Dead Island: Definitive Edition PS4 [REVIEW] #deadislandretrospective

I started playing this mid-summer for kicks, but what do you know, in early september Dead Island 2 actually resurfaced after 8 years of radio silence, multiple developers change, and it’s coming out… in February 2023. Odd date, but i guess Deep Silver isn’t keen on waiting for a timely summer release, after the game overlong stay in development hell, so much that Techland spun another zombie series after basically being denied work on any Dead Island game after Riptide.

Perfect time for a retrospective of the series as a whole, so let’s start from the original Dead Island, in its Definitive Edition form (which on PS4 and X-Box One came packaged as a collection with the direct sequel Riptide and the spin-off Dead Island: Retro Revenge included).

We’re reviewing this version also because i’ve played Dead Island on PS3 when it was new… and this was indeed one of those games that could have used some enhancing and overhauling, etc.

I guess some history won’t go amiss, but if you happened to… not exist in 2012, you missed one of the most perfect example of misleading, bullshit hype trailers ever made, as originally we were fed a non-gameplay trailer that went for shock value (depicting a dead zombie child, among other things), trying to make you believe the game would treat the topic with some seriousness… only to find out Deep Silver were just being the deceitful liars they are, as we had a game where you combine shit to make fire-laden blades and battery-powered electrical pikes, with a slow-mo effect for when you decapite the plentiful undeads, or crush their rotten brains under your foot.

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The Spooktacular Eight Return & starting a Dead Island Retrospective

Yeah i know this is the older logo and art.

Since that thing i improvised last October did okay… let’s try to make it a yearly tradition, why not?

8 selected horror reviews sparkled through the whole month, in a pick-n-mix fashion!

Also, starting from October onwards, each month i will have a full lenght, in-depth review for each installment of the Dead Island franchise, with the retrospective culminating on the release of Dead Island 2 in February 2023.

Yeah, since this time we actually have real gameplay footage, Deep Silver isn’t waiting for a topical release date anymore for its zombie game, and wants this out before the unthinkable happens and they’re forced to restart the project from scratch for the 4th time or something.

Or before Goat Simulator takes further piss of that old E3 trailer with Pigeon John’s The Bomb playing to the sprinting dead.

The ONLY game i won’t be reviewing it’s the smarthphone spin-off Dead Island Survivors, because aside an old EXPRESSO review made in italian years ago (which i’m not unearthing or reusing in any way), i don’t have much written thoughts on it, as i didn’t play it that much when it released, and the game shut down in July 2020, so…

It wasn’t bad either, it was a top down action rpg with tower defense elements, free-to-play with all the shingle that it entails, but it was basically akin to Orcs Must Die, so it’s kind of a shame i can’t revisit it anymore.

That’s free-to-play smartphone games for you.

Dinosaurs and Snakes Of June (plus some Violet / Scarlet Pokeposting)

First, the EXPRESSO review of Jurassic World Dominion is coming a little later than expected, for personal reasons, basically. Wanna see it leasurely and shit.

Second, a full lenght review of GITS SAC 2045’s second season is coming.

Second, June will feature a decent number of snake movies’ reviews, as it will lead into what usually is Shark Month, but this year will be a “double feature” in terms of theme, for the hell of it. You’ll see.

Lastly, i feel like i should say something about the newly revealed gameplay trailer for Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, as i did post my musings on the Pearl/Diamond remake and Legends Arceus.

Maybe it’s because i’m old enough to have done this dance over and over, i’m kinda mild over what was shown. I like the “tribal vs technology” theme, the legendaries look like Yu Gi Oh 5DX bikes, and i’m happy there’s gonna be more emphasis on multiplayer.

The very few new pokemons shown really don’t do it for me in terms of designs, i do like the Spain-inspired look of the setting (and the player character with that spanish catholic schoolboy/girl vibe), and as i literally just happened to beat Pokemon Legends Arceus, i’m sure this will expand the formula, as Arceus’ open world template it’s not complex but it’s actually fun and well executed, exactly the good change of pace the series has needed since a while ago.

Maybe as we’ll get to see and learn more how the open world will be “more open” than in Arceus, what features will be returning and what new stuff will be added… i’ll most likely warm up to this new mainline game. We’ll see.

Didn’t help that it was announced very quickly after Legends Arceus launched, way earlier than anyone expected, i mean, come on Nintendo, it will sell zillions even if you slated this to release in early january 2023.

Guess they couldn’t wait even for december this time around. Geeze.

Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N

That time again, time to put on your robe and attend the ceremony with expectations so far out to make worshippers of the Old Gods looks like wannabe zealots!

Especially since all fair criticism of the company is dropped by most people (and publications) when a Direct happens. But again, this is sadly “business as usual”, let’s move on.

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Don’t expect a Pokemon Legend Arceus review in a timely manner

Yeah, one more from the beloved series of “Don’t Expect Anything”, i wouldn’t wanna spoil you too much least you forget the cold, disappointing and cruel embrace of reality.

Gloom aside, the reason for today “episode-ramble” is that i simply haven’t preordered Pokemon Legends Arceus, and so far i’m kinda glad i didn’t, since there are rumors and various leaks about the game’s performance being crap enough to noticeably affect the exploration of the full-on open world this Pokemon game goes for.

To be honest, it looks not worse than Sword and Shield from the official gameplay trailer released some days ago, but also not as good as you would expect since Game Freak didn’t do double duty on this and the Pearl/Diamond remake, i guess they really haven’t got the memo that they can/should make technically polished titles, since they’re not developing for handheld consoles anymore.

