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gearhound
04-19-2004, 10:39 PM
Playstation


Playstation 2
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim -- 9.1 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=178768#post178768)
Contra: Shattered Soldier -- 8 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=278662#post278662)
Neo Contra -- 6.9 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=179948#post179948)
God of War -- 9.1 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=184336#post184336)
Gradius V -- 9.6 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=185838#post185838)
Megaman X8 -- 8 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=188988#post188988)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=224750#post224750)
Darkwatch -- 8 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250245#post250245)
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=277656#post277656)

Xbox
Ninja Gaiden -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=187488#post187488)

Gamecube
Resident Evil 4 -- 9.6 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=190881#post190881)

Gameboy Advance
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow -- 9.1 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=222517#post222517)
Gunstar Superheroes -- 9 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=293448#post293448)
Double Dragon Advance -- 8.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=285340#post285340)


Nintendo DS
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250245#post250245)
Metroid Prime Hunters -- 8.75 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=289979#post289979)

Retro Reviews

NES
Snakes Revenge -- 7.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250252#post250252)
Metal Gear -- 8 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250252#post250252)

SNES
Lagoon -- 6.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250246#post250246)
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys -- 6 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250247#post250247)
Axelay -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250249#post250249)
Super Castlevania IV -- 9.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=294882#post294882)

Genesis
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TurboDuo
Dracula X: Rondo of Blood -- 9 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250246#post250246)
Lords of Thunder -- 10 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250246#post250246)


Sega CD
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gearhound
03-16-2005, 04:55 PM
http://www.netjak.com/images/games/ps2/ys6/box.jpg
This game kicks ass!

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim
Console: Playstation 2
Release: February 2005
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: Konami

Overview
Prepare to embark on a classic journey that will fill your gaming heart with the bliss of nostalgic action, music to die for, and a cast of characters that will forever live in your memory. This is Ys VI (pronounced ?ease?), Falcom?s lovable series that pits the hero, Adol, on non-stop adventures to save the world. Ys VI was originally released on the PC in Japan in 2003. We finally get to experience this gem on the Playstation 2, and we owe it all to Konami. Let the gaming begin!

Story: 8/10
Ys VI?s story certainly will not overwhelm you and knock your pants off, but what it will do is keep you glued to the very end. The Ys series is known for its original story lines and part VI is no different. The game opens in a tavern where Adol is approached by a man who asks him if he wants to discover the edge of the world with him. Adol has no choice but to join him because with a few seconds, Romun soldiers bust through the door in an attempt to arrest Adol. They all escape on a pirate ship towards the Great Vortex of Canaan, which swallows all ships that come near, but are soon attacked by the Romuns. Adol eventually falls off the ship in an attempt to save his friend and is washed away. The game begins with Adol lying on a beach soon to be rescued by a strange race of people known as Rehdans. And so your journey begins?

Graphics: 8.5/10
The land of Ys VI is quite astonishing in detail with rich, colorful landscapes spread throughout the land of Canaan that range from mountainous areas to beautiful palaces and huge grasslands. Adol runs into many unique characters during his journeys all of which are beautifully drawn and sometimes cover the entire screen during certain conversations and special events. Don?t worry, though ? every character will always say something different the first 2 or 3 times you talk to them. The enemies are well designed as are the bosses, which seem to overpower poor Adol in every aspect ? they are huge! Konami has opted to include CG cutscenes and an intro explaining what happened to Adol, but thank the gaming gods we can input a cheat code that will lets players view the amazing anime intro and anime cutscenes throughout the game!

Gameplay: 9.5/10
The gameplay is the heart and soul of Ys VI; it is the lifeblood of the series. Running around the field encountering all types of enemies is as fun as ever. Adol has plenty of moves to utilize. All of these moves are performed with ease for the control is perfect and very responsive, especially with the analog stick. There are three magical swords that are waiting for you to master. Each sword offers different combos as well as magical attacks. By defeating enemies, you gain emel, a rare metal that is dropped by enemies, which allows you to level up your swords, increasing the magical potency and overall strength. The game isn?t easy, though. You will encounter enemies that can and will kill you in a matter of seconds. But hey, that?s the fun part, right?

Sound: 9.5/10
What an incredibly traditional RPG soundtrack. The Ys series is also known for its stunning and masterfully composed music, and Ys VI?s soundtrack will keep your gaming blood flowing as you slash and slay your way through Canaan. The musical score demonstrates amazing talent and fits the mood of the game perfectly. The music may not be as good as Ys Book 1 or 2, but it shouldn?t disappoint fans of the series. The voice acting is constant throughout the game, unlike most RPGs or action-adventure games. However, if you don?t want to hear it you can turn it off. The acting ranges from decent to below average. Certain characters? voices, like Terra?s, will annoy you to the point of wanting to put your head through the T.V. Each voice is very unique though and adds much to the personalities of each character, bringing you even closer to the characters and the game itself.

Overall Experience: 10/10
I enjoyed this game more than I could possibly express into words; it?s an almost ineffable experience. This is as traditional as it gets nowadays. I had so much fun leveling up Adol, my swords, exploring the vast land of Ys, and speaking to the many inhabitants I forgot I even existed. Ys is for the lover of videogames -- an experience not to be missed for fans of the genre. Ys VI is a rare gift from the gaming gods that will make you remember why you play videogames in the first place. If you are familiar with the Ys series, or if you love action-adventure games, you will fall in love with Falcom?s latest.

Rating: 9.1/10

Sinful Sam
03-16-2005, 06:07 PM
Nice reivew, Gearhound. I look forward to more reviews.

Abaddon
03-16-2005, 06:09 PM
I passionately disagree with your game review! :thumb-dn::mad:

Hey, Review a Nippon Ichi SRPG!

gearhound
03-16-2005, 06:12 PM
Nice reivew, Gearhound. I look forward to more reviews.

thank you, sinful sam. i look forward to writing more.


I passionately disagree with your game review! :thumb-dn::mad:

Hey, Review a Nippon Ichi SRPG!

:lol: ya' know i would but i have yet to play through one. tell you what. you send me one of their games in the mail, i play it, finish and review and keep the game! sound good?

Abaddon
03-16-2005, 06:13 PM
:lol: ya' know i would but i have yet to play through one. tell you what. you send me one of their games in the mail, i play it, finish and review and keep the game! sound good?

Interesting proposition, heres another

You take a hammer, pull out one of your nuts, set it on a table, and start taking swings at the table until you hit something, then do a passionate review of how that felt.

Joe Redifer
03-16-2005, 08:07 PM
Good review. I am still on my first time through, but I want to play it again after I finiush with the anime cut-scenes. I have seen only one cut scene so far and that is the opening. When you switch it to anime, are there more cut-scenes?

Neo Contra, huh? The credits roll after only 4 stages... UNLESS you get A's on each stage, then you get 7 stages! I hated the overhead view because I constantly had to lock and unlock my direction. It didn't work as well as the overhead levels in Contra III.

gearhound
03-16-2005, 08:54 PM
thanks, joe.

neo contra was a disappointment. the dialogue is so cheesy though it's hilarious.... i laugh every time i play it...

"hey, reizer! go ahead, uprood it!"

reizer -- "huh?"

Joe Redifer
03-16-2005, 11:27 PM
Neo Contra PWNZ!!!!!

Now about my question of the Y's anime cut scenes... are there actually more cut scenes when these are turned on? Because without the ONLY cut-scene is in the very beginning of the game. And I expect the next one to be the ending, and that's it. Also, can you combine cheats?

gearhound
03-17-2005, 02:25 AM
yeah, you can combine cheats. once you turn on the anime cut-scenes, you get anime cut-scenes throughout the game.

Joe Redifer
03-17-2005, 02:38 AM
Sa-weeeeet!

Icarus4578
03-17-2005, 08:34 AM
All right! You finally made your own reviews thread, gearhound. And you had to kick so much ass and include Ys VI as your first review. Nice job. :cool guy:

gearhound
03-17-2005, 01:10 PM
thanks, icarus :)

govtcheese
03-17-2005, 06:56 PM
See, I read that and now I will make you let me borrow Y's!!! SEE WHAT YOU DID!
ARGH! Sehr Gut!
Just remember the gaming gods bite.
:kill:

Icarus4578
03-18-2005, 08:00 AM
That does sound like a good idea, gearhound. In fact, I had thought about such a project. But I don't know if it would work, not because we don't have what it takes but because some of us (well, myself anyway) have desires apart from video games.

gearhound
03-20-2005, 09:24 PM
http://media.gamestats.com/gg/image/neocontra_ps2usboxboxart_160w.jpg
The box art is pretty cool. I can't really say the same about the game...

Neo Contra
System: Playstation 2
Release: October 2004
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami

Overview
During the 8-bit and 16-bit generations Contra was a bona fide action title that dominated gaming. To hardcore Contra lovers, the Contra name signifies intense 2-D side-scrolling action that is second to none. From the very first Contra that debuted on Nintendo?s masterpiece, the NES, all the way to Contra: Hardcore on the Genesis and Contra III: The Alien Wars on the SNES (arguably the greatest Contra experience ever) gamers have experienced Konami at their best. But when Konami decided to give the development of Contra to Appaloosa during the Playstation era, they damaged the Contra name by creating two flops of magnificent proportions. Konami of Japan somewhat redeemed themselves when they gave us Contra: Shattered Soldier in October of 2002. Now, with the arrival of Neo Contra on the Playstation 2, can Konami once again create a stellar Contra Experience?

Story: 7/10
Time: 4444 A.D. Place: Earth. Neo Contra tells the story of an insane organization by the name of Neo Contra, an organization hell-bent on taking over the world, and only two men can stop them: Bill Rizer, the original hero of Contra, and an unknown samurai. Together they must destroy Neo Contra before the earth is wiped away forever. As you can tell, there is nothing exciting in this department.

Gameplay: 7.5/10
Konami of Japan has opted to turn their beloved series into 3-D this time around. What they have created undoubtedly surpasses the two Contra games on the Playstation, but they didn?t do anything to improve the series; they just created another mediocre 3-D action shooter. The 3-D action and gameplay, while not bad at all, leaves much to be desired. There is no jumping in Neo Contra. Instead, your character can dash and spin in place rapidly to avoid gun fire. The control mechanics are pretty good and are typical for this style of game. Depending on your configuration, you can hold the R2 button to lock your direction as well as the L2 to lock movement. By hitting either of the R1 or L1 buttons, you can change weapons. You are also given a choice of weapons to select before battle such as the spread, flame thrower, machinegun, and rockets, which is a nice touch.

Graphics: 7/10
There is nothing mind-blowing about the graphics here; the visuals seem to lack the detail and realism that Shattered Soldier offered. To put it bluntly, I think that Konami was lazy when they developed Neo. Not that the graphics in Neo are bad or anything -- it?s just that for a Contra game they seem a bit bland and boring. The bosses are ridiculous, incredibly disappointing, and lack the wow factor of earlier installments. Gone are the overpowering, disgustingly realistic behemoths that the series is known for. One of the bosses consists of a massive baby head that protrudes from a plant-like monstrosity that spews green puke at you. Konami didn?t do much to improve the character, boss and level designs either. To compare them to the likes of Contra III or Super C would be a big, fat joke.

Sound: 7/10
Previous Contra games have always had amazing soundtracks, but Konami failed to deliver with Neo. I will say that some of the music is quite good, but most of it is forgettable during gameplay because, well, you just don't pay much attention to it the first few times through. But if you give it a chance, however, you will see that is isn't bad at all. The soundtrack consists of metal, grunge-like guitars and techno beats and funky groves. Overall the soundtrack is decent at best, but nothing to do back flips over. The cinemas are pretty cool, but the dialogue and voice acting will have you rolling on the floor: Mystery G: "But I'm tired of dealing with this weed. Rizer, go ahead uprood it" -- Rizer: "Huh?" Trust me ? it?s hilarious.


Overall Experience: 6/10
I really hate to say this, but I was very disappointed with Neo Contra. I was expecting a mind-blistering, twitch experience, but instead I only received a mundane, humdrum, uninspiring blast fest. Back in the glory days certain members of konami, now known as Treasure, developed Contra. Lets just say that if Treasure developed the next Contra game (please god) it would be the most incredible, over-the-top Contra experience in the last 15 years. I love Contra. It is sad to see what Konami did with Neo Contra. It's like they didn't even try. The game is very easy to finish. If you ask me, Konami probably felt they had to cater to the casual gamer and leave the hardcore fan in the dust. Oh well. They certainly didn?t destroy the Contra name; they just let the series stagnate. You may ask yourself if this game is a joke while playing; some of it is laughable. If you are looking for a decent action game that certainly surpasses most top-down 3D shooters of its kind, give Neo a try. Maybe you will like it more than I did.

Final Score: 6.9/10

Joe Redifer
03-20-2005, 09:54 PM
I like how the heroes in Neo Contra are so manly that they are able to run around on spinning helicopter blades just for fun! Ain't nobody here on this forum that is THAT manly! It is hilarious!

gearhound
03-20-2005, 09:57 PM
it really is, joe. bill rizer is a man's man. nobody can f'k with him.

Icarus4578
03-21-2005, 08:54 AM
I don't understand how they can make so many kick-ass 8-/16-bit Contra titles, then downgrade for the more current generations. They've got all the processing power they need. They just lack the necessary creativity to pull it off.

gearhound
03-21-2005, 09:40 AM
the next contra title needs to be developed by treasure!!!!

gearhound
03-22-2005, 07:05 PM
i made some changes to my review of neo contra that i felt were necessary. it takes me a while to be completely satisfied with a review. i am never satisfied with my reviews for my college paper because i have limited space. oh well.

I don't understand how they can make so many kick-ass 8-/16-bit Contra titles, then downgrade for the more current generations. They've got all the processing power they need. They just lack the necessary creativity to pull it off.

keep in mind that treasure developed most of the amazing contra games that we have played in those days. i wish they would develop the next contra...

Reko8
03-29-2005, 06:31 PM
Neo Contra PWNZ!!!!!

Wow I heard it was horrible with the worst controls and was the exact opposite of the original

Joe Redifer
03-29-2005, 10:43 PM
Apparently he took my statement seriously as well.

gearhound
03-29-2005, 11:34 PM
dood, NEO does PWNZ

Icarus4578
03-30-2005, 09:24 AM
gearhound ~ "keep in mind that treasure developed most of the amazing contra games that we have played in those days. i wish they would develop the next contra..."

I'm more than aware of that. But how can you have the knowledge that such kick-ass titles exist on previous consoles and then go downhill from there? That's preposterous.

gearhound
03-31-2005, 07:27 PM
gearhound ~ "keep in mind that treasure developed most of the amazing contra games that we have played in those days. i wish they would develop the next contra..."

I'm more than aware of that. But how can you have the knowledge that such kick-ass titles exist on previous consoles and then go downhill from there? That's preposterous.

i know that you are aware. i think it is because they do not have a talented team like the treasure team to develop an amazing 2d contra.

Icarus4578
04-01-2005, 07:27 AM
I heard that they even screwed up the Contra III port for the GBA. ...How? Thankfully, Konami and Treasure seem to be on good terms (Gradius V), and Sega still gets Treasure's support (Astro Boy for GBA).

Messanic
04-01-2005, 07:46 AM
They took out the multiple weapons, overhead stages, and cropped the levels. The graphics were horrible, and the animation was nowhere near as good as the SNES Contra III. They did add some stages from Contra Hard Corps, but that was to compensate for the lack of overhead stages, it also had horrible sound.

gearhound
04-02-2005, 06:29 PM
i will have a review of God of War :evilsmile up tomorrow. DMC 3, Megaman X8, Gradius V, and a few others will be posted soon as well.

Joe Redifer
04-02-2005, 08:34 PM
Can't wait for the Gradius V review. I'm pretty sure that you approve of the game.

gearhound
04-02-2005, 09:58 PM
you bet! i can't wait to write it.

Icarus4578
04-02-2005, 11:43 PM
Looks like we'll both have up our GoW reviews tommorrow; I just beat it about an hour ago. :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
04-03-2005, 04:35 AM
The "thumbs up" icon means Icarus LOVES the game.

Icarus4578
04-03-2005, 11:02 AM
I enjoyed it tremendously in some areas, though there were some parts where it was repetitious. I'll review it shortly.

gearhound
04-03-2005, 06:03 PM
http://ps2media.ign.com/ps2/image/object/661/661321/godofwar_ps2box_usa_org_000boxart_160w.jpg
What you're looking at is one of the best action games on the Playstation 2

God of War
System: Playstation 2
Developer: SCEA
Publisher: SCEA
Release: March 2005

Overview
In 2001 the groundbreaking Devil May Cry was released. In 2002 the incredible Rygar busted onto the scene, and in 2003 a spectacular piece of gaming for the Xbox called Ninja Gaiden graced our presence. This year, Capcom, with members of the first Devil May Cry team, pumped out Devil May Cry 3, an unbelievable, over-the-top action experience. Two weeks later we get God of War. Developed by Sony?s Santa Monika Studio, the same team who developed Kinetica, God of War is here to take you by storm with its awesome fighting engine, innovative puzzles, and some fantastic platforming all of which are fueled by an awe-inspiring, epic soundtrack that will raise the hair on the back of your neck.

Story: 8/10
Join Kratos, a legendary spartan who is filled with rage, in his lion-hearted adventure of triumph, revenge, agony, and outright brutality as he seeks to destroy the God of War, Ares. You will encounter many mythological Gods and beasts throughout your journey. God of War offers epic story telling the likes of which I have not seen in quite some time. Prepare yourself for an experience of grandiose proportions as you kill, rip, and utterly annihilate the demons of the underworld as they lay siege to the glorious city of Athens, all unleashed by the hand of Ares. You must save Athens before the city is lost forever as well as yourself?

Graphics: 9.5/10
Make no mistake ? God of War?s visuals will leave you breathless. The Greek inspired areas are very detailed and give the feeling of being present in an ancient time. Battle your way across the war-torn city of Athens where relentless beasts of the underworld make an attempt to halt your quest. You will begin your campaign of vengeance and bloodshed in the Aegean Sea. Soon afterwards, you will find yourself clearing a path through Hades as well as the Desert of Lost Souls and other Greek-inspired areas. Enemy designs are pretty good here. The developers have added their own personal flair to the ancient monsters of Greek mythology by giving them an all-new menacing appearance. Some of the enemy designs could have been a little better, but overall the team at the Santa Monika Studios did a great job. The story is told through absolutely brilliant and magnificent cut-scenes, which add so much to the game; they?re just stupendous.

