Tag Archives: Sierra

King’s Quest – Music with Character

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A new developer diary has been released for King’s Quest today by Sierra in its video diary series with developer The Odd Gentlemen. “King’s Quest – Music with Character” goes inside the studio for a listen at how story sets the tone for King’s Quest’s new soundtrack. For composer David Stanton, scoring a world teeming with as many fantastic creatures and strange personalities as King’s Quest demanded a thematic approach, one in which the unique essences of the characters inform the music that accompanies them. As an aging King Graham guides players back through the lost tales of his youth, those recurring motifs will be critical to exploring the people and events that shaped his destiny from humble beginnings to heroic nobility.

If you’ve missed any  of previous developer diary entries, you can find them here in ThisisXbox by using the following links:

The first chapter of King’s Quest is due for release on Xbox 360 and Xbox One later this year as a digital download.

King’s Quest – Developer Diary

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The first chapter of King’s Quest is expected to arrive later this year as a digital download for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 and in preparation Sierra today released a new developer diary. Titled Voicing a Modern Classic, this video reveals the headlining talent at the heart of bringing to life The Odd Gentlemen’s bold re-imagining of one of gaming’s most memorable franchises. The game will feature the same exciting blend of exploration, puzzles and wit fans of the series grew up with.

Christopher Lloyd famous for performances in Back to the Future, The Addams Family and Who Framed Roger Rabbit stars as the elder King Graham. Josh Keaton (Peter Parker in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated TV series) plays the young Sir Graham. Playing King Graham’s inquisitive granddaughter, Gwendolyn, Maggie Elizabeth Jones is an up-and-coming young actress best-known for her work in We Bought a Zoo.

They will be joined by a thrilling vocal cast that includes Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Toy Story), Tom Kenny (Adventure Time, SpongeBob SquarePants) and Zelda Williams (The Legend of Korra) along with Michael Benyaer, Loretta Devine, Gideon Emery, Jean Gilpin, Michael Gough, Andy Pessoa, Kevin Michael Richardson, Kath Soucie, Fred Tatasciore, Richard White and Michael-Leon Wooley.

Shiftlings review

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We all are familiar with platform games, navigating up, over and around a series of obstacles to collect objects that open doors or portals and Shiftlings is no different in that sense. However add to this the interesting mechanics of flatulence and you have a slightly different take on the genre.

Shiftlings, developed by Rock Pocket follows the story of two alien janitors on a hidden camera reality show. The opening scene sets the mood when one of janitors finds a bottle of the fizziest drink in the universe and downs it in one. Now, I believe we have all done this at least once in our lifetime, and as expected the escaping gas causes him to balloon up in his suit. Now this is amusing in itself but because the janitor duo are attached to one another via an air supply hose this allows them to effectively pass the gas from one to the other. It’s good to share you know.

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Now we are past the initial toilet humour, I can start to focus on the game – Shiftlings is an absolute stunning platformer that has visuals that you would expect to see in a Pixar or Disney movie. The levels are vibrant in colour and the detail is stunning, making you feel really immersed in the world you are playing. Your main task when controlling the two gassy janitors is to guide them through a series of maps filled with levers, ramps, moving parts and all sorts of obstacles. But don’t be fooled with the easiest routes, they aren’t always the right ones, so you will need to use some brain power to solve the problems barring your way. So just how do you go about guiding the gassy duo through the game?

Shiftlings as a single player game is not bad, the controls can be a little frustrating as you constantly have to press B to switch from one janitor to the other, navigating your way through the maps and hitting Y to pass gas, literally. In mad moments of confusion I found myself hitting the wrong button, causing the wrong janitor to swell up like a balloon, and the other dropping off a ledge forcing me to start again – needless to say, at some points I was screaming at my TV!

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Get past that and you have a game that is enjoyable to play and has some clever dynamics to help your bumbling Janitors through the game. For example if you want to jump up to a higher ledge you normally couldn’t reach, why not jump on to your inflated friend. This will catapult you higher than you could reach by yourself – but timing is key – cleverly, you can then pull your partner up to the ledge simply by re-inflate the opposite janitor and drag him up and over ledges and platforms like a counterweight.

Now where this game does come into its own is the two player co-op. This can go either one of two ways, you can work really well together as a team and accomplish many levels by bouncing and dragging each other through the levels or, as it went with me, you just end up walking in different directions, shouting and eventually not talking to one another. This game will challenge even the strongest of friendships.

