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Gamnesia’s Best of E3 2018 Award Winners

Another exciting E3 has come and gone, and four members of the Gamnesia staff had the opportunity to head to Los Angeles for the convention. Over the course of the week we got to go hands-on with many of the fantastic games shown off during the press conferences, and we nominated some of our favorites for the Best of E3 award. We couldn’t choose just one winner, so we narrowed it down to three total winners, each with their own category. So without further ado, read on for Gamnesia’s Best of E3 winners, as well as the runners-up and honorable mentions.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Best Fighting Game)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is visually similar to the Wii U Smash (or Smash 4), and it also feels familiar in terms of gameplay. However, it’s much more than just a port, despite what some fans may think. Smash 4 is a good base to use for comparison, but there are some notable differences worth highlighting.

Everything is smoother, slightly quicker, and also has more of a punch added to it. Even weaker attacks have more of a knock-back than before and the speed that opponents are sent flying has been increased. This does make for some strange scenes where you can be sent flying in one direction quite fast, only to stop suddenly and start going in the direction you’re holding once the knock-back distance has been reached. In
Smash Bros., players who are knocked back usually start pressing buttons quickly after they’ve been launched as they want to regain control, and it’s not unlikely that Sakurai made this change simply to help players differentiate between when knock-back is in effect, as opposed to player-controlled movement.

Many moves have seen a reduction in lag, Ganondorf’s Down-B being a notable example. All Final Smashes have also been sped up. Everything in this game is quick and to the point. There are satisfying slow-motion moments when you connect a big hit that result in KOs where the camera zooms in on the action for just a split second. This is similar to what happens with Little Mac’s KO Punch or the Dragoon item, and it’s a welcome addition for those who’d like to gloat a little bit extra when getting a good KO.

Likewise, Assist Trophies are more straight-forward in the sense that most of them can now be defeated. Killing an Assist Trophy will now award you with a point or lose your opponent a stock, which can be pretty harsh if you get a poor Assist Trophy (hi, Starfy). However, it adds a layer of depth as you have to make sure you keep on fighting alongside your trophy—you can’t just unleash it, sit back, and relax like you could in the past. Top it all up with the return of directional air dodges, and you have a game that is a bit more tactical than in the past. This is a game where your choices matters and button mashing will only get you so far.

New characters include the Inklings and Ridley, both of which were available at E3. The Inkling is a bit of an odd one as many of his/her attacks consume ink. This is reminiscent of Olimar and his Pikmin, so if Olimar wasn’t your boy, you might similarly be a bit annoyed with the Inkling—especially since replenishing is done by pressing B while shielding, which isn’t very intuitive. Ridley is more straight-forward. He’s got decent range and his special attacks help him in the long-range game. Despite the wings, his recovery isn’t the best, but he makes up for it in the damage he deals. His Down-B can be absolutely brutal if you sweet-spot it, dealing some 60% in a single hit.

With
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you can look forward to is a game that is as fun as any Smash before it and packed with more content than ever. With its massive roster of characters and polished, well thought-out mechanics, it has a chance of really being something that brings together Smash fans from all generations. Whether you’ve been a fan since the N64 or just picked it up with Smash 4, you should be excited for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! (Impressions by Hombre de Mundo)

Runner-up: My Hero: One’s Justice

Another game to earn a Best of E3 nomination from Gamnesia on the show floor was
My Hero: One’s Justice from Bandai Namco. Based on the popular manga and anime series My Hero Academia, One’s Justice is a 3D fighting game with destructible environments and beautiful, comic book-inspired graphics.

