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Ghosts could be a pretty scary modern version of Night Trap

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Ghosts could be a pretty scary modern version of Night Trap

You can only play at night, too

FMV games can already range from campy to outright scary, but what about one you can only play at night?

That’s the pitch behind Ghosts, a new FMV adventure that just launched its Kickstarter campaign. This live-action horror game from developer Visible Games and Limited Run Games takes place in real time, and the trick is, it’s meant to feel like it’s live. So essentially, you’ll only be able to boot up and play Ghosts when it’s 10 p.m. in your time zone. 

Ghosts is written and directed by Jed Shepherd, who also wrote the Zoom horror movie Host. Five actresses from Host—Emma Louise Webb, Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Radina Drandova, and Caroline Ward—star in Ghosts, with Trevor Henderson (SirenHead) on creature design and those creatures fabricated by the Jim Henson Creature Shop.

The plot of Ghosts is that you’re a broadcast producer of the live specter-hunting program Ghosts, as the cast is on the prowl for the rumored Long Lady. With camera feeds and heartrate monitors in front of you, you decide what gets sent out live over the air.

The choices you make, and what you broadcast, will change the story, but you can also only boot it up at 10 p.m. (The campaign notes that you can crack the “test” card and play a version with saves, though where’s the fun in that?)

If you leave the broadcast station, the cast dies, so take care of any other responsibilites before 10 rolls around. Ghosts seems like a mash-up of modern-day FMV game Not For Broadcast and older titles like Night Trap, and as someone who grew up around live-action games, I’m pretty excited to see whether it can come together.

Ghosts is targeting an estimated delivery of Feb. 2022, though it notes that funding amount could move that around.

Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 18:00:00 +0000

Analogue is restocking the Super Nt and Nt Mini Noir tomorrow and, well, good luck!

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Analogue is restocking the Super Nt and Nt Mini Noir tomorrow and, well, good luck!

The Classic, SF, and Black versions of the Super Nt will be available again at 8:00 a.m. Pacific alongside the Nt Mini Noir

I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and try to grab a Super Nt – but I’m not holding my breath. My lucky streak for successfully placing online orders for sought-after consoles is bound to run out soon. If you’re up for it, the Super Nt will be available again tomorrow, April 9, starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific.

The transparent design has been discontinued, but the other three models – Classic, SF (Super Famicom), and Black – will pop up in the online shop. The console costs $189.99 (plus shipping), and Analogue is limiting two per customer, a move that has spread anxiety about scalpers swooping in.

According to a heads-up newsletter I got today, “all orders will ship by the end of the week.” As for 8BitDo‘s matching SN30 – Classic and SN30 – SF controllers, they’re currently still out of stock.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely familiar – maybe a little too familiar – with the Super Nt. If not, it’s a well-crafted FPGA system designed for folks who want to get the most out of their Super Nintendo and Super Famicom cartridges in 2021. I’ll kindly direct you to My Life in Gaming’s extensive video review.

With the recent Pocket postponement news, we learned that Analogue was planning to restock a few of its products soon. Apart from the Super Nt, the “very lastNt Mini Noir units will be available on Analogue’s shop at 8:00 a.m. Pacific on April 9, with a limit of one per customer. It’s a $499.99 beast.

“Shortly after” that mad dash, the company will also restock the Mega Sg and DAC.

On the one hand, I’m kind of relieved these systems aren’t readily available – I’d feel like a kid in a candy store that was accidentally given a twenty. On the other hand, I want to play my SNES carts on a modern TV without jumping through a bunch of hoops. After a recent splurge, I am so so ready.

I’m sending you all of my best “online shopping in the Covid era” vibes. Godspeed.

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Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 14:00:00 +0000

Street Fighter V’s ‘professional’ costume DLC sees Juri channel her inner Daryl Hannah

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Street Fighter V’s ‘professional’ costume DLC sees Juri channel her inner Daryl Hannah

Helloooooo Nurse

You wait three seasons for Juri to get some decent clobber, and then an entire wardrobe comes along at once. Yes, in addition to the great, contest-winning outfits that dropped just last month, Street Fighter‘s spider-lovin’ assassin is now getting her Kill Bill on as part of a pack of “Professional” DLC skins headed to Capcom’s foremost fighting title.

