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).

Abyss Odyssey Extended Dream Edition: ACE Work, Now On PS4

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AO_EDEACE Team’s rogue-like brawler/RPG/adventure hybrid Abyss Odyssey was one of those uniquely gorgeous games that catered best to those who spent time mastering the intricacies of its seemingly simple combat system. The game’s lovely Art Nouveau-inspired visuals and realistic animation made it less of a button basher and more a game where practice makes perfect. Capturing enemy souls and using those enemies or the allies you’d also unlock to replay procedurally generated maps added plenty of replay value to what was a nicely challenging game experience.

Now, the PS4 finally gets what’s looking like the definitive version of the game. As you can see from those nice-looking screen shots below (which do indeed look nice, but don’t really do the game much justice at all), the game is Mucha beautiful:

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In addition to some nicely enhanced visuals and smoother gameplay, there’s also a new online PvP mode for those who crave fighting against live opponents. Speaking of gameplay – here’s a short look at the launch trailer:


 

Se what I mean by screenshots not doing this justice? Anyway, go grab this one if your artistic and energetic sides have been activated. It’s a neat little sleeper that will keep you entertained for quite a bit.

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.

Retro City Rampage 486
 

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.

Review: Lost Dimension (PS3/PS Vita)

Lost Dimension PS3 Final Lost Dimension Vita Final

Platform: PlayStation 3/PS Vita
Developer: FuRyu
Publisher: Atlus
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
MSRP: $39.99
Official Site
Score: B (80%)

Anime (13)

He may be smiling outside, but he’s really going to kill you inside. The End.

 

Oh, how I do wish there were a Lost Dimension OVA or short-run anime series. Just so I could see the scene at the close of one episode when villain The End materializes outside that strange massive pillar he’s dropped in the middle of Tokyo to address some reporters who’ve popped up outside with their news vans and a moderately sized crowd of terrified (but terminally nosy) gawkers. In my somewhat addled brain, the English dub would go something like this:

REPORTER: Mr. The End! You’ve dropped this massive Pillar onto the city, killed over two billion people around the world and are threatening the human race with total extinction! What will you do now?!

 

THE END (dryly): Hmmm…  I guess I’ll go to Disney World… and kill everyone there as well.

Whereupon The End would smirk, drift high up into the air and vanish as the crowd below gasps and chatters away. As that reporter is making some dopey closing commentary, the camera would pull way back as he or she is talking right before a huge chunk of rubble drops on top of everyone outside. Cut to The End looking down and grinning as we get a freeze frame shot of his face and THE END in big letters fading in before the closing credit theme kicks in.

Hey, I did say he means business, didn't I?

Hey, I did say he means business, didn’t I? THE END.

Yeah, I’d pay real money to see that. But I’m a bit crazy.

Anyway, my poorly plotted final fan fiction fantasy dream aside, let’s talk about the game in question. Lost Dimension comes to you from developers FuRyu (with an Lancarse assist) and publisher Atlus as a solid, intriguing hybrid of visual novel and tactical RPG. It’s a game that takes a number of genre cliches (and the fact that JRPG fans love them) and flips them onto their heads as it asks you to kill off your team one by one in order to advance the plot. While that’s going on you also need to bond with as many of your remaining teammates as possible before the final showdown. And you need to do this twice in order to get that best ending.

I usually don’t do this, but I’m going to go and gently spoil some of the obvious stuff the game slaps you with hard just to make sure it’s understood how important it is to NOT automatically like the cast from the get-go.

Mana (1)

Oh really? Well you’re still getting voted off the island, missy!

