3.13.2017

RiME Gets a Release Date!

     RiME has had a rocky production since its announcement at the at Sony's Gamescom 2013 Press Conference, but Tequila Works' game has finally received a set release date!


     Rime appears to be an amalgam of Journey, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and the Team Ico games and set on a strange Myst-like island.  The story is of a boy needing to find a way off the island and away from its terrible curse.

     What has me most excited is that it sounds like the game has a few procedurally generated elements, or it may change depending on how you play it.  In an interview with Polygon, the game's creator, Raúl Rubio Munárriz, said, "-"Every time you explore this island or islands you are going to experience it differently."  So not only might there be more than just one island, but it changes.
     Going on he says:
     "The island is a paradise, but that does not mean that what you see at the start is the same as what you see at the end. This is not a game about black and white. It is not about good and evil. We are trying to play with what the player takes for granted. This is a puzzle adventure game but that doesn't mean that you are going to enter houses and start gathering stuff. I see this environment, it is beautiful, but something is wrong. Who built this?"
     RiME will arrive on PC, PS4, and XBox One on May 26th, and at a later date for the Nintendo Switch.

     I also wonder if odd capitalization on the name probably has ties to the tower featured in the game.

     For related posts [ Rime ]

Streets of Rogue: Short Review

     I've had my eye on developer tinyBuild's gem of a game called Streets of Rogue since last September, and this weekend I finally got to it.  Taking a top down rogue-like approach to stealth shooters, the game is a procedurally-generated sandbox world game tasking players with completing a series of missions in each level on a quest as a member of a resistance.


     How you complete those missions is completely up to you.  Need to steal a tooth from a safe? You can set off the alarms, poison the air supply, bribe guards, or just smash your way through the walls.  What amazes me is the sheer absurdity of what you can do in the game.  Considering there's 40 characters (not all unlocked initially) there's a lot of opportunity.
     So a hacker can hack computers to open doors and not rudely read peoples' emails, doctors may tranquilize someone, and soldiers can blast their way through mobs of people, where a scientist might use a shrink ray or a growth serum to get the job done.
     Though each character also suffers a deficit in some area so they aren't all powerful.  As the gorilla, I was really tough and strong, but couldn't speak English and it eliminated the possibility of  talking to any other characters (other gorillas would follow me however).

Nobody expects a gorilla with a hard hat and a wrench to be the bad guy.
     The only negative I've found with Streets of Rogue is the multiplayer is all messed up.  I couldn't get either local co-op, nor the online to work.  Granted it's still in the early release stage so I'd give it time to really get the bugs worked out for the full co-op experience.

     There's a brilliance in the way tinyBuild has somehow reduced a game to basics, but expanded it's depth of experience that is kind of staggering.  I highly recommend giving Streets of Rogue a chance, it's worth every cent.  It's got great gameplay, great music and sound effects, and what I like best is how brief the experience can be.  Once you understand the fundamentals, you can dive in play a few levels, and quit.  Then jump in again at a later time without an issue.  Trying out new characters just to see how the world reacts to your silly antics is a sublime kind of enjoyment.  Streets of Rogue is just loaded with silly humor and crammed with fun gameplay.  I honestly haven't had this much fun with a rogue-like game for a long time.

     Streets of Rogue on STEAM for $14.99 (get 10% until March 17th- $13.39)

3.10.2017

Stained: Awesome New Sci Fi Comic Series from 451 Entertainment Arriving May 3rd!

     David Baron (colorist of Valiant comics' great books Divinity, Doctor Mirage, and Bloodshot Reborn) will show off his considerable writing talents with 451 Entertainment's new sci fi noir title Stained.  He'll be pulling double duty, and will still be coloring the book himself, while Yusuf Idris handles the illustration side of things.

