By BlaineBlaine 2 Comments
Suffice to say, it's hard to find something worth your time - let alone worth your money. Sometimes you'll find a game that is not perfect, but shows a lot of potential. So that's what I'm focusing on here. Developers with potential. People that with a dollar and some encouragement might be able to turn out something genius.
That said, I came across a few gems and when I found out that several shared a common creator, I poured myself into their back catalog.
Kohei Gallery has released several Xbox Indie games to date. Up front I'll tell you that they are all, at best, 70% towards being amazing games. The concepts are solid, but could use a little additional work. Graphics are charming pixel art, but I could do with less cheesy 3D CGI. All are playable, but feel mini-game style limited. The ideas, however, are strong. Japanese Dreamcast strong. Crazy strong. We need this.
Shooting Chicken Revenge
I've tried my best to distill Shooting Chicken Revenge into a single McBite. The best I've come up with is Japanese Deathmetal Chicken Horde Mode.
The game plays a surprising amount like a closed-off Abuse. Combat is familiar to anyone who's recently played Shoot Many Robots. What makes the game unique, is the light cooking mechanics. You're actually able to use the background microwaves to cook up health items. Additionally, killing a chicken with a shotgun (which removes the feathers) followed up by a flamethrower (which roasts the chicken) and then a headshot will generate delicious yakitori!
The only flaw, for me, is I think they could have leaned a lot heavier into that form of item creation. I mean, you have cabbage and other vegetables laying around. What if, when you went to the microwave you could put 4 items in, the recipe of which generates a different power up? Opportunity missed, in my mind.
That said, you also have a persistant upgrade system where you can exchange Chicken Points for weapon upgrades. Just like real life.
I didn't mention the guttural Japanese Death Metal, but... now I have.
Do not trust the auto-save. You must manually save. Demo is free, paid version is 80 MSP.
The Houchi Play
Finally, a video game where you play a perverted old man who wants to sneak up on young girls. Oh, wait...
Taro Heibon is an awesome character. He's a masochist who wants to be mistreated and maneuvers around the stage with a sideways ass-walking. The Houchi Play has you assist him with his perversion, periodically chugging alcohol. And it's a dating game...? Sorta? Think Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light, STOP but in video game form with a little bit of Punch Out mixed in as all the girls have different 'tells' and ways of responding to sound. At it's most basic, it's alternating button presses but the creepy trappings make it a whole lot more appealing. You can even flirt with Ai The Maid who stars in her own game...
Maid-San's Caving Adventure
That's not say it's not without it's depth. The first few times you play though, you'll find yourself wondering why you're not getting any points. It's not enough to simply avoid the CHUD-like Bennars. Scoring of the game requires you to move quickly, avoid being seen and taking as few steps and jumps as possible. In that regard, it has a little bit of the appeal of Track-Mania. Anyone who's played a game in the past 10 years will be able to clear the level, but it'll take practice and planning to get the coveted S-Rank!
Of course, there's a little more to the game that makes it interesting. Namely, Ai's only form of defense is hiding like a 2 year old - namely turtling up and shivering from the "IF I CAN'T SEE YOU YOU CAN'T SEE ME" school of toddler logic. Turns out, though, it works! For whatever reason, the Benars will walk right past you despite your hiding in plain sight. So you add in the risk/reward factor of getting as close to the enemy as you can before 'trembling'.
Additionally, be aware of your sneezing meter. Damp places make Ai sneeze. So do cigarettes. So watch out for smoking enemies.
None of these games are perfect, but show real potential. I think we need more developers like this, turning out wacky PSX era games. So while my stance on Kohei Gallery is...
I don't actually expect anyone do spend money because I say so. At the very least, download the games. Give them a try. None of these games are the next great thing, but with enough encouragement (monetary and otherwise), who knows what we'll get?