Goon Review: Friday the 13th – The Game

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters, so yell at him about it!! 😉 xoxox)

As a bad omen, to quote Crazy Ralph, “You’re all doomed!”

It may not be Friday the 13th, but the day is finally here. Friday the 13th: The Game has launched on PS4, Xbox One and Steam and needless to say, Jason fans are going rabid. By that, I mean they are bloodthirsty to massacre their friends online and also due to the serious issues the game has been having since the moment it was released, but we can talk about that later. I know the start of this seems like a bad omen for the game and while it’s not perfect nor is it the Friday the 13th game we hoped it would shape up to be, it’s still a tremendous amount of fun despite all of the launch problems along with the other bugs and glitches that are present in the game.

For now, the game is strictly online only, pitting seven players (eight if you manage to radio Tommy Jarvis for help… more on that later) against another player who will be controlling Jason. Guess who everyone wants to play as? During the pre-game cinematic, the counselors sit around a campfire as Jason approaches, dispatching one of them and the other seven are left to scramble. There’s a feeling of anticipation and excitement of whether or not you will be playing Jason. Then once you discover it’s not you, panic and dread start to settle in as you quickly scramble as a counselor to the nearest cabin, searching drawers and shelves for weapons or important vehicle parts that will aid you in your escape. That’s the name of the game here: survival. Players have a set amount of time to survive and they can choose to run from Jason or hide which can be far more difficult that it sounds. You could also find a fuse to repair the phone box to call the police who take a few minutes to arrive, or find missing pieces for one of the two cars or a boat and escape that way. However, once they are fixed and you are fleeing, that doesn’t ensure safety. Jason can appear and halt the car by slamming the hood or yanking the driver of the boat into the water and drowning them. Yes, death truly awaits around nearly every turn here at one of the three maps of Camp Crystal Lake.

Being an online multiplayer, communication is essential for survival (instead of slinging homophobic remarks at one another). Having a headset is a key item the gamer will need before you even start. It’s not mandatory, of course, but it helps to keep in contact with the other players that are in proximity to you. That’s right, you can’t just shout over your headset hoping others will hear you, because that creates noise and makes it easier for Jason to spot you. Only counselors that happen to be nearby can hear one another, unless you have a walkie in which case others with walkies can hear you. I really liked this aspect of the game, because like a horror film, if you walk out into the woods screaming for help, the killer is gonna find you. However, you need to chatter back and forth, so if Jason is close by, he can hear all your little scheming. It’s a real dilemma the game puts you in. To be fair, if Jason is creeping close by, you’ll start to hear that iconic Harry Manfredini score (although one of Jason’s abilities allows him to mute it). My first time playing as Jason, I heard one of the players reveal to another player where he laid a bear trap down and what he planned to do. Needless to say, I sort of crushed that plan by crushing his head.

Each counselor has their own set of skills. Some are better at sneaking or repairs, while others have better stamina or are stronger. Not one counselor is necessarily better than the other, but it’s up to the player on how they use that specific counselors set of skills. I prefer better stamina and health since killing Jason requires a laundry list of shit to do, so I find it better to sneak around. Even if your counselor doesn’t have stats you prefer, there are perks as well only these are chosen at random and cost you experience points. Every match you play earns you points and these points can be spent on improving your character. As I said, for the counselors, it’s totally at random, so you could get something really good like start with a map or a radio or even increase your stamina regeneration that you could then equip to a counselor with lower stamina to even them out. You can also unlock different variations of their outfits, but these can take a while seeing as it takes about ten level ups to get them each time… and there’s 100 levels.

Jason has his own set of unlockables as well that you can purchase using the same points. Seeing as how Jason is overpowered (OP as the kids call it), increasing his stats isn’t necessary and he does have his limitations. Each Jason – represented by different incarnations from various entries in the Friday the 13th series – has their own strengths and weaknesses. Jason from Part 2 can run while his Part 7 counterpart cannot, however he is much stronger and has a faster swim. Different kills can be purchased that Jason can perform with either his hand or the specific weapon that particular Jason is given. Most of the kills are interchangeable between Jasons, but each has three weapons specific kills that only that Jason can use. These kills are brutal the first time you watch them, but even after that initial time, you start to see how poor the animation in this game truly is.

Yes, even though I happen to think most of the character models look decent, especially each Jason, the animations on them are quite awful. Hair seems to unevenly flow in chunks, the mouths don’t open when the speak half the time and I don’t know if this is part of glitching or the animations are incomplete, but often during a kill it’s like whole animations weren’t there. Their expression didn’t morph, it was just like gore appeared on their face suddenly. The best way I can explain it is to ask you think about an exploitation movie’s graphic scene, for example, someone gets shot in the face. Now say you were to cut out all the frames between when the actor gets shot and it immediately picks up afterwards. It looks awkward and really poor. One of the more massive glitches is the constant glitching and hit detection. I can’t tell you how many times characters fell through things or appeared to be floating in air. Hell, a couple times I found characters floating in mid air or sinking into the ground. There were also times when you would swing your weapon at Jason or vice versa and no damage would occur. This is a serious issue that needs to be resolved. Actually seeing as it’s so bad, I’m surprised it was released in this state. One gamer commented that it feels like we paid full price for a BETA and in this sense, I kind of agree with him.

After about logging in around 12 hours of gameplay (note that I am saying “gameplay,” this does not factor in the time spent sitting around waiting for the game to connect), I played as Jason twice which totaled about 15 minutes. 15 minutes out of 12 hours. Are you fucking kidding me? You can set your preference to spawn as Jason more, but I found this didn’t help. There were even instances where one player would play as Jason several times during the duration where others wouldn’t play as him at all. I don’t know how this randomizer works, but it’s one of the many problems that needs to be fixed.

One of the most difficult things about reviewing the game is that you can’t review it if you can’t play it. Sure, I did get to play it, but I spent an equal amount of time, if not more, waiting for the game to find a session I could join or waiting around in lobbies. Not to mention that if you did find a game, staying connected to it was pure luck of its own. At first I thought that maybe it was my internet, so I scrambled around the house shutting off everything that was connected to the wi-fi and once I was in a lobby, it was there that I noticed the incredibly high ping all of the other players had and everyone was having the same connection troubles.

Jason’s biggest adversary wasn’t the players as the counselors or even Tommy Jarvis… it’s the unfortunate developer that miscalculated how many gamers wanted to play, thus not having enough dedicated servers. This plays into why for hours – or for some days – of not being able to find a session to join and play the game. Gun Media took to social media to comment that the players “Jasoned” the servers, meaning that we overwhelmed them and that’s why the game was laggy, slow or you couldn’t connect. I don’t think they meant to make it sound like they were laying blame on us, but they commented that they tripled the numbers of all the pre-orders and so on, only preparing the servers to handle about 30,000 players. When nearly 100,000 players logged on to play during launch, it crashed their servers. I realize they are a small, independent developer and weren’t expecting Call of Duty numbers here, but c’mon… it’s Friday the 13th! This game has been hyped since it was called Summer Camp and changing it to an official Friday the 13th game only made it more popular, so how could you not expect or prepare for this to be monstrous?

