Night Trap Returns! Be Afraid… Be Very Afraid (Or Not)


Night Trap tells the story of five teenage girls spending the weekend at the Martin home. As a member of the Special Control Attack Team, your job is to monitor the home and protect the girls using an intricate system of cameras and traps as it is being invaded by vampires.


I am laughing my fool head off writing this, but hey – a happy me is a good thing these days. Screaming Villains, based out of Newport Kentucky, is teaming up with Limited Run Games to bring the classic and at the time of its release 25 years ago, “controversial” Sega CD FMV (Full Motion Video) game Night Trap back as a remastered PS4 and Xbox One title. I’ll be a lazy git and let you read the Wikipedia page so you can see what the fuss was all about, but what was considered an MA-13 (or Mature) rated game back in 1992 is now a Teen-rated experience with not a thing altered. Digital Pictures created what was supposed to be (and is) a campy take on the horror genre, but for years the game has had a hilariously overblown reputation thanks to it being pulled from stores in some areas.


My own memories of it are the game being quite amusing but pretty difficult without a guide of some sort and not at all scary or bloody. The plot has you trying to save a bunch of cute 90’s gals at a slumber party from oddly dressed vampire creeps by setting traps inside the house and activating them before the girls are attacked. It’s all pretty corny, harmless “B” movie fluff that might surprise modern gamers when they see how goofy it all is. As in all that government fuss and bother did was make a so-so game a classic of sorts that still gets people talking. Amusingly enough, the game is about as scary as an empty plastic bottle on a windowsill.

For some reason, during the 90’s and into the early 2000’s a handful of gamers thought the 3DO and PC versions had bits of nudity or actual gore in them despite the fact that no such footage was shot. Coupled with the game’s rarity once pulled from shelves, helped drive prices up considerably. Working in an indie game shop for about five years, I fielded more than a few questions and kicked down as many of those rumors as I could, but you know how some people get when they really believe something that’s clearly untrue. Anyway, go download the super-cheeseball main theme and set your digital clocks for sometime soon, as the game is set for a mysterious “Spring 2017” release.



Put Up Your Dukes, Indeed

(thanks, Brian Coltrane!)

There’s trouble in Hazzard County for sure this time. A few days ago I overheard two guys (one older, one younger, both black like moi) arguing over whether or not The Dukes of Hazzard was a “racist show” (in my opinion, it’s not). The conversation took a strangely surreal and slightly amusing turn because the guy defending the show also happened to have a load of Dukes collectibles thanks to relatives who bought all that merchandise back when the show originally aired and him holding onto most of it.

Now, there’s a deep fried dill pickle for you, ladies and gentlemen.

But not really. Although some major to minor retailers have been hastily yanking anything with a Confederate battle flag off their shelves, Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia seems to be one of the few exceptions. That said, one does have to wonder with an arched eyebrow how much of that stuff was not so ironically but somewhat ironically manufactured outside of the good ol’ U.S. of A. (by underpaid workers) and how much of it was bought over time for by folks who’d probably NOT want it because it wasn’t made here…
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Random Film of the Week(end): Mister Freedom

Mr Freedom PosterAll this Sony madness surrounding The Interview made me think of a few films that either got some controversy upon their release in other countries, but I also thought of William Klein’s never released to the western public Mister Freedom, a masterpiece of absurdity that begs to be seen. Take the overall wackier bits from Dr. Strangelove, add in a jingoistic, xenophobic, sexist, quick to rile all-American superhero modeled after Superman and Captain America, add a ton of absurd visual elements and shake well.

For a film made in 1969, this one so far ahead of its time that some viewers may be shocked at what they see taking place. On the other hand, the film also shows that old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is all too true in terms of politics and other targets ripe for satire. Klein, a famed fashion photographer and American expatriate living in France, made one of those films that will outrage some and make the rest laugh at as well as with it exactly as its director intended… Continue reading

BioShock Infinite Drops Its Multiplayer Modes. I Am Happy As Hell It Did So.

