Here’s a Musical Monday Surprise Not To Have

(thanks, Guillermo Reyes!)
 

Yeah, wonderful. I woke up yesterday feeling a bit odd and had a VERY slight eye pain and a bigger headache. The headache was from caffeine withdrawal (whee) and the eye pain faded to a slight itchiness. I do have an eye allergy, so I ignored fussing with it and as it was a lazy kind of day, I spent much of it doing not so much and didn’t actually look into a mirror until about 8pm. Wonderful. I have a nice case of what looked like conjunctivitis in my right eye. Nice. I’m gathering it was from the puddle that bus zoomed though during the rain storm a few days back. I thought I was clear, but I got a nice bit of not so clean water hitting me on the right side of the face under my umbrella. Yuck.

Anyway, between that and some other nonsense that popped up yesterday, I’m needing to maybe actually take a day off. Off to get my puffy eye looked and and I’m gathering it’ll be some sort of over-priced eye drop prescription that I’m going to substitute with something cheaper and over the counter. Anyway, yeah. I also need to change the banner and background on the site. I’ll do that later today or tomorrow. Hell, if I’m going to be confined for the next few days, I may as well suffer a lot less than I need to. Boo.

Back in a bit.

Zombi: U Will Want To Play This Wii U Port On Your PS4 & Xbox One


 

Call me only mildly surprised that this is happening, although I’m shocked (shocked! But not really) that it didn’t happen sooner. ZombiU was one of the Wii U’s standout launch games in that it made the GamePad and touchscreen mandatory for the gameplay to work best at what it was trying to accomplish. Looking down at it to check one’s inventory or prepare a weapon or something else only to look up at your TV and see something (or a few somethings!) shambling and scrambling out of the dark was a terrifying thing to experience. Yes, Vita or Windows tablet support for that second screen would be beautiful to see. But even Sony has mucked that up quite a bit by taking so long to implement it into games and only as a means of playing portable games on a larger TV. I don’t own a Surface tablet, so I can’t comment positively or otherwise) on anything Microsoft has done for dual screen gaming. Oh well.

Anyway, without that second screen this might look like another zombie game to skip over if you’re tired of the genre. You’d be sorely mistaken for thinking that based on looks alone. My frightening and sometimes fearfully frustrating (Do I want to go on through that door? Hell nope! Oh… okay. CHOMP!) experience with the Wii U version says that if approached with an open mind by smarter PS4 and Xbox One owners who don’t resort to insults whenever they see a Wii U game, the experience should be quite a worthy one. The rogue-like random elements add infinite replay value and there are some really effective scares to be had. Anyway, August 15, 2015 is the big day for this and I hope to hell it not only does well, but gets some of the all-out naysayers about the Wii U to ‘fess up and admit that there are actually some great games on that system they haven’t played (er, until now that is).

Abyss Odyssey Extended Dream Edition: ACE Work, Now On PS4

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AO_EDEACE Team’s rogue-like brawler/RPG/adventure hybrid Abyss Odyssey was one of those uniquely gorgeous games that catered best to those who spent time mastering the intricacies of its seemingly simple combat system. The game’s lovely Art Nouveau-inspired visuals and realistic animation made it less of a button basher and more a game where practice makes perfect. Capturing enemy souls and using those enemies or the allies you’d also unlock to replay procedurally generated maps added plenty of replay value to what was a nicely challenging game experience.

Now, the PS4 finally gets what’s looking like the definitive version of the game. As you can see from those nice-looking screen shots below (which do indeed look nice, but don’t really do the game much justice at all), the game is Mucha beautiful:

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In addition to some nicely enhanced visuals and smoother gameplay, there’s also a new online PvP mode for those who crave fighting against live opponents. Speaking of gameplay – here’s a short look at the launch trailer:


 

Se what I mean by screenshots not doing this justice? Anyway, go grab this one if your artistic and energetic sides have been activated. It’s a neat little sleeper that will keep you entertained for quite a bit.

Retro City Rampage REALLY Goes Retro: 486 – MS-DOS / Windows 3.1 Version Now Available


 

Vblank Entertainment’s head honcho Brian Provinciano is a truly mad genius in the best possible way. His single-minded obsession with his hilarious “retro” game Retro City Rampage has led to it being released on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS over a few short years. Now, he’s gone and reprogrammed the instant classic and has gotten the game onto a 3.5″ floppy disk for 486 computers along with a Windows 3.1 prototype as a free bonus. If you still have an old PC lying around with a floppy drive, you can (and should indeed) snap up one of the limited edition boxed versions (there were only 1000 total made) and prepare for a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a game that probably wouldn’t have existed back then and if it did, it would be hailed as a fine slice of comic genius or something like that.

Retro City Rampage 486
 

If you happen to own the more modern PC version of the game already and bought it from the developer directly, guess what? You should probably check your Steam account for a nice freebie surprise. Everyone else, run or click like the wind HERE and hope for the best. Like the PS4 and Vita retail editions, this will probably sell out ridiculously fast. Yes, the game will also run on DOSBOX if you have a newer PC. I almost forgot to mention this, so now you don’t need to hit up eBay looking for some aged system to run RCR 486 on.

Stay Strong With More Heroic Bundles From Bundle Stars

Indie Heroes Bundle

Strategy Heroes Bundle

Adventure Heroes Bundle Bundle Stars wraps up five days of heroic game deals with a trio of collections under three bucks for a limited time. Everything’s good in this digital buffet, so help yourself to a backlog-worthy set from one, two, or all three deals before they disappear. Just click on those banners above and prepare to be transported to each sale page where you can check out each deal and see what’s what. I won’t tell you which one to buy, but 24 games for about nine bucks is a solid deal any day of the seek (so you should get all three deals and perhaps the other two while you’re at it. But I didn’t tell you that).

RymdResa: Restful Random Roguelike Inbound August 20

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“We didn’t want to create yet another space-shooter, with laser-beams and exploding aliens. In RymdResa the game play is peaceful, passive and relaxing.”

 

That’s a nice, bold statement from Stockholm, Sweden-based Morgondag, a pair of developers (Vendela Carlberg Larson and Kim Gunnarsson) whose upcoming game RymdResa sure fulfills on that quote quite well. With the space simulation sub-genre packed to the gills with demanding 4X and real-time strategy games focused on deep exploration and and blowing fleets of ships into space dust, RymdResa is a mellower mood trip that’s a laid back welcome from all that blasting. That’s not to say you won’t get blasted by something if you’re careless, mind you.


 

As you’ll see in the videos above and below, the game’s retro scan line look and lovely sound mix (by Tom Croke and Pat Jacobs) are blended quite well and there’s even a computer-y voice (Eric Reed) that talks to you as you slip through the stars like a more friendly (but abstract) HAL 9000. The gameplay in the build so far is interesting, mixing arcade-like controls that are easy to pick up with a (so far) intentionally languid mission structure that has you collecting resources and “spacepoints” and avoiding trouble while trying not to run out of said resources. There are nods to Computer Space, Asteroids, and other classics, but the game’s mix of poetic quotes as you drift about and discover are quite interesting.


 

Thanks to a busy set of things to do this past week, I’ve only spent about a half hour or so with the game so far. But I’ll be going back in to this deep space delight for more because what I’ve played so far has been quite compelling. That half hour got me close to two years in space, two levels and a near destroyed ship when I floated too close to the sun after dinging off a stray asteroid. Memo to self (and other players): RED outlines and highlights around objects mean stay away or else. While currently Steam-bound on August 20, 2015, the game is also set to land on Xbox One, Wii U, iPad and Linux at some point in the future. I’ll be wanting to check out the Wii U version just because that console is getting a load of cool indie love but people seem to be ignoring those games for some reason.

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I’ll run a big 40+ screenshot gallery over the weekend. I’d do it NOW, but I need to tackle some personal stuff. I’d do it sooner than the weekend, but I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in space before that with a nice little indie game you absolutely need to play. Back with more in a bit.

More Arrows In The Air Land Hard This Fall

Requiescant BR Arrow The Mutilator Arrow BR Poe's Black Cats AV024

 

Arrow Video’s North American assault on the senses continues courtesy of US distributor MVD Entertainment Group with September and October’s picks guaranteed to get film collectors and genre fans snapping up each of these new releases. Carlo Lizzani’s 1967 spaghetti western Requiescant is first up. Coming to Blu-Ray/DVD September 22, the film is a somewhat obscure revenge tale also known as Kill and Pray. Next up is the 1985 slasher flick, The Mutilator, one of those films you’ll be watching from halfway under the couch if you’re squeamish. I haven’t seen this one since it came out back then, so it’ll be interesting to find out if it still get me like it did in that dingy theater I caught it in.

Go blindfold the kids and family pet(s) now. Below the jump are some flicks not for the kiddies at all! Continue reading

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut: Bury Yourself In This ARPG Come September

VH final cut banner
 

NeoCore Games’ fun (and old school as heck) Action/RPG trilogy The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing may not be as well-known as Diablo, Torchlight or some of the other games it’s inspired and influenced by. But for a select legion of fans it’s been their go-to game for hours of chase ‘n chop thrills, offbeat humor and a decent enough level of challenge. While part 3 wasn’t as stellar to some players, NeoCore has kept both ears open to fan reaction and is in the process of polishing up the entire trilogy into one package, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut. Set for a September release on Steam for $44.99, the game will feature a wealth of old and newly added game content that should keep fans quite busy for some time.