So is there enough to keep you from getting bored? Well apart from the amazing eye candy in terms of graphics and cut scenes, you are also accompanied by some amusing stories and one-liners from your reality host. Add to this a few burps, bangs and farts as you navigate through the levels and a soundtrack that could have come from a ToeJam and Earl game, you have a really nice game. With 50 levels ranged over five planets, there is enough to keep even the most fanatical platformer amused, if not just for the reason to see who your real friends are when it comes to co-op.

I would definitely recommend this to keen platform fans and for you non-sidescrolling platform fanatics, give it a go as you might find yourself strangely drawn in, if not by the game then by the weirdly funny toilet humour.

Thanks to Xbox for supplying TiX with a download code

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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved update incoming

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Great news for all owners of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Sierra have announced that an update to the game in the form of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved will be released at the end of the month and if you own Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, your game updates for free.

The contents of the update includes 40 additional adventure mode stages, including boss battles, grid shapes and gameplay types. New super abilities in the form of the Sweeper drone and the Detonator. The level system has also been revised to make progression in the game easier, but if you thought it was to easy in the first place a Hardcore mode has been included, challenging players to complete 20 levels without using a super ability.

For existing owners the game will update to the new version on March 31st, both on Xbox One and Xbox 360. However if you haven’t already bought the game then you can buy the fully updated version from the online store from the 31st.

Check out the trailer below showing the full Dimensions Evolved update in action.

Sierra publishing announces Shiftlings on Xbox One

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What happens when you take two space custodians and link them together with a solitary air-hose? Shiftlings, that’s what you get.

Set in an intergalactic reality TV show, Shiftlings is a puzzle platformer where our intrepidly linked janitors have to complete challenges that may seem impossible until you realise that they can change their mass by passing gas back and forth between that single air hose, effectively rooting one of them to the ground. This then allows the other character to solve objectives and reach new terrain.

This full-on physics-based puzzle platformer is designed for both single and two-player, local and online co-operative multiplayer action, where our janitorial heroes beat more than 50 challenging levels spread across 5 different worlds.

Shiftlings is being developed by Norway based Rock Pocket Games and has been taken on for publishing by long-time gamers Sierra. It is expected to be released as a digital download in spring this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more.

Until then, have a glance at the announcement trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k3Q8HFXBuQ

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions review

The hyper neon, fast-paced twin stick shooter is back for a third time and it’s locked and loaded for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s hard to think that Geometry Wars was originally only a mini game for Project Gotham Racing 2, quickly becoming a cult classic that eventually got it’s own game.

At its heart, Geometry Wars is a modern take on the arcade classic Asteroids, instead of shooting down floating pieces of rock you have to destroy a variety of enemies that are targeting your small geometric ship – throw in some funky beats, flashy neon lights and some power-ups and you end up with an addictive game that demands that you play “just one more game”.

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Geometry Wars has come a long way since its PGR days, you’re no longer refined to a two-dimensional plane. As the name suggests, the arenas are three-dimensional and there’s now an Adventure mode complete with boss battles to challenge your reflexes. To progress through each of the 50 levels you will need to collect stars, three may be earnt from each level but they aren’t easy to come by – GW3 is one tough cookie to crack!

As the levels tilt and twist in their three-dimensional space, they will twist your depth perception and when you throw in numerous enemies, you’ll have quite the challenge on your hands. The trick to being successful is to learn how each enemy attacks – do they float aimlessly about or do they beeline straight for your ship? Knowing this will give you an idea on which enemy you should eradicate first, although nothing can prepare you for coming face to face with a bunch of enemies as you navigate around an object. It’s these situations that demand fast reflexes, something the series is renowned for.

The visuals may only be simple geometric shapes wrapped in bright neon lights, but the three-dimensional neon displays created by enemies and your gunfire skirting across each of the arena shapes is particularly enjoyable to watch, just don’t become too distracted!

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Another addition to the series is the inclusion of drones. These can be unlocked by defeating each of the bosses in the Adventure mode. Once unlocked, you can select a drone to fight by your side and also add a super weapon to it, which can be unlocked by collecting stars. These ‘buffs’ can then be upgraded to be more effective in combat. It’s this combination of drone and super weapon that will allow you to better your score in previous levels, nab all three stars and trump your friends on the online leaderboard.

Outside of the adventure mode there’s classic mode, which takes place in the classic Geometry Wars place space. There’s a variety of modes to play, from king of the hill to pacifist. There is also a co-op Adventure but it’s only available in local play, there is competitive multiplayer but I never found anyone to play with.

Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions brings a new twist to the series while retaining that same addictive gameplay from the original game. Although the studio isn’t around anymore, I’m sure the guys and gals at Bizarre Creations would have been proud of what Lucid Games has done with the game.

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