Happy New Year (Take 2)

(Thanks, TroniCPol!)

Hey, my mood lightened! Ha. Anyway, I was trying to think of an appropriate New Year’s thing to post when it hit me that I hadn’t played the late Kenji Eno’s very offbeat D2 in about four years. It works as a perfectly bleak yet eventually hopeful holiday horror game experience for the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Thanks to just being too busy to unearth one of my Dreamcasts, make sure the battery is working so that I could start playing about nine hours before midnight so the end credit sequence ends with the onscreen game clock counting down to the New Year and getting a cheery message for all that effort, I haven’t gone near this gem. But that’s going to change.

Anyway, backlog or not I’ll finally replay this classic at some point this year just to see if I can speed through it a bit faster. Much of the game’s length is due to extended stretches of cinematic sequences that can’t be skipped, so it’s a pay attention game almost all the way through, lousy US dubbing and all.

Ah well. Anyway, Happy New Year, people – 2017 is going to be innnnnnteresting.

-GW

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Diablo Turns 20: Blizzard, What Are You Up To?


 

Twenty years is a long time for any form of interactive entertainment to be around and still have an active fan base. Blizzard seems to know its classic PC game Diablo has a rather dedicated and somewhat vocal legion of players that have stayed with the franchise through three games, numerous patches and a few expansion packs. Granted, the love for the first two games meant Diablo III was going to be heavily criticized for both its long development time and any huge changes to what longtime fans expected. Let’s just say the fans didn’t disappoint in letting themselves be heard.


 

But of course, Diablo III was a mess at and post launch, but tons of patches, the removal of that horrid Auction House and surprisingly, mostly superb console ports that actually improved upon the foundation laid made it a far better game for everyone save last-gen system (PS3/Xbox 360) owners who didn’t get the great 2.4.0 update. I’d already sunk a few hundred hours into the PS3 version and planned to transfer my save files over to the PS4 when I finally made the move to that console. Of course, that didn’t happen thanks to Phill Katz stealing my PS3 after I sent it to him for repair. NO, I haven’t forgotten you, asshole.


 

So, yeah. I’ve had to restart from scratch with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and so far, I’m quite pleased with my progress. I’m working on a Demon Hunter build and blazing through Adventure Mode after completing the Campaign once just to build up a ton of Paragon points so I’ll have a huge pool to use when creating other characters later. The 2.4.0 content surprised me with a dark and grim new map that added a few new enemy variants, crashing waves, rain and… freakin’ gigantic sea snakes popping up if you ran too close to the edge of some spots on the map.


 

Anyway, this post has no point other than me reminiscing and wondering just what the hell Blizzard is up to. Yes, I know about the Necromancer class coming as well as the upcoming “remake” of the first game using the DIII engine. But I’m hotly curious as to what else is planned. Other games get re-releases, HD upgrades or flat out remakes, so it only makes sense that this one would at some point soon. Unless Blizzard is just messing with us fans. Those old cinematics sure cleaned up well, huh?

-GW

Amnesia Collection On PS4: Twist Your Mind With Fear (More So Than Usual)

I kind of wish I had amnesia right about now, but it’s more important to stay frosty an alert out in the real world. That said, I still wish I had Amnesia, but this desire is actually in the form of Amnesia Collection on the PS4. It’s not on the PSN Store as I type this, but trust me, it’s going to be at some point today. If I’m in the mood to camp out under the covers later, perhaps a buy and play will be made. The first game and it’s shorter sequel, Justine, may have aged visually over the last five years, but my money says those old Lovecraftian shivers will still work perfectly.

-GW

Today’s Freak-Out, Courtesy of DreadOut

Seriously twisted and interactive to boot, this icky video from talented Indonesian developer Digital Happiness wants to mess with your day in a big way. This VR-enabled teaser for DreadEye almost makes me want to try a VR horror game, but I don’t want to be found dead on the couch with those damn goggles strapped to my head. That would be somewhat expensive and embarrassing, right? Right.

dreadout-banner1 

Oh, by the way… DreadOut is on sale until November 1 for a mere $2.99. Get it, I say.

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.

-GW

Pathologic: Ice-Pick Lodge’s Re-Invention Looks Mysteriously Magnificent

Pathologic Logo
 

Back in 2005, Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge released Pathologic, an unsettling horror/adventure/RPG hybrid that garnered excellent reviews at home, decent to fair reviews in the west, and gathered somewhat of a “cult” following for its unusual, creative art direction, extreme difficulty and distinctly bleak tone. The game’s fan base grew with its gog.com release and subsequent 2012 HD remastering (both of which come with the purchase of the HD Classic version). With a successful Kickstarter to re-imagine the game in 2015 for PC (and possibly consoles) Pathologic’s new path has added even more fans to this weird game’s potential player base. Ahead of Gamescom, IPL has released a nice set of screenshots that show off some lovely, haunting images from the new version.

Let’s take a look now, shall we?


 

Pathologic Artwork
 

While gameplay videos have yet to surface, this 2014 Kickstarter video should give you an idea of what to expect. As the game has no set release date, the waiting period between information drops will no doubt keep fans begging for more. It’s a good thing there’s a board game coming to make that wait less frustrating.

Speaking of more, click below the jump for more about the game (in handy cut/paste/corrected form)…

Continue reading

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!”

Persona 5’s New Trailer Is A Game-Selling Jaw Dropper


 

Well, now. Or: Holy WOW, Persona 5 cannot come out soon enough. While I still miss the absolutely gorgeous and intentionally strange artwork of the great Kaneko Kazuma, Shigenori Soejima’s absolutely lovely work is a fine enough homage to Kazuma’s style that it makes me happy to see it work so flawlessly. That animation and new game engine flow like buttah, the new game looks like it’s going to play faster and that sexy interface and battle results screens? Yup. SOLD. I’d write more, but I need to go make dinner and then figure out how to escape into the future when this PS3/PS4 exclusive drops and be the first one to grab a copy, play it and NOT tell anyone I did so until it’s time to let loose a full review.

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 onĀ  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

Mad Max TV Spot: And You Thought YOUR Commute Was Hell


 

Only a few more days to go until its September 1st launch on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and it sure looks as if WB Games and Avalanche Studios may have another hit on its hands. If Mad Max captures the insanity of the film and even half of the action from Avalanche’s Just Cause series, it’ll be a big winner this year. The longer “Stronghold” trailer from earlier this month certainly does an excellent job at conveying the post-apocalyptic setting and a few of the characters Max will meet in the game while also showing the game isn’t for the kiddies at all. That said, I don’t expect those prone to road rage will want to be playing this for extended periods of time as it may give them ideas on how to make their own commutes a lot more “interactive” in a not so productive manner.

Mad Max Getting Ahead