Radical Heroes: Crimson City Crisis Hands-On: Punch-Drunk Love Fest

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POW! Fans of Downtown Nekketsu/River City Ransom and other beat ’em up classics have a new game to kick sand in their faces in the form of Radical Heroes: Crimson City Crisis, currently in Early Access on Steam and worth every dime. Brought to you by Mad Unicorn Games (aka, the VERY talented Moses and Noah Doyle) and Apogee Software (yeah, THAT Apogee!), the game takes the old sprite-packed beat ’em up into the 21st century with dazzling, colorful pixel art that makes for environments that pop off the screen.

The enemies you deliver beat downs to pop off the screen as well, but that’s because you’ll be the one sending them onto that parking orbit with your avatar’s fists and feet. POW!

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer: Tumbleweed Tease, But I’m Still A Betting Man

Beautiful, and had you inquired of me a few days ago, I’d have noted with a smile, exactly what I expected from Rockstar Games. Those with short attention spans whining all over the internet about this being more of a teaser than an actual full-on gameplay trailer packed with juicy plot spillage need to sloooowly slide away from the keyboards and step out for some air. It’s far too early to start dropping lengthy gameplay videos that will only be digested, incorrectly dissected and over-speculated on in every aspect by the usual suspects. My own preferences are to go in as cold as possible so the new game warms me up and is as spoiler-free as possible. Yeah, that’s how I roll and yes, it makes a game intensely more enjoyable when you don’t fire it up and know everything about what’s SUPPOSED to be a surprising *new* experience.

Where was I again? Oh, right? When has the company dumped out a long-form gameplay trailer for a game that’s about to over a year away? More importantly, when have they let you down with one of their major releases? Yeah, PC-only gamers will gripe about that question in regards to the first 2.5 Red Dead games (Revolver, Redemption, and Undead Nightmare). But that’s their own fault from suffering from system bias, I say.

That and, hell… if GTA V PC is any indication, you over-clockers and console blockers will get yours at some point, gloating about its superiority as soon as the system specs and first screenshots are revealed at the exact same “some point.”

So, get over it. Please.

Er, just not before us console owners loyal to the cause since the DMA Design days and prepping for a game destined to become an instant classic when it’s released for PS4 and Xbox One in 2017.

P.S.: Sneaky, Rockstar… SNEAKY. Getting Red Dead Revolver out on PSN almost a week ago and not telling me. Well, that goes on the want list, too. I just have the Xbox version in the game library at the moment, but hate setting up that system just for one game.

Switch: Your New Nintendo Console, Folks


So, here we go. As someone who pre-ordered and owns a Wii U and was/is relatively pleased with the system (albeit less than thrilled it didn’t reach its full potential), this new system intrigues me significantly. Does that portability, HD screen and home/away play element kill off the 3DS’ market? Probably not (yet). 3DS games are faster to make from what I gather, but I’m gathering we’ll be hearing from all those developers who’ve been quietly working away on new and old IP exactly what’s coming. Not a fan of the “lifestyle” video with impossible stuff happening at all… but that’s PR doing its thing trying to make the Switch “cool” to those who buy into this sort of thing.


If that too brief The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild footage is any indication of how upcoming titles will look, I’d say we’ll be seeing a few more beautiful games in less open worlds calling wallets out of pockets and purses an March 2017 rolls around. Here’s the Wii U version for comparison’s sake, if you need to do that. Both look spectacular, but you know how some folks are. Anyway, color me really intrigued and on that pre-order list.


Amnesia Collection PS4: One Rule of Fear, Broken For The Streamer Age

So. A big fat resounding YES booms out here to the upcoming Amnesia Collection for PlayStation 4, set for a November 22, 2016 release. Featuring all three entries in the “series” (Amnesia The Dark Descent, Amnesia: Justine and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs), I’m going to dive on this set of scares like a thousand dollar bill scooting down an empty street on a slightly windy day. On the other hand… that trailer above gets a sore thumb in the eye for going the pesky paid YouTube screamer/streamer route when something a lot less… annoying would have been perfect.

A good deal more so, in fact.