Sound: 9/10
The sound effects are very life-like and add a lot to the realism. The massive roars and grunts of the age-old beasts of God of War will keep your gaming blood flowing as they scream in pure agony upon defeat. God of War?s soundtrack is incredibly epic and very cinematic, which fits the mood and atmosphere of the game vividly. The score consummates the entire feel and structure of the game leaving your ears in a state of dramatic bliss. The music will empower you on your journey and make you feel like you are actually accomplishing something. This is an epic story of conquest, revenge, and destiny only fueled by a first-rate musical score.

Gameplay: 9/10
God of War somewhat reminds me of Rygar in its execution of moves and overall feel, but God of War adds much more. Kratos wields two blades that are chained to his wrists called Blades of Chaos. These blades can be used to accrue massive combos and string attacks that almost seem endless. Kratos can interact with enemies by throwing them with the touch of the O button (various death animations occur depending on what button follows) or by hitting a sequence of buttons when facing massive enemies and bosses. You can either finish them off normally or perform a final series of blows which allow you to absorb more orbs so you can level up your weapons and magic to obtain new moves and heal. Kratos can block with the R1 button as well as dash in any direction with the right analog stick. This particular move isn't too effective. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid certain attacks coming from some of the more powerful enemies. Kratos can also unleash powerful magic courtesy of the Gods of Olympus on his quest as well. By powering up magic you can learn new magic and increase its potential to obliterate your foes. When Kratos unleashes his rage (Rage of the Gods) he glows with Spartan armor, becoming more powerful and relentless allowing for even more brutal attacks. Fear not, Kratos will not only wield the Blades of Chaos, he will also get his hands on a massive blade that cuts, slices and slams foes to nothingness. On top of all that you get the incredible platforming. You will find yourself balancing across high structures, swinging on ropes, evading massive flaming boulders, climbing walls and mountains, and, well, you just have to play it to see how great it all really is. The puzzles are very unique and are a refreshing break from the pulse-pounding action. The camera is pre-set like Devil May Cry (the first one) so you won't have to struggling with it. For the most part, it is very good and gives you some great perspectives and doesn't impede enemy location.

Overall Experience: 10/10
Would you look at that? It?s another fine action title for the PS2. God of War is a must-have experience for action aficionados. It?s a truly remarkable achievement in the world of action, adventuring, platforming, and puzzle solving. The Santa Monika team has introduced an incredibly original character from the world of Greek mythology. God of War redefines the epic action-adventure. Do not miss out on God of War. Play it, love it, and breathe it. God of War will certainly take you by storm.

Final Score: 9.1/10

gearhound
04-04-2005, 01:44 PM
gradius V is next, you freaks.

Paper exe
04-04-2005, 01:57 PM
:yikes:
I knew that I forgot something I bought alot of games today and then I forgot about Human of Wars.

gearhound
04-04-2005, 02:01 PM
what is human of wars?

Paper exe
04-04-2005, 02:09 PM
That game that released in March 2005 and that was made by Sony and you just reivew it.

Note-I called it Human of Wars because that what they should call it and saying that there is more then one God or saying that God is not the kindest or God look like a ..(I cannot even say it) is all wrong and I will never say it the only reason that I will buy it because you and SFS said alot of good things about it.

gearhound
04-04-2005, 06:03 PM
yeah, i figured. do you not like greek mythology, paper?

Nem
04-04-2005, 08:15 PM
I cant wait to have God of War. Since the moment i saw the footage and the story/setting ive been wanting it badly. Besides, it seems to be receiving good reviews from everyone. Ill also review it around the end of June, after i get my hands on it :D

I wonder who will try to clone this game with Roman mythology first? :haha:

Joe Redifer
04-04-2005, 08:38 PM
Probably those damned thieves at Tecmo. I bet they try to put Rygar in a Greek setting or something. Those damned thieves! As for Roman mythology, there is that one game called.... ummm.. yeah. But you play as a Gladiator. Trivia fact: Did you know that gladiators did not fight to the death? Gladiators were highly paid celebrities (like sports stars of today) except they they were owned by others. Whenever a death happened, it was considered an accident just like boxing. The movie "Gladiator" gets it all wrong. It is also a horrible movie.

gearhound
04-05-2005, 01:16 AM
man, it takes me a while to get completely satisfied with a review. i guess it's because i am not used to it.

Icarus4578
04-05-2005, 01:18 AM
Definitely, Joe. That film was overrated garbage. I saw it once and never want to see it again.

Good review, gearhound, though I question the "redefines the epic action-adventure" statement. If anything, it typifies it; it brought little new to the table. But your writing is top-notch, which is good to see. "The score consummates the entire feel and structure of the game leaving your ears in a state of dramatic bliss." :haha: If only I felt the same way. But just out of curiosity, which soundtrack do you prefer, Rygar or GoW?

gearhound
04-05-2005, 01:31 AM
thanks for the comments, icarus. i like the soundtrack to rygar more than god of war. i need to review rygar next! :cool guy:

i think that GoW was pretty original insofar as being an epic action-adventure game. i think that has a lot to do with the music and entire theme. i haven't played a game like that in a long time. i think i may have stated that in the wrong way... oh well.

Icarus4578
04-05-2005, 01:45 AM
I knew you'd see it that way. Rygar definitely has the superior soundtrack. Although it's sad that I gave it such a low score, I honestly felt that it could've been much, much better. Look at how extremely well Tecmo pulled off the presentation, then look at the mostly lousy stages and repetitive enemies. And those huge troll-like creatures were annoying! It did have some wicked boss encounters. I hope the sequel is a much better game overall because Rygar didn't live up to my expectations.

gearhound
04-05-2005, 01:55 AM
i understand that. i did like the level designs. the levels themselves were beautiful. the overall feel of rygar was astonishing for me. the lack of many enemies didn't really bother me. i think there were about 6 or 7 different types (maybe more). but the gameplay was great, the music was fantastic. the voice acting was lame though. the exploration was wonderful. the biggest gripe i have is that it is too short.

SavedFromSin
04-08-2005, 01:12 AM
hey gearhound, what did you think of the ending of GOW? I thought it was a little dissapointing because after getting that new weapon i thought a lot more was going to happen. it was more of a big tease, i think, seeing as you have to walk up to the throne in olympus. great review gearhound! :cool guy:

edit: you should do a compare and contrast review of the three DMC games that have come out so far gearhound. it would be cool for you to show how each has changed and what has worked and what did not.

gearhound
04-08-2005, 01:46 PM
yeah, that sounds like it would be fun. i enjoyed the ending to god of war. although the game was pretty short, it was one heck of a ride. i wish there were more weapons in the game.

Joe Redifer
04-08-2005, 07:18 PM
Is God of War shorter than Ys 6?

gearhound
04-08-2005, 10:03 PM
yeah, it is ...

Icarus4578
04-09-2005, 02:34 AM
It takes around half the time to beat GoW. It did for me, anyway.

SavedFromSin
04-09-2005, 03:18 PM
ys took me like 20 hours to beat.

gearhound
04-11-2005, 01:54 PM
http://media.gamestats.com/gg/image/gradiusv_ps2usboxboxart_160w.jpg
One of the greatest 2-D shooters in existence.

Gradius V
System: Playstation 2
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: Konami
Release: September 2004

Overview
Gradius has always had god-like status among lovers of 2D shooters. Ever since its NES inception, Gradius has only improved. Gradius V is a testament to that. Treasure, a development team that consists of former members of Konami who had a big hand in the development of NES, SNES and Genesis games such as Contra, Castlevania, Axelay and Gunstar Heroes, developed Gradius V. What they have given us is a classic throwback to the memorable 8-bit and 16-bit days of gaming. Get ready to play one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Gradius installments of all time.

Story ? N/A
Control Vic Viper once again to save the universe or die like a wuss. Nobody wants that especially Vic Viper. A life form that was thought to have been destroyed by the Gradius army is back. Year: 8010 A.D. An orbiting space station was nearly destroyed by a Zelos Army and Vic is once again called in to kick more space butt. Yes, Zelos is back and ready to wreak chaos and destruction throughout the Gradius universe. Since this is a 2D shooter, the story is of little relevance and should not affect the score.

Gameplay: 9.5/10
The gameplay this time around is much deeper. Remember the ?options? that you can acquire in the Gradius series? Well, Konami decided to call them ?multiples,?and now you can actually control them. There are four different types: freeze, direction, spacing and rotate. Each one can be controlled by pressing or holding down R1. The hitbox (vulnerable area around you ship), is incredibly small, allowing for some extremely tight maneuvering. You may ask yourself, ?Did I just dodge all of that?? This time around, if you die, and you will die (many times), you have a chance to grab your multiples, but you must be quick or they will get passed up. The power meter, like all Gradius games, is located at the bottom of the screen. Each time you grab a power-up capsule your selection scrolls to the right, highlighting speed, missile, double, et cetera. Gradius V plays like a dream without any slow down. Unlockable weapons like the classic ripple and continues keep the game even more enjoyable. Be prepared because Gradius V is difficult. You will find yourself dodging enemies and bullets in all directions. The game can get very intense. When Treasure?s at the helm you know it?s going to be tough.

Sound/Music: 9/10
For some odd reason that has completely escaped me, Hitoshi Sakimoto composed the soundtrack to Gradius V. His most notable work can be found in Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics, two games with very impressive music. He is also composing the tunes for Final Fantasy XII. His distinct sound has graced the Gradius world redoing classic music from the series and composing original tunes. Let?s just say that the music in part V is very good. Hitoshi-san did a great job making his original compositions feel like Gradius.

Graphics: 10/10
This is quite simply the most beautiful shooter I have ever laid eyes on. Gradius looks magnificent on the PS2. The highly detailed space environments and the excellently designed stages will blow you away. Classic enemies and bosses make a return, and they are bigger and more impressive than ever. The sound effects are in typical Gradius fashion (albeit with a few enhancements), and the explosions, booms and bangs are all very remarkable. In other words, it all feels like a Gradius game, and that is a good thing. The graphics are, in one word, bewitching. It's a definite treat for your eyes.

Overall Experience: 10/10
Soon after popping Gradius V into my PS2, I was shocked, amazed and stupefied at its overall presentation and design. The graphics, sound and control are all wonderful. When treasure gets its hands on a game you can expect nothing but hardcore game design with a touch of difficulty for old-time sake. Games like this are rare indeed, but the 2D shooter is far from dead. Gradius V has breathed new life into the genre and has given gamers a true gem to be cherished forever. Gradius is back and ready to make you dance. Bring on Gradius VI!

Verdict: 9.6/10

note: this review is dedicated to Joe Redifer, Vicviper and Icarus, three guys i know who love this game :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
04-11-2005, 07:34 PM
Fantastic review! I knew Gradius V would be good before I got it, but I didn't realize how good it would be. This game was nearly two years in the making, as we saw it in action at 2002's E3. That's a lot of development time for a shooter! It shows. I thought I would be upset with the extreme difficuly, but I wasn't. Treasure handles it perfectly rewarding you with more continues the more you play, which helps you to get even further. Plus not stopping the game and setting you way back when you die is a giant plus, and helps keep the rythm of the game going strong. I thought the music would be incredibly boring like most of Hitoshi Sakimoto's other works, but once again I was proven wrong and it is oddly fitting. Granted I think the game could have used a more melodic theme int he first stage and maybe the "last" stage as anhomage to Gradius' typically strong music, but I can't have everything. Stage 4's music (when you are inside the living cave) is PERFECT. So is the music in the rotatig stage with the annoying green goo. It's a great ride from beginning to end (and back to beginning again).

If you haven't made it to the end, and you HAVE made it to stage two, KNOW THIS: The other Vic Viper that comes and helps you in stage two has a much harder path than you do.

gearhound
04-11-2005, 07:53 PM
thanks, and good points. did you know that you can turn the classic mode on? by turning this on, when you die you are set back like previous gradius games, but who here on earth wants to do that? i guess if you are dying for some classic gradius... treasure did one hell of a job with V though. i was overly impressed. joe, i was looking in your thread for a review of gradius and :yikes: it isn't there. i thought you reviewed it. well, how about it?

Sinful Sam
04-11-2005, 08:54 PM
I agree. Gradius kicks arse! Nice review.

Joe Redifer
04-11-2005, 11:17 PM
Yeah I haven't done too many PS2 reviews yet. I might review it in time. Other games I'd like to review are Shenmue 1 and 2. (Shenmue 1 refuses to boot up on my Dreamcast, except for disc 2). I have an index listing on the first page of my review thread, so if you're ever looking to see if I reviewed a certain game, check there first!

Icarus4578
04-11-2005, 11:33 PM
I knew you'd do justice to a great game, gearhound. GV was my second favorite game of 2004, right behind Astro Boy: Omega Factor. Too bad that they don't make shooters as much as they used to. Shoot-'em-ups remains one of my favorite genres.

gearhound ~ "Gradius V plays like a dream without any slow down."

There is just an ever-so-slight amount of it, but it never hampers the game in any way. In fact, you might as well consider it a blessing.

gearhound
04-11-2005, 11:37 PM
I have an index listing on the first page of my review thread, so if you're ever looking to see if I reviewed a certain game, check there first!

yeah, i was looking for gradius earlier.

Shoot-'em-ups remains one of my favorite genres.


mine as well. i wish there could be more of them!

Sinful Sam
04-12-2005, 01:44 AM
Have you guys played Silpheed The Lost Planet on the PS2. It's another 2D shooter I believe it's devolved by Treasure and it's published from Working Designs. I didn't get really into it but I didn't got far enough on it either.

gearhound
04-12-2005, 01:56 AM
yeah, i played that for a little while. i didn't think it was fantastic, but i enjoyed it for a little while. i don't own it, though.

SavedFromSin
04-12-2005, 02:43 AM
here is a game i bet nobody has played. Elemental Gearbolt on PS1. It is a shooter (with the gun) developed by working design. man that game was so hard, but the music was awesome.

Joe Redifer
04-12-2005, 05:22 AM
It wasn't developed by Working Designs. They don't program the games that they release. Elemental Gearbolt was programmed by Alpha System, a wing of Taito. I saw a videotape of my friend playing it, and yeah, the music is pretty good.

gearhound
04-12-2005, 08:05 PM
yeah, i played it. i bought it a few years ago, but like an idiot i traded it in. wtf is wrong with me?

Joe Redifer
04-12-2005, 08:08 PM
I recently traded in some games, but I KNOW I'll never miss them. I got rid of:

Grand Turdismo 3
Super Mario Sunshine
Chronicles o' Riddick
Toca Race Driver 2
Medal of Honor Frontline

Yuck!

gearhound
04-18-2005, 03:31 PM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00008KTNW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg
Here is your gift from the gaming gods.

Ninja Gaiden
System: Xbox
Developer: Tecmo/Team Ninja
Publisher: Tecmo
Release: March 2004

Overview
When Ninja Gaiden landed on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989, it set the tone for cinematic action gaming for the console; it was the first of its kind. Sure, it was nothing like the arcade (you would have to get an Atari Lynx for that, but it was not a perfect conversion) but that isn?t a bad thing. Tecmo re-created Ninja Gaiden as a side scrolling action fest that was fast and very fun to play. The last Gaiden game to hit the NES was in 1991; that was Ninja Gaiden 3. Fast forward to 2004 ? Team Ninja releases Ninja Gaiden on the XBOX, and what they have graced us with is one of the greatest 3D action/adventure games this generation. Prepare to get your butt kicked.

Story: 8.5/10
Ah, yes ? the lovely dark dragon blade. Rumor has it that this blade was carved from the bones of a black dragon. Whomever is lucky enough to wield this blade inherits the evil and hatred of mankind and is transformed into the devil incarnate. However, nobody knows the true extent of the blade?s power. It has been sealed by those of the dragon lineage since ancient times. Ryu Hayabusa is back and this time his clan has been wiped out by the evil Vigoor Empire. Ryu must once again wield the dragon sword (not to be confused with the dark dragon blade) and ultimately destroy his enemies. Ninja Gaiden is filled with intriguing characters and memorable moments, and the plot is surely going to keep you hooked until the incredibly climatic ending.

Gameplay: 10/10
This is what makes Ninja Gaiden so amazing. Ryu moves incredibly fast, and the controls and animation will leave you breathless. Ryu looks amazing in action. All of his moves are a sight to behold and are performed with ease. Multiple weapons including nunchukus, warhammers and massive swords are at your disposal. Each enemy you kill releases essence (red, yellow and blue), or souls, that you can absorb that will allow you to heal, increase your magic, or unlock new moves by tempering your weapons. Magic is very flashy and pretty, yet very powerful, and can be leveled up by collecting special jewels. The camera is incredible and pits you directly in the action. However, some areas in the game create minor problems, but these are avoidable. Pressing the R button sets the camera directly in front of Ryu. This allows for precise camera control and the ability to turn and face enemies behind you in an instant. Ryu can hang, run up/along walls, walk on water, swim, and much more. The bosses are simply astonishing and beyond belief. It?s unbelievable because these bosses make Ryu look so pathetic yet he slowly pulls out his sword, ready to carve and cleave. Ryu is fearless. Be warned ?Ninja Gaiden will give you a stupendous challenge and will test your nerves.

Graphics: 10/10
Ninja Gaiden is stunning. The levels are so huge and varied it never gets dull. You simply must experience this game to believe it. The bosses are ridiculous in size and sport amazing detail. All of the bosses, level and enemy designs are excellent. This game is an absolute feast for your eyes. Do you really want to know how powerful your XBOX is? Play Ninja Gaiden. Start out in Ryu?s village and work your way through huge cities, caves, an ice and fire palace, and much more. Ninja Gaiden is loaded with variety. The cut scenes are magnificent and tell the story intensely.

Sound: 9/10
Get ready for an audio explosion brought to you in true 5.1 Dolby Digital. The music in Ninja Gaiden, for the most part, is very remarkable and adds to the atmosphere throughout the game. Some of the tracks are forgettable and somewhat average, but most of it is quite memorable. Weapon effects and such are well done, adding to the overall pleasing audio experience.

Overall Experience: 10/10
What is there really left to say? Team Ninja has outdone themselves. If you want an overwhelming action experience you must play this game. Ninja Gaiden has revamped the 3D action game and set a new standard that has yet to be surpassed. So go ahead and load this puppy up and prepare for an unforgettable experience that will certainly give you chills and make you say, "Wow." Ninja Gaiden is not for pussy gamers. If you're a pussy gamer who likes to bitch and whine about the difficulty or camera, go jump off a cliff instead of playing this masterpiece. Ninja Gaiden will rock your balls off and then some.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Icarus4578
04-19-2005, 01:40 AM
Yeah. Ninja Gaiden is kick-ass from start to finish. I can't wait for the sequel.

gearhound ~ "Sure, it was nothing like the arcade ? you would have to get an Atari Lynx for that..."

The Atari Lynx game was a sucky version of a sucky arcade game. :cool: Yes, it's true -- I can't stand the NG arcade. It's downright evil.

