Saturday, July 30, 2011

Talking about games: The upcoming Fall Horror Game Deluge, Part 1!

 There's a flood?  Should I be worried about this?

Only if you have limited funds, Yikes. There's a whole pile of games coming out this Q3 that are forcing me and other gamers like myself into a difficult situation: We're going to have to choose which horror games to buy.

Wait, choose?  You're telling me that some games are going to be designed, produced, sent to stores and then just. . . abandoned?  Just left rotting on the shelves, untouched and left to gather dust until the eventual store's close?  Sitting on the shelf and staring longingly into dark, empty parking lot?

Well, more or less.  Thanks. . . thanks for making me feel bad for an inanimate object.  But that only serves to illustrate my point even further:  Which games to purchase this fall is going to be a difficult choice, and one that should be made with care.

Alright.  Let me try to get a handle on this.  I can't seem to think of any way to eat, stab, bite, burn or murder all of the games into freedom from their store shelves, so let's start from the top.  I suppose you have some kind of list for us.

Absolutely.  I'm on top of it.  I've got sequential list of all the games I was able to think of that are coming out within the next couple months. 

List it up!

For part one of this subject, let's start out with a few games that aren't exactly "new." There are a number of games coming up that are either reimaginings or HD updated ports of older games.

Starting out for the 3ds, we have:
Devil Survivor Overclocked

Does he have cat ears?
No, they're headphones.
How do you make headphones out of cat ears?
No, see, he's got the headphones on, and the wires go up over his head-- they just are, OK?

So Devil Survivor Overclocked is an updated port of Devil Survivor for the Nintendo DS.  Devil Survivor is a part of the SMT series of games which tend to involve kids summoning demons and various fantastical creatures with computers, then doing crazy crossbreeding experiments to create new ones.  
Totally normal.

And lots of fun. The situation is that demons have invaded Tokyo, and the whole city has been locked down. There are a few lucky kids with DS-like computers that are able to summon their own demons and thus present the only defense against the attacking creatures.  

The new 3ds port features upgraded graphics, a new 8th day and the dialogue is now fully voiced.  

We have a trailer here: 

Overall, considering it's really only been about 1 generation since the previous game was released, if you already own this game, I don't know if a second purchase can be justified.  However, if you don't already own this game and you have a 3ds, you may be causing injustice to yourself by skipping it.  It's a great game and this version can only be better (unless you hate voices).
It depends on what they're telling me to do this time. 
Sometimes it's "Kill," sometimes it's 
"Open your own dog-grooming business."

I don't think I need to tell anyone that you don't own a dog-grooming business.

Second in the HD update list is:

House of the Dead: Overkill: Extended Cut

Coming this fall to the PS3.  Holy shit, this looks great.  A great HD update to a great game that was criminally overlooked when it came out on the Wii.  Classic zombie (er, mutant) shooting lightgun action with a grimy groundhouse feel, owing a lot of its tone to Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror.  

I've completed this game on the Wii, and I'm still tempted to grab this up on the PS3.  The only downer is that it's clearly most fun as a lightgun game, which means purchasing a Move.  Considering nothing has motivated me to get one previously, you're looking at over a $100 investment for a game that a lot of people have already finished years ago.

On the plus side, there are new levels, new weapons, new gameplay modes and the visuals look fantastic.  

Once again, we were able to scrounge up a trailer:

I want it.  I just wish I didn't have to get a Move.

Moving on, we have:
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

This is kind of a weird one.  It's Dead Rising 2 all over again, but with Frank West instead of Chuck Greene.  Apparently the locations are somewhat revamped and there are new psychos to fight.  There also appears to be an all new, sort of amusement park like area.  Footage so far makes it look to me like it's going to be even more silly and over the top than DR2.  It's not a whole new game, but it is only $40 instead of $60.  

Personally, I'll probably be waiting until some fans of the original have given their opinions.

Personally, I think it sounds like mindless zombie 
slaughter just for the sake of slaughtering zombies. 
I'll never understand how heartless people can be.
Lastly in this update, we have a double shot.  
Resident Evil: Code Veronica X and Resident Evil 4
Both titles are coming via download for PS3 and Xbox 360 early this fall with upgraded graphics.  

This is at least the second re-release of Resident Evil 4 for a newer console.  Originally out on the Gamecube and Ps2, it was later ported to the Wii with motion control aiming and added content. This edition will supposedly include all of the added content, but there is no word yet if it will support the Move.

These are both really fun games, but I have to wonder how many times you can kill the same zombies.

It depends on how many times they get back up.
That's true, Yikes.  These games seem to take after the monsters they feature.  They just keep coming back over and over-- and in these cases, they seem to get better each time, as well.
So is it time for us to make that horrible Sophie's choice 
like decision now?
Hah, not even.  We haven't even touched on the brand new games and sequels coming out.  Stay tuned for part 2 of the FALL HORROR GAMES DELUGE!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Walking Dead season 2 without Darabont?

So this is a surprise, at least to me. Apparently he is "stepping down," even though Walking Dead has been a complete and total Darabont production as soon as it left the comic pages. It doesn't sound like something he would happily walk away from.

After all the talk last season about trouble with the writers, it really has me wondering about the new season. Even if it's good, it's hard to deny that it's likely to have a completely different feel.

What could possibly cause this kind of thing?

My guess is an argument over zombie survival. Darabont probably got into it with the AMC execs about melee vs firearms.  I've seen these arguments in the past, and they can go on for daaays.

Well, that is a theory.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Talking about movies: The Resident

Hey, everyone.  For the first time, Yikes is joining me for a post.

So as I've said, I've been very excited for the return of Hammer Horror.  I enjoyed the hell out of Wake Wood, and last night I got a chance to watch The Resident on Netflix streaming.

