Monday, August 29, 2011

Talking about the blog: A new feature

Hey Yikes, I think it's time to post the new feature we've been talking about.

Oh, are we going to have something that's not garbage now?

Yeah, Yikes, we're going to have something besides you.

Stop that. You know what we're doing.

I'm still going to let you do the work and explain it.

Right, so for the past year, I've had this great calender that features a different classic horror poster every month. I've been using it to kind of apply themes to a month- I'll usually watch my copy of the movie, buy it outright, or at least check it out on Netflix.

I discussed it with Yikes, and we both agree that it would be fun to also apply the theme to our blog. So, from now on (at least until the end of the year when the calendar ends) we'll be having a new side panel that features the Theme of the Month with some links to some of the things we'll be using to celebrate it.

Sounds fun. Something to look forward to each month. What is this month's theme, anyway?

Yeah, about that. Unfortunately, I didn't actually decide to do this until the month is almost over. But, just the same, here we go:

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man!

At least it's sort of an actual classic.

Oh, it's classic alright. I genuinely enjoy this one, and it's the start of the real monster matchup movies that got to be so popular eventually. Who knows, without this movie, maybe there never would have been Godzilla vs Mothra, or Freddy vs Jason.

Larry Talbot is pretty much the protagnoist of this one. He's stuck living forever with that damn werewolf curse, and he's actually just looking for a way to die. He winds up running into another one of those Frankensteins (pretty big family, I guess), who is willing to try helping him out. Simultaneously, the old Frankenstein monster has now turned up after a long series of movies of his own. He's played by Bela Lugosi now.

The actual "meeting" between the two at the end of the movie is actually pretty brief, and I always thought a bit of a let down; but then again, when I used to look at pictures of this movie as a kid, long before I'd ever actually seen it, I used to picture a movie that was just a 90-minute drag-out fight.

It's hard to live up to a kid's imagination.

I've included a clip here of one of my favorite scenes from the movie:

He really doesn't like folk music. So what kind of stuff are we going to be using to celebrate?

Well, there are a few editions of his movie available. I say "editions" but really it's just different ways of packing it in. First, there's a double feature that includes House of Frankenstein. This is a nice cheaper option, unless you're someone like me who already owns the Frankenstein Legacy Collection, in which House is already included.

The other good option is the Wolf Man Legacy Collection. Besides Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, this also includes the classic original Wolf Man as well as Werewolf of London and She-Wolf of London.

Hey, 2 of those aren't Wolf Man movies. One of them isn't even a -Man movie!

I know. Unfortunately, Universal just didn't make many stand-alone Wolf Man movies. At least this way you're still getting 4 wolf-oriented movies.

For good measure, there's also a pretty cool movie poster that features the original artwork (and is actually the same artwork on my calender page for the month). It's available in two sizes, 18 x 24 and 24 x 36. 

All 3 of these will be linked all month in the new box to the right.

Pretend I'm making a howling noise right now.

Great effort, Yikes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Talking about games: Downfall

Hey, Yikes.

Hey, I didn't know we were doing an update today.

Well, I wasn't going to, but I came
across this game today thanks to a post on Rely on Horror. They mentioned a game from '09 called Downfall.

Oh, for a second I thought I woke up for nothing today. What's it look like?

It looks like this:

Interesting. Is that all?

Well, no, Yikes. There's also a really cool trailer for it that I think you should watch.

Okay, so say I'm interested. Is there a demo I can try? What does it cost, like 10 bucks?

Well, Yikes, we just don't know. You see, I went to the page and attempted to do both those things. You can see for yourself right here.

The problem is, neither the link to the demo nor the full version work currently. I've looked all over the web to see if someone else has the demo for download, but come up short. I'm kind of hoping they either fix it soon, or someone out there knows an alternative place to download the demo.
Oh, so I see what you're saying now: I DID wake up for no reason today.

At least you have something new to dream about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Talking about ghosts: Tail of the mummy

Where have you been?  You spelled tale wrong in 
the title this time.

No, I didn't.  I went on a trip this weekend, remember?

Oh, that's right.  I would have gone with you, 
but I had to. . . visit. . . someone.  
So how was it?


Well, it was pretty fun.  We took the highway up to the southern coast of Lake Erie, saw a few sights in the area, went to some stores, the biggest Target I've ever seen and got something to eat. But really, we went to see the lighthouse, as you know.

All the way up there for just a lighthouse?

