One of my all-time favorite movies is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Back when if first came out I was a kid and I really couldn't appreciate much of what this movie had to offer. Now that I take a look back at this movie one of the best things about it is the music. Deffinetly some of Danny Elfman's best work. I recently came across a new version of the soundtrack called "Nightmare Revisited". It comes with most of the tracks from the official soundtrack but all remade into all kinds of music. Here are the tracks and what I think about them.
Overture - DeVotchKa
Really good, has good rythim and captures the feeling of the movie 5/5
Opening - Danny Elfman
If you have the soundtrack it's the same. It's the narration given by Danny Elfman in the beggining of the movie only longer and with more detail. It's meh. 2/5
This is Halloween - Marilyn Manson
WTF. This one is just weird, and thats saying much given the parties involved in the making of this. I don't know, I really don't think this hardcore rock goes well with TNBC. It's a musical about halloween, not emo town. The song isn't even that bad it's just that I don't like the interpretation given my many that think Jack Skelington is a badass. Once again, this one is in the soundtrack so why bother having it again. 2/5
Jack's Lament - The All-American Rejects
This one is ok. It's an upgrade in terms of music and all, and it sounds just like the original. The only thing I don't like is the voice, it's so skweely. The song is suposed to be a complain and all so you add that and it sounds like emo town again. 3/5
Doctor Finkelstein/In the Forest
Not bad. Once again a welcome upgrade. But the track wasn't that memorable to begin with. 3/5
What's This? - Flyleaf
This one is really nice. Fall Out Boy did a good job in making the other remake but this one is very different. It's slow but it just sounds great. You just can't go wrong with this song I guess. 5/5
Where to begin with this game. Somehow for me it was news when the PSN store was available on the PSP and I got some games off of it since I don't have a PS3 yet. Ultimate GnG was one of those games that I just kept saying to myself that I would get it later. Later has now come and I downloaded this one off the PSN store. One thing I gotta say is that this game gets no love at all here on Giant Bomb. No description, no review, nothing. The boxart is very nice and is here though. Sets the tone for what awaits those who buy this game: You are alone and the demon world is out to get you.
The story is a sequel to Super GnG where the demon lord of that game is gone and there is a new ruler that wants to mix his blood with that of the royal family. So he kidnaps Arthur's girl and then the game starts right away. The GnG series is know for many things but most notably is the difficulty. Man these games are hard and they will drive you MAD. That has not changed in this game and I can't really tell if this one is even harder but I do know that: this game is hard. Thankfuly this game isn't an almost remake of the previous one like Super GnG was to GnG. All of the levels have their own design and brand new enemies to be a pain in the ass as always. Some enemies make a return like the son of a bitch known as the Gargoyle. He is the one thing I can think of that is harder. In the other games he just comes at you really fast and with a very unpredictable pattern. In this one he gets a new attack that just can't be avoided and you WILL DIE.
The game is in a 2D plane but has 3D graphics like the Megaman X remake on the PSP. Somehow that doesn't work that well for this game. Which brings me to the only thing I can find bad out this game. The graphics are a little too dark. It's ok for some levels to be dark, they need it to give a kind of mood. But the other games used more color for everything. Maybe this game should have been cel shaded. But those are just small things to complain about. They also added more weapons to the game but took some away just to make them worse. Yeah nevermind the weapons are lame, just go with the knives the whole game and you'll be fine. Capcom really added way too much stuff this time. Theres shields you can use and they all have an ability you can use, theres magic that fires at enemies or slows down time and theres even a bunch of new armors you can get and yes, they all are pretty unique. Some of the upgrades though grant you abilities that actually make the game harder for those who played the other games, since you already have a mindset about how you move around with Arthur. In typical sidescrollers we are used to make a jump that then we can change the direction of. Not in GnG. Here you jump and you gotta keep going in that direction no matter what.
The game isn't that cheap but it's worth the money. It will definetly take any normal person some time to beat. And if you actualy beat this game fast, you are a freak.
At my lunch brake I decided to take a look at some demos that came out for the Xbox 360. I only have about an hour to play some games so what's the point in getting into something that doesn't have a save point right away.
