Archives for : December2012

Zombie Driver HD: PS3 Review

EXOR Studios
Currently available on PSN
Purchase a PSN card here!

zombie driver hd logo

What they say: Insane mix of cars, speed, explosions, blood and zombies! Fight through an epic narrative campaign or test yourself in the Slaughter and Blood Race modes. Engage huge bosses, save survivors, drive crazy vehicles such as a bulldozer, fire truck or even a tank and smash everything in your way. Take part in the Blood Race tournament – chase other cars and take them down without mercy on brutal racing tracks. Jump into the Slaughter mode and survive as long as possible on specially crafted arenas.

What I say: Zombie Driver HD is a top down vehicle combat game where the sole purpose is to mow down zombies with wild abandon. Story wise there isn’t much to work with. You are given tasks then you kill zombies…lots of zombies. But honestly is a detailed story needed in this kind of game? Not really.

zombie driver hd 1

There are 30 plus levels of carnage for you to navigate through. Tasks vary wildly as do the vehicles you have access to. That adds some variety to the tasks. Also of note is the ability to upgrade your vehicles in order to amp up your killing sprees. The game is fairly short but it is fun while it lasts. Once you really get your upgrades on most missions fly by.

zombie driver hd 2

Graphically the game looks great, with multiple environments showcased as well as shifts from day to night. The sound design is especially inspired with nice ambient sounds and the satisfying crunch as you run down zombie hordes. Overall, this is a nice pack and quite the fun little game. There are a couple of other modes but they don’t really stand up to the satisfying main campaign. The price is certainly right at $9.99 and you definitely get your moneys worth in its fun factor.

Rating: 8/10

Big Sky Infinity: PS3 PSN Review

Boss Baddie/Ripstone

big sky infinity logo

What they say: Big Sky Infinity™ is a fast-paced, twin-stick shooter that delivers insanely intense and unique experiences, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat every time you play. It features randomly generated, dynamic gameplay that intuitively adapts based on your performance – so the better you play, the more extreme Big Sky Infinity™ becomes. With 12 energetic game modes to choose from, get ready for some intergalactic pandemonium!

What I say: Before fighting games came along and took over most of my gaming time, I was all about some bullet hell shooters. I loved them all; R-Type, Thunder Force, Gradius, any Japanese shooter I could lay hands on. But in recent years I have approached the shooter once again mostly due to all the retro titles being released. But I have had my eye out for anew game, a shooter that would reignite my passion and bring back the genre with a bang. So with that I gleefully took a look at Big Sky Infinity.

big sky infinity 1

Big Sky Infinity plays like a shump from the old days but with one very important difference, this is also a twin stick shooter. You can fire and fly in any direction. This is good as the levels are randomly generated so you never quite know what to expect when you drop into a game. That unpredictability is part of the fun as it gathering the in-game currency, starbits. Starbits are produced whenever you kill something, which is ya know most of the time. The starbits can be used to buy upgrades for your ship. The more you upgrade your ship, the more you can do, the further you can get and you can unlock other modes. The only downside to this system is that you can buy starbits. Yep spend your money and get all you need. This neuters the challenge but you don’t have to buy them.

You start off with the classic mode, and there are several more like Nightmare, Hell, Arcade, and several more. So there is a lot to do, experience and the game prods you to go on to see everything. The only real downer of the game is the announcer. He starts off pretty funny at first saying things just to mess with you, or throwing out pop culture quotes, but after a bit and you have heard them all it gets VERY annoying. Thankfully, you can turn him off in the settings.

big sky infinity 2

Graphically the game looks good and the shifting boards can get pretty damn intense but this adds to the bullet hell appeal. Things come in go, sometimes theres fog, others the boards wildly change colors or go all black and white. In addition to the shooting the game adds a drilling mechanic when you come up on asteroids. Even one of the boss fights takes place inside an asteroid.

Overall, Big Sky Infinity is a fun throwback to the old bullet hell days, but with enough new touches to make it feel fresh.

Rating: 8/10

 

Support A Darker Image! Purchase a PSN card here!

Serial Experiments Lain: The Complete Series: Anime Blu-Ray Double Shot Review

Funimation

Stars: Bridget HoffmanShô Hayami and Kotomi Muto

(From imdb.com)

Purchase here!

lain blu

What they say: Acclaimed artist Yoshitoshi ABe (Haibane Renmei, Texhnolyze) brings to life the existential classic that paved the way for blockbuster films such as The Matrix. Follow along as fourteen year old Lain driven by the abrupt suicide of a classmate logs on to the Wired and promptly looses herself in a twisted mass of hallucinations, memories, and interconnected-psyches.

What I say: After high school I abandoned Anime to pursue other things. I felt like I only had time (and money) for one hobby and I picked comic books. A few years later I worked at a Gamestop for Christmas and all my co-workers were into Anime. So through them I was introduced to stuff like Trigun, Cowboy Bebob, Ruroni Kenshin, and the Anime that would suck me back in for life. That Anime was Serial Experiments Lain.

lain1

Like my favorite movies, Lain was dark, mysterious, and had an undercurrent of menace. Lain’s story was engaging and honestly, a little too close for comfort some times. Beautifully written and animated, Yoshitoshi ABe became a name I must watch and follow. His work speaks to the loneliness and darkness in us all.

