Gaming Progress VI: Damn you, Kain! You are not God!
March 07, 2015

I aimed to have this blog up last weekend. However, circumstances kept me from doing so. It's been a rough week, let me tell you. I was the team lead this week for work (my job's lead, which is not the same as a supervisor, alternates between three people, which includes me), and we got hammered with surgeries, and consequently/literally tons of bloody instruments. I've endured the harshness, though, and am currently enjoying an IPA before doing something more productive.

I've finished two rough drafts for reviews, one for BC Racers and one for Space Panic. I aim to have reviews for Zaxxon and Crossbow on Atari 2600 in rough draft mode before too long.

Anyway...

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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver - PlayStation
Having finished Blood Omen, I figured it was time to revisit this gem. I will say: my revised review of this game will not include a 10/10 score, which I had given the game when I wrote at GameFAQs. Time hasn't been entirely kind to Soul Reaver, but neither has it been harsh. I am loving the game still, but the abundance of block puzzles mars the score just a tad.

Soul Reaver reminds me that I've taken a lot of gaming concepts for granted. For instance, it was developed before you could use the right control stick to rotate the camera, and therefore have to rely on the shoulder buttons to do so. It's pretty annoying, let me tell you #firstworldproblems.

I still dig the game's combat, especially the various methods in which you can bump off vampires: burning, impalement, a watery grave (water = acid to vampires in Legacy of Kain), or even just a violent, exploding death via Soul Reaver. Having reoriented myself with the game, I've advanced all the way to the Silent Cathedral, where I shall meet the second of my brethren. Prior to these events, I charged through Melchiah's territory. There I fought a boatload of zombie...vampire....zompire things... before taking on the boss. One thing I remembered is that boss battles are basically glorified puzzles--not that I'm complaining, because I love puzzles. It took me a while to remember how to kill Mel, but after some tinkering I caught on. After closing some gates on him, a la Return of the Jedi, and luring him into a central enclosure, I turned a crank and watched a huge grinder descend and reduce him to vampiric jelly. "Release!"

After gaining the phasing ability, I also nabbed some power ups that are basically 1/5 heart containers, and then obtained the Force glyph before taking on the second boss, Kain. I had forgotten how cheap this battle can be, despite its lack of imagination. Kain charges the Soul Reaver and fires an unavoidable instant death attack at you. Death in Soul Reaver is more of a slap on the wrist, though, because you just end up going to the spectral realm. Given that you're able to restore your health to full, you can then return to the material realm and resume battle against Kain. The objective is to nail him before he can cut loose a shot, doing so three times in order to advance the game.

With that event and my acquiring the Soul Reaver out of the way, my next assignment is to take on Zephon, who has pretty much turned into what appears to be a queen xenomorph confined to a wall with an enormous, bumpy anus for Raziel to kick around.

JoeTheDestroyer's image


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Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light - DS
I've warmed up to this one a bit. I like the magic system, I must admit, and I appreciate that the game has the feel of a retro RPG, at least in terms of its campaign, without the look. The last few things I did include defeating the witch at the beginning of the game, recruiting (and eventually losing) a few characters, and powering my way through a tower in order to access a hidden town. Right now I'm attempting to travel through the Quicksand Castle and fight a sand monster or something like that. We'll see how that works out.

My verdict on the game thus far: it's pretty much what Rainbow Moon should have been.

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Wizorb - PC
No major progress beside defeating the second boss, which was a huge slime. Still enjoying the game, though I wish it would add more neat features rather than introduce new constraints all the time. You know, kind of like DX Ball did.

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Botanicula - PC
I started it, played for maybe three minutes, decided I didn't want to play a point-and-click game with vague character interactions just yet, and stopped playing. I shall pick it up before long, but it doesn't exactly out-rank games that I'm currently working on.

JoeTheDestroyer's image


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Space Panic - Colecovision
I played the hell out of this game over the last week or so. It's fun, though a little flawed. The premise is that you have several tiers connected by ladders inhabited by aliens to kill. You defeat them by putting holes in the floor, waiting for one of the monsters to slip into it, then replacing the bricks before it can climb out, thereby causing the enemy to fall to its death. There are three different types of enemies, and two of them must fall more than one floor before dying. That means you have to put two to three holes in the stage, all of which need to be perfectly lined up. You then have to hope that no other creature messes up your setup by falling into one of your holes when you're nowhere near it. Needless to say, the game can be frustrating at times...

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BC Racers - 32X

I replayed it and discovered how to brake. I thought that I would enjoy the game more but.... I actually dislike it even more than I did prior to discovering how to brake. In fact, braking is pretty much not recommended, at least by me. You almost always end up skidding out of control. Screw that noise, and this game along with it.

BC Racers (Sega 32X) image


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Neglected this time around:
Chronicles of a Dark Lord (PC)
Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
Tiki Towers (Wii)
Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii)
Zaxxon (Colecovision)


Hoping to start:
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (NES)
Adventures in the Magical Kingdom (NES)

Most recent blog posts from Joseph Shaffer...

Feedback
honestgamer honestgamer - March 09, 2015 (02:44 AM)
I'm glad you're warming to The 4 Heroes of Light. There are lots of neat surprises in store for you, beyond the sand castle. :-D

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