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Gamer Horizon!

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It has been a long time since I posted a blog here on Gamespot. I know there are those of you that like to follow me both here and on youtube, and I have not yet got the chance to tell you about Gamer Horizon. The new podcast, well it is only a few months old considering we started back in January, has been a great success thus far. We talk honestly and fairly about our tastes. Sure there is profanity up the wall in Gamer Horizon, but the fact of the matter is we still have intelligent conversation about gaming. Another goal of ours is to introduce new gamers to the world of core gaming. Easier said than done, but due to the negative and at times hostile gaming environment, it is hard for casual gamers to make that transition. We also want to cater to our core audience, with tastes that are unique and introduce them to games that are under the radar. But of course we still talk about mainstream games as well.


We have gotten a 3000 downloads in the month of march, and we love communicating with our audience. We read tweets and reader mail and put that in the show. I hope you guys who have followed me will follow Gamer Horizon. And be on the look out cause we have a very special guest on the show, Peter Molyneux himself will be on our podcast.

Our Website is Gamer Horizon.com and you can find us on Itunes.

Dungeons and Dragons

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Their suspicions have grown over time. The Party had been out on the road for well over 10 hours, and dusk was setting in. It had been a long day, and they had followed their "leader" the ever so brusque Algar Heilstein as he lead the party to find out what killed the 24 man check point called Valleys way. The claims were goblins, but as the party had drawn closer, signs were pointing that something else were killing these guards. That something else was kidnapping the farmers and their families. That something else had caused the road to shut down. That these were not merely goblins, that something else was going.

Algar had led them, he was the hero around these parts, but he was rude, cruel, and just outright wrong. Baphos, the partys resident tiefling rogue and their leader Orinel, the warlord and Dragon born grew suspicious. Baphos and the ranger Kal, the Half elf followed Algar as he took off from the group when they took a break. Baphos, with careful skill found a note, a note that Algar was in league with Slavers. What was Algars true intentions? Soon the Party made a plan, Baphos and Kal would go ahead from the party to the check point. The rest of the group would move slower with Algar keeping an eye on him.

Soon after, Kal and Baphos would return. Their attempts at scouting botched as they tried to suprise attack the "goblins". They soon learned that these were not goblins but Xivorts, gnomes who had mutated in the darkness of the Shadowfell. A whole group of them chased after Kal and Baphos, and soon Algars intentions were knownw. He was leading the party into an ambush which got botched. Seeing that the Xivorts were coming and had called out his name as master, Algar turns and flees. The Xivorts fall upon the party, their yellow eyes peering in the dark evening night. Their blue skin hidden by shadow. As the group stands their grown the chaos of battle envelopes them...

Hans the fighter holds off a Xivort Slasher, and as he strikes one, it disappears in a shroud of shadows and appears a few feet away from him. Orinel is caught off guard as a Xivort throws a bolas, its balled point end spinning in the air, as it meets with orinel tying his feet and knocking him to the ground. The Xivort Slashers who see Orinel is helpless turn their attention, their short swords ready to stab him to death. The cleric Alessia tries to get to him time. Baphos tries to go after Algar, but in the shadows a xivort shadow caller, a xivort mage and master of the shadows sees this. As Baphos is running, his shadow materializes.....and takes a physical shapes, and before Baphos could dodge it, the Shadows hands wrap around his neck and starts to strangle the life out of him. Tigthening more so every second. Kal is wounded from the earlier encounter Xivort Darters throw darts at him, piercing him, nearly killing. Orinel, tries to escape from his bond to help Baphos, but soon the Xivorts are on him and...

That folks is my current monday night DnD campaign I am running. Thought I would throw you in the thick of it and show you the utter chaos that my players are going through. Now did they escape these little Xivorts that attempted to overrrun them? Well you will have to wait and see, but for now, I will tell you my relationship with this little game called Dungeons and Dragons.

Now its been a while since I have done a post on this blog, but being that I have been getting back into DnD as of late I figured why not talk about it. And why Talk about this little game? Well its a game that I loved for 17 years, and when I got into in the mid 90s. And I want to talk about it, how I feel about the game, or my love for it, my history with it, and my thoughts on the different editions of the game including the ever so controversial 4th edition.

My History with Dungeons and Dragons

First set

(My first DnD Set)

Now I was raised my grandparents they were the ones who introduced me to myths and legends and all that sort of stuff. And of course there was my love with gaming, videogames too thanks to that NES they bought me back in 1988, and it was love that continues to this day. Now my interest in DnD I will admit does not go back as some....I did not play the old red box from the early 1980s. I was not born till 1983 so yeah I missed out on that. Though lets keep in mind that there were other basic sets of the game released.

Now, in 1994 this all happened in the same day, my interest in Dungeons and Dragons began. My grandfather had gone on a buisness trip and had stated he got me a surprise "board" game. Well before he had gotten home, my grandmother took me to the Pizza place and there was this new arcade game there. That game was "Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom", made by Capcom. I remember playing the game, and the unique aspects of the creatures,(I remember seeing the owlbear for the first time, that kind of perked my interest) and than afterwards we went home. My grandfather brought the mystery game and it was "The easy to master Dungeons and Dragons set."

Essentially what this was a streamlined board game like version of the 2nd Edition DnD rules at the time. It had a solo adventure and than a dmed version of the solo adventure in it. The Solo adventure was essentially a tutorial of the game but was fun to play. Than of course there was the DM version which I ran for my friends who were curious we had a blast, and for me a life long love of the game began.

That adventure started with the players being held captive by a wizard and soon the Characters with the help of an elf girl would escape the dungeon. Now this particular set after this adventure actually had three expansions that help ease into a sort of mini campaign. I played these sets for a few years, and everytime with different friends or the same, but they were never the same. And than we graduated to DnD 2nd Edition.

My Thoughts on the 2nd and 3rd Editions

Dnd

As time went on, I wanted to explore more aspects of the game. The above set like I said had expansions that had themes centered around goblins, dragons and the undead. Of course the game would go beyond that and I just had to get into AD&D. That was the next step...

Of course now adays I will admit that AD&D is a very complex game. And that is where I started my venture into the more advance aspect of the game. This is where I really started to get into the creative aspects of the game, and I really started to become Serious about Dming. And that is what I do....I play as a pure DM. I always have even with those basic sets I ran those adventure many many times over. And than the game really took shape. I learned how to make my own adventures, and how to balance. I learned alot from that Second Edition.

