Today I impulse bought Infinite Minigolf from Zen Studios, the makers of Pinball FX2 (aka Zen Pinball). It looked like my kind of game - wacky golf, lots of fun gadget-filled holes, weird powerups, and community-created holes to keep the challenge going forever (more or less). 

The game is fun but a little confusing at first. How do you change your character? Where can you "buy" clothing items with the virtual currency you earn? And most of all: how do you clear those pesky challenge missions?

All is revealed in this first 30 minuites sampling holes from all three worlds:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

The increasingly inaccurate "First 30 Minutes" series continues with the Destiny 2 Beta, which just went open for all today.

It took me some time to get back in the swing of things, plus there was that generator thingie which I spent far too much time shooting at before I figured out there must be another way. So this clocks in around 45 minutes, capturing the beginning of the story - at least as it was presented in the beta.

Overall, controls were as tight as always. It wasn't always clear where to go next but I managed to get through it. And now you can too:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Back in the day, I loved me some RalliSport Challenge so I thought I'd try WRC 5 FIA World Rally Championship when it dropped to $10 this week on Xbox One. (WRC 6 is also on sale but, based on the reviews, it's not as good a game at twice the price.)

Technically this is more like 43 minutes as it took some time for me to abandon the tutorial and just dive into a junior championship. And these races start out hard! But I did get the hang of it and even scored a podium or two in my first series or races.

A mixed bag, but one that with practice I think I could get decent at:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Runbow, the second July Games with Gold title for Xbox One, is a runner with a colorful twist. As tinted waves rapidly wash over the screen, they erase any matching platforms and objects. The game doesn't feature a colorblind setting or a tutorial to help you figure out the jumping and combat mechanics, so it takes awhile before my epic fails start to turn into wins. Also, some of the modes are multiplayer only; I focused on the single-player Adventure and Run modes.

You can't see it, but I received two achievements just for exploring the Fun level on the Options screen:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

When I played the original Titanfall at PAX a few years back, I really enjoyed the gameplay even though I'm not much for multiplayer. When I found that the game had no single-player campaign to speak of, I gave it a pass.

Titanfall 2 does sport a solid single-player story, so I gave the trial version on Xbox One a go. I found the non-Titan play somewhat Mirror's Edge-like, thanks to its dependence on wall running and jumping. I'm still on the fence but you can get a taste for it with these first 30 minutes of basic training:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Kane & Lynch 2 is the other half of early July's Games with Gold on Xbox, and to quote a movie you've never seen, "it ain't gonna be PG." This M-rated title earns its stripes with pixellated nudity and unabashed violence and language from the very start. See how far I get in the first half hour of gameplay:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I just picked up Grow Up, part of the July Games with Gold lineup for Xbox One. It's an unconventional 3D platformer. It takes a little getting used to but I do like the exploration aspect along with its offbeat humor. And climbing. There's lots of climbing.

Give it a look. Something unexpected happens a little after the 26-minute mark:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

As an old school Xbox fan, I'm nostalgic for the first generation titles and excited to see OG Xbox backward compatibility for games like Blinx: The Time Sweeper (fingers crossed). For now I have the Xbox One remaster for Voodoo Vince from the start to the defeat of the gas pumps in Main Street:

 

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

If you know me at all, you know I love a good hidden object game. And no one does it better on consoles than Artifex Mundi. I usually but their games as soon as they come out and devour them over several days. For some reason, I invariably download the trial first - as if there's a chance I'll say, "Naw, not gonna get this one."

I streamed the full trial of Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan and a minute or two after the full game unlock, for your viewing pleasure. Take a look and see if its wacky story and occasionally vexing (but generally relaxing) puzzles appeal to you:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

I'm a sucker for a good pinball game, so when Momonga Pinball Adventures on Xbox One dropped from a reasonable $6 to a can't ignore $3, I had to give it a go.

Here's the first 30 minutes plus a few extra minutes as I try to beat the first significant boss level:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

GrrlGotGame can't get enough of zombie bashing but Dead Rising 4 - despite finally abandoning the timers that thwarted my interest in prior games in the series - still did not engage me enough to complete the prologue.

But the new Super Ultra Mini Golf DLC is another story. I've been looking for a fun golf game and, while it doesn't quite rise to the absurdity of Outlaw Golf, it'll do. The game takes some effort to master but after a couple of rounds I started to get good enough to stream a respectable outing.

Here you can see the first 16 holes (out of 24 total). About 29 minutes in, I scored my first hole in one!

Fun game but don't take my word for it, give the stream a look. For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel:

 

While fans of Telltale Games, we were on the fence about Guardians of the Galaxy after hearing some mixed reviews. We decided to stream the first 30 minutes in case other busy gamers wanted a taste before biting down on the episodic series. It's a bit different from other games of this type but overall seems to improve on the formula by providing a jet pack to drive further exploration.

Take a look for yourself, and follow my Mixer channel for more streams like this and find archived streams in my YouTube channel:

 

The American DreamAustralian developer Samurai Punk introduced PAX West 2017 gamers to their vision of The American Dream - a '50s-inspired utopia where people have guns for hands. At least in their VR world, there is no problem you can't solve by whacking it or shooting it with a gun.

In less than 4 minutes, you'll hear one of the game's origin stories and how it plays out (no spoilers).

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

Two more great interviews on the way: Pyre and The Church in the Darkness.

imageWe spoke to the creators of Owlboy, out now, about their Zelda-esque adventure game's 8-year journey to release.

