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Prices dropping like flies: Insecticide markdown

Insecticide never seemed like a title destined to set the sales charts on fire, so we're not surprised to see retailers already marking down the noir title. Less than two months after Insecticide's release, Amazon, GameStop, and other shops have chopped the half-adventure, half-platforming game down to $19.99, a two-thirds its original price.

And if that's still too much for you, you could buy Nirvana's Incesticide for only $7.97, less than half of Insecticide's price. What's the difference between the two, you ask? Well, it just so happens that we've put together a lovely comparison guide that should help you with that question.


DS Fanboy Review: Insecticide

As you may or may not know, I'm a big fan of adventure games. That's one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to play Insecticide -- it looked like it would be one of the best in the genre this year. And the action parts? Those would just be gravy.

Crackpot, the development team behind the game, is mostly made up of people who used to work for LucasArts, and it shows. Insecticide contains the same kind of humor and adventure goodness of games like Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. Yet, this title is not only an adventure game but also an action platformer, and when mixing genres, you have to be careful to do it right -- in a way that makes sense, and in a way that works. Unfortunately, though, Insecticide fails in those aspects.

Gallery: Insecticide

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Insecticide

Behind the gooey scenes of Insecticide

The Gamecock guys sure know how to go all out in crazy fashion to promote a game. With Insecticide already out on store shelves, however, we're saved that blitz of feathers and capes. Instead, we're presented with a smaller, more intimate behind-the-scenes look at two of the individuals who helped Insecticide become a game. We're talking about Larry Ahern and Mike Levine of Crackpot Entertainment.

Of course, being Gamecock, they had to include some wackiness, though. Hit up the "Read" link below and check out the video.

Gallery: Insecticide

DS Fanboy interview: Insecticide's Larry Ahern

I met with Crackpot Entertainment's Larry Ahern, creative director of Insecticide, at this year's EIEIO event after he had finished demonstrating his game over and over again for successive groups of journalists and other attendees. Even after all of that time spent staring at Insecticide and introducing it to the few people in each group who weren't familiar with it, he seemed enthusiastic about his game.

He was also happy to reminisce -- fondly or otherwise -- about his time at LucasArts, during which he served as art director for Day of the Tentacle, lead animator for Full Throttle, and co-project lead on The Curse of Monkey Island, just to name a few classics.

Hit the break to find out about Insecticide's alternate history as a TV show, to read the most about BioShock you'll ever see on DS Fanboy, and more!

Gallery: Insecticide

Continue reading DS Fanboy interview: Insecticide's Larry Ahern

Insecticide & Incesticide: How to tell the difference

Having trouble telling the difference between Nirvana's Incesticide album and DS platformer/shooter Insecticide? Afraid that you'll accidentally bring home a 15-year-old CD instead of the hard-boiled detective game? Worry no more!

We've put together a handy guide to help you tell these two "alternative" titles apart. Forget about wandering the streets in a daze, unsure which product features rock-out tracks like "Sliver" and "Son of a Gun!" No more embarrassing yourself in front of friends after mentioning an afternoon spent hunting criminal bugs with Kurt Cobain! We promise you'll never again confuse the game with the album or vice versa -- or your money back! Hit the image above for our life-changing chart!

Gallery: Insecticide

See also:
Nirvana: Plugged back in and electronicized

Metareview: Insecticide

We've been fascinated by the potential of Insecticide since it first buzzed to our attention last May. Crackpot's noirish, bug-based title combines an adventure game with platforming, action, and detective elements. As it turns out, this willingness to fuse different genres and play styles seems to have backfired, with reviewers criticizing the action sequences in particular. We're pretty sure that there's a great detective-thriller game starring bugs just waiting to be made, but this doesn't seem to be it.

IGN -- 70%: IGN's Daemon Hatfield awarded the title its highest mark to date (apart from the two users who each gave it, er, a perfect ten on Metacritic), but still couldn't ignore the flawed action segments: "This one is a real heartbreaker. I really wanted to score it higher, but the action sequences get in the way of what could have been an extremely enjoyable adventure game. Crackpot has created an engrossing world with Insecticide, so maybe a sequel will focus more on pointing and clicking than frustrating and agitating."

Nintendo Power -- 65%: Likewise, Nintendo Power seems to insinuate that the game is a Jack of all trades, and a master of none: "Insecticide tries to be a lot of things at once -- platformer, shooter, and investigative adventure -- which is a trick that seldom works well." [Mar 2008, p.89 -- excerpt found at Metacritic]

Game Informer -- 58%: And there's just too much platforming for Game Informer's superbly named Joe Juba: "... Insecticide could have been an excellent adventure game. Instead, it's a platformer, and a bad one at that. The game squanders its stylish setting, writing, and entertaining puzzle solving by minimizing the fun investigation segments, focusing squarely on broken combat and platforming. The fact that you can run through most encounters without firing a shot makes the action element feel even more tiresome and pointless."

Gallery: Insecticide

Insecticide made creepier thanks to comparison to The Professional

Crackpot's Larry Ahern appears in this video offering commentary on the latest entry in the "evolved bug detective in a post-apocalyptic insect-run world" adventure game genre (jeez, another one?), Insecticide. He reveals a few influences on the world and storyline of the game. The most notable, in terms of making us look at the game in a new way?

Luc Besson's The Professional, which, if you haven't seen it, is about a 12-year-old who forms a close, parental-but-also-inappropriately-romantic attachment with a hitman. And that's the relationship that influenced the dynamic between the game's two main characters, Chrys Liszt and Roachy Caruthers. We don't know what to say now. We're going to watch these two cartoon insects' interactions a lot more closely during the game, at least.

