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We spend a lot of time talking about AAA games and all that jazz, but a new kind of video game culture has arisen, the KickStarter or crowd-sourcing culture. This new wave of video game design enthusiasts (and legends, in some cases) has encased gamers in an enthralling subculture of crowd-funded titles that completely break away from the current mainstream trends populated mostly by big-budget publishing studios.
Core gamers don't always care about putting $60 into a game just because it has "purdy grafix" and features a typical muscle-bound space-marine. Sometimes gamers like dumping money into projects that put creativity and fun first and foremost. Well, the following three games fit that bill, and they're also crowd-sourced games. One of the titles is already fully funded, but it doesn't hurt to make people aware of it.
Echoes of Eternia
This is a sleek looking game that actually echoes the quality and design structure from popular digitized RPGs from the 16-bit era, such as Tales of Phantasia or Secret of Evermore. The game's art-style and themes center around the high-end RPGs from the late SNES era, many of which did not readily end up on the shores of North America but still managed to find a niche audience who appreciates these titles to this very day.
The story revolves around two heroes, one of which is destined to save the world, as they venture throughout the mystical land of Rivera to help the heroine, Namie Alguard, achieve her true power to help bring the world out of darkness and defeat the menace that ravages the land. It's a classical JRPG tale that many core gamers of today's generation grew up playing on 16-bit consoles, and the art-style definitely lends itself to helping bring that story to life. This is a slick looking game (from what we've seen so far) and fans of those old-school titles that helped put Square, Enix and Namco on the roadmap to RPG success. The game is still early in development and has already achieved its KickStarter goal, however spreading the word and garnering a little bit of support never hurt the chances of a game achieving success. You can learn more about Echoes of Eternia over at the Official Page.
Hiro Fodder: A Blue Hope
Now here's a game that doesn't take itself too seriously. Designed by a small group of indie devs, Hiro Fodder is another 16-bit style throwback to the Golden Era of gaming. The play-style and pace is set to emulate Dragon's Quest or Final Fantasy VI. Unlike Echoes of Eternity there is still a ways to go for Hiro Fodder before the team, headed up by Robert DellaFave, reaches their KickStarter goal of $12,500. However the premise, the concept and the gameplay really speak volumes for the game.
Much like the aforementioned SNES Final Fantasy games, players will start off as a lowly character seeking to right the wrongs of the world and seek justice through revenge. Only, the main protagonist comes from the lineage of slime fodder we often beat the crap out of in most JRPGs. Yeah, you know, those green or blue slime puddles in JRPGs? Well, that's the main character and his name is Hiro. He's tired of his people being fodder for adventurers and he's joined by a fearful training dummy who wears his heart on his sleeve (literally), a baby dragon and an angry penguin. Together, the group sets out to journey across the land and avenge all their fallen brethren. It's a hilarious looking game and with the low KickStarter goal it's definitely a title worth checking out. You can learn more about Hiro Fodder by paying a visit to the Official Page.
Now here's a game we've actually covered before here at Gaming Blend. LoFi Game's samurai epic is an open-world, hack-and-slash RPG. The general aesthetic and scope will probably remind a lot of gamers of the other upcoming open-world martial-arts themed indie-title, Overgrowth, by Wolfire Games. In some regards you could also say it's sort of like a rag-tag sword-and-survival version of Mad Max but without the super awesome cars.
The premise of Kenshi is quite simple: you're a samurai who roams the land and aims to create a name for himself or fade into the horizon like the evening wind. A better comparison would probably be Mount & Blade...imagine a more RPG-oriented version of the game, (similar to the Shogun mod) except there is no diplomacy micromanagement or army oversight like Mount & Blade. The focus is a lot more personal and player oriented based on direct actions. What's more is that players can acquire funds, build up their own town, establish their own faction and go to war. The game still has a ways to go before it's finished and the $40,000 IndieGoGo funds would help in getting more art assets in place as well as other aesthetic advancements to help kickstart the game past the finish line of development. You can learn more about Kenshi by paying a visit to the Official Page.