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Voodoo Farming #12 (10/21/09): Killing Floor “Level Up” Pack and more!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Hello you beautiful people you. Fans of Voodoo Farming, I’m sure you must have been wondering where the heck I’ve been. To appease those who may or may not be wrathful towards me, let me tell you all what I have been up to lately as concisely as possible.

I have just finished up a summer internship with Safe Haven Urban Redemption (a youth after-school program, It’s basically like the Boys & Girls club, but it’s held in a church) and I have subsequently been hired part-time for the duration of the school year. If you do not recall, I am indeed an Atheist, and yet paradoxically have found myself in the employ of a church. I work/volunteer there for a few reasons, namely:

  • The executive director is a good friend of mine for three years.
  • Regardless of the religious slant, they are doing a lot of good in a very poor community.
  • While most of the staff regards their Christianity as important, they have never once been pushy to me or anyone else. They will teach you if they ask, but they have never been anything but respectful of my and other’s beliefs.
  • I have seen firsthand the positive changes that have been made in the community.

If you have a few bucks to spare in these hard economic times, toss it their way. I’d appreciate it and I’m sure they would as well.

Aside from that, I have been taking jogging and weight-lifting back up. I’ve been very, very, sedentary lately, and after seeing Zombieland (spoilers: it’s awesome), I thought about the fact that I would probably be one of the first run down if it weren’t for all the awesome firepower and power tools we have sitting around the ol’ Ihmhi homestead. Moreover, a lot of my friends are making positive changes in their lives and it’s inspiring me to do the same.

I went to go see Moonspell live in concert at BB King’s in NYC on Sunday. I have loved the band for years and I was glad to get the opportunity to see them live since they are originally from Portugal and tour America sparsely. One of their videos was featured way back in Voodoo Farming #4. They played three out of the four songs I had wanted them to play (Sadly, I’ll See You In My Dreams was not in their setlist sad panda sad panda), and I’d like to share them here with you along with one other I liked:


Okay guys, happy sharing tiem over. Let’s get into the meat of the article. This isn’t so much a review as a preview – at the time of this writing, the content patch is not yet out (it drops Thursday).

In Voodoo Farming #6 I reviewed Killing Floor. Tripwire Interactive (the fine people who brought the mod Killing Floor up to retail standards) are much like Blizzard in that they treat their customers really well. A couple months ago they released a free “Heavy Metal” patch which included an AK-47, a Katana, a new map, and of course various bugfixes and whatnot. The devs vaguely hinted at something awesome coming in October.

The first awesome thing? Killing Floor is having a free weekend October 22-25. You can start preloading now. Like, right right now! If you are unfamiliar with free weekends, you can basically download, install, and play the game for free for the duration of this weekend with 100% full functionality. Take advantage of this.

And here we are – Killing Floor’s Level Up content pack. You can see some nifty screenshots and read about it over at IGN , but the basic rundown is:

  • A new perk (class), Demolitions Expert
  • Seven new weapons, including:
  • A new specimen, the Husk. The Husk apparently has some sort of fireball cannon. Flashbacks to DOOM’s Imps are guaranteed.
  • Three new maps.
  • And, of course, various other improvements I’m sure.

Tripwire raised a little bit of extra pocket money by having four new character skins as DLC for the low low price of $1.99. They are doing this again – ostensibly at the same price – with the release of this pack, and I only have one thing to say.

Kudos.

This is how developers should do things. Optional pretty stuff costs you money (but is cheap), and the core game updates are free. Tripwire gets the utmost respect from me for this.

I am, of course, slightly biased. I am the division leader for my clan’s Killing Floor division, and I ponied up the money so we’d have a server for six months. (I’ll likely do it again in six months.) We are, of course, recruiting, and I’d really like it if you filled out an application to join us or added me as a Steam friend (Steam account name: ihmhi) if you’d care to test the waters. [AE] plays regularly and we do Suicidal runs Sunday and Wednesday nights. We’re also casual as all hell, so we’re all about having the fun.

I am also very much biased because they added the AA12 (video) to my favorite perk (class), Support Specialist (basically Shotgun guy). This gun is the king of shotguns, and I can’t wait to try it out.

I do hope that you guys will take this weekend to try out Killing Floor. I will certainly be spending an unhealthy amount of time playing it. Add me to Steam friends, let’s go shoot some Zeds.

Wrapping things up, I’m going to try to crank out a handful of articles as soon as I have the energy to do it. skippy is going to have his hands full soon, and I want to do my part to back him up. ;D

Thanks for reading guys. It feels good to write again. I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue. Stay tuned next time for Voodoo Farming where I review more Zombie stuffs!

Voodoo Farming #11 (09/09/09): An Assessment of My Zombie Preparedness

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Welcome back to a very special issue of Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture. Today, we’re going to look at my Zombie Preparedness, and I hope that you will look at your own as well.

(more…)

Voodoo Farming #10 (08/27/09): Left 4 Dead

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Welcome back to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture. It’s been a little while, huh?

Today I decided to finally get around to Left 4 Dead.


What’s with Valve and Lighthouses anyway?

Threat Level:Brains...Brains...Brains...Brains...Brains...

L4D gets 4/5 on the threat level. If it were you against the zombies, it would be 3/5, but anyone who has ever played a cooperative game can tell you the most dangerous thing in the entire game is the idiot with a lot of firepower and no clue how to use it.

Did I mention that L4D always has friendly fire on?

Before I go any further – you now hear the valvE game intro bass riff:

What's with Valve and Lighthouses anyway?

What’s with Valve and Lighthouses anyway?

I am sick as shit of this screen. This is actually one of the many reasons that I dislike playing L4D, and I think I’ve worn out my ESC key. I constantly hammer the damn thing and mutter “Get to the fuckin’ title screen already, get to the fuckin’ title screen already…”

Look, Valve – you make highly successful games. No one disputes this. But you (and so many other companies) go to the trouble to have this seemingly unskippable logo screen at the start of every single one of your goddamned games.

I know it’s an industry standard. Fuck the industry standard. I have what is by all means a modern computer – not top of the line, but pretty damn good – and I want to get into my game as fast as possible. It’s just like booting an OS. If I have time to go make a sandwich while your game is loading and it’s still not done when I get back, you are doing something very wrong.<⁄rant>

Anyway, on to the goddamned game.

Because when it comes to zombie outbreaks, nothing bad ever happens in a forest.

Because when it comes to zombie outbreaks, nothing bad ever happens in a forest.

L4D doesn’t have maps insomuch as it has campaigns. Every campaign runs more like a movie than a game; the loading screen is even styled as a movie poster.

Zoey must have a hard time sleeping at night.

Zoey must have a hard time sleeping at night.