I really, really wanted to love this game, I really did. Friday the 13th is my favorite horror franchise and needless to say that Jason is my favorite slasher villain, but even as an extremely die hard Friday the 13th fan, I couldn’t love this game. This is a game only a mother could love. I’m more like, the second stepfather. Even though I didn’t love it, we connected a few times, had a bonding moment here and there and it’s alright. Friday the 13th feels like an unfinished game that was released. I get the feeling the developers felt as if they couldn’t keep on delaying it, having filled the gamer population full of promises and feared the worst if they did. Being launched with a handful of issues, like the glitches, incomplete animations and major, crippling problems like the server downtime, the terrible lag and ping coupled with repetitive gameplay, keeps it from being the perfect horror game it should have been. Nowadays, gamers unfortunately have shorter attention spans and unless it’s the most recent incarnation of Call of Duty, they won’t play long. Seeing as how there are only a handful of things to do, I get the feeling many will find it stale and unfortunately a majority of player will stop playing after several weeks. Maybe the developer should have focused on the single player mode and adding a story during all these delays.

I know I picked the game apart, but I did have a tremendous amount of fun with this game. It was so nostalgic to be running around Higgins Haven from Part 3, Packanack Lodge from Part 2 and even the original Camp Crystal Lake area itself from the first movie. It was almost like being there and it overjoyed both my film and gaming senses as well as it warmed my heart and that’s something this game has a lot of that people seem to be overlooking; heart’ Friday the 13th: The Game was created by fans who cared about this franchise and cared about bringing you the best experience possible. It’s like they wanted you to feel like a counselor at Crystal Lake and it does feel like you are there. It was a blast to creep around cabins looking for items and hoping that I wasn’t making too much noise and working with others to try and survive the night. After all, surviving together is how you make new friends! Seriously, I’m still playing and chatting with a few folks I met playing this game as well as playing with old friends for the first time in what seems like ages. Even when playing as Jason, you can feel everyone working against you, but there’s no greater feeling when you foil their plan which sends them scattering like cockroaches when you flick on the light. You slowly dwindle their numbers and they panic more, becoming more desperate, but it’s all in good fun. Being able to be Jason do some of his iconic kills felt like an accomplishment and playing as Tommy helping others to survive felt like a real heroic feat.

It’s been a real long time since I sat down and played a game online or even wanted to play a game online. Gun Media has captured the true essence of Friday the 13th in a game and I hope all of the bugs and other issues are fixed and maybe a few more skins, added levels and characters. Maybe we’ll see Crazy Ralph in there somewhere? Or how about Steven from Jason Goes to Hell or Tina from Part 7 and she could have telekinetic abilities! Well, let’s just stick with fixing the current issues first.

Goon Game Review: What Remains of Edith Finch

(Submited by Andrew Peters…Thanks, ho-mie. I’m totally checking this sucka out! 🙂 xoxo)

How a video game is defined or is played has certainly changed since its existence. In the beginning, you had a dial-type controller and a paddle and ball would appear on screen. You used these color overlays that would go over your TV set and it would be up to you, the gamer, to change the type of game it was. Then we moved on into side scrolling, RPG, racing, sports, whatever it may be and that changed from 8-bit to 16-bit and so on until it eventually became 3D. Worlds opened up and became more interactive and story became so structured and integral to the plot, it nearly takes over (not that it’s a bad thing). Some games are so cinematic, you’re virtually watching a movie and that’s kind of how I would describe Developer Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch. It’s like watching a movie that you in essence control to some extent.

The game may not be considered what is defined as a game in the traditional sense by some gamers, but more of an interactive story. I want to say there isn’t much to do in the game or there isn’t much to explore, but that’s painting it too broad, but what I mean those in a more global sense. It’s not an open world exploration and it’s not about really interacting with things in the environment (although there are items that allows you to do so). This is the game’s strongest point; it’s extremely interesting and the stories are well told that you don’t mind and you want to continue. The aesthetic of the game and the house you explore is something that would be an amalgamation between the works of Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. While I personally am not a fan of either of most of their works, I do appreciate their aesthetics and it really works for this game.

It’s a simple premise, but the imagination behind it is not. Players assume the role of a seventeen year old girl named Edith Finch who is chronicling the lives and untimely – and horrible – deaths of her relatives after inheriting the family house and revisiting it after a decade. I know to some of our readers, pretending you’re a seventeen year old girl isn’t out of the norm for you, but this isn’t that, you creeps. The opening of the game reminded me of Resident Evil VII, making your way up a path to an old, dilapidated house and although moments of the game may have horror elements, this isn’t a horror game. This becomes more clear once you enter the home and make your way about, noticing that each family member’s room has a particular theme that will play into how the story is told. For the most part, you don’t have much option in what order you play the stories, since the game is very linear.

However, being linear doesn’t stop the game from keeping you anticipated. Sure, you know the outcome to each story and you can’t exactly go off the beaten path and explore, but it’s how the story takes shape that will make you eager to participate in it. Being that the game revolves around the demise of these family members, some gamers would be excited about the violence and gore, but What Remains of Edith Finch isn’t about that. It’s not about the deaths of these family members per say, but about their journey and how it came to an end. It’s about telling their tragic end in a magical and beautiful way while giving the gamer a unique spectrum of variety in storytelling, even if you don’t have much in the way of control.

The game does allow you to move the character about freely, for the most part, but you are limited to where you can go and what you can do. Aside from being able to zoom in, allowing you to look at objects around the house in finer detail, there’s nothing else you can do unless you are prompted to hold down a button to open a door or one of the bumper buttons to move an object, but the game tries to get creative with its limitations. For example, during young Walter’s story, while being really short, you are confined to a swing. Normally, you would just push down and up on the thumbstick, but here you push the left bumper to kick out his left leg and right bumper to kick out his right leg. Embarrassingly enough, it took me several minutes to figure that out, because it’s something as a gamer I’m not used to. It’s little things like that that will keep you involved in each story.

