Afro Samurai 2 – Release Date and Season Pass Info

Independent game developer Redacted Studios in partnership with indie publisher Versus Evil today announced that the highly-anticipated sequel Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma, Volume 1 will be available for digital download on PC via Steam, and PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, on Tuesday September 22nd, 2015.  The game will also be available for Xbox One via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program shortly thereafter at a date to be announced.

afro-samurai-2-the-revenge-of-kuma

(more…)

Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma – Secret Sauce Trailer!

Check out this revealing behind the scenes trailer as Lead Producer Dave Robinson and Writer Jim Defelice reveal some key details about the new Afro Samurai video game coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later on this month.

(more…)

Overlord!

I started on another old-but-good game just prior to picking up Skyrim.. Overlord, by Triumph Studios and Codemasters.

This game is a third-person RPG where you take the role of The Overlord: would-be master of a fantasy kingdom.  Your predecessor was the master of the kingdom.. but he was killed, the Tower was destroyed, and the Kingdom has been taken over by a bunch of do-gooders!

To assist you in taking back your kingdom you have minions.. goblin-like creatures who run around after you waiting for instructions.. you also have Gnarl, overseer of the minions, the narrator, and your advisor.  The tutorial teaches you how to control your minions via the task of subduing the Jester, who runs around mocking you until he’s taken enough of a beating!

Controlling the minions is initially very easy.. left click to send them in a particular direction, or shift-click to highlight an object for them to attack.  If there isn’t a direct path between you and the target, you can also use LMB+RMB to sweep them along a path.. for example, crossing a river via a fallen tree.. though later on in the game, this can be fiddly.. while you are sweeping them along the path, they aren’t using their own path-finding skills, and can end up walking into hazards 🙁

The minions will interact with whatever they encounter.. which means they’ll kill sheep and enemies, destroy pumpkins, smash vases and grab life force, loot and gear.  I found this hilarious, as they cackle and squeak as they run along smashing things.. and when they find anything they can equip, they will do.. which means pumpkins as helmets 😀

Collecting life essence means more minions become available, although the number you can have following you at once is limited.

You start off with just five, and move up to ten when you complete the first mission and recover the Tower Heart.  As you explore further you find more artifacts, allowing you to summon more minions.  The minions themselves also find better armour and weapons too, so your army becomes bigger and stronger!

Some of the first quests were more helpful than outright evil, such as shifting some Halflings off a farm for the Human farmer, or rescuing slaves.. but helping the Humans does mean they pay you!  The game allows you to be more evil if you want, though.. you can attack the Humans within the village and destroy their homes, but this will turn them against you and increase your Corruption level.  I may return to try this later, and see what happens! 😉

You can only summon Brown minions to begin with.. the other tribes are Reds, Greens and Blues, and you need to recover their Hives before they will serve you.

Different tribes have different abilities: the Browns are good all-rounders; fairly strong and with a decent amount of health.  Reds have a strong ranged attack allowing them to shoot fireballs at enemies, but they are much weaker than the Browns.  Greens are poison-resistant and can stealth, allowing for surprise attacks.  Reds and Greens are also able to clear away fire and poison respectively, allowing you and the rest of your minions to pass through unharmed, and reach new areas of the map.  Blues are rather different to the others, able to enter water without drowning, and revive other minions, but they will not attack enemies unless specifically directed to do so.  They have a magical attack too, useful for enemies encountered later on.

In some areas you need to choose which minions to send where, making sure to keep Reds out of range of enemies, or splitting Greens out from the pack to stealth and lie in wait.. so there is some strategy involved.. but it’s also rather a lot of fun to allow them to just wreak havok too.. smashing things, eating and drinking.. and even getting drunk and peeing on the carpet!

