Busload of Horror IV: Laugh ‘Til It Hurts… Or Else

Okay, a bit late on this one, but I was busy chopping at my backlogs on assorted stuff and tackling a few fires in other spots. Anyway, here are a few more amusing horror-themed games from the vaults, although they’re not quite vintage having all arrived this year. One technically isn’t a “horror” game at all, but some of you will no doubt get a bit queasy if you think about it in a certain way. For example…

beeftacular_logo Beeftacular: Yuck. Retrific’s squishy, bloody little gem (currently available on Steam) made me stay away from meat for a week when I first played it thanks to… well, just look and see for yourself (IF YOU DARE):

Blech. Maybe it’s the thought of a chunk of raw beef cleansing a map of contaminated beef dipping into my subconsciousness combined with the not so wholesome meat industry pretending things are all fine and Grade A dandy when it’s not. But I couldn’t stomach this for more than an hour before I felt a bit off. Then again, the game’s manic pace and timed stages do get really hectic.

That said, yep, that level editor is mighty excellent, the music is great and if you’re a gamer with a meat fetish as well as a speed running maniac, you won’t need to ask “Where’s the Beef?!” at all. And nope, I never played Super Meat Boy until a few weeks ago – grinning meat is no turn on, either.

beeftacular-screenshot_10  Um, hey… anyone wanna go out for a nice juicy burger?😛

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2016: A Package Odyssey (Days 3-4*): Spin Cycle, For The Moment

Well, I figured this would happen at some point, but yep, it happened. Step back from your viewing screen and hold onto your butts, folks… this post is going to suck. Up to a point.

(Thanks, virgilio72!) 

I didn’t post yesterday because I decided to try and work a bit and I was in a crappy mood because I decided chronicling this ongoing nonsense wasn’t all that therapeutic after all. I was just getting more annoyed at every person involved in this mess I’m (still) a victim of not being very helpful. USPS was giving me a slow runaround, the seller is kind of lost and asking me what to do (I’ve been passing along as much help as I can), and despite being a longtime fan, I’m about to go postal and recommend anyone I know just NOT use their local post office for anything but whatever passport services they offer. But let’s not pull that rabbit out of the hat just yet, folks.

Anyway, after a suggestion from a message board that I call the number on the USPS web site and another user comment that

The postal service is very serious about employee mail theft. They will get to the bottom of it.

Well, I would hope the hell so. I decided to pick up the phone this morning and try my luck. That turned out to be both a terrifically terrible and (very) good thing to do. Well, maybe on the “(very) good” part.

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(Not So) Random Film of the Week: GOG

gogWhile the three films in Ivan Tors Productions’ “Office of Scientific Investigation” (OSI) trilogy haven’t gotten the name recognition or massive fan bases of certain other more well-known franchises, each stands out as a fine example of Tors’ commitment to bringing a more scientific and human touch to the genre. While not going for camp or cheap thrills, the films make for a look into Tors’ heavy interest in pure science fiction with independent films he got made on his own terms.

Beginning with 1953’s The Magnetic Monster, 1954’s Riders to the Stars, and GOG, also released in 1954, the three films trade in the era’s familiar “B” movie antics for drier, more “realistic” hard science mixed with speculative elements. While some action scenes take place in all three films, outside these sequences things are done with a more sedate, almost documentary-like presentation of their assorted plots.

Additionally, all three films can be watched and enjoyed fully in any order, as they tell stories that are connected by a few threads, but don’t contain the same characters. Chief among these threads is men (and women) of science trying to make advances in the field for the future with dramatic (and sometimes unfortunate) results. Or: you can’t make a science-flavored omelette without breaking a few scientist-shaped eggs…
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Free Stuff Friday: Assault Suits Leynos on Steam, Anyone?

LEYNOS logo 1024x416Hokay, Ember still isn’t up and running on Steam yet, so I’m going to plan B, thanks to the fine folks at Rising Star Games! BOOM! ONE lucky person with a Steam account will win ONE absolutely FREE code for the the hard as heck Assault Suits Leynos. Post here and I’ll pick a winner tomorrow at noon!

Rules and such below the jump.

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Review: Assault Suit Leynos (PS4)

LEYNOS logo 1024x416
Platform: PlayStation 4 (via PSN)

Developer: Dracue Software

Publisher: Rising Star Games

# of Players: 1

MSRP: $19.99

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Official Site (JP)


As someone who fondly remembers Target Earth/Assault Suit Leynos on the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, reading online about two years back that the game was being remade was quite a surprise. Dracue Software (Armored Hunter Gunhound EX) has brought the game back for the PS4 in fine form indeed, although Assault Suit Leynos isn’t without a few flaws. For fans of the classic or those gamers who want a taste of old-school gaming as an education in patience and learning how to play over more guided game experiences, this storied shooter will keep you busy from the beginning and coming back for more.

