Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess Launches Friday

Koei Tecmo Europe is pleased to announce the release of Deception IV: the Nightmare Princess on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, and digitally on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation Vita handheld system this Friday, 17th July 2015.

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Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess – Demo Announced

Koei Tecmo Europe is pleased to announce a free downloadable demo available from 6th July 2015 across Europe for upcoming guilty-pleasure, trap action title Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess, the PlayStation 4 debut for the Deception series, produced by the creator of the Project Zero (aka Fatal Frame) series, Keisuke Kikuchi.

Deception IV The Nightmare Princess LOGO

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Many More Orcs Must Die!

I loved Orcs Must Die!  I spent many hours gleefully squishing, stabbing, and burning orcs.. and trying to beat friends on the scoreboard, of course!  Good times, good times.. 😉

Orcs Must Die! 2 carries on where the first game left off.. though with a bunch of new traps and weapons, and a second playable character, the Sorceress.  And it’s still got that lovely art style..

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A Weekend’s Gaming

Most of the weekend was spent playing games (Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and Orcs Must Die!), with a little spent outside in the sun, and some TV time thrown in as well.  I’d call that a good weekend 🙂

We had decided to get together and try out the multiplayer demo for Mass Effect 3.

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Cut The Rope

Cut The Rope is an iOS physics puzzler developed by ZeptoLab and published by Chillingo back in 2010 for both iOS and Android, and later for the iPad.

I’m very late to the party with Cut The Rope, I know.. but I finally got to play it after I saw on RockPaperShotgun that a browser version had appeared!

The object of the game is to feed candy to a cute green monster called “Om Nom”.. said candy being attached to ropes which you must cut so the candy falls into Om Nom’s waiting mouth.  After the first few levels, this means cutting the right ropes in the right order so you can get the candy into his mouth.

As well as guiding the candy to Om Nom, there are stars to collect on each level, which can mean swinging the candy away from Om Nom.. going for the stars means thinking then cutting 😉

If you drop the candy rather than getting it to Om Nom, he’ll be sad..

Later levels require more planning and timing, as you have to use bubbles and bellows to help move the candy, while avoiding spike traps, and other hazards.  These include spiders.. good because they snare the candy and swing it into stars, but bad because they then start reeling in the candy too!

There’s also a Behind the Scenes section on the site for those wanting to know a bit more about HTML5 and the development of games such as this one!

Orcs Must Die Some More

Another game I tried out during ScampLAN was Orcs Must Die!

I previously played the demo, and while I thought the game was a lot of fun, I could see myself getting tired of it.. especially without co-op or versus mode.  Therefore, I didn’t pick up the game, though I will keep my eye on it in case of a nice Steam offer 😉

The full game has more maps and a wider range of traps, though.. including some throwable acid pots which were very nice against small enemies.  These were easier to use than the Boom Barrels, as they detonate with a right click.. or shatter when a trap goes off, rather than relying on you being able to shoot it in the middle of a horde of Orcs.

The demo had limited maps, so I was keen to look at the new ones on offer.  Some of these had numerous routes for the enemies to take, meaning there was even more ground to cover.. for these I set up lots of traps down one path while I fought enemies down the other, rather than try to take them all on nearer the Rift.

The new defenses included Wall Blades, Spring Traps, and the Floor Scorcher.. I used Spring Traps and Floor Scorchers to knock enemies back, though I wished for a faster reset on both!

I was pleased to see new enemies too, as they add a bit of variation.  The Kobolds were fast and rather good at slipping past my defenses.. though acid pots were great for wiping groups of them out.. and the Ogres were tough..

I didn’t get as far as looking at the upgrades for the new defenses, or at some of the other weapons for the Warmage.. but yeah.. waiting for that Steam offer 😉

ScampLAN 2

The weekend just passed was ScampLAN 2, with a couple of friends bringing their PCs round to our house for gaming and silliness 🙂

We played a lot of Dungeon Defenders.. which I had a look at last week.  This game has really grown on me over the week..