As I’ve mentioned before, the stories themselves offer a variety of refreshing ways to tell them. The first story you play as young girl who went to bed without dinner. She notices a bird outside her window and upon opening the window, you transform into a cat, then into an owl and then an octopus monster, gobbling up bigger prey each time. It’s a fantastic way to introduce you into the magical element of the game and by magical, I don’t mean there is mystic powers or something like that. I mean that rather than tell you something horrible happened to these people, leaving you feeling empty and hopeless, it gives them a witty and exciting way to be involved with on this journey. Sure, there are some shorter, more simple stories, like the aforementioned Walter, but another story has an 8-bit Legend of Zelda style to it and another one is telling its story through the viewfinder of a camera. My personal favorite is that of Barbara Finch, an ex-child star who was known for her scream. It’s told through an old EC Comic, even going from panel to panel being narrated by a Crypt Keeper type of character. It even uses the Halloween theme for added effect.
The whole experience of What Remains of Edith Finch won’t take you more than two hours and there isn’t much in the way of replay, unless you want to experience a particular story, the game does allow you to skip right to a family member’s tale. It may be a short game, but it’s an experience that’s going to stick with you for a while. I can’t foresee forgetting playing through the stylish segment of Barbara Finch in the near future, but it’s not just about the style. It was also about how well we got to know these characters in a short amount of time. Hell, games that have a much larger playing time can’t even develop characters this good. You’ll get to know these characters in a brief amount of time that it’ll break your heart knowing their fate. You know their gonna die, but you don’t want them to and the entire game foreshadows the ending, but I didn’t want to admit that to myself. You care about these characters, you care about what’s going on. What Remains of Edith Finch, while short, is absolutely beautiful and unique.

Goon Review: Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…I love the crap out of the RE series, generally speaking, but have been hesitant to give this a shot after the mediocrity of the last couple games. Super appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this, Ho-rror Ho-mie…Sounds like I’m gonna have to give it a go after all!! 🙂 xoxo)


When Resident Evil hit the scene in 1996 on the Playstation, little did we know how much it would essentially change our lives. It didn’t give birth to the survival horror genre (in fact, it took the game play and camera placements right out of 1992’s Alone in the Dark), it absolutely changed and popularized it. Never again would we look at the genre the same way again. Resident Evil brought the genre into the spotlight forever and the game itself has spawned over a dozen sequels across many different platforms, some great and others not so great. Resident Evil 6 was by far one of the most disappointing sequels to the fans, focusing heavily on action elements rather than horror and being overloaded with dull, button mashing quick time events. The plot was contrived and, well, stupid, for lack of a better word. The original idea had been so diluted at this point that it barely resembled what it once did and people were sick and tired of being excited for a new Resident Evil game only to be let down harder and harder.

Then comes Resident Evil VII (switching to roman numerals now), which promised to be a whole other experience. The plot was unfamiliar with the series, the game is in a first person perspective to immerse us into the world of survival horror (which is a real treat for you Playstation VR users) and it did away with all those pesky quick time events. Already, it had won fans over and Kitchen Demo that was released blew our socks off. Now that the full game has been out for a little while and we’ve had a chance to play it, we can fully assess Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, the game that may save the franchise. Up front, I have to say it was kind of a rollercoaster, meaning that it has its ups and downs, but the downs aren’t too steep, they just seem like retreaded territory that should have been improved. I know I’m making it sound like it was a disappointment (believe me, it’s not), but it did take away from the overall experience of my playthrough and I couldn’t help but to think about how it could have been improved on. I’m getting way ahead of myself and we haven’t even made proper introductions yet.

The game centers around an average joe, Ethan Winters, whose wife disappeared three years ago and that’s all we know about the guy. We don’t know his day job, we don’t know what kind of survival background he has nor do we know what the dude looks like since it’s all from his perspective and there seems to be a lack of reflections in the game. Suddenly, he receives a video from his wife begging him to stay away from the Baker Estate out in Dulvey, Louisiana. That’s right, we are moving away from Raccoon City or wherever the hell the other games took place. You almost immediately arrive at the Baker Estate, a rather large, old Southern styled mansion, and quickly explore the property to find a back way in seeing as how the front gates are locked and the place doesn’t seem very inviting. This part of the game acclimates you with the basic controls so you are able to get a feel of what you are doing. It controls pretty much like every first person shooter you are familiar with; click the left thumbstick to run, click the right thumbstick to duck, yada yada yada. Along the way, you’ll see some Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired artwork – things made from bones and animal parts – that act as an omen, but before shortly you’re once again entering the world of survival horror. The door behind you slams shut and you’re on your own. A sense of dread washes over overwhelms you. You can’t but feel as if you made a mistake, but there is no turning back now. And THIS is the feeling Resident Evil had long lost, but has finally recaptured.


Things only intensify as you begin exploring the Baker estate. The beginning hour or so acts as a tutorial of such, further getting you familiar with controls and items and what they can do as you’ll learn in one of the most stomach punching, gut wrenching scenes of dismemberment. You quickly find your wife and if you think escape this early on in the game is the end, then you are sadly mistaken. This only acts to raise some questions that need to be answered and, of course, introduce you the Baker family, who you officially meet over a dinner table scene very reminiscent of
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You may be noticing that this game is somewhere between the first Resident Evil game and TCM, which I honestly have to say is a pretty cool crossover. Imagine the Spencer estate from the first game all run down and dirty, filled with mold and rotting food and furniture.

Since I just brought up the Spencer estate and the first Resident Evil game, as the game progresses, you may start to notice that Resident Evil VII not only has the same feel as the original game, but also starts to hit the same beats. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact it’s welcomed. The atmosphere and surroundings are starting to get under your skin and you feel like you’re in constant danger… which you are. One big difference about REVII is the lack of zombies or infected throughout the game. Rather than the game throwing dozens of varied enemies at you, it instead has a lurking, hunting boogeyman in the form of one of the Bakers. As you explore and search the house, looking for answers and trying to solve the puzzles, one of the family members will be stalking you, pacing around the area, kinda like how Scissorman could appear at any moment in Clock Tower or to keep it within the same series, Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, only constant and random. It does add a sense of urgency on your part and makes for some seriously panicked gameplay, but at times I was getting very frustrated. For example, all I was trying to do was open a locked door and Jack, Papa Baker, kept grabbing me and tossing me, because the goddamn door unlocks and opens so slow (because, ya know, tension).

It’s not just being hunted down like a dog as you try and find your wife or an exit. There are puzzle solving elements, some that feel very familiar to those you solved at the Spencer estate in the first game while others feel a bit toned down. That’s actually for the best and helps the Baker estate feel more grounded to reality, as you wouldn’t expect an actual house to have these extravagant puzzles, which it sorta does, but hey… it’s a Resident Evil game. Unfortunately, the puzzles seem few and far inbetween and far too easy for any gamer. In fact, sometimes it feels like they are just giving you the solution. There were a few times with a certain puzzle that requires you to move an object to cast a shadow on the wall, where I swear it’s like the game said, “eh, close enough!” and just gave me the solution.

I had mentioned earlier that the game controls much like a first person shooter, which isn’t a bad thing. Considering we, as gamers, have been conditioned to these controls, it actually makes playing it very easy. The controls also have a classic Resident Evil style going on to them, so it also feels familiar in an old way. Keeping with the old style, you have a limited amount of item space, but unlike the original game, it’s pretty easy to manage and predict what you’re going to need or get to an item box, especially seeing as all the areas seem to loop around, making it easier to find one or even avoid whoever is chasing you. The number of items you carry can be expanded by finding backpacks and you can even combine items, mixing them together to make a single item, like herbs, only this time only green herbs are available. Those herbs can be taken on their own to refill a little bit of health or you can mix them with a chemical pack to make a stronger First Aid formula that heals much more. You can use those same chemical packs to make ammo or stimulants which can be used to find better items. The game also offers permanent health items that carry over into new games once you have beaten it.

