Review: Moss (PSVR)

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Every tail, er TALE, has a beginning. This one’s a really good one provided you’ve got a PS4 and PSVR setup (or Oculus or Vive and a powerful PC.

Moss PSVRIt’s too bad Polyarc’s fantastic new PSVR game Moss ($29.99) is only playable on a PS4 using Sony’s virtual reality headset (or on PC with a pricier Oculus or Vive setup) because it’s pretty awesome and one of the best VR games on the console. Granted, the developer’s total commitment to making a solid VR experience is part of what makes the game so excellent. But I’m of the mind that really well-made games such as this may actually benefit from “flat” versions that, while missing the VR trickery, are just plain fun to play for those without a VR setup.

As great as any VR game is, one thing that needs to not be forgotten is not every gamer will be sold on the tech, can’t use it, or just wants to play good games without the financial burden of paying a few hundred extra bucks for the privilege. That said, if you’ve a PSVR in the house and want another excellent game to show off that just so happens to be family friendly fun, go grab this one and get ready for a fine storybook adventure that yes, can’t be done on the stock PS4.

The use of VR here is much more than a mere gimmick thanks to the developer going above and beyond the call in having the player multitask in mostly great ways. A cute mouse named Quill is the game’s heroine and your goal as the Reader is to help guide her along the way as she attempts to rescue her uncle. The game’s book-like structure is evident from the start as you flip pages to begin Quill’s tale. Puzzle elements come into play as Quill navigates the lovely environments with you helping her out by manipulating objects in the environments to help her reach new locations. Where this element soars over “flat” games is how wonderfully Polyarc has incorporated the VR experience so fully into things to the point of many smile-worthy moments as Quill’s tale unfolds. Yes, that means my non-VR version point above becomes a bit (okay, VERY) moot, but I’ll make a feeble attempt at a saving throw a bit below.

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Even if you hate mieces to pieces (and +10 if you got a chuckle from that joke), Moss will make your mouse-o-meter calm down. Quill’s quite the cutie pie, *squeak!*

Continue reading

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Moss Coming to PS4 as a Physical Edition in June

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Moss2DBlackNormally, if someone said “Hey! Look at that mouse!” I’d be up on a chair with a shoe ready to throw at the first thing that moved because I’d not want some rodent running up my pant leg followed by a ticked off cat like something out of a a Tom and Jerry cartoon. In the case of Polyarc’s lovely action/platform/puzzle game Moss, however, I’m all “D’awwww! SO CUTE!” and then some.

The critically acclaimed and formerly digital only PSN release is getting a retail version next month and it’s looking like one of those PS VR enabled games that’s going to be worth grabbing for your physical library.  Take a peek at the trailer below of Quill’s big virtual adventure and see for yourself, (squeak, squeak):

 

 

Yep, SOLD. June 12 is when this scampers into stores, so go do that pre-order thing or just pop on in to pick up your copy. Save the cheese, though. The person selling you the game might be lactose intolerant or might rather want a pricey Camembert and not the Velveeta chunk you were planning on bringing.

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-GW

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Hands-On: Vallhalla Yeah, Vanillaware is BOSS

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Back in 2007, Odin Sphere came to the PlayStation 2 as a gorgeous yet flawed masterpiece. Developed by Vanillaware, the game’s sumptuous visuals and challenging gameplay were only hampered by rather pesky slowdown and a few clumsy design choices. When Vanillaware announced it was bringing the game out on PS4, PS3 and Vita, one of the concerns expressed by fans was whether or not the game would be a straightforward HD update that didn’t fix some of the issues. Well, let’s just say after about two weeks with the Vita version of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, any concerns about those problems can be erased completely.

The game (set for a retail and digital release June 7 for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita) has been redone using the same art assets, but with enhanced backdrops and *many* new major to minor gameplay tweaks that make this the best version of the game you’ll ever play. Combat has been made more fluid and accessible, blocking actually works, item, magic, and potion use is simpler and the game is running at a beautiful 60 frames per second. If that wasn’t enough, Vanillaware has updated the leveling and skills system, polished up the cooking stuff, and overall has made what’s going to be forever known as THE definitive version of an instant classic. Oh, and for those who want to compare, the original version is also included as part of the package, making this an even better must-buy deal.

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Fans of the original who own PS4s can, should and NEED to get the demo from PSN. Like NOW. There’s a Vita demo coming soon and yes, it’s going to be a must download and play experience. I’d say more, but that’s dipping a toe into review territory. Just mark the date, get your wallet ready or if you’re into pre-ordering, go do that stuff you do best and hope all your omake gets shipped in a BOX as it shouldhttps://fanboydestroy.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=31367&action=trash&_wpnonce=a79f89fd60. Yeah, I’m talking to YOU, Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy, EB Games and anywhere else stuff just gets tossed in a flimsy bubble mailer and kicked onto the back of a truck. A game this stellar deserves the kid gloves.

Back in a bit with more on this gem. Now, about a proper Princess Crown remake… hey Vanillaware and Atlus, can we talk?

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir PS4 Demo Out Now: A Dish of VanillaWare For Dessert Sounds Grand

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If you own a PlayStation 4, you can do yourself a HUGE favor today and download the demo for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir NOW on PSN. The game isn’t arriving until June 7, but you’ll see that this revived and remastered PS2 game looks absolutely gorgeous and runs at a wonderful 60fps. There’s also a VERY nice surprise for those who remember the original release, but I shall let you see for yourself what that is. I’d say more, but the embargo isn’t over until tomorrow and I don’t want to get smited by my favorite PR guy. This pairing of Atlus and Sega is a match made in gaming heaven.

Arrow Video June Releases: Blu-Rays of Sun For Your Collection

Arrow Video is set to heat up your June with four more video releases through MVD Entertainment Group, all worth a buy for collectors and film buffs with a taste for the intriguing. Let’s take a look at what’s coming soon:

Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 2 AV038 Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Volume 2 (June 14, $49.95) rolls up first and looks to be the perfect companion piece to the first three-film set. Akira Kobayashi (Tokyo Mighty Guy), and Jo Shishido (Danger Pays, Murder Unincorporated) are the featured actors in this trio of films that like the first Diamond Guys, is limited to 3000 sets. The first collection was a nice set of surprises, so expectations are high for this one to be equally fun and revealing.

Bonus Materials

  • Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)
  • High Definition digital transfers of all three films in this collection, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Newly translated English subtitles
  • Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys Jo Shishido and Akira Kobayashi
  • Original trailers for all three films
  • Extensive promotional image galleries for all films
  • Reversible sleeve featuring brand new artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • Booklet featuring new writing on all the films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith IV, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling

Three more below the jump, so JUMP! Continue reading

Daydreamer: Awakened Edition – Atlus Gets The Truly Trippy Platformer to PS4, Xbox One


 

Thanks to so darn many indie games dropping from the sky these days (it’s a digital monsoon at times!), I’d never even heard of the one man show called Roland Studios or its wild PC game Daydreamer until I got word that Atlus was handling the PS4 (May 31, 2016) and Xbox One (June 3, 2016) publishing in North America. Updated with enhanced features and now called Daydreamer: Awakened Edition, all you need to do is ogle that mind-bending weirdness above and you know you’re in for a trip and a half.

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If you like reading a bit more and that laser-eyed bunny above hasn’t freaked you out too much, here’s what to expect in the updated console version:

Daydreamer: Awakened Edition features:

• Twitchy Retro Gameplay – Those who live for intense side-scrolling, platforming, and shooting action will feel right at home, because players will shoot, whip, shield, jump, and warp their way to the Earth’s core. The design choices in the game harken back to gaming’s arcade classics!

• A Varied Combat System – With a dearth of different weapons and abilities at the daydreamer’s disposal, she will eradicate aliens with energy, homing, ray, helix, and flamethrower blasters, and melee mutants with her whips. She also has the abilities to shield against damage, warp to hard-to-reach areas, slow down time, and more. But they don’t come cheap—players must hunt for Psymatter in order to buy the weapons and items that will aid her along her hazardous journey.

