Friday, July 31, 2009

10 CastleVania enemies you simply do not fuck with

CastleVania games are full of loads of different creatures to kill. These guys though, are the ones that make you go "oh, shit"

1. Guardian

The Guardians (of which there are 4) can be found in the Black Marble Gallery in Symphony of the Night. The fact that they're palette swapped from similar enemies may give you a false sense of security until these beasts start kicking your ass. The Guardians can take and give out massive amounts of damage. To make matters worse there aren't any save points nearby unless you've already collected all the pieces of Dracula. Of course, they are also a great way to level up, if you have the skills to kill them.

2. Chupacabra

The Chupacabra is called the Cave Troll in the American versions of CastleVania. This guy first showed up in Symphony of the Night and he was a simple, easy enemy found in the reverse caverns. But when he showed up in Dawn of Sorrow he was a bit tougher. And even tougher still in Portrait of Ruin. By the time these guys showed up in Order of Ecclesia, you just wanted to avoid them at all costs. Capable of killing even a very high level Shanoa in one fell swoop, you can't tank these mofos. Gotta have skills.

3. The Tin Man

In the forbidden library section of Symphony of the Night, there were three enemies named after characters from The Wizard of Oz. The Lion, The Scarecrow and The Tin Man. None of them posed an immediate threat. That is until this tin shithead re-appeared in Order of Ecclessia and made you shit yourself and run for another screen the second he showed up. What's amazing is he does the same exact attacks, he's just a lot meaner this time.

4. Beam Skeleton

Also called Nova Skeletons. By the time you run into these fuckers, regardless of which game it is, you're quite used to fighting skeletons and a Blue (or Green) version doesn't seem to pose an immediate threat. Until they unleash their beam on you however. The worst version was in Symphony of the Night, as the bastard did MORE damage to you as you leveled up. The bright side is in Order of Ecclesia, his glyph (Nitesco) was extremely useful and easy to grab.

5. Lesser Demon

I'm not talking about the Lesser Demons that show up in both Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness, nor am I talking about the one that shows up as a boss in the Library section of Symphony of the Night. But rather, the fact that in that game, they later showed up as common enemies. Now, the boss version was an easy fucker, and the only notable thing is he can summon lesser enemies, and it's the only place in the game you'll see a Mudman. When they show up as common enemies in the Necromancy Laboratory, they haven't gotten any stronger. Except now they try to summon all the time. And they summon other Lesser Demons. There's one infamous room where if you do not act fast, you can soon be swamped by as many as 20 of these fuckers at once. Did I mention that they are invincible while in the summoning animation?

6. Marionette

Whether they're called Marionette or Killer Doll, these things pop up in most CastleVania games. The ones you gotta worry about though are in Circle of the Moon. They have a habit of sluggisghly floating around as usual and then suddenly lunging at you. As in most games, their touch curses, and Circle of the Moon being quite hard and the only uncurse potions you can find being dropped from enemies (there is no store in that game!) they can be a real hassle.

7. Final Guard

No matter which game they show up in they represent one thing: Awesomeness. And they will fuck you up if you're not prepared, with quick reflexes and a weapon with decent reach. They're pussycats in Aria of Sorrow but wait until you run afoul of one in Order of Ecclesia.

8. Iron Golem

Iron Golems have been around for a while and I'm not talking about the pathetic boss in Circle of the Moon. These guys also appeared in Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin but the one I'm talking about is in Aria of Sorrow. This fuckface has 9999 hit points and all attacks and magic do 1 hit point of damage to him. killing him will either take a lot of time or some cleverness (there's a soul in the game that will swap HP and MP, and this guy has no MP). It's worth it though, if you get this fucker's soul, you can actually transform into one, and tear ass throughout CastleVania.

9. Crossbow Armor

Yet another suit of armor, this one with a Crossbow. He showed up in Akumajou Dracula/CastleVania Chronicles but the one I'm talking about is in Portrait of Ruin. That crossbow doesn't shoot arrows, it shoots a goddamn missle, and it does a lot of damage. Sometimes you can smack the missle out of the air and it'll land on him and kill him. In fact, after some practice, these guys are no big deal. But we all remember the first time we ran into one and he turned Jonathan and Charlotte into bloody smears.