There are some downsides to Resident Evil VII, however. I mentioned that it can be frustrating at times when you are trying to accomplish a single goal and a member of the Baker family is preventing you from doing so. It’s especially frustrating when it forces you to backtrack and linger around, waiting for them to move, just so you can do something, like advance through a door. I know the Baker’s are the only enemies I talked about, but there is more. To be exact, ONE more. An enemy called the molded will spawn from these moldy looking spots and they bob and weave, making them difficult to hit and can pack quite a punch. What else? That’s it. Seriously. Just the Baker’s and the molded. To be fair, you get three variations of the molded; the normal, crawling on the ground and quick and fat, but tough. It’s your average variety of the villain and as you run through the game, you will start to feel nostalgic for the zombies, especially in this setting, but then again, they don’t fit into this story. Believe it or not, the enemies that spawn have a reason for being there. The biggest offender about the game is that it uses the same stale, tiring survival horror setup.

Ok, so, the game starts being generous, giving you lots of ammo and health items. Then, it shoves you into corridors and lashes wave and wave of overpowered enemies at you, thus depleting you of the items you just collected. This makes no logical sense to do to a player and to think it’s still being done in games is just ridiculous. The game will also stock you back up on those items and you’ll wander into a room that looks an awful lot like some kind of arena, usually with explosive stuff around, indicating a boss fight. Again, why is this still being done? This completely removes the gamer from any heightened sense of fear they may be experiencing, because you can see it coming a mile away. It’s seriously disappointing to see this still being used. Resident Evil VII lacks some of the actual tense moments, often telegraphing ahead of what is to come and this removes any chance of a legit scare.

Is it the perfect Resident Evil game we all hoped for and thought it would be? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a damn fine game. It’s a step in the right direction, even if it wasn’t perfect. It was the breath of fresh air that the series needed. I was glad to see the series dump all of that stupid, nonsense and cartoonishly over the top action and character stories that built up to nothing and went absolutely nowhere (I’m looking at you Ada and Leon). Resident Evil VII does a great job at not leaving plot holes or feeling convoluted and actually raises enough questions to answer, but also leaving a few unanswered so you want more. It was great to see all the homages to the first game, but ultimately that’s all they were. Luckily, the series is headed in the right direction and needs to continue on this path if it wants to make a full comeback. Still, I highly enjoyed Resident Evil VII and I would like to see what comes next.

Goon Review: The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier Episode 1: Ties That Bind

(Thanks so much to Mr. Andrew Peters for this radass review…I love all of TT’s TWD tit-les, and I shall be checking this one mout posthaste!! 🙂 xoxo)

Before we get started on the review, doesn’t that episode sound familiar? Like we’ve heard it before. Was this a title for another Walking Dead game or a superhero game of some kind? Anyway, it’s irrelevant. So, the third season of The Walking Dead subtitled A New Frontier debuted not only it’s first episode, but its second one as well, although for now we will only be talking about the first which is called Ties That Bind Part 1 and it does have some relevance into what happens. Personally, I would love a second season of The Wolf Among Us or Tales From the Borderlands, but I do want to see some closure with Clementine’s character, if done justice.

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Being the fourth Walking Dead series from Telltale, I was worried about this season coming off as stale, seeing as how TWD: Michonne was so milquetoast, it may as well not have existed. Not only that, any incarnation of TWD seems to pander to an audience that only wants to see gore and zombies, shaping itself after the television show. Michonne really suffered from having too many characters that had no substance and you didn’t care about them, which was extremely disappointing seeing as that’s what these games are known for. However, we’ve grown with TWD’s main character Clementine over two seasons. We’ve watched the decaying world – both the state of humanity and the physical form of them – tear away at her as she has resisted to become anything less, but the end of the second season saw her and Jane being pushed to the limit by an old friend.

However, A New Frontier doesn’t throw us right into Clementine’s situation yet. We’re introduced to a new character, Javi. The game opens right as the outbreak is taking place, but people aren’t really aware of it, as we see Javi running to his brother David’s home and explains that he’s late because the highway was congested. His brother insults him, even hits him, because their father died and Javi, being the favorite son, should have been there, but we learn that Javi was never really around. We’re also introduced to other family members, like David’s son Gabe, David’s wife Kate, which the two seem to have a mutual interest in one another and there are various other family members, but the only other one that really matters is Mariana, Javi’s younger niece. Suddenly, Mariana is bringing her grandfather’s favorite drinking cup to him as the others tell her that he’s sleeping, to which she tells them he isn’t… dun dun DUN! Not the strongest opening the series has had, but it was really decent, maybe even a little chilling. Javi’s got some potential to be a good character, so let’s see what’s in store.

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As they check the room, zombie gramps bites grandma on the face and another on the hand. David takes them to the hospital and Javi looks after Kate, Mariana and Gabe. We cut to someone time later and the four seem to have been traveling in a van not down by the river, but all over looking for food, gas, maybe even a home. Gabe and Mariana are asleep in the back seat, giving us the players some time with Kate and Javi to get to know them as Kate lights up a phatty and your first big choice is to toke with her or not. Okay, TWD, I get it. Weed’s legal now. This wakes up the kids just in time as you find a junkyard and you decide to explore it. Before doing so, you get a little bonding time with Mariana, kinda like how Lee did with Clem back in the first season. It was a nice touch to call back to that subtly, even if it doesn’t seem as strong. It’ll make sense when you play it.

Things go sour quickly after the group finds a cache of food and Javi is jumped by a group that seems to share a similar mark on their body, like they were branded like cattle. Javi lies about the having others with him and is en route to their base when a tree falls in the middle of the road, blocking the way and crashing the truck. Upon exiting, you have the option to shoot the driver or let him go, but that all depends on how cold blooded you are. Turns out that tree falling was no coincidence as the little saboteur reveals themself as… get ready for it… CLEMENTINE! She’s back and she’s a little older and has a potty mouth and an attitude. Oh Clem, what made you this way? Well, this is something you should know if you are playing with saved games from Seasons One and Two. The game shapes her and her past after what choices you made during your gameplay, which is very, very cool. If you don’t have any previous game saves, the games creates her past at random, so on my PS4 playthrough, I saw what happened to Clem and Jane after the events of the second season and although it was predictable, it was very sad because I liked Jane’s character. On my playthrough on PC that you can watch, I had no saves, so one was created for me and it was just uneventful and only led to Clem missing a finger for no reason. Huh, okay then.