As revealed during this week’s “Street Fighter V Spring Update,” Juri, Vega (or “Claw” for all you pedants), and Seth will each receive new gear representative of the workforce. Juri is rocking a nurse’s outfit with just more than a passing resemblance to Elle Driver, the deadly assassin played by Daryl Hannah in Tarantino’s 2003 slash-fest. Of course, this outfit also recalls Skullgirls‘ own nefarious nurse, Valentine, so I better name-check her too, lest I get “ACKSHUALLYD” in the comments.

Spanish psycho Vega slips out of his matador-style attire and into a ’40s era suit, complete with tie, trenchcoat, and bandit mask. Frankly, he’s a mere fedora away from becoming The Green Hornet, but perhaps a costume-altering button input will reveal a little more of what’s hiding beneath that overcoat. Rounding out the trinity of togs is Seth, who adopts the same formal wear often seen in the SFIV boss’s cinematics. While I’m definitely digging Seth waistcoat and cravat ensemble, those Power Rangers pants and boots have gotta go, pal.

The Professional costume pack will arrive April 19 as part of the Season V Premium Pass. Alternately, each outfit can be purchased for around $4 each. The same day will see the arrival of Italian psychic Rose, making her return to the ring as the second of Season V’s DLC characters. Street Fighter V might be in its final days, but it’s going out in style.

Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 14:30:00 +0000

Review: Fantasian (Part 1)

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Review: Fantasian (Part 1)

Diorama-rama

The launch of Fantasian really snuck up on us. After getting announced back in 2019, it flew under the radar until right around New Year’s when developer Mistwalker confirmed the JRPG would release this year. Then, out of the blue, it dropped last week alongside a slew of new titles for Apple Arcade.

For many people, this was the first time they read the words “Apple Arcade” in months as the subscription service has more or less dropped out of the spotlight since its high-profile launch. I don’t know if that will change with these new titles, but if there is any game that will get people paying attention to it again, it’s probably this stunning RPG from the father of Final Fantasy.

Fantasian

Fantasian (iOS)
Developer: Mistwalker
Publisher: Mistwalker
Released: April 2, 2021
MSRP: Part of Apple Arcade ($4.99 a month)

If you’ve been paying attention to Fantasian at all over the past few weeks, it’s probably because Mistwalker has been dropping absolutely gorgeous screenshots of the title in the lead-up to its launch. Dubbed a “Diorama Adventure RPG,” it uses more than 150 handmade dioramas to create most of its world. And let me just get this out of the way right now: this game is stunning. These sets and locations are brilliantly designed with Mistwalker employing several model shops to bring the game to life. There is so much detail in each space, and it’s a bit mind-boggling to see how intricate of a world its artists could create on such a small scale.

Not everything in Fantasian has been handcrafted and scanned into the game. The overworld map is a traditional 3D map, and all of the characters, NPCs, and monsters that you encounter are 3D models. And while they don’t exactly look like they belong in this diorama world, they don’t really look out of place either. The visual disconnect between the locations and the character designs wilted away quickly as I opened up more of this enchanting place and engaged in its magnificent combat system.

While it is a fairly standard turn-based RPG, Fantasian’s combat has two elements that craft an identity of its own. When you engage with monsters, they’re scattered on the diorama battlefield rather than standing in straight lines or groups. This is because every character in the game has attacks that can target either single or multiple enemies depending on where they are positioned. So a basic melee attack will hit just one creature, but if you use a skill or magic, you can target several opponents.

Some abilities will ensnare foes if they’re within the attack radius, while others allow you to strike any creature you can line your shot up with. Magic attacks can be curved, so if you have some big oaf right up front with a shield down stopping any shot you send its way, you can bend your spell around them like James McAvoy in Wanted. It’s a pretty genius and engaging system; one starts to shine when you unlock the ability to send monsters to the Dimengeon.