     "Meet Emma London: recovery artist and bounty hunter for hire. She is strong, possibly indomitable, and did we mention...part machine. 
     Emma is the type that dives head first into things that most wouldn’t and shouldn’t. Those dark places that no one else will go to track down the subhuman criminals lurking in the underbelly of society and brings them to justice. STAINED first comes to life with Emma trying to take down a pair of international diamond smugglers. Emma's story explodes forward when initially what was thought to be a hunt for priceless painting with a record high bounty, leads her to something darker and more monstrous than she could have ever imagined."
     Stained looks like it might give Masamune Shirow's classic Ghost in the Shell a run for its money.  The book has definitely nailed the cyberpunk dystopian future tone properly.  It's also got action, its got violence, and its got a whole lot of a Blade Runner feel to it- which is always a good thing.  It means the book is being handled right.

     And it doesn't hurt that the trailer is spectacularly done for a comic book!  Seriously, 451 Entertainment has yet to have a dud of a comic.  Every single series they've published is great, and this is just one more to add to that number.

     Stained #1 hits store shelves on May 3rd.

     Official Sites [ 451 Entertainment ] [ Twitter ] [ Facebook ] [ Youtube ]

     451's Comics on [ Comixology ]

     My 451 comic reviews [ HERE ]

STYX: Shards of Darkness Launch Trailer!

    The highly anticipated follow up to the tremendous Styx: Master of Shadows, Shards of Darkness, is finally arriving next week and we get an all new launch trailer to whet our appetites!


     Cyanide Studios' stealthy goblin assassin returns with a new mission- steal the scepter of an ambassador for a mysterious new human named Helledryn.  The reward for this dangerous task?  An absurd amount of Amber- the highly addictive source of his strange powers.

     Armed with his trusty blade, creative new ways to kill people, some reliable old supernatural skills, and even some new co-op play- Styx will need all the stealth and snark he can muster to achieve his goal to make it through a web of deadly intrigue in this world of dark fantasy cloak-and-dagger.

     Styx: Shards of Darkness launches Tues. Mar. 14th.

     Related posts [ STYX ]

3.08.2017

Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City: New Screenshots Revealed

     With a mere 3 weeks until the release of the final Dark Souls 3 DLC content, The Ringed City, we are sure to get tons of teaser hype.  Today Bandai-Namco and From Software have given us a bunch of new images and snippets of text to whet our appetites.


An ancient city that has sunken under darkness.
 
Many things have sunken, but at the same time, many have arose.

Because there may be spoilers contained in the images and descriptions click to continue:


3.07.2017

Warner Bros.' DC Films: Quick Thoughts About Comics Looking Towards R-Rated Films

     After ignoring what fans have been bitching about for years, the box office numbers of Fox's Deadpool film, and last weekend's Logan raking in huge numbers, have made some studios rethink the ratings on their own films.  Deadpool had over $130 million just for the opening weekend.
     The Wrap reports that an Insider at Warner Bros.' DC Films recently said that, "With the right character(s)" they would definitely make an R-rated film.  A "100% yes," they would consider making a more adult oriented movie.


     Granted there have been previous R-rated superhero films such as Blade, Kickass, and Watchmen, but I worry that the studio goal is to simply make money, without putting in the effort to understand why Deadpool and Logan are doing so damn well at the box office.
     DC Comics in film has generally been handled very poorly.  Zack Snyder doesn't seem to grasp what makes these iconic characters important and lasting, and the result can be clearly seen in the vast difference between the abominable Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Christopher Nolan's tremendous Batman: The Dark Knight.  Would making BvS: Dawn of Justice an R-rated film give it the boost it needed?  Not really, as the extended version showed.  It was a better version than the theatrical cut, but it still fell short of what is should've been.  They need to learn character insight before a rating will make a difference.  Deadpool nailed the character, and Logan got it almost 100% right- it made a giant leap forward and I think the first 2/3 is amazing and then it falters a bit.  What is important with Logan is they learned that they need to make a good film first, then add the R, as I'd been complaining about for years.  It's why X-Men: Apocalypse was garbage, they didn't make a good story.

