It is a little known fact that Christian charity shops are actually gateways to hell (judging by the unholy DVDs and books in most of these places). As I entered one such shop last week in the Arsenal area of North London, my nostrils were greeted with the pungent smell of marijuana. The smell was due to the tenant upstairs, I was assured indirectly by the shop owners, who watched me suspiciously – presumably they were appalled by my ability to first recognise the smell of weed, and second, my uttering the drug’s name out loud. The shop wasn’t exactly a welcoming place, but those unholy DVDs – rows upon rows – held my attention for a good ten minutes.
This particular charity shop visit ended with me grabbing two videogame documentaries – a definite first. Another first on this here blog is a post that attempts to compare the two. But there’s a first time for everything, so I present you a comparison of Capcom’s Resident Evil mockumentary promo, Wesker’s Report, and Gametap’s 10 Years of Tomb Raider documentary. Continue reading
So as part of December’s deluge of games (see here), I got a number of import Sega Saturn releases. It’s a mishmash of stuff, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time with every game now with the exception of the Clockwork Knight games which perhaps I’ll tackle in another post. For now though here are some brief impressions of Baku Baku Animal, Deep Fear, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, and the concisely named Detana Twinbee Yahho-! Deluxe Pack. Puzzle, survival horror, fighting, platformer, shmup, all genres present and accounted for! Continue reading
Bombastic is one of many of proclaimed “hidden gems” from the Playstation 2 library. Everyone knows and cowers before the PS2 library’s heaviest hitters, the games that defined the PS2 as a console and even the entire gaming generation – the Grand Theft Auto series, God of War, Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus – but, more so than most consoles the PS2 was privy to a number of excellent but less prominent games. In previous posts on the PS2 front I’ve covered several games of varying obscurity well worth your time, including Alien Hominid, Gregory Horror Show, and Shadow of Memories/Destiny. On the sketchy side there’s been Gunbird: Special Edition, and Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Happily then Bombastic easily fits in with the first category and is an undeniably excellent hidden gem, mainly because it is incredibly addictive and haunting. I’ve heard of hardcore Tetris players who see falling L-shaped blocks when they close their eyes, and in my own experience now I can say that Bombastic can have the same effect. It crawls inside my brain and conjures 6-sided die when I’m trying to sleep and when I wake up. Continue reading
No, not Rocky Horror, Richard O’Brien has no role here in this discussion. Gregory Horror Show is a licensed game, based on a Japanese CGI TV show and later anime series of the same name. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Gregory Horror Show and the original TV show is its unusual art style, which makes characters look like cutout paper figurines.
Gregory Horror Show lets you control an unnamed character who, finding himself in a hotel run by the vaguely creepy mouse-owner Gregory, borrows the body of a child from Death himself. The child-body will allow our nameless hero to collect souls from guests in Gregory’s hotel, a favour requested by Death in exchange for the hero’s freedom from the hotel. In order to collect the souls from the hotel guests, the silent protagonist must befriend, deceive and annoy said guests in order to get them to hand over the souls, voluntarily or not. What is certain is that every soul taken from a guest makes that guest your enemy from there on out, and you quickly discover that you must avoid them to preserve your own sanity, which in this game functions essentially as a health meter. There are Resident Evil references including the use of Green, Red and Yellow herbs (this is a Capcom game after all), but the two play nothing alike. Instead, Gregory Horror Show is a unique hybrid of puzzle, survival horror and adventure, with a dose of Animal Crossing for good measure. Continue reading