Is The Evil Within Any Good? I’ll Find Out (Eventually)..


 
Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks’ horror game The Evil Within is out today, and I know publisher Bethesda Softworks is anticipating good numbers for this psychological/survival horror/action game hybrid. While PC and “next-gen” versions are going to get the critical love or hate, I’m more interested in the older console versions because they’ll be ignored for the most part by critics despite MORE people owning hardware those versions can be played on outside the PC game space where no game is guaranteed to move as well thanks to assorted factors outside the control of the publisher. Mikami’s name will move copies to fans of Capcom’s storied (but bumpy since he left) Resident Evil franchise, but those new to the man’s work will probably play the waiting game until they have enough pals playing to convince them to drop some cash on this new IP.

Sure, I’m betting the PS3 or 360 versions don’t look as good, may have issues with frame rate and/or screen tearing compared to the spiffier new consoles and so forth and so on. But I don’t care about that at all in any game if I like the story, characters and gameplay. We’re at the stage where games are picked apart for too many things that at the end of the day, don’t really detract from the overall experience at all. There are too many amateur internet critics that think because they’ve read other (and better) reviews and have picked up a few buzzwords, they can toss them back at EVERY game like they know what they’re talking about. Sadly, most of the time they’re wrong or just being picky to justify not liking something most others would overlook. As for me, well, I have to hold out for a bit thanks to my disposable income being less disposable of late, but it’s a ride I do want to take at some point…

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Dragon Age Inquisition Hands-On: All is As it Needs to Be (Which Means You’ll Be Very Busy Soon)…


 
A half hour may be a long time if you’re sitting through a really bad TV show, being tortured, have a terrible toothache or are waiting for some test results, but it’s clearly not a good deal of time to sit down with a build of Dragon Age Inquisition. For me ( a fan of the series and BioWare’s RPGs in general for quite some time), the game is one that doesn’t need a huge amount of hyperbolic posts from editor-types or even PR gurus because it’s a series that’s pretty much sold itself to a fan base who wanted to see a western-developers RPG do more with the genre (and it’s succeeded for the most part despite a few bumps along the road it’s traveled). My half hour at EA’s media event a few days back was spent ogling the beautiful visuals, running around with my party picking plants for crafting and looting assorted caches while getting the hang of the deeper combat system that now adds some very welcome tweaks to the mix of real-time and “turn-based” format.

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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.

The Evil Within Looks to Scare You Sillier Than You’d Like to Be Scared, So Get With the Program!


 
Let’s see now: one part Resident Evil, one part Silent Hill, One part F.E.A.R. and a lot of what’s inside Shinji Mikami’s head certainly go a long way in his latest game, The Evil Within. Set for an October 14, 2014 release on PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, this survival horror game marks Mikami’s return to the genre that made him a master to legions of horror game fans. I’m holding out until I play this one, but from all those trailers and behind the scenes videos that have been popping up, this one looks as if it will deliver the goods to those who can take what it throws at them. Granted, if you’re one of those jaded types scared of nothing and think this game is “dull” when you haven’t touched a controller connected to a console or PC running it, then Bethesda Softworks and Tango Game Studios more than likely have no use for your commentary on some message board where you’re all anonymous and filled with bile for some reason or another.

I’d bet they’d LOVE more constructive and useful criticism from people who may run into something that keeps the game from being what it needs to be (but that doesn’t include being a direct Resident Evil clone, I’d bet), so maybe go PLAY this before you go online and whine expecting for someone to back you up when the developer and publisher would rather see you fall off a cliff onto something sharp. Or something like that. I’m betting Bethsoft and Mikami don’t care what anyone who hasn’t played this thinks because at the end of the day, those people are wasting their time rambling on about themselves and speaking for others when they should just shut up and maybe play some of those games they hate on for no reason. Just a thought…

STYX: Master of Shadows Launch Trailer: Time to get Sneaky, Sneaky With the Ugly Shorty…


 
Okay, he’s kind of cute in that way ugly little goblins can be cute under the right light and without too much alcohol in one’s belly (never get drink around a goblin!), but yes, STYX: Master of Shadows is out tomorrow on Steam and for the PS4 and Xbox One. I’m hoping his one does well, as Cyanide Studios has put a lot of work into this game and it looks like their most polished title to date. We’ll see what the scores say, although I’m betting some reviewers “get” this game and what it’s trying to do while others don’t. I almost wish this was on the older consoles just so more people would show interest in what’s here, but hey – you can’t push those new systems as much of you drop four versions of the same game on the first day. That and the more developers who get used to the new hardware and can craft games that show off what they can do, the better for sales of those systems. Allegedly. Anyway, this one seems worth a closer look, folks…

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!”

New Rollers of the Realm Trailer: Some Puzzles With Your Pinball/RPG? Sure, Why Not?

 
Rollers of the Realm is getting better and better, isn’t it? Phantom Compass’ upcoming hybrid game set to be published by Atlus in November is certainly looking even more polished (like a gigantic shiny new pinball) in this new trailer and I’m betting PS4 and Vita owners will be more than pleased with the plot, puzzles and play in this game when they finally get their hands on it. I’m still going back to that super aged preview build I have for PC just to get a whiff of what to expect and it’s so clear that the game’s going to exceed expectations on a few key fronts. I’m not sure Atlus needs to run another trailer until the November release, but I won’t complain at all if they do. That’s just one more opportunity to reach out and get a few more sales from potential pinballers who might not have gotten the good word already.

Back with more if more is on the way, as usual…

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…

Kromaia Hands-On: Blasting Cool Looking Stuff Four Ways ’til Sunday (Well, Any Day of the Week)…


 

Kromaia ArtKraken Empire’s upcoming space shooter Kromaia is going to be one of those games genre fans will be more than pleased to see thanks to the stellar visuals and intuitive control scheme (provided you use a keyboard/mouse or decent game controller). Rising Star Games has wisely snapped this one up for a Q4 2014 release and I recently got my paws on some preview code to take for a spin. And spin I did, as the ships in the game are all kinds of maneuverable thanks to the six degrees of movement through the game’s enemy and obstacle-packed levels..

The preview build had four different levels and four types of ships to play around with, each linked to one of the stages. While I could sit here and make comparisons to Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon, Rez and other excellent sci-fi or fantasy shooters where you’re set on a path without much deviation, Kromaia outdoes those games by allowing you to go anywhere you point that ship you’re flying. There are clear goals in each map, but you can choose to go off what you thought was a predetermined path and zip around at your leisure while trying not to get blown into plenty of pixels by the nicely aggressive enemy AI…

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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.