Monday, September 8, 2014

Destiny, A String of Vita Disappointments, eXistenZ, and Short Circuit  


Games: Like many of you, I'm looking forward to the release of Destiny in a day or so. 


Having played the alpha and the beta I already know what to expect, and I'm definitely ready to sink my teeth into something a little bigger than what I've been playing lately. 

Since I knew this was coming, I've been hesitant to start any large-scale games, and instead I've been spending time on handhelds and smaller projects. Nothing against them at all, but i'm definitely getting the itch to sit down in front of my TV and play something with a lot of pizzazz to it.

From what I've heard, the preorders have been about 3 to 1 in favor of the PS4, and I'm a part of that statistic… If you'll be playing on the PS4 as well, feel free to send me a friend request and maybe we'll see each other on the battlefield. Hit me up at GCBrad on PSN.

So, what about those handheld games I mentioned?

First up was Natural Doctrine

I've covered it a bit here at the blog before, but I sunk a fair number of hours into it since then and I have to say that I'm quite disappointed with the game, not only because it gets a lot of things wrong, but because it had the potential to be so great. I'll save most of the gory details for my full review which is still in-process, but a lot of potential is squandered thanks to a frustrating difficulty curve and systems which don't get properly explained. 

It's a real shame because when the game works, it's pretty cool… There are some great ideas here, and I'm a fan of the strategy RPG genre. I'm always up for another one, and especially one like this that has new ideas. Unfortunately, it just commits too many sins to forgive. I can easily imagine a lot of people who would have otherwise loved it staying away because of how offputting it can be.

I may chip away at this when I'm feeling self-hate, but it's on indefinite hold for now. 

Also on the Vita, I just played Don't Starve

I've been wanting to try this one for a while, but I knew it was coming to Vita and that seemed like the best place for it. I love the premise and the art is quite sharp, but I have to say that after playing it for about half an hour... I don't want to play anymore. 

From what I can tell, the game is just a bunch of crafting, and at this point in my life, crafting is a "game mechanic" that feels like a big waste of time to me. It feels erroneous to even call it a mechanic… You're simply collecting shit to make other shit. It's busywork, and while I can see how that might be okay for some people (and not saying there's anything wrong for liking it if you do) for me it's pretty close to the bottom of my list of things I enjoy.


I also spent a good bit of time with Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, and much like Natural Doctrine, it's another one with a lot of potential and a great premise that ends up being a bummer. 

I mean, the concept is that you are a person running around Akihabara, yanking the clothes off of vampires in order to expose them to sunlight. That sounds awesome, right? Unfortunately, the actual gameplay is a lot like Sega's Yakuza, only about 1/19,000th as entertaining thanks to an insipid story, way too much boring dialogue, a shallow combat system, and not nearly enough sex appeal to sizzle. 

I don't quite understand the logic of taking this premise and then making something that ends up being so boring, but there you go. 


Adding to this list of recent disappointments is Velocity 2X. I've heard a lot of people praising it, but I've got to be honest here… It just does not click with me at all. 

The action involving a spaceship that teleports never feels natural or intuitive… There's a weird kind of stop/start pace that doesn't build momentum, and it's not pleasant.  The weird thing is that the game clearly wants you to do speed runs, so that makes the way it feels to me even weirder. 

Besides that, it's just not very fun… You basically teleport to get around walls while collecting a bunch of crystals, and then every once in a while you leave the ship and do two-dimensional platforming, which is again, mostly about teleporting past walls and collecting crystals.  


Anyway, Destiny in a day or so!

Movies: I found myself in the unusual position of having a couple of hours with nothing to do and I've bookmarked about 1000 movies on Netflix without having watched any of them, so I figured it was a good time to knock at least one off of the list. I settled on David Cronenberg's eXistenZ… A title I only vaguely knew about, although I've heard people talk about it several times.  

Here's what I knew: it was gross, and people plugged into some kind of virtual reality.

Here's what it's actually about: people plug into a virtual reality simulator via incredibly disgusting bio-consoles, but it's really a psycho-trippy developer's-eye look into how games are developed and what they mean to the people who play them.

I don't know if Cronenberg is a gamer himself, but he gives uncommonly insightful commentary from the dev side, and I found it incredibly interesting and relevant, especially in light of the last two weeks.

eXistenZ ended up being quite a bit different than I expected, but in an altogether better way. I was bracing for one of those hokey films that wants to base itself on gaming without knowing anything about it, but it was quite sharp and provocative, and didn't feel dated at all. 

Excellent film.

Speaking of movies, we've been looking for films to introduce our five-year-old, and today we chose Short Circuit

It's been years since I've seen it, although I remembered quite liking it back in the day, and I have to say, it holds up really well as a kids' film. 

It's simple enough for even young children to understand, quite tame in terms of content, and it's paced superbly so as not to lose the attention of smaller viewers. 

Not only that, who doesn't like the military-robot-come-alive Johnny Five? Interesting to look at and easy to love, he's a great star. 

If you haven't seen it in years and you forgot about it, or if you're a parent looking for a good film to watch with your kids, this is a fun choice.


Styx: Master of Shadows, the infiltration game from Cyanide Studios, has a unique verticality that is ample throughout the gallows, alleys, courtyards and winding halls within the Tower of Akenash. Coming October for PS4®, Xbox One® and PC, scale and prowl through the expansive and mysterious home of the World Tree, either subverting the guards, or quietly and invisibly disposing of them.

Today's video is the first of a series of gameplay trailers we will be releasing over the coming weeks until the release of the game. It illustrates some of the Goblin's skills, as he uses his stealth, weaponry, bold moves and smart use of the environment to get rid of the tower's denizens. 


Today Deep Silver announces the launch date for Escape Dead Island - November 18th in North America. 



After a bit-longer-than-expected Anomaly 2 is all set up to hit PS4! The tower offense strategy - or reversed tower defense if you prefer - game will land in Full HD on PS4 on September 16th 2014.

Anomaly 2 is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Anomaly Warzone Earth. Maintaining the core elements of the original, Anomaly 2 adds new features to the single-player campaign and finally puts your skills to a test in a completely unique experience: the dynamic tower defense vs. tower offense multiplayer mode!

In the years following the invasion of Earth in 2018, the planet has been overrun by alien machines. Humankind is on the verge of extinction. Traveling together in huge convoys, they search the frozen tundra for food and supplies. Since the war, the roles have been reversed: now our species seems to be the Anomaly on a machine-controlled planet. Your convoy, Commander, is called Yukon.

For more goodies join us here


Idea Factory International is excited to announce today that Hyperdimension Neptunia™ Re;Birth1, a new installment in the long-loved fan-favorite RPG series Hyperdimension Neptunia, has been released on the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system in physical and digital forms in the North American market today, August 26, 2014. It will also be available in digital form in the European market tomorrow, August 27, 2014. Idea Factory International is also excited to reveal to fans in Australia that the game will be digitally released on the Australian PlayStation®Store!

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is a remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia, which was previously released for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in 2011. Updated event conversations, graphics, and newly added game mechanics will entertain fans who have already played the PlayStation 3 version of Hyperdimension Neptunia as well as newcomers to the series.

The official website for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 now features a new gameplay trailers! Visit to find the trailers and more information about the game!


Here are two characters from Persona Q that need no introduction. 

...because you get to pick their own names! Here are the character videos for the heroes from Persona 3 and Persona 4 for you to view:

P3 Hero

P4 Hero

About Persona Q
Persona Q is a first-person dungeon crawling RPG adventure that combines the casts of the hit ATLUS games Persona 3 and Persona 4in a brand new story. Not only is Persona Q the first new RPG in the Persona franchise since 2008, but it is also marks the first time a Persona game will release on a Nintendo platform. The Personadevelopment team joined forces with the Etrian Odyssey development team to create a true fusion of the two franchises - Persona Q features the map-making and first person exploration from Etrian games and fuses it with the character development, combat, and motifs of the Persona games. Persona Q will be available at retail stores in normal and premium editions: 


Have you pooped today? If not, we've just made your day by announcing The Binding of Isaac Rebirth's release on November 4th, 2014. That's a Tuesday. I sure do like Tuesdays, we hope you do too...Mmmm tacos. Tacos have fiber. Fiber helps you poop.

Anyway, as you patiently wait for Nicalis to squeeze out the game, you should watch the trailer below which was created using the blood of unicorns, bacon, poop, cream cheese, and burlap sacks. How many of those are actually true? Watch to find out! Nightmares included free of charge, of course!

More information can be found on the official website at or on the Rebirth FAQ page


You're on your own. No one to come for you. No one to help you. No one to hear you scream. Slender: The Arrival, the official Slender Man video game, is coming September 23, 2014 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and September 24, 2014 on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, announced Midnight City, the independent publishing label of Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of games for the mass market.

Developed by four-person Toronto indie team Blue Isle Studios and 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.

Written by the creative team behind Marble Hornets, this latest iteration in the Slender Man universe expands the canon established by the original web-series, with some new twists and extended content. Building on the successful Steam launch last Halloween, Slender: The Arrival comes to consoles with brand new story elements and features extended levels that continue to unfold the Slender Man mythos. Players are enveloped in a world of sensory deprivation filled with haunting visions and audio cues that create an ominous backdrop perfect for fostering a healthy dose of tension and paranoia. Follow the clues and unravel the mystery, that is, if you can survive.

The new content will be offered to Steam and PC players who already own Slender: The Arrival at no additional charge as free DLC.

Slender: The Arrival is rated T for teen and will release in the US September 23, 2014 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $9.99 digital download from the PlayStation Network, and on September 24, 2014 on Xbox 360 for $9.99 digital download from the Xbox Live Games Store.

Independent publishing label Midnight City will also release Costume Quest 2 this Halloween season from Double Fine Productions.

For more information, please visit our website:
For more on Blue Isle Studios, please visit:

Follow us on:

Twitter: @Midnight_City


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