Review: La-Mulana EX (Vita)

La-Mulana EX CoverPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: Pygmy Studios

Publisher: Rising Star Games

Genre: Archeological Ruins Exploration Action!

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

“Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games…”

LMX_LaunchScreens_03

Yeah, I see you looking at those handsome La-Mulana EX screens and that exciting trailer and thinking “Oooh, a new ‘Metroidvania’ game to play and beat in a day or two!” Ha. La-Mulana EX laughs at your brimming overconfidence. Let me be the first (or perhaps last, as this review is a bit late) to inform you that going into this game with your dreams of adding a fast notch to your speedrun belt will have you lose that belt and perhaps your Vita right out the nearest window or under a speeding bus or some other method you choose to remove that handheld from your possession.

 

 

No, the game isn’t “bad” by any stretch of the imagination. Not at all. It’s just going to be one of the toughest games you’ll play if you’re not willing to read the digital manual and pay close attention to the basic to advanced techniques you’ll learn. In fact, what’s here will hopefully make you remove the word “Metroidvania” from your gaming vocabulary, as it’s a meaningless description that’s also a bit lazy in how it fails to actually describe a game as deep as this one. Continue reading

EDF 4.1 Update: Japan Gets It While We Still Wait Patiently


 

Holy cats. While there still no localization news about Earth Defense Forces 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair, the game has been out in Japan since April 2 and is getting played to death over in Japan by some lucky gamers who’ve been dropping some truly incredible videos of the game in action on YouTube. Sure, it’s not packing the best visuals when unfairly compared to more polished games for these new-gen consoles or PC. But developer Sandlot clearly knows how to set the tone for some massive scale battles. Wow. Hey, it’s sure cheaper than buying a bunch of toys and wondering where to to store them all, I say. That said if there’s ever a sequel to Pacific Rim and someone wants a tie-in game, I think I know who should get the call.

Arrow Video July Releases: Dead on Target (Again)

Arrow MVD New Trio

The fine folks at Arrow Video continue to whip out releases from their UK catalog through MVD to film fans and collectors stateside well worth buying and July’s three Blu-Ray/DVD sets are a nice trio for your library. This time, it’s an odd triple threat of 1970’s Japanese pop style, a bleak Gallic “spaghetti” western and a fun, funky horror film starring a pre-A Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Englund. That video below of Stray Cat Rock: The Collection should hopefully tease some of you into action in the form of adding it to your want list somewhere or bugging someone to get you it (or all three films) as a nice gift.

Well, I’D bug someone to get me all three of these flicks. Hey, I have unusual tastes in films from unforgettable classic silents to a handful of loud, noisy super-budget blockbusters more easily forgotten. I won’t knock your tastes at all (well, unless you still watch “reality” TV with a straight face and actually get upset at every VERY obviously scripted moment better done the first time and not the 500th). Eeek.

Project Root: OPQAM’s Retro Inspired Shmup Reverbs The Nostalgia Meter

Project Root shipComing up on the radar from publisher Reverb Triple XP is Project Root, an arcade-style space shooter with a nicely retro vibe and shiny modern visuals. Headed to PS4, Vita and Xbox One on April 28 after landing on Steam last year, the game packs in a few fixes over the original version as well as Cross-Buy for PS4 and Vita owners.

Developer OPQAM has added a great little twist to the usual side or vertical scrolling shmup by giving players a full 360 degrees of movement, allowing them to play levels as they see fit. If you know your game history fairly well, you’ll see that this free roaming style of shooter isn’t *new* by any means if you’re old enough to remember Thunder Force II on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (or Sharp X68000 PC if you’re REALLY old school*). The chance to preview the game via a work-in progress build popped up recently and yes, when opportunity knocks, an return call must be made… Continue reading

Ask Your Doctor: Time Also Reads Doubly If Stupid


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Okay, okay. I was two weeks too early in that post above. Heh, sorry about that! But I think I have to blame my Doctor for that timely error. We went on a little adventure recently and when I got back, I thought it was two weeks later. In fact, I got back just in time for once. Oops. “In time for what?” Well, I guess in time to make a mistake that I’ll probably have to go on another little trip to fix so that post is a lot more accurate.