The game’s Arcade Mode expands the story of the original game, adding subtitled Japanese voice-overs and “cinematic” camera cuts to approaching danger to the mix. Even on the lowest difficulty setting, the game provides a hefty challenge. That Assault Suit is a heavy beast with an increasingly growing arsenal of weapons and while not the most nimble mech out there, it gets the job done. As in the original game, a regenerating life meter is your main buffer from an early demise, but it’s not any sort of invincibility guarantee. Enemies come at you pulling no punches in many forms from armor suited troops to gigantic spacecraft firing death from multiple weapons. The game’s levels vary in scale, but you’ll generally be attempting a few tasks from straight up blasting, escort missions, and yes, big boss battles. While unlimited continues make it possible to complete the game in a relatively short time, the true fans of this one KNOW this isn’t a game to play through ONCE and never touch again.

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Pathologic: Ice-Pick Lodge’s Re-Invention Looks Mysteriously Magnificent

Pathologic Logo

Back in 2005, Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge released Pathologic, an unsettling horror/adventure/RPG hybrid that garnered excellent reviews at home, decent to fair reviews in the west, and gathered somewhat of a “cult” following for its unusual, creative art direction, extreme difficulty and distinctly bleak tone. The game’s fan base grew with its gog.com release and subsequent 2012 HD remastering (both of which come with the purchase of the HD Classic version). With a successful Kickstarter to re-imagine the game in 2015 for PC (and possibly consoles) Pathologic’s new path has added even more fans to this weird game’s potential player base. Ahead of Gamescom, IPL has released a nice set of screenshots that show off some lovely, haunting images from the new version.

Let’s take a look now, shall we?


Pathologic Artwork

While gameplay videos have yet to surface, this 2014 Kickstarter video should give you an idea of what to expect. As the game has no set release date, the waiting period between information drops will no doubt keep fans begging for more. It’s a good thing there’s a board game coming to make that wait less frustrating.

Speaking of more, click below the jump for more about the game (in handy cut/paste/corrected form)…

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Assault Suit Leynos Now on PSN: Summer Just Got Much Hotter For PS4 Owners



Your question and answer for the day if you’re a PS4 owner watching that trailer above and wondering “Should I get this?” Well… YES. A paltry $19.99 digitally via PSN. If you can hold out until September, want a gift for that game-collecting friend or have a gaming PC and only play on that setup, A physical disc version of the PS4 game is coming with a PC download via Steam shortly thereafter. I’ll let you go hit PSN now so you can go buy this and have it all ready to download so you can get to blasting some aliens later once you’re home from work or wherever. Over and out!

The Last Guardian: Finally Dated, The Wait Gets Less When-ish



the-last-guardian-imageblock-02-us-15jun15Okay. I’m back. Sort of. Got a LOT of stuff going on up this way I’ll yak about in a separate post, but let’s all just watch this gorgeous trailer for the long delayed and finally has a release date soon to be instant classic The Last Guardian. Fumeto Ueda and his team’s game will indeed be worth the wait and in my mind, it’s one of the reasons I play videogames. For me, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus were and still are two of the best game experiences from the past 20 years, and seeing this final game appear means I can stop worrying about whether or not it will be good. I trust the creator and his vision and that’s all one needs in this case.

The Last Guardian hits retail and digital October 25, 2016. Yes, that collector’s edition below looks mighty nice, doesn’t it? Yep.


Assault Suit Leynos: Target Worth (But So Far, Not US-Bound)

As you can see above, Dracue Software has taken the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis classic Assault Suit Leynos (or Target Earth to American gamers), polished it up while keeping the gameplay and visuals nicely nostalgic. Even better, the music is the same as in the original game but sounds suitably beefy (yes, I was grinning like a madman while this trailer was playing). So far, the game will only be available for Japanese PlayStation 4 owners and most likely other Asian territories.

Given that the intro screen text crawl is in English, it’s a safe bet that the game may be considered for localization by a smart US publisher. My money is on Xseed Games, Atlus or maybe Rising Star Games as a longshot. Anyway, it’s a darn good thing I’m not home at the moment or else I’d have stopped writing this post, dug out the Genesis or MD from under the TV and started playing the original version just to relive he days of beating it on on sitting on the hardest level. Granted, my reflexes are probably a lot lousier than they were way back in the day and it would take a few plays to recapture that old glory and put a notch in the gaming belt. Hell, I probably won’t make it past the first stage until I remember how to quickly take down that end-level boss ship before it reaches my base and blows it to space dust.

Eh, we’ll see. Now, someone get on getting his game out in English, please. I’ll start holding my breath in 3… 2… 1… (inhale!).

Van Helsing Final Cut Slips Into October (But This Is A Good Thing)

VH_Final Cut Delayed 

While game delays are always bad news, in this case it’s a case where the developer is trying to make a one-size fits all release work across multiple digital delivery systems in order to get the game in question into the hands of as many people as possible. Go read the very informative blog post on the official site for details. In a nutshell, NeoCore is working hard on getting Steam and GOG.com buyers the same deal where buying the trilogy nets those folks The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut for free even if they buy one of the original games at a later date or buy the trilogy across the two different digital stores.

That’s hard enough to rig, but Final Cut is also going to be doing some additional testing and polishing of the game to insure it’s their best and most polished game to date. Hey, I don’t mind the wait if it means the end result makes me not want to stop playing it.