We take a look at the Japanese shooter, School Girl Zombie Hunter where apparently damage leads to underwear modeling. From there we delve into the age-old discussion about how minorities never seem to survive horror movies.
We get serious as we tackle the fallout over the YouTube Heroes rollout and how it ties into the battle over political correctness, SJW’s, Gamergate and even the Alt-Right.
In our extended episode we continue our coverage of Pokémon Go gone wrong stories with a robbery caught on a Twitch stream. We discover a Japanese zombie killing game where with a press of a button you can remove the characters clothing. We even discuss the upcoming season of comic book related television shows and the new Star Trek Discovery show.
Raccoon City or Silent Hill
Why did you talk to the girl with the sexy Myspace photo that lived in the middle of nowhere? You knew that either you would end up with a serious case of blue-balls or you would end up making a lost trip to the town that time forgot. The things we do for sex and she was a sure thing, but now it is time to make the drive home only to realize it will be months before you make the trek back to see her again that is if you ever go back.
Perhaps the visions of her naked body claimed your attention at the wrong moment, but soon you find yourself on a road you don’t know. Your phone isn’t working and as you go further and further your only hope is that you can turn around or find a gas station because you really need to take a piss.
You spot a road sign that just reads “Choice, 1 mile ahead.” What the hell kind of a road sign is this, you think to yourself, but before you have a chance to curse the department of transportation you see the roads ahead of you and the choice you have to make.
So, which one will it be, Raccoon city where you are bound to meet some zombie-type creatures and other abominations not to mention umbrella goons, or do you go to Silent Hill which could be any incarnation of the games or even the movies, or maybe they will force you to watch the second movie which is a horror to behold.
What’s it gonna be?
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You vote and tell us which one you would choose and if you think you can turn back, ya, you tried that and it lead you right back here.
The first time I heard a curse word, I was actually taken aback. The nice, clean comic-book look of the game doesn’t feel like an environment where you would hear R-rated words. Adding to this feeling you also don’t expect to see gratuitous violence and bloody head-smashing, but it’s there too. ~Justin Richardson
The Walking Dead Episode 1: A New Day
Do you hear that pounding? It’s not the Tell-Tale heart under the floorboards, no, it’s your own heart racing in Telltale’s newest game. A game where you actually care about the characters.The zombpocalypse in media has been popular for a long time now. Many people feel that it’s high time it dies and is finally laid to rest. While this may appear to be the overall vocal consensus, somehow the zombie craze manages to shamble on, selling movies, games, books and perfumes. Well, probably not that last part. There are still groups out there, banding together and hanging on for life, voraciously eating up the zombie media like the living dead gathered around a corpse. Why?Perhaps we like the excitement and the thrill of the concept – the adventure of it all. Perhaps it offers us a way to fantasize about venting our frustrations of humanity, on humanity, without feeling as much as a twinge of guilt. And perhaps we’re just fascinated with the idea of reanimation. Whatever the reason, Telltale Games has just released the first episode in their The Walking Dead Pentalogy, and overall it does what you might expect a zombie adventure game to do, but rather well.
This is my first Telltale game. After going into this without having any kind of expectation I can say that I finished this two and a half hour episode with a smile on my face. None of Telltale’s previous games have ever really managed to grab my attention, but The Walking Dead feels like a good match for a developer that is revered for its focus on story, humor and having a personal touch. While Telltale may not have a lot of experience with heavy material or gritty violence, they pull this off with aplomb.
It was nice not to be stuck in the conventions of another run and gun game, which, for me, was a much needed break. Come to think of it, the protagonist, Lee Everett, throws down a shotgun in one of the first sections of the game, as if Telltale is saying, “No. This isn’t a first person shooter. We’re going to slow down and look at how these characters interact as the world collapses around them.”The game is quick to get you into the story. Lee, who I immediately feel an attachment to, finds himself in a squad car being escorted to prison for a crime that he may or may not have committed. It doesn’t take long for the player to pick up on the fact that, in the spirit of the show (and comic) you’re in Georgia, and have returned to your hometown after a long time away. There is an accident and the story quickly escalates into the chaotic mess that you have likely come to expect from The Walking Dead.
With that being said, the puzzles are actually quite fun and varied, even if they are a bit simplistic and linear. In The Walking Dead, you won’t be straining your brain or doing nonsensical things like placing wine in a time capsule and visiting the future where it has turned into vinegar. Nor will you mix cat hair and honey to make a mustache disguise. No, these puzzles are designed to be intuitive. A nice touch is that during these sequences, your perspective is constantly shifting based off of the situation or the nature of the puzzle that you have to solve. Have to unlock handcuffs – first person. Need to get from here to there – third person. Need to see a larger area – here’s a zoomed out view of the yard. I found this to be a refreshing change from static mounted-camera views, and from other games in general.
The first time I heard a curse word, I was actually taken aback. The nice, clean comic-book look of the game doesn’t feel like an environment where you would hear R-rated words. Adding to this feeling you also don’t expect to see gratuitous violence and bloody head-smashing, but it’s there too. As a result, there is a bit of dissonance between the cartoonish look of the engine, and the dark, apocalyptic feel of The Walking Dead. However odd it may feel, it’s not really a problem, and I’m glad they are approaching the material with the gravity that it deserves.
I say all of this not to fault the graphical engine. While it is admittedly dated, it’s still highly polished and works well for the comic book art style that they’ve gone for. It has the polish and feel of a late generation game engine that has been pushed to its max. Again, not a problem as it serves it purpose while still providing a slick and attractive environment.
This is predominantly a character driven story, and to this end the voice acting and dialogue is truly brilliant. A friend of mine was asking me how the voice acting was and I wasn’t immediately able to answer him. Not because I was uncertain, but because I hadn’t really noticed the voice acting at all. And I hadn’t noticed it because it was so well done that it never shook me from my immersion in the game. Bravo, Telltale. Sometimes, I was so swept up in the story that I yelled out in victory, or shrank down and felt shame over a decision I had made.
For the most part my complaints with the game are few. There were a few audio stutters and blips during the dialogue, but it wasn’t consistent enough to really hinder my experience. However one of the most glaring issues wasn’t technical at all. There is a section of the game where a character doesn’t know how to put batteries into a radio, or what kind of batteries it could possibly ever need. This really serves to undermine the believability of that character and to shatter the player’s suspension of disbelief. This wouldn’t have been something to point out in a bad game, but The Walking Dead is otherwise intelligent and well conceived.
I’m not sure how differently the game would have played out had I made different choices, and I’m anxious to go back and replay it in a different way. There are a total of three save slots, so Telltale has accommodated the curious player like myself. Heck, I’m curious like a cat. I have a couple of friends that call me Whiskers. So I intend to fill all three slots.
The length of this episode felt about right for the first episode of five. I beat it in one sitting and never felt like my attention was drifting. For $25 this is a nice, bite-sized morsel of splendid content.
Fans of the excellent Idle Thumbs podcast will note the inclusion of names such as Sean Vanaman & Jake Rodkin in the opening credits. At an early stage in the episode, a character mentions “Ol’ Breckon” down the road, which is of course represents another Thumb member, Nick Breckon. This reminds me of the mention of Christopher di Remo and Jackie Rodkins in Bioshock 2, thanks to Steve Gaynor. Also himself. These guys are name dropping each other all throughout your videogames. Oh, Idle Thumbs. If you don’t know who they are, go check out their podcast.
Spolier alert! This video shows all of Episode 1
If you’re not entirely sick of zombies and are looking for a fun change of pace and some interesting characters, you should probably pick this up for PC, Mac, on the Playstation Network or Xbox Live Marketplace. I for one am not sick (or infected) of zombies. I realize that I’m in a constantly shrinking minority, but I find that there is something primal and fascinating about the juxtaposition of our modern world with this catastrophic zombie event. Perhaps even more importantly, I feel that we are drawn to the idea because it provides humanity with two important things that we perhaps otherwise lack: unity and purpose. Maybe reading World War Z has renewed my interest in the genre and Telltale happened to come in at the right time to give me an interest boost. At any rate, enough waxing zombitic. Go play The Walking Dead.
