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Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is Brutal but Fun

A few years ago I wrote a list about games on past Christmas whislists that didn’t make any sense. Games that were either not for me, or ended up being kind of bad and in no way should they have been on a kids Christmas wishlist. I debated doing a companion piece on this focusing on games I had on my lists for several years. These were games that, for some reason, in the span of 365 days I never managed to pick up myself. One such game (and likely the one to take the top spot if there were enough to justify an entire list) would have been the final Castlevania on the DS, Order of Ecclesia. After actually getting the game for Christmas a year ago (finally!) I’ve sat down and played the first couple hours. So far it’s brutal, it’s challenging, it’s engaging, and it’s all the things I love about Castlevania! (more…)

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Castlevania: A Personal Retrospective

Zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and of course, vampires.

If you’ve been playing games for any decent amount of time, chances are you’ve at least heard of the Castlevania series of horror-themed action RPGs. With it’s origins dating back to the original NES, and the newest releases still coming steadily (spiritual successors included), it’s hard to think of a game series more fitting for this Halloween season. Appearing on virtually every console, with dozens of heroes, hundreds of villains, and plenty of memories, I wanted to take a look back at the genre defining Castlevania series! (more…)

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Tao’s Adventure is a Portal to When Designers Didn’t Know How to Make DS Games

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You take some risk when playing games from nearly a decade ago. In that span of time many developers and game designers have time to hone their craft and really get a grip on what a system or console can do. The Nintendo DS is a perfect example of this, because not only was it a more powerful version of Nintendo’s handheld line, it also introduced a second touch screen to play around with. Early games on the DS used that second screen as an inventory management screen, a place to show the map, or a different way to control the game. Perhaps we’re all spoiled now in 2015 after 10 years of successful games on the system, because going back to Tao’s Adventure on the DS just reminds me how far we’ve come. (more…)

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Top Ten Dream E3 2015 Predictions

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It’s that time of year again. E3 is this week, and with it will come the best and most exciting video game announcements, trailers, demos, and releases for the upcoming year. Many companies benchmark their entire remainder of the year on this show, making or breaking 2015 before it even finishes. Rampant speculation fuels the show year in and year out, and this year is no exception: a few days out of the show and there have already been announcements and rumors flying. But if I could have things 100% my way, we’d be gearing up to hear the following ten announcements at E3 2015. (more…)

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Free Play: Tornado Outbreak

After finding the game for just a dollar, I decided to give it a spin. If more games were this cheap and this good, I don't think I'd ever leave…

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Top Ten Favorite Dance Dance Revolution Songs

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Though its popularity has waned in recent years, Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution franchise has seen numerous entries on literally every platform on the market. It also seemingly single handedly saved arcades from total annilhilation: or at least it staved off their downfall for a few more years. For myself, DDR was a way of life in high school. A group of my friends and I would play every day (no exaggeration there, we’d literally play every day), oftentimes directly after a swim practice or other school event. We even had a small rivalry going with another group of DDR-players at the arcades and in school! While I deemed myself good at the game, I was never anywhere near a competitive level, with even my friends topping me at every corner. Regardless, Dance Dance Revolution made up a large part of my gaming years. I’ve been thinking about the game recently, after picking up a random game in the series, and that got me thinking about my all-time favorite songs from the series. Now, I’ve written a lot of articles on this blog about top tens and whatnot, but nothing has been as challenging to narrow down to just ten than this list! It was tough, but I managed to whittle down all the songs I’ve danced to to just ten, and here they are, my top ten favorite DDR songs! (more…)

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Sunday Roundup: 1/26/14

Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 Wii Release Date: September 16th, 2008 Purchased at: Goodwill (Sunnyvale, CA - $4) Just a random stop in Goodwill this week and I happened…

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Video Review: Silent Scope

Silent Scope is a memorable, unique arcade shooter. Not so much on the consoles. Here is my newest video review [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cINx-CV_ayw&w=420&h=315] Laters, Jsick

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Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate

Castlevania Mirror of Fate CoverThe Castlevania series has enjoyed years of success on handheld systems. The previous three games in the series on the DS were arguably some of the best in the entire series. However, a reboot of the franchise occurred on the consoles in 2010 with the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The new game retained the gothic setting and whip-based action, but replaced much of the mythos with a fresh take on the story and took a more hack-n-slash, God of War-like approach. While this may have reinvigorated the franchise on the consoles, it has absolutely no place on the handhelds. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is a victim of itself, trying to blend the new style of Lords of Shadow with the “Metroidvania” gameplay the DS and GBA games have perfected, but instead falls short in almost every category. (more…)

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