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

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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

VHFC_OverviewTrailer_Screenshot01 VHFC_OverviewTrailer_Screenshot02 VHFC_OverviewTrailer_Screenshot07 VanHelsing_FinalCut_Borgova VanHelsing_FinalCut_BountyHunter VanHelsing_FinalCut_Constructor VanHelsing_FinalCut_Elementalist VanHelsing_FinalCut_Ink VanHelsing_FinalCut_Katarina VanHelsing_FinalCut_Phlogistoneer VanHelsing_FinalCut_Protector VanHelsing_FinalCut_Umbralist

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

Bundle Stars Wants You To Be Quite Heroic This Week

BS Be The Hero Day 1
 

Oblige them, please (and help out assorted charities in the process). That 7-game +1 Expansion DLC RPG Heroes Bundle is from yesterday, but you can still grab it for $2.49 for about the next 19 hours. Among other gems, that bundle has the legendary Wizardry 8, a blast from the past that’s still quite a killer game experience. Meanwhile, in the future of today, this is what’s up for grabs for a song:

FPS Heroes Bundle Day 2
 

The FPS Heroes Bundle is another $2.49 deal for a nice set of eight Steam keys that will probably melt your PC thanks to all the non-stop action you’re about to get. There’s a nice and weird mix of games including System Shock 2, the star of this particular deal. It’s still an effective blend of sci-fi and horror that will creep under your skin and probably get a few of you new to it curled up under something not wanting to further.

As usual, there are also loads of single and multi-game deals to be found in the Bundle Stars store, so feel free to poke around there and back up your backlog with too many titles to try out. Hey, I just tell you what’s out there, folks. It’s up to you to decide what you need to do with it.

Lost For The Moment, Found Happens Tomorrow…

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I’m in the midst of writing my Lost Dimension review and a few other things, so there have been limited updates. Just pop back in tomorrow for something more interesting to read. Yes, that’s a screenshot from Wizardry 8, not Lost Dimension. One person will get the joke. Hopefully. Alrighty then, back in a bit.

A “B” I Need to See: Les Raisins de la Mort

The Grapes of Death MP

Poster courtesy Horrorpedia.com- GO SUBSCRIBE!


 

I’ve never seen Jean Rollin’s 1978 horror flick Les Raisins de la Mort (The Grapes of Death), but I do vaguely recall discussing the film with a friend a few years back in a conversation about foreign horror movies. I’d forgotten all about it until YouTube user Sleaze-O-Rama posted the trailer below:

(thanks, Sleaze-O-Rama!)

And now, the hunt begins for a DVD as I prefer to borrow or outright own my movies and not stream or steal them. It’s not an urgent “get” at all. But if I see this one in my travels and it’s affordable, I’ll be adding it to the library when I can.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir: This Remake’s Not Plain Vanillaware At All


 

Atlus and Vanillaware are teaming up to bring a very beefed-up HD version of 2007’s PlayStation 2 classic action game/RPG hybrid Odin Sphere out for the PS4, PS3 and Vita sometime in 2016. Take a gander at this gorgeous key art and set those calendars for whenever the game ships out next year:

OSL_main (Custom)
 

Atlus has even made this upcoming release an educational experience in at least one way. Leifthrasir is pronounced “LAYV-thra-sheer,” and that weird-looking “d” in the poster above isn’t a “d” at all, but a thorn þ, meaning you’ve learned something useful and Nordic today! Hmmm. hopefully that weird letter turns out alright in the actual post.

Change the Fate of the World When the End of Days Draws Near in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

The Perfected HD Project from ATLUS and Vanillaware Remakes the 2007 Original

IRVINE, Calif. – July 23, 2015 – Vanillaware, the team behind the hit side-scrolling title Dragon’s Crown is working on a new authentic HD project with ATLUS to recreate and perfect Odin Sphere – the 2D action RPG with Norse Mythology roots. Told in five tales from the perspectives of five unique protagonists, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir expresses the original game with glorious HD graphics in Vanillaware’s renowned style, expanded worlds with new monsters, fully voiced story scenes, and a fine-tuned refreshing combat and RPG system to perfect the gameplay. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will be available as a physical and digital release for the PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita in 2016 in North America.

You probably want some screenshots to ogle that feature some of that new HD art, correct? Well then, here you go:

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OSL2 OSL3 OSL4

Lovely. I now have at least ONE game I can look forward to at some point in 2016 and thankfully it’s supporting old and newer Sony consoles.

Blu-Ray Review: Spider Baby

Spider Baby Arrow CoverJack Hill’s amusing and mildly disturbing 1964 horror classic Spider Baby finally gets the feature-packed Blu-Ray treatment is deserves courtesy of Arrow Video and MVD and it’s a must for fans of the formerly forgotten flick that became a cult classic. “The maddest story ever told” still holds up today as quite the viewing experience as well as on original little low budget flick that still packs quite a kick in a few places.

The story of the Merrye family’s twisted offspring and their strange caretaker Bruno is, for all the creepy, unsettling antics taking place, quite an emotional tale at heart. Three siblings Virginia (Jill Banner), Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn) and Ralph (Sig Haig) live with Bruno (Lon Chaney Jr.) in a decrepit mansion well off the beaten path with a few other relatives. Thanks to inbreeding among the family, all suffer from a genetic condition that makes them regress mentally into primitive states that make them more than a little dangerous to be around. Bruno does his best to keep his unbalanced charges in line, but after a mailman (Mantan Moreland) is killed and distant relatives arrive to claim the mansion and surrounding property for themselves, things take a turn for the darkly comedic worse. Continue reading