     Not every comic book movie needs the grittier reboot.  The rating doesn't matter if the writers and directors don't "get it."  Look at how shitty the first two Wolverine films were.  As the Insider mentions, with the right character an R rating could do very well.  Ben Affleck's Batman in the right hands could be an R rated masterpiece.  Think of Casino or Goodfellas with the Batman- a hardcore crime story filled with the mob focused villains, and maybe a very serious take on the Riddler.  It could be absolutely astounding, but I doubt it would work with Snyder a the helm.  He lacks the fundamental knowledge of the underlying significance of these characters.  We need a Scorsese leading the project, something handled by people that understand more than a simple good looking shot.  They have to know what makes the stories and characters matter, and in the end it needs to come down to substance over spectacle.

     Source [ The Wrap ]

Red Dog: Issue 3 Review (451 Entertainment)


THE TEAM

     Red Dog, 451 Entertainment's newest series, is brought to us by writer/creator Rob Cohen (director of The Fast and the Furious, XXX, and- one of my top 3 favorite films of all time- Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and adapted by Andi Ewington (writer of 451's  Sunflower and Six, as well as his tremendously entertaining self-published series Overrun).  With this new issue Alex Cormack takes over illustration duties for Rob Atkins, although the coloring is still handled superbly by John Rauch.

THE STORY

     Kyle's had a rough life.  Being the only kid on an inhospitable mining colony on the planet Kirowan is tough, but it's even tougher when you are living in the shadow of a former sibling and your only friend is a robot dog named Q.  Luckily for Kyle, his newest Birthday gift from his inventor Uncle was 5 more robot dogs.
     After getting his 5 new canine companions, Kyle steals a bunch of miscellaneous stuff to customize the looks of all the dogs, which swiftly gets him into trouble.  The colony's council decides Kyle can keep the stuff he stole, and the dogs may be kept, but he has to work off the debt- in short they think he needs to grow up.  Kyle takes this in stride and sets out to work, but during a play break with the dogs, Red Dog accidentally escapes the protective dome the colonists live in during a time when the natives are on a hunt.
     Kyle's decision to venture into the desolate environment of Kirowan to find the titular Red Dog sets in motion a series of events that reveal a new clue to the natives' lives and shows that not all of them are dangerous- some may even be friendly.  A group of colonists set up a search party, Kyle and the dogs get into danger, and circumstances take a very dark turn and some characters might not make it back alive.

THE REVIEW

     The new art style is a welcome change, it isn't too harsh of a change, and the lighter style makes Kyle's youth more apparent.  It also helps make individual characters more distinct, because at times it was a bit unclear previously.
     On it's own, this issue feels much more like a calm breath before the storm to come, but I mean that in a good way.  Red Dog issue 3 reads like a great segue to the future, it points to a monumental finale.  The writers are definitely setting up some big things for the final 3 issues.  We haven't gotten any more hints towards a big reveal about Kyle's relationship to his brother from issue 2, or of the huge implications about the 23rd century discovery of the time-travelling element Imperium the mining colony is after.   Both have taken a back seat to Kyle's story of heading into the desert while the war of Kirowan's natives on the outside is ramping up.  The book is shifting gears looking more towards survival with a journey into the deadly alien landscape and I'm quite eager to see where these story threads all lead to.

     Red Dog 3 hits the stands tomorrow (Wednesday Mar. 8th)

     Official Sites [ 451 Entertainment ] [ Twitter ] [ Facebook ] [ Youtube ]

     451's Comics on [ Comixology ]

     For more 451 comic reviews [ HERE ]

*Review copy provided by 451, Thank You!

2.23.2017

Cover Up for Killers in Serial Cleaner Coming to PS4 Summer 2017

     I stumbled across this trailer this morning and really am excited for it.  Serial Cleaner is what happens when killers need their tracks covered by a specialist.

