Archives for : Horror

Basement Crawl: PS4 Game Review

Publisher/Developer: Bloober Team

basement crawl logo

What they say: Enter the basement, explore dark, sinister arenas and be at one with the insanity. Bomberman inspired mechanics bring party games to the next generation level. Staying alive won’t be easy. The only way to survive is to become death itself, crushing all opponents. Fight with, or against your friends in a intensive, packed with action online and offline game modes. And remember, because of the horror-based graphics and themes, it’s best if you don’t play this game alone in the dark. You never know what might be hiding behind you.

What I say: I’ve been putting off reviewing Basement Crawl for a while. A horror themed Bomberman game should be a no-brainer, right? Well in theory it should be the most fantastic party game ever for sick fools like myself. Alas that’s not necessarily the case.

basement crawl 1The game has really dark and creepy visuals. You have four suitably ill characters to choose from; an unicycle riding clown, a girl packing an evil looking teddy bear, a wheelchair bound crash test dummy, and a large medieval looking masked woman. All fit right into the eerie atmosphere. The boards are set up just like Bomberman. Pick your character, then blast your way out of your corner and blow up your opponents. Despite aping the basic play mechanics the game fails on a number of levels. First there is no tutorial at all. You have more than bombs in your arsenal but you have to use trial and error to learn how to use them. Also there are no bots or any kind of single player. It would be nice to practice using all the different weapons. Not to mention there are not always people around to play with locally. True there is online play but to be quite honest it’s buggy as hell and I don’t think I ever successfully finished a match. Also since there is so much confusion the game never really seems fun.

This game had so much potential I almost feel bad beating up on it so basement crawl 2much…almost. The idea behind the game is great but the execution is so wrongheaded that I can’t imagine anyone thinking this would be good enough. And let me tell you it’s not. Blooper Team has promised to make changes and fix the bugs but at this point it really is too little too late. This is a lost opportunity.

Rating: 5/10

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.

Master Reboot: PS3 Game Review

Publisher/Developer: Wales Interactive

 

master reboot logo

What they say: To house your Soul, a family member (or yourself before you die) purchases an island on the Soul Cloud where the server will generate rooms, houses or skyscrapers that hold each and every memory from the deceased’s past, or of memories of their choosing. The game starts with you being uploaded to the Soul Cloud but something has gone wrong and you wake up on a beach not knowing who or where you are. It’s up to you to explore, solve puzzles and try to piece together your life and death.

What I say: 2014 is definitely shaping up as the year of the horror game. Now I know Master Reboot hit PC last year but I’m talking about consoles damn it! The Playstation family is also continuing to court indie developers. Combine these two initiatives you that brings us to Master Reboot.

master reboot 1

Made from the 14 man strong team Wales Interactive, Master Reboot has an unique story, fantastic atmosphere and scares galore. Now this isn’t just a bloody splattery game. As a matter of fact there is no gore that I can remember. What the game does offer however is a feeling of dread that permeates every inch of this game. As you experience memories of your past life, the uneasiness that comes with being literally alone with your thoughts really sinks in. You will spend a lot of time running from Seren.exe, a “program” that acts almost as an anti-virus looking to take out the intruder that has invaded it’s system. She is seen as a creepy little girl and her appearance always spells trouble.

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As good as the game and its atmosphere is, there are a couple of problems. First the graphics are not the greatest but the game more than makes up for that shortcoming with its incredible sound design. Second, the first 2/3 or so of the game is fantastic! The last third kind of dumps the tension and goes straight for the end at a break neck pace. While I appreciate the story being fleshed out and explained, it wish it could have kept its creepy tone.

The game is very puzzle based and most of the time it works well for the game but there are a couple of puzzles that seemingly make no sense and you really have to guess your way through them. There are also a couple of music based puzzles that will not hinder most folks, but for folks like me who are effectively tone deaf i had a really hard time with those areas of the game.

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I really enjoyed my time with Master Reboot for the most part. I really feel the game just fell short of greatness. There is a lot to like here and despite the couple of problems I wholeheartedly recommend this game and I am really looking forward to see what Wales Interactive comes up with next.

Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher. This review is also based on the EU PSN version. 

Apollo 18: Horror Blu-Ray Review

Starz/Anchor Bay
Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writer: Brian Miller (screenplay)
Stars: Warren Christie, Ryan Robbins and Ali Liebert

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apollo 18 blu

What they say: Officially, Apollo 17, launched December 7, 1972, was the last manned mission to the moon. But two years later, in December of 1974, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. While NASA denies its authenticity, others say it’s the real reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.

apollo 18 1What I say: The whole found footage genre has gotten pretty tired. But once in a while a movie comes along to revitalize a tired genre, Apollo 18 is that film. Taking a different tack than most found footage films, Apollo 18 follows three astronauts on a secret mission to the moon. The story is told through official NASA cameras so the vertigo inducing hand held shots are thankfully kept to a minimum.