Halo is back. But this time it's in RTS. I can't play this game, I really wanted to give it a try but it just keeps freezing. Fuck this game, it really pissed me off. I spent like 20 minutes trying to get this thing to work but no. I first attempted to get into the tutorial, it froze. Then I tryed again. IT STILL FROZE. Restart 360 now. Now I said well, let's just jump into the action. Guess what? Yes, it just have me the finger. I'll get it on PC if that ever happens. Waste of time was getting this demo.
[EDIT] Ok I downloaded this thing again and played some of it. It's pretty good I hate to admit because of the problems it first game me. The game plays similar to the only thing I can compare it to: Battle for Middle Earth 2. The thing about this one is that it's more console focused, I guess due to the fact that this is not a port from a better controled PC version. Controling your units is very simple and very engaging. Take it from someone who if things get too complicated in a game he just walks away. I thought well thats all good and stuff but what about creating buildings and more units? that's gotta be hard. The game once again proved me wrong, the menus are very simplified and don't take much time to get used to. They are mostly circular and have all options you need right there so you can move quickly and just get stuff done. One last thing, the game uses CG videos to tell the story and that looks WAY better than the other halo's in-game cutscenes. This also makes it so that the story seems way more interesting. And I really can't believe that.
Resident Evil 5
I really can't remember playing that much part 4 on the Gamecube but I am pretty far in the Wii version. With that in mind, the aiming is the only real problem with this one. I think the controls are fine, the movement got better and the graphics, that was awesome. The Wii version of part 4 spoiled me big time. The aiming in that one is perfect, it's fast and very accurate. So going back to aiming with the joystick feels very slow in comparison. Hopefuly in the final version there is a way to adjust the sensitivity. I'm gonna try and get this one as soon as it comes out if I've got the dough.
Brad says it all in his review, it's a great shooter. I would have gotten it if it weren't for the 15$ pricetag on this one.
So this week i decided to go PC. I'm not really into PC games that much, I've been playing WoW for a while and decided to take a break and look at some games I might have missed. So when the id pack went half price on January I did what any reasonable person with $35 would do. This pack is loaded with a bunch of games and I played mostly the ones I remember being really fun when I was a kid and I would just play the shareware versions of them. Here goes my quick look at the games I played this week all courtesy of Steam's id pack.
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
This one I played the most becuase I really tried to get to finish it. I kinda did, except it was just the first chapter that I beat. The setting just seems really cool. The game takes place in a demon infested castle and you have to vanquish the monsters that get in your way. It's basicaly a doom clone with staffs and gauntlets instead of shotguns and machineguns. The only problem I seem to have is that sometimes it's really easy to get lost. You go around in a maze, in first person perspective and you gotta find the exit. The map is totaly useless, it's just a bunch of lines that resemble the map. Don't even waste your time with that. Sometimes theres doors that you have to find but are on a wall that has no clear indication that it IS a damn door. I don't want the game to just tell me where to go all the time, but c'mon! How the hell was I suposed to know that wall had a door in the citadel level? Well, the best thing about the game though is the enemies, the weapons and the combat. Just laying waste to a horde of gargoyles and those damn cloaked guys that shoot three purple spheres feels very nice. The crossbow weapon is my favorite is just so effective. One last thing, I wanted Xbox 360 pad support, that would make the game way better. If it would play just like Doom on XBLA I would have kept going. It's not that outdated but still, I'll go back to it some other time.
Commander Keen: Episodes 1-3
Good times. This game I played back in the day every week when we had computer class. First we learned and then we played. I had never gotten past the first episode so now I was all like "I'm back bitch and this time you're mine". The game is a basic platformer much like Super Mario Bros. The story is about this kid that builds a spaceship and gets marooned on mars as the tittle suggests. You go around mars looking for your ship parts and zapping aliens with a gun. Keen is also equiped with a pogo stick that somehow is worshiped by the people of mars. The game is very easy and I have no idea why as a kid I couldn't beat it.
After you get back home in your rebuilt ship, you find out that the Vorticons are right next to earth with a giant ship targeting the mayor cities of the world. Now it's up to keen to go save the earth from exploding. The game is the same thing as the other episode but a little harder. I liked how you can actualy activate any of the death beams targeting a city and actualy make the earth explode! Thats cool! The only downside to that is that the game ends since Keen fails. Like I said it's almost the same game, but the difficulty is turned up a notch. It got me pissed off once in a while but it was just fine.
