Roundup IV - The Alluvion

Roundup IV - The Alluvion

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*suspense drums* [CIVVIE] It's the- *dark ominous music* *roar* *dark ominous music* Hey… uhh… you guys want some FPS games? First one is free. Actually most of them are demos and those are all free. Just take this here spoon and you grind up the demo, and you mix it with water in the spoon, you light the spoon, you cook it, inject between your toes, I'm sure you're all familiar. So, recently, a lot of things have been coming out and people have been asking if I will do a deep dive into… *paper rustling* Forgive Me Daddy, a game that everyone tells me I should love but I don't.

It feels weightless and strange to me, like the damage feedback seems exactly the same whether you get hit with a paper airplane or a freight train. Shooting enemies feels like breaking cardboard cutouts. I keep trying to plow through it like… ehhhh… I don't know.

One day, when I am very old, there will still be people asking me for a Forgive Me Daddy video, clutching their etsy necronomicons, being super interested in the lore and this one just doesn't do it for me. What about the other hundreds of games? You think I haven't played those? You think I could possibly resist a game called Metal: Hellsinger? Or Turbo Overkill? Or Frogmonster? Nah, kids, I've been playing Steam demos and early access boom-toots alone in a dark room for weeks, and then Steam Next Fest happened and the entire collective might of the retro shooter community decided that on this day, or a staggered schedule of roughly a week during which there's also a PC games show that makes me vomit in my mouth but for the wrong reasons, get your gamer cards! IS THIS REALLY WHAT WE KILLED GOD FOR?! We have been… BLESSED? By a flood of hot, slippery grease for the insatiable content machine. Dance for my amusement, you spawn of flat fingered whores! Frogmonster, of course! That's not a thing I made up for the end of the last video, but it is a game that I had never played or seen footage of, and I picked it randomly when I saw the name pass by me on Twitter, because it sounded funny. This whole demo so far has a very strange and different atmosphere, a lot of that is due to the non-action music. *quiet atmospheric music* Even though you're jumping around shooting things with a revolver, or a shotgun, it feels almost innocent, and a tiny bit horrifying sometimes, and what surprised me the most was how cohesive everything feels. Areas lead organically into the next, not just because of the layout, but because of the work done on the visuals to make everything naturally flow together.

It sets a very definitive tone that's hard to shake. It's surprisingly pleasant. Until I get to this boss that kills me and… Wait… It's a fucking SOULS-LIKE?! "April 20th," Nice. "2XXX" the hottest century… [reading] [BUBSY] WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?! *sunny music* [CIVVIE] Patrons have seen that intro before, but I promise everything else here is new stuff that I wrote about this game, heck yeah, we're doing it again! I've had my eye on this one. Looking for something simple, fun, and as comfortable as you can get while shooting things, have I got a game for you! Extraneum is the final boss of cute games. The cartoon-y and simple aesthetics mixed with the retro design and the completely flat Wolf3d/Blake-Stone-ish layouts hide something a little deeper. Not much deeper, but a little deeper.

Take the techno-future elements of Blake Stone, along with the vending machines that dispense power-ups and the simple economy where you get money through murder, and you have a perfectly enjoyable little indie shooter that would probably fly under the radar when stuff like… most of the other things in this video are being released, along with the 500 other Steam Next Fest demos and early access titles. Extraneum, sets out to do a thing, achieves that thing, and aside from the Corridor 7 flashbacks this end screen gives me… efficiency rating, how dare you, everything is dead, right? This is pretty much everything you can do with this style of game. The weapons feel good, the sounds and music are nice, the levels are well designed, it's all very comfy, very relaxing. And one of the secret levels is E1M1, and that's adorable. The secret levels are about as secret as anything that you've put on the map already.

You don't beat a level when you take a secret exit, which chaps my ass, but the ones in this first episode are all early in the stage. I still have to get insulted by this low efficiency rating when I exit them early… thank you, game, but I'm a YouTuber, and I don't need to be further demoralized. The grenade launcher splash damage is a little misleading compared to the explosion it makes and the game is desensitizing me to violence against cute cartoons. It's not the best game I'm showcasing today, but it's the best game it can be, and that's kind of inspiring. Project Warlock 2! Oh my god, it's Project Warlock II! Again! Can I do one of these without mentioning Project Warlock? Probably not! Project Warlock 2 has graduated to the third dimension.

