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Category Archives: video games

In The Game: ‘Shadow Of the Colossus,’ ‘The Darkside Detective’ Reviewed

For the gamers out there, the last few weeks have seen some fun releases hit digital and physical store shelves. One was a pretty big deal, the other has gone a little under the radar – depending on your system, they’re both well worth your time. Read the rest of this entry

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A Beginner’s Experience with the Nintendo Switch

My daughter and my mother recently teamed up to get me a pretty sweet birthday present – a Nintendo Switch. I’ve never really been a Nintendo guy, mind you. Back in the late 1980s, when your choice was either the SEGA Master System or the Nintendo Entertainment System, I went SEGA. At the time, I regretted the decision. A lot.

SEGA had few, if any, licensed games, so I thought I was missing out on familiar titles. Over the years, as consoles came and went, I did get a Nintendo 64, which featured the two greatest WWE games in history – Wrestlemania 2000 and No Mercy. I bought a Wii when I was in my 30s with the idea that it would replace the gym… but it didn’t. Meanwhile, I kept up with my Sony Playstation, which began with the first console in 1997 and that has been updated every iteration since.

However, the truth is The Princess wanted me to have a Nintendo Switch. She’s sweet that way. And I wanted her to be able to use one, as well. I’d rather she play games than get sucked into the YouTube void of Minecraft videos and Blind Bag Unboxings. So on my birthday, it was Nintendo Switch day.

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Roam Blackwood Pines Sanatorium on PSVR as ‘The Inpatient’

 

The Inpatient is the kind of game that, on the surface, seems like the kind of game I’ve been waiting for on the PSVR: a meaty, immersive horror experience in the vein of the incredible Resident Evil 7. While some of that may be true – it is a good, solid psychological horror experience – it suffers from a lot of the same issues that plague most VR games. More after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: How to Survive Another Insane Year Edition

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“I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.”
—Sir Ian McAwesome

Maybe not quite the turn. But there’s glimmers out there, amongst the horrible. Steel yourselves. 2017 topped 2016, and as for 2018, well, the Big History™ is gonna go down in 2018.

What a gorgeous Christmas Eve! Watching the snow fall in an enveloping blanket of white, it’s tempting to think this awful year (in a series of) is being wiped away. In last year’s gift guide I called 2017 for the shitshow it turned out to be. But one hardly needed to be Nostradamus to see that coming. As your holiday festivities unfold, here’s another list of warnings, inspirations and panaceas. Spread ‘em around or take ‘em to heart as you see fit. Make that egg nog a good stiff one as I peer into my palantír. It’s way too late to pick any of this stuff up for Christmas, but let’s look out longer, goodly holiday peoples. The way is dark, but there’s always light, if you know where to look.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Video Games Galore for Adults and Kids

So many video games have come out this year, it’s hard to choose the best ones to throw on a recommendation list. But, I’m going to try. Here, you’ll find recs for games we’ve covered over the past year – some are for adults only, while others are suitable for kids and families.

Resident Evil

Resident Evil: Biohazard – Whether you’re playing this in VR or just straight up via your joystick, this is hands down the scariest game that I have ever experienced, and I’ve played a lot of horror games. Check out our review here, and trust me, if you’ve got a horror gamer in your life that hasn’t touched this one yet, put Resident Evil: Biohazard under the tree.

Outlast 2

Outlast 2 – Cults and gore might make for strange bedfellows at the holiday season, but horror gamers will be nicely served with Outlast 2, a first person game where you’re sans weapons and more about trying to keep yourself alive. Our review for the Trinity edition of Outlast gives you all the details. DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE KIDDIES!

Shadow Of War

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – Tolkien lovers were well-served this year with the release of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the gorgeous sequel to Shadows of Mordor.  The game continues the story of Talion, the thoughtful ranger who has merged with the wraith of Elf Lord Celebrimbor, and takes place between the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Our full review is hereRead the rest of this entry

Guest Writer Gabriel Marcoccia on ‘Horizon: Frozen Wilds’ DLC Review

All of the best game play moments and machine fighting action from the hit open world game Horizon returns in Guerrilla Games’ latest add on – Frozen Wilds. This DLC comes packed with more high-stake quests, intriguing side missions and a load of new weapons, armours and abilities to help you square off against some of the baddest machines birthed by GAIA prime. In this new chapter of the game, Aloy returns to explore a demonic plague that appears to be corrupting the machines surrounding the Banuk tribe in a snowy covered, heavily forested area known as ‘The Cut’. While Frozen Wilds is a self-contained stand-alone story, the episode itself ties in seamlessly with the tight knit story arc of Zero Dawn – throwing gentle nods to familiar characters and events from the main story. As most fans of the game likely finished Horizon earlier this year, the tight integration with the main story arc really kicks off the adventure while still rooting you in Horizon’s lore.

