Blizzcon is over, but is the hype still there?
Greetings adventurers, and welcome to this weeks installment of The Surly Nerd! After our prelude, we head right into the weekly raid (our news roundup).
Kicking things off this week, EA makes their way back to Steam and that means big things for their games. HBO MAX is getting a whole lot of DC properties and that could mean the end of DC Universe and the creators of the Game of Thrones television show are leaving their announced Star Wars projects.
Also this week, Miyamoto is being honored in Japan and it’s about time. Sony is killing it this week by both having the second best console of all time and shutting down their disliked Vue service. The news comes to a close this week with a discussion about Seth MacFarlane’s newest horror show and we let you know what spooky shows killed it in the ratings last month.
Our Boss Room this week is a talk about anything and everything shown at Blizzcon, and if we should really be excited for any of it.
As always, we appreciate all our adventurers who listen to the show every week and we look forward to your feedback on what we discuss! (email@example.com!)
Grab a drink and settle on in for this weeks action packed episode of…The Surly Nerd!
In a time when retro rules everything around us, there are plenty of artists and developers trying to evoke the feeling of memories past in their audiences. Bonus Level Entertainment takes this idea to the nth degree in Fox n Forests by creating a game that’s a nostalgic feast in everything from its music and art design to its combat and platforming mechanics.
Although it doesn’t break much new ground, Fox n Forests is a charming adventure that does a lot of things right. The story centers around a fox named Rick (naturally) who is tasked with recovering pieces of magical bark to restore power to a lovely, old fellow called the Season Tree. Rick finds these pieces of magical bark by exploring different zones around the world which represent different seasons. This theme is where Fox n Forests’ core game play concept (one of the most interesting things about the game’s design) comes in.
The Season Tree gives Rick the power to bend the seasons to his will early in the game, offering him the ability to turn a beautiful spring landscape into a somber frozen wasteland at the snap of his finger. Not only does this make for some interesting level design, but it also contributes greatly to the game play. By changing the seasons during each level, Rick can take advantage of alternate routes, monsters may disappear or come to life, or new paths could open up entirely. Staying in that level’s alternate season consumes mana (which also serves as ammunition for your magic bow), so being conservative and planning your route is key.
The changing of the seasons does more than uncovering secrets or altering combat; it makes things interesting. Changing the season offers new, alternate traversal options. You may be confronted with a gap that seemingly has no way across, but transforming the level to fall welcomes giant leaves floating lazily across the chasm for you to jump on. The game is full of moments like this which really allow the game’s core concept to shine, and when you’re used to switching back and forth between seasons it’s a pretty cool feeling quickly manipulating them as you make your way around the level. This time-bending game play is accompanied by strong (if not standard) combat and platforming mechanics that control comfortably throughout. You’ll have your fair share of jumping, slashing, shooting, and dying, and it all feels familiar in a very Aladdin-throwing-apples kind of way.
Over the course of Rick’s adventure, he can spend his hard-earned coin to unlock new potions and abilities for his melee crossbow. You begin the game with a single melee attack, but as you play you’ll earn more moves to add to Rick’s arsenal. These additions allow for previously tough levels to be tackled with flair, and it’s quite rewarding returning to a place that once stumped you only to make quick work of the monsters within on your second run.
Completing zones gives Rick new types of magic arrows that let him gain access to previously locked areas. This offers a great reason to go back and explore old levels, but it’s also where my one major complaint with the game comes in. These secret areas often contain magic seedlings and other goodies to collect. Normally this would be a welcome distraction and a good reason to return to older areas, but your progress in the main story is locked behind finding these seedlings. Since you can’t continue on your journey without the requisite number of seedlings, sometimes it feels like you’re forced to return to old areas rather than being compelled by curiosity. Granted, if you end up finding all the seedlings in a zone you gain access to that zone’s bonus area, so you may want to go back in the end either way. It just didn’t feel great having to backtrack when I was keen on continuing my quest.
Overall, Fox n Forests does a great job of putting the player into a nostalgic state of 16-bit bliss with its gorgeous pixel art and classic platforming mechanics. The game is accompanied by a retro soundtrack of digital plucks and whirrs that will have you humming along even when you’re not playing, and it seems like just that type of fond tone that Bonus Level is trying to strike with every decision they make. It’s a real treat in both its visual presentation and sound design, offering a modern take on an era of gaming that’s well-loved. It’s not perfect by any means, but if you’re a 90s kid looking for a solid action romp reminiscent of the SNES days, then Fox n Forests is definitely worth a look!Fox n Friends is available now on Steam, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and the Nintendo Switch
This review was made possible by a review key provided by Bonus Level Entertainment
Fox n Friends was reviewed by Gary Froniewski, content creator for The Surly Nerd (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jack Kirby’s takes center stage on this weeks…The Surly Nerd!
In case you didn’t know,
Jack Kirby was kind of a bad ass
Greetings adventurers, it’s time for an all new episode of The Surly Nerd! This week we come at you with all the geeky news you need, while spinning off topic more than usual! After the prelude we jump into comic news where we tell you all about Marvel’s X-men ’92, Jack Kirby finally getting the recognition he so rightly deserves and close out Level 1 talking about the Death of Wolverine and why Wonder Woman is so important to comic history.
In Level 2, we go into the changes that Nintendo is trying to undergo to become relevant again as well as why Sony is having internal issues. We wrap up gaming news with the closure of Microsoft’s entertainment division and why that hurts their current console more than helps it. In Level 3 we chat about the new Agent Carter show and how she ties into the greater Marvel U, debate if a Hellraiser reboot is a good idea, go into Fox’s gritty Peter Pan series and close it all out with another Leatherface prequel. In the epilogue this week we get a little serious as we talk about video game movies in the context of modern comic book movies.
So grab a drink and settle on in for this weeks action packed episode of…The Surly Nerd!
Episode 113: Kirby’s Dream Come True Summary:
In Comic Industry News – Jack Kirby, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, X-men ’92
In Game Industry News – Nintendo region locking, Sony, Microsoft
In Entertainment News – Peter Pan on Fox, Leatherface, Hellraiser, Agent Carter
Epilogue – The video game movie revolution
The last time someone wanted to reboot Hellraiser,
it didn’t go so well
Read about the things we love to talk about!
All about Jack Kirby here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kirby
What is Hellraiser?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellraiser
Chicken Breasts with Avocado, Tomato, and Cucumber Salsa!: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-breasts-with-avocado-tomato-cucumber-salsa
This week in Comic Industry News: The future of the new 52, X-men deals with “No More Humans”, The Infinity Gauntlet is back and Archie Comics keeps being amazing
In Game Industry News: A new wave of layoffs at CCP, Fez hits 1 million, the PS4 becomes the largest console launch…EVER, Wasteland 2 hits STEAM and Fallout 4 becomes a thing
In Entertainment News: The Terminator reboot gets a title and we find out who is playing Sarah Connor, Simon Pegg joins the Monty Python cast and talks about why he’s not in in Ant-Man and finally – Iceland tries to cut funding for movies and why that matters to you
This week in Comic Industry News: Digital comics to teach communication to children, Dark Horses new Firefly/Serenity comic, Justice League of America becomes Justice League Canada with Mike McKone working on it, Lobo’s new origin story, and the new Lobo character, finally Erik Larsen of Savage Dragon fame’s thoughts on profanity in comics
In Game Industry News: A Shadow of the Beast Reboot for the PS4, the Playstation 4 release date, how many games the PS4 and Xbox One will have by the end of the year, Xbox news out of Gamescom, and Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program for indie developers.
In Entertainment News: Ben Affleck becoming Batman, Scott Cooper replacing Affleck on The Stand, Detroit possibly becoming the new scene of Gotham for Batman vs. Superman, who won’t be in Days of Future Past, who might be playing Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron, Edgar Wright discussing why Ultron isn’t in Ant-man, Star Wars filming, who is leaving Crimson Peak and Nintendo putting a stop to the Metroid film