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Clem and Javi pitstop at a safe town where the people seem friendly and you’re even introduced to a few new characters and get a little insight into Javi’s past. Personally, I liked Tripp who’s basically a loveable oaf. It doesn’t take long before Clem causes some problems and lands you in one of their homemade holding cells, but the most interesting thing is that nobody really seems to care about what happened. You’re given the option of sticking up for Clem or throwing her under the bus and if you do that, then I must believe you have no soul. You’re also given the option of sneaking out at night with one of the characters you met or waiting in the morning for Tripp to take you to the junkyard. Now, believe it or not, your choices will seemingly have a vastly different outcome. First time, I chose to sneak out only to arrive at the junkyard with two of my family members dead, so I went back and played again, waited for Tripp and got a much happier outcome… for the moment.

This is where the game really starts to take off. Seeing as how the truck is destroyed, Javi manages to convince Clem to head back to the junkyard to find his family and depending on how you converse with her, you can build a nice budding friendship, which is what I’m doing. I’ve missed Clem and I can’t be mean to her, seeing as we’ve already been through so much and I know what she’s lost. Once you reach the junkyard, it looks as if it’s been turned over and lit on fire, but you quickly find your family and everything seems like it’s going to be alright… yeah, sure. If there is one thing The Walking Dead tries to do way too much, it’s lull you into a false sense of security. I do have to admit, it kinda worked here. As Javi’s relationship was building with one of the characters, it became more clear what was going to happen, seeing as The Walking Dead just can’t help itself from steering away from this one trope, but it kinda got to me, especially as graphic as it happens. Your final choice is to stay and fight your attackers with Clem or bail with your family.

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After a long, overdue wait, Clementine is finally back and it’s great to see her again (especially after the remarkably disappointing Michonne). As gamers, we’ve grown up with Clem and to see her as the teenager she’s grown into is both depressing and you’re proud of her at the same time for making it as far as she has and depending on your choices, you get hints that she’s still the same girl you’ve grown to love. I’m excited to see what else she’s been up to since she’s been gone and at the time I’m scared at what might happen to her. At first, I thought Javi was just gonna be a cliched character with nothing interesting going on and was only going to be a vehicle for Clementine, but he’s actually shaping up into a likeably guy. Even if you decide to be a dick to everyone with him, you’re making the choices, so you still root for him. Javi and Clem make a great pair and luckily it’s not a retread of the father-daughter dynamic Clem and Lee had, but it’s something new altogether. Survivors becoming friends and that’s what The Walking Dead is all about! Part Two of Ties That Bind is looking to be another great episode, so we’ll dive into that one soon.

Goon Review: Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 3: New World Order

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks Kinky Ho-bot! 🙂 xoxo)

Oh man, we are in for a world of shit (a New World Order, amirite?). The third episode of Telltale’s Batman series entitled New World Order is all amount making some choices that seem like they are going to have some serious repercussions and lemme tell ya… they do. Oh, they do. I feel like I am saying this and going to continue saying this, but this episode has you making the biggest decisions yet, one of which is really gonna leave you feeling dirty if you do, but damned if you don’t.

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The third episode opens up with Harvey in the hospital and depending on if you attempted to save him or not, he’s either going to still look as sharp as ever or like half the man he used to be. I mentioned in the last review on Episode 2 that I felt Batman would have attempted to save Harvey and knew Selina could handle herself, so I acted on that. Harvey looks good and all, seems thankful, but something isn’t right with the guy. Seems like the drug he was giving may be resurfacing some old, violent feelings. This is immediately followed up with a seemingly tough decision to help either Officer Montoya who is in trouble with the Children of Arkham or Harvey who seems to be in a similar predicament. I say seemingly because it had no effect on what happens to any character this episode and Batman doesn’t seem any closer to finding anything out about this new villain.

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That’s enough about Batman, what about Bruce Wayne, who this game is really about? Giving the recent light about his family’s dealings with crime boss Carmine Falcone and how Thomas Wayne was pretty much a despicable scumbag, Bruce is being told he’s gotta step down as CEO of Wayne Enterprises, but not to worry as they have already found a perfect replacement; Oswald Cobblepot! Clearly, this stinks and I’m not talking about the fish in the room. Bruce knows he’s being setup and this interaction is actually quite a bit of fun as you can play on all different reactions Bruce would have, like from being apologetic and self loathing or the route I took, being a smug, sarcastic dick to Oz. Screw this guy. He’s already shown his intentions, so there is no reason to be nice to this guy. At the end of it is another decision that I hadn’t really noticed a major outcome of and that is to have Lucious Fox leave Wayne Enterprises with you or stay on board as your eyes and ears. As I said, I’m not sure what difference this would make, but I told him to stay put. Never hurts to have a spy on the inside.

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So, why would Wayne Enterprises appoint Oz, a criminal, as the new CEO? Well, not only has he wiped his background (I guess it’s that easy), but it also looks good for the company to appoint the guy whose mother was unjustly committed to Arkham by Thomas so he could steal her fortune. Told you this guy was a scumbag. Seriously, the more I hear about Thomas, the more I hate him and it somehow really changes the impact Batman’s origin has on you. Sure, he’s doing the right thing, but his dad kinda deserved what he got. Even Vicki Vale seems to think so and it’s up to Batman to try and set things straight with her in another interaction that, you guessed it, seemingly doesn’t have any consequence. For the first time in this game, maybe even a Telltale game, I’m beginning to feel like my actions don’t have any real weight to the world it’s shaping and maybe this – the game’s – outcome is predetermined. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions.

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The game also has some more detective solving to do, but this time around, I gotta admit that it feels weak and I wasn’t fascinated with it. In fact, I found myself rushing through it just to get the story moving again, because that’s where the real interest is. I wanted to see what happens next. This time, the investigating takes place at a train depot where Batman attempts to further unravel the Children of Arkham’s plan, but when Catwoman shows up, things go to shit real quick and you’re treated with another fight sequence along with your first duel with this new bad guy. It’s not a tough brawl, but it is pretty fun. Batman and Catwoman escape back to her place and I think we all know what could happen if you play your cards right. And I did. And they do. Pow. I knew I shouldn’t have, because of Harvey’s feelings for her, but I can’t resist her or the real connection we (I mean Bruce, of course) have. Look at that babe. How could you not? Needless to say, Harvey shows up and attacks them both revealing his true self, big bad Harv. Bruce and Selina notice that he has a personality disorder and like good friends, you are forced to whoop his ass and once you are done, he leaves. Sure, I was feeling a little guilty, but that Selina Kyle… M’ROW!

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For the finale of this episode, Bruce needs to address the CEO change at Wayne Enterprises and is asked to read from the teleprompter or ad lib. I think I knew what we would all do. I slang mud at Oz, because once again, fuck that guy, dropped the mic and walked off stage. If you thought that was intense, brother, you ain’t seen nothing yet. While in the audience, Bruce is having a chat with a character we know and is well established who pricks him with a pen, injecting him with the same toxin Harvey was at the debate. This character then reveals themself to be the leader of the Children of Arkham! I won’t say who or even what the villain’s name is, because that would spoil it (although in later reviews I will have to, but for now you will be spared), but I have to admit that it got one over one me. I didn’t see it coming. Not in a long shot, so kudos to Telltale!

