Delver’s Drop Q&A With Vision/Creative Director of Pixelscopic, Ryan Baker

delvers drop logo

A few days back I happened upon an interesting looking indie title call Delver’s Drop. It caught my because of its top down, hack in slash nature which was very reminiscent of the early games of the Zelda series such as Link to The Past and Links Awakening. It also has a beautiful high-definition 2D aesthetic. Unfortunately other than a single video, teaser site, and a few screenshots scattered about the inter-webs there was no information about the game. So being the impatient gamer that I am I contacted Pixelscopic, the team developing Delver’s Drop, and within just a few days they got back to we with more information than I could have hoped to received.

“Over all how would you describe Delver’s Drop to someone who may not have seen or heard about it previously, in terms of story as well as gameplay?”

Delver’s Drop is a 2D Action RPG with fluid physics-based movement, snappy combat, shifting dungeons, and a rogue’s gallery of character classes that can be individually leveled. With an emphasis on mystery and dynamic gameplay experiences, the game features randomization for infinite replay, enigmatic puzzle permutations to unravel, multiple narrative paths, customizable character growth, and layers of secrets to unearth.

You play as one of many adventuring miscreants imprisoned for unknown reasons in a dungeon atop a towering, ever-changing castle complex. Built up over countless years of construction, this labyrinthine structure forms a maze of interlocking rooms which mysteriously shift in a constantly changing layout. The prisoners are released one by one into these depths, and challenged to find their way to freedom. But to do so they must brave the Drop: a pit that tunnels deep into the mountain’s core and connects the castle’s deteriorating layers, each of which contains puzzles that must be solved in order to open the Drop to the descending levels. As they explore deeper, the adventurers begin to unravel the true reasons for their imprisonment, while discovering that other, darker secrets lie in the castle’s deeper vaults. When one prisoner fails, another is cast down into the Drop, taking advantage of their predecessors’ progress. But for every dubious hero that you fail to keep alive, a darker threat will await the next unlucky delver…”

“After doing a bit of research I’ve come to understand that there is a class system. How many classes will there be in the game and how far does one class vary from another?”

“The current plan is to have 5 playable classes at launch. We may add more classes later through expansions depending on its success and fan interest. We think about our classes as a combination of traditional RPG classes with unique levelable abilities or perks crossed with more arcade-style character types with unique action moves, play mechanics, and strategies like the characters in a fighting game. Although we have a form of permadeath, the player is persistent leveling each class as they use it.

The classes vary in several ways:
• Each has unique parameters affecting movement, such as acceleration rate, top speed, mass, and traction to name a few.
• All classes use a specific type of melee or projectile weapon that is unique to them. The player can find additional weapons of each type as they progress.
• Classes will also have a unique special move or ability. These are still being developed, but one class may activate their special move based on achieving a certain speed of movement, allowing them to charge into enemies. Another class may activate their special by racking up a certain number of kills within a time limit, at which time they can unleash more powerful attacks.
• They also have different perks that can be leveled up through experience points – so for instance the rogue will have increased gold finds, while a wizard may be able to increase chip damage from elemental wands as they progress.
• And finally, each class will have its own set of quirky backstory elements that will be revealed to the player the more they use that character type.”

“When going into the development of the game , were there any other titles that may have inspired/influenced any part of the game whether it be art, music, or narrative, and to what extent?”

“The most obvious source of inspiration is of course the 2D Zelda games. The original internal pitch for the game idea was “Zelda meets pinball” – basically a fast, physics-based Action RPG that would rely on speed and impact to knock enemies around the room. Another early inspiration was Geometry Wars, with its fast navigation, changing weapon types, and enemy behavior patterns. As we worked on the game, and developed the world though, it started trending back toward a more straight-forward Action RPG in order to keep the combat tight and enjoyable for the genre. However, we obviously don’t want to just make an HD spinoff of the Zelda play style, so we actually started compiling a list of other action RPGs (or games with action RPG elements) for additional inspiration. Some of those include roguelikes, Ys, Half-Minute Hero, Rolan’s Curse, Diablo, Torchlight, Borderlands, and some other recent games that we feel are spiritually similar like The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky.