• Powerful Pets – Psymatter also can be used to purchase/sustain a loyal pet companion to stay by your side to the death (or until you run out of Psymatter). From fuzzy turtles to vicious weasels, pets will offer invaluable support in varied forms to the daydreamer.

• Frightening Bosses – If normal aliens, mutants, robots, and bugs aren’t bad enough, the bosses of Daydreamer: Awakened Edition are truly terrifying to behold. The disturbing Mr. Smiles, the repulsive Grimeboy, and ferocious, but still kind of cute, Rabies Rabbit are just some of the creepy boss monsters brought to life in the game.

• Numerous Improvements – Since this is the Awakened Edition, that means there are a multitude of improvements and additions to the original release. Besides gameplay tweaks and balancing, there are now more difficulties, enhanced controls, improved combat, a ranked mode/leaderboard for the competitive, world map function, a brand new ending, and much more.

 

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That sounds like a plan to me, folks. The strangeness will commence on those two newer platforms on the dates noted above. Hopefully the PC version will get the same updates as I know some gamers who only do their thing on PC will want what everyone else is having.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir: Plain Vanillaware Is Awesome, Omake Makes It Even Tastier

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I don’t believe in magic at all, but whatever George Kamitani and Vanillaware are using for creative energy, it needs to be packaged and sold at cost just so more game developers can reap the rewards. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, the upcoming HD reworking of the PlayStation 2 classic looks as if it will introduce a new and larger legion of fans to the game when it ships out for PS4, PS3 and Vita on June 7, 2016. While North Amrican PS4 owners looking to collect the most omake luck out big time with the limited Storybook Edition at $79.99, PS4, PS3, and Vita-only owners in NA who pre-order can score a softcover version of that hardcover 64-page art book in the Storybook Edition. Continue reading

Looking Forward To A Mildly Hot June

hot stuff juneIt’s June already? Yikes. Well, I have a headache from trying to quit coffee (but it’s not the massive migraine I had last week from other stressy stuff), a pile of work to do (as ever) and some icky things going on with some precious bodily fluids behaving somewhat badly (but not at all painfully, thankfully). Posts are piling up as drafts, but those will get whittled down as I take care of a few things this month. There’s no construction today and I think tomorrow thanks to the rain blowing through here, so that will extent the roof repair a few more days. Shortly after that (barring incident), the screaming starts anew when the apartment gets slammed with hammers and such as a few things are repaired and replaced.

On the *all* good news front, it looks as if I’ll be doing something with a bunch of small peppers that are growing a bit bigger than expected. I’m not sure how hot they’ll be as the plants are from a mixed lot of seeds I’d been saving up that got mixed together by accident. Hot or not, I’m betting a mushroom and some sort of cheese blend would go with them perfectly. We’ll see. Back in a bit. I also have a bit of a backache today. But that may be from getting up far too early this morning and falling asleep with a book in bed that ended up under me (ouch).

June Bug, Or Life Doing Its Gear-Shifting Again

(thanks, VEVO!)*
 

Let’s see now. Not counting the usual outside world lousy news that will absolutely drive one bonkers if one pays attention to all of it, my life is in a bit of a bumpy phase. No, you’re not getting any juicy details other than things are about as complex as Ernest Hemingway’s hamburger recipe right about now. And nowhere near as tasty. Okay, I haven’t tried that recipe yet, but it sure sounds as if it packs in a ton of flavor. But I digress. Let’s talk mostly in music because it makes things easier and funnier when all is said and done.

(thanks, Leroy Skibone!)
 

What’s Up With the Roof? Well, it’s still being repaired and it seems that June 5th deadline may or may not be met thanks to some rainy and windy days where not much took place. They’re doing a bunch of the buildings here at the same time so it looks like Scaffold City in some spots. Given the amount of drilling and pounding going on, it seems that the intent is to make this fix a bit more “permanent” than previous jobs. That were also supposed to be “permanent”. Yes, “permanent” is in quotes because maintenance such as this is never really going to be “permanent” (which is why it’s called MAINTENANCE, correct?). Which leads me to the apartment (eek):

(thanks, dodgybizkit!)
 

