They can’t all be winners. Boy, that’s a pretty auspicious start to the post, huh? Really makes you want to dig in there. Well, don’t walk away just yet – we have two games for this installment of the IndieCast, and at least one of them is a winner. The other…
I had high hopes for Guardians of Graxia, really I did. Petroglyph received a lot of good press for their XBLA effort (and then board game), Panzer General: Allied Assault. Most everyone who played it reported it to be a friendly but deep game of strategy, enjoyable both in single- and multi-player, with some great design aesthetics and impressive production values for the price point. Getting a fantasy-themed spin on the same basic concepts sounded pretty great to me, so when they announced Graxia I was on the hype train right away.
In execution, though, I found it to be a really mixed bag. The lack of any multiplayer is utterly baffling, and the gameplay systems at work here, while obviously containing a good amount of depth, are poorly explained and seemingly not handled terribly well by the AI. There’s also a surprising lack of content for a single-player game, and they’re already charging for expansion DLC. On the other hand, it is a unique, nice-looking game, and I think it has a lot of potential. The underlying game seems like a good one.
There’s more to say about that, and you’ll hear it in the show. Our second game is a much easier recommendation: Sidhe Interactive’s Shatter. This one isn’t a new release, but it might have slipped under your radar when it came out earlier this year, and if it did we’d like to help you rectify that. You might not think that the Breakout genre is one clamoring for someone to come along and revitalize it – I certainly didn’t – but you’d be wrong. A push / pull physics system, boss battles, new power-ups and miles of polish make Shatter a real breath of fresh air where I didn’t expect it.
So let’s talk about all that stuff. Your IndieCast awaits.
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