News, Video Games

Uncharted 4 UK Beta Opening this Week

UK gamers rejoice! There will be an open beta for the upcoming Uncharted 4 launching later this week. UK gamers will be able to check the game out March 4th through March 6th. The beta will be for the multiplayer aspects of the game, allowing gamers to demo deathmatch, with 3 different maps. There is no news on a NA open beta as of right now, with rumors circulating that it won’t happen at all. The game is launching April 26th in NA and the 27th in EU so the long wait is almost over.

News, Video Games

Dontnod Entertainment Announces New Game

Dontnod Entertainment is probably best known for the episodic adventure, Life is Strange. They have announced their next project, Vampyr. Vampyr will be an action RPG set in Britain during the Spanish Flu. The city is in chaos from the massive amounts of illness and death, when people start to turn into vampires. You will play as a recently turned vampire, who used to be a doctor. Like Life is Strange the game promises to have branching stories based on the choices you make, while your character struggles to either succumb to being a vampire, or hold on to their humanity. The combat also promises to be varied, to allow gamers to pick their own play style. We look forward to bringing you more news as it becomes available.

Anime, News

Netflix Original Anime Series Announced: Perfect Bones

Netflix has teamed up with Production I.G. in order to bring an original anime series to the streaming service. Perfect Bones will be a 12 episode series, about a scientist attempting to create perfect human beings. Another organization steals one of these humans, and uses them for nefarious purposes. Kazuto Nakazawa has signed on as director. His notable works include the anime sequence from Kill Bill Volume 1, Parasite Dolls, as well character design for Samurai Champloo. This will mark the first time that Netflix will have an anime made for and premier on the streaming service.

Horror, News

Stephen King’s The Mist Coming to TV

Spike TV plans to create a TV series out of the 1980s novella, The Mist. Dimension had turned the story into the 2007 movie, which was fairly well received. The studio had planned to make a follow up TV series, though weren’t getting any takers. Spike TV finally seemed interested and has picked up the project. Dimension studios will work on it, with Christian Torpe signing on as executive producer. The exact details are unknown at this time, though it’s not the first time that Dimension has adapted a movie to TV series (Scream). We will bring you more news as it unfolds.

News, Video Games

Call of Cthulhu Coming to PC and Console

Pen and Paper RPG fans have likely heard of the Call of Cthulhu game, based on H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos and stories. Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive have teamed up to take the RPG from it’s pen and paper form to PC and console. The game will focus largely on psychological horror, trying to immerse characters in the frightening world that Lovecraft originally created. The gameplay will be largely stealth, and feature RPG mechanics and features. It will of course take inspiration from Chaosium’s RPG as well as Lovecraft’s writing to create the world for gamers. Right now there are still a number of questions, but this is news for Lovecraft, horror, and RPG fans to get hyped for. The first screenshots have been released and use Unreal Engine 4. As more news is released we will bring it to you.

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Impressions, Video Games

Impressions: Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2 is the follow up to the 2014 Garden Warfare. Garden Warfare was a bit of a surprise to many gamers. It took what was a tower defense game, and turned it into a 3rd person shooter and multiplayer experience. In spite of that the game ended up being a hit, and people have been anticipating it’s sequel.

Plot Summary

There is not much to say as far as story, as there isn’t really one. The basic premise is what we’ve seen before with Plants vs Zombies. Zombies are trying to destroy everything, plants some how have the power needed to stop the zombies. It’s silly and wonderful.

Impressions

Garden Warfare 2 proves that companies can actually learn from previous games and improve. Almost everything that gamers asked for after playing Garden Warfare is here. The game is significantly more balanced. One of the biggest problems people had with the previous game, is there was more to do as plants, as such plants tended to level up a lot faster. This game does away with that issue. If you can do it as plants, you can do it as zombies, and vice versa. There are offline quests for both factions, which help you learn the characters, and allow you to level on your own. Garden ops makes it’s return, as does graveyard ops (essentially the same but for zombies).

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In addition to the factions being balanced, the leveling process has been stream lined. Instead of leveling being determined by preset (virtually un-skippable quests), it is now a balance between xp for using characters, and quests. Quests do make a come back, but you are no longer forced to take them on, nor are you stuck if you can’t beat one, just drop it and move on. That being said, leveling will take a lot longer because instead of classes leveling each and every single character has their own level. That means each peashooter has to be leveled, each scientist, each chomper, etc. While leveling itself is now easier there is a fair amount of tedium that will go into leveling each character, and most likely many characters will be forgotten by a number of gamers.

