Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Reverse Castle


The Twelve Days of Halloween concludes with the end of Symphony. ...come to think of it, this probably would have made a lot more sense as the "Thirteen" Days of Halloween.

Fun? Fact: This post and the previous Symphony post both have exactly 66 images, and this wasn't even necessarily intentional. It just shook out that I had 132 images total that were good enough to post, and I evenly divided them. An even crazier coincidence is that the exact midpoint is the Reverse Castle arrival. Weird. Very weird. Almost...spooky.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Screamers (1995)


One last Monster Madness episode, looking at something that needs to be looked at because so few people know about it.

SUPER underrated movie that combines elements from my two favorite sci-fi horror movies: Terminator and The Thing. It's one of those "they could be anyone" movies, combined with unstoppable machines and an apocalyptic future. This shouldn't have been that good, but it really is. It's also based on "Second Variety" by Phillip K. Dick, and as we should all know by now, any movies and shows based on Dick stories tend to be pretty damn interesting.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Tremors (1990)


More Monster Madness, as Kevin Bacon and friends battle giant sand slugs. This is basically the 1990 version of Them! and has as much in common with that movie as Aliens does. Though in a different way. Stop creating giant mutants with your nuke testing, guys.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine, 1993)


The last 2D Castlevania game that I never had a chance to play until now. It was trapped on the island of PC Engine (Turbografx-16) for a long time. Now it has a PS4 version so I can give it a whirl, though I'm still counting it as a TG16 game. It got (sort of) ported to the SNES as Castlevania Dracula X which I did cover on here long ago. That port is known for being a somewhat different game, and fairly deficient compared to this original version. Now I get to finally see what the fuss is about.

It's also worth noting that this game is the immediate predecessor to Symphony of the Night. In a weird way, this is basically "Castlevania 5" in everything except name. I can understand dropping the number though, especially considering how the third and fourth games in the series were chronologically out of whack already (aka a prequel and a remake respectively).

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Them! (1954)


Time for some Monster Madness. Been wanting to cover this movie for like five Halloweens now and never get around to it. It's a legendary horror classic about rampaging giant ants. If you haven't seen it, you've probably heard of it.

Also, fun fact: This movie inspired Aliens quite a bit. That's right, it's Proto-Aliens. That alone makes this a bit of a historical artifact.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Legend of the Mystical Ninja (Super NES, 1992)


On the sixth day of Halloween I'm looking at Goemon for the Super NES. A lot of people love Goemon. This is the first one I've gotten to check out. And all I can say is..... What horrifying box art. And is that Jack Black?

This game and I go back a long way because I was always intrigued by it, but never enough to get it or emulate it. Didn't see it for rent anywhere either, seemed kinda rare. 15 years or so ago I met this cool girl who had a small SNES collection we tooled around with, and this was the only game she had that I hadn't finished (or played). She wasn't a big gamer and only had a few things, all classics...and this. Ever since then I sorta made it this quest to eventually get to it. Turns out it's really short (I thought it was a beefy RPG) and can be finished in 2-3 hours. Will it be everything I hoped for?

Also, the box says ten levels, but Nintendo Power says nine levels. Someone is lying.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Playstation 2, 2006)


This is the end of the PS2 trilogy and also the end of the original series. The next game is a what-if and the one after that reboots the continuity. That's right, this is the culmination of the original MK story and it's for all the marbles.

Not to be confused with that MK Annihilation movie, but I could see people mixing them up. In short: This game is good, that movie is a turd.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Mortal Kombat: Deception (Playstation 2, 2004)

This game has a cool logo. A good sign! This is one that I really didn't pay any attention to when I was younger. I may not have played MK4 and Deadly Alliance but at least I was aware of them and what they were about. For all I knew this one was some kind of spinoff. Well, nope, this is technically "MK6" by another name and it advances the PS2 trilogy. It's also a substantial improvement over the previous game (and MK7 would improve even further).

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (Playstation 2, 2002)

It's day 3 of the Twelve Days of Halloween and it's time for more Kombat.

