60 levels each one with a duration of 60 seconds such is the structure of the aptly named Minutes. In each one minute level the player is tasked with controlling a circle around the field of play with the objective of collecting coloured lines and circles in order to score points, all the while avoid taking damage from the hazardous black ones, take too much damage and fail the level.
Minutes features two main mechanics to aid the player in this. First is the ability to alter the size of the circle using the shoulder buttons, not only does this help in navigating and avoiding the damaging objects, various sizes also act as a score modifier, the smallest will result in only gaining half the normal points when picking up coloured objects, while the largest one will award the player with three times the normal points, at the risk being a larger target. Furthermore the player has four abilities at his disposal which are activated with the face buttons. The abilities are a slowdown of time, making it easier to navigate and avoid the environment, a repair to regain lost health, a shield allowing the player to touch the black objects without taking damage, and a blast that will destroy nearby objects.
These abilities add a strategic wrinkle to a game that otherwise relies more on memorisation and quick movement. Coupled with the risk/reward nature of the size shifting mechanic the otherwise simple premise and game-play of Minutes is given a nice bit of depth and variety. I used an aggressive play-style which meant taking damage and repairing, it would often spell trouble in the later parts of levels, as the player only has one ability activation per level, meanwhile smarter players can more carefully navigate the play field. When it all comes together it makes for a very additive high score chase. The levels are also varied enough that it does not feel like you are playing the same level over and over with only slight variations. Instead you are always faced with different challenges, some levels requires a steady hand as you navigate tight windows of opportunity while others will test your reflexes.
However, it did take me a while, I would say around 20 levels, before the game really clicked with me, before it became truly addictive and gave the desire to strive for better scores. There are two main reasons for this. First of all is Minutes’ progression system. Each levels has three target scores to try and achieve, for each one you reach you gain a star. Earning certain amounts of stars unlock new sizes for your circle and as well as unlocking or upgrades the four abilities. The system is in part there to teach the abilities to the player and the advantage and drawbacks to each size. However it also means that until the player has unlocked the largest size, getting three stars on levels is impossible, as a result I had very little inclination to try and improve my score on the early levels.
The other thing that preventing me really enjoying the game to the fullest, comes down to personal taste and skill. Minutes is not a game that requires quick reaction time as much in order to get a great scores, instead memorisation and learning the levels through repetition is required, knowing where to be and when to be there is the key to avoid taking damage and to maximising your score. I am not great in that regard, and in the more complicated levels my brain overloads, so I found more enjoyment in the levels that relied less on thinking and more on just reacting to what was on screen.
One cause of some annoyance is the lack of leader boards when finishing a level, it takes away from the competitive aspect and desire to improve your score when you cannot immediately compare your result with that of the your friends and the rest of the world. Having to go back to the main menu, then the level select screen before being able to have a look at the leader boards is less than ideal.
Still, despite these nuisances Minutes remains a very good and challenging score chasing bullet hell. The levels are the perfect length for this kind of game, and with 60 of them there is ample content, especially if the you are willing to take on the challenge of completing the extra goals, for example finishing a level without taking any damage. Additionally the daily challenges can keep you coming back for further glory on the leader boards. It helps that the soundtrack is pretty cool as well.
Gin, Nic and Walt get back to normal, no guests this time, no quiz questions, this show is all about the games!
And there is one hell of a list, after a brief news section the guys discuss what they’ve been playing for the last few weeks.
Games discussed include; Ultimate NES Remix, Lightning Returns, Legend Of Zelda Majoras Mask 3D, Dead or Alive 5, Race the Sun, The Swapper, The Evil Within, Valiant Hearts, Dragon Age Inquisition, Resogun, Thief, Grim Fandango, Hustle Kings, Saints Row IV and so much more my fingers are getting tired from typing it all!
I’d love to say that there was a discussion afterwards, but as it’s been a few weeks since we discussed our games, we were already running the risk of over-running.
Although, Gin does save some hate for a couple of games which causes a minor rant.
As always feel free to contact us, do you have a specific game you would like us to talk about? Do you have a friend or achievement that you want us to mention? Let us know! We’ll quite happily mention it/them on the show for the low low price of free (or at least the cost of you sending an email or PSN message)
So Episode 101 is here and as promised we have something special for you, Gin, Nic and Walt are joined by Richard Ogden of Red Phantom games!
Now you may be asking yourself “Just who is Richard, and who are Red Phantom Games?” This is a valid question so here’s a little bit of background;
Richard began gaming and programming at the age of ten many years later he started his career in the games industry at Codemasters working on titles such as Colin McRae Rally and TOCA Touring Cars series.
In 2001 he co-founded Bigbig Studios which developed notable games such as Pursuit Force and MotorStorm: Arctic Edge on the PSP.
After a short break Richard founded Red Phantom Games as a one-person studio which launched its first title “Minutes” across Europe in November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The U.S. release is due in February 2015.
We ask Richard various questions about his time in the industry and of course, the all important question!
Note: I am aware that there are some sound issues with this show, this was down to hardware used on the night and any attempt to clean it up just makes it sound a lot worse, apologies for this but please enjoy the show.
Four Years and 2 days ago, episode 1 of the Playstation Crowdcast was uploaded onto this site,
over the years we have had a number of hosts come and go and so for a special show we got as many of them back on as possible for a little friendly competition.
