Crowdfunding Friday: Teen exorcists, Doctor Who & platform games
Ghosts! Teen exorcists! Doctor Who! Platform games! Just some of the stuff on offer in this week's Crowdfunding Friday...
Every so often, a crowdfunding project seems to come along and take on a life of its own. That's certainly the case with Mighty No. 9, a side-scrolling platform game that managed, almost entirely thanks to enthusiastic word-of-mouth, managed to break through its $900,000 minimum goal within less than 48 hours. At the time of writing, its total stands at $1.6million and rapidly climbing.
It's when you look at who's behind the project that you realise what the fuss is all about: former Capcom artist and designer Keiji Inafune has assembled a phenomenally talented team of fellow videogame makers under the banner Comcept USA, and together, they're making what promises to be a spiritual follow-up to Mega Man.
Mega Man, of course, was the little blue bomber who's starred in a series of hugely popular platform games and spin-offs over the past few decades, but appears to have fallen on hard times of late; no fewer than three Mega Man games have been cancelled at Capcom within the past three years or so.
When Mega Man co-creator Inafune left Capcom to pursue his own ideas, it seemed like bad news for one of the 80s' most popular game heroes. Instead, Inafune and his team have created Beck, a new robot star for what could be a cracking new platform game series. Certainly, if the Kickstarter campaign can continue its momentum, it'll have some overwhelming fan support behind it before it's even been finished.
Mighty No. 9 is yet another reminder that, even when big game studios become nervous about making games in niche genres - and it has to be said that the 2D platformer falls into that category, Mario sequels aside - crowdfunding can sometimes step in to fill the breach.
Horror and comedy's a tricky mix to get right, but Bad Exorcists looks like it may have struck the balance. And like a lot of film projects on Kickstarter, Bad Exorcists' makers have spent the past two years shooting their movie, and are now asking for $20,000 to give it a final bit of post-production polish.
About a trio of awkward teens who intend to win a horror festival by making their own movie, but wind up getting one of their friends possessed in the process, Bad Exorcists is full of demons, water pistols and guys dressed as nuns. For a movie that's still incomplete, it's already looking really promising. The funniest exorcism comedy since 1990's Repossessed? Quite possibly.
Nenetl Of The Forgotten Spirits Part Two
For an alternate perspective on the life of the average spook, why not take a look at Nenetl Of The Forgotten Spirits, a horror web comic told from a ghost's perspective? Set during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, the story follows Nenetl as she searches for her family and tries to stay one step ahead of pursuing exorcists. The first part of the story came out earlier this year to warm reviews, and the second part will, if the project reaches its $6,000 goal, be released this November - just in time for Day of the Dead.
Laura Muller's artwork for the series is exquisite, and if you haven't checked Nenetl out yet, visiting the Kickstarter page is highly recommended: by pledging just $2, you'll be able to download the first issue of the web comic, while supporting the production of the second one at the same time. That sounds like a great deal to us.
Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and fans everywhere are celebrating in their own way. In a timely fashion, the documentary Who's Changing aims to take a closer look at the show's dedicated fandom and how it's changed as Doctor Who's exploded in popularity since 2005.
With contributions from former companions Louise Jameson and Sophie Aldred, and Who writers including Gary Russell, James Moran and Andrew Smith, it promises to be an in-depth look at a true TV phenomenon. There are some proper Who experts behind the camera, too, including Den Of Geek writer Cameron K McEwan.
Who's Changing is asking for just £4,000 to get going, and if you're a Who fan yourself, it's well worth a look.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
We began with a side-scrolling platformer project, so let's end with another. Wayforward Industries is an established studio with some great games behind it - they were responsible for the recent Ducktales reboot, and they also made the brilliant, underrated A Boy And His Blob remake, for our money one of the best games available for the Nintendo Wii.
Wayforward's games are recognisable from their great animation, and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is no exception. The Shantae series began as a sadly overlooked title for the Game Boy Color, released towards the end of the system's life in 2002. A DSi download sequel, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, appeared in 2010, and Wayforward has Shantae And The Pirate's Curse coming out for the 3DS later this year.
Half-Genie Hero, on the other hand, will be a HD adventure for home consoles, with ports planned for every under-the-telly box you can think of, including the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4. A side-scroller full of puzzles, pitfalls and boss fights, Shantae's full of retro charm, colour and, of course, Wayforward's lovingly-wrought character animation.
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