2023 is looking to be another great year for games. While I’m looking forward to highly anticipated releases like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Final Fantasy XVI, Resident Evil 4 Remake and more, there are a few lesser known projects I’m arguably more excited about, one of which is a recently funded Kickstarter game by Filet Group called The Big Catch.

From their Kickstarter page, “The Big Catch is a 3D platformer all about tight expressive player movement, exploration, and FISH. In addition to inheriting the best parts of retro and modern platformers, The Big Catch is designed to be something fresh (like the fish).” I’m always thrilled when I see indie developers venture into the PS1/N64 era space. We’ve been inundated with 2D, retro-inspired games for years and while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, The Big Catch looks refreshing and inspired; the character designs are charming, there’s a certain buoyancy/stretchiness to the animations that makes it feel alive, the music in the trailer is incredible and the traversal/platforming looks satisfying.

Speaking of the game’s soundtrack, I sent the composer, Quade Zaban, a tweet on Twitter complimenting him on how the piece from the trailer was evocative of the PS1 era and how it also reminded me a bit of Kohei Tanaka’s work on Alundra (one of my favorite PS1 games of all time). To my surprise, the composer confirmed my suspicion that Tanaka’s work was in fact an influence! I didn’t become aware of this game until after the Kickstarter was already funded. I’ve been skeptical of most Kickstarter projects, however, after having backed a few that were either disappointing (Mighty No. 9) or have yet to release (like Unsung Story, which I backed in 2014…), but The Big Catch looks promising. The developers have gone mostly silent and are presumably hard at work since their campaign ended, so I’m hoping the game is a special as the trailer makes it out to be.

2023 is shaping up to be another amazing year in gaming and while the big haul for most people will be games like Street Fighter 6, Dead Space Remake and Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, for example, I’ve got a special lure set aside for The Big Catch and I can’t wait to reel it in.

See you next time!

-Matty

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