Review: Dawn of Fear (PS4)

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How come no one has a sledgehammer handy so they can bust the heck through those locked front doors in these games?

DOFYou’ll either like or not like Dawn of Fear ($19.99) for a few reasons. You’ll like it if you’re a big of the classics for the strict, stick to the script “survival” horror gameplay borrowed liberally from the first Resident Evil, with a touch of the more unsettling Silent Hill for good measure, very limited save function, static to a fault camera angles, blind spots, rigid aiming, low ammo counts and all. You’ll not like it for all that if you’re a newer survival horror fan or an old fan of the genre that’s moved on to games with more freedom of movement and a plot that makes more logical sense. Plus there’s a somewhat spotty localization that needed a bit of work, as it’s a bit cringe-worthy on the grammar side. Oh, and there were some pretty awful bugs and glitches at launch, some of which stopped the game cold and either forced a restart, or had you go back to an old save to hopefully restore things.

A recent patch helps a great deal, though. It turned the sluggish movement speed to an always run animation that helps a tremendously (even though the instructions still state holding the Square button runs, when it now doesn’t). Although you’ll now zip into camera angles that switch so fast it’s tricky to not run back into an area you just left. Glitches that were major visual and technical ones seem to be stomped out, but sometimes areas you explore still load in pieces. For example, you’ll be walking running into a dark room in that mansion and the lights suddenly switch on, but it’s not the lights, just an area on the map that’s loading in its pre-rendered details (oops).

 

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Dawn of Fear: Some Residents Are Quite Evil Here

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I like the PlayStation Talents program, as it’s been bringing a few games to players from quite a few indie developers in Spain that might otherwise be ignored in a market crowded with new releases every week. Survival Horror fans have a new game to look at with Dawn of Fear, from indie team Brok3nsite. Take a look at this trailer and get the warn and fuzzy zombies coming after you feeling once more:

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Review: Reventure (Switch)

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One switch is an ending trap, one releases a trap (and another ending) and one might have something useful inside. Maybe…

Reventure_boxAnd… here we go! Once again, it’s off to rescue a Princess from a demon’s well-guarded castle, but this time, I’m dying laughing thanks to the game I’m playing tossing many unexpected curve balls my way. Welcome to Reventure ($9.99), Pixellato’s fun and intense side-scrolling homage to among other games, The Legend of Zelda series, but with 100 endings to discover.

Most are abrupt surprises that send your character back to square one within a few minutes of play, but time is weirdly and intentionally presented here, so an outcome may send your hero into the distant future or later the same day. It all depends on the ending you get, and it’s very possible to drop a few hours here just exploring and figuring out the seemingly simple map that holds a lot of secrets (and quite a few traps). While that may sound boring to some, it makes for some downright hilarious moments based on your choices. That said, the game can also be (also intentionally) confusing to those who expect a straightforward speedrun or other type of one-note platformer.

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Reventure: 100 Endings? Well, Lets Go See Some, Shall We?

Reventure logo

With its retro looks, Reventure ($9.99) may not be the first game off the shelf for some gamers out there, but this player certainly wants to give it a go soon. Hey, 100 endings are what, something 99% of games don’t have and hell, I just want to play this for the blocky visual style because I sometimes like to see what can be done with the fewest pixels possible. Here are the trailer and some screens for your viewing enjoyment:

Malaga, Spain-based indie dev Pixelatto is onto something cool here, I think. In addition to the Switch version that’s right around the corner, there’s a PC version that’s been out for a few months on Steam that’s packing loads of positive reviews. Check it out here.

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We’ll be back in a few with a few of those endings.

-GW
 

Random Film of the Week: Horror Express

(Thanks, Garbage Cinema!) 

Horror Express To me, Horror Express is an excellent example of a perfect “B” movie. Not FLAWLESS, mind you, but perfect in the solid manner it locks you into your seat right from the beginning and takes you on a nearly non-stop roller coaster ride that’s terrifying, amusing and very, very satisfying by the time the credits roll.

Granted, the version I first saw on New York City’s WOR-TV (Channel 9, to those in the know) had no end credits at all and subsequent countless viewings on that channel (where the film seemed to be in heavy horror rotation every few months) led me to believe this was the way the film was in its initial theatrical release. However, when checking this horror classic out recently on a borrowed Blu-Ray, I discovered the film did indeed have credits, but they were in Spanish, meaning whomever prepared the US version or television edit saved some money (and about a minute or so of time) by merely chopping off those end titles and that was that…

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