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REVIEW: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow RETRO REVIEW: Zelda II: Adventure of Link

Hello, anyone reading this blog! Thankfully it's getting close to Thanksgiving Vacation, so I can just relax at home for a little bit and get some QUALITY food for once, and not college food. BUt anyways, after a long break due to being busy and active in my college community, I am here to make another review. Heh, I just realized that this my third castlevania review in 9 review blogs. Interesting.

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CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW

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STORY: The main protagonist in this game is Gabriel (who refers to himself as Gabriel Belmont, but actually isn't one. *shrug*). God is ignoring the world and evil is running rampant, and on behalf of the brotherhood he is affiliated with, he is on a quest to gain the masks of the Lords of Shadow. But that's only part of it, Gabriel's main intent to to get revenge for his dead wife, Marie.

each time you start a chapter, you'll get a narration by a character named Zobek (who is voiced by Patrick Stewart), and it's a pretty neat addition that sets the mood for the upcoming chapter. This character Zobek takes place in the story too, and follows Gabriel on his quest. There are other characters you run across that affect Gabriel as well.

Overall the story was enjoyable. There are twists here and there, which help to spice things up (though some are predictable), and it's intriguing to see how Gabriel progresses through his adventure, and how all the events affect him.

GAMEPLAY: This isn't a 2D Sidescroller castlevania, nor is it a "Metroidvania", non-linear castlevania game, Lords of Shadow decided to change things for Castlevania yet again and it is an action game. In a way, though, the genre could kinda appeal to both those who liked the 2D sidescrollers, since Lords of shadows is linear, for the most part, and those who like Metroidvanias, since there are still different paths here and there which lead to upgrades that help your character grow stronger. But whatever the case, the main focus here is action.In the end I do approve of this new direction Konami went with this game went.

This game is probably one of the longer Castlevanias there are (which is ironic considering it is linear). Playing the 360 version, the game spans two discs! So if you're lazy and don't like switching discs, either 1) get the PS3 version 2) deal with it, doesn't take that damn long anyways, sheesh...

Because Lords of shadow is an action game, there are plenty of combos, skills, and moves that can be acquired (bought with XP points) throughout the adventure. You also get subweapons (like every other Castlevania game): knives, Holy water, fairies, and a dark crystal. You also get light and shadow magic; light magic heals you with every hit dealt to ana enemy, and shadow magic increases your strength. Light and shadow magic can be combined with moves for even more combos. So as you can see, there is a large variety of attacks that can be used. Whether you use the large assortment of techniques or not though is another story. I found myself using certain handful of moves/combos the whole game, and I don't I ever used a fairy once except for when you had to use it for a certain part, and I only used a dark crystal in combat two or three times, but then again I have yet to try the harder difficulties yet, so maybe that would change.and yup, like any other Action game Lords of shadows has different difficulty settings; 4 in total. I don't recall their names, but it's basically you're typical "easy", "normal", "hard", "very hard" settings, or so I assume, anyways. I started with the "normal" setting, so perhaps playing in the two harder difficulties.

This game does have puzzles as well, alot of puzzles as a matter of fact. Some of them were clever and some were fun, but some could be annoying, like the ones that involve thechupacabra. Thechupacabra taks all your powers away and you have to try to find him while he taunts you with his extremely annoying voice. The music box chapter later in the game can also be annoying.

Another thing that makes this like other action games, is that there are plenty of huge bosses to fight.

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You'll certainly never see something like this be some lowly normal enemy.

These certainly were some epic battles, and provided some fun. One thing though is that having to hold the RT button (and whatever it is on the PS3 version) when these bosses try to shake you off can get redundant, and if you screw up while trying to climb these titans, having to reclimb everything can also be a bit of a pain at times. So these battles can be a bit annoying when you first do them and when you don't know what you are doing. A big part of these battles is pretty much remembering how these big baddies react.

But there are plenty of smaller bosses to deal with as well, that deal less with memorization and more on skill. These ones are a bit more fun.

One thing all bosses have in common though is that to finish them off, you'll have to do the dreaded QTE's (Quick-Time Events). These didn't hurt Lord of Shadows too much (most were easy), but they can still be a minor nuisance. I should be able to view Gabriel kicking some undead/monster ass or Gabriel yoinking away an enemy's weapon to use it against them in peace without having to worry about some random QTE to ruin the whole battle and possibly get a game over.

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Hammer time!

The controls work well for the most part. using X for direct attacks and Y for area attacks works well for combos. One thing that can be an issue, however, is the camera. The camera cannot be controlled and is always in a set position. This can lead to issues in combat at times, and can be frustrating if you get cornered.

There is plenty of content to give you motivation to play this game more. There is extra content like artwork you can purchase, there are different difficulties as I have already said, and upgrades that can be collected throughout the game. It's not as extensive as Bayonetta, but it gets the job done.

While this game strayed from the usual Castlevania formula(s), It was still an enjoyable adventure. Did it feel like a Castlevania? It did, somewhat. This game was certainly different, but at the same time, so was Symphony of the Night when it was first released, and I'd call that a Castlevania, as well as all the other Metroidvanias. There's also plenty of references to past castlevanias, whether it be from weapons or enemies. And the game still has that same Gothic feel. For all we know we may see plenty of other action-y Castlevania games. It will be interesting to see, for sure.

PRESENTATION: The graphics in this game are stunning. The different settings that can be seen are all a beautiful sight, and they settings are varied. The music provides an ambient feel, and is quite good, as Castlevania music usually is. Overall top-notch presentation.

OVERALL: Konami took a new path with Castlevania into the action genre, and while there were some flaws, it was still a pretty good journey, with great production values to boot! Castlevania: Lords of Shadows gets 8.5!

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RETRO REVIEW: LEGEND OF ZELDA II: ADVENTURE OF LINK

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Yeah, that's right, Zelda II, probably the most infamous Zelda game amongst Zelda fans. being a huge Zelda nerd myself (hence the massive amount of Link avatars I possess), I figured I had to discuss this game.

The story of Zelda II takes place right after Zelda 1 on the NES. Ganon has been defeated, but that's not the last that Link has to worry about that over-sized pig. Your enemies are after Link's blood, and they intend to use it to revive Ganon!

OH NO!

But no worries, You're Link! A hero! You can fight off this evil!.......if you can get past the absurd difficulty that is. But I'll get to that later.

This is the most unique Zelda game there is, because like all other Zelda games, this one is a 2D side-scroller when in combat and in towns/dungeons, and the only time you see a topdown view like in other Zeldas is when in on the world map, which is just used to get from point A to Point B anyways, with some combat sometimes (where it then goes to 2D anyways). At the time this game was made, however, this wasn't exactly something that was different for the Zelda series or something that goes against what Zelda is or whatever, since there was only one other Zelda game made before. I for one. I actually have nothing against the 2D sidescrolling in Zelda II, there were just some other things that brought down this game for me.

One of the biggest issues, and one I'm sure anyone who has played the game or even heard of it know about, is that when you die, you ALWAYS return back to beginning point of the game, except at the final dungeon. This was just unneeded, really. All this did as make players waste more time to have to travel back to where they were previously, time that COULD have been used to try and get more used to the area they were at previously. And it's not like Nintendo didn't know better at the time or anything, because Zelda 1 allowed to to start back at the beginning of a dungeon if you got a game over, and as I mentioned, if you got a game over in the final dungeon of Zelda II, you started at the beginning. So what were the developers thinking?...I have no damn clue. It still baffles me.

The other thing that kills the game is that it was FRUSTRATING as hell. partly due to the stupid idea of having to return to the beginning of the game when you get a game over, but also that Link was a freaking wimp!

First off, His sword was barely a sword, I mean look:

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Whatever happened to the master sword? That looks more like the master butterknife! Though I guess if it were longer it may have made the game too easy, but whatever, still seems kinda silly...

Link doesn't have much of a variety when it comes to weapons/tools. All you can ever attack with is your sword. NO booomerang, no arrows, a candle to burn things, a magic rod, etc. There is magic, but this isn't much help. There is a fire spell which shoots fire from your sword, which is alright, I guess. There is a reflect spell, but it's only useful against Wizzrobes. There's a thunder spell that kills all enemies onscreen, but also drains all your magic, so meh. Everything else is just for defense/health or other weird stuff. There is also a beam sword attack, but can only be used at full health, which will NOT be that often, unless you're someone who has played this game hundreds of times, in which case, DAAAAYYYYUUUUM.

Atleast Link has a downward thrust move, though that probably takes a little bit to get used to.

But at the same time there are enemies who can toss spears, axes, use long ranged spells, rocks, fly around, or there is a boss that used a huge ass club, and a dragon that spews fire. There are enemies from the final dungeon that I remember just go berserk and shoot fire everywhere, or something like that. All this while Link is mostly retricted to the Master Butterknife. I just can't help but feel Link is a wimp compared to some enemies. And these disadvantages can be frustrating, and not fun.

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Better get used to seeing this...

Now is this a bad game? I wouldn't go that far, the production value for the time was quite good, and when I'm not getting so pissed at the game I could feed my TV the NES controller, the gameplay is decently fun. And like every Zelda, there's stuff to collect (extra health for health bar, extra magic for magic bar, spells, etc.), which is an aspect I've always loved in Zelda games. So at the very least, I would call this a Zelda game, and a "not bad game" (a hell of alot more than could be said for the CDi abominations). But to call Zelda II a "good game" would be quite the stretch for me, and seeing all the other masterpieces within the Zelda series, I just can't see myself ever wanting to go back to this.

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That's all! Now that I have Castlevania: Lord of shadows beat, I'll probably move onto Kirby: Epic Yarn, and then give that a review, now to follow my usual custom:

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows - Belmont's Theme

Zelda II - Palace theme

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Metroid: Other M RETRO REVIEW: Final Fantasy VII

Hello! here I am again with more reviews. Doing this now before I have to deal with work and school tomorrow again. Would have done this sooner, but college takes priority, of course. So now Reviewing Metroid Other M, a highly controversial Metroid game for the direction it was taken in. I'm not going to get into the controversy too much though and just focus on the game. Besides, if I focused on my opinion of Metroid Other M's controversy, this blog would be longer than a Harry Potter Book! Anyways...

METROID OTHER M

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STORY: Metroid Other M takes place right after Super Metroid, and at the beginning of the game we witness the final battle of Super Metroid again, only this time in the form of a nicer looking 3D cutscene, and this time we hear Samus giving commentary. After the battle with Mother Brain and the sacrifice of the Baby Metroid, we see Samus awaken in a lab, and then afterwards she heads tp go train to get to accustomed with her newly polished suit (which is where you are given a tutorial on how the game controls). Samus then heads for the "bottle ship", where she runs into past acquaintances, one of which is Adam Malkovich, her old leader when she was in the Galactic federation. After a conversation with Adam and his troop, samus decides to join along with their mission and is under Adams order again.

This game has put more of an emphasis on the story this time. We see Samus go from a 1-dimensional character to a 3-dimensional character, and therefore we get to hear her talk much more than we usually do, whether it be her talking amongst other characters or when she gives her own commentary after certain events. samus was pretty much how she was in Metroid Fusion, only more fleshed out than that. It's nice to hear Samus's thoughts and feelings on things as she traverses the now mostly isolated Bottle Ship and to learn more about Samus's younger years when she was in under Adam's command.

This Metroid game also added voice-acting, something that wasn't really in past Metroid games (unless you want to count all the "oomph's" and "aaahhhs" samus made in the Prime games). It wasn't bad, but could have done a bit better probably, but still, many of the characters had voices I could see them having, and none never really got on my nerves. So I have no issue.

