Thursday, May 1, 2014

Month Overview: April

Games completed in April:
 Shadow Madness                                                                                             4.0
 Killzone - Liberation                                                                                         4.5
 Orphen - Scion of Sorcer                                                                                 5.0
 Flower, Sun and Rain                                                                                       6.0
 Castlevania - The Dracula X Chronicles                                                            10
 Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai - Another Road                                                    7.5
 Final Fantasy VIII                                                                                            7.0

 Gee wiz, this month started out pretty grim, and in the end, most games shared a common theme: When they were at their best, they were very good, but at their worst? They were terrible. Shadow Madness had a lot of promise, they just needed a more experienced team to make it shine. Flower, Sun and Rain had that amazing Suda 51 flavor, which made it triumph over it's oh so dull gameplay.  As for Final Fantasy VIII, I think that 7.0 was a bit too generous, but at times I was having a blast with it, it's a shame its worst was so, so bad, terrible gameplay design coupled with some very stupid plot devices... This month definitely had ups and downs, with Castlevania - The Dracula X Chronicles easily being the highlight of the month(Spoiler?).

Game of April:
 A Castlevania game that can satisfy any kind of fan. You like the Retrovanias? You get one of the most sought after, and dare I say better, retrovanias in the form of Rondo of Blood, but you also get a phenomenal remake that, in my opinion, is far superior. Retrovanias are not your thing? There's also a remastered version of Symphony of the Night, arguably the best Metroidvania, the game has aged gracefully and is every bit as good as it once were. The only drawback would be the fact that you actually need to unlock Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night by playing through the remake, but you don't even have to finish it, heck, you don't even need to finish the levels, just pick up the Icons and exit the levels, they are easier to find than some of the maidens actually!

 If there's one game that I won't soon forget, it's Flower, Sun and Rain. Suda 51 just can't help himself but to make thought-provoking games. It's a wonderfully bizarre trip to the weird, a cast of memorable and downright insane characters that are Suda's staple... The game would've been a borefest would it not have such an engrossing atmosphere and narrative, even though it can get confusing at times. Funnily enough, this is a game that I can't easily reccomend, this is not a game for everyone, but a very niche audience that enjoys off-the-wall writing and can forgive clunky, unpolished and dull gameplay.

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