Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin Review

I can’t remember if I finished the original incarnation of Dark Souls 2, and I’m not really sure why. I really (really really) loved Demon Souls. I thought the original Dark Souls was amazing and added so much to the Souls formula. For whatever reason, though, I never really got into Dark Souls 2. Turns out skipping that entry was fine because Scholar of the First Sin improves on many aspect of Dark Souls 2‘s gameplay, adds in all the previous DLC and makes it an overall amazing experience.

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ActRaiser Review

ActRaiser Box Cover

– I changed the battery on this board, it wasn’t saving anymore. Changing the battery was terrifying, I was convinced the battery was going to explode if the solder got too hot.
– The ‘b’ button is to confirm selection, and ‘y’ is to cancel. I guess that makes sense, the rightmost button is used to confirm, left to cancel, but why not ‘a’ to confirm, ‘b’ (“back”) to cancel?
– You’re playing a god and some evil guy has sealed your powers.
– In order to restore your powers, you have to play through a platforming level and beat a boss.
– Once you beat the boss, you go into a sim mode and build a town. Your townspeople ask you to do stuff like burn bushes so they can build houses. They need a god’s help to burn bushes to build houses.
– Flying around the overworld makes great use of Mode 7

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Super Castlevania IV Review

Super Castlevania IV Box Cover

– The controls don’t always feel tight.
– The jumping physics seem odd, even in the SNES era. Can change directions but still feels stiff.
– No battery, game uses a password system. 4×4 grid, composed of holy water, axes, hearts and empty spaces. I’m going to store the codes as I go, here’s one:

w e e e
a w e h
e w e a
e h e e

[a = axe, e = empty, h = heart, w = holy water]

– The music is fantastic and easily the best part of the game.
– Boss can sometimes be super easy, you can kill them so fast you don’t even see all of their moves.
– There is frequent slowdown even when a lot isn’t happening on screen.
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Pac-Man Championship Edition DX Review

Having not played a Pac-Man game since the original arcade version of the game, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. I’d only heard good things about Pac-Man Championship Edition though, so I decided to give the game a shot. What I found was that Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is, though highly modified from the original Pac-Man game play in many ways, still familiar in so many aspects. More so, the game is much more fun and additicting, with a ton of game play and customization options.

The game play mechanics are different in a number of ways. First, you don’t just play until you die, you either choose a 5 or 10 minute time limit. Ghosts start placed on the stage, but are asleep and don’t move. Once you run past the ghost they wake up and begin chasing Pac-Man. Meanwhile, Pac-Man still gobbles up dots in the maze. Once you collect all dots on one side (left or right) of the maze, the other side is filled with dots, a piece of fruit, sleeping ghosts and (sometimes) a power pellet. Dots are laid out in such a way as to encourage a specific path through the maze and going through it the right way tends to line up Pac-Man to flow into the opposite side of the map perfectly so that you can collect dots in the most optimized way possible. Essentially, the game has you going back and forth across the maps through a specific path. Going off the path is generally a bad thing as you’ll most likely end up getting a lower score in the long run. For instance, if you miss a dot on one side of the map, the other side won’t respawn it’s dots and ghosts, so you’ll have to waste a few seconds going back around and getting that single dot you missed. The goal is to get the highest score possible in the given time limit. You receive a ranking for each stage based on your score compared to the overall leaderboards (e.g. if you’re in the top 20 percentage, you’ll get an ‘S’ rank)

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Costume Quest Review

I’m a pretty big fan of Halloween, RPG’s and Double Fine games in general, so when I found out Double Fine was making a Halloween themed RPG I was pretty pumped. A downloadable game for both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Costume Quest follows the twins Wren and Reynold as they trick-or-treat their way through the neighborhood on Halloween night. When one of the twins is kidnapped (the player chooses which sibling they want to play as, the other is kidnapped) by a band of candy-stealing monsters it’s up to the other to save the day. You’ll fight through a few different areas, including the suburbs, the mall and a Halloween carnival in the country side. Along the way you’ll find two more playable characters to help you in your quest.

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Galcon Fusion Review

I love Steam for their occasional deals, such as the recent Indie Game Pack they had on sale for $7.99. The pack came with a number of independent games, including Galcon Fusion. If not for that deal I would have never known what a great game I was missing.

The game play is fairly simple, in theory. Galcon Fusion is a RTS game set in space. Games start with each player controlling a planet (or multiple planets, depending on the settings). The number shown on controlled planets represents how many ships you have on that planet. Controlled planets also generate new ships, the larger the planet, the faster it generates ships. Neutral planets that are not owned by any player show a number on them, representing the number of ships you need to take over the planet. Clicking on one of your controlled planets and then right clicking a neutral or enemy planets sends a percentage (which can be changed from %5 to 100%) of ships, represented as triangles, from your planet to the neutral/enemy planet. If you send more ships then the neutral/enemy planet has, you take it over. The goal being to take over all the planets on the map.

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Shadow Complex Review

Shadow Complex Review

I’m a huge fan of Super Metroid, it was one of a handful of SNES games I had as a kid and easily in my top 10 video games of all time. I played it for countless hours and many times over, the exploration aspect was really fun, and finding all the little secrets, the hidden rooms and passages was always a driving factor. Naturally, when I heard that Shadow Complex was admittedly inspired by games like Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night, I was excited. After playing through the game, I can say that Shadow Complex lived up to my expectations in every way.

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Dead Space Review

I admit, initially I wasn’t too pumped about Dead Space. I honestly thought it was just going to be some cheap Doom or Resident Evil rip-off, just another generic game borrowing concepts from other series in hopes of making a quick buck. I was dead (get it?) wrong, Dead Space is an amazing game that will go down as one of my favorites in 2008. Every fan of the survival horror genre should pick this one up, it’s definitely worth it.

In the game you control Isaac, one member of a repair crew sent to investigate the Ishimura (a massive space ship) and determine why communication has been lost with the ship. Once inside, things rapidly go downhill as it seems every one on the ship is either dead, insane, or turned into a horrible monster with an insatiable love of human flesh. From that point on it’s basically Isaac’s job to kill tons of bad guys and fix everything that’s wrong on the ship.

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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King Review

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King

Before I actually begin this review I think I should make it clear that I really didn’t like Crystal Chronicles. As a fan of the more “traditional” Final Fantasy games, I found Crystal Chronicles to be extremely lacking, just a half-assed attempt to put a “Final Fantasy” title on the Gamecube. So, when I heard about Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King and saw all the screen shots, which made the game look very similar to it’s Gamecube predecessor, I was instantly turned off. However, after hearing more about it, I realized My Life as a King is a completely different game and decided to go ahead and give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised and my prejudice against the Crystal Chronicles name was quickly washed away. My Life as a King is a unique game play experience that combines two different game genres (RPG’s and city-building games such as Simcity) to create something truly memorable.
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