Castlevania Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Castlevania RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 11 Most Expensive Horror Games of All Time Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:36:16 -0400 Oscar Gonzalez






Silent Hill 2


As seen on this list, certain games increase in value because of their age or lack of availability. However, in the case of Silent Hill 2, the game jumped in value because it's just so damn good.


Silent Hill 2 is not only considered the best entry of the Silent Hill franchise, but many would also argue it's the best survival horror game ever made.


Not only are general game collectors trying to get their hands on factory sealed copies to complete their collections, but Silent Hill fans are also spending big money for brand new copies.


Thing is, finding a sealed copy of the game is tricky since so man people bought the game to actually play it.


The Greatest Hits version of Silent Hill 2 is worth around $150, but a factory sealed copy of the original version of the game sold for $213 this past September.




And there you have it; the most expensive horror games of all time -- so far.


Those who want to possibly dip their toe into video game collecting will have to save up quite a bit of money to complete a collection, that's for sure. The next best option is to wait for the collector bubble to burst and see prices on these games fall to their deaths. 


But that might be a long, long time. 


Let us know if you'd be willing to pay these horrendous prices for these horror games in the comments below. 


Rule of Rose


Rule of Rose is another PlayStation 2 game that is surprisingly rare and could easily be one of the newest games to see a severalfold increase in value since its release date.


The game takes place in an abandoned orphanage in England during 1930. This, of course, means dealing with creepy kids, which is never fun.


Maybe that was one reason why critics didn't care for the game. Another victim of lackluster sales, the Rule of Rose was gutted when it released two months before the release of the PlayStation 3. 


Earlier this month, a factory sealed copy of Rule of Rose sold for $412.


Haunting Ground


With every new generation of consoles comes another generation considered to be "retro." This means PlayStation 2 games are now becoming rarer and increasing in value. One example is 2005's Haunting Ground.


Considering a spiritual successor to Clock Tower 3, Haunting Ground was another survival horror game that saw players controlling Fiona and her brave doggo, Hewie. Like other games in the Clock Tower series, Haunting Ground didn't blow critics away when it came out -- but fans loved it. 


However, because of lower than expected sales, there are not many copies of Haunting Ground floating around. That means prices for the game have surged on eBay.


One factory sealed copy of the game sold for $260 back in August.




In the 80s, ICOM Simulation created multiple point-and-click adventure games for Macintosh computers, which were then ported to the NES by Japanese publisher Kemco. The trifecta of adventure games ported were Déjà Vu, Shadowgate, and Uninvited.


Like many horror games, Uninvited is set in an old mansion. Players search for their sister while trying to avoid an array of traps, ghosts, and other entities -- all hellbent on killing you.


The game will also kill your wallet as a brand-new copy of Uninvited can go for $233.


Enemy Zero


Due to their high quality and low availability, many rare games on the Sega Saturn were among the first to dramatically increase in price following the console's demise. Games such as Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III and Dragon Force soared in price as collector's scrambled to add them to their collections.


Enemy Zero, while not considered one of the best games on the system, became one of those games. 


The second entry in the D franchise, Enemy Zero is much different than the previous game. Here, players have to contend with invisible enemies using only sound to find their location, whereas the original was a more point-and-click affair. 


To get a copy of Enemy Zero will cost approximately $150.


A Nightmare on Elm Street


Before Dead by Daylight and its multiplayer horror action became popular, it was Nightmare on Elm Street on the NES that pitted four players against Freddy Krueger.


Developed by the license shovelware extraordinaire LJN, Nightmare on Elm Street has players control up to four teenagers who need to collect Freddy's bones a la Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


The game itself is nothing remarkable -- as is the case with most games LJN made during the NES era. However, there has been a surge in popularity for speedrunning the game in due to its unique four-player gameplay.


A complete copy of the game can fetch close to $200 on eBay.




Chiller is one NES game that many owners of the console never saw. Originally released in the arcades in 1986 and then ported to the NES in 1990, Chiller is a light gun game unlike any other.


In the console version, players kill monsters in five stages, which is different than the arcade game where players tortured people strapped in various medieval devices. Still, for an NES game, it's quite graphic.


The reason why NES owners didn't get their hands on a copy of Chiller back in the 90s was that it was an unlicensed game, and unlicensed games meant (and mean) BIG money.


A copy of the game with a box, not even brand new, went for $124 last month.


Splatterhouse 3


Another classic series full of monsters and gore is Splatterhouse. Beating demons to a bloody pulp may not seem like a big deal these days, but back when it came out for the Sega Genesis in 1993, the game was controversial and popular.


Unfortunately, Splatterhouse 3 also released just ahead of the Sega 32X in the U.S. and the Sega Saturn, making it a game that was easily looked over. It also didn't help that the marketing behind it was lackluster and any hype it had quickly died off. 


The result is that these days, new copies of Splatterhouse 3 typically go for $150-$200 on eBay.


Clock Tower


Clock Tower on the PlayStation is the second game of the series, but the first to make it across the Pacific. Its localization was likely due to the success of the first Resident Evil, which was released the year before.


Despite its creepy, foreboding atmosphere and terrifying antagonist, Clock Tower didn't wow critics when it came out in 1997, but it had the kind of scares horror fans loved, making it a much-revered cult classic. 


Clock Tower became one of the PlayStation's sleeper games and eventually became (very) hard to find. A collector looking to complete their horror collection today will need to put up some big bucks as a sealed copy of the game went for $500 in September.




Castlevania on the NES is undoubtedly a classic. It was the start of a long-running franchise that would still be in development if Konami was willing to start making new games again (ahem).


But that's not why we're here; we're here to talk about the absurd price this game can fetch on the collector's market.


The first adventure of Simon Belmont had gamers take on iconic horror characters such as Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, and, of course, Dracula himself. That made is a hot commodity then and most certainly one now. 


The original Castlevania is not a hard game to find, but obtaining a brand-new copy is.


A 32-year-old sealed game is worth its weight in gold, especially if it has a horizontal seam, or H-seam. And that's the key; the seam is where the factory that produced the cartridge sealed the package, and it's an indicator of whether a game has been resealed or not.


Unfortunately, some scammers have found ways of recreating the H-seam, thus causing additional concern for collectors.


However, last month, one sealed copy of Castlevania sold for $449.95. And one rare, sealed Dracula variant sold for a whopping $699.99 in 2016. 


Resident Evil: Gaiden


Although it isn't the first survival horror game, many would consider Resident Evil to be the game that put horror games in the public conscious. Starting in 1996, the franchise sold millions of games in multiple console generations and earned Capcom billions of dollars.


However, one game in the series didn't sell so well, making it a valuable collector's item.


Resident Evil: Gaiden came out in the U.S. in 2002 for the Game Boy Color. When it released, reviewers didn't quite know what to make of it and gave it below average scores (we're talking 4/10s, here). This, of course, resulted in the game not selling all that well.