I’ve now tried out all the characters, but the one I’ve played most has been the Huntress, who specialises in traps and ranged weapons.  I felt she was slow to get off the ground with.. the traps start off with only a few charges and are soon used up.. but after gaining many levels and improving both the traps and the character’s stats, she now feels quite powerful 🙂

When you level up, you can spend your points on stats for the character or for your towers.. I’ve spread my points out between the Huntress and her traps, but another friend has put most of his points into his Monk, making him fantastic in combat but with rather weak auras.  For the characters the three of us developed over the weekend, this worked very well, as it meant the mana could be spent on building and upgrading stronger towers and traps, without getting too close to the defense unit cap.  We got as far as the Servant’s Quarters during the weekend!

Another game we had a turn at was Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.
We tried to play this previously, but thought we might do better if we were in the same room and able to communicate a little better.  However, as in our previous attempts to play, we found barely-visible enemies were able to take us out with ease.. the game is supposed to be about realism and tactics, but if I’m approaching on my belly through trees and bushes, I don’t think it’s realistic to be shot down so quickly by people I can’t even see yet.

I also suffered from a rather random bug, which had my character float up into the air before being thrown back down again.. and of course, taking realistic fall damage.  This happened a few times, but settled down enough to complete the mission.  However, the fun was lacking for most of us, so we didn’t go back for a second mission.

In between the gaming I had a bit more of a poke around with VoxelSniper on Minecraft.
I had a failed attempt to add Zombe’s flying mod.. not quite sure what went wrong, but the game wouldn’t launch.. before I installed VoxelAir, which allows me to jump high into the air and land without damage, or hover above the ground.

You can jump rather a long way up.. and when I came down, I was surprised by the crazy number of mobs which had spawned!

I found an interesting bug with VoxelAir too.. after being killed while hovering, courtesy of a few Skeleton Archers and a lack of care, I respawned still hovering.. floating upwards in fact!  Using the “/give” command simply dropped a new feather at my feet, out of reach.. a friend also tried to give me a feather but it also landed out of reach.  In the end I used “/kill” a number of times and eventually spawned close enough to a feather for it to pick up.

Next up will be forming a nice piece of flat land for a huge project.. more later 🙂

With four people and a reasonably couch to take advantage of, there was also some console gaming.. though we found a distinct lack of co-op games allow four people on one console.  So many games boast “2-4 player co-op”, but don’t specify that this means two people on one console, and two on a second console.. annoying.  We tried Call of Duty: Black Ops.. we wanted the Nazi zombies, but only the arcade mode allowed all four of us to play.  We had a couple of runs on that, with me claiming the top spot for one run!  Red Faction: Armageddon failed us, as did Rainbow Six Vegas.. so we ended up shooting each other in Halo 3 which entertained us for a while!

Hunted: Demon’s Forge was picked up at the start of the weekend too, and we attempted some co-op in pairs.  We all found the game surprisingly hard, though Tim and Jason attempted to play without going through a tutorial first.. masochists!  I think the game would be a lot easier if you were able to carry more than one health vial each.. we also found the game punished deaths by sending us a long way back each time.  I’m looking forward to playing the game by myself at some point soon, too.

Another game which made an appearance over the weekend was Gears of War 3!
I hadn’t yet finished Gears of War 2, but the copy of #3 will be going home with Jason at the end of the week, and Tim wanted to start some co-op, so we’ve been playing through it anyway.. on hard!

So far, I’m loving it.. though noticing a few changes! The world has been destroyed by the Hammer of Dawn, and the enemies now include mutated Lambent creatures.. I’m noticing a huge change from the graphics of the original Gears of War as well, with the character models all being far more refined.  Good changes all round.. and still a great game, as far through as we’ve gotten this far! 🙂

Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die is an action strategy game by Robot Entertainment, where you guard against waves of Orcs, using traps, weapons and spells.  I tried the demo, which has three fortresses and a limited selection of traps.. enough to get an idea of what the full game will be like on release next week.

