Rising Star Games Preview Part One
A couple weeks ago, Rising Star Games held a press event for their upcoming titles for the year, hosting six games total. One of the games is an enhanced port of the PC title Kromaia, releasing on PlayStation 4 as Kromaia: Omega, while the others are brand new. I Want to Be Human, One Upon Light, Lumini, Zombie Vikings: Ragnarök Editiön, and Poncho. Instead of doing individual previews, this will be a two part preview hosting three titles each. First round will be Zombie Vikings: Ragnarök Editiön, I Want to Be Human, and Kromaia: Omega.
Zombie Vikings: Ragnarök Editiön
Zoink Games, the studio responsible for the title Stick It to The Man, is set to release Zombie Vikings for the PlayStation 4 soon, and Rising Star Games is set to publish the physical “Ragnarök Editiön” that will include extra features. Written by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator, Zach Weinersmith, the story follows a comedic journey of four undead Vikings as they try to reclaim Odin’s magical eye from his son Loki.
The game is a co-op affair with online and local play for up to four players, each playing as a unique zombified warrior. The Ragnarök Editiön will include two extra characters that unfortunately weren’t available for the preview, but on-hand were the main cast, Gunborg, Seagurd, Hedgy, and Caw-kaa. During my demo, I chose to play as the tentacle-armed Seagurd, who has a unique ability to throw poisonous traps and a powerful spin-attack.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of other brawlers like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Castle Crashers. Players can hold down the R2 button to sprint and the Square and Triangle buttons work as normal and special attacks respectively. Both attacks can be charged and can work on the ground or in the air, as players will also be able to jump and lift other players and objects to throw them. Characters can select hilarious weapons and runes as well, giving them a bit more variety in their loadouts.
The art style of the game has a sort of Tim Burton-esque quality to it, and the dialogue is pretty humorous as there are several cutscenes in the game to move the narrative along. All the characters are fairly interesting too, even boss characters like a cat that coughs up living hairballs to attack the players. Even though the gameplay isn’t entirely new, the presentation is actually rather fantastic and provides plenty of laughs for four friends to enjoy. Even the way players “die” is pretty funny, as the head of the zombie will be severed and will have to make it back to the body, while other players can basically tease them and not let them get their body back.
Also included in the Ragnarök Editiön will be an unlockable video that shows the making of the game, as well as five bonus versus arenas for players to brawl in. The digital version of Zombie Vikings has the potential of being free for PlayStation Plus members in September, assuming players vote for it. The digital release will likely be ahead of the physical release, but it should be out sometime later this year.
I Want to Be Human
Made by one man, Joel Chappell (under the guise of Sinclair Strange), I Want to Be Human is an action platformer with a cool stylized look and a touching yet simple story. Inspired by various games from his youth like Mega Man X, Alien Hominid, or even Contra, the game pits the player in the role of a little vampire girl that wears her boyfriend as a hat. Yes, her vampire boyfriend has been turned into trendy headgear, and the goal of the game is to change him back and see the sunset together.
Wielding a shotgun and a thirst for internal organs, the little vampire girl shoots, wall jumps, and dashes her way through enemies, various obstacles, and more. Enemies explode into pixelated bloody messes, which meshes well with the monochrome color palette (think Madworld). Throughout the course of the game, players will gain new weapons that will give new effects, such as the ability to pass through objects.
There will be moments when the player can separate the hat from the vampire girl and play as the hat for various puzzles, though wearing the hat gives the ability to double jump as well. The game has little puzzles spread all around and also has secret areas to uncover hidden exits or keys. Bosses appear as well, having different attack patterns during various phases of the battle. Only one was shown during the demo, but there should be several boss battles to fight throughout the game.
The game also has vehicle segments, one of which involved a wheel like vessel that mowed over enemies in a gory mess. Vehicles are invincible but with some drawbacks, like the inability to jump. Sometimes to keep the vehicle, there would be a slight puzzle involved to make a pathway to cross over gaps, but eventually there comes a time when the vehicle will have to be left behind.
The game will have a leaderboard for the highest “sgore” as well, so there will be a competitive aspect for achieving bragging rights. I want to be human plays great and feels like a classic action platformer in its own right, perfectly nailing the fast and frantic gameplay with pretty interesting level design as well. Voice acting is planned for the full version, as well as cutscenes done in a cutesy, yet dark style. Humor also seems to be a large focus on the game, as dialogue seems to make little fun jokes left and right. I Want to Be Human releases later this year for PC.
Kraken Empire’s Kromaia has already released on PC, but now it’s releasing on PlayStation 4 with a few extras. A 360 degree shooting game, players will pilot their armors through a vast space full of obstacles and power ups. The game has a scaling difficulty mode, so the game gets more difficult the better you are, which can be determined by gaining levels when defeating enemies and collecting power ups.
With a very Tron-like appearance, the game looks very stylish and stands out, and can play with the mind when it comes to perspective. Shooting and maneuvering in a 360 degree space as quickly as the boost button will allow, it actually works fairly well. The PlayStation 4 feels right at home for this title, though the game is still in the early stages and the frame rate dipped a bit when the action got crazy. Having so many enemies and objects on screen, the game may need to go through a few more optimization phases before it’s ready for release.
The game has a cryptic yet interesting story, as a higher being calls upon you to defeat four gods, and while simple, the presentation delivers. Within moments after the tutorial, players are thrown into a hub world that allows them to explore for various power ups and artifacts, and they can go after the first god practically right away. The player essentially is a spiritual being that possesses armors to get around and get the job done.
Armors are ship-like vessels that the player can use in the various levels, and they will unlock as each god is defeated. The PlayStation 4 version includes an extra armor, though unfortunately it wasn’t on offer for this preview. Each one hosts a different set of weapon styles, from rapid fire shots and shotgun blasts to highly concentrated laser blasts. Each level will introduce the player to a new armor and once finished, that armor can be used in any level after.
I only went up against the first boss in the PlayStation 4 version, a long snake-like being that had several targets and turrets along the body. Upon destroying all the targets, the head of the boss becomes one big target to shoot at while the speed increases. Keep in mind this is all while several enemies are shooting at you as well, so it can get pretty difficult. Don’t expect to cruise right through the levels unless you put it on the easy mode (which is coincidentally accompanied by a chicken clucking upon highlighting it).
Even though it still needs a bit of work before it’s ready for release, Kromaia: Omega is still fun, and includes exclusive achievements for the PlayStation 4. It also will include leaderboards for people to compete in trying to get the highest score. There are also supposedly exclusive power ups as well, though they were not available for the preview. Kromaia: Omega is set to release for PlayStation 4 sometime later this year.
Rising Star Games has a great lineup of games coming out, so check back on GotGame for part two of the preview coverage where we cover One Upon Light, Lumini, and Poncho.