Yes Second Edition the days of THACO, and various types of saving throws. It was a very complex system, but one that I do like. Though for Nostalgia reasons, but to some ways it feels dated. I can see there are those that enjoy it, and I can see that. The one thing though that srikes me with the Second edition is the different things that TSR did with some of their campaign settings in those days. That was mainly introduce things like Planescape, Dark Sun, Spell Jammer, and the highly overlooked Birthright and they were settings that took the DnD concept in very new directions. I did not mention Ravenloft as Ravenloft had its root way back in the first edition days. and the realms as awesome as they are came out in the first edition days. And of course I cannot mention that is when I discovered the Forgotten realms. I discovered the novels and the fantastic world you can play with. Forgotten realms was a sand box that you can shape.

And I like Dragonlance, but...mostly the first three Chronicles Novels. The campaign world is imo a bit to limiting, but we will talk about that another time.

Than there was the third edition. This came out at the beggining of my JR year, and I remember picking up the 3rd edition books the day they came out. August 2000 it was PHB, than it was DMG in Sept, and than finally the Monster Manual. And boy this was a culture shock, the system was revamped heavily. We had this new D20 system where armor ****s went up and not down. And yes I loved it, and it was a pretty compex But boy did we play this for a long time, we played several third campaigns...and it was good to see them bring back some of the creatures and concepts that were big in first but obscure and/or missing in Second. Than I quite for a short while, and during that time the infamous 4th edition came out. I heard the horror stories, I heard that it was emulating MMORPGs, and what not, I heard it was an abomination...but life is a risk. And I took the risk in getting the first three books....and here it is...how I feel about Fourth ed.

How I feel about Fourth Edition DnD?


The Ever so controversial 4e of DnD. Boy did this game cause an upheaval in the games fanbase dividing it tremendously. The game that has been labled a paper MMORPG, a game that has been labeled as an abomination, a game that is not true Dungeons and Dragons. The game that many say is a fake, and that a game known as Pathfinder is the true heir to DnD. Than there was the things that also happened in the cannon, the Cosmology was changed, the gnomes and halforces removed. No barbarians, Sorcerors, Monks or bards. A race called the Dragon Born and Eladrin introduced, and the Tiefling was upgraded from a sort of secondary race to a core race. Boy was I terrified, but about two months ago, I got extra cash and guess what...I took the dive. I have played three sessions of a campaign, and was my fear justified? No, I enjoy Fourth edition....I love it actually.

Its kind of ironic too, one of the complaints is that there is not enough roleplaying, but my first session which was well about five hours was mostly roleplaying and none combat encoutnters...The game session actually ended at a combat scenario, and was alot of rping. And than we have been combat heavy the last two, but thats due to some time allotment issues. None the less, I gotta admit the system is easier to run, the rules are streamlined, but they are easier to manage to say the least. Though I will say as far as skills go, I like the combined skills, but at the same time miss stuff like armor smithing and fletching arrows and what not. It is very balanced and for me I like that. My group likes balance. And the supplements, i gotta admit the Supplements in this addition unlike others, I have to say add something. Even if its not a a whole lot the supplements donot feel repetitive as other games.

Dungeons and Dragons to me is an amazing game, and if you guys want I can share to you what is going on in my campaign. This is my story of a love with a game that inspired so much that we donot relax. So thanks goes to Mr Gygax and Mr Arneson, for creating a game that has not only created fun for millions, but has inspired our video games and many other things.

Some Games Age....Some Donot!

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Little Pacman and I are old friends, and we remained that way for many years. He like Mario has been my ongoing pal for several gaming generations. The little yellow guy and I have had many a good times together and have many memories that range from my living room to the arcade. Now it is time to reflect on this and why he has remained my pal for so long.

Pac-Man simply put it is a game while thirty years old, is quiet frankly as intense and as fun as it was when I first played it many years ago. This game has aged perfectly, no doubt in my mind, and that is why he has remained my pal for so long.

The reason I bring this is up is that I have again spent much time with this little guy lately. First and foremost I own several ports of the original game, including a port each on my Xbox 360 and my PS3. Second there was this nice little game that came out called Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. And my how I have spent time on this as while it still has that simple formula that Pac-Man followed this game reinvents it to some degree while keeping that simple essence still there, proving that Pac Man can with Stand the test of time.

Pac Man as we all know is a simple concept, but it was that simple concept that made it with stand. You must escape ghost and than eat all the dots on the screen. Sure it may sound repetitive, but thanks to excellent programming, you had everything from different speeds to lessened power up levels that made Pac Man with stand that enemy we called Monotomy that sadly some games from that time era did not suceed in surviving.

So with that being said, than why is it that some games age well and some donot? Why do some games that are older than another in its genre age well? Well that is something I got to thinking about and I think it ultimatley depends on a number of factors. I think of course you think of games that have gameplay mechanics that have aged well and then there are those that age fine in terms of gameplay but graphically they donot.

Another game that is an interesting speciman in terms of aging for me is Doom. Doom sure may not have full angle aiming I guess, but damn that game is just purely playable. It is so intense, so fast, and at times just damn hard that it is to me one of the most intense games around to this day. Now lets go forward four years from Doom, to another FPS that is considered important to the genre. That game is Goldeneye, which brought the FPS successfully to consoles. Oh yes many many hours with friends were spent with this game, but sadly....the game has not held up. Why? Goldeneye if you played it feels choppy and slow. It just feels too slow compared to other FPS, and even those on the time. Let us also add that other FPS on the N64 such as Perfect Dark aged fine, but Golden Eye, yeah again it just did not age well due to its slow based gameplay. Something like Doom holds up better.

I guess the samething can also be said about Super Mario Brothers compared to say Super Mario 64. Of course the argument could be said that SM64 was the first in 3D and was an experiment? Well SMB was also an experiment. but imo that game was just far better than SM64 as that it did not feel as rought as SM64 did.

So really do games age because of our perceptions, or do we oversee their flaws at times and let nostalgia take over? Whatever it is, the aging of games are an interesting thing to talk about. Whats your take on this matter?

How Gaming Saved My Life! A True Story....

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FFVI

The Story of Final Fantasy VI to this day still captivates me. Its tale of a group of rebels who are fighting an empire and a mad man in a world of Despair caught me out of no where. This tale along with the story of Cloud and his friends took my breath away at the same time. Those stories kept me going, because like the World of Ruin that befell Terra and their friends, or the Deadly Meteor that was hurtling down to the planet I was in my own world of despair.

The reason I bring this up is because as we wind down the year there are alot of year in review stories all over the media. There were the story of the miners in chili, the oil spill, the earthquake in Hait, and then there was the one that took my attention the most. The story of Tyler Clementi, the young man who was humilated by his room mate for the simple fact that he had a different sexual orientation and than took his own life due to this and other humilation.

