myself. Here’s the latest look at Strange Loop Games’ Vessel which is coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network “late 2011” for the asking price of $15. That’s always a tough price point for me.
While the PlayStation Network fiasco has been a huge bummer for everyone involved (and that’s a lot of us), a few businessfolk in the gaming industry are making the best of it. First developer redspotgames drums up some awareness and interest by asking gamers if they should even bother bringing Rush Rush Rally Racing to the beleaguered platform when it returns. Then Capcom plays the sympathy card by going off on the hackers who are costing them “millions of dollars in revenue” . Now it’s Goozex‘s turn; the online game trading site is giving PlayStation 3 owners who have swapped at least one PS3 title or Blu-Ray movie a free trading token for their troubles.
“The downturn of the Sony PlayStation Network has been a frustrating experience for many of our members and we wanted to put a little positivity back into the whole situation,” said Mark Nebesky, Goozex CMO. Mark continued, “what we hope to do is let our members that can’t play Mortal Kombat online pick up some other items to play and watch while the PSN issues resolve themselves. We still believe the PS3 is an amazing gaming console and the best Blu-ray player out there.”
Generating some goodwill and awareness while at the same time covering their asses with that last line. It’s beautiful and if this PSN outage lasts much longer you might well be able to score a free PlayStation 3 from someone out there.
Be it a cleverly timed marketing ploy or a shrewd business decision, redspotgames has put the PlayStation Minis version of their currently-cross-platform retro racer, Rush Rush Rally Racing, on the chopping block. The deciding factor in its fate? You!
With PlayStation Network still on the outs and the game’s more completed WiiWare incarnation ready for a Summer release, redspotgames is asking gamers what to do by way of an online survey. Canceled or completed, it’s not all doom and gloom, though. As with any good online survey, participants have the chance to win redspotgames keychains and one of three copies of Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles… for Sega Dreamcast. Did I mention that Rush Rush Rally Racing was one of the last Dreamcast releases? That probably helps explain those prizes a little.
Have a look at the game at the official site and let the devs at redspotgames know what you think in their survey. Fair warning though, that link was dead at the time of this writing. Not sure if that’s a good or bad sign.
In an update weighing in at 219 megs, indie game and PlayStation 3 exclusive, Tales from Space: About a Blob, is getting a nice little upgrade. “The ability to customize the Blob is something we always really wanted to do, but just did not have time to implement for the initial release,” said DrinkBox COO Graham Smith. “I’m excited that we are able to finally get this feature into the hands of players!”
As part of the upgrade the game now has two other noteworthy features: incentive to collect the thousands of blue pick-ups scattered all over each level… and paid DLC. I straight up skipped many of the nebulous orbs on my first playthrough as the only reward for finding them all was a single PlayStation Trophy but now I’ve got motivation. A decent handful of eyes, hats, ears, and patterns are unlocked by trading in your blue dots for the goods. If you really love to dress up your blob, though, there’s a separate add-on for $2.99 that gives you access to “premium” hats, glasses, lips and more. It’s a nice addition for the indie puzzle/platformer that adds even more personality to the proceedings but I don’t know if need much more than the surly, spikey, Mexican madam I created for free.
A little set up here so you know why I’m so excited about a game that is so far known as GAS. Back in 2000, before the niceties of streaming video, I downloaded a lot of files. Being simultaneously “employed” at GameFusion, Core Magazine and the All Game Guide, I felt the need to see as many new games as possible. Despite being written in French (again, without the nicer things like Google Translate), JeuxFrance was an indispensable resource for fast and exclusive videos. They also posted commercials airing across Europe for games we would never even know about here in the States.
This is where I first saw Mashed, or rather a commercial for it. A few shots of the game were cut with “friends” blocking each others view, disconnecting their controllers and ultimately distracting one of them by pouring a Coke in his lap. I got the vibe that these were “real” reactions, or at least not entirely scripted and was intrigued to find out what kind of game could incite soda pants sabotage.
My favorite course and a good example of what Mashed was like
Mashed turned out to be a top-down racer where the goal was to spam powerups and outrace your friends until you got just far enough ahead to win the round. Reset the cars on the track and do it again until someone had an incredible lead. Pulling the game out of the bargain bin were two great features; one being a player-controlled missile that could be launched after getting knocked out and the other being character voices. Not so much a feature as a hilarious bonus, each of the colored cars had an equally colorful personality and you could unleash a quip at the press of a button. There were several insane and potentially offensive phrases uttered by non-native english speaking voice actors, my favorite being the insult: YOU DAMN CANCER!
Long ass story short, I loved Mashed (and its Fully Loaded expansion) and have been praying for a downloadable sequel since 2004. The small scale, simple concept, and quick action would be perfect for Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network. Last week’s XBLA release — TNT Racers — is a surprisingly similar game, albeit aimed at kids. No cancerous smack talk here! But it finally motivated me to track down the Mashed guys at Supersonic Software and see what was up. Joy of joys, a very very Mashed-y game is in the works (previously known as GAS: Fuel for Fun) and though they’ve hit some snags at the publishing end, the game is still on track for a downloadable release this year! So watch that video and if you’re in town, what the hey, let’s play some Mashed while we wait!
Oh, and a PlayStation 2 version did make it out here in the U.S., along with a direct-to-download PC version. Insert shameless Amazon affiliate link here.