I must admit that I struggled with whether or not to write a review at this time due to the state of Amid Evil currently being in “Early Access” as of this writing and therefore not technically a finished product. I hesitated because “Early Access” has unfortunately become a dirty word in the gaming community, synonymous with games which are not only still in progress (yet are offered to the public regardless for better or for worse) and thought to be filled with bugs, issues, and a variety of other problems. Of course, like with anything of the sort, there are those games which indeed give the term of “Early Access” a bad name and then there are those often rare exceptions where one can turn to those who doubt the validity of such an umbrella term and say, “see? They’re not all bad!” Continue reading
Hexen is a game which makes a bold statement right out the gate when its subtitle, “Beyond Heretic,” is not only a somewhat subtle dig at its predecessor but, by proclaiming itself as such, also sets a certain high-level bar of expectancy to be a worthy sequel and an overall superior game. However, while it might in fact be two steps ahead of Heretic, in some respects, it unfortunately takes one step back in the process simply due to its own hubris. On the surface they look like more or less the same game, since they still utilize the engine that ran DooM after all, albeit with a few instances of some minor graphical improvements.
One of the absolute pleasures in following an artist ever since their debut is being able to watch and listen as they grow, perfecting their art along the way, thus hearing the subtle differences of improvement between releases. It might be cliche to say that the latest and greatest offering of any artist is their best yet but this album is proof of that as See Thomas Howl delivers the goods and then some; he’s truly come into his own.
Plus you can’t go wrong with GlitterWølf featured on vocals!
DRONN, the dungeon synth side project of the synthwave renaissance man known as Gregorio Franco, returns once more with their darkest and creepiest release yet entitled “Servants of Onu.” Ideal for listening alone in the middle of a cold autumn night or when huddled together in a group when delving deep into a dimly lit cavern while rolling twenty-sided dice, DRONN perfectly encapsulates the terrifying experience of the unknown like an unseen eldritch horror from beyond this mortal coil.
Every release by Nightlights is not unlike a bag of candy-coated synthwave that you can’t help but gobble up by the handful as their music is a dreamy mixture of chill pop and retro dance. Their most recent release, the titular “Time Shift EP,” is no different in this regard as its not only an enjoyable album all on its own but like many of the albums in Nightlights’ catalog it provides itself as a welcomed palate cleanser to the sometimes harsher tones of other more heavier synthwave releases.
Gregorio Franco continues to prove that they’re not only one of the hardest working producers around, what with the ability to produce top notch release after release in relatively quick succession, but they’re also one of the most versatile as each of their subsequent releases tops the one before in both production and stylistic variety. Clearly a fan of the Mega Man X series of video games, Gregorio Franco furthers that masterwork tradition in a second volume of covers which simply rock, man.
“Incomplete” is an apt title for such a bittersweet release because, according to IndiGhost themselves, this will be their last album. Fret not though as they will be back soon enough, albeit under a different name, so by no means is this their true final chapter; however it’s a fitting end to one even still. IndiGhost has always had a masterful ability to flawlessly utilize both synths as well as guitars and this album is no exception; it will leave you wanting more and waiting for what’s next.
As someone who grew up on old-school first-person shooter games from the 1990’s, starting with Wolfenstein 3D before moving onto DooM then Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood, etc., it’s unfortunate that some games fell through the cracks for me along the way.
One such game is Heretic which has often been described by some over time as being “Magic DooM,” due to not only running off the same engine (albeit with minor upgrades) but basically being more-or-less a complete reskin or total conversion of DooM; although I believe using a slanderous term like “DooM Clone” is selling a game like this really short despite some obvious comparisons.
Gyoza King is another side project for neon shudder, who also produces under low.poly.exception, and their album Life Sim Cafe is like an eclectic mix of drinks off its retro-electro menu. As the album art might suggest there’s a bit of a 1990’s video game vibe to be found within but it’s so much more than that as its influences further range from anime to synthwave. It’s altogether lighter fare than what they usually produce, which is nice as it shows their range, so sit back, relax, and enjoy.