It may not be as mechanically impressive as other games in the genre, but its visual style is a feast and its massive and diverse cast of playable heroes and villains should be endlessly entertaining. As someone who isn’t particularly skilled at the genre, I still found it pretty simple to jump into, and devastating my opponent with Todoroki’s combination of ice and fire attacks was a blast. This seems like one even casual fans should be able to enjoy.
(Impressions by Ben Lamoreux)

3 Minutes to Midnight (Best Indie Game)

E3 is home to the biggest names in gaming, but sometimes the best experiences aren’t the ones with the most brand recognition. E3 is also home to indie games hoping to get a foot in the door and share some of that spotlight. The brightest of these newcomers at E3 2018 was
3 Minutes to Midnight, a point-and-click adventure in the style of classic LucasArts games. Set late in the 1940s, 3 Minutes to Midnight follows a plucky young girl named Betty Anderson on her quest to uncover a secret plot to extinguish humanity. Betty, along with everyone else in her once-quiet New Mexico town, has lost her memories.

As with most games in the genre, this means we’re off to explore. Thankfully, this is an absolute joy in
3 Minutes to Midnight thanks to its gorgeous art style. The stylized cartoon look is rich in color, and backgrounds have a surprising amount of depth and detail. You’ll want to click everywhere and on everything to soak it all in…which is good, because you’ll need to find as many collectibles as possible to solve the game’s puzzles. In addition to the standard “find out which item goes where” gameplay, 3 Minutes to Midnight spices things up with a crafting system that lets you combine items to create better ones.This might be something simple, like combining a candle with citronella oil to scare away some pesky mosquitoes blocking your path, but there are also more complex and creative uses for crafting. By combining a plunger, a rope, a fire extinguisher, and some pipe, I was able to craft a plunger gun that functions as a hookshot.

The game also features a robust dialogue system with plenty of fun options to choose. Is Betty feeling sassy? Sympathetic? Impatient? Chances are there’s a response that conveys whatever emotion you’re looking for. Interactions with NCPs can be silly and lighthearted (like haggling with a raccoon over an item he’s hoarding in his trash can) or a little more on the dark side. The demo featured a disturbing, knife-wielding girl named Pammy who switches between several distinct personalities, so choose your words carefully! The game’s writing is witty and surprisingly deep, and the voice acting is pretty solid as well!

My time with
3 Minutes to Midnight was short but sweet, and it left me craving more. This was Scarecrow Studios’ first public showing for the game, but it certainly won’t be the last. This is one to keep your eyes on, especially if you’re already a fan of the point-and-click adventure genre. (Impressions by Ben Lamoreux)

Runner-up: Indivisible

Another outstanding indie at this year’s E3 was
Indivisible from Lab Zero Games. This action-platformer features a diverse cast of playable characters fighting their way through an enormous, beautiful world brought to life with hand-drawn graphics. The gameplay is “Metroidvania” in the loosest sense (based on the short demo it felt a little closer to a Shantae or Guacamelee title), but with an action-RPG twist.

Combat is a fast-paced visual feast involving up to four party members at once. Rather than battling enemies on the overworld or using turn-based combat, Indivisible‘s battle system is somewhat similar to Chrono Trigger. Each member of your party has a bar that fills up automatically, and when it’s full you can unleash an attack with a single button press. Alternatively, you can wait a little longer and allow it to fill up multiple times for a combo attack. Each of your four party members attacks with a single button press and fills up their gauge independently, so you can alternate buttons to keep a constant, rhythmic barrage of attacks headed towards your enemies. It’s a refreshing change of pace from other games in the genre, and it’s definitely got our attention. (Impressions by Ben Lamoreux)

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Best Open World Game)

While Sony’s new approach to their E3 press conference this year may have come off as less than spectacular, one of the few bright spots of their show was
Marvel’s Spider-Man. Insomniac’s take on the wallcrawler had a major presence at Sony’s booth, with a large section of it composed of a huge New York set piece (complete with newspaper racks distributing copies of The Daily Bugle). Once I made it past the hustle and bustle of the showfloor and actually got to play Spider-Man, I was greeted with a sensational open-world action game inspired by one of my favorite heroes. The graphics were amazing, and the voice acting and writing seemed pretty good (I didn’t notice any stand-out performances, but I only had the chance to watch one or two cutscenes during my demo). The sprawling map of New York had a variety of different collectibles to obtain and missions to do, including a boss fight. The demo was also very well made in my opinion, with plenty of time to beat up bad guys; I also liked that the time limit was flexible, allowing me one more go at Shocker after dying long after the demo’s timer should have elapsed.

