Throwback Thursday: Castlevania Symphony of the Night

Castlevania Symphony of the Night

God I loved this game. I wish I still had it, but I had shitty friends back in the day and they stole my Black Label Final Fantasy 7 and this one. I loved this game before it came out because, 1- I love vampires, I always have and always will and followed the Castlevania series; 2- when they were covering it in gaming magazines I loved the art. It was gorgeous; so detailed, all gothic-like era (which is a period of art history I love as well).

Once the game came out and I received it, I was immersed in the game. I mean, the storyline was pretty basic. Alucard, protagonist, comes to destroy Dracula’s castle, fights super natural things, meets a girl, meets the antagonist… pretty normal to me, but was drew me in was that when you went into a new room something was different, something was new. It wasn’t the same thing over and over again. Of course, yes, killing stuff was repetitive, but what you were killing and the look of the rooms were always different. The bosses were amazing, too. My favorite was probably the final form of Dracula that was just so cool looking to me with his giant wing/claws. The weirdest one was Granfaloon. It was just a giant moving orb of naked bodies. And when you hit it, bodies would fall from it. It was just really strange, but whatever- to each his own.

Now, maybe someone could solve this mystery for me, because I swore that there was a monster or a boss that was made of just completely swords. It floated around and spin in a clockwise motion, then at times- to attack- the swords would jut out. I swore it was in Symphony of the Night, but for the life of me I can’t find this one. Anyone know/remember? Because that was definitely another favorite boss of mine.

Anyways- Another thing I liked about it was that, to me, it was challenging. The game definitely wasn’t a walk in the part in my opinion. It definitely did test you and challenge you; making sure you utilized the right special power (holy water, cross, etc.), making sure your armor was right; the rings were right; etc. It was almost like for each boss, you should’ve had a different game plan and set going in. I loved that.

As for the games successors— eh, I could forget a couple ever existed…

But yes, this game is definitely a great memory of playing for me.

Until next time,
xo.

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Throwback Thursday: Geek Girl Style!

It’s Throwback Thursday! YYAAYYY!

But my style…

So, pretty much this will be a nostalgic post about—oh I don’t know, old video games, an old board game, old TV shows—pretty much about a throwback, to me, and my 20-something-year old self.

So, what will my first Throwback Thursday be about!?

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!? *pretends a drumroll starts*

Parappa the Rapper for Playstation

PARAPPA THE RAPPER!

Oh, that cute little dog-looking character with the bright orange beanie; And his angry moose of a driving instructor; And that wonderful karate instructor that always wanted to make me cry; And his Shaggy-sounding Flea Marketing frog.

I don’t know about you, but I loved this game as a kid. What can I say, I was like 10. It was cartoonish. So, sue me.

ANYWAY!  It was fun. The songs were catchy, the characters were hysterical, and it tested your reaction skills—which I was pretty damn good at until the end of the game…

And who doesn’t catch themselves singing the “Car Song” in their head when you yell at a car in front of you to “step on the f**king gas!” I know I sure do. Even when I’m told to “step on the brake,” I think about the game. It’s a habit.

For those who don’t know anything about the game- Parappa the Rapper was made for the Playstation and came out in North America in 1997 (sheesh…). It was considered a rhythm video game (kind of like Guitar Hero, or DDR, or Rock Band, just no instruments or pads, just a controller…) developed by NanaOn-Sha who also developed UmJammer Lammy! (anyone else besides me remember that game?).

The plot of the game was pretty normal to me. Guy (dog- Parappa) wants to impress girl (Sunflower- Sunny), really, really badly; tries to do it in insane ways like taking karate classes, and learning to drive, but ultimately wins her over with his mad rapping skills (or yours technically). This game had a sequel for the Playstation 2, but I never played it, and had a spin-off- that I mentioned above- called UmJammer Lammy. Each of these games had the same style of gameplay.

As for the graphics, thinking about it, it was advanced to me. It was pretty much a 3D world, but the characters were 2D. I don’t remember many games being like that, but like I said, I was about 10. And for 1997, that was pretty ambitious.  It’s just crazy to realize how far we’ve come in visual artistry in video games in the past 16 years.

Yep, so, Parappa The Rapper was a favorite of mine.

Until next time,

xo.

Game Review: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

System: Nintendo 3DS

Developed by: Level 5-Inc.

No Lady Leaves a Game Unreviewed!

So, this is my first game review! So, if this is unconventional to what you usually see or are used to, I’m sorry…anyway!

So, over the July 4th holiday, the fiancé and I traded in a bunch of stuff we didn’t play anymore as well as old, but recent, phones and Apple products to GameStop only to be able to purchase a brand new Nintendo 3DS XL and two games- one for me, one for him.  This review is dedicated to one of the greatest virtual detectives to don a wonderful top-hat, yes, I am speaking of Professor Layton.

The game I got to go with the 3DS XL was in fact Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. Now, I am still barely through the game, but I I’m far enough in to make a review of the game and I must say it’s one of the greatest Professor Layton’s to date.

Now, if you’re not familiar with the Professor Layton series it’s developed by Level 5-Inc., that features a man in a top hat named Herschel, or Professor, Layton and his apprentice Luke. Since Professor Layton is one of the greatest mystery and puzzle solvers, the two are always requested to help solve some crazy mystery. The game was first released in America on the DS in 2008, and it’s most recent American game was released in October 2012.  The series also has extended into the mobile venture, but I have yet to play that since I want to see if this game ties to the new mobile game at all. But back to the actual game at hand…

For Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Herschel, Luke, and Herschel’s assistant Emmy, are requested by an old friend from Layton’s university days to help solve the mystery of this Masked Gentleman and the mask he wears called The Mask of Chaos.  The Masked Gentleman has been causing panic amongst the entire town, turning tourists in stone, horses, and the like. However, this mask he wears was actually stolen from Layton’s friend’s house. So, she, Angela, requests his help to figure out the whole mystery surrounding the mask and the man.

I must say that the storytelling in this game is fantastic.  I’ve been a huge fan of this series since its first game, but I must say that this is one of the most intricate stories since the beginning.  Not only do you have a storyline that exists in the present, you have a storyline that exists in the past as well.  (Why? Well, if I tell you I give away key parts of the game.) And there aren’t any lose ends.  Normally you find that they are ends left untied in a big storyline that tries to cover a lot of information, but not this one. This is a well-developed and well-told story that absolutely draws you in and keeps you questioning and guessing.

One thing that really makes me love a video game is its storytelling.  If a game has an awesome storyline and is complete and keeps you drawn in, the game is half-of-a-keeper in my book.  What makes it a complete keeper? The graphics. And I must say that the graphics in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask do not disappoint. This is the first Layton game on the 3DS and I must say that it gives the game, as a whole, a completely new dimension to it.  The characters were always just 2D characters, now they have more depth and action to them. It’s almost like you’re right there with them now. The environment now comes to life completely. The 3D usage just breathes a whole new life and perspective to the game.  There are more puzzles, and rough ones, since the 3D ability exists.

It’s really, truly, a beautiful game inside and out.  I do not see one flaw in this game, and I really hope Level 5-Inc. continues to create Layton games and really makes it a staple series to the 3DS. They just need to keep creating games that are just as good, or better, than what the Miracle Mask is and they’re set.

I do see that Japan has a new Professor Layton available (according to Level 5’s website), so I’m hoping that it makes its way to North America within the next year or so.

My rating:

10 / 10

Until next time, xo.