The camera majestically pans in, and the characters talk about their current situation. “I heard we need to $COMPLETE_OBJECTIVE so we don’t die!” That’s basically how every L4D campaign starts. I’ve yet to play any custom campaigns, but I just can’t wait to see a half-assed implementation of the game with the pre-existing dialogue shoehorned into a situation that doesn’t really fit.

'Source Engine' and 'Outdoors' are two things that don't always go well together.

“Source Engine” and “Outdoors” are two things that don’t always go well together.

Valve did a bangup job on the scenary. If you play Half-Life 2 with a critical eye, you can see the places where they cut corners on architecture (using bump-mapped textures instead of actually drawing geometry) so that the beastly Source engine can run better on low-end machines. You don’t notice that so much in L4D.

Here’s the UI – your guns, your health, and the health of your comrades. Cooperation is absolutely necessary in this game. There are many situations where you’re going to be completely helpless unless someone else helps you. Of course, nothing ever goes wrong in that kind of situation.

No more s'mores left?

No more s’mores left?

After a quick look around at the peaceful scenary, you immediately grab as many bullets you can stuff in your pockets. For the newer players, go with the shotgun as your primary weapon. I suppose the Uzi has its own advantages, but I stick with the shotty anyway.

Hey! Down in front!

Hey! Down in front!

And this is why I prefer the shotgun. In the early game, you’re going to have waves of zombies coming at you, often in big, juicy clumps. Personally, I burn through Uzi ammo way too quickly. I suppose that it’s useful for long distances, but why not just use the pistol with its infinite ammo? (One of Valve’s sick jokes is that the pistol actually does a shit-ton of damage.)

You’ll also come across two throwable weapons, namely pipe bombs and molotov cocktails. The molotovs are useful for covering a wide area with fire – they are very useful for fighting stuff like Tanks (huge, hulking infected that have thousands of hit points). When it comes to the regular trash zombies, however, the pipe bomb is superior. Simply throw it…

Beep beep beep beep beep beep...

Beep beep beep beep beep beep…

And laugh maniacally as a few dozen zombies are turned into a fine red paste:

Is it raining?

Is it raining?

The campaigns are split into five parts. Between each part is a safe house where you can restock on ammo and health, take a break, etc. Once you close the safe house’s door, the next section of the campaign loads and you’re treated to a variety of stats about your gameplay and some funky techno music.

Stats stats stats

Stats stats stats

I’d like to say that between Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor, I prefer KF hands down. But one of the things Valve gets right and Tripwire Interactive doesn’t is that they put flashlights on every single gun (and they look beautiful):

Cue 'Prairie Dog Surprise' music.

Cue “Prairie Dog Surprise” music.

In KF’s latest patch, they finally fixed the flashlight. It looks nice now, but it’s still only on two guns. Shape up, Tripwire Interactive.

You get the opportunity to pick up a second infinite-ammo pistol very early on. You will also typically get a shot at grabbing the second tier of weaponry sometime in the second of five parts of the campaign:

Choices, choices...

Choices, choices…

Between the Assault Rifle, Combat Shotgun, and Hunting Rifle, I almost always pick the Hunting Rifle. Why?

BOOM! HEA... I think I did this joke already.

BOOM! HEA… I think I did this joke already.

That’s why. Boom, headshot. If you’re skilled under pressure you can wreak havoc – even against Tanks (surprisingly). When the other players are crying about being out of assault rifle bullets, you’ll be sitting pretty with half your reserve of Hunting Rifle bullets still in your pockets.

Wrapping It Up:

L4D is an okay game, but I don’t believe that it’s worth the $40 I payed for it or the $50 that many more people shelled out for it.

Killing Floor literally cost me half of what I’ve paid for Left 4 Dead, and I’ve probably played it a hundred times as much. And while KF has had paid DLC (four new character skins for $2, and yes I bought it), they’ve been doing quite well with their free updates (see the aforementioned update).

Valve, meanwhile, decided to cause a shitstorm and announce Left 4 Dead 2 before they released any significant DLC for the first game (READ: new weapons, maps, creatures, etc.). No, Survival mode doesn’t count.

I’m not a member of that L4D2 Boycott group, but I don’t think that I’ll be buying it – certainly not at full price. Why? Valve has taken far too long to release any decent DLC for a very short game that they made a shit-ton of money on. When the price comes down, you’re going to get more content than the early adopters and at a better price. When it’s down to around $20, maybe I’ll buy it.

So should you buy L4D? I highly recommend trying it out at a sucke- er, friend’s place first, or perhaps renting the 360 version. Play through one whole campaign, and that’s the entire game over and over and over again. At least with Killing Floor you have DLC coming out at a steady pace and a dedicated community that has actually been making good maps.


Reader Mail:

No Reader Mail this week.


Special Message From Ihmhi:

I hope you guys haven’t felt particularly screwed over the last few weeks. I’ve fallen behind in my research for VF and had to actually take last week off because I couldn’t sit down to write anything. Part of it is that a friend of mine is really ill and that has been affecting my sleep, and another part has to do with my dad getting drunk on a near-nightly basis and playing polka music until 2am. I typically drown it out with something like loud techno music (which is what I’ve been listening to for the last two hours on loop). So… yeah. I SUFFER FOR YOU GUYS WORSHIP ME AS YOUR NEW GOD.

I’m going to try to keep VF going weekly, but I’m working on fun things like trying to get financial aid to go to college, find a job, etc. I honestly might not be able to dedicate the several hours of research and writing it takes to make an issue of VF every week and still remain sane. If it comes to that, I’m sorry, but I’d rather write quality work every week or two than come out with some crappy stuff every week on time.

That’s it for VF this week.


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

Voodoo Farming #9 (08/06/09): The Last Stand 2

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

A note to my readers: I’m currently in the market for a video capture card or device that can use the standard Red-White-Yellow cables. I’ve been bumming my friend’s computer and that arrangement can’t last forever, so I need to get something of my own so I can hook up consoles to take screenshots (and possibly video!). Any suggestions should be left in the comments or sent to ihmhi6@gmail.com. Thank you kindly!

Welcome back to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

I am admittedly running late with this one. I’ve been pretty busy this week but I still try to deliver on time, so I’m staying up late (with work tomorrow, no less…) to get this out to you guys.

Thankfully, I always have material prepared for a future VF, so I didn’t have to start from scratch (*whew*).

There will be some changes coming in issue 10 or 11 – namely, I’m going to try to streamline VF a bit. If you read through the archives, you’ll note that the video game reviews are different from media reviews (like movies). I’m bouncing around potential changes in my mind, and I’ll detail my thoughts on that at the very very end of the post (after the reader mail).

But anyway, onto the game! Way back in Issue #2 I reviewed The Last Stand, and now I’ll be getting into its successor: The Last Stand 2.


