Mad Max TV Spot: And You Thought YOUR Commute Was Hell


 

Only a few more days to go until its September 1st launch on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and it sure looks as if WB Games and Avalanche Studios may have another hit on its hands. If Mad Max captures the insanity of the film and even half of the action from Avalanche’s Just Cause series, it’ll be a big winner this year. The longer “Stronghold” trailer from earlier this month certainly does an excellent job at conveying the post-apocalyptic setting and a few of the characters Max will meet in the game while also showing the game isn’t for the kiddies at all. That said, I don’t expect those prone to road rage will want to be playing this for extended periods of time as it may give them ideas on how to make their own commutes a lot more “interactive” in a not so productive manner.

Mad Max Getting Ahead

Dark Souls III Hands-On: Reliable And Improved, Yet Death’s Still Got The Edge

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The nice list of changes and improvements to Dark Souls III may fool some players into believing the series has gone soft in its third installment. However, FromSoftware and the assorted AI enemies out for your digital scalp will be laughing at those who take this upcoming PC, PS4 and Xbox one game lightly. While the game adds new charge attack and block-breaking moves to the already fine repertoire, all that really means is expert Souls players will have some new skills to make shorter work of certain enemies and new players will need to learn this isn’t a straight-up hack and slash game at all. The demo shown at Bandai Namco’s NYC event was thrilling and a ton of deadly fun to play.
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Mad Max “Choose Your Path” Trailer: Make Your Monday A Bit More Action-Packed


 

MAD MAX boxesSo, you’re terminally bored already at work and it’s not even lunchtime? Good. Mr. Rockatansky is here to whip you into shape with a little clicking exercise guaranteed to stimulate your eyeballs and get some adrenaline going to keep you pumped up for the remainder of your Monday. Here’s a little distraction for your courtesy WBIE and Avalanche Studios. You’ll want to choose all the paths of course just to check out the non-stop mayhem coming your way in Mad Max, set to hit PC, PS4 and Xbox One on September 1, 2015.

Of course, if your boss happens to stroll by and make that face that says “Hey… shouldn’t you be working?”, don’t do anything you see in that video as a possible response to that query. I’m quite sure your Monday doesn’t need THAT much excitement added to it and if it does, you’re really in the wrong line of work.

Whispering Willows: A Haunting You Will Go (On Even More Platforms)

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Abstraction Games and Night Light Interactive have a nice and spooky surprise coming soon for Xbox One, Wii U, iOS and Android owners. Although the game is already out for a few platforms (PC, PS4, Vita and OUYA), I’d actually never heard of Whispering Willows until an email about the latest version popped up in my inbox. Initially set for an August 12 launch at $9.99, Xbox One owners will be seeing the game as part of Microsoft’s Deals With Gold promotion starting Friday, August 28th at 30% off ($6.99) for two weeks only (through Friday, September 11).

iOS and Android versions will also be available on the 28th with the Wii U version following shortly thereafter. The horror-themed puzzle adventure has you playing as Elena, a young girl with the ability to use astral projection. The talent comes to good use thanks to her father going missing in a creepy mansion and yes, Elena heads into that haunted palace set on finding out just where he is and what’s happened to him. I’d say more, but I’ll need to play the game and get back to you on how it turned out. I’d gather all those plaudits on the official site mean the game is worth the price and more. A half dozen screens to ogle are below.

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Dark Souls III: The Eyes Have It And You’ll Get It, Alright


 

As in expect to PREPARE TO DIE a lot more than before thanks to FromSoftware’s latest entry in its not at all casual RPG franchise. Not at all for the weak-kneed player who wants some hand-holds and footholds through its gloomy and deadly dungeons, the Souls series packs in death by everything from environmental hazards to many enemy types looking to kick your frightened ass all over those environments. I tend to play these games just to survive the experience and not be a speed-running expert at them. But I know of some extremely talented players who relish the challenge of making double time through the maps as they face danger head on and die a lot as a learning process.