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All in all, New World Order seemed to have some very heavy decisions, but you notice quickly that they had absolutely no consequence… at first. Later, I started think about what if I had done something differently, like not snogged Selina. I couldn’t help but wonder if Harvey still would have gone ballistic if I had been there. Now that I think about it, most likely. I feel like the consequences in this episode are short lived, if at all and won’t have any effect in later episodes. They didn’t seem to have that much of an impact, but I do have to say the story here is really start to take noticeable shape and I’m beginning to really feel for Bruce. I don’t think he’s no longer an whiny emo kid, but rather a good guy on the fence about everything. Who his father is, what’s happening to his best friend, his feelings for a girl. All while some twit is taking your company out from under you when you know he’s up to no good and a new villain is causing problems. I gotta say, you really start to feel that pressure on every decision you make, so maybe they don’t have to have an impact, because they are making you worry that they will. It’s these kind of decisions that Telltale has cleverly inserted into the game so that you will want to play through a second or a third time.

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So even though the detective stuff wasn’t anything to write home about, there was some action that felt pretty good finally be able to do more as Batman, but it was this story where you really feel the characters becoming who they really are and that’s what made me hooked. I like these characters – including Oz, who I was unsure about for the first two episodes – and I can’t wait to see what happening next, especially since we now know who the villain is and Bruce has the drug in him! Shit’s about to get real!

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Inside (hehe ;) Review

(Back to Back Gaming goodies fer ya, courtesy of Mr. Andrew Peters. Thanks for this, Ho-rror Ho-mie!! Your vids are too cute!! 🙂 xoxo)

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Playdead’s first game Limbo was about a boy searching for his sister in Hell. Of course you wouldn’t know this, because the game doesn’t tell you. It has no direct narrative as to what is going on, but cleverly leaves it up to the player to figure it out as they play the game. And that’s what this review is; my interpretation of the game. Now, it’s not completely vague and a lot of the stuff is pretty easy to guess what is happening, so I did do a little research and it turns out there are many like minded folk, so keep this in mind as you are reading this review, that what I’m telling you is both my experience of the game and then comparing to others. There’s no dialogue or cutscenes to tell you what is happening, but rather you get subtle clues from objects or something happening in the background or something you have to overcome face to face. It was something that hadn’t really been done before and it was really fresh and cool, mixed with the art style, everything being silhouetted in the foreground and ominous music and puzzles varying in difficulty, Playdead made their mark. It was a semi-difficult, dark toned and yet rewarding adventure.

Their latest game, Inside, follows the same formula, but feels like it improves on them at the same time. , Inside is also a 3D side scrolling puzzle platformer, but takes things out of the shadows and gives them some color while keeping them vague. You play as a red shirted boy who is making his way through the woods while being chased – and avoiding detection – from faceless men. Now, I literally mean faceless. That’s one of the first things you will realize about the game as once you start, you are instantly dropped into this world; nobody has a face. At first, it may seem like a cool art direction, which it is, but as you play and you learn about what is happening and realizing who or what the these men are and what they are doing, it becomes clear as to why they are faceless. Shortly after, you see them loading dozens of people into trucks and driving away, but again, the reason is never told and leaves you to figure it out. As you march through the woods and through a cornfield, you happen upon a farm, but right away you will notice something very wrong; all of the animals are dead (with the exception of some cute chicks) and there seem to be some sort of parasitic worms. Beyond that, you venture into a rural area where people are being marched into what seems like a factory. Suddenly, you realize they don’t seem to be marching against their will, but almost as if they are being mind controlled. Further and further as you explore, even going as far as underwater exploration in a tiny little James Cameron sub, you find yourself in a lab and to get through it and to get answers, these mindless people seem to be helping you and this is an interesting part of the game. There are thing helmet devices scattered through the game that the player will need to use to control these people to help with puzzles. This may include, using brute strength in numbers to pull something open or to control someone elsewhere to open a door. These become increasingly difficult as the game progresses, but nothing that is too frustrating and I’m sure with a short amount of time, you can figure them out on your own. All of these will reveal answers, but will you like what you find at the end?

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As I was saying, the plot is never made clear, it’s never told directly to the player what is going on or what exactly anything is. You are left to figure that out through your adventure and it leaves it up to your own interpretation. You easily and quickly get a feel for the oppressive nature, like the population is being controlled by these men that seem to be guarding places or chasing after you with flashlights and dogs (that will rip you, a little kid, apart!), so you may guess that it’s the government. But, what exactly do they want with all these people? Why mind control them? Along my adventures, I was noticing all of these tubes that people seemed to be stuffed in, mixed with all of the dead animals, led me to believe that in this world people are being farmed for food. Yes, we got a Soylent Green situation happening here. I also made the conclusion that this probably took place during the early ‘80s from the aesthetics, but didn’t fully make this conclusion until at one point in the game you see a tape recorder and stacks of VHS tapes. By now, you start to realize how government controlled everything feels and the game’s George Orwell-ian vibe is thicker than oil. It’s a dark, dystopian 1980’s future and you don’t even realize it until you are nearing the end of the game. Now the end of the game is a little mind boggling as it kind of steps into Akira territory, but mixed with other subtle props in the background, you get the feeling that this was being controlled all along. Keep in mind that there is an alternative ending that is achieved by finding and destroying thirteen hidden orbs throughout the game that is a little more direct on what’s happening, but it’s not any happier.

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The game mechanics are rather easy, you just move left or right and jump when necessary. You can also grab objects to reveal passages or to move items to help you solve a puzzle. It’s easy and the game doesn’t prompt displays on how to move about or control, but rather treats you with some intelligence and eases you into how the game is played through increasingly difficult puzzles and situations. It doesn’t show you exactly what to do, but rather hints at how to go about figuring something out, so you aren’t left hanging, but you aren’t having your hand held either. However, it’s not just the puzzles that will be trying to stop you, it’s various things in the environment, like some sort of concussion blast that will literally blow this poor kid apart unless you time his movements right and use obstacles to block the blast. Another thing it a long haired, naked child that swims in the water and seemingly wants to drown you, thus forcing you to cause diversions or be very quick before either you run out of oxygen or you are pulled into the dark abyss.

I could keep going on, but Inside is a short experience (I beat it in just under two hours) that you should indulge in. It’s not about heavy handing a plot or theme to the player, but rather letting them figure it out and it manages to impact you with emotions from the oppressive imagery and what seems to be happening. I can’t wait to see what Playdead comes up with next. I’m sure it will involve horribly killing a child. (#DaretoDream -D.P.)

