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3:19 PM on 04.08.2012

Run DMC, Run

So, earlier this month, the HD collection of Devil May Cry came out. I got myself a copy for the Xbox, and, in all honesty, just wanted to play them on my old PS2 again.

I remember DMC3 the most from my “youth”, so a vast majority of my judgements are from that game, as I have less experience with the other two.

One thing I do remember very vividly, was that the graphics were a lot better on PS2 than this Xbox edition. Years ago, when the opening video of DMC3 played before me for the first time, I was gripped, and excited. The one key “wowza” moment for me was when Dante and Virgil’s swords collide, suspending the rain around them like a dome for a split second, and how clear it was. This time around? It looks dull, and like there’s white noise in the back ground. And that’s for all of the game.

Another criticism for the HD DMC3, is that the controls seem less responsive. I remember destroying each level in 30% less of the time than it took me now.

In contrast, DMC1 looks awesome, and resplendent and is very reactive; the HD makeover did it the world of good. The various Marionettes remain as creepy as ever with their freaky movements, and jerky attacks, and Phantom is as orange and spidery as ever.

From having a skeet at DMC3 to see how it looks, to starting the saga from the start; there’s a real noticeable lack of effort put in as the games go on. I mean, so far Capcom have been churning them out; there’s this, 2 Silent Hills, 2 Residents Evil’s - have they maybe took too much on? From the problems with Silent Hill HD, and now the declining quality featuring on DMC, I can’t help but think Capcom should give it a break and fully focus on putting something genuinely good out there. I think gamer opinion and lack of bitching about it trumps profits and market saturation (or I’d like to think that anyway..)

I’m not completely displeased though. It’s been so long since I got that a game that made me sit up in my seat, scream obscenities at the television and pull a muscle in my arm hammering the Y button over; and now I finally have one again (over-looking the aforementioned disappointments, of course. Which I will - I‘m too much of a Dante lover to let off-graphics beat me).

Replaying the classics has definitely got me impatient for DMC5; I can’t wait to fully see how it’s been tackled. That, and I’m actually glad someone else took over it now…Sorry Capcom, but you’re going to shit.

Would I recommend this though? Maybe to people who want a nostalgia kick, but for people new to Dante - wait for the new game, or just play DMC1.

For my next post, I’ll be going back to my over-positive, hyper self, previewing things I‘m excited for and haven‘t had my expectations shattered over! I’m not good at this critical lark… Take care kiddies…   read

3:04 PM on 04.01.2012

My Heart Belongs to Rapture

Don’t get me wrong - I am very excited about Bioshock Infinite. The first time I saw the 15-odd min scripted demo video, it blew my lady-balls off. But Bioshock (the original) was my first true love on the Xbox. And the thing about first loves; you always remember them.

The first time I put the disc in, I wasn’t aware of what to expect. Swimming from the flaming wreckage of a plane towards a lighthouse; the descent to the bathysphere and the ride to the heart of the city; are moments I will never forget - they haunted and inspired me, and truly drew me in. Arriving in Rapture, and the first sighting of a Splicer made me think “what have I walked into… I love this!!!”

For even though the city of no Gods or kings, only man, had ripped itself apart, leaving only the psychotic icons of each separate undersea dome; each area is alive and bustling with atmosphere, lost decadence and the stories of those of lost lives or sanity. My favourite being Fort Frolic and the marvellous Sander Cohen.

Put it down to the high school drama lessons, or my love of over-the-top, insane eccentrics - but Sander Cohen is my kinda NPC. When you first enter Fort Frolic, all you have to do is walk to the bathysphere point on the other side of the room, open the door, and go down to the port. And then the fun begins. Sander and his witty humour and love of bunnies (which I totally relate with) guides you into the heart of the creative hotspot of Rapture. Fleet Hall, Sanders second home and stage to the gorgeous “Cohen’s Masterpiece (Prelude)”, show you what kind of guy he is - all wires-crossed, artistic-mayhem and lethal to aid the vision. It took a long time for me to gather the determination to kill him.

Bioshock is the first game I ever played that didn’t suddenly go CUTSCENE mid gun-fight or even just for the sake of it. It was all (except for 2 places, but in all fairness, you’ve been knocked down at these points) in-game, cut-scene-less and like the world you’d stumbled into was going on around you. This method keeps you on your toes, and the second your attention lapses, you jump by Ryan booming over the intercoms or walking in on a ghost memory (the first time that happens in the bathroom in Neptune’s Bounty, I freaked so much I wouldn’t leave that area for a good 10 mins… I was freaked and confused! I scare surprisingly easy. You should see me playing F.E.A.R… or Dead Space… Or even Viva Piñata.)

So yeah, my inspiration for this was Klarden’s piece “Bioshock is an OK FPS”. And I really agree with him. From an FPS point of view, it’s ok. It works. It’s good. But as a story-telling game experience, it excels (baring in mind this is my personal opinion.). Plus, regarding one part of the infamous twist, what other game makes you rethink how you act in video games over 3 little words? It really made me think about who is really controlling my character and actions in games. Since then I also use that phrase frequently in emails at work as well …

So Bioshock Infinite is set for October at the present moment, and I really can’t wait. The footage and screenshots so far have my apatite more than wet; in fact I’m salivating in anticipation for it! I really wanna do a piece on it, but that’s gonna take a while for me to get calm enough to write it and the words make sense (or as much as they normally do when I get going.) Either that, or I’m gonna sleep till October and wake up with it ready for me…

Take care kiddies. Rise Rapture, Rise…   read

4:53 PM on 03.23.2012

Lollipop Chainsaw - Oh Lolly Lolly Lolly Lollipop *pop*

I am so excited for this game!!! It’s just perfection! It ticks 3 huge boxes for me;

1. It’s made by Grasshopper Manufacture (the minds behind Shadows of the Damned - a personal favourite.)
2. It has zombies. I love zombies!
And 3. As a teenage girl, anything that’s sparkly and shiny and peppy just lures me right in!

So Lollipop Chainsaw - it’s about Juliet Starling, a cheerleader at San Romero High, who happens to know a bit about zombie hunting. Teamed up with her boyfriend Nick’s decapitated, yet animated, head on her skirt, it’s her duty to rid the school of the zombies taking over it.

Goichi Suda (Suda51) has said this game is “a poppy zombie game unlike anything people have ever seen” and I think he’s bloody right! Yeah, we had those 2 Buffy games, but they were so serious in comparison! I like my supernatural slayers swivelling round a pole, lopping off zombie heads with a chainsaw, getting blood and glitter-streamers everywhere.

Voiced by Tara Strong (who voiced Harley Quinn in Arkham City - it’s like all my favourite things are interconnected somehow…) Juliet is sassy, cute and loveable, as well a being super lethal with her pom-poms.

But as I’ve said, you’re not alone with the undead hoards. You’ve got Nick; the sweet, hot, (now former) jock whose head you can kick around like a football. Why can’t all guys be like him? He can “adapt”, if you will, to different forms and functions to help Juliet get past a certain area, or to gain more bonuses when kicking necro-ass.

As it’s a Grasshopper game, you can guarantee that the boss battles will be epic in their own right. Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence voice’s Zed, the punk rock zombie boss who fights with the power of rock! He screams insults such as “Vanilla Slut” at her to dodge the letters of (don’t be prepared to be let down by what he says; that is the kindest thing he screams, believe me. I thought I‘d be gentle with you.) There’s an awesome resurrection moment too where Zed shouts out “punk’s not dead!” before Juliet saws him in 2 with a sigh of “so emo”.

The action seems fairly straight forward. You have your lightweight pom-poms, and your heavy duty, rip-them-a-new-one chainsaw. Playing off of her being a cheerleader, you can use her acrobatics to leap over enemies, and her cheerleading moves can easily be skilled into a variety of attacks and special moves.

Your enemies go bye-bye in a shower of blood and rainbows and glitter and sparkle; which rather than sugar coats it, just makes it funner! (Which is a word.)

The whole game is tongue-in-someone-else’s-cheek, low brow, crude and awesomely daft. And I can’t fucking wait to get my little hands on it…   read

3:24 PM on 03.18.2012

Batman - City of Terror?

I guess you’d call this post all one big spoiler. Just putting it out there (even if I don’t really need to, depending on how much you know) before you read and go crazy at me because I didn’t “warn” you.

I’m taking a look at the future of the games for 2 of my favourite Batman villains, plus the possible name and main feature for the next game.

Starting off with the big one - Scarecrow. He was the only one who featured in Arkham Asylum not to physically return in Arkham City. But he is still around. His mask can be spotted on top of the bridge leading into Amusement Mile, and dotted around, in very subtle dress, are Scarecrow goons.

Subtleties out of the way, there are 2 big clues as to his return, and also a good idea of what the name of the next game may well be.

First up - Scarecrow’s barge. Here’s a link so you know what I’m on about -

A message won’t come up to use your Sequencer; you’ve gotta get yourself in the right position (for me it was face the wall, the main rectangle of it being in the exact centre, and then do it, right next to the right side of the little trapdoor on the barge. Crouching helps too.)

The password for the trapdoor to open is “City of Terror”. Oozes Scarecrow, yes? Once open, hop on in, and the camera view will change to first person (like in the Visitors’ Centre of Arkham Asylum.)

