Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Devil's Due - The scoop and digest

I’ve come to the conclusion that found footage is addictive.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet contributed to horror anthology V/H/S and now the stage is set for their supernatural socks to shine like new born stars.

Plot details and/or spoilers will be experienced behind the camera.

Living through the course of labour pain include:

Zach Gilford – Zach McCall
Allison Miller – Sam McCall
Vanessa Ray – Suzie
Sam Anderson – Father Thomas

“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come...”
1 John: 2:18

In 2013, a man covered in blood is being interviewed by the police for presumably a murder.

Reverting back to 2012, (and not that terrible disaster movie), newlyweds Zach and Sam honeymoon in Santo Domingo and after Sam has her palm read by a fortune teller, ‘they've been waiting for you’.

Confused and somewhat slightly dazed by this revelation, they are driven to an underground bar in the middle of nowhere in particular by a charming taxi driver.

Of course you’d be so easily led, I mean it’s totally realistic.

Anyway, the booze is flowing, the music is booming and it’s all going rather well until the camera fades to black.

When we’re back online, Sam is party to a ceremonial ritual and light is soon shed.

Like any good night out, they have no previous recollection and head home.

Despite religiously taking the pill, Sam reveals she's got one in the oven and shock turns to elation.

Her first ultrasound suggests there’s no immediate issue and Later... When The TV Turns to Static, the midwife informs she’s due in March.

At home, they get the feeling like they’re been watched.

One night, Sam is fast asleep but awakes in a trance like state.  She then swiftly returns to dozy land and is dismissed as a bad dream.

When our Sam experiences a sudden nosebleed, all manner of odd things are practised.

She unofficially samples raw meat at a supermarket, her very presence causes pain for other expectant mothers at an antenatal class, gains the ability to move objects purely by the power of the mind and vandalises a reversing car with her bare hands.

Yeah well, the idiot should have been looking...

Communion arrives and at church, Father Thomas experiences a coughing fit.

Struggling to conduct the ceremony, the priest should blame Mansun and not Sam because after all, She Makes My Nose Bleed.

Getting increasingly freaked out, Zach searches for answers so plays back the honeymoon footage finding evidence of the symbol and confirms the taxi driver’s presence at communion.

At the hospital, Father is shown drawings of the symbol which prompts his heart rate monitor to rapidly increase and visiting time’s over.

During a gathering, Sam at some point receives an unmarked gift.

Who knows?  This knife might be used to perform a ceremonial ritual.

This helps her to carve the symbol on the floor of their home and when disturbed by gutting deer, teenagers take flying lessons - free of charge.

Hubby visits an abandoned House at the End of the Street and discovers CCTV footage of their home.

Suzie (who I think is Zack’s sister), confronts Sam and is eventually killed.

Several cult members surround in the pouring rain and the power of Sam proceeds to destroy the house.

Zack watches in horror as she opens up her stomach and another discharge of light ensues.

After Sam dies, the baby is removed by the cult and Zack is powerless to prevent the kidnap.

An extended scene at the police station follows and we close in gay Paris, as the taxi driver entices another couple to begin the whole cycle again.

While not abysmal, this was at best watchable.

Aside from the obvious Rosemary’s Baby similarities, that isn't really the problem.

The fake scares, sudden shouts, sporadic shit hitting the fan moments and a brief climatic set piece in the last 10 minutes or so remind of something.

Oh man, I can’t put my Paranormal finger on it but I sense an area bustling with Activity.

It even sets up video cameras stolen from the fourth and best entry.

Brown trouser tactics and general moments of unease completely fail and are about as effective as freezing meat in a lit oven.

Oh, we feel the force and whiff of Chronicle (again).

The premise behind the pregnancy itself is moderately original but the inference of global escalation spirals off the silly scale.

Using the nearest principle, The Last Exorcism is probably the best example.

Yes, not the sequel...

Despite all the criticism, your attention is held and amidst the banality, the leads deliver decent performances.

From my own trivia bank, which far more visceral horror also ends in Paris?

28 Weeks Later.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Twinbee - Historical adventures

When it comes to flagship Konami franchises, the indoctrinated should be able to reel off Gradius, Castlevania, Contra and Parodius without drawing breath.

The birth of which began in 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 respectively.