The story overall is quite good considering it's one of the first metroid games to really put a large focus on story. There are interesting twists to spice things up, such as the occurrence of the "deleter." And it's also nice to get see what Adam is like, since we only got to knew of him in Fusion when Samus talked about him or when dealing with the computer Adam.

GAMEPLAY: Metroid Other M changed things up a bit with the Metroid formula this time. There's more of an emphasis on action now, and the game is more linear then most other Metroid games. Samus can now dodge by pressing any direction on the D-Pad right before an enemy hits. She can also pull off powerful finishers by jumping on certain enemies to kill them or deal heavy damage. There's also auto aim now, where the nearest enemy gets targeted for you. overall the action-based combat was pulled off very well. battles now feel more intense now that you have to worry about timing your dodges and fighting enemies is fun now with finishing moves along and the dodge mechanic.

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Charge beam-on. apply directly to the forehead!

Another change is that this game is now in 2.5. you'll be switching between two viewpoints, one being a third person view where you run and gun as Samus and jump around, and then a first person view like metroid Prime's you utilize by pointing the Wii-mote at the TV where you can use missiles, grapple beam, and scan stuff. And this brings me to another point, and that's that this game is controlled with ONLY the Wii-mote, no nunchuck. You'll be moving with the D-pad and the 1 and 2 buttons to jump and attack, A button to morph ball, etc.

Considering this is an action game controlled with ONLY a Wii-mote, the fact that game controls quite fluidly and the combat works well is quite impressive. I had no issues using all weapons or moving around. There were some iffy moments when trying to switch to first person and it's hard to get used to at first, but most of the time it worked well. team Ninja really did a good job mapping the controls to just the Wii-mote.

One addition I wasn't crazy about is when Samus was forced into first person view and had you trying to look for a certain thing in the surrounding area. These usually took me a while because a some of them were just so obscured and hard to see, that and sometimes I didn't know what to really look for. These parts of the game only ended up breaking the flow of the story and gameplay. It just ended up being an annoying, stale version of "I Spy", if anything.

Also, like most other Metroids, Samus starts out with none of her powers except her normal beam, though instead of her losing the abilities due to getting attacked (Metroid prime 1 and 2), or for no explanation, she isn't able to use them due to Adam having to authorize when she is allowed to use them in Other M. Sometimes it can be silly, but reasons for her not being able use all of her powers in past Metroids were silly as well, so it doesn't really matter.

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One thing Samus is allowed to do is fish.

Now while there were some changes to this Metroid game, this game actually still felt alot like a Metroid game. Many of the weapons, upgrades, and power-ups in previous Metroid games returned in Other M, plus some new ones such as accelerators for your charge beam. many enemies and bosses from previous Metroids also made a comeback in Other M. many of the areas you will go through will be like those of past Metroid games (Wildlife, nature area, ice wasteland area, magma, volcanic area, laboratory, etc.). There is plenty of ambient music along with these areas like past Metroid games. And most importantly, there is still exploration to be had in Other M even though it is more linear. There will be plenty of times you will backtrack to certain areas to get a power-up you may have missed last time due to not seeing it or not being able to reach it due to not having an ability authorized. There are plenty of secret passages or hidden spots scattered around the game with missile expansions and energy parts, etc. In the 11 hours it took me to beat the game I got only 65% of all items, so even after all that time there was still much more spelunking to do. This plus a hard mode gives Other M replayability. Ninja team did not forget the Metroid fanbase when making this game. I really felt I was playing Metroid game while playing Other M

PRESENTATION: The Graphics in this game are terrific. The game has a nice polish and shine to it and everything is nicely detailed. The way Samus runs through areas and tackles and pins enemies is also nicely animated, and the cutscenes in this game are very well done and look great. The music as I've already mentioned is ambient like past Metroids. Music wasn't quite as strong in Other M as it was in past installments, but there's still some good music.

OVERALL: While there have been some changes, most of which worked, this still felt like a Metroid adventure. Metroid Other M had really fun combat and it was interesting to go deeper into Samus's character. Not the best Metroid game but still a damn good Metroid game. Other M scores a 9.0/10!

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RETRO REVIEW: FINAL FANTASY VII

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Ahhhhhhhhhhh, yes, Final Fantasy VII, one of the biggest JRPGs there are. FFVII's success really helped make JRPGs more popular over here in the west. For many this game is a masterpiece and one of the best JRPGs ever, for many it isn't anywhere near it. And of course for others it was a "good", but not "great" experience.

You start off the game seeing a certain pink-clothed, brown-haired girl walking around Midgar, then the view encompasses all of Midgar and then the words "FINAL FANTASY VII" appear right there, and then bam! You next see a train stop, and our spikey-haired hero Cloud jump out and your adventure begins as Cloud and the rest of AVALANCHE prepare to blow up a reactor.

The rest of the story deals with learning about Cloud and "his past", and his relationship with other characters like Zack and Sephiroth and Aeris, etc., all while taking down a power-hungry corporation, dealing with the psychotic Sephiroth, SOLDIER, the military group Cloud used to be a member of, and other stuff. So there's plenty of stuff going on with the plot (hence why there are probably a billion spin-offs of FFVIII, that and it's so damn popular). So the story can be a bit hard to follow at times, but it's still an enjoyable story, and the fact that's there so much to FFVII's plot gives you much to think about and analyze (or reason to buy said spin-offs), which can be a nice thing.

The game's graphics were nice at the time the game was released. The character models may have been blocky and look like over-sized legos, but the settings had nice details for the time and sometimes looked kinda realistic:

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Sure by today's standards they look bad, but it'd be silly to bash a retro game for not having graphics matching that of today's games, so meh. But atleast the the battle screen graphics were better:

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One thing that is still quite good to this day is the music. FFVII had many great tracks, and of course the famous One-Winged Angel that still sounds ****ing epic (but then again what song DOESN'T sound epic with a choir chanting stuff in an olden language?)

The gameplay of FFVII is turned base, and also uses the ATB like many old FF titles used. where enemies could take their turns while you are still determining what you want to do and vice versa. Gotta love that ATB system makes it so you always have to stay focused.

The main part of FFVII's gameplay was the Materia System. It's how you learned all magic or summons or gave you characters various commands, and could even boost stats. The materia system revoolved all around, well, materia, which are magical stones, pretty much. You would find Materia in treasure chests, enemies might drop it it, you could buy some as well. You could also level up materia as well, which is how you got better magic or better stat boosts, or better battle commands.

What was nice about the materia system wwas that even if you leveled up materia on a certain character, you could give the leveled materia to another character, and that character that just got the leveled materia could still get the benefits of the materia's levels. This makes customizatiion much easier, so now spells and abilities or stat boosts don't have to stay restricted to characters, you're free to switch around materia with characters to set them up how you want. Of course if you want more than one character to have, say, blizzard 3, you'll need to level up more blizzard materia if you more characters to have blizzard 3, so there's still some grinding tedium to be had at times when it comes to getting your characters powered up, but it's a JRPG, so what are ya gonna do?

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Or if you managed to get yourself a gold chocobo later in the game you could just get the knights of the round materia and obliterate everything in sight with ease...well, except Ruby and Emerald weapon...

This game also had limit breaks. FFVII wasn't the first to introduce this; FFVI had it, though it was much more easier and likley for you to get it in FFVII than FFVI. In FFVII, each character has a "limit" bar, and it increases each time your character got attacked. Once full, your character could pull of an extra powerful attack on a single enemy or group of enemies. Each character has 4 levels of limit breaks (except Cait Sith), each level being better than the last, and the 4th having the strongest for each character. Limit breaks were another great way to fight and also something else to try to collect all of, which is always a plus for an RPG.

So is FFVII one of the best RPGs out there? well, it's all subjective obviously, but for me it's one of the most memorable and impactful for me, and still holds up as an amazing experience, so for me it's ONE of my favorites.

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And that's that, two more reviews taken care of. For my next review may end up being Castlevania Lords of Shadow for thee 360, that game has me interested right now, and retro review I don't know I'll think of something I'm sure, so we will see...

whatever, MUSIC TIME:

Metroid Other M - Stage 1

Final Fantasy VII - Aeris's theme

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Castlevania Adventure Rebirth RETRO REVIEW: Breath of Fire II

I'm back! Just moved into college a week ago and have just been adjusting to my new dorm this year (hence why I waited longer too do this blog). BUt I feel like I should do another review before I do one of Metroid Other M (which I will definitely pick up next week). So I decided to go with a WiiWare title that released almost a year ago, Castlevania Adventure Rebirth.

CASTLEVANIA THE ADVENTURE REBIRTH

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STORY: You play Chris Belmont and you must make sure Dracula is killed yet again......yup.......

GAMEPLAY: This game Returns Castlevania to it's cIassicc, 2D pltforming, non-Metroid-like roots. Castlevania Adventure Rebirth is a remake of an old Gameboy game "The Castlevania Adventure." I never played this gameboy game so I cannot really compare if the remake is better or not, but oh well.

This game is rather short, and is only compromised of 6 stages, the final stage just being the final battle with the ever-so-persistant Dracula. You could easily beat this game in one sitting...or, well, you HAVE to beat this game in one sitting, because there is no save feature in this game. And no, you can't just pause the game with the Wii menu and then return to the Wii home menu with hopes the game willl keep you where you are at. If you want to beat this game, it's gotta be in one sitting. But this isn't really much of an issue since again, this game is very short.

And one thing that's nice is that you can customize your game to match your skill level. For one, you can choose how many lives you want. If you are just starting this game, or if Adventure Rebirth is your first Castlevania game, you can always start out with 9 lives to make things easier for you, or if you play this game alot and get accustomed to it, you can always keep it at the normal amount of lives, or even less. Also, there are two control types, Normal and cIassic. Normal is the, well, normal control setting of the game, while the cIassic setting makes the controls feel more stiff, like the cIassic NES castlevania games where once you jump in a direction, you go in that direction and can't move around in the air. CIassic is for those who want to challenge themselves and/or for fans of the NES castlevanias want to have a bit of a nostalgic experience. me personally I did not care for the NES titles (one of the reasons being the stiff controls) so I just stick with normal.

The gameplay is what you'd expect from any 2d Castlevania platformer. You go through each stage whooping evil ass with the vampire killer, finding subweapons, hearts,whip enhancements, coins, and other random items to net you more points to eventually gain you an extra life.

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And like any Castlevania game you have to whip Death to...death.

This game does have multiple paths, though this game doesn't expand on it as much as Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse did. In Adventure Rebirth, Going different paths will not make you go to different stages or substages nor decide what extra character you bring along (because Adventuure Rebirth does not have any other playable character other than Chris Belmont); you still always go in the same stages each playthrough. In this game taking different paths just simply makes it so you can experience a stage differently, and in effect make each playthrough a different experience if you wish, plus get different items. So there is replay value with this game, with there being secrets to find and different paths to make each playthrough different, there's reason to come back this game, along with the fact that the game is just plain fun.

Now unfortunately Konami has yet again neglected adding the 8-way whipping that was in Super Castlevania IV. I don't get why they don't add it in any other 2D Castlevania games, the 8-way whipping in Super Castlevania IV was awesome, and made fighting enemies more entertaining. What they could have done was add 8-way whipping in normal mode and then take it away in cIassic mode so cIassic mode still retains the feeling of the NES Castlevanias, and also make both normal and cIassic modes be that much more different.

