Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Well, THAT’S the Question of the Day, Isn’t It?

jigoku_de_naze_warui_xxlg 

(Thanks, Film Festivals & Indie Films!)
 

Well, for one, it’s HOT as you know what down there. Second, why bother when I can play in the hell that’s already up here. I choose not to because I like to sleep well at night. Wait, only The Bad Sleep Well… hmmmm. Anyway, this wild Japanese flick from director Sion Sono manages to reference Tarantino’s referencing of Asian cinema while also nodding and winking at assorted violent films from Man Bites Dog and even the wacky horror film Hausu. In other words, it’s a must see if you’re into this sort of thing.

(Thanks, TIFF!)
 

I happen to really like crazy films such as this, so I’ll have to take this one for a spin. Of course, for something SO outrageous, I’ll hold out for the Blu-Ray/DVD version just because I despise rowdy film crowds these days because they make every film an audience participation event even if it doesn’t need to be one. Blech. Anyway, I’m betting a dollar that U.S. distributor Drafthouse Films has a winner with this one. Hell, it has nowhere to go but UP at this point, given that catchy title it’s got…

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On Rusty Trails: Black Pants Game Studio is At it Again With the Indie Winner-ness!

logo
iconWell, those five creative guys from Germany (no, not Kraftwerk!) are in the game kitchen cooking up what looks like another awesome game. Yes, Black Pants Game Studio (Tiny & Big in Grandpa’s Leftovers) is hard at work making their new game, On Rusty Trails (Guy Elvis in His Search for a Comfy Place to Stay), which has nothing to do with Jack Kerouac (maybe) and everything to do with fine and dandy platforming and comic art come to life in game for. And stuff.

Elvis (Custom)Oh, and you play as a guy named Elvis. Not the Elvis, mind you, as a lot of people share that name. Or perhaps it IS Elvis in a triangular metal machine suit? I didn’t bother to ask, so Black Pants isn’t telling. That would be absurd, mind you, but hey – I didn’t ask, remember? Anyway, as you can more than clearly see here, the art style is once again amazing and although this one’s a “2D” style platformer, the team’s quirky style seeps in here and makes this one more than worth a look.

Oh, wait – you want screenshots? Okay, here you go. Get ready to study them up close and personal-like, as they’re fairly MASSIVE once clicked on:

OnRustyTrails_TheRustyCity 02_OnRustyTrails_Lavakraft 03_OnRustyTrails_OtherLand_JumpThat 04_OnRustyTrails_RainyConflict 05_OnRustyTrails_ElvisSleepingInHisHouse

Currently in early alpha stage and set for a release sometime in 2015, here’s what to expect in the final version (plus more on the way, I’m betting):

Features
Slip into the Shifty Suit™! Wear these arcane but fine threads to change your appearance whenever there‘s a need to fit in. Avoid confrontation and do not leave your comfort zone!

Still Stepping on the Floor? Get your feet on the walls! Why, even on the ceiling! And then: Go walk there!

A Tale Told in Finest Comic Art. Stimulate your eyes and brains with a story about the loss of a low-rent flat, complicated misunderstandings and a looming war.

Saucy Soundtrack Guarantee! Another great selection of handpicked indie bands to discover!

A true Black Pants Studio experience!

How about some more screenshots? You did look kinda starved there…:

OnRustyTrails_Factory_Slippy OnRustyTrails_Intro_Elvis OnRustyTrails_Intro_ElvisHomeless OnRustyTrails_MixedLands_MixedFeelings OnRustyTrails_Suburb_BewareOfTheSlime2 OnRustyTrails_Suburb_GettingTheGear OnRustyTrails_Suburb_GoFYourself OnRustyTrails_Suburb_RainSuite OnRustyTrails_Suburb_ShiftySuite

Well, that’s it for now for this gallery, but I’m expecting more from Black Pants soon. Or later. Or whenever they provide updates. This one looks like it’ll be a ton of fun once it’s all done. Hey, that rhymes! Okay, let me stop here before something else falls out of my head. Good games make me giddy.

Hikari Friday Time! Skeletor and Astro Boy Looking for Good Homes!

Hikari logoIt’s finally Friday and you know what what means, right? Yep, the Funko freebie parade continues! This week’s giveaway consists of two more limited edition Hikari Sofubi figures you KNOW you want to try to win. And if you don’t win them, guess what? You can still buy them at one of two locations. Yeah, usually, it’s one location (your favorite Funko emporium, usually a decent comic shop or some other retailer who has a Funko section), but one of these is another Entertainment Earth exclusive that can only be obtained via pre-order or hoping it’s still in stock when it drops into that online shop for sale.