Don't thoughtlessly squish this Insecticide trailer

We're big fans of Insecticide, and not just because it gives us an opportunity to wheel out our lamest insect puns (happily, it's no longer alone in that respect). Okay, that's a part of it, but from what we've seen and played of Crackpot's game, Insecticide looks like another top-drawer addition to a genre that's already overflowing with goodness: DS adventure games.

This latest trailer of the title might be light on gameplay footage (read: there's none whatsoever), but it still does a fantastic job of communicating the game's noirish feel. There's the gravelly-voiced narrator, rookie upstart cops, cigar-smoking veteran detectives, and lashings of moody silhouetting. In short: DO WANT.

[Update: Video now embedded after the break]

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- Insecticide

Gallery: Insecticide

Continue reading Don't thoughtlessly squish this Insecticide trailer

DS Fanboy feelers-on: Insecticide

Gamecock sent over a near-final preview copy of Insecticide, and I've been playing through it for the last few days. I haven't encountered any bugs yet -- except the ones that are supposed to be there, amirite? I previously played the game during the Penny Arcade Expo, but this time I had the benefit of playing a more complete copy, for more than ten minutes, while sitting down in a room with fewer than ten thousand people in it. I don't want to evaluate too much in a preview, but in the small portion of the game I've played, it's clear to me that this is exactly what people hope it is: the return of the funny 3D adventure game.

While the adventure genre (by which I mean the third-person, 3D-movement, point-and-click adventure game, as opposed to graphical text adventures like Phoenix Wright) hasn't quite died, it has been populated in recent years by games like Indigo Prophecy and Syberia: dour, dark, gritty, Serious Business. Insecticide is not that. It evokes something like a Grim Fandango or a Space Quest: interesting characters who have a lot of funny things to say, in a game that requires you to adapt to a unique world's somewhat joke-based logic.

Gallery: Insecticide

Continue reading DS Fanboy feelers-on: Insecticide

Insecticide's release date repelled

Bad news for bug-detective adventure-platform action game fans: Insecticide isn't ready to emerge from its cocoon just yet. Amazon sent a notice out to an Insecticide preorderer that the game would ship out on March 11, instead of the previous February 12 date. The product listing has also been changed accordingly, and GameStop has updated their listing as well.

Our Gamecock contact confirmed the delay, which is the second so far. He wasn't sure of the exact issue, but suggested it had to do with needing more time to manufacture a sufficient number of copies. So we don't get our own copies as soon, but there's a higher possibility that we will all be able to find one at all.

Gallery: Insecticide

[Via GoNintendo]

Preorder Insecticide, be rewarded

We may be making an assumption that Insecticide is going to be good, but that's the gamble of all pre-released games. What isn't in dispute (among the totally partial DS Fanboy staff) is that preordering Insecticide demonstrates good taste in game styles. Insecticide appears to be a humorous adventure game in the style of the very best LucasArts adventures (but with action too).

If that's not sufficient enticement to preorder, how about free junk? If you preorder the game at GameStop, you'll get a swanky-looking hardcover art book. Then you can visit the Insecticide website and enter a code found in the book to redeem a free "Bug Blaster." It is a gun that shoots a foam ball! Yay! No, really, we love those.

Buggy investigations on hold as Insecticide slips to February

Like the splattered, twitching remains of an errant fly on a speeding windshield, Insecticide's January 2008 release date is no more. Earlier today, a new release date for the bug-based detective game landed in our inbox, and we trapped it beneath an upturned beaker before it could buzz away again.

Which is a very long way of saying: Insecticide now hits stores on February 12th. Booo. A shame for sure, but then a month is pretty bearable, and the last thing we'd want to see is Crackpot being forced to rush this potential gem of an adventure game.

Gallery: Insecticide

[Via press release]

Friday Video: Slither and sleuth

You've just gotta respect a police/detective game that cracks jokes about donuts, and doubly so when the detectives in question are insects. We hear they like crumbs.

Gamecock's Insecticide is one of those games we can't help but get excited over. It looks like the total package -- a little adventure, a little action, and a couple of cleverly-named and designed protagonists. Sure, as with so many DS games, it looks better in motion than in stills, but we're used to that. In fact, we find the look of it in motion so irresistible, we're shining our weekly video spotlight squarely on this new trailer. Go on, discover it for yourself ... and check out the updated screens in our gallery below.

Gallery: Insecticide

A very easy investigation turns up more Insecticide screens

Yesterday, we remarked on the relative lack of coverage of the investigative aspect of Insecticide. We see a lot of screens and video of action, but relatively few of the adventure-game portions. And so we decided to hit the streets and put our detective skills to the test, hunting for new screens of this portion of the game.

Then before we started, we got six new screens in our e-mail. We're such awesome investigators that all we have to do is want to investigate. Look! The game has a story! And, yes, conversation trees! There is truly an adventure game hidden in the platformer. That is wonderful. Not only that, but the game's personality is evident from even the tiny snippets of dialogue found in these screens.

Gallery: Insecticide

[Via press release]

A few Insecticide screens creep out

As the January 8th release date approaches, the Insecticide updates seem to be increasing in number. Hopefully the trickle of screens and video will become more of a downpour, helping to keep the game fresh in people's memories. We forget about it ourselves occasionally when discussing anticipated upcoming games, and we are actively interested in it. We need more.

The latest screens show more of the platforming aspect of the game -- the bizarre cityscapes that serve as the levels, full of rooftop-jumping and precarious ledges. We admit that we'd like to see a bit more of the investigating. It's the adventure game devotees who will have the most interest in this game, and they aren't as interested in jump puzzles as they are inventory menus and dialogue trees.

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