Tacogaming is moving.

May 4, 2010

With a new name and a new host. While I absolutely love the set up of WordPress.com, I just don’t have the control over the layout that I need to make this the blog I’ve been planning for some time now. WordPress is a wonderful place, and at some point in my attempt to try and bring my dream to fruition I hope to make them a apart of it somehow. Unfortunately, that time isn’t now.

The new name of the site is Punch, Cry, Game. The reason I’m changing it is because “tacogaming” is sort of an inside joke between myself and a friend of mine. Inside jokes rarely ever make the best titles, with the exception of some rock bands. So I hope you’ll join me at the new site. I certainly believe you’ll like the new look, and hope you’ll look to Punch, Cry, Game for your news and reviews about what’s going on in the world of flash and indie games.

The new site is:

http://punchandcry.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

Pixels and Balls = Win.

April 27, 2010

Block breaking games, delicious and chock-full of vitamins and stuff… Well, maybe not, but they are entertaining fair for killing time. Pixel Basher, developed by the relatively low key EmitterCritter, takes the style of pixel themed graphics, adds a dash of gravity and flair, and packages it up for your entertainment needs.

Yes, I have two of them...

The game play is about what you would expect. You have a ball, a paddle, and blocks that need bashing. The first thing you might notice is the paddle’s odd shape. Instead of the usual flat rectangle, you have what appears to be more of a half circle barrier to knock the ball back with. This twist on the old design allows the paddle to have a spring effect that helps to build up the ball’s momentum, leading to more powerful slams on contact with bricks. A gravity mechanic is added to give the ball weight. Meaning the ball no longer moves in perpetual motion, gaining infinitely more speed as it bounces off bricks and walls. Instead, the ball needs to build up momentum using the spring mechanic of the paddle and straight shots towards your target. Curving the balls direction can lead to disastrous effects, as the ball will lose most of its speed and come crashing back down sooner than expected. Letting the ball get caught at the top of a row of blocks will also lead to the ball losing movement and ending up stuck, causing it to explode, and penalizing you one of your limited number of retries. Your paddle isn’t meant to simply keeping the ball in motion, as it is equipped with a cannon that can fire pellets at bricks to add a bit of support from your end. Gold earned during and after each round will provide you the currency to upgrade to different types of weapons for your paddle, as well as the strength of each weapon, and the amount of ammo you start the next round with.

And my balls are gigantic too...

The graphics, while being simple in terms of the gameplay at hand, are full of bright flashes, pixelated destruction, and streaming trails to signify the balls movement. The best part about the art style though, is the pattern of the blocks in each level. The developer definitely wanted to pay homage to classic games; such as, Megaman, Space Invaders, Super Mario, and several others. Sound is limited to the typical ball breaking brick demographic, and of course small chimes to inform you of a power-up or coin grab. The music consists of two melodies, one during the stage select screen, and another during actual gameplay. While the techo-style music is catchy and not at all distracting, there’s definitely a desire for a little more on that end.

Awesome, awesome reference!

The game is simply awesome on so many levels. If you love brick breaking games, you’re going to love this short, but highly entertaining romp through the genre. Five thumbs up.

Get the game at:

Funflow

Newgrounds

Bonus Round.

April 26, 2010

As an added bonus to my last post, i’m adding this video that is relevant to the content. Writer and video hooligan Cody Johnston from Cracked.com shows us just how easily these games can get out of hand.

Check out the video here.

There’s no shortage of titles following this trend, but games with the “clone” mechanic certainly do put a fresh spin on a true classic genre in the video game world. If you don’t know what I mean, then you probably haven’t heard of the game that took it to the mainstream, Braid. The cloning mechanic has added a new flair to the traditional platformer by making puzzles intricately more challenging, with cause-and-effect at the center of your every move. Games like, Chronotron, and my personal favorite, The Company of Myself, have moved to give this new sub-genre a foot in the flash medium. Today’s game tries to take that same enthusiasm and mix it with retro memorabilia in Klikscene’s own, Enough Plumbers.

You're too close, man!

The basic premise is simple enough, you are a Super Mario clone that needs to clone himself in order to solve puzzles. What sets this entry different from the ones mentioned before is both in the sheer number of clones you will have (there can be a dozen at a time), to the nature of the clones themselves. In all the games I gave as examples before, your clones (or shadows, in most cases) mimic the actions you performed before you brought them into existence. Forcing you to plan ahead and think, not only in terms of what comes next, but also in terms of what will happen two or three spawns from now. In, Enough Plumbers, your clones spawn every time you pick up a coin, and follow your every moment in real time. This small but clever change to the way the style is usually executed makes all the difference in challenge and predictability. You no longer have the added advantage of knowing exactly where your shadow will end up, so you have to plan your movements carefully, as the slightest mistake could leave you and your clones stuck with no way out except for a cold reset.

Trust me, i'm a professional.

The challenge might be new but the flavor is all Super Mario, when it comes to the sound, graphics, and general atmosphere. The presence of goombas, coins, bricks, turtles, buttons, and of course; power-ups, will leave you feeling right at home if you’ve been playing the games since the beginning of the series. The music, while being fairly original, gives the occasional nod to the beats we know and love (dig the funky version of the underground tunnel theme during the stage select screen.).

Soda gets you high.