As for the more aesthetic inspirations – I think the biggest inspiration has been the simplicity of 8-bit graphics. I have a lot of experience doing pixel art on the DS, and I developed a real appreciation for what can be achieved within the restraints of limited detail and low color numbers. So while our game is not done in pixel art, I want the vibe of the artwork to feel like an HD painting based on the feel of pixels. So there are fewer colors, sharp lines between color areas, chunky details and highlights.”

“What platforms are you looking at for the release of Delver’s Drop? Do you have any plans to develop for console platforms such as PSN and Xbox Live Arcade?”

“The current plan is to release on PC, Mac, iOS and Android. We would consider a Linux version if there is enough interest. As for consoles – we have nothing planned at this time, but since our heritage is in the console and handheld arena, we would definitely love to make a console port if the opportunity presented itself.”

“What would you say are your biggest challenges for Pixelscopic in the development of, not just Delvers Drop, but any project you undertake as an independent developer?”

“In general, the biggest challenge for a small studio like ours is finding a balance of paying contract projects, while also continuing to work on our original games. It’s a struggle both in terms of creating a sustainable financial situation, but also creatively since jumping back and forth between your own project and contract work can be difficult to balance. The other large struggle is working on an original project that you are so passionate about, and having to make cuts either to refine the design or to simply keep the project on schedule and on budget. Sometimes what you leave out is more important than what you put it when trying to create a balanced design, but unfortunately you never stop coming up with ideas. Hopefully some of these ideas see the light in future games, but it’s never easy taking the axe to them or set them on the shelf.”

“When can we expect the game to hit stores?”

“The goal is to have it available for PC and Mac by summer 2013. We have not yet decided if the iOS and Android versions will be a simultaneous launch, or will come shortly thereafter.”

So, what do you think? Personally I can’t wait, plain and simple. If you like to find more information about Delver’s Drop you can go to their main website or the teaser site and sign up for their news letter.

Thank you for reading. I would like to thank Ryan Baker for taking the time to answer my questions, and all the people at Pixelscopic.

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SteamKick!… Nope, that’s not it either.

So I have a confession to make. I haven’t come up with a title yet. I tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end it didn’t even matter. But really outdated song references aside, the most important thing is that we keep on kickin’ and we keep on… steamin? It’ll come to me someday, but for now here are this weeks candidates.


Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a first person survival shooter being developed by independent developers Big Robot. Your character is stranded on an archipelago and is desperately trying to escape. But in order to do so you must evade/combat robotic sentry’s that roam the land, loot nearby abandoned villages for supplies, and collect fragments of a mysterious machine that will supposedly allow you to leave.

Do you like stealth? Do you like exploring an open world that is generated as you go, almost guaranteeing you’ll never have the same experience twice? Then why is your money not making contact with your screen? Sir, You Are Being Hunted is exactly the direction what I need to get me into the survival shooter genre. While I can understand the popularity of games like DayZ which provide feeling of never-ending gameplay, I feel that having an overall goal to work towards, other than staying alive, makes the experience, and the amount of time spent killing and collecting all that more worth it.

As of this article being posted the project has reached £80,637 of its £40,000 pound goal. After reaching twice its original goal it’s more than safe to say that this game will be finished.  By pledging £10 or approximately $16 you can pre-order the game and receive it before launch  If you decide to pledge more I highly recommend researching the conversion rate between your country’s currency and that of the pound sterling.


