It wasn’t an hour after the announcement trailer hit online that I knew I had to talk to people behind Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition. Tyler, owner of Screaming Villains (the developer behind this project), was kind enough to sit down and chat with me about the upcoming release.
One of the latest Sega Genesis/Mega Drive releases is a top down action RPG and brawler from Ancient, the team also responsible for Streets of Rage 2. It was known as Beyond Oasis in North America and The Story of Thor in all other regions, and it tells the tale of Prince Ali as he recruits elementals to assist him in defeating an ancient evil. Jam and Fred delve deep into the development, gameplay elements, and main campaign of this late, but great, 16-bit Sega game.
Outlast 2 is a truly unsettling game. No matter what you are doing at any one moment, there is sure to be something unpleasant about the situation, even when it’s more game design than content. The follow-up to Red Barrels’ 2013 take on the horror genre demonstrates what you want out of a sequel by taking everything up a notch. Along your path you will be jarred, challenged, see things you wish you hadn’t, and even feel helpless. It also improves upon the flaws of the original and provides countless visuals that I fear may have made me more desensitized to brutal violence than ever before. If you want controversial topics, this game has it in stride from the inhuman, to unthinkable tortures, and even a strong anti-religious undertone. Then again, making you flinch is the entire point, isn’t it?
If Outlast was a haunted house, Outlast 2 is the spook walk. The setting changes drastically, moving away from the confines of a lowly asylum and into Arizona’s Sonoran desert, where a married couple are investigating the mysterious murder of a young pregnant woman. Things quickly escalate when their helicopter crashes and the wife, Lynn, goes missing and you take control of husband Jacob in search of her. Where the original Outlast tended to use confined spaces to build tension, Outlast 2 thrives in large, open environments where you could find anything among the foliage from intense danger to nothing at all. It truly becomes more of a stealth title than anything else and dare I say reminded me more of the first half of Call of Cthulhu Dark Corners of the Earth than anything else. Rarely do you see the same scare or scenario play out, which is a welcome change from the redundancies I experienced in the original and kept me far more in focus. The storyline baits you to keep moving forward more than anything else and your handy camera is no longer simply night vision but also a journal that documents the plot points along the way, which can be reviewed at any time.
It’s just Fred, Trees, and Jam this episode, but with a slew of great listener mail and plenty of solid topics the show most definitely goes on. Jam is looking back on console killer apps, Trees is reminiscing about Disney Infinity‘s legacy, and Fred is wondering if the Scorpio even has a chance.
Link to the Zelda YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ySSq2d5mKE
Jam has officially returned and this week he and Fred are getting into the basics of retro gaming. It all starts with the best televisions, cables, and ways to hook up your retro consoles along with a good explanation as to why old systems look rough on HDTVs. Then the discussion moves on to hunting down games before concluding with questions from the community.
This week Fred is again solo, but fear not because he will have his faithful companion Jam back for the next episode. This week he’s discussing the origins of the Japanese Role Playing Game or JRPG and the genre’s eventual journey to the West. From humble roots in the early 80s to the powerhouse genres of the 90s, it’s a wild and crazy road.
Fred and Trees welcome Jam on as the official third host and his triumphant return, and are also graced with the one and only Jen from the Future Monkeys podcast. Oh, it’s also Jen’s birthday so be sure to wish her a good one! This episode the discussions focus mostly around the generation gap and how it’s quite nice to be a gamer in your 30s and 40s today.
This week Fred and guest Matt Bradford re-visit the Mass Effect trilogy. Although GH101 tackled this with a previous episode, it was time to go back to the well and delve a bit deeper into the mechanics, evolution, and critical opinions placed upon one of the most significant series of last generation.
The referenced Annotated Symphony of the Night can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFmpodGI3Jk