Anyway, behold the Metallic Skeletor Hikari Sofubi Figure!

Metallic Skeletor
 
Isn’t he cute? Well, actually… he’s kind of cranky because metallic fur shorts kind of chafe him (ouch!). But he’s SKELETOR, dangit! He can handle a bit of chafing! Lucky winner gets #1 of 2000! Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Metallic Mix Astro Boy Hikari Sofubi Figure (smile, kid – you’re up!):

Metal Mix Astro Boy
 
As noted above, he’s an Entertainment Earth exclusive limited to 1000 pieces. Well, 999 pieces because Funko is giving someone the first one off the line! Okay, you know the drill by now, right? Go to one of Funko’s social spots:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Follow the rules and you’re all set to (possibly) be one of two lucky winners! Now that’s you’re thrilled to death, go enter NOW and keep those fingers crossed. If you lose out this week, you can buy Skeletor this month at wherever you buy your other Funko stuff and Astro Boy is available to pre-order now at Entertainment Earth for its November release. As always, if you enter this giveaway, good luck!

Coming Up for Air in Time for Some Vib-Ribbon News…

Vibri PinupActually, I heard about this yesterday, but it was after a long day of poring over email and plotting out today’s Alien Isolation run, I was too tired and amused to post anything. Anyway, today on PSN, Sony is finally releasing the original PlayStation game Vib-Ribbon in North America, but not for that old console. This port is headed to the PS3 and Vita, with a future trip to the PS4 in the cards. I’ll let you boogie on over to the PlayStation Blog to read up on this wonderfully cool little game, which retains its ability to use music CD’s to generate random levels on the PS3. It seems that the Vita version loses this feature (unless it can work with MP3 files), but even without it, the game is still quite whimsical and still a ton of fun to play.

I still have my Japanese copy of the game and a PS1, but I’ll most likely grab this for my Vita because it’s one of those quirky little charmers that’s an excellent traveling companion. Okay, back to being scared half (plus) to death…

Hikari Friday: Funko Frees Funky Frankensteins For Fortunate Few!

Hikari logo 
Oh, these two Funko Hikari giveaways this week are pretty cool-looking takes on the Universal version of Frankenstein’s Monster. First up, that Glitter Shock Frankenstein Hikari Sofubi Figure (#1 0f 1200) looks as if he fell out of a passing UFo and landed on is flat head, doesn’t he? Those eerie black eyes, that almost glowing green complexion… yeah, he’s Space Frankenstein’s Monster for sure:

Glitter Shock Frankenstein Hikari Sofubi Figure 

Meanwhile, poor Premium Distressed Frankenstein Hikari Sofubi Figure (#1 of 600 and an Entertainment Earth EXCLUSIVE, by the way) looks pretty pissed off because he’s just woken up and there’s not a cup of coffee or Egg McMutton to be found anywhere and everyone knows you HAVE to feed the monster or else he gets cranky. Either that, or he’s already had breakfast and is all ready to head out and play. Um, I’d get any little flower-picking girls away from any bodies of water, folks.

Premium Distressed Frankenstein 
As usual, you know the drill – hit up one of Funko’s social network spots:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Enter and get to the crossing of fingers and wearing of assorted good luck charms in order to bring some lucky luck your merry way. If you lose this time out (again?), you can always hit up your favorite Funko retailer for Glitter Shock Frankie in November and Entertainment Earth in December for that Premium Distressed Frankie. Good luck otherwise!

MEDICOM & Bear Model’s Swamp Thing Sofubi Gets Me Seeing Green All Over…

Swampy SofubiAs big a fan of DC Comics’ Swamp Thing as I am, I tend to only stick to reading the comics and doing the occasional bit of fan art when I have the time to tinker around with assorted art materials. Anyway, news of this limited edition figure popped into my inbox very early this morning (I happened to be up and working on an emergency proofreading job for a friend) and I allllllmost reconsidered making space somewhere for it before I came to my senses and realized that I really have no room for anything this nice and large.

The first over-sized DC Sofubi from MEDICOM and Bear Models stands just over 10 inches tall and weighs a hefty 24 ounces. hey, for tat size, 24 ounces IS hefty! Boxed, it’s a bit taller and a tiny bit heavier, of course 9and if I had one, it would stay in that box, folks!). Anyway, only 300 of these exist, they’re $99.99 ($50 off the retail price!) and they’re only available through GoHastings’ web store, so go grab one if you want a nice looking collectible for your shelf. Or MY shelf if you decide you want to get me something cool that will make me knock a hole in a wall here to store it in…

Kromaia Hands-On: Blasting Cool Looking Stuff Four Ways ’til Sunday (Well, Any Day of the Week)…


 

Kromaia ArtKraken Empire’s upcoming space shooter Kromaia is going to be one of those games genre fans will be more than pleased to see thanks to the stellar visuals and intuitive control scheme (provided you use a keyboard/mouse or decent game controller). Rising Star Games has wisely snapped this one up for a Q4 2014 release and I recently got my paws on some preview code to take for a spin. And spin I did, as the ships in the game are all kinds of maneuverable thanks to the six degrees of movement through the game’s enemy and obstacle-packed levels..

