Category: Gaming & Collectibles
A. Quinton — Aug. 2nd 2017
Hi hello yes I’ve been away working on my other werewolf project, WEREWOLVES VERSUS, but I’m back now in part because I have a brief gap in the production schedule for WV, and also because after years (literal YEARS) of walking into Michaels to scope their Halloween section and getting angry that they never seem to have good werewolves in their wacky Lemax “monsters doin’ stuff in a monster town” displays, the winds of change are here, and they bring with them the scent of hair spray and wet dog and the sounds of your very favourite club bangerz – those sweet bangerz you crave to hear all night long.
Okay. Deep breath.
Lemax, that famous company we all know and love at the “forefront of the rapidly growing pastime of holiday lighted villages for Halloween and Christmas”, is providing at least two werewolves to you this Halloween 2017. The first, I’m realizing, is actually from 2012, but they’ve re-released it for 2017: the Lemax Spooky Town Werewolf Grooming and Night Spa with Adaptor.
You have to say the whole name when you refer to it. It’s a miniature spa where they turn you into a werewolf, and then they sort out your scraggly pelt with a nice wash and blow-dry. If you’ve been a werewolf for a while they’ll probably give your claws a manicure, too, and help you with the weird halitosis you get from eating too many trick-or-treaters. And when you’re done, you can go chill on the Moon Deck with a cold one. Everything about this concept is so fundamentally delightful to me that I’m giddy. You can get it wherever Lemax stuff is sold – Michael’s, probably although it’s not on their site right now – and Amazon has a few, too. Oh, you plug it in and it lights up and plays sounds, but if you needed those features to push you over the edge you’re not the kind of werewolf collector I’m addressing right now (that is, excitable idiots like me).
What if you don’t want to spend almost eighty bucks on a werewolf spa? Shame on you, but I get it, and Lemax does too. Maybe perhaps instead you might fancy DJ Wolfman, the werewolf disc jockey who somehow looks even more serene than the one chilling on the Moon Deck, even as he crushes your eardrums with Porter Robinson or State of Mind or Run The Jewels (but never Monster Mash – don’t be normative). This dude comes with detached (sadly non-functioning) speakers (one with a jack-o-lantern and one with two crushed cold ones) and can be found online for $7 or less.
Thank you to my knick-knack-enabling partner Tandye for the links!
A. Quinton — Jun. 20th 2017
Beast Mode: Night of the Werewolf is a “goofy, fun, over the top Arcade Beat ‘Em Up” from Apeirogon Games in which you play a werewolf whose “sole purpose in life is to decimate a group of hapless hippies as they party in the woods, the desert or even on the moon”.
Flex your paws, sharpen your claws and lay those hippies to rest! String together the highest kill combo and compete against the clock to earn the highest score and submit it to our online leader boards!
The game is Windows-only and is available for $4.99 at IndieGameStand. (It’s also on Steam, but doesn’t drop until July 14th for some reason.) It sounds like the kind of thing you could drop into to kill 10 minutes. Try it for yourself with the demo, which includes one of the game’s five maps, plus online leaderboards.
The story in the game’s press kit really doubles down on the hippy hate – “You breathe in, the scent of your enemies floating on the air; patchouli oil, how you loathe the smell of patchouli!” – but without having even played the demo, I get the feeling that the narrow range of (apparently harmless) victims could get stale fast. It would be nice to see additional victim/enemy types in a future update.
A. Quinton — Jun. 8th 2017
Manny Aguilera (mannycartoon on Twitter and Instagram) has designed a new shirt that I have absolutely purchased because I am complete sucker for tank tops with late-80s motifs. Add aviators to a snarling werewolf and my credit card magically appears on the desk. If you get one of these shirts (or any other product with this design on it) by end-of-day Friday, you’ll get an automatic discount, too!
I wanted to design something fun with bold colors. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and I still remember all those bold Ocean Pacific t-shirts and the cool tees my skater buddies used to wear. This design is a take off on that, and a little tribute to #werewolfwednesday and the culture that spawned it. I grew up obsessed with werewolves (Scott Howard is the man) so I wanted to create something 10-year-old me would lose his mind over.
A. Quinton — May. 19th 2017
Good: Funko made a vinyl Pop! werewolf figure that isn’t based on a dull or safe-for-network-TV design. The Fruit Brute Pop combines three of my favourite things: an excellent werewolf design, a retro mascot, and nostalgia for the weirdly-branded food of the early 1980s. The fangs, the spoon, the stripy complementary colour coveralls – this one would sit front and center on my desk.
