Posts Tagged ‘Castlevania’

12/16 Review-Shaun White Snowboarding (Wii)

December 17, 2008

Hey gamers, long time no talk but my absence is with good reason. Below are the games I have been enjoying since the last post…
-Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip
-WiiFit
-Smackdown vs Raw 09′
-Madden 09′ All Play
-World of Goo
-Kid Icarus
-Pokemon Pearl
-Castlevania
-Space Invaders Get Even
-Call of Duty: World At War
…and finally…
-Animal Crossing: City Folk…I know, I know. I hated the game and I get that but there’s still something addicting to this game. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up to it. I don’t believe I was too harsh on it. In fact some days I figure I wasn’t harsh enough. Anyways, maybe it needs that second chance…or…maybe it’s just a train wreck of a game that I can’t turn away from…yeah…that sounds good.

At this point I usually try to interject a humorous story about something that happened this past week, but honestly, I don’t have one that doesn’t embarrass me. I know I should be honest, but I honestly intend to keep this PG and my story wouldn’t do that. We’ll just leave it at this…I discovered that Sam Adams Winter Lager is the greatest seasonal beer ever made, and it’s a true America beer. Needless to say, I was a HUGE patriot this weekend!

Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip (Wii)
I’ll start this out by saying I haven’t played a snowboarding game in quite some time. I believe it was the first SSX on the Gamecube…or maybe PS2…I don’t remember, but that was the last snowboarding game I’ve played and that was a long time ago. They never really appealed to me. They were fun for the first hour but then it became more of the same. They are very repetitive and it’s kind of like NASCAR, how many times can you really have fun going down a hill? Well…enter Shaun White Snowboarding.

First things first, if you don’t own a balance board or don’t plan on getting one, you can pretty much skip the rest of the review. Why? Well, this game with the traditional Wii control screen is fairly boring and causes sharp pains in your forearm. I played it traditionally for about a half hour before my forearm felt like it had been Saw II’ed into a pit of hypodermic needles. That was not fun, but that was only after I had discovered how much fun it was on the balance board…ONTO THE FUN!

The genesis of getting this game started with two friends of mine because we figured how bad can it really be? They only owned WiiFit for the board, and I up to this point had avoided the board because of a lack of games. Thankfully this game came around otherwise I’d never get on that board.

The first thing I noticed about this game was how absolutely lackluster the menus are. Yeah, they’re stylized in the same manner as the game, but they didn’t jump out at me and were completely unremarkable. The same goes for the music. It’s all licensed but the ‘hot’ artists of today but I’d be damned if I could remember one of the songs. The positive of this? We burned through them and jumped directly into the multi-player mode.

The first thing you need to do is configure the board and find the absolute middle so it caters to your balance. This became a small ordeal as we screwed that up a few times. No fault of the game, we’re all just a little dumb and we don’t know how to read directions.

Finally, we were able to get the board centered and it was onto the actual game portion. You are given a map with different accessible mountains. We selected the most basic mountain and decided racing would be the safest bet for us noobs so the game wouldn’t completely pwn us (yes, I’m trying to speak gamer). Now the game really kicks off.

The game enters the race mode and the first thing you notice is wow, this game is a gorgeous game on the Wii. You really get a sense of height, distance, and how big these mountains actually are. The look of it just socked me in the stomach. It was as if Wolverine had leapt through my window, rained fists down upon my skull, and then drank my Winter Lagers in his final humiliation. In the end, it was simply phenomenal but you only have a few seconds to take in the art before you’re thrown down the hill.

