Sunday, 13 September 2015

Stitches, Sorries and the Craic

So it's been over a year, we know, and we apologise wholeheartedly that we didn't read any emails in that time and then deleted them all.

It's been a busy year.  Things have happened.  Graduation.  Work.  I moved to Birmingham for a job only to be told I didn't really have a job so I had to leave again.  Viv lost his passport in the Mediterranean and met Pierce Brosnan - apparently he's very nice.  I went to court as a witness after apprehending a man by his jeans.  And then just last month Viv bottled me over the head in a club because he thought he saw a spider and there was blood everywhere.  Just absolutely fucking everywhere, it was grim and people were slithering all over it like it was some macabre red ice rink.  Twelve stitches and three weeks later and he's still making it up to me.

But we're back now, and while we're not making any ridiculous promises about a post a day, because that would just be a complete fucking lie, it'll be more regular again.  We will actually read our emails and reply and not delete them in a fit of overwhelming despair.

Anyway we've got a fuck tonne of games for all y'all, starting with a few good old RPG Maker horrors.   You might also notice that we revamped the site for a bit of a spring clean, and I know it still looks decidedly average because we're not very good at that, but we tried, goddammit.  And, if you fancy doing a guest post then we're still open to that; drop us a line and we'll sort something out.

So that's the dealio-yo.  See you soon.

Friday, 11 September 2015


What, you thought we were gone for good?  Retired?  Dead?  Fighting in Syria?  No, we were just on extended leave.

Really, really extended leave.

And now we're back.

So stayed tuned.

Peace out yo.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Paranormal Syndrome

'Paranormal Syndrome' ('Kaii Syndrome') is a horror RPG Maker game created by Yuuyami no Kisetsu and translated by Tosiaki7.  The following review is written by Kera Hildebrandt.

There's a reason I love the 'Monster of the Week' format - variety in enemies.  There's a specialness to the anticipation and mystery of whatever new horror is just around the corner.  Some video games touch on this concept, but not enough for my liking.

Hence why Paranormal Syndrome tickles my fancy something fierce.

Uh-oh.  Look who just played 'Plumbers Don't Wear Ties.'

The game follows Mikoto Himeno, a seemingly-normal school girl who suddenly starts attracting paranormal phenomena.  Naturally, the player (that's you; hi there) must guide her through multiple levels, help her defeat yokai pursuing her, and find out the truth behind her *title drop* paranormal syndrome *title drop*.

Oh crap...

To sum up gameplay - straight from the vein of Clock Tower; its format being specifically similar to Clock Tower 3.  Each level has its own pursuer/mystery that you have to avoid/solve.  You can hide, run, and throw stuff at whatever monstrosity is after you.  You can get caught - one hit KO and the annoyance of restarting from the main menu.

Gameplay is pretty solid, but I think the real gem is the mystery throughout the whole game and variety in antagonists.

Oh, AND the disturbing scenery...

Genuinely disturbing, very intriguing, and decent gameplay.  Granted, there's a few scant issues in map layout where you switch directions from going map to map which doesn't do you well in chase sequences (i.e. you head down through a door in one hallway but are turned up in the next one), but it's not enough to make me kick my computer.

Oh, and one more issue -

Just four levels?  Wha...?  Is there more?!  I want more!  The whole set up was cool as shit!  Is there gonna be a sequel?!  DLC?!  You want my money?!  I can give you my money!  It's not much, but you can have it!  I just wanna fight Wanyudo or some kodama!  Maybe throw in some killer sunekosuri or kappa?!  Hell, bust out Oiwa!  She can be the main antagonist of the sequel or something!


...Ahem.  Right.  In all seriousness, I would like to have seen a little more foreshadowing to the big reveal.  It doesn't completely come out of nowhere, but again, a touch more story development wouldn't hurt the game a bit.

But in closing, this is a pretty solid game and I enjoyed myself quite a lot playing it!

Ojii-san: 'Make a sequel.  NOW.'

Score: 8.5/10


Kera Hildebrandt

Monday, 19 May 2014

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties

'Plumbers Don't Wear Ties' is a dating sim/comedy visual novel/shit brought to you by Kirin Entertainment in 1994.  Originally released for that most well-known of consoles, 3DO, the version offered here is 'played' via YouTube.  Credit to the uploader, Hormone1994.  NSFW.