Well, the truth is, there's supposed to be something special in the lighthouse.  See, it was in service over a hundred years ago.  It's not operational any more, but they say some of its former occupants are still there.
The ancient sandstone edifice towers hundreds of feet into the sky-

Hundreds, huh?

Hund-- It's pretty tall.  You can see the effects of generations of aging on its thick stone walls.  There is the window where the keeper used to stare out at the stormy waters of Lake Erie, decade after decade.

Was he waiting for somebody?

Well, no, Yikes.  He was doing his job.

So we ventured into the lighthouse, searching for this relic from a forgotten time.  Inside, one had to climb thousands of stairs to reach the top.

Thousands.  That's a thousand stairs, alright.  I don't
feel like counting, so I'll just take your word for it.

Would you believe me if I said there were 69?

Not at this point.

At the top was only a vacant tower, long forgotten.  Old, unwashed windows and a single neglected lamp were the only things to suggest this had once been a beacon on the busy lake.
The source of the tail was not to be found up here, so we had to slowly descend the rusted stairs back to the safety of ground.

Spelled tale wrong again.

No I didn't!  Quit being a douche, Yikes! You're ruining it.

Okay, you're not a douche.

So after returning to the Earth, we ventured into the last place the haunted thing could be-- in the ancient light keeper's house.  Inside were many old tools of mariners, records of shipwrecks and artifacts of the past.  
It was here that we found what we were searching for at last.  Tucked into a corner, long a prisoner of those ancient sandstone walls, dwelt the source of The Tail:

A cat mummy!

An ACTUAL cat mummy!
W-- why a cat mummy?

You see, Yikes, I know you don't like to keep up on facts, but according to ancient lore, a mummified cat's tail can be a source of health and long life.

Wow, is it really?

No, but I took it anyway.

I'm sure that went well.
As much as you would think so, it was only the next night after I was home. . . I was sleeping in my bed, or at least attempting to.  Sleep was elusive, and I wrestled with it long into the night.  After the clock hands plummeted past the midnight hour, I started to hear it.


Mewing.  From everywhere.  All around the house.  Just cats fighting outside, I'm sure, I thought to myself.  They fight out there all the time-- but this wasn't fighting.  It was just mewing, and it sounded like hundreds, maybe thousands of cats.  

Then, I realized, it wasn't outside-- it was in the house, in my bedchamber, all around me, mewing. Incessant mewing.  It was at this point that my bedroom door fell from its hinges, landing on the floor with a startling crack-- and there SHE was!


It could only be one person, Yikes.  You have to realize, out of all the strange creatures of the night, there would only be one who would own an ancient mummified cat.


An ancient. . . withered. . . mummified. . . Crazy Cat Lady!

She drew close to my bed, the voices of hundreds of her disembodied pets filling the air.

What did she want?

She closed in on the bed, her hands in the air above me. . .

And she. . .


She. . .

What did she do!?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Talking about games: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3d

So I picked up a 3ds very recently, and the simple fact of the matter is, if you want a horror game for it, there's really only one choice: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

It's that good, huh?
Well, actually, it's the only horror game out for the system right now.

However, don't go thinking that means it's a strike against the game.  I would say it actually IS very good.  If you've played the Mercenaries mode in either Resident Evil 4 or Resident Evil 5, you know what you're getting.  In fact, the maps themselves are actually taken from those sub-games.
So, the gameplay, maps, and I assume characters, are all 
from previous Resident Evil games.  What's new?
Well, it's in THREE DEE, Yikes.  I was playing it earlier and got hit right in the nostril.

Other than that: Not very much.  The gameplay is refined somewhat, there's a big selection of characters, and there is now an upgradable skill component.  You unlock skills by scoring high on various missions, and then you can upgrade those skills through gameplay.  It also has pretty good multiplayer that has prevoiusly been lacking on earlier Nintendo DS models, fortunately needing no friend codes to match up cooperatively online. You can also move while aiming now (although I find it cumbersome to do, and it removes your ability to aim up and down).
So. . . my question would be, since this is mostly made up 
of components of other games, is this really 
a new game, per se?
In my opinion, yes.  For a handheld console, this is pretty much the perfect game.  You can sit down and play for a long time if you like, but it's really perfect for quick sessions.  It's exciting, I would rate the difficulty as fair, and the 3d is. . . fine, if you like 3d (it's not irritating, at least).  Also, while it may consist largely of parts of other games, they are very good parts of those games, and the new features serve to spice up the gameplay.  On the other hand, if you're somebody looking for a story or a 20-hour RPG, this just isn't going to interest you.
Does it come with anything else?  Is there a demo 
or anything?
There IS a demo, for the upcoming Resident Evil: Revelations.  I've been saving it for a rainy day, but as soon as I check it out, I'll be sure to let you know how I like it.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old Horror Games I Can't Bear to Part With

So, lately, I've been selling off all of my old nes games.  I don't play them any more.  I don't even have an NES to play them on.  I was going through a pile of them today and came across one I just couldn't stand to list.