Now you have to learn the controls, and you learn them quick. Since the balance board is positioned like a snowboard, you work it like a snowboard. You stand with your knees slightly bent, tilting forward moves you right, tilting back moves you left, leaning right you stop, and left makes you crouch and go faster. This control scheme, once you get used to it, is PHENOMENAL. Simply put, no other snow boarding game can now compare based on shear controls alone, but we’re not finished yet…

You still need to pull of tricks which requires the Wii remote which I hope you’re still holding. After all, I never said to put it down! Anyways, the easiest way to describe it in short terms is certain button combinations create certain moves which gets you points. These points are then used to pull of different special moves or win competitions that are point based, but how do you pull of these tricks? Well, numerous jumps are placed throughout each level and this is where the knee bending comes into play. To jump you simply extend your knees out(DON’T JUMP!) and it sends you high into the air so you can pull of some incredible tricks and in some instances pull of tricks that go directly into grinding a rail. This aspect was amazing and a complete blast. You truly get a sense of speed and height. Compound that with the added desperation to complete that last rotation, and you have one amazing experience!

My friends and I spent a good 2-3 hours playing in the different modes and each mountain offered a new and exciting challenge. On top of that, the more we got used to the controls, the more complicated the tricks got and the higher the point totals as we all competed to out do each other. That right there is the selling point. This game should be included within the definition for the Wii. The Wii was created for games like this, and Ubisoft did a masterful job in their first snowboarding outing. I truly recommend this game for any party, family function, or get together you have. If you play this with someone who doesn’t enjoy it then I suggest you not only take them out of your 5, but you may want to think about taking them out of your life all together.

Now, I know I’ve done a lot to paint this as the greatest snow boarding game, but I suppose I better add the one negative as my throw away comment. The dialog in the game is horrendous. Ok, horrendous isn’t even the correct word for it…it’s horrterreousible…that’s right it’s horrible, terrible, and horrendous all in one. There’s no doubt a sequel will be made, but before that happens, the writers who did that should be fired. Take my word for it, during the single player mode, skip all voice work…it’s just not worth losing that time forever.

In the end, I give Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip 4 black diamonds out of 5

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11/19/2008 Review-Call of Duty:World at War (Wii)

November 20, 2008

Hey people!  Welcome back to the site and welcome to the very first review here on Bitties Gaming.  To start, lets just get some personal items out of the way.  The first of these items has to be my surprise in finding an original version of Final Fantasy Tactics at my local Pre-Played.  To those that don’t know, I’ve been trying to rebuild a long lost game collection that either had been lost or sold for beer money in college.  A few of the games are extremely hard to find and the original Final Fantasy Tactics was one of those games.  Well, on a whim I went to my local used gaming store and sitting right on top of the PSone games was a copy of FFT.  Needless to say I did a David Lee Roth high kick in the air and a Ryu shoruken when my eyes fell upon it.  I have to side track a bit, though, because a comment made by the 17 yr old clerk nearly floored me when i went to pay for said game…ok, two comments he made.

So, I’m jaunting up to the counter with the treasure I had just found when I notice Kenny The Beardless waiting to finish the transaction that would make FFT mine, but before the purchase could be made I had one more request to make.  See, the store also had an original copy of Castlevania (greatest series ever) and that also happened to be a game I needed to replace.  Now, Preplayed for whatever reason has all their Original NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 games locked up in glass cabinets because…well, I don’t know why because it’s not like we’re dealing with Gears of War 2 here.  Anyways, to get the game you need to ask for them to grab it out of the cabinet and here is where this kids incompetence comes into play.  I simply ask if I can also get Castlevania while pointing in the general area of the cabinets.  Thank God I had pointed because if I hadn’t, Lil’ Nemo here would have been completely lost because, after my request, he immediatly starts searching…the Nintendo 64 cabinet.  I politely say that he is wrong and that it is a N-E-S game.  To me, NES is as common as LOL or USA.  Not to this young lad.  He slowly and with a very confused look on his face shimmies over to the Super Nintendo cabinet and proceeds to open that!  Ok, so maybe he thought I said Super Castlevania IV…I didn’t and at this point I want to punch this kid in the gut with a pit viper because ignorance like this deserves it.  So, after he writhes in pain after said pit viper punch, I finally manage to get my copy of Castlevania and we make our way back to the counter.

