Over the last while, I’ve been taking on board the feedback I’ve had from various reviews, friends, commentators and imaginary critics, fed them into the Game-O-Matic 5000 and produced a new, more exciting game that absolutely does not feature Noel Edmonds.
That update has, after some teething problems and utter stupidity on my part, made it through the XBLIG peer review process and should be winging its way to an Xbox near you just as soon as you next decide to play the game. Which I definitely recommend doing, because of the changelist below.
Of particular interest is the reworked trial mode. I felt that it was likely people were getting turned off the game by the fact that the intro takes – if you sit through it – a good two to three minutes. It’s skippable, but it’s still an irritant. So I’ve crafted a new intro story with a new character to go along with it, which showcases a bit of the game without the baggage. Let’s see how that fares.
The other big change I’m very happy with is to the controls. I mentioned earlier that a lot of people found the game too slippery or floaty, with momentum causing the characters to take a while to come to a stop, often colliding with enemies in the process. There’s now a new option, accessible from the Controls screen, which reduces this. Indeed, the new option is so good that I actually prefer the new system to the old, but the old one’s still available because people have bought the game, dammit, and I don’t feel good about breaking something people have paid actual, real money for (well, Microsoft Points, but the principle stands).
I hope you enjoy the update, and I hope it makes Rasternauts a less frustrating and more life-affirming experience for you. Though I do not guarantee the latter.
- New 3-level trial story, “Being Frank”
- New character, Dr Frank Milton, for use in above trial mode and main story upon completion of that trial.
- Fixed crashes caused by errors in the checkpointing system (never fun)
- Fixed crash related to asteroid collisions
- Fixed the minutes on the level timer rolling over to 0 when it hits the hour mark.
- Fixed the bug not allowing you to return to the main menu from the character selection screen when continuing the main game.
- Fixed glitch in one tutorial room where the scientists would bounce up and down
- Fixed crash occurring as a result of the gems not being returned to the object pool
- Fixed level select not highlighting the last level or world selected when you back up a screen.
- New control option to stop the player from slipping around so much
- Main trial mode in the Rasternauts story only goes to the end of the Linking The Past level.
- Default controls now have Run on the right bumper
- Jumping at the edge of a platform has been made more forgiving
- Enemies above the player, but off screen, should not attack nor drop down
- Enemy spawn areas given a cool off period on all difficulty levels apart from Extreme
- Many more checkpoints added to levels to reduce frustration
- Levels tweaked to avoid unfair or overly hard sections
- Tutorial door in Armed and Ready made more obvious by having a scientist call out to you.
- Aiming + Climbing tutorial now has a ladder and targets, to help practise aiming while on a ladder.
- Control setup now appears when setting up the first play through on a profile (including first play of new patch)
- Can now set the difficulty when starting play via the Level Select
- Enemies will only attack from off screen on Hard or Extreme
- Selected menu item now flashes so you can tell which one is highlighted when only two options are available.
- Enemies will not respawn continuously on Easy mode
- Enemies will tend not to spawn behind you on Easy and Normal mode.
- Implemented a pause between respawns on lower difficulties to allow you to catch a breather.
- Improvements to the camera to help it focus on what’s important
- Small enemies with multiple hitpoints will now be knocked back when shot
- Changes to help reduce visual glitches when enemies are killed on slopes
- A little motion added to lava and water
- Rain now splashes on pools of water during the forest levels
- Lava in the cave levels now bubbles
- Some lights during later Raster levels made to flicker on and off
- Improved the power of Joe’s gun
- Flame turrets now give of a little puff of fire before firing, as a warning