Primordia is a point and click adventure in development by Wadjet Eye Games who have over the recent years have made a name for them selves by producing some of the greatest point in click adventures in the market. Some of you may remember titles such as Gemini rue, The Blackwell Deception, and more recently Resonance. While challenging puzzles have always been to draw of the genre, Wadjet Eye has always put a heavy emphasis on story and Primordia doesn’t appear to be any different

Set in a post-apocalyptic world strewn with cast-off machines, Primordia tells the story of Horatio Nullbuilt, a stoic robot who values his solitude and independence. Horatio spends his days studying the Book of Man, sparring with his droid companion Crispin, and tinkering with the airship they call home—a peaceful existence that becomes threatened when a rogue robot steals the energy source that the pair needs to survive. When Horatio and Crispin’s search for energy brings them to the dazzling city of Metropol, the simple quest to recover their stolen power core leads to unexpected discoveries about Horatio’s origins and a new understanding of the legendary humans who walked the earth before him.

If you want to help Primodia make it on steams next greenlight line up then click the link above and vote!

Well that’s it for this week guys If you have any suggestions for future candidates then feel free to post them in the comments and I swear by next week I will have a name for this series of articles. Have a good week!

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Big Sky Infinity Q&A With Lead Developer, James Whitehead.

As a huge fan of all things “shoot’em up” it makes me sad to see the genre fade into obscurity with only a few titles here and there over the years. Which is why i was more than ecstatic to see the announcement trailer for indie developer Boss Baddie’s new game Big Sky Infinity. I couldn’t wait to learn more. So much, in fact, I  sent a few questions to the developers, and they graciously replied. Below are those very same questions answered by none other than James Whitehead himself, owner and lead developer of the Boss Baddie team.

1. How would you describe the overall concept of Big Sky Infinity?

It’s a fast-paced twin stick shooter with dynamic gameplay that adapts to player performance – you’ll never play the same game twice! It’s full of huge bosses, intense events, hordes of enemies and a cheeky cockney narrator!

2. What do you feel are the most significant aspects that set this game apart from other titles within the “Shoot’em Up” genre?
It’s not just about shooting, it’s also about drilling too! You have to evade masses of laser fire and always be ready to hit the drill button so you don’t smash into a fast-moving meteor or planet. It borrows bits from different shooter genres, all wrapped in a pretty 1080p bow.

3. What would you say are the most important ways Big Sky Infinity has changed from its predecessor, Really Big Sky?
There’s a whole new look thanks to the guys at VooFoo, it looks amazing in full HD, and the PS3 version supports stereoscopic 3D too! We’ve got trophies, online highscores, new content such as bosses and enemies, a fantastic new soundtrack and voice over – which is around 4 times bigger than the original Really Big Sky script. There’s a really cool new endurance style mode too, which has a really interesting score method!
There’s a great async multiplayer mode on the Vita. You can set a challenge, like getting so many bad guy kills or flying the longest distance, and send that challenge to a friend or to a random stranger. We had a load of fun playing this during development! It’s my favorite new feature.

4. Can you explain the customization system?
As you play through the game you collect starbits, these little bits of blue currency can be spent on upgrading your ship. There are loads of categories to upgrade, and it’s a gradual upgrade system so even if you have almost no starbits left you might be able to slightly power up one weapon. After you’ve maxed out a weapon you can turn it into an ultra weapon, which is when you can really turn the tables around!

5. How does the multiplayer aspect add to the overall experience of the game?
On the PS3 you’re able to play with 3 buddies on the same screen, and the more support you have the tougher the enemies get! But you can also fight back by flying near to each other, which powers up your weapons.
On the PS Vita we have an async multiplayer mode, where you and a friend will challenge each other to beat highscores, to get the highest multiplier, to destroy the most enemies. Or you can challenge the ENTIRE universe (a randomly selected player!). We had a lot of fun playing this in development!

6. What has your experience been developing for console in comparison to pc and what would you consider your biggest challenges being developing Big Sky Infinity overall?
In many ways consoles are easier. On the PC side we had to consider slower machines, and sometimes some hardware wouldn’t work correctly. Consoles “one size fits all” approach means we can focus purely on the game and not worry about incompatibilities.
Consoles gives us some great opportunities to do cool things such as cloud saving, asynchronous multi-player, etc… that would be really time-consuming to code on PC, consoles support these things straight out of the box.