PRESENTATION: The graphics in this game are decent, nothing really special too special, but still nice to look at. It certainly is quite an update from the Gameboy game.

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The music on the other hand, is pretty meh overall. Nothing really jumps out at me, and some of the midi sounds they used were quite bland. It's unfortunate really, Castlevania games are usually known for their great soundtracks, and this one disappoints, though Adventure Rebirth isn't the only castlevania game guilty of this...

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...But to be fair, I guess the music in that game was fitting considering a title like that...

A good amount of music in this game are remade pieces from past Castlevamia games. The tune from the first stage of this game is the tune from the first stage of Castlevania Bloodlines, the mini-boss and boss themes in this game are boss themes from some obscure Japanese Arcade Castlevania game, the final boss's third form music is from Castlevania III's second to last stage. etc.

OVERALL: Those who enjoy the older Castlevanias will find enjoyment from Adventure Rebirth, or any castleevania fan should give this game a check. It's a short but fun game that you will want to come back to, and maybe playthrough differently. This game gets a 7.5/10.

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RETRO REVIEW: BREATH OF FIRE II

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Hmph, I posted both the above pics, because it is quite hilarous how different they are, and how the United States always liked to turn many japanese, anime characters into muscly he-men to try to give the game a more tougher more extreme look.

Anyways, in this game your main character is Ryu, and you first see him as a little boy whom lives with his father and sister in a church. Later on things get weird as your father and sister disappear, you make a friend named Bow and run into a cave to find a giant menacing demon named Barubary then ten years later the real adventure begins.

This is a turn-based JRPG and in the game you find different characters that excel in different ways and each have their own unique special abilities. Their's Katt who is extremely fast and powerful and can taunt enemies so they attack her, Nina who can cast alot of powerful attack magic and use "will" which helps recover a little AP, Bow who ends up being one of the best healers and has a possible one-hit kill shot attack, ect. The battle system is nothing unique, but it is still fun.

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What is it with JRPGs and very early game slime enemies?

This game isn't a walk in the park and will challenge you and keep you on your toes. Every dungeon or cave you go through will not have a save place (except the last one) and rarely will you see a healing fountain in them, so you've always got to be prepared. Anytime you get a game over you will start out at the last save point, and still have any experience you may have gotten before getting a game over without saving! The trade-off being that any time you get a game over, you also lose half the amount of money you had, which is just as bad as losing any experience you earned if you had a large amount of gold.

The visuals of this game are great. The game is colorful and vibrant, and the fact that there are many different tribes based off of animals makes for a good amount of vastly different looking sprites, just not mostly human looking ones with different colored clothes, an this helps add to the visual variety. The sound and music are great too. The battle themes are sweet and rocking and help to add some more "oomph" to battles, along with some nice sound effects, especially when it comes to spells. I mean, I just love how Bolt X sounds as it crashes against the ground and enemies.

The story sin't anything special. The dialogue is very simplistic at most times, I find it hard to care about any characters, and most of the story seems to involve traveling from area to area saving places by defeating demons, at first doing so to help a friend then later on to save the world. That being said there are some cool moments, like at the intro you see after just starting a new game, you see some big weird eye open up all of a sudden in the dark as some creepy music starts to play.

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Every character you get has their own on field ability, an ability they can use out of battle. Stuff like this is usually great, like the different tools you have to utilize in Lufia II in order to solve a puzzle, same thing with the Wild Arms series and Golden Sun series. The thing is though, that these abilities in Breath of Fire II are never used for puzzles, but instead are just there to help you get to the next area, whether it be to break boulders or walk through forested areas on the world map or hunting. The problem with this is, you cannot change party members on the world map and only at save statues. If you go to your next destination and don't have the character you need to progress through the area, you'll have to travel all the way to the nearest save point to get the member, and then travel all the way back to the previous destination you needed to go through. This makes these abilities more of an inconvenience and frusterating than fun.

Another inconvenience is that Breath of Fire II does not really give much clue on where to go next in the game; it's very very vague. This game may or may not require some sort of guide to help aim you in the right directiion, which is a pain.

This game also has "uniting" where one of your characters unites their soul with a shaman's soul to hopefully get more powerful. Could just be a littlle stat boost, could be a "fusion" which changes your character sprite's colors and have even more of a stat boost, and then there's transformations, which give the best stat increases and not only different colors but a different form. One gripe I have with this whole system is that the uniting isn't permanent, and it can easily be lost. If a character gets into critical condition, then it's gone, which could end up taking only two or three hits depending on the character and enemies. Also, there are a few main moments in the game that will make you lose your fusion/transformation for some stupid reason. One of these main moments are in the final dungeon, which really sucks, because it is a long way from the entrance to where the event took place, which means you'll have to do a bunch of traveling to get the uniting for your characters again and then travel through the very long first part of final dungeon to reach where you left off there.

I loved the idea at first, but the fact that you can lose it so easily ruins it. When I upgrade, I want to be able to permanently KEEP it, Not downgrade to a lesser power. It'd be like giving a small child a large lollipop, and the snatching it away from him after a dozen licks. It just takes away any awesomeness that could have been the "shaman uniting" system.

Overall, Breath of Fire II is a decent, good title. It's nothing special nor is it as good as some of the JRPG cIassics, but it's still a fun game worth checking out.

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Another review blog wrapped up. I had fun writing this, and I'm sure I will enjoy writing a review about Metroid Other M after I play it for a good amount. But anyways...

Castlevania The Adventure Rebirth

Breath of Fire II - Sleeping Beauty

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Megaman Zero Collection RETRO REVIEW: Kirby 64: Crystal Shards

I'm back with another review, and this time I decided not to hold it off for a whole month! Go me! ^_^

Now I have never played these games before this collection, so I will review them each in depth as these games are fresh to me. ;)

MEGAMAN ZERO COLLECTION

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MEGAMAN ZERO 1

You start off the game seeing a scene where some scientist lady known as Ciel, who also happens to lead a resistance that fights against an area known as Neo Arcadia, is running away from, well, Neo Arcadian soldiers. She eventually runs into Zero's old, busted up body, or was busted up, before Ciel's "cyber elf" sacrificed itself to revive Zero to protect Ciel. After blasting through enemies and re-acquiring his trusty Z-saber, Zero's adventure truly begins!

In this game, every level is a mission, and following the usual megaman formula, you can pick whatever missions you want in any order. One thing about missions in this game, though, is that missions aren't actually required to beat the game. You could only do, maybe, 4 levels the whole game and beat it if you really wanted. Also, If you end up failing a mission by losing all retries, then you are left with two options, give up and start from last save. The former makes it so you permanently fail the mission and cannot retry it, and the latter does as it says, and leaves you at your last save.

This can lead to problems however. first off if you forget to save for a while and fail a mission, you'll have to do some backtracking after returning to your last save. Also if you beat a mission, but lose a large a mount of lives/retries, then whatever small amount of lives you have left is what you have towork with for all future missions until you find 1ups, or decide to fail a mission. So instead of sticking with the the traditional and effective continue system of any other platformer/action game I know of, this game tries a more realistic approach to game overs, and ultimately just makes things more complicated and also frusterating for completionists.

Onto the gameplay itself, one thing the MMZ series has added is cyber elves, which power you up in different ways. You can find them anywhere in any level or in the resistance base. But using a cyber elf kills it, and you cannot use it ever again, so you shouldn't just use them willy-nilly. Cyber elves are nice additions that add some more replay value for completionists and add a variety of ways for you to enhance yourself. Of course you always need to think before using cyber elves, because using one lowers your overall ranking. So if you want to get higher rankings, you actually have to get good at the game! *GASP*

The Megaman Zero series tends to pit a bigger focus on action than any other Megaman series. One thing to support this focus is the ranking systems in each MMZ game. Whatever ranking you are in any game is dependent on how much damage you take, how fast you complete a mission, how many cyber elves you used, etc. In MMZ1 the only thing the ranking system does is tell you how good you are or how much you suck. So for those that don't like sucking, there's more motivation to play again; a clever yet insulting tactic to get consumers to play your game more.

Unlike other megaman series, you don't copy bosses abilities in Megaman Zero 1, but instead get a fire chip, ice chip, and lightning chip when you beat a boss of the corresponding element. The main attacks in this game are the buster shot (good for range), Z-saber (powerful and good for close combat), triple rod (more powerful than Z-saber, but harder to master), and the shield boomerang (blocks enemy projectiles; can be used as boomerang attack if charged). This allows for you to set up your weapons and attacks how ever you ft and allows for some customization, something I always like seeing.

MEGAMAN ZERO 2

You start off seeing Zero walking in a desert in a sandstorm, then suddenly Neo Arcadianns attack and Zero of course gets ready to kick ass. Lateron you enter the new, improved resistance base and meet Elpizo, the "guy" who leads the resistance now...and wears pink and has long, flowing blonde hair...

...

Yes Elpizo is actually a "he"

Gender confusion aside, the story continues with Zero's and the resistance's battle against Neo Arcadia.

megaman Zero 2 certainly improved upon Zero 1. For one, that silly retry system from MMZ1 was scrapped for a traditional, tried and true continue system, making things nice and simple like they should be when it comes to game overs. Also Megaman Zero 2 added "forms", which are different armors for Zero that alter in stats in different ways, which adds another layer of customization which means more experimentation and therefore more fun.

Also included are "ex-skills", which are various weapon techniques. These add even more content to the game, though the problem with Ex-skills is, is that you can only egt them when at A or S rank, the two highest ranks. So in order to get useful abilities, you need to get so good at this game that you won't even need said abilities anymore anyways...great. What's next? a baseball team getting a steroid injection in the bum every time they win a game by a huge margin of runs?

They also replaced the triple rod with a chain rod, which can hook and drag items, and you can swing from ceilings using it (which you will certainly need to do at times). Otherwise the weapons are the same as before.

Overall this game is an improvement over MMZ1 in pretty much every way, except maybe the fact that the ranking system is now more of a ***** due to those ex-skills!

MEGAMAN ZERO 3

In this game's intro, Zero, Ciel, and some resistace soldier's go to Neo Arcadia to negotiate over Ciel's new energy system, and of course, things go to hell once a man known as Dr. weil and a giant reploid named Omega make an appearance. So after you deal with those jerkfaces you have to go on more missions.

This game has added even more new things to the MMZ series than the previous two installments. One thing they added were secret discs, which contain either info, energy crystals, or cyber elves. So there's even more now in this game to help give it more replay value. Like cyber elves, they can be found in any level or after doing certain tasks.

Also added to this game is "satellites", which are used for cyber elves. This is a very nice addition, because satellites make it so you can use a cyber elf without killing it, and therefore not having your rank tainga hit!...or also not having a guilty conscious and loss of sleep. There are only two, though, so you have to choose which two cyber elves you like the most, or you could switch it off between multiple cyber elves I suppose. Whatever the case satellites add a little more depth to the gameplay.

unfortunately, this game has the same idea with ex-skills that MMZ2 had, being that they can only be obtained in A or S rank, but satellities and the fact that there are now cyber elves who can raise your rank to A make it not as brutal as MMZ2. And also like MMZ2, MMZ3 decides it wants to be cool and non-conformist as well and have it's own rod weapon. Instead of a triple rod or chain rod, MMZ3 has a recoil rod, which, for me just isn't as fun or nice to use as the previous 2 rods. but whatever, weapons are a personal choice, so no big deal.

