Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Games that Define me as a Gamer: In between

I wasn't just into Horror games growing up as a kid, when I wasn't playing stuff at home I would go to the arcades a lot.

Back in the day Suva had some mad video game arcades. I remember I would wait for my grandad to pick my up from school, so while waiting I'd head down Toorak road and chill at the back of Century Theater. There they had this dark room that I remember only being lit by the glow of video game machines.

This is where I was introduced to such great titles as Streets of Rage and this one awesome game called Ninja Spy which was a first person fighting game.

I remember getting this shit kicked out of me on Fatal Fury by the older kids, but it wasn't until I discovered Street Fighter 2 that my arcade days really kicked off.

I played Street Fighter 2 like it was a cult man, every afternoon I'd be down at the arcade practicing how to do Forward - Down- Forward because the Hadouken was easy - but no one saw the shoryuken coming.

Ken was my favorite guy. I remember I started using him because everyone wanted to be Ryu, so I wanted to keep the move set but be different.Plus Ryu was all emo and would like 'look away' when he won, while Ken was more 'in your face" with his victory.

I like to brag :P

There were a few other arcades here and there which had some other games that I would visit now and then, but when I got good at SF2 I went more for the fun of beating other kids my age more than any thing else.

There were a few older boys there too and I would watch how they played and i would try to play like them. Street Fighter 2 is what introduced me to competitive gaming.

Years later my best friend would get this bad boy on the Super Nintendo and that was hours and hours of swore thumbs and sleepless nights.

Even now when I play Super Street Fighter 4 - Ken is my man and I love bullying my friends with him.


Games that Define me as a Gamer Part 1

One of my earliest memories of gaming sitting with my mums brother and playing a little something called Jack Attack on the Commodore 64.

I was about 6 or 7 when I was playing this, and though I did enjoy it a lot, there is one particular memory of it that both cracks me up and makes me feel really silly, but I feel it reflects a lot on the type of games I play today.

Jack Attack had a simple premise, get to this one location while avoiding these round circle things. If they touch you, then you die. You can't directly kill them though, so you have to manipulate these blocks to squash them. These blocks can kill you too though, so I guess that counts as an environmental hazard?

At some point what I started doing was turning down the brightness of the screen so that I could barely see myself and the enemy circles. This made the game a little scarier for me because now I had to really watch myself and look out for the "baddies", but this also made the game a lot more enjoyable for me. I would spend hours and hours pretending that these circles were monsters or demons or whatever.

Looking back at it now and giving it some thought, I think right and then there would have been the genesis of my love for horror gaming. Even though I was pretending that my character was walking around in the dark and that that these circles where monsters, all this added a different experience for me instead of just moving blocks and avoiding circles.

Soon I had my self a Family Game system or Fanicom as I now come to know it. This was the version of NES that was shipped to places outside of the States and Japan. My one came with a cartridge that had like a 100 games on it or something. This is where I was introduced to such classics as Super Mario Brothers (which I played religiously) and other hits such as Contra and Legend of Kage.

But I still remember my favorite game on this bad boy, there were two games that I played a lot and they were Ghosts n' Goblins and Frankenstein.

Ghost n' Goblins is of course a classic now, what I loved about it most at the time was that I didn't have to pretend that I was fighting demons and monsters, because now I actually was. I don't remember it being hard but now I read that it's actually one of the most unforgiving games on the NES. I always thought it was Battle Toads.

Frankenstein however was my best game on the Fanicom. The spooky music, creepy atmosphere and locations. This game was just what I was looking for. You venture into sewers and forbidden castles battling all kinds of hideous things.It's sad to hear now that Frankenstein was not as popular generally as it was to me, but I was like 8 or 9 by now - so just I guess it was easier to entertain me.

Check out the video below, that opening theme brings back so many memories for me.

Soon horror movies became a staple at my house. I grew up with my grandparents and my grandma was away overseas and it was just my granddad an I for the longest time. Every other night he would let me pick a horror movie from the local video store and we'd watch it together over dinner. the funny thing was that he didn't mind me watching the blood and gore and creepy stuff, but he'd fast forward all the sex scenes.

I continued to played a lot of other games during this time and fell in love with many other classics, but it wasn't until I met up with a family friend whose kid had a Sega Megadrive console that things really heated up for me. It wasn't because of Sonic, which came built in, but because he had Splatterhouse 2.

Boy this game was the shit for me as a kid. An out right creepy atmosphere, drenched in blood and decay, scary ass monsters and a mad doctor that kidnapped my girl friend! I had seen the comic adverts for it here and there and I never thought I would get to play it.

Plus the hero was no longer some puny little dweeb from some village or something. It was a guy who became bad ass because he had put on a mask that was possesed! Now he was smashing bad guys with sticks and fighting giant worms and running away from massive tenticle beasts. I didn't know about the Lovecraft influence back then, but Spaltterhouse 2 always came off as something a lot deeper and darker than your standard game, at least for me.

The shitty thing was that this wasn't my game and I didn't get too many chances to play it. Whenever we would go over to this family's house I would just hog the Sega till we had to leave.

My next big horror gaming fix would come much later, when my folks picked up our first PC.

I didn't care much for it until one day something went wrong with a drive or something and an IT guy came over to sort it out. I remember him asking me if we had any games on it and I said no... that's when he installed Doom 2.


End of Part 1

Shadows of the Damned: First Impressions

What happens when you take a game concept and mechanics by Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil 1, Resident Evil 4,Vanquish), develop the gameplay and creative elements around it with  Goichi Suda (No more heroes, Fatal Frame IV, Lollipop Chainsaw) and then score the whole thing with Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill 1, 2 and 3)?

You get Shadows of the Damned which is one of the maddest freakin horror shooter you'll ever get to play.

Shadows of the Damned follows the exploits of one Garcia "Fucking" Hotspur, a demon hunter whose girlfriend has been captured by the lord of Demons. Unable to save her right away, Garcia follows the demon lord back to his world to find his stolen love and mess up the dinner dates of as many demon fiends he can get his hands on.

Now this might sound pretty straight foredward, and yes to some extent it is, but the devil is not in the details of the games story, but rather the mad characters you get to meet and kill, and the awesome Demon world you get to explore.

Like the bastard child of Evil Dead and Dante's Inferno with dashes of Alice in Wonderland,  Shadows of the Damned is an off beat, in your face horror game with a setting that could have only been conceived on a bad acid trip. .. or a good acid trip.

Graphically the game looks like an old school horror movie, with filters and effects that give the whole thing a grind-house feel. The characters play out very 'over the top' especially our hero Garcia. His a Motorcycle riding, Latino punk rocker with a gun called "The Boner." This gun is actually a demon itself called Johnson. The game is full of these sexual innuendos and at times can be overly explicit. Designs of everything in the game are twisted - it's actually very hard to explain this without seeing the game for yourself.

The shooting in the game plays out exactly like Resident Evil 4 with the view shifting over the shoulder for aiming, but you can move while shooting, which makes it also feel a little like Dead Space. It's very effective without feeling too over powering. In fact, the shooting mechanic is easy enough to pull off, but just limited enough to be tricky at times, which makes for some intense shoot outs.

The baddies too are a mix of slow and fast enemies, and its fun shooting off limbs and things to watch the demons crawl and squirm they way to you. (like in Dead Space) You have your zombies, and nightmare monsters and things stitched together, then you have your VIP demons (Very important pendejos) who are like stage bosses or mini bosses.

Garcia can dodge and roll out of harms way with easy, at first it feels like too much ease, but when you get past the canon fodder baddies and start butting bullets with the VIPs is when all your skills come in handy.

Your "Boner" can turn into three different weapon types; namely a pistol, a shot gun and an automatic riffle. These can then be upgraded with damage modifiers and other attachments such as grenade launchers etc.

It's not all just straight forward shooting however as aside from the demon nasties, there's this added mechanic that has to do with light and darkness.

Every now and then the game world is plunged into Darkness which slows you down and drains your health. Baddies that appear during this time also come with a darkness shield that renders them invincible. In order to disperse this Darkness you need to find and shoot a goat head.

Yes. A goat head.

There are things that can buy you time during this darkness phase, such as light barrels, human hearts laying around to be eaten and safe rooms here and there.