But a game selling poorly is music to a collector's ears as copies of Resident Evil: Gaiden can now go for $200-$300 for a sealed copy. That's a far cry from the original price of $29.99.


There's never a bad time to play some retro horror games.


Instead of listing out the best or lesser-known titles designed to scare, this list will instead shock with the ridiculous prices these games fetch on eBay.


Thanks to an inflated collectors market, vintage games have shot up in price in recent years. Even mediocre games have increased in value several times due to a growing group of individuals attempting to complete their respective libraries. 


Whether from the Sega Genesis PlayStation 2, Gameboy, or Sega Saturn, these are the most horrifyingly expensive horror games of all time. 

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy Review - A Decent Castlevania Clone Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:11:00 -0400 Craig Snyder

When you take one look at Citadale: The Legends Trilogy (as I suggest you do in the trailer above), you know what you're in for. By no means is this being pushed as some high-end title that's going to bring some breathtaking new gameplay experience to Castlevania fans. This game is as raw and nostalgic as it looks at first glance.

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy is an indie Castlevania clone made by Ezekial Rage. It's available on both the Wii U (£4.49) and Steam ($9.99). In Citadale: The Legends Trilogy, you play as Sonja Dorleac and wield a sword-like weapon called the Shadow Blade. You run and jump through this sidescroller killing off demons, zombies, bats, and all sorts of horrible-looking creatures. The "trilogy" in this title comes in the form of three in-game chapters which all play as slightly different games.

Chapter 1 is the original Wii U release, Gate of Souls. In Chapter 2, you play as Sonja's son, Gabriel. In Chapter 3, Sonja's grandson, Christopher, is given the Shadow Blade and you play his role . Like the game itself, the progression through chapters and the intertwining story is relatively simple.

A Shoddy First Impression

One thing worth noting right off the bat is that this trailer doesn't do the game much justice. The tracks that they chose are far from the best you're going to hear in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy, and I really wish they'd have picked better ones. I personally find the opening track of the trailer to be a bit hard on the ears, and that itself may be enough to turn people away. Try to hear past it.

Launching Citadale: The Legends Trilogy on Steam, you're met with what is probably the most simple starting screen I've seen in the last few years. You can start playing the game or check out its (extremely limited) settings and options, shown here:

There's no option to change your controls, which wouldn't be an issue in a game where the controls were intuitive or introduced to the player in some tutorial mode or starting stage. But you don't get that in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy. Through an hour of playing the game, I couldn't figure out how to use my pick-up items. I pressed every key on my keyboard and came up empty. I searched on Google and found nothing. Being that this is one of the key mechanics in the game, I experienced it on a whole different level for first few bosses.

It was frustrating to see an axe in my inventory but not have any way to use it. Then finally, I remembered how you'd do it in the old Konami classic: UpV/Alt. I feel really bad for anyone who doesn't have experience with Castlevania games of the past, because figuring that out would be nearly impossible for them.

The only two other controls (other than movement through A/D or Left/Right) are your jump (C/Ctrl) and taking a swing of your Shadow Blade (V/Alt). You can crouch with S/Down.

Part of me gets the control thing, though. Citadale: The Legends Trilogy wants to be as raw as possible. It lends to the nostalgic and difficult experience, right? While I do agree, the level of keyboard-pounding required to figure everything out doesn't exactly contribute to any sort of fun experience with the game.

Other than the lack of a way to change your controls, Old TV Mode is a neat option that adds a filter to your game to emulate those old TV scan lines.

Decent Visuals & Audio

Getting started with the game, you're met with a few paragraphs of story. It's very shallow and basic, but that's to be expected in a game like this. Sonja is set out one night after her husband's deceased father rises from his grave. Sonja's husband takes off to check out a nearby citadel with his eyes set on stopping the evil forces his father has released, and Sonja is left behind to protect the village.

The graphics and audio were immediately a relief. Again, what I heard in the trailer wasn't exactly pleasant to my ears. The track for the first stage of the game is much better and sounds exactly like something I'd expect from a Castlevania clone, so I have no complaints.

The sprites, both for Sonja and and enemies, are pretty fluid. I expected them to be more choppy and jerky than they are, so that was a nice touch to see.

One thing I will say is that, when looking through reviews of the game, I found two different occasions (here and here) where players made accusations of sprites and MIDIs being stolen and used for the game. In the second link, Ezekial Rage (the game developer) responds to say that he is aware of the strong similarities, although the report is representing something "not in this version of the game."

Speculation aside, I think this just lends more to the fact that Citadale: The Legends Trilogy is trying as hard as possible to be a very close experience to the original Castlevania titles.

The Gameplay I Expected

All the way up until the first boss, which I got to within a matter of minutes, the gameplay was exactly what I thought it'd be. You hack and slash enemies to pick up coins, food, soul gems, and items. It's nothing new, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

You're also met with checkpoints throughout, at which you'll respawn upon dying. This is extremely necessary because you can expect to die a lot. And that's unfortunate, because it doesn't tell you how to save your game anywhere -- except in a line on the Steam page's update notes that says F1 saves your state and F2 loads it.

You are only given one save state across the entirety of the game. If you close the game without pressing F1, when you launch the game again there is no option to continue. Your progress is lost. Before this update, players would need to beat through the entire game in one sitting. Talk about hardcore.

The first boss was a pretty cool experience. She (or at least I believe they were female) spawns in the center of the stage after you clear it on top of a rose. Periodically, she'll cause the vines that you've been slashing through up until this point to spawn. It basically requires you to quickly learn the pattern where they spawn, kill them, and rush to the center of the stage where you can deal damage to her.

The next boss, which couldn't have been more than five minutes away, was arguably even easier.

A dragon-like skeleton floats across the screen and you must jump and slash at him. When being hit, he'll drop skeleton enemies that you've been fighting along the way. You quickly put them down and then get back to jumping and swinging at the boss. You won't find yourself taking too much damage here.

From this point on though, you begin to experience a lot of new game mechanics. There comes a point where you'll (probably) walk across a platform that has a slight discoloration to it, which will result in you falling to your death. Luckily enough, this happens just seconds after reaching a checkpoint.  This is where the game begins to show a bit of cleverness and difficulty.

The next boss you'll reach, which is just steps away from these falling platforms, is exponentially harder than the first two. I won't spoil it for you, but you can expect to die many times before finally figuring it out.

The pick-up items that you'll come across as you kill through giant spiders, slugs, and hordes or hideous monsters are as follows:

  • Holy water, which burns enemies
  • Throwing axes, which can damage enemies above you
  • Throwing stars, which slice through multiple enemies in front of you
  • Potions, which replenish your health

Each require a soul gem to use. Having no soul gems means you won't be able to use your pick-up item. Think of the gems as mana. Players familiar with Castlevania should have no issue understanding this mechanic, nor will they experience the pains of figuring out what button combination allows you to use them (which, again, is UpV/Alt).

