Red Dead Redemption II is PC-Bound (See, I Told You)

Understatement of the year department: November 5th will be a very busy day for some folks, I think.

RDR II PC

Not surprisingly, it’s on the way to PC.  Act surprised, though, as it’s coming sooner than you think. Well, in some places…

And guess what? you can get it FIRST, but not on STEAM until December. If you download the handy Rockstar Games Launcher, which is FREE and for a few more days comes with a FREE digital download of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Whattttt?!), you can be one of the first to get RDR II. Other Rockstar titles will also be available at decent prices, so feel free to stock up, if that’s your thing.

Official company line stuff below the jump. Images and a trailer to follow as soon as they drop from the source next week.

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Capsule Reviews: Barney’s Got It Right (Again) Part 1

(Thanks, CptNem!)

“Get me rewrite!” Or: Sometimes the Stupidest Things Happen at the Dumbest Possible Times Division (Q Branch). Anyway, last night I was about two hours into writing up this article, I actually sneezed while typing and (get this) accidentally replaced about 8 or 900 words and a few videos with one word. I hit that Undo button and laughed loudly because boy, it’s a good thing that option exists when stuff like this occurs, right? But guess what? That actually didn’t work. Yipes. I then find out that WordPress’ auto-saving function in drafts or works in progress does NOT account for these unhappy accidents and yes, will overwrite even as one is trying to fix an issue. Eep.

After some time messaging with a WP tech support rep who was otherwise helpful but couldn’t solve my particularly stupendously stupid accident, I figured out that yep, I needed to start over. I absolutely HATE rewriting stuff like this, so after pressing the old panic button about a dozen times until it exploded, I decided to go watch a three quarters of a very good Netflix documentary on Orson Welles and call it a night. Hey, it was a long day up to that point and staying up any later trying to fix what was busted would have just made things worse.

Anyway, yep, I’ve been busy playing a bunch of games that I’m going to recommend below, now in slightly shorter form than the original, but I think you’ll get the gist of things. Or at least your wallet will start trying to hide before you can whip it out.

R-Type D EX boxR-Type Dimensions EX (Nintendo Switch, $14.99): Absolutely stellar versions of the 1987 classic arcade shmup and its 1989 sequel offer up a wealth of options that make it accessible to anyone who can hold a controller. Both games feature the ability to switch between 2D and 3D art on the fly (with a number of visual options), super responsive 60fps gameplay at 1080p and even a 2-player co-op mode where friendly fire can be toggled on or off.

There are even slow motion and fast forward options if you want to learn how to play or just make things pure hell on your stress level, although that crazy fast forward mode is survivable if your skills are up to the challenge. Me? I laughed so much while using it because I was thrilled I actually survived a few levels while using it. The game tallies up all the R-9 ships you’ve lost, so completing a stage with as few (or no) deaths is pretty rewarding when it happens.

R-Type 01

Heh. You may need a Geiger counter (or H.R. Giger counter, actually) to tally up this game’s visual references in a few stages.

The game is still as incredible a challenge as it’s ever been, with those Bydo Empire baddies doing their level best to blast you into space dust. Whether you play with unlimited lives or really challenge yourself with the more intense original difficulty, you’re getting a pair of games with a ton of replay value as well as a nice slice of game history. I’m not sure if Tozai Games has the publishing rights to the other entries in this series, but if they do, a nice set of all the games would be more than welcome by fan if they can make it so. This one’s also on Steam if you’re a PC gamer looking to check out what’s here on a PC that will run it, so go take a peek if your interest is piqued.

Score: A (95%)

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Review: Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PS4)

Heavy Fire RSWhile previous games in the Heavy Fire series have been on-rails shooters a tiny bit (but not exactly) like a non-gun controller version of Time Crisis with a whiff of modern military shooters set in fictional locations based on real word military hot zones, Heavy Fire: Red Shadow ($19.99) is more than a little reminiscent of the arcade version of Beach Head 2000. For those with short memories (or those who’ve never played that older game), it was a fixed turret shooter where you mowed down enemy troops and vehicles, blasted planes out of the sky and pretty much laid waste to as much as you could in a 360 degree radius until you were overrun (or just ran out of credits). While a bit on the shallow side in terms of gameplay depth, this latest installment packs in enough stress relieving bang for the buck that keeps it replayable.

Well, provided you don’t mind dealing with a few troubling bugs that really need patching.

HF_RS2

“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”  Ha. Ha. (BOOM!), Now you have quite a few too many guns.

