This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another Castlevania entry! It’s Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia!
Plot: The plot is okay, it’s not the best of the series by a longshot, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the later 3D reboot that graced the last gen of consoles. It’s also nice that Shanoa is a completely standalone character and in no way connected to the Belmont line of the series.
Gameplay: The gameplay is a bit like Symphony of the Night and the more classic Castlevania games. It uses the heart system which was absent from the more recent prior entries to fuel certain attacks which was absent in both Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. I enjoyed the gameplay, and if Dawn of Sorrow had forgone the touch screen completely I wouldn’t be torn between Ecclesia and that for my top Castlevania games after Symphony of the Night.
Characters: Shanoa is our main character and she’s quite a bad ass. That being said this isn’t the best entry in terms of characters as it really revolves only around a few, namely Shanoa and Albus her enemy and once compatriot.
Art: The art is okay, and sticks to the Symphony of the Night style that was the peak of the series in my opinion. It could be a remastered with today’s standards, but it holds up fairly well regardless.
Music: I don’t remember much of it and since it was a handheld I didn’t listen to much to begin with.
Overall: A good entry, but not the best in a long running series.
For those who like: Metroidvania games, Action, Exploration, Drama, Badass Female Leads.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another classic. It’s R-Type!
Gameplay: This is one of those games that is infamous for it’s incredible difficulty, but it’s also one of the first side scrolling Shoot Em Up bullet-hells that was wildly successful. The gameplay was simple at first look, but had some depth with the ability to change the “Force” item from being attached to your ship for added firepower to being detached and floating to fire secondary weapons and act as a shield. In addition you could charge shots, something that was pretty innovative for the day, and the fact that you had to learn by failing repeatedly is something that is pretty foreign by today’s game design standards.
Art: The art is okay, not super amazing, but given that it’s over 30 years old that shouldn’t be a surprise. Thankfully being pretty much fully 2D it has aged really well.
Overall: A fun game, if highly difficult. If you enjoy hard games and have never played R-Type, you ought to give a try.
For those who like: Shoot Em Ups, Bullet Hells, Sci-Fi, Difficult Gameplay.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that is quite unremembered. It’s TimeSplitters!
Plot: The game really didn’t have any plot, other than “Stop the TimeSplitters!”. Granted that when you get down to pretty much any story it boils down to something along those lines, but still the fact that that was pretty much the entirety of the plot wasn’t great.
Gameplay: Thankfully this was a really fun game, which considering it was made by people from Rare, who made GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Multiplayer was the big draw of the game, and since this was made in the heyday of local multiplayer you had to be careful of the other players screen watching you, and trying to do the same to them without them knowing.
Art: The art has aged poorly, but in the day it was pretty impressive, and considering it was a PlayStation 2 launch title you can bet it’s graphics were really hyped up.
Music: I don’t remember it, as I was dealing with trash talking to my friends and them doing the same to me.
Overall: A great game if you played with others for multiplayer, but otherwise a lackluster single player game.
For those who like: Multiplayer, FPS.
Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that really took the Stealth genre and made it popular. It’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell!
Plot Synopsis: In April 2004, the President of Georgia is assassinated, allowing Georgian billionaire Kombayn Nikoladze to seize power with a bloodless coup d’état. In August 2004, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and Gulf War veteran Sam Fisher is recruited by the National Security Agency to work within its newly formed division, “Third Echelon.” Working with his old friend Irving Lambert, Fisher is introduced to technical expert Anna “Grim” Grimsdóttír, and field runner Vernon Wilkes Jr. In October 2004, Fisher is dispatched to Tbilisi, Georgia to investigate the disappearance of two CIA officers.
Plot: The plot is pretty standard Military Thriller which should come as no surprise as this is part of the Tom Clancy franchise.
Gameplay: This game took the stealth genre and made it mainstream paving the way for future games like Assassin’s Creed. The main draw of the gameplay was the use of the light and shadows. You were encouraged to take your time and carefully move from shadow to shadow to get around. You couldn’t really go in with guns blazing and just shoot your way through the game. You had limited ammo, and even than your armaments were usually more non-lethal than anything else.
