Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic

Developer: Origin8 Technologies

Publisher: Atari

Platforms: iOS/Android

Reviewed on: iOS

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Anyone who knows me knows I love theme park building games and no series does it better than Roller Coaster Tycoon (Ignoring the terrible Roller Coaster Tycoon World). This series has been around since 1999 and I have played every game released for it ever since. Perhaps the game series I have sunk the most time into in all these years, I now have another reason to revisit it.

Earlier this year, March to be exact the original creator of this game Chris Sawyer stated he was working on bringing this game to mobile platforms but no specific release date was given. Ever since nothing has been heard on the project but Christmas came early this year! The game was released earlier this month and it’s every bit as good as it once was.

Like I mentioned earlier Roller Coaster Tycoon is a theme park building/ management game which sees you, well do just that. Everything is true to the original games, you select a park from a list of scenarios and try to achieve the given goal within a set time. Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic takes all the parks (bar expansion pack parks) from the first two games and splits them across 10 groups, starting with the easiest scenarios and working up to the more difficult ones.

So the most important aspect when it comes to porting games over to mobile platforms is the control schemes. Trying to condense all aspects of the original game and make it usable on mobile is no easy task, especially on a game like this. Well I am pleased to say the controls work absolutely fine which is very surprising. The UI does not obstruct your view at all, all the critical information is displayed without a problem. Number of guests and your total money are displayed along the top and your construction tools and date are along the bottom. Everything that needs showing just fits in so well!

There is one problem that people may find with the controls however, they may be slightly fiddly. I haven’t found this to be a problem since I play on an Ipad Air 2 which gives me enough room for everything I need. If I tried playing this on my iPhone SE however I can see that it would be incredibly difficult to do so. If you’re going to buy this then I would definitely purchase it on a tablet.

If you played the dreadful Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 that was released on mobile this year then you’ll know it was riddled with micro-transactions. Thankfully Classic purges all signs off them and instead offers only three purchases. The two expansions released for Tycoon 2 (Time Twister and Wacky Worlds) as well as a separate scenario editor. Now these feel fine as in app purchases as they are actual expansion packs. They offer a whole set of new parks, rides and building objects making them worth the purchase. Other than these three packs that’s it. No micro transactions and no ads in the game. Perfect.

Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic can be purchased for £4.49 and each expansion can be purchased for £1.49. The base game includes 95 scenarios which is amazing value for money and both expansion packs will give you a total of 31 extra parks. The game runs on iOS 7 or higher so take that into consideration before purchasing it! Overall an incredibly successful port of a great PC game.



Top 10 Games of 2016

Well with another 10 posts published it is that time again, another top 10 list ! This time around with it approaching the end of year I thought I would talk about my top 10 games of 2016. To clarify they do not need to be games released in 2016, I’m referring to any game that I have played for the first time throughout this year meaning any game is viable for this list. Rules out of the way lets begin !

10. Super Metroid

Without a doubt the oldest game on my list. The SNES was a few years before my time so I missed out on a lot of great titles. Thankfully I own a 3DS which now incorporates virtual console ! This was one of the select titles available so I thought I’d give it a try seeing as I love the Prime games. Now this had what I like in a side scroller. A huge world to explore, hidden passages and tons of collectables. Not to mention the incredibly impressive pixel art this game features, to this day it still looks amazing.

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9 .Banjo-Tooie

I held off on playing the sequel to Banjo Kazooie for so long. When i finally got around to playing it I was not disappointed. It essentially feels like an expansion of the first game, everything controls the same and looks the same. The only difference is that everything has become bigger and grander. The levels are huge when compared to first game which lets face it, is never a bad thing for banjo-kazooie. This game will have you collecting all it has to offer for hours upon hours !

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8. Dark Souls 3

Oh Dark Souls. I think I lost count the amount of times I saw the infamous “You Died” screen. There’s something about this game that keeps you coming back for more, no matter how much rage it induces within you. The sad thing is the control’s work so well that if you do die it is usually your fault meaning you can’t blame the game. I still haven’t beat this game (although I’m on the final boss if that counts) but at last I feel like the fire within me has extinguished and I shan’t return to this game for a while.

