Gunnihilation: Yeah, It’s A Blast


The ONLY thing “wrong” with Robo Pixel Games‘ brilliant bullet hell on steroids Gunnihilation is there’s no online play, and this is coming from a guy who dislikes online play in most of his games. The “shut up and play it!” Early Access game is so much fun as a local co-op experience that it BEGS to be shared with as many friends as possible, which in this era of “friends” meaning “many people you and I solely know through social circles” is a bit impossible. But that also leads me to believe Robo Pixel is smarter than I am because that simply means MORE of you who should play this need to just buy it ASAP.

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Switch: Your New Nintendo Console, Folks


So, here we go. As someone who pre-ordered and owns a Wii U and was/is relatively pleased with the system (albeit less than thrilled it didn’t reach its full potential), this new system intrigues me significantly. Does that portability, HD screen and home/away play element kill off the 3DS’ market? Probably not (yet). 3DS games are faster to make from what I gather, but I’m gathering we’ll be hearing from all those developers who’ve been quietly working away on new and old IP exactly what’s coming. Not a fan of the “lifestyle” video with impossible stuff happening at all… but that’s PR doing its thing trying to make the Switch “cool” to those who buy into this sort of thing.


If that too brief The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild footage is any indication of how upcoming titles will look, I’d say we’ll be seeing a few more beautiful games in less open worlds calling wallets out of pockets and purses an March 2017 rolls around. Here’s the Wii U version for comparison’s sake, if you need to do that. Both look spectacular, but you know how some folks are. Anyway, color me really intrigued and on that pre-order list.


Busload of Horror II: Time to Kill? Sure, Why Not?


Back for more, are we? Well, then. Let’s amp things up a notch with some scary stuff that has you killing or being killed in gratuitous or thoughtfully gratuitous means. Or something like that. I guess what’s here is kinda NSFW unless you work at some place like your friendly neighborhood abbatoir, morgue, or cemetery and/or have a morbid sense of humor, hee-ho!


unloved-headerUNLOVED: Yikes. So, you want to run around in the dark (perhaps with up to three others) equipped with a handgun and flashlight looking for better weapons, armor, and colored keys while trying not to to get keelhauled by some fast-moving, ugly as sin monsters? Good. This game’s got your name, number and full address stamped all over it.

Nope, it’s not 1993 all over again, but UNLOVED sure rocks it like it is. Paul Schneider took his original Doom II mod and completely remade it using Unreal 4 to great, gory effect. As a solo or multiplayer experience, the game is wickedly fast, controls as expected (yes you can have at it with k+m or a controller if you like) and definitely not for the squeamish or easily startled. Or perhaps it IS, as it’ll surely prepare you for anything jumping out at you in the real world.


There’s an interesting rewards system at play as well where you can sell off gathered trinkets for assorted useful goodies. That said, a bit more character customization would be nice, as other than outfit color, EVERY player model is some generic white guy with sunglasses, making playing with others look like a Falco video with assorted guns set in a carnival horror house. But even if you just come for the scares and enjoy the ride (and dying a lot), this is quite a rush worth the $14.99 cost.

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Review: MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, MeiQ has a few surprises for those thinking it’s just another fan service packed JRPG. Lengthy and packing in some cool ideas, it’s a solid genre entry worth picking up.

meiq_cg7 Platform: PlayStation Vita
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/13/2016
MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%) BUY IT!

At first glance (and second… and third), MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death looks like many other fan-service JRPGs packed with gals bursting out of their too-skimpy outfits ripe for waifu fantasies from those eager fans into that sort of thing. Fortunately, a mighty good game lurks past that booby trap facade and this is one Labyrinth worth a full inspection and yes, another Iffy game you’ll want to have in your library. Once you get over the costume designs, there’s a long and challenging game here to conquer with a fine combat system, albeit one that doesn’t change all that much once you sink a few hours in.

The plot is pretty basic stuff with four towers that need to be conquered in order to beat the evil so-and so trying to rule and ruin the land. Adding mechs each gal can pilot to the mix is a great touch, as it allows for some interesting pairings as well as gives you a squishy backup plan should a mech fall in battle. That’s right, your gals and whatever skills they’ve learned are your last resource if their metallic rides go down in flames. Initially, it’s a lousy thing as the gals aren’t exactly powerful and it takes time to gain a full party anyway. But, after a chunk of time, they’ll improve and all gain some nice, useful skills that can do decent damage. You’ll still want those mechs in good shape, though.

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Busload of Horror: Or, Way Too Many Scary Games This Month, Part 1

detention-6Ha. You should see my inbox and backlog. You’d scream. A lot. Especially at all the scary games that try to elbow each other in the eyeballs for attention. Some of these end up beign great, some not so great, a few even end up like broken dolls you want to keep because they have promise but need to be taken to the toymaker and fixed up a bit. Anyway, here are (well, three at a time in this series) some quick looks at a bunch of games I liked that you may want to try… if you’re brave enough.


arb_mainA Room Beyond: Currently up to its second of five chapters (the first one is free), René Bühling‘s excellent, distinctly smart psychological horror game does its frights up right, using a superb, intentionally crude yet perfect and gorgeous “2.5D” pixelated visual style that actually amps up the chill factor considerably. The experience is pure classic adventure/exploration game with a Lovecraftian vibe creeping throughout its narrative, but combat against creatures is a necessary and well-implemented evil in the second chapter.

