Onechanbara Z II: Chaos PS4-Bound In Japan (Yes, We Could Use It Here As Well)…

OneeChambara Z II Chaos LogoIt’s tough being a fan of a SUPER-niche series like the OneeChambara(also spelled Onechanbara, folks!) games, but I’ll admit to liking the games to some extent as a purely guilty pleasure. Well, except for that PSP game that felt half completed because of the oddball controls. Anyway, D3Publisher in Japan dropped this trailer yesterday for OneeChambara Z II: Chaos and both Gamekyo and Gematsu ran a ton of screen grabs and concept art for this first next-gen game in the long-running series that started out on the PlayStation 2. The game is set for an October 30, 2014 release and developer Tamsoft is promising a blazing 60 frames per second and full 1080p resolution, a first for the series.

Sure, compared to other games on the PS4, this one isn’t going to be the best-looking at all, but it’s nice to see Tamsoft make a game that looks like the cut scenes they’ve done in previous Onechanbara titles. As for this one getting an full English translation and US release? Well, that’s a tough one to call, as D3Publisher of America probably didn’t sell a ton of the first two Onechanbara games they localized (one for the Xbox 360 and another for the Nintendo Wii). I guess we shall see what happens, but I can see this getting at least some minor to moderate success in Japan if it plays well and had legs. Er, longevity, that is. I’ll bug someone at D3PoA in a bit to see what’s what. I’d love to play this one and really hope it’s being looked at for a potential North American release at some point. Sexy gals wiping out zombie hordes by the boatload and doing it stylishly? Yeah, it’s supposed to be silly and semi-serious simultaneously, but that’s what makes this guilty pleasure work so well, folks. Off to cross my fingers and hope…

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The Making of Mind Zero #4: A Bit Late, But A Nice Reminder I Need To Get This One…

Hmmmm. I still need to pick up a copy of Aksys’ new Vita RPG Mind Zero and play it, but I’ve seen mostly mixed reviews, some of which seem to “get” the game and others that don’t. It seems it’s only superficially like the Persona games, but here’s a case where a quick read of the game description and features can make one who follows Atlus’ more popular series raise an eyebrow at the similarities. Ah well, we shall see, I guess. We shall see. My backlog is still insane and not going down thanks to a few more games I’m staring at in a few folders on the laptop or on my desk here. Well, no time for dawdling, I guess. Time to knock a few reviews out over the next week or two…

Beating The Devil (Again) In Preparation For Beating The Devil (Again)…

Diablo III_PS3 So, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is coming to consoles soon and I’ve been going back to the PlayStation 3 version of DIII in order to gain a few more Paragon levels (I’m only at 26 currently) as well as a few more items I’ve been wanting to drop from defeated monsters or find in a chest somewhere. It’s been a slower than usual process thanks to me needing to complete a bunch of other games and get reviews posted, something that’s taking a bit longer than usual because I prefer to play games until I’ve seen pretty much everything. That and some games require patches that need downloading because what’s shipped isn’t quite where it needed to be for a retail product (something that annoys me to no end in most cases) and I’m not always able to download patches unless it’s from a wi-fi spot I can lug a laptop or portable system to.

Anyway, I was explaining the whole Diablo thing to a friend who doesn’t grasp the rinse and repeat nature of the series and wonders what the appeal is. Of course, I had to ask him if he was a sports fan (he is) and noted that every sport is about repetition and randomness and I could see the light bulb go off above his head before I completed my thought. The lure of games like this is simple: Beat down monsters, collect loot, sell off or transform bad loot into cash or better loot, rinse and repeat. Beautiful cut scenes and booming voice acting aside, Diablo games aren’t known for their “compelling” stories at all. That said, other than Earth Defense Force 2025, I’ve probably logged more time with DIII than any other game this year and the Reaper of Souls expansion is going to add many more hours to that total. Although, I’ll be taking my time with that one because there are games shipping out around that time or before that I actually want to finish before ROS eats up my remaining free time.