Remember that helicopter you flew away in at the end of The Last Stand? Yeah, that's the fiery remains.

Remember that helicopter you flew away in at the end of The Last Stand? Yeah, that’s the fiery remains.

The Last Stand 2 is a significantly more challenging game compared to TLS and that’s a wonderful thing. I rarely lose in the original, but I often get my ass whipped in the sequel. I love a challenge.

Threat Level:Zombie!Zombie!Zombie!Zombie!Ducky!

Well first and foremost, no more “huge group of survivors armed to the teeth” backing you up. Now the survivors armaments depend on the weapons you’ve found, and they can’t use all of the weapons (such as the Chainsaw).

The enemies have gotten a lot tougher and your survivors can actually die during the game – not just while searching. (More on that below.)

Armaments:

In addition to many of the armaments in TLS, you have a few new toys. Downside? No more Barrett. Upside? In exchange, you get hand grenades, the M249 SAW, a compound bow, and a rocket launcher. A friggin’ rocket launcher!

It’s pretty difficult to get all of the weapons on account of the time limit you now face (40 days), but it can be done. Aside from the missing Barrett, all of the original weapons make their return.

The game mechanics are the same – infinite ammo, but manage your reloads.

You can also get your hands on “traps” – propane tanks, bear traps, and mines. that you can set up on the map beforehand to help take out crowds of zombies. The propane tanks can be troublesome and they seem to work best if you put them on the outside areas so you don’t accidentally hit them off. You or your barricade don’t appear to take any damage from something going kaboom.

Cause of the Outbreak:

Same at TLS… who the hell knows? You just wanna get the heck outta there alive.

Co-Stars:

A pure zombie game to the end.

Odds of Survival: Lower than TLS

This game is definitely way way more difficult. I cannot stress that enough.

Bang bang!

Bang bang!

Pew pew!

Pew pew!

Your survival is dependent partially on smartly managing your time and resources and mostly on picking a good weapon and using it skillfully. This isn’t like TLS where you can just load up 7 survivors and do amazing things.

The above pictures are one of the earlier levels. Although you visit different locations, they all follow the same basic formula of “make sure your barricade doesn’t go down”. A nasty addition: some zombies now carry weapons, and they can kill your survivors instantly if they get too close. As a result, you have to be very careful with prioritizing your targets. One swing of a cleaver or club and you have a useless corpse with a gun sitting next to it.


The Devilish Details:

I'm having flashbacks to Silent Hill.

I’m having flashbacks to Silent Hill.

Instead of simply managing your time carefully, you now have to pick out locations on a map to search. The weapons pretty much spawn in the same locations, so you can learn where the good stuff is and do better in successive runs. (An element of randomization in this respect would have been nice and made the game a bit more challenging.)

Searching buildings takes up different amounts of time, and on your first playthrough it’s pretty much a diceroll. Even if you are very careful, you can still end up having leftover time. Thankfully, until you submit your search pattern you can pick out different places and try to find the sweet spot. You will definitely have leftover time at least a couple of times in your run.

So many zombie scenarios take place in the backwoods... it'd be nice to see one take place in a huge city for once.

So many zombie scenarios take place in the backwoods… it’d be nice to see one take place in a huge city for once.

TLS2 isn’t as linear, either – you can pick different routes. As you’re searching through the houses, you gather supplies. Travelling from one place to another uses up some of your supplies. The basic formula (aside from SURVIVE DON’T DIE OH GOD DON’T DIE) is to gather supplies, weapons, and allies, and then move on to the next area when supplies permit.

Failing in this game can be fun in a way because you can get a hint of where you went wrong and try again. TLS2 will take a little bit longer to play than the original game simply for all of the stuff there is to do. For a free Flash game, this is a steal and a good way to spend an hour or two.


Wrapping It Up:

The Last Stand 2 adds elements of depth where there were previously very little. If you enjoyed the first one, you are going to absolutely love the second one. Give it a play and give props where props are due to the wonderful people who came up with such an awesome game.

Here’s hoping for The Last Stand 3!


Reader Mail:

Voodoo Farming #8: Super Ghouls and Ghosts

Sequoia Says:
July 29th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

This game sounds E.P.I.C. But alas, I don’t own a SNES.

There are systems out there that can apparently play both NES and SNES games. I’d get one if it weren’t for the fact that my NES(s) and SNES are still in excellent working order.

Billy Says:
July 30th, 2009 at 8:05 am

Now I can’t wait for you to do Silent Hill for voodoo farming. If those things count as zombies for you, i’m not sure. I still remember a magazine that, in describing the monsters in Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, and Resident Evil went in this order: Zombies, ghosts, creatures out of your most twisted ****ing nightmares! If you do a silent hill special, I will explain the cause of the threat, a freaking god of death and hunger decided to try to cross over to our world. And he still needs to be born in order to fully enter.

captcha: engaging lion, prepare to be eaten.

I’d love to do Silent Hill, but all of my SH games are currently lent out to a friend who’s out of state!

I would also need to get a video capture card. I’ve gotten most of my screenshots at my buddy’s (usually doing a few reviews in a clip), but his work has picked up so I can’t see him as often. ):

Hopefully in the next couple of months I can afford a cheap video capture card or device – any recommendations from my readers would be appreciated.


Upcoming changes/improvements:

CHAAAAAAAANGGGGEEE...

Better WC3 compliance: A request from Mrs. Skippy. No more <i>s and <b>s – instead, <em>s and <strong>s! I like how <strong> sounds. Makes me feel manlier.

Streamlining of Formatting: I’m probably going to ditch most of the sections (like Armaments) and break it down to a simpler article. I’ve found that there’s quit a bit of overlap with some of the sections for some things, and no overlap whatsoever for other things. They’re a bit troublesome. I will be keeping Threat Level, though, because I love Threat Level.

More diversity: I’m constantly expanding my horizons and trying to find tons of zombie stuff to do. I’ve been trying to focus on analog (as in non-digital media, books and what have you) and I’ve found some very promising prospects.

More polish: No no, not Polish stuff. Pawl-ish. Like, making it look nicer. I have some ideas. I’m also waiting on some people to cook up some things for me. Sorry for vagueness, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the surpriseseses.

Whatever it comes down to, I’m going to try to come up with a consistent format for Voodoo Farming so it can apply to literally anything I put out.

Thanks for reading. G’night everybody!


Obama Zombie picture delightfully borrowed from Instapunk.com. Took me 30 seconds of Googling. I love the Internet.

Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

Voodoo Farming #8: Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

It’s that time again! No, not Tool Time, it’s time for Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

The first game I reviewed was Zombies Ate My Neighbors, one of the classics and a hard game at that. Today I will be hitting up another classic SNES game and one of my favorites: Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts.


I can’t recall Capcom ever making a bad game.

Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts is part of the Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins series of games. Our protagonist is a knight named Arthur trying to save a Princess named Guinevere.

That’s right. You’re King Motherfucking Arthur. When I was a kid, damn near every boy on the block wanted to be King Arthur, because he had magic armor and an awesome theme song.

Threat Level:

As I’ve said many times, I play on “Normal” difficulty (or the best equivalent) to approximate the average experience of playing the game.

Let me be clear on this: SGNG is regarded as one of the most insanely hard platform/run & gun games ever – right up there with stuff like Megaman 2. Calling the medium difficulty “Normal” in this game is the sick joke of a very disturbed mind.

You can adjust some stuff since the series has its roots in arcades – you can choose how many lives you get (1-9) and which difficulty you’d like to play with. For the purpose of screenshots, I’ve put it on Easy with 9 lives. But for normal play, I usually go with Normal difficulty… and 9 lives.

I’m the sort of person who will drop $5.00 into Time Crisis 2 and play for over an hour so I can beat the damn game. Yes, I’ve done that before. So given the chance to have more lives, I’m gonna take it.

Armaments:

Arhur, a.k.a. Lance Armstrong. BA DUM PISH!

There’s a variety of weapons in SGNG. They all do roughly the same damage, but they do it in different ways. For insance, the lance (the weapon you start out with) just goes in a straight line. The torch flies forward in an arc and then creates a trail of flame on the ground where it lands. The bow & arrow shoots a couple arrows in an upward direction.

In true arcade style, you can upgrade your weapons with powerups. After your standard Iron Armor comes what I assume to be Copper Armor (since its green). Or maybe Arthur just made armor out of a dragon’s finger, because he’s that badass.

Note the awesome built-in mohawk on the armor.

When you get your green armor, your weapons get an upgrade. Typically, they just do more damage. They might behave slightly differently; for instance, the bow gets homing capabilities.

Gold Armor, however… that’s the shit right there:

I tried so hard to think of a Double Dragon joke so I could get a 34-hit K-Groove Nostalgia combo.

Your weapons get a little bit more powerful, but you also gain a chargeup ability. Once you charge your weapon you can unleash a super attack. The only limit on this is that you have to wait to charge it again – no mana bar, no “x amount of shots”. You might think it would make the game unbalanced, but the odds are stacked against you from the very beginning.

Cause of the Outbreak:

This is the Super Mario Formula, dead on. Evil baddies kidnap a princess. Hero hulks the fuck out and cuts his way through a few thousand bad guys just to get her back.

Co-Stars:

This is one of the many games where zombies are simply trash enemies – the simple thing that, if it hits you, means you have either fallen asleep or went into an epileptic seizure while playing the game. It’s pretty difficult to get hit by them unless you make a serious error of judgment.

Aside from that, you’ll come up against things such as dire wolves, fire skull dragons, bats, floating blob… thingies, a jester that turns you into things such as a baby or a milk maid (seriously), and all kinds of other fun monstrosities.

Odds of Survival: I’d have to invent a new word that means lower than low. So pretty bad.

Here’s how the game works. If you get hit, you lose your armor and you’re down to your skivvies. Literally:

Give him a cape and a shield, and he could be Leonidas.

If you had your fully upgraded bitchin’ Gold armor, well… Arthur is understandbly pissed.

Get hit in your undies and you die.

So basically, you get two hits until you die and have to restart the level. There are a few automatic save points, but knowing your luck you’re likely to just end up right back at the start.

Note the gold armor comes with a shield. While this won’t save you from a direct monster hit, it will save you from a projectile. You can upgrade the shield and take 2 hits from projectiles (so long as it hits the shield).


The Devilish Details:

SGNG runs very much like a first person shooter, except not first person. (I guess that’s how you define a 2-D “run and gun” game…)

After some initial experimentation, you are going to find a favorite weapon and go with it. All of the weapons seem very well balanced and they all have their pros and cons. (Personally, I like the scythe, just for those lovely screen-clearing tornadoes you pop out when you use the super.)

You’re definitely going to want to practice double jumping. It is a skill unto itself. If you’re off by half a second, you could drop into the ocean or come landing back down onto an enemy. While this does have a lot in common with Super Mario Brothers, you’re not going to be stomping on any enemies.

SGNG is all about precision movement and being very, very, very, very, very aware of your surroundings. When I was younger, it took me something on the order of a month to be able to beat the game on normal.


Wrapping It Up:

I’ve kept this one relatively short. This is not for lack of content in the game. It’s difficult to accurately describe the gauntlet that these sadomasochistic developers put you through in only a few short levels.

I definitely don’t have time to take all of the screenshots to show all the ways that they can fuck you over. I kept mental track in the first level of all of the devious traps, pitfalls, etc. that are thrown your way, and I stopped counting at about 50.

If you like insanely challenging games, Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts is for you.

If you’re prone to stress or heart trouble, this game is not for you. You’re going to want to try a more relaxing activity such as walking on hot coals or trying acupuncture with knitting needles.

What lessons can we take away from Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts?

Get a good burglar alarm, keep your princesses indoors, and definitely don’t fuck with King Arthur or you’ll catch a flying magic Lance up the ass.


Reader Mail:

Voodoo Farming #7: The Evil Dead

ineedhelpbad Says:
July 24th, 2009 at 12:15 am

Evil Dead is awesome, but no mention of the sequels evil dead 2 and army of darkness.

Well, I gotta save material for future editions!

If I did, say, The Evil Dead Trilogy instead of just the first movie, then that’s one long article instead of three shorter ones. I average 1,500-2,000 words and it takes me anywhere from 1-6 hours to crank one of these out – I definitely don’t want to spend 12+ hours writing.

I’m sure I’ll catch shit for this, but I’ve never seen Evil Dead 2 or 3. Lambast away, I’ll get to it eventually. Geez.

Minty Says:
July 24th, 2009 at 9:19 am

I recommend putting The Serpent and the Rainbow on the review list, if only because I can’t wait to see how you trash Bill Pullman assuming the “Girl Running Around Screaming in Her Underwear” cliché.


CCO Says:
July 25th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Here’s a book you may like: Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.

Here’s the opening sentence:
On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Yep, then our hero goes on to get a job killing monsters.

I always appreciate suggestions from my readership and I’ll be sure to check those out in the future.

Once again, I have no idea as to what I’m doing next week. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing Voodoo Farming and staying on schedule for a whole two months! (I’m terrible with stuff like that.)

Before I go, I wanted to issue an apology to my readers. I had VF 6 and 7 prepared way ahead of time, but skippy was in the middle of a move and he apparently forgot to inform Michiel that VF goes up on Thursdays. They still went up anyway and I apologize for the delay. I’m a bit to blame for not checking up with Michiel that everything’s good to go. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next week!


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

Voodoo Farming #7 (07/23/09): The First Movie Review!

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Welcome back, dear readers, to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

So far I’ve covered a bunch of games and one book. I never intended VF to stick to any one particular medium – if it has zombies on it, then it’s potential material. So here we are at our very first movie review.

A lot of the material that I have covered so far has already been reviewed at one point or another. I don’t think I’m really doing anything particularly new here in the sense of reviewing games, books, movies, etc. – that’s been done for as long as these forms of entertainment have existed.

What I am doing different, however, is trying to present whatever I am viewing as if the situation really were to happen – as if the reader him/herself were there. I guess you could call it “Immersive Reviewing”. Sometimes I look at things from the perspective of being in the universe, and sometimes I look at things from an outsider perspective. (I find that if I don’t change things up a bit, I can get bored with a project quickly.)

Seven issues in, and I’ve already become bored with videogames and covered a book, music videos, and now, finally, a movie.

I wanted to pick a really good one, because if I mess this up than this is going to sully my reputation more than the time I ran down the street pantless, playing a flute and claiming to be the Pied Piper. So, I did.

Get ready.

Oh fuck yes, it’s The Evil Dead.

Five unassuming college students (Ash, Scotty, Cheryl, Shelly and Linda) decide to spend a little time in a cabin out in the boonies.

First, their car mysteriously tries to drive itself into an oncoming car, and Scotty just barely avoids an accident.

They then cross over a bridge that can only be described as ramshackle.

The preceding events happen in the first five minutes of the film. Slow, dramatic buildup this isn’t.

Despite the environment itself trying to off our five protagonists, they make it to the cabin just fine.

A cursory exploration of the place shows that the bridge was in much better condition than this house. It’s less of a cabin and more of a pile of wood that happens to be standing upright in the shape of a cabin.

The students all chill out. One of our ladies decides to sketch a picture, and her arm decides to flip the fuck out on her and draw a ragged picture of some kind of book.

So far, our heroes have had both their car and a bridge try to kill them. Now one of the girls is drawing something and not entirely under her own power. She is obviously freaked out by this.

At this point, any zombie movie aficionado would be gathering weapons, boarding up the house, never going anywhere alone, and sitting quietly on the floor in an outward-facing circle until daylight comes. Unfortunately, none of our protagonists seem to put the pieces together.

A trap door leading to the basement starts jumping up and down on its own. (Apparently, a severely crippled fight-or-flight response is a requirement for being a character in a horror movie.) After that, the lovable Ash heads downstairs and uncovers a book that has a cover that can only be described as “covered in flesh” and a tape recorder.

So of course, Ash does what any sane man would do: he cracks the mysterious book open, browses through it, and then starts playing the tape recorder. In the dead of night. In the middle of nowhere.

Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat, it killed a whole group of idiot college students.

Apparently, there were some demons who were taking a catnap for a few years or so, and they just woke them the fuck up.

Well, despite all the bad stuff that’s happened so far, at least everyone is smart enough to stay inside until the morning. I mean, nobody would be that stupi-

Oh son of a bitch. Hey, let’s investigate the mysterious, creepy sounds that are coming from outside! Surely this bathrobe and childlike curiosity will protect me!

After walking a fair enough distance from the cabin, the forest decides that it would like to cop a feel on Cheryl.

The Evil Dead may very well have the distinct pleasure of being the first horror movie that features tentacle rape.

Seriously. The forest grabs Cheryl, spreads her legs, and just outright rapes her. This is probably the most unpleasant scene to watch in the entire film, largely because of the mixing elements of crippling terror and sadomasochistic erotica.

If you believe another horror movie – or any movie – featured live action tentacle rape first, feel free to prove me wrong. I’m sure as hell not going to spend time searching online for tentacle rape, or watching movies to see if there’s tentacle rape, or even typing “tentacle rape” in Google. That’s the kind of shit that gets you put on government watchlists.

Cheryl smartly runs back to the house and tells her story to the other four housemates who have conveniently avoided being raped.

They think that she just got scared and freaked out a bit. Maybe she fell the wrong way on a whole pile of branches! Sure guys.

I have to step back from the movie a minute here. One of the most important things about a movie – or any story, for that matter – is suspension of disbelief. I have never in my life seen or met any people who possess such an extreme lack of common sense yet retain the fine motor skills to perform activities like driving, talking, and breathing.

To be fair, this movie was made in the early ’80s, so I’m just assuming that all five of these people are stoned and/or drunk out of their goddamned minds. That would certainly explain their very, very, very, very, very faulty reasoning up to this point. (Whoa, for a second there I channeled Commandant Lassard.)

So what does it take for them all to wake the fuck up and realize that shit’s getting freaky?

This.

When Cheryl starts guessing playing cards being held up (that classic test of psychic ability) with statistically improbable accuracy and turns into a fucking hellspawn demon, then the remaining four college students think, “Hey, something might be wrong here.”

Cheryl stabs Linda in the ankle with a pencil. Instead of immediately disabling, dismembering, and burning her body, they lock her in the basement.

Then Shelly decides to flip the fuck out on them. Scotty takes things into his own hands and disarms (and dislegs, and dishands, and disfoots, and…) her with a wood ax. Finally, the boys stop taking shit from some emo Sumerian demons who are pissed about being woken up early from their nap.

Interestingly enough, the women seem more susceptable to falling under the influence of the evil forces. However, it may just be that it was transmitted somehow by touch – first Cheryl (who was raped), then Shelly, and finally Linda.

The boys bury Shelly and Scotty decides to go and look for a trail that will get them out of there, completely ignoring what happened to Cheryl a short time earlier.

Of course, Scotty’s dumb ass gets fucked up proper.

It’s not explicitly stated whether or not he was raped, but I’m gonna say yes judging by the way he walked.

Now we have two confirmed zombiedemons, one woman halfway there and rolling along like a sleepy trucker down an exit ramp, one guy who got the shit kicked out of him by some trees, and Ash.

Linda (Ash’s girlfriend) finally turns and starts spouting out the creepy shit so prevalent in the movie. Ash has several opportunities to off her.

Instead, he wusses the fuck out and takes her outside. Then he tries to dismember her with a chainsaw, but he wusses out again.

Kudos are in order to this man for maintaining a modicum of civility amidst a crisis. Sure, civility is useless as hell when you need to fuck up hellspawn, but thankfully Ash learns his lesson eventually. You’ll get to read more about that in my inevitable review of Army of Darkness.

Ash’s formerly human friends – even though they’ve been beaten halfway to death – try to off him several more times. Ol’ Ash barricades the doors and goes into the basement to get more shotgun shells.

