The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 108 – No Sleep Till Phlebas

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about all the The Incredibles 2 trailer, Legion Season 2, the Lost in Space Netflix reboot series, the Burnout Paradise remaster, the madness of Metal Gear Survive, the new Avengers lineup and the upcoming Amazon adaptation of Iain M. Banks’ Culture series.

Screentime – Black Panther

This week we review Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, the latest film in the MCU! We try to go light on spoilers, but if you are worried, skip 41:00-54:05.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin/Agents of SHIELD Season 3/Basically no video games again
Ian Vorrh by Brian Catling/Altered Carbon on Netflix/Bayonetta 1 and 2 on Nintendo Switch

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

EGX Round Up – Part Three: Bayonetta 2, Sunset Overdrive and Splatoon

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Adam’s coverage.

And now for the final part of my EGX round up from last Friday, which Kii and I attended as press for the first time to check out some of the various games coming out soon. So far I’ve mostly just talked about survival horror games (see part one!) or other violent supernatural games (part two!), so I’ll finish off with some of the more light-hearted ones we had some time with.

 

Bayonetta 2

I think I’ve said before on The Weekly Rapture podcast, but I absolutely love the first Bayonetta game. Platinum Games delivered a wonderfully over the top experience, with gameplay that feels totally chaotic without a loss of control over what you are doing. The story of Bayonetta the witch and her fight against the angelic forces is ridiculous, as she wields a range of different weapons including guns attached to her heels, torture executions and hellish attacks that render her naked as she uses her hair (which makes up her latex-looking costume) to summon huge attacks that devastate her enemies. The character is imbued with a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek sexuality and fan service, with the game knowing it is being silly and having a lot of fun with it.

Unfortunately for WiiU-less people like myself, the sequel is only coming out on Nintendo’s system and not a Sony or Microsoft platform. My knee jerk reaction to this would be to get angry at exclusivity for a game I really wanted, but reports were that there simply wasn’t the support for Bayonetta 2 and that the project was effectively dead in the water until Nintendo swooped in and saved it by acting as publisher. Understandably they would want exclusivity for this (and this hasn’t made me anywhere near as annoyed as the Rise of the Tomb Raider kerfuffle on Xbox One), and it is down to Nintendo that the sequel is actually coming out at all.

bayonetta 2

With that in mind, I still really wanted to give the demo a go. Gone are the days where I can afford multiple consoles in a generation, so I’ll have to resort to good, reliable friends to get the chance to play the game when it comes out (i.e. I’m going to go to Kii’s and play the WHOLE game in one night). In the Nintendo WiiU section of EGX, after a short queue, the attendant asked me if I had played before, and was I any good. I resisted saying ‘actually, I’ve got a platinum trophy for the first one on PS3’ because that would make me sound like a dick, and instead decided to play it down because this would be the first time I would have had my hands on a WiiU controller, playing a game I hadn’t touched in three years. We were given the option of playing a tutorial and a single verse (sequence), or going straight into a boss fight. I thought the former would probably be a good idea, lest I make a fool out of myself.

The gameplay was exactly as I remembered it, and I eased into the controls relatively quickly (I have been playing games for nearly two decades now, so I learn quickly). The DMC style gameplay, as with the first game, makes it very easy to feel like you are kicking a lot of ass, and the witch time mechanic made a welcome return as well as some more torture kills. The brief verse we got to play was fun and familiarly ridiculous, fighting members of the angelic horde on the back of a fighter jet that the upcoming boss was trying to knock out of the sky. There was a quick glimpse of Bayonetta’s BFF Jeanne, standing on another jet upside down (because witches), then your fighter takes a big hit and heads towards the boss. Then the demo was over. Despite an unfamiliarity with the controls, I still managed a silver medal for the verse too. Kii got bronze. ‘Nuff said.

The demo was a little on the short side, but this is looking like more of the same but better,which is really what you want in a good sequel. In a later conversation with one of the Nintendo attendants, while Kii was hunting all sorts of monster ultimately, I was told that Nintendo are bundling in an HD version of the first Bayonetta with the special edition of the game, and in a way that is pretty uniquely Nintendo they are including extra skins for Bayonetta to wear in the game (not sure if this was just the sequel or the first game too) using Nintendo characters, like Samus or Link, that include unique moves and actions based on those skins. This struck me as pretty cool, and interesting as usually extra skins are just that and therefore a little boring. It’s nice that Nintendo are going the extra mile with it, and while I am genuinely sad that I won’t be able to get my hands on Bayonetta 2 easily, I am glad that Nintendo are ensuring that the series can continue. It’s already out in Japan, but is due out over here on October 24th.

