Here Be Dragons: Insanely Good (So Far)

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Too good to be true, so it must be false!

 

How does one properly describe a game where you play as a few somewhat (okay, VERY) off-kilter pirates in a turn-based strategy game that features a dice-spitting cherub, sea monsters of a few types, gameplay on a “living map” and a reworking of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World? Yeah, you can’t, but you sort of just have to watch this trailer first to see why:

 

 

Red Zero Games? Congratulations are in order as you win the prize. What prize it is will be determined at a later date, but you win something for this pure madness in my book (Memo: give Red Zero Games a prize but not the stale popcorn from last week, that’s not a prize unless they’re dead parrots). I’m actually still playing Here Be Dragons (my laptop has been in haywire mode this week), but so far, this game has had me laughing with it constantly because it’s got easy to pick up, tricky to master gameplay, other than a few glaring typos is extremely well written, and its humor is right up my alley.

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Overpass Hands-On: A Scoop Of (Extremely) Rocky Road, Please

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(sings): “Bumpy roads, take me home…”

 

Bigben Games wants to be your racing simulation racing studio of choice (WRC 8 was a pretty excellent sim on PS4 and my favorite console racer last year), and its upcoming off-road title developed by Zordix Racing in Sweden, Overpass (set for release on March 12, 2020 and March 17 for Switch) is certainly shaping up to be a really solid game experience. I got an hour or so of playtime with the PC version and can report that it’s going to fascinate some and frustrate others, but this is actually a really good thing. If you’re more used to arcade-style racers where all you do is floor the accelerator and powerslide to the fastest victory you can manage, well, here comes a game that’s a test of skill where learning the literal ups and downs of the tracks becomes part of the game and speed needs careful mastering and consideration.

 

 

Does anyone remember Spintires? If so, imagine that with faster off-road racers in mind and the needs to both master a track’s hazards and nail in a quick time despite those hazards. Overpass does this somewhat magnificently, with analog triggers and a thrilling use of controller feedback where you’ll feel the road beneath your ride of choice and need to navigate through the environment unless you want more free badly done rolls than you can find at an Olive Garden.

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The Pee Fountain, Death, and Bette Davis

I got an email not too long ago that I still had money on a certain coffee card that never ever expires (we don’t do product placement here, but you can guess for free and no prizes will be awarded for guessing correctly), so I took a break from my Firefox-induced madness noted in a previous post and went down to grab a cuppa joe even though I’d made a fresh pot earlier today. A change of scenery was going to help my mood, I thought.

Sometimes, dear reader… you get more than you paid for.

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Review: Terminator: Resistance (PS4)

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Hi!  I’m Darryl and this is my other brother, Darryl and we’ll be killing you in a sec…

TRcoverWell, isn’t this a big surprise?

Reef Entertaiment‘s shockingly good Terminator: Resistance ($59.99, PS4) is the best game in the long running series of games based on the franchise since the one-two punch of Bethesda’s two very solid PC games, The Terminator: Future Shock (1995) and SkyNET (1996). What’s so astonishing is this new game’s developer Teyon is responsible for 2014’s RAMBO: The Video Game, which was raked over the coals critically for a number of issues, with being a simple rail shooter where movement was automatic and had too many QTE (Quick Time Event) sequences and some technical woes some of the biggest problems.

The Polish developer (who also has a branch in Japan) has been around since 2006 making a number of games for multiple platforms and to me, they’re a tiny bit like Cauldron, the Bratislava-based developer who made a number of journeyman-like titles across multiple platforms for a few publishers over the years. Whatever budget they had to work with here, Teyon really took the Terminator license seriously, going back to the first two films for inspiration and knocking it out the park as a result. Interestingly enough, there’s a even a Bethesda Softworks touch in the interaction scenes with other characters as choices you make affect a few outcomes and even the lock picking mini-game is lifted from the later Bethsoft-made Fallout games.

 

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Weird Tales (and It’s All True)

Thanks, OOdie Smith!)

 

Amusingly enough, my last post seemed to cause some voodoo spirits* or whatever to affect my posting through Firefox, as I’m now writing this on Google Chrome after installing it because I can’t post or respond to posts using Firefox now. Weird, as it’s been an issue since last night when I was trying to post two reviews and respond to a few comments and I couldn’t. It was late and I was tired, so I did the usual human thing of going to bed without resolving the problem.

Of course, this didn’t work at all as a proper solution when I went to check early this morning to see what was up.

VOODOOOOOO!!**

I think I turned into Sir Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in Sexy Beast at this point, or I got up and had a cup of strong coffee, or both. But like a politician, I choose not to remember certain things as a matter of convenience. Oh, that video you clicked on was very NSFW (no, not in a sexy manner), but I may also have been (ALLEGEDLY), and Sir Ben is better at emoting, so there. Nyah.

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The Thousand (Plus) Post Stare

I’ve got a secret that’s not really a secret is a silly way to begin a post, but so it goes. Anyway, I started blogging on Blogger 11 or so years ago, moving to WordPress because, frankly, Blogger was a pain on a few fronts and Google for some reason chopped my Adsense monetization off for no good reason. I know there was a class action suit filed a few years later and they eventually sent me a pittance of what I was owed, but that’s fodder for a separate post.

I’d been meaning to migrate my old site’s posts here for some time and indeed, did move a few years of content (a few thousand posts) over a few years ago. What’s left are about 1100 posts (including drafts) that I have no idea what to do with, although a few are junk posts that point people to this site, so I can ignore those completely.  As for the rest, it may seem that many posts are outdated and some old reviews are no longer relevant, but it’s a weird time in the world where one may want old stuff to have some existence in some way outside the disposable content the internet is packed with.

