The Maw is the Most Adorable Apocalypse Ever

Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.
Maw and Frank being totes adorbs.

Most apocalyptic video games are bleak and depressing. They’re set during a time where things are going or went horribly wrong. Twisted Pixel managed to take those aspects, cover them is pink frosting and sunshine, tie it up in a bow and deliver The Maw. A similar yet very different kind of game about the apocalypse and friendship.
The main, playable character in The Maw is Frank. Frank is an alien on an alien planet. He’s abducted and crashed on a strange world with a strange, purple fellow captive. This giant, one-eyed, purple creature has the affect of a puppy. Like any good dog, he’s hungry and loving.
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Due to his giant mouth, the purple fellow is called Maw. Maw is tethered to Frank via a collar-bracelet situation. I guess that’s just so he doesn’t fall off a cliff because when Frank wants him to come closer her just hollers, “Maw!”
Frank takes Maw under his wing and goes about trying to escape this planet. On their way Frank discovers that Maw loves to eat the Yums native to this planet. Oh well, whatever keeps the slobbering beast happy.
Frank and Maw make their way across the planet with Maw eating everything he can and Frank kindly keeping him alive. With each Yum Maw eats, he grows. Some things he eats cause him to take on their characteristics—a very useful skill when traversing rough, unknown terrain.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.
Spicy food can sometimes have adverse reactions.

Maw and Frank face enemies and obstacles of all kinds while trekking across the planet. As Maw’s size increases it starts to become clear that this might become a problem. How big will he get before he tops off? Will he top off? Will he start eating asteroids and planets? What if he eats a sun…
Oh, snap. Now I get why these intergalactic mercenaries wanted him destroyed.
Aside from the cutest best friends ever, The Maw also offers a relaxing game with solid mechanics and challenges worth taking on.
He seems to be getting bigger...
He seems to be getting bigger…

Neither Frank nor Maw speak aside from Frank calling Maw (which is good because bad voice work can really ruin a game) but the story is fairly clear and engaging. The game is quick, but not too easy.
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Personally, I think being eaten by Maw is a perfectly acceptable way to go. I’m a huge fan of the game and the characters and the feeling I get when playing it. I even have a Maw plush toy, and my best friend has a Frank plush (he shouts “Maw” when you press the telepathic orb on Frank’s head.
Buy The Maw; play it; love it; buy it for your friends.

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Dead Rising 2 was free with XBox Gold

screenlg4Microsoft started giving out games to Gold subscribers twice monthly and one of the games in August was Dead Rising 2. Well that sounds like all my favorite things: zombies, action, video games, and FREE.
I downloaded the game and booted up. I was immediately confused. Apparently all this shit went down with a zombie apocalypse and and then it was solved (mostly). People built strong walls and made a serum for people who get bitten so they don’t turn.
My character was this dude who people knew of and has a patchy history and a dead wife. He in this entertainment competition whee he rides a motorbike and does tricks and fights captive zombies. This is kind of the into and tutorial.
screenlg1SUDDENLY, all hell breaks loose and there are zombies everywhere. Ohnoes. Now I have to beat my way through the throngs of zombies and rescue my child who’s waiting patiently backstage. Gah, I hate having to escort children and stuff.
So you have weapons that you pick up wherever like a guitar or an axe or a broom. The more you use a weapon the more it wears until it actually breaks. You’re charged with grabbing your baby and making you way out of the arena to safety. Apparently I was also supposed to be saving some other people along the way… oops. I’m so bad at additional objectives.
I get outside and run around a bit until I find a safe place because there are just fallout shelter kind of places scattered around just in case something like this happens. I don’t know if it was a cut scene or what but they’re totally blamng me for the invasion in the arena. People totally think I’m a terrorist. Rude. I’m under the impression I had nothing to do with it.
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After a lot of back and forth the people running the shelter are like, “Ew your daughter is bitten. Leave her outside.” And I’m like, don;t worry about it. I’ve got
medicine even though I totally don’t.
Now I have to go find medicine. Guy runs through the the shelter until he finds a secret exit that leads to the mall. In a backroom of the mall the is a place to craft weapons (if you find a key) and  a place to  get into the real mall.
In the mall you have to fight your way to the pharmacy and  get the medicine in time to get back to  the daughter. Ugh, timed missions are the worst. Especially when  you’re allowed to detour and try on clothes in the  stores. Yes, you can play dress up and use random objects as weapons. I personally liked the skateboard.
screenlg6Dead Rising 2 felt a little chaotic to me. There were almost too many options. I could run around killing zombies or trying on clothes or doing the mission or exploring the places or playing the slot machines (Yeah, those were there too.)
Normally, I love having options and feeling like a game has an open world but this felt falsely open. If you did too much of one thing then the other things pop up and kept you forcefully on track. Also, I don’t know if it’s because Dead Rising 2 is older but I felt the controls were clunky and not as accurate or responsive as they should be. In a hordes of zombies situation I don’t want to deal with clunky controls!
It was hard to tell if it was a serious game (there’s a dying little girl I’m responsible for) or just a silly game (I can wear costumes and use toys as weapons….
I got frustrated and bored and because it was free I didn’t feel like I was wasting anything by letting it collect virtual dust. Dead Rising 2 was good enough for the price but not good enough for me to  play through. Le sigh.