The art style is very similar to the first game, with the smoothly animated sprites, except now instead of a ton of flat, bite-sized levels, you've got six huge ones. I don't know exactly how the character selection will work in the future, but from the character you can use, Palmer, I can take a guess. Palmer is described as having a balanced load-out in terms of magic and firearms, so I would guess that the other two classes favor one or the other. I know that Palmer gets three powers: temporary guns akimbo, for the weapon you're holding, an ice blast, and fire. Palmer is a disciple of the first game's protagonist, so he's also dedicated his life to fucking up monsters real good. The first weapon you get is an assault rifle that kinda sucks.

It's inaccurate, does terrible damage, and as soon as I have a shotgun, it becomes irrelevant… until we get to the upgrades. The upgrade system is like the one in the previous game where you choose what you want to use the weapon for, and looking in this little upgrade tree here, I could make it into a better machine gun… But it gives me the option to turn it into a railgun, and since all the enemies in this game have weak points and I want a railgun… I am not disappointed. I was able to fully upgrade every weapon I had during episode 1. The claymore gets an execution mode or magic, the cannon, which, when I picked it up, I was disappointed wasn't a grenade launcher, well, until I upgraded it into a grenade launcher.

[GORDON RAMSAY] Fucking raw! [CIVVIE] The shotgun could be upgraded into a quad barrel or an auto-shotgun, and I'm gonna play again and try the auto-shotgun that can be upgraded into a flak cannon because that also sounds awesome. The staff will upgrade to either fire or lightning, and while I don't know how good the fire staff is, I can testify to the busted-ass enemy- deletion capabilities of the lightning staff. This one is significantly harder than the previous game, which is fine because even with a lives system, that game was a little too easy, and this game does away with the lives system entirely and gives you quick-saves. Even then, the game is still harder because as you go on, there's less and less large health pickups for you, and you're scrambling around looking for the tiny ones that the enemies drop. The enemy count is a little intimidating since you can see it when you pause the game, hundreds upon hundreds of them… and to the game's credit it never feels like a slog to get through them.

I'm fairly impressed. The levels can be a little too big and difficult to navigate, and the designers know this, because the map screen gives you little arrows to tell you where the next objective is. That fixes that issue, but in terms of level design, someone needs to tell me what in the fuck is up with the raw-ass texturing in this game. [GORDON RAMSAY] Not a fucking way- [CIVVIE] Stop! Katie, are you using the Iggy Mix or the Bowie Mix? It's a simple question, Katie, is it the Iggy mix or the Bowie Mix? Because I can hear it, and I specifically told you, I said "the '97 Iggy mix and not the thin, watered down Bowie mix," so I'm asking you again, is it the Iggy Mix or the Bowie mix? Jesus Christ, are you asking me? Is it because I know the fucking difference between something that sounds like someone taking a chainsaw to your eardrums, which is the thing that I want, and you've ruined it, you've ruined the whole goddamn video, you bitch! *MMMenu from Rise of the Triad: Dark War* Turbo Overkill! APOGEE IS BACK, BABY. THE HEIGHT OF GAMING EXCITEMENT. They're here to turbo some overkill, or possibly overkill some turbo, this game has a chainsaw leg! Turbo Overkill rules. What a way for Nu-Apogee to come out of the gate.

Publishing this game by Trigger Happy Interactive, we got an unapologetic cyberpunk 80's cheese-fest where the main draw isn't a chainsaw arm only because it would prevent gratuitous dual-wielding. No, it's a leg, your slide is an overpowered gib-creation engine, and what better arena to show that off in than a half-pipe? Even if your chainsaw leg can be used a little too often to trivialize some encounters, (especially since you can get cybernetic enhancements that make it so that it gives you health and armor back) it's got all the weapon and character upgrades that new games have I guess contractually obligated to have. You have plenty of other things that can help with that too. Your auto-targeting pistol, or your electro-explosive-jumping shotgun, DERE HE IS! *Fish Polka from Rise of the Triad: Dark War* Or your bitching double-barrel with a grenade launcher, or your wrist-mounted fuck-you missiles that will delete even mid-to-high level enemies in one blast. Or your minigun flamethrower.

The level design is mostly linear, funneling you into different set-pieces that are usually pretty creative and sometimes fucking mind blowing. Shout out to the destructible screen environments, in fact this whole level Dead Plaza is great. But we're here for the hyper-violent mayhem and cool music. I can't tell you how happy I am to see Apogee publishing stuff like this now. Easiest recommendation so far.