Take a look at the original PC trailer for Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

Effective? Yep. Disorienting? Definitely. I’m not sure who put this new trailer together, but it just makes a truly frightening game experience into another jump-scare game that are literally a dime a dozen (or free) on Steam. Now, I’m not one of those off the wall gamers screaming for a boycott or spewing bile over a not so hot (and at the end of the day, minor) decision made by whomever. It’s just that I like having one game that’s actually unnerving to remain so without the possibly fake or overplayed reactions you can see dozens of on YouTube on a daily basis.


Hide and Shriek Gameplay Trailer: The Polite Heart Attack Maker, Almost Here

So, Funcom wants to pair up like-minded folks and get them to merrily jump scare each other to death’s doorstep while sitting at separate computers miles (or less) apart? Cool. Ringu-round the caller, is a noose that’s not so loose, right? Anyway, here’s a press release below to peruse, as I’m in the middle of a sudden freelance gig with a pointy deadline poking me in the behind (OW!):


Scare or be scared in this fun Halloween multiplayer game full of high jinks and mischief! Set traps, cast spells, and scare the living hell out of your opponent to win!

Hide and Shriek is a one vs. one multiplayer romp played out in ten minute matches. Your objective is simple: be a mischievous little rascal and scare your opponent half to death before time runs out! If there is no clear winner when the timer stops, the player with the most points wins the game. Points can be acquired by scaring your opponent, luring them into traps, or performing an ancient ritual.

There is just one catch: you are both invisible!

You will need to use cunning traps and potent spells to reveal your opponent. Once you spot them, sneak up on them and give them a good scare! Just remember they are looking for you too, and if you`re not careful you might be the one jumping in your seat!



So, yeah. If you happen to be in my area and swing by on Halloween and I don’t answer the door, I’m probably curled up on the carpet clutching my own Telltale Heart. Thanks, Funcom!


Busload of Horror II: Time to Kill? Sure, Why Not?


Back for more, are we? Well, then. Let’s amp things up a notch with some scary stuff that has you killing or being killed in gratuitous or thoughtfully gratuitous means. Or something like that. I guess what’s here is kinda NSFW unless you work at some place like your friendly neighborhood abbatoir, morgue, or cemetery and/or have a morbid sense of humor, hee-ho!


unloved-headerUNLOVED: Yikes. So, you want to run around in the dark (perhaps with up to three others) equipped with a handgun and flashlight looking for better weapons, armor, and colored keys while trying not to to get keelhauled by some fast-moving, ugly as sin monsters? Good. This game’s got your name, number and full address stamped all over it.

Nope, it’s not 1993 all over again, but UNLOVED sure rocks it like it is. Paul Schneider took his original Doom II mod and completely remade it using Unreal 4 to great, gory effect. As a solo or multiplayer experience, the game is wickedly fast, controls as expected (yes you can have at it with k+m or a controller if you like) and definitely not for the squeamish or easily startled. Or perhaps it IS, as it’ll surely prepare you for anything jumping out at you in the real world.


There’s an interesting rewards system at play as well where you can sell off gathered trinkets for assorted useful goodies. That said, a bit more character customization would be nice, as other than outfit color, EVERY player model is some generic white guy with sunglasses, making playing with others look like a Falco video with assorted guns set in a carnival horror house. But even if you just come for the scares and enjoy the ride (and dying a lot), this is quite a rush worth the $14.99 cost.

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Review: MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, MeiQ has a few surprises for those thinking it’s just another fan service packed JRPG. Lengthy and packing in some cool ideas, it’s a solid genre entry worth picking up.

meiq_cg7 Platform: PlayStation Vita
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/13/2016
MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%) BUY IT!

At first glance (and second… and third), MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death looks like many other fan-service JRPGs packed with gals bursting out of their too-skimpy outfits ripe for waifu fantasies from those eager fans into that sort of thing. Fortunately, a mighty good game lurks past that booby trap facade and this is one Labyrinth worth a full inspection and yes, another Iffy game you’ll want to have in your library. Once you get over the costume designs, there’s a long and challenging game here to conquer with a fine combat system, albeit one that doesn’t change all that much once you sink a few hours in.

