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

Standard Review: Ghosts ‘n Goblins (Arcade/C64/ZX/NES/Amiga/GBC/WS/GBA/PC/IOS/Android)

Ghosts 'n Goblins | Level 1

Ghosts ‘n Goblins was always infamous for being one of the hardest games ever made. That statement is pretty much 100% accurate, Ghosts ‘n Goblins is so difficult that it is only on the border of how difficult a game can be while still being playable. One should note that I am using the word “difficult” and not “challenging.” The reason I say this is because being challenging is generally a good thing as it implies that a game brings you up to its own level by being demanding and through its design.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins, on the other hand, is just difficult in the sense that it is very patience trying and unfun. Before I hear the parade of apologists proclaiming “git gud” I should make it clear that I did beat this game twice, and yes I am counting it as twice regardless of that stunt they pulled the first time. Ghosts ‘n Goblins may be beatable, but it isn’t exactly an enjoyable game to play. Most players will be having far more frustration than fun and beating it serves no purpose other than bragging rights. Read more

Amazing VGM: The Path is Open (Persona 3)

Persona 3 | Thou art I and I am thou

This week’s VGM is a special track. This track has an especially notable significance to me in not only how it sounds, but also what it represents. In the past I have often made Amazing VGM pieces that connect to me personally in regards to my very own struggles in life, I believe that games have a very significant personal element to them that many are often discouraged from sharing for not being “objective,” and I feel this greatly undermines the medium as a whole.

Anyway this week’s track is from Persona 3, a flawed game in many ways but nonetheless one of my all time favorites. I have been replaying this game and I’ve just about reached the end of The Journey portion of the game. While I find the overall musical output of Persona 3 rather average, there are some standout tracks that have a very deep and meaningful impact when you hear them. This track is one of those.

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Amazing VGM: Buccaneer Beach (Pac-Man World)

Pac-Man World | Buccanear Beach

Yep, another “VGM from a game I just reviewed” piece here today. There isn’t really a set plan more so than reviewing a game just makes me remember its music so I have it stuck in my head later. I may not have enjoyed Pac-Man World 1, but there was definitely some finer points to it. I only briefly mentioned the music because most of the music didn’t stick out but I remember it being good. The obvious exception to this is the first level theme, “Buccaneer Beach.” Read more

Pac-Man World (PS1/GBA): Aged Like Milk (Detailed Review)

Pac-Man World | Box art

Few gaming icons have had quite a fall from grace as much as Pac-Man. One of the most iconic video games of all time that even your grandparents recognize has not been relevant in how many years? Aside from the arcade games, the only games I have seen that are remotely well received have been the Pac-Man World trilogy of 3D platformers. I am quite fond of 3D platformers contrary to what those who think I only play RPGs and visual novels believe, so I thought I may enjoy this game.

I initially bought it during a PSN sale in 2016 along with Heavenly Guardian, but I barely played it. It seemed alright enough but didn’t interest me enough to keep me playing. Within the last few months I started it up again for no real reason other than that my PS3 happened to be set up and I had it there, and I figured I likely wouldn’t play it any other time so I should do so now. Read more

Standard Review: The Legend of Dragoon (PS1)

The Legend of Dragoon | Logo

This review was certainly put off for quite some time. I should let it be known that I am reviewing this two years after I beat it, but my memory is pretty good in regards to these things. I don’t quite remember why it was that I didn’t write a review at the time but I’m finally going to write it now. The Legend of Dragoon is a fantastic game and quite simply put, it deserves the praise it gets.

The Legend of Dragoon is far from the most original JRPG out there and if you are looking for something unique to the genre then this likely won’t satisfy you. In fact, the game actually had mixed reception at launch. Former IGN reviewer David Smith once said “Games like Legend of Dragoon and Shadow Madness rank among the worst of the previous generation, regardless of genre” only a year after he reviewed it and gave it a 7 out of 10. Yeah, IGN reviewers being incompetent bought out morons is hardly a recent phenomenon. Read more

Amazing VGM: Holding My Thoughts in My Heart (Final Fantasy VII)

Final Fantasy VII | Corel Train Tracks

Welcome to this week’s VGM. I have decided that I would go with something that is from a game especially nostalgic to me, Final Fantasy VII. Of course, I’m never one to go with the predictable tracks like “One Winged Angel” or “Aerith’s Theme” or even slightly less common but still talked about tracks like “Still More Fighting” and “The Great Warrior.” The first track that comes to mind when I think of Final Fantasy VII is either “Interrupted by Fireworks” (which I honestly find more beautiful and emotionally moving than “Aerith’s Theme”) or “Holding My Thoughts in My Heart.”

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Criminal Girls: Invite Only (PSP/Vita/PC) – A Hell of a Lot of Wasted Potential (Detailed Review)

Criminal Girls | title image

Well I finally got around to linking the last of my game reviews from Oprainfall. Surprisingly, I did not care for this game. I actually had fairly high expectations for it given that I am a fan of ecchi titles like Hyperdimension Neptunia and Senran Kagura, but this one just didn’t grab me. Well to be fair, it DID grab me eventually… during the second to last area of the game. The character backstories were strongly emotional and engaging, it is just s shame that the game tells you next to NOTHING about these characters prior and leaves you little to get invested in. Most of my disappointment came from its premise though and how it was executed, as I do go over in the review.

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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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Corpse Party: Book of Shadows (PSP/Ios/PC): Redundant and Unnecessary (Detailed Review)

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows | Box art

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is not a sequel in the traditional sense. If anything, it is more of an expansion on the original game. I would say that it is similar to DLC but considering that the game is twice as long as the first game that would be rather demeaning. That does not mean Book of Shadows is bad though. Book of Shadows does do a nice job at telling an engaging story and an eerie atmosphere, albeit not as well done as the first game. What Book of Shadows does not do well at, however, is advancing the main story of the Corpse Party series. It certainly adds a lot of background to the Corpse Party mythos though, and it will satisfy fans of the first game as long as long as they are not expecting a full blown sequel.

In concept, Book of Shadows starts out with what one would actually expect to be a unique continuation of the first game’s story. The opening cutscene shows the depressing aftermath of the first game’s ending for where reality has been altered so that everyone who died during the events of the first game has never existed in real life yet the remaining cast members still remember them. This is shown to be particularly bad for Naomi Nakashima who is shown falling into clinical depression in the game’s opening cutscene. Strangely enough, this is the only part of the game that takes place directly after the first one until the game’s final chapter. Instead the chapters seem to take some really strange directions and seem to be as far from advancing the main plot as possible.

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