Fractured Soul Release Thread
(Another great eShop title, or a fractured mess? Find out below)
~About Fractured Soul~
Release Date: US: September 13 2012 - EU: "November"
No. of Players: 1 player
Category: Action, Adventure
Publisher: Endgame Studios
Old-school platforming on two screens!
Fractured Soul is a classic side-scrolling platform game with a twist: it is played across both screens at once! Created by platform gamers for platform gamers, and exclusively for 3DS, Fractured Soul literally adds a new dimension to this much-loved genre. You are forgotten. Stranded on an outpost in deep space, you remember nothing of who you are. All you know is that you are different.
You are able to shift into a parallel dimension at will. The outpost has been invaded, and is now swarming with hostiles. Escape is imperative, and with danger on all sides, it is only your unique power that can give you a fighting chance...
* Double the action: Fractured Soul takes the classic, instantly familiar platform game and brings it to the next level with dual-screen gameplay!
* Online rankings for speed running: Compete against your friends and the world via Nintendo leaderboards.
* Gameplay variety: 5 major zones, each bringing a unique challenge to the second screen. Your dimension-shifting journey will take you underwater, through fierce winds, scorching heat and even inverse gravity!
* Hours of content: 30 levels across 5 zones, including both platforming and shoot-em-up game styles, as well as epic, dual-screen boss battles!
* Hardcore challenges: Unlock challenge levels, and test your skills to the limit!
(Note: 3D is automatically turned off while playing.)
~Fractured Soul Interview with Grant Davies~
"With the game's upcoming eShop release, we talk with Grant Davies of Endgame Studios about the past, present, and future of Fractured Soul."
Nintendo World Report (NWR): For those who don't know, what is Fractured Soul?
Grant Davies (GD): Fractured Soul is a platforming game in the same spirit as classic platforming games like Mega Man, but with a twist--it is played across both screens of the 3DS at once. The player can switch screens at any time by tapping either of the shoulder buttons. Switching is necessary to avoid hazards and enemy fire, as well as navigating the level. The game is made up of 5 worlds and in each of the worlds there is something notably different in the upper screen--for example, different gravity or movement properties--which keeps changing the nature of the switching gameplay. There are also some shmup levels which also use screen switching--for this part, think Ikaruga but way easier.
NWR: How did you ultimately decide to release Fractured Soul on the eShop?
GD: In a nutshell, we were sick of being given the runaround by publishers. You can only absorb so many walkouts and deals going south before you start to investigate other options. I think Tim Schafer [founder of Double Fine Productions] really gave us all hope by proving that publishers don't always know what gamers want. We've always been reasonably confident that there's a market for Fractured Soul because we're platform gamers ourselves and we built the game because we wanted to play such a game, and we do enjoy playing the game. Game development should be as simple as thatand in the indie world, it is. Publishers were feeling pretty apathetic towards any retail 3DS product last year, and this certainly drove us toward eShop too.
NWR: How about the price point? Last time we spoke, you were considering something higher.
GD: Yes. Initially the game was intended as a full retail product, at a price point of probably $25 or $30. The amount of content was built around that plan. Had we been targeting eShop from the start, we probably would have built a smaller product and priced it accordingly, since most products on the eShop are more "bite-sized" and less than $10. One idea was to split the game into 2 episodes and set them at $7 or $8 each. Ultimately, we realised this would not be true to the game, and would hurt the experience for gamers, so we decided to keep it as one game. This was the right decision to make for the game, but it made pricing a real headache. Nobody expects to pay more than $10 on eShop at the moment, because that's how other games are priced (with according amount of content), and already we've seen one or two comments alluding to Fractured Soul being one of the more expensive eShop titles, which is true (if you don't count [New]SMB2!).
I think the game should be priced at $15 to be honest with you, but we've made it $11.99 simply because we felt there would be too much of a backlash to make it $15. I'm sure some people will still feel it's too high--but if you consider that you're getting a full retail game for less than half of what you'd pay in store, it's really quite a good deal. We're the ones that will lose out of this price point--it has cost us so much to develop Fractured Soul!
NWR: You've previously mentioned having to cut ideas/puzzles from the game due to lack of development time. Has any of this content made into the eShop release?
GD: Following on from the previous answer, I already think we've jammed a huge amount of content in to the game for the price. When you think about it being two different game modes (platforming and shmup) and the total game weighing in at around 380MB, there's not much more we could have squeezed in the game! If we put all our ideas in this game, we'd be still making it in another eight years.
The screen switching mechanic is fascinating--it adds so many possibilities that haven't been done before. I remember listening to the developer commentary of Portal, and Gabe Newell said they were only just scratching the surface of this new game mechanic after the release of the first game. I feel like we're in that position right now--and hopefully we'll get a chance to do more Fractured Soul, if gamers embrace the concept.