This one dropped five years after MK4. Which means that while took them a few years to count to 4, it took them even longer to count to 5. And make no mistake, this is "MK5" in everything but name. Notice how the background of the title is a somewhat camoflaged "V" symbol.

I probably would have paid a lot more attention to it in 2002 if it had been called that, but as it is, this is my first time playing it. This was the first MK to go straight to consoles instead of having an arcade version first, likely because arcades unfortunately declined in popularity after the 90's ended.

This one is the first to go full 3D, and begins a trilogy of sorts on the PS2 gen. This culminates with MK Armageddon (AKA MK7) which is basically the end of the series as we know it. But not to worry, it gets rebooted (...twice) after that.

In any case, this one has Shang Tsung and Quan-Chi teaming up to form the DEADLY ALLIANCE. Only question is, which one's the bitch and which one's the butch which one gets to be the final boss?

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Creed Champions (Playstation 4, 2021)


This might be interesting for people who like the Rocky series. That's right, it's a Rocky video game and it's actually pretty good. It takes place after Creed II and gives you some story from that timeframe. The main draw here, though, is that you can relive fights from the rest of the Rocky series via character flashbacks. They're technically "telling the story" which means they have some leeway here to go in unexpected directions with what-ifs.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Highlander 4x21 - Judgment Day


Kind of a dramatic name here. I kinda doubt this episode is gonna be worth such a hyperbolic title, but we'll see. This is the first half of the season finale on the DVD sets officially, while in the original broadcast airing it was the sole season finale and the second half was held over to S5 to leave us on a cliffhanger.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Mortal Kombat IV (N64, 1998) + Mortal Kombat Gold (Dreamcast, 1999)


MK finally learns to count to four! This is the first one so far that I haven't previously beaten so I won't have any kind of nostalgia or bias.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

MK Mythologies: Sub-Zero + MK Mythologies: Special Forces (N64 and PS1, 1997 and 2000)


They should have called both games MK ULTRA because they're torture. Not sure how far I'll be getting with either of these but I sure won't be finishing either.

That's right, it's the infamous side-games where you play as specific characters, fleshing out their story a bit. I think they were planning a whole series of these, but the idea bombed out quickly and only really got revisited with the Liu Kang / Kung Lao driven Shaolin Monks years and years later. That game is actually good, probably because Ed Boon took command on it unlike these two disasters.

In said disasters you're playing as Sub-Zero and Jax respectively. Special Forces was supposed to also center around Sonya, which would have added a lot to the game (and let them knock out another character from their no doubt long list of side games they'd have to do if this "do a game starring each character" madness continued). After some development hell, playable Sonya was left out of the game. Originally you chose one of the two characters at the outset and played as them throughout, with the second character appearing to offer assists or show up in cutscenes. Well, far as I can tell Sonya was totally removed.

I don't know how many characters they were planning to do games for, but it appears that it was at least the original cast. Mythologies: Sub-Zero has the titular character and Scorpion, while Special Forces was supposed to star Jax and Sonya going aganst Kano. That leaves Raiden and Liu Kang, who were...the next planned games. However they also had a Baraka game on the drawing board so they may have extended into MK2's roster. The Baraka and Liu Kang games were cancelled, while the concepts for the Raiden game were retooled into aforementioned "only good spinoff" Shaolin Monks with Liu Kang and Kung Lao. (Edit: I forgot Johnny Cage lol...but so did they)

Fun Fact: While both are prequels to the main series, Special Forces is canonically the first game in the entire MK-verse, taking place before any of the others.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Chapter 8 - The Legend of Welda


Next, our heroes climb to the top of the ice mountain to look for the Zenithian Sword. But what condition will it be in after all these years?

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Chapter 7 - Spiegel Spike

Today on Dragon Quest VI: After a hiatus where I level-grinded in Spiegelspire during my spare time, we return to DQVI with a super powered-up party. Turns out it isn't hard at all to max out in a phone game that you can play whenever you want during random lulls in activity.

Also I just remembered that Dragon Quest VII has a Pirate class (tier 2) and it's very good. Well I'm definitely playing that now. Just need Sailor + Thief maxed to get it. Wait, the Alltrades Abbey in that game is like 30 hours in? FUUU-