Joe Redifer
04-19-2005, 03:12 AM
Get ready for an audio explosion brought to you in true 5.1 Dolby Digital.
There is no "audio explosion" in this game, that's for sure. The most aggresive the soundtrack seems to get is the Team Ninja logo at the beginning of the game (where you are flying over water and then mountains appear out of NOWHERE to reveal the Team Ninja graphic).

I hated the NES versions of Ninja Gaiden. They did not play intuitively. I would jump on a wall but I could not climb up or down like you can in real games. I was stuck! Couldn't move! Every time. Now I know you could jump back off, but it was far from intuitive. Tecmo pretty much sucks ass, methinks.

gearhound
04-19-2005, 05:02 PM
i beg to differ. NG does have a good soundtrack :) the boss music was pretty intense.

yes, icarus, i remember playing the arcade -- i have played it on mame also -- and it was very hard. i didn't play it for very long.

i love the ninja gaiden games on the NES. you have to be fast, joe... and good. :D freakin' awesome music for all three of them, too.

Joe Redifer
04-19-2005, 07:40 PM
I didn't mention anything about the music. Just the sound overall. I don't recall the subwoofer being used for anything but the Team Ninja logo. It's been awhile since I played Ninja Gaiden, but if the 5.1 was anything like the 5.1 in DoA3, then it was poor. DoA3 had voices switching from the front to the surrounds (very quietly in the surrounds at that) in conversation scenes and it was poorly done. I don't recall any of the dialog in NG being mixed to the surrounds, though. And if they were, they were actually audible. I'll have to listen again.

gearhound
04-19-2005, 10:30 PM
i was just refering to the music

gearhound
04-24-2005, 11:56 PM
http://ps2media.ign.com/ps2/image/object/683/683100/megamanx8_ps2box_usa_org_001boxart_160w.jpg
A solid Megaman adventure.

Megaman X8
System: Playstation 2
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release: December 2004

Overview
Megaman sure has been around for a very long time. Capcom has shoveled more Megaman titles in our faces than we care to handle. At least, for the most part, they have been fairly good. But we are talking about the infamous X series, which has identical gameplay with a bit more emphasis on locating power-ups and armor. The last truly great X game was Megaman X4 on the original Playstation. The X games on the Super Nintendo were also fantastic, but after the release of X4, Capcom has turned the series into mediocrity. This doesn?t apply to Megaman X8 -- Capcom has somewhat redeemed the series. After the completely unexceptional Megaman X7, I figured Capcom had ruined the series with their pathetic attempts to turn a great 2D game into a blatant, smelly 3D turd that desired to be good, but fell on its face -- its uninspiring 3D mechanics and really bad 2D gameplay with 3D backgrounds certainly didn?t help. Megaman X8 is a much better game than X7, and probably the best X game since Megaman X4.

Story: 7/10
Constant war between the humans and reploids has forced the remaining human population on an exodus to space. This is made possible by a massive elevator called ?Jakob.? A base is being constructed on the moon by a race of ?new generation? reploids who have found a way to copy the DNA of Sigma, who was thought to have been destroyed (yeah, right). Well, you better give Megaman, Zero and Axl a call because they are the only ones who can stop these renegade reploids from taking over the world. Don?t expect dramatic story telling here ? it?s Megaman after all.

Gamplay: 8.5/10
Let me say right now that the 2D gameplay in X8 completely shatters that of X7. Better gameplay makes for a better game. There is plenty to do in Megaman X8. For starters, you can collect bolts that allow you to purchase upgrades as well as new weapons. You can also collect rare metals and manufacture them into weapons, power ups, or ability enhancements. Each mission has an intermission where you are given a specific objective and an opportunity to gain more money (bolts), which is a nice addition. Like all previous X games, Megaman can locate capsules from Dr. Light that give him new armor and buster upgrades that can be equipped during the character selection screen. You can play as Megaman, Zero, or Axl. You can only choose two at a time, but you can switch characters by hitting L2 during the game. You can also choose a leader to give you hints and advice on bosses and secrets. Team attacks can be performed when your meter is full by pressing R2. The bosses are pretty decent and have cool attacks and patterns, but the names of the bosses are so lame it hurts. I mean, come on! What is an Earthrock Trilobite? Or better yet, what the heck is a Gigavolt Man-o-War? Capcom, where do you come up with these stupid names? Yes, you can acquire boss weapons upon their defeat all of which are put to good use and are cool as well. Anyway, the gameplay is good, but not as tight as the 2D sprite-based titles ? it seems a bit loose.

Graphics: 8/10
What we have here is 2D gameplay with 3D backgrounds. All of the enemies and characters are in 3D. Sadly, the 2D sprites have been replaced with 3D models. Not that the models look bad, they just aren't too detailed. The levels are a blast, but frustrating because Capcom has decided to lay spikes that kill you in one hit all throughout the game. Sometimes you have to slide down walls in order to notice them. If you don?t and end up jumping off a platform unaware of what lies below, you will die. X8 is loaded with great platforming and level design. Everything is 2D with the exception of a flying and a driving level both of which are mediocre. Most of the difficult platforming involves evading spikes. Imagine that. Megaman X8 is not an easy game, but it certainly isn't the most difficult X title.

Music: 8/10
Besides the grunts, cries and yells of the characters, you get some decent music. Nothing compares to the amazing sounds of Megaman X-X4 though. But X8 does have a few good tracks to jam to while you?re jumping, blasting the enemy, and throwing your controller because of the seemingly cheap, yet avoidable deaths (spikes anyone?) that plague the game.

Overall Experience: 8.5/10
Well, X8 certainly doesn?t suck, but it?s a far cry from an excellent 2D Megaman title. If you love Megaman, and I certainly do, you should give Megaman X8 a shot ? it is a very rewarding game.

Rating: 8/10

Joe Redifer
04-25-2005, 12:24 AM
Geez they already have 8 of those things? Mega Man needs to retire. He appeals to me no more. Mega Man 2 was the pinnacle.

Gearhound do you think Burnout 3 has better graphics than Out Run 2?

gearhound
04-25-2005, 12:45 AM
JOE, i have been dying to play burnout 3. i played the first one and didn't think it was anything special. i can't really say until i actually play burnout 3. do you think burnout 3 has better graphics that outrun 2?

SavedFromSin
04-25-2005, 02:11 AM
i can get mega man x8 for $20 at best buy gearhound, do you think it is worth it?

gearhound
04-25-2005, 03:24 AM
it is definately worth it.

Paper exe
04-25-2005, 04:15 AM
Note: I threw my controller once.
You know if I loosed more then once I get really angry in a short time and threw the controller but Megaman is one of the few games that I don't care if I lost maybe because I knew that the game will never last long. :irked:

Joe Redifer
04-25-2005, 07:07 PM
do you think burnout 3 has better graphics that outrun 2?
No I do not. But fellow forum member Vicviper thought that maybe, perhaps, you just might have said that once. He wasn't sure, so I had to axe you. I can ban him if you'd like.

For now the search for the forum member who said Burnout 3 has better graphics than Out Run 2 continues...

gearhound
04-25-2005, 07:30 PM
i see... what's the big deal though? you should make a thread about it :lol:

anyway, i am going to try and pump out a lot of reviews this summer.

SavedFromSin
04-27-2005, 02:33 AM
it is definately worth it.
i was definately worth it. X8 is pretty awesome and i do not understand why it did not get better reviews. Its fun, but man is it hard.

Joe Redifer
04-27-2005, 09:02 PM
Gearhound, review Nintendogs ASAP!

gearhound
04-27-2005, 10:54 PM
:lol: dude, it's a puppy simulation. you know it's a perfect game!

i was definately worth it. X8 is pretty awesome and i do not understand why it did not get better reviews. Its fun, but man is it hard.

yeah, i know how you feel. i don't understand why the reviews were so low either; it isn't a bad game.

Icarus4578
04-28-2005, 02:21 AM
I'm not sure that I want to spend any more money on a Mega Man title. It may still be fun in its 3D outfit but.... it's just not the same anymore. 2D is Mega Man's home. For me, it's like if they were to suddenly take a bunch of classic cartoons such as Thundercats, He-Man and the like, and remake them all in 3D. UGHx149374!!! :crazy:

Joe Redifer
04-28-2005, 05:49 AM
You heard Icarus, Gearhound... Please review Thundercats 3D.

gearhound
04-29-2005, 07:48 PM
i will see what i can do

gearhound
05-02-2005, 02:49 PM
http://www.gametab.com/images/ss/gcn/2993/box-l.jpg
Prepare to be blown away

Resident Evil 4
Released: January 2005
Console: Gamecube
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

Overview
It all started in 1996 when Capcom released Resident Evil for the Playstation. Capcom?s new series started a survival horror phenomenon, and Resident Evil 4 has taken the genre to a whole new level. The long wait is finally over; Resident Evil 4 has bombarded Gamecube owners everywhere. So, you think the Gamecube is for little babies, do you? RE4 will change that way of thinking. This is one experience you should not miss out on.

Story: 8.5/10
You control Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 2. Leon was once a member of the Racoon Police Department, but now he is an agent for the U.S. government. He is asked to look for the President?s daughter who was kidnapped by an unknown organization. This is the only thing you know when you start the game. Leon begins his search in a remote village in Europe. As you progress you will witness unimaginable atrocities, run into new and returning characters, and interact with some mind-blowing boss encounters. The cut scenes are superb and very well done.

Graphics: 10/10
The level of detail in this game is utterly spectacular, and the real-time graphics engine is especially impressive. The village you start out in is very direful, eerie and rundown; running around in it gives off a very disturbing vibe. There are no pre-rendered backdrops like previous titles. The Gamecube certainly proves how powerful it is with this title. I dare you to play this game in the bedroom with the lights off.

Gameplay: 10/10
The best part of Resident Evil 4 is the gameplay. Capcom has shattered the realms of survival horror and ushered in a new gaming experience. The camera has been overhauled and set in a third-person perspective. This isn?t your ordinary third-person perspective where the character is placed in the middle of the screen. Instead, Leon is shifted to the left side of the screen. Every weapon is equipped with a laser sight for precise head-exploding action (yes, heads explode in dramatic fashion). You can always blast key points such as arms and legs to render your foe helpless for a few seconds. Once Leon locates Ashley, the President?s daughter, she accompanies you throughout the game. You must protect her and keep her from getting nabbed by enemies. If they do manage to pick her up you can shoot them in the leg or any other area and they will drop her; this is a big part of the gameplay because if she dies, the game is over. As you approach the village you?ll notice all of the villagers minding their own business, farming, moving hay, et cetera. As soon as they notice you the insanity sets in. You have no idea why these raging psychos are coming at you with pitchforks, axes and chainsaws. Once they notice you they scream at you in Spanish and alert others of your presence. The enemy's A.I. is very good. The game isn?t too difficult, but it certainly proves to be challenging. There are plenty of things to unlock such as mini games, extra costumes, and a professional difficulty level. You can buy weapons and items and upgrade your weapons from a mysterious merchant who appears throughout the game. New to the series is the ability to interact with enemies, bosses and other obstacles with the action button (A) as it flashes on-screen. The boss interactions are especially cool.

Sound: 9.5/10
The sound in this game is fantastic. Weapon effects are awesome; the roar of a chainsaw in the background will have a profound affect on you. The voice acting is pretty good and is the best the series has to offer so far. Leon has experienced this horror before, but not on this level. The soundtrack is fuel for the experience and adds an incredible amount of tension to the game.

Overall experience: 10/10
Resident Evil 4 is mind blowing. I have never experienced a game this intense before. If you disliked the controls of previous games in the series, or if you have never experienced Resident Evil before, you owe it to yourself to play Resident Evil 4. This game alone is worth purchasing a Gamecube for. Resident Evil 4 is one of the best games of this year and this generation.

Final Score: 9.6/10

gearhound
05-02-2005, 04:05 PM
i want to review some GBA games... that sounds really fun. final fight, double dragon, golden sun, etc. would be great for starters.

Paper exe
05-02-2005, 04:50 PM
I dare you to play this game in the bedroom with the lights off.
I cannot do that because playing in night and the light turned off is bad for my eyes.

I want to review some GBA games
Boktai 2 (note that I could not find Boktai 1 :mad: :crying: )
I want to review it but I cannot because I have to play the first one so that I can understand the story but believe me I only played two Stages and it turn out to be one of my favorite GBA games not only it is great but it have great Soundtrack (keep in mind that I only played less then half of the game but I still heard a lot of great musics)

gearhound
05-02-2005, 05:05 PM
unfortunately, paper, i have yet to experience either game. however, i do look forward to playing them. i wish i had more time.

Joe Redifer
05-02-2005, 07:42 PM
Good review.

By the way, what is this "Resident Evil Outbreak File" bull**** they've got going on the PS2? Is it just the first 2 RE'S?

gearhound
05-02-2005, 08:24 PM
resident evil outbreak is actually online RE. i haven't played it, and i really don't care to. maybe the second will be good who knows.

Joe Redifer
05-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Hmmm... interesting. I do not approve of this concept.

SavedFromSin
05-02-2005, 10:28 PM
boktai 3 is coming out this year paper so keep your eyes open

Paper exe
05-03-2005, 03:40 AM
boktai 3 is coming out this year paper so keep your eyes open
I know but the problem is that I need to play the first one which I could not find it anywhere. :crying:

Maybe the NDS Boktai is a remake of Boktai 1 that why Boktai 3 is for the GBA instead of NDS. :)

Icarus4578
05-03-2005, 09:04 AM
Another great review. RE4 is one of the best of this generation, easily.

I dare you to play this game in the bedroom with the lights off.

Yeah, uh-oh. Better not do that. Otherwise, something really bad will happen.

It's not as bad as paying money for an Outbreak title. I TRIPLE-DOG-DARE YA!

gearhound
05-03-2005, 12:20 PM
yeah, you wouldn't want a man with a bag on his head wielding a bloody chainsaw to come crashing through your window. could you imagine how crazy that would be? ::imagines:: yeah, pretty messed up.

i appreciate the comments, guys. feel free to add some critiques because i think i could use them.

gearhound
06-24-2005, 09:45 PM
i am in the process of beating/reviewing:

gate of thunder
lords of thunder (again)
air zonk
the minish cap
project: snowblind

i hope i can do this soon. until then...

Icarus4578
06-25-2005, 05:36 AM
Oh yeah, Lords of Thunder! :cool guy: GoT was pretty cool, too, and it was awesome how it came with Bonk's Adventure/Revenge plus the hidden Bomberman game. I've memorized the password to the final stage (8-8) of Bomberman by heart ~ RXOZIHKK.

gearhound
06-25-2005, 08:56 PM
Oh yeah, Lords of Thunder! :cool guy: GoT was pretty cool, too, and it was awesome how it came with Bonk's Adventure/Revenge plus the hidden Bomberman game. I've memorized the password to the final stage (8-8) of Bomberman by heart ~ RXOZIHKK.

hey, i have that but i have not accessed bomberman. give me the code or else!!

and yes, lords of thunder is wholely original and totally kick ass!

Icarus4578
06-26-2005, 05:28 AM
Sure. When you see the game select screen, press Up, Right, Down, Left, II. You'll hear a chime and then it will load up Bomberman. If you want to access the stage select in GoT, at the title screen press I, II, II, I, Select, I, II, I, II, Select, Select, Run. (Note that you can find tons of codes and cheats online at sites such as www.gamefaqs.com and such.)

Joe Redifer
06-26-2005, 09:31 AM
Gates of Thunder owns. I don't know which I like better, it or Lords of Thunder. Lords is probably a bit more ambitious, especially with the graphics.

gearhound
06-27-2005, 07:32 PM
yep, the music in both is good, but i like lords better.

gearhound
08-28-2005, 07:49 PM
http://media.gamestats.com/gg/image/object/498/498341/CastlevaniaAriaofsorrow_GBABOXboxart_160w.jpg
One hell of a Castlevania game

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Release: May 2003
Console: Gameboy Advance
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

Overview
Konami?s Castlevania has been blessing gamers with greatness since 1986. With the release of Symphony of the Night for the Playstation in 1997, which is considered the greatest title in the series by many, Konami surprised gamers with its new gameplay formula that was reminiscent of Super Metroid. Symphony of the Night marked the first Castlevania title to incorporate RPG elements, expanding the gameplay immensely. This approach was widely accepted by long-time fans of the series as well as newcomers. Castlevania was reborn. AoS is a testament to the overall beauty of the series.

Story: 8.0
The game takes place in 2035. Soma Cruz, the hero of Aria, is an exchange student studying in Japan. He is on his way to the Hakuba Shrine along with his childhood friend Mina Kakuba to witness the much-anticipated solar eclipse. As Soma and Mina ascend the stairway, they are both suddenly transported to Dracula?s castle, inside the eclipse. They are soon greeted by Genya Arikado, a mysterious man who aids Soma on his quest. Soma must traverse the huge castle if he is to escape safely with his friend. Aria may not have an amazing story, but it certainly isn?t lame by any stretch of the imagination. Besides, Castlevania has never been known for its beautiful drama but only its fantastic gameplay. What it does offer is a fun quest with plenty of characters, friend and foe, waiting to greet (or kill) the game's hero.

Gameplay: 10
The true gem of any Castlevania title, with the exception of the two vomit-inducing, 3-D failures that landed on the Nintendo 64, is the gameplay. Aria delivers big time. This time around Soma can absorb the souls of his enemies and gain new powers. These powers aren?t just offensive. Soma can equip 3 souls at the same time, each one with varying abilities. Bosses usually release their souls the first time you kill them, but it is a different story for regular enemies. Sometimes Soma may have to kill an enemy numerous times in order to receive its soul. This also applies to weapons, armor and item drops as well. The more rare the item, the harder it is to obtain. The gameplay is faster and much better than its predecessor, Harmony of Dissonance. Aria even expands on the types of items dropped like in Symphony, which gives the game much more depth and playability.

Graphics: 9
Aria looks fantastic on the GBA. Enemies are freakish, substantially large, disgusting, and most of all, pretty dang impressive. Some of the bosses are so grand they take up the entire screen. The level design is good with returning areas like the clock tower and the underground waterway. Each stage is very artistic and littered with great detail, some more than others, however. The bottom line is this: the game is just gorgeous and demonstrates the sheer power of the GBA.

Sound/Music: 9
The Castlevania series has always given gamers something sweet to listen to. Titles like Super Castlevania IV, Rhondo of Blood, and Symphony have some of the most incredible music ever heard in a videogame. Famed composer Michiru Yamane lends her amazing talent once again to Aria. She has a little help from Harmony composer Soshiro Hokkai and Takashi Yoshida, who composed a remix track on the Harmony CD. Yamane is the driving force behind most of the soundtrack to Aria, though. She has crafted a fantastic soundtrack once again -- one that surpasses the tunes of Harmony ? but falls short of the greatness she demonstrated when she composed the soundtrack for Symphony. The sound is also a big improvement over Harmony and takes advantage of the sound capabilities of the GBA. For fans of Castlevania, the music in Aria will not disappoint. Aria certainly sounds like Castlevania, and that is the most important factor.

Overall Experience: 9.5
With a huge amount of weapons, items and armor, a pleasing soundtrack and towering bosses, Aria of Sorrow is the best Castlevania title for the GBA. It resembles Symphony of the Night more than Circle of the Moon or Harmony of Dissonance as far as gameplay depth is concerned, and as noted in the past, better gameplay makes for a better game. Aria of Sorrow is waiting for you, ready to suck you into a world of top-notch gameplay. If you have yet to experience Aria, I must ask myself why. Aria beckons you to partake in its overall charm with a strong, alluring force. You will not be disappointed. Be on the lookout for the sequel for the Nintendo DS, Dawn of Sorrow, later this fall!

Final Score: 9.1/10

Joe Redifer
08-29-2005, 03:22 AM
Area of Sorrow was a great game, but perhaps a little too pastel. Some of the music here and there was good. Michiru's one or two contributed tunes were good. But overall not quite as nice sounding (melody-wise) as whatever the first GBA Castlevania was called. I can't even remember the music from the 2nd GBA Castlevania, but I don't remember it being bad.

gearhound
08-29-2005, 02:01 PM
i think michiru was the primary composer for aria of sorrow. but yeah, aria was really a good game, not that harmony or circle of the moon wasn't... but gameplay -wise aria wins hands down. circle of the moon did have a great sounstrack. harmony's was good, but the sound was pretty weak.

i am going to write a review for dracula X sometime in the next 2 days and then this weekend i will review metal gear solid 3: snake eater.

gearhound
09-06-2005, 03:24 AM
http://www.the-magicbox.com/0411/mgs3cover.jpg
Snake Eater is fucking awesome.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Console: Playstation 2
Release Date: November 2004
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami

Overview:
It was in 1988 when Konami decided to release the first game in the now-famous series, and what a game it was. Metal Gear is a highly regarded classic in the 8-bit generation. Sadly, Konami never released Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake here in America. But Konami has decided to include it in the upcoming release of MGS 3: Subsistence. This is great news for fans of the series that have been dying to play the real sequel to Metal Gear.

Story: 9.5
Snake Eater marks the beginning of the storyline for the series and takes place during the Cold War. The story is the best in the series, and slightly edges out Metal Gear Solid. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Soviet scientist, Nikolai Sokolov, defected to the West. In order for the Soviets to agree to get their missiles out of Cuba, Sokolov would have to be taken back to Russia. The Soviets plan to use Sokolov to create a ?Metal Gear,? a seemingly unstoppable walking tank with nuclear capabilities. FOX, a special-forces unit led by Major Zero, sends Snake in alone with radio support into enemy territory to rescue Sokolov. The origin of the Metal Gear story is about to unfold. Get ready for some great plot twists for this is only the beginning of one heck of a ride.

Graphics: 9.5
Snake Eater has some pretty amazing visuals. You will spend plenty of time outside in the wilderness this time around. The level of detail to the surroundings is unprecedented. The graphics engine is especially powerful and puts forth some of the best visuals seen on the PS2. The cutscenes are both in game as well as full video and are incredibly awesome and very cinematic. Meta Gear Solid 3 is a beautiful game.

Sound/Music: 9
Once again Harry Gregson-Williams returns to do the soundtrack and he certainly delivers some serious Metal Gear tunes that fans of the series will certainly appreciate. The music is highly charged especially during regular combat. I still can?t get over the great music in Metal Gear or Snakes Revenge, though. Still, Snake Eater?s soundtrack sticks to the all-encompassing Metal Gear feel. The sound effects are rock solid and wholly realistic, giving the game an incredibly authentic feel especially when it comes to the weapons. The voice acting is top-notch as always.

Gameplay: 9.5
Snake Eater focuses on survival, healing with various supplies and staying hidden with many types of camouflage. Eating brings up your stamina and is a huge part of the gameplay. If your stamina gets too low your gameplay will be affected. Your stamina bar is located directly below your life bar. Be careful, though, because your catch will spoil and snake will get sick. It is quite humorous to feed Snake rotten food or something that doesn?t taste good. He certainly doesn?t like it and can be quite vocal about it. Putting food in your cages will keep it from rotting, though. The camouflage system is one of the best parts in Snake Eater. There are different face paints and outfits throughout the game so make sure you use them to your advantage. A percentage gauge in the top right corner lets you know how well hidden you are. The higher the percentage the less likely the enemy will see you. New to the series is the survival viewer. Here you can repair your injuries, change out weapons and equipments in your backpack, change camouflage, and of course access options and save. Combat is definitely the best in the series and incorporates an incredible amount of depth, surpassing both Solid games by a huge margin. Snake uses close quarters combat (CQC) to pound his foes. After Snake grabs an enemy he can perform a number of different moves that are very fun to execute. Say bye-bye to the radar in Snake Eater. You must be constantly aware of your surroundings. You can do this by changing into the first-person view mode or by moving the right analog stick. The right analog stick moves the camera further out in all directions giving you a better view. The game forces you to switch to first-person quite a bit. If you fail to do this you will have a hard time not being caught by the enemy. While in this mode you can shift the screen left or right. You must know where your enemy is at all times. The boss battles are just spectacular and are one of the reasons that make this game shine. They must be experienced to be believed. Snake Eater has amazing gameplay. It?s deep, fun and addictive. Enemy A.I has definitely improved. Once Snake is noticed a search and destroy mission is carried out. If you want to survive hiding is a must.

Overall Experience: 10
Metal Gear Solid 3 is a huge game filled with one heck of a story and truly outstanding boss battles. Hideo Kojima gave his fans a true Metal Gear experience. Snake Eater was one of the best gaming moments I have ever encountered.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Icarus4578
09-06-2005, 08:27 AM
Nice reviews. :cool guy: You really dig your MG, gearhound (as if that weren't obvious enough from your avatars). But, um, you might wanna look at the definition to the word 'infamous' ~

Definition: [adj] having an exceedingly bad reputation; "a notorious gangster"; "the tenderloin district was notorious for vice"

Translation: "It was in 1988 when Konami decided to release the first game in the [famous for being exceedingly bad] series, and what a game it was."

Just helping out. :cool:

gearhound
09-06-2005, 11:47 AM
heh... thanks for pointing that out! yes, i do love my metal gear. seriously, i don't know why i used that word...

Joe Redifer
09-06-2005, 12:09 PM
I can understand why others like Metal Gear, but I just couldn't get into parts 2 or 3 at all. They both put me to sleep immediately, and I loved Metal Gear Solid. I wonder why parts 2 and 3 had me reaching for the EJECT button within the first 10 minutes?

gearhound
09-06-2005, 02:09 PM
yeah, metal gear solid was phenomenal... i don't know why you turned off snake eater, joe. you should really give it more of your time! the story is really, really good.

EDIT: i adjusted the score to snakes revenge. i am also having a dilemma... what game do you think has better graphics, snakes revenge or metal gear? i say snakes revenge simply because it uses more color and the levels don't all look similiar. what do you think? which game looks better in your opinion? i guess i would give the graphics for metal gear a 6.5... is that too low of a score in your opinion? would it be pushing it if i gave snakes revenge's graphics a 7.5 and metal gear's an 7? i want your opinion!!

Joe Redifer
09-06-2005, 04:18 PM
I think it stems from the controls not being natural and me not wanting to relearn them each time. I had no clue what I was doing in part 3 and I didn't care for the fact that I'd need to hunt for food and eat it. It seemed like it was trying to be a life simulator instead of something that was fun. All I remember is climbing a tree to get my junk and then coming back down, countless boring conversations that were all extremely long and tiresome, walking up and sinking in a swamp and not being able to get out. OFF!

gearhound
09-06-2005, 04:28 PM
I think it stems from the controls not being natural and me not wanting to relearn them each time. I had no clue what I was doing in part 3 and I didn't care for the fact that I'd need to hunt for food and eat it. It seemed like it was trying to be a life simulator instead of something that was fun. All I remember is climbing a tree to get my junk and then coming back down, countless boring conversations that were all extremely long and tiresome, walking up and sinking in a swamp and not being able to get out. OFF!

joe, you didn't respond to my last post. i would like some opinions. you, icarus and savedfromsin are pretty much the only guys who post in my thread... and maybe a couple others... :donno:

if you could get past all of that -- running into the center of the quicksand is not a good idea :D -- you might enjoy the game for what it is... or maybe i'm wrong.

anyway, i'm sticking to my assessment about metal gear and snakes revenge in terms of graphics... metal gear would probably get a 7.5 and snakes revenge a 7.

what game on the nes, in your opinion, demonstrates the real power of the system? i would say blaster master or maybe ninja gaiden 2... or maybe quantum fighter. i am sure there are others... maybe mario 2 or 3.

Paper exe
09-06-2005, 04:42 PM
In case you don't get any bad ideas. I for one read your reviews, but don't reply to them, because I just have nothing to say about them. Most of the games that you reviewed either I don't own them or I did not beat them yet or I am waiting for the improved version (MGS3S, NGB).

gearhound
09-06-2005, 04:44 PM
In case you don't get any bad ideas. I for one read your reviews, but don't reply to them, because I just have nothing to say about them. Most of the games that you reviewed either I don't own them or I did not beat them yet or I am waiting for the improved version (MGS3S, NGB).

no problem, paper. thanks for the reply. anyway, enjoy metal gear 2: solid snake!!

Joe Redifer
09-06-2005, 05:34 PM
I didn't respond to your question because I am not qualified to answer it. Both games look the same to me, as I've only played them for maybe 5 minutes each. The second one might have a little more memory and one of those MMC chips that did god only knows what so maybe that is better.

Seriously, what was the deal with the MMC chips? I could never tell how the game was improved. They still looked like NES games to me with the same amount of color and flicker. Still looked inferior to the SMS.

gearhound
09-06-2005, 05:46 PM
oh, ok.

i've only played a SMS for a little while... but i heard it was a little more powerful.

but i do think the chips made a difference but not by any drastic means except for maybe MMC1 compared to MMC4 or 5. dracula 3 was the first to use MMC5 i think. and there is one in super mario bro. 3. i'm not sure about other games. but i guess the latter ones do obviously. i can't find a faq.

Joe Redifer
09-06-2005, 09:31 PM
I need to know what these MMC chips do so I can use the information to help me conquer the entire world.

gearhound
09-06-2005, 11:47 PM
hey, joe, how long does it take for you to write a review?

Joe Redifer
09-07-2005, 01:15 AM
Depends. A little over an hour since I have to play and grab screenshots, etc. Then I have to manipulate them in Photoshop so they are the right size, then I write the review, and then I put everything together, then I preview it looking for typos. Then I post the review. So I'd say about an hour on average, though I've never really timed it.

Paper exe
09-07-2005, 04:56 AM
Icarus, said that he spend two hours, but he said it from some months ago, so I am not sure. :sweat:
I for one review one minute then do something else for five minutes, so me reviewing a game take me a lot of time. The only game that I reviewed without slacking off was Zone of the Enders and it toke me about an hour.

Icarus4578
09-07-2005, 08:28 AM
It varies. On average it takes about 1 & a half/2 hours, but sometimes it takes longer.

gearhound
09-07-2005, 02:33 PM
it usually take me about two hours

gearhound
11-03-2005, 08:23 PM
it is important for me to spend at least two days on a review. i am going to post the ones i have written soon. yeah, i'm sure most of you don't care, but the ones that do, like joe and icarus and a few others, i appreciate it, and i post them for you guys. as for now, peace.

gearhound
11-21-2005, 11:38 PM
http://www.gametab.com/images/ss/ps2/2926/box-l.jpg
Darkwatch
Playstation 2
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: High Moon Studios
Released: August 2005
Genre: First-Person Shooter

The Darkwatch is a secret organization that has protected humanity from evil since the birth of civilization. Now, it is time for outlaw Jericho Cross to join the ranks of the Darkwatch and become the ultimate gun-slinging hero and save the west or rule it. Darkwatch is the first game developed by High Moon Studios, formerly known as Sammy Studios. Its unique design and western theme make for a pleasant experience. After all, not many first-person shooters mix vampires and the undead with the west. The game takes place in 1876. Darkwatch is a wild ride from start to finish.

Darkwatch doesn?t entail a deep storyline; it?s hardly compelling. Nevertheless, Cross is here to rob one last train and become a rich man. Sounds easy, right? Well, you see, there isn?t any gold on this train. Cross doesn?t know this, unfortunately. Instead of finding a sweet stash of cash in the safe, he releases Lazarus, a vampire lord seeking total domination of the west and the demise of Darkwatch. Cross soon gets bitten by the blood sucking archfiend and is slowly becoming a vampire. His only hope is to race to the Darkwatch outpost with his new-found partner, Cassidy. Once Cross joins Darkwatch, it is time to get his soul back.

As far as the graphics are concerned, Darkwatch may not be as highly charged and loaded with absurd amounts of detail like other prominent FPS, but they get the job done. The real-time engine is especially nice. The western theme is what sets this game apart from others. Its haunting charm and chilling atmosphere will strike at your soul. The game isn?t scary, of course, but the levels are nice and create a ghostly setting of pure evil. I especially love the graveyards and the abandoned towns. One town, aptly named Hangtown, is one of my favorites. There is something special about running around a forsaken ghost town battling legions of crazed skeletons wielding duel scythes, gunslingers and screaming banshees. The enemies are especially cool, but there isn?t a wide variety of them. Not only that, certain enemies stand in place and don?t attack even if you are directly in their face. Fortunately, this doesn?t happy too often. Overall the A.I. is pretty fierce. Boss battles are non existent. You do get to fight Lazarus a few times, but these battles are less-than-spectacular, but still cool nonetheless. Darkwatch adopts a mix of real-time and full motion video cutscenes. The FMV isn?t too compelling and certainly does not take advantage of the PS2?s hardware.

The control is where my biggest complaint manifests. Every FPS should incorporate a good selection of control options. Darkwatch misses the mark by a long shot. You only have four options to choose from, and all but one forces you to sidestep with the left thumb stick. Sadly, the control in Darkwatch is the biggest downfall for me, personally. The game is a little difficult, but really isn?t too tough to beat. It would have been much easier if I would have been able to sidestep with the right thumb stick while turning and moving with the left; it is the only logical setting for me. Despite my personal complaint, the gameplay in Darkwatch is good. The action can get very intense and hectic at times. Fortunately, one of Cross? vampire abilities include a double jump, essential for evading enemies and reaching high areas. Cross uses pistols, a shotgun, dynamite, rifles and more to lay waste to his foes. Each weapon has its own melee attack animation that is quite powerful. By holding down R1, Cross can slam the hammer rapidly, creating a path of rapid-fire destruction over his enemies. This is the coolest aspect to the gameplay and only works with certain weapons such as pistols. Cross can use the powers of good and evil, too. He is half vampire, after all, and needs to suck on tainted souls cursed by Lazarus. Tainted souls are located throughout the game. You can choose the path of good and release their souls, or bad, and ultimately obtain their remaining essence. This will unlock powers of good and evil depending on your choice. These powers make things easier and create depth and contribute vastly to the gameplay. One particular power turns susceptible enemies to your cause for a short while. When enemies are defeated they leave behind blood capsules which heal Cross. Location damage allows you to blow off the arms, legs and heads of enemies, and is another essential part to the gameplay.

Furthermore, what would Darkwatch be without a little western influence in the soundtrack? The music is good; it keeps the action going and the adrenaline flowing, creating a superb atmosphere. The western-styled sounds definitely stand out. After you clear a room full of minions, occasionally you will hear the classic whistle that fans of western movies will appreciate. As Cross moves you can hear the rattling of his spurs, which is a nice touch. The weapon effects are impressive and realistic as well. Overall, the sound and music are satisfying to the senses, and the voice acting is above average.

Despite a few shortcomings and control issues, Darkwatch is a good game. However, it is very short. There are a lot of missions in the game, though, and while you can probably finish all of them in about 8-10 hours, it is a blast. Darkwatch is fun, addictive and embodies great sound. The powers of good and evil enhance the gameplay, and the graphics engine is nice. Darkwatch isn?t the best FPS I have ever played, but it is definitely worth your time. If you are a FPS junkie, go buy it. If not, give it a rent. It is a satisfying game. The good and evil endings are a sweet touch. Good job, High Moon Studios.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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http://dsmedia.ign.com/ds/image/object/695/695639/castlevaniads_box_072905boxart_160w.jpg
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
System: Nintendo DS
Published by: Konami
Developed by: Konami
Released: October 2005

If it weren?t for 2-D gaming, I don?t know what life would be like. Okay, maybe I do. But without games like Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, gaming would not be as admirable. One of the best games of 2005 has just been released, and guess what? It?s not 3-D, and it?s on the Nintendo DS. (Eat your heart out, PSP!) Dawn of Sorrow is easily the best game on Nintendo?s new handheld. It is, quite assuredly, the must-have game of the year. I purchased a DS for Dawn of Sorrow; I wanted it that badly. The game is absolute pure gaming gold from start to finish, and I am here to tell you that the 2-D capabilities of the Nintendo DS are completely spellbinding.

As for the story, Dawn of Sorrow takes place roughly one year after the events of Aria of Sorrow. A new cult led by Celia Fortner is attempting to resurrect the dark lord by eliminating Soma Cruz, the rebirth of Dracula and the game?s hero. Celia wishes to obtain the powers of the dark lord for herself by thrusting Soma?s mind into total darkness. She loathes Soma, for he was strong enough to avoid becoming the dark lord in Aria. She is accompanied by two men who are potential successors to Dracula. Both of these men have inherited some of the powers of Dracula when they were born, and both have an uncontrollable lust for power. Furthermore, characters from Aria return (as well as a new one) to aid Soma in his quest.

Musically, Dawn of Sorrow is almost as mesmerizing as Symphony of the Night. It is beautifully melodic and composed so incredibly well that it?s almost overwhelming to the senses; it?s almost an ineffable experience. Composer Michiru Yamane returns and does a remarkable job. She delivers some serious Castlevania melody that is sure to blow away die-hard fans of the series. Thanks to the stunning stereo sound capabilities of the DS, Castlevania has never sounded so fantastic on a handheld.

The music isn?t the only thing that pleases. The graphics are simply unbelievable. Multiple parallax scrolling is intense and gives the backgrounds a captivating sense of depth. They are the best backgrounds I have ever seen in a 2-D Castlevania title? heck, they might even be the best backgrounds I have ever laid eyes on, period. Not only that, the animation is truly spectacular and surpasses Aria by a huge margin, especially the various death animations for enemies. The bosses are no doubt the best in the series as well, and are flat out devastating. This is where the touch screen is utilized to the fullest. In order to defeat a boss permanently, Soma must seal it. To do this, simply draw the magic seal that corresponds with the current boss with your stylus. If you mess up, you will continue fighting for a short while. Succeed and watch the boss get sucked away into oblivion forever. The sprites in Dawn of Sorrow are extremely detailed and outrageously enormous; they simply look staggering. The levels ? and there are plenty of them ? are a genuine sight to behold. The level of detail in Dawn of Sorrow is almost unfathomable, I kid you not. I am not exaggerating when I say that the levels in Dawn of Sorrow are some of the best I have ever seen in the series up to this point.
I haven?t experienced a Castlevania game this good since Symphony. Dawn of Sorrow almost surpasses it in every way.

I swear Dawn of Sorrow is as close to gaming perfection as your going to get. In fact, the gameplay is much better than Aria of Sorrow despite the fact that Soma moves slightly slower. Soma can still equip and absorb the souls of his enemies. These souls come in four types: Bullet, Guardian, Enchant, and Ability.

The Bullet type is used just like a sub weapon from earlier titles and drains Soma?s magic bar each time it is used; the Guardian type, which constantly drains magic when activated, is used by pressing the R button. The Guardian ability, once activated, grants Soma certain magic abilities such as transformations and familiar summoning; the Enchant soul works as a status booster and grants such effects like strength increase or nullification of poison. Once these are equipped the effect is automatic. Lastly, the Ability type gives Soma automatic abilities like double jump and the ability to move freely underwater. Indeed, these do not have to be equipped once obtained. In addition, the more of one particular soul you have, the more powerful it becomes.

Additionally, Soma?s returning friends, Hammer and Yoko, help him tremendously. Hammer opens a shop for Soma where he can buy and sell healing items, weapons and armor; and Yoko, with her amazing magic abilities, can create new weapons by forging souls taken by Soma. Thanks to her, Soma can forge some very useful (and incredibly awesome) weapons all complete with a special move. One important thing to notice is that the rare weapons have different special moves. However, the more frequent weapons all have the same special move. All of the special weapon attacks drain magic, and plenty of it for that matter.

Unfortunately, some rare enemies do not wish to relinquish their souls so quickly. Killing them again and again is sometimes necessary (and a dang pain in the butt). This applies to item drops as well. Weapons, armor, food and rings are dropped when enemies are defeated, but not every time. Moreover, the dual screen makes the game easier to play and manage. The top screen can either display the castle map or the status of Soma plus the last enemy he defeated. This can be switched by hitting select. I don?t know about you, but I got tired of stopping my game to view the map in the past. The dual screen remedies this annoyance, thankfully. It is a much-welcomed addition to Dawn of Sorrow.

In the final analysis, Dawn of Sorrow stands amongst the greatest gaming has to offer. This is only the beginning, for Dawn of Sorrow is just the first in the series of Castlevania titles on the DS. I am already begging for another dose of heart-stopping, top-of-the-line pure Castlevania bliss. I simply did not want this game to end. Fortunately, I still have plenty to do even though I have completed a little over 99 percent of the map. I still have many souls to grab, weapons to fashion, rare items to collect, and new characters to play as. Dawn of Sorrow is the biggest game in the entire series and delivers unprecedented replay value. The map is ridiculously large. That, my friends, is an added plus and more reason for you to buy this game right now.
There are multiple endings, unlockable characters, hidden souls and items to keep you busy for a while. Now it is time for you to dive head first into this marvelous, breathtaking game. Thank the gaming Gods 2-D still lives on.

Final Score: 9.5

gearhound
11-21-2005, 11:38 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d6/Dracula_x_rondo_s.jpg
Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
Turbo Duo
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
Released: October 1993 (Japan)

No wonder the PC Engine (Japanese Turbo Duo) was such a huge success in Japan. Most of the great games, like Rondo of Blood, were only released in Japan. Rondo was also released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but was not an exact port, but more of a remake. Let?s just say that Dracula X on the SNES did not cut it. The SNES version was decent, but the real deal is on the PC Engine, and you have to import it. Is it worth the hefty price tag, though? You better believe it.

Rondo of Blood is considered by many fans to be the greatest traditional Castlevania title. Rondo is ripe with amazing, crisp visuals, a remarkable soundtrack, and great boss battles. The beginning of Dracula X: Symphony of the Night (Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight in Japan) Rondo?s sequel, allows you to play the last battle with Dracula and experience the ending. That was just a small sample of Rondo, of course, and many gamers who played Symphony never got a chance to play Rondo of Blood. If you have a U.S. Turbo Duo and do not have a copy of Rondo of Blood, what are you waiting for?

Rondo begins with Richter Belmont racing to the castle entrance on his carriage, and is soon confronted by Death. After the battle with death on the carriage, you are greeted by the castle entrance. Unfortunately for Richter, his girlfriend, Annette, and her sister, Maria and a number of villagers, were kidnapped by Dracula. Dracula loves to kidnap ?
It?s his hobby. His hobby also consists of being killed over and over and then reviving every 100 years? So, once again, a legendary Belmont must invade Dracula?s castle once more and rid the world of him forever ? yeah, right.

Dracula always comes back; he?s such a pain. But he?s no match for a Belmont. Rondo?s gameplay sticks to the same traditional formula as earlier titles with the exception of Castlevania IV. Richter can only whip in one direction and can perform a back flip to evade attacks by tapping the jump button. You still have your sub weapons, too, and each one has a special attack waiting for Richter to unleash.

Visually, Rondo of Blood is spectacular. The parallax scrolling works its wonders quite nicely creating some befitting backgrounds, and the use of color is excellent. Rhondo of Blood was definitely the best looking Castlevania title at the time.

Musically, Rondo shines. It?s equipped with one mesmerizing soundtrack (it?s hard not to play without tears of joy running down your face). The music consists of classic Castlevania tunes and original songs that are phenomenal. Likewise, Rondo incorporates one of the most breathtaking soundtracks in the series? history. The sound effects are equally dramatic as well. The shrieking cries and moans of defeated bosses and enemies are awesome.

The bosses are substantially satisfying. Medusa, the mummy, death, and other classic enemies return. Oh, yeah, you get to fight Frankenstein towards the end, which altogether rocks. The last series of boss battles will have your adrenaline flowing, I assure you.

Well, to wrap it up, I can tell you right now that Dracula X: Rondo of Blood is a spectacular piece of gaming. I never had a Turbo Duo when I was young. In fact, when this game was released in Japan, I was still playing Castlevania IV on my SNES. It is hard to imagine what it would have been like to have experienced the Duo version of Rondo of Blood at that time. I mean, Castlevania IV took my soul and delivered unto me one extraordinary and wondrous experience. But playing Rondo of Blood at that time probably would have resulted in a sensory overload. I can only imagine, though. Still, I was completely awestruck when I first played Rondo on the Duo back in 2004. It is one of the greatest Castlevania installments of all time.

Rating: 9
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Lagoon
Console: SNES
Published by: Kemco
Developed by: Kemco
Released: December 1991

Lagoon for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a classic action RPG. When I say classic, I don?t mean The Legend of Zelda classic. I simply mean classic in the sense that lagoon is one of those games that only hardened fans of the genre will adore to the fullest. If you like running around huge, maze-like dungeons, fighting tough-as-nails bosses, great traditional music, and exploring a vast world with fun characters, then Lagoon is for you. If you simply cannot get enough action RPG love, Lagoon will be happy to accommodate you and envelope your entire being.

But, honestly, Lagoon isn?t really that great of a game. It has given me great memories and a pleasant experience though. Lagoon may not be up to par with games like Zelda or Ys, but it doesn?t have to. You play as Nair. You are the ?Champion of the light,? according to your mentor, Mathias. Your job is to investigate the muddy water that surrounds the land. The water was once pure, and has nourished the land for ages, but now has been tainted by evil. What you basically do is run through variously cool dungeons and rub out the end boss, go to the next town, talk to the inhabitants of the various towns who wander aimlessly and repeat. It does make for good gaming, but there is one major problem with the game play?

? Nasir is equipped with the most pathetic sword in the history of traditional action RPGs. Nasir?s sword reach is horrid and makes for some difficult gameplay if you don?t time your hits right. The sword extends about as far as you think his arm would? that is if you could tell he had arms. His weapon looks extremely pathetic. He might as well not even have a sword. Fortunately, you have magic and it remedies the inadequate physical attacks by providing long-range projectiles. You also get to escort certain people. This is a painstaking process because they walk twice as slow as you do, and you have to wait for them. If you get ahead of them they will run into a wall and get stuck because they are stupid. This will thoroughly annoy you to no end. Fortunately, you don?t do this very often.

Other than that, Lagoon does have a great soundtrack that ranges from pounding rock tracks to sweet melodies. The boss music stands out as one of the best tracks in the game. Overall, though, Lagoon has an honorable soundtrack.

The graphics aren?t especially impressive, and they certainly won?t make your jaw drop in amazement, but for a 16-bit game released in 1991, it holds its own. Boss sprites are fairly large and the dungeons are set up in a basic format; dungeon design isn?t too compelling and is straightforward; the dungeons are not difficult to navigate through, but do provide for some adequate eye candy. I especially love running though the massive castle-like structures, and there are plenty of them.

Finally, I do like Lagoon a lot, but the gameplay is sorely lacking. I did manage to get past that and enjoy Lagoon to the fullest. It tries hard to be other games, like, say, Ys or Zelda, but falls short. In the end, though, Lagoon shows that it is definitely worth your time. After all, it is one of my favorite SNES titles.

Score: 6.5
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Lords of Thunder
Turbo Duo
Release Date: 1993
Published by Hudson Soft
Developed by Red

Lords of Thunder, when released in 1993, bombarded the shooter genre and injected it with an overall intensity well ahead of its time; it?s on par with some of the greatest shooters of today. Lords of Thunder looked better than any shooter on any console at that time, and the sound was phenomenal. I wish I could have experienced this gem in 1993. I would have been overwhelmed and equally thunderstruck by its outright exquisite presentation and design.

Lords of Thunder is one of the greatest shooters to have ever graced a console.

The game begins in the Lands of Mistral, which are comprised of six continents. Long ago the holy god Pharina and the hero of Mistral, Dyu, sealed Zaggart, ruler of the Dark World, in the center of the six lands. Zaggart will once again rise to power and threaten the peaceful existence of Mistral. In order to stop Zaggart, Lord Landis, the one and only descendant of Dyu, is bequeathed four elemental armors that will eventually spell disaster for the demon lord. Buckle up and prepare yourself. Lords of Thunder is about to blow you away.

If you have not played this beautiful game, you are missing out. Thanks to the amazing sound architecture of the Turbo Duo, Lords of Thunder?s soundtrack is a first-rate, thundering achievement. The music consists of apocalyptic 80s thrash metal coupled with solos and melodies that hair bands only dream of. Lords of Thunder incorporates one astounding atmosphere that is second to none. I literally get chills when I play it. The music fits the game so perfectly it?s like a match made in heaven.

The sound effects are impressive as well. Bosses that are dealt the hand of doom immediately crumble, followed by screeching and bellowing cries. Some of the bigger enemies that Landis affronts (and ultimately destroys) depart with a deep, penetrating grumble.

Lords of Thunder is visually compelling. Brilliant, dazzling color merged with sweet parallax scrolling and nice backgrounds give Lords of Thunder a miraculous feel. The levels are a consummate joy to play, entirely awesome and abundantly diverse. Rage through pillars of fire, swinging spiked balls and fast-scrolling areas where skill is a necessity for survival. The cutscenes, although very infrequent, are a nice addition to the game and give off an anime feel. Sure, by today?s standards the cinemas may look silly, but in 1993 the cinemas were considered to be quite elegant. The bosses are nicely-drawn, hulking sprites almost 10 times the size of Landis. Overall, Lords of Thunder is a classic, audio-visual feast that can only be appreciated by shooter connoisseurs.

Lords of Thunder plays like a dream. The four elemental armors ?earth, fire, water and wind ? give Landis one bona fide arsenal. The elemental armors can be powered up by collecting or purchasing mystic orbs. Once fully powered, Landis seems unstoppable. Moreover, the four elemental armors have their strength and weaknesses; some are more powerful than others while other armors provide serious fire power but are less powerful. Furthermore, when Landis sustains damage your weapon power is decreased. Thankfully, you can pick up heals and power ups by defeating the bigger enemies or by blasting away at certain structures. To add insult to injury, Landis? special armor can call forth elemental devastation. For example, the fire armor allows Landis to summon a flaming dragon that twists and turns obliterating all in its path and the earth armor brings forth a meteor storm.

One of the more distinguished features of Lords of Thunder is the ability to purchase items and upgrades from a shopkeeper before each level. Being able to purchase shields, bombs, life orbs, power upgrades, continues and elixirs make the game extraordinarily gratifying. This is also equally essential, for Lords of Thunder is not an easy game. If you are able to collect enough crystals or coins you can enter each level fully powered up ? but that doesn?t mean you will survive.

Additionally, if Landis gets close enough to an enemy he will swipe it vigorously with his sword. Landis? sword can be quite powerful and can drop some enemies in a matter of seconds. A skilled player utilizes this aspect often.

Lords of Thunder is a game you should not pass up. It was also released for the Sega-CD, but the Duo version is better. The Sega CD version, however, retained all the voices and music from the PC Engine (Japanese Turbo Duo), which was called Winds of Thunder. The music changes aren?t too noticeable. I, however, was slightly upset by some of the small changes, but I soon got over it. Lords of Thunder is a sensational and magical experience. It is a shooter that comes at you in full force, ready to challenge your patience and skill to the fullest. The look and feel of this masterfully crafted game is wholly original, and the music is rock solid. I couldn?t imagine a more-fitting soundtrack for Lords of Thunder. The atmosphere created is spellbinding. Do yourself a favor and get this game right now if you haven?t already.

Final Score: 10
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gearhound
11-21-2005, 11:43 PM
Ys III: Wanderers from Y?s
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: Sammy
Released: 1991

Okay, so this is the third Ys game in the lovely series from Falcom? but it is also the first to incorporate side-scrolling gameplay. Wait a minute? isn?t Ys supposed to be an overhead, action RPG? Well, yes, but this time Falcom decided to make it different. Different isn?t always good, and in the case of Ys III, different is equated with less-than-spectacular gameplay.

I wholeheartedly love the Ys series. I am dying of anticipation for Ys VII: The Oath in Felghana and the remake to Ys III as well as other remakes in the series. I swear I cannot get enough of the classic gaming that Ys oozes. It fills my heart with limitless joy and unabashed enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, my undying love for Ys does not necessarily extend to Ys III.

When Falcom made the change from overhead to side scrolling, they turned poor Adol into one of the most inadequately controlled characters to have ever graced an RPG. Strategy is nonexistent, and when you hit enemies it is as if they aren?t affected whatsoever. You have to time your hits. When you hit an enemy you have to run back quickly because it will not be stunned by your strikes nor will its progress be halted. This makes for some increasingly frustrating gameplay.

But there is a solution to this problem.

Once you get to the first dungeon, you will notice that the enemies run to a certain point and subsequently turn around. This awesome strategy by the enemy can actually level you up to the point where you can actually enjoy the game. Simply position yourself right before the point where the enemy turns around. All you have to do now is hold down the attack button or put a heavy object on top of it and simply walk away. When you come back, Adol will be at a sufficient level. You can repeat this process often. If you do not feel the need to do this, that is fine. You just won?t get anywhere because without this tactic, Ys III will drive you insane. Adol can be killed very quickly if confronted with a powerful enemy. It is wise to level him up before you progress. Furthermore, Adol only strikes repeatedly with his sword; that is all he can do. Sure, you have a basic equipment screen that house various armor, shields, swords, and rings, but that is all you have. Your rings are magical and range from a power ring to a healing ring. Wow. Y III doesn?t really have any gameplay at all? alright, maybe a little, but it is hardly compelling.

As for the story, you?re not going to be blown away. Adol and his best friend, Dogi are traveling through town when they notice a fortune teller. Dogi decides to have his fortune told to him and quickly finds out that something odd is going on in his hometown of Redmond. The fortune teller becomes stricken with shock and screams the name ?Galbalan.? Galbalan is an ancient demon who is sealed and who once ruled the kingdom. As you probably have guessed by now, he is the cause of all the problems Adol and company will face. As Adol and his best friend travel to Redmond they are quickly confronted with rumors about monsters in the land as well as an unsatisfactory harvest. Adol soon finds out that the major has been kidnapped and that monsters have suddenly attacked. He decides to rescue him and slay the monsters. And so Adol?s quest for glory begins and so does the third chapter in the Ys series.

The best part about Ys III is clearly the music. If it?s one thing that Falcom delivers to the fullest it is the soundtrack to their games. The Ys series always has wonderful music that is profoundly traditional. Ys III delivers music that actually makes the game more enjoyable despite the fact that the gameplay is displeasing.

In the graphics department, there really is nothing here that is too spectacular. Fight underground in caverns, atop massive towers and inside castles, a fire cave, and much more. Enemies in the game are mindless drones that wander back and forth. Enemy designs are decent and Adol is just a small, red-headed sprite wielding a sword and shield, always ready to slaughter the next monster that gets in his way. The bosses aren?t too menacing nor are they really that impressive; they?re just there. The game is also very linear. You select where you want to go on a map, so forget about exploration. Running through the town is a joke and equally linear. In fact, Ys III is so linear it makes my brain hurt and subsequently makes me want to play a real action RPG.

Aside from that, Ys III is worth playing through. If you can get past the awful gameplay you just might enjoy it. I certainly did. Maybe it was the music that kept me going. Or was it my unbridled curiosity for the next area? I?d have to go with both. It is really the only thing the game has going for it. Ys III is definitely not one of the best action RPGs on the SNES? heck, it isn?t even in the top 10, but who cares. The game is fun regardless of Adol?s horrid attack system. Granted, I was pretty young when I first played it, maybe 16, but I still enjoy it today, but certainly not as much as I did years ago.

Final Score: 6

gearhound
11-22-2005, 12:00 AM
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Axelay
Console: SNES
Developed by: Konami
Published by: Konami
Released: 1993

I am going to slice right through the hot, smelly bologna and tell you right now that Axelay is the best shooter on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, no doubt about it. I could go so far as to say that it is the best shooter of the 16-bit era, but I think I would be stretching it a little. Regardless, Axelay is loaded with outstanding visuals and music and great fun only rivaled by the best the genre has to offer.

In addition, Axelay uses mode 7 effects and parallax scrolling that is visually spectacular. The bosses are beautiful and deliver an all encompassing feel; boss design (as well as level design) is nothing short of brilliant. The levels are wildly diverse and completely immersive. The first level is only a taste of what lies ahead? it is alluring; the effects are amazing. Level design itself is diverse as well. Fly through mountains high in the sky and sour through a fire stage evading raging swarms of hot death only to be confronted by an outrageous lava boss. On top of that, one of the levels pits you against a massive alien ship that assaults you on so many levels. Each stage switches between side-scrolling and top-down perspectives, and each stage has its own wonderful, unique feel accompanied by a striking composition.

I can?t express how genuinely spellbinding the music is? it grabs you, sucks you in, and fills you with such out-and-out bliss it?s almost a sin. The music is one of the most endearing features to Axelay, and I believe it is the foundation of the experience.

Story wise, well, once again Earth has been destroyed by pesky aliens. It is now time for one man to hop aboard the all-powerful Axelay and give those Earth-destroying aliens a good old-fashion beating. The only thing the hero has with him is a locket that houses a picture of his family. His motivation is profound.

As for the gameplay, yeah, it is quite good, I must say. Each time you finish a level a new weapon is unlocked and added to your arsenal. You can switch between three different weapons on the fly, but when you get hit the weapon that you are currently using will be gone. Once all three of your weapons have been lost, get hit again and you bite the dust? hard. Speaking of hard, Axelay delivers the difficulty in heaping amounts. This is not an easy shooter, of course, and the more difficult a shooter is, the better. Besides, who wants to romp through and easy shooter? Every great 2-D shooter is difficult; it?s the mark of a good shooter, anyway. You have various missiles and bombs to utilize such as the Cluster Bomb and the Macro Missile; and awesome weapons like the Needle Cracker and the Wind Lazer provide powerful weaponry. Furthermore, customization is high, and you can switch weapons before each level. Strategy is also present and certain weapons are a must in certain levels, but that is for you to decide. Decide wisely or get force fed a heaping dose of sweet demise.

Yes, Axelay is a must-have title and a far-out experience. It shatters just about any other shooter on the SNES, and there are some good ones. That just tells you how prodigious Axelay really is. If you adore the shooting genre as much as I do, you need to check Axelay out and give it a good run. It is a standing tribute to the SNES and its many glorious titles as well as the genre itself. Not only that, Axelay is one of the best shooters I have ever played. Actually, when I play Axelay, I am overwhelmed with emotion. That, my friends, may sound silly, but when you have been playing games for as long as I have you tend to develop fond memories? the music adds to that effect nicely and drives the overwhelming sensation into overdrive. Axelay is nothing short of a legendary, awe-inspiring, sensational achievement.

Final Score: 9.5

gearhound
11-22-2005, 12:16 AM
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Snakes Revenge
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release: April 1990
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami of America (ULTRA games until 1992)


I remember when I first played this game? I thought it was horrible. It was some time after I had played Metal Gear. That was about 15 years ago. When I first started playing I had no idea it was supposed to be a sequel to the original. The more I played Snakes Revenge the more I enjoyed it, and it was finally disclosed to me that this was a sequel to Metal Gear ? well, sort of. The game doesn?t even take place in the Metal Gear world. Suffice it to say, Snakes Revenge is actually a good game even though it isn?t a part of the series.

Don?t be confused about the story. Never mind Ultra Games? interpretation; they didn?t take its games or its story seriously. Regardless, Snakes Revenge was developed in Japan for American and European gamers. Snake, once again, is called into action to take out Metal Gear, the mechanical abomination that he thought he had destroyed three years ago. Snake, along with three others, must infiltrate the enemies? base. Typical of the series, they all communicate with each other via radio and work as a team to accomplish their mission.

Expect the same set up from Metal Gear; the gameplay is very similar. The only difference is that Snakes Revenge plays faster and has side-scrolling levels. Unlike Metal Gear, you can?t evade enemies by running into the next screen. This makes the game slightly more difficult. Konami slapped Metal Gear fans in the face when they took a path to mediocrity by implementing the side-scrolling levels. Why did you do this, Konami? I guess they thought it would be ?cool,? or appease American gamers by crapping on the best aspects of the series. Do you think Hideo Kojima would want side-scrolling levels in his beloved series? He would probably shudder at the concept and dropkick the person who proposed it? or maybe he wouldn?t. Anyway, these levels are not unplayable just completely inessential; they do nothing for the game except steer clear of what makes Metal Gear good. After all Hideo Kojima had nothing to do with the game. Thankfully, these levels aren?t too long. The top-down stages are what count -- they are an absolute blast to play -- and make up for the bad areas. Snake has plenty of cool weapons (although they?re not spectacular) to use such as landmines, grenades, machine guns and remote missiles.


This music is the best part about Snakes Revenge. If you were to ask me which NES games had the best music ? say the top 10 -- Snakes Revenge would be on that list. The soundtrack is excellent and even better than Metal Gear's soundtrack. To be completely honest, Revenge has some of the best 8- bit music I have ever heard.

Visually, the use of color is a refreshing take from the somewhat bland, repetitious nature of Metal Gear. A high point in Snakes Revenge is that it oozes with diverse stomping grounds that range from jungles and massive boats to trains and deserts. The levels are a real blast (except the side-scrolling ones), and running around trying to find key cards to access new areas is simply a treat.

In closing, despite the fact that Metal Gear was a hit in America, its real sequel was never released outside of Japan. Hideo Kojima was not planning to make a sequel due to low sales for the MSX2 version of Metal Gear. I shouldn?t be upset though because after 17 years, Metal Gear 2 will finally be release outside of Japan. Yes, Snakes Revenge rocks regardless of it being a ?sequel? to Metal Gear. I hold this game in high regard. It may be a diversion in the Metal Gear storyline but it is still a good game on its own.

Verdict: 7.5
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Metal Gear
Console: NES
Release: June 1988
Publisher: Konami
Developer: ULTRA games

I am saddened by the fact that the NES version of Metal Gear went through so many changes from the original MSX2 version; a change that was not for the better. Thankfully, the original game will be playable in Subsistence. The NES version was not ported by Kojima or his team. He didn?t even oversee the translation. The level design was altered, messages from Big Boss were deleted and some of the music was changed. On top of this depression, you didn?t even get to fight Metal Gear! It?s funny because that is what you are supposed to do in the game: destroy Metal Gear. But this is just a small list, unfortunately, of various aspects that were changed or deleted for the NES port.

The story starts in Outer Heaven. It is well known that a mercenary thug is developing a massive, walking nuclear tank capable of launching an attack anywhere in the world. Foxhound, led by Big Boss, sends Grey Fox deep into Outer Heaven where he is soon captured. Snake is then sent in to rescue Grey Fox and continue the mission. You get bits and pieces of the story and little detail as you progress. Towards the end of the game, the player witnesses a dramatic plot twist that changes the game?s story dramatically. Witness the first game in the series and love every second of its captivating nature. I can?t wait to sink my claws into the original version.

Original in its design and presentation, Metal Gear is great despite the fact that it was butchered from the MSX2 version. You start the game parachuting into enemy territory. (Note: this is also different from the original.) Once you land in the jungles of Outer Heaven, you must use what little you have -- uh, that would be a pack of cigarettes -- to procure weapons and items as well as evade enemies, guard dogs and cameras. Being caught by the enemy reveals a ?!? that appears over their head. You can actually run into the next screen to evade enemies because the 2nd level of the alert system was taken out from the original. But, whatever; the game is still good, and as noted in my Snakes Revenge review, progressing in the world of Metal Gear is remarkably fun and rewarding.

Graphically, Metal Gear?s look is the same throughout most of the game. Rarely do you arrive at a new level and it look completely different. The graphics are slightly worse than Snakes Revenge, but for an NES title they aren?t bad at all. Most of the buildings you enter have the same color palette. The levels outside, for the most part, all look the same? you will run into a little variation like the desert filled with scorpions or the rooftop at the beginning.

Despite the lack of musical variation, Metal Gear?s soundtrack is good with a little melody thrown in. You will here the same music quite often because you will be running back and forth in some areas. Metal Gear?s music exhibits a different atmosphere than Snakes Revenge and that is expected. When they ported the game they changed some of the music for the NES port for reasons that will forever escape me. Most of the changes in the game were unnecessary.

Metal Gear has given me some good memories. This is one of the best games on the NES, in my opinion. Metal Gear served me well during the reign of the 8-bit machines and I still enjoy it tremendously today.

Overall: 8

Joe Redifer
11-22-2005, 05:21 AM
Wow, a lot of good, classic games reviewed there. It's hard for me to pick and choose what to comment on, but I'll try. I remember getting Dracula X when it came out (brand new). I still have it. The game was so awesome and I fell in love with it. It was an excellent swan song for the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine system. Not long after Dracula X was released, Vampire Killer/Bloodlines came out, and it looked and played so poorly compared to Dracula X. It was because of this that I couldn't bring myself to buy the Genesis version, it was just too asstastic in comparison to the greatness I had just played. It was like an 8-bit game or something. That situation has since been rectified and I now own Bloodlines. Lords of Thunder also kicked ass. I was amazed at what they were able to do with the scrolling, especially since the TurboGrafx-16 could only draw one page of background at any one time. I know sprites were used to help the overlapping layered effects. And I remember way back when Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow came out as well. Good game. I remember I beat it with 100% map, 100% souls, then beat Julius mode with 100% map and made it to about 50% on hard mode. Fantastic game, definitely the best for the DS.

Sinful Sam
11-22-2005, 05:53 AM
Damn I want to play Dracula X but I don?t like the expensive price tag. There wouldn?t happen to be any emulation for TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine for PC?

Great reviews, Gearhound.

Icarus4578
11-22-2005, 09:37 AM
It's nice to wake up, check out what's going on and find that gearhound had posted nine reviews last night.

Lords of Thunder, Axelay, Dracula X.... games which belong in everybody's collection. Ys III on SNES is actually better than the TG/PCE CD version in most ways. Of course the CD soundtrack kills the SNES version; that goes without saying. I've never played Lagoon before, but it sounds ok. Dawn of Sorrow is the original reason why I bought a DS. But you got this wrong ~ "Dawn of Sorrow is the biggest game in the entire series..." SotN has two maps and HoD has three. Overall I enjoyed reading these reviews. Way to go, gearhound. :cool guy:

gearhound
11-22-2005, 01:49 PM
Wow, a lot of good, classic games reviewed there. It's hard for me to pick and choose what to comment on, but I'll try. I remember getting Dracula X when it came out (brand new). I still have it. The game was so awesome and I fell in love with it. It was an excellent swan song for the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine system. Not long after Dracula X was released, Vampire Killer/Bloodlines came out, and it looked and played so poorly compared to Dracula X. It was because of this that I couldn't bring myself to buy the Genesis version, it was just too asstastic in comparison to the greatness I had just played. It was like an 8-bit game or something. That situation has since been rectified and I now own Bloodlines. Lords of Thunder also kicked ass. I was amazed at what they were able to do with the scrolling, especially since the TurboGrafx-16 could only draw one page of background at any one time. I know sprites were used to help the overlapping layered effects. And I remember way back when Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow came out as well. Good game. I remember I beat it with 100% map, 100% souls, then beat Julius mode with 100% map and made it to about 50% on hard mode. Fantastic game, definitely the best for the DS.

the first time i experienced dracula x was on the snes, and yes, it was butchered. bloodlines is pretty damn good. i have yet to get 100 percent map and souls. i need to play through on hard so i can get the soul of dracula and the chaos ring. i think you get it when you beat it on hard. and lords of thunder is phenominal, too :cool guy:

i feel your concern, sinfulsam, but if you have a duo save up your money and buy dracula x! it is worth it, i think.

It's nice to wake up, check out what's going on and find that gearhound had posted nine reviews last night.

Lords of Thunder, Axelay, Dracula X.... games which belong in everybody's collection. Ys III on SNES is actually better than the TG/PCE CD version in most ways. Of course the CD soundtrack kills the SNES version; that goes without saying. I've never played Lagoon before, but it sounds ok. Dawn of Sorrow is the original reason why I bought a DS. But you got this wrong ~ "Dawn of Sorrow is the biggest game in the entire series..." SotN has two maps and HoD has three. Overall I enjoyed reading these reviews. Way to go, gearhound. :cool guy:

:thumb-up: are you sure about dawn of sorrow not being the biggest in the series? i am pretty sure it is longer than symphony and definately longer than harmony. i don't think the 3 maps were 3 entirely different maps, but maps that interconnected... (they all had the same layout). i think they were essentially the same with new areas that were only accessible in one of the three maps. does that even make sense? besides, the back of the box says it is the biggest yet!! :yikes:

Nindalf
11-23-2005, 08:33 AM
I didn't feel the passion in those reviews.

Icarus4578
11-23-2005, 10:30 AM
are you sure about dawn of sorrow not being the biggest in the series? i am pretty sure it is longer than symphony and definately longer than harmony. i don't think the 3 maps were 3 entirely different maps, but maps that interconnected... (they all had the same layout). i think they were essentially the same with new areas that were only accessible in one of the three maps. does that even make sense? besides, the back of the box says it is the biggest yet!! :yikes:

I'm sure. Maybe as far as map size in and of itself it's the biggest, but not in total game size. It took me just under 10 hours to finish DoS whereas it took 15 or so to finish SotN the first time through (both castles, of course). Yes, HoD's castles are interconnected, but it's still a bigger game nevertheless.

Not that it's really all that important. As long as the game is good, who cares? Look, I still think Super CV IV is the best in the series. Go figure.

Joe Redifer
11-23-2005, 01:09 PM
Personally I think Regular Castlevania IV is much better than Super Castlevania IV.

Alucard
11-23-2005, 01:11 PM
Nothing more better then a bunch of Konami goodness to make you feel alive!

gearhound
11-23-2005, 07:22 PM
Look, I still think Super CV IV is the best in the series. Go figure.

i certainly will not argue with that :cool guy:

I didn't feel the passion in those reviews.

:lol: you want passion? read the review of lords of thunder. i don't know if i should be insulted or not... :sweat:

Nothing more better then a bunch of Konami goodness to make you feel alive!

hell yeah :)

Personally I think Regular Castlevania IV is much better than Super Castlevania IV.

yeah, me too :)

Freeman
11-24-2005, 10:19 AM
Yo bro nice Megaman X8 review & a good score too. IMO X8 is my 2nd fav. X games series along with X4. ...and regarding the name of the bosses-
Earthrock Trilobyte- A trilobite is an extinct insect, do a google search for it's images
Gigvolt Man'o'war- LOL I was surprised they used a squid, but for some reason, he was cool. I HATE his stage however.
The one thing I liked the most about X8 was that u can play as Alia :love:

gearhound
01-06-2006, 12:03 AM
thanks :thumb-up:

Drunken Savior
01-24-2006, 11:50 PM
Excellent...lots of good PS2 games are comming out...

gearhound
01-25-2006, 01:20 AM
yeah, there really is no need to get an xbox 360 right now.

EDIT: i took my DQ VIII review down because i left some things out and not because it doesn't deserve a 10/10 :cool:

gearhound
02-18-2006, 11:58 PM
http://www.gametab.com/images/ss/ps2/3049/box-l.jpg
Devil May Cry 3 will kick your ass 1,000 times over.
Don't be a pussy. Experience one of the best action
games of 2005!

Devil May Cry 3: Dante?s Awakening
A Review
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Capcom released Devil May Cry in 2001 it shocked the world and set a new standard. Capcom thought it could capitalize on the success by handing us Devil May Cry 2. Unfortunately, the second game in the series hit the gaming with a hollow thud. Only a few titles, like God of War and Ninja Gaiden, can hold a candle to the high- caliber onslaught that Devil May Cry 3: Dante?s Awakening delivers. Ninja Gaiden blasted on to the scene like an unprecedented force that simply could not be reckoned with. And God of War, with its mythological tone and blood-pumping, epic soundtrack brought us a new level of gameplay. Few games can only dream of measuring up to the indubitably ridiculous standard set by these masterpieces.

DMC3 opens up the flood gates in terms of hard-hitting gameplay. What it offers is simple: sick, chaotic boss battles; beautiful level design and imagery; and a difficulty level that will make you rip your eyes out.

"The real meat and bones to DMC3 is not the story, however, but the insane action that is best described as an overwhelming blitzkrieg that slaughters your soul and shakes your senses."

DMC3 is a prequel to the first game, and this time around, Dante?s brother Vergil is introduced into the fold. Both of these men, of course, are half-man and half-demon. Their father, Sparda, was a full-fledged demon who forsook his demon brethren and rose up against them to seal the demon world from the world of men. Since the legendary Sparta was also a demon, he was sealed away. Vergil now seeks to resurrect the ancient tower that holds the seal where his father lies and once again unite the demon world and take all the power for himself? but Dante has other plans.

Suffice it to say, the story is very well told through bona-fide, electrifying cut-scenes. These cut-scenes are earth shattering and slick as ever. Dante is portrayed as a cocky, excessively cool, demon slaying maniac, is incredibly powerful, and can dish out some impressive acrobatic moves. Many of them are delivered in such an over-the-top fashion that upon viewing will make your head spin 360 degrees. His brother Vergil is far from cocky, though, and is an awesome addition to the storyline, too. He is accompanied by other captivating characters, all of which are developed quite well for an action game.

The real meat and bones to DMC3 is not the story, however, but the insane action that is best described as an overwhelming blitzkrieg that slaughters your soul and shakes your senses. The camera is not preset like the first game. It can be manipulated with the targeting system with the R1 button. This proves to be very helpful and much needed because if there are enemies behind you, you can target them and the camera will rotate around. You can move the camera with the right analogue stick, but it barely moves and proves useless during combat.

Nevertheless, I have never experienced such pervasive gameplay mixed with an amazing amount of depth and customization. Dante has four different styles in the beginning: Gunslinger allows Dante to learn different gun techniques that are a sight to behold and defy logic; the Swordmaster style gives Dante advanced sword skills; Trickster, which is best used for beginners, gives Dante a much-needed edge in evasive maneuvering; and Royalguard gives Dante defensive abilities that block attacks and minimize damage. There are other styles that can be unlocked upon further progression. All of these styles can be leveled up by gaining experience while fighting and have a number of moves for each style. This amount of depth is absurd, for it provides a plethora of replay value. In addition, Dante has plenty of devilish weaponry to send his foes back to the demon world with, and each weapon has its own unique attack. There is something else the developers decided to give us. Something that strikes at your very being: insane, mid-air weapon changes and reality-defying combos. The basic weapon combos are timed button presses, but once you get the hang of it you can create your own combos in the air and on the ground. Enemies drop red orbs upon defeat. This allows you to purchase weapon upgrades and items. The flashier your combos are the more orbs you will receive. It is safe to say that DMC3 grinds 3D action to perfection, and boy does it look good. But not all of the action continues in succession. Occasionally, you will run through levels obtaining items and solving puzzles. This provides for a much needed break from all of the hectic action that comes at you in a rampant, god-like force.

Graphically, DMC3 is sensational. The settings are larger and more gothic than the first game and give off an atmosphere that must be experienced to be believed. You certainly have plenty to look out while pounding and pulverizing demonic freaks because the environments dish out awesomeness like its going out of style. Fiendish architect litters the settings and full moons illuminate massive bridges. Ascending the demonic tower, you are greeted with a vast amount of exquisite detail and design you almost feel like you don?t want to go all the way to the top. The level design is top-notch and is nothing short of pure genius. Furthermore, the union between the in-game and rendered cut-scenes is a loving one, gentle to the eyes yet frantic in its execution; they are an exuberant treat and unfurl the story magnificently.

Musically, DMC3 delivers in short bursts that range from grunge rock with abrasive vocals to eerie, ominous chants and whispers. Some of the music is ambient, intoxicating and mixes well with the gothic environments. With the exception of some of the rock music, the rest of the sound delivered in-game is very good. Don?t misunderstand me, though, some of the rock tracks are quite good. But, for the most part, the music impresses more often than not. Dolby Pro Logic II is used to the fullest here and definitely adds to the wonderful settings and atmosphere.

As noted earlier, DMC3 is painfully difficult. The difficulty level never lets up and tears your head off from the first mission to the last. The difficulty may make you either: a) break your controller in unbridled anger; b) slam your head into the TV; c) take DMC3 out of your PS2, smash it to pieces and set it on fire; or d) take the more modest approach, which is buckle up and prepare for some of the most challenging gameplay you have ever faced and bare with it. Fortunately, you can replay the levels you have finished to hone your skills and level up your fighting styles. You are graded in various categories such as time, damage and style upon completion of a level, and the higher you score the more orbs you gain. Replaying the levels to purchase upgrades and items is very necessary.

Well, in the final analysis, DMC3 really knows how to throw a party that knocks your doors off, rips your senses asunder and sends a surge of utter magnificence down your spine. It really seems that Dante?s Awakening was touched by the hands of the gaming gods. DMC3 is fast, difficult, stunning, and most of all it is one of the best action games this generation that ranks right up there with Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry and God of War. Like I said in the beginning ? not many games measure up to these bad boys, and when one is released it is important that you experience it. So, I urge you to give yourself to this game. Let it absorb you and take you for an unforgettable ride.

Score: 9.5/10

Game facts:
System: Playstation 2
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Released: March 2005

Joe Redifer
02-19-2006, 12:16 AM
You found the SHIFT button on your keyboard! Welcome to the brave, new world of capitalization.

gearhound
02-19-2006, 12:22 AM
what in the heck are you talking about, joe?

i still have yet to find the shift key...

ok, nevermind. here it is...

Paper exe
02-19-2006, 04:06 AM
They released a special edition one, now I have to buy it. How could I know that they would release an upgrade for cheaper in the future!? they could at lest warned me.

Icarus4578
02-19-2006, 08:15 AM
DMC3 was a letdown. Not a serious letdown like 2 but still.... Capcom isn't the same company it was several years ago. They made one game worth owning last year, and that was Resident Evil 4. They also helped work on Zelda ~ The Minish Cap but with Nintendo's assistance.

gearhound
02-19-2006, 06:42 PM
somehow i am not surprised, icarus. let down or not, it is an improvement over the first one.

Icarus4578
02-20-2006, 11:43 AM
I don't think it is. The atmosphere is similar but the soundtrack kills the (ultra-repetitious) action. The first DMC is great because of how new it was and how fast-paced everything was. The third was way too much flash with little substance; more mindless action.

gearhound
02-20-2006, 05:06 PM
I don't think it is. The atmosphere is similar but the soundtrack kills the (ultra-repetitious) action. The first DMC is great because of how new it was and how fast-paced everything was. The third was way too much flash with little substance; more mindless action.

some of the grunge music repeats too often, but dmc 3 does have some good music... i don't see why you think the action is repetitious considering the fact that dante's awakening has more moves and 7 different styles. how could it possibly be more repetitive than the first one? sure, someone could say dmc is repetitive, but i would disagree as well.

Icarus4578
02-21-2006, 09:17 AM
All it is is an overglorified, flashy combo system. It gets tiresome. I want more depth than figuring out how to string together zillion hit combos on the same enemies over and over again. If anything, I'd much prefer the quicker, faster method for taking out enemies, but apparently Capcom believes otherwise.

gearhound
02-21-2006, 09:31 PM
All it is is an overglorified, flashy combo system. It gets tiresome. I want more depth than figuring out how to string together zillion hit combos on the same enemies over and over again. If anything, I'd much prefer the quicker, faster method for taking out enemies, but apparently Capcom believes otherwise.

icarus, you know i respect your opinion, but sometimes i think you're too jaded... the combos in devil may cry were somewhat preset; devil may cry 3 expands on that and gives you the opportunity to mix 'n' match different weapons and attacks... in the air, which is something dmc lacked.

gearhound
02-21-2006, 10:56 PM
http://www.gametab.com/images/ss/ps2/1456/box-l.jpg
This is the best Contra title since the glorious days of
16-bit.

Contra: Shattered Soldier
A Review
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Konami has created some of the most brilliant games over the past 15-20 years and, Contra is one of the best. Very few games in the history of 2D have delivered such non-stop, run-n-gun, rip-your-heart-out, blast-everything-that-moves thrill rides. Whether it be Contra, Super Contra, Contra III: The Alien Wars or Contra: Hard Corps, you will get your 2D fix and you?ll get it good. This series is loved by many, and Konami has plenty of expectations to live up to.

So when I heard that Konami was developing a new 2D Contra for the Playstation 2, my heart skipped a beat, and I imagined myself being owned once again by another Contra from the original developers.

Does Shattered Soldier live up to the Contra name? Yes and No.

" Shattered Soldier does have its moments that assure you this really is a Contra game. These moments will send a jolt of feverish, frenzied 2D action down your spine that will certainly remind you of the Contras of the past."

The settings in Shattered Soldier are a culmination of death and destruction. Earth is on the brink of its demise and Bill Rizer, the hero of past Contras, has been released from a cryogenic prison where he is blamed for the murder of his partner, Lance, and decimating 80 percent of Earth?s population. Rizer, who is accompanied by Lucia, a cyborg, is the only one powerful enough to eliminate Blood Falcon, an organization that seeks world domination.

Even though Konami delivered a new, satisfying Contra experience, the run-n-gun element is essentially missing. Instead, Konami decided to throw numerous boss fights at you. Gone is the Contra where you would run through an entire level, blasting and melting the flesh and metal off of everything that moved only to be confronted by a hideous, fiendish abomination. In Shattered Soldier the action is broken up too often by mid-bosses. Basically, you?ll end up running through short sequences, stop and fight a mid-boss, continue your heroic onslaught only to fight another mid-boss and then finally encounter the end boss. All of the boss fights are well designed and some of them are totally disgusting, but Shattered Soldier lacks the fervor and hair-raising enemy bombardment of, say, Contra III: The Alien Wars.

Furthermore, as you dive deeper into the heart of Shattered Soldier, you quickly realize that it does not give you the chance to experience the furious action that the series is known for nor does it have the same level of excitement that many fans of the series have grown to love. Shattered Soldier does have its moments that assure you this really is a Contra game. These moments will send a jolt of feverish, frenzied 2D action down your spine that will certainly remind you of the Contras of the past. I just wish it did it more often.

Visually, Konami went with a more realistic approach for the graphics. Abandoning the sprite-based look, Konami gave Contra a polygonal makeover. Most of the levels have a dark, gloomy feel to them and are adequately detailed. The jungle area, in particular, is nice to run through and is reminiscent of earlier installments. The city, in all of its ruinous imagery, is a chaotic wasteland best suited for post-apocalyptic action. In fact, the levels in Shattered Soldier pay homage to the Contra games of old quite often, and old-school bosses and mid-bosses make a return.

The music in Shattered Soldier is a mixture of pounding guitars and techno, but a bit of it is a dissatisfying array of mediocrity. You?ll hear generic guitar riffs at times. Other times you?ll hear some great techno melodies. Overall, the soundtrack isn?t entirely disappointing and most of the time it makes the experience more enjoyable. The music may not have that omnipresent feel of earlier installments, but it mixes well with the action.

Even though Shattered Soldier is a decent entry into the series, it suffers from a lack of weaponry. You start out with three different weapons: flame thrower, machine gun and a mine gun and you keep these weapons for the duration of the game. Where?s my spread gun, Konami? Regardless, each weapon can be charged with the circle button (or tap the square button twice) to unleash a special attack, and each weapon can be switched at any time.

Another unique aspect to Shattered Soldier is the element of strategy. Since you are judged by the hit rate, how many times you have died and continues used at the end of a level, it is important to figure out which weapon is best suited for the situation and what needs to be thoroughly destroyed. You have four levels to choose from at the start with three continues, but if you want to see the last three levels you have to show that you?re worthy to advance. Shattered Soldier is very hard. This is a game that will take you numerous tries to master. You will find yourself at death?s door many times, but then again you will also find yourself begging for more.

In the end, Shattered Soldier is a fine attempt at re-creating 2D Contra, yet it falls short of the standards set by the likes of Contra III or Super Contra. Call me old fashioned, but I want my Contra to be sprite-based. And one more thing: let Treasure develop it. If they did, I assure you it would be the kind of Contra hardcore fans have been dreaming of. If you love Contra and need a quick fix, give Shattered Soldier a go. It will test your nerves and challenge you to the core. Miles Jamell

Final Score: 8/10

Game Facts:
System: Playstation 2
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Released: October 2002

Paper exe
02-22-2006, 04:00 AM
What!!!!!111!
There are three stages after the first four that just unbelievable, how could you beat the game Gerahound!? This game has limited continues if it gameover you?ll have to start the game all over again. These continues and lives are mostly used in that one stage after clearing it I hardly have enough lives/continues for the next one.
I to be honest never thought that someone would actually beat it or at lest reach the 3 other stages.
I guess you played it way too much.

Icarus4578
02-22-2006, 08:40 AM
After awhile it gets easier and easier to figure out all the stage and boss patterns. But the final boss(es) are real bitches. I liked the song when fighting the true form of the final boss.

gearhound
02-22-2006, 11:40 AM
What!!!!!111!
There are three stages after the first four that just unbelievable, how could you beat the game Gerahound!? This game has limited continues if it gameover you?ll have to start the game all over again. These continues and lives are mostly used in that one stage after clearing it I hardly have enough lives/continues for the next one.
I to be honest never thought that someone would actually beat it or at lest reach the 3 other stages.
I guess you played it way too much.

:lol: yes, sir. if you can manage to beat the first 4 stages without dying, your chances of beating the game are very high, especially if you have played the last three stages... the last stage is nothing but boss fight after boss fight, and it's hard as hell.

gearhound
03-21-2006, 12:07 AM
http://www.gametab.com/images/ss/gba/2057/box-l.jpg
The best conversion of the arcade original
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the ?80s and throughout most of the ?90s, the arcade scene was on fire. One particular arcade game, Technos? beloved Double Dragon (1987), led the pack of arcade brawlers with its brilliant, realistic sound effects; its nice, crisp visuals and music that would make the experience even sweeter. Double Dragon was, and still is, a remarkable game that became so popular there were endless conversions and sequels throughout the 8- and 16-bit generations. When I first heard Double Dragon was coming to the Gameboy Advance, I wept tears of unbridled joy. I had always dreamed of having the arcade conversion on a console or handheld. I was hoping for an arcade perfect conversion to one of the best action brawlers in beat ?em up history. But Double Dragon Advance is mostly a remake of the original arcade, and most of the levels are ripped straight from the arcade with new enemies and stages thrown into the mix as well? it?s just missing the incredible flair and overall feel the original had. The big difference is the aesthetics. Character designs are noticeably different yet refreshing. The new and familiar moves and weapons are real nice, and the music is classic Double Dragon and is taken mostly from the arcade and Double Dragon II. The sound effects are nicely done despite not sounding exactly like the arcade, but the effects will bring back plenty of memories for those who have pumped many quarters into the original.

http://www.gry-online.pl/.%5CGaleria%5CGaleria%5C92817984.jpg
Ah, the good ole days of smacking Abobo around...

DDA takes place in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has left the world in disorder. Billy and Jimmy Lee run a kung-fu gym and train students to defend themselves from criminals in lawless New York City. A ruthless crime organization called ?The Shadow Warriors? rule the streets and have kidnapped Marian, Billy Lee?s girlfriend. In exchange for her, as demanded by a letter sent to the Lee brothers by the group of thugs, the two must hand over the secret book of Sou-Setsu-Ken, the style of kung-fu the twin brothers have mastered. Billy and Jimmy won?t fold so easily nor will they allow thugs to put their greasy, crime-soaked hands on their secret techniques, or take Marian away without feeling some serious pain. The story is fleshed out through cut scenes which are viewed upon the defeat of a level boss and provide more detail than just your basic premise.

http://www.eurogamer.net/assets/articles/a53786/ss_preview_06.jpg
This guy thinks he's tough. He's the second boss taken straight from Double Dragon II. He falls easily.

The game begins with Marian getting punched in the gut and carried off by a bunch of ruffians. Seem familiar? It should. As soon as you make your way out of the garage and on to the streets, it?s time to unload a plethora of skull-cracking, knuckle-crunching moves both new a pleasantly familiar. The Lee brothers not only can perform moves found in the arcade like the famous elbow, but new moves, too. You now have the ability to perform super uppercuts and knees, spin kicks, roundhouses, and cyclone kicks. Feel free to stomp on enemies while they are on the ground. Make them cry for their mommies. Getting on top of the shadow thugs and punching them in the face feels great? so does slamming their heads into your knee numerous times and throwing them off a cliff. In addition to all of that bruising mayhem, you can tap forward to run and deliver even more anguish.

http://www.gry-online.pl/.%5CGaleria%5CGaleria%5C92818046.jpg
One of the more annoying parts in the game. Getting knocked off really pisses me off.

DDA looks great, animates nicely and has a unique feel. Many enemies from the arcade return in addition to new ones who are lightning fast yet downright annoying, especially the guys who look like agents from The Matrix. Get ganged banged by a group of these guys and you?re done for. And let?s not forget about the baseball bats, axes, knives, boulders, oil drums, whips, maces and dynamite that litter the streets. These weapons come in handy and patiently await the sweet, firm grip of your kung-fu fists so you can smack, crack, waylay, blow up, pulverize and ferociously pummel your foes into submission. What would a street fight without knives, bats or oil drums be like? Well, it certainly wouldn?t be Double Dragon, that?s for sure. Don't worry... that isn?t all of the weapons. Pretty sick, huh? Sick yet supremely enjoyable.

You will certainly get your moneys worth here. The price of admission to this satisfactory, fist-fighting extravaganza is definitely worth it. Games like these once dominated the pristine arcade scene and, sadly, don?t come around very often. The side-scrolling beat ?em up is a slowly dying breed where some companies try to resurrect the classic genre only to deliver something that resembles that stinking unidentifiable object in your garbage can. You get the idea. Play DDA if you want to return to the land of the 16-bit brawler and experience the best home conversion of the original arcade. This is a very good game that sits right beside Final Fight One and one that certainly deserves your attention. Enjoy!

8.5/10

Sinful Sam
03-21-2006, 06:10 AM
Hmm. I had no idea this Double Dragon for GBA was any good. I need to pick it up.

Icarus4578
03-21-2006, 09:37 AM
Double Dragon is certainly a bitch of a beat-'em-up. I remember how cheap the last two stages were in the NES version. That cavern was extremely annoying and so was that wall where the stones keep pushing out randomly. Talk about aggravating!!!

gearhound
03-21-2006, 03:26 PM
tell me about it! i always knew i was going to die in that area where the walls jolted out. sometimes i would make it without dying, but that was a rare occasion.

DDA can be pretty cheap as well.

gearhound
04-06-2006, 11:01 PM
Metroid Prime Hunters
Nintendo DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: NTS (Nintendo Software Technology)
Release: March 2006
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http://dsmedia.ign.com/ds/image/object/682/682835/metroid_packboxart_160w.jpg
Awesome... really awesome.

Begin

Towards the end of 2002 Gamecube owners finally experienced Metroid in full-blown 3D. The result of Metroid?s merger into the 3D universe was nothing short of brilliant. What Retro Studios managed to accomplish was something that many gamers were not aware of: that Retro was able to uproot Metroid from its 2D heritage and wonderfully portray the classic Nintendo title in an entirely new, magnificent way. Metroid?s transition to 3D has kept every element, minus the 2D, that made the game so incalculably breathtaking.

Nevertheless, Metroid?s delivery in a First-Person Shooter style of play worked surprisingly well. The game wasn?t set up as a traditional FPS shooter where straffing and furious action took center stage, but was designed as a FPS adventure. The mood and atmosphere, which is the driving force behind the games, was kept intact. And the music was crafted by the hands of masters. Metroid?s move to 3D was a good one.

Enter Nintendo?s DS and Metroid Prime Hunters, the latest installment in the highly acclaimed series. Hunters is centered on a multiplayer that is nothing short of classic and delivers a unique story mode complete with an introduction of all-new hunters with differing abilities.

Premise

An ancient, mysterious race known as the Alimbics has vanished. No one is entirely sure how long ago they disappeared; they left behind valuable artifacts, known as Octoliths, hold the key to the most incredible power in the universe. The Octoliths are protected by a death-dealing arsenal developed by the Alimbics. A telepathic message left by the Alimbics was encoded into the minds of the most deadly and elite hunters in the galaxy: ?The secret to ultimate power lies within the Alimbic Cluster.? Now, Samus Aran, along with other hunters throughout the universe, must race from planet to planet uncovering the mystery of the Alimbic tribe and their untimely demise.

Heart and Soul

Both the gameplay and the sound are definitely forces to be reckoned as far as handheld gaming is concerned. The use of the touch screen is brought to new, triumphant levels that were never thought possible for a handheld FPS. Controlling the Hunters with the touch screen is ingenious and eventually becomes second nature. There are control options for left and right handed players, and each one will allow you to either use the d-pad and face buttons to move and look around or the stylus alone/hand strap to look around and use the d-pad for movement. Switching weapons, changing forms and enabling the scanning visor are touch sensitive and work well. Each hunter has his own special weapon known as his affinity weapon. The affinity weapons are weapons that are special to each hunter. Samus Aran?s missile, which is her affinity weapon, can track enemy movements. The other hunters have their own weapon abilities that provide for wonderful balance. In addition to Samus? morph ball technology, the other hunters have their own morphing techniques and each hunter?s visor is unique. Prime Hunters has a fantastic presentation with enough detail to overload your senses.

But Hunters? appealing nature does not lie within its story mode alone. Hunters? focus is on multiplayer. Unlike Prime on GC, Hunters delivers the traditional FPS experience where the touch screen almost feels like using a mouse to play a PC FPS. Trust me. You have never experienced a FPS like this on a handheld. Right from the start you can access death match with three other players where the game matches your skill level or any skill level either locally or world wide. There are many well-designed maps to choose from, some of which are taken from the game. Hunters also offers many modes of play that usually come packed into a FPS multiplayer arena. One slightly disappointing aspect is that these modes cannot be accessed unless you are playing with friends or rivals. You can add someone as your rival after an online match or set your DS on rival mode and automatically add another person who also has rival mode enabled provided you are within close proximities. You can also send messages and chat using the built-in microphone, but you can only do this with friends.

Although the single-player mode may not be as fantastically detailed and riveting as Prime is on the GC, Hunters certainly provides a quest that is well worth your time. Story mode is set up where you travel to four different planets searching for Octoliths, solving puzzles, scanning items for more story depth, and battling other hunters who are after the same thing you are: the ultimate power. Acquiring an Octolith unravels more telepathic messages. Players will spend a lot of time back tracking and acquiring new weapons allowing them access to other areas that were previously locked. These doors and specific areas can only be unlocked by certain weapons. Some of the weapons include a freeze gun that bounces off walls, a sniper laser and a gun that discharges electricity. The bosses are slightly disappointing as many of them are different versions of the same boss you already destroyed.

Yet, the vibrant world of Metroid wouldn?t be the same without the awfully mesmerizing music that?s delivered in such a supremely captivating way that its atmosphere wraps you in its beautifully designed world and holds on to you for hours. Level design is good, but if you?re expecting the divine layout of Metroid Prime, you won?t get it. But fear not. The levels are gorgeous and feature well-designed areas that make for some great exploration and impressive platforming.

Final Thoughts

If you have ever wondered about the 3D capabilities of the DS, Hunters will dispel any notions of negativity concerning its 3D prowess. The game is gorgeous and plays like a dream once you get used to the innovative controls. Metroid Prime Hunters is a perfect addition to your DS library.

Score: 8.75/10

gearhound
04-08-2006, 03:00 PM
Blah...

Vicviper
04-08-2006, 05:40 PM
nice review. I am only about 45% into the game but I am really digging it. You are right about the music/ambiance and sound effects. They are done so very well that it draws me in to keep playing. I also like the fact that the game is roughly 8-10 hours long. For me this is a perfect length as I don't have a lot of time to spend playing. Plus I think it makes the replay value higher knowing that you aren't sitting down for a massive adventure again. I have only tried wifi with Joe Redifer and it worked great. I will try to get online once I beat the single player game.

gearhound
04-09-2006, 02:34 PM
playing online is awesome.

Icarus4578
04-09-2006, 10:14 PM
I do not own this game yet. Hmmm.

gearhound
04-09-2006, 10:28 PM
you should get it, icarus. the first time through will probably be more than 8-10 hours.

Icarus4578
04-09-2006, 10:52 PM
Well I'm not against the notion of owning a new Metroid.

Sinful Sam
04-09-2006, 11:05 PM
I had my doubts about this game but I like how it played. I may need to pick it up soon.

gearhound
04-10-2006, 09:40 PM
are you talking about the demo, sinfulsam? hunters plays different from the demo you played a year ago... or maybe you played it recently?

Joe Redifer
04-10-2006, 11:00 PM
I recently played the demo just for shits and giggles, and the aiming was slower with no way to adjust it. There were also these things that would land on your face and start sucking and sucking and it would take forever to get them off. Those were not fun. I hope they're not in the real game. The real game is definitely better.

gearhound
04-10-2006, 11:05 PM
yeah, those things that suck on your face are in the game, too... but i don't think they are metroids... or maybe they are... not sure... all you have to do is go into a ball and blow'em up.

Sinful Sam
04-11-2006, 04:19 AM
are you talking about the demo, sinfulsam? hunters plays different from the demo you played a year ago... or maybe you played it recently?
Yeah I really disliked the demo and I thought they wouldn?t be able to pull it off well on the DS. I got to try out the final game not too long ago and I liked how it played.

gearhound
04-18-2006, 05:42 PM
http://mgrsti3030s.seamlesstech.biz/Merchant/gunstar_superheroes_store.jpg
Welcome to the jungle of 2-D mayhem.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Start

Treasure has handed down another 2D gem to be devoured by gamers everywhere? that is if you like the taste of side-scrolling, old-school action. I know I do. If you?re the type of gamer who foams at the mouth when it comes to these types of games, well, then, you?re about to be greeted with some of the best 2D action since Treasure?s ultimately satisfying Astroboy for the Gameboy Advance. Games like this used to dominate the industry, but now they are a rare breed.

With that said, I give you Gunstar Super Heroes, the sequel to the legendary Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis.

"...GSH is a nostalgic blast with amazing parallax scrolling that will melt your brain and rotating that will render you dizzy."

Some time in the distant past, two heroes destroyed Golden Silver, the God of Ruin, to save humanity. This epic battle took place on the moon. Upon the god?s eminent demise, it exploded and four moons were formed. Peace and prosperity reigned for a short while as each moon was colonized. Suddenly, an ominous fifth moon appeared. This was no ordinary moon. In fact, it was a satellite created by the Empire who discovered an ancient relic known as the Megalith. Ever since this discovery, the Empire seeks to call forth the God of Ruin and control the world.

The premise is not what drives this game, of course; it?s the spectacular action, engaging boss battles, and some of the best music you?ll hear coming out of the GBA?s speakers.

Prepare to feast your eyes on an eye-popping graphics engine with effects that shake the foundation of classic action and will rock your world, sending you into a state of ideal gaming heaven. From the get go, you can select two characters, Red and Blue (oddly enough all characters? names are colors) and difficulty ? easy, normal and hard. Each character has three weapons that can be selected on the fly and super attacks. At the top of the screen you?ll see a special meter than can be charged up eventually enabling you to blow enemies away with special attacks. In addition to weaponry, enemies will feel the heat from your powerful kicks and sword swipes. Not only that, the levels are a consummate joy to play. One minute you?re unfolding a barrage of heavy gunfire on foot and the next you?re on top of your spacecraft rotating 360 degrees while shooting down a hail of missiles and giant mechs. Think that?s enough? Well, you?d be wrong. There are two shooting levels, one top-down and another side-scrolling. Each shooting area gives you 360 degree movement as well, and another stage has you riding inside of your Force Canyon where you can change to three different positions by pressing the A button. Other levels rotate 360 degrees while you?re running? I think that?s enough to give you a 2D overload.

If you have survived that ultra satisfying romp through the old-school jungle, then you?re more than aware of how sweet the music is; it pushes the overall feel to GSH from good to absolutely classic. Most of the music is very good and is some of the best I have had the pleasure of experiencing on the GBA.

In the end, GSH is a nostalgic blast with amazing parallax scrolling that will melt your brain and rotating that will render you dizzy. This is top-of-the-line action right here. GSH is a perfect addition to any hardcore gamer?s collection. Go out right now and get it if you are craving action that once dominated the land of gaming.

Final Score: 9/10

Joe Redifer
04-18-2006, 06:56 PM
I was standing around waiting for a friend when he let me play Gunstar Super Heroes on his GBA. While the player and controls reminded me of Gunstar Heroes, the stage layout and the like most certainly did not. It was nowhere near as fun. I got bored before the end of the first stage. The graphics didn't look as good as the Genesis from what I saw, either. It could be the GBA... I find it amazingly easy to get bored with GBA games. It would be better if it were a true console game.

Not as good as the original. I enjoyed the original (the first 2/3 of the game, anyway. It gets a bit goofy and lame towards the end).

gearhound
04-18-2006, 08:30 PM
play it on your tv, joe.

Northeastmonk
04-18-2006, 10:26 PM
http://www.the-nextlevel.com/reviews/xbox/otogi/otogi-box.jpg
Otogi: Myth of Demons - hard as heck. Take an allready dead samurai and bring him back to life to face off the demons that control the underworld.

Review: This game rocks! 8/10 for amazing style of graphics/art. I couldn't disagree with this game still having a $20 price tag on it. It rocks!
The only downside are the slow paced combat between each creature. You'll pull off some stylish moves, but will feel like its taking forever to kill some creatures.
The dialouge is beautiful. Almost as heartwarming as the female voice in Crystal Chronicles on the Gamecube. She uplifts your fights between regions and lets our hearts understand why the heck she needs your help. I guarentee you'll enjoy Otogi.

I have yet to pick up the sequal.

Joe Redifer
04-18-2006, 10:27 PM
The GameBoy Player just isn't the same as a real console. The game needs to be on the 16-bit Genesis or the 16-bit Neo Geo or something like that. Or Gamecube, but still 2D, still plays the same only with awesome graphics.

Northeastmonk
04-18-2006, 10:29 PM
oh boy Gunstar heroes rocked for Genesis. Remember buying a Genesis game and getting those cards to send in proof of purchase for a free game? Thats how I got GunStar heroes. Fighting through the sewers on glighters. woohooo....

Icarus4578
04-19-2006, 10:47 AM
The premise is not what drives this game, of course; it?s the spectacular action, engaging boss battles, and some of the best music you?ll hear coming out of the GBA?s speakers.

I thought that Zelda ~ The Minish Cap had what is perhaps the best GBA soundtrack.

Northeastmonk, GSH is nowhere near as good as GH.

gearhound
04-24-2006, 08:02 PM
http://www.wishtrade.com/AZVideogames/SNES/Review/Images/scast4.jpg
Words can barely describe the experience of Super Castlevania IV.

Dracula?s castle summons a Belmont once again. With Simon Belmont?s Vampire Killer in hand, he must traverse 11 of some of the most incredible stages that have ever been conceived in a Castlevania title. Each level is divided into three sections, and each level is designed where platforming and evading hazardous traps take center stage. This is a style of Castlevania where you don?t just run and jump, whipping every fiend of Dracula you encounter. You must navigate through some of the most dangerous levels yet. Swinging across platforms is something you will do quite often. You will also jump from enormous swinging chandeliers that exude a most direful creaking effect. And as you slay ghouls, their dreadful moan precedes their flaming spirit that ascends into the sky. Whipping skeletons eventually leads them to their explosive death, as their bones shatter and scatter all around with a bursting effect. Each enemy has its own impressive death animation and hair-raising effect. The sound effects are simply spellbinding.

?From start to finish, Castlevania IV is nothing short of a rock-solid, legendary experience.?

With spellbinding sound effects you are greeted with an illustrious soundtrack that is epic and melodic in nature, yet it delivers a wave of far-reaching intensity that rushes over your senses, drowning them in its masterful, classical compositions. This is some of the best music you will ever hear in a Castlevania title, bar none. Simon will find himself liquidating the vile fiends of Dracula in levels such as an underground cavern, a graveyard, a library and a treasury. Other classic levels such as the clock tower are also present.

Just about every aspect in Castlevania IV is superb and this most definitely includes the graphics. The game is designed with a dark, foreboding theme. The aesthetics are truly fantastic. Konami has managed to work its magic on the SNES hardware delivering some especially striking Mode 7 effects. The environments are astonishing and create a very spine-chilling and supremely intoxicating atmosphere. Again, the level design is brilliant. Your deaths will not occur too often fighting bosses, but in the actual platforming itself. The bosses are satisfying and some ? even most ? seem easy to kill. The enemies and bosses manage to do a significant amount of damage in the latter stages. Even so, Castlevania IV?s difficulty won?t provoke the thrown controller syndrome as the difficulty is just about right for a Castlevania game.

Although Simon?s look and design is a little odd and seemingly not quite human, controlling him is almost effortless. This time around you are able to swing your whip in eight different directions, which dramatically increase the playability. By holding down the attack button, Simon holds his arm out allowing for complete manipulation of his whip and is able to swing it in any direction. This unusual display of whipping doesn?t prove too useful and is extremely weak, but sometimes you will find yourself using it to get yourself out of tight situations.

Final Impressions

Super Castlevania IV, without a shred of doubt, is heralded as the epitome of 2D Castlevania. With the jump from 8- to 16-bit, Castlevania shook and absolutely rocked the foundation of gaming. What gamers throughout the world got to experience was a Castlevania title like no other. This is Castlevania at its finest. From start to finish, Castlevania IV is nothing short of a rock-solid, legendary experience. Indeed, legendary is not the only adjective that can be used to describe this title. In fact, Castlevania IV delivers such an epic adventure ? such amazing platforming ? it is sure to make you weep tears of joy. The end, which employs a series of spectacular, classic boss fights, is quite possibly the best I have ever experienced in a Castlevania title. now that I think of it, the last series of boss fights in Dracula X: Rondo of Blood hold that great honor as well. Super Castlevania IV stands the test of time. It is a game that you will come back to over and over again. Konami crafted a mighty fine Castlevania that has captured the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.

Final Score: 9.5

gearhound
04-24-2006, 08:04 PM
http://www.playphoria.com/features/history/historyofcastlevania/images/cv4c.jpg
Words can barely describe the essence and out-and-out brilliance of Super Castlevania IV.

Dracula?s castle summons a Belmont once again. With Simon Belmont?s Vampire Killer in hand, he must traverse 11 of some of the most incredible stages that have ever been conceived in a Castlevania title. Each level is divided into three sections, and each level is designed where platforming and evading hazardous traps take center stage. This is a style of Castlevania where you don?t just run and jump, whipping every fiend of Dracula you encounter. You must navigate through some of the most dangerous levels yet. Swinging across platforms is something you will do quite often. You will also jump from enormous swinging chandeliers that exude a most direful creaking effect. And as you slay ghouls, their dreadful moan precedes their flaming spirit that ascends into the sky. Whipping skeletons eventually leads them to their explosive death, as their bones shatter and scatter all around with a bursting effect. Each enemy has its own impressive death animation and hair-raising effect. The sound effects are simply spellbinding.

?From start to finish, Super Castlevania IV is nothing short of a rock-solid, legendary experience.?

With spellbinding sound effects you are greeted with an illustrious soundtrack that is epic and melodic in nature, yet it delivers a wave of far-reaching intensity that rushes over your senses, drowning them in its masterful, classical compositions. This is some of the best music you will ever hear in a Castlevania title, bar none. Simon will find himself liquidating the vile fiends of Dracula in levels such as an underground cavern, a graveyard, a library and a treasury. Other classic levels such as the clock tower are also present.

Just about every aspect in Castlevania IV is superb and this most definitely includes the graphics. The game is designed with a dark, foreboding theme. The aesthetics are truly fantastic. Konami has managed to work its magic on the SNES hardware delivering some especially striking Mode 7 effects. The environments are astonishing and create a very spine-chilling and supremely intoxicating atmosphere. Again, the level design is brilliant. Your deaths will not occur too often fighting bosses, but in the actual platforming itself. The bosses are satisfying and some ? even most ? seem easy to kill. The enemies and bosses manage to do a significant amount of damage in the latter stages. Even so, Castlevania IV?s difficulty won?t provoke the thrown controller syndrome as the difficulty is just about right for a Castlevania game.

Although Simon?s look and design is a little odd and seemingly not quite human, controlling him is almost effortless. This time around you are able to swing your whip in eight different directions, which dramatically increase the playability. By holding down the attack button, Simon holds his arm out allowing for complete manipulation of his whip and is able to swing it in any direction. This unusual display of whipping doesn?t prove too useful and is extremely weak, but sometimes you will find yourself using it to get yourself out of tight situations.

Final Impressions

Super Castlevania IV, without a shred of doubt, is heralded as the epitome of 2D Castlevania. With the jump from 8- to 16-bit, Castlevania shook and absolutely rocked the foundation of gaming. What gamers throughout the world got to experience was a Castlevania title like no other. This is Castlevania at its finest. From start to finish, Castlevania IV is nothing short of a rock-solid, legendary experience. Indeed, legendary is not the only adjective that can be used to describe this title. In fact, Castlevania IV delivers such an epic adventure ? such amazing platforming ? it is sure to make you weep tears of joy. The end, which employs a series of spectacular, classic boss fights, is quite possibly the best I have ever experienced in a Castlevania title. Now that I think of it, the last series of boss fights in Dracula X: Rondo of Blood holds that great honor as well. Super Castlevania IV stands the test of time. It is a game that you will come back to over and over again. Konami crafted a mighty fine Castlevania that has captured the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.

Final Score: 9.5

Joe Redifer
04-24-2006, 08:46 PM
Castlevania IV is a fantastic and addictive game to be sure. It blew me away when I fist played it and dictated to me that I MUST buy a SNES when the American Castlevania IV was released. And so I did. I still play it a lot to this day and I still feel that it is the best game for the SNES. It's not perfect, but it's close. The graphics of Simon and a few of the enemies are lacking, but certainly not enough to repel anyone from the game. Why some people like Bloodlines better than this is beyond me. While Bloodlines is a fantastic game, I think IV captures more of the true Castlevania spirit.

I still like Dracula X on the TurboGrafx better, though. :)

gearhound
04-24-2006, 08:52 PM
While Bloodlines is a fantastic game, I think IV captures more of the true Castlevania spirit.

i agree with this. certainly, castlevania iv does embody the spirit of true castlevania... even more so, though just by a little, than rondo of blood. it is hard for me to decide which one i like better though... i guess i give the nod to part iv.... but just by a little.

i am still blown away, to this day, by the the music in castlevania iv. it is magnificent!

Icarus4578
04-24-2006, 09:24 PM
Yes! Super Castlevania IV is the best in the series, IMHO. It's a crying shame that Konami has forsaken the series roots in favor of the Metroid layout. Just once more I'd love for them to make one like this.

gearhound
04-24-2006, 09:50 PM
oh, man, icarus... if konami went back to its roots and made another castlevania like iv i dont think i could handle it.... wait, what am i saying? BRING IT ON! konami has lost its glorious touch, i think.

edit: although castlevania iv may be easy now, when you first played it you know you died a lot. the game is longer than most traditional-styled castlavania titles as well. it is definately longer than rondo of blood.

Northeastmonk
04-25-2006, 12:56 AM
http://www.emulationgalaxy.co.yu/images/edit/castlevania/b-sotn.jpg
This is the Castlevania that made me like Castlevania. Of course the others were classics, but this has voice overs... plus 2D!!

Joe Redifer
04-25-2006, 01:26 AM
Crappy voiceovers.

Dracula X had voice as well.

gearhound
04-25-2006, 02:10 AM
the voice overs in symphony were hilarious.

"you steal men's souls and make them your slaves!"

Reko8
04-29-2006, 09:34 PM
is it me, or on that Castlevania IV boxcover there is a skelaton "hanging 10" on a cement stone?