Of course, speed, accuracy and learning each enemy’s strengths and weaknesses is a huge key to enjoying the ride. That said, the geniuses at FromSoft have packed the series with everything from AI that follows you relentlessly to enemies and bosses that are bigger than the areas they try to kill you in and seemingly indestructible to novice players. Nope, nothing casual at all here, kids. In fact, there’s a terrifying element to all the games that borders on horror in some areas, but I’m not calling this a “horror” game series by any means. Just a note that if you’re not playing with a tiny bit of fright creeping into your bones, you’re a better man or woman than I. Anyway, DSIII is coming in 2016. Prepare to… yeah, you know.

Zombi: U Will Want To Play This Wii U Port On Your PS4 & Xbox One


 

Call me only mildly surprised that this is happening, although I’m shocked (shocked! But not really) that it didn’t happen sooner. ZombiU was one of the Wii U’s standout launch games in that it made the GamePad and touchscreen mandatory for the gameplay to work best at what it was trying to accomplish. Looking down at it to check one’s inventory or prepare a weapon or something else only to look up at your TV and see something (or a few somethings!) shambling and scrambling out of the dark was a terrifying thing to experience. Yes, Vita or Windows tablet support for that second screen would be beautiful to see. But even Sony has mucked that up quite a bit by taking so long to implement it into games and only as a means of playing portable games on a larger TV. I don’t own a Surface tablet, so I can’t comment positively or otherwise) on anything Microsoft has done for dual screen gaming. Oh well.

Anyway, without that second screen this might look like another zombie game to skip over if you’re tired of the genre. You’d be sorely mistaken for thinking that based on looks alone. My frightening and sometimes fearfully frustrating (Do I want to go on through that door? Hell nope! Oh… okay. CHOMP!) experience with the Wii U version says that if approached with an open mind by smarter PS4 and Xbox One owners who don’t resort to insults whenever they see a Wii U game, the experience should be quite a worthy one. The rogue-like random elements add infinite replay value and there are some really effective scares to be had. Anyway, August 15, 2015 is the big day for this and I hope to hell it not only does well, but gets some of the all-out naysayers about the Wii U to ‘fess up and admit that there are actually some great games on that system they haven’t played (er, until now that is).

Retro City Rampage REALLY Goes Retro: 486 – MS-DOS / Windows 3.1 Version Now Available


 

Vblank Entertainment’s head honcho Brian Provinciano is a truly mad genius in the best possible way. His single-minded obsession with his hilarious “retro” game Retro City Rampage has led to it being released on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS over a few short years. Now, he’s gone and reprogrammed the instant classic and has gotten the game onto a 3.5″ floppy disk for 486 computers along with a Windows 3.1 prototype as a free bonus. If you still have an old PC lying around with a floppy drive, you can (and should indeed) snap up one of the limited edition boxed versions (there were only 1000 total made) and prepare for a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a game that probably wouldn’t have existed back then and if it did, it would be hailed as a fine slice of comic genius or something like that.

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If you happen to own the more modern PC version of the game already and bought it from the developer directly, guess what? You should probably check your Steam account for a nice freebie surprise. Everyone else, run or click like the wind HERE and hope for the best. Like the PS4 and Vita retail editions, this will probably sell out ridiculously fast. Yes, the game will also run on DOSBOX if you have a newer PC. I almost forgot to mention this, so now you don’t need to hit up eBay looking for some aged system to run RCR 486 on.

Tembo The Badass Elephant Says: “Don’t Forget Me… OR ELSE!”


 

Is this new Sega-published game out tomorrow equal parts Rambo, Dumbo and Sonic the Hedgehog? Nope, not really… but it’s pretty darn close. But you probably want to buy Tembo the Badass Elephant because if you don’t, Tembo might get mad. And you don’t want to get Tembo mad at you because elephants don’t forget. Ever. Hey, I don’t know about YOU, but I don’t want to be in the shower or walking down the street on an other wise fine and dandy day when all of a sudden I hear a trumpety bellow and a wall comes crashing down on me that Tembo just burst through like a pissed off Kool-Aid Man. Seven and a half tons of fun on my head (not counting the rubble from building that just got crashed through)? Nope, not happening.