Thanks to this story, the issue of Bullying was brought back to the fore front this year. This story of bullying and others were talked and many took issue with it. As this issue was at the forefront, while I applauded it brought back my painful memories of being bullied back in middle school. Of being laughed at and of being beaten up...of listening to the teachers that did not care. Feeling embarassed not to talk to anyone, including my guardians(Raised by my grandparents.) Why was I bullied in the first place I ask?

I did not have a different orientation, nor was I a minority in my area. I was bullied because I was raised as a kind hearted boy, that was naive to say the least. I was gullible and people manipulated me to that point. I remember one time I had bought two pops, and this girl who treated me like dirt wanted one, and she acted all kind and made me feel bad. I gave in of course, and than guess what? No change...she still treated me like dirt after the temptress got what she wanted. This and I was over sensitive, as I will admit back in those days I cried easily. Did I do anything to deserve it? No, I was kind and good to everyone in those days, but the kids did not see me as an equal. To Me bullying was what shaped me into the out spoken and cynical individual that I am today.

None the less, maybe I am a bit agressive at times here on the forums, but I would not harass anyone to the point of bullying in any way shape or form on here. Now I mean agressive as that I like to challenge peoples ideas and opinions, but its no attack on them in anyway shape or form. Now that I have clared that back to the story at hand...

The middle school years were the worst. Elementary School well that was ok, and High School actually was great because I went to a Technical Academy and there were alot more people like me there. Yeah sure the were jerks but not to the point in middle school and I made some great friends there. None the less it was eighth grade that was the worse. Things were bad that year that drew me to the point. The jocks made me a fool over a girl I liked, and they constantly stole my stuff including my FFVII book. Three kids even locked me in the bath room and set me up as late. It broke me down that I kept it to my self, and that I felt worth less. That I contemplated Suicide at one point, but luckily I had a vice though that kept from it. A Vice that allowed me to escape and it was a vice that was not unhealthy or bad. It was gaming, and it was gaming that kept me from that choice. It was what made me think that I had more to live for and that things would get better and guess what they did get better. Much better, and thirteen years later, I am happy and content in my life.

We all hear that videogames in the media are going to turn our kids into psychopaths, or they will get us fat and unhealthy. That ANGERS me to the point that these so called media people are telling lies such as the infamous Mass Effect or blaming the mod of Oblivion and getting it M rated. Why do they not seek the stories such as this one? Thats why those lies anger me, because gaming did not turn me into a villain, but it saved my life.

Those days in eighth grade I would come back and I would play Final Fantasy VI or Final Fantasy VII. Those games kept me engrossed in their stories and because of that I kept on. It what was inspired me to keep going. I Know it may sound silly but I became these characters and I kept going on despite the hard times. When I got to the world of ruin in FFVI, I felt, this is how my life looks, it is a world of Ruin? None the less Terra, Locke, Setzer, Celes, and those other characters kept me going and taught me that no matter how bad things get, keep going and things will get better. Than in FFVII, I learned that Cloud had much the same problems as I did, and that even pushed me further. It was not just that as well they provided me an escape a vice that was not drugs or drinking, but one that I can use and not harm me.

Soon the eighth grade would be over, and the summer would come. I would start highschool in a new school and I remember in the Summer of 1998, I reflected and I realized that if you keep up with things, they will get better. It was a new beggining and guess what things got better.

As time passed, I realized the truth. That those kids that bullied me, that those kids that I tried to fit in with were not worth it, and who I am now is well worth it. Infact earlier this year one of those kids that did harass me, one of the worst ones actually, I found out on the news was arrested for domestic abuse. I reflected and say, I wanted to fit in with him?

Now I will admit, I did do some commentaries and made fun of stuff like the Skip Rogers videos(Those are actually kodak poorly made videos). The Commentaries were mostly rebuttals to arguments, but I never said this was that one reason I quit youtube was due to the endless amount of attacking people that was going on. It was just a bit much to say the least....

None the less I owe alot to this hobby. I still love it and I am a defender of it to the end, because gaming helped me in the end. I remember in those days, a good friend of mine, his mother asked him...is that all he does, play videogames? Perhaps in those days yes, but it did do me good. Gaming is what kept me going and to be honest, I owe it alot.

To those who may read this and still in school, if you are bullied donot let those jerks keep you down. If you play games and thats your advice donot be shamed. I rather be a gamer than a druggie or a drunk. To all of you out there, our hobby deserves more credit than it gets. It helped me and if it helped you tell your story. We need more positive stories on how the effect of gaming out there. The other thing too is that we learned this year that bullying can hurt us in more way than none, but it can make us stronger. And as for gaming, defend your hobby and be proud of it, gaming is a positive thing and not a negative evil thing the media want us to be(It can be bad at times, but not like the media makes it be).

Gaming, saved me, what has it done for you? See you guys in 2011!

Is the I-Phone a serious Platform for gaming? You Betcha!!!

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Iphone

So Christmas has come and gone, and one of the best gifts I got was the I-Phone. Now my wife gave it to me and I did get it a month before Christmas due to some issues with Warranty, but during the last month or so I have been enjoying the heck out of it. The one thing though that I was not excited for was the gaming on it, but boy has that changed.

Now I got two Itunes cards and I have been taking advantage of sales that companies like Square Enix and EA has had, particularly the EA sale as they had their entire iphone game library on sale for .99 cents. I do believe that sales is still going on by the way. Thanks to these sales, I have changed my opinion on gaming on the I-Phone or the Ipod touch or whatever, but for mobile devices like phones it has changed.

Now by no means before I go on will I never get rid of my PSP or my DS, or cancel my preorder of the 3DS. There are just so many mindblowing games on those platforms that I donot mind lugging around the PSP or DS around with me. But the Iphone though in my mind has taken a place amongst those handhelds and to me is a viable gaming device in its own right (Amongst Other things as well....as a police scanner, news access or as an Ipod).

Now I will confess that I have not been keen on gaming on cell phones in anyway shape or form. I was always sort of boggled to as why Capcom would bring say Megaman 2 to the old Cell phones and never understood why you would play a shoddy port. Now of course I do believe that gaming can be done not only on the I-Phone but other platforms. There of course is the Droid, from what I understand may not have as many apps or games as say the Iphone does but still has enough to get by.

Now none the less I will digress that alot of the games available for the Iphone are either novelty fun casual games, time wasters or put simply just Junk. However if you do some digging you will find true gems that will tickle those of us "Hard Core" gamers or those of us who take this hobby seriously to play. Sure I have a few of these games that are time wasters such as Geared, Tetris and what not, but for me what really sets the Iphone apart are the other games that I am going to mention. Games like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Zenonia 1 and 2, Chaos Rings, A good port of Secret of Mana, Wolfenstein RPG, Revolt, and other very cool games.

