Retro Game Friday: Castlevania Order of Ecclesia

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.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Castlevania Aria of Sorrow


This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering one of my favorite Metroidvania games. It’s Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow!

Plot Synopsis: Aria of Sorrow takes place in the fictional universe of the Castlevania series. The series’ premise is the conflict between the vampire hunters of the Belmont clan and the immortal vampire Dracula. Thirty-six years before the start ofAria of Sorrow, Dracula was defeated once and for all by the Belmont clan, and his powers sealed into a solar eclipse. Shortly after Dracula’s death, a prophecy was made that Dracula’s reincarnation would come to his castle in 2035 and inherit all of Dracula’s powers.

Plot: The plot is pretty great, and it features one of my favorite protagonist’s of the entire series, Soma Cruz. It also takes place in the near future, which is very nice after the medieval style of previous games. That isn’t to say that some of them were bad, but I’m a believer in the saying that “Variety is the spice of Life”. I won’t go into the specifics of the plot very much, but needless to say it’s one of the better entries in the series. Especially compared to the crap that is the Lord of Shadows reboot.

Gameplay: It played quite a bit like Symphony of the Night, although the game-breaking sword Crissaegrim didn’t return in it’s full glory.

Characters: Soma is a wonderful lead character, and the rest of the cast is amazing as well. Mina is probably my favorite of the supporting cast after Arikado, who takes the cake for being a great mysterious government figure.

Art: This was the last entry in the series to feature the art style of Symphony of the Night which was great, although AoS’s sequel wasn’t bad either.

Music: The music is classic Castlevania and is wonderful.

Overall: This was an excellent entry in the series and well worth playing even now.

For those who like: Castlevania, Metroidvania Games, Action, Adventure, Stupendous Gameplay, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Art, Amazing Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all of that?

Video Game Tuesday: Velocity 2X


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to be covering Velocity 2X a decent enough game that was just released for the PlayStation 4 and Vita.

Plot Synopsis: It’s the sequel to Velocity Ultra, but having never played that game I have no idea what is going on with the story.

Plot: Like I said above it’s the sequel to Velocity Ultra, and this game does a terrible job of recapping what the heck is going on in this game.

Gameplay: The gameplay is great, it mixes a Bullet Hell with Metroidvania to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, while trying to complete the levels as fast as you can while collecting every pod of stranded survivors of something, and purple crystals to power up your ship. The gameplay leaves you bored after about 30 minutes, since all the levels are essentially the same thing over and over again. Maybe it gets more interesting as you go along, but it doesn’t spice things up quickly enough for me to continue playing this game over any other game.

Music: The music is okay, but nothing spectacular.

Art: The art is probably the best part of this entire game, and while it’s good it still isn’t amazing.

Overall: If you like Bullet Hell games and Metroidvania, give this a shot. It’s free for Playstation Plus members.

For those who like: Bullet Hell games, Metroidvania style games.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or monotonous gameplay that gets stale after about half an hour.

Video Game Tuesday: Strider


This week on Video Game Tuesday I’m covering Strider a game that plays like a Metroidvania game and was recently released for the Playstation 4 and other consoles.

Plot Synopsis: The Strider organization sends their best assassin, Strider Hiryu, to kill the villain, Grandmaster Meio, in the metropolis of Kazakh City.

Plot: I’ll admit I haven’t gotten very far into the game, but from what I can see the plot is revelead as you play, and it’s not that serious a plot. Decent, but nothing spectacular like a Mass Effect game or even as good as Halo’s plot. Maybe if the plot was a bit more interesting I’d be playing it more often.

Gameplay: The gameplay is quite good, and it fills that need that’s been left since no really good Metroidvania games have come along that I’ve gotten, read paid my limited supply of money for, since Castlevania: Order of Ecclasia years ago. I just wish the plot were as good as the gameplay. That being said, this is definitely a very punishing game, and there are sequences where I’ve been frustrated at the lack of a more modern save system. I feel its a bit outdated to have to find a save station somewhere in the map.

Art: The artwork is beautiful, but nothing spectacular, granted this isn’t a Triple A game.

Music: The music is okay, but doesn’t add anything spectacular to the game.

Overall: If you were lucky enough to get this for free with Playstation Plus in July and haven’t played it yet, try it out.

For those who like: Metroidvania-style games, Action, Brutal difficulty.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or an outdated saves system.

Retro Game Friday: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin


This week I’m covering Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. It’s my favorite DS Castlevania game.

Plot Synopsis: The story occurs in Dracula’s castle and is set in 1944 Europe during World War II. In addition to the castle, the main characters explore various different paintings that have been constructed by Brauner, a villain. The paintings act as portals to new areas and feature a distinct look that is different from the main castle.

Plot: The plot is decent, not amazing though.

Gameplay: The gameplay is however really good, I enjoy the partner system immensely.

Music: The music is amazing, although not quite as good as Symphony of the Night.

Art: Since it’s based off Symphony of the Night it’s great, but expect model recycling except for some new characters and Death and Drac getting a new model.

Overall: If you like Metroidvania games play this one.

For those who like: Exploration, Action, Adventure, Castlevania, Metroid.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.