It's considered to be one of the Worst Games of All Time, and after giving it a shot for about 30 seconds, you'll probably see why.  While classed as a full motion video game, the only part actually in video is the introduction, with the rest taking place as a sort of Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow, complete with shitty filters, horrible music, and full, unrestrained sexism.  Oh yeah, and this console cost about £500/$700 at the time of release.  So thank fuck you didn't buy it.

(Unless you did, in which case you're probably a jackass.)

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is allegedly an 'interactive romantic comedy' following the charming tale of Jane (played by a pro-wrestler, oddly enough) and John (some guy with a six pack) and their chance meeting in a car park.  The point of the game, I believe, is to get Jane and John into some joke of a relationship, after their awful parents call them to pressure them into finding a suitable mate and producing offspring at any cost.  Jane's ovaries are shrivelling up, and John's cock is not what it used to be, so if you want kids you basically have to pick up the next weirdo you find and bang 'em.  Seriously.

So the game takes the semblance of a multiple choice sort of thing, where at the end of each scene you can either choose to be nice to Jane, nice to John, or be a massive pervert.  I mean you clearly you go for massive pervert (I, for one, am not a massive pervert, but the options looked like they'd lead to the most interesting conclusions).  Pick the wrong one and you'll be greeted by a man in a chicken mask, possibly upside down, or maybe by a karate lady who's just beaten him up.  I know.  I didn't understand either.  Chicken man will tell you you've made the wrong decision and give you the option to choose again (ironically, unless you're a rapist, in which case, good job, you chose correctly, you fucking dick).

Each choice will lead to a number of overly long cut-scenes made up of repetitive pictures of Jane gasping along with some shoddy voice acting.  It's funny.  It's so bad it's funny.  For a few minutes.  Then it gets less funny and you start wondering if the creators of this game were actually chauvinists, or, more likely, they were born in the seventies and still thought bawdy humour was funny for half an hour, a la Carry On.  For future reference, guys, bawdy seventies humour is great for about 30 seconds in an ironic sense, and then it becomes grating, and probably insulting.

The Good:
Jane is hot.  John is hot.  They both conveniently forget their shirts for most of it.  There's something there for everyone's sexual orientation.

The Bad:
Everything else.  It's a bit rapey.

The Ugly:
Everything apart from Jane and John topless.

That's probably all you need to know.  The voice acting is shit, the choices are shit, the entire game is in fact shit, but it's also kinda fun and Jane and John have abs that could cut glass.  Also Jane is a pro-wrestler, she could take that dick boss any day.


2/10 for gameplay
7/10 for hilarity

Play here:

Monday, 12 May 2014


Pokemon.  On your PC.  Free.  We're not providing anything new here, just a means to play your old faves without the aid of that Nintendo you broke/lost/got nicked a few years ago.

If you really wanna hit the nostalgia buttons, this is the way to go.  Emulators abound on the internet, and if you've not found one, you're missing out.  Somewhere out there, Squirtle is still alive, and Tepig, and Chikorita, and all those others you once abandoned like Ash did with his Pidgeot.

Spoiler: it never comes back

Yeah, you're a horrible trainer, but it's ok, because now you've got the chance to make amends.  Download an emulator (links provided below) and the version of your choice, and voila, you're back on your way to Victory Road, with all those great Pokemon perks that go along with it.  Like Gary Oak being a complete bitch (or Blue or whatever your rival's called, probably 'Gaybo' if you've named him yourself, he was always a dick whatever).  Even better, because you're a few years older you actually understand what the mechanics are now, so you don't just have to spam Hyper Beam every fucking time.

(Hyper Beam is still awesome though.)

So get back on your bicycle (as long as you're outdoors, otherwise it's NOT THE TIME FOR THAT), and go capture weird animals in your tiny balls.  Don't say you don't love it.

Some emulators: 
(I personally use DeSmuME, which is good, though I hear No$GBA is less laggy)

ROMs: (There are other games on here too, you're not just forced to play Pokemon)

Obviously with all the emulators and the thousands of ROMs out there, we can't link you to everything, but these should point you in the right direction.

Once you've done that, there's only one question remaining.


'Cos Oak doesn't fucking know.

And so begins the epic battle that will rage for centuries...

If you have any issues downloading/running the programmes, do feel free to contact us.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Forest of Drizzling Rain

'Forest of Drizzling Rain' is a horror adventure made by Stardust KRNKRN in RPG Maker VX.  The translation provided is by Tosiaki.  Review written by Kera Hildebrandt. 

After reviewing a 3D game like Haunt, which required me to clean out most of my hard drive on my long-suffering laptop, it's good to go back to a good ol' RPG Maker game.  And fortunately for a scare freak like me, 75% of those games are horror.  One on my playlist - Forest of Drizzling Rain.

Basic gist - college student Shiori Kanzaki loses both her parents on her birthday.  Lonely and depressed, Shiori finds a picture of her grandpa and travels to his village, ultimately ending up at a museum that used to be her family's home.  When a local girl goes missing in a patch of forbidden woods, Shiori ventures into it and finds horrors related to the Kotori Obake, a monster woman said to abduct children.

Okay...  I normally would try my hardest to not give out any spoilers, but I don't think that's a possibility when discussing the story of this game (not plot points, so much as it is the trends in the plot's tone).  So, say hello to gigantic spoiler tags.

The game starts out pretty tame.  Kinda sad, actually (like, emotionally sad, not quality sad).  As the game passes, it appears any scares would be reserved to Ib levels of dread and disturbance.

Then, like the first big ramp in a roller coaster, we get thrown into Fatal Frame-levels of blood, shock, and sheer unsettledness (in fact, I think that you yourself would be able to pinpoint which room that the dial on the WTFomiter is cranked up to eleven).

So, is this a good thing or a bad thing?  Honestly, it's certainly not a bad thing.  With this dramatic turn of events, you'll probably be as shocked as our heroine.

To start out with the good - the story is pretty emotionally-driving; enough for you to care about the characters.  Not to mention that the later 'oh my god this just got really dark' part did good at filling the Camera Obscure-shaped hole in my heart.

'And so I said - "Failed ritual?  Bitch, I don't need no failed ritual.
I just do this for the lulz."'

And now, the bad - again, trying seriously hard not to give away any spoilers, I would have liked more of a connection between the characters (mostly two specific ones that are at the centre of the story, which I will not name...  Just play the game if you wanna know who the hell I'm blabbing about).  Again, the story makes you care about the characters already, but a little extra credit never hurts.

A glaring issue I had with the game is actually a tricky one to discuss, in that it might only be reserved to the translated build I played.  However, as a reviewer, I feel I should address this so that future translators might see how much of a problem this might be.

There were times where I couldn't understand what the hell was going on because the letters were cut off at the edge of the screen.  Examples -

....And I can't unders
you either.  Maybe it's
because all of your wo

...Welp.  I'm gonna assume she means incinerate
the mansion.

Why yes, I quite agree!  Beer IS quite splendid!

Oh thank God!  He brought a blue shining s to the fight!

But poor attempts at laughs aside, this DID create some confusion with the story; I couldn't even read half of the game's big reveal.  Translator, many thank you's for doing this, but please, try to take more care in text positioning.

Also, be careful of typos -

And awkward translations -

And that's when Shiori was sucked into the Shakespeare Vortex.

And bring a tissue...  hh!

But again, super mega thank you's for translating the thing in the first place.  Hell, maybe the first thing's not even your fault (I'm playing a version that was wineskinned for Mac).

In closing, this is actually a very intriguing game.  Takes hints from Ib and massive swigs from Fatal Frame.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves likeable characters, a grim mystery, and disturbing sights and sounds that will surely plague our nightmares.

Score: 8.5/10 (good text presention), 7/10 (bad text presentation)


Kera Hildebrandt

Robot Unicorn Attack

'Robot Unicorn Attack' is an online sidescrolling platformer developed by Spiritonin Media in 2010.

If you haven't heard of this game then you've probably been living under a rock for the past four years.  But now it's time to come out from your rock, because there's rainbows outside.  Rainbows, and unicorns, and failure.

Robot Unicorn Attack places you in the shiny hooves of the titular mythological beast, whose aim is to... survive for as long as possible, I suppose.  Jump over delightful pink chasms, destroy stars with your horn, and then die a horrible, fiery death.  And you will die many, many times.  There is, as far as I know, no end to this game; it's just an eternal romp through a mystical land, and your job is to see how far you can get without crashing and burning.  Literally.

This is a beautiful combination of camp, fun, and really fucking frustrating.  Erasure's Always is going to be in your head for a while after playing this.



Play here: