4.30.2010

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

It's Castlevania, so you know what that means for me.




















Also, the feeling I got looking at the screenshots may count as cheating on my husband.

*sigh*

Oh Yeah!

4.22.2010

That Whole Ebert Thing

Yeah.  I know.  Yada yada yada.

I don't care. 

Nothing he says will take the power of that first Shadow of the Colossus play through from me or anyone else.

What we have is a "Get Off My Lawn!" moment.  Long after the ney-sayers are gone, video games will still be here and, yes, some of them will be considered art.

Seriously.  Penny Arcade's got this one.

4.13.2010

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Boy, am I behind... Time to get my review on!

We all know I'm a Castlevania whore. (Lord of Shadows! It calls me!) So the first review in the long list I have to do is for Order of Ecclesia. (Yes, I know I'm waaaaaay behind.)

Amnesiac Shanoa is sent out to bitch slap her brother Albus around in order to get the Dominus glyphs and kill Dracula. The twist: using them will kill her. Of course, it would be a useless sacrifice anyway. Dracula will just pop back up like a bad weed in a century, give or take a few years.

You control Shanoa who has a large array of weapons and magic at her disposal a la Alucard. However, the use of these things sucks up her MP, so when you tap out, you have to wait for the bar to refill. This changes the strategy of the game. You have to go into an area with a sense of timing to be sure your mp doesn't run out at a crucial moment. For Boss fights, it's worse. Of course, you can endlessly revisit a stage to level up, grab new goodies, and knock over the First National Bank of Dracula for the cashes.

And you will revisit stages a lot thanks to all the stupid little quests the villagers have you do. Being a completetist, I finished every god-damned one (and I would like to kill the little kid with the 'lets run around in the dark' bull crap.)

The game play, even with the mp depletion, is smooth. The variety of areas and new monsters to go with the classic standbys makes for a nice venture out into Castlevania land. Even the old standbys got a few new tricks, most notably Drac-baby himself. His typically 2D sprite got some new moves, all of which made him a much more difficult boss.  (Remember not to try flying when you have to fight the big guy.)

You never use a particular glyph for too long.  As you get new glyphs, you get new abilities and you will rapidly change between glyphs for different situations, so you don't have another Soma Cruz.  (I've got three powerful souls and I... only need to use the three of them to beat this game.)

4 Glyphs out of 5

4.05.2010

No Twilight Game? THANK GOD!

"Given how hot a property it is, Twilight could easily present a seven-figure exploitation opportunity," analyst Nick Gibson told the publication, "especially if publishers look at taking it beyond retail gaming and considers network gaming."

"It may well be that the rights holders aren’t aware of the potential benefits as they haven’t explored the games market before,” he said. "It’s not unheard of – although it is increasingly unusual in this day and age."  

No.  It's not that they haven't explored the games market.  There is NO market for it.

The gamer market is geared toward guys.  That's why God of War has an uber-manly hero who has sex, albeit off screen, with big breasted women.

Twilight is marketed to teenage girls and while there is a game market for those girls, it is tiny and will not generate 'millions' in revenue. 

Let's be honest.  The vast majority of people reading Twilight do not own game systems.  And the ones that do, won't waste their game dollars on a Twilight game.  Seriously, what kind of game would it be anyway?  And I swear to the Almighty that if you point to one of those damn Barbie games, I will kill you.  Because that's exactly what it will look like.

Very few movies translate into games and those games are notorious for being profit sinkholes (despite what the article in the jump says).

The Dark Knight was not made into a game because Arkham Asylum came out at the same time.  EA (who was developing The Dark Knight) would have lost a lot of money.  Arkham Asylum not only came out to the praise of critics, but flew off the store shelves.  EA made the right call.

"The brand’s appeal could actually extend significantly beyond the expected teen girl market and into the 20- to 30-year-old female market, which has a very substantial crossover into gaming," he said.

Yes, there is a substantial cross over into gaming with the 20-30 year olds, but guess what?  They are gamers.  Why would they pay for a bad movie tie-in when Final Fantasy XIII is currently rocking their worlds?  And the 20-30 year olds who are reading Twilight are, by and large, not gamers.  While their kids may have a Wii, that doesn't mean they're going to waste money on a Twilight tie-in game that they won't even know exists because the ad placement will not find its way to the target audience.

To the Twilight Money Machine: The lack of a game tie-in was the right call.