Three Arrows You Don’t Want To Duck

Arrow Video and Arrow Academy have got your back this month, but you may want to check it for a few sharp objects (ow!) as all three releases in February might be somewhat hostile to your health. Let’s take a look:

Manon

One Missed Call Trilogy

Deadly Manor

So sinister, so good this month, but I hear from a friend that Manon is a really nice and bleak dramatic flick from a master of suspense, and I like Clouzot’s work quite a lot. The other two are new to me, but I do want to take a look at these at some point.

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She’s really going to be pissed when she wakes up and finds out someone went overboard with the whole “I’m going to bury her in the sand” thing.

-GW

Review: Bayonetta and Vanquish 10th Anniversary (PS4)

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Just make sure you stick the landing, Miss B.

BVYou’re not buying that excellent Bayonetta/Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle ($39.99) from Sega strictly for the plots of both games, that’s for sure. Both titles hold up mostly excellently in terms of visuals and controls, but the writing is more of an excuse for some lengthy and visually lovely in-game cinemas that pad out both run times. Granted, both games are made to be highly replayed, especially Vanquish, which seems short at about six hours, but there’s a lot more to it once you mess with the difficulty and as with Bayonetta, play through like the bad-asses both characters are. If you’re into both games, they’re far from “one and done” experiences.

 

 

The two stories here actually enhance how wonderfully crazy and brilliant the gameplay is for both titles, especially when you go from hanging onto every word in cut scenes and free yourself from simple button-mashing to pulling of perfectly timed strikes of all sorts in the flagrantly sexy Bayonetta to taking down enemies and bosses with the fast slide and shoot moves from Vanquish. That said, the latter’s plot about Russian-led forces commandeering a huge US-built microwave-powered space cannon to decimate California and threaten to do the same to New York might be something a few players might find blows their minds a bit. Bayonetta’s still phenomenal opening just throws you into battle as it plays out, then teaches you the ropes before the real challenge begins. Trying to explain the plot here? Good luck – just enjoy the cut scenes instead and kill a lot of enemies and bosses when they’re done.

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“I thought you just used microwaves for Hot Pockets and cold coffee!”

Both games allow for unskilled players to get in their kills although the latter game is more punishing if you try and flail through it and refuse to pick up on all it’s trying to teach you. Then again, it may take a bit of getting used to the controls in both titles for some who’ve not yet played both games – your mileage will vary based on how adept you are at picking things up and dealing with the forced camera angles in Bayonetta. Vanquish has a bit more freedom in its camera, but on the harder modes (there are four difficulty settings), speedy, precise play becomes a must. Continue reading

Zombie Army 4 Launch Trailer: You Bought A Bigger Boat, Right?

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Hmmm… this could be trouble…

Rebellion is maybe going to cause a rebellion at retail and on digital stores and their up to 4-player Zombie Army 4: Dead War will be the cause. I do need to play it at some point, as back on PS3, the series has always been a sort of reliable insanity for me where you know what you’re getting into from the title and can’t expect anything more than a developer having a bit of gory fun with the subject manner in whatever ways they can. I like that sort of thing because reinventing the wheel isn’t what’s intended, but a new set of spinning rims sure will do you good. Well, that and the zombie sharks in Dead War, which I have some (not so) important questions about, have me quite curious.

To wit:

Are they German-speaking sharks? If so, can players use “Hallo! Bitte beiß mich nicht!” as a command? If they’re undead, does this mean they’ll follow you even more tirelessly because a tired shark who stops swimming will die (allegedly) while a zombie shark will pretty much come at you forever? Am I overthinking this a wee too much? Stuff like that. I’ll wait kindly for the developer to come up with a few answers, but here’s the trailer below the jump to keep you warm while hell freezes over before I get my answers.

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Overpass Hands-On: A Scoop Of (Extremely) Rocky Road, Please

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(sings): “Bumpy roads, take me home…”

 

Bigben Games wants to be your racing simulation racing studio of choice (WRC 8 was a pretty excellent sim on PS4 and my favorite console racer last year), and its upcoming off-road title developed by Zordix Racing in Sweden, Overpass (set for release on March 12, 2020 and March 17 for Switch) is certainly shaping up to be a really solid game experience. I got an hour or so of playtime with the PC version and can report that it’s going to fascinate some and frustrate others, but this is actually a really good thing. If you’re more used to arcade-style racers where all you do is floor the accelerator and powerslide to the fastest victory you can manage, well, here comes a game that’s a test of skill where learning the literal ups and downs of the tracks becomes part of the game and speed needs careful mastering and consideration.

 

 

Does anyone remember Spintires? If so, imagine that with faster off-road racers in mind and the needs to both master a track’s hazards and nail in a quick time despite those hazards. Overpass does this somewhat magnificently, with analog triggers and a thrilling use of controller feedback where you’ll feel the road beneath your ride of choice and need to navigate through the environment unless you want more free badly done rolls than you can find at an Olive Garden.

