Many developers on Kickstarter revere the classics from which they are inspired; however, they all vary on how much they effort they put forth to distinguish their games from the classics. As part of my attempt to bring more variety to the Kickstarter Weekly, I’ve decided to write about three games that do something interesting with their corresponding genre, each one providing varying degrees of out-there experiences. Grimoire, for instance, is a first-person shooter with magic. Celestial Tears: Demon’s Revenge pays homage to older JRPGs except it uses the art style of a Western comic book. Finally, Band Saga is a roguelike that gives players to create environments through music. How much difference can you handle?
Project by: Rekcahdam
Current Funds: $11,606
End: October 1, 2014
Music is a surprisingly important component in video games. I’ve considered the argument that gameplay is above every other aspect of a video game; however, I’ve also played video games without sound and/or music, and the result is that none of my actions seemed to make an impact. Thankfully since the early days of console gaming, developers have incorporated melodic tunes that would shape the memories of gamers to the point of eliciting nostalgic tears. So yes, music is a crucial part of gaming; however, in Band Saga, music will actually give the gameplay shape.
Band Saga is a title that truly sums up its game. Two musicians want to make it big, yo, and they’re willing to travel across the country and space in order to spread their brand. Unfortunately, the duo did not originally plan on traveling to space, and now they must do battle with intergalactic aliens who stand between them and fame, let alone survival. The story is kind of like Scott Pilgrim in that it takes the boring parts of becoming a famous musician and injecting it with a much-needed dose of action.
Band Saga stands out among the populous roguelikes on Kickstarter because its core mechanic revolves around creating the world in which you stand–kind of like in Bastion. The duo are such talented musicians that they can manipulate the sound waves in order to create environments and that they can use to their advantage. From there, the game becomes a shooter with a bitchin’ Sega Genesis sound.
One of the things I regret about the Kickstarter Weekly is that I don’t have the means to personally test these games out (I recently upgraded my PC, so I’ll play more demos for future articles). If all of my excitement for this game sounds like overly-excited speculation, then you should know a fellow writer from the site, Fonzy, was able to play the game at this year’s TGS, and said positive things about the game. “Let Garrett know that I checked out Band Saga for him,” he told Richard Bailey. “It’s a pretty damn good game!” There you have it, folks.
Project by: Yinyamina and Trexrell
Current Funds: $1,985
End: October 2, 2014
I realize I’ve been writing a lot about games that look like spruced-up versions of classic JRPGs; however, Celestial Tear: Demon’s Revenge looks different from the rest. The pixels are undeniably influenced by the SNES and Genesis era of RPGs, but the overall aesthetic eschews the art style of anime and embraces the style of Western comic books. Spruced-up graphics aside, Celestial Tear actually looks different from its competition.
Celestial Tear tells a story that’s inspired from games like Suikoden and Chrono Trigger where the driving theme is race. By the order of the Gaddock, this world’s gods, Humans have banished the Jehts to the harsher regions of Hasphal while they continue to rule without question. Eventually this leads to a full-scale political conflict, and you’ll need to play with a diverse cast of characters in order to understand every angle.
Like most RPGs on Kickstarter, Celestial Tear strives to take from the best of the classic battle systems and create its own, streamlined version. The battle system is turn-based, but the order of attack depends entirely on the conditions of you and your enemies’ skills–kind of like in Final Fantasy X. One of the team’s goals is to make sure no skill is useless, so they’ve made it to where each one can be leveled up; this should ensure that players can’t just spam the equivalent of Ultima repeatedly. In addition, players can use the environment to their advantage, such as cutting down trees to crush enemies; keep in mind that the enemies can use the same cheap tricks. To capitalize on such a dynamic battle system, sprites are more realistically human compared to classic RPGs, and the action is as flashy as any comic book attempts to convey between panels.
Celestial Tear: Demon’s Revenge has a lot going for it. The story deals with themes pertinent to modern day, and the presentation looks like a SNESified comic book. The battle system is unmistakably turn-based except streamlined. Yinyamina and Trexrell, the game’s creators, take an interesting approach to the JRPG, and I hope backers don’t overlook their game during its remaining 10 days on Kickstarter.
Current Funds: $13,659
End: October 2, 2014
It’s easy to determine how impressive a wizard’s knowledge in magic is when we’re given the opportunity to watch each drawn-out spell in uninterrupted turn-based combat. Still, considering most martial artists falter in a real street fight, I wonder how each magic-user would fare in a fast-paced, brutal combat, where even the most powerful spells may become useless depending on the time it takes to cast them. OmniConnection answers this question by pitting dozens of wizards in their MOBA spell-slinging game, Grimoire.
In this first person shooter, players choose from 10 different schools (classes) of wizardry. Once they’ve chosen their Gryffindor or Slytherin of choice, players gain access to four primary spells, as well as a slew of passive skills, in order to hone the dark arts for their spell-slinging fighting style. Based off the footage, spells are fast hitting, meaning even the most spry wizard will need to sharpen their reflexes in order to survive.
Grimoire has been in development for one year, and the team has made considerable progress that should help entice backers to consider funding their game. While Grimoire is a multiplayer-only game, the team used their available assets to create a single-player version called the “combat preview”. Unfortunately, I do not have time to test it out for myself, but if you’ve missed out on your letter-of-invitation to Hogwarts, then you might want to consider checking out Grimoire’s Kickstarter demo.
Have you seen any interesting projects on Kickstarter that you think deserve mention? Are you a developer who is currently running a Kickstarter campaign? Let us know in the comments section, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.