Chaos Rings

Chaos Rings has been hailed and praised like none others. Thats for good reasons as it has a very compelling story and its just a plain fun turn based RPG. It is one of those hidden games that Square Enix releases that shows they still have skill with game making but it just does not get enough attention. This is partially that its only for the Iphone and the IPad has an HD Version but aside from that if you got one of those and looking for something that emulates the good ol days of Square this is a game worth checking out.

It is games like these that feel donot like novelty games, but games that we could embrace. Its game like this that elevate them from being mere cell phone games and take them into a level with games that you can find on the DS and PSP. These are games that make me want to play my Iphone in general, not just waiting for the doctors apointment or whiling away times at the inlaws. These games make me want to play when I am home or whever because they are just so damn cool. Mind you its not just Chaos Rings, its games like Zenonia 1 and 2, the Dragons Lair port, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit(its a blast, and I am a guy who does not like racing games, but I love this one), and Wolfenstein RPG.

I even like playing some board games on there. Infact I have become an addict to Scrabble thanks to my Iphone. So much so that my wife and I went out and bought an actual Scrabble board to play actual scrabble with. Now mind you Scrabble is a good time waster and has a fun little MP component, but its a different type of game. But again my perspective on Cell Phone gaming as changed.

It has changed as that I believe my Iphone in a gaming sense is on the same level of my PSP and DS. I enjoy playing say Chaos Rings as I would say The World Ends with you or Persona PSP. So I ask all you guys, while in the past we may have looked down on Cell Phone gaming, I say its time we embrace as we do our handhelds.

Top Games of 2010: My Best of 2010

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Well this is the second part of my top games of the year. The last blog followed the best none 2010 games I played, and this time its for the best of the games that were released this year. Now I am going to not do a traditional list, or give games in any order except for the best of the year. The game of the year award will be the same as my none 2010 as there were two games that I just cannot decide which is better than the other. Again this is a first for me so I am going to give my game of the year to two games. Also on the list will be some games with specific titles and awards I guess you can say. I also want to note that there are going to be two games on here that will rifle some feathers. Yes one for sure I know because there are some of you guys who absolutley detest this game, but this is just my opinion, and I actually enjoyed it enough to be on this list....so let us commence.

Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest IX, gets my best Handheld of the year. This is just a fun little game that to me surprise had a nice marketing campaign, and got a bit more attention than one would expect. Dragon Quest IX was unique in alot of ways, in the way it included some nifty online elements and the way it added quests via online. Its very very traditional in the basic sense, and I did feel that some of the mechanics were a bit archaic(Such as having to go to church to find out your EXP and level progress) but aside from that the game won me over. One thing I will say is what really immersed me in this game are the individual stories for each of the quests in the game. Some of them are heartwarming, or even sad to say the least, and while the Dragonquest games may not have overly complex narratives, this was enough to be engaging. So Dragon Quest IX remains my game of the year on Handhelds.

The next game I might as well get out of the way. I know I have alot of unpopular opinions and this next game on the list is going to get me alot of flack, but...I am going to put it on my list anyway....

FFXIII


Yep Final Fantasy XIII. Yep the big game that caused a rift in the FF fanbase, but I am sorry, I enjoyed this game alot. Now I will say this ahead, its not perfect nor is it my favorite FF game(FFVI is my favorite FF Game followed by FFIX, FFVII, FFT, and than FFIV) but none the less its still a strong game. I know it was extremely Linear, but I think I understood why it had to be for the narrative. It made sense that you had to keep moving, since you were essentially fugitives. Yes I did not mind Snows Arrogance, Lightnings unsureness, Hopes whining(I felt he had a good reason to complain, considering his mother died infront of him) and even Vanille was tolerable. Sure its not the cast of FFVI, its no Edgar, Locke Sabin, or Terra, but its a good group of characters I liked. The combat system was challenging enough, and I thought the Paradigm system was just pure genius. It was a fast pace take on the ****c job system from Final Fantasies of the past, and yeah, I really liked this game. I know some of you guys did not and I am cool with that, but I actually enjoyed the 50 or so hours I put in this game since March. This game has sort of stuck with me, and I gotta say I absolutley loved the battle theme in this game. Yes I liked FFXIII, so now thats out of the way...FFXIII is my, favorite game "Everyone hated, but I liked" game of the year.

LOS

This game also divided its fanbase, and this game in question is Castlevania Lords of Shadow. I will admit, I am a huge Castlevania Fanatic, and I have been on since I started gaming in the 80s, since the original, and I highly enjoyed this game. Infact I will say I enjoyed it more than God of War, the game that many considered Lords of Shadow Copied from. Yes I will admit Lords of Shadows Combat plays alot like God of War but granted Castlevania itself was an inspiration for many of these games. To me it reinvents Castlevania in much the same way Symphony of the Night did, as that Symphony of the Night like Lords of Shadow copied a ****of game design(In this case Metroid) and set that as the standard for future games. Lords of Shadow did the same thing and while it was derided a bit more than SoTN it should be noted that at the same time, it repeated history. Lords of Shadows level design, length, and just overall tragic story line drew me in with an amazing twist ending that leads one to want to see what happens in this alternate retelling of the Castlevania Story. To me its probably one of the most over looked games of the year.

Persona 3 Portable


For best port of the year that goes to Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3. Now I was thinking of adding the remake of Lunar Silver Star Story Complete here, but I decided against it. Why? While its an excellent remake, there was one thing holding it back, It was too easy, so easy that I did not die once in the remake where as I died alot in the Playstation remake of Silver Star Story. Alright enough about that why SMT: Persona 3 Portable. Well the thing that I like about this port is that it allows you to enjoy the original story from a completely different perspective, and this fun especially if you are like me and played through FES or the original Persona 3. This gave you a whole new perspective on this already amazing game. It also had some gameplay enhancements such as the ability to control your entire party not just the main character. I also like the alternate battle themes and just over all soundtrack from Shoji Meguro who is quickly becoming one of my favorite gaming composers out there. so Persona 3 Portable is my best port of the year.

BF Bad Company II

This goes as one of my favorite shooters of the year. This is Battlefield Bad Company 2. I know such a strange jump from JRPGs and Castlevanias to a shooter. I really really enjoyed this game, and I actually think it has better MP than the Call of Duty, as that it is something MW2 was not. It was balanced, the game never felt cheap in its killed. You got killed you got killed simple as that. It never was from some cheap Grenade Launcher mechanic. Now the campaing may be a little weak this is game for the Multiplayer, and for me thats where the real value of this game lies.