 

That said, I’d gather that some fans of the series from its beginnings as digital titles on the Nintendo 3DS may be disappointed in this because of the lack of co-op play, which a game such as this kind of needs to spread the fun past one’s home. You do get PSVR support in the retail packaged version that adds some “in your face” moments (usually in those moments when you’re yelling exactly that to some enemies on the receiving end of whatever ordinance you’re blasting or calling down on them). But those plain-ish visuals tend to get a bit mushy in VR compared to other games using the format. Granted, it’s not supposed to be a “great” game in that way some games become “instant classics” these days. But, if you just love all sorts of digital pyrotechnics and can bear the bugs, step on up and have a seat – it’s your turn at the turret.

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Review: Home Sweet Home (PS4)

home sweet home(Soothing TV announcer voice, circa 1978):Constipated? 9 out of 10 doctors* recommend Home Sweet Home ($29.99) for fast relief. Easy to apply vie handy and discrete PSN download or in a GameStop exclusive retail version, this not at all soothing horror adventure game works within minutes so you can get back to doing the things you love. Remember – for fast relief, Just say Home Sweet Home…

Yes, that’s right. Provided you’re not a too-jaded horror game player who’s seen it all, this one will scare the living crap out of you. Well, given that poop isn’t supposed to be alive when it’s making a hasty retreat, that may be a good thing.  Here’s a funny for you: back about two years ago, I played the demo for this on PC and wrote about it, but kind of forgot all that because, hey, life happens. However, as soon as the game installed and I hit that start button, a sense of déjà vu followed by creeping dread washed over me. Eep. Yeah, this was not going to go well for my heart, folks.

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Oooh, choices!  Do I go left, do I go right, or do I go hide under a blanket after I turn the game off because I’m too freaked out to continue? *Sigh* ONWARD, as I have a review to write!

 

Anyway, to me, this game is SCARY, plus tax. How scary? Well, If Kriss Kross will make you Jump, you’re guaranteed to jump at least five times as much here if you’re easily frightened. You’re unarmed, many rooms are tight, detritus filled death traps where doors open to brick walls or other surprises of the surreal nature and worst of all, you’re often searching for clues to puzzles as the game’s box cutter wielding scary lady and a few other creeps do their level best to make you wet yourself. There’s nothing like being all stealthy and avoiding instant death for a few tense minutes, slipping between rooms and gathering clues to progress, only to finally unlock a door and jump out of your seat when something… nasty pops into view. And there’s a hell of a lot of nasty in this game.

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Mail Call: The Dogs of War and Other Scary Stuff

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Well, I thought I had a small buy very busy weekend of not much but That Western Game, but more diversions have arrived.

 

You have to love it when the weather is 100% dreary out with rain and wind keeping you indoors with some entertainment and MORE entertainment shows up. Thanks to Mastiff Games (Hi, Bill!, Hi Mika! Hi David!), I have a some stuff to tackle outside of playing cowboy. I took an hour or so off the big deal game to take both titles shown for a spin and one made me smile a lot and the other… well, let’s just say it made me creeped out enough to write up a review opening that’s going to raise an eyebrow or two (in a good way, I guess). Well, it’ll be partially funny with a chance of showers (at the very least).

Oh, and that old Silent Hill guide? That’s from the always amazing David Bruno who packed it along with the games shown. I’m going to do a Halloween play through of that classic I’ve gone through about a dozen times previously, but it’s been a while since my last run. The guide is kind of my safety net on one hand, but I also want to see if one particular puzzle is correct because I recall from my days in game retail that one guide has the incorrect solution to a puzzle that had dozens of customers calling up to say they were stuck on that one problem area (oops).

 

-GW

The Horror of Too Many Scary Games (is a Good Thing to Have), Part 2

You’re either back for more… or you fell asleep reading that first part and just woke up in time for part two. Well, here you go, then. Some of today’s entries are coming out after October, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less frightening. Anyway, here are six more games to look forward to (unless you’re too freaked out to want to try some of the scarier ones, mua-ha-ha-haaaa!):

 

 
Home Sweet Home (PS4/PSVR/Xbox One) – If the trailer is any indication, this could be one of the downright scariest stealth/horror games of the year. I missed out on the PC version of this truly scary-looking Thai horror game from Bangkok-based indie dev Yggdrazil Group Co.,Ltd, but my pals at Mastiff Games seem voraciously intent on putting me under the couch with this upcoming PS4 and Xbox One port. The PS4 version will support VR as an option (I’ll take my scares flat, thank you much) and if you prefer your games on a disc, this one’s going to be a GameStop exclusive in addition to a standard digital download on PSN and Xbox Live. I may have to shell out for the disc version, as this one certainly looks scary enough to be a keeper. That and I want to have the option of maybe loaning that disc to a friend or two who hate horror games but are slowly coming around. Then again, I have the feeling that this might be one of those games that sends them back down the ladder to being too skittish to fire it up.