I’ve never been a big fan of Telltale Games. While I certainly enjoyed their official Back to the Future sequel, I never felt the need to actually finish it. I only made it through about ten minutes of Jurassic Park before I decided I just couldn’t get into their point and click adventure titles. (I had a similar experience with Escape From Monkey Island, which is a LucasArts,so it’s probably my aversion to the genre, not the quality of the games themselves). I’d made peace with this realization.
Then, something unexpected happened. I started to hear people proclaiming The Walking Dead as not only a phenomenal title, but to some credible sources (and also Spike TV) it’s been named a contender for . . . (trumpet fanfare) Game of the Year. A point and click adventure title beating out such powerhouses as Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, and Dishonored? Could it really be that good?
Yes it could. For one thing, it’s very difficult to bring genuine emotional resonance into the world of a video game, but The Walking Dead succeeds at doing just that. I’ll bypass all spoilers but provide a little exposition to explain how. From the outset of the story, you are partnered with an eight-year-old girl named Clementine. How you decide to protect her is entirely up to you, but I promise you will have an immense emotional attachment to her before the final episode one credits roll. Clementine provides but one example of the care and consideration taken with all the characters; none of them feel generic or written simply to serve as plot devices. Each other character you encounter has unique motivations besides survival—some you will love, and some you will loathe, but they all feel like real people and not typical video game characters. Choosing who lives or dies is never an easy task, and there are always looming ramifications for each difficult decision you make. You’ll feel empathy for the characters far more than you might in a typical game, a true testament to the amazing storytelling and attention to detail that absolutely gushes from the well-polished narrative.
Lee Everett, the main protagonist, is one of the most developed characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. His journey is not some obligatory quest to bash some zombie skulls with a wrench. Lee casts a real shadow on the player; I genuinely cared about him. If there is an award given for voice acting, David Fennoy deserves to win it hands down, as he delivers each line of dialogue perfectly.
Finally, as a former native of Georgia, each of the locations represented was recreated perfectly, from the opening scene on Interstate 85 to the eventual journey to River Street in Savannah, I actually felt like I was back home in the peach state.
Much like previous Telltale Games, you use a four tied conversation tree that corresponds with each direction of your control pad. Unlike previous titles, however, in The Walking Dead all of your choices are timed (and some you only have mere seconds to make). There is absolutely zero backtracking to see different options or outcomes. This gives each of the choices a weight that just didn’t exist in similar point and click adventure games; once you make a decision, you are stuck with it unless you restart the entire chapter. On top of that, your choices directly affect how other characters react to you and behave in the narrative overall. This minor tweak to the familiar formula makes all of the difference; it turns what some might describe as an interactive movie into one of the best titles I’ve played in a long time. This is a game you are going to enjoy multiple times just so you can see the outcome of different choices.
Even if you’ve never enjoyed a point and click adventure before, I’m certain this will be the exception.
One would think that with a name like Zombie Nation the game itself would have to be awesome. However, this is based on the Japanese game, Abarenbō Tengu and features a disembodied samurai head as the main hero.
Released in 1990 for the NES by KAZe, Zombie Nation follows the story of an alien named, Darc Seed, (See what they did there?) that fell to earth on a meteor. Unfortunately, the meteor fell right smack in the middle of the Nevada desert, (See what they did there?).Then the alien used magnetic rays to turn everyone in the United States to zombies.
One also might think that would be enough to send in the head of the samurai, but it was not until Darc Seed stole the legendary samurai sword, Shura that the cavalry came, in the form of a headless, undead samurai.
In Zombie Nation you control the samurai head as you blast American zombies with your laser eye beams and you can take out structures as well which will come in handy when you have to take out the Statue of Liberty who has come to life and is wreaking havoc, (Yes, they went there.) Oh, and if eye beams are not enough you can vomit. Where does the vomit come from? Do not ask those types of questions.
Overall, the game is weird, but not that good. There are four stages and two difficulty settings (easy and hard) and at the end you fight Darc Seed and free the Americans, you did not kill, from their zombification.
If they had a game like this in typing class, I would have stayed awake. The Typing of the Dead is considered more of a mod or remake because of how closely it is to House of the Dead 2. The game plays just like the first-person rail shooter where your mission is to take out zombies, but instead of a gun, you use your keyboard.
No, seriously, each zombie or monster has a word and you must type out the word fast enough to kill it. How does it know you typed the word or if you spelled it right? I think those questions asked means you are sympathetic to the zombie cause so shut up and play!
As far as bosses, you will have to type out answers to questions and for the final boss there are alternate endings if you type out different answers. I think we need a season of The Walking Dead that covers this.
The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.~J.A. Laraque
Games: Most let down, Most hopeful
The New Year is a time to look forward with all kinds of resolutions, most of them that you will not keep and it is also a time to look back on the year. When it comes to gaming there is always room for reflection and regret. There is also always that hope that the next game that’s coming is the one that will keep you enthralled for months or more.
A post like this could be long, but for me it’s simple. There are two games that I thought about the most in 2011. One let me down worse a blind date setup by your grandmother and the other brings me hope like a wink from that girl across the room.
Most let down: Dead Island
Less we forget, let’s take a look at this video.
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Seriously, how did we get from that to the game that was launched? I guess we should have known the game would be bad when a beta copy was released to Stream instead of the real version. I remember wanting this game thinking it would be a great experience. In the end I only loved the intro and only because of that stupid song.
The game should be ninety-nine cents on the App Store. The graphics are nothing special and the gameplay is all about jump kicking zombies and driving around an island never really feeling like you are in any danger. They also had to do what all zombie games do which is make all the zombies re-spawn which just kills the feel of the game.
The voice acting was nothing great and you never cared about the characters or yourself. I also hate games where they put up barriers to keep you from places you want to go, but it’s something stupid like wooden planks in the water or the world’s largest and steepest hill.
Totally let down by this game, I tried to do the boring missing and I even tried using weaker weapons for a challenge. However, in the end the game is just bad and it makes we wish I was that little girl.
Most Hopeful: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Sure, the game sold a lot and with backing from Bioware and EA I am sure it will do better than the last Star Wars MMO. I still had my doubts and did not read too much because I did not want to spoil the game one way or another and then I played it.
First off, complete voice acting, good voice acting including multiple choices and side quests make a great RPG. For the first time in a long time I care about the story and can’t wait to see it unfold. I think about my decisions, how I act, what I do. I love the companion system that helps you solo or is great in a group and they talk and interact in the story as well.
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Old Republic even has great PVP within warzones and open world. Sure, there are bugs and if you read the forums you will see just as many complaints and whining as any other MMO, but if Bioware stays strong and adds more content, improves little by little and fixes bugs quickly this could be a game you will play for years to come.
So if you have one game to pick for biggest let down and most hopeful which would they be?
Pretty much everyone can be scared, but to be scared in a video game is more difficult than one would think. Sure, we are immersed in the game so we feel like we are really the character, but there is so much of our real life right around us and the fact that we are most likely at home and surrounded by distractions that it is hard to grip us in fear no matter how good a game is.
However, there are those moments within games where if you do not feel true fear all the time there is at least a moment or a time where you might have jumped out of your seat or walked away from the game for a moment to compose yourself. Here is a small list of some of the games that got to me in no particular order.
It was a first person shooter and we already knew what to expect somewhat, but for me at least there were a few moments where I felt scared in this game. Now for those that don’t know, Doom 3 was made fun of for not being able to use a flashlight and a gun at the same time. This really was done to try and make the game harder and scarier. To really get this to work the best thing was to be in a dark room alone, put on headphones and crank up the sound. When I got to the part in the video it scared me and I had to walk away and turn on the lights for a moment.
Silent Hill Series
Silent Hill 1 and 2 were some of the best for me, but the series as a whole had some great moments that could get to you. Honestly, most of it came from the music side, but the visuals did a decent job as well. Again, with this game it’s all about setting the mood. Like a good horror movie, you don’t watch it with the lights on or with a party going on in the next room. If you played Silent Hill like you would really watch a good horror movie it could give you quite a few frights.