VHFC_OverviewTrailer_Screenshot03 According to the press release:

The game is a standalone product that

combines campaign content from all three games with modified or added content
provides over 50 hours of gameplay in the campaign mode
lets the player choose between 6 playable classes from the beginning
has a reworked and extended skill tree system
contains all the tower defense game modes, all made optional yet highly rewarding

If that’s not enough for you, guess what?

Whether the player has completed the campaign or not, it is possible to

create a new character or get a level 80 character from the beginning
play one of the 20 scenario maps that can randomly assemble terrain, monsters, objectives and conditions
try out the daily quests, challenges and weekly events
join one of the refined multiplayer modes (4-player co-op mode, touchdown, arena, or battle royal)
reach level 100 and evolve further with an endgame featuring a Glory system, rare items and currency, Dreamshards

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Even better, those who already own the three games will get Final Cut for FREE. NeoCore is obviously intent of making this final version of the trilogy the one to own, so keep an eyeball peeled for it on Steam if this one’s up your dark and foggy alley.

PCE Works’ Belmont Survival Kit: Stake Your Claim For This (Vampire) Killer Box Set

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As far as the repro game scene goes, the folks over at PCE Works are doing quite possibly the best job out there in bringing gamers who collect these high quality fan-created reissues the best in custom limited editions. If you happen to be lucky enough to sitting on about 240 US dollars (or €219) and want that wonderful-looking wooden crate chock full of goodness for your own game library, boogie on over to the link you’re clicking now and check the availability of this limited edition as well as other PC-Engine gems for sale there.

Review: Lost Dimension (PS3/PS Vita)

Lost Dimension PS3 Final Lost Dimension Vita Final

Platform: PlayStation 3/PS Vita
Developer: FuRyu
Publisher: Atlus
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
MSRP: $39.99
Official Site
Score: B (80%)

Anime (13)

He may be smiling outside, but he’s really going to kill you inside. The End.

 

Oh, how I do wish there were a Lost Dimension OVA or short-run anime series. Just so I could see the scene at the close of one episode when villain The End materializes outside that strange massive pillar he’s dropped in the middle of Tokyo to address some reporters who’ve popped up outside with their news vans and a moderately sized crowd of terrified (but terminally nosy) gawkers. In my somewhat addled brain, the English dub would go something like this:

REPORTER: Mr. The End! You’ve dropped this massive Pillar onto the city, killed over two billion people around the world and are threatening the human race with total extinction! What will you do now?!

 

THE END (dryly): Hmmm…  I guess I’ll go to Disney World… and kill everyone there as well.

Whereupon The End would smirk, drift high up into the air and vanish as the crowd below gasps and chatters away. As that reporter is making some dopey closing commentary, the camera would pull way back as he or she is talking right before a huge chunk of rubble drops on top of everyone outside. Cut to The End looking down and grinning as we get a freeze frame shot of his face and THE END in big letters fading in before the closing credit theme kicks in.

Hey, I did say he means business, didn't I?

Hey, I did say he means business, didn’t I? THE END.

Yeah, I’d pay real money to see that. But I’m a bit crazy.

Anyway, my poorly plotted final fan fiction fantasy dream aside, let’s talk about the game in question. Lost Dimension comes to you from developers FuRyu (with an Lancarse assist) and publisher Atlus as a solid, intriguing hybrid of visual novel and tactical RPG. It’s a game that takes a number of genre cliches (and the fact that JRPG fans love them) and flips them onto their heads as it asks you to kill off your team one by one in order to advance the plot. While that’s going on you also need to bond with as many of your remaining teammates as possible before the final showdown. And you need to do this twice in order to get that best ending.

I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to go and gently spoil some of the obvious stuff the game slaps you with hard just to make sure it’s understood how important it is to NOT automatically like the cast from the get-go.

Mana (1)

Oh really? Well you’re still getting voted off the island, missy!

The game doesn’t care a whit how cute you think Himeno is or that Marco wears bangin’ headphones and has a snowman or whatever the hell that is on his outfit. In fact, going into the game with notions of “saving” characters you like is a really terrible idea. Not only will you be disappointed that someone you’re attached to is going to get theirs at your hands, you’ll end up in a frustrating loop of trying to reload saves that won’t matter at all as you try to salvage someone who needs to die anyway… Continue reading