These moments make for some pretty intense gameplay and I found my self with clenched toes fits of "come on come on come on" moments as I came across them.

This whole thing of having the fire power and skills but still needing to be on your toes adds a level of cautiousness that fits well with the creepiness of the whole game, and is something I haven't come across in awhile.

Like the Splatterhouse remake I spoke about a few posts ago, this game plays like a massive  love letter to horror fans. It isn't Silent Hill creepy, like I said this is Evil Dead horror. It's a horror setting with a punk rock attitude. Think Cabin in the woods or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Not "Scary movie" but more along the lines of From Dusk Till Dawn.

For a new IP Shadows of the Damned takes a lot of risks with it's direction and it's appeal might be limited to a very niche section of the gaming crowd, even when it comes to horror gamers. This was evident from its reported low sales, but for me personally it's become a great edition to my gaming titles.

It's not a conventional game by any means, but it has solid mechanics that are fun to play.It reminded me a lot of the things that got me into horror gaming and just horror in general. As far as movie relations go - the game feels like something that will one day be a cult classic.

I heard there's a whole stage dedicated to Evil Dead that I can't wait to reach.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Early Screening: Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

The short of it: Starts off great but then decides to take itself too seriously thus loosing the plot and spoiling what could have been a no brainer action/ horror flick.

And here's the long of it:
 No Major Spoilers

There's a certain amount of disbelief that you need to suspend when watching Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but this is pretty much a given with a movie that carries such a premise, and at first it is pretty easy to get into it.

The movie kicks off into the thick of things pretty fast. We are introduced to young Abraham and it's established that slavery is a bad thing, then his dad pisses off some guy and there are Vampires.

Soon Abraham meets a man that offers to train the would be President in the art of hunting the blood thirsty undead. This involves a brief introduction to kick ass period weapons, crash course on Vampire lore and some awesome Axe-fu training.

First lets check out the good stuff. "Abe Lincoln: Vamp hunter" has some awesome action bits. Fights are brutal, but very stylized and look freaking sweet. The vampires look pretty damn freaky, with deformed, unhinging jaws filled to the brim with razor sharp teeth and they are fast as heck and can vanish into puffs of smoke like ninjas, o and everyone back then knew a little bit of  martial arts.

There is one very awesome fight that takes place in the middle of a horse stampede that really kicked ass.

Sadly the action in the film is where the highlights stop.

The pace of the movie is a little broken and more often than not it feels a little rushed, if the movie were a book (and it is based on a book) it would feel as though entire chapters were just missing from the final product. This is made worse when they try to squeeze Mr Lincolns love interest into the plot.

The inclusion of Abe meeting his beloved Mary seemed very forced and the whole thing is just rushed through. They go from being total strangers to being lovers getting engaged in a blink of an eye.

It's around this time that the writer also remember that Lincoln was actually a real person with real life accomplishments which he then decides to add into the movie, and this fucks things up even more.

Suddenly the awesome action and combat that made the movie entertaining is given up in favor of crowd speeches and elections and other things that are too damn boring and go on for too long, distracting from the story.

I never expected the movies story to be a work of art, but I didn't think it would be so disjointed. On one hand the movies sets us up to believe in some obscure yet awesome notions and just when it's convinced us into a certain mind set, the film decides to believe it's own bullshit and take itself seriously which then really messes up the last third of the film.

I was so damn excited through the first half of the movie, cheering at heads being cut off and blood being splattered across the screen, but by the end I was actually dozing off to sleep.

Even the action that follows the 'Presidential' part of the film is hard to digest because now everything on screen just looks like bullshit.

 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter could have been very awesome, something you go cheer at with your friends, but instead I think it ended up being something you pick up on DVD if there's nothing else on the shelf.

Might be worth a watch if you really like Vampires - or Abraham Lincoln.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dead Space 3: 20 Minutes of Gameplay Footage

Thoughts on footage:

It looks like something set in the same universe as Dead Space - rather then just a straight out "part 3". If that makes sense >_<

I love the co-op, I really hope it supports local co-op.

Without the horror atmosphere to support it, the gun-play and overall combat looks pretty midcore to be the main focus, like a poor mans Gears of War,  especially when fighting the human baddies, and I know it was just a demo but that was some dumb shit enemy AI.

The quick time events reminded me of Uncharted, as though the Devs were trying to incorporate even more "cinematic experiences" which does not equate to "more action." When will you realize this DEVS!

Hate the universal Ammo idea. I loved having to manage ammo in the previous games, in fact that's how I came to love the Ripper in part one and the javelin gun in part 2, and I saved all my plasma cutter ammo for boss fights.

I also hate how all you pretty much do to take out necros is pump em full of bullets, Strategic dismemberment was a huge selling point for me in Dead Space.

Disappointed with the shift in atmosphere as well, but I think I can learn to love it.

But seriously; local co-op will make me very happy despite all the shitty changes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

E3 must haves

E3 has let loose a whole mess of games unto us, and I fear my wallet will suffer heavily for it. There were a few titles that caught my attention like Watch Dogs and God of War: Ascension, but from the rubble of tech news and games, two titles have emerged to grab my by the throat and make me beg to play them.

Namely: Naughty Dogs "The Last of Us" and Visceral Games "Dead Space 3"

The Last of Us is a PS3 exclusive that I've actually been hyped about since last year, and getting to see the game play video was awesome and has really upped the hype for the game, totally making my ps3 even more worth it.

I didn't care much for the guy playing the demo though, for a game that tells you survival is all about conserving resources and especially ammo (it being so scarce) the player sure used his gun a lot. In fact he emptied his clip on like 2 guys. Lame

Give it to me - I show you how to play it.

Funny thing is though I've never cared for Naughty Dogs other franchise, the hand holding cinematic experience that is "Uncharted", but the subject matter for Last of us is more appealing to me.

Then we get to Dead Space 3. Regardless of the mixed bag of emotions I have for the game play footage that was released, I'm still gonna play it. The only thing is, when I saw Dead Space 1 - I knew I had get myself a new X360 (as my 1st one was dead at the time) and when I saw Dead Space 2 I knew I had to get it on PC (As my 2nd Xbox was dead by now too >_< )

Cool concept art though, so there is hope!
Looking at Dead Space 3 I'm not a 100% sold yet. I want because it extends the Dead Space universe and I will play whatever I can from the franchise.

I do remember being skeptical about Dead Space 2 as well though. When that game was in development there were talks about it moving the gameplay focus to a more action orientated style, but when more gameplay was revealed and the story details flowed through the game ended up looking and playing better than I could have hoped for.

Either way - these are the two titles that I need to get my hands on, and they are both set for a March, 2013 release so I have time to save up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And then?

And then the 3 day weekend was over just like that, but it was very well spent.

My Girlfriend and I were planing to head out of Suva for a few nights but this idea fell through, so instead we had lunches and dinners out, topped off with a Hannibal Lector movie marathon.

Starting Saturday Morning we watched the movies in chronological order, rather then release date - which worked out really good. Anthony Hopkins was a demon on fire in Red Dragon (2002) and that along with the classic Silence of the Lambs (1991) are truly the best of the series. Ridley Scott's Hannibal (2001) had a slow boil that heated up with the disturbing dinner scene at the end, but it just didn't have enough of Lector in it.

Let's not talk about Hannibal Rising (2007) anymore than we have to, great ideas with some key moments of back story put together very poorly. Easily the lowest point of the series.

Saturday was spent mucking around town and heading off to the Westpac Market that was happening down at Garden City. After a few rounds around the stalls we got some lunch and called it day.

That evening a friend of mine was having a get together at her place so my GF and I headed down to indulge in drinks and company. This would have been a lot more fun if I wasn't driving that night, because I pretty much spent the night watching people get wasted. At one point I was going to go home to drop the car off and come back, but then I just wasn't in the mood to drink for some odd reason.

Sunday was spent playing video games and watching movies, it was a very lazy day at home, but Monday was an afternoon well spent at my buddy Mike's place playing Mortal Kombat.

This was a lot of fun, constant yelling, swearing and controller buttons clicking like mad is what makes gaming with friends so enjoyable. Plus I didn't expect my friends to put up the fight they did ha ha, I'm so used to beating their butts with Ken in Street Fighter - Damn you Micheal Jon and your robotic ninja!