Survival Horror at its finest, Resident Evil the original had some great suspenseful and scary moments. You had all the great elements for a horror movie. You had the first team gone missing, the second team goes in and their helicopter goes down and they find cover in a huge mansion. Next you have evil dogs blocking you from leaving and then the discovery of what appears to be zombies? What more could you ask for?
Resident Evil had a lot of those “WTF” moments from the dogs, to the zombies coming after you to the cool boss fights, but just being in the house and walking around was scary enough. This game had its scary moments even when you did not play in the dark, but if you did, well, I hoped you had a strong bladder.
The Legend of Zelda
This last one is not so much because of the game, but because of one particular theme that played over and over. In the Legend of Zelda when you would go into any dungeon you would hear the famous dungeon theme. The theme was meant to instill fear and danger, but the game was not really that scary.
However, when you were in later dungeons and you would hear that theme for hours it started to get to you like water torcher. At one point I had to pause and take a break to clear my head of the song and I can still hear in playing in my mind sometimes.
So there you have it, an example of a few games that scared me. Now there are a ton more, but I want to know what games scared you and why.
Finally we get a full season 2 trailer for AMC’s The Walking Dead. This awesome trailer is over four minutes long and recaps some of season one while showing that the land of despair continues in season 2. There’s nothing more to say, sit back and enjoy it then hold your breath until October 16th.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipuXgEQarPI[/youtube]
The awesome zombie series from AMC, The Walking Dead is back this October. Check out this teaser for season2!
[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUqDgJcbcwE[/youtube]
I came late to the party on this one. I remembered seeing the previews for the show, but never got the chance to see it. Recently, I watched all six episodes of season 1 back to back and I am so glad I did. Walking Dead is a AMC television series about a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse. It is based on a graphic novel and season 2 is being filmed now and is set to premier in October.
When I first began watching the series, I was pleased that AMC kept the gory nature of zombie movies. Believe me when I say there will be blood, gore, and death, but it is done well and fits with the story so it is not gore for gores sake.
The season begins in a small town outside of Atlanta, and by the way, it is shot on location there. The story follows the town sheriff as he wakes up in a hospital after being shot in the line of duty to find blood and bodies everywhere. Soon he discovers some of those bodies are walking and after being saved by a manand his son he learns the recently dead have begun walking.
Since this show is based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel I knew, right away the story would be decent. While it is true the survival horror of zombies has been done a lot recently, so far, this television adaptation has been excellent. The beginning visuals of the hospital with blood splattered everywhere to the rows of bodies scattered across the streets. Even when it came to killing a zombie the action is brutal with clear headshots and lots of blood, brains and guts.
The story immediately begins exploring the human condition with the father and son duo knocking out County Sheriff Rick Grimes. They were not sure who he was and because of his bandage believed he may be infected.
These are slow-walker zombies and for those who read and watch a lot of zombie flicks you will be able to understand what these people are up against. While it is not clear exactly how the zombie outbreak began, we know that a bite or scratch can turn you within a day and you can return from the dead within hours. Now while the zombies are slow there are a ton of them and we see more swarm kills than anything else. Another great thing about the show is some of the zombies are badly decomposed with some even missing parts or half their body so it’s not just a ton of extras with make-up.
The father and son story is short and leaves open the possibility for them to meet up later. The sheriff meanwhile was desperate to find his wife and daughter. The story continues with Sheriff Grimes arriving in Atlanta and being overwhelmed by the amount of zombies and finding himself trapped.
There are many great visuals in the show. From the empty streets of Atlanta to the swarm of zombies and the gruesome way they devoured a horse, this show does not pull any punches. The story makes sure to hit many common points in zombie movies like the father and son in which the father watched his wife die and turn. There is a great scene where the father has a clear shot to kill his now zombie wife, but cannot.
Grimes ends up being recused and discovers a small group of people held up in a department store. We quickly learn big cities are to be kept away from and we get to another big point in zombie stories, human survivors can be just as bad as the zombies can.
