Random Art: Joe? Two? Well, Hell Yeah!

wired WIP

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…

Some Batman Day Stuff To Drive You Batty

batman day 2015

So, it’s Batman Day tomorrow and yes, a few (well, more than a few) sites are having some nice sales on some fun to funky items. I’ll give a shout out to a handful below:

Mezco Batman Day Sale

MezcoToyz is offering up an awesome deal of mystery randomness with its 1-day ONLY Batman themed Mystery Box. $19.39 (yes, the year Bats first appeared in comics)nets you a box that will contain assorted Batman and DC Comics related merchandise. You may get something common,but you may also snag something super-rare and guaranteed to have the Joker pop by with a can of Smilex gas while you’re sleeping. Hey, he collects toys too… at your expense, of course! This sale runs from 12:01 AM on September 26th to 12:01 AM on September 27th and yes, supplies are LIMITED. Oh, and if you’ll be in NYC for the event, make sure to visit Mezco at New York Comic Con (booth 1754).

BatmanCover LEGO Batman 3 Complete Bundle

If you prefer something a bit more interactive, Bundle Stars has you covered with two cool Bat-bundles of PC games with the Caped Crusaders and friends. Ten bucks nets you the first three Batman: Arkham games along with three huge DLC packs or Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham plus SEVEN nice DLC packs.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation Store, Sony is running a Batman Day sale on a slew of Barman titles for the PS3, PS4 and Vita. Boogie on over to that link above and let your wallet fly around the room for a minute before you wring it out until it’s all dried up and you’re buried in more than enough Bat-games to keep you occupied and out of trouble for quite some time. Or IN trouble because you’ve stopped going to work and have taken to wearing a cape, boots and utility belt you’ve designed on those trips to the bathroom. Remember to duck when you throw that homemade Batarang for the first time, as it’ll swing back and crack you upside the head before you can react.

I suppose you can do some reading as well, but I’ll let you poke around online for assorted sales. I do know DC Comics is doing something fun (as always) I haven’t read a decent Batman comic in ages, so I’m kind of need to do some poking around myself. Hmmm… it looks as if I’ll be hitting up the library here tomorrow or a nearby comic shop for a few freebies.

Van Helsing Final Cut Slips Into October (But This Is A Good Thing)

VH_Final Cut Delayed 

While game delays are always bad news, in this case it’s a case where the developer is trying to make a one-size fits all release work across multiple digital delivery systems in order to get the game in question into the hands of as many people as possible. Go read the very informative blog post on the official site for details. In a nutshell, NeoCore is working hard on getting Steam and GOG.com buyers the same deal where buying the trilogy nets those folks The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut for free even if they buy one of the original games at a later date or buy the trilogy across the two different digital stores.

That’s hard enough to rig, but Final Cut is also going to be doing some additional testing and polishing of the game to insure it’s their best and most polished game to date. Hey, I don’t mind the wait if it means the end result makes me not want to stop playing it.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut: A Triple Threat All In One Package For ARPG Fans

Warts and all, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing has been quite a fun trilogy to play through. Taking the addictive chase and chop-fest of the Diablo series, adding humorous touches like a sassy AI ally and a fun “tower defense” mini-game that’s nicely implemented into the main story, NeoCore Games has crafted a great time chomper of a game. Coming September 23, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut will give new players the entire trilogy with loads of fixes and new content. Over 50 hours of gameplay, six classes to choose from, new cut-scenes, and an all-new new ENDLESS endgame that can be played in a number of possible ways.


Yes, you can still get an actual ending to the big Borgovian bang trilogy. But NeoCore knows its fans love what they’re doing and the endless endgame is a way to keep them glued to their screens with saucer-sized eyeballs. The game is coming to Steam and gog.com on September 23, 2015 for $44.99, but gamers who own all three games in the trilogy (on Steam at least) will get Final Cut for free when the game launches. I’d say that’s going to surprise some who don’t know this and own all three games when they log into Steam next week and see something huge creeping onto their hard drives.

That said, this game NEEDS to come to consoles at some point down the road. There aren’t enough of this style of ARPG on the PS4, Xbox One or Wii U and that’s a sad thing indeed. We’ll have to see if NeoCore has those plans in the works, but if not, the PC game is one that doesn’t require a super-killer rig to run.

Yes, Virginia – There Is A Sony Claus

sony claus 

One problem with the internet these days is there are too many skeptics ranting about stuff they think is fake when some simple research will save them from eating crow and losing out on some cool stuff while they eat that crow. Case in point, the whole PSN reimbursement deal some made fun of as false a few months back. While those folks were going on and on about the deal being fishy because Sony didn’t seem as it was officially behind the program, people like me signed up to get our free game codes or PSN credit voucher after carefully reading the details. It took a little while to arrive (about three or so months), but I had this nice non-surprise waiting in my mailbox when I got home.

All I need now is a good PSN Flash Sale to spend my slight windfall on. Um, Sony? It’s your move. My code is redeemed and I can wait for stuff to pop up that I want to add to my digital library.

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

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)

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

Free Comic Book Day, Short Haul Version

Free Comic Book Day Stuff (1) 

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.

Maze of Galious SS14

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


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…