Friday, November 20, 2015

Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles Review

I love game remakes.  Classic games of old can be made even better using modern resources and dated aspects can be ironed out for a much better experience, usually more in line with improved later installments, in the case of franchises.

Left: Cheesy.  Right: Scary.
I also love compilation re-releases for the simple fact that you're getting more than one game for the price of one and having them all in one package makes getting previous installments of certain games less of a hassle for newcomers.
With this, the Samurai Shodown Anthology and Orochi Saga Collection, I have 17 SNK games accross 3 disks.
Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP is a combination of both by having three games: A 3D remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, the original version of it, and the extremely beloved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, all from happier times before Konami lobotomized themselves.  Like how Samurai Shodown 6 was first released in America through the Samurai Shodown Anthology, this is the first international release of Rondo of Blood and the only one until a Virtual Console port a few years later.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Senran Kagura Anime Review

Game to anime adaptations in recent years have a pretty good rap sheet, as opposed to movie adaptations.  Viewtiful Joe, Sengoku Basara and Inazuma Eleven all have great anime adaptations that are faithful to the source material and capture their inherent fun.

Senran Kagura had the potential to do the same.  Like Viewtiful Joe or Sengoku Basara, the Senran Kagura games are all about flashy shonen action with a distinctive visual style and a strong story that, if adapted word for word, is practically a good anime already.
Instead, what we got is an embarrassing, insulting failure that drives away fans and newcomers alike.  Anyone I ask who has ever recommended the Senran Kagura anime hasn't watched it and anyone who has watched it is disgusted by it.   It's easily the worst game-based anime I've ever seen since the Art of Fighting anime all the way back in the 90s and as a fan of the games, this trash needs to be addressed.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Effective Atmosphere of Harvester

Last Halloween I wrote a piece on Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, a relatively well-known adventure game known for being disturbing.  As disturbing as it might have been, I wouldn't describe IHNMAIMS as "scary."  At least part of the reason for that can be attributed to its stylized, hand-drawn graphics.  In my experience, the 90s adventure games of old that used digitized actors are better at inducing nightmares thanks to the literal realism of the characters clashing with the special effects (and sometimes the sloppy voice acting) that creates an uncanny valley effect for extra punch.  I touched upon this way back in my post on the first Clock Tower game.

For FMV games, this can be felt in horror titles like the Phantasmagoria and Darkseed games.  The fear factor in the second installments in both those examples have kind of been mitigated in the public eye by certain internet comedians, however.

But there is one horror adventure game that is largely overlooked.  One that is an excellent example of how to make a game subtley disturbing as well as outright horrific.  It's the messed-up game called Harvester, which luckily has not yet been ruined by silliness.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

An Ode to Bryon Beaubien & Bitpolargame Warning

Some readers may remember my very out-of-place post last year about Bryon Beaubien and his long decade of abuse, pedophilia, fraud and many many many other things.  Those who haven't been following certain people might be wondering what ever happened to him.  Well, despite spitting in the face of all merciful acts allowing him to redeem himself and never once apologizing or atoning in any way, Beaubien still attempts to garner attention under a new name on Youtube called "Bitpolargame" in order to try and avoid the titanic mountain of evidence his previous screen name entails when you search for it on Google.
Of course, at the time of this writing, when you search his real name the first search results are an unflattering Encyclopedia Dramatica page, my very own post on him and a video titled "Bryon Beaubien is an Abusive Pedophile."  That's quite telling.

Even with his new name Beaubien has done everything he can to silence, and very inconsistently lie about, his victims, as well as promote himself and attempt to ride the coattails of other, better, more popular people constantly.  I'm not going to act like I don't like to try and get the attention of somewhat famous people, but I honestly do it out of genuine admiration.  Given how Beaubien does it as often as he possibly can, it's obvious he just wants attention, and since his content is shit anyway, it's not attracting anyone outside of other misogynists and abuse apologists.  He needed to abuse and scam artists to get anywhere.  Now he has nothing.  His attempt at garnering attention as Bitpolargame is the equivalent of a dancing jackass on a busy street.  Anyone who doesn't drive by and ignore him recognizes him and either flips him off or attempts to hit him with their door.
The most he can hope for is the "popularity" of someone like Darksydephil, but we don't need another one of him and Beaubien is even worse anyway.

His silencing tactics include making thinly-veiled sockpuppet accounts, gaslighting (as he's always done), threatening legal action he has no basis for and having the post his evidence was aggregated on removed under false claims, much like he attempted with a video all about him.  Don't worry though, you can still read the archived version and a new one with updated information is apparently in the works. [Update: A collection of some of the testimonies on both Beaubien and his criminal friend Dave Smith can be found here.]

And in spite of every decent person and their sister despising him, Beaubien/Bitpolargame still asks people for money despite not needing it, still abuses others and still actively attempts pedophilia, which he has shown to acknowledge he is doing and that it is illegal!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson Review

As previous reviews show, I've always liked the Senran Kagura games, but they never seemed to realize their true potential.  Shinovi Versus was greatly enhanced, but I felt that expanding on the first game rather than going on a tangent would have been a better follow-up, so when Senran Kagura 2 promised to be just that, I got legitimately excited.

I hadn't been so excited for a game in a very long time.  With so many $60 games revolving around guns and grim tones on crappy systems, I just wanted to play a fun, lively, $40 (50 with the included soundtrack) action game with shonen trappings on the 3DS and go on another adventure with the badass adorable Senran Kagura heroes, all in a nice physical package I could hold in my hand, because XSEED stopped trying to open unlocked doors by using their heads as battering rams, unlike Bandai Namco.
Fuck you Bandai Namco.
Consistent delays weakened the fire, however.

Needless to say, I had high expectations.  Some might say they were unreasonable, but in the end, as expected from a Senran Kagura game up to this point, Senran Kagura 2 is an enjoyable experience and my enthusiasm was not squandered.