A Few Shortcomings

While I admit I stopped one boss short of finishing Chapter 1, because I just couldn't beat it after a good 30 tries, I can confidently state that one of Citadale: The Legends Trilogy's most glaring issues is the difficulty spike. I mentioned the boss from stage 3 being tenfold as difficult as the bosses from stages 1 and 2, and you'll find this happening all throughout the game. You'll cruise through a few stages and then just hit a wall. But this hardcore type of gameplay might be what some people are looking for.

Another issue I have with the game is that the hit detection is pretty mediocre, especially during some boss fights. Hits just don't register as you would expect them to, which is a part of these nostalgic titles that we'd all rather forget than relive.

The skill cap in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy comes mostly from having experience in early Castlevania titles and being able to learn monster and boss fight patterns. The mechanics of your weapon aren't very deep or difficult to learn. The only real quirk about it that you'll have to play with is the way you're able to jump, swing, and turn to hit in multiple directions at the same time with a single swing of the Shadow Blade. Other than that, don't expect to impress yourself.


All in all, I think the people who will want to purchase Citadale: The Legends Trilogy are going to get what they wanted and expected out of it: a nostalgic, difficult experience that's extremely similar to the old Castlevania games on NES. The story, sounds, visuals, and feel of the game are about as similar to the original Nintendo title as I've found.

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy boasts some replayability too. There are alternate endings for the first two chapters, and there's even a boss rush mode for the original game if you manage to get the "good" ending. I can't tell you how to achieve that, but it does add a little bit of hype to a game that has yet to receive Steam Achievements or things of that nature. I'm actually really curious to see what the boss rush game mode is all about and will probably work on it after this review.

If you're a Castlevania fan or someone who just loves raw and classic hack-and-slash titles, Citadale: The Legends Trilogy won't disappoint. For the majority of you though, you'll find this title hard to fall in love with.

[Note: A copy of this game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.] 

Dead Cells Has the Right Stuff to Be the Next Big Roguelite Platformer Thu, 11 May 2017 15:56:33 -0400 Ashley Shankle

When was the last time the PC community got a notable action-platformer roguelike? It feels like forever. That's why it's about time this little corner of an already-niche genre got some worthwhile company.

Dead Cells is the answer to the cries of thousands looking for something to stand beside the likes of Rogue Legacy and, to a more distant extent, Risk of Rain. Something alluring, unforgiving, and easy to sink dozens of hours into without even realizing it. That's Dead Cells, and like the two games mentioned above, it's all about doing its own thing and forcing you to love it.

Since it's in Early Access, I cannot give a full opinion on the game, but fans of the aforementioned genre should be aware of Dead Cells in its current state -- -- and as it crawls toward a full release. This one is not to be missed.

Roguelike + Vania = Roguevania?

What's a "vania"? Take the general combination of exploration, combat, and platforming found in the classic Metroid and Castlevania games and you have a Metroidvania game.

Developer Motion Twin has taken the "vania" formula and slapped it together with the modern roguelike formula, which means you're going to die a whole bunch while unlocking more weapons or skills in order to progress.

The mashup of genres in Dead Cells makes for some truly compelling gameplay. You push through the castle hoping to get some good equipment, skills, and stat improvements along the way with the hopes you'll survive through the next door.

Blueprints for new weapons, shields, and skills randomly drop, but in order to make them count you have to get through the next door with them on-hand and spend your hard-earned cells on them. Cells being the game's progression currency.

Die and you lose all the cells and blueprints you've found in the current level. You pick yourself up, and you try again.

So What's the "Vania" Here?

There are environmental items you can only use once you've gotten their required runes. The first of which is the Vine Rune, which permanently allows you to climb up into new areas using vines.

The game's procedural generation goes a long way to giving it its "vania" feel. You'll go through the first few areas time and time again, but each time they're different enough to feel fresh and familiar all at once. You learn to deal with most of the game's obstacles without even thinking about it once you've come across them enough.

As you get new blueprints and unlock their corresponding equipment, you definitely feel progressively powerful. Each weapon in Dead Cells feels different, each with its own attack animation, range, and speed. That means a lot in a game that has such tight and responsive controls.

The Controls Make the Game

In Dead Cells, the controls are incredibly tight. Every button press means something and the game was clearly designed around players besting their enemies using their reflexive skills and wits. You could just attack things to death -- but why do that when you can so seamlessly chain attacking and defending with your robust skillset? It's much more fun to make the most of what you have.

As you get deeper into the castle, it becomes a necessity to have near-perfect control of your character, and the game gives you just that. Even a player not accustomed to roguelike platformers can jump, attack, and use skills like a pro after a few hours of gameplay because the controls are so easy to grasp and work with. That's really saying something.

I would probably like Dead Cells much less if the controls weren't so spot-on and survival so rewarding. Pulling off some kills and maneuvering through the castle fluidly really makes me feel like a total boss, and much of the fun of playing is in fact feeling like a boss. It just wouldn't be the same without the controls, which have some of the best handling I've felt in an action platformer in a good while.

Dead Cell's Current State

So the question now is: how much content is there currently in Dead Cells? A game can play, look, and sound great, but if there's not much to do, it may not be worth the money. Luckily enough, there's a fair amount here already, enough to warrant its current price tag.

The current patch has 11 levels, 20 monsters, and 50 items between equipment and skills. All this will probably equate to a bit more than 20 hours of gameplay -- and it will be a F-U-N 20 hours. As it stands, I feel Dead Cells is worth the $16.99 Motion Twin is asking for on Steam.

Early Access games are always a gamble, but with the developer eyeing a release in about a year and aiming for a later console release, chances are this one will reach completion. So far, I haven't run into any bugs (fingers crossed), though the game does need a little in the way of optimization in its current state.

If you enjoyed Rogue Legacy, Vagante, or even Risk of Rain, then Dead Cells should be on your wishlist. It's a welcome change from the current twinstick shooter roguelite trend, and Dead Cells checks all the right boxes to be a must-have for fans of action platformer roguelites.

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!

Nintendo, don't let your franchises fade into obscurity Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:07:50 -0400 Robert Sgotto

Nintendo, love 'em or hate 'em, has one of the most powerful franchise line ups known to gaming.

Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Metroid, Pikmin, F-Zero, Fire Emblem, it's quite a big list, and it doesn't end there.

However, it's a list that's going to become much smaller if Nintendo keeps letting some of their titles stagnate.

Franchise Decay

The last time we saw an F-Zero game was in 2004, over 10 years ago. Metroid: Other M was released in 2010, and it wasn't received well. To a lot of people, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was the last good Metroid game and it was released in 2007. Earthbound's third installment, and allegedly final game, is only available in Japan.