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SAMURAI SHODOWN on Switch: Big Things, Smaller Packages and Big, But Little Surprises

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It’s time to Switch things up…

samuraishodown_package_switch (1)I’ll tell you, games can get you in trouble if you’re careless. Case in point, SNK’s Samurai Shodown has always caused me trouble because it’s intentionally misspelled the word “Showdown” since its initial installment in arcades in 1993. Which has lead me to ducking fists and feet ever since when I try to correct a fan of the franchise on occasion who spells the word incorrectly outside of the game title. (CHOP! Ow!)

Hey, sorry! My internal spellcheck just goes haywire when I see it. It’s not your fault! Anyway, here’s a peek at few trailers and screens look at some new content for the upcoming Unreal-4 powered Nintendo Switch version, ($49.99) which is coming on February 25, 2020 and looks pretty nice, by the way. Even nicer, players who pre-order the digital or physical version of the game before its release date will get a neat freebie -a port of the Neo Geo Pocket Color game, Samurai Shodown! 2 as a bonus.

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Better still, pre-orders for the physical version from GamsStop or Best Buy get a cool bonus controller skin, so hit up one of these retailers if you’re in the US and want one before the game ships.

I still have my old NGPC here, so even though the Switch port will be an exclusive to the console, It’ll bring back memories playing it now on Nintendo’s home and portable wodder system. I actually missed the PS4 version of the game when it was last year (oops), but I think I can still nab a copy from the PlayStation Store when I need to.

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Dawn of Fear: Some Residents Are Quite Evil Here

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I like the PlayStation Talents program, as it’s been bringing a few games to players from quite a few indie developers in Spain that might otherwise be ignored in a market crowded with new releases every week. Survival Horror fans have a new game to look at with Dawn of Fear, from indie team Brok3nsite. Take a look at this trailer and get the warn and fuzzy zombies coming after you feeling once more:

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Ghosts ‘N DJ’s: Monday’s Been Made, Charities Get Paid

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This is priceless. No, seriously, it’s going to be FREE.

Ghosts'n DJs artSometimes, you wake up and see something that makes your day, as as it’s a Monday, that goes double because it kicks off the week on a high note. I woke up earlier this morning to go to a medical appointment, checked my email and saw this game info, then the trailer and yep, my day was made instantly.

Solo developer and creator Daniel Manzano (aka Dr. Kucho!) has cooked up such a thing with Ghosts ‘N DJ’s, which… well, just take a look at the game trailer while I go put on a pot of coffee:

Screenshots and a good and lengthy game description are below the jump. I know you’re curious, so you get the long version this time.

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Project AETHER: First Contact Demo Takes Me Back A Bit

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Designed as a fast-paced twin-stick shooter, Project AETHER puts you in the pilot’s seat of the prototype mecha Aether as you face off against a robotic alien force bent on the destruction of mankind. Aether features a customizable loadout of ranged and melee weapons as well as an EMP Burst system, allowing you to detonate weakened enemies in a devastating chain reaction.

Toronto-based Sleepy Spider Studios is nicely time-warped in the 2000’s, but I like that a lot. Their first game was Legions of Tyrandel, a PC deck-building turn-based strategy game made for two players (although single player challenge maps are available), and now we’re getting Project AETHER: First Contact, which is coming to Steam on February 24. There’s a free demo to try here, and it’s pretty good stuff that blends twin-stick arcade shooting action and some nice visuals in what’s shaping up to be an excellent game.

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Zombie Army 4: Not For The Squeamish, This Squish, Squish

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The Dirty 1/3 of a Dozen…

Oh, this trailer is a total riot, though, zombie shark and all. If it were a movie, I’d go see it just because it’s about as perfect it gets in terms of the exploitation elements alone. The trailer reminded me of some of those old grindhouse movies whose trailers seemed endless and/or packed in so much mind-blowing content that you HAD to see the final results and nope, you weren’t disappointed at all.

Er, hold on to something – here we go:

Zombie sharks seem to be the least crazy thing here, right?

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We’re gonna need another boat to put all of this stuff in…

February 4, 2020 on PC as an Epic Store exclusive, or on consoles for PS4 and Xbox One. Go here if you’re going to pre-order.

-GW

 

Bayonetta and Vanquish Come to PS4? Sign Me Up!

I did a double take at first because I hadn’t seen the trailer when I found this out and thought for a second this was a new game with both characters in it. Nope, but it’s still thrilling news here for PS4 fans who didn’t pick these games up when they came to PC or when they debuted earlier on certain consoles. To be frank (Hi, frank!), I know I’m going to prefer the new console versions over playing on PC if the frame rate is stable and I don’t need to sit there and tweak settings to get something acceptable. That said, I may need a PS4Pro at this point just for the performance upgrade alone, *sigh*.

Ah well, we’ll see what happens with that particular wallet fight. In the meantime, PlatinumGames, you keep on what you’re doing – I’ll see you in February.

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Talk about a certified Platinum hit…

-GW