Possibly My Most Favourite Gaming Trailer Moment Yet

It’s such a tiny, tiny, bit of the full Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance VGA trailer, but it’s also easily the most informative part. Before this sequence, the combat could easily appear to be a dumbed down button mashing game — much like any movie licensed video game these days. But this tiny four second moment changed all of that.

The sequence suggests, to me, that the combat focuses more on “strings” than “combos”. This would mean that you can combine these “strings” in order to create your very own combos. Notice how he flawlessly attacks the soldier behind him whilst still facing forward. Would that be part of a standard combo when fighting an enemy in front of you? It’d look pretty silly if he did that without an enemy being there. That’s what I mean by generating your own combo, and that means the battle system looks to be filled with depth.

Furthermore, unlike games where you just hold the block button while waiting to be attacked, the sequence seems to imply that guarding is handled through parrying. Rather, the user must time it precisely and deflect the attack. That makes it more challenging, but more importantly, it makes it flow much nicer as you can see.

It’s really incredible just how much more informative this somewhat glossed over sequence expresses compared to the rest of the trailer; however, this is all just pure speculation. It’ll take until the demo that accompanies the Zone of the Enders HD collection before we discover what it’s capable of. But it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a third person action game with this much potential. I really can’t wait.

Dark Gate Launched on Android

Dark Gate released on Android

Kemco’s most recent Japanese Role-Playing Game, Dark Gate, has been launched as of August 1st. The title has been released on Android and, for a limited time, will be on sale for half price.

Dark Gate is a game that follows protagonist Leo in his journey to destroy Dark Gates — rifts in which monsters that were sealed away have been returning through. The task was assigned by a guild leader. On his journey, Leo will meet many individuals that he may not get along with, but will work together under their shared goal.

Featuring an automated battle system, the game delivers very ‘casual’ gameplay. Whilst this usually denotes a bad thing in various gaming circles, it is also far more suitable for an Android title on the go. The battles usually carry on without any player input; however, the player has a myriad of abilities available which they can select for more strategic play. Furthermore, the game features 70 classes which open up a number of options in battle. If that isn’t enough, the game has multiple endings — each ending affected by your choice of party members.

The title is available for $5.99/£5.99, but you can currently pick it up for $2.99/£2.99.

Important News Regarding Sony

Several sources have announced significant news involving Sony. It appears, much to my surprise, that Sony wishes that the  PlayStation Vita would sell more. This is a surprise. I feel that this is important information for our readers.

This is a result of a recent slump in Vita sales — sales which were never that great to begin with — that Sony now believe to be the consequence of the lack of support; the system often lacking new releases. This doesn’t help Sony’s situation either, as their entire gaming division is currently losing profit.

Announced via their recent quarterly press release, it appears that profits have fallen from 4.1billion yen profit to 3.5billion yen lost. That’s quite the fall. Recently, all three of Sony’s prime video game hardware (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita) have been suffering through a dry spell. Fortunately, the drought is nearly over as November often brings games pouring in. Hopefully, this will be enough to save Sony.

PlayStation Plus Update (EU) — 01/08/12

Sony announced their line-up for PlayStation Plus for the next two weeks via PlayStation Blog. Highlights include Dead Space 2 and Rock of Ages.

The next  PlayStation Plus Update is due this week and Sony haven’t failed to keep us entertained. Getting the ‘free goodies’ bonus are Dead Space 2 and Rock of Ages. Dead Space 2 is a third-person survival horror game developed by Visceral Games and published by EA. It’s a large AAA title, with the third outing due to arrive next year in the first quarter. Accompanying Dead Space 2 is a full range of its downloadable content, all reduced at half price.

ACE Team’s Rock of Ages — published by Atlus — is a tower defence game with a twist as the gameplay involves the rolling ball mechanic with the rock itself. Recently released just barely over two months ago, this makes a pretty good haul for PS+ subscribers as well. Of course, it might be a tragedy to many early adopters as well considering just how recent the title is.

As standard, a range of free avatars and themes will be included in the PS Plus package this month. Also, to warn readers, free titles Darksiders and Renegade Ops have two weeks remaining before their 100% discount disappears forever. If you’ve yet to grab them, I suggest you do it now.

Review: Slender [Scariest video game ever?]

Slender Video Game Review

The Slender Man is perhaps one of the most famously unknown and terrifying stalkers talked about throughout fictional history and now thanks to the work of a single man he’s gotten a little more exposure. But first, a little backstory on who — or what — the Slender Man actually is.