7. Are there any plans to release on other platforms such as PC and XBLA?
No plans yet, but you can pick up the prequel (Really Big Sky) on Steam right now!

8. When can we expect to see Big Sky Infinity hit stores?
It will be available to download from the PlayStation Network Store on 11th December in the US and 12th December in Europe.

Well there you have it folks. Big thanks to the Boss Baddie team for their time. It won’t be long until we can grace the starry skies of Big Sky Infinity. If you’d like to learn more here is a link to the official website.

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Comics: Pee-U!

The WiiU has just been released, and consumers can’t get enough of it. Despite my apathy towards it, the market as spoken, and it’s release signals the new console generation.

Like with any release, there are a few flaws and glitches, even a report of someone accidentally hacking into the console and having the ability to see how many users are in each of the WiiU’s features and being able to delete their passwords, like some sort of Mii-God.
Eventually, I know I’m going to crack and get one.

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Ragnarok Odyssey Review (@PSHome Gazette)













Ragnarok Odyssey
Developer: Game Arts
Publisher: Xseed Games
MSRP: $39.99 (Available on the PSN)
Available Now

“Ragnarok Odyssey is a PlayStation Vita game that serves as another addition into the Ragnarok Online universe, but manages to borrow, or sometimes straight up copy, from other games. But this actually isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For context, Ragnarok Online is a popular 2D MMO based on the Korean manhwa called Ragnarok by Lee Myung-jin. The world is heavily based on Norse mythology, so anyone with at least limited knowledge of the mythology can pick out names such as Valhalla, Odin, and Thor. Odyssey is a departure from the MMO and features much more fast paced “Hunter style” gameplay. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Norse mythology and I know even less about Ragnarok Online. Players familiar with the MMO are bound to find plenty of parallels between Odyssey and Online, such as the main classes, enemies, and small details like armor similarity.

Despite that, I jumped into this game eager to pick up anything worthwhile for my dormant Vita. After reviewing some images of it online and finding some gameplay of it, I decided to give it a shot and for the most part, it works. But all is not right in Valhalla.”

Full review can be read here.


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Weekly “Kicky-Steamy-Somthin-or-Other”

As someone who has bought in to the crowd-funding phenomenon, backed numerous kickstarters, and has seen the results it can bare with his own eyes, I’m constantly trying to inform others of the latest projects and the best deals… but one can only get but so many listeners with a quick Facebook status update and a tweet or two. So today I’d like to try something different which may or may not become a weekly thing here on GAME OVER YOU SUCK.

Every week I want to promote one kickstarter project and one steam greenlight project. Now you may ask “What does steam greenlight have to do with crowd funding? ” While greenlight may not give you the chance to actually provide monetary support to a particular game, or contribute ideas to the developers, it does give every gamer the opportunity to decided what games make it to the market and overall change the way developers approach game development in terms of what they perceive as being what gamers want in games.

So without further ado, I present Steamy-Kick. No…. Oh! How about, Kickin’ Steam! No that’s not right either. Well we’ll figure out a cheesy play on words title later.


We’re all familiar with the phrase “quantity over quality” correct? Well these three gentlemen have embraced it. Shaun Inman, Rust Moyher, and Matt Grimm, the creators of The Last Rocket, Bloop, and the composer for  Flip’s Escape respectively, have joined forces to create a few games. Yes, that’s right, games, as in plural. As in forget “bang for your buck”, you’re about to experience a thermonuclear explosion!

Retro Game Crunch is their attempt at the development of 6 games over the period of six months. Each game will have a unique theme which the backers (or supporters) will have the chance to suggest and vote on at the beginning of each month. After three days of crunch time, a prototype of the game goes live on their website and from then until the end of the month they improve the game, taking suggestions from the backers on what they do or don’t like. At the end of the month they release the full game and start the process all over again for the next game.

So, to good to be true right? WRONG?! And if you act now you can obtain all 6 games for the low price of $25 dollars, or if funds are scarce then you can always settle for the $15 tier and get the first three games.

