About geelw

Gamer, Writer, Artist, Idea Guy, Mild Curmudgeon With A Long List Of Hidden Talents

A Little Hope on Memorial Day From MVD


 

For those of you who’ve served, thank you for your service. For those of you who remember the late, great Bob Hope doing his part for those who’ve served or want to know what some of the fuss was about, courtesy of MVD Visual here’s a Memorial Day buy that’s not some condescending mattress, car, food or other product not worthy of the holiday. Back tomorrow with some updates.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III: Three’s Company For The Long Haul


 

So. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III is out and yes, you SHOULD buy and play it if you like action/RPG’s with a sense of humor (and optional gore), loads of random loot drops and probably closure as NeoCore Games finishes up its trilogy. That said… oh, for the days of the retail review disc arriving in the mail! While 20GB may not seem like a huge file to download in this era of “everyone” having a high speed connection, the best I can do around here is roughly 11 to 36 mbps. And that’s WITH connections dropping out from time to time adding more time to the download. 11 hours to download a game (which would be closer to 5 or 6 if the speed is consistent and there aren’t any connection drops) is way too long for me and while I’m not impatient, I have no idea how people put up with this sort of thing with larger game files.

Yeah, yeah, it’s something we’ve “gotten used to” as the digital age has beat retail over the head senselessly as a “superior” option. But for folks like me who fail to see the speed difference when having a disc means you get into those games you want FASTER and with only any day one (or later) patches to download, this digital divide is more “haves” versus “have nots” stuff I see some game companies no longer addressing. Boo. But hell, I won’t take this minor annoyance out on NeoCore games and all their hard work at all. Although it WOULD be cool to see them get their trilogy out on consoles at some point so even MORE people could enjoy it. Eh, we’ll see. In between the ongoing strife here I need to fit my Sunday around getting this game onto a hard drive here, so it’s an early night for this old fart. Back in a bit.

Blu-Ray Review: Blind Woman’s Curse

Blind Woman's Curse BR_DVD Cover (Custom)One of those wild Japanese films packed with striking imagery and offbeat performances, Teruo Ishii’s 1970 hybrid Blind Woman’s Curse makes for another excellent Blu-Ray release from Arrow Video. It wraps up action and revenge flick aesthetics with a creepy tone, loads of late 60’s era sexiness and violence with a solid performance from beautiful Meiko Kaji. She plays Akemi, the head of a yakuza clan sometime during the 1920’s who’s been released from prison only to find there’s a pretty efficient pair of assassins as well as other folks after her and what remains of her loyal gang.

The main assassin (Hoki Tokuda) happens to be the sister of a rival boss out for her own revenge. Akemi accidentally blinded her during the fierce and beautifully shot sword battle that opens up the film and she now she’s somewhat hard to stop as she whittles down Akemi’s gang. Her assistant, a muttering and really creepy killer with wild hair (Tatsumi Hijikata) is one of those characters who gets under your skin and remains there from the moment you see him. Both he and the black cat that appears during the film lend a supernatural tone to the proceedings that lend the film a nice horror vibe. That said, if you pay close attention, you’ll see that the film tends to toss a lot at you with expectations that you’ll keep up.

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#TBT: Taking The Chicken Route For A Bit

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Hmmm. So, here’s a random nonsense post courtesy of the Emergency Postcast System. If you’re reading this it’s because it’s a nonsense post experiment running in case of emergency. Now, what constitutes an “emergency” will vary from person to person, but let’s just say that I’m taking some much needed time off to handle things and that’s that. I have a few posts in reserve that will run (well, once I set some dates up) and will check back in to drop in stuff when I can. I hate the way the internet works these days because it’s expected that nosy people need to know too much and anything less than that is considered “not sharing”, “rude” or whatever. Nonsense. Anyway, dinner’s ready! Come and get it before that cannibal chicken has her fill.

Back in a bit. I’ll be around… just not “around” if you catch my drift. If you don’t, don’t worry. All won’t be explained when things get back to resembling “normal” around here. And that’s exactly as it needs to be.

