An Eerie Echo of Time and Place – PC – Perception – 2017

20181006201905_1Perception
PC
Deep End Games/Feardemic
Genre: Survival Horror
2017

Having lived in New England my entire life, I’m no stranger to films that involve the Boston and general North Shore areas of Massachusetts.  Given that authors like Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft also center quite a bit of their work around the New England area, there is plenty of horror related literature to reference that center around Maine and Rhode Island.  Gaming has also recently had a few prominent settings in the area, notably Fallout 4 which takes place in The Commonwealth a.k.a. Massachusetts.  In most media, you only have to look in a general direction to find work that centers around this section of the country.  I mean, it’s been around long enough to gain some kind of attention.

I had originally heard of Perception at PAX a couple of years back and while I didn’t get to check out the demo, my friends did and raved about it.  I threw it on to a list of games I would keep an eye on and when I looked into it, I realized that not only did the game take place in New England, but it was also developed by a company based right out of Boston.  From that point, I don’t think the game fell off of my radar until I purchased it during a sale on Steam.

Given my backlog, I had tried getting into the game once before and wound up distracted by other things in my life (and probably other games, to be honest) but given the time of year, I’ve been trying to work through some of the spookier games in my library.  I settled on the fact that I owed it to myself to play through Perception to see if my initial hype could be lived up to, especially given the unique mechanics of the game that I had heard so much about.
Continue reading

Simple Deeds and Sufferings of Light – PC – Layers of Fear – 2016

20180930234646_1
Layers of Fear

PC
Aspys / Bloober Team
Genre: Horror
2016

Over the years, horror as a genre has branched off quite a bit.  While the genre wasn’t exactly a stranger to symbolism or subtext, time has lent itself to certain horror offerings exercising the cerebral and dramatic.  Video games have been doing this for some time now thanks to certain developers working to deepen the artform that video games have started to be recognized as.  Games like Silent Hill and Rule of Rose have taken a whole mythos and forums full of discussion to dissect- and it’s all been amazing to watch unfold as a horror fan.

Layers of Fear is an indie effort that attempts to marry the horror genre with drama and surrealism.  While a few games have done this, I had heard a lot about Layers of Fear from my friends- and yet had heard very little about it aside from it would be right up my alley and that I needed to try it.  Given my extensive Steam library, I thought it would be a while before I got the chance to play it. In a stroke of generosity, a friend of mine gifted me a copy so I could finally check out the experience.

That was about a year or so ago.

Well, now it’s the season and in between replays of Clock Tower and Friday the 13th, I’m making it my goal to get to some of the creepier titles I haven’t had the chance to break into yet.  First up on my list ended up being this one since I was in the mood for the kind of game I had at least thought it was.  Allow me to detail for all of you the experience I had after a year of anticipation for this game and all it had to offer.
Continue reading

September in Review

f7557abcdf6d577db99f04d8c5611020
Well, it’s been a while since I put together a month in review, but I felt like I should check in, pop up a summary of the past month or so and let you folks know what’s coming up in October- also known as my favorite month of the year!

Some of you may have noticed a small surge in articles this past month that lasted a few days.  I’ve had some pieces sitting on the back burner for a while that I’ve been waiting for the motivation to get through, and while I’ve had some difficulties in my personal life, it felt like a good idea to sink into some writing and distract myself.  Seems to have worked since I got some of my pieces done and out to the world!

As far as reviews are concerned, I got three of them wrapped up spanning a good amount of time in the gaming universe.  While I enjoyed Capcom’s Resident Evil Gaiden for the Gameboy Color and Goosebumps from Wayforward Games for the PC, I have to specifically mention Konami’s Tiny Toon Adventures adaptation on the NES as a personal favorite that I got to play and write about recently.  All of the games are worth a look, though, flaws or not.

Review – Resident Evil Gaiden
Review – Goosebumps: The Game
Review – Tiny Toon Adventures

On the more editorial side of things, I ventured into a well-trodden territory as well as a newer concept for the blog.  On the more familiar side, I pondered over the new Playstation Classic Mini that is coming out and what games it might include.  It’s part wishlist and part developer logic, but there are quite a few games that could make me excited to check into the upcoming ‘system’.

Editorial – My Top 10(ish) Predictions for Games Coming to the PSOne Classic Mini

I’ve also been chomping at the bit for the new Atelier game coming out from Gust this Winter, Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists.  It should be no surprise to anyone that I’m checking daily for new information and already have my copy pre-ordered.  At the recent Tokyo Game Show, a new trailer appeared featuring a number of characters and a bright charming theme song.  As a huge Atelierphile, I felt the urge to break down the trailer to see who’s involved, how, and who appears to be missing- along with a few other tidbits!

Editorial – Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists – TGS Trailer Breakdown

Other Posts and Blogs to Follow

As always, I highly recommend checking out Red Metal over at Extra Life Reviews.  Semi-recently, he finished up his Legend of Zelda retrospective on the entire series (including an addendum that wraps up his feelings on each entry and works as a handy pivot point to check out all of the reviews therein!)

Over at Adventure Rules, Robert Ian Shepard wrote about his newfound appreciation for Animal Crossing: New Leaf on his second attempt at playing it.  I’ve had a very similar recurrence of Animal Crossing in my life as a stress reliever, so reading his post on this was really interesting!  He also has a few cool articles on Fire Emblem you should poke around for if you’re interested.  He’s also big on community building, which has been nice to witness!

LightningEllen over at Livid Lightning has also been big on community and has been reposting a bunch of her old posts- which has been a great look at some fun and thoughtful pieces.  I don’t have much more to say aside from that her blog is really worth keeping an eye on and catching up with.

There are so many other awesome bloggers to check out so please do yourself a favor, especially if you have Twitter or some other method to check some of these folks out- do it when you get the chance.  Even if it’s just one article to see if their writing style works for you, read what you can, comment if you have the time, and go check out some new blogs.  My little blurbs here don’t have nearly enough scope or do enough justice to comment on how rich with content the community is.

What’s Coming Up?

Well, October and Halloween are my favorite times of the year so you can expect some focus on horror type games in between more posts about collecting and commentaries.

My piece for the ‘Games That Define Us’ collaboration (put together by the fantastic Matt over at Normal Happenings) and while I’m (of course) going through some anxieties about my piece- it’s mostly because so many of the pieces I got to take a peek at are really good and interesting to read.  It should be starting to post after October, but I wanted to get it on your radar now so that you can look forward to it as much as I am!

I also have a few more pieces that have come in for the collections.  Once I get the chance, I’ll be putting up some more information and pictures to share in my excitement about those.  Also, a special shout-out to my buddy over at Cheap Boss Attack for helping me with some key collection items recently!

I’ve also started working on the next piece of the Atelier overview, though I realize I have a little bit more to write about Fire Emblem, as well.  No promises there, but my goal is to have more information on one of the modern trilogies up by November!

Last but not least, I’m currently doing a ‘Tweet a Day’ style post on 31 characters from horror gaming I appreciate and enjoy.  Given my love of horror movies and my love of gaming (and my love of horror gaming, who are we kidding?), I wanted to spread the seasonal feeling of Halloween through my social media a bit!  If you don’t frequent Twitter, though, no worries- I’ll make a few posts once we get through some of the characters with some blurbs on why I enjoy them and make it a legitimate series of posts here.

With that, I hope you’re all enjoying your first day of October!  Let me know what you’re up to this month, what you’re playing, or just generally how things are in the comments or on Twitter!

Happy Gaming!

– Matt (a.k.a The3rdSlayer)

…see what I did there?  Did- did you see?  Because- because of Hallow-

…never mind.  Happy Gaming!  

Be Sure to Try It Soon-y! – Nintendo Entertainment System – Tiny Toon Adventures – 1991

Tiny Toon Adventures (U)_001
Tiny Toon Adventures

Nintendo Entertainment System
Konami
Genre: Platformer
1991

I grew up with the Looney Tunes among other cartoons and television.  It might be more apt to say that my parents grew up with the Looney Tunes since most of the shorts I watched with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the rest of the crew were created well before my time.  There were still cartoons being produced starring those ink and pen anthropomorphic comedians but while they were teaching me the fundamentals of well-timed jokes, they were clearly having a bit of an issue reaching a younger generation.

Cut to 1990 when Warner Brothers, the company that produced Looney Tunes and the Merrie Melodies cartoons, decided that they wanted to “inject new life” into their animation department by creating a show that featured younger versions of the characters the public had come to know and love.  Alongside plenty of other shows that turned classic characters into children and babies at the time, Tiny Toon Adventures, a cartoon about the next generation of Warner Brothers’ stars in training, came to life.

As was the way at the time, once the show had proven to be remotely successful, the market was flooded with merchandise.  Stuffed dolls, lunchboxes, coloring books and, of course, video games. The first of these to hit the shelves was for the Nintendo Entertainment System a year after the cartoon had its first episodes on the air.  Given the mild phenomenon, the game arrived to mostly great reviews across the board. I had some fond memories of playing this game with my babysitter as a kid, but I know some of my other favorite games growing up have let me down as I’ve gone back to them now.

As usual, I had to figure out if Tiny Toon Adventures was one of those games that would fold under the weight of time.
Continue reading

Calling All Creeps! – PC – Goosebumps: The Game – 2015

20180814232333_1
Goosebumps: The Game

PC
Wayforward Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Horror
2015

Every kid at my school growing up read or knew what the Goosebumps books were.  Moreover, nearly every kid I hung out with collected them.  When book fairs were held in the elementary school library, it was a race to see who could get to the latest titles first.  If you didn’t get there fast enough, they were gone. Honestly, Goosebumps was a pretty big thing for us in K-5 and probably segued into my love for horror in general.

Despite taking breaks here and there, the series doesn’t seem to have gone away completely at any particular point.  Aside from the original 62 books in the series, there have been choose-your-own-adventure books, boards games, comics, and a television series among other mediums keeping the franchise’s porch light on.  Goosebumps seemed to turn up the volume full blast, however, with the 2015 film (which coincidentally, I thought was a pretty cool little horror film for the younger set).

At the same time, a game was released simply titled Goosebumps: The Game.  It was meant to serve as a lead-in to the film- and we all know how we feel about most games adapted around films.  While this isn’t the first Goosebumps video game to be released, most of the other games feel like they drifted by unnoticed.  This game had a pretty tough track record to fight upstream against from the minute it started development.  Even knowing that I had to throw some money at it and see how my beloved childhood series fared.
Continue reading