July Arrows (Or, What Goes Up Must Come Down In Your Blu-Ray Player)

July is a pretty busy month for Arrow Video and Arrow Academy – here’s all six releases coming your way this month on Blu-Ray:

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ZOMBIE FOR SALE [Blu-ray] (7/7)
BLACK RAINBOW [Blu-ray] (7/7)
INFERNO OF TORTURE [Blu-ray] (7/7)
HIROSHIMA [Blu-ray] (7/14)
BLOODSTONE [Blu-ray] (7/21)
LIFE IS A LONG QUIET RIVER [Blu-ray] (7/21)
Arrow TV

Go make your own fireworks show on Apple TV!

Apple device-owning Arrow TV users are also in for a treat this month, as some of the films here are in this months lineup wit many others they can check out. If that’s you, feel free to check out the channel over at the link provided.
-GW

Trouble (Living With It)

(Thanks, Thomas Barnett!)

So, the latest advice from the government is more or less let your abuser move right on it and sure, too many of you will possibly suffer the negative consequences. But hey, we’ll tell you you’re 99% safe and the economy is more important than staying alive because you can’t live without a little sacrifice. Or a lot of little sacrifices that add up to be a lot more. Maybe. My head hurts at all this sheer negligence going on, especially when a more urgent and actually powerful federal response would have worked better from the outset, but nope. It’s been hands off and putting people who have no scientific knowledge or care to grasp it “in charge” of not keeping millions of others safe. plus muzzling or talking over the science-minded folks when they speak out publicly, along with promoting the brick-headed, stubborn ones who are afraid of rocking a slowly sinking boat and its erratic Captain Queeg.

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Capsule Reviews: Ghost Grab 3000/Singled Out (Switch)

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You can’t be afraid of no ghost when you have the ability to use a nuke as an option.

I’d like to think that Matt Glanville (@crowbarska) has a working time machine permanently set to 1983 he’s not telling anyone about, as his games I’ve played to date all look and play like solid arcade hits of around that time. Switch ‘N’ Shoot is still one of the more thrilling and flawless uses of single-button gameplay I’ve experienced and now you have two more retro-inspired titles to  blast away with, both quite good and deceptively simple on their surfaces, but each will have you hooked in for as long as you’re playing.

Ghost Grab 3000 ($4.99) is a nifty shooter that’s a hybrid of bullet hell and strategic shot placement as its lead character needs to line up or gather well-armed ghosts and blast away as many as possible while trying to survive each round. There are a couple of weapons to whip out in an emergency situation, plus a nice upgrade system with over 100 combinations allowing you to tailor your ghost grabber as you like. Part of the fun is buying those upgrades and enhancing your character, as you can create a hero that makes the game easier or, if you want to play with as few upgrades as possible, harder. That’s a bad idea, by the way – go buy and use those upgrades, I say.

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Soul Searching: Going Native (With Dragons on the Side)

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Make mine a double, please…

In the load of stuff I need to get to in this current crazy time, review code for a little game called Soul Searching popped up in the inbox a while back and you can say I’m intrigued by the project enough to move things around and play for a bit. I’ll get to the main story mode later in this post, but let’s talk minigames for a bit. There are seven ‘Short Stories’ as the game calls them, and they can be accessed from the menu and played in any order you like. but the game will run them consecutively if you start from the first one and complete each minigame.

Publisher nakana.io has released a few unique titles so far where its different developers’ personalities are on full display in each work, so there’s a lot going on in each game, from the art styles to the approaches to gameplay. Soul Searching is brim full of weirdness as the simple pixel-heavy art in the main game gives way to some rather intense slices of mind from its developer in minigames that feature assorted visual styles ranging from simple childlike scrawls to vector graphics and crude polygonal characters. In those brief segments, you almost get a sense that indie developer Kayabros (Talha Kaya) is working through some of life’s problems and you’re along for the ride for better or worse.