Halo Reach

Ahh Halo Reach, yes I am going to go on and say simply, that this is the best Halo Game in my opinion. I like Halo, i am fan of it, and to me this is the definitive game in the series. To me one of the biggest problems Halo has had was at times some really bad Level Design, and overly repetitive stages that were not neccesary. Fortunatley with this game, it did not have that, and the level design always felt fresh and it was rather challenging at times. The story of Noble Team to me is proably one of the most heart wrenching tales in game and the final stage simple premise of survive means a whole lot more. The Multiplayer too, feels fresh and I am glad that the Load outs donot feel cheap. Each are well balanced and this game is just the better for it. Halo Reach is my shooter of the year with BFII Bad company right behind it. No I did not play Black Ops, but I will get to you when I do....

Pac Man

The simple fact that Pac Man is 20 years old, and the original game is still fun to say is a testament to brilliant game design. Simple but Challenging has always been the Pac Man Traditional. That carried over in the 2007 game Pac Man Champion Ship Edition and that truley carries over to this years Pac Man Championship Edition DX. And for that time enduring greatness that is Pacman, thats why this is my downloadable game fo the year. It is so simple, but at the same time its so engaging and just so fun. I do hope we see more of these Pacman Champion Ship Edition games....

Atelier Rorona

This is the game no one cared about but I enjoyed it award. And that game was this quirky addition to the long running Atelier series from Japan, and that was Atelier Rorona. This game had of course strange Japanese Humor and it was basically a quirky slice of life JRPG. Yep in this game you were not saving the world or anything like that. Your enemy was not some demon lord or anything. This game you were trying to work your butt off to save the alchemy shop from closure while dealing with your over sexed and lazy boss. Yes this game was strange but fun at the same time and while it may not have had the best reviews, I certainly enjoyed this game. It had a fun mixing element and you can even make pie with alchemy who would of thought...

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain, may not be my game of the year, but it goes as one of the most haunting games of this year. Now I will admit there were issues with this game such as the odd control scheme for moving characters and the sometimes uneven voice acting. However the games haunting story about four characters with their own demons and motivations out to hunt down the Origami killer. One of the biggest things with this game was a plot twist in the game that litteral betrays the player, and has you reflect on the your actions in the game and on yourself through out. SOme of your decisions in this case may haunt the player. Whether you rank it as an interactive movie or a game, whatever Heavy Rain to me is one of the most haunting games of the year.

I know this long folks but we are almost there...one more game and than we got the best games of the year for me.

super Mario Galaxy

This is probably my runner up of the year. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is just a well made game. From the whimsical soundtrack to the engaging wonderful world as Mario you explore this game is just a pure example of flawless game design. Its not my game of the year cause it did not get me on the emotional level that the next two games did, but it did make me feel that wonder of being a kid again. To me both the original Galaxy and this game shows that Nintendo has mastered the art of taking Mario 3D, refining what they first started fourteen years ago in Super Mario 64. From the wonder of going on races to the flip stages, this game is just pure magic. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is my runner up for game of the year....its still so much fun after I completed it.

Now before I go on, a couple games I did not add on this list include, Dead Rising 2 as I am currently playing it at the moment and same with Fable 3. Now enough rambling time for the game of the year, which for me is games of the year, its not one but two games...so lets commence...

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is just, I donot know its just an experience to say the least. The story of John Marston is both tragic and rewarding in the same essence. First and foremost it was the world that Marston inhabited felt alive. Not only was the main quest interesting but boy could I come up with alot of stories of just the random stuff that happened in that game. Such as the first time my horse was killed by a cougar, or the guy who betrayed me and stole my horse, and than found himself a corpse. The vast landscapes to explore, finding the gang hide outs. Trying to cheat at poker or just plain win it. Than there was the main story, a story about a mans quest for redemption. I enjoyed this entire story, even the Mexico part, but particular the quiet moments at home taking care of your family and what not. Those moments made the games ending that much more impactful and this game along with the next game of the year winners have two of the best ending sequences in a game I have ever seen. Also with a interesting and fun multiplayer, and fun DLC, this game just offers everything in a nice package. Hence why its one of my games of the year...now for the next game of the year...

Mass Effect 2


Let me say I am glad we are getting Mass Effect 3 next year. Now with that said, it is because of this game that I am very pumped for the sequel. Mass Effect 2 is a sequel that does it right, it improves for the most part everything wrong with the game and even fixes one of its major issues(The planet scanning got alot faster thanks to the patch) and offers fun DLC. But the thing about this game like Red Dead Redemption is its very human story. Commander Shepard through out the game must deal with shady individuals, and must try to get back into the world after an untimely death. All your actions from the first game are dealt with and it seems you had an effect in this massive universe. Than there is the cast of characters whom you grow close too and thus making the preparations for the suicide mission is that more important. This has one of the most intense end sequences in a game. Why? Because your decisions can either get you guys killed or save you. The end sequence not only epic is terrifying as you donot know if you did enough to survive. Again one of the best end sequences in a game, along with a fantastic world and story, this like Red Dead are my games of the year.


SUre there are not popular choices in this list, and some forgotten games but thats my top of the year. So let me know what you think thanks guys. See ya next Blog.

The Top Games of 2010 Part1: Best None 2010 Games

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It is December, it is cold for some of us and others its warm as usual. The Christmas carols are played over and over on the radio, and Holiday Deocrations are all over the place. For some of us its budgeting the expensive Christmas time, and for others its anticipating your gifts. But none the less, it also means the year is over and its time to look ahead and also reflect on the various aspects of our lives from this now dying year.

So of course for all of us we are gamers, and gaming is a part of our lives. So like any other year we look at the best or/and the worst of gaming. So for this blog I am starting the top games of 2010, and I want to start with an intersting list thats a bit different from most gaming lists to say the least. For me its the games that were not released in 2010 that I played...yep the best none 2010 games that were not on any of my other lists, because I did not play them. Now why I did not play them? Could be numerous reasons, I did not want to pay full money, lacked the console, just seemingly passed it by, but none the less there were plenty of awesome games that I played this year, that were not released. So I think for me I am going to start with the list of Best None 2010 games that I played. Now these games can come from any previous year, just not 2010....And there is no order on this list, though there are two games that stood out for me the most but I could nto choose which one of the two were the best. Those will be last....

So with that...lets begin.

Gaia Seed

Ok this is Gaia Seed. A little know Vertical Scrolling Shmup that was released back in 1996 and I had good reason to not play it. It never came over here from Japan and was brought over and released on the playstation store back in September. I donot count it as a new release though as that the version we got on PSN was a straight port of the game with no enhancements or changes. We got the original version over and thus it was released back in 1996. Now the thing about this game is its a vertical shmup but what caught my attention was the mechanics of the game, which are interings for a shmup. And as for the story, it has some engrish voice over that I barely understood, and it has something to do with a experiment, but I donot care about the story in this game. But as for the mechanics, it uses a mechanic that you donot see in shmups but you see all over the place in gaming today. That mechanic is the regenerative health mechanic that is very common in shooters. However you regenerate health rather slowly in this game, so you cannot abuse the mechanic in the least. It does not hurt the balance of the game at all.The game thouhg for the most part plays like all other shmups, you shoot lots of enemies, get powered weapons, have a specail power attack things of that natuer. Though boss battles you are timed when you fight a boss, if you should fail to kill teh boss though it escapes. Gaia seed is a unique little beast and a nice gem in the rough that I played this year.