At the time of me posting this article the project has reached $21,027 of its $60,000 goal. There are still 22 days left until the end of this project so I suggest that if you want to be apart of the pixel magic that is “Retro Game Crunch” then get backing!


Now that we’ve got that whole election nonsense out-of-the-way, its time to vote on something really important. Steam’s next greenlight line up!

Now, I’m all for democracy, so you can vote for whoever, or rather, whatever you feel is the right choice… Nope, just kidding. I’m fixing this election and you’re gonna help me.

OK, OK, enough with the political puns. This week we’re casting our vote for the recently announced indie title “Legend of Dungeon” being developed by up and coming indie dev team, Robot<3 Kitty. Putting aside the fact that they hands down have the greatest company name in history, “Legend of Dungeon”‘s take on the rogue like genre brings a whole new meaning to dungeon crawling

Legend of Dungeon is a 1 to 4 Player Co-Op Roguelike-like Beat’em’up with dynamic lighting on awesome pixel art.

You and your friends are looking for treasure in a dungeon full to the brim with monsters. Legend has it there is a massive treasure all the way down on the 26th floor. Your quest is to go down there, get the treasure, and make it back to the surface alive.

Legend of Dungeon is part Beat’Em’Up, like those awesome old-school 4 player arcade games (it plays a little like the TMNT and X-Men) and it’s part RogueLike, in its setting and content generation.

I believe my case has been made. If you wanna join the revolution that is robot and kitty love, then click the link above, enjoy the video and VOTE VOTE VOTE!

Well thus concludes our weekly…something. I promise to come up with a name by next time but for now please donate and please vote. Oh god, now I sound like a politician.

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First Impression: Paper Mario Sticker Star

Disclaimer: This is a first impression, by which I  am in no way reviewing the game, only giving my opinion on what I’ve played so far and what I feel does and does not work within in the game.

Well it’s finally here folks, the long-awaited third installment into the paper Mario series and no Super Paper Mario didn’t count. Brand me a hipster until your blue in the face but I’ll never accept that game as part of the franchise. Not because I think it was terrible, it just wasn’t the Paper Mario I knew and loved. But fear not Nintendo has brought the game back to its turn based roots making it feel just like old times, but does it live up to the hype? Guess we’ll find out.

Crinkle, Crinkle Little Star:

We join our mustachioed hero partying his gloves off at the mushroom kingdoms annual “Sticker Fest” where all the little toadlings gather and celebrate the passing of the all-powerful sticker star which has the ability to grant any wish. But of course just when everyone was having a grand ole time captain buzz kill, aka Bowser, and his loyal little underlings, crash the party and try to steal the power all for themselves and unfortunately… he succeeds. After granting himself unimaginable power the star splits into 5 “royal stickers” and are scattered across the land. Now its all up to Mario, who is joined by Kersti, a spunky magical sticker who serves under the sticker star as an envoy, to collect all the royal stickers, defeat Bowser, and save the princess…again.

So yes, it’s a bit of the same old routine. Everyone’s having a blast, then SURPRISE here comes old man Bowser trying to hang with the cool kids. Now, seeing as I’ve only gotten as far as the first boss, I will give it the benefit of the doubt and reserve my judgment for a later day when I’ve gotten further into the story BUT, even if it turns out to be a “new dog, old tricks” kinda situation I wouldn’t necessarily call that a bad thing. Mario has been a staple in the gaming world for as long as I can remember and the reason is because it’s consistent and it works. Sure we could go on and on about how it hasn’t changed much from, well, its beginning, but the real question is, do we want it too? Paper Mario Sticker Stars story is as whimsical as any of it predecessors and some of the line of dialogue will leave you rolling on the floor laughing. Kersti is a nice little addition to team Mario. While she certainly can’t replace all the colorful characters and companions of the previous titles, she has her own spunky charm and is helpful in your time of need.

