Review: High Strangeness (Wii U)

High Strangeness Start ScreenPlatform: Wii U (also on PC)
Developer: Barnyard Intelligence Games/Crystal Labs
Publisher: Midnight City/Majesco
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B+ (85%)
 

HS 12-bit technology
 

While “short” by whatever “today’s standards” for game length is, High Strangeness is actually about as long as many of the 8 and 16-bit games it’s inspired by. A few too many gamers today are a wee bit spoiled by the still baffling comparison of game length somehow equaling overall quality so it’s great to play a new “retro” game that doesn’t wear you down with too many gimmicks before the ride is over. What’s here is a pretty cool throwback that bridges the game between the two eras with a “12-bit” approach that allows players to travel back and forth between two distinct visual styles. There’s also a mix of sci-fi and light horror vibes going on here with creepy-looking enemies, a big mystery and even a sentient cat to keep you dialed in from start to finish.

high strangeness 3 

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Not Quite “Retro” Review Rerun: Raze’s Hell

As I noted a little while back, from time to time I’ll be re-running some of my old (and long as hell, sorry!) reviews from a few dead sites I wrote for with no updates, but corrections and edits where necessary. Here’s one for a favorite Xbox game that still holds up almost ten years later as a great (albeit somewhat gory) gem you may have missed. Enjoy!

Raze's Hell CoverAh, the mentality of the American gamer. Whenever a bargain game shows up on store shelves, only the bravest of the brave (or those cheap bastards like me who’re unwilling to pay full price for a name title) pony up the pocket change for most of these cheapies and figure “Well, it’s a budget game, but I need my fix!” as they go home, close their eyes and think of England (you’ll only get that joke if you’re older than 30 or are a bit of a history buff).

It turns out that some of these games are good, some are really good, and a rare few are of the “Wait… THIS cost twenty bucks?!” caliber. Majesco‘s new release, Raze’s Hell fits snugly into the latter category, and if you’re looking for a game that’s going to grab you by the short hairs and pull hard while smacking both your funny bones, disco down to your nearest game shop and bring a few friends with you- you‘re in for a treat… Continue reading

Update! Wii U Launch/Launch Window Release List

Amusingly enough, no sooner than I post that Wii U article below, I get an email with a complete launch/launch window listing. For those not swimming in gaming lingo, the term “launch window” is a rather broad one that includes games on the way within a few months of a console’s release. In this case, the Wii U launch window is defined as the period beginning Nov. 18, 2012, and ending March 31, 2013. Also note that this list doesn’t include a few titles shows as just in development (Bayonetta, for example).

Got it? Good! Now onto the GAMES!  Er, List! Games list that is. As in, it’s below the jump.

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“Retro” Review: Data East Arcade Classics

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Developer: G1M2

Publisher: Majesco

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: B+

The word “retro” is in quoted in the title above for two reasons, one being the Wii isn’t exactly a dead system (well, depending on who you ask) and two, I didn’t  get the chance to review this collection at all when it was first released back in 2010. It’s getting a good look now because a friend who got a Wii for his kids a while back but has never played anything on it himself saw this in a closeout bin and as he’s an ancient fan of arcade games, he practically ran over some slow shoppers poking around in that bin to grab a copy. Anyway, no one was injured in that incident, so it’s all good. However, I also grabbed a copy and ended up getting some cramped fingers and sore thumbs from spending too much time reliving some great memories. Data East Arcade Classics packs in 15 games from the now defunct coin-op company that range from great to so-so and while some key titles that probably should have been on this disc are missing, it’s clear that this was supposed to be the first in an ongoing series. While the lack of certain key titles from the era and any sort of difficulty adjustment keep this from being flawless, it’s still recommended as a trip down memory lane or as an introduction to some really fun games for the kids.

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Review: Nano Assault

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Developer: Shin’en

Publisher: Majesco Entertainment

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Official Site


Score: A- (85%)

If there’s ever a proper Fantastic Voyage remake (and not some awful direct to video “update”) that actually rates a licensed game tie-in, Shin’en needs to be the go-to developer for the project. Nano Assault, their cool new game for the 3DS, drops you into a microscopic ship for 32 levels of arcade shooting against assorted mutated organisms and massive bosses in an attempt to shut down an alien virus before it wipes out the human race. While the game is pretty slim on the storytelling and a bit brief, it packs a killer visual punch and the shooting is excellent throughout. Continue reading

Nano Assault Blasts Into Stores

Shin’en’s third game in the Nanostray series has finally landed on the 3DS this time out and yes, you SHOULD run, drive, hop, skip or jump to your favorite game shop to snap this one up. Nano Assault takes things to the third dimension in style, so expect to fall off your bus seat when you’re bobbing and weaving like a formerly sleepy salaryman on a caffeine high. Majesco has another portable winner for the holiday season – review incoming.

Review: The Hidden

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Developer: 1st Playable Productions

Publisher: Majesco Entertainment

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 & Up)

Official Site

Score: A- (85%)

The Hidden is a nice little surprise from developer 1st Playable Productions and Majesco Entertainment, offering up some fun ghost tracking and shooting missions while getting you up and about in the process for a bit of exercise. While the game is definitely geared toward younger players, there’s enough to like here that even “core” gamers will want to take this one for a spin. The game’s big draws are its use of augmented reality, first-person shooting sequences and the fact that each person playing the game will have a unique experience thanks to using the 3DS cameras to capture actual locations as backgrounds for the action. While there’s no multiplayer modes to speak of, the game still manages to impress and you can expect a few passers-by to ask what you’re playing as you’re walking about scanning actual locations for ghosts to bust. Continue reading

The Hidden: Majesco Just May Have Something Really Awesome Here…

Remember those nifty cameras on the 3DS? Well, there’s a game that finally makes better use of them and just might be a nice surprise for gamers looking to do more than sit in one place while playing something cool. Majesco’s The Hidden, an augmented reality ghost-tracking adventure game coming to US retailers on November 8, 2011, drops you into the shoes of a Ghostly Entity Investigation and Strike Team (G.E.I.S.T.) member as you track and eliminate specters in 12 different missions. The intriguing thing about the game is in order to discover every pesky poltergeist, players will need to actually get outside in the fresh air or at least move around the house and do some actual camera work. I’m not sure how it all comes together, but if any 3DS game deserves a fair shake and a decent review, it’s this one. Color me intrigued…

BloodRayne: Betrayal – New Screens


Five more images from WayForward Technologies’ upcoming side-scroller. It’s too bad it’s not 1994 or this one would be splashed all over every game magazine as a must-buy title. As it is, it’s getting a big PSN and XBLA release, but I’d really love to see games like this compiled and put on a disc so anyone who wants to play them can do so any time they need a fix. Back with more screens when they pop into my mailbox.

BloodRayne: Betrayal Gameplay Trailer + New Screens

New screens (below) plus a mere 44 seconds of beautiful, bloody side-scrolling (and surprisingly, only T-rated!) bliss thanks to WayForward Technologies and Majesco. Reinventing the sexy vampire killing machine as a slick looking retro arcade style slicer was a genius move and these days almost no one does a better game of this type than WayForward. August can’t come soon enough, I say. Now about getting this thing on a DISC (as well as the usual download for the couch-bound sun haters out there)… THAT would make me a happier camper indeed…