Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Articles RSS Feed | Castlevania: Symphony of the Night RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Listen to the Children of the Night with Castlevania Spotify Playlists Wed, 20 May 2020 19:02:08 -0400 Josh Broadwell

It's a horrible night to have a curse, but a wonderful day for listening to Castlevania music thanks to Konami Europe. The developer's European branch announced a new Spotify venture today on Twitter, bringing together nearly all the Castlevania soundtracks in a big public collection.

Polygon first spotted the announcement, which you can see below.

For now, though, here's what you can listen to.

  • Castlevania: The Original Game Soundtrack Selection
  • Castlevania Chronicles
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon & Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
  • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
  • Castlevania: Judgement
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

That's a lot of Castlevania. And according to Konami Europe, it's not the end. Castlevania playlists are just the start. There's no indication what playlists might find their way to Spotify in the future, but we're hoping Suikoden and Silent Hill end up there soon.

If you're thinking this is a surprise or seemingly random move, well you aren't wrong. However, Konami did announce that Symphony of the Night mobile port entirely out of the blue a few months back, and there are all those Silent Hill rumors floating around. Who knows what might be in store.

The original story is over on Polygon. For now, check out the Castlevania playlists over on Spotify, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more video game music news as it develops.

Konami Gives Tribute with Symphony of the Night on Mobile Wed, 04 Mar 2020 11:57:47 -0500 Josh Broadwell

How's this for a Tuesday surprise? Konami's classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is now available on Android and iOS devices for just $2.99

This is kind of a big deal. There aren't any other mainline Castlevania games on mobile, and Konami didn't indicate any plans to bring the PSX icon to mobile following its recent re-release on PlayStation 4.

The mobile SotN isn't a straight-up port from the PSX era either. It uses the original graphics and soundtrack, but blends those with the script for the PlayStation Portable remake. We have to admit that's not a bad thing. Sure, the original script is well-known and completely meme-worthy, but the PSP version is a bit more coherent (and accurate).

According to the store description, it also boasts controller support and has achievements. There are new continue options as well, though the description and accompanying screenshots don't say what those are.

So there you have it: an inexpensive and accessible way to experience one of the best 2D platformers and arguably the best Castlevania game ever.

While we desperately hope others, like Aria of Sorrow, get the same treatment, there's no way of knowing another Castlevania game will get ported too. We'll just content ourselves with watching Castlevania season 3 on Netflix a few times instead.

You can check out Symphony of the Night on the Google Play Store and the App Store. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Castlevania news as it flies out of the tower.

Castlevania Season 3 Netflix Trailer Serves as Demonic Valentine to Fans Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:53:34 -0500 Ty Arthur

News about Castlevania Season 3 has poured out of the shadows faster than a demon horde in the last few weeks, and we don't have long now to wait for the third season of the show to hit Netflix.

At the beginning of February, Warren Ellis confirmed that Netflix's Castlevania series will return to the streaming service on March 5. Now, Valentine's Day has brought a full trailer for the vampire-killing series. 

The magic-heavy clip above is basically a bloody Valentine from the streaming giant to fans, showcasing Alucard and the last of the Belmonts dealing with threats both human and supernatural. This time around, Trevor and his misfit gang of companions try to save humanity from extinction as vampires farm them for blood.

Now that Dracula is (seemingly) defeated, Carmilla and her cadre of allies pose the biggest threat to the show's heroes — and humanity. Of course, Dracula could return as the big-bad, as he's been known to do from time to time. 

While there hasn't been a proper entry in the Castlevania video game series since 2014's Lords of Shadow 2, there have been titles to fill the void. Symphony of the Night mastermind Koji Igarashi worked on 2019's Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night, which is a modern take on the franchise and well-worth checking out. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on the flood of Netflix game adaptations, from Castlevania to the cultural phenomena of Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher!

Castlevania Season 3 Release Date Confirmed by Warren Ellis Tue, 04 Feb 2020 13:56:50 -0500 Ty Arthur

A golden age of video game adaptations is officially upon us thanks to Netflix. Today, the streaming service officially confirmed that a third season of the animated Castlevania series will land on March 5!

Though we're glad to officially hear it, the news was expected to arrive after series writer Warren Ellis began teasing info about Season 3 on Twitter early today and yesterday. 

If you missed it before, you can also check out the previous Castlevania Season 3 teaser image that was recently released by Netflix. It features antagonist Carmilla alongside three new characters. 

Castlevania isn't the only thing Netflix is working on, though. The streaming giant has a Resident Evil live-action series up its sleeve as well, which is expected to begin filming this summer.

Netflix also just knocked it out of the park with Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia and Anya Chalotra as the sorceress Yennefer in the opening season of The Witcher.

While the first season skipped around in time to establish many of the main characters and storylines, the second season will reportedly move towards a more straightforward narrative.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on video game movies and shows as it develops. 

The 20 Most Hilarious Arby's Video Game References Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:25:43 -0400 Ty Arthur


It's a good bet we'll continue to see new anime and gaming references pop up in the months ahead, as this is an ad strategy that seems to be working, and there are plenty of games and shows they haven't covered yet.


I'm actually surprised we haven't seen a Secret Of Mana post yet, considering how they have been on top of the re-releases of classic games in recent months.


What was your favorite Arby's gaming reference, and what box art creation do you hope to see come up next? Let us know in the comments!




Game: Doom


Is there ANYTHING this crew can't do with those damn boxes?!? It doesn't even look like they had to paint on the red lower sections but just used the colored portions of the sandwich holders to make it fit perfectly. The only way they could have made this better is if it was an ultra-fast moving video with a chainsaw at the end.


Goomba Squad! Moooove out!!!


Series: Super Mario Bros.


Those classic Goombas 'n Boos will always hold a hallowed place in gaming history, even as the series expands out and drastically alters the gameplay with newer iterations like Super Mario Odyssey. That adorable cardboard Goomba has got me thinking a weekend family art project may be in the works!


He's the symbol this town needs


Game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole


I don't think anyone expected the South Park series to hit its stride with an RPG, but what started with Obsidian's Stick Of Truth and continued with Ubisoft's take in The Fractured But Whole may well be the best games in the franchise. The paper cut-out style of the TV series also clearly lends itself well to cardboard box art!


You've come a long way, baby


Series: Fallout


I'm calling it -- fast food sauce packet art is going to become a recognized thing. I mean, if Vincent Castiglia can paint with blood, why not Arby's sauce?


This saucy rendition of the Fallout stat system also just reminded me that I'm 95 hours into Fallout 4 but still haven't actually finished the main storyline after getting side tracked by all the DLC. Nobody ruin the ending for me.


The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night


Series: Castlevania


Considering you can eat burgers, mushrooms, and even whole turkey legs throughout this series, the idea of Simon's Lunch isn't too far fetched. The best part about this whole thing (other than the box whip), is that one genius fan immediately commented with this exchange:


"Fry monster! You don't belong in this world!"

"It was not by my hand I was again made fresh. I was ordered by humans who wish to fillet me tribute!"


How's your grip strength?