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[PAX East '13] The Last of Us Features Happy Bricks and Echolocation.

I played The Last of Us demo at PAX East and felt all the feelings. Happy for a sweet band of misfits sticking together to make their way in this harsh new world. Confused by the MC Escher reminiscent environment that I couldn’t navigate because I could get lost in a cul-de-sac. Scared—no terrified—by the Clickers, cauliflower-faced creatures who use echolocation to ferret out their prey. Proud when I figured out how to distract them and escape. Finally, fun-stressed while I tried to fight off diseased humans from all angles.
It was vital to utilize stealth, cunning, speed, and puzzle-thinking to get through this scene so I can’t imagine what the game will hold. I’ve always thought of Naughty Dog as the story people with a good game keeping you in the seat but I think The Last of Us might have the story and game neck and neck for awesomest.
Now I’m a little worried I’ll miss some of the story because I’ll be so  engrossed in the game! Gah. My life is hard.
Check out the Last of Us Past East 2013 demo video:
Lucky me, I came away from the very stressful demo with a stress brick by the name of Happy Brock.

Happy Brock the stress brick!

Check out the official Naughty Dog write up on their blog.
[More about The Last of Us]

The Land of The Video Game Apocalypse

Video games and the apocalypse go hand in hand. Player One is always that one guy with shit to do and an appointment on Tuesday trying to make his (or her) way through this mess and help all these people out—how’d they survive before Player One came along?
But, we keep coming back to these needy people in their dangerous world because of some romanticism that we can hack it, fix it, or beat it into submission.
Of all the video game apocalypses, which is the worst; which is the best? Is it the overwhelming zombies of Resident Evil, the galactic invasions of Mass Effect, the aggressive extermination in Halo, or some other hellish scenario?
If given the choice, I’d find this Unicorn Apocalypse from the Samsung Mobile commercials and be there. I don’t know all the details of Unicorn Apocalypse I just know those are two things I need to see in one place in order to die happy.

Some of my favorite and most feared video game apocalypses

Continue reading “The Land of The Video Game Apocalypse”

The Last of Us Comic by Dark Horse

Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also captivating storytelling.
The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles.
Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello’s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character.

Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also  captivating storytelling.
The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles.
Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello‘s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character. Check out the press release for details:

The most anticipated video game of 2013, The Last of Us, comes to print with a comic series and an art book from Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog!
The Last of Us: American Dreams will be a four-issue series by TheLast of Us lead writer Neil Druckmann, with rising star Faith Erin Hicks (Zombies CallingFriends with BoysThe Adventures of Superhero Girl) as cowriter and artist.
Ellie, the heroine of The Last of Us, has grown up in a postpandemic world, shuttled between military orphanages in one of the last remaining quarantine zones and resigned to the fact that when she’s old enough, she’ll be channeled into the army or left to fend for herself—until she meets an older girl determined to find a third way out.American Dreams explores Ellie’s backstory and her first steps on the road that led her to her companion Joel.
The first issue of The Last of Us: American Dreams will appear in the spring of 2013.
The Art of The Last of Us, a deluxe hardcover exploring the characters, the infected humans, and the intricately realized world of the game, will launch in conjunction with the release of the game.

[More about The Last of Us]

PAX 2012 | The Last of US Live Demo

Naughty Dog has set a high bar for themselves with the Uncharted series and if PAX Prime 2012 is any indication, that bar has been met with The Last of Us.
I went into the demo with Kae from Fuck Yeah! The Last of Us (and Fuck Yeah! Uncharted) and our expectations were high. Before the demo even began Naughty Dog started off on the right foot. The inside of the viewing room looked like the long abandoned bathroom that Joel and Ellie make their way through in the demo.

Naughty Dog has set a high bar for themselves with the Uncharted series and if PAX Prime 2012 is any indication, that bar has been met with The Last of Us.
I went into the demo with Kae from Fuck Yeah! The Last of Us (and Fuck Yeah! Uncharted) and our expectations were high. Before the demo even began Naughty Dog started off on the right foot. The inside of the viewing room looked like the long abandoned bathroom that Joel and Ellie make their way through in the demo.
(Kae took all those pictures)
In the demo Ellie even comments on the couple in the couple in the bathtub and how they “took the easy way out.”
The characters felt very well rounded and realistic. They worked well together and there was no hint of either Joel keeping Ellie around for the wrong reasons or Ellie being a useless little twat you’ll hope will die so you can go play in peace.
After the demo we were given sweet posters –you can see one pictured above—(I got a signed one by Bruce Straley, the game director, that we’ll be giving away here on In Case of Survival ASAP) and t-shirt.
Free stuff is always awesome but really the best part was the the actual demo. Kae and I were holding one another, gasping, giggling, and sincerely feeling all the feelings.
Check out The Last of Us demo below and let us know how it made you feel:

The Last of Us Live Demo from PAX Prime

[More about The Last of Us]

Bandits Will be Bandits | The Last of Us

Cowards! The lot of them. Bandits and Highway Men are constantly trying to play on the sympathies of  those of us who don’t lack morals. They did it in The Book of Eli and They’re doing it again in The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog has been slow releasing information and videos about their upcoming post-apocalyptic video game. This time it’s a video!
The cinematic trailer shows a scene from a day in the life of Ellie and Joel… being ambushed by bandits on the road to who-knows-where.
Video description:

Joel and Ellie won’t have an easy road ahead of them. Their path across the US will intersect with other survivors, some of whom won’t be friendly. In this scene set to the somber chords of Hank Williams, Sr., Joel and Ellie continue their journey west in a battered pickup truck. As they drive towards the next destination on their route, and hopefully a place to find critical resources, the pair encounters a group of hunters. What happens next is something you have to witness to understand.
The Last of Us is genre-defining experience blending survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Cities are abandoned and being reclaimed by nature. Remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.
Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is being made exclusively for the PS3 system.

Video:

[More about The Last of Us]

This week in the real world

First of all, sorry for being absent as of late. I just didn’t have anything to say and so I didn’t say anything.  But I have been busy. Not buying a house like Char or getting good grades like Ann. Mostly I’ve been playing video games and reading comic books and I got a new phone (almost immediately after, my work phone died).
While its always important to plan for the worst the current situation can’t. Come second. Sometimes that means making steak for dinner instead of hardtack. Or just going for a drive because its nice out. However you can keep in the back of your mind all the lessons you’re. Learning while doing these things.
What I’ve learned from the pre-apocalyptic world: Continue reading “This week in the real world”

Telltale Games' The Walking Dead Video Game!

Ohmigawd, Ohmigawd, Ohmigawd! I’ll try to breath, but, it’s finally happening. No, not the apocalypse. The Walking Dead video game. They said it would but after waiting so long (at least it felt like so long) I thought, maybe it was just an idea that wouldn’t really come to full fruition.
Then, one day, I saw the AMC choose your own adventure motion comic game thing, Dead Reckoning, and thought that was the game. I mean, it was awesome but not what I expected from Telltale Games. They make games not promotional content. (By the way, check out the AMC promotional games for The Walking Dead, they’re generally awesome.)
Finally, today, I got the press release  along with the video for the “Choice Matters” trailer:

Tellale explains the details in today’s press release:

Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator and writer of The Walking Dead for Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics, announced today that the first episode of the game series based on the critically acclaimed comic book series, The Walking Dead, is now available for download.  Players can purchase the PC and Mac versions from the Telltale Games Online Store, as well as Steam and other digital distribution services.  The first episode is also available for download now on PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and will be available Friday, April 27th on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Every system (except the Zelda/Mario/Exercise console)!
Continue reading “Telltale Games' The Walking Dead Video Game!”

You May Now RAGE on a Mac

Why you’re trying to game on a Mac is beyond me, BUT if you choose to do that, you are now free to play RAGE on your fancy show piece[1. Think someone might not be a Mac person…?].
RAGE is the post-apocalyptic wasteland first person shooter complete with mutants and bandits and dune buggy races, oh my. Bethesda Softworks announced via a press release that the standard RAGE: Campaign Edition will come with features that were previously, on other consoles, only available in the special RAGE: Anarchy Edition:

In RAGE: Campaign Edition you will take on bandit gangs and hordes of mutants with an arsenal of exotic weapons and special items, such as Wingsticks, personal turrets, sentry bots, and remote-controlled bomb cars as you play through the game’s full unaltered single-player campaign. The Mac version will also include bonus equipment formerly exclusive to the RAGE Anarchy Edition, including a Double Barrel Shotgun, the Rat Rod Buggy, Fists of RAGE and Crimson Elite Armor. You’ll also have access to the Wasteland Sewers Missions which feature additional mutant blasting gameplay and looting opportunities.

Luckily for Mac gamers, this isn’t just a port from one system to another. id software worked with Aspyr to ensure that the game was just as good on the Mac as it is on real gaming platforms[2 Why are we encouraging them? They can’t even right-click.].

“Aspyr has been a great partner, bringing id Software’s games to the Mac platform for years,” said Todd Hollenshead, President of id Software.  “We’ve worked closely with them again to offer the amazing graphics and intense combat that RAGE is famous for to Mac gamers.”

It’s a video!