(Thanks, Nakana Games!)

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Empanadas

(Thanks, Spaceprince72!)

Have you ever been hit in the brain by such a vivid dream that you wake up and think whatever was in that dream actually happened? Or worse, you woke up the next morning or at some point during the day to get dressed and go somewhere that doesn’t exist? Yes, that sort of happened a few days back and I wasn’t going to write about it, but this sort of thing happens quite a lot to quite a lot of people, I hear.

Anyway, I had a dream about empanadas a few days back that had me about to take a bite of one of the dozen I bought, then waking up and wanting to head out to a take out place somewhere in Harlem, if the dream was correct. Well, my brain’s GPS placed the restaurant there and as I’d lived in that area for a few years, I thought I knew exactly where it was located.

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The Unexpected Fruit Market and Other Occasional Hazards

(Thanks, The Midwest TV Guys!)

This morning, I went to return some plastic bottles at the Stop ‘N Shop about a half mile or so walk away (there are many closer places, but it’s good exercise for me) and stumbled across a rather interesting exercise in capitalism taking place. On the way to the store, there’s a hospital complex made up of a few buildings spread over a few blocks and at the kidney dialysis building, I noticed two tall stacks of red containers marked BIOHAZARD a few feet apart and someone standing between and slightly to the rear of them. I was across the street waiting for the light to change, so I merely thought that person was a hospital worker waiting for that hazardous material to be retrieved by whatever company collected it. As I waited for the light, a woman walked up to the man and quickly handed him something, whereupon something else was quickly exchanged and she walked off back the way she came.

Yes, I was a bit more than a little curious at this. So I crossed the street in stealth mode. hoping to sneak a closer peek when suddenly, another person walked up and quickly passed what looked like cash to the man, whereupon they were handed and walked away with a small plastic-encased item. Did they just both just buy an organ or some other icky flesh waste? Was it homemade Soylent Green? Was there a secret society of vampires or zombie keepers in the Bronx I had no idea existed who came out during the daytime? As got closer, I saw that it was just plastic boxes of mixed fruit being quickly traded and there were two or three other people who were either taking cash or distributing fruit boxes as they were paid for. I guess Midge didn’t like the mixed fruit on the menu, or something. A few Midges actually, from the look of things.

(Thanks, boydclanvirginia!)

Passing the people conducting their business, I stopped about 15 or so feet away, turned around, stepped to the right and watched for a bit. It seemed that the guys doing the sales worked in the hospital and were making a few bucks on the side selling that fruit. From what I gathered, these seemed to be low-level staff workers with a few regular customers, giving the speed of the transactions. After about two minutes, I tuned and headed to the store. It was hot out and those plastic bottles weren’t going to return themselves. This was a mystery for some other day. I did hope that those red containers weren’t full or at least clean and just used to block passersby from seeing from afar what was going on, or those fruit cases would be a total fruit surprise for the buyers soon enough.

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Play It Loud/Fire Works/The Death Dealer

(Thanks, FaceUnknown!)

I was relatively and comfortably dead asleep until 4:38:19 this morning, when a blast of very loud music woke me up. The car wash across the street was indeed, open all night and yes, I did not realize this (they’ve been open for what, almost 9 months or so since the renovation?) until that loud, thumping music kicked me out of whatever dreamworld I was inside of. I think I was likely dreaming of the news of late, as I was watching it a few hours before, all bad news and getting worse by the minute.

In case you’ve been otherwise occupied, in the US it’s kind of like this out there, but without the appropriate soundtrack. Monkey business, indeed:

(Thanks, – inTegrity –!

Oh, that music went on for over an hour through a few radio stations, which led me to believe that the person was actually very deaf and getting their car detailed or some sort of full service job that took so long. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much after that, but I did oversleep quite well, thank you much. The square block=sized hole in the ground where a new hospital complex is being slowly built can’t come soon enough, as it will surely add a few QUIET ZONE signs to the area. Which by the way, is the nicest thing I have to say about the incoming building, as it wiped out a few too many family-run shops in the area, none of which have come back or even reopened elsewhere, including a family-owned and run bakery almost everyone I’ve spoken with misses.