Catlateral Damage Gets The Best Press Release of 2015 (So Far)

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CD paw slap iconYeah, yeah. Posting press releases verbatim is LAZY and should be avoided at all costs (even though it costs no sense to do). But once in a while you get one that cracks you up and requires sharing because the product being shilled was fun enough to inspire a PR person to just do something so obvious that it works despite being awfully corny.

Of course, if you call a cat “corny” it will either ignore you and go take a nap or climb your leg like a lumberjack escaping from a starving bear up a very tall and sturdy tree. Anyway, video to roll and press release to read below, meow.


 

For Immediate Release

 

Catbridge, MA, May, 18, 2015 – Mew meow CATLATERAL DAMAGE meow meow-ow Steam mew OUYA! Meow-ow mew mrow meow mew meow mew meow mew mew meow-ow, mew mew meow mrow mew mew meow meow-ow meow mew mrow meow meow! Mew mew meow meow-ow meow mew meow mrow mrow meow-ow mew mew mew. Meow-ow mew, meow meow mew meow mew mrow mew mew meow-ow mew mew meow.

 

Meow-ow mew meow meow Wed May 27th mew meow mew meow mew mew meow-ow, mew mew mrow mrow mew meow meow-ow meow mew meow meow! Mew mew meow meow-ow meow mew meow meow-ow mew mew mew mrow. Meow-ow mew, meow meow mew meow mew meow mew mew meow-ow mew mew meow. Purrrr… Meow raaarowwww meow.

 

Me-meow mew mew meow meow-ow meow mew catlateraldamage.com!

And yes indeed you need this game just because your cat will knock you out of bed if you don’t buy it and let it play or watch you play while it naps. Cats can see in their sleep. Or so I’ve heard. On the other paw, If you own a dog you know it could care less about this game because it’s trying to figure out how to start up the car, drive to the store and buy some steaks with your credit card. Like that old Talking Heads song goes “Animals think… they’re pretty smart…”

The Witcher 3 Now Available: Some of You Won’t Be Seen For Weeks


 

Or you’ll be seen in all your usual places but your minds will be elsewhere because you’ve been running around adventuring as Geralt in CD Projekt RED’s long-awaited open world masterpiece. If those glowing review scores are any indication, this one’s going to be keeping some folks busy for months between the main game and the upcoming DLC packs. I’d bet a nickel that more than a few people who’ve been holding out or saving up for something to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed make the big plunge (and hopefully see that there are a load of other games out there worth a buy in the process). ames like this are what keep me playing after all this time. You can take all those not an actual sport “eSports” titles, MOBAs and about 80% of every mobile or “social” game and stick them in a slow boat to Mars. None of those will ever best any game with a good solid story and characters you feel are part of a living, breathing fantasy world. Someone give CD Projekt RED a medal for keeping the flame alive already.

12 Seconds of DOOM: More Than Enough to Wake the Dead


 

Yikes. As someone bored by the current state of the PFS genre, this SUPER teasy teaser for Bethesda’s upcoming DOOM reboot made something rattle inside me I haven’t felt in quite some time. Perhaps it was that blast of metal and the howling sound plus the way that creature was shaking as it lumbered forth, shoulder guns blazing away. Yeah, that was something I’d not want to see ambling my way if I were on my last box of shells and there were more waiting around a corner somewhere. Well, time to set my E3 sights on this one I guess. I’m NOT attending the show this year thanks to stuff happening at home (as in walls and ceiling needing to be replaced in a few rooms plus the ongoing roof repairs), but I’ll be keeping an eye on a bunch of titles like this because that’s the only thing that will keep me from going all Space Marine on those folks knocking stuff down just to put it all back together (and hopefully for some sort of good this time- the previous work has blown something terribly).

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III: 2015, Meet 1999? That Works For Me


 

Like a worn pair of favorite jeans you’ve had in your possession for years or a good leather jacket, NeoCore Games‘ throwback action/RPG The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has been one of those reliable standbys that feels as it’s been around a great deal longer than it actually has. This is actually a good thing, mind you. NeoCore’s click and slash series is up to its third installment which is coming to Steam on May 22nd, so here’s a look at what to expect with that set of tease-packed videos above.

