Monday, October 28, 2013

How To Survive, DKCR 3D, Phoenix Wright, Arkham Origins, Wonderfalls and Super Fun Night  


Games: If you haven’t been paying close attention it’s probably been pretty easy to miss, but I would like todraw your attention to a recent XBLA to release called How To Survive, from EKO Software

In a nutshell, it’s a zombie survival game that takes place on a small chain of islands in the tropics.  It looks a lot like Diablo with a similar top-down perspective, and feels a bit like it, too.  However, the game places quite a bit of emphasis on finding food and water, and also hosts a respectable crafting system which allows players to create different sorts of weapons and armor (which actually show up visibly on the character) from random bits of junk.

I completed it last night and had a blast from start to finish.  The developers have created a very balanced product that feels like exactly the right size for something on XBLA, and there are loads of little nuances and interesting details that show it was created with love.  (Also, I’m a big fan of that ending.)

My review is in the can and should be out soon, but in the meantime, I could easily say that How To Survive is Recommended


I’m sure this is old news to a lot of people, but I started and finished Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D on 3DS last week, and to my complete surprise, I thought it was magnificent.

I was never a fan of the original DKC on SNES (Admit it! The only thing it had going for it was snazzy graphics!) so I expected something along the same lines here, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Although it follows the same basic formula of a giant ape platforming from left to right, the developer has wisely stripped a lot of the crap out and boiled everything down to a refined, core set of mechanics. Diddy Kong acts as a hover-jump power up, the rhino makes a return in a few levels for some crate-busting action, but otherwise it’s all about mastering timing and jumps in beautifully-designed levels.

It’s pretty rare for me to do, but I actually completed every single level in the game because I enjoyed going through them so much.  There were definitely a few hair-pullers, but overall they struck a great balance between challenging and interesting design, and every level seemed to offer at least one or two things that changed it up.

People tell me that the 3DS version is the way to go since it removes any of the waggle that was required of the console version, so that makes sense to me.  Either way, this one is definitely Recommended.


Although I’m not very far in either, just a quick mention of both Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies and Batman: Arkham Origins.

The original Phoenix Wright trilogy (and specifically, the first game) are some of my favorite titles of all time, but as the series went on, it was pretty clear that the developers weren't able to keep the high standard of quality that I expected, and I lost interest in the series.  Capcom decided to give it one more shot, though, and so far it seems like they are back on track. 

I’m only in the first case at the moment, but the graphics are super-sharp, the music is great, and the courtroom action has been satisfying.  Of course, a lot depends on how the story develops, but at the moment, I’m feeling hopeful.

I’m also at the very beginning of Arkham Origins…  I just started tonight (for review) and despite a lot of negative talk in reviews and on twitter, I’m liking what I’ve seen so far.  If nothing else it starts off better than Arkham City did, with a more measured pace and fewer things hitting the player all at once.  I’m also really interested with the premise of the Batman being hunted by at least eight different villains who are out to collect a $50,000,000 bounty on his head.

Like Phoenix, a lot will depend on how the game goes, but this beginning feels like it has its pieces in the right place.  That said, I’ve seen quite a few mentions of bugs, and at least two or three different people having problems with corrupted saves causing hours of progress to be wiped out.

Fingers crossed on both of these.


TV: The wife and I just started a new (old) series called Wonderfalls.  It only ran for two-ish seasons, and the entire series can be picked up at Amazon for something like $18.  For fans of Better Off Ted, Dead Like Me or Pushing Daisies, it’s great stuff… 

The gist is that a slacker girl working in a gift shop near Niagara Falls starts having inanimate objects speak to her, and they give her cryptic clues about people nearby.  If she doesn’t follow their direction, they annoy her incessantly, so she’s often doing their bidding against her will.  The show isn’t nearly as sinister as that sounds, though…  The clues usually lead to someone in need of help, although the path the main character takes getting there is often a circuitous and embarrassing/painful/humiliating.

The writing is sharp and the cast is strong.  I can understand why it didn’t last long on television since it’s pretty quirky and smart, but we’ve been digging it so far.  Recommended.


Ever since seeing Rebel Wilson in a few recent movies, the wife and I have been fans of her high-energy, high-confidence performances.  There really aren’t that many girls of size in Hollywood, so to see her pop up so often and in such enjoyable roles was a pleasure.  As such, we’ve been tuning into her new network show Super Fun Night, but although it started off with a decent first episode, it’s been more and more disappointing ever since.

Honestly, I think the writers are going in the absolute wrong direction.  Rather than showcasing Wilson as a strong person with self esteem and value, they quickly reverted to a constant string of food-oriented jokes and portraying her as more and more of a loser.

Who's this? Writers with the same old fat tropes and bullshit? No, we don't want any. 

Even worse, I thought it was great that she seemed to have a potential love interest with the main male character of the show, but it quickly died off as he paired up with SFN’s “hot but emotionally empty” girl despite his apparent distaste for her at the start.  I’m guessing from the latest episode that the writers are intending to break that off and eventually have his character hook up with Wilson’s, but it’s pretty lame that he couldn’t be interested in her until after testing out the “hot” one.  I mean, what’s the lesson here?  That men are never interested in bigger girls, or that bigger girls should be content with picking up someone’s sloppy seconds?

The whole thing is just disappointing and frustrating, and it seems like a horrific waste of Wilson’s dynamism.  I’ll still support her as an actress since I think it’s way past time for Hollywood to break its obsession with alarmingly-thin actresses, but I can't really get behind a show like this that seems to be plowing ahead with the same old tropes and stereotypes.


Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today confirmed that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is available to purchase digitally from today in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS™ for $29.99 / €24.99.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies sees the return of courtroom hero Phoenix Wright some eight years since his last appearance in the courts, The much loved gameplay and features from previous titles in the Ace Attorney® series return but for the first time in stunning 3D graphics, bringing the courtroom and characters to life and putting players directly in the heart of the action. Players will need to investigate each crime scene with the dynamic 3D visuals now making it possible to change views and zoom in on areas to uncover any hidden evidence or clues. In the court room the drama continues as players present their evidence, challenge witnesses and begin to unravel the truth behind each of the cases in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -Dual Destinies.


Dear opinionated gamer,
 We have upgraded and improved our official forums (with a little help from our Marvelous Online compatriots -- seriously, check out these forums, they're a huge step up!), and welcome you to join (or rejoin) us in discussing all things XSEED (or whatever other gaming or non-gaming topics you fancy!).

 This is a sacred, safe and peaceful place for you to share your thoughts and feelings about your beloved games, where everyone will be respectful and caring about each other's comments... in an ideal world.  Come on, it's a gaming forum! Crazy stuff happens. But we will be sure to do our best to make it as fun a place as possible for everyone.


505 Games, a global publisher of video games, today announced the availability of How to Survive, a third-person action adventure game that tests players’ ability to stay alive in a world where the outbreak of an unknown virus has turned most of the population into ravenous zombies. How to Survive is available on the Xbox Live online entertainment network for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC via Steam by Valve® Corporation.  

 In order to make it through the day and night, gamers must learn to fulfill their most basic needs such as seeking food, water and shelter, as well as finding an incredible variety of items to combine into dozens of handmade tools and weapons - scrap metal, tubes, bolts, fertilizer, tires, harpoons, and empty bottles are just some of the many items scattered about, but how you use them determines whether you wind up dead, alive or undead.

How To Survive is priced at $14.99 for Xbox Live and Steam. A PlayStation® Network version will be available later this fall as will a Wii U™ version via the Nintendo eShop. The game has been rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB. Stay up to date with the latest survival techniques at


The clouds of war are gathering on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita as super genre mashup CastleStorm is making its way to both systems on November 5, 2013 in North American for $9.99 and November 6, 2013 in Europe for €9.99. The game will be Cross Buy entitled, allowing players to download the game on both systems at no extra charge.

To learn more about CastleStorm and the team behind the game, check out the developer diary on the Zen StudiosYouTube Channel.

CastleStorm is a super genre mashup of 2D physics destruction mashed with tower defense brawler! CastleStormwas born out of the fond childhood memory of building and destroy Lego castles, and currently available on Xbox LIVE® Arcade and Steam for $9.99.


CONTRAST, the multi-award winning puzzle/platform game for PC, PlayStation®Store and Xbox LIVE® Arcade developed by Compulsion Games, today captivates us with its music through a new video, featuring the sublime voice of Laura Ellis.

Delivering a captivating ambiance of the brilliance of film noir mixed with the tease of burlesque and infusing a sultry jazz soundtrack, CONTRAST enthrals with every plot twist.  A unique game mechanic allows players to shift in and out of the shadow dimension playing light against dark as you make your way through a mysterious adventure. Today’s trailer reveals one of the tracks from the original soundtrack of the game, House on Fire performed by the talented jazz singer Laura Ellis. The lyrics were written by Compulsion Games and the music was composed by the talented audio team from WaveGeneration Audio, all originally scored for CONTRAST.

CONTRAST will be available mid-November, and will be available in two packages: the standard digital edition, and a Collector’s Edition which includes the Original Soundtrack of CONTRAST as well as the CONTRAST “Programme”, a 52-page art book containing the art commented throughout by the development team.


Rising Star Games has just released Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut: Ultimate Edition across North America on the PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.

 Brewed from the creative mind of Hidetaka "Swery65" Suehiro, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut: Ultimate Edition is truly deserved of theUltimate branding, containing full game and all of the previously-released downloadable content in one solid package for $29.99!

