The timing is what makes it creepy.


( I seriously did not consider the time of year when I decided to play this.) I just wanted to blog about a game (as I always do), and since my churro-built skeletal system has significantly delayed Wii Sports Resort, I decided on something I thought would be good: the original Castlevania as seen in that line of NES rereleases for the GBA. Is it still good, or am I unable to trust recommendations from myself (AKA memories)? Well, once again, I've found a game that proves that I'm the only sane gamer left in this galaxy, since both me and me agree that Castlevania is a good game.
I find this a bit weird, since we also agree that recycling is bad. Yea, fuck you, Captain Planet! How does this relate to Castlevania? Well, for quite some time, the Belmonts had the sole hobby of killing Dracula, and here's where it all started. While Simon definitely has his reasons for killing Dracula (I know them, but it's a bit early for that), I can't really think of any reasons why he'd refuse to kill the bastard permanently. Then again, it may not be a choice, but rather his own limitations; after all, if the guy can't change directions mid-air, or even acquire a whip that has more flexibility than a frozen hot dog, how can you expect him to do a good job of killing something that controls Death?
 Seriously, who the hell is this for?
 Seriously, who the hell is this for?
That's my way of saying that Castlevania can be limiting at times. For example, should you miss a ledge by a little bit, Simon Belmont sinks like a rock. OK, I can forgive this, since other platformers of the time were guilty of this (Mega Man, Prince of Persia, etc.), but why the hell can't I change direction in the middle of the air? The first platformer I mentioned allowed that, and the second had the context necessary to allow the lack of it; Castlevania has neither and is much harder for it. Hell, I could probably attribute half the deaths in this game to ramming yourself head-on into Medusa heads or those monkeys from the Wizard of Oz. Then again, it probably wouldn't help that these enemies have incredibly erratic movement patterns. They're predictable, but surprisingly hard to avoid in this weird way that you need to experience.
Fortunately, where the regular enemies kinda screw themselves up, the bosses more than make up for it. Along your journey to shove a stake up Dracula's ass, you must fight some mummies, Frankenstein, a huge bat (huh?), Death, and hold on, am I fighting Death? That's awesome, end of story. Wait, no, not end of story, I have a lot of review left. Might as well start with cheap deaths again. Here, I saw another cheap death at the hands of that orb thing and enemies surviving beyond the boss. You can see where this is going, right? It would have helped if I had a few more invincibilities (there are only about 2 in the entire game) or health refills (same rule, but a bit more), but for the most part, all I had were a whip and a wide variety of weapons, neither of which are any good when you're dead and all your progress was in vain.
Don't take that as an insult to the weapons, as I'd consider those the best part of the game. Each one has their own distinct purpose and feel, like using the axe on just about everything, the stopwatch on those fucking Medusa heads, and holy water on none other than Dracula himself. Speaking of which, the actual battle against the leader of the few vampires that haven't moved over to Twilight is kind of easy. Without spoiling anything, the first half of the battle consists of giving him a knuckle sandwich (if you attached a fist to the end of a whip (if you're awesome enough to handle such a weapon)), and the second half is the same thing, only now you run underneath him and throw holy water. It feels like some sort of weird dance where I pelt my enemy with grenades. Other than that, though, a good game that deserves the Tit-Whipping Award.

Review Synopsis

  • I know it's an old game, but Castlevania is INCREDIBLY limiting.
  • Still, the setting, weapons, bosses, and other things make it good.
  • Music, too. The music is memorable.
What's the only thing that could make Maine more awesome? Well, anything, really, but why not katanas? (For the uninformed, Silent Hill is most likely located in Maine, for some reason.)

Arrow Flash

( Again, I feel as though I have an obligation to explain why I played through this game.) Here's the explanation: Jeff announced this as his game of the day. He never said I had to play it, or that it was any good, or why it was the game of that particular day, but I went along with it. Why? It's Giant Bomb. Obviously, I'm King and don't have to obey anybody, but still. Predictably, I didn't like the game, and I kinda saw it coming the entire time. Let's look at the facts: I've never been a fan of shmups (oh, forgot to mention that this is a shmup), I stopped taking the recommendations of reviewers ever since I found out that they think American Dad is a documentary, and I think I beat most of the good Genesis games LONG ago.
However, this doesn't mean I didn't try to like the game; when I first went to the options menu, I saw an option to turn on turbo. This should have been a good thing in theory, since it would mean the end of bashing the shoot button like it's that button from The Box and I'm going to Vegas in a week. What I didn't realize is that this, along with several other factors, would make the game piss-easy. I spent almost the entire game holding down that shoot button, watching the dark magic of my Genesis turn everything on the screen into an explosion. No matter what weapon I used, no matter how I approached the situation, it always ended the same way. That is my way of insulting all three weapons in this game.
To make things worse, the weapons kinda stack upon each other, making your powerful robot/ship more powerful tot he point of
 Pretty much the only notable thing to be found in Arrow Flash.
 Pretty much the only notable thing to be found in Arrow Flash.
ridiculousness. At first, it made me think there was only one weapon in the entire game, but no, it turns out that there are just three: standard shooter, the orange Vs of death, and a weapon ripped straight from the world of R-Type. However, those are just the regular weapons you encounter in the game; the defining moment of this game is the titular Arrow Flash, which is essentially a powerful attack that changes depending on which of the two forms you take. In regular ship form, it unleashes a giant shot made of multiple shots; in the robot form, however, you get surrounded with a Hadouken that not only gives you reason to use the damn robot, but makes every boss battle laughably easy. Just save all your flashes for the boss, turn into the robot, and spam the flashes while ramming into their heart. The only time this didn't work for me was during the final boss battle, and even then, it was just because I ran out of the damn things.
OK, looks like I've said essentially everything I have to say about the game. I could go on about how it's just Gradius and R-Type jammed into one poor game, or how the level design can feel a bit lazy since there were times when I didn't really have to move, but I feel that I covered the main points in the previous two paragraphs. So now I'm left with this weak finale. So instead of noticing how I wasn't even paying attention when I gave this game the Sexy Parodius Award for Randomly Named Shooters, pretend this is the ending to Final Fantasy VII, since that's actually really good.

Review Synopsis

  • Easier than a $3 hooker in the recession.
  • Speaking of three, that's the amount of weapons you get in the game.
  • Not counting the arrow flash, mainly because it's what makes the game so damn easy.