When the current consoles of the day were the original Playstation, the Sega Saturn, and the N64, I was pretty much exclusively playing on PC. Overall I would not complain about this, as this was the time I discovered some of my favorite games of all time. However, it did mean I missed a classic here or there that was exclusive to one console or another. And while I thought nothing of it at the time, this would be one of those games. Years later, I found myself adoring the newer Castlevania titles on the Gameboy Advance and DS as great exploratory games, so I also found myself wanting to play the first one to do just that. Now as I put my controller down, I’m glad to finally play this amazing entry in the franchise.
And here we have another game that comes back from my childhood. In this case, it was a PC game my brother picked up. I think he was amused that the villain was a joker named Malcolm. But at the time, this game ended with anger as a glitch in his copy broke the game when he was approached by the knife-juggling joker, which broke down the game screen before it into garbled pixels, prematurely ending it all.
Years later, I found not only this game, but the entire trilogy on gog.com, and remembering an interesting title. I wanted to see how it ended, I picked it up, playing the first game for Extra Life… and I can’t say it was a bad decision. Come on in and see.
We have done it again. There is a lot of bullshit that 2016 (and 2015, for that matter) will always be remember for, but this weekend was definitely one of the positive highlights. If you do not know what Extra Life is (and I really hope you do), it is a yearly 24-hour gaming marathon held by and to support the hostipals of the Children’s Miracle Network. This Saturday, gamers from around the world woke up, picked up their controllers, joysticks, cards, dice, figures, and whatever else one of the best hobbies in the world demanded of them, and played just about non-stop until Sunday morning when they could pass out from lack of sleep, happy in knowing their actions were watched and drawing donations from people around the world to help them support their local hospitals. We here at the Red Sector were no exception.
In 2002, Nintendo was riding the successful tide of two major releases in their often ignored Metroid franchise: Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion. Both games came out to high acclaim and popularity. In fact, this may have been the best time for the franchise in it’s entire life. Knowing they had struck gold and wanting more, they began working on other games… the result in the 3D Metroid series was Metroid Prime 2, but a “new” 2D game was missing. Instead, Nintendo chose to remake the original title for their then current portable console as Metroid: Zero Mission.
Anyone who played this game (myself included) adored it, recognizing it as a proper game fore the series and the upgrade to the NES classic that it was. But that very idea got ideas buzzing. After all, if Nintendo was willing to do this for the original game, what about it’s sequel? After all, the NES version of Metroid was (and is) still very enjoyable as it has aged rather well. Sadly we can not say the same for the sequel which was limited right away by what the Gameboy could do, but Nintendo to date has not moved on this opening.
Then a few months ago, something wonderful happened and a project to do what Nintendo has yet to released in time for the 30th anniversary of the franchise. After a decade of work by one dedicated fan, AM2R was in the wild! And then Nintendo wasted no time pooping on the party by giving the project a DMCA.
Now I’m not blaming them for that action. After all, Metroid 2 is their game and this is a remake of the original, not a “spin-off” fan game. However, that does not mean I had any intention of missing this amazing title. And now as we come to the end of the 100 Days of Gaming for Extra Life, I put down my controller, happy to have the chance to complete what is arguably the best Metroid game we have seen since Metroid Prime 3 rolled around.
Back in the day when the Wii was at it’s height of popularity, I had gotten one mainly for the third Metroid Prime game that was due to launch for it. But that was not the only game I got for it, starting with games like Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or Conduit. However, at the time, a little download exclusive did catch my eye called World of Goo. This game was a physics building game which was bright, colorful, and actually fun. The developer impressed me, especially with how meta they brought the whole package at the end.
So when I found this game was launching, I was interested enough to check it out… and was greeted with a cartoon of kids celebrating how they were burning their toys and memories in a fire place, ultimately burning the place down to a catchy little tune you might expect in a toy-commercial on TV back in the 80s. I laughed, probably a lot more then should have, and showed it to everyone I could. As soon as it was on sale, I picked up a copy, and it got lost in the backlog.
Now as we come to the end of the #100daysofgaming for Extra Life, the game showed up in my selection and I could not resist. I am glad I did not.
Well this was sudden. Last weekend United Front Games was posting a free weekend for their early access game “Smash + Grab,” a game that looks to be a MOBA based on rioting. This is not my cup of tea so in all honesty, had things gone as everyone expected, I would not have noticed anything.
But this morning, I was greeted by a tweet about how people will have to question if they can get refunds for something. Looking into it for curiosity, I came apon this story… before the free weekend was officially supposed to end (which included a discount on the game if you wanted to play longer), the studio was closed and Steam ceased selling early access copies of the game. People who just bought the game this morning, could well be shit out of luck.
