Review: The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human (PS4)

TAAotLHmaps

TAAotLH.jpegWhile I suspect the “melancholic exploration adventure/arcade-style twitch shooter” isn’t going to be the next big thing anytime soon, if you want a game that fits that bill exactly, you’ll really want to snap up developer YCJY’s The Aquatic Adventure of The Last Human on PS4 (or Steam) at some point. It’s a great and intentionally gloomy game with solid controls and some pretty (and pretty colorful to pretty dark) underwater environments where exploration is somewhat languid until you accidentally or with intent pilot your little gray submarine into brutal boss fights that give you a run for your money.

The game is a somewhat thoughtful and dour (but overall excellent) look at the last survivor of the human race crashing back on earth after an extended space flight only to find the planet covered in water and ice with dead cities full of clues under the sea and assorted sea life. As you explore the non-linear map you’ll discover most of the creatures are harmless, but as noted, you’ll be in for a more than a few jolts when you get into those tough boss battles. It’s more or less a depressing version of Darius done in the versatile Gamemaker engine with some solid pixel art that recalls a nice hybrid of 8 and 16-bit art styles with some modern lighting effects.

TAAotLH_01

Continue reading

Advertisements

This DOOM Trailer is a Feat of Clay

DOOMSo, yeah. DOOM comes out on May 13th and this 4th game can also be seen as a modern reboot of the seminal FPS franchise as well as a love letter by id Software to itself. While the official game trailer itself is quite NSFW, the very talented Claycat (or Lee Hardcastle) has whipped up a hilariously cartoon gory (and not for the kiddies) claymation version of one of the early trailers that’s a must-watch.

Er… Hey, that’s NOT blood, kids… it’s um, jelly! Take a look:

Yep, awesome, innit? Here’s the yuckier (content-wise) official trailer:

DOOM hits retail and digital on May 13, 2016. As the song says, “go to hell and see how you like it!”

The Only April Fool’s Day Joke That Made Me Laugh Today


 

Thank you, CD Projekt RED for *magically* getting water to shoot out my nose earlier today. It’s a definite April Fool’s gag, but I’d more than gladly pay that five bucks for talking horse DLC just for the chance to have an option to have Roach talk in a Mr. Ed voice. Okay, back to work here – I’m up to my wet nostril hairs in stuff to do.

DOOM: Campaign of Pain Awaits The Hardcore FPS Fans

doom-frontcoverHa and double ha. Releasing DOOM on Friday the 13th (5/13/2016, to be precise) is a PR masterstroke created courtesy of the calendar naturally falling on that date and players worldwide hoping the final product is indeed ready for its garishly gory close up on  day reserved for superstition and bad luck galore for those who believe in such stuff.

From the video below the jump (it’s kinda NSFW with all that mostly demon blood and bits splooshing all about), it’s clear to this writer that the game recalls the original’s unrepentant and dark tone, amped-up modern visuals side.

Remember, folks: you’re NOT buying DOOM because you want happy-happy rainbows and flower-draped unicorns prancing about with flitty faeries giggling psychotically as rosewater (gently) sprays into your face from your PC’s speakers. You’re buying DOOM because you know what you’re getting into: One space marine on Mars stuck in a ravaged space base racking up a rather impressive and insane body count comprised of demons who’ve entered the place through a recently activated portal to hell.

Yikes, but hey – simpler is best in a game like this, particularly is it’s trying to get the feel of the original games right. “Nailed it!” is what Bethsoft and id want to hear (or “BFG’ed it!” or “Chainsawed it!” if you want to get into the proper game groove lingo stuff) from fans this May and if that trailer is any indication, they’ll be hearing that and more.

Speaking of more: click below if you darrrrrrreContinue reading

Dark Souls III: The Eyes Have It And You’ll Get It, Alright


 

As in expect to PREPARE TO DIE a lot more than before thanks to FromSoftware’s latest entry in its not at all casual RPG franchise. Not at all for the weak-kneed player who wants some hand-holds and footholds through its gloomy and deadly dungeons, the Souls series packs in death by everything from environmental hazards to many enemy types looking to kick your frightened ass all over those environments. I tend to play these games just to survive the experience and not be a speed-running expert at them. But I know of some extremely talented players who relish the challenge of making double time through the maps as they face danger head on and die a lot as a learning process.

Of course, speed, accuracy and learning each enemy’s strengths and weaknesses is a huge key to enjoying the ride. That said, the geniuses at FromSoft have packed the series with everything from AI that follows you relentlessly to enemies and bosses that are bigger than the areas they try to kill you in and seemingly indestructible to novice players. Nope, nothing casual at all here, kids. In fact, there’s a terrifying element to all the games that borders on horror in some areas, but I’m not calling this a “horror” game series by any means. Just a note that if you’re not playing with a tiny bit of fright creeping into your bones, you’re a better man or woman than I. Anyway, DSIII is coming in 2016. Prepare to… yeah, you know.