It’s A Flat World After All:

Now you’d assume with the name “Paper Mario” we would be used to the whole paper theme, but not even the previous games emphasized it to this extent. Sure there was the occasional “turn sideways to fit in the crack” or “fold into a paper plane to glide to this ledge” but when it came to the overall world it really just felt, 2D. In Sticker star you are constantly reminded that the world is literally made of paper from the bushes on the ground that fall over flat when you strike the ground with your mighty hammer, to the boxes that explode into sheets when you jump up to hit them from below. Before it felt more like, the world was normal but the people were paper. They’ve brought it to a whole other level of papery goodness… and I quite like it.

It’s also important to mention that they decided to return back to the old super Mario Bros. over world map from the NES days, which is really helpful when you find your self running low on items and need to pop back to the plaza for a quick shopping spree. Although, I will miss the feeling of a huge , albeit restricted and incredibly linear but open, world where i didn’t even know if could make it back to the nearest save point alive. In  a way it takes the challenge out of the exploration. I loved making the tough decision whether or not to risk battle upon battle to see what was in the next area, or making the long trip back home and do the smart thing by stocking up on supplies where as in this world everything is readily available. While I absolutely love the re-defined and heavily emphasized paper aesthetic, the over all word seems a bit small and to easily accessible with not enough exploration in between.

It’s As Simple As Jump, Swing, Throw:

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The one thing that makes Paper Mario, Paper Mario (well other than the fact that every thing is made of paper). Of course I’m talking about the battle system, turn based to be exact. I’m a sucker for a good turn based RPG, which is why even though I’m not the biggest Mario fan I had to pick up the first game in the series day one and man oh man did it work. To any fan of the series this was probably, above all else, the most worried about aspect of the game. Would it be like before? What changes did they make? Are we gonna have companions? Unfortunately that last one should have become painfully obvious by now. The lack of side-kickery is a darn shame and it does hurt the games over all standing as a new entry into series BUT the basic fighting mechanics are still there, just with a little twist which some, including myself, have a love hate relationship with. Well, more of a “meh, i can deal” kinda feeling.

Mario and his foes must use the power of stickers to duke it out on the battlefield. All actions, whether it be a simple jump or the most basic hammer swing, must be executed by an item which is kept in a catalog as a sticker on a page. Pages do have limited space and some stickers are larger than others so you have to choose wisely what attacks and status remedies you find to be the most important. I don’t mean to insinuate that items are scarce. In fact it’s quite the opposite. You can’t move two steps without finding a sticker stuck on the ground or glued to a wall, and most enemies will drop them once defeated, as well as ample coinage which you can then use to restock every page with whatever you choose. Some see this as an annoyance, complaining about being constantly bombarded with stickers, but you have to remember once you use an item, its gone for good. There is no mp system by which you just refill a gauge and everything is all honky dory. I learned the hard way to get while the getting good and to choose what i get with the utmost care. If, i had to give one criticism it would be that because you don’t want to lose your best sticker before a boss fight it discourages you from fighting the little battles and its frustrating when you can’t avoid them.

Overall it’s not to complicated. You average battle is over in 3 turns so every thing is much faster paced. Although there are many different stickers I still wouldn’t say there’s much variety in attack, just different styles.

My First Impression:

So lets look at what we have so far. The story is nothing we haven’t seen before. Same cast, new costumes. The over all world is a pretty sight to see and I can’t help but smile at the at which they emphasized the worlds papery make-up. Gameplay, specifically combat, is a bit more simplistic than I would have hoped for but the good news is anyone who’s had the pleasure of experiencing the first 2 titles will feel right at home from the very start.

Like I said before, this isn’t a review, just my thoughts on what I’ve experienced, so this is in no way a final verdict. Paper Mario Sticker Star is a wonderful addition to the Paper Mario franchise and I think it will have no problem settling its way into the hearts and wallets of avid fans. While it does suffer from its somewhat stifling simplicity and hand holding nature it makes up for it or rather breaks even with the beautiful aesthetic and a fresh take on turn based battle. If you are a fan of the previous games i recommend you pick it up as soon as you can. Maybe it’s not like old times, but it’s still a whole lotta fun.

