Metal Wolf Chaos XD: August 6 is Boom Time on Consoles and PC

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Who’da thunk a game made way back in 2004 would be so damn… timely?

Hooooo, boy. Some people at Devolver Digital and very likely famed Japanese developer FromSoftware have quite the wry sense of humor. Metal Wolf Chaos XD is finally arriving for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via gog.com and STEAM) for $24.99 on August 6, 2019 and I’ll let the more history-oriented types get the eye-pop on that date’s significance. Pre-orders are open now and each version has a nifty little bonus exclusive to them (which will frustrate some completist types, but so it goes).

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Nope, this photo is NOT from the future. I didn’t realize the date was incorrect on my camera until I uploaded this pic. Oops.

Anyway, this remastered gem also seems to be a digital-only release, which is a shame for those who prefer physical over digital games. That said, although I still have my original modded Xbox as well as a Japanese Xbox and an import copy of the game, I’ll still be more than happy to jump on this updated version of the 2004 classic, which was (and still is) pretty outrageous as well as so intentionally jingoistic that some players who don’t get the humor on display may not get the joke. Then again, you can’t take at all seriously the premise of a mech-suited President of the United States of America taking on his rogue (and also mech-suited) Vice-President after a coup attempt leaves the country at war. Well a few places at war, actually.

Here’s the latest trailer:

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The Great Backlog Dupe Giveaway 4: Two Alien Invasions For You To Halt!


 

Yeah, you COULD go out like one of these not too bright chumps in the “classic” low-budget 1980 sci-fi flick (It Came) Without Warning, OR you could dive into the TWO Steam games I’m giving away to ONE lucky winner and learn some actual alien invasion survival tactics that will come in VERY handy! That’s right, folks! Today’s giveaway consists of Altar Studios’ UFO: Aftermath and UFO: Aftershock, two tactical strategy games inspired by the classic X-Com franchise:


 

All you need to do is be the first one to respond and both codes are YOURS. Yes, you need a Steam account and a valid email address (which you don’t need to post – I’ll find you, don’t worry). It will take me a bit longer to respond today, as I’m actually not at the home office and will be back there in a few hours to respond to the lucky winner, so don’t fret if you post first and don’t hear back right away.


 

Okay, enough reading – you’ve got some games to win and play! GOOD LUCK!

Random Film of the Week(end): The Punisher (2004)

(thanks, Flauntvids!) 

The Punisher 2004When I finally got around to seeing the 2004 version of The Punisher last week, I was wondering how I missed this one back then in theaters (although I’d not pay a dime to see this flick) or on cable. Then I realized that the film came out when I was in a crazy jobless phase and had chopped out any ideas of spending money to hit the local theater (or any other theater for that matter) until I was back in the black.

Well, even if I’d wanted to see this gloomy and unintentionally hilarious (yet erratically violent) movie, I’d have chosen to save my money. While it works on a basic level of grunting guys saying unintelligible stuff before trying to out-kill each other, the film is far too uneven to be entertaining unless there’s someone on screen getting killed in a ridiculous manner. Where the first (and forgotten by most, save for the more die-hard Marvel movie fans) Punisher film from 1989 was an automatic camp cult classic thanks to Dolph Lundgren’s grumbling and mumbling through the role as sullen serial gangster murderer Frank Castle, some cheesy sets and laughable action scenes, this reboot tries a wee bit too hard to capture the mood of 70’s and 80’s action films to the point that it feels a wee bit outdated on a few fronts… Continue reading

This Sunday’s Kind of A Drag…

(thanks, CoolCoolMovies!) 

Oof. Well, today was kind of non-productive on a few levels, but that’s probably a good thing. I’m still toiling away on a bunch of stuff (some reviews, a few post CE Week articles and some brief impressions of a few games I saw recently), but I have a kind of kooky week coming up and am conserving energy for some of these events. As the weather folks say it’s going to be a bit of a thunderstorm-y start to the week, that means I need to break out the broken umbrella and keep my paws crossed that it survives the early Monday morning trek I need to make.

As for that clip above, it serves double duty as description and hilariously violent reminder that there was a Punisher movie (from 2004) I’d actually never seen before last night. I found it to be pretty terrible overall (a lack of dialog, humor that doesn’t work properly and some odd casting choices make it more “interesting” than watchable), but you do get to see John Travolta’s evil Howard Knight character get bumped off in a really creative manner. Hey, I was laughing through the bulk of the action scenes here and while the film is quite heavy on the carnage, it still doesn’t beat The Punisher: War Zone for pure nastiness and mean-spirited (or REALLY over the top and hilarious) violent content. Not that I’m in a violent mood or anything, folks – bad movies of all types just make me laugh a lot when I need to…

Hmmmm. I think I need some ice cream or something… back in a bit.

“Get Me Rewrite!” (Again!): Not So Retro Game Reviews To Make A Comeback!

Raze's Hell Cover (Custom)Okay, this one’s a doozy, folks. From early 2004 to around 2007 I was writing for a now defunct gaming site called Bonusstage.com and when the site died its untimely death after a series of DNS attacks and a double server crash or something did it in. At the SAME time, the computer I’d been using to work and game on had its hard drive burn up, putting me out of action for a time until I could get it replaced. As I wasn’t able to salvage the drive and thought foolishly that “What’s on the internet stays there FOREVER!”, I thought that whatever I wrote would be around no matter what happened. Welllll… I was wrong.