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7. Parkitect

Man oh man I do love me some theme park building. Parkitect is a modern day rework of the Roller Coaster Tycoon series (the old and superior ones). Everything down to the last detail has been designed with those games in mind and I have no problem with that what so ever. Anything you want to build can be easily achieved with a few clicks and a lot of imagination. This game is constantly being updated with more to do so I don’t think its going to get stale anytime soon !

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6. Ori and the Blind Forest

Think of this game as a throwback to the metroid-vania style of games. One big interconnecting map with loads of upgrades to collect. How Moon Studies managed to make a moving story with no words ushered I have no idea. But the one thing that makes this game stand out. The art. Oh my God it is stunning, I could find myself just staring at the title screen let alone the actual game. The music is just the icing on the cake for this game, it accompanies everything so well.

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5. Rayman Legends

I can honestly say I did not expect this game to be good. Now I played Rayman Origins and did not think much of it. But Rayman Legends on the other hand damn this sequel was one heck of an improvement. Featuring some of the slickest controls I’ve seen in a platformer for a long time and a gorgeous art style, Legends was just stunning to play. A gradual difficulty curve meant there was enough challenge to keep me occupied and man those music levels, hands down one of the best parts of this game. I can only imagine how fun (or frustrating) it would be to play with three other players.

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4. Rise of the Tomb Raider

The Tomb Raider series had fell on rough times in recent years, that was until Square Enix rebooted the series. The sequel in the rebooted series was fantastic. Rise of the Tomb Raider does everything Tomb Raider did and made it 10x better. Bigger maps to explore, check. More tombs to explore, check. The sequel delivers everything you would want from a Tomb Raider game and even sets the path for future games in this series. What more could you want.

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3. Life is Strange

I’ve already talked about this game in my review but this is probably the best episodic game I have ever played ! Out of all the episodic games I’ve played this gave a new spin onto the genre which made it much more engaging. Yet the best part of this game was the characters, anyone can relate to these characters and it helps bond you on a more personal level with them which just makes the game that much more enjoyable.

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2. Final Fantasy XV

I love myself a good RPG and the only Final Fantasy game I’ve played is VII so I didn’t really pay this game any attention up until its release… then I saw a trailer for it. Damn that was one epic trailer, the second I watched it I knew I’d end up buying this game. No regrets were had purchasing this game. The story, combat system and characters just ooze charm and make this game a joy to play through. At the time of writing I have clocked in around 30 hours and I’m only on chapter 4. That alone shows how expansive this game is (granted I’ve spent way longer than I care to admit fishing).

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1. Overwatch

I’ve said previously I’m not a big fan of multiplayer games. This game hands down changed that for me. Everything about it is just so polished. The insanely detailed characters each with their own backstroy, the maps, game modes. Everything about it is just incredible and don’t even get me started on loot boxes, that rush every time you open one. Without a doubt my top game for 2016 is Overwatch.

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What are your favourite games you’ve played this year ?

Murdered: Soul Suspect

Developer: Airtight Games

Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Reviewed on: Xbox One

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Murdered: Soul Suspect, a game I’ve heard many mixed to negative reviews from friends and various reviewers but never knowing why it received the reception it did. Xbox games with gold released this as one of the free games for December so I thought why not give it a try and see if this game deserves the criticism it got.

Going into Murdered: Soul Suspect I did not set my hopes high however I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst the game is not anything particularly special by no means is it a bad game like everyone makes it out to be.

The story follows police detective Ronan O’Connor in the city of Salem as he tries to track down a notorious serial killer known only as “The Bell Killer”. So you’re probably thinking this is just another gritty noir detective game right ? You would be right for the most part except the main difference here is well… you’re dead. The opening cut-scene shows you being killed by the Bell Killer resulting in Ronan becoming stuck in limbo until he can catch the killer.