And they really can’t pull off “first proper new Pokemon gen game on the system” excuse.

Still, since the game comes out at the end of this month, a day one patch (and most likely more following that) could fix the issue… to some degree. I mean, the game launches in 2 week and 1/2, so it’s simply absurd to expect the situation to be easily dealt with via patches, regardless of how many they will be, for obvious reasons.

Do i still look forward to eventually playing the game itself? Sure, but i’m not going down the mine this time, i’m still bummed by pre-ording Ultrasun/moon, so i will wait to see how the situation evolves over the months, i’m not offering myself as proverbial canary this time. Really tired of that.

That sure was a Pokemon ramble, see ya!

[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero iOS | Smarthphone Smash!

So i missed my chance to play it and review it when it first launched here, but figured now, when the third My Hero Academia movie just released, would also be a sensible “fit”. So here it is.

There’s plenty of licensed anime games on mobile, a plethora, doesn’t matter if its popular or something like Karakuri Circus, there’s always a chance of an anime/manga series resurfacing as a free to play smarthphone title, because that’s were the microtransaction zillions are made.

And also because if the official licensed version don’t appear quickly, some bold faced obvious ripoffs will surface on the App and Play Store.

So of course there’s a mobile game for the uber popular MHA, with MHA The Strongest Hero, which does give you the very basic gist of the series and it’s setting, a world where 80 % of the population has superpowers, and sadly protagonist Izuku Midoriya happens to be in the latter 20 %, until a fated encounter with his idol superhero, All Might, changes his life forever…

It gives you the basic gist but it has its own story and it’s more focused on provide you with missions to do, in order to level up, scrounge resources, upgrade stuff and get addicted to the gacha.

But honestly it’s actually kinda impressive, it has various open ares you can actually explore, talk to characters, accept side quests and whatnot, it looks quite good and the main bulk of the game, as in combat missions, are actually satisfying thanks to a very solid and fun combat system that reminds me of the one in Honkai Impact 3rd, even better, with a lot of moves and systems based around each character’ superpower, making each feel different enough to play as.

Yeah, this is surprisingly pretty good!

Musing on Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires after the TGS 2021 Tecmo Koei presentation

First of all, let me just say i’m happy Koei is continuining their historical strategy series in time, so i’m glad we’re getting another Nogunaga’s Ambition, but my taste lies more in their hack n slash musou titles based on the same historical periods of China and Japan, so i’m gonna unleash some thoughts on Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires i had for some weeks, after the first gameplay video shown at the China Joy event.

Preface: i often find the Empires spin-offs often quite hit or miss, great in theory but not always in execution, as it’s by design a compromise, it’s never gonna be proper deep strategy management like the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms series, otherwise there would be no point to that or them even being named after Dynasty Warriors.

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[EXPRESSO] Free Guy (2021) | Life Service

So while we wait for the multiple movie projects spawned from that time online users deliberately made Gamestop’s share value drop (IF they happen at all), another thing that felt already dated the moment it was announced it’s finally out, Free Guy.

While it’s surprisingly not that out of touch as i expected (the fake in-game graphics looking like those crappy mobile ads for free-to-play games is a nice touch), i won’t deny it does sound like something that shouldn’t work as anything more than a sketch on Mega64.

So, what’s the plot? Ryan Reynolds lives his routine of bank teller nicely, until he decides to break it (inspired by a new woman player that he falls in love at first sight), gets They Live-style glasses, and learns that he’s just a random, generic NPC in a open world game called “Free City”. Or he was, at least. Guy then decides to become a hero for the city and its fellow virtual inhabitants, and becomes essential to the other protagonists, a couple of indie game developers trying to prove that a big videogame company CEO ripped off their work for his Free City game.

For a movie that takes many elements from other movies, ending like a weird amalgamation of Wreck It Ralph, The Truman Show, and The Lego Movie, it’s nice that is not as cynical conceived and executed as it may sounds, there’s actually some heart to it.. when the movie manages to focus and stop itself from doing weird “references-corporate pop culture flexes”, pandering to stereotypes, or trying to reach for super-safe narrative and emotional appeal.

It’s a decent movie, bit of a mixed bag, one that includes a slightly miscast Ryan Reynolds doing a Jim Carrey style character and a really overacting Taika Waititi.

Not bad.

Maneater PS4 [REVIEW] | Megalodon’s Revenge

As a “bonus” to this year’s Shark Month, let’s talk about Maneater, from Tripwire Interactive, of Killing Floor and Red Orchestra fame, as they basically try to make the spiritual sequel of Jaws Unleashed… i would guess, i haven’t played that one yet (strange, i know), but i really can’t think about anything else that would fit the bill for a single player, story focused console/pc release.

I wouldn’t exactly count the Hungry Shark games or Depth, you know, and it’s kinda surprising there haven’t been more attempt at an action game focused on exploration where you play as a shark, so Maneater does fill a very unexplored niche, the open world shark action rpg.

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Mad Max PS4 [REVIEW] | Down Undah

Yeah, remember the debacle and the case of divisive reception on this title?

I do, but it feels like it happened so long ago, despite this being a 2015 release. Such is nature of online discourse on social media, after all, doesn’t matter what the subject is.

I will keep that in mind, but since 6 years are a lot for videogames, i’d say it’s the time to revisit the Avalanche Software’s interpretation of George Miller’s australian apocalyptic world of holy motors and highly stilized weirdos, while i think of the burning coast sands during this city bound and holiday-less summer season.

Let’s see exactly how chrome this game is!

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