A lot of people outright hate this game.  They think it's too difficult, it's confusing, Jason wears purple, the music is repetitive.  That's all sort of true, But I always had a great time with it.

The story is that some counselors are working at the old camp.  A group of little kids (15 of them) have arrived for the summer, and they're all staying at some cabins by the lake.  

Then Jason shows up and starts fucking ruining everyone.  The idea of the game is simple:  Kill Jason before he kills all of you.  Of course, if you've seen the movies, you know that isn't really that simple after all.

On top of Jason, the camp is also suddenly crawling with zombies (the manual suggests that they are his past victims), wolves that are decidedly vicious and some crows are just being total dicks for seemingly no reason. God I hate video game birds.

There are 6 camp counselors who stand in the way of Jason's murderous spree, and they're all armed with rocks.  Yeah, just rocks.  Fortunately, by running around the camp, killing zombies, you start to find some better weapons-- a knife, and eventually a machete will show up.  You can also acquire a torch by lighting all of the fireplaces in the large cabins around the lake (there's 7, if I remember right). Through time and careful exploration, you can also come across a few machetes and axes hidden in the woods and cave.

Oh yeah, by the way, there's a cave.  Pretty sure I never saw that in any of the movies.  Who lives in the cave?  Jason's mother's head.  That is to say, Jason's mother's reanimated flying gigantic head.  She is literally a tougher enemy than Jason.  I hadn't seen Friday the 13th Part 2 back when I first played this game, so I was pretty confused by her appearance here.

Actually, I have since seen the film, and I'm still confused about it.

The good news is, you have to purposefully seek her out.  You can beat her once per in-game day.  The first day gets you a weapon, either a machete or ax.  On the second day, you get her sweater.  On the third day, you get a pitchfork, which for some reason is Jason's most feared weapon. I guess nobody ever tried it on him in the movies.

As I mentioned, the game takes place over 3 days.  Each time you kill Jason, a new day starts.  He's back and he's faster than previous (this runs inverse to the movies, where he continuously got slower).

So yeah, I was a huge Friday the 13th fan, and I played the hell out of this game as a kid.  I must have beaten it dozens of times.  I might have even killed Jason more times than he came back to life in the movies.  I had the whole play-through down to a science.  Use one teen to run around lighting all the fireplaces, getting the torch and flashlight.  Then I'd send another one out to get the key and hit up the woods for the weapons hidden there, and pick up a lot of vitamins along the way.  Meanwhile, I'd be making sure to fight Jason using characters armed only with rocks on the first day, just so I would have more time before advancing and I could get everyone properly armed before Jason got tougher.

I'd also have to have one counselor stationed near the lake to go protect the children every time that Jason attacked them.

Oh, I didn't mention that, did I?  When he's not attacking your counselors, Jason goes to the cabins by the lake and brutally murders children until a counselor comes out to fight him off.  He didn't even do that shit in the movies.  Eleven movies, not one dead child (unless you count Jason). You have a limited time to scurry out there.  If you don't make it in time, he kills 5 kids and leaves.  Even if you get there before the time is up, he'll usually have managed to hack his way through a few.  It's virtually impossible to get through the game with all 15 children still alive.  I've never done it.  The games attitude about this is "Hey no big deal, there's still a couple.  One kid's as good as another, right?"

The Angry Video Game Nerd did a really fun review of the game a couple years back.  You can see it hereHe hates it, of course, but I don't begrudge anyone that.

No official Friday the 13th game has come out since, despite the series rolling in money.  Even now, with so many video games targeted toward adults, there has not been a proper Jason video game.

A while back, a forum user on the old forums released a romhack of the game titled Friday the 13th v1.3.  It's pretty much just a graphical update, putting Jason in more appropriate attire rather than his purple jump suit.  It also changes the names of all the counselors to names of characters in the films.  I scoured the internet for it before making this post, and unfortunately I cannot find the original author-- or anything about it really.  I've included a download link to it right here.  If anyone out there knows any more information about this romhack or the name/contact of the author, please let me know so I can give him credit.  It's pretty good work.

It's usually the version I choose to play now, but I'll always have my actual copy on hand.