The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition, PS4 Bound Soon

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Finally! PS4 and PS4 Pro owners looking for another solid isometric action/RPG can put down Diablo III: Reaper of Souls for a spell and pick up NeoCore Games’ fast-paced, fun and often funny The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Extended Edition on February 28 (March 1 in EU territories) for $14.99. This deal includes the first part of the trilogy and in addition to its single player campaign mode, you’ll get the ability to play co-op and PvP multiplayer modes. This is the second console port for the game, as the hatted monster slayer has previously appeared on the Xbox One. Yes, next week is incredibly busy for Playstation fans. But if you’re not grabbing the big AAA games dropping next week, a little Van Helsing is more than enough to keep you busy.

-GW

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Diablo III 2.4.3 Update: Party Like It’s 1996 (Or, To Hell & Back, Grinning)


 

Well, oooh. I wasn’t expecting to be this surprised by an update, but yep, Blizzard did just what I was thinking they were going to do with a bit more throwback action, albeit it short-lived. The update also popped up on PSN (as the 1.15 patch), which is the version I played through last night and messed around with into this morning. Other than it not having the retro UI, it’s exactly the same content. I was more surprised that the team had not a lot of info from the original Diablo and had to piece things together using fan wikis, but hey – most fans are helpful when they’re not fighting with each other.

(Hey! Subscribe to my boring YouTube channel, already!)
 

The throwback maps made me grin like a loon as I took a newly created Monk through those hellish stages. I went through on Normal the first time, which is why The Butcher went down without killing my holy fist punching dame. Actually, in my original Diablo play back in ’96, I didn’t die against that brute until my second time through because I got overconfident, his room was on a new spot on the map with a dead end outside I got trapped in and the exploding barrels I hit took off a wee but too much health when he rushed up with that axe. Ow. Actually, I had a run later through the PlayStation version in 1998 where I got stuck dying on the 7th floor thanks to a lightning fast lightning magic blasting mob parked right at the stairway. I think I still have that save data on an old memory card here.


 

In any event, if you’ve a PC, PS4 or Xbox One, remember spending too much time in digital Hell and want a quick trip back to 20 years ago… yeah, go grab Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, but do it soon. The Darkening of Tristram event only lasts until the end of January and you might not want to miss the oddball gifts you get when completing the run.

-GW

Diablo Turns 20: Blizzard, What Are You Up To?


 

Twenty years is a long time for any form of interactive entertainment to be around and still have an active fan base. Blizzard seems to know its classic PC game Diablo has a rather dedicated and somewhat vocal legion of players that have stayed with the franchise through three games, numerous patches and a few expansion packs. Granted, the love for the first two games meant Diablo III was going to be heavily criticized for both its long development time and any huge changes to what longtime fans expected. Let’s just say the fans didn’t disappoint in letting themselves be heard.


 

But of course, Diablo III was a mess at and post launch, but tons of patches, the removal of that horrid Auction House and surprisingly, mostly superb console ports that actually improved upon the foundation laid made it a far better game for everyone save last-gen system (PS3/Xbox 360) owners who didn’t get the great 2.4.0 update. I’d already sunk a few hundred hours into the PS3 version and planned to transfer my save files over to the PS4 when I finally made the move to that console. Of course, that didn’t happen thanks to Phill Katz stealing my PS3 after I sent it to him for repair. NO, I haven’t forgotten you, asshole.


 

So, yeah. I’ve had to restart from scratch with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and so far, I’m quite pleased with my progress. I’m working on a Demon Hunter build and blazing through Adventure Mode after completing the Campaign once just to build up a ton of Paragon points so I’ll have a huge pool to use when creating other characters later. The 2.4.0 content surprised me with a dark and grim new map that added a few new enemy variants, crashing waves, rain and… freakin’ gigantic sea snakes popping up if you ran too close to the edge of some spots on the map.


 

Anyway, this post has no point other than me reminiscing and wondering just what the hell Blizzard is up to. Yes, I know about the Necromancer class coming as well as the upcoming “remake” of the first game using the DIII engine. But I’m hotly curious as to what else is planned. Other games get re-releases, HD upgrades or flat out remakes, so it only makes sense that this one would at some point soon. Unless Blizzard is just messing with us fans. Those old cinematics sure cleaned up well, huh?

-GW

LET IT DIE: A Valuable Lesson In Letting Go On A Few Fronts

Oh, it’s been nuts here of late, but I’m still alive. This year has been a busted Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride on crack (or maybe this), so my brain is in the process of processing a ton of stuff. Got a big backlog of stuff to get to, but I’ve managed to slide into a few new things to kick my creativity back into place. Or in English: LET IT DIE is helping out a lot. To wit:

“Violence is a very horrible thing. That’s what you’re learning now. Your body is learning it… You felt ill this afternoon because you’re getting better. You see, when we are healthy, we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. You’re becoming healthy, that’s all. By this time tomorrow, you’ll be healthier still.”