Unlike a lot of its modern contemporaries that put enemies directly on the map, Fantasian uses random encounters. But rather than bogging players down with the pitfalls traditionally associated with such encounters, the game gives you the ability to “collect” all of the monsters you randomly encounter on their journey and fight them in what is known as a “Dimengeon Battle”. When you first obtain this ability, you can collect up to 30 monsters before you’re forced to fight them. Dimengeon Battles start with a large group of enemies depending on how many you’ve collected, with each defeated foe getting replaced by more enemies until you’ve exhausted all the monsters you collected. Not only does this making grinding for experience a snap, as you usually see massive amounts of XP when these battles are over, but as I said above, they are a great showcase for the battle system. When you have large groups of enemies standing against you, it’s easy to line up attacks that strike multiple foes.

Dimengeon Battles also dot the battlefield with power-ups, like increase attack strength or steal a turn from the enemy, that can make these battles more methodical. Not every encounter can be collected, though. Boss battles and some special enemies have to be battled right away, and there are some points in the story where the ability will not be available. But it’s there for most of your adventure, and honestly, when I first heard about the mechanic, I was worried it would ruin the flow of the game, that I would just rush through environments and battle all the monsters at once at the end. But it doesn’t really work that way. In fact, it works far better than I ever thought it would, and it’s going to be tough to go back to JRPGs that do old-fashioned random encounters.

Fantasian

For as forward-thinking as its battle systems and art direction are, the one aspect of Fantasian that does feel dated is its story. This is a pretty run-of-the-mill tale of a band of adventurers saving the world. You play as Leo, a thief who begins his journey in the machine realm on the run from robots trying to kill him. Upon escaping back to the human realm, he joins up with the mysterious Kina and the two set off to unravel the mysteries of mechteria, a mechanical invasive species that is slowly destroying their world.

There are several tropes of the genre at play here, including a luxurious ship you travel on, a coliseum you’re forced to do battle in, stoic heroes who don’t want your help but appreciate you anyway, and a protagonist suffering an attack of explosive amnesia. I could make do with all of that if the cast were better written. Leo isn’t exactly engaging hero material, and overall, the script suffers from an inability to give its characters distinct voices that match their diversified backgrounds. I’d never thought I’d long for Dragon Quest’s terrible faux-Scottish dialog text, but here we are.

Despite the tropes and mostly unimaginative dialog, Fantasian is buoyed by strong world-building, interesting backstories, and a genuine sense that your adventure is building up to something incredible. It took me about 18 hours to complete the story, and part one ends with a few developments that I really want to see play out when part two releases later this year. I’m also looking forward to the promised open-ended second half as Fantasian’s first half is a mostly linear ordeal.

Fantasian

For the record, I split my time with Fantasian between my iPad and my MacBook Air and used all three control options available. While the visuals were a bit better on my MacBook with less jaggy character models, I actually didn’t care for using a standard controller with the game. The movement between the different areas of each diorama is a bit off, enough that touch controls/mouse controls were ultimately the superior option.

No matter what device I was playing on, I made sure to have my headphones plugged in as Nobuo Uematsu’s score is quite good, blending elements from his time with the Final Fantasy series with music that sounds as though it was inspired by John Williams. Which makes sense, given that mechteria straight up sounds like a Tie Fighter.

I’ve played a few of the RPGs available on Apple Arcade and I don’t think a single one has come close to matching Fantasian‘s vision and execution. This is a wonderful game with an outstanding battle system that is brought to life with what could be the best art direction of 2021.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game through an Apple Arcade subscription purchased by the reviewer.]

Fantasian Part 1 reviewed by CJ Andriessen

8

GREAT

Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won’t astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Destructoid reviews guide

Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0000

Spring’s Resident Evil Showcase will take place April 15

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Spring’s Resident Evil Showcase will take place April 15

Rumors of a new Resident Evil Village demo abound

Capcom has announced that it will be bringing another bloodsucking bevy of Resident Evil news next week, with the screening of the second Resident Evil Showcase live stream. Taking place on April 15, the online presentation will offer new news related to Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil RE:Verse and any other matters pertaining to sexy giant heels the undead.

