We’re back for another little round up of games that we saw at Rezzed this year, and once again, they cover the full range of what gaming can offer. There’s big co-op shooters, smaller indie games with pixel art fighters, and everything in between.
Let’s start with a game that’s got Tuffcub excited…
Strange Brigade | PS4, Xbox One, PC| Rebellion | 28th August
Strange Brigade is one of those games which you will read about and think that it sounds a good idea, but you have so many other titles to play you’re probably going to give it miss. However, I strongly suggest you don’t, because it turns out it’s a lot of fun!
It’s essentially a co-op wave based shooter, with up to four players running about ancient temples fighting hoards of mythological creatures summoned by Seketi the Witch Queen. While you can try and run off and do you own thing, co-operation is the key as you will soon be overwhelmed,and there are bosses who need all four players working together to take down. There’s also traps you can activate, such as floor spikes or spinning blades, which can decimate the enemies but you have to be careful not to mince a team mate.
I adored the sense of style and the wonderfully British commentator who announces the arrival of bosses. It’s very much a case of “I say old chap, time for some fisticuffs!” It reminds me somewhat of a 1930’s version of The Killing Floor 2, so if you enjoyed that, then you really should keep an eye on the Brigade. Tally ho!
Knights and Bikes | PS4, Xbox One, PC | Foam Sword/Double Fine | 2018
We last saw Knights and Bikes at EGX Rezzed last year, and while our first impressions were positive it’s definitely come a long way since then, and that’s not just a comment about the seats! While the level we played through was new, a lot of the same mechanics appeared, such as the cooperative gameplay with moments of competitive sprints to the finish, in this 80’s inspired adventure that has shades of The Goonies or Stranger Things.
Changes are mostly cosmetic from what we saw last time, but the addition of a very persistent goose that constantly needs feeding is adorable, and a new high-five mechanic has been added to allow for healing. There’s also a change to the visuals, so that anything that is drawn in white lines is generally what the two girls are imagining, so a fence to a scrapyard to any observer would be a castle fortified with archers to them.
With additional weapons that are unique to each of the two girls, there’s definitely potential there for Knights and Bikes to make a huge impact and I particularly enjoyed its whimsical nature. If the likes of A Way Out and other recent coop focused titles provided hours of fun for you, this is certainly one to keep an eye on, especially those with kids.
– Dave Irwin
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC | 5th June
It’s a sequel that nobody really wanted, and yet here we are with Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn coming out a couple months from now. When the original is often cited as one of the worst games created, what hope is there for the sequel? Well, it turns out it’s actually not that bad!
Running in docked mode on Switch, A Legend Reborn wasn’t too bad visually or in how it plays. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn combines 2.5D visuals and classic beat ‘em up gameplay which is reminiscent of Streets of Rage.
While we also knew the game would be funny, there is some awkward racial humour thrown in to the mix, accompanied by stereotypical Chinese impressions which are borderline offensive, however the gameplay quality itself isn’t bad at all. There are also a range of ultimate attacks for Shaq in A Legend Reborn, one of which is a roundhouse kick that looks like it’s coming out of the screen. You’re able to piece together combos and taunt enemies too.
Overall, the game looks like it’s on it’s way to being pretty polished, but the script will still be terrible, but at least it plays well.
– Jake Durasamy
Pocket Rumble | Switch, PC | Coming Soon
Pocket Rumble was one of my highlights for last year’s Rezzed, but it has struggled to secure a release date since then. Initially planned for the summer of 2017, then March and now just “soon”, this 2D fighting game puts two pixel art fighters against each other, allowing the player to switch characters between each round. Combining a retro art style with familiar fighting mechanics, the game looks to give the Switch’s library a unique take on the fighting games available on the platform.
Since last year’s demo, there are new characters that have been added into the mix, which means that the game has been rebalanced and some additional content has been added including some new music and beautiful stages. Each character has their own unique ability, such as being able to fire energy blasts, regenerate health and more. These abilities give players something to work with in order to negate the strength of the other player, ultimately making this game extremely competitive but equally fun. Just as it should be.
On the Nintendo Switch, the game has Joy-Con support, which really allows this game to shine as a simplistic fighting game that people can play at parties or social events like Rezzed. The pixel art is clean and essentially looks like a Game Boy Color game in HD. While I did enjoy the game significantly, the game still does not have a release date, though you can currently get it via Steam Early Access on PC.
– Jake Durasamy