The game doesn’t care a whit how cute you think Himeno is or that Marco wears bangin’ headphones and has a snowman or whatever the hell that is on his outfit. In fact, going into the game with notions of “saving” characters you like is a really terrible idea. Not only will you be disappointed that someone you’re attached to is going to get theirs at your hands, you’ll end up in a frustrating loop of trying to reload saves that won’t matter at all as you try to salvage someone who needs to die anyway… Continue reading

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos Now On Sale: Let’s Get Physical (But Digital Is Okay, Too)


 

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos screenLet’s get this out of the way. You’re NOT buying Onechanbara Z2 Chaos because it’s anything close to AAA quality “Game of the Year” material. Nope, you’re buying because you’re a guy or gal who really like SUPER offbeat action games from Japan featuring under-dressed but overpowered ladies slicing and dicing hordes of undead creatures and creeps. That and the game is also pretty darn hilarious because it’s so intentionally over the top while being extremely accessible to about anyone who picks up a controller and wants to take it for a spin. XSEED Games has two versions of the game out today; a digital download for $39.99 that includes the game and rather sassy “Strawberries and Banana” DLC “costumes”.

Onechanbara Z2 Chaos BS LE
 

Hey, both fruit are quite tasty and VERY good for you! Lots of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff like that there. So that LE has some nutritional and educational value. Get two!

If you want something to touch and show off (fear not, Aya, Saki and the other gals won’t chop your sweaty hands off), run like the wind to your nearest game emporium with $49.99 and get the yummy limited “Banana Split” edition shown above. That set nets you a soundtrack CD packed with almost 80 minutes of music from both this game and its Japan-only predecessor Onechanbara Z: Kagura, an 80-page softcover “Behind the Bikini” book loaded with artwork and back story from both games, and a code to download that aforementioned “Strawberries & Banana” premium DLC costume. Let’s see now: so far, Onechanbara Z2 Chaos is (according to me) nutritious, educational, “sassy”, and a few other things. That sounds like a buy to me. And probably XSEED Games as well.

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.

PSN Flash Sale: Sci-Fi Games and Flicks Up For Grabs

PSN Flash Sale Sci-Fi
 

So. Say you’re sitting around doing not too much this weekend, happen to have a PSN account and need something (or a few things) entertaining to do with your time. If you’re willing to spend a little money (or more than a little if you let yourself get too caught up in the bargains), yep, there’s another PSN Flash Sale going on. Expect to see plenty off excellent deals as listed on this PlayStation Blog post… and look, your wallet is already hopping out of that pocket or purse and is running away from you! Go get it!

See, this is why you NEED to always vacuum under the bed, folks.

PSN Flash Sale Sci-Fi 2 

Hmmm. Fortunately, wallets love playing with dust bunnies so they’re easy to catch. I’ll leave you to it, then. The Sci-Fi Deals Flash Sale ends Monday, July 20 at 9am Pacific Time, so get moving if you want to score some nice deals.

Godzilla’s Here. You Can Run And Scream Now.

(Thanks, Bandai Namco Entertainment America!)
 

If you heard some very loud roaring and thunderous stomping noises this week around Tuesday or so, nope, that wasn’t Godzilla outside paying your town a visit. I was probable a bunch of kaiju fans tromping down to their nearest game emporium to pick up Godzilla for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. While the game comes highly recommended no matter which platform you own, PS4 users get the big fat bonus of playing as any monster in the game in any mode right from the start. Nice. Of course, if all that Sturm und Drang was actually weather related and you were stuck indoors watching lightning bolts fighting each other for scare-space, well aren’t you lucky you don’t like in a copper house?

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Anyway, yep. This one needs to be played. One more for the backlog!

Lost Dimension Update: When The End Is Only The Beginning


 

With Lost Dimension coming on July 28 to PS3 and Vita and yours truly almost done with his second play through for review purposes, it’s tough to keep from doing some bean spilling on what to expect from the game. Of course, you’ll have to chase me down and force a lot of real American dollars into my pockets just to get me to cough up the juicy details. I don’t carry change with me (the rustling of bills in a pocket hurts my follicles), so you’ll have to start with one hundred bucks at a minimum before I cough up some answers. But as I’ve already put a decent chunk of time into what’s here, let’s just safely say that the game has taught me how to lie very effectively. You may not get the truth out of me but you’ll at least get a convincing tale that will keep you entertained enough to believe every single word.

Of course, you just may bribe me and get nothing but dead air. Ever since I got my review code there’s been a black van outside my building with tinted windows and an ATLUS logo on the door. Methinks I’ll end up IN said black van if I talk too much.