I am now sitting with two of the greatest games staring right back at me and I am only $32 dollars away from owning them.  So, Idiot Smurf is ring up my purchase when he takes FFT to the back to get the CD.  On his way, I hear him smurfing to himself, “25 bucks for a playstation game?  Rip off…”.

I’m now besides myself!  Like in High Fidelity, I want to jump over the counter and John Cusack this young Tim Robbins for the absolute ridiculous comment he just made!  Not only does he not know yet another classic game, but he has just bad mouthed a customer for MAKING A PURCHASE AT HIS STORE!!!  Now, I’m not a confrontational person, and really nothing could kill my joy for finding these two games on the same day but something had to be said.  So when Mr. I-Can’t-Grow-Facial-Hair comes back with my classic, I have this waiting for him, “You know, when you’re done with your first person shooters and GTA games that you believe are great, why don’t you try playing some real games”.

That’s it…no more to the story and why?  Well, there’s no more to say because I turned, walked out, and once I got outside I jumped in the air and Oklahoma’ed right there.  I was so proud of my purchases and to have verbally abused the child that the only thing I could do was sing Gorillaz song’s until I finally reached my destination.  Yes, I am a little ridiculous and yes, I’m proud of it.  ONTO THE REVIEWS!!!

Call of Duty: World At War

This weeks game is the recently released Call of Duty: World at War for the Wii.  Call of Duty: World at War is not the first first person shooter on the WII, I believe that honor goes to the horrible Far Cry or the great Metroid Prime 3.  In fact, it’s not even the first World War II game on the Wii, but it is by far the best war simulation first person shooter.

I’m not going to lie, I was apprehensive in getting this game at first.  I had played call of Duty 4 numerous times on the 360 at friends houses and it never tripped my trigger.  They desperately wanted to get me into the COD4 clubhouse but I never saw anything in the game that grabbed me and Batista bombed me into purchasing it.  Naturally, these feelings crossed over in my initial thoughts for COD:WAW.  It wasn’t until a late night at a friends that I finally came around.

The weekend before the release, I was at a buddies house for a cook out.  After bar close, a few of us went to bed while my friend Zac and I stayed up.  He played the demo version of COD:WAW on the 360 while I watched on.  It was somewhere between the visuals, the longing for a good first person shooter, and the giant list of perks that I was hooked.  The only thing I can compare it to would be getting hit by a car full of the happiest clowns ever, and then beaten by the Care Bears.  So, combining my love for motion controls with my wish to have a great first person shooter lead me into getting COD:WAW the day it was released.

The first thing I notice about this game is the impossibly thin instruction guide.  Honestly, this thing is all of four maybe five pages and it has everything to do with the controls.  I looked at it, decided it couldn’t offer me a thing and tossed it back into the case.  Honestly, I was looking for just a little something in the way of context, like I do with most instruction books, but I didn’t find any.  Look, I didn’t want a novel but I also didn’t expect a postcard.

Anyways, this lead me to immediatly popping in the game, selecting it on the Wii homepage and waiting for my cues to hit the “A” button to get to the menu.  The first thing I do on the menu is make my way to the controls and why?  Because that’s why I bought the game.  Let’s get real; I didn’t buy it for its graphics.  Anyways, the first option is button layout of which there are six options.  I play with Alpha right now when I’m not playing with the Wii Zapper.  Other than that, there are six other options for screen sensitivity and nun chuck controls.  I was very happy with the options given to me, but one.  I wish they had an option for custom Wii Zapper controls.  Look, I get why the trigger is on the front of the gun making it the most inaccurate gun ever, but I would like the option to make the “Z” button the trigger…that’s just me.  Anyways, with Alpha selected it was time for…Multiplayer!

See, I didn’t get this game for campaign mode.  I could care less for campaign mode.  I just want to blow things up and pwn some noods!  Ok, I promise that’s the last time I use ‘pwn’ and ‘noob’.  I hate those terms as much as you.  Anyways, I create my profile which was basically filling out a screen name and I move over to campaign options.  To begin you basically have two options, both Boot Camp (levels 0-8) and Team Deathmatch.  Free for all may have been selectable but that was 32 levels ago so I don’t remember.  Two other Deathmatch options become available by leveling up.

