Sure, the premise is supremely goofy and practically guaranteed to make some of the more obstinate old-school fans of the long running Shin Megami Tensei and Persona franchises get a bit cringe-y. But Persona 4: Dancing All Night manages to shake off most any negative vibes thanks to it not only being a pretty decent rhythm game, but a really well-made spin-off to the Persona 4: Golden (that’s also gotten a pretty darn good 2D fighter with an even better follow up). Keeping the surviving characters and situations from P4 intact and working them into the game’s plot was an inspired touch that’s hopefully going to sell those gamers who are only buying this for music and gameplay into picking up P4:G at some point if they’ve yet to.
On the other hand, if you go into P4: DAN with skeptical intent, don’t expect to be knocked off your feet by the game’s premise, how some characters act and the overall gameplay that may not be your cup of tea. Fully enjoying this one means throwing caution to the wind, diving in feet or face first and letting the music and atmosphere wash over you like a sudden summer rain shower. Continue reading →
Ape Law’s oddball psychological horror game Albino Lullaby has no blood and gore splattering anything and not a single jump scare to rattle your cage as you explore its bizarre, stylized maps. What it does deliver is a downright creepy vibe, some room-twisting shenanigans and those weird creatures called “Grandchildren” that may or may not freak you out whenever you encounter them. Okay, they will freak you out if the sight of what looks like a man-sized finger with the face of what looks like a zombie version of one of Team 17’s Worms games is something you find scary. And yep, you can even buy stuff with those faces on it that include throw pillows and a travel coffee mug.
Currently available on Steam, this episodic first person adventure released back in September is timed perfectly for the season, what with the weather getting chillier and Halloween haunting just around the corner. Playing as an accident victim who wakes up in a very weird town, part of the game is discovering where you are and how the hell you’re going to get out. The game’s bold use of Unreal 4 in such a stylized manner has the surreal, gaudy Victorian meets scratchy modernist environment look like a bad dream come to life. Continue reading →
Ha. Welcome to October where nothing is working as it should, whee! I do need to change that banner and background and update the site with a few posts and such. But it seems that the internet here is chuggy and slower than a dead coyote trying to catch that pesky Road Runner that’s sent him off a cliff for the last time. Thanks to the awful connection speed today it actually took me longer to make this post than it did to write up one of the reviews I’m about done with. Anyway, this test post aside (which BETTER go through when I hit “Publish”, grrr!), I’ll see what else I can get done and up later this evening. Or at worst, tomorrow. Yeah,even if there’s a hurricane or whatever zooming through here, there’s still work to be done.
Yeah, blow, wind… blow. You can’t stop me. Nor you, sideways rain. You’re nothing but an overly damp punk.
While I’d prefer a ban on stupid people banning stuff they won’t even read, I guess this is the best revenge you can have on some of those know-little to nothings and their fear of the printed and drawn word. I’d suggest getting your bundle and reading as much as you can in or near a place that’s challenged or outright banned some of the titles just to see if anyone actually notices. I’d bet a dime that no one will care a whit unless they’re curious enough to ask. And even then, they just might find out that there’s nothing to run screaming from the room about at all.
In other words, wouldn’t it be cooler to live in a world where we’re NOT celebrating books being banned and instead celebrate the smartening up of those who ban stuff automatically because they’ve finally gotten those sticks out of their behinds? Yeah, I thought so.
If you thought the PSP was deader than well, the Vita (ha and ha-ha, but *sob!* for Sony not knowing how to promote its otherwise fine handheld), consider yourself about to be surprised. Gaijinworks continues to kick out the quality and somewhat obscure games with Summon Night 5, a tactical RPG headed to PSN as a digital release for both the PSP and Vita and to a lucky handful of gamers who pre-ordered the limited release physical version.
As with Class of Heroes 2, those lucky folks with the physical version coming also get the digital version of the game as a bonus because Gaijinworks knows some of them won’t ever even crack the shrink wrap on their coveted LE and a few will even go right to eBay and resell their “prize” for boo-koo bucks to the highest bidder. Damn dirty capitalism has its upsides to those who know how to take advantage of it, I suppose. As Gaijinworks doesn’t do review codes (as far as I know), I’ll be ponying up some actual hard-earned loot to play this just like everyone else interested in it.
Me, I just want to finally play an actual Summon Night game in English. I missed the two Game Boy Advance spin-offs from a while back because they got a limited release and now fetch a pretty penny for complete copies. Nope, knowledge of the other four previous Summon Knight games (nor the upcoming sixth one headed to PS4 and Vita in Japan) is necessary in order to fully enjoy what’s here. But one would hope that gamers who don’t know a lick of Japanese can some day get their paws on some sort of collection. Of course that won’t happen unless Gaijinworks has a metric ton of money lying around and time to do all that porting and localizing.
