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.

Review: Lost Dimension (PS3/PS Vita)

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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.

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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

Free Comic Book Day, Short Haul Version

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So. How was YOUR Free Comic Book Day? Mine was minimalistic, but that’s a personal choice due to space and reading backlog reasons. Amusingly enough, the local comic shop closest to here was actually open early for a change. Every time I’d gone by The Lair previously, it was closed and I had somewhere to be and couldn’t get back that way until when they were shut for the night. Fortunately, the visit was worth the about 20-minute walk. The staff is a bunch of cool guys from what I saw, the shop is small but definitely had a nice selection of books and there were plenty of people snapping up bargains from the long boxes placed outside.

I grabbed the two trades shown for a buck each and the free book I picked just so happened to coincide with the PDF of the first issue of Fight Club I got from Dark Horse Comics the day before (thanks, Aub!). I was a bit weary on Saturday thanks to not sleeping much, but the walk and buy trip to The Lair energized me for the rest of the day. Next year, I’ll bring the camera along and bug the guys at the shop for a Half of Twenty Questions session. Or I may do that first as an email interview (and sooner just to have another contact added to my long list). I don’t collect anywhere as many comics as I used to these days. But I do appreciate a good illustrated read every now and then. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some light eyeball, brain and finger exercising to catch up on…

Retro Sunday: The Maze of Galious

The Maze of GaliousSo, I’m soaking in La-Mulana EX on the Vita (or, it’s kicking my butt six ways ’til Sunday and today’s Sunday!) and I finally realized one game that was a huge influence on it is still out there and free for anyone to try. The Maze of Galious is an excellent fan-made remake of Konami’s 1987 MSX classic Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious.

Anyway, if you’re up to the challenge of a game made to test your skill while showing off some cool features implemented by the team who remade it, go grab this now and take it for a spin. You’ll get two playable characters, a HUGE map to explore in any order you wish and ten bosses to face off against. It’s “pay attention!” gaming at its finest, as while you can go anywhere you like, death awaits at the slightest mistake on your part. Have you got what it takes to get Popolon and Aphrodite to the end of their journey? I can very safely say that this game sure doesn’t think so because it tries its hardest to stop you from succeeding.

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La-Mulana EX Vita Code: We Have A Winner!

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As my scratchy throat woke me up to get it some more tea with honey, and I kicked and almost tripped over the box I put the names in when I got up (Memo to self: next time, make sure the box in on a table and not the floor!), I’ve decided to pick a winner for the La-Mulana EX Vita code. The funny thing is, one of the names I wrote popped out of the box when I kicked it and I was going to declare that person the winner (hey, I was kind of half asleep!). But I decided to redraw the winner just to be fair… and actually picked the same name again. Not easy to do when you pick facing away from the box the names are in while in a dark room with your eyes shut. Anyway, congratulations go out to:

Nate V.! (applause)

Check your email, mister!

As for you non-winners, listen up (and put down those torches!). Stick around if you happen to:

a) likes indie games and could use an instant mini-backlog
b) are a Star Wars fan who likes oddball collectibles

I have a couple of interesting giveaways in the works soon you may want to be a part of. No spoilers here, but it’ll be fun to see what happens…

Want a La-Mulana EX Vita Code? I’m Sharing My Pain With One of You

 

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If you happen to have a PlayStation Vita and haven’t picked up La-Mulana EX yet, you’re missing out on a few things:

  • Your character dying while getting attacked from all sides by cheap enemies.
  • Your character dying during a boss fight with something over ten times your his size.
  • Your character dying after you missed a pinpoint jump because you panicked and jumped again to certain doom (oops!).
  • Your character dying because you’re really not that good at these retro action/platform games but keep playing them anyway.

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Get the picture? Okay, I’m only partially kidding. This game is hard as heck AND I’m not as fast on those buttons as I used to be. Pygmy Studios’ handheld port of this excellent throwback to the MSX days is out now and I have a spare code to give away. If you want it, just post in the comments below and I’ll RANDOMLY pick ONE winner. You need a Vita as well as access to the North American PSN shop, as that’s where the code needs to be redeemed. I guess that’s US and Canada entries only. Unless there’s a secret Canadian PSN shop I don’t know about. Let’s see now… it’s Wednesday, correct? Let’s shoot for a contest close of 11:59PM on Friday. I’ll pick one of you guys or gals at random and shoot you over your code. Get it? Got it? GOOD> Now, go enter already! No need to post an essay or reason you want to win at all, folks. Just an “I’m in!” gets you a chance. Good Luck!

Want to WIN a Merchbro Link For President T-Shirt? Read On!

link-president-shirtHey! Do you live here in the U.S. of A.? Do you like to win random prizes because who doesn’t like to win random prizes? Are you a fan of The Legend of Zelda series? Excellent. Well, the folks down at Merchbro.com want TWO of you lucky Americans to win a nice Bella+Canvas 3001 Unisex T-shirt (that one in the photo to the left – male model not included). All you need to do is click here or on that photo to enter and use the entry code fanboydestroy when prompted.