What the film truly excels at is actually being scary. The claustrophobic apollo 18 3feel of the whole thing, from the cramped lunar modules to the harsh dimly-lit surface of the moon, really adds a sense of tension and ultimately despair for the astronauts. The lunar surface with all its craters, crevices and shadows makes for the perfect horror film setting. More than several times I got a good jump scare because I was really into the film and its creepy environment. Performances are all very good, and the film is tightly directed.

Due to the different cameras used, picture quality is all over the place, but apollo 18 2that is intentional. The footage is used to good effect to keep you, like the astronauts, on your toes. The sound effects are used sparingly but effectively as they very much contributed to the creepy atmosphere.

Apollo 18 was able to fully use its found footage device to effectively add some good solid scares. I really enjoyed this film.

Extras include a DVD and Digital copy of the film, deleted scenes, alternate ending, and commentary.

Film: 8/10
Blu-Ray: 9/10

Porkchop: Horror-able DVD Review

Independent Entertainment/ MVD
Director: Eamon Hardiman
Writers: Eamon Hardiman, Zack Bassham
Stars: Ruby Larocca, Ford Austin and Brian Gunnoe
(From imdb.com)

porkchop dvd

What they say: Get ready for some serious partying, mayhem and gore ’80s style in this deranged satire and celebration of classic slasher cinema! A group of young campers head into the wilderness for a weekend of sex, booze and silliness at an abandoned summer camp – only to be picked off one by one by a blood-thirsty, chainsaw-wielding psychopath wearing a pig’s head mask. Who will survive? The cheerleader? The slut? The nerd and his anatomically correct talking robot? Loaded with boobs, blood and ’80s synth-pop, PORKCHOP reminds us it’s still not safe to go back in the woods.

porkchop 1What I say: As you know, here at A Darker Image we are huge fans of classic horror and not-so-classic horror. Porkchop definitely falls into the latter category. I mean it tries real hard, and its heart is in the right place, but this film is so silly and dumb, you just can’t muster up any excitement about it.

It’s really standard stuff. Kids go to woods, kids show tits, kids do stupid things, kids get killed, leave opening for sequel. Despite filming in the last few years it seems to be set in the 80′s. There are a couple of really cool

Tasting the grease...*sigh*

Tasting the grease…*sigh*

kills though, like when the cheerleader gets *ahem* violated with a chainsaw. And the standard issue nerd makes a smart ass robot that screws the girl he likes while telling her to “Taste the grease…”. Kids, you can’t make shit like this up.  There were a few laughs, and other than the before mentioned chainsaw violation, the effects were nothing to write home about. Oh, and if you’re going to go the pig mask route, at least TRY to best Motel Hell.

It’s definitely good for a watch, but I don’t know that I would return to it any time soon.

Picture quality is very jerky in several scenes. I’m not sure why that is, but it does get annoying. Sound is fine, if unimpressive.

Film: 6/10
DVD: 6/10

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1: All That Remains: PS3 Game Review

Publisher/Developer: Telltale Games
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twd2 logo

What they say: Many months have passed since the events seen in Season One of The Walking Dead, and Clementine is searching for safety. But what can an ordinary child do to stay alive when the living can be just as bad – and sometimes worse – than the dead?

As Clementine, you will be tested by situations and dilemmas that will test your morals and your instinct for survival. Your decisions and actions will change the story around you, in this sequel to 2012’s Game of the Year.

twd2 01What I say: The Walking Dead season 1 was quite the surprise when it dropped on us over the course of 2012. Point and click adventures had kind of dies off and here was a new one based on a riveting comic book like The Walking Dead. Most games in this genre tended to be pretty silly but imagine my (and the worlds) surprise when Telltale took what was seen as a tired genre and delivered one of the most grueling, heart-wrenching, character driven games ever. Dripping with difficult choices and fantastic writing The Walking Dead finished its first season as Game of the Year and it was well deserved. Now here we are, a year later, with the first episode of Season 2. Will it stand up to the monumental success of Season 1?

As this first episode opens some time has passed and Clementine is with twd2 02some familiar friends from Season 1. Naturally it doesn’t take long for her situation to go sideways and after and after a blood curdling encounter with a hungry dog Clementine finds herself meeting a new group. A group that does not know or trust her. As the group decides what to do with her Clementine must decide if she wants to trust them.

twd2 03Graphically the game seems to use the same engine and art style as season 1, which isn’t a bad thing at all as the games unique look is definitely one of its high points. As some time has passed Clementine is a little older and it shows in her actions. The storyline is as engrossing as ever and of course you are put in many positions to make horrible choices once again. In this first chapter you know this group about as well as Clementine at this point and that lends a feeling of dread and paranoia. Without Lee as her rock it really is quite compelling to play as Clementine this time and I look forward to the rest of the series. Based on this first chapter I think we are in for one hell of a ride…again.

The only problem I have so far is that the special episode 400 Days has not came into play yet, but I’m sure that will be addressed as the season goes on.

Rating: 9/10
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Disclaimer: A PSN code for the game was provided to us for review from the publisher.