The problem is that by not giving these franchises any attention, people will lose interest in them, eventually to the point where it wouldn't be worth it to make a new entry in the series.

Metroid isn't there yet but I've accepted the fact Captain Falcon will only ever be a Super Smash Brothers character from now on.

It's not just Nintendo

Half-Life 3. There I said it. If Valve announced Half-Life 3 tomorrow, it would probably be huge news and would see coverage all over the web, despite the fact that Valve hasn't done anything with it in a very long time.

But Half-Life 3 is a very different beast. If Nintendo didn't release a new Zelda game in a decade, it might be similar to Half-Life 3's situation, but for the smaller franchises this would never work.

I'm not saying these games are dying but...

It's a good thing when your franchise is in the public eye. It's a bad thing when they're not.

It's not like people don't want these games either.

Capcom has been sitting on Mega Man for such a long time that fans had to go through a Kickstarter for Mighty No.9 just to get a game that plays like Mega Man.

Mega Man Legends 3, cancelled before it even got a chance.

Classic Castlevania's stopped getting attention (outside Lords of Shadow) and now the game that fans wanted has a Kickstarter.

We shouldn't have to go through Kickstarter to get the games we want, and companies need to find ways to bring their prestigious franchises back into the forefront before they fade into obscurity.

What is Konami doing? Sun, 09 Aug 2015 06:05:49 -0400 Clint Pereira

I just can’t see the long plan, Konami. Help me out here.

Next month, Konami is releasing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the last game in one of their most popular series ever. But when the fanfare eventually dies down and sales dwindle, what will they do? They don’t have any other major franchises to fall back on, not anymore.

The Metal Gear Solid series was headed by Hideo Kojima, but he's left under still-mysterious circumstances. In a statement by Konami, the company states that they have plans to continue the Metal Gear series and is auditioning for a new lead developer.

If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. 

Kojima’s other project, Silent Hills, has also been cancelled. This is a beloved franchise that was on the cusp of being resurrected. It’s confounding to think that after Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro created a playable trailer (P.T.) that received positive critical reception, Silent Hills would be axed like that.

Now, just go back a little further to 2014. Koji Igarashi left Konami to start his own studio and launched a Kickstarter for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a Metroidvania game published by Deep Silver. Castlevania, while not exactly being nailed into its coffin, has a murky future.

After all this harrowing news, Konami would appear to be retreating from making games entirely. However, CEO Hideki Hayakawa assures fans that that is not the case. Instead, Konami will be focused on producing mobile games.

The success of Power Pro especially has motivated us to actively push more of our popular series onto mobile than ever before. Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.

I hear many of you groaning, and I know where you're coming from. If I had a cane right now, I would shake the living heck out of it at mobile games. But from everything I’ve heard, mobile games are profitable and Konami is a large company. They’ve got to go where the money is. They've got to meet a bottom line.

It would certainly explain why they’ve been taking their Castlevania and Silent Hill franchises into the pachinko parlor.

While Kojima and Igarashi are walking into unknown territory, I imagine it’s actually very liberating to know they can make the games that they want and not have to worry about having their creativity stifled. After all, Iga’s Kickstarter was funded at record-breaking levels, and Kojima is still communicating with Guillermo Del Toro. This could be the best scenario for everybody after all.

But does that mean Konami is making the right decision for their company? Will they rise up like a Flappy Bird from the ashes? I suppose only time will tell.

Boma Naraka Sura: Castlevania-inspired Kickstarter over halfway to funding goal Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:40:33 -0400 mrivera269

Boma Naraka Sura is a Kickstarter project being developed by Indonesian-based Anantarupa Studio. They have a goal of $25,000; they have already reached 376 backers pledging $15,920 with only eight days to go (at the time of writing). The story is a twist on the infamous legend of the Bomasaura

Boma Naraka Sura is a 2D platformer heavily inspired by Castlevania. The game features slick combat animations, beautifully rendered hand painted backgrounds, weapon crafting, the ability to recruit a mythical beast to fight alongside you, and a rich story inspired by Southeast Asian scriptures. You will travel through various realms and defeat bosses all consisting of different characteristics and nature reflecting their realm.

The stretch goals include the following: extra mythical beast, extra side stories, a pet raising minigame, and additional voice acting. There is already a playable demo included in the Kickstarter page. 

Check it out here: game is now Greenlit on Steam. 

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!

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Makes $500,000 Kickstarter Goal In Less Than Four Hours Mon, 11 May 2015 19:35:20 -0400 WesleyG

UPDATE: The Kickstarter isn't even out of its first day and it's already past $900,000 dollars in funding. That means David Hayter (former voice actor for Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid) will be doing the voice for Gebel, the game's antagonist.

It only took a few hours for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to make its $500,000 Kickstarter goal. The now confirmed game, announced earlier today, is a spiritual successor to the PS1 era Castlevania titles that follows Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist curse.

What's getting people so excited about this title is that Koji Igarashi, assistant director on Symphony of the Night and producer to nearly every Castlevania released since, and Michiru Yamane, composer for multiple Castlevania titles including Symphony of the Night, are attached to the project.

This is the first real title we've seen Koji Igarashi take part in after leaving Konami in 2014 due to the Castlevania series being taken away from him and given to Hideo Kojima and a brand new dev team. It seems almost poetic that his new title would get funded so shortly after Hideo Kojima himself would have his flagship series, Metal Gear Solid, taken away from him as he left Konami.

With rumors about Gulliermo Del Toro's studio possibly taking over Fallout 4, it seems the people benefiting the most out of working for Konami are the people leaving Konami.

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! 

Top 10 Favorite Video Game Villains Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:46:36 -0400 zoLo567

GLaDOS (The Portal series)

GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is definitely one of the most memorable characters in video games. In just two games, she has established herself a place in video game history, and is one of the best characters in the past decade.


GLaDOS was one of the best parts of the Portal games, as her wit, aggressive-passive-aggressive nature, and sarcasm guide you through the game. You have no choice but to rely on her, and push on knowing she is playing with you. Yet, despite her diabolical nature, you easily come to love her. It may be Stockholm syndrome, but I find GLaDOS to be one of the most lovable characters ever. She may be playing with me, but I'm okay with that.

Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)

All I can say is that Kefka one sick bastard. He has no problem killing and torturing, all to fulfill his grand plan. And he does not want to just rule the world; he wants to watch it all burn.


What separates Kefka from many other villains is that he succeeds. He becomes a god, and tears it all down. He may be defeated later, but he still won in the first place. This, along with his iconic laugh, makes him one of the greatest and most memorable villains in video games, and one of my favorites.

Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda series)

Ganondorf is the true antithesis to everything that Link is. This dark wizard has plagued Hyrule for ages, and all fear his name. Where Link represents courage and righteousness, Ganondorf represents greed and a lust for power.Often times he tries to kidnap Princess Zelda, all with the intents to assemble a powerful artifact called the Triforce, giving him ultimate power.


Few villains are as dark and powerful as Ganondorf, who seems to transcend time, and always comes back to raise some hell. While there are multiple Links throughout time, there has only been one Ganondorf. There is also an alternate The Legend of Zelda timeline where he had succeeded. True greatness is hard to achieve, but I feel that Ganondorf has reached it.

Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)

Handsome Jack is clever and devious. But that is not why I like him. He is also entertaining.


Throughout Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack taunts and ridicules the player, often hinting that he has bigger things planned. And that is one of the things that makes him so great. He seems to think that he is better than everyone, and lets us know it. This leads to some of the funniest dialogue that I have heard in a video game, and I love Handsome Jack for it.

Dracula (Castlevania series)

Dracula has been an iconic villain for years, ever since Bram Stoker created the character in his book, Dracula. This has translated well into the realm of video games.


Dracula has been the main villain of the Castlevania series since the very beginning, and has had different incarnations over the years. Like Bowser, Dracula never seems to stay down, and always finds his way back on our consoles. This has led to some awesome boss fights, and has helped make Dracula one of the most iconic vampires in entertainment.


Dracula always had a flair and bravado that I loved, especially in his appearance in Symphony of the Night. He is the ultimate vampire in gaming, and a long standing icon.

Frank Fontaine (Bioshock)

When it comes down to it, Frank Fontaine is clever and manipulative. You spend much of Bioshock thinking he is on your side, only to find out in a plot twist that he was the enemy the whole time. And that is what I love about him. He was devious enough to get you to execute his plan, and tries to kill you when you succeed. Very few villains were able to manipulate the player so easily, and get them to do their dirty work for them.

Mother Brain (The Metroid Series)

At first, Mother Brain seems to be a brain in a jar. But there is something much more darker and twisted than just that.


Mother Brain is the leader of the Space Pirates, who she controls from planet Zebes. She is easily the ugliest villain in this list, yet is also one of the most memorable. The final battle with her in Super Metroid was both emotional and intense, and had an impact on me as a young gamer.


Many remember Ridley, but I always remembered Mother Brain as the true villain and mastermind in the Metroid series. She felt vile, and dark, and essentially pulled all the strings in the early series. As Super Metroid meant a lot to me as a young gamer, Mother Brain always stuck in my head, and has always been one of my favorite villains.

Walter Sullivan (Silent Hill 4: The Room)

When it comes to Silent Hill, many of Pyramid Head. I think of Walter Sullivan.


Walter is a psychotic serial killer and the main antagonist of Silent Hill 4: The Room. He is trying to complete a ritual called the "21 Sacraments", under the belief that it will return his mother to him after he kills 21 people. Walter is not killing out of hatred or malice; he is simply trying to return to his mother.


He is also creepy as hell, which is great as it is Silent Hill. The world of Silent Hill 4 is a part of Walter's conscience, and helps reveal just how twisted the guy was. It helped establish the creepiness of the game, and fit the Silent Hill name. I feel that Walter captured the spirit of the series, and helped establish the dark tone of the game.

Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII)

Not much is initially known about Ultimecia. You do not see her much in Final Fantasy VIII, yet she has a presence throughout. You find that she is actually the mastermind behind everything, trying to become a goddess who can control space and time.


She nearly succeeds, being defeated just as she becomes a deity. That is when Ultimecia's fate takes a tragic turn: she goes back in time as she is dying, and gives her powers away. This sets off the events of Final Fantasy VIII, insuring her future defeat. This makes Ultimecia such a tragic character, a character whose fate is sealed, and will ultimately fall no matter what she does. I love tragic characters, and Ultimecia is one of my favorites.

Bowser (The Mario franchise)

When it comes to video game villains, Bowser is one of the most iconic, and persistent, characters out there. His popularity has grown just as much as his arch-rival Mario's, and he never seems to be able to give up. He has been a part of the Mario Bros. franchise since the beginning, and has become a video game icon in his own right.


He may be one bad dude, but we cannot help but love him. He may never succeed, but it is still great watching him try. That ego is part of what makes him so great, and though he may never win, it is fun watching him try. Mario Bros. would not be the same without him.


I love games with great game mechanics and great stories. But if there is one thing that I love in a game, it is a great villain. A great villain can give a lot of character to a game, and be a great hook. This list is a list of some of my favorite villains, and villains who have helped define what makes a great video game villain.



Five Games That Have No Business Including Stealth Fri, 09 May 2014 08:44:45 -0400 Rocky Linderman

Gamers are fed up with stealth sticking its nose into places it doesn’t belong. If we want to play a good stealth game, we’ll reinstall Dishonored--in the mean time developers need to stop trying to “mix it up” with mechanics that don’t translate well into their games.

Here are my top five offenders, be sure to share yours in the comments below. 

5. Uncharted 2

Early on in Uncharted 2, there’s a flashback you have to play through where Drake and his partner must sneak through an art museum undetected.

Uncharted games are summer action movies that mirror Indiana Jones. The action comes to a grinding halt and forces the player to carefully hide behind walls so you can choke out security guards; suddenly I don’t feel much like an action hero anymore.

Where was Drake when I had to watch Night at the Museum? It would’ve been a lot better if the film ended with Ben Stiller’s character getting choked out.

4. Grand Theft Auto

Once again, GTA is not about being subtle--I have a rocket launcher most of the time I’m playing that game and the other 50 percent of the time I’m skydiving out of crashing planes.

Why in the world would I care at all about being quiet? I can literally kill all the enemies I’m supposed to avoid without even thinking about it.

3. Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

This game has more problems than just it’s stealth segments, but whoever decided that Dracula should spend his time early in the game sneaking around as a rat, possessing enemies and distracting dudes with bats, should be fired. Under no circumstances should any Castlevania title ever include stealth segments.

2. Assassin’s Creed

Wait a second, this is a stealth game. Okay, just hear me out on this one: “Boat Stealth."

Yes, that’s right, this is an actual mechanic in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. You must tail other ships without them seeing you in your massive pirate ship. Sometimes you’re even close to shore where they have watchtowers.

Are the men in those towers blind? Did the men on the ship you’re tailing suddenly lose their ability to reason? And let’s not even talk about the infuriatingly awful follow missions you have to complete on foot.

1. Zelda

Okay, Zelda is a repeat offender here. The three titles that instantly jump out to me are Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and most recently A Link Between Worlds.

Who was in charge of putting these awful segments into one of the most beloved franchises of all time? Zelda is about solving puzzles and exploration, not creeping by pig soldiers and avoiding searchlights.

