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.

Yakuza 5: No Controversy Here, Just Sega Pleasing Some Fans


 

Almost lost in all this noise on Shenmue III and its somewhat controversial (to some) Kickstarter campaign was the fact that Sega of America itself was going to be publishing Yakuza 5 in North America this fall. General Director Toshihiro Nagoshi, Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama and their talented dev team are clearly showing that the PlayStation 3 isn’t “dead” yet as a viable console and the game certainly looks like their best work yet. Even better, it’s an exclusive to Sony’s console so you can wave your system under the noses of any friend with a competing console who may be a bit jealous. However, expect that console to be used to gently bash you over the head with if you’re too braggy.

Unfortunately for you physical media collectors out there the game is only getting a digital release via the PlayStation Network. So you’ll either need to bite that bullet and download this one or take the harder road, learn Japanese and import that version from a nice import retailer like Play-Asia. Of course, by the time you’re through with those crash courses in the language the game will be out here in English. So yeah, go support Sega of America with a purchase because they don’t make a penny on anything you get directly from Japan or anywhere outside the U.S. of A., folks.

Yeah!

Shining Through: Old Memories Return Thanks To New Friends

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The first Japanese game I ever played to completion with no knowledge of the language outside a few basic characters was Shining and the Darkness for the Sega Mega Drive, later localized as Shining in the Darkness for North America by Sega of America. It wasn’t mad savant skills that got me through this text-heavy role-playing game, but a spoiler-free walkthrough and plenty of maps yanked from a Japanese magazine that came with the game when I purchased it. I’d played a few Japanese MD games previously, but most were shooters such as Gaiares or not quite perfect arcade ports like Golden Axe or Altered Beast.

SitD_SC2
 

I stumbled upon Shining and six of seven other imports at a used book and record store in NYC back around early 1992 and couldn’t pass up buying all of the games at somewhere between eight and ten dollars each. All of those games are still in the library here and some even get pulled out and played on occasion. It took me the better part of the summer to complete SitD because I was only using the walkthrough when I got stuck and was filling in the plot on my own. It ended up being pretty close to what the actual game and English version would be because it was a simple “rescue the kidnapped princess!” story with a few expected and unexpected twists.

Continue reading

Interview: Brandon Cobb of Super Fighter Team

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Nice. The last time I spoke to Super Fighter Team’s Brandon Cobb was a while back about some upcoming projects he was working on and before that, it was an interview a few years ago on Zaku, the excellent Atari Lynx game the company published. Just when I was thinking about bugging him again for an update, Eric over at The Sega Collection went and asked a few of the questions I was thinking about and posted the article below. My work here is done, thanks to The Sega Dude! Okay, okay… I’ll bug Brandon about Cascade, Magic Girl and other stuff at some point in January. In the meantime, enjoy the interview! Continue reading

Stuff I Need to Play (at Some Point): Pier Solar and the Great Architects (PC)


 
Yaaah! When did this slip out? Oh, September 30? Well, I wasn’t paying attention, but this one’s on my list of too many games to buy and play. *Sigh*… well, given that I have the Genesis version here and have made it about halfway through, I know what to expect already. That said, the HD visual upgrade makes this one the one I’ll probably default to once it gets purchased. So many games… so little time, grrrr!

NowPlaying: Alien Isolation (Or: Let’s See How Long I Can Last)…

AI PS3
 
So, yeah – here we go. let’s see now: phone off the hook? Check. Clean underwear at the ready? Check. Ear out for UPS/Fed Ex in case I get some surprise packages from a PR contact (and/or my SUPER late Think Geek order that’s almost a month old, grrrr?): Check! I think I should eat something too, but I’ll pop into the kitchen while the game is installing and make something quick. Did someone say cheese pierogi with sauteed onions? I think that’s what my stomach was screaming, so that will get taken care of (thank you, stomach!). I think I have some (*ding!*) Gold’s Horseradish left. Hmmm… let me check… (*ding!*) Yep, with beets, at that. Okay, I’m set for the day.

Oh, that flower? It’s there because it’ll probably be the nicest thing I see all day. Back in a bit – maybe later this afternoon or evening with some sort of “I’m too %#$^@! scared to move” update. Maybe.

Alien Isolation Launch Trailer: At Home, Everyone Will Hear You Scream…


 

AI PS4 CoverIt’s almost here and yours truly will be popping up at a certain retailer bright and early to snap up my copy and trot back home so I can dive in feet first and come up for air with knuckles and hair all white from fear. Yay, fear! Hmmmm. I should e dreading this experience a bit more because I’ve not been really freaked out by any horror game in a while.