So how exactly do you track down a serial killer as a ghost ? Being a ghost has it’s advantages such as being able to walk through objects, posses people and read their minds and of course being able to see other ghosts. This is essentially how the main gameplay in Soul Suspect works. You wonder around various locations such as Churches, graveyards and police stations gathering evidence to further your leads and make progress in your investigation. Evidence can range from newspaper clippings all the way to reading someones thoughts. It works similar to how LA Noire carries out the investigation sequences. Aside from this there are other small things to locate around Salem such as Ronan’s thoughts as he reviews places he’s been in his life, newspaper articles on the victims of the killer and historical events of Salem (Mainly the witch trials). Finally there is one last thing to mention about gameplay, your companion so to speak. A witness of one the killings called Joy is able to see Ronan despite him being a ghost. How is this possible ? Well she’s coincidentally a medium and can see spirits. Various puzzles involve you making use of Joy interacting with world to pick up objects seeing as Ronan can’t being a ghost and all.

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Of course it is never easy though. Whilst you attempt to catch the Bell Killer there is one small problem that comes with being dead (aside from being unable to touch anything). Demons ! As you progress the game demons begin appearing in an attempt to destroy your soul and prevent you from reaching the afterlife. Despite Ronan being a tough street wise detective he seems to posses no fighting skill at all. You can either hide from demons to evade them or sneak up behind them to perform an exorcism by completing a quick time event. That is the extent of the combat in this game. Quick time events to me just feel like such a cop out (no pun intended). It just feels lazy and creative on the developers behalf.

Being honest I do not have as many complaints with this game unlike how everyone makes it out to be. Bad combat system aside, the main problem is the games length. I was easily able to complete this game within two days max which is a shame because the story really kept me engaged with it and then it just ended before I knew it. With that in mind it brings me on to my second point, replay value (or lack of). There is virtually no replay value to this game at all. If you’re a hardcore collector then you might want to find every scrap of evidence possible but that is it. Once you know the killer there is no point in playing through the game again. There inst even any difficulty settings to the game meaning it is the same challenge every time you play it.

Overall I would say that Murdered: Soul Suspect is average game at best. It provides a unique twist on a classic detective story enough to provide you with that initial interest. Sure the combat is mediocre but everything else in the game more than makes up for it. I would not have paid full price for this game nor would it have been something I’d go out of my way to play but none the less it was still enjoyable experience.  So with all that being said the only thing left to say is Happy Holidays and a happy new year to all my readers !


The One Lovely Blog Award & The Versatile Blogger Award



Two awards?! Well this was unexpected but none the less greatly appreciated. Hungrygoriya is the person to thank for the “Lovely blogger award”and they run one awesome blog. This blog gives me some serious nostalgia with all of the retro games and antique consoles they manage to track down and buy.

Next we have ToreishiGames to thank for the “Versatile blogger award”. This is my second time being nominated by Toreishi so a huge shout out is in order ! This blog is mainly focused on anime game as well as various other posts. There’s something for everyone here so give her a read !

Constant updates from the both of them means you will always have something to read so go check them out now !

The Rules:

  1. Write an article accepting the award.
  2. Thank the person you nominated you and put a link to their blog.
  3. Tell the reader seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate other blogs for the award.
  5. Let them know that you nominated them.
  6. Post the rules to let your followers know how it works.

Reading these award posts is always fun to find out more about the people I follow so here are seven facts about myself. As both of these awards require you to do the same thing I have decided to combine them into one post because I can’t think of 14 separate facts about myself to say.

Currently studying Games Development at university.

So I just started my third year at university (explains the huge gap in posts recently!) which can mean only one thing… the dreaded dissertation. In all seriousness though university has been a great experience and I’ve met so many awesome people from it. Sure uni has had it’s ups and downs and a few all nighters here and there but I wouldn’t change it at all!

The first game I ever played…

The first game I ever played was Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Megadrive. The Megadrive belonged to my sister so I usually only got to play it when she did. We would often play the 2 player mode where I always had to be Tails (joys of being player 2). This is where my love of games started and it only grew from there.

The first console I ever owned…

Ahhh the PlayStation 1. My first console that was gifted to me and did not have to wait around for my sister to be able to play it. This is where I truly got into video games, I still remember the game that came with it. It was a Casper the friendly ghost game and it was really hard. I was probably just bad at games back in the day but this game involved you controlling Casper and collecting objects in the mansion. Trying to navigate this mansion and find out where to go next just baffled me to much.

Realistic lifelong goal: Own a Shiba Inu

Probably the most random thing on this list but I have always wanted to own a Shiba Inu. For those who do not know what I’m referring to, a Shiba Inu is a breed of dog but damn are they adorable. They are like huge walking balls of fluff, what more could you want ?!

