Busload of Horror IV: Laugh ‘Til It Hurts… Or Else

Okay, a bit late on this one, but I was busy chopping at my backlogs on assorted stuff and tackling a few fires in other spots. Anyway, here are a few more amusing horror-themed games from the vaults, although they’re not quite vintage having all arrived this year. One technically isn’t a “horror” game at all, but some of you will no doubt get a bit queasy if you think about it in a certain way. For example…

beeftacular_logo Beeftacular: Yuck. Retrific’s squishy, bloody little gem (currently available on Steam) made me stay away from meat for a week when I first played it thanks to… well, just look and see for yourself (IF YOU DARE):

Blech. Maybe it’s the thought of a chunk of raw beef cleansing a map of contaminated beef dipping into my subconsciousness combined with the not so wholesome meat industry pretending things are all fine and Grade A dandy when it’s not. But I couldn’t stomach this for more than an hour before I felt a bit off. Then again, the game’s manic pace and timed stages do get really hectic.

That said, yep, that level editor is mighty excellent, the music is great and if you’re a gamer with a meat fetish as well as a speed running maniac, you won’t need to ask “Where’s the Beef?!” at all. And nope, I never played Super Meat Boy until a few weeks ago – grinning meat is no turn on, either.

beeftacular-screenshot_10  Um, hey… anyone wanna go out for a nice juicy burger?😛

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Amnesia Collection PS4: One Rule of Fear, Broken For The Streamer Age

So. A big fat resounding YES booms out here to the upcoming Amnesia Collection for PlayStation 4, set for a November 22, 2016 release. Featuring all three entries in the “series” (Amnesia The Dark Descent, Amnesia: Justine and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs), I’m going to dive on this set of scares like a thousand dollar bill scooting down an empty street on a slightly windy day. On the other hand… that trailer above gets a sore thumb in the eye for going the pesky paid YouTube screamer/streamer route when something a lot less… annoying would have been perfect.

A good deal more so, in fact.

Take a look at the original PC trailer for Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

Effective? Yep. Disorienting? Definitely. I’m not sure who put this new trailer together, but it just makes a truly frightening game experience into another jump-scare game that are literally a dime a dozen (or free) on Steam. Now, I’m not one of those off the wall gamers screaming for a boycott or spewing bile over a not so hot (and at the end of the day, minor) decision made by whomever. It’s just that I like having one game that’s actually unnerving to remain so without the possibly fake or overplayed reactions you can see dozens of on YouTube on a daily basis.


Review: MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, MeiQ has a few surprises for those thinking it’s just another fan service packed JRPG. Lengthy and packing in some cool ideas, it’s a solid genre entry worth picking up.

meiq_cg7 Platform: PlayStation Vita
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/13/2016
MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%) BUY IT!

At first glance (and second… and third), MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death looks like many other fan-service JRPGs packed with gals bursting out of their too-skimpy outfits ripe for waifu fantasies from those eager fans into that sort of thing. Fortunately, a mighty good game lurks past that booby trap facade and this is one Labyrinth worth a full inspection and yes, another Iffy game you’ll want to have in your library. Once you get over the costume designs, there’s a long and challenging game here to conquer with a fine combat system, albeit one that doesn’t change all that much once you sink a few hours in.

The plot is pretty basic stuff with four towers that need to be conquered in order to beat the evil so-and so trying to rule and ruin the land. Adding mechs each gal can pilot to the mix is a great touch, as it allows for some interesting pairings as well as gives you a squishy backup plan should a mech fall in battle. That’s right, your gals and whatever skills they’ve learned are your last resource if their metallic rides go down in flames. Initially, it’s a lousy thing as the gals aren’t exactly powerful and it takes time to gain a full party anyway. But, after a chunk of time, they’ll improve and all gain some nice, useful skills that can do decent damage. You’ll still want those mechs in good shape, though.

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Mordheim: City of the Damned Lands on PS4, Xbox One


“Well, this one looks neat!” said the brain, both halves actually agreeing for a rare change. Focus Home Interactive’s busy year of interesting games I want to play continues with developer Rogue Factor‘s Mordheim: City of the Damned, a really nice-looking tactical RPG based on the classic Games Workshop out of print board game from 1999. Four separate campaigns (a full campaign for each of the four Warbands: The Human Mercenaries, the Sisters of Sigmar, the Skaven of Clan Eshin, and the Cult of the Possessed), online play if you want to compete with like-minded gamers, snazzy visuals, all that good stuff.

While not a “horror” game per se, I do love the visual style chosen quite a lot and hell, imagine wanting to whip up a Halloween outfit based on some of the wilder looking characters? Yep, that would be fun, right down to the people running away from you and into nearby trees or lampposts. Ouch.


PSN Flash Sale: Some October Surprises Abound


Nice. Here I am, trying NOT to spend any more money this month and here comes Sony, kicking my door in and nicely trying to rob me blind with another Flash Sale. “Oh, hey, sorry! We’ll replace the door we kicked in… if you BUY SOMETHING! Heh.” FINE. Well, maybe. I kinda like that cross ventilation thing happening now. Then again, nosy neighbor factor increases by 100% plus there goes my game and movie collection while I try to sleep, sooooo… blast you Sony! *Sigh* I may as well pick up one thing just so my door goes back up today.


Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour Launch Trailer (NSFW)


Oh, boy. Invading space aliens with planetary conquest on the brain beware! Duke Nukem 3D is back and yes, it’s freakin’ 1996 all over again. Personally, I love the big, macho lug because he’s a COMPLETELY fictional videogame character who’s larger than life, impossible to confuse with any REAL-LIFE person what with his over the top vices, uber manly urges and penchant for snazzy one-liners mixed with threats to wreck and harm with extreme prejudice. I know no one like that in real life and neither do you, right? Oh, okay, okay… THIS GUY counts.



