Having enjoyed Gunman Clive, there was no doubt that I would enjoy it’s recently released successor. The game’s creator, Bertil Hörberg, jokingly expressed the possible loss of his “indie” credentials for the announcement of this sequel, but whether joking or not he and those involved should be proud of their work on Gunman Clive 2. From a distance it may appear that this is more of the same, but there’s something to be said of the game’s restraint from adding features and nuances just for the sake of one-upping the first game.
Instead, GC2 manages to best the original just by being a better experience. It became a greater game by continuing the work it laid previously. Sequels can lose sight of what made the original so great, either by trying to gain a wider audience, or merely tacking on meaningless additions. Due in to its intended brevity, Gunman Clive 2 doesn’t have the time to train players on a new set of mechanics. Its focus is on delivering another fun, challenging game, and it succeeds tremendously.
It seems that a day can’t go by without an independent developer announcing support for the PlayStation Vita. Not just as Kickstarter stretch goals, but as definite homes for their upcoming software. That support doesn’t stop at newly announced projects, either. Folks like Nicalis and Curve Studios are porting recent indie hits to the Vita as well. It’s clear that Sony’s latest handheld has earned a reputation as a profitable venture for up and coming development houses, a boon for a handheld stereotyped as lacking games to play.
Brian Provinciano was the first to clue me in on this success; earlier this year he confirmed his game, Retro City Rampage, sold best on Vita. He encouraged fellow developers to give the Vita another look, and whether his advice played a role or not, the indies came.
So what does this mean for the 3DS? Does the future contain titles as wonderful as Mutant Mudds, Mighty Switch Force!, and Gunman Clive? The coming months will bring along some interesting fare, certainly, but what of 2014 and beyond? The thought of industry folk moving onto greener pastures lingers in my head. The reasons are clear; Sony has an account based system (meaning a police report isn’t required to get back your games is a Vita goes missing), the hardware is strong enough to run most current software without drastic cuts, and developers are able to sell one game to three separate markets (Vita, PS3, and PS4).