Thank you, Dr. Branom! I’ll be back later with a cheerier post, folks.

-GW

Amnesia Collection On PS4: Twist Your Mind With Fear (More So Than Usual)

I kind of wish I had amnesia right about now, but it’s more important to stay frosty an alert out in the real world. That said, I still wish I had Amnesia, but this desire is actually in the form of Amnesia Collection on the PS4. It’s not on the PSN Store as I type this, but trust me, it’s going to be at some point today. If I’m in the mood to camp out under the covers later, perhaps a buy and play will be made. The first game and it’s shorter sequel, Justine, may have aged visually over the last five years, but my money says those old Lovecraftian shivers will still work perfectly.

-GW

The Elder Scrolls Online Goes Free Temporarily

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Well. As an Elder Scrolls purist, I’ve resisted the lure of paying for this online only experience for a few core reasons. But thanks to Bethsoft and Zenimax Online’s plans to reel more of us in, I’m going to finally put a few days in and see if I like what’s here. This free trial lasts until 11/20 and is open to PC, Mac and PS4 users. Even more tempting: until 11/29, the cost of the full game drops 67% to $9.89, so it seems this plan may work for both companies after all. Still, my backlog is massive and my time is limited, so I don’t expect to do much over this trial period other than create a character and kick a few tires. We shall see. You Xbox One users griping, fear not. Your very own free weekend is coming soon.

Another incentive to play if you’re over 18 and have a valid passport is this awesome contest with some great travel prizes. granted, you don’t have to play in order to enter. But I’m sure that gesture would be appreciated.

-GW

Amnesia Collection PS4: One Rule of Fear, Broken For The Streamer Age

So. A big fat resounding YES booms out here to the upcoming Amnesia Collection for PlayStation 4, set for a November 22, 2016 release. Featuring all three entries in the “series” (Amnesia The Dark Descent, Amnesia: Justine and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs), I’m going to dive on this set of scares like a thousand dollar bill scooting down an empty street on a slightly windy day. On the other hand… that trailer above gets a sore thumb in the eye for going the pesky paid YouTube screamer/streamer route when something a lot less… annoying would have been perfect.

A good deal more so, in fact.

Take a look at the original PC trailer for Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

Effective? Yep. Disorienting? Definitely. I’m not sure who put this new trailer together, but it just makes a truly frightening game experience into another jump-scare game that are literally a dime a dozen (or free) on Steam. Now, I’m not one of those off the wall gamers screaming for a boycott or spewing bile over a not so hot (and at the end of the day, minor) decision made by whomever. It’s just that I like having one game that’s actually unnerving to remain so without the possibly fake or overplayed reactions you can see dozens of on YouTube on a daily basis.

-GW

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

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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.

-GW

Metal Gear Survive: A Hideous Nojima Game Coming in 2017

Once again, I fell asleep with my laptop on, a VERY bad thing to do. I popped up my fuzzy head to turn it off, but something told me to go poke at facebook and see what was up before I drifted back off to sleep. Oh… my. This is the second thing that caught my eye (ow!):


(thanks, IGN!) 

Oh. Hell. No. Nope. NEIN. Or in the immortal word of one very dead Sith lord:

(Thanks, CineWeekly!) 

Look. I’m not trying to say the game WILL be awful and YES, judging something by sight alone and not by playing it is ALWAYS 100% wrong. That said, Konami’s way off base treatment of Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima is the sole reason this video has so many dislikes on YouTube. Adding insult to injury, Kojima Productions’ versatile Fox Engine is being used to develop the new game. Yeah, it’s Konami’s property and I’m sure Kojima’s contract stated this somewhere in the fine print. But no Kojima involvement on a Metal Gear game is simply Konami pulling the wool over its own eyes and pretending we won’t notice.

(Thanks, Cinema Source!) 

Sorry, Konami. Even if this zombie-filled multiplayer mash-up is better than the Left 4 Dead games, it won’t win you back the respect of Metal Gear fans, people who love game history (making the beautiful, horrifyingly perfect P.T. vanish forever was one of the most spiteful business decisions next to whatever happened with Kojima) or anyone else who knows you’re trying very hard to show that you’re still relevant as an actual video game company.

Thanks for trying, though. PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners who don’t care and just want a(nother) good-looking shooteminnaface zombie game will eat this one up in 2017. The rest of us justifiable cranky souls will more than likely sit this dance out.

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Stomping to Steam July 18

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Well, this wasn’t a total surprise, but it still make me do a little happy dance when it was confirmed. EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair July 18, on Steam. $49.99, but with a limited time 30% discount. Worth every penny even at full price. No mod support has been confirmed, but the game doesn’t need people messing with it creating content thanks to a few hundred hours worth of gameplay just in the challenge of clearing every difficulty level with every character AND getting all 800 randomly dropped weapons. PR on this has been quiet as a mouse, but I hope this gets kicked up a notch and made bigger news soon.