Infamous

So this is the first of several PS3 exclusives that will appear on this list. Why? Well I did not get a PS3 till February of this year. So Infamous, how I liked this game. I liked it alot and it really was quite a unique take on the Super Hero genre of game. It allowed you to be the villian or the hero your choice. And at times the game would give you good reason to go either route, that you yourself would have to fight the temptation of either choice. Infamous also had a very interesting storyline and it reflected on the choices you made in a sense. The game is also known for its plot twist which will just hit you on the head of no wheres. So for that, that is why this game is one of my favorite none 2010 games.

Valkyria Chronicles

Another PS3 game that I missed on. I am glad that I was able to pick this up for the low price of twenty bucks and to be honest, I would not have regretted buying this for Sixty dollars. To me this strategy Roleplaying game is a purely over looked gem in the PS3 library. Everything about it from mixing the traditional grid based movement of other games in the genre with real time really transferred well. Also adding a aiming mechanic to the game was flawlessly dawn. To me it felt like a different approach to a genre that has a familiar design **** But while making it different, it still was able to feel as an SRPG and to me thats just pure brilliant game design. The story itself though is just awesome. Its a wonderful coming of age Story of Welking Gunther the son of a famous general who just wants to be a teacher. You see Welkin grow up and endure alot of tragedy and hopeless situations. Also the love story between him and Alicia to me is just plain out one of the best love stories in a video game hands down. Wonderful game, and overlooked. I would of checked it out at release if I had a PS3 but again there is a reason why this is on my list.

Demons Soul

Who has not played this game? Demon souls last years game that came out of nowhere sold a ton and got rave reviews. I am glad I got this game however before I go on I must make a confession to the readers on this blog and to myself. I am breaking a rule for myself that I placed when I started to do Youtube game review vids and blogs like this. What is that Rule? To never review a game that I have not completed or place it in the Top Ten. Yes Demon souls I have not beaten, but I am placing it on here as I spent alot of time with it and I understand what its doing. Now Demon Souls falls under this category of game that well its got a very immersive experience that sucks you in, but its story is not very complex. Its up there with games like Portal, Braid, or Left4Dead where there might be little to no story or a simple story but still just sucks you in. Demon Souls does that, as you quest to lift the fog and save everything. None the less, its one of those games where there is lore that can be found and it builds the world up. Also everything about it feels so organic and so life like that it feels like it is part of the world. It feels as if you are this lone warrior in this hostile environment, and it feels hopeless but you still push through. Demons souls brilliant use of the online mechanic estabilishes this, as you see other players fall to the many demons in this world. Warnings and messages convey that there were other warriors here which there were and show that this is a world not easily survivable. The difficulty which is justifiable makes up a brutal world. Demon souls is just a purely immersive world where you can lose yourself in it.

Wing Commander

This is the only Wing Commander Game I had not beaten or played. I have played everyone, even played Prophecy which is set after this game, but for some reason never this. Much to my joy this rereleased on the PSN network back in February and much to my surprise I am glad to have gotten it. This is a franchise that I would love to see renew it self and come back in some shape or form. Now Wing Commander 3 and 4 for its time were amongst the few videogames that had good acting of any way shape or form. Thanks to notable actors like Marky Hamil and Malcom McDowell they bring the games story to life. The game also allowed you to develop relationships with characters in between missions, as to help characters out or not. Also this series had some of my favorite game characters of all time, namely maniac played by Thomas F Wilson who is known as the famous goon Biff from back to the future plays him wonderfully as a carefree arrogant wingman of Maverick. Of course some may not like the slower paced gameplay of this game, it still worth checking out due to its unique at the time gameplay mechanics.

Now Before I get to the Final Two, this is a special category for a game called Redemption of the year. Every year I play a game that Initially hated when it first came out and thus never beat it, but I play it years later and enjoy it and it becomes one of my favorties. For this year is a game that to many surprised I never beat till the beggining of the year, and yes for a long time I detested this game as its part of one of my favorite franchises. However its close to becoming one of my favorites in the series....so that game is...

Final Fantasy X

Yep I really really hated this game. I donot know why, was it the characters or something. Maybe I just hated it when I first played it back in 2001 and I loved every Final Fantasy before that. However I decided to give the game a second chance, picked it up last march again, and then waited till the end of 2009 and played it through 2010. I donot know if its I am older, but everything about it that I remembered seemed to be false. I enjoyed the story, and even the characters(except Wakka, thats one thing that did not changed I hated him still do). I did like Tidus I did not find him to be whiny but more of a cocky jock then anything else. FFX had a great cool little battle system, and boy was that Battle Music from Uematsu awesome. I liked the switch a character mechanic as it added a level of depth and strategy to the battle mechanics. And that story was quite touching to say the least, and rather sad. The game had a rather sad feeling to say the least, as the feeling of death was all over the place. FFX is my redemption of the year and a game I will revisit again and again in the future.


Now the Final Two games, these are my two absolute favorite none 2010 games that played. I could not choose which one was the better but damn they were two games I really regretted on missing...so here they are.

Uncharted 2

Uncharted 2, yep again same reason as the other PS3, but man....damn. This game, I understand why it got so much hype. Everything about this game is just plain awesome. I know I sound like a broken record, but by no means was this game overrated or anything. I thought it would be when I went into it, but damn its just a blast. Nathan Drake himself is just a fun character and his antics and adventures sweep you into it. Uncharted 2 would have been my 2009 game of the year if I played it then(That game was for me, Assassins Creed 2) but its on this list. There is not much more I can say about it that has not been said, but I will say this. Let Uncharted 3 be revealed at the Spike Awards Saturday and this gamer will be one happy man!

The World Ends With You

To me this is like Uncharted 2 one of the best games released in the last decade or so. Yes it is a hand held game, but the amazing thing about it is that to me its unique and everything about it is just wonderful. The gameplay with its stylus based controls are just fun to play with despite some minor response issues the game has. Using different pins which you equip for your attacks and combinations are just plain cool. The Story of this game as well, wow...its a story about life and death and perhaps even what is beyond death. The story teaches us that life is something we should not waste thanks to the multilayered characterse. I think this game is also like Valkyria Chronices a coming of age story about Neku who starts as this reclusive jerk, changes into some one who instead embraces his friends and life. Its a wonderful tale for an over looked game

An honorable mention also goes to Star Ocean the First Departure as I did not beat it when it was first released, but I am playing it and enjoying at the moment. I will do an article on that game in the future.