There aren't really forms anymore, but there is armor that gives Zero a certain element or maybe extra defense, and then there are foot chips and head chips. So while there are no longer the forms from MMZ2, there is still plenty of customization when it coes to Zero's armor.

Also, something new that was added exclusively to MMZ3 that wasn't in MMZ3 before, is mod cards. Mod cards strengthen Zero's weapons, add stuff to the setting of the resistance base, alter the appearannce of items etc. I find it strange they added this for MMZ3, but not any of the other MMZ titles, but whatever, they were fun in MMZ3 anyways...

Overall, Megaman Zero 3 improved even further upon MMZ2, and turns out a better game than MMZ1 & 2

MEGAMAN ZERO 4

This game starts off showing caravans driven by humans escaping from neo arcadia, due to something that deals with what happened near the end of MMZ3. megaman Zero, being a hero and all that decides to protect these humans and their caravans from Neo Arcadia's attacks. And Zero's battle against Neo Arcadia continues and you meet some dude named craft etc etc.

MMZ4 actually has a high amount of changes. They changed the elf system so that you really only had one main elf that you could evolve and level in certain areas. What's nice about this elf system is that it does not hurt your ranking, as long as the overall levels of your main elf's three stats do not exceed the max level. Now you can power yourself up with cyber elves without having to worry about your ranking, which is quite refreshing. Also all 8 bosses ae now selectable on the stage select screen, where in previous MMZ titles only a certain amount of missions would be selectable.

This is the first MMZ game to not have some kind of rod! Nor does MMZ4 even have a shield boomerang. Instead of the shield or any rod, there's now the zero knuckle which is used to steal weapons from enemies. The zero knickle doesn't seem too worth it though, since the Z-saber and buster shot work quite well togeher as it is, and the weapons that I did try didn't seem to be anymore effective, or possibly even less effective than the Z-saber and/or buster shot.

There's now a weather system to this game now, where you can change the weather of a stage, and in turn alter a bosses strength, to either your favor or against your favor. An interesting and unique idea, that has some strategy behind it. Do you weaken the bosses to make them easier, and sacrifice getting new moves? Or do you make your bosses stronger and tougher, so that you can gain new techniqyes which may help further down the road?

One thing MMZ4 definitely improved is Ex-skills. now you don't need A or S rank, and instead just need to beat a boss when weather is their favor to gain their ex-skill. If anything, MMZ4's ranking like MMZ1's, where the rankings don't affect much at all. Which is the way it should be; the only purpose of rankings should just be ranking, nothing else.

You can also now build chips for Zero's armor by using various spare parts from dead enemies. You'll need to find recipes before you do so though, as just randomly mixing parts together will most likely just result in "junk." It is pretty hard to find many recipes though, so you may find your self not having a large amount of chips your first playthrough, or it's probably one of those things that you need an online game guide for.

So all in all, Megaman Zero 4 is another great game and a great way to conclude the series!

OVERALL

Overall, this collection is terrific! Even the worst game in this collection (MMZ1) is still pretty good. And if I were to pick a favorite, it would be between 3 and 4, though it is hard for me to choose one over the other. While I liked MMZ3's customization more, I enjoyed MMZ4's cyber-elf system more and liked how they handled Ex-skills more than they did in MMZ3 (and 2).

This package just has much to offer. Each game by themself offer alot of content and have great replay value, but now you have all 4 together in one DS cartridge, along with a collection of MMZ art, MMZ3 mod cards, character cards, an easy scenario for those who don't feel comfortable facing MMZ's challenge (or something to do for the ****s and giggles after beating all 4 normally), and all this for an amazing price of $30! This is most definitely a collection worth checking out if you don't already own all 4 Megaman Zero games. It gets a 9.0/10!

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RETRO REVIEW: KIRBY 64: CRYSTAL SHARDS

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Now let's move on to one of my favorite N64 games (behind both the N64 Zeldas and SSB), Kirby 64!

The story involves some heart-shaped planet named Ripple Star full of happy, peaceful fairies whom own this big powerful crystal AKA evil monster magnet. One day dark matter came and brooke the big crystal into shards, and one of the fairies ran into everyone's favorite pink marshmellow Kirby, and this Kirby gets involved with this dark matter

This game plays like any other Kirby game you know, just in 3D. Or I suppose 2.5D would be a more appropriate term, since the visuals are 3D, but you are still moving either left or right as if it were a 2D platformer:

...

You go through 6 different planets each with 4-5 levels, one level being a boss at the end. And in each non-boss level there are 3 crystal shards that, if you get all, you will be able to face the REAL final boss. I've always loved the concept of having to find a certain amount of items in every level, such as always looking for 20 red coins in Yoshi's Island or finding those fairies in every dungeon in Majora's Mask, or the green stars in Super Mario galaxy 2, ect ect. You could say I love the hunt! So needless to say Kirby 64 got me to love it there.

But that's not all I enjoyed about this game, I also loved how you could mix copied abilities together. There are many combinations you could make , many of which are quite unique from eachother and just plain cool:

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Gotta love fireworks!

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giant burning blade...so bad-ass...

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Destroy the dark matter, you must.

And so on and so on. I only just scratched the surface of combos. As some one who loves to experiment, this idea was a match made in heaven for me. Just have fun, mix **** up, and enjoy the results! You'll probably end up having favorites combinations.

This game also has some pretty fun multiplayer as well. There are 3 minigames which up to 4 people can play. There's one where you have a hopping contest, and you either jump one space or two spaces. Sounds simple, but when you have too be very quick, avod frogs whom move on the field, and alot of puddles, it can get pretty intense. In another one you and 3 others push eachother around trying to catch the most falling fruit in your baskets. And then in the third one you all move aroundon a giant chess board, and you attack by creating a straight line from you to the edge of the board, hoping an opponent is in the line, so that he falls and loses a point.

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...geez, this review has had alot of pics.......*shrugs*

All together, this game is just plain fun , and can be fun either by yourself or with others. This is my second favorite Kirby game (favorite one being Kirby Superstar). I'd give this game the official seal of awesomeness...if I actually had one of those that is. V_V

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And that's the end of that! another blog taken care of. Now here's a couple of game tunes:

Megaman Zero 2 - Shuttle Factory

Kirby 64: Crystal Shards - Factory

bye bye now, until next time...

DJ...OUT!

REVIEWS: Resonance of fate RETRO REVIEW: Donkey Kong Country 3

Damn, it's been around a whole month since I've done my last set of reviews. I've been busy with many video games, as well as a ****ed up sleep schedule. But that's summer vacation for ya. BUt oh well, time to review Resosnace of fate, which has been out for a while now (released around the same time as Final Fantasy XIII did).

RESONANCE OF FATE

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STORY: Welcome to the world of Resonance of Fate!...and by world, I mean gigantic metal Tower called Basel, because the world itself is now post-apocalyptic and apparently not safe for humans anymore due to toxins in the air and other stuff, hence why they all now reside in this huge mysterious tower. The 3 main protagonists are Zephyr, Leanne, and Vashyron, a group of hunters. Vashyron is the oldest and leads the group, and seems to have a thing for beauty (whether it be art or the ladies). Leanna is the girl of the group and holds quite the secret. Zephyr is the youngest, and he's always up for some action, and seems to have had a troubled past.

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Hopefully you aren't afraid of heights...

You'd think the story would deal more with this stuff, though actually, a pretty big focus of the story at first seems to be random missions. In one chapter the main mission ends up being to go get some wine for a lady, and in another to go get a mannequin for a statue for an artist, for example. There are some deep moments in the cutscenes of these chapters, but don't really add much to the actual plot. Much of the beginning if pretty much filler with some cutscenes to foreshadow what's to come later for the actual plot.

I'm not a huge fan of filler, but it's not all bad, for this is a pretty quirky game. This game has some humorous moments and it makes me smile at times. While the story is quirky, the characters can be quite quirky as well, whether it be the child-like adult Pater, or Garglianno, a cardinal with a high sense of fashion, or there's also a bartender who is, for a lack of better terms, fabulous. While the sillyness could be entertaining, I still found myself wondering at times when the actual story would begin. Overall it's not bad, but not that great either.

GAMEPLAY: The gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag. It can be fun, and is quite action packed, but this game can also get frustrating...VERY frustrating, and at many times as well. I found myself cursing so much I could have made a 12 year old on Xbox Live blush! I'll get to that later though.

Like most other JRPG's, this game has a world map, but this game does it a bit differently. Instead of moving your characters on the map, you move via a cursor. And also, the map is made up of hexes, and many of them are closed off, and that's where you come in! You need to collect energy hexes via battles to make paths on the world map and to access many different locations. Also you might find treasure under these closed off hexes, which makes traveling the world map and uncovering more hexes enjoyable.This was a pretty neat spin on the world map and also it is much quicker to travel too.

There are of course towns on the world map where you can buy items and parts for your guns for customization, and there's a boutique in the main town where you can buy and change the clothes of your protagonists. and also there's your hunter's base in the main town where you get mail and can rest and where you finish a chapter.

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I may die alot, but atleast I'll die FASHIONABLY!

When it comes to the battle system, this game is kind of like a mix between a turn based JRPG and an action based JRPG. You take turns and your turns have limits, but there is plenty of action going on, too. Each turn for your character has you start out with a full "activity gauge." Moving around the field reduces the gauge, as well as charging an attack; you have to "charge" bullets in this game, which probably sounds kinda silly. If you move around too much you won't be able too charge many bullets for an attack, meaning a weaker attack, but if you don't move around, you might be too far from an enemy, making it so you won't be able to charge an attack as quickly as you could have if you were closer. So simply moving around the field can sometimes require a tiny bit of strategy.

In this game there are two types of damage in this game, direct damage and scratch damage. Handguns and grenades deal direct damage, which is what depletes the enemy's health bar. Scratch damage is dealt by machine guns, and builds a blue bar on an enemy's health bar. When an enemy takes direct damage, any scratch damage it has built up becomes direct damage. For example, 20 direct damage + 80 scratch damage = 100 direct damage. And my cool little equation here isn't too far off, because direct damage is pretty miniscule in this game, so believe me, you will NEED to deal scratch damage.

A critical part of the battle system is the hero gauge, which allows you to do hero actions which is when you run from one designated point to another and can shoot enemies multiple times and jump up to hit multiple "body parts"to try to take down an enemy's body parts quicker. But don't get reckless with them, for if your hero gauge runs out, you get into "critical condition", where you are weaker, start losing your health bar, move slower, and cower and run like a sissy...I'm not even kidding or exaggerating at all. Once in this state, you're pretty much screwed, unless conditions in the battle are set up in your favor, which unfortunately doesn't seem to happen most of the time. So doing a hero action is nice, but is very risky. Though you can always regain a bezel when you take down an enemy or one of it's "body parts"(some enemies have body parts that have seperate health bars).

The hero gauge is made up of "bezels", and each bezel is made up 4 shards. you get a bezel shard when you beat a chapter boss, or sometimes when winning a battle in a red "dangerous" hex on the world map, or sometime uncovered treasures on the world map will give one. Everytime a character reaches 0 scratch damage, you'll lose a bezel for every 1,000 HP that character has, and all the resulting broken bezel shards fly in different directions, the character''s scratch damage goes fills up again (unless in critical condition), and to add salt to the already painful wound, enemies can pick up your bezel shards and regain health!

Those are the basics of the battle system, pretty much. As you can see there is alot of strategy involved, so much so that without checking out the battle tutorial at the battle arena, you'll probably have troubles defeating even the simplest enemies; this game can challenge you from the very beginning!

And the game continues to stay very challenging throughout pretty much the whole game. Sometimes you'll be able to blast through battles without too much difficulty, but plenty of other times you'll be struggling to take down a foe or foes. There's a retry option, but it costs some money. It isn't much at first; you might have 90,000, and it might cost maybe 1,000, but if you are really struggling, that 1,000 could build up to maybe 10,000 or maybe even worse, depending on how rough you're having it. Not only do they make this game very challenging, they make it so you lose money for having to retry just to learn an effective strategy against a strong foe or strong group. How much salt must they add on this agonizing wound!?

I feel as though Sega went out of their way to make this game extremely difficult and enraging.The whole "lose a bezel per every 1,000 HP" was unnecesary and only made the game more frustrating than it needed to be; because of this leveling up and gaining more health actually has a consequence, maybe not THAT big of a consequence, since more health means it takes more damage for you to reach zero scratch damage, but dammit, leveling up should always be completely positive. I should go from 3,000 HP to eventually 4,000 HP and be able to think "awesome! More Health!" not "great, now I'm going to start losing 4 bezels instead of 3...". Leveling up loses a sense of progress this way. Also, enemies don't have a critical condition like you. Some enemies might get weaker when you take down a specific body part, but they still have access to all their moves even if some are weaker (where you lose hero actions), and they don't become slower and run around like scared chickens, which means you have more to be cautious about. And then there are times where you may face a group of enemies that outnumber you, and are close to your level or equal to it, which means the odds are really stacked against you. All this makes winning some battles a real pain in the ass and turns it into a pretty big trial-and-error game (which is not my favorite kind of game), but when you FINALLY win that extremely hard battle, it does feel quite rewarding...usually anyways. If you're like me, you'll sometimes just be bitter and think "damn, about time that ***** goes down..."

Another thing that makes things difficult is that once you enter a dungeon, you cannot go to the main menu to change equipment, weapons, items, whatever, since each room in a dungeon is a battle screen. Which means if you get close to the dungeon's boss and realize there is a some other gear that would be more helpful that you don't have equipped, tough luck, either try to finish the dungeon as is, which could very well end up being difficult with your currently equipped gear, or just retry the WHOLE dungeon again with the different gear equipped (god that wound just stings SO BAD from all the salt right now!). This is just highly inconvenient.

PRESENATION: The graphics are very good in this game, but the problem is, it gets quite repetitive after a while. You're in a post-apocalyptic world and all the action takes place in a giant metal tower, so you better get used to the color gray, because you'll be seeing it alot! The game looks good at first, but it gets dull and redundant after a while.

The music is decent, not very memorable overall, but still decent overall.

OVERALL: overall, this game is not bad and is good, it's just some frustrating gameplay elements and frustrating trial-and-error gameplay held it back from being a truly amazing experience. It also would have helped if we got into the real story more in the first half of the game than we did the mostly random, non-plot related missions, and if the scenery didn't start to bore me after a while. But there is still some fun to be had and there were some neat ideas, and the frustration can lead to a nice rewarding feeling. Resonance of fate gets a 6.5/10.

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RETRO REVIEW: DONKEY KONG COUNTRY 3

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Ever since the news of Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii (Can't wait!!!), I decided I'd do this retro review on the last on the SNES Donkey Kong Country games.

In this game you play as Dixie Kong, who was in DKC2. And who is the second Kong in this game? Is Donkey Kong in this game this time? Everyone's favorite tie-wearing ape Donkey Kong?

Nope...

Is it Diddy Kong? Donkey Kong's beloved sidekick?

Nope...

Is it a giant baby who cries alot and is somehow the same size as Donkey Kong?

Yes. :/

That's right, in this game, you have to play as a big baby named Kiddy Kong. You can't play with Donkey Kong or Diddy kong, because both were kidnapped by Baron K. Roolenstein! Though I don't get quite understand why. Donkey Kong is a strong, kickass ape who was able to kick K.Rool's behind once (kind of a second time in DKC2), yet he gets captured not once, but TWICE!? Plus Baron even managed to get Diddy Kong who is also quite formidable? Since when the hell is Donkey Kong Princess Peach!? I just think it's silly how out of the 3 SNES DKC games, Donkey Kong was only playable in one...

Another thing I wasn't crazy about was how different this game felt from the past two installments. DKC1 and DLC2 both felt like epic adventures, while DKC3 on the other hand, felt more like some goofy, silly quest. What makes me feel this way is the much more light-hearted, less awesome music, weirder enemy designs, replacing the bad-ass rhino Rambi with the silly, cartoonish looking elephant Ellie whom cowers at the sight of a mouse, having Kiddy Kong replace Diddy Kong and freaking Donkey Kong, and even the K. Rool in DKC3 looked sillier. Instead of being a king like in DKC1 or pirate like in DKC2, he was a mad scientist type. Hell, to further prove my point, just look at the game over screens for each:

DKC1:...

DKC2:...

DKC3:...

A baby Crib is SO much worse then getting beat up or getting locked in a prison cell. Though I suppose humiliation is worse than physical pain and an uncomfortable prison cell...

This game just lacked that "epic" feeling that made DKC1 and 2 so great.

Now that's not to say this game is bad, it is actually quite good. There are plenty of fun levels and some creative level design. There's even more to collect in DKC3 than there was DKC 1 or 2. While I wasn't crazy about the enemy designs, the boss designs and fights were actually some of my favorites of the DKC series (except Baron K. Roolenstein).

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Gotta love a belching barrel!

And it was also kind neat how they added an item trading side quest, where you get an item from one brother bear, and then find the other brother bear that wants the item you got and he'll give you another item in return which another of the many bears will want whom you must figure out and find. They also added a minigame where you compete with Cranky Kong in a target-hitting carnival game and can get bananas and coins. It's pretty easy though.

So all in all, is this worst of the SNES DKC trilogy? yes. Is this game bad? Most certainly not! If you liked DKC1 and 2, then this game should still be quite enjoyable if you can get past it's different styIe

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Well, I finally got this review out of the way! Now I don't have to worry about a review...until next time of course, when I will review the Megaman Zero collection on the DS, and to stay with my theme, I will look at another old game. And also staying with another theme, MUSIC!

Resonance of Fate - Forest of Idols B

Donkey Kong Country 3 - Nuts and Bolts

Bye! ;)

DJ...OUT!

REVIEWS: Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Megaman 10

Well, I'm here with yet another review. Why? Well, because I enjoy doing it, and I'm bored, so.....yeah. I really got nothing to say, so how 'bout we just dive into the reviews:

SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2

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STORY: It's the star festival again! WOOHOO! So you start out in some 2D, cIassic Mario-esque level as Mario, and you're on your way to the princess's castle to "watch some fireworks", as she says in a letter (bow chicka wow wow?). But just as you approach the town, you see all hell breaking loose, and of course that persistent son of a ***** Bowser is behind it all! Though he seems to be alot bigger than usual. That's because he got powered up by stars or something and is looking to conquer the whole universe! And he takes peach yet again, for reasons still unknown more than 20 years later ever since the first Mario game. And Mario is not pleaed about this, since he won't be getting any of Peach's cake, or any other "sugar" (bow chicka wow wow?) again. So he sets off into space to stop the mad king koopa.

GAMEPLAY: Being a sequel of Super Mario Galaxy 1, Super Mario Galaxy 2 has plenty of similarities with the first game, such as the return of certain power-ups such as the bee suit or spring mushroom, and going to different gaalxies to collect stars. Like the first game, you use the Wii-mote and nunchuck, and with the Wii-mote you can collect star bits by pointing on the TV screen, or you could do a spin attack by spinning around the Wii-mote. The controls are exactly the same as the first game, which makes sense; don't see why Nintendo would want to fix something that does not need it that much at all.

Also like Super Mario Galaxy 1, You'll be going through a variety of different galaxies, all with a certain amount of stars; each star having you complete a different task. At one point you may find yourself at beat block galaxy, where platforms disappear/appear at the beat of the level's music, or you'll be flying through a rainforest on the talons of a bird, freexing water to ice-skate on it and reach different areas, or traveling through a galaxy where everything is much much bigger (like giant world from Super Mario Bros 3). There are also plenty of hidden paths within levels too, which will lead to other stars, something that wasn't in Super Mario galaxy 1. The hidden paths in SMG2 were a very nice addition that makes this game like Super Mario World, which is another amazing Mario game, which only benefits SMG2 a whole heck of alot. All in all, each star is a unique experience. yes, you are going through the same galaxy when collecting different stars within the same galaxy, but each task for each star is different, and the level layout will change a bit, too, to match the task, helping to make each star still interesting and different, and therefore unique.

While this game keeps the same formula as SMG1, it does improve upon two things, those things being difficulty and boss fights. Super Mario Galaxy 1 for the most part was a very easy game with some challenging levels near the end. Super Mario galaxy 2 on the other hand, starts getting more challenging much earlier on than it did in SMG1. I mean, in one level I just did, you have a bunch of dark clones copying your movements and chasing you down as you are attempting to complete a certain task, and it was a huge hassle and thorn in my ass AKA being a pretty challenging level. The boss fights are also tougher, as well as more plentiful in Super Mario Galaxy 2. They actually get you to think more, and don't go down quite as quickly as they did like any boss in SMG1 that wasn't Bouldergeist.

All that being said, this game does do things differently as well. One of those things would be the lack of a HUB world. There is sorta of one in SMG2, but it is nowhere near as massive as SMG1's or Super Mario 64's. the only purpose SMG2's "HUB world" seems to be is for you to collect 1-ups, get mail about other stars to get, or to use some star bit bank. Thiss is a good thing though, because this means you more quickly get to choose the levels you want to play, which is what the whole point of Mario platformers are, which is the levels. No more having to walk to every single level in the game, all you have to do is access them via an overworld map, which again, is less tedious and brings you to the action quicker.

Another addition in SMG2 are in-level minigames. Like Super Mario World, there are minigames that allow you to net some more coins or 1-ups that are found either via a pipe or some teleportation device you do a spin attack on top of. You'll either be punching gaint dice to spin and hopefully land on a 1-up mushroom or coins as opposed to a single star-bit, or Bowser face, or if going on those teleportation thing-a-mabobbers, you will have to kill a set of enemies and collect 3 1-ups, all before the time runs out. I for one have fun with these minigames! Adds ajust that more fun to each already entertaining level.

Another terrific addition to SMG2 was everyone's favorite dinosaur, Yoshi! But SMG2 didn't just toss Yoshi in for a few levels for the sake of having Yoshi in the game like another certain Mario game *cough* New Super Mario Bros Wii *cough*...*cough* *cough* *cough* *HACK* *HACK*...*swallows coughdrop*...AHEM, sorry about that. Anyways, Yoshi does actually appear quite frequently, and serves much more of a purpose in this game; You actually NEED to use Yoshi to reach a star in some levels as opposed to New Super Mario Bros Wii where you don't really NEED him. Yoshi also has a few power ups himself in the form of fruit. One has Yoshi turning into a blimp of sorts which helps mario reach new heights, and then there's one that makes Yoshi shine brightly and reveal hidden paths/platforms, and then another where he starts dashing at super speed so he can run up walls and run on water.

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And here I thought eating fruit was supposed to make you thinner...

and I approve of how when you ride Yoshi they added the bongo drum beats to the levels music a la Super Mario World. helps this game feel more like Super Mario world along with those hidden paths!

You also get to see more of Mario's second fiddle!...errr...Green Mario, ummmmmm... Mario's shadow...wait that's not quite right...Ahhh yes, Luigi, silly me! While he was in SMG1, you could only play as him by unlocking him and in a separate quest of his own. in SMG2, however, you can play as him in Mario's quest! All you have to do is talk to him in the beginning of a level if he is there and there you have it! You now control skinnier Mario....oh right, Luigi, my bad.

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What's with Luigi? Was it something I said? :S

This game has plenty of stuff to do. There are 242 stars to collect between Mario and an unlockable player, and as I said, many secrets to this game. these, and the game's so fun you may want to play it through multiple times just for fun!

PRESENTATION: Oh yeah, the presentation in this game, quite simply, is phenominal. The graphics of SMG2 are the best graphics I have seen of the Wii to date, even better than SMG1's. So colorful, so vibrant, so lively, so beautiful, just so stunning overall. And the music is very good as well. Yoshi Star Galaxy, Puzzle Plank, Bowser fight, beat block, and more provide such great music to further heighten the enjoyment you will have with this game. SMG2's music may even beat out SMG1's music, which was quite epic as well. There is even some music from SMG1 in this game, and even an improved version of HoneyBee Galaxy's music from SMG1 with added flute and trumpet.

OVERALL: This game took the greatness of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and increased upon it, creating an even more amazing experience from before. Or another way of thinking of it is if Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario World were to have intercourse and conceive a child, Super Mario Galaxy 2 would be the result.........yeeeeaaaah....

Anyways, this game is awesome, and gets a 10 out of 10! If you like Mario, get this game NOW! If you don't like Mario, then one, shame on you! Don't expect to be on my Christmas card list! And secondly BUY THE GAME ANYWAYS, IT'S AWESOME. :x

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RETRO-ISH REVIEW: MEGAMAN 10

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Yes, I'm well aware this is not an old game, but it is designed as if it were one, so I figured it would count as a retro-ish review. Aren't I clever?

The story of the 10th installment deals with some robot sickness called "robenza", and it apparantly drives robots crazy (Such as the 8 robot masters you will). But *le gasp* this sickness has gotten a hold of Megaman's robo sis Roll! Now who's going to clean Dr.Light's house? that was what Roll was built for! THE HORROR!!! (I suppose it is also kinda of important that she is a part of the family too...). But also, it appears Wily's ship got attacked by some crazy robots with the sickness, too, and now Wily has decided to help think up a cure for robenza along with Dr'Light. Don't worry, you can totally trust him this time! I mean, how could you possibly not?

Looking at the gameplay, well, this game is exactly like the 8-bit megaman titles, more so Megaman 2 and 9, which was the point. They intentionally didn't add sliding or the charge shot for megaman like they did in MM9, so they could get the MM2 feel again, because MM2 is the most famous MM title ever. Now MM2 was great and all, it really was a great game, but dammit, so were MM3-6! MM7 was meh, MM8 was okay, but anyways, my point is, ADD SLIDING AND CHARGE SHOT FOR MEGAMAN!!! They were great additions, and they certainly aren't going to hurt a MM title, so I would like it if they could bring them back if they consider making an 11th megaman game. Nostalgia is a great thing, but don't forget about gameplay!

...(Megaman 3)

...(Megaman 4)

Seriously...WHY NOT CAPCOM?!

Now, I'm not saying that the gameplay in this game is bad, or that this game is not fun. There is some pretty clever level design to spice things up and keep you on your toes. And I really mean it when I say "keeps you on your toes", because this is probably the hardest Megaman title yet; even harder than 9! Seriously, I feel like MM9 and MM10 are just stepping stones in Capcom's mission to create the hardest video game ever! The bosses will put up one hell of a fight, too. They don't **** around and will fly around the stage as they try to send you to robot hell! Hmmmm...robot hell...

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....anyways...

In the end, the game is fun, but could have benefited a bit from adding sliding and charge shot.

Like every other megaman game except MM1, this game has 8 robotmasters, and the 8 robot masters in this game are...interesting. You got the usual fire robot master and ice/water robot master in this game, and another blade one too. But, there are a couple of them you could either consider "creative" or as "running out of ideas." There's strike man, who resembles a baseball and wears a baseball glove, and then sheep man...yeah, sheep man, I don't think I really need to explain that one, but I shall anyways, because I'm just that nice and awesome! He's a sheep robot that transforms into wool clouds and shoots out lightning and he resides in some cyber world of sorts...I ain't kidding ya:

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...Maybe someone from Capcom saw a sheep get hit by a lightning bolt as he was watching the Matrix?...I got nothing.

Like MM7, 8, and 9, this game also has a shop to buy extra lives, E-tanks, W-tanks, and other miscellaneous stuff with screws you find as you spelunk all the game's stages. ANd like MM9, there are challenges in this one as well, though are a bit different. In this one there are two sets of challenges, set 1 has you choose a challenge, and then you go to some stage and have to get to point A to point B given the parameters the challenge put on you. set 2 is like the challenges from MM9, where challenges are completed within the main game. There's one for if you complete the game without getting a game over throughout the whole game (if you do this, good job!), one for if you go through the whole game without dying once (if you do this one, then damn, you have to be pretty damn good!), and then one for if you go through the whole game without even getting hit once (if you do this, then you need to see a doctor, ASAP...)

You can also play as Protoman in this game like you can in MM9 (who can actually slide and use a charge shot! but has a lower defense than megaman, and therefore dies more quickly), but unlike MM9, you don't have to buy it online this time! It's already an option within the game...LIKE EVERYTHING IN A GAME SHOULD BE (but that's a whole other topic). There's also an easy, normal, and hard mode. Hard mode you unlock, normal mode is the standard difficulty, and the easy mode is for those new to Megaman or those who just want to have an easier time. I played my first time on normal, because I've played all past Megaman titles, so I figured I should stick with normal mode, but whatever, it's really personal choice.

The presentation in this game is what you would expect..visual wise anyways. This game has amazing 8-bit graphics. Music wise, some of the music in this game can be quite forgettable, but there are still some pretty kick-ass tunes as well in the game.

Overall, a good game that a Megaman veteran will probably enjoy, I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

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And that is that for this blog. For those reading, thanks for your time, and for those not reading, well, I got nothing, since you wouldn't read it anyways! :( *sniffle* *sniffle*

Ah well, here's some music for you:

Super Mario galaxy 2 - Yoshi Star Galaxy

Megaman 10 - Solar man

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Monster Hunter Tri, RETRO REVIEW: Wild Arms

Well, it's about time I do this review. I would have done it sooner, but college cIasses were such a *****. But now that it is my sunner vacation, I finally found some time to do this! Of course many of you are probably only caring about one certain game at the moment, that being Super Mario Galaxy 2, which I will definitely buy soon and review once I play the game for a good amount of time.

But anyways, onto the reviews!

MONSTER HUNTER TRI

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STORY: The story in this game is all about...well...hunting. Yeah, there really isn't much of a story to this game. You create a hunter, giving him/her the physical traits you want, voice you want, and then name him/her either your real-life name or something funny that relates to human genitalia and then you begin your quest! You find out that there is some big mean sea monster known as the lagiacrus around the waters around Moga village, and he;s been destroying ships and making life harder for the poor Moga villagers. And you, as a new hunter, will have to take down the jerk, but not right away, since, ya know, he'll obliterate you. There's also some peppy girl from some "hunter's guild" that reps you and gives you quests to go on. And...that's pretty much all there is to it!

GAMEPLAY:Now we move on to the real meat of this game, the gameplay! If you couldn't guess, the game is all about hunting!...or well, mostly hunting. You'll sometimes have to go fetch some materials for some quests, or go fishing (just as "fun" as it is in real life!). Each hunt/fetch quest will take you to different areas, whether it be Moga Woods, or the Sandy plains, or the swampy flood floor, and these places all have different attributes to them. IN the sandy plains, for example, the desert parts of it will have extreme heat, which will deplete your health, unless you drink a cold drink. This adds a bit of variety to your hunting.

While you spend quite a bit time slaying monsters, you'll also be chilling at Moga Village alot, too. Here you buy items, materials, weapons/armor, everything and anything you will need on your quests. The more you play the game, the more stuff that becomes available at the village to help you with your hunting, such as a cat chef who will cook food for you to increase stats, or a man who will trade with you and bring in materials from other lands to trade to you, trhere's even some little wooden dude named Cha-Cha who fights alongside you on your hunts of if you let him. There is plenty of stuff to deal with at Moga village, expect to be seeing alot of it!

When it comes too the actual hunting and fighting, well, it's a mixed bag for me. It's fun, but can be frustrating as well. You cannot lock onto eneies at all; there are plenty of times I hve missed an enemy by not getting the right angle, and then enemies will move out of my way as I am hacking and slashing so I'm just swinging at air. Then also, when you use some items, there can be unnecessarily long animations, such as after drinking a health potion, your character will swing his arms to the air, and there is nothing you can do to stop this animation, you become a sitting duck for your enemies! Or to be more precise, an idiotic duck who's triumphetly swinging his arms up as an enemy is charging at him/her. I suppose this was all to add realism to the game, though all it does is make hunting more inconvenient.

The realism in this game isn't all bad though. In MH3, you don't control some mighty hero of destiny or super-human person or a soldier infused with magic or whatever, you fight as a normal, typical man/woman. You character has limitations as well, such as getting exhausted from running for too long, not being able to withstand extreme heat or cold, running out of oxygen while underwater, etc. There are ways to help counteract these though, such as using certain items or eating certain combonations of food from the cat chef, and more. This alll adds more depth to the gameplay.

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Cloud Strife and Kratos from God of war may scoff at such beasts as the one above, but unfortunately for you, you don't control anyone like that!

Another inconvenience this game has is entering monster data into your Hunter's notes. To do so, you must use your Wii-mote to drag an enemy's name into the hunter's journal notes in the corner. This is a hassle when getting attacked by said monsters, and when you can't control the camera while in the hunter's notes. I guess playing with a Wii-mote and nunchuck would make this easier, but you would rather play with a cIassic controller or cIassic controller pro, anyways, since they are the superior controllers to use in the game.

The difficulty of this game all depends on how well you prepare for a quest. You gotta bring the most appropriate equipment on whatever beast you are hunting, and bring the appropriate items (though there is a box at your hunter's camp that gives you necessary items at the beginning of each quest).The more you are prepared, the easier the quest becomes. Many of the beginning quests are easy, of course, but it doesn't take long before you start fighting bigger and tougher monsters, the fiurther you advance, the bigger and tougher the enemies get.

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Tch, is that all? Please, I can easily take on these puny, little...

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OH ****!!!

This game also comes with an WiFi mode and an arena mode. I have not yet tried WiFi, but I would assume it's more fun to play with others rather than just yourself, though perhaps even more frustrating if you get stuck with a team of newbies who mess everything up. Knowing myself, however, I could end up being one of those newbies and get yelled at over Wii Speak and get called a "dumb noob" or "*** ass *****", and then proceed to eat a tub of ice cream as I despair. Now the arena mode I have checked out. It's basically like your quests from the main game, only a friend can join in, you have to choose from an already determined sword/shield set, giant sword set, hammer set,or bowgun set, the focus is on big hunts, and you fight within an arena instead of outdoors. It's definitely worth checking out, since the rewards you get from the arena do transfer to the main game.