     "Serial Cleaner is a story-driven, fast-paced stealth/action game, characterized by a 1970s theme and aesthetics. You are a professional cleaner. Your job is to clean up murder scenes by disposing bodies, covering up blood stains and hiding murder weapons and other incriminating evidence."
     The stylized take on art and setting it in the 1970's is brilliant.  It definitely looks like a tremendous little game with hilarity.

     Serial Cleaner will be launching on PS4 in summer 2017.
          (But can be currently found in Early Access on Steam for $9.99)

2.21.2017

Fungus-Focused Platformer Mushroom 11 Infests Mobile Devices March 9th

Over a year after developer Untame's ingenious "anti-platformer" Mushroom 11 hit Steam, the game's spores will be landing on Android devices.


Mushroom 11 takes the platforming genre to entirely new levels with a genuinely unique innovation in the way it handles level traversal.  The game requires the player to destroy parts of the strange amorphous being they control to encourage it to grow and spread in other directions.  The closest thing to this game I've ever played was The Ooze for the Sega Genesis, which was very similar in concept, but Mushroom 11 certainly looks to be a huge improvement over that.

Squirm through tiny tubes, shear parts off yourself, and dissolve enemies to solve puzzles and make your way through a post apocalyptic world in Mushroom 11 on March 9th.

2.15.2017

Boor: A Tremendous Indie Sci Fi Puzzle-Platformer

     I've been impressed lately with publisher Badland Games, from their kids game Ginger: Beyond the Crystal to the hilarious and very under-rated action-RPG Zenith, and their most recent title Boor is no exception.


     Boor is the story of a girl in the future that awoken from a sleep chamber by a computer malfunction to find that the planet Eden settlement has been taken over by a rogue Artificial Intelligence.  The machine Boor was created to aide the colonists on Eden, but as with all great sci fi AIs, it turns on those it should've helped.  Boor's reign has left very few survivors, and it's up to this unique little girl to put an end to the corrupt machine's tyranny.
     The girl has a very special ability that allows her to create disposable clones.  They can pass certain walls and access areas that you may not be able to yourself.  They are vital to solving the puzzles throughout the game.  Because it doesn't matter if they die or they run out of their limited life time, you can use them to do a little exploring and scope out parts of what is to come.

     The puzzles themselves begin quite nicely, none too difficult, and gradually progresses to much more complex and tough ones, which does lead to some trial and error moments to see what is working and what isn't later in the game.  That being said, I only found the last couple puzzle-rooms to be of particular frustration, because even after figuring out what to do, the jumping mechanic is a timed one.  A tap on the button gives a short hop, and holding the button results in longer, floating jumps that can be moved around directionally with the thumb stick- which in itself isn't an issue, it's having to make numerous jumps across multiple moving platforms while also attempting to avoid getting hit by the rockets being shot at you.
     If the rockets we're just a touch slower, it'd be much less of an annoyance of having to continually die and replay the puzzle.  It's really not too awful, just something that stuck out as being just a little too difficult for the more casual feel of the rest of the game.  (Heck, there's even a small arcade about 70% through the game that offers 3 distinctly retro mini-games.)

     Boor's visual aesthetic is outstanding with the black, white, and grays comprising the main palette with some things accentuated with splashes of red are phenomenal.  It highlights what's important, and gives it a bit extra pop on the screen.  The design work is minimalistic, but it works very well for the futuristic setting.  Rounding out the experience as a whole is the original soundtrack by Paltian.  The music was good enough that I found myself pausing the game a few times just to listen to it.

     Developer Dazlog Studio has created an amazing 2D puzzle platforming experience loaded with a a downright sublime story to tie it all together.  Boor is one of those indie game gems that I'd recommend to pretty much everyone, it plays well, it looks even better, and it has captivating story that will sit in mind for some time afterwards.

Boor can be found on Steam for $4.99  It'll be 20%  ($3.99) until Feb. 21st

*Review copy of Boor was provided