The preview build had four different levels and four types of ships to play around with, each linked to one of the stages. While I could sit here and make comparisons to Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon, Rez and other excellent sci-fi or fantasy shooters where you’re set on a path without much deviation, Kromaia outdoes those games by allowing you to go anywhere you point that ship you’re flying. There are clear goals in each map, but you can choose to go off what you thought was a predetermined path and zip around at your leisure while trying not to get blown into plenty of pixels by the nicely aggressive enemy AI…

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The Tale of The Princcess Kaguya: Studio Ghibli’s Back With Some Classic Beauty…

The Princess Kaguya MP 
Currently, this one’s only part of a children’s film festival here in NYC, but I’m hoping it at least gets a limited release in regular theaters after that’s all said and done, as it’s quite lovely and yes, it’s Studio Ghibli doing some amazing animation work as usual. Check out the trailer below for some lovely visuals:

(Thanks, Movieclips Trailers!) 

This is one of those films that NEEDS to be seen even if you know the classic story by heart. Let’s hope this gets more notice and that wider theatrical release before it pops up on Blu-Ray/DVD and people somehow forget it exists because it’s not being promoted outside of a niche audience. Oh, wait. OOPS. It IS getting a US release on October 17, so I guess I can see this after all and not have to deal with squealing kids, shushing parents and overpriced tickets. No wait, the tickets will still be overpriced, but one out of three is just fine by me…

Double Earth Defense Forces News: EDF 2 Coming to Vita ! EDF 4.1 Coming to PS4! (In Japan at Least)


 

EDF 2 V2 VitaOkay, I had a weird tickle in the back of my head today and as I had my Vita with me, I fired up Earth Defense Forces 3 Portable (EDF 2017) just to see if there were any recent updates and when I clicked on D3Publisher’s Japanese game page for the EDF series and looked in the news section, my head spun around like Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist before I let out a little squeal of delight. Woo and hoo – the best EDF game is finally getting the portable remake it deserves AND that “new” EDF game for the PS4 is packing EDF 4 and some excellent new content onto next-gen hardware.

EDF V2 Vita SCRN Earth Defense Forces Portable 2 V2 packs in the full PS2 game on the Vita, but it’s NOT a straight up port at all by developer and series creator Sandlot. A new 4-player mode, the Air Diver class from EDF 4 and some nice visual tweaks that don’t spoil the intentionally “retro” look of that PS2 classic are making me want to grab this one as soon as it’s available in Japan (or from Play-Asia where I’ll most likely get this from). Go ogle the two LOVELY screenshot galleries over at Gematsu (thanks, Gematsu!) while I compose myself for a minute… Continue reading

Final Fantasy XV TGS 2014 Trailer: Doing That Double Take For Reasons Right & Otherwise…


 
Okay, we’re finally seeing a FF on console that looks exactly like those spectacular CG opening and story movies the series in known for, but man, what a cast of heroes this time out. What the what? Seriously. As great as this in-progress game looks, I really have no interest in playing as a too-long car (it looks like a Mercedes hearse convertible) full of big-haired bar band rejects. It’s not Social Distortion, it’s Antisocial Ripple in the Pond! Okay, it was a lot funnier when it popped into my head as I was typing. On paper, it’s a bust. *Le Sigh*…

(Thanks, GamesHQ Media!) 

Hey, I love Tetsuya Nomura’s art and character designs (most of the time), but I dunno about this cast. Of course, it’s probably Square/Enix’ response to those FF X-2 games with its all female cast of heroines (and nope, I didn’t like those games much). Maybe I’ve finally outgrown this franchise after all, as I missed the XIII entirely, had no interest in any of the online only games and just grew weary of poking around message boards only to find people still whining about no official FFVII remake, FF games that only got a Japanese release not coming out here and other rolling over the keyboard nonsense that’s kept me away from most game boards for quite some time.

Eh, we’ll see, as usual. I remember when a new FF game was a system seller to some people. I’m not sure this newest one will be as big a mover in this more jaded age of gamers spending too much time gabbing about what they hate and less time actually playing stuff. But I may be wrong…