Yes, and Yes! and thank you, Irrational Games. Sure, running around and shooting each other in the face would have brought in more of that crowd who loves this sort of thing in other genres, but for my money (and despite the second installment’s inclusion of MP), the BioShock series has ALWAYS been about the solo experience and the story. Period. This latest move in a game that’s currently in a rather bumpy development cycle/delay phase will in fact, be a MUCH stronger game experience now focused on storytelling and pure immersion in the world Ken Levine and company want to create. The primary issue with most all MP modes in a story-driven game such as this is they require a much larger suspense of disbelief than the single player campaigns (why am I running around shooting other people in the face? Where does this fit into the overall plot and why should I care if it has nothing to do with the main narrative and reason i bought the game in the first place?).

Additionally, as much fun as multiplayer modes can be, in the case of games such as this, Hal-Life, or Dishonored, they can be seen as a pure waste of resources if you consider the overall power of each game’s storytelling. This is especially valid if the main game suffers because of a multiplayer focus that’s unnecessary and only designed to boost sales to a crowd that has a huge variety of games focused on their needs. Of course, some will disagree entirely with my happy dancing ways, but I’m betting that the end result of all this rejiggering will be worth any additional delays added to the game’s development schedule. Off to find something appropriate to dance around the room to…

Hey, Her Universe? Maybe You Should Let Girls Be Their Own “Geek” If They Want To?

Hmmmm. Something about this San Diego Comic Con event press release bugged me, so I’ll print it below the jump in its entirety and hope some of the female readers respond about how they feel about this event, if anyone is thinking of attending and why. Maybe it’s a “guy thing” but, I’ve never liked being marketed to as part of a demographic and don’t like it much it when some otherwise nice, but corporate-minded folks sweep in and co-opt a “scene” that does just fine on its own (and hell, isn’t really a “scene” to begin with). Individualism and free expression, “geek” culture or not shouldn’t have prizes or “experts” attached to it, nor be swept up in a branding scheme set on nudging anyone (“geeks” or not) into malls to buy an image previously created by each person for him or herself and no one else.

But hey, we’re in the long era of marketing madness for everything possible and well, too many people fall right into the clutches of some really good PR people and their high concept ideas. I’m old enough to have been someone who had his own style (you should have seen me back in the 80’s) and didn’t care if people thought it was weird, but now, it seems that not even this sort of individuality is safe from someone trying to tap our brains and wallets to the point that we’re told what’s “cool” as if we have no clue. Hint: If you have to buy the damn Princess Toadstool T-shirt and can’t make your own… that’s NOT really cool or “geeky”.

The same thing happened to the Seattle music scene and “punk” before that, so this is nothing new. In terms of fandom and such, the bulk of this decade has been all about making “retro” gaming and otherwise cool stuff into separate gals and guys camps when they should all be the same enjoyable mess for all they were before. I don’t look at a girl gamer and see a pair of boobs with a joystick. I see a fellow traveler that I can talk shop with, drop a few historical facts on or point the way to people who know more than I to share my passion for the medium. Guys who still see girls as “strange” for playing games, listening to film music or having other interests that don’t seem “right” are the ones mixed up. So are marketeers who try to wrap up every gal with a passing interest in comics, tech or games under the now suspect “geek” label.

For me, the whole “geek culture” explosion has turned from a true DIY deal to a cash cow that’s rightfully generated income for people savvy enough to fool so-called “geeks” into parting with their dollars by the boatload. On the other hand, it’s basically taken away the right for anyone with TRUE indie spirit to call themselves anything because it’ll be marketed into oblivion thirty seconds after that person identifies him or herself as something new. Also, isn’t it a little insulting to be seen as a stereotypical “gal geek” because you enjoy gaming, sci-fi or other stuff that someone like me enjoys in a non-geeky manner? Oh, questions, questions, questions!

Still, I’d like to think some of you gals out there might show up at Comic-Con and ask some tough questions rather than roll in all dolled up for a goodie bag. OK, am I being a total jerk here, or do I have a point? Read on and feel free to speak up. I’m listening…

Oh yeah, just asking, but are transgender gals allowed to attend? Er, not that I’m interested, but it IS an interesting question, no?

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