My Author Name

My author name on here (and pretty much anything) is LilSamuelJones despite the fact my name is only Sam and not Samuel and my surname is not Jones at all. So how on earth did I end up with this username ? Essentially during secondary school (year 8 to be exact) many of my friends called me Samuel for whatever reason, then one day they all began calling me SamuelJones to this day I have no idea why. Anyway I was not exactly the tallest kid back then so I added the word “Lil” thus creating LilSamuelJones. Not exactly creative but I thought it had a nice ring to it and to this day I use it for most things requiring a username!

I practically live in a beanie

Once again very random but anyone who knows me knows I practically where a beanie everyday. There are occasions where I decide not to (anything formal, sleep and showering obviously) but more often than not I always wear one. For some reason, one day during sixth form I decided to wear one and ever since its basically stuck with me. Even in my avatar you can see me wearing a beanie! It gets to the point where people end up awe shocked when I don’t wear one !

I can not play any instruments

One of my biggest regrets is not taking any music lessons as a child. I can play a few small snippets of songs on piano but that’s about it. I never thought instruments were cool growing up so I never learned one. Oh how I wish I did now, I’m only 21 so there is still loads of time to learn. If I could choose any instrument to master it would be the piano, it just looks elegant to be able to play perfectly.

Nothing interesting there just a few random facts about me ! So we reach the nomination part of this post ! I’ve been absent for a while so I have no idea who has already been nominated for this award so apologies if you have !

The Well-Red Mage

The Otaku Judge

Nintendo Bound

Mr. Pandas video game reviews

Cheap Boss Attack

I Played the Game

These are just a few of the blogs I enjoy reading and I hope you do too. Most of all though a huge thanks to everyone who reads my posts, I never thought this many people would be interested in a few ramblings I put out every now and then so it means a lot that you all take the time to read them !


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Platforms: Gamecube/ Nintendo Wii U

Reviewed on: Gamecube

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So it has been a while. About a month give or take a few days. Apologies for the long absence without any notice, basically I’ve been getting ready for my final year at university which involved me moving halfway across the country and various other things. So enough with that lets get onto the reviews again!

Not only is The Wind Waker my favourite Zelda game, it is also the first one I ever played so I have a lot of fond memories with this game. With this in mind there are definitely a few flaws with it so I’m not going to let my own feelings get in the way.

The Wind Waker follows the story of Link (as always) approaching his coming of age. Before Links ceremony commences his younger sister Aryll is kidnapped after a band of pirates arrive at Links home island. It is here that Links adventure begins and discovers he plays a larger role in the events about to unfold. Personally I like this idea for a Zelda game as it makes Link feel more relatable, he has a family that he’s willing to do anything to protect. Players can identify with Link for once and I like that.

For those unaffiliated with Zelda games, gameplay is heavily focused on open world exploration with a secondary focus on RPG elements. The typical formula involves you going around the world, solving various puzzles within dungeons or temples and then collecting items allowing you to fight evil bosses. Its a tried and true formula which has not changed at all in the games long running history.

I find the level design in Wind Waker to be some of the best in Zelda’s history. Dungeons follow a smooth difficulty curve starting rather linear and simple progressing all the way through to complex and downright hard. This difficulty curve doesn’t deter people from wanting to play the game, instead it gradually eases them in presenting greater challenges as the players skill level increases. Previous Zelda games (in my opinion at least) have the habit of throwing an incredibly hard area at you only to tone down the difficulty later on. To me it doesn’t feel like I’m being tested if the game follows this formula, Wind Waker balances the perfect difficulty skill to challenge.

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Although the gameplay hasn’t changed the art style made a drastic change here! Switching from the traditional realistic style to a cel-shaded art style was hit or miss for some people. Personally I thought this was a great change, everything feels so much more vibrant in the world. Sure previous entries in the series still look great but nothing compares to the brightly coloured ocean and islands that make up Wind Wakers world. The real beauty of the art style is that no matter how old this game gets it never looks aged in the slightest which to me is really impressive.