10. Flame Demon

There's Flame Demons in nearly every CastleVania game, the "Leviathan" enemy in Dracula's Curse being the earliest example. The one in Cricle of the Moon is a son of a bitch as Nathan will have to swing his whip around maniacally to avoid it's big meteor shower attack. All the elemental demons in Circle of the Moon are bastards, but this one is the biggest bastard.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


New ones today, but also a catchup post, been forgetting to put them here!

Firstly, I got pissed off about the song contest, and posted about it. Sorry about the wet hair.

I didn't think song 4 was all that hard, but still no one has gotten it.

A GameCube collection update

And another one

Song 5 was guessed quickly. It's Gremlins 2 NES

Next up we got my look at the Super NES

Then some comic book reviews

Song 6 also got guessed pretty quickly, it's Metal Gear Solid for Game Boy Color

I've reached 1400 subs so here's a shout out vid. The game is Plants vs Zombies, which is great

Then back to requests, here's Cocoron

Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels

Song 7 is probably the hardest one yet, and it's not been guessed yet. Most of the guesses have been hilariously bad as well.

On to today's videos! First up is a horrid fighter called Clayfighter

Then a middling sort of platformer, Alex Kidd in Miracle World

Then a horrid shooter, Revolution X

Then finally, song 8, which was guessed almost instantly, it's Phantasy Star

The 10 best bands to play Doom to.

Doom is a great game with a great soundtrack, and a game that's still being played today. Some of you may not know this, but many of the songs from Doom and Doom 2 were based on popular heavy metal songs. Occasionally they fall under the category of "similar yet legally distinct" and sometimes they're just blatant plagiarism. However the fact remains that filching songs from Metallica, Pantera, Alice In Chains, AC/DC and the like has set the stage perfectly: Doom is fucking metal.

But however there are situations where you might want to turn down the music and play your own. Perhaps you're sick of it, want something higher than MIDI quality or you're playing a PWAD that didn't bother to put in any new music. So here are the 10 best bands to play Doom to.

And not just Doom, but pretty much any game of a similar nature.

1. Slayer

In his review of the Atari Jaguar, the Angry Video Game Nerd mentioned how the Jaguar version of Doom is pretty good, but lacks any type of music. He said "Crank up the Slayer" and he couldn't be more right. Slayer are my favorite band to blast Imps to and the frantic thrash metal gets your adrenaline pumping. You may actually be better at Doom while blasting slayer.

Recommended album: The Christ Illusion

2. Iced Earth

I discovered this wonderful fit by accident as an Iced Earth song came on as I played a WAD. These guys are a potent mix of Power Metal and Thrash and their subject matter usually fits well with Doom's hellish environs. Just avoid the last two albums, and you're good to go.

Recommended album: Alive in Athens

3. Celtic Frost

Celtic Frost have done just about every type of metal, and they probably have an album for any WAD or level you could mention. I found "Monotheist" works really well with any WAD where you're in pitched battles with hundreds of enemies at once. So dig out Hell Revealed and some Celtic Frost and crank the fucker up to twelve.

Recommended album: Monotheist

4. Opeth

Sometimes, adrenaline isn't what you need, sometimes you need to calm down and get into a zone. Opeth's melodic and intricate melodies and acoustic passages are great to get you in a zone, and even when they're heavy they tend to be calming. Actually there's precious few situations that listening to Opeth wouldn't improve. Playing Doom? Opeth. Driving to the store? Opeth. Taking a shit? Opeth. They're great for all occasions.

Recommended album: Deliverance

5. Metallica

No shit, right? Metallica unwittingly lent their song "Master of Puppets" to the original Doom, so it's already a perfect fit. The fact that the album it comes from is one of the best albums ever doesn't hurt either. Just about any Metallica album will improve your doom experience.

Recommended album: Master of Puppets

6. Pantera

Pantera are another band off the original Doom soundtrack and the real deal works even better. As much as I like the old Glam shit they used to do, you definitely need their more popular Groove Metal to go on this. Picking an album can be hard, but just about anything works. They'll get your blood pumping and they gel with the game in the same sort of way as Iced Earth. So just fucking do it.