 

Winners will be chosen as RANDOM and nope, you can’t enter more than once. Play nice, now. US residents only, please! Merchbro will handle the notification of winners and shipping out of prizes, so make sure you have an actual US mailing address they can ship to!

Get Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut for FREE From IndieGala!*

DP_TDC Free at IndieGala

 

*Well, you have to spend ten measly bucks in the IndieGala store to get Access Games’ sleeper hit gratis. But that’s probably going to be the easiest ten measly bucks you’ll ever spend, I’d bet. Heck, buy ME a game or two and keep Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (a $24.99 value) all for yourself. My coin flip says you’re buying me Ziggurat. Well? I’m waaaaaaiiiiting…

Okay, okay. You really don’t need to get me anything at all, actually. But passing up on the chance to score a quirky horror game that bends and breaks a few rules while getting a few fine games in the process? That’s not going to do you any good at all.

 

DP_TDC FREE with ten buck purchase at IndieGala

And nope, buying that awesome Dragon Bundle or any other bundles don’t count towards that ten bucks. Hit up the IndieGala Store and see what you can score, as a load of stuff is on sale and you can probably grab three or more games for under a ten-spot and get Francis York Morgan (and friends) in a murder mystery mash-up for the digital ages. Okay, less talking, MORE buying and playing, I say! Get going, people!

System Mechanic 14.5 Giveaway: WIN a 1-Year Key!

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If you’re looking for an excellent way to keep your PC running smoothly, iolo Technologies wonderful System Mechanic is the way to go. I’ve been using it since last year and have definitely noticed things humming along a lot more efficiently since. The latest version, 14.5 offers up even more features that will help keep your computer purring along as it’s protected from loads of digital danger the internet constantly coughs up.

Thanks to the always awesome Damien at iolo, I have TEN System Mechanic 14.5 keys to give away, ONE each to ten lucky readers. Each key is good for one year’s service and is valued at $50. Service renewal fees after that year will be up to each winner, as iolo offers up a few plans that drop the cost significantly based on how long you choose to renew. So, how do you get your key? Simple. just post a note in the comments and you’re good to go. I’ll find you through the miracle of the internet, so no need to post your personal info.

Oh, some rules, because rules are rules:

Open to residents of the planet earth who can use the prize offered. Void where prohibited. Contest ends once codes run out. There is no entry fee, subscription requirement or purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be chosen based on comment order. Winners will receive ONE code per email address. Requests for multiple codes are grounds for disqualification. By submitting a comment below, you are granting Destroy All Fanboys! permission to contact you via email. The winners will be notified by email within 10 days (or less, most likely). If the winners cannot be contacted/do not claim the prize within seven (7) days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize and choose a replacement winner.

Return of Red Hood – Fish Pasties and the Not So Big, Bad Wolf


 

Red HoodThe next time you feel like a little bedtime story, don’t grab a book from the bedside table. Instead, go download NLB Project’s offbeat Return of Red (Riding) Hood and settle in for the short haul that turns into a longer one sooner than you think. This Russian developed game takes the simple tale of Little Red Riding Hood and makes it into a choose your own adventure experience that ends up going all over the place and then some. It’s also a bit of a meta exercise as the whole thing starts out as one character reading the old story to a little girl as a bedtime story, but at certain points, you get to choose different options that alter the next page of the story.

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Part of the humor here is from the developer’s sense of humor and part is from the mangled English translation that makes for some grin-worthy reading. Early on, “Pastries” becomes “Pasties” (and yes, I know all about pasty as a pastry, but this is just a spelling error in the game) and you’ll see a few other grammar issues pop up. That said, even with the bumps and grinds in the translation, the stories play out in some pretty amusing manners. The choices you make turn the really short and familiar story on its ear a few times and with 45 endings to discover, you may be up slightly longer than you thought. Is this for kids? That depends. If you and your kids share the same sense of slightly twisted humor and you don’t mind some bizarre twists to the old story, it’s all good. Just give it a read on your own and decide for best results.

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That said, it takes perhaps three minutes or less to get to an ending (more if you’re a slower reader), so expect to get to a bunch of that 45 the first time you pick this up. It’s currently FREE and NLB is also trying to get the game onto Steam Greenlight (go vote for it if you’ve a Steam account!). Some dopes on the Greenlight page are actually complaining about the artwork in the game, but NLB can ignore those fools who don’t grasp stylization or realize that you shouldn’t ever tell any artist HOW to make a storybook look. That, and the CG characters and backgrounds remind me of Access Games’ quirky Deadly Premonition, one of those games that uses its “dated” art style to excellent effect.

Finally, if you like what you see and read, it seems that the game engine is also free to use to cook up your own tales. I can see some writer types I know possibly making use of this at some point. Hey, anything to get more people perusing your work, right? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to my “book”. Also, I want some pasties now, as reading about them has made me quite hungry…