Placing my bollocks on the chopping board, I'm predicting that outside of Japan, many were oblivious to the fact that Twinbee was a brand and not just a selectable char in the Japanese and/or eventual PAL release of Parodius on SNES, known for being a superb conversion of the 1990 Parodius Da! arcade. 

Ignoring silly RPG and puzzle, let's soar through the sky.

To discover the origin of the species, you have to rewind to 1985 with the short and sweet title of Twinbee.

For the casual gamer, his contribution is perhaps far more convoluted than first thought.

Vertically scrolling arcade shmups were synonymous in the 80s and beyond so guess what direction this moved in?

Apart from expected pop gun, grounded enemies could only be destroyed by not singing songs but dropping bombs.

This bombing idea was ‘borrowed’ from Namco’s 1982 antiquity Xevious.

Famicom and MSX owners benefited at home in 1986.

We moved from the arcade to the Famicom/NES in 1987 with Moero! Twinbee or Stinger.

That’s right, Stinger.

As a crazy nibble of trivia, this alternative title was also a 1983 Seibu Denshi arcade shmup.

There’s also Alpha Denshi Korporation (commonly abbreviated as ADK), who despite some questionable quality, more than injected life into the Neo Geo software library.

The company soon shed its skin and became Seibu Kaihatsu.

Even if you don’t know the name, you will know the game as Raiden is a series of some importance.

Unlike the first, Moero! favoured a combination of horizontal and vertical scrolling action.

The Famicom was the only system privileged enough to embrace Twinbee 3 in 1989.

Bells & Whistles aka Detana!! Twinbee applied a more appealing lick of paint as the gang receive a distress signal from Princess Melora because the planet Meru is under attack from the forces of Iva.

While the principle didn't stray, you could charge an energy shot, much like R-Type.

Notably, the PC Engine was host to an excellent port of the 1991 arcade.

Twinbee Yahho! celebrated ten years with a gorgeous looking entry.

It stuck fast with vertical mayhem and featured running commentary from the good guys and pilots of crazy mechanical bosses couldn't resist a spoken taunt.

Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius on SNES and the SA1 Chip helped in providing a word or two.

If you were prepared to import, compilations await from Japan.

Detana!! and Yahho! are found on the PS1 and Saturn as a double hit combo and although the PSP ultimately proved to be a disappointing piece of shit, a UMD housed the ultimate compendium.

Twinbee Portable served five slices of the anthropomorphic spaceship, namely Twinbee, Detana!! Twinbee, Pop 'n Twinbee, Twinbee Yahho! and a remake of Twinbee Da! on Game Boy.

So that’s the sun, it’s time for the SNES to provide the shine.

Pop ‘n Twinbee, Konami 1993

Released not long after Bells & Whistles, nobody should be too blown away that it adopts a sleek and similar look.

Despite that, it wasn't a conversion and I suppose you could accuse it of being a restyle.

Twinbee and Winbee (singularly or co-operatively), must defeat the minions of the buck toothed Dr. Mardock.

Shooting, bombing, punching and launching chibi are all in a hard day’s flight.

Chibi are basically nukes and involve mini bees dishing out destruction.

In 2P, you can even toss your companion about the screen without he/she sustaining any damage.

It never looked like a one hit death would be enforced and sure enough, your life meter must be battered before the loss of life.

After shooting the happy go lucky clouds, bells must be shot and colour brought depends on receiving weapon, pod(s), shield, speed up and more.

I say pods but they’re really options, a la Parodius.

Normal, engulf or surround are formations that can be assigned for these ‘minis’ to obey with whatever choice behaving slightly different for either craft.

While you won’t scream Yahho!, this delivers eye candy of a most vibrant order…

Numerous two tier backgrounds consisting of harbour, waterfall and city simply delight.

Domes effortlessly ripple underwater and during the airship stage, the aforementioned mechanical monster is a mere shadow before emerging through high speed clouds.

Final finesses extend to cog factory and flowing lava.

Such detail is complemented by a fantastic variety of enemy with some of the unconventional who take aim and fire are even good enough to eat.

Fish, octopi, pineapples, crabs, melons, grapes, pandas, jellyfish, hammers, centipedes, mice, playing cards and babies light the blue ‘what the fuck’ paper.

Oh, pigs do fly.

Even though we scroll in no other direction, the grounded can favour isometric movement and reminds not of Zaxxon but Viewpoint on Neo Geo.