Old pic of the Bujuz

All in all it was a great weekend spent with my lovely girlfriend and awesome friends, great way to start the 4 day week.

Dead Space 3 Interview

More details on the "Evolution" of Dead Space as it enters it's third installment, addressing Co-op and new gameplay direction amongst other things.

The Giant Bomb interviewer seems to be on the same page as me as far the previous games go, and he asks a lot of questions that I wanted answered myself.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prometheus: Early Screening

This morning I got to watch what was my most anticipated movie of 2012. In the face of Dark Knight Rises, Avengers and whatever else have you, Prometheus was the one movie I was dying to see.

How did it hold out?

The Short of it: Prometheus is a good film, save for a few flaws it's probably one of the best Sci-fi movies I've seen in a long time, but I think fans of the Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien will appreciate it more, while the casual movie goer might like it for it's visual flare, but dislike it for it close nit story.

And here's the long of it: No Spoliers

Prometheus isn't an action movie and despite a few creepy bits it's not a horror movie either. The only way I can think to describe Prometheus is that it's a movie that tells a story. Not to make it sound boring because it's not. The 2 hours or so I spent watching Prometheus went by in a heart beat, because it's that engrossing.

Visually the movie is amazing, but it delivers it's stunning visuals in such away that none of it steals  from the plot being driven on screen. Every now and then I would think too myself : "whoa that looks awesome!" because everything is implemented in such a way that it all felt very practical and believable.

The thing that struck me the most is how everything looked so high tech and fancy in the film and yet you could totally believe that the events of Alien would follow this.

For example the Tech being used in Prometheus looks awesome, but you can still believe that the Tech in Alien would evolve from this. Even the vehicles they use are similar to the ones in James Cameron's Aliens. 

Speaking of Alien lets just clarify this, Prometheus is a Prequel,  but I can see now what Ridley meant when he said that it's not a Direct prequel.

Though the events of Prometheus don't link directly to anything that happens in Alien, the results of these events are seen in the Alien Films. It's very hard to explain without spilling the plot, but just know if you've seen Alien then there will be so many moments where you'll be going "o so that's it" or " o that's why that happened." Some of the locations look as though they were ripped directly from the older movie too.

In the end this is what I enjoyed most about the movie, the nods and set ups for Alien.

The Characters were a mixed bag of "interesting" and "meh." Ironically Micheal Fassbender's Android character of David was probably the most explored in the film, and though Charlize Theron was being set up as sort of the antagonist of the film - she was one of my favorite roles. I saw a bit of Sigourney Weaver's Ripply in her, as someone who looks like she knows what has to be done, and she does it with a look of shock and at times fear on her face.

The other characters didn't leave any kind of impression at all, mostly because they didn't get to do much aside from f**k up here and there to drive the story.

Spoilers but without giving away plot.

The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that the plot would make certain characters go against their established characteristics just to move the story forward. A few times I was like "Why the fuck would he do that?"

Some of the stuff the characters do are just dumb, and for a movie that's trying so hard to be believable you'd think they'd avoid such things.

Plus I also felt some parts of the movie were a little understated.

The main plot of "creationism" that's been seen in the trailers is very full on for the first 15mins of the film, before it's all but forgotten. Plus some of the major discoveries made by the characters are very under played.

"Hey their DNA is a 100% match to ours..."

" O that's cool ... hey ima go now."

 The movie does try to make us care about a few key moments, but a lot of these moments have such little build up or back story that you just don't give a shizz.

"Don't worry - we'll sacrifice ourselves to save us"

Wait - who the heck you? Have you done anything yet in the film?

After all this it might sound weird me saying this, but I loved the movie. Though it was a little underwhelming at first, it does well to add to the Alien mythos, which aside from Ridley and Cameron's contribution, isn't the best line up of movies to begin with.

At the end of credits I was actually stunned by it, despite the little hick ups here and there. It wasn't till I sat down and went over some of the plot holes and such that the annoyances I mentioned above came back to me.

