Just An Update Or Two

“When you wake up and the world hasn’t ended, that’s at least good enough for a second cup of coffee.”

Ah, senior citizen logic. No, not from me, silly. Some older guy in the elevator here spontaneously said that the other day and it made me laugh out loud. Anyway, it’s kind of busy on a few fronts these days, but yeah, yeah – more reviews are incoming.

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This one’s fun and weird so far, so heads up if you like those Idea Factory/Compile Heart dungeon crawlers that borrow heavily from the classic Wizardry series while adding a few interesting JRPG twists. There are a few other (mostly) RPG-related reviews coming as well, but we’ll get to them over say, the next week. It’s tricky to make it through some recent games where you’ve got cut scenes that feature a novel’s worth of text with a novella of lore to wade through and you want to read every word.

I’ve been plowing through a stack of movies as well so my to-do pile is now a comfortable collection I can stroll past without feeling like I have to watch a film or three I’m not in the mood for. Amusingly enough, I’ve been stacking by genre and country, so you may see a few too many posts in a row about Japanese, Italian, or French films I’ve received. Or not, as I’m playing this my ear at the moment.

Was that a Blue Velvet reference? Oh, I don’t know. I think I need a new nap or something. Back in a bit.

-GW

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NowPlaying: Alien Isolation (Or: Let’s See How Long I Can Last)…

AI PS3
 
So, yeah – here we go. let’s see now: phone off the hook? Check. Clean underwear at the ready? Check. Ear out for UPS/Fed Ex in case I get some surprise packages from a PR contact (and/or my SUPER late Think Geek order that’s almost a month old, grrrr?): Check! I think I should eat something too, but I’ll pop into the kitchen while the game is installing and make something quick. Did someone say cheese pierogi with sauteed onions? I think that’s what my stomach was screaming, so that will get taken care of (thank you, stomach!). I think I have some (*ding!*) Gold’s Horseradish left. Hmmm… let me check… (*ding!*) Yep, with beets, at that. Okay, I’m set for the day.

Oh, that flower? It’s there because it’ll probably be the nicest thing I see all day. Back in a bit – maybe later this afternoon or evening with some sort of “I’m too %#$^@! scared to move” update. Maybe.

DreadOut Teaser Trailer II: It Ain’t Over Until The Lady In Red Sings…

 
When we last left DreadOut, this Indonesian-made horror game was scaring the pants off of a few folks with YouTube channels who make a living pretending to be scared or perhaps being actually scared but somehow make it look canned when they jump and squeal in their seats like clubbed dog toys. Anyway, that video above is the latest “update” for the game just to let you know it’s coming out on Steam in May. Below is the previous teaser that shows and tells you what you’re in for next month: good old school horror in the Fatal Frame manner.

 
Digital Happiness will certainly bring some Digital Scariness to horror game fans with this one, as the demo from last year certainly had its moments. Well, prepare to sit in the dark and keep looking behind you every few minutes soon enough…

Up For Air From Some Tales Action…

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Okay, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles has been keeping me occupied today, so I haven’t posted much since that Godzilla trailer. This former GameCube exclusive to PS3 enhanced port is nice and old-school Tales action through and through, including the difficulty early on if you’re silly enough to run into fights unprepared or think that cuteness means the game will be easy. HA. Tales of Symphonia Chronicles laughs at your silly self as its monsters eat you senseless (they start at the head, and work their way down it seems).

Anyway, a review is forthcoming, but not ’til the weekend or so. I need to knock out more thoughtful Toy Fair wrap up posts, dink around with some games in my queue and otherwise stay out of trouble. The cold weather has returned (booo!) and I’m not too pleased about that nonsense. back in a bit…

Lost Planet 3 “Ask Jim” Q & A: Here’s Your Bill!

Mr. Watterson takes questions from some fans in character as Lost Planet 3‘s Jim Peyton and you get to listen in and maybe learn a thing or three. I’m about midway through the game (I’m taking my time as scouring every nook and cranny) and having a blast so far. Although I’m writing up a review myself, I’d have to say straight up that LP3 is one of those interesting game experiences where you just need to play it and experience the story as opposed to reading impressions and making up your mind based on those alone. OK, shutting up now and getting back to the game – back in a bit with an update… it’s a stupidly busy week here!

