Saturday, April 9, 2016

Severed is two weeks from going gold, looks hella fun.

On the podcast, I mentioned I've been getting in to streams lately.  Or streamer's content.  Between Easy Allies and Kinda' Funny, there's been some stuff that's really worth watching - particularly on Kinda' Funny, if you've got an eye out for Vita news.

This week, the crew from Drinkbox (Guacamelee) visited Game Over Greggy & Co., and brought the near-final build of Severed along for the ride.



There are several things to dig, here.  First of all, the (beautiful) game world (that I'm dying to explore) seems kinda' huge, and is almost Metroidvania-esque in its interlocking areas.  The team say they'll be interested to see how speedrunners can break the game by taking advantage of short cuts in the world, once they've gotten to know it.  It's not one giant, flat dungeon crawl, either - you'll notice stairs leading up and down on the map, suggesting towers and caverns to explore.

Second, the combat actually looks totally fun, ignoring the whole touch-interface thing, which I still find offputting and weird.  You'll get to watch the player roll into rooms with between two and ten enemies, and each enemy has an attack timer.  There's a tactic or two to keeping all of the enemies locked down - stunned or building their attack timer - to ensure you can suppress their attacks while methodically whittling down their health.

Third, the combat actually looks totally fun, with parries, super moves (a stunning flash earned after killing the first boss), charged attacks (hold the finger on screen while the attack builds and then swipe it through the enemy to strike), finishers for each enemy type that see you shearing their limbs / heads / eyes / tentacles off in return for materials that can be used to upgrade your abilities.

Fourth, there are skill trees here - "one unlocks after defeating each boss," Drinkbox says - and notes there are three of them to master, often tied to the ability (see: stunning flash) that you earned from killing a boss and wearing a piece of its body like an armor trophy.

Fifth, it kinda' sounds like if this thing doesn't replicate Guacamelee's Vita success, Drinkbox could be in trouble.  I know I'm down for it, and I know Vita fans are aware of and ravenous for it, but I wonder how big the active Vita-playing community in North America is, now?

Sixth, it's almost done.  No, seriously, this time it is literally almost done.  They're showing it off because the game is pretty much finished, and mention early in the vid that they're about two weeks out from submitting it for certification.  Y'know what that probably means?

That means Severed is coming in May, or maybe June.

Here's hoping May.  Mid-late May.

[update]  April.  It's coming in April.  [/update]

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