Included with Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Ultimate Edition:
Espresso Suit - Tolerance to Hunger and Tiredness x3
Field-Ops Suit - Increase HP and Attack Power x3
High Roller Suit - Money Rewards x3
Happy Songkran Suit - Money Rewards x3
Special-Ops Suit - Increase HP and Attack Power x2 - Tolerance to Hunger and Tiredness x2 - Money Rewards x2
Catgirl Outfit - Character skin only
Friday Night Outfit - Character skin only
The Blue GT - Enhanced Handling
The Devil's Red - Increased max speed and faster acceleration
The Green Drifter - Expert car, drifting capabilities
Chibi Chibi Bang Bang - Vehicle skin only
Greenvale Real Estate - Take up roots, rest, and recover from the comfort of your new home in Greenvale!

Also, While Agent York is seeing "FK" in his cup of coffee, we're seeing "VC:" Visual Companion. Clear as a crisp spring morning. The Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut: The Official Visual Companion is the sweetener to the large cup of coffee that is the Ultimate Edition. The 350+ page, highly-interactive Visual Companion is available now on the App Storefor the Apple iPad.

And like a knife, carving it's way into a plump, orange pumpkin, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut will carve its way into the hearts of PC gamers when it releases on October 29 on Steam, with new features and additional content over the PS3 release.

For more information on Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, please For more information on all RSG titles, please visit the official site:


Devolver Digital and developer Mommy’s Best Games announced that the bombastic 2D shooter Serious Sam Double D has been upgraded to Serious Sam Double D XXL on Steam! All the fantastic new content from the Xbox LIVE Arcade hit have made their way to Steam in a free title update to all current owners of the game.

Serious Sam Double D XXL is also on sale this week for $2.50 as part of Steam’s Weeklong Deals promotion. Store Page:


AbleGamers Charity is thrilled to announce the first annual AbleGamers Day will be held on October 26, 2013. The festivities began on the 25th with the largest online streaming event in AbleGamers history, which leads up to an Accessibility Arcade in Loudoun County, VA.

The Accessibility Arcade is a staple of the AbleGamers community outreach program where our assistive technology experts hold a one-day opportunity for people with disabilities and their loved ones to come out and see all of the various cutting-edge assistive technology available on the market today. Electronic Arts, winner of the 2012 AbleGamers Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year, will be offering copies of games as prizes at the event. “The launch AbleGamers Day will bring great value to the community of gamers with disabilities,” said Kelsey Wesley, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, EA. “Our hope is that AbleGamers Day will be an ongoing event that raises awareness for many years to come.”

This often life-changing equipment can often be expensive and inaccessible, but during these events everything is available for hands-on demonstration to anyone who has or has a loved one with a disability.


Midnight City, the recently founded indie label of Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of games for the mass market, is proud to announce Scientifically Proven’s Blood of the Werewolf will be slashing its way onto Steam (PC) on October 28. Classic 2D platforming partnered with a stylistic reimagining of horror’s most iconic creatures and monsters provides an old-school challenge with new-school flair.

 Blood of the Werewolf is rated T and will release on Steam for PC via digital download on October 28, 2013 for $9.99.Blood of the Werewolf is also planned for console release in Q1 2014.

For more on Blood of the Werewolf, please visit our Steam page:   
For more information, please visit our website:
For more on Scientifically Proven, please visit: and follow @BotWerewolf for updates.


Midnight City, the recently founded indie label of Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of games for the mass market, is proud to announce Blue Isle Studios’ Slender: The Arrival is coming to Steam on October 28, just in time for Halloween. The only official Slender Man game, The Arrival puts you in the epicenter of the mystery surrounding the enigmatic internet persona that has captivated and terrorized millions. Slender: The Arrival wraps players in a dark, foreboding atmosphere and a story fraught with terror, paranoia and other-worldly forces. Not for the weak of heart, Slender: The Arrival is also compatible with Oculus Rift, offering a truly heart-pounding and immersive experience.

Written by the creative team behind Marble Hornets, this latest iteration in the Slender Man universe builds on the canon established by the original web-series, with some new twists and extended content. Players take on the role of Laura, an unsuspecting realtor helping her friend Kate sell her scenic property, but things quickly take a turn for the worse when Laura arrives to find Kate missing. Follow the clues and document your experience via camcorder as you unravel the mystery while evading the ominous forces that shadow your every move. The road is long and full of peril – implied, imagined and, of course – real.

Slender: The Arrival is rated T and will release on Steam for PC via digital download on October 28, 2013 for $9.99. Slender: The Arrival is also planned for console release in Q1 2014.

For more on Slender: The Arrival, please visit our Steam page:
For more on Blue Isle Studios, please visit:
For more information on Midnight City, please visit our website:


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories