Capsule Review: The Conjuring House (PC)

TCH_Title2

 

Uh, mommy? Holy hell, The Conjuring House sure is scary when it needs to be (which is often). Developer RYM Games has a an almost killer game here that despite a few technical flaws (which are currently being addressed via patches that will hopefully improve the overall experience) is one near-total freakout of a game. Things get off to a scary start and the tension builds as the game follows the tried and true “Old Dark House filled with dreadful evil”  formula with some pretty hefty psychological horror and jump scares. Unlike some more popular horror titles, you’re unarmed and have to try and avoid or run from enemies whenever possible, the game has intentionally distant save points and yes, this leads to a few too many deaths whether or not you’re careless. On the other hand, when when things click, you’re playing half under whatever you were sitting on when you started with one eye opened because the other has shut itself closed.

Nevertheless, in its current form, some elements of the game aren’t quite as solid as they should be. Changing the default video settings immediately makes the game too dark to see and that default setting uses a post-processing effect that seems to add too much blur to the movement. Some well-done but lengthy cutscenes do a great job of storytelling, but can’t be skipped at all, so if you die  before one, you’ll need to watch the whole thing all over again. Add in those long treks and/or backtracking between those save points plus a single save slot and you get a recipe for frustration as well as fear of playing for some of the wrong reasons.

TCH b

Your brain will look and feel like this decrepit room right from the moment you gain control of your hapless non-hero.

Continue reading

Advertisements

No Man’s Sky Atlas Rises Update: That Final Frontier Just Got A Whole Lot Bigger


 

 
I’m one of those folks who totally ignored all the negativity spewed towards Hello Games and No Man’s Sky because I knew something so huge would require at least a year’s worth of patches and content updates. Although I finally broke down and bought a discounted new/sealed copy and installed it a while back, I really didn’t get to play more than about 4 hours before I got really sick and ended up in the hospital for a month back from mid-May to mid-June. Well, it looks as if I’ll need to dive back into outer space soon as the latest update, Atlas Rises, adds a wealth on new content and changes to the game, making it an even better product in the process. PSN users can grab the base game at 60% off ($23.99!) and the update should auto-download once you’re all paid up.

30 hours of new story content brings a new context, quest system and branching narrative to the game, there are mysterious portals to discover that allow interstellar travel, the trading, crafting and other elements have been improved and even space combat has been overhauled to be more challenging. There’s a lot going on here and while I’m dying to try it all out soon, I’m not even picking up that PS4 controller until I knock out a few items from my burgeoning backlog. Yeah, I know me, kids – once I get onto something this huge, I tend to park myself and go in for the long haul. I’m gathering the usual suspects will still be spouting bile about the game’s initial launch woes, but here’s a case where redemption of an evergreen is something worth cheering.

-GW
 

 

 

 

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut Gets Patched Up But Good* on Steam…

DPTDC_PC_patchedDPTDC_SALEEDIT! Guess what, kids? The game is now part of the big, big Steam Autumn Sale and is a WHOPPING 50% OFF unitl December 3, 2013!  That’s right, a measly $12.49 gets you the game all patched up and ready to go! Woo-hoo!

Hoo-ray! I think I’m the ONLY one that doesn’t mind the game’s non-adjustable resolution (*the main thing some still want to whine about who may not think the patch fixes EVERYTHING), but as someone who plays primarily console titles (well, there’s about a 70-30 mix), no controller support was a big pain in the wrists and lower for me. Anyway, the list of changes is HERE, so if you’ve been on the fence about this one, it should at least be easier to control if you’re coming from a console background. NOTE: You’ll need an official wired Xbox 360 controller for best results. I guess a wireless pad will also work, but I used my wired controller so I don’t need to recharge or replace any batteries. Also, this is currently only for the Steam version, but I’d gather a gog.com patch is also incoming.

Lumber Island Gets A Scary Little Update…

Lumber Island 1.2

Dean Forge adds some user-requested features to his chilling little indie horror game’s first chapter, so… let’s get ready to run-ble! Yep, now your amnesiac party yacht castaway can run from that creepy-ass lumberjack, who by the way, gets an AI boost of his own. You’ll also find that teddy bear a lot more useful font of info and there are some other tweaks. Still, the game has its sense of scaring the poop out of you intact, so if that’s up your alley (and er, don’t take that personally), boogie on over to Desura, Game Jolt or ModDB, grab that update and scare yourself silly (again)…

TIny Troopers To Get 100% More DLC Zombies This Week

Nice – Hot on the heels of the recent Steam patch that added some nice tweaks to the gameplay and control layout, Iceberg Interactive and Kukouri Mobile Entertainment are adding zombies to the PC/Mac version via a DLC update to be released for both retail and download versions.

Per the press release, Tiny Troopers new Zombie mode features will include:
• Face endless waves of brain-munching zombies, including undead chickens!
• Utilize air dropped crates of special weapons to lay devastation on the zombie hordzs!
• Use all your favorite Special Forces troopers to take down the undead.
• Survive as long as you can against unending waves of normal and special zombies!

Yep, “hordz” is Iceberg’s spelling not mine – Hey, it made me laugh, so I left it as is. Anyway, I’ll post an update when this new update goes live. Hey Kukouri! How about a PS Vita version of this game? It’s pretty cool as it is, but on that Vita widescreen, it would be even better, I say…