Nic, Walt, Beranmee, Huzz, Local, Stever and Shaun all get together to compete answering questions posed by Gin,
The rules are simple, get a question right, get a point, get it wrong and your score stays the same, unless another player then shouts in with the right answer, in which case you lose a point, who will win? Who will make the silliest statements? What happens when 2 players shout in at the same time?
Find out by listening to episode 100!
Feel free to play along at home, it would be nice to hear what some of the listeners score on these questions, we are working on the honour system though people, so I’m trusting you not to google and you must remove a point for a wrong answer.
We round out the show with a triple slap along with a new “Pat on the back”
Thanks for sticking with us and here’s to getting ready for show 101
So we have 1 episode to go before we hit the big triple digits!
I should also explain why the delay in this episode being uploaded, firstly we had similar technical issues to our missing episode a while ago, this in itself would have been enough but as you may hear at the end of the show, the night of recording this turned out to be the day that a lovely little chest infection decided to make itself known to me, this meant a few days with a fever and not being able to spend time in front of the PC editing, apologies for that to you all.
But let’s talk about this show for now, Gin, Nic and Walt get together to discuss the games they’ve been playing, some news and then some experiences with recent online gaming.
Games discussed include; Lego Batman 3, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Game of Thrones, Minecraft, Woah Dave, Murasaki Baby, Dragon Age Inquisition and a whole load more (seriously, we have over 15 games played since the last show so it would take a while to list.)
Gin rounds off the show with a tale of his recent experience with GTA V online with a friend or two.
As always guys and gals, thanks for listening, and we’ll see you all here in a couple of weeks with Episode 100!
Merry Christmas, Happy holidays or your current end-of-year salutation here!
Episode 98 is here, Gin, Nic and Walt get together to discuss a little bit of news, a little of anything new they’ve been playing and then it’s all wrapped up nicely with a look back at 2014 (plus a month or two) to discuss some of our highs and lows from the world of gaming.
There’s something here for everyone, there’s a top 5 list, biggest surprises, biggest disappointments and more.
For the numerically challenged among you we’re just 2 shows away from our 100th episode, hopefully it will be as big as we’ve planned but it all comes down to who can turn up on the night.
I’d like to personally take this opportunity to thank all of you for listening, not only to those who have been here from the start (you gluttons for punishment you) but also to greet and thank any new listeners we’ve gathered along the way, episode 100 will be a big step for us as it’s not only our 100th show, but it’s also near enough going to mark the 4th year of the Crowdcast. I would never have thought that we would have managed to keep going this long, and we’ve had some great fun both on and off the air, the developers we’ve spoken with have been great, the games we’ve played (for the most part) have been great and a fun time has been had by all.
I’d also like to say a quick thank you to all of the hosts we’ve had on the show over the years, it takes a lot of dedication to keep coming back to something every other week and effectively taking a lot of time out of your day to have a chat with some random people from around the world and although some of you have moved on to other things or even (GASP) away from gaming, I’m very grateful for the time you did put in on the show.
So one last time, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Merry Kwanza, Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad and if I’ve missed any I apologise, (it’s not a race or religion thing, it’s a laziness thing) and Finally Have a Happy New Year!
Gin, Nic, Walt and Beranmee get together to chat about the usual, there’s the news section, games we’ve been playing and then we finish off with a Slap-a-Bitch.
Games discussed include the latest PS+ titles (Injustice, Secret Ponchos & Final Horizon), Disney Infinity 2, Tales from the Borderlands, WWE 2k15, CoD:AW, Titan Attacks, Get Off My Lawn and various others.
Since recording, the company that gets slapped has changed some of the details which means had this been done before the show went on, this slap probably wouldn’t have happened. However, since the main reason for the slap was done in the first place, this slap still stands.
It’s that time again, that time where Gin has to apologise, this show is late going up, I have reasons, I have excuses, but in truth as mentioned in the show this cold had knocked me for six. . . (plus GTA V came out)
So anyway, Gin, Nic and Walt get together to discuss the current gaming news and what they’ve been up to, games discussed include; Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Resogun, Steamworld Dig, The Crew (Beta), Hungry Horde, Luftrausers and Devil’s Attorney
After that there is a run down of comments posted on earlier shows (thanks guys) and then we round out the show.
The next show will also be a bit late, normally we would record on a Thursday night, this next show would fall on Thanksgiving, so we won’t be recording that night, this means the next show would be recorded on the 4th of December apologies for the inconvenience but public holidays kinda stopped us in our tracks.
Gin, Nic and Walt get together to discuss the news etc from the past couple of weeks.
Discussed items include the PS4 2.0 update and the share play functionality.
Games discussed include Race the Sun, Battle Islands, Plants Vs Zombies, Fat Princess (A Piece of Cake) and various others.
The show ends with another Slap a Bitch! and another request for your help.
We have a Christmas show coming up in a couple of weeks and we would like suggestions on what we should do.
Suggestions to the usual place (and anything appreciated)
Gin, Nic and Walt get back together to cover the news and games they’ve been playing.
Dust: An Elysian Tail, Zen Pinball (South Park) and various others.
There’s a fairly large chunk of news to cover at the start before moving into the games discussions
Games discussed include Minecraft, Shadow of Mordor, Smash Bros (3DS), Pix the Cat and Spelunky.
Also we’ve had an email which gives us a question to cover and in light of the PSN going down yet again on the day of recording we have a discussion topic about how the service is holding up since we all started to pay for it.