When everything starts going haywire and a film projector starts bleeding, no one is going to blame you for shitting your pants.

The one place that was marginally safe – the House – starts to come alive. Lightbulbs bleed from the inside. Window shutters slam open and close. Ash, for some reason, is compelled to touch a mirror on the wall. His hand goes through as if the surface were water, and he pulls it back screaming franitically. Shit is officially 100% fucked to high Hell.

The house is raided by a grand total of four zombies – everyone but Ash who hasn’t survived. Ash finally grows a pair and offs each one of those fuckers. I guess when it comes down to “us or them”, Ash has no problem choosing “us” (well, in this case, “me”).

Despite all the ass-kicking that he’s done, he gets laid out on the cabin floor. Cheryl beats his sorry ass with a fireplace poker. Ash smartly notices that while the naughty bad book is one fire, the zombies exhibit symptoms of burning as well. He manages to chuck it into the fire…

And the book proceeds to try its best to imitate the “surprise” emoticon ( i.e. O: ):

Ash’s former friends proceed to fall apart while demons try to give them a high five from the inside out:

After all he’s been through, Ash stands outside. He’s filthy as hell, his friends are dead, and he’s probably come closer to Hell than any living man ever should. But he’s alive. He survived.

And just as Ash lets his guard down, something comes out of the forest and presumably kills him:


Evil Dead is considered a classic, and rightfully so. It was banned in many countries when it first came out (largely for the infamous “tree rape” scene), and is still technically illegal in Germany. (It came out on DVD in 2001, but they were ordered to be seized in 2002.)

As much as I admonish the characters for their many, many, many, many, many poor choices (damn, I went a-Lassardin’ again), I think the horror movie genre would suffer a bit without this particular narrative technique. Even so, this particular element has been relaxed in recent years. In 28 Days Later, for instance, our hero Jim realizes that things are pretty fucked rather quickly. (You can bet your ass that I’ll be getting to that one real soon.) You can still create tension, pressure, and drama without making your characters complete fucking idiots.

It’s easy to look back on older works and criticize them heavily, and I did give The Evil Dead a pretty heavy whipping. If you didn’t pick it up from the review, I actually loved this movie. The special effects were pretty damn good, the acting was cheesy (which goes hand-in-hand with the horror genre), and despite our heroes’ lack of common sense the film does a really good job at drawing you in.

What can we learn from The Evil Dead?

If you find a creepy book with strange writing, leave it the fuck alone and run.

RUN.


Reader Mail:

Vooding Farming #6: Killing Floor

I can has reader mail?

Sai Says:
July 21st, 2009 at 7:38 am

About time this game gets some attention. Mainstream and underground alike, it’s pretty much ignore.

Nothing against L4D, but…it’s not THAT great a game.

I bought L4D, I played L4D, and I got bored of L4D. Waste of 40 bucks IMO. I’ll probably buy L4D2, but only when I can catch it on sale for like $25. Killing Floor has way more bang for its buck.

GBlair Says:
July 21st, 2009 at 8:14 am

Small note: some servers have upto fifty players on them but six is the normal amount.

Yeah, but you won’t get any perks on those servers. In patch… 1003, I think, it was hardcoded in where servers can only have 6 player slots or less (even though the game can technically support more).

See you guys next week!


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

Voodoo Farming #6 (07/16/09): It’s Not What You Think

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Welcome to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture. Remember that you can e-mail me questions, ideas, etc. at ihmhi6@gmail.com or you can leave comments. They might just show up in the “Reader Mail” section that I’m including in every issue.

Last week, I mentioned that I would be reviewing a zombie game that I have been playing a lot lately, and asked people to venture guesses.

Leon Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Zombie game on a PC? Gotta be L4D. If you’re doing solo play and want a challenge, up the max zombie spawns to 300, set it for permanent panic event and then trigger it. Now that’s a zombie rush.

Captcha: speeds peated – what I did the first time I saw a tank in L4D

Nope, not L4D. I do own it and I will be reviewing it in the future for its sheer popularity, but I actually haven’t played it all that much since I’ve been through the game. I’m not terribly fond of it, especially because the Campaign mode has a severe lack of “pick up and play it for 10 minutes before work”. As the difficulty goes up, the length of the campaigns goes into the hours mark.

ThandraK Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 11:31 am

I’m going to guess that it is not L4D, but rather a cheery little thing involving Plants.

(decay National. Well, that fits.)

I’m actually interested in buying Plants Vs. Zombies and checking it out. I’ve reached the point in my research where I’m actively buying zombie games that I wouldn’t have otherwise purchased as readily. (Hence why I own Left4Dead and the game I’m reviewing today.)

Those two guesses, while admirable, were wrong, because the game that I was talking about and that I’ll be reviewing today is Killing Floor.


Doubles as a possible advertisement for the South Beach Diet.

Killing Floor is a game very much in the spirit of The House of the Dead. I was a serious fan of those games (along with Time Crisis). When THOTD 3 came out and I couldn’t dual wield the guns (pump-action shotguns), I was truly dismayed at actually having to… ugh, cooperate with someone else. Dammit, I tried though. I got pretty decent at pumping the shotguns on my legs or the arcade cabinet, but eventually the pressure got too high and I couldn’t survive.

I am not a huge fan of co-op games, at least with people I don’t know. The games that have “working together” as a major component are the easiest to grief. You don’t see very much of it in an arcade because if someone kept purposefully shooting the survivors in THOTD I would pistol whip them with the little plastic light gun or strangle them with the cord.

Online, however – safe behind the anonymity of the Internet – people are free to act like jerks. That’s why I typically only play co-op games with people I know, because one person acting like a jackass can ruin the game. KF is no different.

Threat Level:

Killing Floor bears the distinct honor of being the first game on VF to get a 5/5 Threat Level, and damn it all if it doesn’t earn it.

Left4Dead has four player co-op. KF has six-player co-op. I am definitely one of those “more is better” kind of people, so naturally this game appealed to me a bit more than L4D.

You fight waves of monsters (referred to as “specimens” – more about that below). In-between rounds, you visit a trader who sells you weapons. This game definitely has the “Kill Stuff > Buy Guns > Kill More Stuff > Buy Better Guns” Counter-Strike element. Speaking of guns…

Armaments:

Hoo boy, well, the easiest way to do this is to show you the weapons in the game:

This must be what Wal-Mart is like in Texas.

There is a wide variety of weapons available to you (CHAINSAW FUCK YEAH), ranging from a machete to a rocket launcher.

KF has “Perks”, which is their fancy name for Classes. There are six classes: Field Medic (armor, speed, and healing bonuses), Commando (Bullpup, reload speed bonuses, can see life bars on enemies), Support Specialist (shotgun bonuses, can carry more stuff in general, better grenades and more of them as well), Sharpshooter (pistol/rifle bonuses), Berserker (melee bonuses, damage resistance), and Firebug (it’s all about fire – fire hurts you less and hurts enemies more, simple as that).

