Game releases: “BloodRayne: Terminal Cut” and “BloodRayne 2: Terminal Cut” (PC)

Terminal Reality and Ziggurat Interactive‘s gory action-adventures BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2 make an HD return with their Terminal Cuts.

Originally released on PC, PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube in 2002/2003, the first BloodRayne sparked a lot of controversy due to its gore, violence and Nazis. Of course one can’t really take the whole thing serious with a story about agent BloodRayne who works for the secret fraternity Brimstone Society to eradicate supernatural beings, while being a vampire herself, sucking the life out of her enemies in the process. Her mission is to track down a man who wants to make the Third Reich dominant again with occult artifacts, so it’s not only Nazis BloodRayne kills with weapons and fangs, but all sorts of monsters, too.

The new Terminal Cut edition leaves the main hack/slash/shoot/suck/dismember gameplay intact and only offers graphical improvements: higher display and texture resolutions, support for modern gamepads, as well as upscaled cinematic videos, improved rendering, and better reflection, water, fog, and shadow effects.

Buy the game for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

BloodRayne 2 was released on PS2 and Xbox in 2004 and on PC in 2005 and continues the bloody and gory action of its predecessor, while presenting an even schlockier storyline about BloodRayne hunting down her siblings who want to enslave humanity by making vampires great again, this time without Nazis. The femme fatale can now control time and has all sorts of bloody combat and finishing moves at her disposal, making this another guilty pleasure to indulge in.

As with the original BloodRayne, the new Terminal Cut edition has the same graphical updates and gamepad support, although what might be even more interesting is that it should work much better on modern machines. Both titles are now available on PC with 34% launch discounts that last until November 27, 2020, at 2:15 PM UTC. Anyone who already owns the original games won’t have to buy them again, as the update is free. A quick reminder: The Steam versions are not available in Germany, as the titles are still on the Index, but GOG hasn’t region-locked them (yet).

Buy the game for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

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Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

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Game release: “Shenmue III” (GOG and Steam versions)

YS Net and Deep Silver‘s martial arts action-adventure/RPG Shenmue III finally breaks free of its Epic Games Store exclusivity.

Shenmue III had one of the longest development histories in gaming, taking over 20 years after the first and 18 years after the second game were released. I still remember buying a Dreamcast just for Shenmue, and although it didn’t blow me away (thanks to some very bad English voice acting, clunky combat and other gameplay problems), it was a title that was highly influential in the way it introduced quick time events and the concept of an open world into the action-adventure genre that was usually reserved to RPGs, some mechanics of which could also be seen in the fighting sequences.

The story of the third game continues teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki’s quest for revenge after his father was murdered in his own dojo, leading him to China. It’s all very familiar stuff for anyone enjoying clichéd Asian action flicks, but it’s still a different experience learning all the combat moves while exploring environments where people live their daily lives. Of course there are enough distractions, like mini-games in arcades or other side-mission activities to pass the time, just as in the good old days.

Shenmue III was originally released in November 2019 on PS4 as well as on PC as an Epic Games Store exclusive. Now it’s available on GOG and Steam with 66% launch discounts for the standard and deluxe edition (including the DLC Season Pass) that last until November 26, 2020, at 6 PM UTC. The 3 DLCs can also be bought separately with 60% off their original prices.

Buy the standard edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the deluxe edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

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Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

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Epic Games Store free games: “Elite Dangerous” and “The World Next Door”

Epic Games Store‘s newest freebies of the week are Frontier‘s massively multiplayer space opera Elite Dangerous and Rose City Games/VIZ Media‘s visual novel/match-3-puzzle mix The World Next Door.

The selection this time is as varied as it can be, starting with Elite Dangerous as a sci-fi epic that is experienced with other players in a galaxy that changes according to people’s actions, i.e. winning or losing space battles. Of course it’s not all dogfights, as trading, smuggling, and mining can be done by those who’d rather find a peaceful leisure activity.

The World Next Door is much more colorful with its anime style, as one plays rebellious teenager Jun who finds herself in the world of Emrys where she has to partake in puzzle battles. The story itself focuses on the friendships she makes on her journey or rather quest to escape back to Earth.

Both games can now be added to the Epic Games Store account for free until November 26, 2020, at 5:00 PM.

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Netflix watchlist: October 2020

Netflix in October 2020 presented an interesting look at Sherlock Holmes’ possible legacy.

Movies:
Enola Holmes [6/10]

My expectations weren’t particularly high with Sherlock’s teen sister being played by Millie Bobby Brown whose role in the overrated Stranger Things series (see Netflix watchlist: April to May 2017 and Netflix watchlist: January 2018) was just as annoying as in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. While her acting certainly hasn’t improved with Enola Holmes, at least this movie is much more entertaining with some good fighting sequences and a few funny moments when Enola is talking to the audience. However, the whole mystery story is rather forgettable and not particularly suspenseful.

Being around 2 hours long, Enola Holmes could have been the first two episodes of a TV show, followed up by 6 or 8 more, as it’s usually the case with Netflix. Who knows, maybe this is a new business model, testing the waters as a pilot…

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Disney+ watchlist: October 2020

Disney+ in October 2020 had another short TV film taking place in the Toy Story universe.

TV shows:
Toy Story That Time Forgot [6/10]

After the last Disney+ adventures in Toy Story land felt like nothing more than bonus features on a BD/DVD (see Disney+ watchlist: August 2020), Toy Story That Time Forgot is not the newest addition, either, as it was already released in 2014 on the original Disney Channel and also on DVD. With a runtime of 22 minutes it at least tells a fun little story that works best if one grew up with the Dino-Riders toys that are clearly the inspiration for the Battlesaurs, i.e. having the prehistoric animals mounted with weapons fighting each other. While there are a few funny and even touching scenes, one won’t remember much of it afterwards.

Disney+ seems to become more like a streaming service with content that might have been found on physical media (which would be overpriced as standalone titles) instead of offering more interesting, even innovative TV shows. Toy Story That Time Forgot is clearly an example that there should be more killers than fillers in the future to keep it alive.

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