Multiplayer game types have a good range. Most of the past game types made their return, the only missing was the Taco game, but it was basically the same as Gnome Bomb so it’s not really missed. Turf takeover replaces Garden and Graveyards, but is improved over the other, so it’s a welcome replacement.

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There is really only two things that bothered me with this game. 1) Server issues. This is to be expected, but I don’t think it should be. I feel is companies are going to do online games then getting their servers in working order for launch should be top priority. 2) Imbalance in matches. There seems to be no set formula for who gets matched with whom, so my first match out I was matched with people that had clearly been grinding the game and were already rank 50 or above. Rank system in multiplayer games can be good, but it can also present an unnecessary challenge to lower ranked gamers.

Bottomline

Honestly I have to say the game is pretty much exactly what I wanted. Missing elements from the first Garden Warfare were added. The new classes and game types are fun and entertaining. There is so little to be upset about here. If you are going to make a sequel, if you put this much effort into improving on the first game then you should be solid.

Mini Reviews, Video Games

Mini Review: Octodad Dadliest Catch

Octodad exists in the realm of games that SHOULD in all logic be bad, but somehow seem to work so well. It’s a physics game in which you control an octopus leading a “normal” life as a husband and father. No one knows he’s an octopus, and he’s extremely difficult to control. You have to move his arms and legs independently, and the words “extremely frustrating” don’t even begin to describe the experience. Yet somehow in spite of how hard it is to play the game is extremely fun.

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The completely unbelievable plot offers a lot of humor. The fact that the wife somehow fails to notice she is married to (and has two children with) an octopus is pretty comical in and of itself. Add to that the interesting translation of how Octodad talks, a sushi chef hunting the main character, and just the over all zaniness and you have a pretty entertaining story.

The gameplay is frustrating at moments, but manages a weird version of balance. There are enough challenges that you can get through fairly easily, while others will take a lot of patience and retries. The game ends up giving you just enough reward to keep you wanting to progress, but is still very challenging. Each area of the game is also fairly short, and different enough from previous areas in order to keep the gamer interested. At the end of the day you end up frustrated, entertained, and compelled to keep playing. It’s not the best game you’ll ever play, but it’s compelling in it’s own way. There are things to nit pick with the game, but honestly it’s an enjoyable experience.

News, Video Games

101 Ways to Die Coming Soon

101 Ways to Die is a physics puzzle game, that is meant to be gory, dark, and hilarious. Your job is to attempt to get the AI to kill itself in as many brutal and creative ways as possible. The game is set to release on PS4 and Xbox One next month. The game emphasizes a need for characters to take their time to set up traps to have interesting and unique kills. The better you do, the more you unlock, it keeps the game (and kills) fresh. Everyone with a slightly twisted sense of humor should find amusement. Fans of puzzles, and trap building should find gameplay unique and entertaining.

Horror, News

Casting for Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant is going to be the next in the popular Alien franchise. Ridley Scott will be directing and producing the film, which is set to start production in the very near future. There has been some new people cast to the movie. Amy Seimetz from You’re Next, Jussie Smollett from Empire, Carmen Ejogo from The Pruge: Anarchy, and Callie Hernandez from Machete Kills, have all signed on for roles in the movie. Previously Michael Fassbender had signed on to the movie. Noomi Rapace will also reprise her role from Prometheus.

Alien: Covenant is supposed to be part two in a three part prequel to the first movie in the Alien series. It is set to release in October of 2017, though there is still speculation on when they will start filming.

Horror, Impressions

Impressions: The Veil

The Veil is a horror movie that released January 2016. It had no theater release, but instead went straight to VOD and Netflix. Despite being a straight to “video” (for lack of a better term) movie, it has a solid cast, is not a low budget movie, and actually stands up to many theater horror films. It seems to be a film that challenges the idea that “straight to video” means bad.

Plot Summary:

In the 1980s Jim Jacobs founds a cult, with the specific goal of proving that death is not permanent, though no one outside the cult knew that was his goal. The cult site is raided, and it is discovered that all the members committed suicide, with only one young girl having survived. In the present the girl, Sarah, is contacted by film maker Maggie. Maggie wants to take Sarah back to the cult site in order to discover what happened, and why the members all killed themselves. When they get there, Sarah slowly uncovers her memories of Jim’s goal, while Maggie admits to be the daughter of one of the FBI agents that raided the site. As the two of them, and Maggie’s crew, search for answers they begin to experience paranormal activity, and are attacked.