Inside, are crates of cockroaches, or possibly scarab beetles. (And more likely based off of Amadeus Arkham/ Quincy Sharp and his involvement as seen on the invoice - on the wall next to the tied-up goon) . Scarecrow has been using these bugs for experimentation purposes… To me, it looks like he’ll be using them as an all city transportation mode for his scare gas, as a huge part of the next game.

This location is rather similar to the secret room in Arkham Asylum; in the ways of finding it, that it’s so hidden and saying that, what it contains being the main plot line of the next instalment.

The second Scarecrow teaser is the messages left for you to find on your Cryptographic Sequencer .

Here’s a link for you -

At first thought when I stumbled across this, I thought it might be Riddler. But his kind of games are word related - this one is more math. Scarecrow is a bit more scientific (plus the last message couldn‘t be more him if he tried), and each list of numbers requires a certain equation.

To sum up - Scarecrow is coming back to scare the shit out of you. With insects!

Next, I’d like to congratulate Harley Quinn on her pregnancy!

As you’ll find next to her Arkham Asylum outfit in the managers office of the Steel Mill, there’s a positive pregnancy test. Plus, when completing the Game Plus mode, in the credits she sings a lil ditty to her baba.

Fruitful Endeavour -
Song Time -

But just because it’s Harley, does not mean that Joker is the daddy.

Duela was introduced as the Joker’s daughter in a 1976 issue of Batman Family. It later emerged that her last name was Dent - her true father being Two-Face. Seeing as Harvey was in Arkham City at the same time, who’s to say this isn’t the case again?

Plus it makes Harley’s reaction at the end of the game make more sense. I thought she’d go catatonic, rather than just gasp. Maybe Harvey’s there as a shoulder to cry on?

There is so much more to discover in Arkham City, such as Manbat’s nest at the top of the church, the picnic between Mister Freeze and Nora (you‘ll only see this a while after you find her), and the touching tribute to the death of the Wayne’s in Crime Alley. If there’s a secret tid-bit you wanna share, please leave a comment, spreading the knowledge 8).

And now to sing us out, it’s the Joker, with a beautiful rendition of “Only You”.

Take care kiddies…

All videos brought to you by BatmanArkhamVideos   read

4:42 PM on 03.13.2012

DMC: Devil May Cry - A Glimpse

DmC, now taken over by Ninja Theory, is my latest nerd-spasm.

Gameplay footage for this looks beyond awesome, and if on the right difficulty, at the right level, could be fucking brutal in a gorgeous way. The weapons and attacks have evolved dramatically and aggressively , but retain the same fluid style seen in the previous games.

Speaking of the previous games, start of next month they’re being released in a HD collection. All 3 of them!! YAY!

So this new game takes place in Limbo City (not Bayonetta‘s Vigrid, although it‘s an easy mistake to make seeing as they bear more than a slight likeness). If you get spotted by the CCTV eye stalks, you get dragged into actual Limbo - the look of which is a bit Dante’s Inferno meets Alice: Madness Returns (2 great games, so no complaints here).

As seen in the Getaway gameplay video, (link at the bottom guys if you haven’t seen it already) everyone is out to get you, even the city itself. It even insults you (“Fuck You Dante” glows on the floor at one point), and tactically tries to squish you, and make you miss jumps.

Dante still has his dual revolvers, Ebony and Ivory, and the beast of a sword that is Rebellion. You also get some massive melee weapons such as a scythe and a chainsaw bigger than Dante himself.

From action gameplay footage (once again, link below) there’s an even bigger emphasis on aerial combat this time around; one Devil Trigger ability lets Dante slam the ground, temporarily shifts the world’s gravity and leaves your enemies hanging in the wind for you to own; and also the Angel Stance powers are focused on aerial moves and enable you to take new routes through the games’ levels too (which leaves me with a feeling that there may be collectable items of some type hidden around. I would say maybe gem stashes, but I haven‘t picked up on anything that may mean the gem counters are continuing on.)

So, as previously mentioned, Demon mode returns Dante to a state we’re more familiar with, rather than turning him into a demon. The background has a colour bleed-out and Dante gets his shock of white hair back, resplendent in his trademark red trench coat.

Ninja Theory’s idea of how to make Dante more “cool” and “relevant” by making him look like a beat up version of Edward from Twilight has not really gone down too well with fans of the original Capcom’s. Myself included.

But then again, it’s obvious that even Capcom themselves wanted this new game to be a new chapter for DmC. When designing the new Dante, Capcom asked Ninja Theory to “do something that you think would make us angry with you.” So they did. In an act to separate themselves from the original games so they shouldn’t be compared? Guess we’ll just have to wait until it’s released to see for ourselves.