The bits above are just a small sample of a great interview! If you'd like to read the full interview go to the link below:
~Fractured Soul Is The Biggest eShop Game Yet~
"Fractured Soul, from developer Endgame Studios, has had a bit of a troubled past. It was originally designed for the DS, but two different publishers have pulled out of deals in the past leaving the game with nowhere to go. The eShop is the lucky recipient for the game when it finally releases next week. While much was made about New Super Mario Bros. 2 becoming the biggest game in terms of size to be available through the Nintendo eShop, it didn't take long for that "record" to be beaten.
The game will run you $11.99 and will take up a whopping 2,982 blocks of space. New Super Mario Bros. 2 only takes up a measley 2,725 and Order Up! comes in third place with 2,485 blocks being eaten up. Get ready for this to be the norm as more and more retail games become available on the service.
I'm using a 16GB SD card and with 81 different applications or games taking up space on my card, I still have more than 77,000 blocks of space available." - Nintendo Okie.com
~Fractured Soul Reviews~
"The price may seem a bit steep, but this game was bound for retail release at one time and 12 bucks is certainly a lot more affordable than 30 or 40 would have been. If you ever played or were just intrigued by the ideas in Chronos Twin or Divergent Shift, give it a look. If you're an old-school Mega Man fan who'd like to play something similar with an extra, interesting mechanic thrown in, give it a look. And hey, give it a look if you've got a split personality too. That might just help you speedrun your way to the top of the leaderboards. Oh, and there are leaderboards. So speedrunning experts and glory seekers, yes, give Fractured Soul a look." - (Full Review)
Nintendo Okie - 4/5:
"It's very difficult to find anything bad to say about Fractured Soul. The platforming is fantastic and the puzzle elements are challenging. You're going to find yourself screaming at some levels because they just seem impossible, but you'll feel extremely satisfied when you pull off crazy maneuvers using the mechanics. This is a platformer that really has multiple ways to play it and can fit to a few different styles of play. It's unique in that regard and will make for some interesting conversations as people talk about how they completed different parts of the game. There's very little story to speak of and the characters might come off as a bit generic. In the end, it's a platforming experience well worth your money and you'll find yourself wanting more." - (Full Review)
VentureBeat - 85/100:
"I really didn't know what I was getting into with this one, but even my initial impressions had me wondering if the game was more than its single (though great) gimmick. But in the end, I discovered one of the 3DS's hidden gems. Dont make my mistake. Don't ignore Fractured Soul." - (Full Review)
Nintendo Fuse - 4.5/5:
"While I wanted to give Fractured Soul a score of 1 just because it kicked my butt, I ended up being the bigger man. This combination of Metroid, Mega Man, and Chronos Twins works very well. Fractured Soul is a fantastic title that will challenge your reflexes and keep you coming back for more in an effort to get the fastest time." - (Full Review)
The Game Fanatics - 4/5:
"Fractured Soul is a great example of the kind of games that the eShop can host. It's designed specifically for the 3DS, has a top quality presentation, and offers plenty of replay value. I learned that this was once intended for store shelves, and theres enough to justify a retail price. For the $11.99 asking price, it's a must buy." - (Full Review)
Nintendo Life - 8/10:
"Fractured Soul might have taken a while to see a release, but it lives up to the hype by taking a smooth platforming experience and weaving a dual screen play mechanic into the mix that greatly increases the playability and charm of the game. The price is a bit high by eShop standards, but for a gaming experience as rich and polished as this, it's not the deal breaker you might imagine. Those who aren't sold on the genre may wish to look elsewhere, but fans of intelligent action platformers will consider this money well spent." - (Full Review)
Nintendo World Report - 8.5/10:
"Fractured Soul is a superb and fairly extensive collection of clever, interesting, and devious platforming ideas; most of it is good, much of it is fantastic. Some of it sullied by disruptive limitations and antithetical gameplay choices, though this slice is minimal compared to the abundance of well-structured--and decidedly fun--moments Fractured Soul delivers." - (Full Review)
Game Over Online - 90/100:
"All in all, Fractured Soul is a really well-crafted and polished game that manages to do justice to both side-scrolling action platforming and shooting. Anyone who loves the Mega Man series will love it, and I'm sure shooter fans will as well. At a mere $12, it's an easy recommendation with a caveat - there's a huge learning curve to the back and forth dual screen gameplay, and it would definitely be better to try a demo out (assuming one is made available at some point) if you think it'll be too much to handle. The frenetic pace is the only major issue I had with the game, which is otherwise one of the eShop's best buys. It's also one of the most replayable, as leaderboards and unlockable bonus stages give you more motivation and content than most." - (Full Review)
What are your thoughts on Fractured Soul?
I love a good platformer so I'll probably download it the next time I get an eShop card.