So, as a new player, I pick boot camp.  I wait roughly a minute for players and the match to set up and then my Thompson sub-machine gun and I are thrust into the game!  The first thing I notice is how good this game looks.  Treyarch (the developers behind the game) were not lying when they said they put all their resources into making this the best looking realistic game on the Wii. Honestly, this game looks great. Unfortunately, I was only able to take in the scenery for a split second before bullets began whizzing over my head and that leads us to the game play.

I have almost nothing to knock about the game play. I feel that the controls are as close to as perfect as you can get. As I’ve stated before, the controls (and the multiplayer) are the reason I purchased this game and I was not disappointed. Before I got into the game, it was my intention and my expectation to point at an enemy, shoot and kill. See, as great as the joystick is, it’s either way too reactive to your thumb movements or not responsive at all. The only control in a FPS that was truly accurate for years was a mouse on a computer until now. The Wii remote’s controls in this game are so good that they are just about on point with a mouse. I was able to do exactly what I expected, point, shoot, and kill. The only issue I have with the control, and it’s really a problem that has existed since the inception of FPS’s is the fact that you can pump a clip into an enemy and they still survive. Really, it’s been what? Twenty years since Wolfenstein was first released? How has this problem never been fixed!? Anyways, it only took me a couple games to adjust to the controls and soon enough I was racking up 3-kill streaks which gets you a recon plane to show your enemies; 5-kill streaks in which you can call in an air strike; and finally 7-kill streaks which allows you to call in the attack dogs. Animal lovers beware, if a dog is charging at you to kill you in this game, you can butcher them down…hey, it’s self defense.

Action wise, I found all but one of the eight levels to be pretty faced paced and never lacking in action. The maps are small which is a good compliment to the 8 player online limit, but I’ve never found this to be an issue. You’ll never lack enemies once you get to know the maps and the usual hot spots of opponents. Would I like bigger maps and more players online? Of course! But I’m realistic to what the Wii can do and honestly, the player cap with the size of the map is perfect in my opinion.

So what’s my final spin? Well, lets be real people. What the Wii can do is limited but a lot had yet to be explored when Treyarch began working on this title. They explain that much when they talked about the lack of maps and features in the online mode. To be completely honest, no one is going to know the full capabilities or limitations until The Conduit is released next year, but Treyarch did an amazing job pushing what were the limits with this game. In my opinion, when it comes to realistic style video games, Call of Duty: World at War has absolutely set the bar for now. If you’re a Wii owner and are looking for a great FPS on said system, Call of Duty: World at War is definitely the title.

Castlevania

I know I said I was going to review this game, but to be completely honest, I haven’t had a chance to replay it all the way through the last couple of days. I will be getting to this in the future after I’m able to complete, take notes, and analyze what I think about this game 22 years after I first played it.

A New Beginning…

November 17, 2008

Hello fellow readers, J. Morphyne here with a brand new web log site.  I know what you’re thinking and I’ll address the immediate question of why I would begin a new site when I have issues updating my old site.  Well, the answer is quite simple and it has a lot to do with personal things in my life that I’m just eager to share.

First and foremost, I enjoyed writing my old web logs.  At times they were fun, therapeutic, comforting, hilarious, or all of the above.  It was a great outlet for me to get things out that I just couldn’t bounce off the people in my life.  Plus, on top of all that, it was a great place to put my own spin…or more accurately spin things in my own life to proportions greater than what they actually were.  As most of you may have noticed, though, my posts became more and more infrequent.  It wasn’t because I was leading a disinteresting life, but it was because most of things I could write about, I was already writing.  Namely, “Zero” became my writing life and I just didn’t feel like sharing what I was writing when the art wasn’t done therefore it wasn’t a finished project.  Hopefully some day it will be but right now all my creative energy is on “Zero” and nothing else…well, except for a few side projects.