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced shit of this level. To be up front I actually bought and own the PC version of this game in my Steam collection, but when my brothers showed interest in playing this game together, I opened up the Xbox version I had gotten for free thanks to them buying me Xbox Gold for a birthday gift. They never joined me, and I don’t blame them. This game is an absolute heap of shit and one of three games in total now that even though a game ending bug did not occur, I did not and have no intention of finishing.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not quite as bad as the other two titles to have this fate with me. Had I been allowed, I would have finished this game just to say it was over. However, before I could finish, my subscription to Xbox LIVE GOLD ran out taking away this and every other game I had downloaded for free in return for using the service. Thank you Microsoft, for this early escape.
Before we begin this review, please keep in mind that is “ongoing.” While you can only install it as a whole game, it is being released in episodes without all of them being out yet. As such, this review will be updated as the others release and I play through them. This review now covers all 5 books.
Once again, we delve into a title that I have quite a history with before we begin. Back when I was a senior in high school and graduating soon, I bought my first PC. Keep in mind, this is not the first PC that I owned… it was just the first one I bought completely on my own since my DOS based 486 was something I got help with the folks for when I was going into high school. But this one was special, as it was entirely my own doing. I had picked out a nice Pentium II by NEC and brought it home. Dubbing it Shodan, it was on this machine that I would be introduced to The Longest Journey, a point-and-click title with so much to it, it spanned 4 CDs, and to run anywhere near descent required you to install the whole thing to your hard drive.
So install, play, and finish this game I did… and when the sequel (Dreamfall) came out, I had that one as soon as I could get my hands on it too, but that one left me and every fan of the franchise it and the original had gained with a cliffhanger ending we would not see completed for over 8 years. Now, we have finally seen the final chapter unfold, and it is one hell of an epic conclusion.
This is one of those times when an idea proved too good to leave behind. I remember seeing this game for the first time when it was a greenlight title, and the idea of playing, not the hero in the armor, but an AI running the armor itself was unique and too interesting to not support it. So when the game dropped, I was eager to see what it was going to reveal. Admittedly, I waited for it to be on sale since my backlog was big enough as it was and the game was already selling as part one of a trilogy. I was tired of every game under the sun assuming it was getting a sequel like that. Still, I picked it up in a sale, and when it came up in my selections for the next game to take on during the #100daysofgaming for Extra Life, I jumped at it. After finishing the game, well… let’s talk about that.
It’s been a few months since my last update for Extra Life, but that also means there has been some time for new (and excellent) developements! First and foremost, if you look to the thermometer, you will notice our goal now stands at $300. We smashed through $200 this week and are already withing striking distance of bringing this new goal to the kids who need it most. I can not thank you enough for helping us along as far as you have, but we would love to bring more to the table for the kids. Last year we were able to break $600, and we would love to do it again. We still have a few months, but of course anything you can or want to bring to this cause is more then welcome.
Our team page is readily on-hand by clicking that same thermometer, and clicking the roster will let you choose who on the team you want to donate under and by proxy, what hospital you specifically want your donation to go to (each team member’s page has it listed). The entire thing is run by the Children’s Miracle Network directly, so neither you nor we have to worry about who’s hands the money goes through.
But of course, this wouldn’t be a Red Sector Extra Life if we weren’t giving away games with this, would it. I’ll admit, I’ve kinda gotten hooked on this part of the event as strongly as everything else, and we do have more to offer then even our last update. Please step inside to see what’s going on.
Well the past few weeks has seen no shortage of controversies in the gamer-verse, though I'm not sure how much I can say about most of them… they are too self-evident, exactly what we all expected, and just more of the same bullshit from the same actors…. except maybe one.
When I saw this game, I knew it would make it’s way into my collection. Ignoring the simple imagery the trailer showed, I focused much more on the promise of the unknown that permeated it. This is not the first game to draw me with this promise, and in fact the last game I reviewed came to my attention for much the same reason. However, where P.O.L.L.E.N lived up to the unknown and discovering the details in the environment itself, Oxenfree chose a different way, feeding far more into the creepy-factor of the unknown instead. So how did this work out for them? Come on inside…
If you know me or my gaming history, you know I have been a fan of Metroid for about as long as the series existed. While I didn’t own the NES cart till much later, I was as often as not borrowing it from a close friend of mine, and when Metroid 2 launched for Gameboy, there was suddenly no gaming system I wanted more.
Even after abandoning console for the PC when DOS games reached their final peak, it was Metroid Prime that brought me back with a copy that included a demo of the then upcoming Metroid Prime 2 in a GameCube bundle. Yes this franchise and I go a long ways back.
But despite this, I never actually played a cart version of the second game. You see until the DS, I never got any of the Nintendo portable machines, so when I finally did play it, it was by PC emulation years later with the European regioned cart on my shelf (which I still have) that was the best I could get my hands on via Ebay. I had a controller, but it was an old Gravis Gamepad Pro which was very loose on the rocker-switch, and the whole situation just felt clunky and old. I bought the game again when it became available on the 3DS, but even as I did, I knew I was just trying to catch up with something that clearly didn’t age well… and then this happened.
