News: Indy Devs Bestow Boon upon Gamers

Anodyne Promo
If you’re a little tight, then the price is right!

Analgesic Productions Teams With Pirate Bay to Deliver New Adventure

Analgesic Productions has teamed up with The Pirate Bay to promote and distribute their new top-down adventure game, Anodyne. When arriving at The Pirate Bay’s homepage, users will currently be greeted with an attractive banner for Anodyne, which serves to link users to a page where they may access a free torrent of the game, or pay a dollar for it if they wish. As a concept, has a tremendous amount of respect for any game maker who has the confidence in their product to give it away free of charge in an effort to get more people playing their game, and the fact that Anodyne actually seems to be quite a refined and accomplished experience makes Analgesic Production’s largesse all the more laudable.

Analgesic Productions is a two-man team, comprised of Sean Hogan (audio, programming) and Jon Kittaka (art, writing), who developed Anodyne in their spare time over a period of ten months. The game itself takes its structure and visual stylings from SNES classics like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Earthbound, yet uses these familiar 16-bit trappings to tell a highly ambiguous tale of introspective melancholy. Edge Magazine, who awarded the game an impressive 8/10, describe it as such:

“Forget Ganon’s Dark World, Anodyne’s land is a far more disturbing mirror image of Hyrule. It’s a place where anthropomorphised cat people ponder mortality in a manner entirely unlike your average Goron, a place where handily placed helper stones are likely to remind you of your mother’s aging, decaying body as they are to dispense useful advice, and a place where Link himself can be spotted desperately trying to eke a living from the unyielding land. It’s dark then, but has a strange lightness of touch with it: the typical hero’s questline and all-round pixellated cuteness sugar-coat the bitter themes.”

The game sounds like a winner, boasts scores of hours worth of gameplay, and with the software being delivered gratis via The Pirate Bay, the price is certainly right. Any gamer who is interested in picking Anodyne up for a song, would do well to head on down to The Pirate Bay.

Cowboys & Aliens Cover
*pew pew* take that aliens!

The Muddy Waters of Aliens: Colonial Marines

This week’s release of Aliens: Colonial Marines has seen the biggest gaming controversy of 2013. Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford promised a game that would serve as the true successor to the film Aliens, upon which it is based, and demonstrated much in the way of very impressive footage, which he attempted to pass off as in-game footage – a posture that we now know to be untrue, assuming that Gearbox did not spend all this time unmaking the game. This week the game was finally launched, and so Pitchford was no longer able to hide behind his lofty untruths, as the proof of this pudding was finally writ large for all to see. The game which Gearbox elected to release to an unsuspecting public was basically broken in every way that a game can be – the design was monotonously one-note and unambitious, the graphics were ineptly drab, and the artificial intelligence could hardly even be described as such. To make matters worse owners of the 360 version of the game have found their savefiles to be deleted if they so much as clear the cache on their hard drive. Meanwhile, there has been some indication that the almost completed Wii U version of the game will be shelved indefinitely, making it the preferable version to own.

Despite this rolling calamity, it would seem that Randy Pitchford still has the fucking audacity to pretend to wounded sincerity by taking to Twitter and proclaiming: “No one likes to be called a liar, especially if their intent was pure and they always spoke the truth when they spoke it.” It is possible that some of Pitchford’s earlier claims about the game were meant in all earnestness, but it is almost unthinkable that this was the case when trying to promote the game later in the piece. It is also unthinkable to suppose that Gearbox did not deceive their publisher, Sega, who stumped up the financial backing to have a AAA shooter developed by one of the most celebrated names in the business, only to have Gearbox palm off their development duties to the lesser known studios: TimeGate, Nerve, and Demiurge. Moreover, such a situation would at the very least demand Gearbox oversight, and so they would have either known that the game was shaping up to be a complete turd, and were fine with that, or failing that they are guilty of gross incompetence for not adequately supervising what was done with the game.

One can only imagine what Gearbox must have previously told Sega when asked to provide a progress report on the project, but one suspects that Sega’s executives are currently apoplectic with rage at essentially subsidising the development of Borderlands 2 in exchange for the publishing rights to one of the worst licensed games of all time. It has been suggested that part of the reason that Aliens: Colonial Marines was released in such an unfinished state was because Gearbox had already broken their development deadline so many times that Sega were about to launch legal action against them, so rather face the repercussions of their own shitty work ethic, Gearbox elected to dump whatever they had into the laps of paying consumers and a Publisher who deserved better for their dime.

One cares not one jot for how entitled Gearbox think they are to a free lunch, nor how disdaining they are of developing licensed games – if a Publisher pays for the development of a AAA licensed shooter and the developer in question is happy enough to take their coin, then there is no excuse for not turning in a serviceable product. What Greabox have wrought is nothing less than fraud perpetrated on a grand scale.

Sims VS CityVille
It is not like EA had to sell gamers on the merits of their case, making their bald faced lies something of a head-scratcher.

EA Has Settled With Zynga Out of Court

One wonders whether readers can remember a time when EA made a big song and dance about taking Zynga to court in order to act as the protector of smaller Indy developers who are unable to legally enforce their own IP rights. EA surely cannot remember such a thing, which is why they have settled their lawsuit against Zynga out of court this week, presumably after receiving a large bag of cash.

This is yet another way in which EA are a cynical and hateful company. Indeed, the very worst company in America, and the oddest thing is that this situation was so unnecessary. EA were always well within their rights to protect their intellectual property against the wholesale theft perpetrated by Zynga. Moreover, it is quite likely that most gamers would have sided with EA in their fight against Zynga anyway, regardless about whether they made any highly dubious claims about supporting Indy developers.

The fact is that it does not help rehabilitate EA’s image in any way when they make such grand altruistic promises and then visibly break them at their earliest convenience. For EA this was never about helping anyone other than themselves, which would had been fine if they only would have refrained from making huge cocks of themselves. As it stands, they are deserving of a thorough shalacking for telling massive fibs.


  1. Dammit Sega. I’m still waiting for you to bring Yakuza 1&2 HD and Yakuza 5 over here and you’re wasting your money on this crap.

  2. Well, it didn’t have to be crap. But I admit I had not one shred of interest in this Aliens game before it was released, let alone now that it’s been shown for what it truly is.

    Also, people have been highlighting a lot of points in the demo of the game that was shown off to be disingenuous scripted events. I’m curious if anyone got the same feelings about the trailers shown for Bioshock Infinite. They were shown to appear as actual gameplay, but so much of it seemed so fake to me. Big differences here, I know. One’s a trailer, one’s a demo, different companies involved, etc etc. Just reminded me of it, and how I’m not convinced one way or another of Infinite’s gameplay until it releases.

  3. One has to wonder how much Sega payed EGM for their review of Aliens, a 9.0, about double what every other review gave the game.

  4. LOL, EGM made Colonial Marines sound like the next evolution in shooters…

  5. @Mel: My brain’s initial response to the Bioshock Infinite trailer was “there’s no way they could make that work as intuitive gameplay”.

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