 

Sunset Overdrive

The only game we actually got the chance to try out over in the Microsoft section was Sunset Overdrive, an Xbox One exclusive from Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft. We queued for a while, and we were flagging quite a bit by this point in the day. Lots of wandering around with the crowds, bright lights and various demos at the end of a long week led to us needing a serious pick-me-up at this point. Sunset Overdrive looked to be that sort of game, with the trailer from back at E3 making it look like a lot of insane and colourful fun.

Sunset overdrive

While I think the game actually supports eight player co-op, we put in a team of 6 and took part in ‘Chaos Squad’, in which we had to defend vats of an energy drink from hordes of OD’d. Looking it up now, the OD’d are humans who drank too much of the newly released energy drink Overcharge Delirium XT and were transformed into monsters, and the player controls customisable employees of the company that made it to take out these monsters. You’re given a pretty decent range of weapons, from highly explosive rocket launchers, shotguns and the harpoon gun the ‘Captain Ahab’, all of which are great fun, and you move around grinding rails and lines exploding the creatures trying to get more energy drinks. Being somewhat addicted to caffeine in all it’s forms (I can quit any time I want!), this was a somewhat harrowing look at my future as a mindless zombie needing a fix. After a lot of colourful kills of the various OD’d, nearly dying myself a couple of times, we finished the mission successfully. I came last, but the other group playing at the same time failed. So I was better than them at least.

This game looks like it will be a huge amount of fun, with either online and local multiplayer. I have no idea what the single player will be like, but with a set up as ridiculous as this I’m sure it will be entertaining. The game is heavy on style, reminding my visually of Jet Set Radio and other similarly vibrant games. The team behind Rachet and Clank seem to be putting out another interesting IP here, and I hope I get the chance to play it when it comes out on October 31st (I’m going to trick Nath into buying it).

 

Splatoon

The last game we played was Splatoon back in the Nintendo section on the WiiU. There was a really fun vibe from all the folks working there, cheering on the two teams facing off against each other. On top of this, there was a Smash Bros. final going on on the big screen behind us that we kept watching too, with the emcees throwing out loads of Nintendo goodies in between events. We soon got to the front of the queue for the game we were supposed to be watching, and one of the Nintendo attendants showing off the game very patiently showed me the controls. I clearly struggled a little bit with the motion action of the WiiU controller to look around, especially as it was attached to the stand by a cable which dramatically reduced the range of movement (though I understand why they would need it secured).

In Splatoon you fire ink from what looks like a super-soaker, and the aim is to cover as much of the level with your team’s ink as possible. When you run out of ink, you can dive into sections that are your colour already, swimming around in it as a squid and replenishing your ink. You also move more quickly this way, but can only move in your ink and can’t attack. You can spray members of the enemy team with ink too and blow them up, gaining more points for your team. Covering as much as possible can also unlock a limited time bazooka, which lays down a lot of paint and devastates your enemies.

The game was extremely fast paced and animated, and was a really enjoyable multiplayer. We used absolutely zero tactics as a team, and as a result lost the round by only 0.1% ink coverage. I did get the highest score on our team, and the second highest in the game, so clearly I’m better at WiiU than I am at Xbox One. This was great fun, and I think it would be a good party game, but I am interested to see what other modes Splatoon has. I’m sure we will see more before the release early-to mid 2015.

 

 

After we we finished with Splatoon we headed upstairs to check out the indie games section. We looked around and tried a couple of games, but by this point we had been wandering around EGX for nearly seven hours and we were totally shattered. Kii and I both decided that it was time to call it a day, a real shame as we hadn’t finished our list of games that we wanted to check out, and had barely touched the indie section properly that really deserved a couple of dedicated hours to check out. However, we had managed our time through the day as best we could, so we had essentially overestimated how long everything would take. To get through everything we had wanted to get to, we really needed at least two days at the expo.

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But overall, for a first time attending a games convention like this as press, with the intent on covering our experience in various articles, I think it was pretty successful. The opportunity to play several games that aren’t out yet was great, and I really enjoyed all of them. EGX was busy without being heaving (though Saturday may have been a lot worse), and with no queue being ridiculously long (though the COD Advanced Warfare did look pretty damn long). I definitely want to go to more events like this, but I think to give the convention its proper due and cover everything we would like to we would need to be there for more than one day or take more than two of us to cover it (or both). Looking forward to the next one!