Now Playing: Remember Me (and Other Stuff)…

rm_preview_screenshot_062.pngOf course, I had to run out early on Friday evening and zoomed past the UPS truck a block away that I SHOULD have hung around a few minutes to bug the driver about any packages that were mine on board, but, oh well. Anyway, Remember Me popped up again yesterday and I’ve been playing it since (which is why there weren’t a load of posts happening, folks). Anyway, it’s quite a blast and yep, a review is incoming probably tomorrow.  So far, it’s quite original, somewhat linear, but very gorgeous in a “this is the game you make when your studio is in Paris!” kind of way.

Back in a bit – spoiler: the score will be good unless the game falls apart in what looks like the last few areas I’ll be getting back to soon enough. As for “Other Stuff”, that’s not a game – it’s just my queue stacked up with a bunch of games I’ll try to get to before the E3 crunch steamrolls me…

Random Indie Game of the Week: DreadOut

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DreadOutAmusingly and ironically enough, one of the scariest work-in progress games I’ve played this year comes from a developer named Digital Happiness. Based out of Indonesia, this small studio is in the process of polishing up their first game, DreadOut, a nicely frightening homage to Tecmo’s criminally neglected Fatal Frame series with a modern (and optionally social) twist.

DH is using the extremely versatile Unity game engine, a wonder tool for a number of small to large studios that can pump out some fantastic visuals the can be scaled to run an a wide range of computers and devices. The speed at which this has come together combined with the quality of the work is pretty astonishing. I believe Digital Happiness happens to be in the CG animation business or something, and you can see this in the character art, animation and general pleasingly realistic style of the visuals.
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Now (Re)Playing: Wizardry 8 (Which Needs More Respect!)

Wiz800016Ha.  So, you thought I was taking the day off? Ha! Actually, I had some fun stuff to take care of with a friend, but now I’m back. Anyway, I was talking with some folks recently about the classic Wizardry series and it turns out a few too many people who don’t play a lot of PC games seem to think that series is from Japan. Eek. Granted, there’s hasn’t been a North American-made game since Sir-Tech Canada flamed out after the final “official” game in the series, Wizardry 8. Now, I’m not some flag-waving jingoist starting trouble, kids – I own a bunch of import Wizardry titles including a few Japan-only games and nearly all the ports and remakes of the original seven Sir-Tech releases. W8 was only released in limited qualities around the world and despite positive reviews, it didn’t exactly gain as huge a following as it should have and to date, has never been re-released or remade. Yep, I think that needs to be changed… Continue reading

Now Playing (Wistful Nostalgia & A Bit Of Puzzling Detection)…

Tinkering away on the reviews mentioned earlier, site redesign stuff AND getting ready for next week’s big chunk of repair work on some water damage here, so updates will be slightly laid back this week.

Ignition’s Nintendo DS/DSi RPG Nostalgia showed up yesterday and pretty much stole the rest of the day and a good chunk of the night away from my updating and such. The full review is embargoed ’til the 27th, so you’ll have to check back then to see the final verdict. I can tell you now, I’m VERY pleased with the game so far.

Additionally, Playlogic’s surprisingly fun Sudoku Ball Detective and a ton of other stuff arrived for the beginnings of my Holiday Gift Guide feature, so expect to be hit on the head with a bunch of gifty suggestions starting in November.

Where’s my game-playing helper monkey/secretary/coffee maker supreme?

Now Playing (Buried!)

Of course, a few of the games I’ve previously heavily previewed have finally showed up a bit later than usual (and all at the same time). Such is the nature of things from time to time in this job. Anyway, they’ve arrived and are currently being played to death for upcoming reviews:

Valhalla Knights Eldar Saga
The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Dead Space Extraction
Naruto Shippuden: Legends: Akatsuki Rising
Animal Paradise: Wild
Groovin’ Blocks