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  1. Yes, the DayZ developers are currently working on a standalone game, but until that game comes out, many are addicted to playing the current version. DayZ, as it currently stands, is a mod that is played in conjunction with ARMA II: Combined Operations. If you've ever tried to play the mod, then you may have had to go through a few hoops and downloads to get it working. Those who felt setting up the mod was a pain, or simply couldn't get it running before, can now rejoice. Today the DayZ mod has made its official debut on Steam. Mods were introduced to Steam years back but it has been a while since a hugely anticipated one has been made available. What does this do? Basically, all the hassles of servers and installing secondary programs are over with. Instead, you simply need to run Combined Operations once, then run DayZ through Steam. Then, the mod should just work! Oh, and in case you are confused, this game is in no way related to The War Z which is a game with a fairly storied history.
  2. Those aware of just how many games based off of Slenderman probably wish the lanky boogeyman would just disappear. However, not all such games are created equal. Slender: The Arrival has the possibility to be one of the better games as it actually has gotten creative input from the people behind the Slenderman web series Marble Hornets. Unfortunately, we haven't seen much of the game so far outside of the teaser trailer. If you've been curious about what the game has to offer then there's no need to wait and see. Blue Isle Studios have announced that the game is now in beta. In order to get in, you must pre-order the game. Those who spend $5 or more toward their pre-order will be granted immediate access to the game as it currently stands. There are a handful of purchase tiers available as well for those really willing to dig into their wallets. Here is a list of the five purchase tiers available, each of which has immediate beta access as well as a digital copy upon release: $5: Get the game at its pre-order discount. $10: Retail cost. $15: Get digital copy of soundtrack when game launches. $25: Five high resolution paintings. $60: Name listed in credits. Because the beta is out in the wild, a fairly long beta video was also released. This serves as a good way for prospective buyers to make sure that Slender: The Arrival is something they want to put money toward. Get spooked by watching it here:
  3. If there's one thing that many developers are looking toward right now it is horror games. Sure, there are still all those big budget shooters, but smaller developers seem to be having fun dipping into the horror genre. Zombie Studios is one such group who has the dubious distinction of having created the Saw games. At DICE they gave the first details about their upcoming title Daylight. The game begins as the lead character wakes up inside an unfamiliar building. Using her cell phone to light the way, she will explore the surroundings. However, these rooms will not remain static. Rooms are generated on the fly making each experience a new one. Items will be scattered about the environment which tell parts of an overall story. Daylight's head writer, Jessica Chobot (yes, the one you're thinking of), had this to say about story elements in the game: “We have so much content story-wise that it hopefully, whether the person manages to succeed to the end or not, will be an experience that they want to capture more of the story so they have to go back and replay, because each time you might be getting different story elements. And over the course of that time, depending on how long you decide to play and what you find, it opens up the concept of the world a little more, the backstory, what your involvement is in it, how you find yourself here and whatnot. So instead of finding the same item over and over again and saying ”I“m not going to bother reading this piece of paper because I“ve seen it a thousand times,“ it“s different every time.” Zombie Studios is really hedging their bets on the experience being captivating as apparently one play through will take only half an hour. If the world is littered with creepy happenings and a compelling backstory then that may just be enough. Granted, the hope is to make the game an episodic series, so that may excuse the length. For example, Kentucky Route Zero is around as long and is viewed quite favorably. Daylight is coming to Steam in 2013 and will be less than $20.
  4. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 7