Adam

KiiGX: Part One

Adam and Kii went to EGX in London on Friday. Here is Kii’s coverage.

So Adam and I were cheeky enough to request press passes from EGX (Formerly known as Euro Gamer Expo) and they were silly enough to give us entry for the Friday!

My overall impression of the event was jeez, it was big. EGX ran from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th and it filled Earl’s Court One. I was expecting the Friday to be lighter on people since generally attendees would be in work or school but no! For Kii forgot that this was London and what passes for busy in the frozen north of her homeland is nothing to London! Honestly though, it was nice to see a gaming event get such good attention, there was a massive industry showing with ‘The Big Three’ each having an area to show off their goods and numerous indie teams in the Rezzed section. The main show floor was open to everyone whilst there was an over 18s area upstairs with demos for games like The Evil Within and unrestricted demos of games like Mortal Kombat X which had toned down versions at the console booths. We ran around and queued with the best of them and hopefully I can put into words the awesome and exhaustion that we experienced.

Bayonetta 2
I am currently lording it over Adam by being the only Lighthouse Keeper (That’s what we’re called now, I’ve decided) who actually owns a Wii-U. This means that I get to own Bayonetta 2! Which we managed to get our hands on at the Nintendo stand and I’m super glad that I’ve already preordered it. It is everything that Bayonetta is meant to be, flashy and accessible game play with over the top tongue in cheek humour. As someone who has already ordered it, I won’t go too far into a description as I’m likely to do a full game review but it looks pretty and is so enjoyable to play.

Alien Isolation
I played this for you guys. That’s how much I love you. I don’t do survival horror, I just don’t enjoy being scared witless and losing years from my life. At EGX I lost years from my life for the sake of journalism. I haven’t played any previous Alien games but I know that a lot of people were disappointed by Colonial Marines for going too Call of Duty with the Alien franchise. Isolation has distanced itself so much from its predecessor that Colonial Marines has filed a missing person’s report. Needless to say I was fucking terrified, you have a real sense of being prey and I would suggest playing with headphones or surround sound if you wish to genuinely shit yourself.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
After going through a series of scary and gory games I ran back to the joyous colour of the Nintendo area where I got my grubby little hands on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. As you may have noticed from my previous articles, I really love Monster Hunter so I was pretty damn excited. You played the demo on an individual 3DS as part of a four person team. You could select between all of the available weapons with preset armour and had your hunters pouch stuffed full of useful goodies. Whilst I did want to try out the new insect staff, I went back to my trusty dual blades to make sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself in front of the Nintendo gods. Prepared, we set out to fight the challenge monster that was a cross between a giant lizard and a water balloon which showed off Monster Hunter’s odd ability to make ridiculous creatures somehow plausible.

After running around the new desert map we took down the tits-hard WaterLizardBalloonBomb in a time that won every member of my team a T-shirt! My impressions of the game play were that it wasn’t dissimilar from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, however, changing how you play has never seemed of importance in previous games. The key changes to the new incarnations tend to be in the weapons, armour and monsters because if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it! There is a new climbing mechanic but the monster that we fought didn’t lend itself for that mechanic to be shown off. In conclusion, I’m looking forward to seeing what other varieties of monsters that my team and I can set forth and destroy for its pretty headgear! Sadly, we have to wait until early 2015 to get hold of a European copy whereas the Japanese get to play in October this year. Whilst I’m upset that I have to wait, this is no where near as disjointed a release as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and thus I have more hope for the franchise gaining strength in the west.

Poncho

Poncho
I would have loved the extra time and energy to really explore the indie area a lot more but I did come across Poncho. It’s beautiful and if you love 8-bit style games like Fez then this is the perfect game for you! The utterly charming platform exploration game begins as an adorable robot in a dystopian/post- apocalyptic future who needs to gather things his creator has left for him so he can save humanity. I immediately fell in love with this game and got to chat to one of the developers, this is where I found out that the game was only in Alpha and the full game development was still being funded via Kickstarter. A Kickstarter which runs out shockingly soon! So here’s the plug, please visit HERE and pledge anything. Not only because it’s an awesome game but I really really want to play the full thing and I am not above using my power here for my own means. Go forth and stick it to the man by funding a nice indie game! (Note, funding may not actually stick it to the man).

Kii