Now we turn to the black sheep of the games in this trilogy. This game is once again the same game and thats fine because the other two were awesome. BUT once again the difficulty got way outta hand. It's just in the realm of bullshit. After the things that occurred in episode 2, Keen decides to go bust some caps on the brains behind the vorticons: The Great Mind or something I forgot the name really. The Vorticons were actually controled by this kid who is Keen's rival kinda like Dexter and Brain or Ash and Gary. The final boss is kinda cool but MAN it's hard. Shadow of the Colossus eat your heart out. I didn't beat this game without cheats, the last level before the final boss is just crazy. It's a maze that makes to freakin sense. I tryed SO MUCH to beat it until I said screw it. GOD MODE NOW. So the thing to take away from all this is that Commander Keen has a nice story that will make you want to beat it. And the gameplay is really nice, good old 2D sidescrolling action.
Played like 20 minutes of this game. I liked the graphics, good stuff. Just the flash light thing is such a pain. That's about it. Will go back to is someday.
5 minutes of playtime. What the hell, I don't know about this one it's like heretic without the good weapons.
2 minutes if playtime. Quake 3 without the cool weapons.
1 hour of playtime. Really good, feels outdated but fun somehow.
There is so much in this pack it's really something that will have me comming back for more. Some of the games I'm not so sure about them, times have changed and some games just don't stand the test of time like others. A controler option would make me play every single one of these games. If you love FPS games you gotta get this pack because it's got the very roots of the games we play today like Halo and Call of Duty. You might not play them all though. Start the Conversation
This week we'll take a look at the latest Castlevania game for the Nintendo DS. The game plays very similar to the other ones on the DS but it makes a number of changes that don't really change things that much but are pretty sweet. The other two games before this one had a very different art style that although it was at it's core, castlevania, it was way more anime themed and gone was the Symphony of the Night style that was more serious in tone. Something I really like about this game is the intro. The music is good as always but the way they kinda animate the art it just works well and is awesome. It's so good I keep watching it every time I load the game. It's crazy. So aside from all the art and look of the game, the game is like the other castleoids or whatever they call them. You have a stage select where you pick where you wanna go, from there you enter a stage that has a map that you explore like SOTN. The other big change is the way you fight, you collect glyphs in the game that are spells that let you attack enemies. These spells are basically weapons sometimes or just flat out spells that you throw like fireballs and light beams. The thing that kinda sucks or rocks about this is that every time you attack you use MP and you can run out of it. The main character in the game is a girl called Shinoa who can't remember what the heck happened to her. She's an adept in the order of Ecclesia and has the mission to collect the most power glyph of all, the Dominus glyph. Shes a little too emo for my taste but she looks very cool and moves very slick. The story so far is moving along just fine but it's ok.
Welcome to the first edition of my game of the week. I don't have that many games but I got a few I wanna play or beat sometimes. So I decided to just random on my collection and write about it every week. This week, is well, Jet Set Radio Future for the original Xbox. The game is a sequel to Jet Grind Radio for the Dreamcast were the implementation of Cel Shading was brand new and now seems very common in anime themed games. The game is set in the future (duh) city of Tokyo were there are gangs of roller bladders that want to fill the streets with their own graffiti. You get to pick several characters from the GG's and you unlock others through out the game.
I'm a big SEGA fan and this is a game that reminds me of how they used to make games like this. The game is fun and you can do all this over-the-top stuff. The focus on games these days are realism and physics. This game has none of these two. Well technicaly it does have physics but it's like you float and that helps you do so many insane tricks in the air and then grind just forever. Oh yeah, you don't need to balance yourself when you grind. You just grind. The only game recently that comes close to the insanity of the setting is No more heroes. So why are there so little of these games nowadays? The answer is money. These games just don't sell. I think the reason why Sega makes such bad games today is that they make cheap games and they want to make money. Sadly for us the consumer we get bad games that are just rushed out. I hope that in the future we get our share of bizzare and creative games that are more than just a guy in space armor killing aliens. There is a place for that kind of game, but now it seems like that is the way games have to be in order to be successful. So what do all videogame developers do? They go for the money, and that's not a bad thing, they need money to make games. So the blame goes to us I guess.
Ok I got kinda off topic. The game is great and I hope they release it for download on the 360 so that more people will get to play it. I had to get it twice since my first copy was used and the guy who turned it in got it from blockbuster. After looking at several bargain bins I found the one that came with Sega GT 02 for .99 bucks. I don't like using ebay so it's kinda hard to find old games. There is a rumor that a sequel is in the making for the Wii. If klonoa got a remake, why can't JSR get a sequel?
I just beat Sonic Unleashed. There you have it, why the reason for the tittle of this post. But instead of a review, I just wanted to get off my chest the fact that playing this game even as a big Sonic fan that I am left with a feeling that I can't explain. I was one of those kids that after seeing Sonic for the first time on the Genesis I was all like "screw you Mario". Though I still enjoyed other games, Sonic became my favorite game character. I sadly missed out on the Saturn but that didn't have any real Sonic games on it. Still, it would have been nice to play games like Nights into Dreams and Burning Rangers. Then came the Dreamcast, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 were awesome games, they got a lot of really good reviews back in the day. That brings me to a really important side note that I also want to address. Why is it that a lot of people (even a few “professional reviewers”) hate on every 3D Sonic game and go on to say stuff like: “Dude, Sonic and 3D don’t get along” or “Sonic CD was the last good Sonic game”? Sonic Adventure was not a perfect game, but it was a great game. The gameplay was tight, the chaos were a great addition to the whole experience and the story was simple but was just an excuse to make a game. I just can’t stop saying good things about these two games. Gamespot.com gave them a 9.2 and 8.6 respectively. Sonic Heroes is where I think things got bad. The game is ok, the story is great. Metal Sonic makes a really cool comeback as the main villain and Team Chaotix is really awesome to. The thing about Sonic Heroes is that the speed gameplay is kinda lacking, it feels like the character is hovering and really makes me feel out of control. Also the flying sucks. I guess the best part is using a strong character but… not really. We all know what big pile of crap came after that.
Back to Sonic Unleashed. When I first saw the trailer for the game I was amazed, the gameplay they first showed was Sonic running through an African-like level and was in 2.5D. Finally! That was my idea all along, to make a Sonic 3 & Knuckles 3D HD Hyper Ultra Mega REMIX!! Ok that’s asking for way too much I guess. The prospect of a game like that was really refreshing, I had hope. Until I saw the Werehog. That’s the only reason to not like this game. So there is really nothing in the game that makes you saw: “Ok so he’s a wolf, at least the gameplay is amazing so I’ll let it slide”. Take Sonic 06 for example, the trailers even days before the game came out got me super exited. Sadly the best programmer at Sonic Team left (a.k.a. Yuji Naka) and the game had more bugs than a rotten corpse. I’m not saying that that game was good but if it didn’t have all that I guess it could have been a good game and worthy of the name it bares. The new look of Robotnik was badass and Silver was a nice character.
Let me tell you what’s the worse thing about Sonic Unleashed: the Sun and Moon Medals. I HATE THEM. You need a certain number of these medals to either enter a Sonic (Sun) or Werehog (Moon) level. They can be found either in the towns you visit like Sonic Adventure style or in the regular levels. So a big issue here is that Sonic runs fast, WAY too fast. So you want to use a more, slow and explorative kinda guy. Guess who that guy is. Yep, the Werehog son of a bitch. His levels have way more medals than regular old Sonic. So in order to play a great two minute Sonic level, you have to play a few twenty minute Werehog crappy levels. THAT pissed me off. There are other issues like the difficulty and stuff but that’s all minor compared to this.
Lets end this sad story with a little bit of hope. After that other Wii Sonic game, maybe, just maybe, Sega and Sonic Team will wake up and give us real Sonic fans what we really want… SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES 3D HD HYPER ULTRA MEGA REMIX!!
Thank you for reading. Gotta wash my deep shame with some Fable 2. Magic FTW. Almost forgot, Sonic & the Secret Rings is still the worst Sonic game ever made.