MARS: PDP Brings Lightgun Arcade Fun Back For PS4 And Xbox One Players

VOTD_art

Talk about a vacation from hell…

I’m smiling too much while playing a detective on holiday (and on a few replays, a cheery British gal pyromaniac) aboard a huge cruise liner that’s suddenly become filled with zombies. A few comically big-headed biters go down with ease, M-rated blood splashing and splattering when they’re hit, but I’m soon jumping out of my skin when I spend too long on a large pack of undead that suddenly appear to my left (oops), and I get waylaid by some swarming in from the right (double oops, and GAME OVER). Ah well. A few shots to the menu later, I’m trying again and yes, having a blast. Yeah, some pleasure cruise vacation this is turning out to be, huh?

The game is called:

voyage-of-the-dead_logo_600pxIt’s an Unreal engine-based rail shooter downloadable PS4 or Xbox One title from developer Gaming Corps Studios, one of three games currently available for PDP’s new MARS LIGHTCON (lightgun) peripheral and IR STATION camera setup ($99.99, game included).  The wireless LIGHTCON is sturdily built and came with 2 AA batteries installed that gave it a nice heft, but it’s light enough to be comfortable for long play sessions. It’s not cheap feeling at all, mind you, but something that’s very well-made and made to work precisely for the games that come out for it. I did replace the alkaline batteries with rechargeable ones because that’s how I roll these days.

Oddly, you need to have a wired or wireless controller handy to initialize or pause the games and definitely a wireless one if you happen to have an external hard drive plugged into a USB like I do. The IR STATION requires one port, your main controller another if it’s not wireless. PDP also sent over a nice controller charger set (I’ll review that in a separate article), but the PS4 has always suffered from a lack of USB ports. Personally, I think the console should have shipped with an extra side port and/or one on the rear because of peripherals like this and the fact that heavy users like myself need a larger storage.

mars lightcon

The Orangesicle color scheme is familiar, but the tech is modern.

Back to the game, it’s quite fun overall and offers up enough zombie types to keep things interesting (aliens, voodoo, and magic using undead pop in as the missions go on). The PS4 version generally runs smoothly, but there are a few areas with hiccups in the frame rate, and some scene transitions aren’t as smooth as they could be. That said, it’s got a certain charm and makes a good first impression.

The game also packs in eight characters to play as (some unlocked via mini-games), a single-player mode, a versus mode, six mini-games for up to four players (I’m especially fond of the quirky pinball , UFO, and “golf” games here). Overall, it’s worth a look if you like all things zombie-related. While it’s not rated for kids, given that there are a great deal of wee ones that find zombies awesome and kind of hilarious, if you’ve got them (kids, not zombies!) and you’re OK with the gory stuff, they might find this pretty cool.

While the campy voice acting gets repetitive, the audio design and soundtrack are quite excellent overall. You can expect about 2 hours or so in Story mode (well, experts will probably blow through in less time and nope, I’m no expert). unlocking everything in every mode depends on a player’s dedication to seeing it all as soon as possible or on their own time. While you need to restart the game each time (like most arcade games, there’s no save system in place), the game does track all your stats so you can see that progression if you’re curious.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Technomancer Launch Trailer: Get Your Ass To Mars on PC & Consoles

With the risky and expensive on a few fronts potential of sending humans to Mars (on a one-way trip, yet!) being a big deal over the past couple of years, it’s clear that entertainment focused on the Angry Red Planet is going to be hot for a while. Fresh from veteran developer Spiders and publisher Focus Home Interactive comes The Technomancer, an action/RPG for PC, PS4, and Xbox One out tomorrow. A prequel to MARS: War Logs, the game looks to add to the lore Spiders set forth in that game while introducing new characters, environments and gameplay to players who buy their ticket to the stars.

I’ve been bonked on the noggin with a review code, so I’m going to be off-planet for a bit. Back with some impressions shortly. Oh, by the way: MARS: War Logs is on SALE on Steam for 75% off. Check it out if your curiosity is piqued. It’s got a few rough edges, but makes for a pretty decent diversion that makes The Technomancer all the more intriguing as a prequel. If the new game is even better, will Spiders go forward or back in the timeline they’ve created? That’s a question for sales figures to partially answer, I’d bet.

Lost in Space: Dos Equis Boots Its Classy Coot to Mars


So, yeah… this happened. Dos Equis has decided to get rid of send off its former Most Interesting Man in the World and replace him with a to be announced younger dude who’s guaranteed to be more annoying and a lot less interesting (to me at least) because that’s what happens these days when a company practices ageism just to get more hipster doofus types soused out of their skulls (or: PROFIT!). Anyway, he’s going gracefully and humorously into that cold dark trip to his certain death, but hey – what a way to go, right?

Provided the fuel and liquid sustenance (which are both many kegs of Dos Equis) hold out, wait ’til he gets to “Mars” (hey, I saw Capricorn One TOO many times, folks) and finds Regis Philbin, Bob Barker and a bunch of other formerly popular celebs of a certain age booted off their shows for guzzling Geritol already up there playing golf. Betty White isn’t up there because she’s an alien (what, you didn’t know?) as are a few other oldsters you still see pop up on the tube.

The funny thing here is I had NO idea Mexico had a space program. American companies are sending them our jobs (they’re NOT “taking” them, ladies and gents) and they’re sending our fine American acting talent to other planets. That’s just not right, folks. Ah well, all this confusion and heavy thinking is making me want a beer. Any suggestions?

Oblivion Trailer: Can We Just Send Tom Cruise Into Space Instead?

OK, here we go. I’m really not much of a fan of the guy these days, as his real-life issues with real people get in the way of me enjoying anything he’s done over the past few years. He’s been in some good to great films, yes… but all I think when I see any character he plays is of someone who thinks KNOWS he’s better than all of us who aren’t him and he’s got all the best ideas bottled up in his perfect little head and even thought he’ll bend your ear off yakking about them, Nyah, Nyah, you can’t be like him at all because he’s got the bestest destiny in the world (or out of this world). Bleh. I’d rather give myself an eyewash with century old absinthe in a dirty bottle than see this one, but for those of you who want to, go right on ahead. If you DO go, I have an idea: I say ALL the proceeds from this latest soon to be released TC love-fest should go to getting that man onto the next rocket to Mars one way and that’s that. Pack in a few of his deluded pals for company and toss in a film camera or two so we can see the messy results of an ego trip gone haywire. So, yeah – that’s an endorsement from me to check this out.

Just think of it as helping out a really good charity at the end of the day…