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Review: Demon’s Tier (PS4/Vita)

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Instructions for real life, as well.

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Nostalgic is the good word here.

The latest pairing from COWCAT and Diabolical Mind, Demon’s Tier+ ($9.99, buy it!) is an excellent example of a really good game that got much better with a slew of quality of life improvements. While the game follows a clear Gauntlet meets Diablo style of play, a strict time limit and intense difficulty combined with randomly generated levels make for quite the thrilling, replayable ride.

This isn’t a simple “one and done” trophy hunt at all. Rather, the game is an equal to Diabolical Minds’ other retro-inspired pixel-packed releases, Riddled Corpses EX and Xenon Valkyrie+, two other solo or  two player co-op team-ups worth a look. It almost feels like the developer has captured a trio of long lost late 80’s arcade machines in these three titles, all of which demand practice and patience to master, just like the old days.

Story:

Thosgar, a hated king attracted by demonic rituals, turned into a dark and diabolical being… destroying almost all of humanity and flooding the world with monsters. This story became a legend and peace returned to the land.

A thousand years later, a mysterious pit appears in a village after a huge earthquake where an evil aura emanates from…

Will you be the hero to save this world?

Don’t you hate it when that happens? Well, good. Grab your PS4 controller or Vita, and let’s send those demons back to where they came from, pronto.

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Broken Machines

(Thanks, AustroPopArchives Vienna!)

So, we had a death in the family a few months back we all recently found out about (last week), which means it’s been a bit busy here with all sorts of shock and paperwork to tackle and quite a few ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross. Fortunately, the deceased was a very excellent record keeper, so most affairs are in good order and although there are a few important things to tackle for the near and far future, I think we have much of the important things covered.

Courts are all still closed here, so there’s the matter of waiting for a few important papers which need filing, so the waiting is the most annoying part. Well, next to figuring out a too smart Smart TV that was inherited that has a few subscriptions that need shutting down. After connecting the TV, it automatically started playing a film that wasn’t even chosen or someone who wasn’t me as I was walking into the kitchen to get some coffee pressed a button on that arcane backwards-designed remote it has (I need to go look up an online manual, stat!) and a movie no one ordered started up. While I was trying to figure out how to shut it down, this scene was playing in my tired head:

(Thanks, TheBoilingFrog!)

Anyway, I need to help out a family member in securing a few benefits and go through a few too many accounts and passwords as we play Match Game for a bit. I’ll be back in a bit or sooner if most things go smoothly as most seem to be so far. I just need to figure out that remote that has a list of pages of services and which services need that OFF switch. I have enough Blu-rays and DVD’s here to keep me busy for some time and nope, I just can’t afford more digital services than I can ever watch in a lifetime.

Wear a mask, people.

-GW

Ghost Grab 3000 + Singled Out Coming to Switch in July

(Thanks, Matt Glanville!)

Here come two more fun little arcade style titles from Matt Glanville, the maker of Switch ‘N’ Shoot, a cool and challenging single button retro-inspired game you should also get, by the way. Ghost Grab 3000 is a game where you trap and zap ghosts while trying to avoid their shots and get that high score. Singled Out has you identifying and neutralizing Galactic Supercriminals with a sniper rifle and yes, there’s a family friendly mode where you can cage those goofy-looking space aliens instead. Both new games are now available for pre-order on the eShop with a limited 10% discount and a July 2nd street date for both, but if you already own Switch ‘N’ Shoot or any of Matt’s games on the eShop, that discount becomes 15% off.

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Go get these, I say. I’m playing through both games as we speak and can report they’re both fun little games that play and feel like they’re been transported from the 80’s, but don’t try and look for a coin slot on your Switch.

-GW