EarthBound (SNES/GBA): Pure Artistic Desire (Detailed Review)

Earthbound | Ness's Nightmare

EarthBound is a game that has been well received since its introduction, but has only recently received a serious look by mainstream gaming websites in the past few years. We now find it frequently in top-10 lists near the number one spot. The weird thing about this however, is that Nintendo of America has ignored the EarthBound series and has given it no publicity over the years, so what was there to increase its publicity so drastically that major gaming sites started noticing? The answer would be the game’s rabid fan base that is incredibly loyal to the series and have pushed hard to get it noticed. This however has led some to some fans that are really overzealous and give the series a massive amount of hype with great expectations to fill. I myself at one point have been in that same position of near obsession with the series, but it has been years since then and I have moved on and played many other games that have made me just as passionate as EarthBound did.

I recently decided to replay EarthBound and I expected that losing my overzealous passion would make the game’s flaws more noticeable. Despite having a very special place in my heart I expected this review to be one that, while still having a positive tone, was more critical of the game. I was wrong, and being wrong has never felt so right. It turns out that not only in this play-through that I re-discovered exactly what it was that made me fall in love with it in the first place, but I discovered more. This play-through marks the only time that my opinion of a game I already played improved despite being one of my all time favorite games to begin with. Read more

Castlevania Retrospective #2: The Classicvanias (Part 2)

Castlevania Retrospective Part 2

Guess what? I didn’t completely forget about this retrospective project! After four months the second part is finally here… and I still haven’t beaten every Classicvania, or at least not every Classicvania gameplay wise. This piece DOES instead choose to rank the last of the traditional retro Castlevanias with the cut off point being the 2000s. Okay yes there is still technically Castlevania Chronicles but I’m covering the remake which was in 2001.

Castlevania has been kind of a strange entity in that nearly EVERY game in the series were linear sidescrollers, and then everything changed when the Symphony of the Night nation attacked! Since then the only traditional sidescrollers have been the aforementioned Castlevania Chronicles, the Rondo of Blood remake Dracula X Chronicles, the WiiWare title Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth that can no longer be purchased since WiiWare was shut down, and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon that isn’t even an official title.

But this article is about the five Classicvanias that preceded those ones, although that term is a misnomer because on two of them are good. Anyway let’s get going. Read more

Quick Review: Legend (SNES/PC)

Legend | Boxart

Legend is a 2 player beat em up released originally on the Super NES in 1994 in North America and Europe, and re released on Steam in 2015, which is how I came across it. It looked like an interesting beat em up that I picked up during one of the many Steam sales and decided to play recently. I haven’t played too many 2D beat em ups so I’m not in the position to judge how it stacks up to Final Fight, Streets of Rage, or Golden Axe, but I can certainly say I had fun with it despite a few minor gripes. Read more

Castlevania Retrospective #1: The Classicvanias (Part 1)

Castlevania Retrospective Part 1

So there is this video game series called “Castlevania.” I’m sure you never heard of it as it’s quite obscure like everything else I cover. In all seriousness though there was a time when Koonami actually made good games and wasn’t obsessed with Pachinko machines and Soccer games. They had many influential and beloved series such as Gradius, Ganbare Goemon, Metal Gear, Contra, Suikoden, and Silent Hill, and not to mention plenty of other cult hits like Shadow of Destiny, Azure Dreams, Zone of the Enders, and other series that I never actually played but will still get weebs riled up by mentioning since no one else knows they exist.

The last time I did a retrospective, it was on Namco’s Splatterhouse series where I reviewed each game individually. I only needed to cover five games so that was more manageable, but the Castlevania series has over 40 of the bastards to cover and I kinda want to do other shit. As a compromise I decided I would start by covering multiple games per article so I don’t need to write a full review for games most of you already have played or know you should play. This does still allow me to touch upon the more obscure and lesser known entries in the series and compare them to the ones everyone likes and mock how inferior they are or make you feel bad about having not played them (mostly the former in this piece). Read more

Amazing VGM: Battle 2 (Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest)

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest | Pazuzu

Admitting that you like Final Fantasy Mystic Quest… is kind of like admitting you are sexually attracted to trans women. A lot of people will strongly and adamantly deny it to save face… but everyone secretly likes both and it’s more cool to admit you do than to deny it…

…it’s a joke…

…no I don’t support lesbian erasure…

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Amazing VGM: Megalovania (Halloween Hack/Homestuck/Cognitive Dissonance/Undertale)

Mother: Cognitive Dissonance | NALT Giygas

Note: This was originally written as a DeviantArt journal entry on October 21st of 2016 with some edits made.

Major spoiler warning for Halloween Hack, Mother: Cognitive Dissonance, and Undertale.

It is about time I get to another entry on a video game song given how long it has been since the last one. As such, I’m going to structure this one similar to when I covered the eight melodies in that this will include multiple renditions of the song across multiple sources. Of course, some people who discovered this song through Undertale may be somewhat surprised to hear that it was not originally from there. It’s first appearance was in an Earthbound romhack that Toby Fox developed when he was 16 known as “The Halloween Hack“.

Halloween Hack was pretty impressive when one keeps the context of which it was made in mind. It is a game that has a lot of its own original content such as sprite work and music, and the game even makes use of mechanics that were under utilized in Earthbound. So it was definitely a well made Hack from a technical perspective, but other than that it falls flat. Read more

JRPG Update Pro: December 2017

JRPG Update logo

It has been a while hasn’t it? Well, here it is, the return of JRPG Update. As I have stated in my Update of JRPG Update, updates will new be split into two separate subseries focused on professional releases and indie titles respectively.  They are also going to be monthly instead of weekly, as it was way too taxing to do so weekly and it got in the way of my regular content. Additionally, I am only embedding trailers that are in English now as to reduce the lag that greatly obstructs progress during editing. If you want to see the Japanese trailers then click the links provided.

Anyway, starting the JRPG releases since last update, we have seen the release of Xenoblade Chronciles 2 (Switch), Tokyo Xanadu eX (PS4/PC), Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope – 4K & Full HD Remaster (PS4/PC), Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis (PS4/XBox One), Romancing SaGa 2 (PS4/Vita/Xbox One/Switch/PC), World of Final Fantasy (PC), Omega Quintet (PC), Elminage Original: Priestess of Darkness and The Ring of the Gods (PC), and Yodanji (Switch/PC)

Anyway, now for the news.

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Amazing VGM: Blizzard Buffalo (Mega Man X3)

Mega Man X3 | Blizzard Buffalo PS1 intro

So, we all agree that Mega Man X music kicks ass right? I mean, how can someone think otherwise. I’ve already talked about Spark Mandrill’s theme from the first Mega Man X, but it’s the Christmas err fuck, I mean holiday season, and I am totally being forced to say “holidays” instead of Christmas against my wishes due to political correctness gone mad and not just poking fun at an overused joke. Yeah yeah I know, no one actually cares which one I use except for the easily offended MAGAtards and Trump himself, which makes me want to keep saying holidays in and of itself. Unfortunately even I can’t manage THAT level of contrarianism when I actually do celebrate Christmas.

Anyway, i just put that tangent there because I need enough content before I put the “read more” break in. Read more

Amazing VGM: The Eye Awakens a Jungle (Earthbound)

Earthbound | Deep Darkness

How surprising that I have yet to make an Amazing VGM entry on my favorite game of all time. Yes, I have covered something from Earthbound Beginnings, The Halloween Hack, and Cognitive Dissonance, but not Earthbound itself. Anyway, I am going to be covering one of the more underrated tracks in the game, the area theme for The Deep Darkness, “The Eye Awakens a Jungle,” also sometimes titled “The Deep Darkness,” by Asgore apparently.

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The Top 25 Most Disturbing Video Game Songs (25-13)

Top 25 Most disturbing video game songs

Music has always been a very integral part of almost any media. The idea of musical accompaniment to plays dates back thousands of years. In video games, the interactivity means players will precede at their own pace, so the music is often more “full” than in movies. Tracks are often used to signify places, events, or characters in games to set certain tones.

Naturally, one of these tones set is the element of fear. Most of the time, we don’t stop to think about the music used for these sequences. There are some tracks that people will listen to in their spare time for their own enjoyment; these are not those tracks. These are instead songs that, upon hearing them, will leave the listener uneasy and jarred through both their sound and their in game use.

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