I quite like the character art 🙂

The Orcs aren’t too smart, and therefore make perfect enemies.. I also found their comments quite funny as they made their way over my traps 🙂

The three traps in the demo are the Tar Trap, which slows enemies, Floor Spikes, and my favourite, the Arrow Wall, which hits quite hard and also knocks the Orcs back.. I liked setting this up so the Orcs would end up on another trap!

I was less keen on the Boom Barrel.. although cheap, it requires detonating, and I’d rather spend the active part of the round shooting or pushing the Orcs back with the Wind Belt.

In addition to the traps, you also have weapons.. the Crossbow, the Bladestaff, and the Wind Belt, unlocked later in the demo.  Of the three, I found the Wind Belt to be the best weapon as it allowed you to send the Orcs back over the traps again.. and the special attack allows you pick up a single enemy.. not particularly useful, but rather funny 🙂

Sadly, the game is only single-player.. although there are leaderboards where you can try to beat your friends’ scores, this just isn’t as much fun as playing alongside friends, and I think it would wear thin after only a short while.

Ravenholm

We don’t go to Ravenholm.  Well, except for when the Combine attack, and it’s the only way out, that is..

Ravenholm is the part of the game I remembered long after my first playthrough of HL2; creepily atmospheric with plenty of scares, but also featuring some neat puzzles and traps.

There’s also the sawblade, which is lethal in the right hands 🙂

The rotor-blades are fun too..

What freaks me out, though, are the black headcrabs, or Poison Headcrab.

I know the neurotoxin they hit you with is only temporary, but there’s something about the skittering, screeching, spider-like creatures that really sets me on edge.

So what’s worse than one black headcrab?

Lots of black headcrabs, being thrown at me..

At least I’ve got guns, right? 😉

Night Terror

Last night we were playing on the original Left 4 Dead, on a quite awesome custom campaign called Night Terror.  This is a six-part campaign created by NIPPER and DrBoo, available here on l4dmaps.com.

We played this campaign a while back, and it was the haunted mansion map which stuck in my mind the most, with it’s originality and fantastic voice work by the narrator.

The door closed in a small circular room closed once we were all inside, and the ceiling started moving upwards..  The narrator informed us that there were no windows and no doors, and that we could try and find a way out, or take his way out.. mind tricks being played as the ceiling was replaced for a few seconds by a different ceiling with a hanging man, though you need to be looking straight up to see him.

My favourite bit though, was the ghost ride along the path once outside.
Somebody has to get off to open the gates, and then again to restart the buggy, but then it’s a nice ride through the haunted graveyard 🙂

The next bit of the nightmare is straight out of the Mines of Moria, and very clever too.  The book lying on the edge of the well is the trigger for the next event, with some more fantastic voice work.  After you’ve done reading, the bucket tips into the well and summons a horde led by a tank!

This part is fairly hectic, and so far we’ve lost somebody each time.  Following this, things don’t get any easier with a huge room full of zombies, and another door which doesn’t open until after two waves.

Endless stairs.. Just as well Coach isn’t in this team, or he’d be complaining 😉

We had a silly number of smokers on the stairs last night, who just kept picking survivors off.  Such easy targets, with no walls to hide behind..

I also loved the Jungle map, which contains some sneaky traps, but overall feels a lot easier than the Moria section.  A friend was rather too amused by me getting squished by one trap which caught me completely unaware, coming down from the ceiling.  We all laughed when the bot was squished by a rolling spiked cylinder a little further on though!

The finale is started off by an alarm clock in a strange, destroyed bedroom.  Personally my alarm clock starts my nightmare, rather than ending it – I don’t like getting out of bed in the morning 😉
Another amusing touch comes with the ending.. the survivors rescue themselves, rather than being picked up by helicopter or boat.. by running into what looks like a glowing portal to a laser disco!