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PAX East 2012 Notes #3: Drill Dozer Lives On in Sega Game

by Neal Ronaghan - April 10, 2012, 8:05 am PDT
Total comments: 1

Hell Yeah puts you in the shoes of a rabbit Prince of Hell who has a fetish for rubber duckies and wants to kill everybody.

I didn't discover Drill Dozer until quite recently, so Game Freak's Game Boy Advance game is still fresh in my mind. That meant when 1UP's Jeremy Parish posted about how Sega and Arkedo's XBLA/SEN title Hell Yeah was similar to Nintendo's 2006 release, I took notice.

"Sega does what Nintendon't!" Arkedo's Final Boss (so says his business card) Camille Guermonprez exclaimed when I talked to him about the comparison. "I've waited so long to say that."

Guermonprez is no stranger to Nintendo, though. Arkedo, formed in 2006, started life as a DS developer, mostly because they all loved Nintendo. After two well-received but financially unsuccessful games (2007's Nervous Brickdown and 2009's Big Bang Mini), Arkedo regrouped and focused on downloadable games on Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace. Oddly enough, despite the indie games being sold for roughly a tenth of the price, Arkedo made the same amount of money per sale for both groups of games.

Hell Yeah is an ambitious and ridiculous game. You control the Prince of Hell - a rabbit named Ash - who has a rubber ducky fetish. Naturally, this leaks onto the Hellternet after Ash's dad (you know, Satan) dies. Ash decides to just go and kill everybody, and launches into a Metroidvania-inspired quest through the bowels of Hell. It's ridiculous, but it has a very solid gameplay foundation. The enemies are even compiled into a Pokédex-like compendium, and there are 30+ unique ways for them to be killed.

The Drill Dozer comparison shines through with one of the first power-ups you acquire in the demo, which is a circular drill that encompasses your bunny hero. It can be used to slice up enemies and drill through obstacles. It also can be upgraded along the way.

Hell Yeah is an extremely violent cartoony game, but its roots have familiar DNA that was cultivated by Nintendo-loving developers. It's currently set for a summer release on XBLA and SEN. Wii U isn't completely ruled out, but it's also not currently in the works. I guess we'll have to see how well Ash fares elsewhere before we start looking forward to a Nintendo system release. All I know for sure is that this game is on my radar, and I'm looking forward to trying the finished product.


ejamerApril 10, 2012

I never tried Nervous Brickdown, but Big Bang Mini was a great game. Best of luck to these guys with future development - they seem like a good bunch, and I hope they find success.

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