Metal: Hellsinger. I don't have any real rhythm, that's why I do edited videos, where Katie polishes this shit up so I don't sound stupid, or I don't sound as stupid, I sound like I might be able to tie my shoelaces in a pinch. That did not stop me from enjoying the Metal: Hellsinger demo so much that I am at a loss for words as to how to properly convey how awesome it is. You'd think that the rhythm game meets demon slaying meets corny earnest heavy metal featuring actual metal singers would be too much and that the game couldn't possibly deliver on what it's promising and would devolve into self-parody, and then you play the demo and it's like… [PROTAGONIST] [PROTAGONIST] [CIVVIE] Boom, fire emojis, briefly restored my faith in humanity. KING SHIT. HROT Episode 2.

Did you enjoy HROT? Because this is more! Let me tell you, HROT episode 2 has everything! Castles, sewers, bears, axe guys, ghosts, puke, getting blitzed on wine, boulders… BULLSHIT! The undead! Sewers full of the undead. Abusing the disabled. Sewers. Corridor 7 references.

Vengeful slavjank chickens. Alcohol poisoning. Horses in gimp masks.

Sewers. Extremely resilient snakes. You know what, there's a decent amount of new stuff here so I'm gonna give it a pre-emptive "GOOD SHIT" and I will award it nothing higher until my quote is off its store page. It still hasn't gone into space which is kinda disappointing.

Goddamn, Stalin ruins everything. Wait, no, this takes place in 1986… Goddamn Gorbachev. Finally, a Goldeneye-Like, let's ignore the elephant in the room and how MGM are dicks and don't realize that a Goldeneye re-release would, and I'm being literal and 100% serious, print enough money to support a movie executive's cocaine habit for almost an entire week, and I'm talking a "releasing a shitty Eddie Murphy movie against Jurassic World 7: Return to Isla Sorna: Malcolm's Revenge: The Unix System" kind of week.

Listen, it's not that I hate Hollywood, I mean yeah, it is, a little, but it's also that I think it's gone downhill since they took the cocaine from the cast and crew and gave it to the executives. Agent 64 is a Goldeneye clone, so much so that it's blurry, every gun is a smart-gun, you drop into a level with a finite amount of health and have to deal with objectives, disarm some bombs, way easier than I thought, throw some gadgets onto things, save some hostages, and turn the fucking mouse sensitivity up because I feel like I'm swimming in gravy trying to cap these suited mooks. Could be due to arthritis because the main character is less aged The Rock era Sean Connery and more that smiling old man from the memes. Katie run some gameplay, but pick some where I don't embarrass myself. Beyond Sunset is a cyberpunk GZDoom sword swing shooty bang bang, and it's pretty good.

Previously on the show, we've looked at Hedon, the pioneer of commercial games using GZDoom, and each successive one that I play feels less and less Doom-y. Beyond Sunset's movement doesn't feel a thing like Doom probably due to some extremely long and painstaking effort to make double-jumping, dashing, and ledge-grabbing work. You are Jane Sunset, I'm kidding, your name is Lucy and you have some memory problems after being in a bit of a shady super-soldier program by an equally shady company, and after a combat training simulation, you know, the thing they do before teaching you to not rampage around the company offices killing all of their security guards, priorities? This is a game I've played in various different forms, and I'm not just talking about the retrowave cyberpunk aesthetic or the amnesiac super-soldier, I mean I've been playing versions of this game for like a year, and it's interesting to see subtle changes make huge differences.

This sword? I hate the animation, it feels weird, functionally fine, and fun to use, and the first thing the game is gonna teach you about it is that it can deflect bullets back at enemies. And do a sweep that can give you health back. Yeah, this isn't Doom rules, this game is Doom 2016/Doom Eternal rules. Enemies can cut you down quick, even the lowest security droid, which spawn in giant packs by the third or fourth area.

The guards have either rifles or shotguns, the shotguns being fun because you can deflect all of those pellets back at them. You don't technically NEED the sword, your energy pistol has infinite ammo, and you need the secondary from that to break shields on certain guards, and turn any of those guards into paste. Very handy. An SMG that you can grab two of. Once I had the second I never went back to the single. These robots here, either ground-pounding or flaming you, need that extra oomph to take down.

it's all very tight in terms of mechanics, clearly polished and work-shopped over and over. The demo has you running up and down, and around this tower, destroying the cooling tanks for the security system so you can do 90's hacker shit like put on a helmet and fly around in cyberspace, but not seizure-inducting TekWar cyberspace. There are side quests, YES, side quests, in this demo, including leaping and dashing to the side of the building to get a teddy bear to a robot so he'll give you a rocket launcher. It makes more sense in context. Because you can talk to robots, and this one wants a friend.