When PAX East rolled around this year, I found myself with an invite due to friends having a spare ticket. Now if you know me, you know I have been to this event once before with family, and I didn’t have a lot of fun. My brothers were not really interested in checking out the events of the convention so much as making a run through the dealer floor and hitting all the shops. However, I thought I would give it a shot again between knowing my friends do this differently and really needing a good convention after how badly Anime Boston went. (Seriously, I do not think I'm going back in 2017.)
I could not be happier to be proven right. I had a blast going about from booth to booth about the different games, checking out what more unique items were out there, and even spent time chatting it up with a few developers of games that caught my attention prior to the event. This would be one of those games.
A few days before the convention, Gog.com showed off the trailer for this title, so when I saw it on display, I had to stop in. I left with a collector’s edition available only that weekend (and in fact one of 150 total made as I found out later…). Now before you ask, yes, I bought the game on my own so outside of a brief conversation to ask about what it was and a sales pitch to pick it up (since it launched that same weekend), I was given nothing at all. But that’s ok, because I was on the verge of picking it up anyway, so I thought “why the hell not?”
Why not come in and see if it lived up to the fascination?
Under normal circumstances, should the dice include a Persona game in the list, it’s usually one of the top 3 games I will pick. With this being the last currently released game in the franchise I had not yet played, I would be more likely to. So when this game came up with Persona 5 in the works and coming out in the fairly near future, it was not even a question. And now as I put my controller down, I am glad to have played through, and not just because I am fully caught up on one of my favorite game series. Come on in and have a look.
Case: 006 Paranormal peers provoke polished plot to please the most pertinacious of proponents- (Ghostbusters the Video Game-PC 2009)
Let it never be said that I believe in spooks. ‘Cause I don’t. For every chain rattle and spooky sound, every thump or bump in the night there’s someone looking to make a quick turnaround. In my business, plenty of grieving widows or widowers have been taken by so called mediums ( Hucksters and charlatans of the highest order kid, don’t let the fancy title fool ya.) I’ve seen a lot in the cycles I’ve been here, real “ Ghosts” in this machine but, in the end? It’s all a scam, a big con.
So, when I came across this gem of a title? I had to re-evaluate my position. Not because I became a believer mind you, just because sometimes you wish there was something out there. Now, browse over that file and make up your own mind.
Time continues to march forward and while Extra Life is still many months away, it keeps steadily getting closer. And for our part, we here at the Red Sector are continuing to ramp things up. This early, that means bringing more games to the table for you all to win, so we have a bigger list we will be giving away. Want to see what you could win on the big night now? Step inside…
I really have no other way to describe what we are seeing. You see, while we were all enjoying PAX East (either there or checking out coverage of it), Amazon dropped a bombshell on their fairly loyal customers. As of right now, they are testing out a new idea of hiding high-profile physical games behind a pay-wall. If you expected to have Amazon ship these to you, you now need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.
Gabe Newell warned us about this. Back in 2012, the man behind Steam warned us all that the new format (now evolved into the Universal Windows Platform or UWP) was nothing but harmful to anyone writing software for Windows.
Once again, Joel from Vinesauce showed me something awesome. This time, I happened to walk into the middle of his youtube video where he was playing this game. I really did not understand what I was watching, but for a few minutes, I knew I was going to have to check this one out. It was just too weird not to give it a play myself. Sadly, unlike the last game he introduced me to, this was not an amazing experience, but it was definitely interesting, and a game I'm glad I took some time with.
Every once in a while, we all allow ourselves to be a little bit impulsive about the game we want to play. In this case, it was my turn. Watching the stream for the last few hours of Overload’s kickstarter campaign, I watched as SubLevel Zero was one of the titles the team played to show off what 6 Degrees of Freedom was. In fact it was the only game they played I have not yet even played, let alone finished. As such, I decided I would pick the game up myself and within a week was playing. And while at first I was really enjoying myself, it was not exactly the best of choices to just pick up and play.
When I went to bed last night, I fully expected tonight I would be installing and playing a little PC title known as Crusader Kings II, and considering the chaos you can create in this title, I was rather excited. So why has none of this happened yet? Because our new best friends at Revival gave us something amazing to get even more hyped up for, a teaser demo of their upcoming game Overload.
I remember during the last generation stumbling on this game at the local Gamestop. At the time, it looked interesting, but I had other things I wanted to get into, so it wouldn’t be till many years later that I would get it as a Christmas gift from my aunt. Bringing it home I put the game in my WiiU and within a few minutes the atmosphere had me. It was moody, gloomy, and even hinted at the ghostly horrors I would run into. I was sure I would be in for a real treat….
