Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Midweek Music Box: BlackThorne

And now the hit track "You'll bleed for me" from Blackthorne's debut self-titled album.
Synthesized heavy metal music, shotguns and bombs, demons and monster, and a ripped main hero?  If it isn't an 80's movie or a band from the same time period then it has to be Blackthorne.

Cutscene music

Dark heavy metal guitar synthesizer music not only set the tone for many a heavy metal band of the 80's but also helped sell the setting of this Blizzard/Interplay puzzle platformer.  I would call it a high-bred of the puzzle and platformer genres because of the way you need to not only wield your shotgun and bombs, but the fact that you have limited bombs on each level and need to to find various bridge extenders, keys, and other items to progress through the game.  It still surprises me that I got this game as a kid.  My parents were pretty careful about what my brother and I brought into the house when it came to games and music.  So something that that fused semi-demonic elements and hard rock finding its way on to my shelf was kinda a shake up from the norm.  But oh what an awesome shake up that was.  There's so many awesome things about this game, it might find its way into a review at a future date.  For now, I just want to focus on the music. 

As I keep saying, I like to use video game music for a variety of things from background music when writing to background music when cleaning.  I love game music.  This is another case where the game and music are nearly inseparable (at least in my mind).  

Mines of Galadril

Just listen to the bass guitar sound on that.  It's pretty sweet in it's own right, but man oh man does it help sell the oppressive atmosphere of the slave run mines of Galadril.  It has the just the right brooding tone to make you want to escape, and free your people.  (Either that or carelessly do an over-the-shoulder-accidental-sorry-I-just-killed-you-chained-up-guy-shotgun-blast-to-the-face.)  Honestly, with that long-haired,ripped hero you control it wouldn't be surprising if the guys and the demons just suddenly dropped the guns and started rocking out.  Heck, I think that would make an awesome video from the crew at Dorkly.  Screw this game!  Let's rock!

Let's talk tempo, because even though the music has a certain chomping, head-bobbing quality, the composer obviously knew how well it would fit the tone of the story.  As obvious as it would be that the happy-go-lucky music like the kind you find in first stage of  Super Mario Bros. 2 would not fit at all, I think it would have been possible to make the music have too similar a quality throughout the game.  Too much brooding would have sunk it.  However, as the game progresses, you get a bit of a faster tempo to the music, culminating in a nice, brisk pace for the end battle.  I like that there's an air of triumph to the music as you get closer to the game.  A game like this could have made for a fantastic open world game like Metroid, but with the tempo and tone of the music, it feels like each new level is a new chapter of a story.

Put this game in the "Pop it in just to hear the music at least" category.  You'll want to do some head-thrashing and gameplaying.  Possibly both at the same time.

Yeah, kinda Alpha Omega Sin style.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Night Rentals: Battletoads

You aren't worthy to get past the Turbo Tunnel!

Ah, the toads.

Those terrible, trying, aggravating, angering, teeth-gnashing toads.

Do I love'em or hate'em?  Not sure really, but what I can be sure of is that I rented this game so many times I'm surprised I didn't ask for it for Christmas.  Actually, I take that back.  I think by the time my  Christmas rolled around I was through with Battlestoads' and the infamous Turbo Tunnel, remembering that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was better anyway.  I only passed the tunnel once by the way, promptly dying before I could get a chance to really revel in my accomplishment.  I remember quickly dying after so much frustration and so much heartache.  Not to mention I was out of lives and continues.  You can only take so much punishment before your eyes turn elsewhere.  After all, the video store had a wide selection to choose from and the fact that Battletoads was always available should have been a sign it wasn't that good.  Well, it wasn't terrible, was something.

Still, it had some deep beats and toad treats throughout and was worth the rental each time if for nothing else than that pause music.  Until that one final time that is.  Then I was on to greener pastures.  Well, time has passed and it's time to make amends.  So how does that classic rental hold up under my more grown-up eyes?


As far as beat'em ups go, the control of the character was and still feels solid.  The actions you take on the game pad correspond nicely to the attacks on the screen, and you never feel like a hit should have landed but didn't.  No, you can't blame the controls one bit really.  There were other beat'em ups at the time which lack the basic grace that Battletoads seems to afford the player.  You hit the button, your fist hits the bad guy.  Funny how this basic mechanic could get screwed up in other beat'em ups of the day.  Where the control did lack was that you needed to be lightening fast when operating a vehicle.  There was no remorse, no pity, no apology from the walls of the turbo tunnel when I was a kid.  So now that I'm an adult, does that mean not only the fights are easy, but that the tunnel is easy as well?


Yeah--no, it's every bit as frustrating now as it was then.

Gameplay and Graphics


The graphics are surprisingly fantastic and 3D-ish for an NES game.  There's even a bit of parallax scrolling (or as near as you could get on the NES) in the infamous turbo tunnel.  The cartoony animations when your toads are alarmed are as funny as any Tex Avery cartoon, and the goofy way your boots grow big or your head grows ram horns when you attack an enemy make defeating them a real joy.  Color use is clever, and the toads may be a darker green, but they never feel muddy or foul to look at.  It certain has portions where it feels like the good TMNT clone it desperately wants to be. So that said about the graphics, how does the gameplay hold up? 

Still as frustrating as ever as I mentioned before.  Booting your friend across the room may seem hilarious the first dozen or so times, but there comes a point when you realize as a kid that deciding to off your pal meant getting kicked back to the continue screen and loss of progress on the level you were on.  Not to mention the fact that you share continues so once they run out, you are both hosed.  Truly, as a kid I remember being shocked that I couldn't get farther than I was getting.  Level 3? C'mon, I beat Mega Man!  But man oh man Mega Man was a cake walk comparatively speaking.   

But the game turns so brutal in difficulty right after the first level you'd think something had glitched the game and caused it flip to the "hard" setting.  Ha ha!  Jokes on you, it's all hard setting, all the time with this game.  It's every bit as aggravating as you remember.  Maybe more so as an adult because you might have given yourself the false impression that "you were just a kid then" or "I'm such a pro now, I've got this handled."  Hahahahahah. Nope.  I'm sure my brother and I when we tried co-op mode didn't get far on the infamous Tunnel.  Heck!  I think there were times when we had a hard time getting down the shaft after the first boss with out accidentally killing one another. Two player mode was a joke in itself because you could accidentally--or on purpose depending on your mood towards your older brother at the time---beat the snot out of each other.  So did getting rid of the second player improve your chances of getting past that stupid tunnel....