Artwork: Sadly the art has aged incredibly poorly, but at the time they were pretty damn good.
Music: I don’t remember any of the music sadly.
Overall: A fun game, but with a very aged art and gameplay compared to modern day games, it’s probably best left in the bargain bin.
For those who like: Military-Thrillers, Tom Clancy, Stealth.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a cult classic. It’s De Blob!
Plot Synopsis: Initially a lively and colorful city populated by its equally colorful and diverse citizens, the Raydians, Chroma City is suddenly invaded by the INKT Corporation. A corporate military dictatorship, INKT is led by the villainous Comrade Black and dedicated to the eradication of color through its “War on Color”. Chroma City quickly falls to the invading army of Inkies and color-draining Leechbots, leaving its landscape barren, its flora withered and its fauna in hiding. The citizens are rounded up and turned into “Graydians”, encased in homogeneous gray prison suits distinguished only by a bar code on the back of each shell. The Graydians are forced to serve as both menial labor and as a living resource of ink, the latter of which is mined literally from their sadness…
Plot: The plot is nothing amazing, and it fits the family game setting that De Blob has. So nothing amazing, but nothing super bad either.
Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty simple, you get paint of the three primary colors and paint the world to restore it. It’s nothing amazing, but it’s pretty fun for a while. That being said it’s a bit a one trick pony as the gameplay doesn’t really ever change all that much.
Art: The art is okay, but is dated. Thankfully there are ports with updated graphics to the current generation of consoles including the Switch.
Music: The coolest part of the game, at least to me as a person who knows game design from coding to artwork, is the fact that the music changes as you play. As you continue painting objects the music becomes more and more active, and Blob’s current color determines the instrumental being soloed. It’s pretty interesting, and a brilliant piece of game design.
Overall: If you get the chance, you might want to check this out if it’s on sale.
For those who like: Platforming, Fun Gameplay, Great Musical Score.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another game for the Nintendo DS. It’s Trauma Center: Under the Knife!
Plot Synopsis: Derek Stiles is a doctor at Hope Hospital. After the near-death of a patient due to his negligence, he encounters the scene of a car crash and ends up working on a patient with incredibly severe injuries to the heart. Just as it seems like the patient is done for, a power within Derek is unlocked, and miraculously saves the patient. The power emerges once more, and Derek saves another patient when a seemingly routine operation gets dangerously out of hand. His superiors recognize the ability. They tell him that his power is said to be that of a descendant of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, and his gift is known by the same name, though is more frequently referred to as the Healing Touch….
Plot: Honestly I forgot that this had a story, as I was never very keen on this whole game. I have a huge fear of needles, so this entire game is more than enough to put me into a panic. Honestly I touched this game like once, before never thinking about it again until I read the title somewhere recently.
Gameplay: You play as Derek, and perform various operations. Doing so quickly and flawlessly is the goal and is measured in points. To be fair the gameplay was tough due to the gimmicky nature of the touch screen controls. But those who could handle that would find that they can play the game very well.
Art: The art is highly aged, and even the 2D portions have aged rather poorly.
Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.
Overall: A game that is noteworthy for it’s take on the classic board game Operation more than anything else.
For those who like: Performing Surgeries, Touch Screen Gimmicks.
Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a title that was launched with the Nintendo DS. It’s Nintendogs!
Gameplay: This is a basic game in that it’s purely a pet simulation game. You interacted with the various breeds and picked one to play with. It used the various gimmicks included in the Nintendo DS, from the touch screen to the mic. Frankly it was purely a game made for showcasing the various gimmicks, rather than any meaningful gameplay.
Art: The art has aged incredibly poorly, but that’s to be expected from a game made purely in 3D.
Music: Not much to talk about here, it’s all very bland.
Overall: A skippable game, who’s only noteworthiness is that it was a launch title for the Nintendo DS.
For those who like: Dogs, Pet Raising Sims.
Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.