Back in a bit – writing this post has given me the urge to go to hell for a bit and shake things up to see what happens. I can use another Manticore and a few Hellfire Ring parts too (yup, only DIII players will understand my madness)…

Shadow of Mordor Story Trailer: The Bright Lord’s Kind Of An OK Guy, Huh?

“And there will be no joy in Mordor… Mighty Crazy has struck out!” Well, okay, my feeble attempt at humor is based on me having a loooooong and boring day here fiddling with my PCs and clearing out stuff from some hard drives. But it had to be done and done it has been. Except for one computer here I’m wanting to beat with a baseball bat because it finally needs replacing after many years of service. But that’s neither here nor there, folks. This Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor update is brought to you from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, home of fine video games in the LEGO, Batman and Lord of the Rings franchises (among others). Hey, I’m not getting a dime for this post from them at all, folks – I’m just writing what’s rolling off the top of my head because my eyes are half closed right about now. Oh, I’ll be alright after a decent night’s rest. See you all tomorrow!

SDCC 2014: Little Orbit’s Got A Pair Of Nice Surprises For Gamers Soon…

As a fan of last year’s Adventure Time game (released by D3Publisher of America), I’m happy to see that this year’s installment, Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom is going to be closer in spirit to a Legend of Zelda game as opposed to a Gauntlet and Diablo-inspired chase & chop. Sure, I’ll miss playing as Marilese and some of the other characters, but as long as this new game delivers the goods, I’m not complaining at all. This one’s coming sometime in the fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC (via Steam) and Nintendo 3DS.

As for Falling Skies: The Game? Color me surprised and impressed. Sure, it’s basically a reworked version of the XCOM reboot from a few years back, but this is actually a good thing because I’d imagine the only other options were a boring run & gun game or some type of MMO that only a tiny percentage of people would actually play. While this one’s only coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360, I’m betting that it gets bought and played by gamers who like turn-based strategy who don’t mind maybe discovering a show they haven’t seen yet as well. This one’s out PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (via Steam) on September 24, 2014.

Incoming RPGs! Nihon Falcom Fans Get To Shake It And Smile Soon. Twice!

It seems we’re in for a Nihon Falcom “revival” of sorts. Granted, PC versions of their games aren’t uncommon at all in Japan, but it seems they take a backwards route here in the west, coming over as console ports and a few years later, making it to PC gamers who also happen to be JRPG fans and want to see more of these titles and faster. Anyway, we’re getting The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky via Steam next week thanks to Xseed Games and it’s been recently announced that Mastiff Games is trying to get Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure up on Steam as a Greenlight game.

In the case of the latter, publisher Mastiff came up with the idea to give away the game to those who voted to Greenlight it AND leave a comment on the game’s discussion boards, but some feel this is a wee bit too much. I think it’s a fine idea, although it could backfire if EVERY person who wanted to see the game pop up as a product they should BUY ends up being a game they all get for nothing at all. I’d have made it a better giveaway by only giving codes to people who still OWN a physical or legal digital copy of the PSP game or happen to have the Japanese PC game somewhere in their possession. Granted, that number might be smaller than the votes needed to get the game on Steam, but it would have at lease quelled the light to medium annoyance some people are feeling who think the publisher is trying too hard to “game the system” as it were. Even though I voted and posted a note, I still own my copy of Gurumin and will gladly post a photo here to score a free code if asked.

Of course, at the end of the day it’s all about the NEW fans who pay for, dive into and have a blast with this modern classic. So here’s to seeing some big sales once the freebie frenzy dies down. I’d love to see some wise publisher get as many Falcom games onto PC’s here at some point (perhaps in a big ol’ box set or series of sets), but that’s me pipe-dreaming up a small storm again…

Alien Isolation: “Crew Expendable”? Not In This Video, Folks!