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Player 2: Press Start

I’ve been neglecting this blog. For that, I’m sorry. But I attend college full-time, nearing my associates degree, and I write articles here and there for PSHome Gazette. I haven’t forgotten about Game Over You Suck at all though. I’ve also haven’t played much recently.

But these are all excuses.

This blog has been about my journey to become a gaming journalist, and it always has been. Well, a friend of mine talked to me about doing a guest article, because he wishes to do the same. After contemplating, I asked him to join the blog as an author.

This blog is an outlet to writing in an informal way, and a means to talk freely and as opinionated as I want. So it’s a great low pressure way to get the feet wet in games journalism.

And I’ve also liked the idea of a team, and having someone else write articles here will motivate me to not neglect the blog.

So introducing Ryan Hicks, aka, Babel!

Drawn with a mouse and a paint program, as I don’t have any better tools.
Why does he wear a mask? Who knows. Masks look silly.

So, care to introduce yourself?

Well I’ve never been one for long speeches so I think I’ll keep
this short, sweet and to the point. I’m Ryan Hicks, Things I
like and things I hate… I don’t feel like telling you that.
My dreams of the future… never really thought about it. As
for my hobbies, I have lots of hobbies.

OK OK! Sorry I couldn’t resist. But seriously, I’m glad to be joining team
GOYS and happy that I get to share my opinions and create
content for its readers. I hope I can be informative and
provide you a window. into the world of gaming.

What would you say are your favorite types of games?

I love JRPG’s such as Breath of Fire, Grandia, Children of Mana, and the “Tales of” series but i play a variety of games from FPS like Call of Duty to 2D puzzle platformers like Super Meat Boy.

What do you hope to do with Game Over You Suck?

Like Chris has previously stated, GOYS is an outlet through which we can share information and our opinions with a mass number of people. I hope that in the future I can make connections with a lot of people whether they be veterans of the industry or one of our readers. Also this will be a good chance to hone my skills as a journalist and to learn more about the gaming industry as a whole.

Any closing comments?

Thank you, Chris, for this opportunity, and I wont let you down. But enough with the formalities. Grab you master swords and eat a mushroom boys and girls. It’s gonna be a wild ride 🙂

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The Opening That Blew My Young Mind Forever

I love opening cutscenes in video games for various reasons. For one, it’s designed to be a hook to draw me into the video game, either with gameplay or setting the stage for the story. And secondly, normally the theme song for the video game plays, or a piece that incorporates the theme.

My focus with this article is the second part. I love video game soundtracks. Even back in the early days, a lot of promising and talented composers worked with limited tools to create idyllic and capturing melodies. And today, full orchestras and bands bring video games to life. If nothing else, I think a game’s music is a perfect example of its “soul”.

But I came to this conclusion after encountering one opening that forever altered the way I saw video games.

But before I get to that, to set the stage, I’m ten years old, and my love for video games is blossoming nicely. My life consisted of going to elementary school and playing on my PlayStation and N64. I had friends, sure, but I always like retiring to my Grandmothers and continuing a game while my developing mind started grasping more concepts and ideas from games.

Back in this age, gaming magazines such as the official PlayStation magazine would package a disk with various demos on it. I never had a subscription, but my more fortunate friends would give me theirs when they were done with it. It was exciting, but nothing new. I came to realize that there wasn’t playable demos of all the games, so my child mind didn’t much care for the cutscene-only demos. This is actually how I came to love both The Legend of Dragoon and Einhänder.

But out of boredom, I checked out all of the contents of one disk. It wasn’t until I played one named Chrono Cross did I actually pay attention.

And pay attention I did. The cutscene opens with a book opening slowly, and as a flute pierces the dull lull, a poem fills the screen.

“What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?
Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
from deep within the flow of time.
But, for a certainty back then,
we loved so many, yet hated so much.
We hurt others, and were hurt ourselves.
And still we ran like the wind, whilst our laughter echoed
under cerulean skies.”