Impressions:

The Veil suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. It sets up a very compelling “cult leader, killer” plot line, but then jumps ship to a paranormal ghost story. It’s not that the ghost story is bad, nor is it that the cult story is. However neither really seem to connect correctly. Instead you are left with the feeling that the people working on the film attempted to combine two horror sub-genres, hoping to come up with something unique. That being said the plot is not horrible. It’s not the greatest story you will get in a horror movie, but it’s interesting enough to keep the viewer engaged.

Thomas Jane does an exceptional job, as the cult leader Jim Jacobs. He personifies the crazy, yet charismatic person we expect him to be. The background characters also do a good job, filling their roles, and doing the most with their limited screen time. Shockingly the probably top billed Jessica Alba and Lily Rabe are the worst of the group. It’s not that either of them do a poor job (they do not), but they have very little range. Sarah and Maggie both stay rather stiff and hollow throughout the entire movie, despite how much they are discovering, and how many horrible things happen. They are completely eclipsed by the rest of the cast, which is surprising and a little disappointing.

The filming could also use a little work. The movie was planned to be found footage, and I am glad they scrapped that idea. However the film lacks any interesting camera angles or shots. In replacement for those, there are fish-eye lenses, and strong use of filters. The grey filter over the entire film works well, it fits perfectly with the tone of the movie. However nothing makes up for the fact that the camera is pretty much set up in a straight on shot the entire movie. It suffers from a need to really work on the creative use of the camera.

All that being said it’s not a bad movie. While it’s hardly going to top my list for favorite horror films it has it’s moments. It focuses more on suspense and story than gore, which is welcome considering gore porn has kind of over taken horror. The story again has it’s missteps, but is interesting. The pacing is hit or miss, but is overall solid. The movie is good, not great, but good.

It also begs the question of what it means to be a “straight to video” movie in this day and age. It’s not the expected b flick that is cringe worthy, but funny. It’s a solid horror film that stands up to many that we’ve actually seen in theaters. I have to give it credit, movie sales are progressively getting worse meaning movies like this would suffer from a box office release. However it doesn’t take “straight to video” to mean “we can be lazy”. Despite knowing it would never be on the big screen, great care and effort was put into making this movie solid.

Bottomline:

I can’t say it’s good, but I can’t say it’s bad either. It was an interesting experience, and one I am ultimately glad I had. I have my complaints, specifically with the boring use of the camera, and the confused story. That being said it was an ok experience. It’s one I would recommend, just with the disclaimer of “you will not love it”. It certainly over comes the “straight to video” expectations that I had.

News, Video Games

PS4 and Vita Getting Neverending Nightmares

In 2014 Neverending Nightmares released for PC. The game has players going through a series of nightmares as the character is trapped in them. The game dealt directly with mental illness including depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It received a lot of positive reviews and feedback for it’s unique style, and story telling. Vita and PS4 gamers will be able to play the game later this year. It will actually include updated content for the console and handheld version of the game, including an update to the graphics. There will also be updates to the way the narrative, and branching stories play out, to give it a unique experience from the PC version. The creative director of Neverending Nightmares took to PlayStation’s blog in order to give a lot of details of the upcoming game.

News, Video Games

New Trademarks to get Hype Over?

As you may or may not have heard some interesting trademarks have popped up in the gaming world. The first two are Pokemon Moon and Pokemon Sun. In addition to the trademarks, new logos have actually been seen for the titles. Tomorrow Nintendo will be doing a Pokemon Direct so we could be seeing an announcement related to these trademarks/logos. That being said trademarks happen fairly often in the gaming world, and there is not always something to show for it. At this point it is simple speculation until we get a real announcement.

The other big trademark turning heads is Alan Wake’s Return. There is no news at all for what this means for the Alan Wake franchise, other than someone is thinking enough about it to trademark it. In the past developers have said that wouldn’t mind returning to Alan Wake, but have not given any hints other than that. This news could mean a new game, or could mean a remastered version of Alan Wake coming to new consoles.

Either way gamers have this news to talk about, and hopefully we will be getting solid news one way or the other soon.