Alien_Isolation_Crew_ExpendableWhile the internet still rages on about whether or not the adding the cast of the original ALIEN to this new game as paid DLC currently only available as a pre-order bonus, it’s good to see the old(er) cast here reminiscing for a bit about things old and new. I like how Harry Dean Stanton didn’t realize that 35 years had passed since the film was released (hey, sometimes an actor who’s appeared in so many films tends to not recall every single role he’s done and when he did them) and it’s clearly sounding like the dev team didn’t go the lazy route and just take voice samples from the first movie and drop them in where needed. The again, as Tom Skerritt notes: “It’s what you don’t see…”, meaning these missions add to the original film’s story, filling in a few gaps. Hopefully, fans of the film will more likely be a lot more pleased whether or not they like the idea of pre-paying for that DLC and Sega will decide to release both missions as a single download not too long after the game ships out so we all can enjoy them.

It’s National Ice Cream Day! How’d You NOT Watch Your Waistline?

 
Nope, this OLD contest is no longer valid, but I needed an ice cream-related video and this was the first one to come to mind. Anyway, today’s fake holiday was made to make your diet want to kick your expanding behind around the room if you celebrated it, so knock yourself out and pay the piper this week when you get back on the wagon. If you didn’t splurge ‘n purge, you still have a few hours before pumpkin hour. I’m staring at a pint of crappy vanilla fudge and mentally flipping a coin as to whether to finish the entire thing and go for a nice walk later and tomorrow morning or just have oh, somewhat less than half and do that same double walk. Eh, we’ll see… I don’t have any major vices these days, so I may as well do what I can to make someone feel better than I do on occasion…

Random Film of the Week(end): The Punisher (2004)

(thanks, Flauntvids!) 

The Punisher 2004When I finally got around to seeing the 2004 version of The Punisher last week, I was wondering how I missed this one back then in theaters (although I’d not pay a dime to see this flick) or on cable. Then I realized that the film came out when I was in a crazy jobless phase and had chopped out any ideas of spending money to hit the local theater (or any other theater for that matter) until I was back in the black.

Well, even if I’d wanted to see this gloomy and unintentionally hilarious (yet erratically violent) movie, I’d have chosen to save my money. While it works on a basic level of grunting guys saying unintelligible stuff before trying to out-kill each other, the film is far too uneven to be entertaining unless there’s someone on screen getting killed in a ridiculous manner. Where the first (and forgotten by most, save for the more die-hard Marvel movie fans) Punisher film from 1989 was an automatic camp cult classic thanks to Dolph Lundgren’s grumbling and mumbling through the role as sullen serial gangster murderer Frank Castle, some cheesy sets and laughable action scenes, this reboot tries a wee bit too hard to capture the mood of 70’s and 80’s action films to the point that it feels a wee bit outdated on a few fronts… Continue reading

Codemasters Gets Me Rally Longing For The Good Old Days…

I think someone at Codemasters is psychic. Last week, I broke out both Colin McRae Rally and Colin McRae Rally 2.0 just to dive in for a bit and see if they still held up today and yes indeed, they do. While the series went through some big changes as the series moved to new platforms, there was always a solid sense of fun and challenge that made each installment thrilling to blaze through. When the series changed its name to DiRT and its direction to a “cooler” racer in order to rope in younger fans of the X Games or other extreme sports, things definitely slid a bit sideways. The last few installments are all great looking games, but to me, there’s something missing… a certain spirit, if you will. Granted, Colin McRae is no longer with us, so that’s probably the missing element those later games haven’t been able to capture. Seeing that intro video above and playing the game for a little while made me hope Codemasters will go back to the drawing board and deliver a rally game that’s as fun and wickedly addictive as the first few in the series. Strip it down, but make it rich with detail, lose the big social focus (or make it completely optional) and maybe even bring back the goofy bonuses from the older titles just because it’s great to see a surprise ride or three after a ton of hard work.