Robotic types take precedent as squid, spider, together with Giant Bees and the face of "Howling Mad" Murdock, er Mardock, qualify as end of level threat.

Music is equally impressive as some trippy Star Wars inspired themes fit whatever glove each environment is wearing.

Although some parts can cause slight problems, it won’t take too long to conquer and apart from dangling the usual boring carrot of improving score, any replay is rendered practically pointless.

While it lasts, it's impossible not to appreciate one of the most accomplished SNES shmups around and although flicker can’t be avoided, we don’t endure a slow motion replay throughout.

Pop ‘n Twinbee was released for Game Boy in Europe in 1994.

Okay, that’s cooler than a cucumber because it’s just a cut down version of this, right?

Wrong!

It was originally released in Japan under its previously mentioned original guise back in 1990 and is pretty much a port of the 1985 arcade.

You don't have to be a genius to realise this only happened because they saw cash signs flash before their eyes but nevertheless, how amusingly misleading.

Pop ‘n Twinbee: Rainbow Bell Adventures, Konami 1993

As the Monty Python boys would say:

“And now for something completely different”

Dr. Warmon has stolen the rainbow bells to conquer the world and without their magic power, Princess Melora is disappearing.

You must save the universe from Warmon and his evil ‘bees’ to restore peace and ensure that the Princess isn’t erased from existence.

Just to clear things up, Warmon isn’t an alias of Mardock.

Essentially a platform animal, this dons the cape of Rocket Knight Adventures, sprinkled with Mario World and garnished with a side order of Sonic.

The level design even sings of Taito classic, The Newzealand Story.

Such a radical gameplay shift would only surprise dedicated fans who know of its humble beginning.

Using either Twinbee or Winbee is a given but Gwinbee is now fully playable instead of the usual power up situation.

We have a punch and jump bar that can be charged to achieve a super variety of each.

Chars exploit these bars in slightly different ways but not enough to excite.

The time it takes to charge can be quicker for some but the outcome is weaker, as opposed to another taking longer but kicking more ass.

Aside from each having their own weapon, bombs and homing missiles can also be got.

Fluffy clouds are not shot to ring a bell and just act as platforms due to enemies now leaving the trademark pick up.

As before, bells provide further weaponry, shield and as we walk the walk, spike shoes make it easier to skate on thin ice.

Those who collect 100 mini bells will be rewarded with an extra life.

So fairly standard stuff but the 2P mode is when this comes into its own.

When the other player inevitably goes out of view, the unseen can force the visible back or teleport to his/her position at will.

It could have been a right royal disaster but works well, especially when stages get larger and more complicated.

There are seven worlds, consisting of various areas to each with surroundings boasting the flavour of meadow, toys, torchlit cave, ice and underwater mischief.

You need a key to enter the goal gate located somewhere on each stage.

Secret areas are a bit of a double-edged sword because on one hand they are packed with bells but still carry enemy threat.

For those who get lost, opening your map reveals the goal location.

Just like Rocket Knight, you’ll go nowhere fast unless you regularly boost jump to navigate.

One problem though, it’s just not as fun and soon becomes monotonous.

Although not as unnecessary, cart wheeling in Strider II brought similar boredom and anyway, that was a piece of steaming shit.

This should not to be confused with the actual Capcom sequel to their classic original released for arcades in 1999.

I’m in no doubt they do this shit just to piss me off.

PS1 owners may know that a direct port of the original and the proper sequel featured as a bundle without the need to import in 2000.

Osman was an unofficial sequel to Strider and was the brainchild of many who worked on the original game.  It was released by Mitchell Corporation in 1996 exclusively for insert coin.

So after getting more off track than a stoned sprinter, let’s boost back and wrap things up.

After defeating a boss, that’s how you’ll find a bell.

Well stone me, nobody expected that twist…

When you've successfully procured all seven ding a lings, this adventure is brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

While the Japanese core is the same as PAL, there are some curious differences which makes importing seem the more suitable choice.

Stages are tackled in a non linear manner and battery backs your ass up.  There was also dialogue and depending on how the player performed, secret endings should be expected.

Battery back up was replaced with a password system.

Was the pre-stage banter peppered with quirky humour?  The majority of which will never know…

While graphics can occasionally drip the usual Konami class, they're mediocre compared to Pop ‘n Twinbee and the music has taken a considerable nosedive.

The decision for change isn't quite pixel suicide but the traditional shmup affair is sorely missed.

