MisanthroPlay Season 5

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It’s the start of MisanthroPlay Season 5(!!) and we attended the Sunless Skies launch event at Failbetter Games’ South London office. We talk a little bit about that experience, and a whole lot about the first 10 hours of Sunless Skies, an unconventional and fiercely literary RPG that understands the potential of steampunk without stumbling down the common pro-imperialist pitfalls.

Please check it out over on the main feed.

MisanthroPlay Season 4 - Episode #61 The Year is 201X

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We kick off MisanthroPlay Season 4 the only way we know how: hurriedly trying to cram 35 games of 2017 into an hour and forty-five minute podcast. Happy New Year, from us to you!

The Games of 2017: ARMs, Assassin's Creed Origins, Cuphead, Danganronpa V3, Dead Cells, Destiny 2, Detention, Dropmix, The Evil Within 2, For Honor, Hellblade, Golf Story, Gravity Rush 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Injustice 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, NieR Automata, Night in the Woods, Nioh, Observer, Persona 5, Prey, Pyre, Resident Evil 7, Ruiner, Shadow of War, Super Mario Odyssey, Tekken 7, WhiteDay: A Labyrinth Named School, Wipeout Omega Collection, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Yakuza 0, Ys VIII

Listen to it here, and be sure to check in with episodes 58-60 if you haven't already!

October Terror Story #15 Super Mario Bros. 3

by Alva Chua

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Super Mario Bros. 3
Nintendo Entertainment System

The Super Mario Games are tautly structured sets of rules. That’s what makes them enjoyable and even beautiful at times.

You see objects you can jump over them. Blocks you can smash. Enemies that affect other enemies. Within minutes, the order of things is set.

You’re bounding through a world of systemic cartoon beauty. Every symbol is clear to you--if something has eyes, it’s probably sentient, and although that’s disturbing in its own way, it fits into the world and you move on.

It’s a desert. You can tell it’s a desert because of the sun that is literally glaring down at you, frowning. You can tell the desert is hostile because even the sun hates you. Cartoon logic made manifest. There are rules, after all.

There are supposed to be rules.

Rules that are willfully broken when the sun itself untethers itself from its perch in the sky, and defying perspective and logic, charges at you. It hunts you, and kills you with its deadly touch.

There are many moments of tension in the Mario games. But for the mind-bending terror of a celestial body bringing things to a personal level, few things in the 8-bit era match this moment for terror.

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October Terror Story #13 The Coma: Recut

by Robert Fenner

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The Coma: Recut
Playstation 4 / Steam

The Coma: Recut is a tough game to talk about. A Director's Cut of 2015's The Coma: Cutting Class, Recut is a Korean horror game from indie developer Devespresso that follows the misadventures of Youngho, a pretty unlikable milquetoast as he falls asleep during an exam only to wake up in a nightmarish version of his school. If that sounds similar to Detention, you're right, but only in the loosest sense. Although the two games share a common setting and prologue, they really couldn't be more different: Detention is a point and click adventure first and foremost, while The Coma is much more like a traditional survival horror game transposed to 2D.

As you make your way around your haunted high school finding keys to doors, you're pursued by a disconcertingly sexy zombie. The thing about The Coma is that it's oddly fetishy; female NPCs wear sky-high stilettos or have bandaged arms, while the ghosts who chase you have heaving bosoms and legs for days. I guess it's Youngho's teenage libido run wild, like a wet dream James Sunderland.

You can hide from your vivacious pursuer in filthy toilet cubicles and closets, or you can attempt to crouch down and hold your breath, but that last one never seemed to work for me. Eventually hiding in closets stopped working for me too, as occasionally a bug would pop up that would lock the controls when exiting a closet and force a restart.

As The Coma progresses, a theme begins to emerge that attempts to critique the pressures of the Korean school system. Admittedly I don't know the first thing about that, but the quality and tone of the writing muddy the message into coming off more like teenage angst than a pointed evaluation of social issues.

You might get the impression that I'm not too hot on The Coma: Recut, and you'd be right. That said, running around the hallways of a dilapidated school always ticks the horror box for me, and it can be genuinely chilling and stressful when it wants to be. It's no Detention--few games are--but it doesn't have to be. If you previously bought The Coma: Cutting Class on Steam, you're entitled to a free copy of Recut, which was nice of Devespresso, so go check if you have it.

 

October Terror Story #11 D E A B I R T H - R E A L

by Robert Fenner

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D E A B I R T H - R E A L
Get it at Itch.io

Sharing D E A B I R T H - R E A L with you tonight gave me pause; not because I find it objectionable, but rather because I found it when randomly browsing Itch.io. That is the optimal way to experience this type of game, rather than curation, but hey.

Brought to us by a glitch-heavy creator by the name of LOVE MERCHANT DEAD GHOST,  D E A B I R T H - R E A L is a short game about childbirth. A nightmarish childbirth. In the form of a rhythm game. Press Y in relation to the positioning of the text on screen to push; push hard enough and you'll be the proud mother of a bouncing baby something! Essentially,  D E A B I R T H - R E A L is a dissociative marriage of Rosemary's Baby and Beatmania, cheating on each other with the aesthetics of Hotline Miami and the Guinea Pig film series. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, toss LOVE MERCHANT DEAD GHOST a couple of bucks and see some technicolor babies in your dreams tonight.