Anyway, the game in question SHOULD be bought and played not because of any unveiled threats, but because it’s from the geniuses at Game Freak, who brought Pokemon to the world for Nintendo consoles, a little VERY under-appreciated gem called Pulseman to the Sega Mega Drive back in the 90’s. So, YES. You need a little Tembo in your gaming life tomorrow. Or else you get a LOT of Tembo coming your way when you least expect it. PC, PS4 and Xbox One only. Wii U and handheld system owners? Well, I guess you’ll be getting a little big visit from some very angry elephant soon. And he won’t be playable. Carry a sack of peanuts and a live mouse with you at all times so you can distract him as you make good your escape.

LEGO Dimensions Gets A Doctor (Or 12) In The House


 

Remember that Doctor Who episode where he goes into the LEGO universe and everything is turned into plastic bricks? No? Well, either you’re not paying attention or you haven’t got your copy of LEGO Dimensions yet because you can’t time travel and haven’t already played the game. Silly you. Okay, for mere mortals who don’t have the ability to travel through time (or who don’t know a certain other Doc named Brown), the game is out September 27, 2015 for PS3/PS4,Xbox 360/Xbox One and Wii U, is developed by TT Games (who else?) and looks pretty darn awesome.


 

The cool thing is not only do you get the current Doctor to play around with, expect to be able to regenerate into the eleven other Doctors (whee!) during the game. That alone should get console owning fans of the show to snap up and step into LEGO Dimensions when it ships out. Oh, as for the new season of Doctor Who, BBC has released a nice and long teaser trailer that packs in a few surprises:


 

The modern era of “Toys to Life” category started by Activision’s Skylanders has gotten even huger over the years thanks to later competition from Disney with its Infinity line, Nintendo’s Amiibo figures and now LEGO stepping into the fray. LEGO has a wild edge as the “new” kid on the block thanks to the massive popularity of the blocks and instant appeal to all ages. TT Games is also key to their success thanks to years of making some incredibly FUN games nearly anyone can pick up, play and have a total blast with. Expect Dimensions to be another winner on a few fronts. Well, it looks as if I know how my Saturday nights will be spent for a few months.

Back to the Future: What’s Old Is New Game News @E3 2015

(thanks, magicalmotionmuseum!)
 

It’s a good news/bad news thing today. The good news: time travel DOES exist, ladies and gents. Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a remake for the PS4 and possibly PC. The Last Guardian is now a PS4 exclusive (as I predicted a while back) Shenmue 3 was announced yesterday evening at Sony’s E3 event as a surprising show-announced Kickstarter project for PS4 and was COMPLETELY funded in about twelve hours (breaking a Kickstarter record). Even King’s Quest and HITMAN are making comebacks (and sooner than you’d think).

Microsoft’s formerly forward-looking only Xbox One gets Xbox 360 backward compatibility and legendary developer Rare is releasing 30 of its classic arcade and console games for $30 in a crazy must-have bundle this August (exclusively for the console, of course). Between this and the return of DOOM, the acceptance of indie retro games as necessary for part of a console’s success and other interesting developments, it’s a huge win-win situation for gamers with a good deal of disposable income. And no, I didn’t forget Nintendo in all this. I’m just holding out for a separate post on their always nostalgic ways and means of getting loyal fans continually hooked in. Give me a bit of time on that as it’s still construction central here with more to come.

Now, the bad news: In reality time travel DOESN’T exist at all. With all those new games coming (and this post doesn’t count the VR games invasion happening soon), no one will actually any free time to play them all unless their Doctor has a certain “timey-wimey” prescription that allows them to have their fun and return to reality not having missed much sleep or even a day of work. Oh well…