So those are my best 2010 games, next up is some reflections on the news stories for gaming of 2010, Handheld and then overall best games of 2010. In the meant time tell me this, what are your favorite non 2010 games that you played for the first time this year and beaten?

The TV Blog...

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Yes this is my first none gaming blog. All my blogs up to this point have been about Gaming, but like I did on my youtube channel, I would like to speak about things outside of the realm of gaming. So of course I have four tv series that I am watching at the moment, as I am a big fan of good serialized dramas. Now I am going on a limb and saying this is a good time to be a TV fan since there are some strong shows on. Now 2010 has had some fun stuff, such as Spartacus Blood and Sand, and the third season of True Blood which I enjoyed. And I cannot forget my favorite which left airwaves back in May, and that was Lost, which I know many will disagree but I felt that it had the perfect ending(I feel the same way about Seinfeld as well, that ending was perfect imo but again its not the popular opinion.). None the less, there are four series out there that I am enjoying at the moment...

Boardwalk Empire

This is my brand new favorite series. For me I am excited for the last two episodes to air in the coming weeks, but also sad as that I donot know how long I have to wait for the second season. If you have not seen this series I highly reccomend you see it as soon as you can. Though it may be hard to catch earlier episodes, its still worth watching. BoardWalk empire takes place during the 1920s during prohibitions and follows the trials and tribulations of Atlantic city at that time. The main charcter Eunuch Nucky Thompson, is the corrupt but very very powerful treasurer of Atlantic city, that lets put it his way, while he maybe treasurer, he is basically the ruler of Atlantic city and his power even extends into congress. Played brilliantly by Steve Buscemi, Nucky at first seems to be smooth talking, typical lying corrupt politician, but even at times, he uses this power for good as well as what we conisder the bad. There are several other main characters, including Jimmy Darmady, a young man who works for Nucky, and has returned from figthing in World War 1. He was a bright young man who was at one point to go to Harvard, but instead enlisted in the army. The war shattered him and its very very clear that he is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. He has very violent tendencies that threaten to destroy all the relationships in his life. Margaret Shroeder is the abused housewife of a drunk and gambler whom is dispatched to say the least, and she has a very complex relationship with Nucky as the series progresses. Then there is Nelson Van Alden, a federal agent that wants to bring down Nucky. Nelson while he is an agent, is surely not a good guy by anymeans. He treats his wife badly, does not beat her or anything like that but still, he is a sociopath and obesessed with Shroeder, and bends the law many many times for his own means. There also other characters such as Nuckys brother, his butler, and many many characters that are fleshed out through the series. Historical figures such as Al Capone, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Johnny Torio are all featured in the series, and all play vital roles. Its these complext very layered characters that get you involved in BoardWalk Empire which is my favorite new series. Its compelx characters, beautiful backdrops, and just expensive production values brings a show that not only is flashy, but complex and deep at the same time.

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead the newest of the series I am talking about at the moment is pretty awesome. Now having read the comic series, I feel that the TV series is very good at expanding at characters and puting in some more interesting situations unique to the series as opposed to the comics. Now the first season is only six, but it has been renewed for a full thirteen episode long seasn, this has become a favorite of mine. The characters are complex enough to care for, and the series is very good at seting up conflicts on multiple levels. You have conflicts of survival, personal squabbles, and of course the whole situation with Zombies. I think its interesting that with both the comic and the TV series Zombies can be explored in terms of long form storytelling. I think to me that is just plain awesome as that genre has been usually relegated to either movies or standalone games or something of that sort.

Dexter

Ahh yes Dexter Season 5. I am actually liking it, but not as much as I like Season 4, but aside from that its a pretty good season thus far. I like the whole storyline with the new character Lumen, who is a woman Dexter accidentally rescued from a group of murderous human trafickers. Also like the interesting relationship they have as that she is becoming Dexters pupil and he is teaching her his ways. Then there is the whole plotling with Quinn, having a relationship with Dexters siste Debra, while at the sametime he is also investigating Dexter. Now I know if you have seen Dexter the Quinn storylines sounds similiar to the Doakes storyline from Seasons1 and 2, and the Lumen storyline sounds like the Miguel Prado Storyline from Season 3. But both are different, as that in the Quinn Subplot, he is in cohoots with a corrupt cop named Liddy, and Quinn is starting to have doubts about the investigation, but LIddy is on to dexter who has no idea that some one is tracking him. Lumen, unlike Miguel Prado is not a corrupt DA using dexter as her personal assassin, but a woman who like Dexter is deeply traumatized from her experiences and has the same impulses that Dexter has. I like Season 5 and I am digging it and curiosu if there will be a Season Six....the events of the last season really changed things up for Dexter and I am excited to where it goes.

Stargate Universe

Now I am going to go on a limb, this is a guilty pleasure to me. I like this series alot, enough to follow it, but I will admit that it does have its flaws. The thing with this series it has characterse that I enjoy like Dr Rush, Eli, Colonel Young and they are pretty interesting but there are characters I donot like. There is also some shoddy writing such as sometimes ignoring the events of previous episodes, or not addressing character development till far later. Now its not as bad as Heroes got where that became just rehashes of the same plot and characters stuck in some strange incoherent loophole, its just missing minor aspects that make the writing shoddy. However characters like Nicholas Rush make this series very watchable and a guilty pleasure of mine. And so far I will admit, that Season 2 imo is far better thus far then Season 1 was. There seems to be a lot more happening this season then there was last season.

So those are my TV pics, may be not the best maybe so. Who knows its all subjective but if you are watching some thing good on TV let me know...or if you enjoy these shows or disagree let me know. Oh yea and donot forget my most anticpated series of Next year Game of Thrones based on my favorite book series is coming next year to HBO.

Thanksgiving Gaming!

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Ezio

There is that old saying for Thanksgiving that goes, Thanksgiving is about Food, Family and Football. I suppose thats true for alot of people, but not for me. For me the saying goes Food, Family and Gaming. Yep thats what it means for me this time of year, and especially with a week of from the arduous twelve hour days of college I have this is a good time to catch up on some gaming. So this blog is about what I am gaming and what is going to go good with that gaming once I have made the rounds to my family and the inlaws are complete.

So first and foremost, I will probably be taking my handhelds to the Inlaws, as that they are ok, I just donot have anything in common with them. So with that said lets take a look at whats on the Handheld front for me...