The place got one a few months back before the roof repair but needs a new inspection after it to see if anything’s been shaken loose from all the pounding from above. A different set of inspectors came in and checked the ceilings in every room to see if they needed any repairs. Of course, nearly every room in the apartment now has red marks on the ceilings were some work needs to take place. Wonderful. Even more annoying is the wall that was completely replaced twice over the past twenty years thanks to the drainpipe behind it that more than likely should have been replaced during the first wall job. My brain boils every time I recall assorted inspectors and workmen saying variations on “Well, that pipe really needs to be fixed, but it’s too much work because the whole line needs to come out” meant all of the current issues really didn’t need to happen.

That and while terribly inconvenient for the tenants along the line below me, had the work been done back when it needed to be, it would have cost less and probably been done with far better materials. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. The wall in the home office was last “fixed” last October and painted but a month later was showing signs of (that’s right) minor water damage. By the time the inspector popped back around to check something else out, I had to show off the now more cracked and damaged wall to him just to get a reaction. Yep, he actually asked me when was the last time it was repaired. Le sigh. Le annoy! I also need to figure out where to move over 1000 games, a bunch of systems and other stuff as I’d planned to use the formerly empty back room here that’s now occupied by a relative who’s moved back in.

Eh, I’ll figure that out. It may involve a screwdriver, hex wrenches and disassembling some furniture to make room, a few drop cloths and a LOT of tape. Ugh. Well, at least I have some masks in the closet so I can hang out and get all dusty with the workers here while I keep an eye on my stuff. It looks as if the rest of June past the 5th or so will mostly consist of me packing stuff up, moving it around and unpacking it later. Yep, I’m moving in my own apartment but keeping stuff in the same room. Whee. Science? Or just insanity.

(thanks, Aussie Roadshow!) 

What’s Cookin? And nope, the kitchen still isn’t at 100 percent thanks to a combo of the assorted workers not putting things back together completely. I have two sink legs under the sink that need to be reattached, some trim that needs painting (well, once they actually finish making and adding the rest of the trim around the kitchen ceiling) and there’s a small hole in a wall that was somehow missed during all that earlier kitchen nonsense that I just spotted when moving the refrigerator back to its original spot. “If I had a hammer…” I’d probably be doing 2-5 for some sort of Three Stooges meets Screwy Squirrel assault.

Some Other Stuff! Trouble Man. People Ain’t No Good. Promises, Promises. Beat it. That’s all I’ll say about that.

What it’s too vague for you? Well, as my man K.C. says:

(thanks, Nerisob!)

Feh. Add all that up and the fact that I need to make some money fast (and legally, of course!) and things are a bit stress inducing of late. If I can make it through June without Hulking out, it’ll be a good month. My poor head is stuffed with stuff I need to do, but concentration isn’t an easy thing to concentrate on with so much crap in the synapse.

Back in a bit. How’s YOUR month (or hell, just this Friday) going?

*Yeah, I know that Bruce Cockburn song is used way out of context. But so is every other video in this post.

Three More Arrow Blu-Rays To Heat Up Summer

Arrow Video June 2015 Releases
 

Amusingly enough, Arrow and MVD have more than three new releases for June through August, but I’ll get the rest in a separate post as today is a bit haywire. Pit Stop, La Grande Bouffe, and Blood Rage all come to Blu-Ray in outstanding newly restored prints all ready for your viewing and collecting purposes. I’m actually thrilled about seeing Pit Stop make it to Blu-Ray as it’s a film I’d only seen once before on a beat up VHS copy of questionable quality. I haven’t seen La Grande Bouffe in years and I don’t think I recall Blood Rage unless I saw it under one of its other titles back in the 80’s. Well, catching up with these old film friends will be fun for sure.

Back in a bit.