Dec 16, 2013

Super Rocket Shootout: What it's all about

Remember the good ol' times playing some local multiplayer game with your friends? Bomberman, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, Golden Eye, Worms and, in fact, any good fighting or sport game? Gathered around some pizzas and drinks, playing till the early morning?

Those are some really good memories and, while I'm not saying online multiplayer is not that fun (I won't never turn down a Battelfield game invitation), the local multiplayer side of most of recent games, if not inexistent, is not that "developed". Careful, I'm not speaking about local co-op that can now be considered as a genre in itself. No, I'm speaking about competitive local multiplayer gaming, and especially for more than 2 players. It seems that game devs assume that everybody has Internet and likes to play online. That may be true but when I have some friends dropping by, well, there aren't that many options for the 3 or 4 of us to play. Or should I say "there weren't"? Yes, cause recently it seems that a lot of good local multiplayer games have shown up (and i'm sure lots of them are currently in development): Gentlemen!, Samurai Gunn, the Spelunky deathmatch modes and lots more...

And it's in this context that Super Rocket Shootout pops out: a good local multiplayer, fast-paced and easy-to-learn game for up to 4 players. Right now, the prototype phase is almost over and the game plays really well and is a lot of fun. I'm a bit shy about showing something right now, and even if it's only a prototype, I want it to be as polished as it can be before uploading some gameplay vids.
So to let you understand what to expect, I'd like to share the main influences behind Super Rocket Shootout;

1- Super Bomberman (or any Bomberman game)

No need to introduce this one, it's an all-time classic. It's fun, it's fast and you can play with any one that can hold a controller, up to 4 players (or more for the latest versions).

2- Killer Instinct / Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

For me, definitely the two best fighting games ever, each one with its own pluses and minuses (KI may have more minuses than 3rd strike, I concede). What these two game have brought to Super Rocket Shootout is..... the combo system and the super meter! I think any game that has a combo system speaks directly to the creative side of the player. I know it's not Minecraft or Crayon Physics but building up a combo is really enjoyable cause it lets you create your own style and your own gameplay. The super meter is also a really nice feature in fighting games, it brings a whole strategical side to the experience and deepens a lot the gameplay. As of Super Rocket Shootout, I'll explain more in details in a future post the combo and super moves mechanics but get reassured: you'll be able to "co-co-co-co-combo breaker"!

3- The Outfoxies

Last but in fact, first influence of all. You may not know this game (I didn't, until I did) and I invite you to check some youtube vids:

The Outfoxies - Gameplay video 1
The Outfoxies - Gameplay video 2

This game has EVERYTHING: good graphics (for the time), great characters (you can play an ape, twins, a guy in a wheelchair!), lots of weapons, destructible environment, amazing interactive stages. It plays only one-on-one but this one is a gold mine for gameplay ideas. Some say that Super Smash Bros Melee is directly inspired from The Outfoxies but I really don't think so. They're both local brawler but that's about it. In fact, I can't understand why this game has never had any follow up. OK, everything is not perfect (close combat is really chaotic, the incessant zooming-in/zooming-out can be confusing and some stage like Professor Ching's read really bad) but I can't think of anything that can compare.... until now !!! Yes, cause Super Rocket Shootout is a humble intent of bringing back this kind of gameplay: fire-weapon brawler with lots of explosions, destructible environments, dynamic camera to focus on the action, different playable characters with their own skills...

Well, now you have a better idea of what is (or will be) Super Rocket Shootout and I can't wait to show you more. Upcoming posts will explain in details the gameplay mechanics but for now, I leave you with a screenshot of the actual menu. Meet the Good twin, the Evil twin, Maurice and El Bruto!