Batman: A Telltale Game- Chapter One- Realm of Shadows Review

(Happy #SuperheroSunday, fiendbots!! This rockin’ review brought to you courtesy of Mr. Andrew Peters. Thanks, So Much More than Ho-rror Ho-mie!!! 😉 xoxo)

Over the years, no matter the media, we’ve seen a lot of different iterations of The Batman. From campy with nipples on his suit to somewhat serious and dark tone, everyone has their own idea what or how the Dark Knight should be represented. Telltale Games representation of the caped crusader seems to be a mish-mash of numerous Batman incarnations, like the Arkham series from Rocksteady, to the TV series Gotham and even a little bit of Tim Burton’s Batman. It’s actually a pretty good mix for the most part and although a few things bugged me, it’s overall really, really good.

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The game starts out with some action as Batman is taking down some seriously armed thugs and the game then cuts back and forth to a conversation with Alfred about Bruce pushing his limits. Sound familiar? Well it should, because Alfred went on and on about it in Batman Begins. In fact, another similarity it shares with that film is Batman is still relatively new to the scene. The cops have a task force specially designed to hunt him down, led by James Gordon, who is actually in cahoots with the Batman. The other cops don’t seem to know this as they will just open fire on the poor bastard. Anyway, after knocking out the thugs, Batman has his first run-in with Catwoman, rocking the Jim Lee style costume and black goth makeup. For a video game character, she looks pretty hot, as much as I hate using that word to describe looks. After a brief battle, she escapes and Bruce returns to the Batcave to analyze the data he found on the scene Catwoman was trying to steal. Of course, more lecturing from Alfred, Batman’s parents are still dead, blah, blah and now comes the oddest addition to the game. You ready for this?

telltale1 telltale2Oswald Cobblepot (you know, the Penguin?) is Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend. He’s looking a lot like David Tenant (“NICE!!!!!” -D.P.) and has a thing for crime. Clearly this is the major influence coming from the show Gotham, but it’s kind of… weird. I dunno, I didn’t hate this change, it just kinda threw me off and I can’t seem to get use to the idea. In any case, the two haven’t seen each other since they were kids, yet Bruce is able to recognize him right away (probably from keeping an eye on him) at his fancy party he’s throwing for Harvey Dent, who is running for mayor against the corrupt Mayor Hill, who I mostly remember as kind of a weenie from Batman: The Animated Series. Carmine Falcone crashes the party and tells Bruce and Harvey to play along or they’ll regret it. Of course being a Telltale Game, that option is very much up to you.

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After meeting up with Oswald, or “Oz” as Bruce calls him and Oz calls Bruce “Brucey” (just go with it), you learn the Cobblepot fortune is gone and he tells Bruce he plans on bringing Anarchy to Gotham and taking back what is his, clearly setting his character up very early. However that won’t be so easy with Carmine Falcone in the way, who Bruce knows he has to take down if Harvey is ever going to get elected and set the city straight once and for all. You finally get to be Batman once again and start solving crimes and taking down scumbags, but the game has plenty of surprises in it and one hell of a cliffhanger ending that will leave you in anticipation for the second episode.

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This is just as much of a Bruce Wayne game as it is a Batman game. Actually come to think of it, it’s more of a Bruce Wayne game. You spend a great deal as the billionaire playboy analyzing data or making important decisions. These decisions will come back to haunt you and will shape the game you play in later chapters. For instance, toward the end you have the option of giving the evidence against Falcone to either Jim Gordon or reporter Vicky Vale. I forgot to mention that talking to Vicky also has its consequences, but it all depends on how you approach her and one crucial bit where you can choose what kind of statement to give to the press, if you decide to leave one. As usual, all of the decisions have to be made in precise timing, each answer representing a different attitude and possibly affecting your future relationship with that character.

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Playing as Batman has a few different modes. Knowing it couldn’t be answering questions, this is where the game throws the QTEs (remember, that’s Quick Time Events) at you and they come at you real fast. I often found myself pressing the wrong buttons or not quick enough, yet there didn’t seem to be a real consequence for doing so. I noticed there was a little Batman meter in the lower left corner that filled up when you pressed a button correctly and decreased when you messed up. I never decreased it all the way, but I assume the game would end and you start at the checkpoint. The fight scenes are pretty satisfying, maybe more so than a button masher, but the real fun comes in the detective parts of the game. That’s right, you get to solve puzzles! Using different gadgets for a multitude of things, like tracking the trajectory of a bullet or figuring out how to take out a number of armed guards, the game leaves you to solve these clues using the devices they give you. There is a small number of these in the game, but that’s alright since it’s a really solid Batman story.

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I don’t think it’s Telltale’s greatest game (so far, I give that nod to A Wolf Among Us…Fuck yes, I LOVE that game!!!!“), but I can’t make the assessment yet, as this is only the first chapter and there are four more to go. Minus the whole weird Oswald Cobblepot thing (and even that could turn around), this is a really cool, really tense Batman story, even if it gets a little too melodramatic at times. I can’t wait to see where they go with Oz and to see Catwoman return and what her relationship with Bruce/Batman fleshes out into and if Harvey will become Two-Face… or if there are any surprise villains for future episodes? Guess we’ll have to tune in to the same Bat-channel when the second chapter is released. (On Sept. 20, if you were wondering. ;))

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode One: In Too Deep Review

(Submitted by Andrew Peters…Thanks, ho-mie. This baby’s on my ASAP list, so awesome to get your take on it. 🙂 xoxo)

Telltale Games’ latest undertaking into The Walking Dead series was not a third season like we were all hoping, but instead a look into some missing history in one of the franchise’s most popular characters. However, it’s not a means to exactly exploit the popularity of her character, but rather is an answer to the fans to try and explain what caused her to leave Rick, Ezekiel and the others in the comics… and what brought her back. This asks the burning question, “does this need to be told?”

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Right from the start, the story starts strong as we assume control of the game’s titular character who seems to be haunted by her past, running from it. She very much is suffering from PTSD, which offers for some tense moments, but unfortunately for the game, nothing else. You don’t start in any action, which is totally fine, but you do get the sense of what is pulling Michonne apart as she is saved by another survivor and we cut to her adrift on the water on a boat with a different group and this is where the game really suffers; in its characters. But let’s talk about the gameplay a little more first.

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The game, like all Telltale games, is a mix of QTE for the action segments and answering questions in a timely fashion, The way you answer these questions are not only going to affect how a character will see you or further interact with you, but it will affect outcomes in the chapter and future chapters, allowing you to have multiple story branches. The story itself is nothing really new and feels stale at this point, so I didn’t find myself worrying about the decisions I had made. Furthermore, the QTE didn’t seem as urgent as they have in previous Telltale games. I never felt panicked or on edge about the timing of pressing the right buttons at the right time. In fact, there didn’t seem to be any penalty for pressing the wrong buttons. Nothing about the gameplay seemed like I was ever in any danger and as I said, I didn’t care much for how I responded to the questions, although I found myself playing into more how Michonne would answer something rather than how I would.