Despite all of this there is one area which still makes me reconsider playing through this game everytime I feel like booting it up. The sailing. You either love it or hate it. I enjoy it for the first few minutes but when you need to sail halfway across the games map to reach your destination it gets repetitive. Fast. My problem is that sailing takes forever, you constantly need to change the direction of the wind which just adds to the total journey time. To make it worse there is not much to look at whilst you’re travelling. Sure you will find the occasional intriguing island but more often than not it’s just small watchtowers which try to knock you of your boat. The whole ordeal is just frustrating. Nintendo knew this was a problem as the Wii U remake gives you a turbo sail to speed the process up.

No matter what your favourite Zelda game is Wind Waker is certainly one that should be played by everyone. It has a great story one that expands on the simple idea of you being the hero of legends, Nintendo do a great job of expanding upon it and making it something you can really get engaged in. With a gorgeous art style accompany it, you certainly won’t get tired of playing this game.


Battleblock Theater

Developer: The Behemoth

Publisher: The Behemoth

Platforms: PC/ Xbox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Battleblock-freaking-Theater. I wanted to like this game I really did but it is honestly one of the most frustrating games I have played. I was huge fan of The Behemoths earlier game “Castle Crashers” so I thought that this game had to be on par or at least better since it was released five years later.

After watching the trailer for the Steam version I was instantly sold on this game. I practically forced my friend to watch the trailer and we both decided to purchase it (praise the Steam sales). We thought that the game was going to be amazing after a trailer like that but by the end of the game I’m pretty sure we just ended up annoyed and angry at each other. Seriously if you haven’t viewed the trailer just watch it, this is how a game trailer should be.

In true Behemoth fashion the story is absolutely ridiculous. You play as a nameless character simply referred to as a “friend”, along with Hatty Hattington who is “best friend to one and all” you set out on the SS.Friendship. You suffer a shipwreck and end up on a mysterious island overrun by cats who promptly kidnap Hatty Hattington. Your job being to well rescue him. Yeah it is one incredibly random story but hey we’ll roll with it.

Unfortunately things only go downhill from there. Gameplay essentially consists of you navigating obstacle course like levels filled to the brim with things that want to kill you. Spread throughout the levels are gems and golden yarn balls that act as collectables. Only three gems are required per level in order to beat with the rest contributing only to completion marks. That is the game in a nutshell, there isn’t much variety in the levels and they only really get harder as the game goes on as opposed to introducing new mechanics. It becomes incredibly repetitive and proves to be a struggle in order to continue playing through them. Aside from just the story mode there are various other PvP modes such as king of the hill and time trails but its just more of the same of what you have already played. Only one reason alone made me and my friend press on through this game.

If you watched the trailer you were more than likely intrigued by the narrator. Hands down the narrator is seriously what makes this game shine. Will Stamper narrating the cutscenes made this game worth the money alone, they are some of the funniest I have seen. Each chapter begins with a cutscene and they caused me to start crying with laughter over a Skype call. All of them are presented in a stick puppet style similar to the trailer above and it just adds a whole new layer of funny to them. These were our sole motivation for beating the game, just so we could view a 2 minute video. As much as I hate to say it this is one of my only positive points about this game.

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So why is this game so disappointing? Other than the repetitiveness of the gameplay, a lot of the features just feel broken. I don’t know if we just missed something when we played the game but the checkpoint system seldom worked for us meaning we often had to replay sections of a level we had previously completed. While more of a inconvenience than anything it proved incredibly troublesome on the timed levels as we often lost them simply due to non functioning checkpoints. Some of the animal mounts just seem to have broken AI and often do whatever they want. One level in particular made us spend about 30 minutes trying to get the AI to behave properly. In the end we completed the level through what I can only explain it as “breaking the game”. All of this just makes you as a player frustrated. Me and my friend ended up raging so damn hard that by the end of the game we both uninstalled it and vowed we wouldn’t play it again.

It really does pain me to say that. I know The Behemoth are a small indie company and that is fine but this is game is just rage inducing and repetitive. I will give them credit the aesthetics and overall presentation are beautiful. It is similar to Castle Crashers so you cant go wrong there. The humour is once again phenomenal which is to be expected, so it isn’t all doom and gloom with this game. The fact that I love collecting things in video games also made this game appeal to me more but even I did not really want to spend hours unlocking everything.