I was ten, but I sat wondering what was this beautiful music I was hearing. Back then, I was limited to the radio, or my Dad’s collection of rock albums. This was something new, something foreign to my musical palette. This violin and guitar, sounding like a sweet lullaby, had grabbed my attention, and made the poem mean something to me even though it was my first time ever seeing it.

Then the song picks up. Oh God does it ever pick up.
At first, it just gets a bit more intense, with some new visuals. I see what would appear to be the protagonist surrounded by mystical light, then a few colorful dragons.

Then the violin really starts. It’s no exaggeration when I say that I got chills down my entire being when I first heard it. I still do to a lesser extent, but not as much as the first time.

The song is intense, the violin, like my pulse, is quickening. Then another comes in and provides the melody. All the while, the (at the time) beautiful graphics illustrate this colorful and vibrant world that looks as if it is being destroyed. Characters flash on the screen, then disappear, intriguing me. The seemingly established protagonist (who I learn much later is named Serge) grabs his head and falls to his knees.

Then everything lifts. The melody isn’t as fast paced and harsh. And the camera zooms in on this figure who had been featured before, but now standing alone, on a beach, looking out into the ocean. With the music, this paints a picture of loneliness. She turns, blinks, smiles softly, then offers her hand out to the screen, and therefore, you.

Then the music kicks back in, and more visuals out of context flash, but it all fits so perfectly that once the string of the violin erupts to signal the end, all you are left with is Chrono Cross.

Listen with your volume up.

I must have watched that opening on that demo disk a dozen times after that. Needless to say the opening struck me. From then on, I could never see video game music the same.

And to this day, I still appreciate, (hell, half the time, prefer) video game sound tracks. My iPod is gracefully dying a slow death, but its life had plenty of meaning by letting me revisit literally over a thousand video game songs. But my love for them all started with one opening cutscene.

The composer for this is Yasunori Mitsuda, who recently composed Kid Icarus: Uprising and the upcoming Soul Sacrifice.

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Dragon Age III: Inquisition Announced (And I Pity Bioware)

Surprising no one, Bioware has announced Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, and that it has been in development for two years. DA3 will use DICE’s frostbite 2 engine. DA3 is set to come out “late” next year. No photos or trailers yet.

General Manager Aaryn Flynn stated: “The Dragon Age team has been working on Dragon Age III: Inquisition for almost two years now. We’ve been poring over player feedback from past games and connecting directly with our fans. They haven’t held back, so we’re not either. With [this game], we want to give fans what they’re asking for — a great story with choices that matter, a massive world to explore, deep customization and combat that is both tactical and visceral.”


Am I the only one that feels that statement was a bit… desperate? Honestly, I feel bad for Bioware. At once point in time, they were the leader of Western RPGs, providing deep and immerse games like Jade Empire, SW: Knights of The Old Republic, and Mass Effect, but after the critical flop that DA:2 was, the paradigm shifted and Bioware became heavily criticized.

DA:2 was fun to an extent, but definitely was a step backwards from DA: Origins and its DLC. Mass Effect 3 had one of the worst “lolwut” endings I’ve ever played, and even after their add-on DLC which “explains” more, I’m still confused. Was the space child Shepard? If the reapers are a collective of organic races, how come they all look like shrimp? How come they were making  human one?
In any case, since then, Bioware can’t win with the fans. When the developers reached out to fans, the fans didn’t hold back, and told Bioware just what was wrong with their games. The internet can be a brutal place. For DA:3, I’d love to see more Origins in there. DA:2 was fun, but it eliminated almost everything that made DA:O great for me, such as the player races, the exploration of different lands, and the various monsters and lore surrounding the lands.
Bioware has made a few poor design decisions recently, but I feel they’re only human, and I’ve enjoyed their games enough in the past for forgive them, so I’ll likely pick up DA:3 “late” next year.

So long as there are no space children. Cut that shit out.

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