It’s always nice to revisit something that I enjoyed so much and this Lain set is no exception. It comes in a fantastic package (Which Rachel discusses in her review) and seeing the series in Blu-Ray was a revelation. The picture quality was phenomenal. Each episode really popped and almost felt like new. I really enjoy when a great series gets great treatment in its release. Bravo!

Rating: 9/10

What Rachel Says: I loved this anime. But let me tell you, this was the ONLY anime I watched 5 times in a row so I somewhat understand it. I promise you will not understand all it the first time you pop that bad boy in to watch! There were so many things!

The episode that confused me the most was Layer 10: Love.  I am still confused. What was the point of that episode?   I think it was just to confuse me more.

lain featured

Anyway, I always worry an anime that only has 12 -13 episode, and the only thing I can say about this is that it was confusing. Other than the few things they didn’t bother to explain, it started to come together in Layer 11 when it was a somewhat fast slide show. That is when something started to make sense to me anyway.

The package comes with a nice box, the discs in two cases (one for Blu-Ray and one for DVD), and an awesome art book  So I open that bad boy and flipped thought and 98% of the book was in Japanese. But it’s an art book. You look at pictures, not words.

lain 2

It also came with  a sticker and a magnet. The magnet is in my locker. I slam my locker a lot, and that is my only magnet that is still hanging there! The sticker, I like it way too much to stick it to anything!

Rating: 9/10

Black Knight Sword: PS3 PSN Review

Digital Reality/Grasshopper Manufacture

black knight sword

What they say: Black Knight Sword is a fresh, modern and interactive interpretation of a dark fantasy fairy tale: The Black Knight is led by the sword fairy through a whimsical world of eye-catching environments filled with curious looking creatures, only to discover who really caused the nightmare tragedy that he now finds himself trapped in…

A throwback to the classic platformers for the 8 and 16-bit era of games, Black knight Sword harkens a simpler time when simple yet addictive and challenging gameplay dominated the scene. Join the Black Knight in this fairy tale quest to defeat the Evil White Princess in an imaginative world brought to life in true Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 style.

What I say: Playing like the lost Castlevania game you never knew you missed; Black Knight Sword takes the classic side scrolling gameplay you love and bastes it with a dark gothic veneer. Set up like a stage production of a dark fairy tale, Black Knight Sword opens with a puppet who has recently committed suicide being raised from the dead and bonded with a dark sword. Then the adventure begins. Starting off very Castlevania like, the game grows and changes as you move through its five levels.

black knight sword 1

The game plays great as well; control is tight and perfectly balanced. The level design is nostalgic yet fresh in its execution. The boss fights grow gradually more insane as does the level design. The graphics are beautifully animated and the art design is dark, twisted, and imaginative. The challenge level is perfect. The gamer starts off showing you the basics and then it’s off. I have not had this much fun with a side scroller in a LONG time.

black knight sword 2

The only real let down is the story. Namely, there isn’t much of one. But that being the only problem, the game is still a must play and definitely one of my favorite downloadable games of the year!

Rating: 9/10

Support A Darker Image! Purchase a PSN card here!

Labyrinth Legends: PS3 PSN Game Review

Crete Studios

labyrinth legends

What they say: Are you daring enough, crafty enough, powerful enough to become a legend? Brave the mysterious tunnels, mystical crypts and maniacal creatures of Labyrinth Legends, the quirky and addictive new arcade action-adventure from Creat Studios. Explore hidden catacombs and ancient tombs of lost civilizations while evading concealed traps and solving an array of intuitive puzzles. Collect gold and discover hidden treasure, weapons, artifacts and more as you stay alert to battle foreboding mummies, zombies, ghouls and other monsters seeking to defend their turf. Prove yourself as the greatest adventurer amongst your friends with leaderboards, full Trophy support and three different local multiplayer modes for up to four players. A unique combination of crisp graphics and dazzling visuals, inviting exploration, tricky puzzles, and exciting monster-slashing arcade action makes Labyrinth Legends the most thrilling game on PlayStation®Network!

What I say: Crete Studios has been a supporter of Sony and the PSN for quite some time. Their games run a wide range of genres and you never what to expect from them when a new game is announced. Around here at A Darker Image Tower Crete Studios are pretty popular, we still play multiplayer Mushroom Wars to this day. So we were pretty excited to check out Labyrinth Legends.

8220021281_3ffe945b4c

The game, about a new groom who must rescue his wife from a mysterious dark force, is a top down dungeon crawler. It, at first glance, seems to have a Guantlet feel but it quickly proves that is not the case. You must explore multiple dungeons to find hidden stars, those stars go toward unlocking more dungeons. Treasure and equipment is also scattered around for you to find. The games creature and puzzle elements start off pretty easy but as the game goes on the difficulty ramps up with each successive dungeon. It’s never so hard you’ll scream but the challenges are both brain bending and fun.

Labryinth Legends is a pretty good looking game. Its vibrant and cartoony graphics definitely complement the games vibe. It’s not overly flashy but it does get the point across quite nicely. The art style is unique and that is a welcome change.

labyrinth legends featured

There’s a lot to like about Labryinth Legends. A lot of PSN games are too short or not deep enough, but Crete has succeeded once again and crafted a fun take on a beloved genre.

Rating: 8/10

Support A Darker Image! Purchase a PSN card here!