On the other hand, I’m knowing I’m going to enjoying seeing what The Creative Assembly has cooked up for people like me who’ve been following this from the shadows who want to go in cold and not have spoilers hitting us on the head because we hung out on the right message boards and want our “fun” spoiled. Of course, I’m less expecting this to be “fun” and more expecting it to be “Holy $#!+, I can’t take another step because I’m TOO damn scared, but that damn Alien is somewhere in the room, Gyaaaaaah!”


 
Or something like that. (sings) The sun will come out, tomorrow… Hmmmm. I wonder if they sell cork panels at the K-Mart across from the game shop? I may need a bunch to line the living room with so my neighbors don’t keep calling the cops on me. “GYAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”

Alien Isolation #HowWillYouSurvive Final Update: Last Chance to Stomp Down to the Store, But Have an Egg First!


 
So, some early reviews are in and it seems that the reviewers that got it REALLY got it good and that’s a good thing. The ones that didn’t? Well, they came in looking for the wrong game and yep, boy were they surprised at the game not being what THEY wanted and what the developer intended. You have to love that sort of misguided missile writing, ladies and gents.


 
Anyway, as Sega seems to not like me, I’ll still be buying this one on Tuesday and reviewing it a bit later than the madding crowd that already has. But that’s just fine by me because I don’t plan on rushing this through at all. Nor one bit. Nope.


 
As for that eggy breakfast, Well… I’d like one of these, please. It can fit in the living room in place of that stupid recliner or the other chair that just dropped its lousy, crumbling cloth underside on the carpet like a misbehaving pet. Yuck. Anyway, I should probably catch up on some sleep over the weekend, as I’m betting Alien Isolation will be keeping me awake and creeping into my sleeping time for a while…

Alien Isolation #HowWill YouSurvive Update: Yup, I’m Flared Up For This One As Well…


 
Flared Up, indeed! I just realized (okay, again!) that it’s OCTOBER (well, tomorrow!) and Alien Isolation is out in a week’s time. Eeek. Now, I have to do a coin toss and decide what to get, as there are a few other games coming that need to be played and I’m not sitting on a ton of money here (yet). As I know the big sites will all be reviewing the next-gen versions, I may play odd man out and grab the PS3 version just because I really want to see how that turned out and yes, more of you guys and gals out there still play games on your own PS3 or Xbox 360 than you do on those fancier newer machines.


 
Crowd Control? Nah, this one’s not getting a massive midnight launch and doesn’t need one at all. As this isn’t a crowd-pleasing first-person shooter in the Call of Duty or Halo vein and is in fact, a hybrid horror/sci-fi experience that looks to capture the spirit of Ridley Scott’s classic 1979 film, I’m betting there are STILL a small bunch of people out there who will go into this expecting a non-stop guided missile on-rails shooter or something the game isn’t. But it’s their own damn fault for not paying attention to the developer diaries and all those previews other sites have done for a while. Oh well…


&nsbp;
Distress will come when this launches on October 7, 2014 for PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One and PC and people buy it, get home and then get too scared to play past certain spots. I have the first film in a loop in my brain (I’ve seen it countless times and plan to watch it again before the game arrives just to set the perfect mood), so I know I’m going to love what’s here. Now, about that DLC and stuff that should HOPEFULLY pop up for everyone and not just be exclusive to certain retailers? Yeah, that’s my big gripe about this and other games that piece out content like that. It may be “what people want” (according to game companies), but this SHOULD have been one of those games that packed as much as possible onto that disc just out of respect for Alien fans who don’t want to miss out on ANY content but have no choice in the matter.

Alien Isolation #HowWillYouSurvive Update: Two More Reasons To Jump Out Of Your Seat


 

#AINope will be trending if I have my way, but I’ll very likely be far too busy ducking and weaving in my chair while playing Alien Isolation to do much social network socializing. Nope, I won’t be Twitching unless it’s involuntary and from the game creeping me out from playing past a certain point. No tweeting unless I’ve a police whistle around my neck and I’m calling for help before I throw a shoe at my TV screen. And definitely no facebooking at all, because that’s actually more frightening than any game ever made. Yaaaaaah!


 

Alien Isolation lands in stores and digital delivery systems on October 7, 2014 for PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One and PC. Back with more ways to die horribly in this soon to be modern sci-fi horror game classic in a bit…