What really made
Spider-Man shine, however, was the gameplay. Web-swinging through New York felt fluid and natural, and the combat was fun and engaging despite feeling a lot like past superhero games. The combat was heavily focused on attacking waves of enemies and countering when the appropriate indicator was shown, very much like the Arkham games. However, the inclusion of Spidey-specific powers—like a web pull that allows you to grab enemies, or a web shot that allows you to cover enemies in webbing—made it feel more like you were playing as Spider-Man and less like you were playing as Batman in red and blue tights. Much like the traditional combat, the game’s stealth combat also felt very Arkham-esque with unique Spidey tweaks. While past trailers had made me afraid that the game would be riddled with quick-time-events, I don’t recall seeing a single one in my time with the demo. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist in the game, but it makes me believe that they won’t overpower the rest of the gameplay in the final release.

As I stated before, the demo culminated with a boss fight against Shocker, who had recently escaped custody and was obviously up to no good. The fight consisted of three distinct phases, each of which required me to utilize different abilities in Spidey’s arsenal to avoid Shocker’s attacks while waiting for the opportune moment to strike. In order to defeat the boss, I needed to use Spider-Man’s web pull ability from earlier in the demo to throw objects at Shocker at opportune times. I felt that the fight was challenging enough, and made good use of one of the Spidey-specific attacks introduced earlier in the game.

Overall, I thought that
Marvel’s Spider-Man had fantastic gameplay and visuals, and the variety of things to do in the demo made the game superior to other open-world games I played at the show like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Skull & Bones. All in all, Spider-Man was the ultimate open-world game at the show, and it’s definitely a contender for one of the best games at the show. (Impressions by Elijah Holt)

Runner-up: Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion

Jake and Finn’s latest adventure is a 3D pirate quest in a flooded open world. The Ice Kingdom has melted, flooding the land of Ooo, and it’s up to Finn and friends to retrieve the Ice King’s crown and set things right. Pirates of the Enchiridion clearly draws inspiration from
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and that’s not a bad starting point for a fun adventure.

One big difference between the two games is that
Adventure Time mixes its action-adventure game with RPG elements, including turn-based combat when enemies are encountered. You’ll build up a team of four characters, each with their own special powers, as you explore the land of Ooo and progress the story. Most of my time with the game was spent watching a member of the development team sail around and show off the scenery, but I got to go hands-on for a few minutes at the end, and the game felt and looked great. If you’re a fan of Adventure Time, Zelda, or just exploring fun cartoon worlds, you’ll want to check this one out. (Impressions by Ben Lamoreux)

Honorable Mentions

It’s hard narrowing down the best of E3 to just a few games, and there are plenty of fantastic titles that didn’t quite make the list. Two more than deserve some recognition are
Mega Man 11 from Capcom and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee from Nintendo and Game Freak.

The former felt like a return to form for the Blue Bomber, but with some fancy new mechanics and beautiful, modern visuals. The demo was challenging (as any good
Mega Man game should be), but not unfair, and I felt like I learned and improved with each death. The new Double Gear mechanic (which allows you to slow down time or fire a more powerful shot) was a welcome addition and didn’t feel overused. I came away from my hands-on demo feeling like this is the experience that Mighty No. 9 promised and failed to deliver.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee also deserve some love, and I’ve written more extensive impressions about them here. The short version of the story is that the Kanto remakes look, feel, and play wonderfully, and Let’s Go should be a fantastic treat for new and old fans of the series alike. (Impressions by Ben Lamoreux)

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Indivisible Has Reached its Crowdfunding Goal on Indiegogo, With New Stretch Goals Revealed

They provided playable prototypes for several platforms, maintained total transparency, and revealed a number of familiar faces as playable guest stars. Yet, despite their intense campaigning and a 20 day extension, there remained concerns that Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games would still not reach their daunting fundraising goal for their Metroidvania RPG, Indivisible.