The game feels good. It would be easy to look down on it because it is another in a growing list that follow the latest trend. It would be even easier to dismiss this as just another “Super Mario clone,” however, everything fits together just right, and the presentation of the classic meeting the fashionable brings this game to the top of my list. I highly recommend it.

Get the game at:

Not Doppler

Gamesfree

The guys down at Berzerk Studio get a lot of sass for trying to make a little money off their games, but if there’s one thing good flash developers need, it’s finance to keep things going. Berzerk has an impressive lineup, including games like Hero Arms and the Mechanical Commando series, but their most recent work takes a new spin on the idea of “fan service” and places it in the realm of payback and irony. Homerun in Berzerk Land takes the mechanics of games such as, Toss the Turtle, and puts its own spin on it by making it a tribute to the idea of taking a bat, electric guitar, and yes; even a sword, to the backside of anyone that has left you a retarded comment before.

About to take this one home.

The game isn’t subtle about the message it’s trying to get across. As the geek waits for you to set up the distance and power of your hit, he mouths off in a very “na-na” fashion, using phrases that were actually pulled from the comments section from some of the games that Berzerk Studio has submitted in the past.

Bloody hell!

There’s no shortage of blood either, as you dole out punishment to your target; be it from a series of bee stings, rockets fired from a wandering mech, punches from a towering berzerker, or just from the hard ground waiting for him when his journey comes to an end. The game runs smoothly on the highest graphical quality, and the controls are easy to pick up right from the start. Upgrades as well as level ups from xp and cash gained after each serve help to raise the distance and pain you’ll be dishing out as the game goes on.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable experience, however, the game’s charm and appeal don’t last long. The entire thing becomes repetitive after a short amount of time. Nothing really changes as far as the structure of the game goes. You are given the option of using several different characters to take on the role of batter, and even unlock a few more as you gain distance, but other than that, the game lacks the depth and lasting enjoyment that Berzerk Studio’s other titles have. In the end, it’s a game worth trying, if only for the fun of knocking around a virtual representation of your most hated trolls, but you won’t be sticking around for long.

Find the game at:

PlayHub
Newgrounds

2DArray, the developing geniuses that brought us the compelling and challenging platformer, The Company of Myself, are at it once again with a mix of existential drama and astroidvania game play in Viricide.

Viricide puts you in the helm of an “antiviral unit” set inside of an artificial intelligence based computer. Your job is to take aim inside of a small grid like square where anomalies of varying shapes and sizes will fly by your screen, forcing you to dodge them while firing your cannons in any and all directions, destroying said anomalies and collecting chips in the process to fund upgrades for future levels.

The game mechanics are very smooth, using either the wasd or arrow keys to move your ship while using your mouse to both aim and fire your cannons at enemy units. The gameplay changes quickly from three main elements of the dodge and shoot dynamic. At first you will feel as though you are merely trying to shoot passing blocks as fast as you can to grab that extra income, but it isn’t long before you are playing hard on the dodge aspect as the levels produce more and more enemies on screen at one single time. Small square blocks make for your average target while the intro of circles that move in a wave like pattern will definitely force you to hone in on your stick and move skills. Once you are introduced to squares that take up what feels like half the screen at any given time, you will truly learn the meaning of the phrase, “a tight squeeze”. Cluster blocks that attack as a bunch stuck together, then exploding into a spray of shrapnel that will test your speed in aiming and shooting become part of the family of destruction you face in your travels down the malfunctioning systems of your partner A.I. It won’t be long until you are greeted by the tiny circles that move fast, follow you closely in dog fight fashion, and are more than willing to attack in groups. Upgrades are small, nothing fancy, and quite expensive to purchase in the early stages; however you will need them to stem the tide of rushing geometrical doom in your favor.

A tight squeeze

To say the game is very similar to other games of its type is an accurate way of assessing the basics of it, but this is 2DArray we are talking about! They know how to make a simple game feel like the story of your life being flattened out and displayed on your screen in an orgy of retrotastic game play, coupled with subtle emotional quandaries, and wrapped in what would otherwise be considered simple story telling. From the moment you finish the first mission you are greeted by an A.I. program that can be considered no less than compelling character development, brought into being by what I would happily call some of the best voice acting i’ve heard in a game. Top notch work on 2D’s part. The game has heart, and I mean that literally (if you make it to the last level you’ll see what I mean.).

The fan response has been overwhelming, as 2DArray points out in a recent blog post on their site here.

The game has all the things 2DArray is known for: retro-style game play, brilliant storytelling, and even though the graphics in this particular game are meant to be simple; they have a vibrant charm that holds true to the dynamic of the setting. I recommend you try it, and wish 2DArray only the best and hope for more from them in the future.

Find the game at:
Armor Games
Kongragate

Our first post.

April 24, 2010

If you are reading this then you have obviously taken a wrong turn somewhere on the net, but since you are already here, let me introduce you to Taco Gaming. Our goal here at TG is to pretend that I can do something as good as those professional gaming news websites, only better. I try to distract you, the viewer, from this by focusing on areas of gaming that are usually left to side notes because they don’t warrant the same kind of attention that big budge titles get. Flash games, professional indie games, free to play MMO games, these are the heart of what my coverage will be from here on out. So if you enjoy self-absorbed ranting, half-ass reviews, and various tidbits of news inbetween, they you will most certainly enjoy Taco Gaming.