    From the album: Anna

  5. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 6

    From the album: Anna

  6. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 5

    From the album: Anna

  7. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 4

    From the album: Anna

  8. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 3

    From the album: Anna

  9. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 2

    From the album: Anna

  10. Marcus Estrada

    Anna Extended Edition Screenshot 1

    From the album: Anna

  11. Marcus Estrada

    Horror Game Anna Getting Extended Edition

    Dreampainters released their first-person atmospheric horror game Anna in August of last year. We reviewed it and found it to be a good, but not perfect experience. There were things that needed fixing up and, overall, the game is fairly short. Possibly because of others harping on the same points, the developer has decided to create a new version of the game. Anna Extended Edition will have new environments. This is the most interesting because it may help extend the game further if there are more areas to explore. Existing sections will also be improved, although the extent of which is unknown. Another big plus is that there will be new puzzles. There is always room for more, as long as they also update their hint system accordingly. The last thing revealed is that there will be a new interface. This was the biggest issue to be had with Anna so it's great to know they are working to fix it. Apparently there are more updates and additions to Anna, but Dreampainters is not ready to reveal everything just yet. At the very least, we know that Anna Extended Edition will be a free content update if you already own the game. Here is a live action trailer released to announce the Extended Edition as well as some screenshots (including some new content):
  12. Developer: 5pb Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: PSN (PSP, Vita) Release Date: January 15, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature A download code was supplied by the publisher for this review It looks like our unfortunate crew from the original Corpse Party has become trapped in the cursed and hellish Heavenly Host Elementary again. That“s okay, though, because now we get more of the delicious horror that the Corpse Party series has to offer! But is Corpse Party: Book of Shadows worth the expense of having our high school crew experience the terrors of Sachiko and the elementary school a second time? Book of Shadows isn“t a prequel or a sequel. Rather, it“s a handful of short stories that take place in an alternative universe or set before, during, or after the events of the previous game. And in those chapters containing alternate universe experiences, our protagonists have an inkling of knowledge as to what“s in store for them. Maybe some of them will be able to prevent their grisly and unfortunate fates this time… As such, it is highly recommended that you have played the original Corpse Party through to the end before getting your hands on Book of Shadows. There are immense amounts of references made to the previous game that would go unnoticed to a newbie of Corpse Party. There“s also that valuable knowledge you would need from the original Corpse Party in order to understand much of Book of Shadows, such as who Sachiko is and why she“s in Heavenly Host Elementary. Nonetheless, does Book of Shadows even add anything of worth to the Corpse Party universe? Sure, it gives us more of that horror, violence, and gore that we all love so much. The writing is also superb as usual and adds even more to that with sickeningly wonderful descriptions and whatnot. However, I think I preferred the original Corpse Party“s story a bit more to Book of Shadows“. The alternate universe tales in Book of Shadows feel pointless at times and they“re pretty much left without any sort of conclusion. The chapters that offer points-of-view from minor characters of the previous game are pretty fun, though. Book of Shadows also offers an unlockable extra chapter that shines light onto what happens approximately two weeks after the events of the original game. You“ll be able to unlock it either by importing a beaten save file from the first game or by seeing every single wrong and clear end in Book of Shadows. It is very much worth putting effort into getting and playing through this chapter (even if the conclusion to it is very… weird). As you may have figured, Book of Shadows puts a lot into its story. Thus, it“s a game that is more suited for visual novel enthusiasts. There are some long stretches of pure text and reading, so it can be pretty tedious during these parts with no important decisions popping up and no exploring to do. A big step up from the original Corpse Party includes the options to skip previously seen text and the ability to save at any time (even during important decisions). The lack of both of these made getting all the wrong ends in the previous game an absolute chore. Now that Book of Shadows does feature such integral visual novel elements, it makes completing the game 100% much easier and more satisfactory. When Book of Shadows isn“t playing its part as a visual novel, it acts out as a point-and-click adventure game. That means there“s no more of the little pixel sprites walking around that you may have become accustomed to in the original game. I somewhat miss those retro-looking graphics, but this new style is just as fine. It also means there“s no more of those irritating chase scenes from the previous game. Now, onto the audio… Oh, the beautiful audio. As in the original Corpse Party, it“s as good as ever and undoubtedly the best element of Book of Shadows. Since the game uses 3D binaural audio effects, it“d be a grave mistake to play without headphones. With headphones on, you“ll hear terrifying sounds and voices from seemingly all around you. It's absolutely realistic and adds so much to the experience, especially at moments like when the evil little Sachiko is whispering and cackling in your ear. The audio itself without the help of the binaural effects is still perfection. I personally prefer English dubs in my games (and therefore usually won“t throw a fit when a game is localized without an option for the original Japanese voice-acting), but the original voice work for this game is top-notch. The voice actors do an impeccable job in capturing emotions such as fear, pain, or malice. It“s as believable as it can get. The rest of the sound work, too, is just as great. You“ll definitely squirm and wince at some of the sound effects that the game will throw at you. Maybe even gag and vomit. As for bonus content, Book of Shadows offers a bit of that for completionists out there. Nametags of dead students that are scattered around Heavenly Host Elementary are once again collectable throughout the game. You are also able to view all the beautiful (and sometimes disgusting) CG artwork and listen to music tracks that you“ve come across in your playthrough. Wonder what the voice actors have to say about Book of Shadows? Well, lucky you, because voice actor interviews are unlockable in here! And last, but not least, is a mode where you can construct your own custom conversations from a selection of the game“s voiced lines. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a bloody good time. The scares and violence will please any horror fan, and the visual novel fanatics out there will surely love its story and writing. The audio and voice work is so, so good – some of the best out there! Sure, Book of Shadows has some of its own little issues and some pointless moments, but it“s still pretty sick and very much worth playing through. Pros: + Voice-acting and sound work is phenomenal and amplifies the experience + Well-done writing that does a fantastic job at describing scenes + Neat unlockables such as voice actor interviews and a custom conversation-constructing mode Cons: - Newcomers that have not played the original Corpse Party may feel incredibly lost - The alternate universe stories don“t add much to the series“ overall story/mythos and feel somewhat pointless Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a must-have for anyone that enjoys horror and visual novels. Play the previous game before this, though!
  13. From the album: Marcus's Album

