Back when I first played New Super Mario Bros. on the DS in 2006, the idea of playing a new, 2D-platformer Mario Bros. was pretty damn cool. While the rest of the gaming world continued to move in 3D, Nintendo looked to its roots to bring forth a new Mario game for its handheld. 2D Platforming was going to make a comeback, and the advent of XBLA, PSN, WiiWare/eShop, and Steam helped facilitate that comeback. The indie dev scene mostly used 2D platforming as their go-to style for their games, adding new wrinkles into the mix. Some told a story about heartache using a time travel mechanic. Another used ultra-difficulty to tear out our hair. Most recently, the clone of Mario made a name for itself with a “twist” mechanic in its new game.
And so I look at Nintendo and its New Super Mario Bros. series. Nintendo has chosen this series as their platform for some of their experiments. With these experiments, the good ones would be carried over into future, non-Mario games. So what have they done so far, and what can they do in the future?
We finally have a narrowed release date for the puzzle platformer Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams, and on a platform that we haven’t heard much about until now. In a Facebook update, developer Black Forest posted “We got through Microsoft’s submission process and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams has a final release date! You’ll be able to buy it world-wide NEXT WEDNESDAY, March 20th, 2013 on XBOX LIVE ARCADE.” The post made mention of the PSN version, which it too narrowed its release to April (from the previous “later this year“). They also made mention of a “DVD edition” following the XBLA release. This probably points out to the retail version they mentioned when they first confirmed XBLA release in early December.
The second week of Indie Love Month commenced this week. We turned the beat back with Bit.Trip Core. We made beats with Soundshapes. We bounced a ball around with Shatter. Dodged a plethora of missiles with N+. And finally we changed back and forth with Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.
If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM.
Developer Black Forest Games has confirmed via their stream that their game, Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams will be console bound this around the Spring/Summer. Released on PC late last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign, this latest game gave players the ability to switch between both Cute and Punk variants of Giana, both having abilities exclusive to each type. Changing between the two also changed the world around Giana, with the dream side for Punk Giana and the nightmare side for Cute Giana. This mechanic as a big departure for the once clone game, nixing its more traditional Mario-like platforming to a more puzzle-platforming approach similar to other indie games in the market.
Black Forest has also enlisted the aid of original Giana Sisters composer Chris Hulsbeck and Swedish sid-metal band Machinae Supremacy. Giana Sisters DS composer Fabian Del Priore also returns. These three at the helm help to make the music match the changing mechanic, with Cute getting a more standard composition and Punk getting Machinae’s metal music.
So far there’s no word yet if the game will also be released on XBLA. It is however currently available on Steam, Origin, and Amazon.
Kickstarter success storyGiana Sisters: Twisted Dreams looks to be having much success on Steam. So much so, it looks like they’ll be going beyond Steam in the foreseeable future. Black Forest Games stated on their Facebook page, “We managed to make a distribution deal for retail and XBLA. Planned release somewhat around late Q1 2013.” So far not much is known as to who this distribution partner is, nor which systems the game will release on for retail (though we can assume the 360 probably one of them).
So far it’s good news all around! Happy to see Black Forest still living and not crumbling after release like other Indies out there. I did review their previous game, Giana Sisters DS (when they were called Spellbound), so go check that out.
System: Nintendo DS/Publisher: Destineer/Developer: Spellbound Entertainment/Players: 1/Release Date:11/2/2011
In the 80s, there was a new beginning in the videogame industry. The NES was selling like hotcakes, and Super Mario Bros. went on to become a household name. This was only happening on the NES however. On the more computer oriented side of things, most only went as far as Point-and-Click adventure games and RPGs. There weren’t many, if at all, platform games like Super Mario Bros. (or at least ones that scrolled smoothly). So Time Warp saw this as a chance to grab a market that had yet to be tapped into in the computer game space. They created The Great Giana Sisters. The name of the game, the gameplay, and the look of it smacked of Mario Bros. Even the ad campaign for the game took a shot at the Bros. But the fun was over when Nintendo shot back with a cease and desist. And so the Giana Sisters series was left to wallow in obscurity… until now. Nintendo is a different company now and are more open to other games replicating their style. In comes Spellbound who were willing to make a new Giana Sisters game, and this time not make it a straight up clone. Is the game different enough from the game that inspired it, or is it just another uninspired clone? Today I breakdown Giana Sisters DS.
Previously on Project Giana news, I made a small mention about Black Forest Games letting the fans decide on the project title. Well lest week, voting ended, and the game will be called Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. They even showed off their snazzy new logo for the game as well. Along with this reveal, they announced that Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams will be released for PC on Tuesday, October 23th. The game is still vying for a Steam release through Steam Greenlight.
Moving on to the trailer, we can that some elements from Giana Sisters DS are coming back, like the bubblegum power-up and those weird, snake-y suction-cup vines. And it looks like Machinae Supremacy and Chris Huelsbeck will be providing more than just that one song heard in the initial trailer and demo. A couple of bosses and a snow level is also showcased. There’s even a swimming section in the game, which is surprising considering all water in Giana Sisters DS was instant death.
Still no word on any other platforms Giana will be launching on.
Last week I informed you that a new Giana Sisters game was being made by Black Forest Games and they needed a successful Kickstarter to release on time. Well, with 6 hours left to got, I’m pleased to announce that the Kickstarter is successful! As of this report, they’ve accumulated $175, 330. That’s over $25,000 beyond their initial goal of $150,000. Now that that hurdle is cleared, there’s extra incentives in place should they reach any milestones. If they get $200,000, they’ll add additional levels and a hardcore more. $250,000 adds more new enemies and a Ninja/Pirate Owl Boss. And finally $300,000 preps it for release on the Ouya. Regardless of how much they get, they game’s coming out on time. And it’s nice to see a bunch of Giana Sisters fans out there.
In the mean time, Black Forest Games has put Project Giana up on Valve’s new Steam Greenlight polling system. Really quickly, Steam Greenlight is a system where you vote for games you want to see released on Steam. Black Forest states on their Faceboook page that getting the game released on Steam will bring in the option for backers to get Steam Keys. So get on there and rate this baby up! Oh, and vote on a final name for the game too! They just put that up as well.
And no one told me about this when it was revealed. *sigh* Regardless. I saw some of the art and thought “hoo boy, Pikomi’s rolling in his future grave.” Then I saw the actual gameplay. Holy shit this game looks awesome! Before I explain here, let me educate you with some Giana Sisters history.
The Great Giana Sisters was an old game made by Time Warp. It was essentially a Mario clone for the ZX Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Amstrad, and other home computer platforms. And boy did it borrow a lot of Mario-like elements. It looked so much like Mario, Nintendo stepped in and ordered a cease and desist on the game’s production. This was back in 1987. Fast forward to a few years ago, and DTP Entertainment and Spellbound Interactive make a new Giana Sisters game for the DS. This time there’d only be one sister, and collecting a power up (aka mushroom) turned her into Punk Giana. The stages in this game were short, but very numerous. The artwork of the game was phenomenal, putting New Super Mario Bros. to shame.