Chris O'Regan, host of The Sausage Factory (the inside baseball of the videogames world), has been out and about once again, keeping his nose to the ground at EGX to sniff out the best upcoming games you might not have heard about. Here's what he found...
Fast Racing Neo
Format(s): Wii U
One of the highlights of EGX 2015 was the indie section, as it was littered with amazing games that are heading to a Wii U console near you very soon. One game that really caught my eye was Fast Racing Neo
by German developer Shin'en. A high-speed future racer in the mould of Wipeout
, Fast Racing Neo
has the player controlling an anti-gravity flowing craft that zips across a complex landscape. So far, so 'we've been here before' territory right? Well, what if we threw in a heavy dose of Ikaruga
into the mix? Does that grab your attention?
For the uninitiated, Ikaruga
is an up and downey scrolling shooter that gives the player a shield that could only deflect bullets of a particular shade of either black or white. This added a new layer of bullet-dodging that shoot'em ups are famous for. Fast Racing Neo
uses a similar mechanic by requiring the player to switch states from blue to orange while traversing certain points of the track.
While playing Fast Racing Neo
I couldn't help but marvel at the speed of the game, which appeared to be hurtling along at 60fps from what I saw of it. The whole experience is a visual delight, as most future racing games are, but Fast Racing Neo
is a real spectacle that draws the player into its dual-coloured world of blue and orange.
This need to change states creates a new aspect to how the player navigates through the track. It's often that blue and orange sections of the track appear close to one another, forcing the player to change states rapidly or else suffer a significant slowdown. I found having to both negotiate chicanes and change states particularly tricky, as my attention was more drawn to the twists and turns of the track than the coloured strips on it.
It took a great deal of effort on my part to walk away from the demo pod that had Fast Racing Neo
running on it. There were a lot more games to see at EGX 2015 and I couldn't spend all of my time just playing this one, right? Right!
Fast Racing Neo
is due to appear later this year on the WiiU via the Nintendo eShop.
Galactic Hero Agency: Mind Matters
Format(s): Windows PC
There's a little iOS game called Beyond Gravity
that has a little space man jumping from planet to plane,t collecting nuts and bolts with which he will use to fix his broken spaceship. Sadly he never manages to complete this task as Beyond Gravity
is an infinite runner that uses the relative gravity of objects to project how the player will land on each planet.
At this point you may be asking why I'm prattling on about a game other than Galactic Hero Agency: Mind Matters
, which is after all the subject of this preview. Well, both games sport the same 2D spinning planetoid environment, with the main difference being that Galactic Hero Agency: Mind Matters
allows the player to dictate the direction the player character goes once they jump.
The player takes the role of a member of the galaxy-spanning Agency and this character is required to save the universe from impending doom by pumping between little 2D planets. The inhabitants of these plants can be hostile and can in some cases jump from one planet to another in pursuit of the player. This can cause some confusion and concern on the part of the player as they attempt to dispatch these hostile creatures while trying not to jump to their doom in the process.
Weapon upgrades are readily available, but anything that isn't the default pea-shooter requires ammunition. Anyone who has played a Ratchet and Clank
game will be familiar with this limitation and it requires the player to be somewhat judicious when using the more powerful weapons. Thankfully there are ammunition stations littered across the cosmos that, in exchange of coins that are collected near the planetoids will provide the player with more ammo.
Checkpoints that act as gateways into new parts of the universe also appear. These provide a form of progression for Galactic Hero Agency: Mind Matters
as the player finds out more about the impending threat to the continued
existence of reality.
I had such a great time playing Galactic Hero Agency: Mind Matters
with the little I experienced of it at EGX 2015. The visual style and method of control were equally appealing and I certainly walked away from it smiling and looking forward to its full release sometime in 2016 on Windows PC.