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The Smithsonian opened registration Wednesday to attend a special lecture held by famed game designer Hideo Kojima. This conversation with Kojima will take place on the second day of the Smithsonian’s Game Fest, a three day festival kicking off the museum’s new The Art of Video Games exhibit. Game Fest begins Friday, March 16 in Washington DC.

If there ever was hesitation around attending this event, the Smithsonian seeks to dispel not only with the confirmation of Kojima but also with the price of attendance — free.

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A little over a week ago we reported that it looked like hit indie title Limbo would be coming to the PlayStation Network sometime soon. Playdead’s Dino Patti announced on the PlayStation Blog that the title would be coming to the American PSN on July 19th. European PS3 owners will have the opportunity to download Limbo the following day.

Additionally, the game’s official website has Limbo slated for a worldwide release on August 2nd. While the game launched over a year ago on Xbox Live, Patti hopes “everyone will enjoy the game and the little extra secret [they] have in store” for PS3 and PC gamers.

Rotastic swings  its way into Xbox LIVE Arcade, Playstation Network and PC Tuesday. The latest from developer Dancing Dots and Focus Home Interactive, the game promises high flying puzzle action on a foundation of simple controls and acrobatics. You play as powerful viking Fraghar, come to loot a medieval kingdom of its riches. Naturally, the game focuses on collecting gems, but there’s a twist — it’s all done while swinging through the air as for some reason or another, Fraghar cannot walk. That means falling off the screen means certain death.

Sound like fun?

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Today developer Croteam and publisher Devolver Digital announced that the two companies are going to run a little experiment regarding the promotion of Croteams next Serious Sam title. Dubbed the Serious Sam Indie Series, basically Croteam is going to farm out the Serious Sam IP to several indie developers, allowing each one to provide their own vision of how Serious Sam could be done.

The first three developers are Mommy’s Best Games, Vlambeer, and Be-Rad Entertainment. Apparently Mommy’s Best Games is developing Serious Sam: Double-D; a “frantic side-scrolling shooter” for PC and consoles. Vlambeer’s take on Serious Sam is called Serious Sam: The Random Encounter and sees players take on monsters from the Serious Sam world in a turn-based RPG. Lastly Be-Rad Entertainment’s venture is an auto-running game where you guide Headless Kamikazes out Sam’s way, called Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! Unfortunately no platforms have been announced for Serious Sam: The Random Encounter and Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! yet. Read more… »

Back in September I was up in Seattle walking the PAX show floor. There were hundreds of games on display, just waiting to be played, ranging from high profile titles like Killzone 3 to smaller unknown indie games like The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile.

I walked up to the booth where I was met by Ska Studio’s marketing coordinator Dustin Burg. The monochromatic visual style and fun beat ‘em up combat struck a chord with me right away. I was really enjoying it when something absolutely terrible happened. Dustin told me that it’s exclusive to the Xbox 360, sorry fellow PlayStation fans.

Our loss is your gain though, The Dishwasher Vampile Smile is landing on XBLA April 6th for a cool $10 (800 MS Points). If you’re attending PAX East I would definitely recommend stopping by the Ska Studios booth to check it out.

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Indie games are coming in thick and fast on the 360, and with so many “Free MS Points” offers being peddled by various publishing firms, gamers are able to take advantage of titles they may never have noticed before.

Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess may not be a shoe-in for GOTY, but at just 240 MS Points, this addictive little title is sure to entertain you for a couple of hours.

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Former Bioshock developers Tyr Edge and Fennec Black have teamed up to form LunaVu, an company devoted to producing indie games. Their first labor of love is called Zero Point and is being billed as a cross between the action and strategy games.

Story details are few and far between this early in development but it seems players will take control of a technician charged with defending research equipment from varying waves of aliens and monsters. Armed with a plasma cannon and an ambiguous device called a lunar shepard, you must destroy the monsters before they can destroy your equipment.

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Robert Boyd, creator of Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, is quite the RPG connoisseur; at least, I’d imagine that anyone who makes a blog about game design theory and references Vay is more than merely dabbling in the genre. Seeing a game made in the classic JRPG style from someone who knows his stuff is refreshing. BoDVII is a game that revels in the old-school JRPG experience while always keeping in mind what other JRPG developers seem to forget: that the old model can be made better.

The game starts out by explaining that the world is no longer populated by humans, thanks to a huge war that eradicated life as we know it. Instead, we live in the age of undead prosperity. Zombies, Skeletons, Ghosts, and Vampires live together peacefully. Suddenly, ‘evil’ is coming back to the world, and it’s up to Dem, the skeleton knight, to stop… the evil. It’s a little abstract, isn’t it?

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I have a distinct memory of playing Raiden II when I was younger, and loving the hell out of it.  There’s something immediately fun and nostalgic about playing a classic top down shmup.  This is why that memory of Raiden II stays with me to this very day, and also what led to my interest in Shoot 1UP.

An indie title from developer Mommys Best Games, Shoot 1UP is very much in the vain of the Raiden series, in that it’s full of the top-down goodness that has kept this genre prominent (and more importantly, fun) for so many years.  However, the game adds in a unique, and dare I say brilliant, mechanic that really differentiates it from the multitude of other similarly designed titles. Read more… »

One of the things that’s eternally frustrating about the Xbox LIVE Indie marketplace is the fact that it’s cluttered with terrible thumbstick shooters. They bring nothing new to the genre and most are plagued by worn out gameplay and terrible music that makes your ears bleed. Fortunately, Gnomic Studios seems to have it right with Square Off.

The basic formula for Square Off stays true to the genre, with the two thumbsticks controlling movement and fire, but Square Off departs from the usual in both graphics and gameplay. It’s a great combination that is only marred by the fact that it has no support for Xbox LIVE play, even if the local multiplayer is a complete blast.
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Kaleidoscope is the kind of game you’d expect to find on the Wii. In fact, in many ways its story is similar to De Blob, which was released for Nintendo’s latest console in 2008. However, Kaleidoscope is a platformer that borrows elements from classic platforming games, while adding a touch of its own charm and a great soundtrack that makes it an absolute joy to play.

The story for the game is pretty basic. You play a small black ball of fluff named Tint who must restore color to the world, one stage at a time. The world is divided up into four sections with equally distinct graphics, so much so that it’s reminiscent of platformers like Super Mario 3 in which you journey through different themed worlds to accomplish your objective.
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There are plenty of aptly named Xbox Live Indie titles in the Marketplace: I Made a Game With Zombies In It, You Will Die, etc. However, Impossible Shoota is so far from the truth, it’s rather laughable.

The game is nothing more than a top down shooter similar to Asteroids. You’re shooting increasingly harder monsters in an attempt to kill all 500 that invade your screen at such a slow pace your 80 year old geriatric grandmother could beat it. In fact, there’s nothing impossible about Impossible Shoota at all, unless we’re counting the task of finding fun in the game,

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