Earth Defense Force 2 and EDF 4.1 Get Dated: Prepare The Time-Sink Ray!

EDF 2 Vita EDF 4.1 PS4 

Excellent. Between the new trailers above and below, the brand spankin’ new official site and the fact that both games come out on the same day as retail (YES!) and digital product, it’s a fine and dandy day for fans of Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space (PS Vita, $29.99) and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair (PS4, $49.99). That lovely release date of December 8, 2015 means that plenty of fans of both titles are getting exactly what they’ve wanted from Santa, Krampus or whomever else buys their gifts. Buy someone a copy of this game and you won’t see them for weeks because all they’ll be doing in their spare time is blasting big space bugs and bigger spaceships, robots and other space beasties all day and night. Yes, your inner eight-year old kaiju fan will be wholly pleased, but don’t expect this to be an easy ride at all.

Getting these as physical copies (thanks Xseed!) is going to make a lot of EDF fans happier because it’s something they’ve desired with every game in the series and Xseed kept its ear to the ground and made it happen. As for the EDF 4.1 blooper reel below… er, well… I’ll give Xseed a pass on that one because the game is so much fun that a little comic relief won’t hurt it one bit.

Anyway, go get some finger exercises in and ask the boss for some time off in December. Once these games land in stores and on PSN, you’re not going anywhere for a while.

Super Star Wars Lands on PS4, Vita: The Force Is Strong With This One


It feels 100% weird to say this, but there’s an old Super Nintendo game on a new Sony console and not so new handheld that’s a nice surprise for any Star Wars fan. Granted, Super Star Wars was also on the eShop for the Wii back in 2009, but this updated version for the PS4 and Vita offers a number of tweaks that include new save features, leaderboards, trophies, and updated display and controller options. Nope, it didn’t get a big HD visual overhaul at all, so hopefully you’re happy with the original 1992 SNES visuals in all their 2D and Mode 7 pseudo 3D glory:

SSW_002 SSW_003 SSW_004 SSW_005 SSW_006 SSW_007 SSW_008 SSW_009 SSW_010


if you’re grinning like a loon because you have a PSN account, a PS4 or Vita (the game is Cross Buy, by the way) and $9.99 ready to fly out of your wallet, you’re already buying this before you’ve finished this sentence. Me, I’m still a little freaked that there’s a SNES game on a non-Nintendo platform and the earth hasn’t exploded from that fact. Oh,and new players to this one will find it hard as hell and a bit janky in spots. But it’s still a ton of challenging fun as well as a nice nostalgic trip into the past. Whatever strings Disney pulled to get this to happen (I’m thinking that this was a Sony Imagesoft-produced game back then may have helped) sure worked out alright although it would have been a better deal to get the SSW trilogy out for something like $20 or so.

Eh, we’ll see what the future brings for those ancient games about a galaxy far, far away. This new deal has me hoping that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II show up on a Sony console at some point. Playing both of those classics on my Vita would be a total mind-blowing thing to see happen in the near future..

Review: Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations

Adventure Time Finn & Jake Wii UPlatform: Wii U (also on PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS)

Developer: Vicious Cycle

Publisher: Little Orbit

MSRP: $39.99 (PS4/Xbox One, $49.99, 3DS $29.99)

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 & up)

Official Site

Score: B (80%) 

As someone who likes all the console and handheld Adventure Time games, it’s good to see a new one arriving so soon that’s even more of a throwback than the more action oriented titles that have come before. Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations is a fine homage to old school classic point and click adventures with some nifty combat portions to keep your fingers limber. While the game isn’t all that difficult to complete (particularly if you use the hint highlight system to find clickable objects and locations), it’s a great diversion for a rainy weekend as well fun enough to warrant additional installments. It’s also the first Adventure Time game with rendered 3D characters and environments with developer Vicious Cycle doing a mostly excellent job in making Finn and company look great in polygonal form.

BMODance (Custom) 

The game is set up as a series of “graybles” as (re)told by the alien Cuber (voiced by Emo Phillips) from his space station. While it’s not quite Game of the Year material, the story is pure Adventure Time: pretty darn amusing and as usual, chock full of goofiness and tossed off references fans will knowingly nod and grin at. Fans of the show new to this style of game will find that it’s easy to get into and play, but experts at pointy and clicky stuff new to the show may find the game lacks a certain level of challenge save fora few puzzles that require knowing how certain episodes play out. Then again, unless you’re really bad at following prompts and using a tiny bit of deductive reasoning, you can do a bit of trial and error with not a failure state in sight.

There are five “cases” to tackle in the Land of Ooo that have Finn and Jake meeting up with the usual suspects from the show and everyone is voiced perfectly as you’d expect. In terms of gameplay, most of the game relies on a simple menu system that allows you to choose Finn to do most of the investigative work while Jake assists in getting him in and out of trouble or to seemingly inaccessible spots in the environment. Talking to everyone if you’re stuck will get you some clues that range from mostly direct to somewhat obscure (yes, like the show), but you can solve bits of some cases before you’d think if you have just enough info and accidentally or intentionally talk to someone who starts giving you a short quiz about evidence you’ve gathered.