  14. From the album: Marcus's Album

  15. This upcoming Tuesday for the PlayStation Store is getting scarier and scarier! Siren, a horror title that was originally on the PS2, will be put on the PSN as a PS2 Classic. It will be available for download on January 15th (though no price has been stated yet). Siren takes place in the mountain village of Hanuda, where a "Siren" calls and transforms residents into undead shells of their former selves. As one of ten playable characters, you'll "Sightjack" (see through the eyes of accomplices and enemies) to stay alive and learn how your paths are connected. Former executive producer and vice president of Sony's Japan Studio, Takafumi Fujisama, reminisces about Siren: "We were on a mission to formulate a form of fear or horror that would resonate with an audience regardless of their cultural background, and to deliver that from a very intentionally Japanese perspective. ... The feeling of hopelessness caused by close ones, who, one by one are transformed into your enemy, the dreadful or creepy feeling of seeing yourself through the eyes of others, and an environment unique to SIREN that pulled you right in all led to the bloodcurdling experience that only a game could take you through." Will you be purchasing Siren when it hits the PS Store next Tuesday?
  16. Marcus Estrada

    Review: ZombiU

    Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier Publisher: Ubisoft Platform: Wii U Release Date: November 18, 2012 ESRB: M Horror fans have had a rough few years. With releases of popular franchises such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil, there have been attempts to further change horror into an action-driven affair. Smaller developers have gone the opposite way and seen success, but does that mean a shift is occurring again? Ubisoft Montpellier crafted a horror game which has divided many because it attempts to please both old and new groups of fans. However, only one type of gamer ends up benefiting from these decisions. ZombiU is based very loosely off Ubisoft“s first foray into video games: Zombi. It is also based in a slow, difficult gameplay style reminiscent of horror where you weren“t simply able to gun everything down. Although it has a story, it is one which is mostly unnecessary and goofy at times. Again, this feels like what you might expect to hear of an older Resident Evil or Clock Tower game. Basically, ZombiU is a modern take on horror as it was. In many ways, it feels similar to Demon“s/Dark Souls. This is because both games share a low margin of error. If you aren“t prepared to take on situations, then you“re probably going to die. Unlike games where you may simply pick off zombies easily, these groups of undead are much tougher. Instead of loading you up with tons of ammo and weapons, you“ll likely be fending off bites with a simple cricket bat, or rarely, a handgun. You are not meant to be overpowered. Even if you do have a stockpile of bullets though, it won“t be hard to discover that even shooting is harder than in other games. With the way zombies lumber towards the character, it is often hard to get a clear headshot. If you have ever wanted to feel how you might actually survive against legions of zombies, then this game gets you closer than expected. Alongside meager, weak weaponry, your character is also frail. This isn“t some being who will be able to stand up to hundreds of bites. A few too many scratches, or if you get tackled, and it's all over. At least, that character“s life will end. One interesting feature of ZombiU is how it treats death. With one character down, you begin again from the safehouse as someone else. Then, you must trek back to where you died last and kill off the zombified form to get back your goods. When that“s not hardcore enough, you can even enter into Survival mode which gives players only one life. First time players should definitely skip this mode. You may think you“re prepared, but there are many times in the game where it works to surprise you with zombies suddenly, which doesn“t jive with self preservation. However long you last, the game gives you a score to use to judge against other players. For the regular mode, there are two difficulties available, although both are harder than average. One change between them is how many hits it takes to get a zombie down. On the easy mode, it may take 2-3 whacks, while on the other it takes 4-5. Since so much time will be spent hitting zombies with melee weapons, let“s delve more into it. Every character begins with a cricket bat and as such will come to depend on it. Weapons don“t break, thankfully, but they are incredibly slow. Anyone expecting fast-paced Left 4 Dead style melee will be very much put off. You must ready your weapon, allow it to go through a long swing animation, and hopefully have it connect with a zombie skull. However, if you“re just swinging wildly, you may miss quite often. Missing is deadly, as zombies will very often take your opening and cause serious damage. Learning how to effectively fight is a skill you must hone quickly, lest you go through dozens of survivors. The Wii U GamePad implementation is done both well and poorly. The best features are being able to scan the environment, or use radar to be aware of your surroundings. This can help you spot upcoming zombies and lootable items. Then there are some silly uses, such as requiring players to tap away madly at the screen to open something. It“s far from inspired and Ubisoft definitely should have known better. At the very least, those goofy moments are few and far between, leaving you to have more fun with the other features. Then there is looting, which is done through the GamePad only. While many may suggest it is more realistic to have to let down your guard to pick up objects, the act of doing so is a little finicky. The GamePad screen itself is a bit hard to touch sometimes, which results in many occasions where you simply can“t loot items quickly and efficiently. It seems, in the case of looting, that it would have been handled better by a simple button click or touch instead of dragging. Visually, the game performs amicably, with the GamePad keeping up. One issue, though, is the zombie design. By itself, it stands out as being pretty disgusting, but not nearly as much once you have come across the same zombies time and time again. There are only a handful of zombie types, and it takes you out of the experience a bit to be stuck fighting them time and time again. It“s especially odd for a game purporting to be horror, that it basically requires fighting at many instances. It would have been nicer to be able to skip past normal zombies, and maybe only take care of the special ones. The game itself is about ten hours exactly, although Survival mode players will probably take a much more ponderous playthrough. Once it is done, you can go back in or check out the local multiplayer options. There are two modes, although only one is particularly entertaining. That mode is a fun one where one player controls zombies via the GamePad and another uses a Pro Controller (or Nunchuck and Wii Remote combo) to play. The human player attempts to capture flags in a fast-paced FPS, while the GamePad player messes with an RTS mode. They will use the screen to place zombies strategically to try and eat the other player up. It“s a shame that this mode isn“t available online, but it definitely is fun for players who have all the controllers necessary. Does ZombiU falter in any way? While it presents a very hardcore sort of horror game, it is certainly not free of problems. There are a great deal of bugs to be found while playing. Some aren“t too bad, such as zombies attacking through closed doors, but others are a bit more annoying. Sometimes missions will not trigger and other times the act of reviving will simply make all your items disappear with no chance to snag them off your corpse. None of these issues are game-breaking, thankfully. As far as ZombiU is concerned, it manages to be a fairly solid game. The issue it has is coming as a launch title for people who probably expect a much simpler experience. If you want something easy to pick up and play, then avoid it at all costs. However, if you are looking for something to truly test your mettle, ZombiU is the best choice you have on Wii U. Pros: + Embraces difficulty + Interesting mechanics for death/respawning + Local multiplayer adds a different way to enjoy the game Cons: - Amount of required zombie fights is strangely high - Some gimmicky GamePad functions Overall Score: 8 (Out of 10) Great ZombiU is the kind of horror game that old fans of the genre should be looking into.
  17. Marcus Estrada

    ZombiU Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images

  18. Marcus Estrada

    ZombiU Screenshot 2

    From the album: Review Images

  19. Marcus Estrada

    ZombiU Screenshot 1

    From the album: Review Images

  20. Slender was a phenomenon when it launched earlier in the year. Despite being a relatively small indie game with somewhat crude graphics, it managed to entertain a lot of people. With so much positive reaction, Parsec Productions would have been remiss to not do more work. With the aid of Blue Isle Studio, they have gone to work on Slender: The Arrival. However, they now have an even greater asset - the team behind Marble Hornets. If you're unfamiliar with the whole "Slenderman" phenomena, which is the basis for Slender, then here's a brief primer. Basically, the character was created via the SomethingAwful forums and turned into a sort of modern myth. Although the posts initially contained only text, then photos and audio, Joseph DeLange, Troy Wagner, and Tim Sutton decided to contribute something even better. Their web series, titled Marble Hornets, was created and is still continuing. Although the group did not create Slenderman, they did push the fictitious character into an even creepier, almost believable light. With this very popular group now working on the script for Slender: The Arrival original, fans should expect this version to be better than the original. The game is basically a remake, upgrading the graphics, expanding locations, and adding to the story and puzzles to make it feel more complete. Currently, the game is expected to launch early next year.