If you're into sci-fi or just good movie making - then Prometheus will be very pleasing, but if if you're a fan of the Alien franchise then this movie will really shine.

Especially the very final moments of the film - that really did it for me. Not telling why.

EDIT: Wanted to add this link to a page I found which lists pretty much all the discrepancies I had with the movie.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Last of Us Gameplay

This is it. The reason I wanted to buy myself a PS3.

In fact - the day I saw this game, that afternoon i had the opportunity to purchase a PS3 at a reasonable price. The Last of Us is the latest survival Horror title from Naughty Dog, exclusively for the PS3.

And man does it looks farkin awesome.

Dead Space 3 Debut Trailer

Holy shit! here it is man - The Dead Space 3 Debut trailer. Let the giddy school girl-ness begin!

Splatterhouse: A horror fans play ground.

 In short: Great farking game which loads of throw backs to classic 80s horror and the original splatter series.

And here's the long of it:

I wanted to get the current gen remake of Splatterhouse when it first released, sadly though at the time my console had died and I wasn't in a position to replace it and because Spaltterhouse wasn't coming to PC I was forced to cry myself to sleep and block the game as best I could.

When I got my PS3 at the end of last year I did look into getting Splatterhouse but sadly the site I order from didn't have it available. I tried to look else where for it but because the game apparently wasn't a critic favorite a lot of places simply didn't have it.

Thankfully a friend of mine was in Aus last month and he was able to find a good as new used copy. It cost a fair bit for a second hand game, but I was more than willing to fork up the cash. (Actually I still have to pay him back for it.)

While waiting for the game I read a lot of shitty reviews for it, listing a lot of technical flaws here and there and just a lack of polish as claimed by some. What caught my attention though was the user response for the game, with lots and lots of gamers saying that despite the flaws Splatterhouse was great fun for what it is.

And what it is is the bloodiest beat em up I've ever played.

But let me just say that a lot of what the "Game Critics" say about Splatterhouse holds true. First off it's not the most polished game, but if I were to pick exact bits of it that fail, it's kind of hard because whatever it lacks through its flaws are quickly over shadowed by all the cool shit it gets right.

The first thing that pops are the videos for this game, they look awesome and are probably what ate most of the games budget.

Splatterhouse plays just like the classic horror movies it pays countless homage to. It's basically an interactive B-Grade horror movie, and when I say "B-grade" I don't mean the crap movies we're subjected to these days - I'm talking Evil Dead, night of the Demons, CHUD, Re-animator and the other great horror movies I grew up loving from high days of VHS horror. Aside from the side references to these classic movies there's actually a sort of 'cameo' for Ash from Evil Dead.

The story is taken directly from the original series and built upon very nicely. The soon to be hero Rick is exploring an old creepy mansion with his girl friend when they are attacked by strange creatures. When Rick comes to his very badly wounded and is bleeding out - that's when he hears the Terror Mask calling out to him. The Story was given a make over by Gordon Rennie who has worked on such titles ass Judge Dredd, Killzone,and Necronauts.

When he slips the mask on suddenly Rick is transformed into a hulking brute, and is now the host to an entity that was trapped in the mask.

All this is the back drop to the true meat and bones of Splatterhouse and that's the mad combat. Aside from the horror throw backs in the game, the combat to me is what really makes this beast shine. The combat is brutal, bloody and to some extent customizable to suit your play style.  As you kill stuff you collect blood, and this is used to buy new moves or enhance current ones.

I wouldn't say it's mindless, but as I was playing I did at times simply zone out and just started tripping on the mad flow of the fighting. What really hits the nail home is the addition of what is called a Splatter kill, this is gruesome finisher triggered by a quick time event triggered after the baddie is beaten to an inch of their life.

The level design though not amazing - does a very good job of setting the mood. wait let me kill that because there is one level called "The meat house" which I did think was amazing - and it was actually kind of creepy too.

There are also these awesome 2D areas in the game which re-create the classic levels from the old games. These were actually hated by a lot of critics - but I friggin love em.

I love the throw backs though to the older games. With classic bosses and baddies all re-done in stunning graphics.