Game: Shadow of the Colossus


The wisdom of eating a tower of meat that size is definitely in question, but this is an absolutely perfect mixing of game and fast food imagery to get an idea across. It's clear just from a glance that he's about to fight a colossus, and now I'm kind of wondering if I have what it takes to tackle the meat mountain.


You might call this a post for 90's gamers, but we think of it as millennial fare


Game: Chrono Trigger


Featuring dancing robot Gato from the millennial fair, this Chrono Trigger-based caption was pure genius, and it immediately took me back to Saturday afternoon game sessions from my childhood.


The sad, cash-grab PC port might be garbage, but the original SNES version is still one of the best RPGs of all time, and I'm absolutely about to load up ZSNES and replay it tonight.


Sure, you've seen it before, but now it has Aqua.


Game: Kingdom Hearts 2.8


How can there be so many games in this series, yet none of them have managed to be Kingdom Hearts III yet? This post was kind of torture for the fans who have been patiently waiting for the next real sequel, although it did hilariously spur on a slew of photo responses in which diners set their keys next to a sandwich.


Lunch is Strange


Game: Life Is Strange


How do you say so much with so little? Even without the caption, it would have been clear what was happening here. Although sadly, the reference did leave the post wide open to all sorts of comments about wanting to rewind time back before eating that meal.


Overcome the impossible


Game: Gravity Rush


This Vita title wasn't exactly well known to the masses at large, so it was sort of surprising to see a sideways image of Kat pop up in the Arby's feed, but clearly the fans were happy to see this lesser-known action-adventure title get a little fast food love. If you remember this game and want to see more, be sure to leave a comment!


9929 years in the future …


Game: Nier Automata


This inexplicably awesome (and constantly genre-hopping) game managed to shake up the GOTY expectations early in 2017 with its combination of androids, giant swords, and killer robot enemies.


The swords and drones are spot-on here, although I'm kind of wondering if 2B as a "shake" is supposed to be a reference to her exposed behind throughout the game....


Which is it, wark or kweh?


Series: Final Fantasy


Obviously it's kweh, you uncultured swine! OK, I guess it can be both. Seriously though, that sandwich box chocobo is a thing of beauty. I shudder to think of the amount of work that had to go into crafting this guy, and I'm a little disturbed by the connotation of the chicken sandwiches next to him.... Maybe one day we'll get a saddled Chocobo creation in a Final Fantasy Tactics style?


Understand, understand, the concept of love.


Game: Jet Set Radio Future


Whoa, they are going old school and fairly obscure with this one, as the original game came out in 2000, and Jet Set Radio Future came out in '02. I'm hoping the resurrection of interest in this series from the social media posts might spur on some news soon, as Sega has been showing some proclivity towards resurrecting older IPs.


Beefy AND portable. We dig it.


Console: Switch


Speaking of the Switch, you had to know this one was coming, right? I never would have thought "Nintendo console = roast beef sandwiches," but somehow they made the connection with the beefy/portable comment. Those adorable little Switch Joy-Con buttons are also kind of amazing.


The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.


Game: Metroid


Another totally classic and retro reference, this one takes us way, waaaaay back to the NES days of the earliest Samus adventures. Not only does this post successfully make me want some curly fries, but now it's got me wondering: When is that Metroid Prime 4 finally going to show up for the Switch?


So glad he crashed the party. 


Game: Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy


For a generation that grew up with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, news of the remastered N.Sane Trilogy was like a breath of fresh air, and it didn't take long for word to spread on social media. The TNT boxes are fine and all, but it's really the cardboard sleeve gloves that push this one over the top and show off the level of detail.


It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.


Game: The Legend Of Zelda


While Breath of the Wild might be the only thing Zelda fans care about right now, it's the classics that will always be remembered. They didn't even have to make a cardboard sword for the reference to work. Three triangles tells us Triforce, and in this case, a pretty darn tasty one made out of fried potatoes!


As one adventure begins, another waits in the shadows. She's one tough cookie!


Game: Tomb Raider


The cookie causing the eclipse just brings this one together (but who goes to a fast food place for the cookies?). With the pickaxe in hand, this is clearly meant to evoke the newer reboot series that the new movie is based off, rather than original tank top and shorts Lara Croft.


Rally the crew; we're going after the big ones


Game: Monster Hunter World


You ever look at that really artistic spray paint wall graffiti and wonder, "How in the hell did they do that and get such amazing can control?" Yeah, now I'm trying to figure out how someone has such amazing Arby's BBQ sauce packet control to create the Monster Hunter guild symbol! Just one slight twitch of the wrist and this could have been a disaster.


Sneaking into that Mobile Beta


Game: Fortnite


The reigning Battle Royale king Fortnite landing on iOS devices is the current talk of the town (with Android users more than a little jealous), so of course Arby's jumped on that immediately.


This one has it all -- the bush that players love to be while sneaking around the map, and a reference to the difficulty in actually making it into the mobile beta at this point!


You'd usually think of Taco Bell or Mountain Dew as the gaming champs, but a certain roast beef-obsessed fast food chain is creeping up and taking over with a marketing department that clearly loves anime and gaming culture.


Social media marketing is a vital part of any company's advertising strategy, and Arby's made a conscious choice to change tactics away from "buy this meal for this price" posts to much more engaging and organic images that people actually want to share.


Every new post features a hilarious composition of reliable comment types -- a few clueless people trying to puzzle out what that reference means, super fans who are in heaven, a call for the team to get a raise, and backlash from the bored Facebook and Twitter crowds who are upset people are talking about video games for some reason. Every now and again, cheers of joy will erupt in the comments when pop culture references show up that a wider range of people actually understand, such as ClueAliens, or Discworld.


Despite going really obscure with some of the video game references, the Arby's team has created an advertising juggernaut here because they perfectly meet at the intersection of gaming, nerd culture, and crafting fanatics. Some of these posts ahead are truly works of art that clearly took an absurd amount of time to construct out of Arby's boxes, bags, and even sauce packets!


Note: All photo rights belong to Arby's -- we're just appreciating these perfect references. 

Netflix's Castlevania: DO's and DON'Ts Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Unclepulky

Castlevania is one of the longest running franchises in all of gaming, dating back to 1986. While its popularity has dipped in recent years due to a slew of mediocre titles, the series is set for a resurgence, following Netflix's announcement that an animated Castlevania series is in production.

We know almost nothing about this series at the moment, save for the identities of the people in charge of the series, the fact that it'll be coming out in 2017, and that it will be an adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.

We have no way of knowing exactly what kind of series this will be, but, as fans of the series, we know that there are some things that most definitely should be aspects of the series, and some things that don't belong in this world.

DO: Embrace the Lore

There's a lot more to the Castlevania series than just "Simon Belmont whips Dracula to death." There's a deep well of developed characters and intricate stories that this new show can tap into.

From the morally conflicted Alucard to the animal controlling Maria Renard. From Soma Cruz's battle to stop Dracula's resurrection in the future of 2035, to Eric Lecarde and John Morris's quest to stop Dracula's niece during WWI, the possibilities are endless.

Most likely, we're not going to get to see every aspect of this universe explored. As I said earlier, the first season of this series will be an adaptation of Castlevania III, meaning the protagonist will be Trevor Belmont. And yes, the series likely will focus on the Belmont family as a whole. However, that doesn't mean that everything else needs to be completely ignored.

DON'T: Insult the Material

The co-producer of Netflix's Castlevania is Adi Shaknar.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it's because he was the executive producer of excellent films such as Dredd and The Lone Survivor. However, he was also the director of the short film, Power/Rangers.

The short film was made as a parody of dark and gritty Hollywood reboots of popular properties. Even understanding Shaknar's mentality and reasoning for making the film, as a fan of Power Rangers, I found my watching of the movie to be a downright unpleasant experience.

Now, Castlevania is much darker source material than the majority of Power Rangers seasons. But seeing this quote from Shaknar...

“Breaking News: I’m producing a super violent Castlevania mini-series with my homies Fred Seibert and Kevin Klonde. It’s going to be dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.”

...I'm more than a little worried. Like all fans of the series, there's a lot of things I want to see happen in the series.

What I don't want to see is Trevor Belmont doing a whole bunch of drugs and killing innocent people. I don't want to see Grant be filled with nothing with angst over his dead family, and I don't want to see Alucard, one of the series's most beloved characters, simplified to the point of being unrecognizable.

DO: Have High Production Values

The above still is from the fight against Dracula in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Do you see how crazy this is? Because, for those not in the know, the entire series is just as off-the-walls.

For this series to succeed, the animation needs to be crisp, and the art design needs to be both detailed and imaginative. One of the immediate appeals of any Castlevania are the creature designs and backgrounds. For this to be a good adaptation, it needs to be able to match the games in this regard.

While I'm talking about the production side of things, I'll also say that the producers should search out and hire the best voice actors they can. Yes, this is a series infamous for its bad voice acting, but that's one aspect that shouldn't transfer over to the show.

They shouldn't get celebrates. And they shouldn't just get Tara Strong and Crispin Freemen (although I LOVE them), because they're in everything. They should cast the VA's best suited for the roles.

 DON'T: Change the Core Plot

For this one, I'm mainly talking about the first season of the show.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is the earliest game in the series's timeline, save for Lament of Innocence. If they make changes to the story here, they could potentially impact all future seasons.

And really, despite being an NES game, Dracula's Curse doesn't have a bad story at all.

In the year 1476, Trevor Belmont, hailing from the feared Belmont family, is called in by the Church to kill a risen Dracula. Along his quest, he meets a pirate transformed into a demon named Grant, a young sorceress named Sypha, and Dracula's half-human son, Alucard.

While the plot is simple, this set up allows for plenty of action and, more importantly, the potential for character arcs for the four protagonists. This can be a show focused on the action and the characters; there don't need to be random tangents. There don't need to be extra quests or anything; just plain old, simple character development.

And Lastly


While horror elements have always been a part of the Castlevania series, they've been consistently goofy.

And that's just fine! Because, you know what? This series is cheesy.

It's over the top in just about every way. Over the top stories of cosmic battles between good and evil, over the top sweeping scores, over the top boss designs; subtlety is not a word which should be anywhere near this production.

I'm not asking for Gurren Lagann or Asura's Wrath or anything, but the 'cheese factor', as I call it, needs to be strong with this series.

Are you excited for this series? What do you think is important in its production? What other games should get season long adaptations? Let us know in the comments!

Video Games That Will Turn 20 Years Old in 2017 Sat, 28 Jan 2017 10:00:01 -0500 Naomi N. Lugo


Star Fox 64


April 27, 1997


Another fan praised gem from the Nintendo 64 was Star Fox 64. Again this game was groundbreaking for its 3D graphics and fans were immersed by its controls and branching paths. 


Yoshi's Story


Dec. 21, 1997


Yoshi's story released to a mixed critical reception, but it easily a classic from the Nintendo 64 era. The game was criticized for being possibly too easy, but this may be what got young gamers at the time hooked. It's bright and imaginative world invited all gamers. 


GoldenEye 007 


Aug. 25, 1997


GoldenEye is a game that gamers still want a remaster of today. At the time, the game broke grounds due to its realism. The game showed that video games made from movies could be done right. 




Sept. 30, 1997


Another original game to kick off a franchise on this list (spiritual successors aside). Fallout created a world of its own using retro elements in an unthinkable future. The SPECIAL system known and used in the games more modern counterparts can be seen in this original edition. 


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Oct. 2, 1997


Before the game was a meme, it was winning fans over to the Castlevania series. SOTN was the first in the series to break the mold and allow players to explore down non-linear levels. 


Grand Theft Auto


Oct. 1997


The game to start it all. While the original GTA might look vastly different from its modern counterparts, it was still able to strike a tone and start its own kind of crime-spree, open world sub-genre. With over 70 million copies of GTA V sold, it's safe to say that something was done right. 


Final Fantasy VII


Sept. 3, 1997


Some still consider FFVII one of the greatest games of all time, and at the time of its release it was breaking barriers. The game was first for Square Enix (at the time Square) to break into the 3D realm. What caught player's hearts though was getting a deep look into the main protagonist Cloud's fragile psyche as well as getting to know the characters at his side. 


The first month of 2017 is just about over, which means the hangover of 2016 is about due to let up. It's time to fully embrace the fact that it is indeed 2017 and look forward to all the hype surrounding this year's releases. 


There are some major titles to look forward to. Resident Evil 7 is days away, the first new Zelda game since 2011 will release with a brand new console, Red Dead 2 is real and confirmed... so overall, 2017 is looking pretty sweet. 


What's more, 2017 also marks a milestone for a whole lot of great games. 1997 was a particularly strong year in its own right for game releases. Those games that some grew up with, that have become staples within gaming itself, are turning 20 years old this year.


Time flies. 


So let's reminisce on great games from yesteryear, and see which franchises released their first titles and which legends made their names known in 1997.


Which game was your favorite release of 1997? What was the best year in games releases? Let me know in the comments below. 

What Makes Resident Evil So Great, and Whether Or Not Its Future is a Problem Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:00:01 -0400 Rettsu Dansu

E3 2016's Resident Evil 7 trailer is a fantastic example of what I love about that expo. It's the reveal of a game that no one was expecting but are nonetheless excited for -- in such a way that it absolutely blows your mind. Barely anyone expected to see that title at the end of the trailer. The realization that everything you just saw was the new Resident Evil, a main entry in the series that goes back to horror in a way that we want it to, was a fantastic feeling.

Or is it? One of the reasons it was so unexpected was because the type of game shown off in that trailer -- and in the demo. It isn't quite Resident Evil. Despite major changes throughout the whole series, it's always been about biological monsters, not whatever we have so far. Arguably, we could have a situation like in Resident Evil where the enemies are sort of human, before their heads fall off and giant centipedes come out.

What's more important though is the way in which the first part of that trailer, and the demo, present horror. The classic Resident Evils (1, 2, 3, 0 and Code Veronica) create horror through resource management, environment, and atmosphere, while the direction for RE7 seems to be one that focuses on the mystery and the unknown. It's not bad, not bad at all, but it's not what Resi fans want. Capcom has promised that the tone of the demo wasn't particularly representative of the full game, however the second trailer is incredibly similar and hasn't cleared anyone's doubts.

But it's Not All Bad

That being said though, there are a number of things the demo has shown us that I think people don't seem to have noticed. These things connect Resi 7 to previous titles in the series, design wise. So, if you haven't played the demo yet or just haven't noticed them, I'm here to explain to you what these things are.

First, however, I'll need to explain what makes the classic Resident Evil formula so great, to give you an understanding of why it's important that these aspects return.

Dodgy Controls


Yes, I just said that. Resi's control scheme is a large factor in how scary it gets, however most people focus on how frustrating it can be.

The original RE games use 'tank controls'. Unlike most games in which you point the joystick in the direction you want your character to move, your character is instead controlled much like a tank. Basically, pushing the stick forward moves your character forward, and pushing sideways rotates your character. You have to first rotate your character before you begin to move.

Now, I could argue that once you get used to it, the controls aren't that clunky, but the obvious question would be 'why can't we just you just have normal controls?'. In my opinion the slightly higher level of concentration required to control your character means that if you get stressed or scared the controls can start to get in the way. Thus increasing your level of stress and fear. However, there is a much more important reason.

Knowing Where You're Going


Resident Evil was born in an era in which video games were still figuring out how to give players control over the camera in such a way that movement in 3D works perfectly (arguably, we still are). However, Capcom decided to completely ignore it and gave the player absolutely no control over the camera at all.

Resident Evil's world is portrayed to the player through an interconnected string of static camera angles. The camera rarely moves, however as soon as the player moves out of view the camera changes to a different one somewhere closer to the character.

Tank controls are required in this situation to prevent the player from being disoriented. Consider how this camera would work where the player is allowed the usual control scheme.

Say the player moves left across the screen, the camera angle changes and suddenly 'left' is a completely different direction  in relation to the player. The character would immediately change direction. If you don't understand what I mean, play the first Devil May Cry and you'll find out. In the tense, claustrophobic situations Resi presents, this could ruin things. With  tank controls, forward always means forward no matter what direction we're looking in, and it's easier to determine your character's movements.


Enter the Film-Like Horror

So why do we need this type of camera? We need it for horror.

A good horror film creates fear through 'sensory deprivation'. We fear what we can't truly understand, so when a film removes our ability to see the danger it forces us to use all of our senses and focus our attention on the scene in an attempt to figure out what's going on. When we begin to realize that it's difficult to determine where the danger is, where it could come from, or even how dangerous it is, that's when fear starts to settle in.

Resi's camera angles achieve a very similar affect. Enemies usually come from outside of your viewpoint. You can hear them, sometimes even see their shadows, but you aren't allowed to move the camera to see them. It creates this haunting atmosphere that the player becomes immersed in simply because they need to concentrate on every clue the environment offers that danger could be around the corner.


Holding Long

However the film techniques used in the original Resident Evil's don't end there. Here's one of my favorite examples:

There's a technique in film called holding long. This term is used the director doesn't end a scene as soon as we think it would. For example, a character leaves a scene and we're left watching the same spot. It causes us to concentrate on the scene and wonder in suspense about what could be happening.

There's a cinefix video that explains this quite nicely.

The remake of the first Resident Evil actually manages to utilize this technique. Not just through a cutscene, but through the gameplay itself.

We have been taught through thousands of films that when important events stop occurring the scene changes. This is why holding long on a shot is effective. Throughout the first couple minutes of Resident Evil we are taught that when we walk out of view, the camera changes. Which is why when this happens, it's weird.

To give you some context, at this point in the game you've seen your first zombie. You're unable to kill it yourself so you feel quite weak. As you explore more of the mansion, you hit a dead end and find a knife. You pick up the knife and turn back, however for some reason you walk right off the screen and nothing happens.

Now this doesn't have quite the same effect, as a gamer would probably assume that the game has some lag or it's frozen. What's really important is what happens next.

Without the player's control, Jill walks backwards into view. This causes the player to question the entire situation, until they see the hand appear from around the corner and they understand what has happened.

This combination of suspense and then release is the essence of horror, but the addition of a disconnect between the player and the game makes you feel helpless and confused. It adds to the suspense as suddenly the game doesn't work how we were taught it should.

What's even better is that this scene has three main purposes: The first is to teach you how to use the knife, it's not easy to get out of there without being grabbed by the zombie and having to use the melee weapon. The second is to teach you that the game will sometimes pull this type of thing on you. The third however, is the most important.

You Are Never Safe

The reason why the appearance of a zombie in that location is truly confusing is the fact that we were backtracking. The player had already been through that hallway, had seen that there were no zombies in the area, and had probably assumed that they were safe.

But a zombie turned up anyway.

Resident Evil is a game about exploring a mansion, hence the term Resident Evil. As you explore you'll be returning to places you've been before in order to solve puzzles. Unlike games like Castlevania Symphony of the Night or Metroid enemies don't usually respawn once you leave the area. Once an enemy is dead, it stays dead. Unless you don't burn the body, in which case you're screwed.

Again, we're taught to think a certain way. Surely when I return to an area I've been to, it should be safe because I killed all the enemies. But no, certain interactions trigger certain events to occur in certain areas.

For example, you defeat a snake boss and pick up a key. You go to use the key somewhere else, returning to a previously explored area. However, this time the windows smash and some more zombies jump in. You never know what could set off an area to have more enemies, and this creates an environment where you feel like anything could come at you at any time.

And this is all emphasised by music. If you never understood how music could create emotion, then play Resident Evil. The safe room music is so superbly done that even though its the safest place in the game, you still feel afraid that something could break in. It's mainly soothing music, but with this creepy undertone that reminds you that while you're safe now, you have to go back out there at some point.

This feeling would mean nothing if Resi's gameplay didn't fit. The areas you explore in each game are metroidvania-like, in which you scour the mansion for things to find, meeting locked doors and enemies along the way. Eventually you'll find a key that allows you to unlock certain doors, requiring you to go back to each area and see where that key works. Let me just say that this is really fun, the feeling when you find a key is like no other. It's a feeling of endless possibility... until you get that message that says the key has no more use and you throw it away.

This design encourages backtracking, which allows the constant fear of danger to take full effect. If we were constantly moving forward then there wouldn't be too much to be afraid of.

However, none of what I just said would be scary if it wasn't for the way that Resident Evil deals with death.

The Death Penalty

I could write an entire article about how video games should penalize you when you die, because in my opinion it's something that's really hard to perfect.

Every fear portrayed in a film usually connects to death. What truly scares us is either being so immersed that it feels like it's happening to us, or that we don't want those characters to die.

This doesn't work in a video game, the developers can't just have you die and end the game altogether. So any fear of the death of your character is immediately removed once you die the first time, and see your character come back to life afterwards. There are only a few games where permanent death works.

Fearing death in a game helps to make the game more immersive. It allows tense situations to be tense for the player. Really, any game could be improved with a proper death penalty. However, horror games require them, because horror games need to generate fear.

So this asks the question of how we penalize the player when they die. The obvious answer, which is what most games use, is to cause the player to lose progress. Either pushing the player back to a checkpoint (pretty ok), back to the start of the level (pretty mean), or back to the last save (even meaner). Dark Souls has its own rather unique method of punishment in which you lose your unused exp, however this doesn't avoid the major problem.

Losing isn't Fun

We play video games to have fun, arguably, and this is where death penalties create issues. There's almost no way to take something away from the player and have them actually enjoy it, it just doesn't work.

The more you take away from the player, the more tense the situation is. Therefore it's almost impossible to create an incredibly tense situation in which the player doesn't feel terrible once they end up dying.

Unless You Cheat

Resident Evil takes the incredibly mean route and forces you to load your last save when you die. This isn't always great because you could forget to save and end up losing hours of progress. What's even meaner, however, is that saving in Resi requires you to use a finite resource, and it isn't too common either. This means that you have to spread out your saves so you don't run out.

Basically, if you die in Resi you have quite a lot to lose. Or do you?

Resident Evil is a game about learning, as I've said before. It's about finding items and using logic (and sometimes just guessing) to find out where you need to use those items. A player who knows what they're doing can finish the game in a couple hours.

What this means, is that even if it was 2 hours since your last save, if you die it would only take you about 10 minutes to get back to where you were. Most of that time you just lost was spent finding where the items are used, now that you have that information you don't waste that time. Not only that, but you know where all the enemies are so there's no need to be cautious.

This -- in a way -- is the best of both worlds. When you're being attacked by enemies, in the heat of the moment all you can think about is the amount of time it's been since your last save, so it's tense. But if you eventually die, it doesn't sting so much because you begin to realize that all you need to do is run to a couple of specific rooms and you'll be back.

This doesn't work for all games, because not all genre's can have this puzzle style implemented. We can't really learn from RE in this retrospect. However, Dark Souls has a similar situation, in which you learn your enemy's patterns and learn how to deal with them better. So perhaps this is just an aspect of good game design.



In my opinion, the way that Resident Evil deals with death is integral to creating fear while playing it. There are a number of things that I haven't mentioned that other people might think are just as important, such as resource management, atmosphere, or zombie dogs. But I don't think any of them would be scary if we weren't actually worried about the death that came along with it.

This is exactly why I think that RE contains examples of good jump scares. It's quite popular recently to hate on jump scares, and with good reason. They're an easy way to make people scared, but they're usually used way too often and with not enough thought put into them.

Here's the problem, a jump scare isn't particularly a "scare", it's more of a simple reaction. It's your body reacting to possible danger by waking up all the muscles, and it's unpleasant. You could argue that it's possible to "fear" a jump scare, but I would say that that's more like the way one would act when they're about to experience pain. This is the same feeling the people abuse to make people go insane through torture.

This could explain why we enjoy watching people play games with jump scares in them, but there isn't as much enjoyment to be had when you play one yourself.

When a jump scare is used in a well directed film, or Resi, it makes us jump, but also creates fear because they have some weight behind it. The appearance of a monster in this fashion is scary because it means that the characters could get killed by it. In RE's case, you yourself have to actually point your gun at them and shoot them. The player jumps not just because the brain is waking up, but because they themselves need to be awake to act.

If a monster enters the shot and leaves for the sake of making you jump, it doesn't really have the same effect.

Onto the Future

2000 words later, let's go back to Resident Evil 7

So RE7 has a lot of fans rather skeptical. The demo and it's trailers appear to give off an atmosphere of general creepyness, cooking pots full of cockroaches, weird men appearing out of nowhere, and a creepy run-down house. This kind of horror is something similar to Silent Hill or a number of horror indie games. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, other than it becoming rather cliche recently. However, it isn't what makes the Resident Evil series unique. But let's look at a number of ways Resi 7 could be returning to the original formula.

First of all, it's rather difficult to tell how RE7 will deal with death. Since the only way to die in the demo is to finish it, there's no way to find that out. However, there's one thing that's rather important that we need to consider.

Welcome to the Family, Son

The first thing you do in the demo is find a tape player, with no tape. Then you progress in the house and find a cupboard, which is locked by a chain. You then reach the end of the house and find pliers.

You use the pliers on the chain, which unlocks the cupboard revealing a tape, and you then use the tape on the tape player.

This might seem really simple, but this means a whole lot. What this indicates is a style of gameplay in which items must be found, and we must backtrack in order to use those items. It's an incredibly simple progression, you simply move forwards then backwards, but if the demo is in any way indicative of the full game, I think this means we'll have that same puzzle style of game with items and exploration.

And This is Really Important

If we have a game that focuses on exploration, then this creates a format for a number of the horror aspects I talked about before. It allows for random enemy placement, and replacement, that creates constant danger. This is something I'm sure other people have picked up on, but it doesn't get the focus it deserves when discussing the game.

And that previous scene isn't even the only hint towards items found through exploration, there's a hidden fuse that opens a door if you do things in a different order. Players have also found an incredibly hidden, albeit useless, axe hidden deep in the demo. This type of gameplay is what truly made Resident Evil for its first five games, and when they dropped it for RE4, that's when the series began to be more and more action focused. To me, the resurgence of this mechanic is what could make Resi 7 more Resident Evil. However, fans do still have their worries.

The First-Person Camera

RE7 is the first main series title to be in first person, and this does create some issues if Capcom really is trying to return to formula. With a completely controllable camera, you lose the camera angles that made the original games so cinematic, and loses an integral part that made the games truly scary.

So how much of an impact will this have on the game? Well it depends on how well Capcom can design the game for fear. There are still ways to create horror with a controllable camera, and there are more ways to create horror in a game than just utilising film techniques.

But this is what made Resident Evil unique. In our current era, there are so many horror games that use the same techniques. Any currently thought of design to make horror has probably already been done to death. Resident Evil is probably the only one to make horror in such a way, and even if it's not the most successful at least it's unique.

So Why Can't we Just Use the Old Way

The obvious reason for why Resi 7 is first person is because it's going to be in VR, third-person games just don't work. But there is a bigger issue.

The majority of people don't like tank controls. They just can't be bothered to wrap their head around a needlessly complex control scheme. In this day and age, when we want Resident Evil to be relevant again, we need to it to appeal to as many people as possible. I know quite a few people who, even though they'd probably love RE, just get frustrated by tank controls.

But as I said before, tank controls and the camera angles work hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. If we remove the tank controls, we have to remove static cameras.

This is exactly what happened with Resi 4, tank controls were removed, and a different camera control scheme was designed. The over the shoulder, 3rd person, camera definitely worked, but it lead towards an action focus. Now, Capcom is probably trying a third time to make this work, with the only camera system they have left to try.

Will it Work?

I'm not particularly at liberty to say, but I think it could work. We haven't truly lost the same sensory deprivation as before. There aren't many enemies in the demo, but you can still hear footsteps and creaks in different rooms as you progress. This is mostly used to creep you out, but it could hint to a later use of sound to indicate the presence of enemies in the full game.

There's also the scene in the demo where one of the characters calls your attention, and you look over to him. Once he's done talking, you look around and realise that the other character, Andre, has dissapeared.

You can still control the camera and watch the other character leave, but a first time player will get distracted and believe that Andre has just mysteriously been taken. It's this kind of design that makes me feel hopeful, as Capcom has used events to move the player's attention, and effectively forced a camera angle in a certain direction.

Most games would probably remove control from the player to show them what they want you to see. This way feels more fluid and immersive, because in a way, it is the player's choice to look in that direction.

The Story

The story is probably the biggest thing people complain about. The generic, Silent Hill-esque atmosphere and the lack of connection to previous games.

There's certainly some slight connection to the series: an umbrella logo in the game, on a helicopter, in a picture, in a hidden room, accessed by playing the demo a second time, and activating a secret (little bit of a stretch).


As I stated before, Capcom has said that the plot and tone of the demo isn't representative of the full game. However, despite the first trailer being mostly for the demo, there are some things shown in that trailer that are nowhere to be seen.

There's a montage of clips at the very end that has a certain atmosphere. There's this creepy music and a bunch of unsettling shots of forests and other things. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly the tone is, but I don't feel that it's the same cliche-creepy that we get a lot. It's actually the part of the trailer that intrigued me the most, even before I knew it was Resident Evil 7.

There's also a number of shots where things seem to deteriorate quickly, such as the wolf head. This seems to me like some kind of connection to biology, it might be a stretch, but for me this is what gives me the idea that they won't be ditching Resident Evil's biological roots.

There are a number of things in the second trailer, however, that seem a lot less biological and that create a cliche-creepy tone. The being said, it barely shows us anything. It's possible that this is just an early stage in the game where we first see the enemies we're fighting.

The monster that attacks the player could turn out to be a product of the bio-organic testing Umbrella does, but there's really no way to tell. From what I hear the character in the trailer is one that the player is trying to rescue in the full game, so perhaps the tone of helplessness is only portrayed because that character is truly helpless.

I don't think this is a representation of how the game will turn out, but a representation that Capcom doesn't know how to make trailers.

So Should We Be Worried About Resident Evil 7?

The short answer: probably not.

I mean, we shouldn't be sitting around wondering if a future game will be as good as we want it to. There's better ways to spend our time. There's absolutely no way that we can tell exactly what kind of game Resident Evil 7 will be until we can play it for ourselves, who knows what the entire experience could be like?

But as to whether or not we can predict Resi 7's quality, I think the community's current predictions are a bit too exaggerated. Resident Evil fans have been burnt too many times to be hopeful, and overhyped games have been so frequent recently that any depiction of what your game could be is not going to convince anyone anymore.

I myself am hopeful that Resi 7 will return in some ways to the original formula. It would be nice to see those things return.

Is it a problem that some things are different?

Well, I'd like to say it isn't. We're in an era currently where plenty of developers are trying to return to what their games once were (New Super Mario Bros., Ratchet and Clank), but they aren't trying to improve on that original formula at all. So instead of returning to glory, we get something we've already gotten.

It's actually quite interesting to see Capcom attempt to bring back aspects from the past, but also try to improve on them for a general audience.

And if it turns out to be just like P.T., well then we'll finally get Silent Hills.


Top 10 PS1 games to celebrate PlayStation's birthday Thu, 10 Sep 2015 07:02:03 -0400 Curtis Dillon


And that wraps up the very best of the best on PS1. I'm sure there were a few surprises in there, but bear in mind that they are the best games as per Metacritic ratings. I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed that Spider-Man wasn't on there (I'm still campaigning for a PSN Classic version). However, the quality of these games is undeniable.


The PS1 was a breath of fresh air for many gamers. It showed us that games could be mature, innovative, and emotive. These tenets were represented in the bastion of amazing titles on the console. Furthermore, the PS1 introduced a ton of western gamers to JRPGs, which rarely left Japan or fell into obscurity on the NES/SNES beforehand. So, next time you turn on your PS4, just take a second to remember where it all began. Wherever, Whenever, Forever.


What were your favorite PS1 games? Are you shocked by any games on the list? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back next week for the Top 10 PS2 Games, only on GameSkinny!

1. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Was there ever any doubt? Well, I'm sure some of you are surprised - especially younger readers who don't hold the skating genre or the Tony Hawk series in high regard. However, on the PS1 and PS2, the Tony Hawk games were among the very best the consoles had to offer. Perhaps most telling is the fact that THPS2 is the second-highest rated game ever on Metacritic, just behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.


The reason the first few TH games were so widely praised and beloved was due to the fact that they offered a pure skating experience. The subsequent games opted for a more GTA-inspired approach, which meant a juvenile story, breaking everything, and (worst of all) getting off of your board. Personally, I enjoyed Thug 1 & 2, as well as American Wasteland, but they definitely took away the sheer simplicity of skating and performing tricks that the first games gave you.


Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is widely considered one of the greatest games ever made. The fact that it is a skateboarding game is unimportant. This represented the best in level design and pure gameplay brilliance that the PS1 had to offer.

Before we unveil the #1 spot, here are some honorable mentions:
  • Tomb Raider
  • \n
  • Resident Evil 1-3
  • \n
  • MediEvil
  • \n
  • Twisted Metal
  • \n
  • WWF: Attitude
  • \n
  • Wipeout XL
  • \n
  • Driver
  • \n
  • Grandia
  • \n
  • Spider-Man
  • \n
  • Silent Hill
  • \n
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • \n
2. Tekken 3

Tekken 3 is the best fighting game on the PlayStation and the second best of all-time, behind Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast (which was closely developed with Tekken 3). When it was released, Tekken 3 was the first game to receive a 10 from EGM under its new review system. Gamespot scored it 9.9, saying:


"Needless to say, Tekken 3 is the best PlayStation game to come along in a long time, and this one won't be topped anytime soon."


Tekken 3 used a new system board, meaning it had significantly better graphics and character models than the previous two games. Indeed, Tekken 3 is easily one of the prettiest PS1 games. On top of this, the game featured new modes, faster gameplay and 15 new characters - including Bryan Fury, Eddy Gordo, Julia Chang, Forest Law, and my personal favorite Hwoarang.


The fighting genre has seen something of a resurgence recently, with Mortal Kombat X reviewing and selling incredibly well, Killer Instinct's resurrection, PS4 exclusive Street Fighter V getting great buzz, and Tekken 7 (arcade) being very well-received in Japan. This is all very exciting for the future of the genre, but let's not forget what made them great in the first place: simplicity and awesome gameplay.

3. Gran Turismo

It's hardly surprising that the PlayStation's biggest series makes this list twice. Despite Gran Turismo 2 packing so much more into the game, it's the original that sold more and got slightly better reviews.


The game that started it all was, at the time, leaps and bounds ahead of every other racing game. Gameplay-wise, Gran Turismo still has no real rival. The precise handling of each car as well as the ingenious drivers licenses meant GT offered a more complete package than any racing game before it.


While it might not look so hot today, Gran Turismo has always been known for its cutting-edge, often incomparable, graphics - and the original was no exception at the time, winning various awards for its looks. Considering the legacy of this game, it's no surprise that it fits in the top 3, let alone the top 10.

4. ISS Pro Evolution

Some of you may not know this, but Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series was a huge competitor with FIFA back in the day. Since the PS3/360 days, FIFA has been the undeniable champion of football games, but before that, the market and mind share was much more even.


When ISS Pro Evolution released in 1999, it was widely recognized as the best football game ever made - a claim endorsed by Play Magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine, Computer and Video Games Magazine, and more. The gameplay was great, the graphics crisp, and the attention to detail startling. It marked the first time club teams could be played with and the player/team/stadium editor was unique for a football game.


The biggest addition to the series was that of the Master League, a feature which exists to this day and pits the best teams in Europe against each other. Konami has always had a hard time licensing the teams and players, considering FIFA owns it all, and this is definitely more of a glaring issue now than it was 16 years ago. Back then, gameplay was king and photorealism was less of an issue, a fact that surely helped ISS Pro Evolution reach the heights it did.

5. Final Fantasy IX

Speaking of Final Fantasy, this probably isn't the installment you were expecting to see. While VII is the game that is seemingly remembered most fondly, as well as the most talked about these days, it's Final Fantasy IX that holds the highest rating (of any FF game) on Metacritic.


IX took a more classic Final Fantasy approach to the game design by simplifying the ability system compared to VII and VIII. While the story was considered a bit too familiar and safe, the visuals and translation were amazing, the gamplay as solid as previous installments, and the game had a huge well of secrets to be discovered.


As is often the case with Final Fantasy games, IX was scrutinized upon release, but became a fan favorite over time. FFIX had the weight of the gaming world on its shoulders after following two of the best games of the generation, but it more than met the challenge to become the best Final Fantasy on the PS1.

6. Chrono Cross

Many would argue that Chrono Trigger is the better game, and certainly I would say it's far better known than its sequel, but we won't be debating that. No, we're here to celebrate the great game known as Chrono Cross.


With a deep plot about parallel worlds and body switching, Chrono Cross didn't rest on the laurels of the first game, and instead completely changed the formula. Rarely do games tackle such complex plots, especially in 1999. But Chrono Cross didn't back down, and the protagonist and antagonist switched bodies, which was so creative at the time it was one of the reasons it was so well-received.


Additionally, Chrono Cross had some of the best visuals of its time and a really great battle system that many subsequent games have adopted. Unlike most RPGs of the time, Chrono Cross removed random encounter battles and allowed you to run from enemies. This was a feature in its predecessor, but perfected here. If you've never played it and want a comparison, think of Ni No Kuni, but deeper and with no random encounters.


Final Fantasy VII might be the PS1 RPG that everyone remembers, but Chrono Cross might just be the best.

7. Metal Gear Solid

Ah, Metal Gear. Of course we're all still simultaneously reeling from the Konami/Kojima split and drunk on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, so it's perfect timing that we take a look back at the game that (essentially) started it all.


Released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid on PS1 was the console's biggest selling point for a lot of people. Sure, it had seen some great games previously, but this was one of the first times we saw what games could really be.


For almost 20 years, platformers dominated video games - so much so that Mario and Sonic are still the biggest gaming mascots by a landslide. But suddenly, Metal Gear Solid arrived and gave us a glimpse of the future - a mature, gritty, weird, awesome future.


Not only did Metal Gear Solid show us a serious side to gaming, it also popularized the stealth genre, revolutionized gameplay (especially boss fights), and put Hideo Kojima on the map. It's hard to overstate just how big of a deal Metal Gear Solid was for both Konami and PlayStation, but it also defined the PS1 system and inspired a generation of gamers and developers. Kudos, Kojima. Kudos.

8. Gran Turismo 2

Gran Turismo 2 was the sequel to the PlayStation mega-hit and biggest racing game ever (at the time). While the sequel didn't sell as many copies as its predecessor, it was still a massively well-received game, commercially and critically.


Gran Turismo is a simulator racing series, and by far Sony's biggest-selling franchise. That's a fact that may surprise some people, but the series has sold over 70 million copies, putting it ahead of the 2nd biggest, Crash Bandicoot, at 50 million. Quite simply, Gran Turismo is Sony's crown jewel, and the biggest racing series of all time.


Gran Turismo 2 packed in everything the first game had to offer, and added so much more. GT2 boasts well over 500 cars, 27 tracks (49 counting mirrors and night-time), rally racing, a robust soundtrack, and even tighter gameplay. Many would argue whether the original or the sequel is a superior game, but the truth is, both are phenomenal and unrivaled for their time.

9. Street Fighter Alpha 3

Arguably the best fighting game on the PS1, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was a tour de force on the fight scene. This marked the first time that a Street Fighter game was best on the PlayStation, as the previous entries had been superior on Sega systems. IGN's 1999 review of the game said:


"The best 2D fighter just made its better-than-arcade-perfect landing on PlayStation."


Alpha 3 featured a bigger-than-ever roster of fighters, deeper gameplay, and new modes that gave the game far more replay value - not to mention the awesome Bruce Lee-inspired Fei Long.


While some people prefer Alpha 2, Alpha 3 is the bigger, deeper, better-looking game that gave fans so much more. Fighting games were uber-popular in the mid to late '90s, and this is definitely one of the best.

10. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Often considered the best PS1 game, as quoted by many in the industry and the EGM 100 Greatest Games of All-Time (where it ranks 12th overall), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a work of genius that helped spawn a genre.


Created by Koji Igarashi, Symphony of the Night is an action-adventure platformer that turns you into Dracula's half human son, Alucard. The game, along with Super Metroid, introduced a non-linear style of gameplay and RPG elements, creating a genre known as MetroidVania games.


Unfortunately, Konami hasn't handled the Castlevania IP very well in the past decade. The last game in the series was Castlevania: Lords of Shadows, a game that received middling reviews and effectively put the series on hold. Due to the mishandling of the property, Igarashi has since taken to Kickstarter and gotten a spiritual successor to the original games funded. His next game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set for release in March 2017.


The good news is you can still play Symphony of the Night as a PS1 Classic on your PS3 or PS Vita. This is one classic that everyone should play!


20 years, 6 consoles, and thousands of games. Barring Nintendo, PlayStation is the biggest gaming company in the world. With the PlayStation 4 coming into the height its life cycle, and selling like no console before, the PlayStation brand is bigger than ever.


So, why not take a trip down memory lane and celebrate what came before? Over the next 5 weeks, we will be counting down the best PlayStation games on every console, including PSP and PS Vita. So remember to check back next week for the PS2 countdown!


Today, we are looking at the very best games for the original PlayStation. By now it's fairly common knowledge that before the PlayStation existed, Sony and Nintendo had a deal in place to develop a console together. Nintendo decided to leave Sony hanging high and dry and partner with Phillips instead, prompting the Japanese technological behemoth to make its own console - a decision that seems to haunt Nintendo to this day.


The original PlayStation was an amazing console that introduced a lot of western gamers to Japanese RPGs, something the brand is now synonymous with. It also represented a more mature gaming platform that appealed to adults in a way Nintendo did not.


While the N64 was a great system with even better games, it was vastly overshadowed by the PS1. For many, the PS1 proved that games were not always going to be platformers with cute mascots.

The Five 2D Platformers you need to play Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:12:15 -0400 Michael Slevin

Platformers are my favorite genre of game, and there are a ton of great games to play within the genre.

Everybody has games that they haven't gotten to, so to add to your list here are five platformers you need to play at some point in your life.

5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Forget best platformers, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games of all time. With incredible pixel art, music and gameplay, this game is an absolute masterpiece. You can pick this one up on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 even though it was originally a PlayStation game. 

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Oh, how we miss the days of good Sonic games. Despite the infamous recent Sonic games, I still love the blue blur, and Sonic 3 is a part of what makes him great. In this adventure, we meet Knuckles the Echidna, who is actually an antagonist, who we see more of in Sonic and Knuckles. Sonic 3 is the best platformer the series has to offer and, if you get the chance, Sonic and Knuckles is great too.

3. Mega Man 2


This is one that is close. I am only doing one game from each series, otherwise we would see multiple Mega Man games and multiple Mario games. I feel that Mega Man 2 is the best that Capcom has to offer providing great music, incredible bosses who grant unique weapons upon defeat, and world-class gameplay. Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 9 are also among my favorites in the series. 

2. Super Metroid

This one might be a little divisive, as many people consider Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to be the better game. Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made, and set the stage for Symphony of the Night and define the Metroidvania game genre. The incredible music and art, level design, and a desolate world all contribute towards Super Metroid being one of the best games of all time. Super Metroid certainly surpasses any side-scrolling Metroid, and perhaps is only surpassed by its first-person shooter cousin, Metroid Prime.

1. Super Mario World

This one is tough, I can see multiple Mario games being on this list. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Bros. are both worth your time. The reason I feel that you must play Super Mario World is because it perfects the 2D Mario formula. This masterpiece introduces Yoshi, who plays a critical role in the game's story. Sprite art and music are both great, but the elite-caliber level design is what makes Super Mario World an absolute must play. 

What 2D platformers do you think are must-play? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Igarashi's Bloodstained Will Have PS Vita Version Mon, 08 Jun 2015 20:35:50 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has reached yet another of its stretch goals and will now also be released on PlayStation Vita in both physical and digital form.

For the uninitiated, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a gothic side-scroller from Koji Igarashi, the legendary designer and producer whose credits include several Castlevania games. Perhaps most notably, Igarashi (known as IGA) acted as the assistant director for critically acclaimed Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, making him one of the godfathers of the gothic action platformer genre.

Bloodstained is a spiritual successor to the Castlevania series and resembles its ancestor both in appearance and in gameplay. The game was due to be released on PC and current gen consoles, but with the achievement of this latest stretch goal ($3,500,000, seven times the initial target of $500,000) the game will now also be released on the PlayStation Vita.

Definitely reminds us of Castelvania

Previous stretch goals had added new modes, characters difficulties and even additions such as an artbook. Further stretch goals exist including a prequel mini game and you have until June 14th to back the project. The lowest pledge that secures a copy of the game is $28 with all sorts of bonuses available for higher pledges.

The Vita edition of the game will hopefully support cross save with the PS4 as well as touchscreen support. A new game from the Castlevania director IGA will be a fantastic addition to the all too small library of the struggling Vita. The style of game plays well on the system with no compromises likely to be needed to bring the full experience to the handheld.

Have you backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?

Symphony of the Night Director Reveals Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Mon, 11 May 2015 10:57:47 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

When Koji Igarashi left Konami in March of 2014, everyone awaited with bated breath to see what his next project would be. The wait is over as the former Castlevania producer has revealed his Kickstarter for his new project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. At the time of writing, the project has already raised $221,000 towards its $500,000 goal. The game is in development for PS4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.

The game will feature legendary Castlevania composer Michiru Yamane, and is being developed by Inti Creates, which is coincidentally the same developer Keiji Inafune is using for development of Might No. 9. David Hayter will also be lending his vocals to the project. The game seems to be a spritual successor to the popular series and will include the RPG elements of newer entries along with a crafting system, which seems to take inspiration from the excellent Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow's soul systems. 

Given the recent debacles and stumbles at Konami and the lack of a proper Castlevania game for some time, it's no surprise this project is already well on its way to being funded. I think I need to start throwing my money at the screen.

Are you as excited about this Kickstarter as I am? Sound off in the comments below! 

Lords Of Shadow Out With a Whimper, Can We Get SotN 2 Now? Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:36:06 -0500 Fathoms_4209

This just needs to happen.

After the recently released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 failed to impress (currently averaging in the mid-60s at Metacritic), I'm once again left with the hope that some designer somewhere will want to produce a true-blue sequel to the original PS1 classic, Symphony of the Night.

I'm aware that it wouldn't be a big-budget production. It'd probably be a digital-only game and it might even have to begin its life as a Kickstarter campaign. I don't really care, though, because I've long since concluded that this franchise belongs in the 2D realm.

I know, it sounds like I'm living in the past

Yes, I understand. Games have come a long way, and saying that any series should stay in an archaic format doesn't make any sense, right? But I'm not insane. Although I may always prefer the old-school 2D top-down format in the old Zelda titles, there's no denying just how great that franchise became in the N64 era. Same goes for Mario. However, that being said, I truly believe Castlevania is, for a variety of reasons, the one series that simply thrives in the 2D side-scrolling system.

It's not about living in the past. It's about acknowledging the situation.

If we were to rank the top Castlevania games of all time...

Doing so, in my mind, puts a bunch of 2D iterations at the top. Symphony of the Night is the easy #1, I think, but there are several others. Remember the trio of GBA titles (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow)? All of them were better than any 3D Castlevania released since in my estimation, and that includes the first Lords of Shadow. Let's not forget a few others, like Dawn of SorrowOrder of Ecclesia, and The Dracula X Chronicles.

Those are all relatively new; I'm not even counting the older 2D adventures on the earlier systems. Purists might even say all of those were better than any 3D Castlevania title. There's just something about this series that's begging to be part of a 2D side-scrolling universe.

You know, you can do a LOT with the SotN mechanic

That game was light years ahead of its time. It had the castle map, it had a full-fledged role-playing mechanic (complete with character stats, equipment, spells, enemy drops, etc.) and in short, it was much deeper than most people give it credit for. This means even a semi-talented developer could easily make a modern-day sequel that would A. Be respectful and pay proper homage to the original, and B. Still feel relatively slick and fresh in the digital realm.

We're seeing a lot of throwback titles these days (StriderDouble Dragon NeonNBA Jam, etc.), so now's the perfect time to produce the long-awaited sequel. This is one of those situations where everyone wants it, and that likely includes those who are partial to the Lords of Shadow games.

Just do it. Make it happen. Someone. Somehow. Please.