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Unfortunately for The Walking Dead: Michonne, one of it’s greatest weaknesses is in its characters, who I get the feeling aren’t going to make it and so far don’t warrant any feelings or interest. I didn’t find myself invested in anyone that was introduced into the story and they seem to fill the roles of the sympathetic and compassionate type to the gruffy, creepy and crazy type. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground for these characters, offering no variety and at this point, we have seen these types of characters far too much in any iteration of The Walking Dead. The villain, Randall, seemed somewhat over-the-top and he may as well have been twirling a mustache while lightning crashed every time he said something evil. All other characters didn’t seem subtle, so it’s easy to see who is on your side and who isn’t. It was very black and white.

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Oddly enough, I wish there were more action segments. I mean, the game opens up with you chopping down a few bushes, which isn’t very action oriented. I realize it was probably to acclimate you with the game, but by now we all know how Telltale games are played. We can’t open with some zombie slaying? It’s a minor gripe, but as the game progresses, you will get a few action segments that cements Michonne as one of the most badass zombie killers.

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The Walking Dead: Michonne is by far Telltale’s weakest entry into their library of games, but it’s not by a long shot a terrible game, just a very vanilla story thus far. The voice acting was very well done, as usual, and is probably the strongest feature in the game. This is only the first episode and with two remaining, it still has some time to shape up.

Video Game Review: Resident Evil Zer0

(by Andrew Peters…Thanks, Ho-mie!! 🙂 xoxo)

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Resident Evil 0 hit the scene in 2002, just as the series was transitioning from survival horror games with kinda dumb plots to QTE, outrageously over the top action with really stupid plots. Being a prequel, it was supposed to explain what happened to the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team and why the T-Virus was released and how the Spencer Mansion fit into all that and to the game’s credit, it does… kinda. Like I said, it’s very, very stupid. It’s done so in a paper thin, cliched, face palming manner and you have to wonder if they let school children write this. Is this the best they could come up with? Some overly broody pop singer looking dude who is actually an older scientist who was working with these slugs that somehow got infected with the T-Virus and then they managed to find his dead body after he was murdered by Dr. Birkin and Wesker (wait, so they just threw out his biohazardous work in the garbage like two day old pizza?), crawled into his mouth, brought him back to life and gave him the ability to change his age? Yup, that’s the story we are going with. Oh, but what about Bravo team? Oh you know, they are there at the beginning and… yeah, that’s it. So what the hell is the point of a prequel if you aren’t going to explain anything?

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Well now that’s out of the way, we can talk about the gameplay itself and since Capcom is remastering just about every other game in their catalog, this game would be the next logical step. When they aren’t repackaging the same ol’ Street Fighter game every year, Capcom has already released remastered versions of Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 is currently in production, so that brings us to Resident Evil 0.

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There are certain aspects of the game I like and certain aspects I don’t like and unfortunately when something is bad in this game, boy is it bad. We already talked about how bad the plot was, but I can forgive a bad plot. I do it all the time. Just read my reviews and you will see what I mean. A bad plot can be overlooked as long as the gameplay is fun, right? After all, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the adventure. For starters, it’s the classic, cinematic looking Resident Evil, with the fixed camera angles, the sloshy zombie sounds and the moody lighting. It’s those details that really make it feel like you’re playing a zombie movie and not just some typical, run of the mill zombie shooter. Being a classic RE style game, it’s centered around survival horror, survival being the key word. This isn’t overpowered boss fights or grab this item and bring it here, which is what RE has become (and The Evil Within… *shudders*). These puzzles require you to think or look back at notes you may have collected. They require a lot of trial and error and at the end of it, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You feel proud, not like now where it feels like you are rushing to get to the end.

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Unfortunately, nostalgia is where the fun ends with me. Wanting to do something a little different with the game, the designers removed the save room/item box management system and now players can drop items wherever, whenever willy nilly. Sure, it sounds nice on paper not having to travel back and forth to save rooms, making sure you have the right items, but this is where the problem lies. If you don’t know what item you will need, you may have to backtrack through long sections of the game just to get a specific item. This means, constantly checking maps and backtracking through numerous areas and enemies and this can take a long, long time. And remember, this is back when survival horror meant survival. You can’t waste your ammo on every enemy, because that will come back to bite you on the ass, almost literally. Some people actually prefer this, but me… not so much. In fact, I find it very frustrating when you spend an enormous amount of time backtracking across multiple maps, making your way through enemies, swapping things and making compromises in your menu, racking your brain solving a puzzle and then you die. Guess what? Time to do that shit all over again. It was a nice attempt, but ultimately I don’t think it worked.

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Well, it is an HD remaster, but is it actually or is it like the original Resident Evil HD Remaster (a remaster of a remaster… it’s Inception!) that was hardly improved upon? Luckily, Resident Evil 0 is noticeable sharper. Like, a lot. Objects and characters look less polygonal and are more rounded with sharper details (this also makes those decaying zombie features look more gross). Speaking of sharper details, the pre-rendered backgrounds have a smoother, more sharp look to all their detail, making them stick out more. The game is wonderfully presented in 1080p widescreen, 16:9 ratio, which the GameCube version wasn’t. Shadows and lights look deeper and brighter, adding a whole new level of dimension and helps create that creepy and moody atmosphere. However, the cutscenes look like they were recorded straight from their GameCube source and stretched out to 16:9. Seriously, they look so terrible, that it makes the in game graphics look even better. The audio was also remixed in 5.1 surround, which is pure nostalgic fun when you hear those zombies sloshing footsteps and over exaggerated moans coming from behind you and mixed with those cinematic camera angles, you know something is in the room with… but where?

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But with classic RE style games, comes those RE style tank controls that, well, suck for the lack of a better word. The remastered version offers up an “improved” control, but that’s not true. I actually found the classic controls (even the D-pad instead of the analog sticks) to work even better, so I had to restart my game. Sure it was only a few hours, but how about allowing the player to change control types in the pause menu? C’mon, Capcom, it’s not like this is the first game you made. Previous Resident Evil games on PS1 had this option! Also like classic RE games, a new mode is unlocked once you beat the game. Newly added to this remastered version is the “Wesker Mode” where you play as a darker version of Rebecca and Wesker who is all super powered. That’s it. Black leather and red eyes means you’re bad.

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Ultimately, the bad outweighs the good for me. The plot is so paper thin, boring and stupid that it’s hard to overlook or maybe it would be easier if I didn’t spend hours backtracking and having to restart because I died for some bullshit reason. I appreciate the effort into trying something new, but maybe in a future remastered edition, you should take the time to improve on certain things that didn’t work so well the first time around. I would say if you have a GameCube and this game, don’t bother to upgrade, but if you want, the game is now available for $20 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, XBox One and PC.

(Streaming vid also by AP, btw…which sounds way dirtier than it is, unfortunately. ;))

Ho-stess’s PS– Thanks for the warning, Mr. Goon, but I loved the crippity crap outta this game on GC, so I’m still totally checking out the new and improved (? ;)) version. Also, Billy is freaking hot. 🙂 xo

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