Video Games

You Really Don’t Want These Achievements

A lot of video games like to include achievements that you might not actually want to unlock. They require you to do embarrassing things, or make fun of how bad you’ve done in the game. Yet the perfectionist in so many of us just can’t stop ourselves, we have to get them. Here are some of the achievements you really don’t want, but will get anyway. Note I won’t be including achievements that require you to do something “evil” or terrible in that way, just rather embarrassing.

Lollipop Chainsaw: I Swear! I Did It By Mistake!

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Embrace your inner perv and mess with the camera to look up Juliet’s skirt. Doing so will earn you 10g and more than slightly embarrassing achievement. In fairness it might actually be possible to accidentally get this one, but we all know that’s not how it happens.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection: Snake Beater

You can pretty much guess what this achievement involves given the name. Go into a locker, look at a sexy picture, and wait for Snake to get excited. Once Snake is caught “being excited” you will get 10g. Is it worth it?

Fallout 4: Touchdown!

Despite the title of the achievement you don’t actually do anything worthwhile to get this, in fact you are more like “the ball” rather than the person scoring. Touchdown! is awarded when you manage to get yourself blown up and go flying. You get 10g and everyone knows you messed up.

Penny Arcade Episode 2: Pervert

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This achievement just gets right to it. You have to be a pervert and keep examining the balls on a binoceros. Once you look at them five times you will get your 15g. Plus you got to experience the joys of checking out a pair of balls over and over.

Fable II See the Future: The Paramour

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Have sex 25 times in Fable II and earn 10g. In fairness the sex scenes in this game are less “sexy” and more “cheesy”, but that sort of adds to the embarrassment. Everyone is going to know that you took the time to go through the many steps required in order to get the really bad sex scene at least 25 times.

Dead or Alive 4: 20 Straight Losses in DOA Online

This should win an award for worst achievement title ever. As it says you have to lose 20 times in a row to get this achievement, and you will earn 0g for doing so. However games with 0g achievements still require you to unlock those to technically complete all the achievements for the game. Not only is it embarrassing but the game kind of slaps you in the face for it.

Guitar Hero II: Long Road Ahead

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Fail a song on Easy and earn yourself 10g. In fairness you can pretty much say you did this on purpose, but still, you have an achievement for failing a song on easy.

 

Dead Rising 2 Off the Record: Adult Content

The description tells you to take an extremely erotic picture. Not just erotic, extremely erotic. When you look at a guide it tells you to find what is basically 4 sex toys and take a picture. Congrats you got 20g, and took an extremely erotic picture.

Duke Nukem Forever: Turd Burglar

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Grab a piece of poo out of a toilet and get yourself 10g. Like most of this game it’s just shameful.

F.E.A.R.: Afraid

You get this for finishing a multiplayer game with a negative score. You can set this up in order to get it on purpose, or just be very bad at the game. Either way you will get 0g, and like the DOA achievement if you want to technically 100% this game you need to unlock the achievement.

So there you have it, 10 achievements that require more than a little shame to have on your achievement list. Happy hunting!

Horror, News

Writers Join Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Not long ago we told you that Guillermo del Toro joined the crew for the movie adaptation of, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the popular “children’s” book. While del Toro’s role is still up for debate, the movie is pushing forward. Dan Hageman and Kevin Hagemen have signed on as writers for the movie. The two worked together on Hotel Transylvania and The Lego Movie. The movie has gone through a number of writers, however the Hagemans have worked with del Toro before. We will continue to bring news as it unfolds.

News, Video Games

Rocket League Gets the Batmobile

To celebrate the release of Batman vs Superman, Rocket League is offering the Batmobile as DLC. Starting March 8th gamers can download the Batmobile, and 3 new antenna flags for $1.99 US. It’s not the first time that Rocket League has featured popular cars from other media in their game. The Batmobile looks sleek, and should be a treat for fans of the Dark Knight. Of course after enjoying the new car in game, you can see the movie later in March.

News, Video Games

New Farming Simulator Announced

The latest edition of Farming Simulator will be heading to PC, PS4, and Xbox One by the end of 2016. Farming Simulator 17, was officially announced by Focus Home Interactive, though no actual details have been revealed as of yet. The developers, Giants Software, have said that they feel like their audience is constantly growing, and they are looking forward to continue to develop the games. There were hints that new features would be added to the game, but gamers will have to wait for the exact details. We will bring you more as it’s revealed.