Ever since its inception, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, or ESRB, has had the AO rating in its repertoire of ratings. AO, short for Adults Only, is a relatively rare rating to get with only 27 games ever getting the rating (now 28 with Hatred’s inclusion). Most of them get it for essentially being porn games, with very few getting it for violent acts and one getting it for real-money gambling. Unlike other rating boards around the world, the ESRB does not ban a game for having certain content nor does it refuse a rating (like the BBFC and Manhunt 2). However the AO rating is pretty much a kiss of death in the U.S. as no major retailer will carry an AO game (except maybe GameStop) and all three console manufacturers and Valve’s Steam (from what I’m guessing) don’t allow such games to be sold nor played on their respective services. This was back then when the only way to get your games was in brick and mortar stores.
But with the rise if digital storefronts, it’s now possible to release games with content that could be considered AO. On PC at least, while not rated, games like Katawa Shoujo and Monster Girl Quest probably wouldn’t see the light of day on Steam. And yet they have gained something of a healthy following. On top of this, those games are available directly from the developer’s/publisher’s websites. So in exchange for exposure, they get the freedom to sell whatever they want on their own terms.
So how exactly would games like these find a way on major storefronts like Steam or major consoles?
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.
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 night Jeremiah “Module” Ross performed at the San Francisco Bath House in New Zealand. He was doing the music from Shatter, which was rife with Electronica goodness. Since the concert was in New Zealand, the time difference was pretty immense, and most of use were either sleeping or at work. But Module was nice enough to archive his performance on YouTube for the public that missed it. The actual performance begins around the 1 hour mark. Before that is the opening act. So have a listen and enjoy. And remember that Shatter is available on PSN, Steam (I believe), and is part of the current Humble Indie Bundle.
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.
Ahoy! In this episode, we talk about the Colorado shooting hand how this could affect general geek culture. Then we dig into EA Origin boss talking crap about Steam Sales. And finally we talk about what characters we want to see in the next Super Smash Bros. and Playstation All-Stars.
Time table of contents and part 2 after the break.
Shatter composer Jeremiah Ross, aka Module, is going to do a live performance of the Shatter soundtrack in the San Francisco Bath House in New Zealand. This is NOT in San Francisco, repeat, NOT in San Francisco. This is in a club called San Francisco Bath House. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, he’s informed people on his Facebook page that if enough people are interested, he’ll livestream Shatter Live on Ustream for those that can’t make it to NZ. All you gotta do is go here and like/tell him you’re interested. The performance begins at 9PM NZ time on September 20th. He’ll be accompanied by Benny Tones (which he collaborated with before) and Jen Kyle.
You don’t know about Shatter music? Well getacquainted! It’sawesome! And buy the game on PSN or Steam while you’re at it!
Recognize that image up there? If not, well, you’ll see after the break. So then, you already know my problems with staying awake around 10PM sometimes, so I won’t be going over that again. But that game me a chance to pick two songs that night. Songs from a game tied to a team of multicolored super heroes.
Remember to like and subscribe to our Facebook page to get updates from TWF, and to see the music posted without waiting for these wrap-ups.
…You change the cover to something more marketable. Real-Time Strategy game Pirates of Black Cove, developed by Paradox Interactive, was release back on August 2nd, 2011. Recently they’ve decided to release the game in Japan. However, they might be aware of how different Japanese geeks and otaku consume games than we do. So, instead of Japan seeing the short, stumpy pirate with a scowl on his face, they get an attractive anime girl with long black hair, a decent pair of knockers, and a rather ornate gun. Normally, we see this happening the otherwayaround, but this is one of the few times that a cover to a Western game is changed for Japan. So far, the cover art seems to be the only change to the game. Everything else is presumed untouched (outside of maybe changing text to Japanese).
So what do you think? Is the change good or should they have left it alone?
Welcome ladies and germs to this fourth episode of The Wired Fish Podcast. We covered a good amount of topics. First is Disaster: Day of Crisis and its lack of a US release. Next up, When Fanboys Freak Out! Afterwards is Patching in Fighting Games: Are they helping or hurting? And finally, we talk about EA Origin and the growing number of Online Distribution Platforms.
Disaster: Day of Crisis………………………01:15
Fanboys Freak Out………………………….15:50
EA Origin and Distribution Services………49:20
Teaser For Next Episode…………………..1:05:02