Then again, I hear you’re not supposed to muck with time or bad things will occur. Hmmm, what to do, what to do? I dunno about you, but I’m going to go back to sleep now. Zzzzzzzz…

EDF 4.1 Import Update: Better Bug Blasting, But Still No News For Western Fans


 

All the small to large improvements are making Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair an absolute must for series fans worldwide, but there’s still no big news about the game outside of the Asian market. I’m hoping that this doesn’t mean this PS4 exclusive is being forgotten for a US and European release, but let’s see what happens as E3 approaches. Granted, this IS a niche title from small but very talented developer Sandlot that hasn’t blown away those gamers who expect every new title they play to be the best-looking and easiest to hop into game experience. EDF games tend to be simple on one hand, but packed with confounding quirks on the other. This new video from D3Publisher addresses some of the issues as it points out some of the changes implemented by the dev team. Changes I hope we EDF fans get to see HERE at some point. I’d guess that’s all up to Bandai Namco these days, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that whomever gets the publishing rights gets some news out sooner than later.

Monday Deals: The Early Bird Gets a Bundle of Worms

BS Worms Bundle
 

Got three bucks and need a bunch of games on a moody Monday? Hang up that “Gone Fishin’!” sign and take the rest of the month off (yeah, all of one more day plus a few hours), folks. Bundle Stars is getting you a nicely wormy selection of developer Team 17’s classic series in a few forms at that. Here’s what’s waiting for you in the Worms Bundle:

· Worms

· Worms Blast

· Worms Crazy Golf

· Worms Pinball

· Worms Reloaded Game of the Year Edition (includes 7 DLC)

· Worms Ultimate Mayhem Deluxe Edition (includes 3 DLC)

Yes, that’s a LOT more than a day and a half worth of gaming in this great deal. But you know the drill by now. Buy the bundle, add stuff to the backlog, play when you can. Of course, once you start playing nearly any Worms game, there goes the rest of your day. You’ll see son enough…

Get Your Gurumin Goodies Before The Game Gets Gotten

Gurumin PC March 

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure hits Steam next week (March 30) and publisher Mastiff is dropping all sorts of cool arty freebies for Nihon Falcom fans interested in doing a bit of digital wallpapering on their assorted devices. Click on over to this site for some PC-friendly free stuff and this site for some mobile-friendly freebies. As for the game proper, here’s what to expect next week:


Non-linear game play in over 30 stages set in a variety of environments
24 non-player characters, 48 unique enemies, and more than 90 items to collect
11 costumes to unlock, and 15 equippable headgear to level up
Challenging boss battles, puzzles, and traps
Mini-games galore
Hidden characters, alternate gameplay modes, and other secrets
Beautifully updated graphics with full HD support
Soundtrack available on iTunes
Over 50 in-game achievements to unlock

Um, I think that’s it. Well, until next week when the game lands and Falcom fans worldwide get to check it out. We’re a small and loyal bunch of folks, but we do support our favorite developers when they get out the games we want to play.

An Intentionally Buggy, Busy Thursday, Courtesy EDF 4.1


 

I missed posting this latest Earth Defense Forces 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair video when D3Publisher posted it about a week ago. But now that I’m seeing it and smiling way too much, it seems that the game still hasn’t a US release date or publisher announcement. I’m gathering more will be revealed around E3 as to who gets the rights to drop this onto North American shores soon. My money says Namco Bandai (or is it Bandai Namco?) will do this, but I’m also holding out hope that D3Publisher of America once again does the deed.

Given that there’s a link between both publishers, anything is possible. This series may be niche outside Japan, but it certainly has a loyal enough following to support the PS4 version should it get the localization nod. Heck, do a promotion with Orkin or some more organic pesticide company to get more Americans into this game and you’re guaranteed a hit. Unless of course you run into the wrath of pro-invasive insect fans who think this stuff will lead to people being afraid of EVERY type of bug. Eh, you can’t please everyone, right? Riiiiiiight.

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos – Xseed Games Brings Back The Bikini Zombie Slayers!

 

Oneechanbara Z2 Chaos PS4As soon as the box art appeared for the Japanese version of Oneechanbara Z2 Chaos, I stuck a .png file in a folder on my desktop to remind me to keep an eyeball peeled in case the game got a North American localization. I didn’t think it would actually happen, mind you. The last two games that made it over from this series didn’t do well critically, so it seemed those entries would be the last we;d see here.

Well, I was wrong, as Xseed Games is getting Tamsoft’s latest game out on the PS4 out in English this year (minus an “e” in the title). I’d gather this one will be a digital-only release, as it’s certainly more of a niche title. We’ll see soon enough, I suppose. Anyway, color me thrilled about this intentionally cheesy charmer that’s not at all for the kiddies.