There are a lot of different character types in the show as well as races and nationalities and they do not always get along. We get to see how people lose hope and revert to their animalistic tendencies when faced with death and fighting to survive.
We also learn a little bit more about the zombies. These zombies cannot see very well, but can smell death and react to sound. Shooting off guns just brings more of them so it adds a nice plot device. At one point, the group has to cover their scent and walk through the zombies to escape.
With the group free, they meet up with a large group near a rock quarry and finally Grimes is reunited with his wife and son. Unfortunately, the peace is short lived as the group has to return to Atlanta for a left bag of guns and a person left behind. During the split, we see how the effects on the zombie attack has devastated families and we see some social advance redacted like the women being made to wash clothes while the men hunt.
There is a small amount of peace at the camp and then an attack happens. Another great thing about Walking Dead is people die. There were a few storylines you believed would continue only to find one or both persons dead the next episode. After the attack, it is decided that the group should leave and head for the CDC, but one of the men was bitten and we see how the disease attacks the body.
The story then slightly switches to that of a CDC doctor who has locked himself in the CDC while attempting to find a cure. Eventually the group arrives and the doctor lets them in. For a while there is peace as the CDC has food, water and power, but when questions on the outbreak are asked the group soon discovers it is worse than most of them thought.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but as you can guess there are not going to be many happy endings in this story. It is not clear how much of the story will focus on the outbreak itself or the character stories, but so far it is a decent mix of both. I at no point found the story boring or slow so the pacing is well done.
As said at the beginning of this article, season two is filming now and will be released in October. Overall, Walking Dead is a great series and if you like zombies or survival horror, this does it extremely well.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1v0uFms68U[/youtube]
Aeropause produced this most impressive of Dead Rising video walkthroughs, designed to teach aspiring undead slaughterers, how to swiftly rid their game worlds of enough zombies to earn them the prestigious Zombie Genocide Achievement. Go on. Watch the video. Gooood… Now, try it out yourself. You’ll make old mother happy again….
Zombies!!! 2 is, as should have already been noticed by any bearded board games’ scholar, closely related to the excellent board game Zombies!!! An expansion actually, or to elaborate a bit, a great, tidy, compact and beautifully produced expansion. Assuming those interested in Zombies!!! 2 are already Zombies!!! players (well, they really should be, as the original game is quite required to enjoy the Z!!!2 affair), I’ll get right to the new stuff. Ruleswise you get a slightly tweaked core ruleset, that helps speed the game up and clean up slight problems, a nice FAQ and quite a few brand new rules. Without wanting to spoil the overall fun-of-the-fan I’ll just mention two of them: 1) you get to ride vehicles, 2) tougher (government enhanced) zombies are introduced. Add to the improved rules:
– 15 new map-tiles that will let you fight the undead in a military base
– 30 new event cards (actually 2*15 new ones)
– 6 goofy looking but definitely nice glow-in-the-dark (super) zombies
– some blank replacement cards & tiles
– and (at last) quite a few (around 50) red heart tokens
and you’ll understand why this expansion too, is a no brainer!
That’s an (eight and a half) out of (ten).
Also check the game’s website. You’ll find free rules, expansions, the cutesy (freeware) Zombies!!! RPG and info on the other games and products in the Zombies!!! line.
As the blurb on the box says: This one’s a no brainer!
That’s an (eight) out of (ten).
Just when you thought it was safe to take an vacation you end up on Dead Island. This action adventure horror game will feature an open-ended world or island as it were, that will pit you against a horde of zombies on a tropical island.
You are at the Royal Palms Resort, a beautiful tropical island in Papua New Guinea. After a night of partying you wake up to find there has been z zombie outbreak. Now you have to not only survive, but also find a way to escape.
The game, developed by Techland and published by Deep Silver uses the Chrome Engine 5 and will offer a first person perspective and up to four-player co-operative play. Unlike some other games, the focus in Dead Island will be on melee combat including customizable weapons. In addition, there will be RPG elements like an experience system, stamina bar and a skill tree.
The game is set for a Q3 release on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3. Check out the cool “reverse” trailer.