Each of the Perks has weapons that fit with them, and most players are going to develop a favorite. As you meet certain requirements with Perks (x number of damage, x number of enemies killed, x number of headshots, etc.), you level up those Perks for greater bonuses. A Bullpup in the hands of a Level 5 Commando is way more effective than one in the hands of a Level 3 Field Medic.

For new players, I definitely recommend with going for the Support Class. Your grenades do more damage (and grenades are your basic “panic button”), you can carry more stuff (more ammo, and you can try out multiple different weapons to see what works for you), and it’s damn hard to miss with shotguns. You’ll see a lot of people playing Support in Normal difficulty.

As you get to Hard difficulty, you’re going to see a lot more Medics and Sharpshooters. You can literally die in two seconds, so the more enemies you can take down the better. A good lot of players that get up to that difficulty play Field Medic because they don’t have to rely on their teammates as much – you can heal yourself, and the healing mechanic is a rechargeable syringe.

Suicidal difficulty… I haven’t touched it. I’m not high enough level or skilled enough. Having multiple Perks in a Suicidal game will greatly increase your chances of actually winning, because at this point you’re going to need people to fill out their roles – Berserkers stand in front of the big enemies and soak up damage, Field Medics keep everyone going, Supports do a shitload of damage, etc. Having a lot of people of the same Perk will work against you because they all have their weak points. In Suicidal, those weak points will get your team killed. Period.

As a general guideline, you should be Level 2 in a perk before you start playing Normal, Level 4 before you start playing Hard, and Level 5 before you start playing Suicidal. The enemies might seem pretty easy in the early waves, and while the later waves might still be suicidal, The Patriarch (the ultimate boss of every round) is very unforgiving.

Cause of the Outbreak:

There’s none really given. A biotech firm was doing some stuff with blah blah virus blah blah mad scientist (The Patriarch) blah blah Britain’s fucked up with Zombies. It’s like a mishmash of Resident Evil and 28 Days Later, but the zombi- er, specimens are definitely slower.

 

Co-Stars:

Lemme give you a rundown of some of the baddies. KF has a greater variety of enemies than L4D, and they all feel very fleshed out.

Hey fatty fatty fatty fatty.

On the right, your standard Clots. WoW players would colorfully refer to these as “trash mobs”. Almost never a threat, but they come in huge numbers. On the left, a Bloat. If you’ve played Left4Dead, this is the boomer. He hits you with screen-obstructing bile that does damage over time. It doesn’t attract the enemies towards you, though, because the enemies are always heading towards your team at all times. This is definitely more of a “zombies come to you” game.

That is the cheesiest Halloween costume ever. Wait, is that a real chainsaw?

Jumping up in the air at me is a Crawler. Crawlers go low to the ground and tend to hop around. Most of the more intelligently-designed maps have vents or roofs where they will be jumping down on you from above. If they surround you, well… Starcraft players know what happens when a swarm of Zerglings surrounds a larger unit like a Dragoon or a Siege Tank.

Dead in the center is a Stalker. Stalkers can go invisible and only appear when they hit you. You will be very familiar with being surrounded with these… ladies? and frantically trying to shoot them as they rip out your guts.

And the big dude with a Chainsaw? That’s a Scrake. I don’t know where the name comes from. I’ve seen players refer to them as “ScRAPEs”. They are the third-toughest enemies in the game, as they can soak up a fair bit of damage. Once they rage out and rush you, they do not let up until one of you is dead.

Not pictured: Gorefasts (red, faster clots with swords for arms) and Sirens (Area of Effect damage that penetrates armor). I’m not gonna spend all day taking screenshots people. d:

You won’t understand the fear until you’ve played the game.

This is a Flesh Pound. The name and picture alone should let you know how irrevocably fucked you are when you come up against one of these.

When Flesh Pounds take damage, they rage out:

Oh shi-

This is where you should start unloading your gun into him.

Hug? (I have the feeling that this is going to be a recurring joke on VF…)

This is where you are screwed.

Flesh Pounds are like amped-up Scrakes. They can and have wiped out entire experienced teams just because they could not take it down fast enough.

The tried-and-true strategy for taking it out is to throw a ton of your grenades at it until it is dead. If this fails, the gunfire will take it out. Inexperienced players, however, will die many times at the, er, hands of this foe. Hell, even experienced players get trashed by a Flesh Pound now and again.

These guys aren’t really the stars of the show, though. That would be The Patriarch, and we’ll be covering him in a sec.

Odds of Survival: Low-Medium

Whether you ultimately live or die depends on three things – your skill, your Perks, and your teamwork. This becomes more and more evident as you go higher up in the difficulty levels. The enemies aren’t all that bad – it’s The Patriarch that does your poorly organized, underleveled team in at the end.


The Devilish Details:

“One in the pipe!” means a rocket is coming your way. “This is the end of you!” means he’s going to shred you with the minigun.

The Patriarch is the mad-scientist-turned-zombie-overlord that is ultimately going to fuck you up after 4, 7, or 10 waves of enemies (depending on the game length). He considers the specimens his children, and you’ve just taken down about 2,000 of them. (Yes, over 10 waves you can face around that many enemies.)

The Patriarch has three main attacks. His rocket launcher will drop a fully-armored, full-health player down to “walking corpse” with one direct hit. Glancing hits will still do a lot of damage. His minigun will absolutely fuck you up at 10 meters or closer, and do pittance damage at range.

The worst thing he can do, though, is his melee. When he hits you with melee, it will do a good chunk of damage and knock you back. After that, he’ll typically finish you off with the minigun. If you don’t have cover that you can get behind in under 1 second, you are dead. Throw all your grenades and do as much damage as you can before you die, because you will and you may as well help out your teammates.

Aside from those nasty bits, well… see the syringe on his right leg? He can heal back up to full health up to 3 times. There is actually an achievement (“Straight Rush”) for killing him before he has a chance to heal. I’ve done it once by stunning him with a shotgun and dropping 5 grenades on him. Oh, and he cloaks, too. When he needs to heal, he’ll cloak, run to a corner to inject himself, and summon some trash to back him up. He’ll also cloak (and increase his speed, too!) to run down one of your mates.

When he does run off to heal, Firebugs (who can light him on fire) and Commandos (who can see cloaked enemies at a certain distance) can help track him down. As soon as he appears, if you hit him hard he’ll kneel down. This is your chance to kill him before he even has a chance to heal. If you mess up, then he’ll cloak and try again. The strange combination of a Commando with a flamethrower does a decent job of tracking him down while he’s cloaked.