While fans can definitely expect new trailers and gameplay footage from the survival horror franchises’ incoming releases, the Resi community is waiting with bated breath for the announcement of a brand new Resident Evil Village demo – a listing for which was spotted on the PlayStation database just yesterday. The popular “Maiden” demo was launched in conjunction with the previous showcase event, so this fan fervor is understandable, even if there has been no official word from Capcom as of yet.

You can watch the Resident Evil Showcase live on PlayStation’s YouTube and Twitch channels. The action kicks off on April 15 at 15:00 PT / 16:00 ET / 23:00 BST. If you cannot watch the stream live, have no fear, as we’ll be sure to get you up to speed right here on Destructoid!

Resident Evil Village launches May 7 on PlayStation, PC, and Xbox platforms.

Published at Thu, 08 Apr 2021 10:30:00 +0000

Adorable city-builder The Colonists moves in on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch next month

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Adorable city-builder The Colonists moves in on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch next month

Bot ‘Burg

Publisher Auroch Digital, in association with indie outfit Mode 7, has announced that it is bringing The Colonists to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on May 4, following the super-cute bot-builder’s previous release on PC, waaaay back in October 2018.

The Colonists tasks players with building a fully-functioning society of adorable droids, effectively managing a self-replicating squad of bots as they create a sprawling and peaceful settlement to cater to their every need. As three ages pass, players will keep on top of the changing technology – providing homes, transport and resources to keep the cyber city and its populace content. Harvest and refine materials such as metal, wood, stone and fish, create farms and factories, and research new and more efficient technology to turn your small settlement into an expansive haven.

The console ports will feature all of the content of the original PC release, complete with a fully overhauled control scheme, a more accessible UI and player interface, and perhaps most importantly, a new selection of hats for your robot pals. Two campaign tracks offer single-player and Versus missions, while a Sandbox mode lets players simply build and re-build to their heart’s content.

So if you need a break from all the punchin’ and killin’ of the gaming world, then perhaps take time out with the happy-go-lazy pace of The Colonists. After all, who wouldn’t want to help out this lil’ dude?

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:00:00 +0000

FMV mystery Erica is coming to PC May 25

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FMV mystery Erica is coming to PC May 25

Memories of Murder

Flavourworks has announced that it is bringing mystery title Erica to PC. The dark FMV mystery, which launched on PS4 back in 2019 before hitting iOS in January of this year, will launch on the Steam platform May 25, priced at around $12 USD.

Erica is the story of the titular young woman’s struggle to come to terms with the traumatic memories of her father’s untimely death. After strange new visions find their way into her life via constant, mind-bending nightmares, Erica is forced to confront the past in an investigation that will lead her to the doors of abandoned asylum Delphi House, and the ancient, occult mysticism that lines its dilapidated halls.

“With Erica we’ve made a breakthrough in terms of taking cinematic live action video games to new heights,” said Flavourworks co-founder Jack Attride in a press release. “The way that the world is tactile, that transitions are seamless, and the marriage of film and gameplay is harmonious, leads us to believe that we have redefined what FMV can be.”

The PC port of Erica will feature the original adventure in its entirety, transitioning the PS4’s “Touch Video” tech from the Dual Shock 4 to mouse. While FMV titles are obviously restricted by their limited interaction and replay value, Erica found an audience with its intriguing mystery and cinematic quality. Certainly worth a lazy weekend, at the very least.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 16:00:00 +0000

IO Interactive confirms Agent 47 is getting some rest following Hitman 3

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IO Interactive confirms Agent 47 is getting some rest following Hitman 3

A well-deserved vacation

With the rebooted Hitman trilogy come to a close with Hitman 3, IO Interactive is looking ahead to its next project. Part of that, it sounds like, is giving Agent 47 a little break.

In a recent interview with IGN, IO Interactive CEO and co-owner Hakan Abrak discussed the future of the Hitman franchise, after Hitman 3 put a neat bow on the trilogy’s story.