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Friday Mail: More Work (and I’m Not Complaining)…

NamBan Thank You Man
 
Well, there’s nothing like coming home after a trying day to a nice surprise or two. Tales of Hearts R is being played as we speak (or as I type) and so far it’s quite a bit of fun. Er, wacky humor aside. I think this may be the kookiest localized Tales game I’ve played, but let’s see how it goes. I haven’t seen nor heard “rapscallion” used in a sentence in about three months, but I’d guess that some of you out there have never heard or seen the word at all. What does it mean? Um, you know how to use the internet, don’t you, ya whippersnappers? Look it up!

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Um, spoilers? Nah, not really, angry Tales fans wanting to beat me with a busted controller right about now. These two scenes happen so early in the game that you’ll not get the context unless you’ve played the import already. Even then, I’d bet the original Japanese isn’t as goofy.

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Anyway, back to it. It’s going to be a stupidly busy weekend and upcoming week here. CES Unveiled, some reviews to catch upon, too many previews and hopefully a certain developer will get back to be about a really bag bug in a game I need to review. There’s nothing worse in a game about killing bugs than a game-killing bug that stops things cold is all I’ll say. If it’s not my console acting up and in fact it IS a bad bug, then at least one review I’ve been pointed to by a friend needs to come down.

Granted, any fix probably won’t change the reviewer’s opinion one bit. But hell, it’s best to be fair to the developer and say you’ve actually completed the game you posted an unfavorable notice about rather than just knock out something that’s not constructive at all that doesn’t even mention the issue.

NowPlaying: Alien Isolation (Or: Let’s See How Long I Can Last)…

AI PS3
 
So, yeah – here we go. let’s see now: phone off the hook? Check. Clean underwear at the ready? Check. Ear out for UPS/Fed Ex in case I get some surprise packages from a PR contact (and/or my SUPER late Think Geek order that’s almost a month old, grrrr?): Check! I think I should eat something too, but I’ll pop into the kitchen while the game is installing and make something quick. Did someone say cheese pierogi with sauteed onions? I think that’s what my stomach was screaming, so that will get taken care of (thank you, stomach!). I think I have some (*ding!*) Gold’s Horseradish left. Hmmm… let me check… (*ding!*) Yep, with beets, at that. Okay, I’m set for the day.

Oh, that flower? It’s there because it’ll probably be the nicest thing I see all day. Back in a bit – maybe later this afternoon or evening with some sort of “I’m too %#$^@! scared to move” update. Maybe.

Alien Isolation Launch Trailer: At Home, Everyone Will Hear You Scream…


 

AI PS4 CoverIt’s almost here and yours truly will be popping up at a certain retailer bright and early to snap up my copy and trot back home so I can dive in feet first and come up for air with knuckles and hair all white from fear. Yay, fear! Hmmmm. I should e dreading this experience a bit more because I’ve not been really freaked out by any horror game in a while.

On the other hand, I’m knowing I’m going to enjoying seeing what The Creative Assembly has cooked up for people like me who’ve been following this from the shadows who want to go in cold and not have spoilers hitting us on the head because we hung out on the right message boards and want our “fun” spoiled. Of course, I’m less expecting this to be “fun” and more expecting it to be “Holy $#!+, I can’t take another step because I’m TOO damn scared, but that damn Alien is somewhere in the room, Gyaaaaaah!”


 
Or something like that. (sings) The sun will come out, tomorrow… Hmmmm. I wonder if they sell cork panels at the K-Mart across from the game shop? I may need a bunch to line the living room with so my neighbors don’t keep calling the cops on me. “GYAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”

Alien Isolation #HowWillYouSurvive Final Update: Last Chance to Stomp Down to the Store, But Have an Egg First!


 
So, some early reviews are in and it seems that the reviewers that got it REALLY got it good and that’s a good thing. The ones that didn’t? Well, they came in looking for the wrong game and yep, boy were they surprised at the game not being what THEY wanted and what the developer intended. You have to love that sort of misguided missile writing, ladies and gents.


 
Anyway, as Sega seems to not like me, I’ll still be buying this one on Tuesday and reviewing it a bit later than the madding crowd that already has. But that’s just fine by me because I don’t plan on rushing this through at all. Nor one bit. Nope.


 
As for that eggy breakfast, Well… I’d like one of these, please. It can fit in the living room in place of that stupid recliner or the other chair that just dropped its lousy, crumbling cloth underside on the carpet like a misbehaving pet. Yuck. Anyway, I should probably catch up on some sleep over the weekend, as I’m betting Alien Isolation will be keeping me awake and creeping into my sleeping time for a while…