Still no.

Music and Sound

Time out again? C'mon man, there's a princess to save!

Every fan of Battletoads--okay, maybe fan is an exaggeration--I should save every person who has had the misfortune to play this game fondly remembers the pause music.  Yeah, I would go so far as to say fondly.  It may not have been the best soundtrack in the world, but something about the heavy bass and deep thumps has deeply ingrained itself into my brain.  Heck, the track isn't even a song; really it's more like one line of sound for the beginning of DJ mix.  But oh what a mix-tape that would be!  The rest of the soundtrack has a decent beat to it as well by the way here's a vid of the entire soundtrack:


The heavy thumping sounds as you beat up enemies are immensely satisfying.  As far as other sounds go, they're okay, nothing especially special that makes the sound feel particularly unique.  When it comes to iconic sounds, the game kinda lacks truth be told.  But those thumps as you hit things?  Yeah, they make up for a lot of lost ground in this department.  The sounds of the TMNT game were okay as you beat enemies to a pulp, but there were times it felt too tinny to me.  I think in a beat'em up genre game you need the those meaty thuds to sell the game a little better.  But that's just me.  Yes, things don't sound that way when you hit them or get beat up by your older brother for having booted him off the screen for the ump-teenth time--but I like it when I feel I'm delivering heavy punishment to enemies.

Overall Impression

I stroke my chin thoughtfully as I close this article.  Contemplating how as an adult I can handle things in a more mature manner than as a kid.  Yes.  Yes.  I'm enlightened, a deeper thinker.  Not given to fits of rage and sorrow when I slam into a wall again.  Truly, I'm sure that this game and all the hardship that it put me through as a kid taught me many a valuable lesson about how to deal with loss and how hard work sometimes doesn't pay off but you need to keep going anyway.

Maybe, just maybe this will be the time that I conquer the Turbo Tunnel.  Perhaps even now as I type, my fingers have found themselves possessed of skill and nimbleness I had not possessed as a child.

Yes, now, now is the time to try and win against that tunnel.


...guess not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Midweek Music Box: Ducktales (NES)

Woo!  Woo! (Yeah, you know you were thinking that.)

I talked about another Disney Capcom Crossover just recently and mentioned I wasn't a huge fan of the music for that game, but as I love the music from the first Disney Capcom venture, I thought I'd give a quick talk about how awesome the level themes from Ducktales are.

You're welcome by the way for the song that's now stuck in your head.

I think that it almost goes without saying that most people think of the Moon Theme when they think of this NES classic.  The fact of the matter is the whole soundtrack for the game has the same infectious catchy ability that we knew and loved from the cartoon, but none so much as the Moon Theme.  

Time to crack out the cane and bust some alien  heads laddie!

Yes, the 8-bit version of the iconic Ducktales theme takes the cake when it comes to a fusion of awesome childhood memories and deep, automatic-song-singing reaction, but the Moon Theme has....

Sigh  Go ahead and sing it again if you must, I know you want to.


As I was saying, the Moon Theme has a constant, peppy beat that is easy to hum, whistle or do a little singing interpretation of the song.  Not only was this tune great in its day, it still is infinitely enjoyable as an adult.  It's not one of those songs that we all realized was terrible when we grew up but just liked because we were kids and into the Ducktales show.  The tune has seen endless remixes and variations on Youtube, each one adding not only unique spin to the tune, but helping make it feel fresh every time, whatever instrument is used.  Everything from metal guitar, to banjo, to orchestrations, to even a kazoo has been used to interpret this song!

Yes, I said Kazooooooo!

The tune has an upbeat exploratory feel that suits the game, and reminds you of the tone of the show.  Not to mention the really good remixes put me personally in the writing mood and making working on various projects a breeze.  Although, with that I wish I had a cane sometimes so I could just smash boxes out of the way, and jewels the size of basketballs randomly appearing behind piles of clutter would be nice too and might provide even more incentive for me to get a bit more organized.  And I'd like it if I happened to run into an over-sized nanny that wants to toss cakes and ice cream cones or other snacks my way...

What was I saying?  

Oh yeah!  The Moon Theme also suits the feel of the stage in that it does evoke a certain tone that space shooters had at the time.  It still feels like Ducktales, and it still makes me feel like I'm on an adventure when I hear it, but I distinctly have that space-feel.  Maybe its the subtle high pitch of the bleeps and bloops in the sound track, but I feel like a duck in know, as one would and all.

Owing to personal stuff that happened recently, this week's installment will be a bit on the short side.  I definitely want to revisit the Ducktales game music, most likely to do a comparison of the sound from the remaster versus the classic version.  In the mean time, since I know kazoos are cool and all, but not quite the same as an orchestra or metal guitar, I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite arrangements of the Moon Theme: The talented Smooth McGroove:

Beard on my friends...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tiny Fighters, Big Action: Nano Assault Neo Review

Tiny Fights Big Action

It's up to you and your nano ship to stop an evil nano virus from spreading across the micro-verse.  Good thing you have endless ammo because the constant barrage of bad guys will make your head spin.  I guess that's par for the course though when it comes to shoot'em ups, and with this overhead shooter demanding you rotate constantly on an xyz axis you'll give Linda Blair a run for her head-spinning money.  I don't normally play games from this genre, but after having tried a demo and seeing that the price had dropped for a little bit, I figured it was time to jump in my nano-ship and blast some baddies.  So how does it hold up?


The left analog stick controls your movement, the right controls your weapon.   I like how tight the controls feel with this set up and it reminds me of Smash TV so bonus points for that.  It's immensely satisfying to have your maximum number of satellites orbiting you and whipping them around like a whirling-dervish as you blast through enemies  If you have a special power up, you control that by tapping the ZR button.  One of the key features I appreciate about this game is your ability to control the both angle and direction that your satellite/option is aimed, not to mention the position of the satellite in relation to your ship.

Graphics and Style
Only you and your robot buddies can defeat the evil micro-pickles!

With glorious 60 frames per second animation and a visual style feels reminiscent of the Metroid Prime intro screen, how can I not love the graphics of this game?  Sometimes I think game designers are too eager to try out new stuff or emulate the 8-bit style that they forget how much joy you can get from an old style that isn't necessarily 30 years old..  Just look at that screen shot.  A special glow and shine surrounds each laser blast, each explosion and each enemy is resplendent with....

Okay, as beautiful as the graphics are they can actuall can grow really annoying at times.  I think half the time I was hit in the game was because I was confused as to what was just left over explosion residue from an enemy, and what was an incoming projectile.  I still like the style though, don't get me wrong; I just wish some of the projectiles weren't so overly bright.


Might make for good exercise music as well.

I already mentioned how the visuals remind me of the Gamecube classic Metroid Prime, I would say the same goes for the music of this game to a degree.  It does remind me of some of the Prime series' boss battles--only it has a bit of a 90's techno feel.  How so?  Heavy thumping techno music pretty much pervades each level, and not in a bad or annoying way.  The composer has some nice touches to the underlining rhythms that while not unique and catchy enough to help you remember the music, certainly keeps your heart pumping and makes you feel the action of the moment.  These are positives working in the game's favor as it heightens your desire to restart the game immediately should you get the dreaded Game Over.

Final Analysis

Chalk this shoot'em up in the "better than average" category.  While I would definitely say that you'll have fun playing it if you enjoy shoot'em ups, I would recommend waiting for one of the times that the game goes on sale.  With other games on the Wii U offering richer content for less...well, I don't know.  Not that I'm totally a cheapy--but whether you are grabbing a retro game or a brand new one, regardless of the price you want something that you will get the most out of.  Not that I expect a Shoot'Em Up to last the same length of time as a meaty RPG, but I suspect that if I was better at shooters I would breeze through the game after only a few tries.  I know to those looking to get bang out of their buck it might seem like too little time to spend nearly $10 on; but even that breezing would be an enjoyable one.

Graphics/Visual Style: 8/10
Music: 7/10
Control: 8/10

Overall Rating of Gameplay: 8/10

*Note: I'm thinking of shortening the length of these reviews.  I already trimmed a bit in comparison to the last two.  Not sure if it just felt like there was less to talk about with the game or if it would just be wise in general to get these shorter.  Either way, I may bounce back to longer reviews if I feel the game warrants it.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Night Rentals: Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers

It was only natural that after the success of the Ducktales that Capcom and Disney would team up and release another game based on the then popular block of cartoons fondly remembered as "The Disney Afternoon."  The original block included Ducktales, Chip and Dales Rescue Rangers, Talespin, and an occasional showing of Gummi Bears (usually on Fridays, at least in my area.)  

When I rented this game as a kid, I never really got to do the two player mode.  By that time my older brother was either renting his own set of games or was involved in stuff in high school so didn't have time for it.  I think my mom may have played once or twice with me, but that's about it.  Usually I was flying solo when it came to my gaming.  Not that I'm resentful or too sad, it just meant that I would usually lean towards one player games because I'd be playing by myself.

Now, at ten years old, I wasn't exactly staying up all hours of the night playing games.  Even if it was Friday I would have to head to bed by 10 or 11 o'clock.  (I think I would sometimes get to push that to midnight or later if my grandparents Horne were there, but that's another story).  In any case, after playing Ducktales, I naturally had to rent Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, and naturally since I only had it for the weekend, I had to get as much play time as possible from the game.  So how did that go?

Apples are cool, I guess.  Kinda miss Scrooge's can though...
Well...I beat the game by Saturday night.

You see, I was playing and figuring out play control on Friday, and obsessively collecting flowers and stars.  But by the time Saturday evening rolled around I had been playing the game a fair amount and was getting through the stages at a fair clip.  Well I did feel accomplished for having beaten it, I remember being a little disappointed even then that the game was so short.  Much like Ducktales, if you really put your mind to it, you could beat the game in under an hour.  Now, this was a time before speed runs became a thing so I wasn't really looking to play a game multiple times just to see how quickly I could beat it a second time through.  Beaten was beaten, and done was done.  Once the game was returned that meant I would likely never rent it again, and to me there was a certain amount of "why bother asking for this for Christmas" if I've already beaten it?

Again, not that the game itself was really lacking, after all, the gameplay was solid Capcom platforming, which is no surprise considering that it was produced by Tokuro Fujiwara, who was also responsible for the hit Mega Man 2.   So how does the game hold up replaying it today?


As you would expect with a Capcom game the controls are solid.  The "A" button jumps and the height varies by how long you hold on to the button.  Much like Mario physics, you can change direction mid-jump, and if you fall into a pit or are hit by an enemy you usually don't feel like it was cheap...usually.  You push "B" and the directional pad against blocks, apples, and various other objects to pick them up and can choose to throw them up, left, or right.  Pushing down with certain items will result in your chipmunk pal "hiding" behind the item, but it's more like a temporary shield used to defeat enemies that charge at you.  Pushing down and "A" on some floors will result in you dropping down to the floor below, unless you are above a pit, in which case...well, death will occur.  Sometimes this particular mechanic does not work as well as it should if the game glitches, but the the times this happens are rare; and any time you accidentally drop through the floor won't leave you yelling at the game but rather smacking your own forehead for your stupidity.

Gameplay and Graphics

Time to save the princess--er, Gadget!
The story of the game involves your nemesis the nefarious Fat Cat, a fiendish feline who has kidnapped Gadget, the resident fix-it and inventor gal of the Rescue Rangers team and plans to use her skills to his own evil ends.  There are some cute little cut scenes in between stages, but the cut scenes are little more than changing still images with text underneath.  Not that this was terrible, after all, it was just an 8-bit system so you couldn't cram too much into the game.  The overall gameplay was pretty fun at the time, and still is today.  The character animation of Chip and Dale as they run along feel like real running movement.  The design team also managed to work in details like Chip's hat and bomber jacket, and Dale's Hawaiian shirt to a satisfying degree.  Even though Gadget and Moneterey Jack and Zipper are relegated to walk ons and cameos, this is Chip and Dale's game after all, it is still nice to see them make an appearance and actually look a bit like their TV show counterparts. 

The overall colors pop in a pleasing way, and they even borrow a few bad guys from other episodes of the show.  The overall gameplay does have some flaws though.  Like the original Super Mario Bros., once you scroll left you can't back track.  If you left one of the life-replenishing acorns just out of reach on the screen...oh well, better hope that there was another one later.  (There usually was.)  You can collect stars and flowers to earn extra lives, and only have two continues.  However, if you are grabbing every flower you can along the way the low number of continues won't really pose a problem.

Music and Sound

Like a carnival gone wrong...

The sound set has a few recognizable blips and bloops from both the Mega Man games and the previous Disney game venture of Ducktales.  No problems here in my opinion.  As a kid it felt kinda neat being able to recognize those sounds not only as something from a previous game but as a distinct trademark of a particular company.  (I still remember the chime for pausing old-school Konami games.) As an adult and more fulling understanding the limitations of programming, it makes reusing certain assets in a sound file understandable.

That said, the music is lacking in comparison to most other Capcom games.  The Mega Man games has one of the most memorable soundtracks out there.  The Ducktales game has several tracks that have been re-imagined on youtube, one of the fan favorites being the "Moon Theme."  Whether this was because more heart was poured into the other games or just the composer had little to work with compared to Ducktales; the 30 second music loops can quickly grow tiresome, even for a game that only takes roughly an hour to beat.  Although the chip-tune version of the Rescue Rangers theme that plays on the title theme is pleasant enough, many of the scores area  bit too frenetic and cloying at times.  Not that they aren't okay at first, but you'll have had your fill of them by the time you beat a stage.

Overall Impression

Nice job!  Play Again?

A fun and worthy entry into the Capcom hall of fame, and in particular, the TV show tie in route?  Definitely!  Too short?  Definitely that as well.  I wish I knew why they decide to keep the game so short, if I were to venture a guess I would assume that it had something to do with its intended audience of kids.  Something fun with tight control that will make a kid feel like they accomplished something when they beat it.  A few things though that occurred to me then and they occur to me even now.  First, by the time Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers was released; I had already played through and beaten the first two Mega Man games, and those were nothing to sneeze at in the difficulty department.  Even as a kid I felt the Rangers game was too easy for kids--and I was one!

Second, with games ranging from 30 to $50 a pop back then, unless a kid's parents were wealthy or had no sense of self control when it came to spoiling a child, you would have felt ripped off having plunked that much down and gotten so little game for your dollar (or waited for a particular game for Christmas only to have it turn out the game was terrible in my case.)  Heck, a part of me admits that there are times when I feel some of the downloadable Wii U games I've picked up for a just a couple of bucks should have had more content then what I got.  Maybe I'm greedy that way.  But this isn't really about how I feel now, but how I felt back then.  And truth be told, I wish there had been more meat on the bone even then.  Beating that on a Saturday not only meant that I was likely never to rent or buy the game in the future, but it meant that I was facing Sunday without the prospect of a cool rented game to play.  Sounds silly, I know.  But hey!  I was ten at the time and I guess that's just how I thought.

Well, now as an adult I can say that it would be fun to do a speed run through the game, or an item collection run, or some other goal I made up myself--and now that it is a part of my NES collection, why not?

I just wish the tunes were a bit catchier...

Ahhhhh...much better.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Midweek Music Box: Ninja Gaiden

A fight for you not get knocked into a pit.

Sometimes action music in a video game can just do it's job providing a steady rhythm to get you pumped and ready to play.  Not that it's terrible, just that it does what it needs to do and then you forget about it immediately after turning off the game.  Was that persistent, plodding rhythm from a water level?  Was it from an impossibly huge forest?  Was it some cheesy, yet catchy upbeat Japanese pop tune run over the credits as you watched scenes from the game?  Who knows?  

Then there's Ninja Gaiden.  

Since Nintendo has announced they are revisiting the Nintendo World championships, I thought it would be fun to revisit this sound track as it was a qualifying game used in the pretend version of the NWC.  

Goofy pronunciations aside; not only does this game have fantastic fast-paced stage music, it has great intro music, dramatic cut scene music, and even a quick but catchy "act" intro tune.  I like that it doesn't hold back on the soundtrack or fill cut scenes with dead air and sound effects.  The music doesn't just help make the game more complete; for Ninja Gaiden the music makes makes it a movie.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Unlike some of the other video game music I listen to for writing, exercise, or every day chores: I typically only listen to this set of tunes when I play Ninja Gaiden.  Not that I don't like the tunes, just they suit the game so darn well I feel the urge to pop in the game and play it when I hear the music.  Much like if I listen to the Star Wars music for too long in one sitting, suddenly I want to watch Han, Luke, Obi-Wan, and the rest of the gang escape Tatooine to save the galaxy.

You need to get off Tatooine buddy, there's more to the universe than just power converters....

Ninja Gaiden has the perfect mix of high energy and fast beats for the action platforming sections and suspenseful, slower music for the dramatic cut scenes.  I hear that music and think of the cinematic intro used to set up the plot, I think of the adventure that awaits, and suddenly I'm ready to fight alongside Ryu as we attempt to avenge his father's death and stop the villainous Jaquio and his plans to make darkness reign supreme.

Awesome nighttime duels, atmospheric music...and that's just the intro.

Another thing I appreciate about the sound track is how it doesn't try to keep the fast rhythm from the gameplay going after you've beaten a level.  When you transition to a cut scene, the pace of the music slows, the story unfolds, and the mystery surrounding the death of Ryu's dad expands.  The designers, and more importantly the game's composer, recognized you not only need to give the player a moment to breathe between rounds, but also that you can't keep them going at continuous clip without some kind of reward for their accomplishment.  Many scenes have a steady, drum-like beat building as defeated henchmen and CIA operatives make it clear evil is gaining strength.  These scenes between each act not only give the player a second to recoup their thumbs, but also gives them more of the story set to a soundtrack that fills them with a sense both of mystery and growing dread about what the future portends.   

Sure, the game demands quick jumps, fast dodges so that enemies don't knock you back into a pit, and perfect timing to kill difficult bosses--but it doesn't have all that and then immediately forget itself once the story element comes along.  I love that the music for the cut scenes has a drastically different tone than the music of the gameplay.  Those cinematic cut scenes with their ominous mood music are a darn site better reward than a few fireworks and a cheery tune if I grab a pole at the right time and angle.  

Hooray, you beat the level. Now off to the sewers with you!
Not to knock Mario, but at this point in the Nintendo's life I think I was expecting and even demanding more from the game.  That didn't mean I had any less love for the original Super Mario Bros. and the music in it.  It just meant that when a game came along in the late 80's I wanted it to use the music to say different things and not just rely on a set of three to four tunes.  I was wanting my games to have a movie like quality, even before the graphics could make it so that they were near indistinguishable from an animated feature, much like it is on modern day systems.

A melody of mystery.

Thanks to the work of game composer Keiji Yamagishi, not only did we get a soundtrack that made the game feel as cinematic as any movie, but it made the mad dash through alleyways, crazy cliff climbs, and jungle jogs seem all the more fast paced and your goal of getting the demon statues all that much more pressing.  It made each of those areas feel like they weren't just a new level to beat in a mere game, but actual "acts" from a movie; each one drawing you to the thrilling conclusion.  And the poetic, melancholic nature of the end music really helps you gain that sense of victory at a high price.  No sitting back and watching this show though, to get to the end of this you movie you need to play the game.  But if you want to listen to the soundtrack in full, I've embedded it below.  If you've never played the game though and want to experience the joy of hearing the end music after having earned it, then go pull out your Nintendo or download it from the Wii U shop.  Even if you aren't into the game, the music itself is worth the play through.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Touch Screen "Torch-er": Little Inferno Review

Something has gone terribly wrong with the world and now snow, wind, ice and chimney ash cover everything in a bleak haze—but don’t you worry about it because the Tomorrow Corporation has the perfect diversion!  You are now the proud owner of a genuine Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace; so burn all your toys, household goods, and cherished memories as you keep warm, and more importantly, distracted from the snowy world outside.  Little Inferno by Tomorrow Corporation feels every bit the spiritual successor to World of Goo it likely is meant to be.  There’s not much to the gameplay, as much of it simply involves dragging items or “burnables” as I like to call them, from a table in front of the fireplace to the fireplace itself.  You get money for each item burned, and you use the money to buy more items from the catalogs.  Random "passports" appear occasionally, and these are used to speed up the shipping of items if you don't want to wait for the item's "shipping time" to run out.  If it weren't for the puzzle aspect of trying to figure out what items to burn with one another for combo points in order to unlock more catalogs of “burnables,” this might not actually qualify as a game.  Rather, the game could just as easily be billed as a mere point-and-click novelty.  However, the team at Tomorrow Corporation has a rich storyline that not only is revealed by looking at the various “burnables,” but also through various letters from a mystery figure named Sugar Plumps and the fictional CEO of the in-game Tomorrow Corporation.  Thanks to the foreboding nature of the plot, you can easily find yourself sucked in and attempting to beat the game in one sitting as you try to learn your character’s fate. 

                Using the Wii U pad for Little Inferno never feels like a chore and never turns into an endurance marathon of bent necks and little use of the TV screen.  You can scroll through the combo list, browse the catalogs, and select items to purchase for burning from said catalogs with relative ease.  Occasionally when dragging an item from the table where “burnables” are stored to the fireplace itself, things seem to slip from your grasp, but this doesn’t happen often enough that it really feels like an issue.  When you set something alight from your “burnables” by dragging your seemingly eternal flame around the screen until the item catches fire, you get a real sense of interacting with the items in the fireplace.  Overall the control feels solid and simple as it should be.

Graphics and Style:
This too shall pass...or will it?
                Tomorrow Corporation employees Kyle Gabler and Allan Blomquist (formerly from 2D Boy) continue the dark tone and style started in World of Goo.  The characters and storytelling have a Tim Burton-esque feel, which perfectly suits the whimsical-yet-foreboding world of Little Inferno.  Marshmallows scream when burned, toy buses full of people yell when lit, and an assortment of other odd items will have you chuckling as you gleefully set each alight and await their reaction to an impending fiery demise.  There are nice visual touches that help remind you of the grim reality of a doomed world as well; suit-covered brick walls, worn out and patched up dolls for you to burn, weather reports in the mail that tell of ever-worsening snow, and occasional letters with pictures of a wide-eyed girl named Sugar Plumps who seems borderline insane.  It’s amazing for a game that largely remains on a single-screen you get a real sense of an expansive world facing a deep-freeze doomsday.  The vibrant red and gold hues of the flames as they incinerate everything and anything put before them really strike you on a visceral level.  You'll feel like a 10 year old kid who found an endless supply of matches with which to burn things consequence free.
Putting this here just so I don't sound all pyro-ee with that last comment...

Music and Sound:
Everybody Sing!

                This outing by the former team of 2D Boy does not have nearly the extensive soundtrack of its predecessor, World of Goo.  Certainly there’s some great atmospheric music here and there, like an overly cheery, 50’s sounding music loop whenever you go to buy something from the catalogs.  There’s also an incredibly catchy theme song about the “entertainment fireplace” which helps explain a little of the plot but has a sad undercurrent that further sells the bleak narrative and tone.  Not bad, but the lack of music will make you wish for the haunting tunes of World of Goo.  I wish there was more music here as I loved the Danny Elfman-like music from World of Goo.  However, if you do like the tunes from this game, they are available for download from Tomorrow Corporation's website. As far as the sound itself goes, every little crackle and pop of the flames not only feels authentic, but oddly pleasurable as well.  Sure I could go on and on about the hilarious marshmallow screams, popping, corn and exploding batteries--but let's face it, the flames are the star, and the sound team delivered.  Even if it weren't for the funny sounds made by the various "burnables," just the fire itself is soothing to hear.

Game Features of Note:
So much to burn, so little time to do it in...
                The combo system used to unlock more catalogs and progress the story line has a few minor flaws.  Had I the chance to do a minor edit on this, I might make it clearer to the player what catalogs they should look through to solve combo-burning puzzles.  Not that this made things too hard or less enjoyable, it just made sections of the game last a little longer than felt necessary.  Were I to play the game again, I would attempt to complete as many combos as possible early on so as to avoid confusion later.  That said, even if you decide to just goof around and burn random things together and see what happens, there’s still joy to have in seeing stuff quite literally go up in smoke.

Final Analysis:
Little Inferno was one of the downloadable games that drew me to the Wii U, and I was even more enthused when I learned that two of the guys from 2D Boy were working on the game.  Given the ending of World of Goo, it seems safe to say that this game takes place in that same universe, only farther down the timeline.  If ever I need cheering, I sometimes open this game and fill the whole fireplace with marshmallows just to watch them hop along and scream before they explode into gooey bits.  Does that sound a bit grim?  Well, it is, but I love every minute of it and I hope the development team decides to make either a sequel to this game or World of Goo.  Two games from these guys and now I feel invested in knowing what happens to this world they've created, even if the ending means a terrible fate for those who live in it.

Graphics/Visual Style: 10/10
Music: 8/10
Control: 9/10
Gameplay/Fun Factor: 10/10

Overall Rating:  9/10

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday Night Rental: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

The game that would launch a thousand ships...and Youtube videos

Before you even start, I know what you are thinking, "Everyone and their grandmother has done a review of Simon's Quest already!  Geez Jester, can't you start off with something just a little different?  Criminy this is old school even for old school!"

Sit back and listen to some tunes whilst I talk my lovelies...

Well, truthfully I did think about doing a different game.  Something like one of the Mega Mans, Elevator Action, Kid Icarus, Metroid, or any of the other countless games that I remember renting over and over again.  However, the fact that this one game has been reviewed several times got me thinking--what about this game in particular makes it a focal point of frustration in gamer community?

Besides that...
It can't just be because annoying text pops up in the middle of the game, can it?  I mean, sure it gets annoying from time to time, but it isn't like it gets in the way of progress, it just artificially lengthens the game.  So why does this particular game get the shame that it does?  I wonder if it's for the same reasons that I thought of this game immediately when deciding what to start the Friday Night Rentals section.  When truly awesome games for the Nintendo were everywhere, you couldn't just buy whatever you felt like, you had to rent them.  And if your parents were like mine, this meant you had to wait for the weekend to get something.  Don't get your heart set on a particular game though, because you could end up getting to the store and a selection of garbage games, games you had already beaten, or ones you had just given up on awaited you.  Sometimes my mom and I wouldn't arrive until just before close at the local video store and this meant you either got something you weren't interested in (i.e. hadn't read about in Nintendo Power), or you went home empty handed.  Since the latter was totally unacceptable, sometimes this meant going home with a game that was...well...lacking.

See, here the interruption makes sense.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike Castlevania II right off the bat--ha ha puns!

But after the third time I rented it, I began to sense that something was wrong as it was not the vampire-head-ripping time my Nintendo Power had promised.

Hey !14 pages of gory details can't be wrong, can they?

So, what exactly was I thinking when I grabbed Simon's Quest for the fourth, fifth, and sixth time I rented it?  I guess I was thinking that Nintendo games were awesome, the first Castlevania was awesome, so I just had to give it another try.  Maybe this time I would get it.  Maybe this rental it would all make sense and I would beat the game and arise victorious!


Just to give a little insight, I partially blame the fact that the particular video store I'm talking about was not one of those stores that proudly displayed the game box with the actual game behind it stored in a plastic case.  I loved video stores that did that!  It was both a quick and easy way to see whether the game I wanted was in, and if not whether they actually had the game at all. This video store had all of the games behind the service counter and the only way you could find out what games they had to rent was to go through a folder full of laminated cards held in baseball card keepers.  Each card had the name of a game.  I tried asking the clerks now and then if there were any new games in, but they seemed fairly clueless.  So there was no way of telling whether you might be missing out on something awesome or not.  All you had to go with was what you saw.  And time after time I kept on going back to Castlevania II hoping that it would be better than last time.

It wasn't better even the seventh time...

So let's break down the game in a quick review, and just why I kept renting it:


The core controls of the game never felt choppy, and never felt like a cheat.  The whipping action seemed solid, Belmont moved when I wanted him too, and I never found myself feeling like the controls were unresponsive.  I know there has been much said about how easy it was to get knocked back and take a fatal belly-flop into the water.  But that seemed fairly standard in some game of the time.  You get hit, you get pushed back a little, and you lose some health.  True, it feels like Belmont has some serious over-acting going on as he flayals helplessly backward, but I just chalk that up to being a Castlevania staple.  As for the jumping thing, again, I don't think that it was that huge of an issue.  Annoying at times, yes.  But not a programming fault.  It was just like Ghosts and Goblins: when you jumped, you were committed to that jump, no take-backs do or die.

Music and Sound

I love most video game music (see Wednesday's post) and I think most of us in the gaming community would agree teh Castlevania series has a solid selection of tunes.  That said, you will be hearing that nighttime music a bit more than you would think possible.  No it wasn't just goofy parody; there's a reason it was a gag in the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the game.  Now, this isn't to say that the loop is terrible.  The loop has the same Castlevania feel you know and love where an action beat meets a somewhat sinister tone.  However, you better learn to love it because you will be hearing it a bit:

Annnd one more time!

The sound has that Konami feel, and that's a compliment.  The tinny whoosh of the whip, the satisfying clash noise of hitting an enemy, even the annoying splashes that portended the arrival of fishmen were solid.  I've played a few games where hitting the action button resulted in such annoying sounds you almost wanted to die or run away rather than attack.  Konami sounds, and in particular the Belmont whip rank high on my list of top favorite game sound effects.

Gameplay and Graphics

Getting knocked back?  That's just par for the course, and truthfully, it helps ground this as a Castlevania game.  Not to say that just getting knocked back automatically makes this a worthy entry into the Castlevania franchise.  If that were the case then every game that uses fireballs and jumping are basically Mario clones.  (Okay, I guess you could make that argument, but that is neither here nor there.)  What I mean is the way in which you get knocked back, while annoying, just makes it feel like a Castlevania game.  And the game needs every little chance it can to remind you that what you are playing has connections to the franchise.  Using hearts to buy stuff rather than just getting to use it as ammo?  Really?  For a sequel, it feels like Konami was a little over-ambitious.  Dashes of RPG elements with grabbing garlic here dropping it there, Picking up gems and kneeling before Zod in the right location, gathering pieces of Dracula--not bad touches, just I wanted to whip it, whip it good!  Yes, you get to whip monsters, battle through bosses and toss wooden stakes--but I guess I just was hoping for liner gameplay at the time, even if I didn't know what liner gameplay meant.  Not that I don't appreciate the attempt--well, actually, maybe I didn't appreciate the attempt!  The original Castlevania and Castlevania III felt like the same game, whereas Simon's Quest felt like an odd spin-off game that never took hold.  That said, the graphics did look like an improved and updated version in spots. The whip animation was still there and solid.  I like the splashes that appear as the fish men dove in and out of the water, which has a satisfying deep blue hue that makes me think water.  I know that might sound like stretching for praise, but sometimes companies in the 8-bit era would try to make something look like sea water with touches of green; only to end up having what looked like an ocean of slime.  Platte choices can effect how much a forest feels like a forest, and Konami knew what they were doing--at least back in the day they did.  Maybe not so much now.

aaaaaannnny who..... 

Overall Impression

I don't know why I thought I could beat this game as a kid.  Why did I think I would manage to puzzle things out with the garlic bulbs and tornadoes?  I had more times that I was bored with going back and forth aimlessly hoping to stumble on a way to progress the game than times I was making consistent progress on the game.  Other games moved along at a clip, even other non-linear games and other RPGs.  Sometimes the grinding of RPGs was dull work, but compared to this it was like I chose to get dental work rather than go see Jurassic Park on the big screen. Not to get down on myself.  I just clearly was lost every time I rented this game, and I admit as a silly kid I would rent this because not renting a game was never an option in my book.  Perhaps I should have made an exception in this case.  I like the game more as an adult than I did as a kid, but I still pick it up and remember all those times I wasted my money (and my parent's) trying to enjoy a game that clearly bored me.  Sunday morning may have meant I had to return this game to the store, but I actually felt relieved by the time it rolled around.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt returning the game.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Demo Derby: Splatoon Global Test Fire! Review

Commence the Mess!

Round one of the "Splatoon Global Test Fire" has finished, let the discussion begin, the anticipation build, and the pre-downloads grow!  So, what are initial reactions to the game, the control, and the overall feel?


The controls are solid, but take a little getting used to.  You use the WiiU pad to look aim and the right analog stick to move the camera. The left analog stick controls movement, and the gun (at least the basic splatter jr. gun I used) fired with zr.  Eventually the control felt smooth, but I admit the first few rounds I got the camera and aiming functions mixed up.


Such an incredible amount of fun, I hardly know where to begin.  Yes it lives up to the hype, at least from my experience.  Not only does the competition feel friendly and fun between the different teams, but there is a nice element of competition to it from teammate to teammate.  Can I score the highest on the team?  Can I get more "kills" (or whatever they are calling it) than other players?  I never once felt mad when another team won, and I like that.  I like when if I lose I don't feel robbed or that the other team cheated or that the game control caused me to lose.  Even waiting has advantages as there's a jumping squid mini-game on the pad that you can play while waiting for other players to join.  I can't wait to use Amiibos on this new franchise, because the potential added gameplay on what already seems like a great upcoming game has me pumped.

Online Experience

I know people were annoyed that Nintendo chose not to have in game chatter in the game, and I now having actually experienced the game, I'm 50/50 on the decision.  On the one hand, if there was a function to talk, I'm not sure how hard it would be to implement.  Even if you only had each team able to communicate with their teammates using the mic function, it might get too chaotic.  Not to mention the programming might have been too hard to do.  I'm not sure.  One Major drawback, and no, it isn't the over-powered paint roller:  If your team loses someone due to lag or drop, you are basically hosed unless you manage to play so aggressively that you continually knock out you opponents players before they can gain much ground.  Yes, the paint roller is overpowered, but not so much that it can't be overcome through clever playing and coordination from your teammates.  However, you can't make up 300-500 points that a dropped player would have brought.

Overall Thoughts

Keeping in mind that this is essentially a demo, improvements and tweaks may or may not be forthcoming.  It wouldn't surprise me if somewhere along the way they tweak the paint roller, just as I'm sure they'll add in cool new weapons and custom characters as DLC.  I look forward to doing a more thorough review when the game get is officially released because so far--Nintendo has more than delivered the goods.  But that's just this Jester's opinion.

*Edit: After a second play through, I have to say facing an entire team made of paint-rollers was a bit daunting.  It didn't make it less fun, but it did make me think less of the team attempting to bulldoze their way to a win.  I hope Nintendo does some tinkering with this weapon in an update or else it will turn into Splatoon: Paintroller Wars

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Midweek Music Box: Pilotwings

High Flying Excitement-ish-ness

It doesn't just help me to "pass the time" or only function to enhance game play when I listen to it; for me, video game music has helped me during the times I clean house, have a long commute, and most importantly, helped me to refocus my mind while writing.  From creative writing, to writing stories for the t shirt site CaptainKYSO, to countless college writing assignments and more; video game music has helped my mood by helping to shape my mood.  Everything from remixes of Mega Man, Super Metroid, Super Mario Bros, and too many others to name form the background of my everyday writing experience.  So to that end, I thought I would share some of the various tunes that I've listened to over the years, talk about why I like them, how well (or in some cases not well) they worked in the game, and how they helped me to get my writing done.

Rather than kick things off with something bombastic and hard rockin', I wanted to talk a bit about the smooth jazz and light tunes offered up in most of the Pilotwings soundtrack.  Yeah, I know that's pretty obvious by the title, but hush!  This is my blog thank-you-very-much.  Now, obviously when it comes to the final helicopter stage and rescue operation the music takes a turn for the dramatic so as to help emphasize the seriousness of the situation.  But I don't really listen to that particular tune all that often unless I'm doing a bit of story writing and need music that conveys a serious tone, but still with an enjoyable elevator music-like quality.  Yes, you heard me right pal, I said enjoyable elevator music!  I sure as heck would would want something mellow playing if I were about to jump out of a plane or go rocketing with who-knows-many-pounds of flammable propellant strapped to my back!  So if my mind is buzzing with dozens of things that have to get done and I feel like I'm plunging out towards deadlines at terminal velocity, I need something mellow to help keep me on an even keel.
Putting Tom Petty's "Free Fallin" on my ipod was a mistake...

I have a number of writing projects and jobs that I am working on right now in addition to this blog, and while I love them and love the art and craft of writing--it can get downright stressful at times!  Not every night calls for my old stand by 10 hour loop of Daft Punk's around the world, and not every night calls for Metroid Prime's Phendrana Drifts.  Sometimes, I just need jazzy elevator music to relax my mind, sooth the soul, and help keep me focused on the task (or tasks).  The wrong music for the wrong time can totally kill the flow my writing, and as such, I need to know what I need to keep my writing going.  I can and probably will write several articles on music I use for different writing moods in the future, but for right now Pilotwings is my bread and butter for when I need to de-stress and focus.  Just listen to few minutes of this for example:

Not the music that comes to my mind when jumping out of a plane, but then again, I've never jumped out of an airplane so maybe it is just right.  Does it get any more intense with the Rocketbelt Music?

Not really.  Just some nice, soothing "blah, blah" and "wah wah" sounds.  I guess I could hunt down an orchestral version of this on Youtube if I wanted, but I prefer the original sounds.  Not just because I'm a purist at times when it comes to game music, but because I think I'm so familiar with this soundtrack (as is the case with so many games for Nintendo and Super Nintendo) that I would be focused a little too much on what the orchestra did differently than the beloved original.

If you haven't listened to the soundtrack or played the game in a while, I would recommend pulling up one of the videos I linked to here and having them play in the background if you have to get things done, but need to not freak out about it.

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't make my deadlines under this pressure!

Who needs generic jazz or Girl from Ipanema?  Soyo Oka has you covered.  Now get to work dang it!  Move! Move! Move!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Missed Enemies and Opportunities: ZaciSa's Last Stand Review

Relentless enemy attacks and only you and your dogged persistence and cunning to prolong certain doom?  Count me in fellow Missile Commanders, I am up for the game! I’m a longtime fan of the tower defense genre so when I saw that the price had dropped on ZaciSa’s Last Stand for the Wii U, I decided it was time to give it a whirl.


In ZaciSa’s Last Stand you defend your base or bases, through the use of various drones, from an unending onslaught of spaceships bent on death-ramming your base to kingdom come. You can choose from several difficulty modes, and the chalkboard look of the ships and space provide an interesting and unique visual style to the game.  Those things said…man, I tried so hard to like this game, I really did.  I tried numerous times as a matter of fact.  Each time I hoped it would get better.  That somehow, some way this would be the magic time when things clicked for me.  However, I would pick the game up after about a week, play for ten minutes before getting disappointed with it all over again.  Why did it get frustrating so quickly?

The ridiculous, almost obnoxious way ZaciSa's ramps up the difficulty on you early into the gameplay experience creates an enormous stumbling block right out of the gate.  As you would expect with any tower defense worth its missiles, the number and strength of enemies increases as you progress.  You earn money for every enemy you defeat, and you use the money you get to buy various power ups for your base or various drones to defend it.  However, the difficulty acceleration in ZaciSa’s goes beyond what might considered a reasonable difficulty increase.  A good tower defense game builds on challenges, each wave a little more difficult than the rest while introducing you to new enemies that require new strategies and weapons to handle them.  However, the way in which ZaciSa’s ramps up the difficulty so suddenly, it feels less like a tower defense game and more like you’re playing a trial and error game.  If you’re lucky, you’ll stumble on the right combination of drones and power-ups.  If you don’t, you’re toast.   Personally, every time I tried to play the game, I found even my most heavily powered up drone woefully inadequate when this sudden difficulty bump took place.  On the upside, the game makes clever use of the game pad which is both nice to see and adds something to the gameplay.

Something unique to several Wii U games is the need for the player to constantly switch their attention from the action on the TV screen to a menu screen on the game pad.  With a well done game like the conversion of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD or the real time strategy game Swords and Shields, there is virtually no hiccup in gameplay and the action feels natural.  ZaciSa’s has its players look at the gamepad menu screen in order to upgrade the various drones used in base defense.  You can be strategic in a number of different ways from switching out types of drones to powering up some drones and not others.  The menu also offers three game speed settings in an attempt to balance the game-play and give players an ease of transition between the two screens while playing the game.  As I said, it's nice to see that some developers are embracing the game pad technology.  However, because of the sudden increase in difficulty, you don't have a chance to get comfortable looking between the television screen where the action takes place, and the Wii U pad where you select how best to use the money you've earned beating enemies.  Worse yet, the difficulty jump would always seem to happen when I was looking at the Wii U pad navigating the power-up screens, so the opportunity to delivery a more natural experience was lost--at least on me.  Now, it should be noted that you can control the speed at which the game happens, but this is also a determent rather than the feature it should be.

Game Features of Note
For example, if you select the “0x” option to bring the game to a standstill so you can upgrade without worry of enemy attack, you have no idea if your powering up wisely.  If you go for the “1x” speed, you get a little bit better feel for what is working and what is not, but the game moves painfully slow.  If you try your hand at the highest “3x” speed you can at least feel like the game is moving along, but then you will find your eyes darting back and forth between screen and gamepad in a mad dash to keep up and keep ahead of the multi-colored triangles that kamikaze their way through your defenses.

Graphics and Style
Speaking of multi-colored triangles, a brief word on the game's visuals.  Admittedly, the animated chalkboard look was a selling point to me.  I think it is a fun and clever twist on the usual highly detailed and specific looking enemies you can get out of a tower defense game.  I don't think you need to always have crisp, super shiny bosses in order for the game to be interesting and fun to play.  The problem once again though is that the hope when you are going for simpler graphics that the gameplay and control will draw you in, but it doesn't.

Concerning the music, it has an appropriate sound comprised of techno beats and okay rhythms that cycle after a few minutes.  It’s pleasant enough, but it’s also not exactly anything to write home about either.  It falls into that category of music where it works at the time, but is completely forgettable.  I honestly have nothing more to say about this, which is a shame in itself because there are games out there with multiple problems like this one, but at least the soundtrack made them a bit more worthwhile.  Sadly, this wasn't one of them.

All of these aspects fail to deliver a smooth game experience and instead make ZaciSa's have a rather hodgepodge feel.  

Final Analysis:
ZaciSa's Last Stand is a mildly amusing tower defense game that offers a unique, simplistic visual style and interesting game play that I would welcome to the genre.  I hope that the forthcoming patch Zenfa Productions LLC is working on makes necessary adjustments to gameplay and adds some new sprites, but my hopes aren't too high.  In the end I would like to see a sequel to the game but one that does not ask so much of its players so quickly and one that has more interesting enemy sprites while making use of the chalk-board style art.  There is potential here for a genuinely fun and challenging game experience with its own unique flair.  As is though, the game just feels like the budget title that it is.  If you want to try your hand at it, the game is pretty cheap and goes on sale from time to time but you’re likely to forget you even downloaded this game a month after having done so.

Graphics/Visual Style: 7/10
Music: 6/10
Control: 7/10
Gameplay: 4/10

Overall Rating: 6/10