GnomeZap (Custom) 

At certain points during play, “Combat Time” sequences become available, adding a bit of button jamming action to things. These sections are short and easy to beat, offering simple rewards in the form of collectibles Finn and Jake can use to decorate their fancy over-sized tree house. The game probably would have been fine without the swordplay and special attacks, but someone generally gets some sort of beat down at some point on the show, so you get to dish out the digital pain on a few folks who probably deserve it. Then again, without these smack laying down parts, the game might be less amusing and fun to play to some fans who expect a knockout or three (or more) before all is said and done.

While the game isn’t all that lengthy (as noted, it’s a rainy weekend special), it’s well done enough to warrant a sequel or two in the same style or at least more Adventure Time games down the road. Actually, it would also be really interesting to see if Vicious Cycle can handle the crazy and contagious energy of a more recent Cartoon Network smash hit, Steven Universe. It’s a completely different look and vibe on that show, but so far, every tie-in from the comic to the sole mobile game Attack the Light has been very well received. As usual, we shall see. In the meantime, you may as well support Little Orbit and Cartoon Network by taking Finn & Jake on a few Investigations, I say.

BUY IT! Dragon Fin Soup Looks Like A Tasty Bowl Of Pain


Dragon Fin SoupBased on the absolutely gorgeous artwork by Randis Albion alone, Grimm Bros. first game, Dragon Fin Soup is worth a buy. The game is, according to the developers: “half story-driven tactical RPG and half high-stakes roguelike, with a pinch of crass humor and a heaping helping of murder & madness set in a procedural generated fantasy world.”, which is right up my alley lurking with a +2 Club of Timesink waiting to konk me on the noggin.

Even better, the game is now available on PC via Steam or the Humble Store as well as a cross-buy for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in North America and Europe at not much more than the PC version costs. If you happen to be a PS Plus member, guess what? DFS is a FREE download this month! Gorgeous, hard as hell and somewhat inexpensive (or FREE if you’re lucky) is a fine and dandy way to spend a lousy weekend. Or any weekend, for that matter.

Dragon Fin Soup Red

Review: Poncho (PC)

Poncho logo

Poncho Banner NewPlatform: PC/PS4/Mac/Linux
Developer: Delve Interactive
Publisher: Rising Star Games
MSRP: $14.99
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site
Score: B+ (85%)

With pixel-packed “retro” games showing no signs of stopping, it’s great to see Delve Interactive shake up the scene with Poncho, a game that’s both new and nostalgic with a side of super challenging for good measure. The open world side-scrolling platformer features multiple layers of parallax scrolling to hop in and out of in order to progress and this is both excellent and a tiny bit frustrating until you get your sea legs. The game’s depth also extends to the minimalist but somewhat deep story of Poncho, a cute little robot who finds himself going where no man has gone before because there aren’t any humans left in the world the game takes place in.


Continue reading

Battlezone Trailer: Rebellion’s Newest Makes Me Feel Very Old

As someone who spent plenty of time in the arcades and at home playing the original Battlezone and its Atari 2600 port respectively and later the pretty awesome PC game and the not so awesome looking but still enjoyable N64 version, this newest take on the classic makes my bones ache. It sure looks spectacular and fast as can be, but the more Tron-like vibe and gaudy color scheme is very mildly rubbing me the wrong way. But that’s solely because I haven’t played the game yet. Sometimes it takes getting used to a visual style choice to fully enjoy a reboot, but I’m not going to be one of those internet whiners ranting about cosmetics. I trust veteran developer Rebellion enough that I feel comfortable that once I have my paws wrapped around a controller (and VR or no VR), I’ll be grinning nostalgically and having to have someone drag me away from the game at some point.

Battlezone_01 Battlezone_02 Battlezone_03 Battlezone_04 Battlezone_05 Battlezone_06 Battlezone_07 Battlezone_08 Battlezone_09 Battlezone_10 Battlezone_11 Battlezone_12 Battlezone_13 Battlezone_14 Battlezone_15


Word has it that Rebellion may also be redoing the late 90’s PC game as well, which would be excellent if they went with a more “realistic” look to that one while adding elements from their popular Sniper Elite series. Hopefully, we’ll also see this on the Vita either as a Cross Play/Cross Buy or standalone solo and multiplayer game just because the handheld needs a bonafide smash hit. Tanks are ALWAYS awesome and there aren’t any decent portable games with them these days. Eh, we’ll see as usual. Oh, if someone at Atari isn’t looking at either Star Raiders or Space Lords as possible future reboots, they need to start doing just that. Technology has finally made making even more definitive versions of both classics possible and on multiple platforms as that. Get on it, people – call me if you need some ideas. I work cheap (but not free!).

Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations – Mysterious Goings-On, Old School Style


“What time is it?” Um, 6:48pm as I type these words!. Hmm, that joke fell flat didn’t it? Fortunately, Little Orbit’s latest, Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations has far better writing than I can muster up and looks as it’ll be a total blast to play through. Available NOW on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS, the game takes the popular show and characters into a less sprite-ly space (the game is made up of POLYGONS! *Gasp!*) and pace as it emulates some of the older-school adventure games us well-aged gamers grew up playing.


Not to say there’s no action and occasional stuff being broken for no good reason other than it’s amusing, mind you. Don’t believe me? Well, take a looky at these GAME FEATURES:

Sleuth your way through five cases set in the Land of Ooo, each of which plays out a separate chapter (like your own personal episode of the show).

See the Adventure Time characters and familiar locations for the first time in 3D.

Tackle puzzles by creatively using inventory objects and Jake’s shape-shifting abilities.

Combat evildoers as Finn using a variety of unique swords and Jake’s awesome attack forms.


I stole that info above from the press release, so maybe that’s a SIXTH adventure that needs to be solved? Uh, wait. I just gave myself away as the culprit. Oops. Well, Jake and Finn don’t know and you won’t tell them at all, so I’ll be camped out in front of my TV waiting for them to slap the cuffs on. Or slap me around the room. I think I’m insured. I think.

Adventure Time Finn & Jake Box Shots 

So, yeah – get this game. Well, you don’t HAVE to buy EVERY version in that photo above. But if enough of you did exactly that, I sure bet Little Orbit and developer Vicious Cycle would be very thankful indeed. Perhaps a bit baffled… but thankful nonetheless.

Corpse Party: Blood Drive – What’s A Little Death Between “Friends”?

Corpse Party BD Vita


And you thought your school days were insane. The survivors of the certifiably unbalanced and/or genuinely terrified for their lives students of Kisaragi Academy’s class 2-9 are baaaaaack. While you can fully enjoy their new exploits in Corpse Party: Blood Drive on the Vita (out NOW!), if you want the full gory story, you’ll need to snap up the two previous games (Corpse Party and Corpse Party: Book of Shadows) on the PSP (and yep, they DO run fine on the Vita) so you can play catch up before this new game freezes your blood and spine solid.

Corpse Party EverAfter Edition Vita

All three games are guaranteed to scratch that horror/mystery itch you’ve got going under the skin, but expect things to get bloody before you know it. That EverAfter edition of Blood Drive is the perfect way to dive into the third chapter if the first two float your boat, so feel free to grab one while they last.

Earth Defense Force 4.1: Xseed Reminds You Your Holiday Season Will Be A Total Blast


Sandlot, I just LOVE what you’ve done with the PS4 hardware. The Japanese developer’s first game for the console, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair isn’t just a simple “port” of their last game at all. New enemies, missions and gear are here for EDF veterans to play around with and the MUCH smoother frame rate (okay, 60fps dipping to 30 at chaotic times is a great thing for the series) and all new lighting effects make the game finally up to snuff with modern action games. Granted, the gameplay is still the beautiful old-school tough it needs to be on the higher difficulty levels. But now we old-timers won’t have to listen to newbies gargling out complaints about the major slowdown and choppiness or other issues the series was known for in previous installments.


My sole complaint with the game is the ESRB rating. Some parents won’t buy “M” rated games for the brood because they just don’t (cue remembrances of them falling for little Johnny sneaking Grand Theft Auto game on the holiday gift list that one time, oops!). But what’s here is a crazy amount of fun whether played solo or online with friends and yep, family. Anyway, don’t let a bit of bug blood and an occasional PG-13 swear keep you from this one. That well over 80 hours of giant bug/lizard/robot/spaceship blasting you’ll be doing will help get the family in shape for any space alien invasion. And if they happen to be friendly aliens… well, we can at least hope they like videogames about fantastic impossibilities such as this game shows off sowell.

Review: Persona 4: Dancing All Night

P4_DAN_coverPlatform: PlayStation Vita

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: Atlus USA

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

MSRP: $39.99 (Standard Edition), $79.99 (Disco Fever Edition)

Score: B(80%)

Kanamin (24) 

Sure, the premise is supremely goofy and practically guaranteed to make some of the more obstinate old-school fans of the long running Shin Megami Tensei and Persona franchises get a bit cringe-y. But Persona 4: Dancing All Night manages to shake off most any negative vibes thanks to it not only being a pretty decent rhythm game, but a really well-made spin-off to the Persona 4: Golden (that’s also gotten a pretty darn good 2D fighter with an even better follow up). Keeping the surviving characters and situations from P4 intact and working them into the game’s plot was an inspired touch that’s hopefully going to sell those gamers who are only buying this for music and gameplay into picking up P4:G at some point if they’ve yet to.

On the other hand, if you go into P4: DAN with skeptical intent, don’t expect to be knocked off your feet by the game’s premise, how some characters act and the overall gameplay that may not be your cup of tea. Fully enjoying this one means throwing caution to the wind, diving in feet or face first and letting the music and atmosphere wash over you like a sudden summer rain shower. Continue reading