From the opening moments when your character wakes up trapped in a cave and makes his way down that winding hill to a foggy village with some very strange residents, there’s a sense of uneasy dread that something terrible not only will happen, but has happened. Your character is tied into all this somehow, of course. But despite his hardiness and good intentions to help out while trying to solve his own mystery, in a way he seems not quite prepared for what’s coming. In other words, I’m hooked in for the long haul.

The official site notes A Room Beyond is “A novel story of crime, mystery and life-philosophy is told in five episodes which finally reveal into a complete story line,” which sold me right away. You can try out the FREE demo on Steam (highly recommended), but if you’re already a big horror game fan, I say just pay the $6.99 for the current build and play this at night with the lights out and a pair of headphones on for best results.

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Just Feel: A Little Indie Action on Hump Day


enjminlogoLet’s talk about s-e-x for a hot minute. Most popular videogames act like it doesn’t exist or it’s made essential to a story as a “relationship” deal where it’s mishandled like a giraffe trying to juggle watermelons while playing the bongos. Boo to most of the AAA game industry and it’s primarily clumsy pawing of a subject that should be gently approached and touched in just the right places.

Meanwhile, over in France (where the heck else?), seven first-year students at Le Cnam-Enjmin took three months to make Just Feel, a very short, FREE, and let’s just say “educational” game about…

Well, let’s just see what the game page says:

The goal of this project is to mention sensuality and the pleasure in a poetic and subtle way.

The idea is to show a form of sensual relation without taboo and vulgarity.

In this experience the player personifies a caress metaphor.

This project is focus on the flow feeling.

Relaxation and surprise.

This is a 10 minutes experience.



While this one’s a bit too easy to describe how to play and the overall goal, you still kind of need to play it and see…er, feel for yourself what the deal is. In fact, BEFORE you play, watch the let’s play video for a bit of hilarity as the guy playing can’t quite figure out where he’s at on the figure. Some girls and guys will get a chuckle and “It figures…” head shake while watching. Hey, some of us need a lot of practice. Yeah, me included.

Anyway, you may blush a little before the game times out, but it’s tastefully done (quiet back there!) and abstract enough to indeed be called art. So, um. Go give it a try, I say.


I guess I should score this, right? Okay, 1 point a minute makes this a perfect 10.



Lost Ember: Kickstart This Gorgeous Game, Please


While I’m not the biggest fan of crowdfunding, I’ve participated in a few projects this year that jumped out and bit me because the promise of greatness was more than a pipe dream and a dedicated person or team was at the wheel guiding that vision to completion.

Lost Ember is one of those projects, I’ll more than likely help back because it’s absolutely gorgeous and it looks as if the developer, Hamburg, Germany-based Mooneye Studios is on the right track in creating an indie game for the ages. You can see (and hear) the hard work and passion for the project in every area and hopefully, the game will make its goal with time to spare (and yes, a well-optimized console port down the road, as this one’s too good to be limited to one platform)


But enough babbling from me. Take a look at this trailer from the developer:

And this gallery of screens and art I put together a few weeks back on YouTube with fingers crossed that the Kickstarter would indeed launch and get going to a fast, steady start:

You’re grinning and reaching for your wallet, right? Well, my work here is done.


HUNTDOWN Gallery: Enter the Three the Hard Way Blade Running Mad Warriors to the Max


Well, well. What do we have here? A game called HUNTDOWN by a studio with a temporary name ‘Huntdown HB (Handelsbolag)’ initially set for a mobile only release (where it would have no doubt blown gamers away who think ALL mobile games are awful tapper timesinks or cutesy kid games), now headed to mobile, PC and (hopefully) console? Let’s take a look and some screens, art and even a few GIFs now shall we?


There’s a nice, striking image, no? Oh, just wait until you see what’s below the jump…

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Blu-Ray Review: The Bloodstained Butterfly

the-bloodstained-butterfly-av063Duccio Tessari’s 1971 thriller The Bloodstained Butterfly is a great entry point to the genre for those squeamish viewers curious about gialli but not willing to commit to the more violent entries known to more ardent fans. The film is part murder mystery, part courtroom drama and part revenge flick, all stylishly shot and scored to excellent effect.

It’s also a bit of a slow fuse to its conclusion, but that’s not a bad thing at all. The film’s structure where a murder is committed and witnessed, a suspect is caught, tried and jailed, but more murders take place is yes, pure TV drama stuff you’ll see on way too many episodes of whatever Law & Order series you’ve been hooked on for who knows how long. But, Tessari’s confident style comes through in every shot, making for a highly watchable viewing experience.

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Earth Defense Force 5: If You Just Needed ONE Game in 2017…


Holy Crap. I’d been so busy last month with missing consoles and personal stuff that I very COMPLETELY forgot to pay closer attention to Tokyo Game Show (TGS). Well, thanks to me finally coming up for air and asking myself while playing EDF 4.1 on my PS4 last night “Hmm, I wonder if any EDF5 news was announced…” before I passed out for the duration. Yes, the PS4 has an auto shutdown, thank you very much.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with bugs on the brain, checked YouTube and… WOW:



Yeah, I need this. I decided to look up some actual hands-on play and… my eyes are around here somewhere, as is my jaw:



Good gravy on a stick. Give me this, Breath of the Wild, a ton of indies and I’m good for all of 2017.