“Our thinking right now is Agent 47 deserves a bit of a rest,” said Abrak. “He’s been busy the last three games.”

IO Interactive has still been busy with live elements, supporting the platform that’s been built across the three recent Hitman games, which it calls the “World of Assassination.” Abrak says the studio will continue releasing new things for its communities moving forward. Even if he’s taking a breather, this is not the end of Agent 47.

“As we talked about before, it’s synonymous with IO, it’s a very beloved franchise of ours and, of course, Hitman will continue,” said Abrak. “Agent 47, maybe, is going to take a bit of a rest, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working on some cool, cool stuff with the World of Assassination. So there’s definitely activity coming and I’m looking forward to talking about that sometime in the future.”

IO Interactive, meanwhile, is gearing up for its next game set in the world of a very different international operative: 007. Project 007 will see IO take on the classic Bond franchise, and hopefully see some of that Hitman charm and physical comedy sneak its way into the world of international espionage and shaken martinis.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 17:00:00 +0000

Zombie Army 4: Dead War gets free next-gen upgrade on PS5 and Xbox Series X

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Zombie Army 4: Dead War gets free next-gen upgrade on PS5 and Xbox Series X

It’s like the guts are actually exploding on your face

Are you digging WW2 monster-masher Zombie Army 4: Dead War, but just feel like the blood and viscera flying through the air is missing that certain je ne sais quoi? Well, worry no more, as developer Rebellion has announced a free next-gen upgrade for the console editions of its alternate-history shooter, which rolls out this week on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Players who are currently run ‘n’ gunning through Dead War and its many expansions on PS4 and Xbox Series X will be able to access the upgrade on the same console family gratis. The PS5 edition has already unlocked faster loading times, 4K resolution options, and a 60Hz mode partnered with Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS). On April 8,  Xbox Series S will receive similarly reduced loading times, and 1080p at 60Hz, while bigger brother Xbox Series X will be afforded a new Quality/Performance Mode toggle, offering the same visual boosts as the PS5 edition. You’ll be popping skulls like never before.

In addition, to the technical upgrades, Rebellion has released a new patch on all platforms, fixing a slew of general and specific bugs and glitches, while also adding crossplay between the Windows 10, Steam, and Epic Game Store editions of the game. With Zombie Army 4: Dead War hitting PlayStation Plus this month, and an Xbox Game Pass debut on the horizon, it looks like the manic shooter is about to lock ‘n’ load for a fresh round of decay and destruction. Brrraiinnnsss.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 14:00:00 +0000

Survival horror game Abandoned is about waking up alone and hunted in the woods

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Survival horror game Abandoned is about waking up alone and hunted in the woods

Not a fun camp-out

Waking up in the woods by yourself is usually a bad sign, and finding out there’s a cult hunting you throughout said forest isn’t much help. Abandoned is a new survival horror game is coming to the PlayStation, combining open-world environments and realism with a really bad night in the woods. 

According to the game’s reveal today, Abandoned follows player character Jason Longfield, as he finds himself waking up in an unknown forest without any memories. He soon learns there’s some evil afoot, possibly an evil cult, and now is as good a time as any to escape.

Hasan Kahraman, game director for developer Blue Box Game Studios, says that the team wants to deliver a gameplay experience that feels realistic. If Jason sprints for a really long time, for example, his accuracy might suffer. Guns themselves are also pretty slow to fire, so make any shots count.

Abandoned will also be making use of some of the PlayStation 5’s features, like the DualSense controller. The adaptive triggers, for example, will make pulling the trigger on a loaded or unloaded gun feel different from each other. The PS5’s 3D audio will also help you identify where shots are coming from, so you can react accordingly.

It also seems to be an extremely high-fidelity game. Kahraman says the team is working to render at 4K native, and I will say, the woods and trees have a bit of an uncanny valley effect on me in this footage. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like this particular survival horror game will have any tall vampire ladies in it, but it still looks fairly interesting. A gameplay reveal is set to come soon, and Abandoned will launch exclusive to PS5 sometime in Q4 2021.

Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 14:30:00 +0000