Backers can finally put those fears to rest, as
Indivisible has at last managed to clinch its fixed $1,500,000 in crowdfunding, thanks to a last minute outpouring of support for the world mythology-inspired indie title on Indiegogo. To celebrate, Lab Zero has announced a pair of new stretch goals!

Read their complete statement on the matter below:

“BACKERS!!! WE DID IT!


And we don’t just mean Lab Zero. We mean
EVERY SINGLE PERSON who contributed, played the prototype, spread the word, and supported us throughout this long campaign.

We wouldn’t be here without you, and we mean that now more than ever.

We can now say this: INDIVISIBLE IS OFFICIALLY HAPPENING!!!

1.5 million dollars.

Nearly
25,000 backers.

And we still have
3 FULL DAYS before the campaign ends!

We’re still running to catch up and have been scrambling to get content reveal-ready!


But now that we’ve reached the goal, we feel that it’s finally an appropriate time to reveal a couple of the stretch goals we’ve had planned.

Here are the first two stretch goals:


$1,650,000 – Another HOUR of Music by Hiroki Kikuta

Indivisible is currently budgeted to have between 60 and 90 minutes of music from Kikuta-san, and we’d like to expand that by at least
another hour. That’s DOUBLE the amount of music!


$1,900,000 –
Animated opening by Titmouse and “Mystery Anime Studio”

We’ll partner with Titmouse and a mystery anime studio to create a high-octane opening animation! Titmouse will storyboard everything, and it’ll be executed by the anime studio!


About Titmouse

Titmouse Animation was founded in 2000 by husband/wife power couple Shannon and Chris Prynoski, producing absurdist, dynamic 2-D animation that hungry college kids with twisted senses of humor just can’t get enough of. It has since evolved into a full service production company developing content for even the wee ones, and employing over 200 gifted artists in LA, NYC, and Vancouver.


About “Mystery Anime Studio”

Unfortunately we can’t reveal who the mysterious anime studio is yet. We have a commitment from them, but until things are a little more nailed down they’ve asked that we hold off on revealing who they are.


We’ve moved the stretch goals info to the top of
the campaign page for now so you can check them out easily. Any future stretch goals we post will go there!” — Earl Gertwagen, Designer

The developer also rolled out a new introduction trailer for one of the game’s many playable Incarnations, Kogi, which you can watch above. Red, from Supergiant Games’
Transistor, joins the likes of Shovel Knight and Shantae as a playable guest Incarnation for Indivisible as well — check her out, as well as a promo comic by the game’s Senior Animator, Jon Kim, in the gallery below!

With 505 Games now stepping up as a publisher, the President of 505 Games USA, Ian Howe, posted a short letter on the game’s campaign page:

I want to say a huge thank you to each and every person who has contributed to this campaign, in addition, I wanted to acknowledge the huge amount of effort from so many of you who have taken the time to try and convince others to contribute, or have reached out to various channels to try and achieve more coverage for the prototype and the game.

We are truly humbled by your support for the project and we’re incredibly excited that we will be able to see it become a reality. We have been talking to Peter and the team at Lab Zero for a long time trying to find a project to work on together and through your incredible contributions, support and energy we are now able to make that happen.

From reading the comments here, I know sometimes even the smallest contributions have to be carefully considered and I also know that some of you have really gone above and beyond in the levels of support you’ve given. We do not take this for granted and we will do everything possible to make sure that we repay that with a great game.

I can also tell you that a lot of us from 505 Games were sitting in front of our screens last night hitting F5 watching the contributions come in as we neared the goal, I’m not afraid to admit that there are a few of us who’ve become a bit obsessed with this over the past couple of weeks!

Now that we’ve reached the goal, the hard work truly begins in making Indivisible become a reality and we will be working very closely with Lab Zero in the coming months to make sure that they have everything they need to truly deliver on the vision for the game.

We hope you enjoy the bonus games that we were able to contribute to the campaign and we would love to hear your continued feedback on Indivisible,

Sincerely,


Ian Howe

President – 505 Games

A final livestream for the game will take place on Lab Zero’s Twitch channel this Friday at 1:00 PM Pacific, and it will last until the end of Indivisible‘s two month-long campaign that same day. At the time of writing, Indivisible has raised over $1,585,000 in funding, roughly 106% of their goal, with nearly 26,000 backers — less than four days remain for people to donate.

Lab Zero Games’
Indivisible will be published by 505 Games for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux, with a projected release window set for January 2018.

Source: Indiegogo

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Shantae Joins the Cast of Indie Guest Stars in Indivisible, an RPG from the Makers of Skullgirls

Lab Zero Games’ Indivisible is soon nearing the end of its Indiegogo campaign trail, after an extended two months of crowdfunding for the promising dual Action-RPG platformer envisioned by the team behind Skullgirls.

Earlier this month, the developer announced that a number of guest characters will join the wide and diverse cast of the game’s “Incarnations” — warriors who join Ajna on her quest and fight alongside her as additional party members. The eponymous blue burrower from Shovel Knight, Zackasaurus from Super Time Force Ultra, and Juan from Guacamelee are but a few of the special guests already confirmed as part of the playable roster, and a recent update from Indivisible’s campaign page reveals that yet another indie star will be available as a playable character: WayForward’s Half-Genie Hero, Shantae!

The Scuttle Town guardian shares her name with her debut Game Boy Color title from 2002, which since saw a rerelease as a Virtual Console title for the Nintendo 3DS. The sequel, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, was initially released for DSiWare in 2010, before a third game, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, launched on Nintendo platforms at the end of 2014. The Kickstarter-funded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, the first home console-dedicated entry from the series, is expected to launch either this holiday or early 2016.

The original Nindie darling from Sequin Land is poised to bring her hair-whipping, belly-dancing, and transformation-based gameplay to the realm of Indivisible — despite Matt Bozon’s blessing, however, that will only become reality should the game reach its fixed crowdfunding goal of $1,500,000 by the end of next week.

At the time of writing, Lab Zero has managed to raise over $1,185,000 for Indivisible, around 79%, with nearly 19,000 backers behind them. Less than a week remains for potential backers to pledge, so those still on the fence to donate are encouraged to do so now.

If funded, Lab Zero Games’ Indivisible will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux, with a projected release window set for January 2018. Be sure to try out the demo, currently available for direct download via the campaign page, Steam, or PS4!

Source: Indiegogo

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Indivisible Could Still Get Made if It Reaches 60% Funding Thanks to Indiegogo

Over a month has passed since Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games launched their Indiegogo campaign for Indivisible, their mythology-heavy take on the Action-RPG genre, with an all-or-nothing fixed goal set for $1,500,000. Many backers have stepped up to join the cause, and other indie developers have pledged to contribute their own characters to the playable cast as guest stars, such as Shovel Knight‘s titular blue borrower and Guacamelee‘s luchador Juan.

Unfortunately, the studio has only just managed to scrape together $763K, and with six days left for people to pledge, the current signs for Indivisible‘s future are not very promising. Don’t despair just yet, however, for there remains a shred of hope!

In a recent Reddit AMA hosted by the company, Lab Zero Games revealed that Indiegogo would be willing to further extend the campaign period for Indivisible if they can at least reach $900K in pledges (or 60% of their funding) before the end.

As a one-off, Indiegogo notes that campaigners can request to extend their campaign to last up to 60 days in total. The crowdfunding campaign for Indivisible launched back on Monday, October 5th, with an initial 40 day contribution period, meaning that they can shoot for an additional 20 days if they can reach Indiegogo’s minimum threshold of 60%. In other words, that roughly makes three more weeks of campaign time — again, only if they hit $900K before the week’s end. As such, people who are still on the fence about whether or not to pledge to Lab Zero Games’ Metroidvania RPG are encouraged to donate now.