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Diehard players who still have a death grip on their older Windows XP-powered computers will be glad to see as with the other two installments, Van Helsing III will run on their creaky old systems. Neocore doesn’t own them that at all, mind you. But it’s great to see a developer not ditch those players who bought that first game at all and continue to support them with all three parts of the series working on what they currently own. While the ability to use an Xbox 360 controller to play the game was a patched in addition to Van Helsing II, the game is still superior with the standard keyboard/mouse setup.

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The mix of action, horror and humor elements is something that sets the game apart from the more deadly serious to much sillier Diablo-style games on the market, as is NeoCore’s attention to more “realistic” detailed environments. Granted, the mix of steampunk, classic monsters (werewolves, vampires and such) and other fantasy bits keeps things fresh throughout. One thing the game will need to be is extremely optimized and as good as can be at launch. VHII had some pesky launch issues that were resolved over time but probably soured a few gamers who tried it out and found it lacking in some areas. From what I’m seeing so far it seems that the third time’s the charm. We’ll find out in four more days.

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess : “It’s A Trap!” You’ll Fall For Over And Over

Deception IV_TNP

Okay, I’ll admit to being a bit behind in my beating quota. In other words, I still have yet to play Deception IV: Blood Ties on anything it’s been released on. As time, tide and games wait for no man, Tecmo Koei has made it known that there’s a follow-up coming in July for the PS3, PS4 and Vita called Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. Fans of this long-running series which began on the original Playstation should be dancing around for joy while trying to avoid assorted traps and hazards in their own environments. For the uninitiated, here’s a live-action trailer with a tiny bit of the sinister yet intentionally silly gameplay at the end:


 

Now if only actual burglar alarms worked this efficiently. Although I’d bet the setup and resetting costs would be a wee bit costly.

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PONCHO Hands-On: A Beautiful Trip, 3 Layers of Parallax at a Time

PONCHO Purpose Mad
 

I saw screens of PONCHO a while back and bookmarked the page, but my recent computer woes knocked the game off my radar until the magical unicorn named David Bruno hit me over the head with some more screens and a preview code. If you have a Steam account, a PS4, Vita or Wii U, love platformers and puzzle games of any type and have an appreciation for all things “retro”… well, you need this game, period.


 

PONCHO is an open world puzzle game from Delve Interactive that features a cute robot (who just so happens to be wearing a poncho) who sets out to find his creator. Robots require that sort of closure, you know. What makes the game unique is not just the lovely sprite graphics and eye-popping color work, but the three layers of parallax scrolling Poncho can move through as he explores. While some online wags have made Fez comparisons, the games only share mascot-ready main characters and the ability to travel through environments in abnormal ways.

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Granted, there have been a handful of games where hopping back and forth between planes was key to gameplay. Treasure’s Yū Yū Hakusho: Makyō Tōitsusen for the Sega Mega Drive and Guardian Heroes on the Saturn used multiple planes for their gameplay and Cobra team’s Bastard!! Ankoku No Hakai Shin for the Super Famicom featured characters that needed to be rotated from foreground to background as a major part of the gameplay. That said, those were all fighting game variants while PONCHO is focused on exploration and puzzles of assorted varieties.


 

As you can see in the videos above, the game looks phenomenal and the transitions between layers is flawless. Some quick hands-on time reveals it’s got the looks and play going for it and fans of old school/new school blends will be smiling for as long as they have their hands on a controller. There’s a slower, more languid pace to PONCHO that’s welcome in this twitch-heavy gaming age, but those timed sections will certainly keep you on your toes. Anyway, I’ll shut up for now other than to say that Rising Star Games has another winner on its hands and PONCHO will be one for the ages when it all comes together for its June release. Back with more in a bit – I have a little robot calling me to play with it. Er, find its creator I mean!