This one doesn't want to be covered in blood again. This one is dealing with his creators telling him that he's gonna be deactivated and so I shut down his emotion modules so that he no longer fears the cold embrace of death. So, combat, very nice, a lot smoother than I expect from GZDoom games, have a taste: This dude Raven says he knows you and will meet you in the parking garage, unfortunately he isn't going to kill the boss first, The Contractor. I know this enemy's name because it's killed me so… so many times… he's not as bad as he used to be before public demo release but… oooohhhh… This may be a Doom engine game, but no more "shoot at it until it dies," you have to learn his patterns and pick up on the subtle audio clues that mean "double jump" or "slide", and you only get one dash before cool-down so sometimes if you fuck up ONCE, that's it, you're done. He spawns health and ammo piñatas that also can shoot at you, which seems a little mean spirited, you know? This one is gonna require paying attention and knowing your movement abilities.

After that, you do meet Raven and he explains that humans built this cool supercomputer that… *Terminator 2's theme rip-off* oh… A little on-the-nose there, don't you think? [T-800] Fuck you, asshole. Still, GOOD SHIT, I love how it's coming along. These GZDoom games are getting a little ridiculous. I know this one has been in development for a long time, and they're putting a lot of care into the details and world, I sure hope no other GZDoom projects show up that are somehow more- OH FUCK IT'S SELACO! Selaco is absolutely insane. I can't even begin to contemplate, let alone explain, how the fuck is any of this, and I'm a teddy bear.

Selaco is another one I've been playing for a while but I haven't been able to show footage of, and best I can try to explain this game is if someone decided to make F.E.A.R. but in space, *woof woof woof* And while there's currently no bullet time, that doesn't matter, because the name of the game is OBSESSIVE DETAIL. So you've got the FEAR influences here, right, which has that slow-motion gun stuff, and all those slow-motion shooty games owe a debt to Max Payne, which owes a debt to John Woo, and there's a thing about those John Woo movies, which the most successful of their imitators understand, which is that every piece of the environment exists to be exploded with bullets. If you shoot a 200 page novel in a John Woo movie, it explodes into 400 pages. Selaco, inexplicably for something on GZDoom, also follows this philosophy, with like everything.

EVERYTHING. Everything you shoot is giving you different visual feedback. I might have to slow it down for you to notice. The AI isn't what it was in Doom. The enemies do not just walk towards you.

They communicate, or they give you the illusion of communication, and working together. These soldiers will flank you, they'll strategize, or, if we're going with FEAR comparisons, the game is playing some kind of sophisticated trick on the player making you think that they are, based on environment paths and such, either way, you've got to keep moving, and encounters become exciting cat-and-mouse games. Sure, sometimes it runs a little bad, a little, like there are occasionally FPS dips, but this is a modified version of GZDoom and I can't believe any of it runs as well as it does considering that the whole thing seems to be constantly moving, juggling different effects and scripting in order to make the world feel more alive. For those of you complaining that the blood is pink or purple, why? Do you hate easily readable visual cues in games where there are a lot of particle effects that obscure everything? Can you not achieve orgasm without red blood? Well, believe it or not, Metacorp has you covered, with Selacoom! SEE THAT? NOW IT'S MAN-SAUCE. I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY YOU FUCKING BABI- [DES] [DES] [DES] [CIVVIE] Fashion Police Squad has absolutely no right to be as fun as it is.

You don't even murder people! [DULL SUIT GUY] Are all your loans in order? [CIVVIE] Fashion Police Squad is why politicians hate video games and violence. Pretty soon you're gonna see people colorizing businessmen and desaturating dude-bros and I'm not sure that's the America I wanna live in. They're gonna come for people in orange jumpsuits next.

So you're not killing people, exactly, so the weapons aren't lethal. This shotgun, the 2DYE-4, is like an upgraded version of Homer's makeup gun. [HOMER] Now you're ready for a night on the town! [CIVVIE] Its secondary will desaturate colors that are too loud, which will also power up the gun. For health, you drink cocktails, because what I want is drunk cops going around making my personal fashion decisions.