Long story short, a huge chunk of work I did wasn’t fully archived when the wheels of fate all locked up at the wrong time, I wasn’t backing up stuff properly at the home office and when you add those together, it’s a big fat mess. Or NON-mess, as there’s nothing to clean up but some crocodile tears… Continue reading

From The Vaults, Slowly They Come (#1 of Who Knows How Many)…

KZ_Sly 2 Press LPs KZ_Sly 2 Press LPs2

Thanks to years of writing for a few places, I have a LOT of press stuff here socked away in a few bins (I tend to keep just about everything I’ve gotten of importance). When I’m not doing my usual headless chicken thing, I keep plotting and planning to post a few galleries of the assorted discs and other material I’ve held on to, but I just haven’t had the time to pore through that mountain of materials. Anyway, thanks to these two press kits popping out of a box while I was digging up some old games someone wants to buy from me, I guess this is now one part of a many-part project I’ve launched. That’s one of the Sly 2: Band of Thieves press kit on the left and Killzone on the right. They’re about the size of a 12″ vinyl LP, by the way. I don’t think I have any more records here or I’d have done a size comparison. Or If I do have any records left around here they’re probably hiding out in a different bin I haven’t cracked open in a few years. Eek.

I’m not sure when another update is coming from the press vaults, as it’s a daunting task to dive in and not get lost going through things for hours and reminiscing. All that does is leave me with stacks of stuff to repack and no place to sleep if I don’t. Of course, a helper monkey who can make lists and take pictures would be a total help, but they don’t exist yet and any robot I want to think of buying can only vacuum my floor or dance (but not both? Come on technology, get with it already!). Ah well… I guess I’ll get this thing taken care of when I can…

Random Film of the Week(end): Swing Girls

swing girls JPShinobu Yaguchi’s 2004 comedy gem, Swing Girls is more or less a cross between High School Musical and School of Rock (before both of those were big things in the US) as well as a riff on the old “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!” style of old Hollywood film making from the days of Andy Hardy and a boatload of other fun fluff musicals. It’s a fun and summery family friendly flick where there’s nothing offensive happening, there’s not a single gunshot fired and the only death here is one that’s part of the plot and it’s not a human being that gets it. Yes, I’ll actually spoil things by running a clip below the jump just because it’s probably the best use of the Louis Armstrong version of “What a Wonderful World” you’ll ever see as well as the funniest bit in a film full of them.

The movie works so well because it’s full of deadpan moments and flat out funny portions where paying attention to dialog and visual detail add more laughs. It’s a film that’s not pretending to be anything other than a homage to those old musicals and while it’s not flawless, it’s definitely worth tracking down if you like movies that guaranteed you’ll get a grin going that lasts for about as long as you’re in front of that TV or monitor…

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It’s Hump Day and Conan Still Hates Camels.

OK, this camel-socking joke has a (VERY) short lifespan, but I’d forgotten about the cinema from Cauldron’s 2004 game Conan (or Conan: The Dark Axe), which never got a US release. It’s not bad for what it is (I own the PC, PAL format Xbox and GameCube versions), clocks in at about 8 or 9 hours the first time through and has versus and survival modes that strangely enough don’t allow you to play as Conan(!). Anyway, yeah… more digital animal abuse (again!) just means I get put on that camel hit list again (which is why I avoid zoos, deserts and anything else where there’s a chance I’ll be set upon by pissed off humpbacked four-legged creatures. Well, I’ve had dreams with camels in them, but I’ve never punched one and they’ve pretty much left me alone…

The Bard’s Tale Unfolds on GOG.com – Ye Olde, Yet New-ish School Fun…

 
 

I’m old enough to remember the classic original trilogy (I didn’t get around to playing them until the late 1990’s) and this not quite remake/reboot from 2004 that got decent reviews (I even reviewed it for one site back in the day) and I say you should try it out even if you’re a fan of the older games who doesn’t like more action-oriented experiences. You get those three vintage games as a bonus with this newer one (so there!) and the team at inXile Entertainment actually made quite a hilarious experience to dive into. While the gameplay is purely action/RPG (in the visual and gameplay vein of the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath games), the writing is really funny for the bulk of the Bard’s adventure and there are even “follow the bouncing ball” musical numbers that may have you single along even if you thought you wouldn’t… Continue reading

VGA 101: Dennou Taisen DroneZ – Another Grail For the Library (Hopefully Holy, Not Hellish)…

Dronez_XboxLike the almost amazing Dinosaur Hunting, another Metro 3D published Xbox game that was supposed to get a US launch (simply titled DroneZ here), Zetha GameZ’ Dennou Taisen DroneZ is a game I’ve been in search of for a while now. There’s a PC version that pops up on eBay every so often, but I’ve never been able to find a complete one – just disc only in a sleeve or generic case. The good thing about finally having this import is I don’t need to worry about PC installation hassles or patches. My old debug Xbox is a little wonky these days, but still plays everything I toss at it just fine. I’ll get to trying this one out in the next week or so and maybe post some impressions.

I know the PC and Xbox versions didn’t get great reviews, but that’s part of the fun of exploring these not so ancient “gems”. Sometimes there are surprises under the ashes and sometimes you end up saying (to quote Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park) “that is one big pile of $#!t…”. Then again, if this another Muzzle Flash, Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction or one of the other Penny Dreadful imports I’ve picked up and been majorly disappointed with, well… that’s life, I suppose. Well, I do like my crappy games like the special children they are, on the other hand. So this just may be a cool little classic in that particular corner of the collection.