Recommended album: Vulgar Display of Power

7. Katatonia

Katatonia goes well with calmer, more atmospheric maps. Playing something that focuses less on pitched battles and more on creepy atmosphere? These guys are perfect for that. Their mix of Doom and Death Metal will also not sound wimpy when you do get to those big battles. You'll definitely want the older material though.

Recommended album: Brave Murder Day

8. Dream Theater

Dream Theater won't work with just any map, and you're probably best off making a mixed playlist. Some of the more sci-fi/futuristic maps work well with DT however, and there was even a WAD called "Scientist 2" that used MIDIs of the band as a soundtrack. They also go well with more puzzle oriented maps. Dream Theater is a niche choice for Doom, but every now and then you might want to use them for a WAD.

Recommended album: Train of Thought

9. Megadeth

I've heard MIDI versions of Megadeth on more than a few PWADS and it's really no surprise. Megadeth gets you good and pissed off, and so you should use them for hard maps. Anything that's been giving you problems works better with Dave's angry snarl filling your speakers.

Reccomended album: Rust in Peace

10. Ulver

Experimental, ambient, creepy and just patently bizarre; Ulver is the band to play when you need something different. Best played with gothic type maps or anything with a very creepy flair, turn off the lights and blast these guys and you'll lose yourself in the game. Ulver also works really well for fans of the more ambient Doom soundtracks from the Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions.

Monday, July 27, 2009

10 Worst Concepts For Games

Firstly, I want to say, sorry for the lack of updates, last week was just bad for me. Secondly, I've decided to adopt a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule for updating, so enjoy that.

So anyway, here's 10 concepts that you'd never think would have been made into games if the world was a sane and fair place.

1. Corporate Mascots

So great, we get to play as Ronald McDonald, or the Noid or the California Raisens, or the Crash Test Dummies. The problem is, who thought people WANTED to, and what is their home address?

2. Games based on movies

You could probably come up with a bunch that are good, but the fact is it's such a patently bad idea. Usually for maximum cashish, companies try to time game releases with the releases of the movies themselves. This leaves developers with a very short time table and a large budget, which is like giving a monkey crack and a shotgun. Factor in the fact that movie studios want to be a part of how the game is made without usually knowing anything about game design and the damn things are crippled before they're finished. Then what's released is usually a half-finished monstrocity that should be buried, dug up, shat on, then buried again.

3. Games based on old-ass TV shows from the 1970s.

It boggles my mind that someone though the time was ripe for a "Dukes of Hazzard" game, about 20 years after everybody officially stopped giving a shit. Same goes for Starsky and Hutch, while at least there was a pretty cool movie version around the same time, the game was based on the original show. Probably the oddest thing is all the Adams Family themed games that used to be around, the strangest thing is that some of them were kinda decent.

4. Non Rhythm Games based on Bands.

Before they invented games like Guitar Hero Aerosmith and Rock Band Beatles, there were still games based on bands, which is fucking odd. There was a Journey arcade game, a Michael Jackson platformer, Aerosmith had a first person shooter, Kiss had a pinball game, Kriss Kross had a game based on video editing (seriously?) as did Marky Mark (WTF) and don't even fucking get me started on the fucking Britney Spears/Spice Girls bullshit on Playstation. The saddest thing is even now we get shit like "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand"

5. Virtual Pet Sims

The tamagotchi never went away, it just got more expensive and uses a stylus now. Maybe the fine gentlemen at Famtisu can explain why they gave Nintendogs a perfect score but my guess is either loads of shrooms or loads of whores.

6. Porn

Because why spend a few bucks on a magazine or these days just browse online for free to get your porn, when you can play usually impossibly hard and/or stupid mini games for pixelated and/or censored porn clips in a full priced video game? Because shut up, that's why.

7. Celebrities doing stupid shit

Because we all want to make the Olsen twins wash cars, right? That's what fun is these days? Kinda makes you want to shoot yourself 16 times with a nailgun.

8. Dolls

Do I really even fucking need to say anything?



Well I'd point out that real dolls are cheaper and probably way more fun than fake virtual dolls, but I guess then I'd be fucking captain obvious, wouldn't I?

9. Shit that's more fun in real life

Get out a little, not everything has to be a video game.

10. The Bible

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hey folks

I've been pretty sick which explains the lack of any sort of posts. To tide you over here's all the latest videos.

I finished up the I Wanna Be The Guy feature, which came out as good as I could expect, here are the last two videos.

Next up, I had went to see the latest Harry Potter movie this past weekend, so I did a review

Next up we have the rules for round 3 of the song contest, which fucking no one is following

First song was Astal for Sega Saturn, the long time it took someone to guess it is indicative of things to come. This round is *hard*

This next song is considerably easier, but no one got it yet. Julee got this in about 3 notes so I'm surprised NO one else has even come close

The guy who guessed Astal asked me to do Street Fighter 2010, a truly wretched game

Next up is Perfect Dark

And then Spiritual Warfare, this is definitely one of my funnier videos

The latest song hasn't been guessed yet, though a few people have gotten close. This is probably the easiest one in round 3.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


First up we have a game that I don't remember it being quite this hard. Here's Run Saber

Next up we have an abomination based on Wayne's World, if you can believe that.

And lastly, two, that's right TWO parts of I Wanna Be The Guy.

10 Games I'm Really Looking Forward To.

So yeah. Here's 10 games I'm shitting myself over.

(not literally)

1. The King of Fighters XII

Ooh man. This one is actually coming out really fucking soon. I'm a huge fighting game fan and lemme tell ya, this looks amazing. With the usually great KoF gameplay and insanely detailed beautifully hand-draw sprites, this is a matter of love at first sight.

2. Dragon Quest IX: Defenders of the Starry Sky

If it's even half as good as Dragon Quest VIII, then it's already awesome beyond belief. And it looks promising too, as the mighty Japanese magazine Famitsu gave Dragon Quest IX a perfect score, the first Dragon Quest game to get it (VIII was one point shy) and only the 10th game in the magazine's long history to get it. So fuck yeah.

3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii

I've been clamoring for a sequel to New Super Mario Bros. for quite some time and though I figured it'd be on the DS, at least it's happening. I gotta say I'm a bit perturbed by players 3 and 4 being "Toad" and "Other Toad" I mean what? Not that I'm against them using Toad, I'm just against them using him twice. Anyway, that being said this looks like the same exact game, just with new levels and simultaneous multiplayer. Which is fine!

4. Metroid: Other M

I gotta be honest, this is the direction I figured Metroid would head in, before it went all first person on us. And while the first person games turned out to be absolutely amazing, I'm glad to see they're moving onwards. We won't really know what the game is like until we see some actual gameplay footage, but so far it looks great. Plus, it's fucking Metroid.

5. CastleVania: Lords of Shadow

Image might look kinda famliar to you...Anyway, when I heard Kojima (father of the most overrated game series ever) was taking control of an entry in my favorite series, I felt like shitting. But the trailer showed not only a heavy focus on cut scenes and story, but what looks like engaging gameplay. So yeah, I'm excited.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

So yeah, it looks exactly like Phantom Hourglass, but so what? And the idea of Link and trains being in the same game is also kinda odd, but you know what? I somewhat trust them on this one.

7. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie

As if a brand new Dragon Quest game wasn't good enough, we also get another one of their great enhanced remakes. If this is along the same sort of quality that IV and V were, it's gonna be great. And the original was great anyway.

8. Doom 4

First up, no that's not a real screenshot, it's some sort of mockup from GameSpot. Anyway, I kinda wonder whether or not Doom 4 will re-imagine Doom II as the first game was re-imagined by Doom 3. I think the "hell on earth" concept could look and play great if given proper treatment. It's still a long ways off, but I'm excited.

9. Super Mario Galaxy 2

It's about time a Mario game got a direct sequel in a timely fashion that wasn't some sort of drastic re-invention! Galaxy was great and Galaxy 2 looks like more of the same. Which is just what I want sometimes.

10. The Elder Scrolls V

Once again, not a real screenshot, just a concept piece. And once again, this is probably a long ways off. There's also a chance that this may become some sort of lame MMO. But I'm holding out for another grand adventure.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

10 Game Boy Games You Probably Haven't Played (But Should)

All right so we looked at good games you probably haven't played on Nintendo's 8 bit and 16 bit consoles, but what about their inaugural handheld console? Worry not, for here are 10 Game Boy games that are worth a look.

1. Boomer's Adventure in Asmik World

There's probably a reason that you never hear from developer Asmik anymore, but this game isn't one of them. This was one of the very first Game Boy titles I had. It's something to do with a flood causing monster living on top of a tower and Boomer the dinosaur's trek up there to beat the guy's dumb ass. The game even goes s far as to make you trek all the way back down the tower, though the bosses come back much harder. I never beat this one because the last boss is ridiculous hard, but the game is quite good. It's basically a "find the key, get to the next level" game, but with enough interesting twists and innovations. There was eventually a sequel as well, though I never played it. Not the best game you'll play, but worth a shot.

2. CastleVania II: Belmont's Revenge

If you did indeed pass on this, it's probably because the first CastleVania game for Game Boy was such a dreadful experience. While I wouldn't go so far as to call it a bad game, it certainly wasn't up to snuff for CastleVania with ridiculously slow movement, very hard jumps and primordial graphics. The sequel is better in every single way however, and even has an interesting Megaman style level select at the beginning. It also, of course, had great music.

3. The Pagemaster

Sorry, couldn't find a screenshot. While we know that licensed games suck turd, imagine this, a handheld licensed game based on a flop of a movie where an animated McCauly Culkin reads books or some shit. Lame, right? Well the game is somehow really good, with shockingly good graphics and animation for the Game Boy, Super Game Boy support, great controls and it's challenging as well. Hunt it down.

4. Wario Land II

This one came out really late in the Game Boy's lifespan, the Game Boy Color was already around, and there would eventually even be a GBC version of this game. Wario Land II has the very original and intriguing concept that your main character cannot be killed. Enemies can knock coins away from you and bat you away forcing you to climb a bunch of platforms again, but you can't die in the game. The enemy attacks can also cause you to transform, which is most of the time necessary. More of a puzzler than a true action platformer, Wario Land II is addictive, has multiple endings and hundreds of secrets to find.

5. Batman

There's a load of Batman games on the Game Boy and some of them are pretty damn good, while others are a load of shit. The original Batman, which is somewhat loosely based on the Tim Burton movie, looks and plays rather primitive, but it's a hell of a lot of fun, and has great music. The game sucks you in somehow, as you guide your tiny little batman through the levels. It's hard to explain why the game is worth your time, so I'd just recommend playing it.

6. Kid Dracula

This is actually a sequel to a NES game of the same name that never made it here. Although they're basically the same game, the Game Boy one is better. It's a CastleVania spinoff that plays quite a lot more like Megaman, and you actually play as a little munchkin version of Dracula.

7. Quarth

Quarth is a sort of weird reverse-tetris where you shoot the blocks upwards. It's like a ridiculous shoot'em'up/puzzle love baby. You shoot little blocks at the formations to make them into rectangles so they disappear. I've never seen another game like it. It's quite fun, and worth a look.

8. Ultima: Runes of Virtue

This is a very old-school style Ultima that has a focus on simple fetch quests, dungeon diving and fast paced action. Sort of like Ultima I meets Zelda as a dungeon crawler. There was a sequel that never made it here, for both Game Boy and Suepr NES, but I prefer the original by far. The game is also bizarre, full of strange references and humor.

9. Wario Blast! Featuring Bomberman

Wario Blast! is a weird sort of crossover which is basically Wario in a Bomberman game, with Bomberman being his rival. You can play as either but there's really no difference. Most people ignored it because either they were upset it wasn't a real Wario game or they were Bomberman fans who didn't realize it was a Bomberman game. It's just like any other Bomberman game, which means it's awesome.

10. Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters

Why oh why is this game almost universally ignored? So many people have lamented the lack of a sequel to Kid Icarus, when here it was on the Game Boy all these years. And what's amusing to me is this game is, if anything, quite a bit better than the venerable NES classic. So shut up about putting Kid Icarus on your list of awesome games that never get a sequel and play this. Or don't, but either way, shut up.