Of course the series has a particular charm but no matter how fast the titular char punches thin air, he will never be able to shake off the incorrect ‘first seen in Parodius’ tag.

For this reason alone, Twinbee was doomed in the UK, hence why the majority of action is only available on import.

I'm sure he remains popular in Japan but there’s more chance of a ‘this gen’ rebirth than Sega imminently announcing a successor to the Dreamcast. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Video games heavily Lost in Translation - Final Blot

No fault can be dorected toward but blame is left with those what become responcible.

Its better to be here than their but you won't regret clocking these clicks.

The selection make most sense by understood dialect of ridiculous.

Nightmare in the Dark - Arcade


I beleived in miracles, now I don't, you ugly thing, ugly thing you.
When I visit the great gig in the sky, I want to be buried anywhere other than the coner of the Cemetery.  
Thus he patroled the Cemetery every midnight...
With or without the typo, that makes lots of fucking sense.
They've corrected 'corner' but now decided to spell 'cemetery' with an 'a'.
You've got to give them a poke in the eye for that curious mishap.
Zero Wing - Mega Drive


I don't know.  What didn't happen?
Pardon?  Er, what?  Oh yeah, set up us bomb, there's a good chap.
We get signal. What !
Yeah, is this supposed to be irony?
I don't care if 'all your base are belong to us', those lines are about to be hoovered up with Dyson like nose.
This fantastic line is also seen as graffiti in Wreck-It Ralph on the subway wall connecting Game Central Station.
What you say?  Oops, wait until I've finished talking.
I used to make time but guess what this bullshit has enforced?
What selfish bastards, they're leaving Zag behind.
Not really, but who gives a shit because it's obvious that text hasn't from the very beginning.
Psychic Storm - PC Engine

This long waffle could have been a lot worse as there are only two errors.
Battleship is 'battelship' and 'invasion by the thing started to the solar system before long' is only logical if empty alcohol containers regenerate the already drank.
'Which the more experienced if the combat the more strong it becomes'
Of 'cource' that's wrong and what of the four 'pilors' who were chosen after a lot of aptitude tests?
Their fate remains a perplexing mystery.
We have martial as in law or art, there's also marital used for status and here, we have the Maritial Lieutenant of the Space Army.  There's no such bastard word.
Apart from the continued and incorrect use of speech mark instead of apostrophe, The Thing has apparently been reporducing innumerable amounts over hundreds of million years.
Hmmm, where the fuck do I began?  Tell you what, I won't begun because once it starts, it may not begin.  Yeah, that's the shit I'm talking about.
We finaly won?  I wish it'd ended in defeat.
So let me get this more level than a tournament snooker table.
Mother (the computer from Ridley Scott's masterpiece Alien), actually gave birth to The Thing from John Carpenter's ultimate body horror?
You... BITCH!
Concluded.
When 'shooted' down whatever boss makes sense, let me know and I'll send the lads down to teach you a lesson involving a selection of blunt instruments.
Only a psyco would say there's nothing wrong here.
Aurail - Arcade

Name your title cliche for a horror sequel?
Return of the Psyco, Psyco Resurrection, Revenge of the Psyco or Psyco Reborn.
Nah, I like Psyco vs Psycho.
Now that's a dream match that we'll never see...
I have two important questions.
Your heigth and weigth please?
Well same to you with ringing bells on.
As I learnt magic force of great fhantom, my mission has compleated.
Special Mission Start: WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?
--Malfunction--
Commences.
Read this back and I defy you not to go temporarily more barking than Rin Tin Tin.
Parodius - MSX

Wanna Play Which?  Whatever.
To Hell! and Turn Serious! must be how to play in 'hard' mode so why is Easy! repeated twice?
No immediate problems despite evidence of illegal substance use.
What a shame it's not from Octopus's Garden as we would be warm, below the storm.  In our little hideaway beneath the waves.
Hi Tako, how about giving me some stuffs before a drift like a drunken leaf?
Sorry Penguin, it's Antarctic but whenever you hook up with Penko, I hope the date goes beyond first base.
Indeed Goemon, what a hell's 'ere and more to the point, where is 'ere?
Save some of that cake for me because I've heard it's the kind to make you higher than a kite.
No offence, but I don't think one can regard you.
Knuckle Heads - Arcade

A 'space' missing between words is common and the use of 'are' instead of 'is' can, but shouldn't be forgiven.
'Finaly' returns and is your's right?  Wrong.
However, the 10 billion dollars would more than come in handy...
You are drug smuggling ring is finished!!
Unlucky pal.
Courtesy of edits, the five that follow run in sequence.