Um, Anyway… thanks to Gearbox Software, the man himself is BACK in action in a kinda throwback re-look at his biggest adventure with a few additions for a measly $19.99 on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One. GROOVY. Get it, I say. Review incoming shortly, as I see the King has followed me home.

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What’s In The Box? (Or: Hello, Slim!)


Holy hell, my long national nightmare is OVER. I’ actually too damn busy to post the whole story here, but it involved a refund, a quick re-buy and this thing showing up SIX DAYS EARLIER than the expected date. Wow, but YES, I’ll take that over the nonsense I went through for too long last month. Anyway WHEE. Wait, my workload just tripled? WHEEEEE!!

(faint, *THUD!*).

(Thanks, cronocembalo!)

Um, back in a bit. I need to go lie down, have a drink, fry some chicken to celebrate and play a game or three. All at the same damn time. Whee?



A must for those who love cinematic game experiences, unique visuals and jigsaw-piecing together a compelling narrative that holds a few surprises and life-sized curve balls for its cast of characters. Short attention span types, those who think some/all games are “art” that require no commentary, and those who want everything explained at the finale need not apply, though.

Virginia header

Platform: PC (also on PS4/Xbox One)
Developer: Variable State
Publisher: 505 Games
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/22/2016
MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Official Site
Score: A- (90%) BUY IT!



Variable State’s first game, VIRGINIA, is more of a work of interactive fiction presented in the language of videogames, but it’s also an impressive debut that works brilliantly. The catch is, in hoping players “get” the tricky mix of disjointed narrative and timed exploration sequences, the developer has unintentionally created a game that’s too damned smart for much of today’s gamer audience that craves explanation and arbitrary rules of realism apply to everything they play who also refuse to open their minds to something different that’s actually worth playing and replaying.

Virginia 24

In a nutshell, the story is about an FBI agent sent on a missing child case with another agent who needs a close eye kept on as there’s an ongoing investigation into unorthodox methods being used. That both agents are female, minorities and have some usual human flaws seems to rankle a few skulls. But reversing the sexes of the agents wouldn’t make a dent in the plot, as anything presented could happen no matter the gender of the main character or agent under the magnifying glass. Continue reading

Review: Wheels of Aurelia

Bravo, Santa Ragione and Brava, Lella! This driving sim/adventure hybrid’s a definite Game of the Year contender that will make those who “get” it want to crack open a few books and do some heavy reading and/or thinking.

Platform: PC (also on Mac/Linux/PS4/Xbox One)
Developer: Santa Ragione
Publisher: Santa Ragione
Release Date: 9/20/2016
# of Players: 1
MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Site
Score: A (95%) BUY IT!


Calling Santa Ragione’s outstanding Wheels of Aurelia a simple “driving simulation” is REALLY selling it short. This brilliantly conceived hybrid game is more of a mature “choose your own path conversation-based adventure that just so happens to take place in a almost constantly moving car” with 16 possible outcomes and more than that many ways to reach them. From the beautiful stylized simplicity of the art, the great soundtrack (buy it!) that captures the spirit of late 70’s Italian radio tracks, and the mature script that may rankle a few overly sensitive types while striking others as flat out fantastic and thought-provoking.

Save for the ride you choose, the game’s opening is exactly the same each time. In 1978, Lella and Olga, two young Italian ladies who met the previous evening at a disco, set out on a road trip to France on the Via Aurelia along the western coast of Italy. Along the way, the pair talk about life, pick up a hitchhiker or two (or none – it’s up to you) and based on the path both the conversation and car takes, the game reaches a conclusion in all of 15 minutes or so. 16 endings at 15 minutes each ends up at 4 hours total playtime IF you’re silly enough to think you’ll see every conversation and character variant possible. The combination of period-era history, frankly spoken dialogue and some VERY interesting hitchhikers make this very replayable as well as a great exercise in storytelling.

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TGS 2016: BERSERK + Musou Stars Make Up For An Ongoing Crappy Year


So. This week? LOUSY. I’m still trying to get my busted PlayStation 3 back from the jerk in Brooklyn who I sent it to for repair but neither did the work nor sent back the console, but can’t seem to get the legal wheels I set in motion to move faster after over four months. I finally went and bought my own new PS4 last week, but just found out it was shipped and allegedly arrived on the 12th, but was REFUSED, which is somewhat IMPOSSIBLE. I was here waiting for it all damn week and, hell, I don’t REFUSE any packages with my name on them. I suspect something fishy happened with the USPS driver and my purchase, as the standard procedure is to leave a slip in the mailbox if a recipient isn’t home. To me, REFUSED means someone figured out what was in the box and decided to give him or herself an early holiday gift at my expense.

I’ve contacted the seller to see if that return has indeed been returned and am waiting for a response. USPS is NO help at all, as all I got from them in an email saying the package was REFUSED and sent back, but I need to find out if it was received before proceeding further. If that PS4 is unaccounted for, I’ll be quite (well, even MORE) annoyed. Losing my old PS3 with ten years of save data is bad enough, considering I ended up having to replace that console with the same model, which wasn’t cheap. Losing $300 more on that new PS4 is going to make me want to kick something off the planet. Amusingly enough, I’d forgotten Tokyo Game Show is happening and Koei Tecmo gave my stressed out brain two games I really want to play… even though I currently have nothing to play them on.


Yeah, I hate people sometimes. Particularly the ones that cost me time and money on nonsense like this. FEH. Well… first world problems, I guess? Somebody have a good weekend out there, as I sure as hell won’t. I have NO idea with is up with me and tech and a few other things this year, but this song is now my life’s main title theme: