PA2

Chris: If we know our horror movies, then it should be pretty easy to avoid ever living in a haunted house. For instance, we know that a haunted house needs an old, drafty abandoned place. We know they require some horribly tragic event in their past to bring back the spirits of dead human beings. Finally, we know that if things with the ghosts get too unbearable, you can just leave the house. No problems, right?

After the jump, what happens when the rules change? Continue reading →

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, | News
youre_already_dead

The PC version of Dark Souls is moving away from using the Games for Windows Live system. Bandai Namco announced that owners of the notoriously difficult roleplaying game will be able to transfer their GFWL licenses to Steam next month. Save data and achievements will also transfer, but the hardest of the hardcore won’t do that, right? They’ll hunker down and start over from the beginning because adversity is a character-builder.

According to Microsoft, the reports of GFWL’s imminent demise were exaggerated. Despite their assurances, many publishers and developers have opted to leave the GFWL ecosystem and turn to other solutions.

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Paranautical Activity, the blocky shooter from Code Avarice came out of early access and launched yesterday. Normally, this would be cause for an indie developer to celebrate, but in co-creator Mike Maulbeck’s case, it’s not because his game is no longer being sold on Steam. Valve removed the game and “ceased relations” with the developer when Maulbeck sent a disturbing tweet (that has since been deleted) regarding a glitch in the launch.

“I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die.”

It’s not the first time Paranautical Activity has had issues with Steam. Last year, the game was initially denied approval for listing in the store despite attaining sufficient Greenlight votes because of an existing agreement with Adult Swim. That issue was worked out, but Maulbeck has since been critical of what he calls Valve’s “monopoly” on PC gaming. Paranautical Activity is still available on Humble Bundle and Desura. Maulbeck lamented that his game sold only twelve copies outside of Steam yesterday. Meanwhile, Code Avarice’s other half, Travis Pfenning, calls the situation a “nightmare”.

Update: Mike Maulbeck is leaving Code Avarice and selling his half of the studio to Travis Pfenning.

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splinter1

Grandy: Monster Movies have a rich history, being one of the major sub-genres of horror movies. It was monster movies that best captured my attention as a kid, and I’m glad we made sure to include at least one in the list that didn’t involve vampires or zombies (both subjects worth covering and covered, with excellent examples). Monster movies very frequently veer off into the weird, and they pluck at our imaginations in their own interesting ways (the evolution of this sort of thing would be Pacific Rim: a movie about giant monsters, giant robots, pro wrestling, and dragon slaying all rolled into one). From Godzilla to the xenomorph in Alien to the living nightmare that was John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, monster movies have embraced all shapes and sizes in their quest to scare and terrify us over the years, shapes and sizes great and small.

After the Jump, two guys, a girl, and a gas station in the middle of nowhere Continue reading →

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Back in June, Legendary Digital Media announced that they were making a movie based on Dead Rising. Legendary has now revealed the cast as well as the full name of the movie. The film’s title is Dead Rising: Watchtower. Rob Riggle (The Daily Show, 21 Jump Street, The Hangover) will be playing grizzled photojournalist Frank West. Joining Riggle will be Harley Morenstein, Keegan Connor Tracey, and Aleks Paunovic. Contrary to previous rumors, it seems the movie will not just be about Frank West chopping up zombies in a mall while dressed as Mega Man.

Dead Rising: Watchtower takes place during a large-scale zombie outbreak. When a mandatory government vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading, the four leads must evade infection while also pursuing the root of the epidemic, with all signs pointing to a government conspiracy. Politics, public paranoia, and media coverage play an important role in the story’s narrative.

Zach Lipovsky is directing. Dead Rising: Watchtower will debut on the digital streaming service Crackle.

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Rockstar is once again warning eager fans of Grand Theft Auto V that there is no way for normal peasants like them to try out the beta of the coming Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC version of the game. No matter what they do, regular gamers will not get in. No begging, cajoling, or pleading will result in a shiny new beta code emailed to them. Websites purporting to have beta codes are not legitimate. The only way to officially play the game is to buy the old and busted Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions, which prior to launch also spurred similar fake beta access scams.

“If you see ads or solicitations to join a beta program, beware as this is likely some type of online phishing scam.”

Grand Theft Auto V for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will launch on November 18th. The PC version is scheduled to release on January 27th of 2015. You will not be in the beta.

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, | News
SSB_3DS

Look, I appreciate that I can play Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 3DS in the same way I appreciate that I can watch The Dark Knight on an iPhone: it’s an option, but not one I’d ever choose given any — any! — other options. Still, what are you going to do if the only way to watch The Dark Knight is on the iPhone? Not watch it?

So here I am, my fingers clutching the buttons on the 3DS, its corners digging in the soft pads at the base of my thumb, playing Super Smash Bros. because I have no other options available. And I’m playing alone, instead of with my friends gathered around the TV in the living room, where Super Smash Bros. belongs, and certainly not online against legions of Japanese kids who can knock my Kirby out of this world while I stand there sucking vainly. It’s really kind of sad when you think about it. And it hurts my hands.

This hell will end on November 21 when Super Smash Bros. comes out for the Wii U, the way God, Miyamoto, and Kirby intended.

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, | Movie podcasts
Fury_podcast

Up this week is David Ayers’ WWII tank epic, Fury.

Next week: John Wick

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Chris: Being the new kid in the neighborhood is tough. Will there be many kids in your neighborhood? Will they play the same games as you? How long will it take before you fit in? Just before Halloween in the late 1970s when I was 12, my own family moved into a new subdivision across town. New school, new friends, new everything. I vividly remember my first afternoon there, meeting the neighbor kids over a game of kickball. It was the kind of halting and stumbling interaction you might expect, stressful for all parties.

After the jump, and all of that without the complication of being undead Continue reading →

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Chris: You’re standing in line to ride an infamously crazy rollercoaster, apprehension building with each little bit you shuffle forward. You ask your friends who’ve already ridden it, “It’s probably not as bad as everyone else makes it sound, right?” You get nothing of the assurance you’re looking for. “No, it’s definitely going to shake you up like crazy. But it’s totally worth it. Trust us.” And thus I hop into my first encounter with the graphic violence and ultra gore of the New French Extremity movement in cinema.

After the jump, buckle up Continue reading →

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, | Game reviews
Driveclub_01

I’d really rather not be here, writing this review right now. I’d just as soon wait until Driveclub, a fantastic variation on the usual driving games, achieves the state it deserves to be in, a state I have every reasonable expectation it will eventually reach, a state I’ve enjoyed firsthand before the launch. But after a certain amount of time, a launch issue is no longer just a launch issue. For Driveclub, nearly two weeks after its release, that time has come.

After the jump, I come not to praise Driveclub. Continue reading →

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Bill: Most ghostly tales employ themes of vengeance or just plain malevolence when trying to explain the reason for the hauntings that occur. Lake Mungo derives its impact almost entirely from its use of loss and grief as the source of any supernatural goings on. It’s a sad tale about the death of a loved one that just happens to have a ghostly twist.

After the Jump: Tragedy meets horror down the the lake Continue reading →

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, | News

Crowd-funding has brought gamers some great stuff. We have Divinity: Original Sin, FTL, and even potato salad thanks, in large part, to successful crowd-funding campaigns. Is it possible that we could finally get Half-Life 3 thanks to an IndieGoGo drive? Probably not, but that didn’t stop Chris Salem and Kyle Mazzei of the marketing firm McKee Wallwork & Co. from starting the We Want Half-Life 3 funding campaign. As the video above shows, this is not just a couple of guys sending an email to Valve. They have wacky sounding goals that will at least bug the heck out of Valve head Gabe Newell.

At $3,000, they’ll start a Google AdWord campaign that will target all Valve employees. With $9,000, the campaign will hire a mobile billboard truck to drive around Valve’s home turf of Bellevue, Washington. If they reach $45,000, the fund will pay for Gabe Newell impersonators to show up at Valve HQ. Last but not least, if they gather enough pledges to hit $150,000, the marketers will host “the biggest Half-Life concert possible” in Seattle to get their message to Gabe.

Are they mad, or are they savvy chaps demonstrating their own marketing skills for their company? If we’re all sitting around playing Half-Life 3 shortly after the campaign ends on November 17th, I guess we’ll all know for sure.

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, | Games podcasts
qt3-podcast-evil-within

Jason McMaster, Chris Hornbostel, and Charles Moran talk horror movies, board games, horror games, and the upcoming game releases for the next couple of months. Stay a while and listen!

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Rob: Why not cut to the chase? I think The Orphanage is the best horror film of the past two decades. Maybe more. It has all the ingredients I personally love most in a horror movie including a haunted house, a disfigured child, and a deliciously gory close-up. Director Juan Antonio Bayona is clearly inspired by some of my personal favorites like Rosemary’s Baby and Poltergeist, probably the single most formative scary movie I saw in my impressionable youth.

I think this film is an absolute master-class in how to build tension and create fear. It’s a fascinating, intricate, and rewarding mystery. And it’s a deeply moving tragedy about a desperate mother and her lost, little boy. And it all starts with a childrens’ game.

After the jump, one, two, three, knock on the wall. Continue reading →

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