Indie developer Kraken Empire‘s formerly PC-only open space shooter, Kromaia, is getting a makeover for the PS4 this fall in the form of Kromaia Ω (Omega). The visually stunning sleeper from last year was one of those games that was well worth tracking down just to get one’s mind blown by the visual style and surprising depth for an arcade-style game.
The game will get both a retail and digital release, which is a bit surprising on the surface. But it seems that the big push to digital-only that’s been going on for a while isn’t the best thing for some niche titles like this that deserve a wider audience, some of whom prefer the choice of how they get their games. Rising Star Games deserves huge thanks for thinking of consumers this way,although it would be even more awesome to see all of their PC games get this console retail/digital treatment a some point. Continue reading →
Hey! It’s National Coffee Day or whatever it’s called. If you imbibe that devilish brew, go find a place that’s giving away a cup and get yours. I settled for being lazy and not making mine this morning just so I could hoof it down to Dunkin’and see what was what. Amusingly enough, despite the sign on the door and eager but surprisingly small crowd in the spot I stepped into, a few people on the line knew nothing about that freebie and were paying for their coffee, some even after the busy staff sort of pointed out that they could have had a freebie. Ah well.
Anyway, there was one guy in that shop who was on his tablet noting that he was going to walk to a few different Dunkin’s in the area (there are three or four within about a twenty or so minute walk) and get a free cuppa Joe at each stop. Well, that’s nice that he’s not going to be sleeping tonight, I guess. Still, it’s a somewhat good idea if you have nothing else to do and want a big ass buzz that will keep you wide-eyed and jittering into the wee hours. Um, here’s a tree to ogle that incomplete. No reason for it being here other than I’m too busy to dig up a stock image of a cup of coffee.
Yeah, I could have snapped a pic of my cup and posted it instead. But maybe I’ll do that later. I think I need a second cup of coffee now…
Busted-up junker cars slamming into each other on a crazy figure eight racetrack may seem like a one-note film idea with limited appeal. But Jack Hill’s 1969 “B” movie Pit Stop makes for quite a spectacular ride for more than the crash-crazed car fiends out there. For a low-budget black and white quickie shot in the late 60’s, Hill gets some major mileage from from his cast that includes Richard (Dick) Davalos, Sid Haig, Brian Donlevy, Beverly Washburn and Ellen Burstyn.
Once again, Arrow Video brings an excellent director supervised and approved HD remaster to the table packed with bonus features that make this one a fantastic addition to any film collection. For all the high-speed action and off-track thrills, there’s a nifty little tale of a man who manages to win it all yet lose everything important by the end.
Let the wild week begin, whee. I’m prepared at least on the outside for three days of crazy thanks to holding on to these Psychonauts T-shirts I picked up a few years back at a press event. Perhaps I should also intentionally mix up my socks and randomly pick a mismatched pair to add some more variety? Eh, we’ll see. Wearing two different sneakers or shoes is where I draw the line, though. Okay, week… bring it. I’ve got your number and then some…
I’ve been a fan of Omega Force’s work since Dynasty Warriors and Destrega on the original PlayStation shook up the fighting game genre. Of course, like many fans, Dynasty Warriors 2 was the game that made me really fall for the developer. While that series has seen quite a few entries and spin-offs into other series, it’s been their work on licensed and original games using that familiar engine that have really been the ones to watch. Between the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games, Fist of the North Star, Hyrule Warriors and now the one-two punch coming to consoles soon in the form of Attack on Titan and Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, it’s been fun to see Omega Force take on popular anime and game characters as they bring their Musou engine into new territory.
It’s too bad a great little sleeper like Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll on the PS3 never got the attention it deserved. That game is worth tracking down thanks to it being more of an action/RPG than a straight up Dynasty Warriors clone. A bit tougher to track down but worth it Warriors: Legends of Troy. While it’s not an Omega Force game (Koei Canada did the programming job), it takes elements of the Musou games, adds some M-rated gore (in a nod to Zach Snyder’s version of 300) and makes for a nice and lengthy diversion once you’re hooked in. Another sleeper (but one that hasn’t been forgotten) is Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War, which earlier this year got a PS4 and Xbox One update/sequel called Bladestorm: Nightmare.
Both Attack on Titan and Arslan: The Warriors of Legend are coming to PS4, PS3,and PlayStation Vita with North American release dates for AoT to be announced as they get closer to completion. Arslan lands in Japan October 1st for PS3 and PS4, and it seems that Europe and North America will get these two plus an Xbox One version at some point.