In Ocarina, the parts where you have to sneak past soldiers to break into Hyrule Castle are the worst parts of that game. Even to this day Nintendo is putting stealth segments into Zelda. A Link Between Worlds features a dungeon that players have to sneak into and if they get caught by the sentries, they’re forced to start all over from a prison cell.

Veteran Castlevania Producer Koji Igarashi Leaves Konami Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:56:30 -0400 zoLo567

After more than 20 years as producer of the Castlevania series, it seems that Koji Igarashi is leaving Konami. His last day was march 15. He is leaving with plans to begin his own independent studio.

In an interview with Polygon:

"I've decided to break out on my own to have the freedom to make the kind of games I really want to make--the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well."

Igarashi first joined Konami as a programmer in 1990, and his first Castlevania game as assistant director and programmer was the classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He helped to direct the series into the classic "Metroidvania" style that we all came to know and love.

Igarashi continued:

"Leaving Konami was a big decision, and not one I took lightly--I've spent my entire career there, made many friends, and had a lot of great opportunities--but I hope all the gamers and fans who have supported me in the past will join me in being excited about what comes next. Wish me luck!"

Along with pushing the series along the 2D style that was characteristic of Castlevania from 1997-2010, he also produced some of the 3D games such as Castlevania: Judgment and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence.

Igarashi's decision to leave Konami to start his own studio seems a lot like the decision Keiji Inafune made when he left Capcom to form his own studio to make games reminiscent of their earlier days.

I am a little excited at the prospect of some old school Metroidvania games coming out. Lords of Shadow 2 came out to a lukewarm reception, so some classic Castlevania type games being released sounds good to me. I wish the best of luck to Koji Igarashi and his new studio.

 At this week's GDC, Igarashi will present a panel called  "There and Back Again: Koji Igarashi's Metroidvania Tale." The panel will be "an exploration of his experiences and methodology in creating some of the most popular and influential games in the genre over the last 15 years."

Lords of Shadow 2: Ending On A Dull Note Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:13:22 -0500 Death Metal Hero

I am a huge fan of the Castlevania series, with my favorite being the Lords of Shadow saga. I feel that this saga has the strongest story and characters. I played the first Lords of Shadow game and actually cried at the ending; I connected with Gabriel on a very emotional level. Seeing him get betrayed was heart wrenching.


If you have played the original Lords of Shadow then you will feel right at home. The combat system, upgrades and abilities are all pretty much the same as the first game. The only difference would be the physical appearance of the items. Instead of a chain whip, Gabriel now has a blood whip.

I really hated the stealth sections of the game, seeing as once you got caught you were dead meat. Plus those sections really slowed down the action and excitement of the overall game. Even though they were a new aspect in Lords of Shadow 2, the stealth sections felt more annoying than they did challenging or exciting. I did get stuck on one stealth section, because you need to possess an enemy and for some reason I could not do so. I spent the next hour trying and eventually dying looking for ways to get past him. When all I had to do was walk up behind him and spam the B button.

The mastery system for your weapons is a nice touch. The system rewards you for using a bunch of different techniques, and once those techniques are 100% mastered you can add it to your weapons mastery level, which increases its overall damage.

Sadly there are only three mastery levels, so if you wanted to get 100% on every technique and be awesome, you're out of luck. Once your blood whip, void sword, or chaos claws get to the max mastery level, all of your techniques are 100% mastered. But you don't need to 100% every technique to get to the max mastery level.

Most enemies are fun to engage, but some of them are outright annoying. Any enemy who has a shield or is heavily armored is a nightmare. Seeing as you need your chaos claws to break their shield or armor, if you don't have any magic runes or magic power for your chaos claws, then you're done. The magic rune gives you unlimited magic for about forty-five seconds. Very helpful when you are low on health or need to kick some teeth in.

Certain enemy combinations are super annoying as well, like the blood pools. You need to hit them with ground attacks until it dies, otherwise it will turn into a skeleton with a shield. If the blood pool gets to the skeleton phase, you need to kill the skeleton and then attack the blood pool again; if you don't kill it, then get ready for another skeleton phase.


The music in Lords of Shadow 2 is phenomenal, and some of the best orchestrated music I have heard in a video game. Oscar Araujo hits a grand slam with his compositions. I was really hoping that Lords of Shadow 2 would have a collector's edition with the soundtrack, but sadly there was none. Mr. Araujo did the music for the first Lords of Shadow game which was fantastic as well.

The voice acting in Lords of Shadow 2 is amazing. Robert Carlye reprises his role as Gabriel and Patrick Stewart voices Zobek once again. The two of them lead an excellent cast of voice actors. The facial animations are a lot more expressive in Lords of Shadow 2 compared to the first game. I could actually see Gabriel becoming less cold as his subtle facial expressions changed. A small smile, a raised eyebrow.


While the graphics are not as amazing as next-gen graphics, they are still quite epic and beautiful. Looking out from the castle's many vistas is truly breathtaking. The character model, environments and cut scenes are all really well done. I could not ask for anything better.

The Kill Joy

I will try to keep this section spoiler free. The biggest let down I had with Lords of Shadow 2 was the ending. The ending was weak and did not resolve some of the questions I had. The first Lords of Shadow ending was epic beyond belief, especially fighting Satan. With the last battle music? Magnificent.

The ending in Lords of Shadow 2 does not even let you fight Satan. I have to say that the journey of the game up until the end was amazing. But damn, that ending left a bad taste in my mouth. I was expecting some truly amazing and epic fights, followed by a resolution. Instead I got a weak fight and a cliff hanger of an ending. A truly disappointing ending that had me saying, "That's it?"


Lords of Shadow 2 is a good game that has a handful of flaws that was holding it back from being a masterpiece. Lords of Shadow 2 would've been so much greater, but instead it's mediocre compared to the first game.

A copy of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was personally purchased from a local retailer. Lords of Shadow 2 was developed by Mercurysteam and published by Konami. Lords of Shadow 2 was released on February 25th, 2014. I played on hard mode and had a lot of fun until the ending, which was a disappointment.

Dracula Takes a Bite Out of Satan in Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2 Mon, 03 Feb 2014 11:42:04 -0500 Game Oracle

Ready to take another bite out of Satan playing Dracula? Konami Digital Entertainment’s Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2 is a video game hard core gamers in North America have been anticipating eagerly for months.

Starting on February 25, 2014, they can take the fight to Satan again as the fearless leader of the vampires, immortal Dracula. If you’re ready to take another bite out of the Lord of Chaos? Throw on your cape and get ready to put Satan in his place playing Castlevania: Lord of Shadow2.

Konami is developing editions of Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2 for the Xbox 360, Windows PC and Playstation 3. Drop by to view new screenshots of Dracula, conceptual character images, and even more concerning Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2. You can discover the skills and powers available to Dracula as he battles Satan.

This time, Dracula wakes up without his vampire powers and must reclaim his abilities in order to defeat his arch foe. Dracula even gets a few new friends to help along the way, and something Konami refers to as Dragon metamorphosis. We have yet to see anything concrete on this, but we can certainly expect Konami to come up with something spectacular.

Start making plans to throw on your cape in the weeks ahead to head out to take care of Satan one more time playing Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2. The fight is about to get intense and the action amazing, once Castlevania: Lord of Shadow 2 takes flight.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror of Fate Might Come to PC, But Should You Care? Wed, 23 Oct 2013 14:42:31 -0400 Brian Armstrong

Fans that missed out on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate on the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year are anxiously awaiting the release of the HD version of the game on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network October 25. And if a tweet from series producer David Cox is any indication, PC gamers will soon be able to play the game as well.

This tweet is good news for anyone who doesn't own a 3DS and is eager to play the latest Castlevania game. Though it didn't receive overwhelmingly positive reviews, long-time Castlevania fans will likely gobble it up. 

My Takeaway: If A Game's Broke... Don't Fix It?

When does it make sense for developers to release games like this to multiple platforms months after its exclusive launch? In this instance, the game wasn't received well, so what benefit is there to releasing it again on more consoles, unless significant work has been done to remake the game and fix the problems that plagued it the first time around? Is it worth the cost in development time to release another "bad" game?

We've seen this happen many times over the years, and while I don't know the ins and outs of the expenses or politics involved in making this happen, it's hard to believe it could possibly be worth it. IGN gave Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate a 4.7 out of 10, which is hardly a score that screams, "Please bring this to all consoles!" So unless Konami has put in extra time to fix what IGN (and other review outlets) didn't like, what's the point?

IGN's Colin Moriarty criticized the game for the following:

  • Poor gameplay that forces you to use the circle pad
  • Fragmented environments that aren’t obviously connected
  • Emphasis on multiple characters dilutes the experience
  • Shallow leveling system that gives players no feeling of fulfillment

Those are some pretty serious issues, and unless Konami has put in the time to fix them, PS3, Xbox, and PC gamers who are considering purchasing the game will have to determine if these issues are an important factor in their decision. 

I, personally, don't understand the decision to bring this game to the PS3, Xbox 360, and potentially the PC. The sales for the game clearly must have been good enough on the 3DS despite the negative reviews that Konami decided it was worth it to upgrade the graphics and release it everywhere else as well. I certainly won't be buying it, but for the sake of those who do, I hope Konami took the time to fix what was wrong and release a much improved experience on these other consoles.

6 Games Hit Hard by Bad Voice Acting Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:52:02 -0400 MirandaCB

Sometimes there are amazing voice actors breathing life into the characters of our favorite games. And sometimes you come across an otherwise good game that could have been a masterpiece had the voice acting not been absolutely abysmal. Voice acting can be a big part of the complete experience for some gamers. Here are six games that suffer from the unfortunate ailment (not in any particular order).

6. Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is pretty much a cheesy action flick that has some shoddy voice acting, not to mention borderline racist (much like another game in our list). When you listen to how ridiculous and over the top the acting is, it is something you can roll with because it fits the nature of the game. By the same token, though, the experience can diminish when there is just so much absurdity and stereotypical, inaccurate accents. It might be a good rule of thumb to not alienate the ethnic part of your audience. Just a thought.

5. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence was a decently fun game, if not fairly straightforward. There were some notable voice actors like Crispin Freeman and Michael McConnohie that you could pick out from most RPG's of the generation. However, the voice acting was...subpar. It might have been the script and pacing, but the voicing was overly zealous or unfitting to the scene. With all of its flaws, it was an enjoyable game, but could have been more so with improved dialogue and voicing.

See also: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

4. Kuon

Kuon is a little horror gem with an interesting story with Japanese roots. Personally, I loved the game. The only issue? The characters spoke...but their mouths did not move. Maybe adding the animation was too much of a hassle, but the voice acting was not anything to write home about anyway. It might have made more sense to read the dialogue instead, and it would still be all right to include the eerie screams or groaning to add to the atmosphere. It was a deliciously creepy game, but could have done better with moving lips or just written dialogue--especially because there is not a ton of dialogue in the first place.

This is the intro as well as a little gameplay to see what the game is like.

3. Deus Ex

Deux Ex has some awful, and thoroughly offensive, voice acting. It might be able to get away with some of it, but the stereotyping accents are in poor taste. There are some goofy elements, but with so many strange characters it takes you out of the somewhat serious cyber world you are exploring. The voicing is something you can overcome and play through, but you also want to avoid "enduring" the game as if there is an aesthetic obstacle.

2. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time

This is one of my favorite games and consists of so many well known voice actors you have likely heard in many other games or anime. However, the voice acting was god awful. The pacing was also at fault. The game could have probably fit on one disk if they cut down the silence in some most of the cutscenes. Sometimes pensive silence is engaging and you can see the conflicting emotions on the characters' faces, but it became a little too much. 

Plus, many of the voices did not fit the characters you ran into or were unbearable, specifically Cliff and Pepita. It might be mean, but I hope I'm not alone in my utter hatred of their voices. I feel the actors should have made different choices in terms of tone, mostly Cliff. It would not have been a huge deal except for the fact that they are main characters that have a lot of screen time, which detracts a GREAT deal from the experience when there are loads of cutscenes. I wish it would be remade with some editing, improved graphics, and different voices for two-thirds of the main cast--but keep Crispin Freeman as Albel.

1. Resident Evil

Another example of a good game gone bad voice acting. To be fair, it is a bit older and made when not a ton of games had voice acting. But Resident Evil has some seriously gooberific lines that make the game less ominous than it really should be. Repetition, off-kilter inflections, awkward reactions in conversations... Yet it spawned the lovely Resident Evil franchise that has some great games in the mix. So, despite its flaws, the terrible dialogue is somewhat entertaining and you can accept it for what it is.

This is just a small list that could encompass probably hundreds of games. For example, House of the Dead 2 is another tragic example of bad voice acting. It is also very subjective. So tell me: which games do you think have atrocious voice acting that affected your gameplay? 


CastleVania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition PC Demo Review Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:14:08 -0400 Corey Kirk

Here is my video review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition demo for the PC. Please click play on the video above! Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition releases August 27th on Steam.

The Five Most Ridiculous Outfits Ever Worn in a Video Game Mon, 29 Jul 2013 15:36:12 -0400 Qyzex

Fashion is something that has always interested me. As an actor, I was always interested in dressing up in outlandish costumes to play parts. As an artist, I'm always looking for new and unique styles to dress my characters in. And when it comes to video games, It's always about how ostentatious I can make my characters look. But, like in real life, fashion faux pas can still happen in video games.


So, here I've comprised a list of the top five most ridiculous outfits ever worn in a video game. And as a side note, I've taken the high road and stayed away from the easy choices of women in leotards or skimpy clothing. (That's it's own article right there...)


The art in this article is my own. If you would like to see more, head on over to my Tumblr.


#5. Nooj – Final Fantasy X-2


It's a Final Fantasy game. These games are ripe for the picking on flashy, eccentric outfits that seem to serve no purpose other than to make everyone stare in awe at how colorful and awkward they are. Nooj's outfit here is a work of art in that regard. Bright and colorful, and with a handful of different pieces of clothing stitched together, and topped off with the signature Final Fantasy useless-belt-syndrome; this outfit is truly outlandish. It always makes me wonder if they came up with this character by taking different limbs off of various action figures, and sticking them all on one torso.


I'm not even going to mention that hair..

#4 Zack – Dead or Alive series

Look at that, and tell me that's not ridiculous. One of Zack's alternate costumes is a Teletubby. Now, I know fighting games are just as well known for outrageous and erratic costumes as Final Fantasy games, but Zack takes the cake as far as I'm concerned. Why one would choose to fight in a metallic, latex costume with a led screen on their chest is beyond me (imagine the chafing). And, this isn't his only strange costume either, as Zack here is quite possibly the only Dead or Alive character to ever wear a bra...


#3 Grant – Castlevania Judgment


Oh Grant, what have you done with yourself? Originating from Castelvania 3, and looking like a normal bandit, or perhaps a pirate, Grant was an astoundingly normal looking guy.

Lookin' normal there, Grant.


Maybe that wasn't enough for him. Maybe he wanted to stand out and be noticed, rivaling Camilla in idiosyncratic outifts. In Castlevania Judgment, Grant seems to have dyed his hair, strapped on as much leather as he could find, and then topped it all off by wrapping himself in about ten rolls of toilet paper.



#2 – Kefka – Final Fantasy 6

Ah, the second character from a Final Fantasy game on this list. Though, with Kefka, I find myself struggling to make jokes, not because I can't think of any (the man is a damn clown) but because Kefka is quite possibly one of my favorite video game character designs of all time, and most certainly my favorite Final Fantasy villain. A man who can paint his face like a clown, and throw on as many strips of clothing as possible (all while keeping with an astonishing color scheme), and still be as deviously evil and malicious as possible deserves loads of praise in my book.

 Seriously, drawing this, I lost track of which piece of clothing was which countless times.


#1 – Voldo – Soul Calibur series 

In what should come to no surprise with those familiar with the character, Voldo walks away with the number one spot for most ridiculous costume. An apparent bondage fetishist, Voldo is a man who is certainly not shy in showing off his pasty, plump rump, and a penchant for eye-catching and mind-boggling cod pieces. Seriously, in his fuzzy purple and orange spider costume, which in itself is pretty ridiculous, the man has a spider head for a codpiece. A freakin' spider head codpiece!


The ridiculousness of his costumes, however, are amplified ten fold when paired with his gauche and mesmerizing body gyrations. As Voldo twists, and turns, and rolls, and spins, we are treated to the pleasure of seeing every bit of his body, whether we wanted to or not. Voldo is not only the king of ridiculous outfits, but the also the ultimate tease.




And there you have it, my list for the most ridiculous outfits ever worn in video games. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Have another character you think should have made the list? Leave a comment below and tell me!

Konami's Pre-E3 Event: The Things That Matter Thu, 06 Jun 2013 17:55:13 -0400 Max Jay

Today Konami had its yearly pre-E3 event. In the past Konami has used this to make announcements and reveals, but this year it was fairly light on the big news. I’ve taken it upon myself, as the great guy that I am, to put all of the juiciest information in one place (right here, guys and gals).

**Wait, THIS is the guy play Big Boss?!**

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

After much speculation video game mad scientist Hideo Kojima has revealed that Kiefer Sutherland, of 24 fame, will be taking the reins of the voice of Big Boss from the capable hands of David Hayter. As I speculated in a previous article, I think Sutherland is here just for Big Boss, and Kojima will once again troll the universe when the gravely voice of Snake is done by Hayter in the future.

That being said, I can’t really think of a better actor to do the roll aside from maybe Vin Diesel… Joking, he’s the worst. Sutherland has a inherently raspy tone to his voice, that with the proper care could easily be tailored to portray the grizzled legend Big Boss.

On a side note, Hayter has been teasing something on Twitter for the past few days.

First he said he was excited for E3 – that’s fine, we all are.

Then he said he hopes he doesn’t get laryngitis – random, but also okay.


But the bit about “losing his voice,” which can be seen as a metaphor for losing the voice of Snake, is what really has me on the edge of my seat. At the end of the day I’m sure Hayter and Kojima will get the last laugh when Snake pops up somewhere or other; either Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, or a future installment of the franchise. Or maybe I'm just a big baby and can't bring myself to say goodbye to Hayter as Snake.

**Insight into the mind of a genius?**

While the reveal of Sutherland was significant, I’m a little upset that we didn’t get a release window or a new trailer. In the past, the pre-E3 events have been a lot more MGS reveal heavy. I guess they want to save some of the revelations for E3 proper or perhaps even the Tokyo Game Show later this year.

**That "2" on the end there looks awfully menacing...**

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

I was a pretty big fan of the first Lords of Shadow despite its missteps. I thought the gameplay was really solid and the light and shadow varieties of magic made for a compelling combat twist. Based on the information given at the event it looks to me like this game may improve upon the formula in a meaningful way.

David Cox, studio head at Konami Digital Entertainment, said that there will be a significant game world to explore – an entire city in his words. This deviated from the first Lords of Shadow in that it was pretty much on rails. Sure you could explore within a “dungeon” but there was no overworld, per se. Now the words “open world” were never uttered, but I’m getting the picture that it’s going to be something in the vein of Batman: Arkham City, which itself is inspired by the classic Metroidvania style of design.

The trailer itself was pretty light on the gameplay, but the presentation was phenomenal, and the reworked Mercury Engine looks like it’s going to be pushing the limit of the current generation consoles. Beyond that the only real notable addition is the return of Patrick Stewart (who is simply awesome in every possible way) as Gabriel’s (former?) mentor, Zobek.


Aside from those, Konami also revealed a handful of mobile and social games, in addition to Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for consoles. Being that I’ll rarely invest legitimate time into mobile and social games I’m not the authority to be covering them. On top of that I’m not a huge fan of sports games… Or sports for that matter (yeah, high school was rough), so I’ll leave the analysis of that in more capable hands.

The event as a whole was mostly underwhelming, and void of any major announcements seeing as we kind of knew about Sutherland as Big Boss since GDC. What did you enjoy most about the conference? Were you hoping for a few more juicy bits of information? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll bake you a cake (but not an ice cream cake)!