Well, shit.

Great.  1.5 floating heads.  Uh oh, she's looking this way. I better not say anything bad.

So, first of all, this is set in America, in Brooklyn, so already most of the Hammer feel is jetissoned and this is just another thriller about about a girl who moves into an apartment by herself, and I guess that's scary because girls can't take care of themselves and need a big burly landlord to protect them.

Of course, the twist, which is that he is not her protector but rather her stalker, is revealed halfway through the movie, or IMMEDIATELY if you read the Netflix synopsis:
A young doctor moves into a Brooklyn loft and realizes she isn't alone in her new abode. Now she's struggling to survive as she attempts to disentangle herself from her landlord, who has a key to her home and a growing obsession for his tenant
Of course, it's revealed even faster if you looked at the video cover and saw the grumpy landlord on the front.  I would complain, except the movie makes it so obvious I felt like the big reveal was just giving me a refresher on what happened over the previous 40 minutes.

You're posting spoilers.

Garbage can't spoil, yikes.  So basically, everything throughout the movie felt completely nonthreatening to me.  Her landlord is mostly a self-concious oaf who peeks at her through peep holes and creeps around in the walls.  I guess that's sort of unsettling, but it's also not a problem that can't be solved with a change of address. Later in the movie he gets a little more invasive, but by that point I was already disinterested and just waiting for it to end.

There was a part in the movie where he's hiding under her bed, and her arm is dangling down, and I thought he was going to bite her finger off.  I was disappointed.


Well, I was dissapointed with the movie overall.  There was exactly 0 character arc for everyone, and the climax was nothing more than a source of irritation.  Swank's character, Juliette, does the cliched hitting the attacker with a weapon, then abandoning said weapon and fleeing no less than 4 times.  

I think the only positive thing I have to say about the movie is that Lee Pace, hopefully best known as Ned from Pushing Daisies, shows up for a little bit.

Hi, Ned! Please keep getting work.

So if you're in the mood to check out what might as well be a remake of previous, better done girl-moves-into-an-apartment-but-it's-scary movies, then you might as well check this out on instant watch. Alternatively, you could just watch something on Lifetime.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A preview of things coming later this week

Past Halloween Projects: The Digital Clock

Starting out the tour of old projects from past Halloweens is the Digital Clock.  It isn't chronologically the first project, but it is the easiest to drag out of storage. Unfortunately, there are no before pictures or anything detailing the construction, but it was a pretty simple build.

One day, I found a wall clock in my mother's trash, and after inquiring what the problem was, I learned of its untimely demise.  I told her I would fix it, and, as you can clearly see, I did.  

The actual build consisted of simply creating a more witchy backdrop for the numbers of the clock in Photoshop.  The Dollar Tree had a package of fingers for sale (I still have 2 left, waiting for inspiration).  The fingers fit over the old hands, and the whole thing snapped together.   

It no longer "runs," but I'm sure somewhere in the land of the dead, it is slowly ticking away the minutes until the witching hour.  My mother didn't want it back.

Talking about movies: Wake Wood

Wake Wood

So, no one has been more excited than I, or Yikes, at the return of Hammer Horror. I've been a big fan of all their classic movies, including their Dracula and Frankenstein series, preferring some of them to their previous Universal counterparts.

I know they have collaborated to bring out a few previous releases, including The Resident and the western remake of Let the Right One (Me) In, but this is the first one I've had the chance to sit down and watch.  It also seems like the first one that is, to me, a true hammer movie, taking place on their own side of the pond.

The cover is suitably bad-ass, and I approve.  Holy shit, arm is coming out of the ground.  It's made of wood, or maybe it's just a condition. 
(I just noticed this poster image I found says "The Wake Wood."  That's. . . wrong, but I've decided to keep it.)

Here is the synopsis according to

Still grieving the death of their only child Alice at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where a local pagan ritual gives them three more precious days with her... but what will they do when it's time for their new daughter to go back?
So, as I've suggested, I was pretty excited to see this movie.  Thinking back on it a couple days later, I think I like it even more than I did when first viewing it.  This does a good job of being a supernatural horror movie that's grounding in reality. Everything in the movie is played dead serious, and the fracturing of the family after the death of their daughter is presented in a realistic manner.

There is some significant gore here and there, although the movie is relatively bloodless in between.  The gore consists of a few animal attacks in the first half, and then some supernatural murder in the final act of the film.  The animal attacks are pretty horrific, and I'm glad to see an R-rated horror movie earning its keep. There are also some arguably gory scenes of animal surgery.

The mood of the film is both somber and creepy.  The Irish locals, I thought, were beautiful, and the characters were all, overall, believable.  I felt like a few things could have been avoided if certain people had been a little more open with information, but I suppose that's the problem with these isolated communities.

I rented it, but I will definitely put the movie on a wish list for a future purchase when on sale, or maybe pick it up used.  I would not have regretted buying it new.

First blog post

Okay, well firstly allow me to tell you what this blog will be about.  If you haven't guessed from the decor, blog entries are primarily going to consist of Halloween and horror-related themes, because that's what Yikes wants me to do.  Now and then, I'll talk a bit about horror-related games, movies, books, and a other things that I'm enjoying at the time.

Also, I'll be using this space to post about various projects I'm working on.  I'll be working on a few static props (maybe some of my first motion props?) throughout the Halloween season.  It's a little early for that right now, so in the coming days I'll detail some of my projects from the past few years' Halloweens.

Primarily, over the month of October, there will be a month-long writing project posted here, but once again I'll get into that at a more appropriate time.

As a side note, while I was digging up some materials for this blog, I came across this:
It's from HERE and is awesome.