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31 Days of Horror: Friday the 13th – The Puzzle Game Coming to Mobile Platforms in 2018

Slayaway Camp Devs Sharpen Machetes on a Brand New ”Killer Puzzle”

From the makers of Slayaway Camp—the award-winning “Bloodiest Puzzle Game Ever”—comes an even more frightening puzzler starring one of horror’s most iconic killers. Now you can go behind the hockey mask of Jason Voorhees on his mission to murder unfortunate campers at Crystal Lake and beyond.

Players control Jason by sliding him around an isometric puzzle level to attack his victims, either directly with a variety of weapons, or indirectly, by frightening them into environmental hazards like campfires, bear traps, and woodchippers. Gruesome reflex-based “Kill Scenes” punctuate the puzzling as you progress through multiple episodes, from classic campgrounds to more exotic locations such as Manhattan, abandoned amusement parks, supermax prisons, beach resorts, outer space and more.

“I loved the balance of horror and humor the Blue Wizard guys brought to Slayaway Camp,” said Friday the 13th series creator Sean Cunningham, “and I’m thrilled to see their take on Friday the 13th.”

“Though it might surprise PopCap players, I’m a lifelong hardcore horror fan,” said Blue Wizard founder Jason Kapalka.  “But it’s pretty hard to make a terrifying game on your phone! As with Plants vs Zombies, we’re taking a more playful, tongue-in-cheek approach than is usual for Friday the 13th, while still paying genuine tribute to all those classic films.”

F13: TPG will be initially released on iPhone and Android devices as a ”Free to Slay” title with optional purchases. “We’re sensitive to the concerns a lot of players have with free to play titles,” said Kapalka. “We’re definitely trying to avoid the more obnoxious money-grabs. They’ve promised to send Jason after us if it sucks.”

About Blue Wizard Digital

Blue Wizard Digital was started by Jason Kapalka, who previously co-founded PopCap Games (Bejeweled, Peggle, Plants vs Zombies). Their first game, Slayaway Camp, was released Halloween 2016 to critical acclaim on Steam, iOS, and Android platforms, followed by console release on Xbox One and PS4 this Halloween.

Take a trip back to Middle-Earth with Shadow of War

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For those that were underwhelmed by Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-Earth with his Hobbit trilogy a few years ago, take solace in the fact that JRR Tolkien’s world of wizards, elves and rings continues to enjoy a stellar life in the gaming world.

Three years following the release of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor, Monolith and Warner Brothers Games have returned with the outstanding new game, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.

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31 Days of Horror – visiting the house of horrors of Resident Evil: Biohazard

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sit at the Sawyer family dinner table in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or stare across from one of the Firefly Family from Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses, look no further than Resident Evil: Biohazard.

The Capcom franchise, which made its debut on the original PlayStation console all the way back in 1996, was an originator of the survival horror genre of gaming in addition to spawning several sequels and a hugely successful movie series that released its concluding entry this past January.  Each Resident Evil spin-off has had their fair share of lovers and haters, but following the muted response to Resident Evil 6’s shifted focus towards action gaming tropes rather than horror, it was clear to Capcom that a new Resident Evil installment would need to up the scare factor.

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Gran Turismo: Sport – Great racing, but feels a bit empty.

One issue I’ve had with Gran Turismo on the whole is that it always felt too serious. You needed to practically BE a race car driver to understand exactly how to win races. Controls were hard to master and I just liked the arcade racers more because my skill level lent itself better to that style.

While that seriousness is still present, Gran Turismo: Sport on Playstation 4 is a really good racing game that is more fun than I remember them ever being. The AI seems to learn and adapt to your style, so that a move you tried passing with on the last lap won’t work on the next one. You have to constantly adapt as well because other cars are actually aggressive and smart. Decorating your car is fun and customizing the look and feel is something that you can lose hours doing.

While there are a lot of cars to choose from and a number of different locations to race in, the game feels a bit…empty. I played GT:6, and the selection and emphasis on car collecting is missing here. Yes, you can collect them, but the sheer volume of 6 just isn’t here. It seems that with the omission of the number 7 after this game’s title, this game was developed as a stop-gap between 6 and 7, and it feels like that: a stripped-down version of something that could have and should have been just, more.

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