If you can spare 5 minutes, it's an interesting tale. If you're embarking on your first game, it's a "must hear."

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

More great interviews on the way including Pyre, The American Dream, and The Church in the Darkness.

Rand MillerRand Miller is a geek icon for his work with brother Robyn on Myst and its many sequels. You may even recognize him as Atrus, one of the main characters you encounter in Myst.

Obduction, out now, is intended to recapture that original feeling of Myst by placing you in a strange new world and expecting you to explore and figure out its many mysteries.

We spoke to Miller at PAX West 2016, the first of a handful of handpicked game interviews we collected at the show. If you have 5 minutes, you can learn about the game's genesis, what I've dubbed "nostalgia mode," and why it works so well in VR.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

More great interviews on the way including Owlboy, Pyre, The Americam Dream, and The Church in the Darkness.

The Dark Art of Voice Acting Revealed PanelJust before this panel, we met The Church In The Darkness creator Richard Rouse III and his stars, Ellen McLain (best known as GlaDOS from the Portal series) and her husband, John Patrick Lowrie (The Sniper from Team Fortress 2, among others). They are charming and love to share their exploits, and Ellen has a knack for learning the names of everyone she meets. A very classy down-to-earth superstar - the world should have more like her. But there's just the one.

The result of those interviews is coming soon.

For now, enjoy a discussion with some of our new favorite people as well as some old favorites, Darren Korb and Logan Cunningham from Supergiant Games (Bastion, Transistor, and - coming soon - Pyre), and someone we've never met but seems fun, Elias Toufexis (Adam Jensen in Deus Ex Human Revolution/Mankind Divided).

The topic: Voice acting. It's a panel full of classic impersonations, jokes, original music, great tales from the trenches, and tips if you're interested in pursuing a career in the vocal arts.

Don't worry, we've also got a Pyre interview coming your way - expect that soon as well.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from iTunes, or via RSS feed.

imageSouth Park: The Fractured But Whole is one of our most anticipated games this year. We've already digitally preordered it and begun replaying The Stick of Truth (which is included).

This creators panel from PAX West 2016 is off the hook. First, we probably weren't supposed to record it. We thought it was being Twitch streamed but then they revealed it wasn't and asked for no video. Didn't say anything about audio though, and I was sitting right next to the UbiSoft crew in the front row and no one said "boo." So I'd say we're in the clear.

Also, it is the first Busy Gamer Nation podcast entry we've had to mark "explicit" in Apple's podcast feed. We've bleeped a word or two in the past (a certain Rock Band panel from a few years back springs to mind) but this one is salty in the language and the adult themes. You've been warned.

It's also hilarious. And contains gameplay we've never seen before including a combat scene and the origin story for your character.

Too good not to share. Enjoy!

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from iTunes, or via RSS feed.

I Love Bees Definitive Edition Promo ButtonTo look at the site, you'd probably think Busy Gamer Nation is dead. Clearly we're not updating often. But there are some things happening if you dig beneath the surface.

First there's I Love Bees Definitive Edition. I've posted a cleaned up version of the Creators' panel with permission from StoryForward, and it sounds great and clocks in at a much more reasonable hour in length. I'm working on the Players panel now, and after that there's a wealth of material provided by Elan Lee that I'm cataloguing and building into never-before-heard bonus materials. This has pretty much taken over BGN, and if it proves to be our last hurrah, it will have been worth it.

As a busy gamer, I've also decided not to stop playing games (as I did during our "heyday") in order to provide content about games - so that's the other reason for the slowdown. If there are members of the community who want to contribute, that would help - but the problem with building a site for busy people is they don't seem to have a lot of time to spare. (Go figure.)  But even small contributions could breathe new life into Busy Gamer Nation, and if you can help we'd be eternally grateful.

We could use:

  • Game reviews
  • Feature articles
  • How-to articles (for instance, how to succeed at Destiny when you don't have a ton of time)
  • A new banner image/site design elements
  • Movable Type template update expertise

Finally, there's another project that is taking up the remainder of my time. It will never be public but if you are a movie fan who enjoys podcasts and can keep a secret, hit me up. (It helps if you are on Facebook but it's not required.) A few members of the community have already been invited in and seem to like it, and you might too.

That's it for now. It's been a busy year for us, but you never know what tomorrow may bring. Let's keep the Busy Gamer Nation alive for now and see where it takes us.

-=Gamewatcher

Kitty DisastrousKitty Disastrous, despite its rough edges and lack of polish (it was only a few months old when we met), is the sort of charming game we comb PAX for every year.

If you have 2 minutes, you can learn more about what's in store for Kitty Disastrous and how soon you might expect to see it.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This concludes our PAX Prime 2015 coverage.

Next up: We'll be expanding the I Love Bees Definitive Edition. And delivering other cool stuff, such as a Fallout 4 music revue similar to what we did for Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas.

Busy Gamer Nation #254 - Chasm

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ChasmAt first glance, Chasm looks like just another retro platformer.

But there's a bit more going on under the hood, and the result is a game that promises limitless replayability with a level of polish you rarely see with procedurally generated dungeons.

If you have 4 minutes, you can hear how Chasm's development team hopes to deliver tournament-worthy platforming action and exploration without levels that feel randomly thrown together.

You can download Busy Gamer Nation from our podcast page, on iTunes, or via RSS feed.

This is part of our continuing PAX Prime 2015 coverage.




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