When it does come out, multiplayer modes are a given, and there’s also word of some kind of twist on the co-op play.

Footage provided so far isn’t really enough to tell how good it is, but I’m pretty confident it’s gonna be fucking awesome.

And here's those links I promised (take 2... I may have jumped the gun and originally posted this without adding them....)

Getaway - brought to you by SkYGAm3SPRODUCTION

FIGHT!! - brought to you by GameNewsOfficial   read

4:41 PM on 03.11.2012

Catherine - A Frustrated Teenager's Guide

Hey kiddies!! I’m Docktor Lola. Girl Gamer and Batman aficionado. I’ll be bringing you my take on game related shizzle, reviews and the like.

So for my first outing we’ll be taking a look at Catherine - the highly moral and cube-related offering from Japan!

First things first with this - if you have a short temper, and a need to finish what you start, maybe go to Anger Management before attempting this. It can be so infuriating - even on Easy (I would know!) The Boss Battles apply increasing pressure throughout the game. And the level introducer does not help. “It’s a killer. Do not die.” No shit!!!

So the story is about Vincent, a guy in a dead-end job, with a long term girlfriend (Katherine) who’s ready to settle down. But our plucky playable ain’t too sure that’s what he wants. So, when drowning his sorrows at the Stray Sheep (the bar in which you can spend a lot of time in), he meets Catherine, a fun little blond, who seduces him.

After this moment, his actions through answering questions, talking to people and replying to text messages alter the end of the game and how you end up (there’s about 9 endings… If you want to know them, Google them. I ain’t playing this game that many times!)

There’s 2 areas where you control Vincent. At The Stray Sheep, and in the Nightmare sections. The rest is videos.

The Stray Sheep is a bar where you can interact with fellow characters and learn their story, and help them with their problems (worth 60g in total if you’re an achievement whore like me.)

You can order drinks - the more you have, the quicker you move in the Nightmare sections - so get that boy wasted!!

You can also play an in-game game called Rapunzel. It’s like the Nightmare sections, but you have a limited number of moves. Take as much advantage of this game as you can! You can learn/ improve techniques and applying a limited amount of moves helps strategy scoping. My advice is to also try and do it as fast as you can. The lower blocks in Rapunzel don’t fall like they do in the Nightmares, so don’t let yourself get too comfy.

Whilst in The Stray Sheep, you get texts from Katherine and Catherine, and how you reply determines their reply, and also which girl you’re more swayed to. Catherine even sends you some additional… incentive. If you allow her to.

One last thing about the bar. If you wash your face in the bathroom, you get a sneak peak at the next boss, and you’re also told the name of the level. Saying that, I still don’t know what exactly a “Quadrangle” is.

So, the Nightmares.

These consist of “stairs” made of blocks that you have to rearrange in order to reach the top to escape. As the game goes on, and you get higher up the stages, it gets trickier. (Except oddly stage 6... For me personally anyway… Stage 3 - different story… I damaged my controller I got that worked up.)

At the end of each individual level, you’ll be asked a question which will help determine what girl you want. My favourite - “If you met a person who was exactly what you wanted in a lover, and then you found out they were a robot, how would you react?”

The last level of each stage has a boss that is a predominant problem on Vincent’s mind. They get a bit fucked up looking. Really.

What they do it force you up a bit quicker with the threat of death. They can also cause problems for your climbing such as controller-reversing love-heart rain, avalanches to drag you down a few levels and face-planting on areas you want to climb. Rather than the lower levels falling away one at a time quite nicely, a boss makes them go red, and will then destroy them. If you’re on it when it goes red, move fast or you’re a goner.

In Nightmare stages, you can pick up items (but you can only carry one at a time) to help you climb such as create-a-block, and energy drinks to help you hop up 2-3 blocks at a time. Don’t use them if you want a gold medal though - you can’t get them then.

If you get gold medals in the stages, you unlock sections of Babel - like the Nightmare stages, but the blocks never appear in the same way. Also, it feels like it goes on forever. There’s 4 levels. 10g per level unlocked, then 10g for every level completed.

There isn’t actually much else to say. The slow video sequences and relaxing in a bar, followed by stressful, fast puzzle-solving are all it really is.

But it is a good game. If you like puzzles like Su-Doku, you’ll adapt fairly well. The same strategy is used (basically an ability to practically think ahead and how your action while affect where other things can go.)

The choices you make can be quite personal, and in a way show what you’re like and what your attitude to relationships is.

The character’s are brought to you fully formed with their own histories and relationships with the other characters. This does however alter how you may view Katherine.

All in all, quite a brainy game, if somewhat limited in the gameplay.   read

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