PRESENTATION: MH3 is a decent looking game. the graphics are good, though they don't wow, but I gotta admit the water looks quite impressive in this game, especially when underwater. The sound is very good in this game; monsters make out very authentic sounding howls, screams, when cutting open animals to gain bones, guts, etc. it really sounds like your tearing the animals up, and when a big monster approaches, the music is very jaws-esque, letting you know that a hug monster is coming to tear you up! And boy, let me tell, when first dealing with the lagiacrus in a certain quest very early in the game, the music got me feeling pretty damn tense as I tried swimming for my dear life with a low stamina bar while still kinda getting used to the camera while swimming; certainly had my heart pumping. But many other times there is no music on quests, which is probably for ambiance as you run around focusing on hunting, which is fine, but can make the game dull sometimes as you are just running around aimlessly on mostly empty fields with small weak monsters...for me anyways, a guy with a short attention span and OMFG A SQUIRREL!

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*ahem* >.>

OVERALL: This game has it's annoying flaws, and as I mentioned early, can be a bit stale at times, but still, it can be fun plenty of times, too, and has plenty of things to do, from main game quests to online to the arena.

I'd give this game a 7.0out of 10!

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RETRO REVIEW: WILD ARMS

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The first of the Wild Arms games on the PS1, and one of my favorite RPGs on the PS1. In this game, you controlled three characters, those characters being Rudy, Cecille, and Jack (in that order pictured from left to right above). All three go on an adventure to save the world of Filgaia from the forces of EEEEEEEEEEEEEVIIIIIIIIIL! Basically

This game is your old-school turn based JRPG. You and your enemy take turns, and you either attack, use magic, or an item, summon, defend, other typical RPG stuff. A neat thing about this game is, you walk around in towns, dungeons, overworld in 2D, but when you get into battle, it turns to 3D graphics:

...

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Perhaps an idea Final Fantasy VII should have went with? Whatever...

Another neat thing about this game ( as well as the whole Wild Arms series) is the whole "old west" theme it's got going on. One of The main weapons throughout the Wild Arms games are "ARMs", which is this game series' version of "guns", and guns are a pretty common association with the old west. In this game the only time you see any ARMs is when Rudy performs a special attack, but in 4 later Wild Arms titles you get to see more of them in battle, especially in Wild Arms 3 since that's the only weapon all 4 characters use in the game...but I'm starting to drift off into other games here, I need to focus on WA1!

Well, anyways, another thing to support the western feel is the music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MQRL7xws7w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joq9WadIMxE&feature=related

And you can even see and hear it in it's intro, probably one of my most nolstalgic openings to a game for me personally. Maybe even as awesome as Final Fantasy VI's introdu...oh dammit! I'm doing it again! FOCUS ON THE GAME, ME, FOCUS!

This game had puzzles to work around with in dungeons, as well. To solve most of these puzzles, you would have to make use of each character's individual tools. Whether it be Rudy's speed skates which make him become zoom in a direction at a very fast speed, Jack's special pet mouse who has an ability to dash over holes or some other obstacles to reach levers or traeasure, or any Cecille's tools, which I forget what any of them do, but each character had 4 tools of their own that served different purposes.

So that being said, I would highly recommend Wild Arms 1. It's a great game whose quality I believe goes alongside that of the PS1 Final Fantasies. If you feel like it after that, check out WA 2-5, all of them are good, excpet 4 which I only thought was "okay", and.........:|......I did it again..........dammit all. V_V

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So, that wraps it up for my third review blog. It's ben great, but I REEEEAAAAALLLY can't wait for my next one, because I'll be reviewing, well, ya know...*cough* Super Mario Galaxy 2 *cough*

So, here's some music as per usual:

Monster Hunter Tri - battle music

Wild Arms - Power Fighter

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Bayonetta RETRO REVIEW: Star Tropics 1 and 2 (100th blog!)

I'm back with another review, and this time I'll review a game I have been playing alot, which is Bayonetta. But first, I should mention that this is my 100TH BLOG! Isn't this great?! Get excited!

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...

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......Damn cats. :evil:

Well, anyways, it has been a good 100 blogs, there will definitely be more to come, etc etc etc. Now onto the reviews!

BAYONETTA

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So let's talk about Bayonetta. This game has already been out for 3-4 months, but I still feel I should talk about it since I have played it so much.

First things first, this game is on both the 360 and PS3, But from what I hear the 360 is the superior one. The game was originally supposed to be a 360 exclusive, but Sega later decided to put it on the PS3 as well, which the developers were not rally prepared for it and, well, the result was an inferior PS3 version. Guess I'm glad for getting a 360 instead when it comes to this game. Phew! Now the game may not be bad on the PS3, and there was patch sent for the PS3 version, but if you have a 360, you'll probably want the game on the 360 instead. Now onto what the game offers:

STORY: The main character of this game is Bayonetta (Durrrr) and she is a witch. In the prologue of the game we hear that she has been asleep for 500 years, and has been awake and up again for 100 years afterwards, but she still lacks her memory, which I guess sleeping for 500 years would mess up your memory a bit. Other than that, Bayonetta has a spunky attitude, likes lollipops and kicks ass; that's all you really need to know about our sexy long-legged Daredevil here. As you embark on Bayonetta's quest to regain her memory, you meet other characters, such as Jeanne, a mysterious woman with some sort of connection with Bayonetta, Rodin, the game's shop keeper, Luka, a journalist, and more. You fight the armies of Paradiso (this game's "heaven") on this quest, since I guess that is the duty of a witch, whom get their powers from inferno (this game's "hell").

While the story isn't the most amazing thing ever or award-winning, it still is good and enjoyable. The story has it's moments and has it's charm, and the great cast of characters helps. It can be cheesy, but it can also be pretty funny, too. it does have some serious moments sprinkled about near the end, but for the most part, it is over the top, it's crazy, and it's quirky, and there's nothing wrong with that in my book.

GAMEPLAY: This game is an action games, so the point of this game is to unleash a can of whoop ass on the armies of heaven, and with GRACE! you shoot, you slash, you whip, you blow stuff up, you breakdance, you kick, you punch, you iceskate (that's right, Bayonetta has a weapon where she ice skates. Definitely a quirky game.), you twirl about a pole dealing damage to enemies within the large radius, and more. Also, you can pull off torture attacks if you have a full magic gauge, where you use some torture mechanism to either kill and enemy or deal heavy damage to one, depending on the enemy. and you can pull off wixked weaves, which are more powerful punches/kicks that can be executed using the appropriate combos.

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Looks like that enemy has just been deFEETed.........yeah, I couldn't resist, sorry. V_V

each chapter is compromised of verses and you'll get medals based on how quick you finish a verse, how many combo points you get in said verse and on how much you get hurt yourself in the verse. You'll either get, from worst to best, stone, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or pure platinum. But that's not all! At the end of each chapter, you get a trophy based on what medals you get, if you skipped any verses (may hurt ranking), how many items you used (hurts ranking), and ho w many game overs you get (hurts ranking, obviously). the better you do overall in a chapter,the better the trophy (trophies have the same rankings as medals; stone, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, pure platinum).

This game is as difficult as you make it. This game is very generous with checkpoints, and you can purchase items, so you could go through the game, not caring about your rankings, quite easily, but if you actually do want to get very good rankings, like a gold or platinum trophy, THAT'S when the game gets challenging. You would have to try to go througha whole chapter fighting, not using any items, and trying not to die once. In Very Easy and easy mode this may not be too bad, but in normal, hard, and non-stop climax mode, it gets VERY tough, and requires alot of skill. And to get pure platinum, you have to go through a whole verse without getting hit once, while still comboing well and in a relatively quick time, for a pure platinum medal. For a pure platinum trophy, you have to get a pure platinum in every verse, though there are some skippable verses that may not affect your overall ranking.

This game has a massive amount of replayability. Whether it be improving rankings in a chapter, or unlocking Jeanne mode or Little Zero mode, trying to get all the halos (game's currency) to get the secret optional boss fight, getting everything at Rodin's shop, discovering and completing each and every verse, finding all of Antonio's notes,etc. This game will keep you coming back for more action and ass kicking. The main quest may be short, but the amount of times you'll want to go through it makes up for it.

Another thing this game definitely has is epic boss fights. Most bosses are much bigger than you, are fun to take down, and can look pretty messed up. You end up finishing each boss, as well as min-bosses, by summoning an infernal demon, which is summoned from Bayonetta's hair. Bayonetta's suit is also from her hair, so when summoning one of these demons, She'll go nude as the demon devours/beats the crap out of the enemy. And no, you don't get to see Bayonetta's private parts, as her hair goes around her body as she summons and covers them up. Sorry to any dirty perverted men reading this blog.

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Looks like Bayonetta is getting herself out of this HAIRY situation.......yeah, I'll stop with the puns now. :[

PRESENTATION:The presentation in this game is quite good. The animations in this game are very well done, I like how they used to film reel clips to show certain cutscenes, and the graphics look smooth and nice (on 360 anyways, PS3 I'm not entirely sure how much worse they look, before or after patch). When you get into paradiso is when you really see the graphicss shine and the creative enviroments, not that the non-paradiso ones are bad at all, mind you. The music is VERY good in this game, and very fitting for each situation.

OVERALL:This is an excellent game that offers alot to do and alot of entertainment. I've played this game for probably close to a hundred hours and still have stuff I need to do. I highly recommend buying this game. It gets 9.5 out of 10!

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RETRO REVIEW: STAR TROPICS and STAR TROPICS 2: ZODA'S REVENGE

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Ahhh, yes, the Star Tropics games for the NES, these were both some of my favorite NES games.

The protagonist of both games is a boy named Mike, whom in the first game starts his journey to look for his uncle, and in the second game ends up traveling through time. in STII, you'll travel to the stone age, ancient Egypt, the old west, you even get to meet Sherlock Holmes back in his time!

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The main antagonist in both games is Zoda, some evil alien dude who either wants to conquer Earth or destroy Earth, I can't remember which, but either option sounds pretty damn bad, wouldn't you agree? hence why you kinda need to stop him.

As you go through the game, you'll go through different islands (or in the second game's case, different time periods), fighting mosters, solving some puzzles and avoiding traps. These games has some great platforming to it, and you have a variety of weapons you pick up along the way. In the main gamee, though, you start out with a yoyo. Yeah, that's right, our hero whoops monster tushie with a ****ing yoyo.

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Only a real man would fight with a yoyo. Better watch your back Link!

You can upgrade it to more powerful mace weapon, though, and you get other weapons such as torches or a laser gun much later on. In the second game you end up using tomahawks, swords, a magic spell, and more.

Both games have a great feeling of nostalgia to me. I remember playing both on my now broken and non-functional NES when I was a little boy. Playing these games just bring me back to the gool ol' days when all I had to worry about was simple math, playing with things and watching cartoons, and before worrying about how I am terrible with the women, how I am behind in some college ****s and having to worry about going to work. *siiiiiiiiigh*...good times, goooooooood times...

And what's really unfortunate is that these two games were the ONLY two games in the series; I can only imagine how awesome an SNES Star Tropics game could have been. Atleast Nintendo was cool enough to release both games on the Wii's Virtual Console, which one of these days I should purchase both.

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That concludes my 100th blog on this site. Hopefully I will have another good 100 blogs (if I even make that much more, uggghhhh, we'll see...). My next review will be, hmmmmm, perhaps Monster Hunter Tri? I'm considering getting the game over the weekend, so maybe. But I hope you had a good time reading this review, and don't be afraid to comment if you have something to say (and if you don't have something to say, then, uhhhh, don't comment, I guess...meh.). So that's all for now. ;)

Now listen to these!

Bayonetta music

Star Tropic 2 music

DJ...OUT!

