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Toejam and Earl Officially Bringing Funky Back

Attention, Funkotronian aficionados: A fourth installment of the adventures of the beloved 90’s duo, Toejam and Earl, is officially in the works — or it will be in a month, assuming the Kickstarter campaign meets its fundraising goal by then.

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90’s underground comic-style promo art courtesy of Nathan Shorts, the team’s lead artist.

Greg Johnson, co-creator of Toejam and Earl and head of his indie team of four at Humanature Studios, has officially set plans into motion for the series’ next game, Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove. According to the Kickstarter, the game will make use of mechanics popularized by the first and second games in the series — and thankfully, makes no mention of the third other than to say that the project won’t harken back to it.

“Will it be like game one or game two, you ask?  Well… (holding breath)… mainly like game one. We plan to go old school with this one. Fixed isometric camera, 2D sprites, simple controls, and an emphasis on coop [sic] play. It will also pull in some of the more beloved elements from game two… Things like the Jam Out, hidden presents, and buttons and coin meters. Maybe we’ll even be able to bring back the Hyperfunk Zone! … Don’t worry we won’t make you sick and confused with an over-the-shoulder POV camera like we had in game 3.”

In addition, the upcoming game will bring all new elements to the table, such as a 4-player co-op mode, randomly generated levels, character customization, and headwear that modifies the characters’ abilities — or “hats for stats,” as I’ve decided to call them. The project currently has plans for a PC release, but hopes to spread to other consoles once a foothold has been established.

Of course, all of this depends on the Kickstarter reaching its $400,000 goal by March 27th at 3:00 PM EST. Over $150k has been pledged so far, and some truly amazing incentives have me wishing I could throw caution to the wind and empty my bank account. If anyone out there pledges enough to get those TJ&E vinyl figures and for some reason doesn’t want them, my ever-collecting hands are always open.

Obligatory Legal Crap

I am not associated with Humanature Studios and do not own Toejam and Earl — nor does Sega, I learned over the course of researching this article. Toejam and Earl is entirely the property of its co-creators, Greg Johnson and Mark Voorsanger.

I am, however, calling dibs on “hats for stats.” C’mon, that’s catchy as hell.

Mighty No. 9: A Mega-Redemption

It’s barely been 12 hours since the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter project hit the internet, and the project has already raised half of its $900k goal. Headed up by the legendary game designer Keiji Inafune, the project is essentially a new Mega Man game wearing an absurdly thin veil.

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For now I’m just going to call you “Not-Rock,” okay?

Of course, this should come as no surprise for anyone familiar with Inafune’s background. A former Capcom powerhouse, Inafune is the creator of the Mega Man series. Not only was he responsible for the character designs, sprite art, logos, packaging, and manual of the original game, but he went on to father the series for decades afterward. It wasn’t until late 2010 that Inafune announced he was leaving Capcom to “start his life over” after comments that he had been unhappy at his job for some time.

Mighty No. 9 has definitely left Mega Man‘s fans rejoicing. Capcom has taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years due to perceptions that they’ve been giving the Blue Bomber the shaft and disregarding their fans. While every company has to deal with that every now and again, Capcom’s been facing the fire for quite a while now. In my opinion, the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 was the final straw.

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