Stop making my jokes for me! If you fill your fab meter, you get the fab slap power-up, and you just go around slapping motherfuckers into good fashion, and I have to respect a game that is willing to go THIS OVER THE TOP. I slapped this dude into the afterlife. He is now a ghost. "This man's suit has decent color intensity, but it's an ill fit!" "Pull out the Tailormade!" OH FUCK IT'S DAVID BYRNE! If you want some actual violence, well, you do whip the shit out of people with a belt. The belt also allows you to do some fun and responsive platforming.

We have a mysterious informant to give us info about all these fashion crimes… Deep Coat. Get that fucking pun out of here. The game really gets going when you have all your attacks and you have to mix and match in order to make it through the hordes of stylistically challenged businessmen and ass-exposing vape-heads, culminating in a fight with Hugo Bauss, CEO and guy who needs a lot of extra color, who, at one point, holds the ill-fitted suit guys in front of him as a human shield, you know what, good shit. Let's move on. Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath Vengeance of the Slayer is a game that I'm almost positive I came up with when I was 14 years old. It is the most awesome game in the world, and is somehow related to Hypnospace Outlaw, and it makes the worms in my brain dance.

Zane Slayer is the raddest person who ever lived, he's so rad he's got hackblood, which, according to this message on the wall was very important. [ZANE] It looks like the Psykos busted up our hackblood place and now the poo is coming alive. That's messed up! [CIVVIE] He's got glowing green eyes, two pistols, a gun that shoots glass, a blade shaped like an S, but not exactly this S that you drew in your notebook, and he must destroy The Psyko Sindikate. Zane hates Squisherz… Wait, glass sharts? And psyko punks… [ZANE] If you're that ugly, I do not wanna see your mama! And there's living poop monsters.

And so I Kool-Aid Man into their sewer house. And I murder them and steal their X100 Rapid Mutilator, especially this chicken here, that's weird that they would have a chicken in a crib. So the vast majority of this demo takes place in a sewer where they stole Gloomwood's poop texture. And the rats talk to you, because this game was designed to trigger every running gag this show has ever had. [RAT] I love the smell of sewers.

Zane is awesome! Oh, what is that smell?! Oh, it's me! [CANCER MOUSE] Well, hey Civvie! Did you know my father is in this game ? Do you know what his name is? [CIVVIE] Oh, god, please no. [CANCER MOUSE] I don't know either. *sad music* [CIVVIE] This is like someone polished up the worst game I've ever played and made it functional, and I will never forgive it for that. Flying jester heads, that shoot projectiles at you, which aren't too hard to dodge… now that I think about it this game isn't very hard, and I'm playing on the hardest skill, which is called "I'm Awesome" because I couldn't pick "Not a real gamer" cause that's embarrassing, I guess.

Then "normal gamer" which obviously I can't pick, so here's "I'm Awesome"… And the jester heads all follow me into this trap bathroom, in what I can't describe, but I can show, so here you go: But one of them just… won't… die… We escape the sewer and wind up going to the laundromat which makes sense because who wouldn't want to wash their clothes after coming out of the sewer, am I right? I may not have found all the secrets but I got 110 out of 105 kills, which is pretty awesome. I guess since I shot that jester head a lot, maybe it added something to the count, and that damn chicken. What were they doing, keeping a chicken in a crib like that? What kind of parents… OH GOD… OH GOD… I JUST WANTED IT TO BE QUIET… IT WAS A BABY! I KILLED THEIR DISGUSTING POOP BABY! All in all, I think that the retro FPS genre is one of budding talent, where indie legends are born, and where I patiently wait for the sweet embrace of death. Put that one on a Steam page, Dave! And I'll do Postal: Brain Damaged next time, I was gonna put it in the roundup so that maybe I could fulfill the cursed contract I signed with Running With Scissors that gives them permission to use my likeness in exchange for being bothered for months by Postal fans who want me to make videos on barely functional early access builds of Postal 4. That was not a good trade. [H4MM3R] Don't think I didn't hear that boomer-ass MASH reference, boy, [CIVVIE] No, it's classic television! Everybody got it! [H4MM3R] - You're in for it now! [CIVVIE] No, it's classic television! Everybody got it! [CIVVIE] Oh, goddammit! *electrodes charging up* *end credits*

2022-07-07 07:42

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