Bad: Funko boxed the Fruit Brute in with another cereal mascot, Yummy Mummy, then deigned to make only 2,500 of the sets. They sold out pretty much instantly. If you want one you’ll have to scour eBay and pay some “””collector””” a massive markup.
Details and photo via Bloody Disgusting since the Funko product page is now just a 404. You did it bad, Funko. You did a bad job.
A. Quinton — Jan. 20th 2017
White Wolf rights-holders Paradox Interactive have just announced that they plan to release a game based on the World of Darkness roleplaying game Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Cyanide (Blood Bowl, Call of Cthulhu) will handle development, and Focus Home Interactive (Blood Bowl, Styx: Master of Shadows, Farming Simulator [!?]) will publish. The game will be available on PC and one or more as-of-yet unannounced consoles.
Things are still at the “corporate press release” stage, but a web site, Twitter account and Facebook page dedicated to the game have already popped up. Focus have said they will share more details at their “le What’s Next de Focus” event in Paris on February 1st and 2nd.
So far the reaction from the World of Darkness fan community has been a jittery mix of elation and scepticism. W:tA has a deep mythology and a lot of storylines and concepts from which to draw (as a certain film franchise is sort of proving). People have tried to mine this scene for video game gold twice before: a W:tA PC game was planned for a late 1999 / early 2000 release but the developer folded before it could be completed, and five years before that, Capcom was working on a PlayStation / Sega Saturn game that only ever surfaced as a prototype.
Can Cyanide and Focus succeed where others have failed, and deliver a Werewolf video game to satisfy fans who’ve been waiting all this time? One thing’s for sure: there’s no way for anyone to answer that question at all right now. You’ve waited over two decades; can you please be chill for, like, another twelve months? Eighteen, tops? Thank you.
From the Paradox Interactive press release:
White Wolf is pleased to announce its partnership with Paris-based video game publisher Focus Home Interactive for a licensed PC and console game set in the World of Darkness.
The partnership between Focus Home Interactive and White Wolf Publishing concerns the adaptation of a video game based on the acclaimed Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The game will be developed by the game development studio Cyanide (Styx: Master of Shadows, Blood Bowl, Call of Cthulhu…). In the game you will become a Garou, a rage-fuelled Werewolf warrior opposed to urban civilization and the destruction it brings. The Garou are born to fight the corruption of The Wyrm, a powerful supernatural force leading us towards an inevitable Apocalypse.
Thanks to @Somnilux for breaking the news to me, and to so many other folks on Twitter for providing additional details!
A. Quinton — Jan. 15th 2017
From the “writing about games I’ve never played” department: Last week the League of Legends YouTube channel posted a teaser to announce an update to Warwick, body-snatcher and wolfman. This nasty steampunk-werewolf-lookin’ Champion has a bunch of new abilities, artwork and skins, which is good news for people already playing him, and even better news for people who weren’t playing him because his previous abilities, artwork and skins were bad. Bad for the purposes of the game, League of Legends.
In case the previous sentence didn’t make it clear, I don’t know anything about League of Legends. I learned that Warwick was a thing at all from this tweet, and the research I did to put together this post was so laden with insider terms like “meta”, “gank” and “jungling” that I developed a lot more empathy for my non-programmer friends who have to hear me talk about “Node”, “Sass-compiling” and “shadow DOMs”. If you’re a seasoned LoL player and you want to know how Warwick’s “newfound power allows him to clean up the streets of Zaun through brutal violence”, I suggest you check out this rundown on The Rift Herald or the official update page.
As an outsider looking in, what interests me most about this update (aside from the sudden appearance of artwork depicting this brick shit-house of a werewolf dressed in nana-jammies) is the level of thought that went into the mechanical and in-game reasoning for his updates, and the extent to which Riot explains it all on their site.
So what are our goals with the Warwick update? Currently Warwick is very beginner friendly. We actually want to embrace that and push it even further than it is now. We want Warwick’s gameplay to actually teach new junglers how to be an effective jungler. Right now Warwick can’t gank until level 6, but what if Warwick’s kit actually encouraged players to gank often and early? We also have heard loud and clear that player think Warwick’s kit is kind of boring and outdated. While we don’t want to raise Warwick’s skill floor, we do want to increase his skill ceiling a bit and add more depth to his gameplay. We also want to bring Warwick’s art and thematics up to modern Riot standards by giving him a proper place in our world. We think violence is an important theme for Warwick and we want to see how far we can push that thematic.
What I get from this is “we all heard Warwick was the boring character that newbies played, so we made him good again by emphasizing his capacity for violence and commissioning a bunch of kick-ass new art assets to show him off.” Riot, I may never play League of Legends, but I appreciate your honesty, and the results are a lot of fun to look at.
Here’s a selection of Warwick splash screens showing some of his new skins, and a final one showing his origin.
A. Quinton — Jan. 10th 2017
When someone mentions Captain America, the first thought that occurs to me is not “he’s been a werewolf at least twice“, and that’s coming from a person whose brain is calibrated to play “six degrees of lycanthropic separation” with all input. And yet in its 2016 Legends “Red Skull Build-a-Figure” group of action figures, Marvel has chosen to package its most patriotic Avenger with an alternate head depicting his “Capwolf” mode.
I thought it was strange that they would acknowledge such an obscure edge-case for a prominent character’s appearance until I saw that this is the 16th time Captain America has appeared as a Marvel Legends figure. I guess there’s only so many variants of costumes and battle damage you can pitch before you have to start searching the supernatural corners of a character’s history.
In addition to the werewolf head, this figure comes with Cap’s shield, two alternate hands (one for pointing and one for… dabbing?) and the cape for the Build-a-Figure Red Skull / Red Onslaught figure.
This figure has only been out for a few months, so comic shops and even big-box retailers should still have it. As usual, you can snag it on Amazon, too. Thank you to Somnilux and wereshere for the heads up!
A. Quinton — Dec. 5th 2016
In 2014 I reported that game company Sega and ad agency Hakuhodo DY Group were launching Stories International, a joint venture to produce film and TV shows based on Sega’s video game properties. Classic werewolf / were-bear / wear-tiger / were-dragon beat-em-up Altered Beast was among the game franchises mentioned at the time.
Today, as reported by Variety, Stories International has teamed up with Walking Dead and Dirk Gently production company Circle of Confusion to produce adaptations of ‘Altered Beast’ and ‘Streets of Rage'”.
From the Stories press release:
STORIES INTERNATIONAL has partnered with Circle of Confusion, executive producers of “The Walking Dead”, to produce filmed entertainment adaptations of “Altered Beast” and “Streets of Rage”, based on the respective SEGA video game franchises, and will explore opportunities for both titles in film and television.
We’re still at the “big companies agreeing to work with each other” stage, but it’s encouraging to see the production gigs going to a company that really seems to know what it’s doing.
A. Quinton — Oct. 11th 2016
That stunning two-foot-tall statue of The Howling‘s Eddie Quist from Pop Culture Shock is now available for pre-order from a variety of sources, but if you’re gonna get it, you’d be crazy not to get it direct from PCS. Their exclusive version has the same sticker price as other sites – $474.99 USD – but it comes with an alternate head (jaws closed, which is cool to see) and one of Eddie Quist’s smiley-face stickers. Plus, if you pay in full up front, you get 15% off.
Here are eight photos showing the werewolf statue’s different angles and details. For another 19(!) photos and more details, visit PCS. There are only 300 of this edition available, so act fast!
A. Quinton — Sep. 28th 2016
Here’s a first look at the upcoming 1:4 “The Howling” werewolf statue from PCS Collectibles, fresh out of their email newsletter (which I almost deleted out-of-hand because it led with another Street Fighter II statue instead of this beauty).
If there was a “Mount Rushmore” of cinematic werewolves, three portraits would be carved into it: Larry Talbot by Jack Pierce, David Kessler by Rick Baker and Eddie Quist by Rob Bottin. The first two have been merchandised in the past, but now, for the first time ever, PCS Collectibles is proud to present a 1:4 scale statue of Bottin’s seminal creature work from The Howling.
This gorgeous 24″ polystone statue captures Eddie Quist at his best, and will be available for pre-order at 3PM PST on Monday, October 10th. It’ll come in two versions, both priced at $474.99 USD:
- the retail version, which will be limited to an unknown quantity, available through channels like Diamond and Sideshow Collectibles.
- the PCS exclusive, limited to 300 pieces, available only through the PCS web site, and apparently exactly the same as the retail version except for the addition of a second, swappable head.
Here’s a (weirdly composited?) image from PCS showing the statue’s scale. Bloody Disgusting has an “exclusive” photo from an alternate angle, too. This thing looks incredible!