Showing posts from August, 2014

Ray-se Your Own Zombie Army Through Ray's the Dead Kickstarter Campaign

I love it when monsters appear in video games, but there aren't nearly enough games out there where players can actually be the monster. Thankfully, Ragtag Studio hopes to address this unmet need through a Kickstarter campaign for Ray's the Dead, a morbidly humorous zombie game.

Ray's the Dead puts players in the lumbering footsteps of Ray LaMorte, a zombie who has just risen from the grave. He doesn't remember how he died or what the glowing device is that has been attached to his head. Throughout the game, players control both zombie Ray in the present and living Ray in flashbacks to solve the mystery behind Ray's resurrection. Players can also use the device that's stuck to Ray's head to turn enemies into controllable zombie minions.

From what I've seen and read about Ray's the Dead so far, it looks extremely promising. The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its initial goal for producing the game for PC, Mac, Linux and Playstation 4, and ad…

The Marvel Movie Universe Soars to Greater Heights in Guardians of the Galaxy

I haven't seen many movies in the theater this summer but of the two I did see, I'm glad that they were both Marvel movies made by Marvel itself: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. (On the other hand, I haven't seen Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, this summer's Marvel movies that were not made by Marvel.) I don't know how Marvel does it, but it makes the production of entertaining, interconnected superhero movies look so easy.

In contrast to the tense, somber Captain America movie that kicked off the 2014 blockbuster season, Guardians of the Galaxy is a wild, humorous romp into parts of the Marvel universe that aren't located on Earth or Thor's home world of Asgard. As such, Guardians is more of a pulp sci-fi space opera that's told with a wink and a smirk--due in no small part to director James Gunn, whose filmography includes oddball genre flicks like Slither and Super--but superhero fans won't be disappo…

Red, White and Mego: Diamond Select Toys' Marvel Retro Captain America 8″ Figure Set is Available for Pre-Order

Diamond Select Toys has just announced that it is taking pre-orders for the next installment in its Marvel Retro series of limited edition 8-inch Mego figure sets: Captain America. The first set for Spider-Man was announced a few months ago, and upcoming sets are rumored to include Iron Man and Wolverine.

Like the Spider-Man set, the Captain America set will be a limited edition that features a precise recreation of the original 1973 Mego Captain America action figure along with additional head and hand sculpts, costumes, and accessories. Unlike the Spider-Man set, none of the head sculpts, costumes or accessories will include nods to the '70s era live-action TV version of this superhero. Then again, the '70s weren't very kind to Cap, since that particular incarnation (played by Reb Brown) looked to merge him with attributes from motorcycle stunt superstar Evel Knievel, presumably for merchandising reasons. Even HYRDA wouldn't be that cruel.

Captain America from the '…

Retro Review: Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce (1985)

Lately, I've been getting a kick out of The Strain TV series. I haven't read the novels, but I enjoy how Strain's creators Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have reimagined vampires into hosts of wormy, body-mutating parasites while being true to the key details that make vampires what they are (e.g., blood-sucking, fear of sunlight, preference for sleeping in coffins, etc.). It's also cool that The Strain depicts vampires as a disease-like epidemic; in fact, long before George Romero started the first zombie plague in his 1968 movie Night of the Living Dead, Richard Matheson depicted a vampire plague in his 1954 novel I Am Legend.

If you're impressed as I am with what The Strain has done with vampires, then you might want to take a look at another unique depiction of the notorious night creepers: Lifeforce, the 1985 sci-fi thriller that was directed by Tobe Hooper. Read on for my review of this odd, spectacle-driven vampire tale.

Classic Atari Game Consoles Live on at the AtariAge Store

In the vast realm of geekdom, it is not uncommon for avid fans to take matters into their own hands whenever the market fails to meet their merchandising needs. If an insufficient amount of collectible items are produced for a particular franchise, fans will take it upon themselves to fill the gap through homemade resin model kits, customized action figures, detailed costumes and so on. Some fans will even do this for video game consoles that were discontinued ages ago, which bring us to the topic of this post: AtariAge, purveyor of homebrew video games for the classic Atari consoles from the '70s, '80s and '90s.

The first issue of Atari's Atari Age magazine (1982 - 1984),  the source of AtariAge's name.

To call AtariAge an exercise in nostalgia is an understatement--it aims to completely recapture the Atari gaming experience for its homebrew games by selling the in system-specific cartridges in boxes that are modeled after the Atari video game boxes, including colorf…

Go on a Kaiju Killing Spree with Wii U’s Tank! Tank! Tank!

Boy, times have changed for home video game consoles over the years. Way back in the early ‘80s, my friends and I judged the quality of a console by how closely it could recapture the video game arcade experience in the comfort of our homes. We wanted to play arcade hits like Donkey Kong and Pac Man in front of our TV sets without spending mountains of quarters, so we wanted to get as close to the original games' graphics and game play as possible.

Generations since that bygone era have looked elsewhere to evaluate the quality of home video gaming, because arcades have largely disappeared from the pop culture landscape. Thus, it came as a surprise to an old-timer like me that Wii U’s release of Tank! Tank! Tank!, an extremely faithful port of Namco's multiplayer arcade game from 2009, was received by many current generation gamers with a combination of bewilderment, boredom and disappointment.

From what I read in other reviews, many gamers had no idea that Tank! Tank! Tank! be…

A Galactic Space Saga Gets Tiny in Hasbro’s Star Wars Command Toy Line

As with previous years, this summer's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) previewed the release of many new TV series, movies and toy lines connected to familiar, well-worn franchises. Star Wars was one of those franchises at SDCC, with an upcoming movie trilogy in the works, an animated TV series named Rebels that's premiering this fall, and a wide selection of merchandise to keep the fans engaged and excited. The merchandise came in a wide selection of sizes, and one of the most intriguing and fun set of items appeared in a very small size: Hasbro’s new Star Wars Command toy line.

Star Wars Command takes characters and vehicles from the six movies and Rebels and gives them the plastic toy soldier treatment so that kids can re-create some of the saga’s epic battles. (No word yet on whether future Command released will include characters and vehicles from the Clone Wars animated series.) Command sets will feature multiple miniature figures and vehicles from one of four factions: Republ…