Overall Battleblock Theatre is a double edged sword for me. One minute I’m loving it and then the next I’m hating it. If you really do want to try this game for yourself then simply wait for a Steam sale, the normal price is £10.99 which I feel is pretty steep. Whilst you don’t need a friend to play to play with, I highly recommended you do because it is the only way you will probably enjoy it.


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Platforms: PlayStation 1/ Sega Saturn/ Xbox Live Arcade/ PlayStation Network

Reviewed on: PlayStation 1

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I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic lately so I decided to break out my old PS1 and play a random game. What I went with was none other than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and what a good choice  it was. I don’t think I ever fully completed this game as a child, one because it was hard and secondly due to another reason I’ll mention in a little while so playing through it again was a joy.

The story follows the son of Dracula, Alucard as he attempts to destroy his father after cycles of reincarnations and put an end to his desire to destroy humanity. It is a simple story but that is all you needed back in the 90’s, a short bit of exposition and then you were on your way on some quest. What more could you want?

Perhaps considered one of the best entries in the Castlevania series, SotN practically gave birth to the term “Metroidvania”. For those out of the loop “Metroidvania” refers to a sub genre of game that takes elements from the Metroid series and Castlevania series featuring a large interconnected world map in which the player can explore. Many parts of the map are usually blocked off until later abilities are acquired forcing the player to backtrack all around the world in order to advance.

So the gameplay sees you control Alucard as you make your way around Dracula’s castle. It features heavy elements of an RPG making use of equippable weapons, spells and armour as well as a levelling system. Controls are so fluent in this game that it gives todays games a run for their money, like seriously you cant fault them if you mess up it is on you and not the games fault. You are not particularly given any guidance in this game. Exploring is the main theme here, you can end up wondering down any corridor and be greeted with a secret item or an extremely powerful enemy but that is what makes this genre of game so fun. My general rule of thumb for this type of game, if you find a boss you must be going in the right direction.

Earlier I said I never finished this game for a second reason. The reason being that this game pulls a fast one on you. You fight an extremely hard enemy who you think is the final boss and then the credits roll. Game finished right? Hell no. Assuming you have two certain items when you fight that certain boss you will begin the second half of the game. I had no clue whatsoever this existed as a kid and my mind was blown. I mean look at the map below. The one on the left is what you spend the first half of the game exploring, beating the boss with the right items takes you to an inverted version of the map which features new enemies, bosses and just feels completely different from what you are used too. At this point the games size doubles in length and I had no idea it even existed ! Well played Konami.

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With my revelation aside lets speak enemies. A whole range of horror tropes appear in this game. You’ve got zombies, skeletons, haunted suits of armour, the whole works is here and that isn’t even the bosses. Regular enemies are not really hard to beat, they are more annoying than anything but a few strikes from your sword will sort them out. Upon defeat you get XP points which grant you a level up and thus improve your stats making you stronger. Bosses on the other hand will take some memorisation if you wish to defeat them. Some are easy but some are just plain difficult, not to mention if you die to them you are going right back to that last save point so you better learn their attack patterns.

Finally the last thing I want to praise is the art. Damn the sprites are detailed, sure we had full 3D games in 1997 but still this is something to behold. If anyone thinks pixel art is easy then let me tell you, you’re wrong. I’ve spent the good majority of an all nighter on a university assignment trying to get pixel art to work and index properly and oh boy was it time consuming. I mean look at the detail in the sprite below, the way the cape and hair move as he runs that amount of detail for a sprite is ridiculous. If I could find more examples then I would include them but this was the best quality one I could find.

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Honestly not a lot of complaints with this game. Voice acting is the first thing to come to mind. Credit due it is fully voice acted which is nice but it sounds so grainy and cringe worthy listening to it. The lines kind of feel forced and very cliche but they are few and far between so it is not a huge issue.

Thankfully this game has been released on many more modern consoles so anyone out there has a good chance to play it. I imagine the price would be pretty cheap on PSN or XBLA so if you like a good adventure game with a few bits of RPG elements thrown into the mix I highly recommend trying this game. Plus SotN is one of the better Castlevania games so this is a good place to start.