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MortalKombat2007

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Animated Memories (10 items)
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Published 6 years, 4 months ago
Best Castlevania Games (8 items)
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Recent reviews

Contra ReBirth review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 4 July 2011 01:47 (A review of Contra ReBirth)

I feel Contra Rebirth is not faithful to its own title. The title “Rebirth” should imply a series reboot. However, Contra Rebirth feels more like a rehash. In addition, this game does not provide the challenge other Contra games had with a balanced and rewarding difficulty.

There is not really much to say about its game play. If you played Contra III before, you know what to expect. The game has the usual 2-Player co-op mode. The player(s) can carry and switch between two weapons at a time provided they have two of different types. The game does not offer much motion controls as expected but player can switch between weapons by shaking the Wii-mote, which I think is a nice touch to the game play. There are three different weapons aside from the default weapon. The spread gun shoots a spray of bullets. It comes very handy to against large groups of enemies. The laser can shoot through enemies. It is useful when enemies are blocking your path from the target enemy, especially enemy spawning blockades. The homing missiles are great for swift and hard to reach enemies.

The graphics of the game are fantastic. The game is vibrant and colorful which is difficult to say about most games today. The boss design I felt were uninspiring. The first boss is giant worm-like creature. Ordinarily, I would not criticize the first boss of any game because I would expect the good stuff of the game to come later. However, the game is really short and there is not much mind-blowing further into the game. Even the final boss is not all that great All it is some meteorite-like blob throwing several cliché attacks at the player. If the game is to be going to short game, it should deliver in creativity. Yes, I know I should not spoil the game, but you are not missing much.

The soundtrack is not bad, but it lacks originality. While I do not mind homage to the original Contra games, but there does not seem to be any original compositions. I really find to this to be rather lazy than being a throwback to the old games. Compare the game soundtrack to Super Castlevania IV; the game uses three tracks from the NES games of the Castlevania series but as well as original music. Contra Rebirth on the other hand uses nothing but tracks from past Contra games. While I am aware most video games series do use reoccurring themes, but often times, they also compensate with original music to add to the series music library. Contra Rebirth offers no new auditory themes.

Unlike most games today, the score system served a purpose in the Contra series, which was used to gain extra lives. Using such system actually balances the series difficulty. These games did not leave the player hanging with only a few lives. However, in Contra Rebirth, there is no kind way to gain extra lives. There is score system but it serves no purpose. Instead, you are given the option to start with a stock up to seven lives. On top of that, Contra Rebirth also has an infinite supply of continue. Yes, it is true Contra III also offered some these feature, but still kept the score system. As a Contra fan, I do not like these features because unlike in the original series, Contra Rebirth offers no sense of accomplishment.

What is more disappointing is that the game is only five levels long. The stages aren’t that particularly long either. This would not be so much of a big deal if the game stuck with the default difficulty format from the series. Since Konami didn't, the least they of done is make Contra Rebirth a lengthy game to make up for it. There are also only three collectable weapons in the game, unlike in Contra III, which there were five. It feels like Contra Rebirth was intended for a mobile phone. Sure, it is on Wiiware, but if game as brilliant as Cave Story can make its way to Wiiware, there is no excuse to treat the service as something lower. Contra III even made its way to the Virtual Console if that is any indication.

I still recommend this game, but be aware that Contra Rebirth does not live up to its own title as it should. It also maybe a great place to start if you are just getting into the series, but to a long time Contra fan, Contra Rebirth falls short. If your Contra fan, only download Contra Rebirth after you played many of the Contra games before this one.


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Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood review

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 30 April 2011 07:31 (A review of Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood)

Devil's Castle Dracula X Rondo of Blood, often referred to as Castlevania X (but I will be calling it Rondo of Blood to avoid confusion with Dracula X) in America, “was” a PC-Engine game released exclusively in Japan. However, Both Europe and America received a “down-graded” version called Castlevania: Dracula X (or Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss in Europe.) Dracula X lacked the several features Castlevania X had. It wouldn’t be till years later Rondo of Blood would be released overseas. Rondo of Blood was eventually released as Castlevania X Chronicles which included an emulated version of the game as well as 2.5D remake. Rondo of Blood was also later released on the Wii’s Virtual Console service.

The story in Rondo of Blood is very weak. Dracula is once again revived and build ups a dark army to destroy a village where Richter Belmont reside as well as kidnapping several villagers including Richter’s girlfriend, Annette, and her sister, Maria. The plot is very much just a typical “rescue the princess”, provided if the player feel like doing so, as rescuing the villagers are not a requirement to beat the game.

The game play starts with a “battle” with death on a horse and carriage. With a set up like that, you know in for a good game. Rondo of Blood has excellent music, but most of it, does not seem fitting in any level. Much like Super Castlevania IV (but not, Dracula X) there is a variety of themed levels, including, dungeons, swamps, bridges, and my favorite, the pirate ship.

Rondo of Blood consists of alternate paths in most levels much like in Castlevania III. The route select is gone and selecting routes is rather done in more “real-time,” such as falling into pits or using or an elevator Sometimes leading to new bosses, however, some bosses are also repeats. Depending on what route the player, he or she, may discover a secret level. If hidden levels are to be missed, the game does feature a level select allowing the player to go back to a level to look for them.

Rondo of Blood is probably the first game in the series to feature spendable cash. Unlike in previous installments, cash is no longer worth just points, but unfortunately, money may be only used to purchase “boss tactic.” There also does not seem to be a way save your cash count without having to resort to the “Game Over” screen. That screen seems to be the only way to save your cash count. The money used in Rondo of Blood is just as pointless as points unless you are really having trouble with those bosses.

The bosses as expected are made up of generic movie and mythological monsters such as a werewolf and a minotaur. Many of the bosses from the original Castlevania also return for a difficult endurance round. Of course, it cannot be Castlevania without Dracula and Death. The best part about the bosses is just after they are defeated, they will attempt to strike the player with one final blow.

There are two playable characters in Rondo of Blood. Richter Belmont uses the trusty vampire killer or “whip” most people calls it. Unlike Simon in Super Castlevania who can whip in all five direction much like in Contra, instead, Rondo of Blood features, a “crash” ability allow the player to use a upgraded sub-weapon attack, if the player has enough hearts. I found most of these moves to be almost useless. The player will probably have no trouble getting to end of the game without, especially with the secondary character, Maria.Maria Renard is only playable provided that you rescued here. She is the only hostage to be playable. Strangely enough, she appears to a child, much like one of the protagonists in Castlevania 64. She also makes Rondo of Blood much easier. When playing as Maria, the meat, which refills Richter’s health, is replaced by desserts and all her weapons make use of animals. This may seem strange at first, but it is rather creative, especially when using her sub-weapons. Maria uses doves as here main weapon. With here doves, she can attack slightly more consecutively than Richter. While Richter’s attack may have a longer range, Maria can attack enemies at lower positions than Richter can even at crouch position. Maria can also execute a double jump, thus, reaching higher platforms much quicker than Richter. The only drawback Maria has is that she takes more damage than Richter can handle. While both characters are great to play as, the developers clearly did not evenly balanceed out both characters correctly because

Rondo of Blood is indeed an excellent game. It is graphically stunning, and very fun to pick up to play numerous times over. It is definitely a recommended for Castlevania fans.


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Cave Story review

Posted : 6 years, 6 months ago on 30 April 2011 07:14 (A review of Cave Story)

Cave Story was developed by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya on his own. It was released on December 20, 2004 in the Japanese language. While Pixel has produced the game, other people also took in interest to do work on the game from a translation to a mainstream release on Nintendo consoles and handhelds. Aeon Genesis translated the game to English. SkyeWelse developed a Tribute Site to give back to Pixel as well as bring in new fans of Cave Story.

Cave Story involves a robot from the surface named Quote who wakes up in a cave with no memory of his purpose of his existence. Quote finds his way to Mimiga Village and discovers that, Toroko, an inhabitant of the village, who by was abducted because he was mistaken for a girl named Sue. Sue is a human girl from the surface who was transformed into a Mimiga and was the person the Doctor intended to kidnap. The Doctor intentions are to create an army of rapid Mimigas and dominate the surface world. Quote must discover the purpose of his life, what makes the Mimigas into ferocious creatures and put a halt to the Doctors plans to invade the surface. During Quote’s adventure, he will meet up with several characters which in some cases require him to make a decision. His decision how he interact with those characters will reflect the outcome of the game. That is probably the only downside of the game. It can be very aggravating trying to get the best ending when the player realizes he made an incorrect decision, so the player forced to play through the game again. Thankfully, Cave Story not that long a game. It is very possible to beat it in a day.

The game play is very reminiscent to the Metroid series, although, it is much more based on story than exploration. You will not find yourself backtracking just for a Missile Expansion or a Life Capsule, though those upgrades exists in the game, but you are likely to come across them along the way to the end of the game. It is usually more likely for the player to backtrack to collect a key item that will progress the story a little more. There are several weapons to find in the game. Some of which can only obtained, again, by decisions you make throughout the game. Weapons are upgraded by collecting Energy Crystal. Every weapon can upgrade to a maximum of three. Some weapons even possess special advantages at maximum level. However, the weapon level decreases when the player takes damage. The difficulty is well balanced. The player is not thrown into a randomly difficult boss early in the game, nor is the map design too easy to traverse really late in the game. Cave Story is very easy from the start but the difficulty racks up as the player progresses through; just how the difficulty of most games should be.

Cave Story was also released on Wiware, DSiware, and is in development for the 3DS; developed by Nicalis. If you have not played Cave Story, then get on that computer of your and download it. It is legal to do so there is no excuse not to try it. You might actually find yourself enjoying it and later purchasing off Wiiware or DSiware which is well worth the money.


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