I don't know, let's find out.
Despite the amount, this has nothing to do with the 'other' reward.
He just squandered it away and did what he wanted day after day.
Oh shit, that doesn't read right...
The price of suspended of animation costs 3.33333333333 billion dollars per year.
I'd rather spend it on the hookers that surround.
Don't keep us in suspense, damn it.
Wow, winning these fiting tournaments must be easier than taking candy from a baby.
Maybe I'll fllow when the next is held.
Toki - Arcade

Bashtar has not only taken Mino, but also his meat and two veg?  That truly is a wiched blow.
Enter should be 'enters';
Take heart instead of 'hart'; and
You may face the beastly guardian of this underground inferuo, but killing him in an inferno ain't gonna happen.
Only the dense won't appreciate this level description.
Everythngs hangs in the balance, including my slender grip on reality.
Rezon - Arcade

Listen boys and attractive girls - this is sheer and unadulterated bullshit.
The continually wars prove it.
What is "JUSTICE"?
What is "PEACE"?
Enjoy good "shooting" life !!
What the fuck does any of that mean?
Backstreet Soccer - Arcade

Bollocks of this video games and reproducing or modifing this video games is reserved in the highest regard and will be punished severely according to distributer Unico.
It's amazing to witness that even legal speak didn't care.
Because believe that if the never try they will never reach their dream.
Cristiano Ronaldo recently won the coveted Ballon d'Or but who cares when you can be the leading figure of soccer.
The beautiful game has evolved as you have become the reading figure of soccer.
Excellent stuff.
World Heroes 2 - Arcade

You've heard of the magic e, now I present the the missing e.  It continues to prove elusive.
There are hundreds of words you can stick 'ies' on the end to make another, if only somebody had told ADK that journey is not one of them.
Another example of using an actual word in the wrong context.
Bouncing bodies on any kind of surface sounds cooler than ice but bounching them is just a sick bridge too far.
Wonder Boy in Monster Land - Arcade

While difficult, these assholes succeeded in misspelling a three lettered word with consummate ease.
This ends with something that could have been put better but nothing truly awful man.
Welcome here.  I know I'm brave, enough of the compliments already.
Such information makes it obvious that the emblem is sure to beat the great Dragon but isn't exactly conclusive.
The honeymoon of practically avoiding nonsense ends now.

Please let someone be beyond the wall so I can beat the ever loving shit out of them.
I feel became lighter was conceived after a diet of drugs.
We got gold is never a failure, until now.
Oh dear, FUBAR.
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special - Arcade

Ladies and gents, the climatic compendium of chaos is unintentionally unfathomable.

We assume Mai means fool but let's not be too hasty...
I'm not grining and call me anything apart from a dwee, you stupid bitch.
Don't pal me.  I don't think I can for give you.  Go on, piss off.
I never lean, I only learn.
Tell we meet once again, I'll beat your ass hard with rusty nail embedded in wooden plank.
Indeed Joe, I really hate those two people!
I despair, I really do.
I can overlook 'yeh' but taking a pole wolk isn't cool, and never will be.
These mistakes are too real for a pet, or any other living organism to digest.
Yes.  Good fucking riddance more shadow.
Hmmm.  I observe luaus.
Could this mean 'less'?
Your guess is probably of equal stature.
Chon Lei only exists in the darkest of SNK dreams...
Back she comes with fooi, another interesting variation of fool.
I am laughing.  Seriously hard.
I'd love to hallucinate 'you're altogether meat, fool' but even that wouldn't make sense.
How is it even possible to spell alligator as allightor and anyway, what has 
Yamazaki got against crocodiles?  What a fucking reptileist.
If it's too later for prayers, what isn't it too early for?
Well them my old mucker, what brings you here?
Ah yes, the woe of translation.
Littele match sucks, me want big match, followed by medium match and then challenge to guzzle bottle of strangest beer.
The inconvenienses of future past may only get worse rather than what it became of what we already seen.

While this marks end of blot, much more to excite still remains for wide asleep eye to laughter at.

Untill the tan opener is find, those eager for many less must waits there turn.

Finish!
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