Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.
In keeping with the tongue-in-tobacco-packed-cheek tone, we call these run-downs A Fistful of Indies, which are presented here on Venus Patrol for your reference, each fully-annotated, -linked, and off-the-cuff blurbed, in addition to their home on the JUEGOS RANCHEROS site.
See more posts about: 30 Second Life, A Fistful of Indies, Analgesic, Anodyne, Art Game, Backflip Madness, Banner Saga: Factions, Bruce Hill, Gaijin, Gamesoul, GL33k, Glitchamaphone, Greg Wohlwend, Lucky Frame, Pippin Barr, Ridiculous Fishing, Runner2, Simogo, Stoic, Vlambeer, Wave Trip, Year Walk, Zach Gage
Though the group was a mainstay in early Offworld days, I haven’t yet taken the time out to give Gaijin Games their due in recent months, but they’ve just given me the perfect opportunity with a wave of new videos detailing Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, slated for release next February.
The follow-up to their low-bit styled BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Runner 2 has, as is clear by even a cursory glance at the above, been given a massive aesthetic overhaul, showing the full extent of what the team are capable of when not working through their 8-bit mythology.
But what’s also clear is that the team’s visual/kinetic-overload hasn’t lessened a bit: even that world-1 playthrough at top is a non-stop frenetic series of hair-trigger interactions from start to finish. That continues in the world two and three videos included below the fold, which you should watch before heading over to Gaijin’s Runner 2 blog for more.
After anonymously teasing a series of images via its new explorethevoid.com site (and going so rapidfire that I can hardly keep up with the last), Bit.Trip creators Gaijin Games have announced the latest in the WiiWare series with Void.
As you can see via the new video above, Void is less blatantly rhythm based than Beat and Core before it, and this time seems to draw more inspiration from the dark/light bullet-hell interplay of, say, Ikaruga.
Your mission this time, as best as I can tell, is to grow and maintain your void by continually collecting black pixels, each one adding, Katamari-style, to your girth, putting you in greater risk of colliding with the white, which appear to deflate you near instantly.
Gaijin says their latest entry will include local four player co-op, and, mercifully, mid-level checkpoints, and will see chiptune maker Nullsleep pulling guest star duties in this episode. The game is due for WiiWare release this fall, and will be on display at the upcoming Penny Arcade Expo for first public consumption.
Bit.Trip Void [Gaijin Games]
The best bit of this latest Bit.Trip Core video? How completely innocently its gentle blips belie the searing block-tracer madness happening on screen — I’ve already essentially relented to the fact that this is going to be an even harder challenge than Beat, which really is saying a lot.
The Gaijin team recently sent out this encoded message regarding its release date, which, like a fool, I spent a good amount of pre-sleep time trying to mentally work out, before waking up to realize it’s a simple 7 (July)/6 (th)/(of 200)9, but also conveying that they reckon that’ll make it officially the 100th WiiWare game to hit Nintendo’s service.
And, more sadly, they’ve also just sent out this formal goodbye in light of yesterday’s events, proving that MJ touched even the virtual Commander Video, but presumably via Virt’s 8-bit Thriller.
As Japan prepares to get its first taste of Bit.Trip:Beat via publisher Arc System Works, Arc uploads this video that I must have just plain overlooked back when the game first got its local release. It’s admittedly a touch on the overproduced side, but still a worthwhile watch to see the Gaijins behind the scenes.
Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes’ WiiWare revamp of the original web game Meat Boy has already promised a number of indie games crossover cameos — see: the previously covered appearance of Braid‘s Tim. Now, as revealed in the team’s latest Nintendo Power appearance, they’ve just revealed the latest and so far most surprising: Gaijin Games’ retro-rhythm franchise Bit.Trip.
The cameo will be two-fold, explained McMillen: series mascot Commander Video (above) will not only be an unlockable character, but that “he will also have a very hard level based around Bit.Trip that you will have to beat to unlock him. His level will be one of many secret warp zones hidden throughout the game.”
Read the full Nintendo Power interview via McMillen’s blog, and follow continued updates at Super Meat Boy very own blog.
Bit.Trip creators Gaijin Games have just let slip that NYC chiptune star Haeyoung ‘Bubblyfish‘ Kim will be bookending their latest WiiWare rhythm-pong game, Core, doing the same title- and end-screen musical duties that Bitshifter did for their debut game Beat.
Above: my video of Bubblyfish performing at Kokoromi’s 2007 Gamma256 show in Montreal — give it a minute or so to really hot up. To hear more, see Kim’s home page and MySpace, and BBTV’s BlipFest 2008 coverage and interview.
Special Guest Star for BIT.TRIP CORE! [Gaijin Games]
Gaijin Games shows off the latest video of their next WiiWare retro-future rhythm game, Bit.Trip: Core, this time adding a touch more intrigue with the first mention of its multi-beam powerup, which doesn’t look helpful so much as downright necessary in fending off the constant omni-directional onslaught of pixels.