Castlevania Advance Appreciation

The Game Boy Advance had an impressive lineup of games in its relatively short life. Released in 2001, then shoved out the door by the Nintendo DS in 2004, it was home to 2 brand new Metroids, 3 new F-Zero games and 3 Castlevanias among others. This little writeup will be about Castlevania as I’ve just played through all 3 of them on the Wii U Virtual Console. I had an amazing time exploring each game, and I’m absolutely blown away that these 3 games were made within 3 years. Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow are all interesting in their own ways.

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Super Castlevania IV – Hardcore Halloween

To be Frank, I completely lost track of Halloween this year and don’t care much for holidays or parties. It’s a bit of fun that can lead to great eShop sales, but I don’t need a reason to be spooky. It all seems a bit forced to me when people dress up and post selfies. Not my thing.

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Axiom Verge – 01001110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01001101 01100101 01110100 01110010 01101111 01101001 01100100

BOOM! There goes the lab. As you stand up and gather your wits, the last thing you remember is something being knocked over. You don’t know what was happening in the lab, and memories of your identity are just as vague. It must have been a big explosion. You’ve suddenly appeared in this well-constructed series of rooms with 2D platforms, throbbing enemies, bizarre surfaces and kickass music. What could the experiment have been? To create a Metroid game?

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Chase: Cold Case Investigations – Distant Memories of CING

It’s been 7 years since we have been graced with a CING-style game on a Nintendo system. They went bankrupt and disappeared after Hotel Dusk and Another Code R didn’t sell huge numbers, and their final game Again: Eye of Providence got unfair reviews and slander from press who didn’t understand visual adventure games. Sound familiar? Yeah, shit journalism can actually damage companies. CING is still dead but some key members of the team are back, including the Director of Hotel Dusk. They’ve joined Arc System Works who are credited as the developers of this game, with Aksys Games stepping in to publish. Chase: Cold Case Investigations has hit the 3DS eShop as a budget episodic visual novel, in an attempt to bring their highly atmospheric stories back into the mainstream.

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VRog – I’m a Frog Now

VRog is a first-person frog simulator on the Wii U, and this just might be a world exclusive review. When looking for information on this game I could not find a single writeup, and it has no eShop ratings. There’s only a single Miiverse post of someone saying “RIBBIT!”. After a bit of digging, I found out this was originally made as a VR game for the Oculus Rift, but I guess they needed some extra money because it’s arrived on the Wii U with normal 3D graphics. It’s not the kind of game you’d buy a headset for, but the concept itself was interesting enough for me to take the risk while it was $3.25 AU. I just wanted to be a frog for a night.

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Xtype Plus My Arsehole

Was feeling a bit adventurous tonight and I thought I’d try a new game. I also had a surplus of My Nintendo coins to get rid of. After redeeming a 3DS theme I noticed Xtype Plus was 50% off! The game was now $2, and basically free, right? May as well, right? I like arcade games and it might prove to be an addictive score-chaser. Just a bit of fun to compliment my night.

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FAST Racing NEO – Future Pack DLC Bingo GX Deluxe Happy Times Zero Kart 8

The fastest download ever has hit the Wii U. I’m not joking, the Future Pack DLC for FAST Racing NEO clocks in at 13mb on the eShop, then somehow turns into a 2mb download on the HOME menu, then installs itself before you can even read the track list. What’s happening? Too late, we’re off.

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The Legend of Kusakari – Freshly Cut Justice

We’ve all done it. You’re playing your favourite legendary videogame with a very important quest to do. Traveling across a field to your next destination, your mind is heavy with responsibility. If only there was something to ease the tension. Swaying in the wind, something catches your eye… fresh grass. Thick, luscious, green, just begging to be cut. A few slashes can’t hurt, right? HYAH! CHOP! Health and money fly out but you don’t even care. The sound effect is rewarding enough. The grass disintegrates into the air along with your troubles. The leafy smell comes through the screen and you start to feel connected to nature. The objective of saving the world fades into the background as you seek out more grass to cut. HYAH! More! MORE! MOOOORE!

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Federation Force is a good game, and that’s NOT okay

I have spent the last week trapped in an emotional prison and I can’t take it anymore. I am absolutely fuming with anger after playing through Metroid Prime: Federation Force. It is a well-crafted game, and this is a big problem. Next Level Games have poured tons of resources into what is fundamentally an INSULT to Metroid fans. They’ve wasted 20 hours of my life, and KILLED the Metroid franchise by gutting the structure, butchering the art style, and offending my entitlements as a traditional gamer who has supported Nintendo since the NES.

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Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water – Safe to Drink

Mt. Hikami is a popular suicide spot for young girls. It has a dark reputation but when someone feels helpless, alone, and “ready”, this spot is the brightest thing they can see. You have no control over any aspects of your life, but you have the choice to kill yourself. The very thought is liberating because you can actually do something with a result, and make a difference by removing your misery from the world. The stresses of your environment fade into the background of your mind with this empowering thought. “Do it” you hear a voice behind you. There’s nobody there… huh? “Doooo it. KILL YOURSELF. KILL KILL KILL KILL!!!!” Whooaaa, this outside force is encouraging your selfish act, and it suddenly has no appeal. All the power and strength you just mustered will now be used to stop this evil force.

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Runny Egg – Breakfast on the eShop

12.38am. I had eggs for breakfast, but they were far from my mind in the middle of the night. It was Winter and I was lying down watching Summer Games Done Quick, taking in the joy of my favourite hobby from half a world away. One of my favourite reasons to watch speedrun marathons is discovering new games. Runny Egg was up next, and it was a good enough reason to stay on the couch. I’ve never heard of this game, but it looked cheerful enough that I could pretend it was Summer and continue escaping my life.

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