The Slender Man was created at the Something Awful Forums in a thread entitled “Create Paranormal Images.” He is seen as wearing a black suit, a tuxedo, and as the name suggests he is extremely thin and is able to stretch his limbs and torso to inhuman lengths in order to induce fear and ensnare his victims — children. Once his arms are outstretched his victims are put into something of a hypnotised state, this is where they are completely helpless to The Slender Man’s evil-doings. He is also able to create tendrils from his fingers and back that he uses to walk on in a similar fashion to Doc Ock, the Spider Man villain in the Marvel Universe. The superhuman stretching ability can also be seen as a similarity between himself and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Whether he absorbs, kills, or mearly takes his victims to an undisclosed location or dimension is also unknown as there are never any bodies or evidence left behind in his wake to deduce a definite conclusion.

The game Slender, created by Parsec Productions (a one-many army) places the player in the midst of a dark, spooky forest in the middle of nowhere. The player assumes the role of a female child where you are immediately instructed to collect eight pages, which are found scattered intelligently random throughout the forest. There is no tutorial, there is no prologue, there is no introduction to the game. Much like in real-life you hear yourself climb the fence and flick your flashlight on. You are now completely alone and defenceless, well, The Slender Man will be sure to keep you comforted in your journey.

Continuing on, it’s incredibly easy to learn the controls and mechanics of the game. Left-click is the action button (which is pretty much to collect pieces of paper), right-click is your flashlight, left shift is to sprint and buttons Q and E are used to zoom in and out respectively, with an appropriate lens-zoom sound effect as they are held down. Finding and collecting the first page initiates the first stage of ambient music: an off-in-the-distance drum echoing that will continue playing from now on. Now for every two additional pages you find, the next stage of ambient sounds will layer on top of each other, progressively becoming more chilling and intimidating. It’s a very effective, but simple, technique to ensue paranoia and fear.

Your flashlight will eventually run out!

Without spoiling, the pages can be found around landmarks in the forest; so you’re not going to find a page randomly on the floor in the middle of a bunch of trees; however, there is some level of consistency and visual clues as to where they can be. Also, at the beginning of each session of play, the pages’ locations are randomly generated in specific “hot spots” so you will not always find the same page at the same spot every single time. Now, picking up from before about music, the first stage of ambient sound is an audio cue to tell you that The Slender Man is on to you. There is no message that appears to break the immersion and tell you that you’re being stalked. Everything is naturally integrated in to the gameplay itself. The author of this game was definitely aiming for the most immersive and frightening video game experienc, by keeping the screen HUDless and replacing user interface elements with both an adaptive mix of visual and audio.

With this in mind, I found myself constantly looking around my surroundings, especially outside; expecting The Slender Man to appear right in-front of my eyes. As a matter of speaking, he has the ability to teleport anywhere on the map to where-ever you’re not looking at, but I learned that pretty quickly after finding my first page. With he continuation of the building-up ambient music along with the fear of seeing The Slender Man appearing right behind me with the classic “DUNN!” B-movie horror sound effect, my hands were physically sweating and my mouth was open the entire time I was playing; just waiting to be scared. I feel Slender is a self-selling game that makes you question your own psyche subconsciously. It was my own fear that that was keeping me motivated to play. I wasn’t sure if seeing or not seeing The Slender Man was for the better or not because it could mean he was going to either appear before my eyes any second, or if I did see him, then I would have just got scared by seeing him! This is what I mean when I say it is a self-selling game, I, myself, the player, was scared no matter what I did because of the tension that I created.

Is Slender the scariest video game ever made? Maybe…. It’s certainly the scariest video game I’ve ever played. Its efficient and simple style of gameplay makes up for a very convincing and addicting atmosphere. The realisation that you are indeed alone and helpless, and that all you can do is dig yourself a deeper grave, is spectacular. Its casual approach makes it open to all and any type of person to play, even if you don’t like to play video games, there is a strange addiction and compulsion to keep going and keep playing until the bitter end, a “so close yet so far” philosophy.

Slender was finished multiple times with a total of 5/8 pages, played on version 0.9.5 beta. For those who regard score as an important factor to a review, Slender receives a 10/10. It’s simply one of the most scary experiences you will have whilst playing video games, maybe even in your life, and should be played by everybody.

Guru Meditation is a regular author for GamingAdvance. You may contact Guru Meditation through the email address: gurumeditation@gamingadvance.com.