The plot is pretty basic stuff with four towers that need to be conquered in order to beat the evil so-and so trying to rule and ruin the land. Adding mechs each gal can pilot to the mix is a great touch, as it allows for some interesting pairings as well as gives you a squishy backup plan should a mech fall in battle. That’s right, your gals and whatever skills they’ve learned are your last resource if their metallic rides go down in flames. Initially, it’s a lousy thing as the gals aren’t exactly powerful and it takes time to gain a full party anyway. But, after a chunk of time, they’ll improve and all gain some nice, useful skills that can do decent damage. You’ll still want those mechs in good shape, though.

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Mordheim: City of the Damned Lands on PS4, Xbox One


“Well, this one looks neat!” said the brain, both halves actually agreeing for a rare change. Focus Home Interactive’s busy year of interesting games I want to play continues with developer Rogue Factor‘s Mordheim: City of the Damned, a really nice-looking tactical RPG based on the classic Games Workshop out of print board game from 1999. Four separate campaigns (a full campaign for each of the four Warbands: The Human Mercenaries, the Sisters of Sigmar, the Skaven of Clan Eshin, and the Cult of the Possessed), online play if you want to compete with like-minded gamers, snazzy visuals, all that good stuff.

While not a “horror” game per se, I do love the visual style chosen quite a lot and hell, imagine wanting to whip up a Halloween outfit based on some of the wilder looking characters? Yep, that would be fun, right down to the people running away from you and into nearby trees or lampposts. Ouch.


RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2: Yes, It’s Worth Waiting That Year For


Woke up late with a screaming headache, saw this news and while not gone, my headache was screaming less louder than I was. Yep. Third game I need of 2017, inbound. Press release below:

Rockstar Games Announces Red Dead Redemption 2® Coming Fall 2017

Trailer coming Thursday October 20th

NEW YORK, NY, October 18, 2016 – Rockstar Games®, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), is proud to announce that the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2® will release worldwide in Fall 2017 for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment systems and for the Xbox One games and entertainment system.

Developed by the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world will also provide the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2, the team is working hard to push forward our vision for interactive entertainment in a truly living world,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We hope to deliver players an epic experience that builds upon everything we’ve learned making games.”

Watch the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, Thursday October 20th at http://www.rockstargames.com.

This game is not yet rated by the ESRB.



Busload of Horror: Or, Way Too Many Scary Games This Month, Part 1

detention-6Ha. You should see my inbox and backlog. You’d scream. A lot. Especially at all the scary games that try to elbow each other in the eyeballs for attention. Some of these end up beign great, some not so great, a few even end up like broken dolls you want to keep because they have promise but need to be taken to the toymaker and fixed up a bit. Anyway, here are (well, three at a time in this series) some quick looks at a bunch of games I liked that you may want to try… if you’re brave enough.


arb_mainA Room Beyond: Currently up to its second of five chapters (the first one is free), René Bühling‘s excellent, distinctly smart psychological horror game does its frights up right, using a superb, intentionally crude yet perfect and gorgeous “2.5D” pixelated visual style that actually amps up the chill factor considerably. The experience is pure classic adventure/exploration game with a Lovecraftian vibe creeping throughout its narrative, but combat against creatures is a necessary and well-implemented evil in the second chapter.

From the opening moments when your character wakes up trapped in a cave and makes his way down that winding hill to a foggy village with some very strange residents, there’s a sense of uneasy dread that something terrible not only will happen, but has happened. Your character is tied into all this somehow, of course. But despite his hardiness and good intentions to help out while trying to solve his own mystery, in a way he seems not quite prepared for what’s coming. In other words, I’m hooked in for the long haul.

The official site notes A Room Beyond is “A novel story of crime, mystery and life-philosophy is told in five episodes which finally reveal into a complete story line,” which sold me right away. You can try out the FREE demo on Steam (highly recommended), but if you’re already a big horror game fan, I say just pay the $6.99 for the current build and play this at night with the lights out and a pair of headphones on for best results.

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