If funded, Lab Zero Games’ Indivisible will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux, with a projected release window set for January 2018. Be sure to download the demos to give the game a try.

Source: Reddit

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“Indivisible” Will Feature Guest Characters, Including Shovel Knight and Other Indie Stars

Lab Zero Games, the indie studio behind the 2012 hit brawler Skullgirls, launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise $1,500,000 for Indivisible, a promising-looking game that blends RPG and Metroidvania elements together within a setting oozing with many different world mythologies.

Since the campaign launched on Indiegogo last month, Lab Zero pulled out all the stops in order to ensure that Indivisible receives its due funding. The experienced developer maintained a strong sense of integrity and noteworthy professionalism towards its backers, with complete transparency over the game’s budget and playable demos available for everyone to try from the very first day. Over 11,000 people have since backed the project in hopes that it will succeed, and it seems as though other indie developers are now joining the cause, as numerous indie guest stars are joining the already large and diverse playable cast!

One of the key gameplay elements of Indivisible involves the recruitment of “Incarnations”. Hailing from faraway lands, these warriors and skilled individuals cross paths with Ajna, the game’s lead heroine and main character, who can then absorb and fuse with them; Incarnations thus add their power to Ajna’s own, fighting alongside her as other party members and granting her new weapons and abilities.

Lab Zero Games have already revealed over a dozen of Indivisible‘s original Incarnations, but the developer has since confirmed that many guest characters will be joining Ajna on her quest as fellow Incarnations themselves. Each of these guest characters will be adapted to the game’s art style — two of these redesigns since being revealed — with their own key abilities and personalities coming into play as well. These guest stars include:

  • Annie, from Lab Zero Games’ own Skullgirls
  • Calibretto, from Battle Chasers
  • The Drifter, from Hyper Light Drifter
  • Juan, from Guacamelee
  • Lea, from Curses ‘N Chaos
  • Shovel Knight, from Shovel Knight
  • Zackasaurus, from Super Time Force Ultra

Keep in mind, however, that this will only become the case if Indivisible reaches its goal. With only roughly seven days left in the campaign and 48% of its goal reached at the time of writing, there is not much time left to make this game a reality.

If funded, Lab Zero Games’ Indivisible will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and Linux, with a projected release window set for January 2018. Players are invited to download the demos available for the PC, Mac, Linux, and US PS4 versions, with an EU PS4 demo to be released on November 10th.

That being said, don’t delay: donate on Indiegogo today! Hop to it!

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“Indivisible” is a Beautiful New RPG Inspired by Metroid and Valkyrie Profile

Lab Zero Games has launched an Indiegogo campaign for a new game called Indivisible. While it bears a similar art style to Lab Zero Games’ previous title, the fighting game Skullgirls, Indivisible is a platformer-RPG hybrid with exploration reminiscent of Metroid and a combat system inspired by Valkyrie Profile. The game’s story, which draws inspiration from Southeast Asian and world mythologies, centers around Anja, a girl with mysterious powers who embarks on a journey to learn the truth about her abilities, gaining new skills and new allies along the way.

Aesthetically, the game features beautiful 2D animation and distinctive character designs, as well as a soundtrack created in collaboration with Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta.

The developer is asking for $1,500,000 from the crowdfunding campaign to develop the game for Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. If the campaign reaches its goal, the game will be be co-financed by publisher 505 Games, who will provide an additional $2 million to the game’s budget.

You can check out the trailer above, and if you’re interested, Lab Zero Games has released a free prototype demo for PC to give players a taste of the game before donating. For further information, check out the game’s Indiegogo page, where it has currently raised a little over $208,000 with 34 days left in the campaign.

Source: Indiegogo

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