Zombi: U Will Want To Play This Wii U Port On Your PS4 & Xbox One


 

Call me only mildly surprised that this is happening, although I’m shocked (shocked! But not really) that it didn’t happen sooner. ZombiU was one of the Wii U’s standout launch games in that it made the GamePad and touchscreen mandatory for the gameplay to work best at what it was trying to accomplish. Looking down at it to check one’s inventory or prepare a weapon or something else only to look up at your TV and see something (or a few somethings!) shambling and scrambling out of the dark was a terrifying thing to experience. Yes, Vita or Windows tablet support for that second screen would be beautiful to see. But even Sony has mucked that up quite a bit by taking so long to implement it into games and only as a means of playing portable games on a larger TV. I don’t own a Surface tablet, so I can’t comment positively or otherwise) on anything Microsoft has done for dual screen gaming. Oh well.

Anyway, without that second screen this might look like another zombie game to skip over if you’re tired of the genre. You’d be sorely mistaken for thinking that based on looks alone. My frightening and sometimes fearfully frustrating (Do I want to go on through that door? Hell nope! Oh… okay. CHOMP!) experience with the Wii U version says that if approached with an open mind by smarter PS4 and Xbox One owners who don’t resort to insults whenever they see a Wii U game, the experience should be quite a worthy one. The rogue-like random elements add infinite replay value and there are some really effective scares to be had. Anyway, August 15, 2015 is the big day for this and I hope to hell it not only does well, but gets some of the all-out naysayers about the Wii U to ‘fess up and admit that there are actually some great games on that system they haven’t played (er, until now that is).

Godzilla’s Here. You Can Run And Scream Now.

(Thanks, Bandai Namco Entertainment America!)
 

If you heard some very loud roaring and thunderous stomping noises this week around Tuesday or so, nope, that wasn’t Godzilla outside paying your town a visit. I was probable a bunch of kaiju fans tromping down to their nearest game emporium to pick up Godzilla for the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. While the game comes highly recommended no matter which platform you own, PS4 users get the big fat bonus of playing as any monster in the game in any mode right from the start. Nice. Of course, if all that Sturm und Drang was actually weather related and you were stuck indoors watching lightning bolts fighting each other for scare-space, well aren’t you lucky you don’t like in a copper house?

godzilla-banner
 

Anyway, yep. This one needs to be played. One more for the backlog!

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess: The Ladies Who Launch, They Do So In Style


 

Choosing “Sadistic Torment, Elaborate Death, or Humiliating Demise” as a way to go may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But meet up with the deadly Laegrinna, and you’ve got no choice that to eat up what’s served your way. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is out NOW for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita and it’s also gotten added to that long, long (LONG) list of games I need to play at some point. I missed out on Deception IV entirely last year, But as this new installment contains not only that game’s content, but a (not so) nice new character’s story included that adds to the fun at no additional cost. Well, perhaps your LIFE (cue dramatic music). Given the Deception series’ reliance on a mixture of semi-serious dark thematic elements, goofy slapstick violence with a bit of blood spilled and plenty of replay value, this one looks like a sleeper that will keep you up all night.

Just keep your sweaty hands where Laegrinna and new character Velguirie can see them. You’re already doomed to suffer in pain forever once they trap you, so there’s no need to add a big tip to your running tab.

Metal Gear Solid V: Konami In Stealth Mode, Dodging Bullets


While this demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is incredible, not seeing “A Hideo Kojima Production” or his name (or his studio’s name) anywhere on the demo is a bit heartbreaking. Granted, Kojima does get credit for directing and editing the also great E3 trailer (which also has him properly credited as designer at the end):

But for some gamers the upcoming PS4/Xbox One/PC release itself may as well have “Alan Smithee” in the credits at this point. If you want a real laugh, watch the trailer with YouTube’s closed caption option set to ON. The messed up English that results is pretty damn funny considering the language being captioned in such a wacky manner IS English. Anyway, the game looks great and should sell quite well. But for some fans it’ll be a bittersweet play through with its creator ousted from what could be his best work.

Xseed’s E3 Lineup: Bugs, Babes, Brains, and Booms

XSEED E3 2015
 

We are excited to announce a wide breadth of titles that will be showcased at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015.

Newly revealed games include The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel for PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair for PlayStation®4, SENRAN KAGURA ESTIVAL VERSUS for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®Vita, and Return to PopoloCrois: A STORY OF SEASONS Fairytale for the Nintendo 3DS™.

We will also showcase the previously announced titles SENRAN KAGURA 2: Deep Crimson for Nintendo 3DS™, Onechanbara Z2: Chaos for PlayStation®4, Corpse Party: Blood Drive for PlayStation®Vita, and Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space for PlayStation®Vita.

Well, it sure looks as if Xseed Games is going for the early (but entirely made up by me) award of “Most Stupidly Cool Japanese Games coming to the West Sooner Than You’d Think” as they reveal their excellent E3 lineup. My brain is busy calculating how much time I’ll be spending in those EDF games (which deceptively hide hundreds of hours of play time in their initially simple run & shoot gameplay). Xseed really loves you so it seems most of these will be getting physical retail releases as well as digital. Excellent. I like my library handy so I can show off cover art or rap someone on the forehead with that plastic case if they make fun of what I play.

Anyway, color me giddy (again) and thanks (again) Xseed. You guys all rock (again!)