Well, that and converting even a few hundred of those old posts will take a bit of time to do and transfer any images and videos over. Well, that’s a thing to consider, right? It might not actually happen, but I may slip in the occasional old blog post as a “retro” review other feature in the future, Well, maybe. My backlog is so huge that it may never happen, but I may surprise myself one of these days..

-GW

SAMURAI SHODOWN on Switch: Big Things, Smaller Packages and Big, But Little Surprises

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It’s time to Switch things up…

samuraishodown_package_switch (1)I’ll tell you, games can get you in trouble if you’re careless. Case in point, SNK’s Samurai Shodown has always caused me trouble because it’s intentionally misspelled the word “Showdown” since its initial installment in arcades in 1993. Which has lead me to ducking fists and feet ever since when I try to correct a fan of the franchise on occasion who spells the word incorrectly outside of the game title. (CHOP! Ow!)

Hey, sorry! My internal spellcheck just goes haywire when I see it. It’s not your fault! Anyway, here’s a peek at few trailers and screens look at some new content for the upcoming Unreal-4 powered Nintendo Switch version, ($49.99) which is coming on February 25, 2020 and looks pretty nice, by the way. Even nicer, players who pre-order the digital or physical version of the game before its release date will get a neat freebie -a port of the Neo Geo Pocket Color game, Samurai Shodown! 2 as a bonus.

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Better still, pre-orders for the physical version from GamsStop or Best Buy get a cool bonus controller skin, so hit up one of these retailers if you’re in the US and want one before the game ships.

I still have my old NGPC here, so even though the Switch port will be an exclusive to the console, It’ll bring back memories playing it now on Nintendo’s home and portable wodder system. I actually missed the PS4 version of the game when it was last year (oops), but I think I can still nab a copy from the PlayStation Store when I need to.

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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Coming to Kickstarter in Feburary

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Something’s cooking over at Owlcat…

If you’re fan of old-school PC classics like the Baldur’s Gate series and other Infinity Engine games, Keep an eye of this, please. Developer Owlcat Games will be launching a crowdfunding drive via Kickstarter for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, the followup to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which by the way is on sale for about 20 hours more at Fanatical (go get it!). There’s a lot of changes on the way, but I’ll reveal a few when the Kickstarter goes live on February 4, 2020 and I can report on some hands-on time spent with a build.

You’ll also want to go sign up for info on the game on Owlcat’s website, as this will get you a stunning free 178 page artbook PDF from the first game that actually surprised me at how much it contained. A bit of info about the new title and some nice screen and art is below the jump.

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Maneater: Watch Out, Folks – It’ll Chew You Up This May

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“HEY YOU KIDS, GET OFFA MY LAWN!!

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Please don’t sing that “Baby Shark” song here.

Way back in 2006, developer Appaloosa Interactive and publisher Majesco released JAWS Unleashed, an officially licensed game that had players take on the role of the shark in an open-world adventure set 30 years after the original film. While it suffered from some camera issues and a few glitches, the game was quite a guilty pleasure many players liked for its shark-driven bloody violence and some pretty wry humor in all the M-rated mayhem caused.

Me, I have both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of that older game here, plus an Xbox review build from Majesco that I got at a press event for the game, which was a ton of fun to play, warts and all. The Xbox versions are buried in a pile of games here, but I did locate a sealed PS2 version I should crack open at some point (I’d reviewed the Xbox version many moons ago on a new defunct website).

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I don’t think a bigger boat will help much, to be honest.

 

Flash forward to 2020, and developer Tripwire Interactive has what looks like a much meatier game called Maneater coming this May and man, does it bring back some good and gory memories.

Here’s a somewhat tongue in cheek trailer to ogle:

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Review: Promise Her Anything (1966)

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“Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it…”

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My brain wants its time back. My eyes… well they were pleased for a hot minute or two.

The very last thing you see before the end credits to Arthur Hiller‘s bizarre 1966 sex comedy Promise Her Anything is a red neon sign that says one word: STOP, which if it had appeared at the start of the film, would have probably saved me the trouble of watching this earlier this morning. To paraphrase Fight Club, “I am Jack’s flabbergasting 98 minutes.”

Let me hip you to the ’60’s era plot so I can get away with torturing, murdering and burying this one as fast as possible, although I may take my time with the torture part, as the movie is very much like scheduling a 98-minute session with a nearsighted dominatrix who happens to be stone deaf, owns a too short set of whips, keeps missing her target, her safe word is “Mister Mxyzptlk” and if you don’t sign it properly with the quotes, she keeps on madly whipping the air. I’ll first apologize to anyone who’s exactly like that in real life or has that particular fetish, by the way.

Anyway, here we we go: A lovely widow with a baby moves into a Greenwich Village apartment on the same floor as a free-spirited guy who makes mail order adult movies but has intentions of making it big in art films one day. They sort of hit it off (although she has no idea of the work he does), but she gets a job as an assistant to a baby-hating child psychologist and plans to woo him because she sees a good provider in that wealth he’s got. Meanwhile, her neighbor becomes quite a helpful babysitter… who keeps trying to bed his emotionally susceptible newly widowed neighbor while secretly putting her child in the films he’s selling.

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You’re watching this film for the girls, right? Bless your soul.

Well now, that’s kind of unforgettable for a few reasons, isn’t it?

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