I knight thee… Sir Fugly Uglybutts.

As I said before, when he takes a lot of damage, The Patriarch kneels down and is vulnerable. This doesn’t necessarily signal that he’s running off to heal, but this does signal HIT HIM WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT.

Lower-level and new players will rely on the LAW (rocket launcher) to do the majority of damage to him, but as you get into the higher levels of perks (3+) you can do way more damage with your Perk’s respective weapons.

After you take him down, you’re treated to a slow-motion death scene that would fit right into an episode of Faces of Death:

DO

A

BARREL

ROLL!!!

Fuckin’ A. Screw Tanks in L4D – the first time you take down The Patriarch on Normal… nothing feels that awesome.


Wrapping It Up:

When I’m presented with a goal (collect trophies, level up characters, etc.) my OCD kicks in and I try to go all the way to a perfect game. GTA: San Andreas? I played Vigilante Missions for 3 hours in the Hunter (Apache Helicopter) to try to get my money to $999999etc., only to see the game add an extra digit. RPGs? I grind and try to go to Level 99, just because I can.

KF has that one “levelling stuff up” element that offers a modicum of replayability that, in my eyes, L4D just doesn’t have. The fact that the SDK has been out since the game’s launch (I believe) also means that there are a ton of great user maps out there, so it’s hard for the game to feel stale. The six Perks means that you can play the game basically six different ways.

KF is not without it’s downsides, though. The one guy who does all the male voice acting gets a little tiring after a while. (“Cover me, I’m reloading!” “I hate creepy-crawly things”, etc.) The Trader’s voiceovers are filled with so much sexual innuendo that The Todd would have a six hour erection just hearing one of them. (“Come get some big guns”, “I want you close to me, babe”, etc.)

A lot of maps have dark areas, and the only weapons with flashlights are the 9mm pistol (which everyone always has on them) and the shotgun. Granted, the Firebug makes his own light in a way, but the Sharpshooter, Berserker, Field Medic, and Commando are screwed for light unless they make use of either the 9mm or shotgun.

All in all, though, this game is really good, and at what Tripwire Interactive calls a “recession friendly price of $20″, it is worth absolutely every penny.

Lastly, a shameless plug. My gaming clan [AE] / AssEater is starting up a Killing Floor division and we are currently recruiting. Yes, that’s our name. We’ve had it for 14 years, and I believe at the beginning they had to have a disclaimer about it not being a porn site. If you’re looking to roll with an up-and-coming Killing Floor clan and get some good games going, then hit up the Join Form on our website.

What can we take away from Killing Floor should the dead rise?

Befriend all the gun enthusiasts that you can, and stay the hell outta London.


Reader Mail:

Voodoo Farming #5: The Zombie Survival Guide

schwal Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 3:54 am

Also worth a read is “World War Z, and oral history of the zombie war” also by Max Brooks. It is basicaly a bunch of interviews with survivors, and especaly cool in the audiobook version, with many well known actors as the inteviewees.

CAPTCHA: 64 vials. lets hope that number never goes down.

I’m reading it now, slowly. The 40 hours I’m pulling at work every week is really draining me every day. I wish I could say that it’s a full time job, but it’s only for 7-8 weeks. ):

So far it seems pretty interesting, and I enjoyed The Zombie Survival Guide, so I’m optimistic about it. I’ll be reviewing it in a future edition of VF.

Billy Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 9:38 am

What all of these fail to notice is one more type of zombie, a more likely type in fact, that would be much more difficult to kill than your standard brain zombie. The spine zombie. Most of your bodily actions that turn into instince ect, is in your spinal column, which is why if you cut a chickens head off it runs around for a while still. With that information, it stands to reason that a real zombie would probably have all of its motion put into is spine, and less into its brain, making them harder to kill with guns, and will catch most people by suprise as most people would base their stradegies off of old zombie movies.

For those kind of zombies, well… they would certainly be a lot harder to take down, I’ll give you that. I think the book would be significantly different if that were the case.

However, in the first part of the book, Max Brooks clearly states how zombies in his universe work. Destroying the brain is enough. Applying other possible zombie archetypes doesn’t really fit because they don’t work in his world. And if we ever did have a spine-zombie uprising, a lot of the tactics could be adapted from the book to fit it.

Thanks for reading guys. See you next week. What I’ll review, I don’t know. I’m thinking about doing a movie since I don’t want to just keep doing games again and again. I’d appreciate any recommendations for a good screenshot-taking program, because it is very much a pain in the butt to switch to a screenshot-friendly, slow playback mode for my movies/shows.


 

Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

Voodoo Farming #5 (07/09/09): The Zombie Survival Guide

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Welcome again to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

I’m going to start answering the equivalent of Reader Mail – emails sent to my address ihmhi6@gmail.com and comments posted in VF issues.

In this case, while I will be answering reader mail from the previous issue at the conclusion of this edition, I’m going to address one comment from issue #4:

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Voodoo Farming #4 (07/02/09): The Top Ten Zombie Music Videos

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Welcome to a very special edition of Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

I typically write these posts at least a few days in advance. Sometimes, however, current events will change that schedule. This is one of those times.

I was going to save this article for #5, but I’ve decided to bump it up to number 4 on account of recent events. (Read the title and you should be able to figure it out.)

There were a few videos that would have made it onto here if it weren’t for the embedding disabled by request (read the linky for another opinion on YouTube’s greedy douchebaggery). But screw ‘em, all the important ones could be found in some form that could be embedded, and most of ‘em would have ended up in the middle of the list.

Although this is a Top Ten list, my hours of research (in cooperation with my roommate Rocketcock*) brought up way more than ten zombie music videos. After watching the candidates multiple times, I still had a few more than ten.

Some videos were disqualified from my list for one reason or another, or perhaps they were by relatively unknown bands and thus didn’t make the list. We’re going to start with these Honorable Mentions and then move down the list from 10 to 1. Let’s get going!

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Voodoo Farming #3 (06/25/09): Half Life: Opposing Force

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Hello again, potential meat shields, and welcome back to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture. I’m your host Ihmhi. (That’s pronounced Jimmy without the the J!)

Imagine, if you will, that you are quite possibly in one of the worst zombie combat situations imaginable: alone, and in a labyrinthine complex with nary a weapon at hand. You have to scrounge and scrape to get your ass to safety, and then some asshole in a suit puts you in cryo-stasis or some shit for like twenty years.

But that’s not you, that’s some other guy in a game released like two years later. Instead, you’re one of the poor bastards sent in to not only kill the zombies and assorted otherworldly invaders, but also to kill the survivors. (Man, I hope they have a staff psychiatrist!)

Now’s as good a time as any to visit your shrink, lie down on his couch, and tell him about the time you were the Opposing Force.

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