Star OCean

Star Ocean the First Departure. I have had this for two years but for some reason never go into it. Then I started up the game Monday after ****and then went full head into it. It starts off a bit slow, but boy does it pick up and how I absolutley love the combat, considering that this remakes combat is completely the same as Star Ocean The Second Evolution/Second Story system. and I absolutley adore that game. Now I am not too far into it but the story of Roddick seems familiar fair, but I am a sucker for JRPGs so this will serve good to pass time.

Order of Ecclesia

Oh this is a favorite of mine. Now I never beat it as I have had gone through a couple of DS's but none the less I am in Draculas Castle, and I am really enjoy it. In some ways this game reminds of the structure of Lords of Shadow where you go through level to level on a map and have the option to revisit it. As you get better abilities you can visit previously unaccessible areas. Also like the character of Shanoa, she is a true Castlevania Heroin and I been down playing as her. I adore the Glyph Mechanics and absolutley love the magnes glyph. Now on to what I am playing on the...I-Phone???

Zenonia

Zenonia, a game thats available I believe on numerous platforms from I Phone, Ipod, and the DSI Ware. This is a very lengthy Zelda throw back that imo is a ton of fun. Sure I may not be the biggest fan of the touch screen control pads, but this game seems to have good controls and no response problems.However if you prefer ****c controls for this game, pick it up on your DSI and download the game. None the less wherever you get Zenonia, it is a surprisingly good game and for the prices it goes, I believe 5 bucks on Iphone, and 800 Nintendo points on the DSI, its quality surpasses its price as well its length. You get forty hours of gameplay for that, and the game so far has nto gotten repetitive. Now on another side note, there is a sequel called Zenonia 2 thats available on the Iphone, and I Pod Touches, but its not available on the DSI Ware yet. However I have it and have not played it, but once I do I will give you more of an update.

Now off to Console Land....

And yes for this I am not posting a pic since there is a pic of our good pal Ezio over on the top I will not post a pic here at the moment. However I have been playing Assassins Creed Brotherhood which came out last week and I am really like it. Its Quite alot of fun and a good expanions of AC2 from last year. Surprisingly I love the Multiplayer, but aside from the handhelds this is what I am really digging at this moment.


These games, turkey and pumpkin pie, hell with football. I rather sit around and game and eat. So to my readers, I ask what are you playing this thanksgiving? What games are going to be great for your holiday?

Castlevania Lords of Shadow...Copy Cat or Moving the Series Forward?

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lords of Shadow

Its been a while since my last blog Post, and mostly because of how busy I have been with School. And my english ****is sort of making me tired of writing long form posts as this, but today I feel like writing this.

Its been about three weeks, or close to a month since I beat Castlevania Lords of Shadow. Three weeks and the game has stuck with me, the same way that Heavy Rain has, the same way Red Dead has, the same way that Mass Effect 2 has. Yes, this game has stuck with me, and to be painfully honest its probably in my top ten, if not my top five games of the year. Crazy I know, and I will say I enjoyed this game more so then I did God of War III. Crazy I am, but thats how much I enjoyed the game and while its been near a month and a half since the game came out it still stirs discussion on two fronts.

One its ending, which I will not divulge here, but will say that it has a fantastic ending sequence but also amazing twist ending. Two, that it is a God of War Rip Off.....yep I am opening that can of worms. This can of worms that ever so divided the Castlevania Fanbase, and still divides it. The supporters say it moves the series forward, others say its not a true Castlevania game and that it does not have anything connecting to the series. (On that front, there are tons and I mean tons of Castelvania references or reboots of enemies in the series, but thats another blog for another day).

I am a Castlevania fan, I have been since I first played the original in the late eighties. I have played the games as they came out from the NES, to the 16 bit era. Hell I even imported A Copy of Rhondo of Blood in the nineties cause thats how obsessed I came with the series. Then the Series changed greatly with the release of Symphony of the Night and that forever changed how many percieved the series. Then this formula was the one that was followed for the most part, and then came Lords of Shadow, which not only rebooted the series storyline, but also did what Symphony of the Night did. It reinvented it.

So with that said, which camp am I in? Well I think it moves the series forward, infact I know many will not agree with me on this but not only does it move the series forward, it reinvents itself as Symphony of the Night did 13 years ago. Now am I saying the game is original? By No means, but I donot look for innovation in every game I play. Yes the game does play very much like God Of War, however, it does somethings better then God of War. And let me add one thing that I know some people may not like to hear, but this is me being honest again. SoTN reinvented the series in the same exact way that I feel Lords of Shadow did. How so? Well if Lords of Shadow reinvented it by taking the game play elements from God of War, then history repeats it self. Lets be honest, as good as SoTN is, its not original. SoTN stole the Metroid gameplay. Thats why I think its the second major reinvention of the series.

What I am saying is that I find it rather unfair that we can deride a game in a series for lifting gameplay mechanics but yet praise another game and hail it as one of the greatest games of all time? SoTN does exactly what LoS does, it lifts another ****of gameplay to reinvent a series. Now by no means is this a bashing session on SoTN, no, I think that game is amazing for it is excellently made(The only flaw is the way that you use healing items, its a bit clunky, but a very minor issue.).But however the truth is the truth, the game stole its mechanics from Metroid. Sure it did add a level up and equipment mechanic to the mix, but still the core gameplay is that of a Metroid game. That is why we praise it, not because it ripped off whoever but ultimatley the game is well made. And thats How I feel about Lords of Shadow. It is well made, and I think in some instances improved upon some of what God of War did. These include being a longer game and to me having more well thought out level design.

In regards to some of the reviews of the game too by critics, including Gamespots website, also mixed the mark as grading the game down for not being original. Thats simply not fair, not only because of the SoTN example I mentioned, but also that we have many other types of games that copy it. The FPS, a genre I will say I enjoy copies itself on a numerous basis but these games get more praised then the other. And heck I will say in alot of the cases they do deserve the praise, because they are well made however, if we should deride games for being copies of ecah other should we not deride say the numerous shooters for having the familiar regenerative health mechanic prevalent in them?

I think what we should do is look at how a game is made as opposed to always looking for originality. If a game is well made that should be what the game is graded upon. I feel that a game should be faulted upon having broken mechanics or things of that nature. If it grows to tedious then that should be noted. Games copy from each other all the time, and I understand this. Sure we will get original things from time to time, but even then sometimes that innovation falls short.

What we should do as gamers is enjoy a game for what it is. I enjoyed Castlevania Lords of Shadows tremendously, that it is one of my favorite games of the year. Sure its not going to be on many lists, but its on mine, and I enjoyed it. For me it was that enjoyment factor that mattered. I knew it was not the most original game out there, but in the long run I did not care. I had so much fun with it, engaged in the story of Gabriel Belmont and the tragedies that befell him, I did give a damn. I enjoyed it...thats what mattered.

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