As I finish it, however, I can not say I was right. I wanted a survival horror game in line with the old classics (just requiring you to handle it with junk you could find and swing instead of limited ammo) backed by some story depth. I got a simplified adventure title with a plot written by some EmoMcSadSad who couldn’t even leave a natural somewhat happy ending alone without blacking out the screen and whining before the scene finished (no I'm not kidding). Come on in if you want to hear more. It’s not pretty.
As time goes on, I hope to release a lot more posts like this one. After all, I've had a lot of fun being able to do give-aways on the big night, and this year will be no exception. If anything, it's going to be more personal, as I have made a few changes in how I'm picking these titles... so come on in, take a load off, and let's see what we will be giving someone on the big night.
Now here’s a game that’s been stuck in the infamous “gaming backlog” any PC gamer on Steam knows well. As a fan of the Portal series, I had my eye on this game since it was launched, but as a PC game, I also understood I probably didn’t want to pick anything I wouldn’t add to a physical shelf outside of a winter sale. So when this game was included in a bundle of games that looked interesting in an early one, I picked it up and promptly shelved it where it would remain in my collection for literally years.
Last week, the dice chose it as one of the possible next games to play, and after seeing new trailers from the much more recent Director’s cut on the WiiU, I wasn’t saying no. After finishing the game, I'm glad I finally did, but I think this is one of those games where your mileage will vary.
Well, this was unexpected. When I first saw this game it was the feature of a let’s play by Joel at Vinesauce. Now if you are a fan of his work, you know he is known as much for playing absolute garbage games and making fun of them as he goes along as anything else. So when I the title picture of the first episode next to his name and what looked like the kind of flower-monster I personally would expect on old pre-IBM PC compatible home computers show up in my recommended YouTube videos, I immediately clicked it, expecting a garbage game that he would spend the entire time making fun of. But by the end of the first episode, I was proven wrong… so wrong in fact I have not yet watched the rest of his playthrough as I found myself wanting to play.
Fast-forward to about a week ago and I had just finished the latest book of Dreamfall Chapters and updated the review and I didn’t see any must play games on my list to fill the gap. Normally this would be a time when I would let a little bit of randomness help me choose what I play next, but Max convinced me to buy and play this game instead. As I put the game away now, I’m glad he did.
Gaming has changed a lot over the years. From it's early beginnings when people were amazed to see two lines bounce a pixel between them and keep score to the rebirth of the industry when Nintendo announced their little grey 8-bit gaming box, to the huge team-based PvP games that seem to be cranked out by the dozen today. But while gaming itself has been evolving over the past several decades, it's only relatively rescently that gaming media has really begun to evolve in more then just it's gimmicks (like the internet destroying the use of demo-discs included with gaming magazines).
But this evolution is different. Where gaming evolved because tech allowed it, gaming media evolution is more forced as the times are replacing and making the old ways obsolete. And as such, over the past few weeks, the landscape has shifted again.
Case 005: SUBNAUTICA - Adrift in otherwise outstretching ocean with outcries and obscenities! ( 1st Impressions, PC)
Looking out over the quiet evening as it fades into the hustle and bustle of the sectors neon streets I often wonder if I’ll ever leave here. I mean seriously, when I think about it, I try envision myself on some far away place. Maybe just over that wall, in a new and untouched partition. I always wondered what’d that be like. To be the first program to set his code in a blank space.
You knew I was in the moment this game was announced. I watched the trailers and every little bit of video I could with eager anticipation as soon as they were available, and in fact this game is the single reason I wanted a WiiU. And while I got the machine well before release, that was more to make sure I didn't lose backwards compatibility like later versions of the original Wii. So when the game finally came out in the beginning of December, I had the special edition pre-ordered and ready to go. Unfortunately, as I finish this title, I kinda wish I hadn't done that. Come on in and let's talk about this one.
I'm not going to hide it behind the cut. This recently, a fellow ExtraLifer informed me of the official date of Extra Life 2016 while watching their twitch stream. (In case you are reading this, thank you, Zyaldar.) We are officially starting a 25 hour this year, and it all happens on November 5th and we will be playing right there with everyone else. Currently, the exact plans of that night are obviously going to be very up in the air as we have almost a whole year to plan it out. It's even completely likely that our location will be different as a few friends have already shown interest in hosting the marathon this year. But the details there will come clearer as the year progresses.
You know the drill by now. Every year we have been here at the Red Sector, we have taken part in the amazing event that is Extra Life. Normally it would be a few months before we announced we were taking part, but that changes this year as Extra Life is officially becoming a year-round event!
And as of posting this entry we at Extra Life are making our entry official early as well. As of today, the team has been setup and we will begin collecting our team to help kids again in 2016. Last year this site had a hallmark year, bringing in $600! Can we match or beat that record? Well we sure as hell are going to try... and to do so, we will need your help.