Actually the graphics for Splatterhouse are a weird mix bag. There are times when the game looks absolutely awesome and some times it doesn't look bad but messy. One of my favorite things though is watching Rick take damage, cause you get to see things like his ribs broken and sticking out of his side, or just huge chunks of flesh torn off and then it all grows back as Rick gets his health back. it's really a nice touch.

Aside from the combat and slight platforming, there are also collectables scattered across the levels that unlock such things as challenge arenas, journal entries and even naughty nude pics of Jennifer. (What's a B-grade horror movie with out boobies?)

There was always an element of Lovecraft in the older games, and that too has been given more focus in this remake. Plus Doctor West, the guy who takes your GF, is given more life this time around, as the mad doctor who is out to please the elder gods. Plus the Original terror mask was meant to be based on Aztec designs and there are some hints that the new mask is of Aztec origin too.

Like there are Video Nasties -  Splatterhouse is a Video Game Nasty.

Splatterhouse on the Sega Gen and NEO GEO before that was never a critic favorite when it came out. It wasn't Super Mario or Sonic or even Legend of Kage. But it did have a huge fan base because unlike its bright and cheery counter parts, Splatterhouse was all about the horror and gore. Technically it's probably the first ever action horror game ever.

The Splatterhouse remake is a joy to play as a fan of the series as you can really tell that the crew behind the game had great respect for the original game and all the things that inspired it. You can tell they tried to fully realize all the things the older games tried to put out.

There's a bit in the game where you come face to face with classic boss, this mean bad ass with chainsaw arms, and you hear the mask say: "Lets show them why they call it Splatterhouse!"

This is Splatterhouse in all its classic glory, up dated for current Gen. It's a love letter to horror fans and is very honest about what it's trying to be. Old school beat-em-up action at it's best.

Check out this very awesome (and what i though very fair) review over at Destructoid.

Dead Space 3: Action over Horror

People have been playing Dead Space 3 down at E3,and the results are up on a few gaming sites.

So far all the hype is geared towards the new Co-op feature that Visceral has added to the game and there's also good things to be read about the new open world environment.

This time around Isaac can even scavenge for items and equipment, and the drop in/ drop out gameplay of co-op means you get to explore the new open world environment of a frozen planet with a friend.

Some might argue that this co-op feature takes away from the scare factor of Dead Space - but that's bull shit because Dead Space was never scary to begin with.

Yes it had horror elements which gave way to freaky looking enemies, but Dead Space was never Silent hill. If anything it was a Action game with horror elements,  Dead Space is not Ridley Scott's Alien but rather James Cameron's Aliens.

You were always empowered in Dead Space and no matter what the baddies threw at you, you could shoot the shit out of it. Dead Space 2 built on this by shifting the focus more to action, but it did all this in a creepy setting.  Now it seems that Dead Space 3 is building on this even more.

Plus Dead Space 2 added so much more to the gameplay with its changes, which kept the game fresh. It would be so much easier for Visceral to stick to the formula it concoctedin part one, but I for one admire them for taking risks and rethinking things.

Destructoid has a hands on article for Dead Space 3 - check it out here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Red Dead Redemption: After Thoughts

I think the more complicated something gets, the more chances it allows for imperfections. In the end - nothing's perfect.

After so many hours spent enjoying Red Dead Redemption, there I finally was at the end of my journey. The last of my former gang members who I was charged to bring in was making a run for it, I caught up to him... and without spoiling anything ... I sorted him out.

This is what I set out to do and it was done - now I can rest knowing I've beaten the epic story that Red Dead Redemption had offered.

But no.... Now I get to go home to my wife and son now. meh- ok I'll go.

Now I'm at my farm. Now I have to take the cows out to graze, and then I have to go kill some crows that's eating my corn. My son wants to hunt - I'll take him hunting. We need to wrangle some new horses - I'll do that. The farm down the road needs some weat. I better ride out there and give em some wheat and then I'll !@#Wait a farking minute!

What the fark is all this? I just started a revolution in Mexico man! ...and then I took out one of the most ruthless outlaws ever to ride these open plains, why am I forced to do these farkin bullshit chores.do you know what a bad ass I am?

... and then some soldiers show up and shoot you dead. Wait what?

Now suddenly I'm playing my son.