Reason number 2 for the new site.  Over the last year and a half a weird thing has happened.  One of my biggest interests in life has turned into sort of a…side business.  A business of information if you will.  See, when I’m not writing…or slaying…I’m playing video games.  I tell most people that I play games the way most people read books or put together scrapbooks.  It’s more than just a hobby for me, it’s another passion of mine.  People in my life have figured this out and I know routinely shell out advice to parents at work who don’t know what games to get their 7 yr old, or to friends who want my thoughts on what I really think about game purchases they’re thinking about making.  Basically, I quickly found myself, usually after weekends, sending out numerous emails or making numerous phone calls to said coworkers or friends and giving my advice of what I think is good, what I think is bad, and why.  This is the reason for the site.

So the next answers I’ll give you is what to expect from this site….or more specifically you’ll know what not to expect from my site.  You see, I’m what I call a true hardcore gamer.  There isn’t a system I don’t either own or have played.  I know the good, the bad, and the ugly of every system.  I realize every system has their set of pros and cons.  I don’t judge a system on graphical limitations, archaic control schemes, or the audiences that play them.  I play systems for good…scratch that…great games.

You see, too many game sites don’t offer any sort of information regarding the games or systems they review.  The review game has turned into a lot of self promotion and how many shots can I take at other systems while telling you nothing about why you should get a certain game and it’s as annoying as flicking your tooth with your tongue until it’s raw but you just can’t stop.  I just don’t understand how reviewers and players alike can label themselves hardcore when all they seem to do is debate who is winning a console war.  Seriously, WHO CARES!?  Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft will all survive, always survive and to them there is no console war so shut up and just review the damn game.  Oops…sorry about the tirade.

Anyways, what I’m trying to get it is hopefully my reviews come across as unbiased, all encompassing, and enjoyable enough to come back and read again.  With that I’ll finish with my own personal rules in reviewing that I will hold myself to.  If I break these, I will add a dollar to my rule breaking jar and when I save up enough, maybe I’ll start a real site!  Oh yeah, and a few of my friends may also contribute at times so be on the look out for that!

Rules-
1.  I will never compare games across platforms.  A game should only be reviewed based on its performance for the platform intended.  For example, I will never compare Call of Duty: World at War on the Wii against the 360 version.  They are two drastically different systems that offer drastically different experiences.  Comparing the two against each other is an injustice.  It’s like saying Halloween is a garbage movie because it’s not Citizen Kane.

2.  My personal feelings towards a system will never enter my reviews.  I’m not gonna lie, there is one system in particular that I can’t stand but still has good games.  Therefore, I will review games on that console with an unbiased attitude and will never mention how shallow the game options are for that system (for those that think I’m talking about the Wii, you’re wrong).

3.  I’ll try to post more timely than I did with my last web log.

4.  Each post will contain a review of a modern game and one retro game review.

5.  I will try to cover all genres.  Some genres may be represented because, well, I have a full time job and RPG’s are very time intensive.  They almost require a person to have either no life or only a part time job to complete.

6.  I will never, NEVER turn down a donation to review a certain game.  As TLC said, I ain’t too proud to beg.

7.  I’ll rarely take recommendations on what to review.  This site is mostly for my take on games so even though I’ll cover all genres because they all have their pluses, there are some games that I just won’t bring myself to buy and play because some games are water torture.

8.  Now, I will never bash a system, but I will bash franchises.  I’m telling you right now, based on my game playing experience, GTA will get no love from me.  I’m sure when it comes time for me to review China Wars, this will become clear unless China Wars somehow morphs the GTA series into the best DS series ever…I doubt it.

So that’s about it.  My first real review will be going up in a few days and I’m going to cover Call of Duty: World at War for the Wii (because it’s getting no love) and the retro game review will be the original Castlevania.

PS:To those are asking what the hell is “Bitties” well, it’s my gamer tag that I use most often.  Whether I use it for online play, naming characters in game, or just naming profiles Bitties is it.  Always has been, always will be, and if you ever encounter other Bitties, they’re just posers.