REVIEW: Final Fantasy XIII, RETRO REVIEW: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Like I said, I am going to start doing reviews now, and what better way to start than with Final Fantasy XIII, since that is what I'm playing now:

FINAL FANTASY XIII

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Yup, the latest iteration of the not-so-Final fantasy series has been out for a bout a month now, and is on the PS3, and of course as everyone knows, the 360. Some FF fans were pissed about it being brought to 360 as well, but not me, since this means that more people get to experience Final fantasy, that, and I got a 360 instead a PS3, so thanks Square-Enix, you get the DJ seal of approval, how ever much that's worth to them, I'd like to think alot, but...meh, whatever...

That out of the way, I suppose I'll start with the story of the game. There are two worlds in FFXIII, those being Cocoon and Gran Pulse. People on Cocoon fear Pulse, stating it is Hell, pretty much. Another thing people fear are l'cie, since they are associated with Pulse. a l'cie is a person who has been branded by a Fal'cie and must do some task for said fal'cie. Complete it, you get a nice crystal slumber, which is basically dying in a crystal (Woohoo, thanks Fal'cie >_>). BUT if you do not complete your task, you will eventually become cie'th, a monster, a grotesque abomination, and no one likes to be a grotesque abomination. :(

The two characters you start with are Lightning AKA Cloud souped on estrogen and Sazh AKA Mr. Chocofro. And then you start battling through soldiers and learning the very complex ropes of this game. After a bit of of kicking ass with Ms. Cloud with less hair gel, you get introduced to Snow AKA THE HERO, and you start whooping some ass with him and his gang. Then after our good ol' hero reaches a group of defenseless civilians, we see Hope AKA whiny contradictory name and Vanille AKA Yuffie/Selphie/Rikku/Penelo. later on in the Game you get introduced to Fang AKA...uhhh...I can't think of any cute nicknames for her, but still, you see Fang. And there you have it, your six heroes of FFXIII! For the most part they are good characters. Lightning is cool, Snow I actually find tolerable and I like him (though some hate him, even though he's a HERO, crazy I know...), Vanille is.....meh, Hope is annoying at first, but he grows into a not whiny little prick later on, Fang is pretty damn awesome, and Sazh, oh man, sazh, he is freaking AWESOME. His backstory, his personailty, his ****ing chocofro.

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You know Sazh is cool, since chocobos would never live in the hair of an uncool guy!

Overall, I like the story, more for the characters than the plot, though the plot is fine, too. Dialogue can be pretty silly at times, but I personally can overlook that. There were even a few events in the game that manage to get to my emotions, but I could just be a sappy wimp, but for the sake of my ego, I'll just say Square did the do a good job invoking emotion in their scenes (I'm still a manly man, dammit!). The story kinda loses some the spotlight later on in the game, though, by disc 3 (in terms of the 360, anyways; the PS3 version only uses one disc), and gameplay starts hogging some of that light by then.Speaking of which, let's talk about Gameplay.

The main point of battling in FFXIII are paradigms, where you set different roles to characters, and customize different sets of character roles that you switch between in battle to fit the situation. You got Commandos, who do physical damage and have your allies attack whoever the commando attacks, ravagers who do magical damage, medic who focus on healing, saboteurs who debuff the enemies, synergists who buff your party up, and sentinels, who provoke enemies and then defend and take damage to help keep your other two characters alive and unoccupied. This system allows for alot of strategy, such as which roles should you rely on for the battle? How should you group together roles? Which character should be which roles? You will certainly be switching between paradigms plenty during boss fights, though during many early enemy fights you probably won't as much. Later on when you get around disc 3, however, things get much more difficult, so plan on switching paradigms more (or maybe not and I just suck...nah, that can't be it. Silly me). At the end of each battle you get a rating out of 5 stars; the faster you win, the more stars you get, and the higher the stars the more likely you are to get some drops from enemies (I believe), which are needed to upgrade weapons and accessories, and to sell for Gil (money), since that's pretty much the only way to get Gil in the game. You also get introduced to TP (technique points) at some point in the game, which allow you to use libra, summon, and to use some especial abilities.

Also, the summons in this game are referred to as eidolins, which you acquire by beating them in battle a certain method. each character has their own individual eidolin that you can only summon if you control that character and have enough TP. Like FFVI, FFVIII, and FFX, summons in this game actually serve a purpose, and aren't just spells with longer animations, or are just plain useless like in FFXII. in FFVI and FFVIII, summons could be used to increase stats and gain new abilities, and could be used to damage foes, too, though XIII is more like FFX, where the summoned beast actually stay on the battlefield to do multiple attacks, and keep your whole party from dying! Ain't that just nice of them?

Outside of battle you get to tinker around with the crysterium, which is pretty much a prettier, shinier version of FFX's Sphere Grid and FFXII's LP Grid.

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You increase stats, gain new abilities, gain accessory slots, and gain ATB (extended ATB bar for extra attacks per turn) via the crysterium. In order to advance the crysterium, you need CP (crystal points, which you gain after every battle you face (except eidolin battles, I believe). You can also upgrade weapons with enemy drops or store bought materials to increase the stats that come with said weapon, but all this will do will make players hesitant to try out other weapons when they already have an upgraded version of another weapon that has better stats of a not upgraded weapon (but the not upgraded weapon could actuallly be better in the long run after it gets upgraded, UGH!). Unless you do research online on what weapons are best for each character, methinks you will go through this.

Overall, the gameplay is nice and I enjoy it, though for SOME people it may not get good until Much later in game (SOME being the key word there, I enjoyed the gameplay in it's beginning parts, though can see how others may not). And another thing FF fans seem to dislike is how FFXIII is so linear, which it is, but I, being a fan of FFX which is also quite linear, don't see it as an issue. And also, you don't get to switch between party members early on in the game; the game forces you to use characters, but me also liking FFIV, do not mind this either.

And finally onto presentation. The graphics, of course, are quite tremendous, and I loved them alot, and I only played the 360 version! The PS3 version is supposed to look a bit better, so I can only imagine how good the PS3 version looks. The music is quite nice in this game, and there are some very memorable songs.

So, looking at it all, it has great, strategic gameplay once you get used to it, a good story, great looks and music, and actually implements summons well! BUT gameplay takes a while to really shine, and when it does shine, the story shines less, an upgrade system I did not care for at all, and some not-so-award-winning dialogue to be heard sometimes. And some characters may be intolerable at times.

Overall, this game gets 8.5 chocofros out of 10!

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RETRO REVIEW: CASTLEVANIA III: DRACULA'S CURSE

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Crap, I'm such a noob, I'm stuck with red font now! I could change it to white, but then people using the white theme on GS won't be able to read my review! I don't know how to change back to the "default" color. What the conundrum!

...Oh, screw it, this review will be red. It actually kinda matches the review anyways...

Now onto the game, Castlevania III I have...mixed feelings for. It is by no means a bad game, but mother of Tom Hanks is it HARD! You're Trevor Belmont, the first Belmont ever, so this game is prequel to castlevania I and II. In this game, you go through each tage whipping skeletons, medusa heads, bats, fleamen, etc. all the typical Castlevania enemies. You pick up subweapons such as the cross, holy water, and stopwatch. You can level up your subweaponsa couple ranks, after first powering up your main weapon, the Vampire Killer. But watch out! You die, and your whip loses it's power, and you lose your subweapon and it's power-ups. Or if you're clumsy like me, you'll jump forwards while whipping a candle and end up accidentally picking up a measly knife subweapon, and losing your powered up subweapon that way...****ing knives...

One kinda cool thing about this game is is that it has seperate paths; you can go through different stages each playthrough if you so desire. and also you have the option of picking up either Grant, who climbs ceilings and walls, Sypha, who uses powerful magic, and Alucard, Dracula's son, who can transform into a bat and attack with 3 flames. Like father like son! You can switch between Trevor and whatever character you decide to pick up, though if you're lik me, you're just gonna stick with Trevor 99.5% of the time.

Like I said, this game is pretty damn challenging, and in in pretty BS ways sometimes. It's not so bad at first, but the more you advance, the tougher the going gets. For one, enemies don't do set amounts of damage, but instead, the damage you take depends on how far you are. For example, a bat from stage 1 will do 1 blip of damage to your health, while the same kind of bat in stage 9 will do 4 blips of damage to your health, and you only have 16 blips of health. Late in the game, you can go down in just 4 hits, and considering how crazy things get later on, that is pretty absurd. Also, when you get hit, you get knocked back, and if you're near a hole when this happens, well, sucks to be you, you're probably gonna lose a life, which pisses me off to no end.

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Better not get hit!

And this game also has some stiff controls; once you jump forward, you're jumping forward, you cannot change direction, so you better not be too hasty to jump. This only adds to the challenge.

And one thing that...holy crap, my font isn't red anymore...JOY! *AHEM*...anyways, one thing that really REALLY pisses me off, is the fact that in the last stage, you don't start off at Dracula's steps if you die battling him. They alllowed it in Castlevania 1, Castlevania 2 I don't really know since I never beat that game since I hate it, they allowed it in the damn Japanese version of castlevania III, and it has happened in every Castlevania after III, so why in the bloody hell did they NOT allow it in the American version of Castlevania III!?!?!?

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Seriously!?!? Why not drop us off here!?!?!? The final stage is a ***** and Dracula, while not the hardest boss ever, can still be a pain, considering he has 3 forms and it only TAKES 4 DAMN HITS FOR YOU TO DIE.

Speaking of the Japanese version, apparently the Japenese version is better than the American version. For one, it is supposed to be easier, I hear, which my sanity would surely appreciate, the music is better in castlevania III due to a sound chip in the Famicom that is not present in the NES, just listen:

American version

Japanese version

I don't know about you, but I like the Japanese one more myself.

And like I said before, you DO start off at Dracula's steps if he beats you in the Japanese version. Beats the hell out of me why they would take that out of the American version...

So, while castlevania III is not a bad game by any means, it can be VERY frusterating, and it is just such a tease knowing there is a superior version out there that I will probably never play. If you play this game, just remember tell your TV that if your end up force feeding a controller through it's screen, it's not because you hate it, but because the game is getting on your nerves. Though to be fair, I actually didn't do THAT bad last time I played it, but to be honest, that's just because I used a HELP ME code on the name screen that makes it so you always start with 10 lives instead of just 3, but whatever works. >_>

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And that concludes this review blog of mine, and holy crap that took longer than I thought, and the end result was longer than I thought, but I enjoyed doing it. next time I will probably review Bayonetta and another retro game that is yet to be determined. But until then, Sayonara, and I'll leave you here with this:

FFXIII music

Superior sounding Japanese music of castlevania III

DJ...OUT!

Holy ****, I'm actually making a blog!?

Damn, it's been a long time since I have done this...

Anyways, Just making this blod saying that I will probably get back into the blogging business again. Kinda lost motivation to blog before but now I, well, got it back. I'm still surprised to see some people responded to my very old blog before, geez. But whatever.

Anywho, if I do blogs, I think I will focus on more game related stuff than personal stuff, since after all this is a gaming site, and my life is pretty boring anyways, so meh. I'll review current games, classic games, whatever I freaking feel like! maybe make lists showcasing favorite things in games, etc.

That being said I may focus blogs on non-gaming subjects sometimes if I feel like it. I can ceertainly see myself making a new blog 4 weeks from now, when my summer vacation begins. 8)

Well, that's all I got now, so, see y'all later. ;)

DJ...OUT!

(never thought I'd type that again :o)