Ok - this might be interesting. I guess I'll track down the son of a bitch that screwed me over. Wait his just there, his old and he likes fishing. Bang his dead - end credits.


Talk about anti- climatic! This game seriously should have ended two hours sooner than it did. After all the mad action and  awesome game play mechanics, Red Dead spends its final hours being Farmville, before giving you a "real ending" that felt too damn rushed and forced.

It really killed the excitement of the game for me because it's such a mad contrast to the rest of the game. And it's not like you can't do it - because I for want want to get a 100% on that game progression bar.

Don't get me wrong - The "hero" being shot and killed at the end for all his crimes and such was very poetic, and I loved it... it made for awesome story telling and a great ending, but I think the story should have struck while the iron was hot and not bore you to sleep before trying to jolt you awake with it.

I put my controller down utterly hating what I just played.

Later that night I thought I'd find some redemption in Red Deads: Undead Nightmare mode. Sadly this wasn't gonna happen either.

Undeadnightmare started off very nice - but gets very repetitive very soon.  

First off - the lush world of Red Dead lends it's self greatly to a horror setting, and firing a shoot gun into a zombies face is very satisfying - the first 50 times you do it. Though ecstatically Undead Nightmare turns Red Dead into a horror game, the greater points of the game are lost. Gone is the epic story and awesome side missions.

Now you have two tasks, a hand full of towns that need to be cleaned of the zombie outbreak, and missing persons that need to be found. Getting rid of zombies in towns is broken down to a simple formula too - climb a high vantage point and shoot at things, because charging zombies just don't work well with Red Deads gun play mechanics.

I played Undead Nightmare for about an hour last night and the only thing that kept me going was the urge to collect the rare horses.

Funny thing is, while playing Red Dead Redemption at one point I loaded up Splatterhouse, and the difference in quality really made Splatterhouse look mid-core, but playing Undead Nightmare and then switching to Splatterhouse, Splatterhouse really shined with the horror elements.

All in all Red Dead Redemption is still an awesome game, but if you're ever going to play it be sure to make the most of it and don't rush to end it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

DOOM 3 BFG Edition

As if the news of new Dark Souls content coming to consoles wasn't good enough, last nigth my buddy Mike mentioned that one of my top 3 games of all time is getting the 're-master' treatment.

Doom 3 was an obsession of mine when I first got it upon release. So many hours spent running through Dooms dark corridors, mowing down hell spawns as I raced to save my very soul from the clutches of evil. Years before that it was Doom 2 that kept me up all night when I got my first PC.

Well it seems that sometime with in the next 6 months iD software and Bethesda will be releasing a re-mastered version of the game. I assume this means it will have higher resolution textures? The Doom 3: BFG editon, as it's called, will also come with extra levels too.

I actually just bought Doom 3 again not too long ago on Steam, along with it's expansion pack - but so don't mind getting this new edition too.

After the mixed bag that was Rage, iD must be trying to get back to some familiar ground. With Doom 4 said to be not too far off, I wonder if the gand daddy of FPS's is looking to reclaim it's thrown. Check out the trailer below. I can't really tell the difference >_<

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition coming to Consoles as DLC


Man this is good news, in fact it's great news. It's probably the best gaming news I've gotten in a while.

I was so freakin pissed when I heard that the PC edition of Dark Souls was getting new content that the console guys were missing out on. So pissed that I even started a petition for console DLC (which didn't do to good), but today Forum Software released a new trailer which reveals more details on the upcoming content, and also announced that it's coming to 360 and Ps3 :D

I can not wait for this DLC - Don't think I've ever been more excited about DLC before.

Non- Dark Souls enthusiasts don't release how important this new materiel is to fans of the game. The new quest lines offer so much back story and looks to explain a lot of what is happening in the Dark Souls world, which is so damn enigmatic.

The story as it is right now is so secretive and you are tasked with piecing so much on your own, with the new quest line that takes you to the worlds past, bringing you face to face with Artorias, who is a central figure in the events that lead to your current adventure, now we have more pieces to piece together :P

Plus we get to see a lot of Lordran in it's former glory.

New quests, new mosnters, new bosses and amour sets - August can't come soon enough.
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