I also picked up the expansion pack, Raising Hell, which adds more missions to the end of the game, as well as sequel, Overlord II.  Steam sales.. 😉

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever, long thought of as the ultimate vapourware, is finally on the way, and a demo is available via Duke’s First Access Club.. I got a key thanks to my copy of Borderlands 🙂

I played Duke Nukem 3D back when that was new, when my access to multiplayer back then was via LAN.. which meant very few people to play against.  This led to frustration, as I knew nobody else who wanted to play as often or for as long as I did, especially if I did too well.  There was a good selection of weapons, steroids for speed boosts, multiple routes around the map and little secret areas.. and the jet pack and a hologram device used to pop out a hologram of Duke as a distraction were fun and great for getting the jump on a rival, and usually the reason for me doing so well.

The game had very little in terms of story.. aliens invading, humans being mutated, Duke being the only one able to save the world..  so the single-player was about shooting aliens and mutated pig-cops, with Duke’s random comments and references to popular films here and there too.

So.. the demo.. starting off, I find myself being taught how to use a urinal..
Done with “pissing around”, as the first joke has it, I decided to try interacting with everything else I came across.. a little indiscriminately.. which is how I found myself flinging poo in the shower room.  Duke wasn’t too happy.. “What am I, a chimpanzee?”!

The graphics are better than I expected, though I guess they’ll have been undergoing tweaks throughout development, and the sounds are pretty good too.. but the jump animation.. uh, wow.  Disappointingly bad. 🙁

Outside of the shower block there were soldiers preparing themselves for the enemy.. they ran off as I headed towards them, leaving me to discover that I could draw on the tactics whiteboard while the remaining Marine cheered me on.

I left this room and headed out down the tunnel, where I got a glimpse of the enemy before he fired a rocket into the tunnel and collapsed it.  In the next corridors I met more marines and was given a dual-rocket gun before being let out onto the field to face the Cycloid, a one-eyed rocket-firing beast which is meant to represent the final boss from Duke Nukem 3D.

I felt like I ran out of ammo a little too fast during the fight, and although more ammo was available via airdrop onto the pitch, I felt like I spent too long running.

After knocking the Cycloid down I was able to climb up onto him and pull out some tubing from the back of his head.. killing him resulted in a slightly gruesome opportunity for a goal kick with the eye..

This led to a short cutscene which slightly irritated me as it featured a pair of bimbos kneeling before Duke, wiping their mouths.
This was a bit too gratuitous for my liking..

Back in Duke Nukem 3D there was a bit of a controversy over the “exploitation” of women.  There were strippers in various locations in the game.. 2d sprites if I recall correctly.. which if shot would be replaced by falling money, or in one case, by an enemy.  There were also a few XXX posters and porno shops, and Duke was supposed to be some kind of babe-magnet.. but it certainly wasn’t anything to take seriously.

With Duke Nukem Forever, it seems they’re using the strippers and seedy side of the game as a selling point.  I’m not overly bothered if there is sex or prostitution in my games, but being put in the role of a man receiving a BJ.. I feel more like I’m being forced to watch some guy’s fantasy than playing a video game.

Next up was a driving segment with a monster-truck and a turbo button.  Pressing space allowed four-wheel driving, and tight turns..

Running the pig-men down may or may not have been the intended way of getting through the level, but it was fun and fast.  Once I ran out of gas for the truck though, I hit the two-gun system.  There were plenty of weapons laying around, but aside from my pistol I was only able to have one of those at a time, meaning more running around if I wanted to play with a different gun.

The shrink-ray was pretty cool, and I liked being able to stomp on the shrunken enemies.. however, when it came to the explosives I got annoyed with having to press ‘3’ to throw the pipe bomb.. perhaps this is something that can be mapped to another key.

A ship was the boss for this section, and again I found myself having to run around more than I wanted, looking for pipe bombs and hiding behind rocks when the EGO (health) meter got too low.

Overall, I felt a bit disappointed with the demo.  It lacked excitement.  If this demo is representative of the full game, then it’s basically going to be Serious Sam without the hectic fun of swarms of enemies.. in that case I’d stick to Serious Sam..