Featured Content from Ebay

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow Review

I have been playing through the game, Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow for the Gameboy DS (via the 3DS) and I thought that I would share my take on this innovative installment of the Castlevania series.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Picture of Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS

Brief Reviews of the game:

Overall Grade in my opinion: A

Pros about the game
+ Huge map and storyline.
+ Soma Cruz's soul system is pretty revolutionary for the castlevania franchise as you can steal enemy abilities and use them to your advantage (similar to how it is in Mega Man games where you can copy abilities of bosses).
+ Expect many huge boss battles throughout the course of the game.  Also, the game does make use of the stylus system that the DS offers in various ways (such as drawing symbols when you are about to defeat a boss.
+ 3 possible endings.  By the way, you can see all 3 endings in one play though.
+ Great replay value: once you beat the game as Soma (or at least get the 2nd ending) you can unlock Julius mode where you play as Julius Belmont, along with Yoko Alucard which follows along an alternate timeline that assumes that Soma becomes "Dracula"
+ Nice storyline too
+ It is also worth noting that DOS is one of one of the few modern Castlevania games that brings back remixed versions of some of the music from some of the classic castlevania games (especially when playing on Julius Mode), such as the "Vampire Killer" theme in the "Silenced Ruins" level of the game.  Also (***spoiler alert***), if you are playing on Julius mode, the final boss fight against Soma plays out much like a typical boss fight against Dracula (teleportion, beast form, etc) from Dracula X and similar games and even has the classic "Dance of Illusions" theme song there.  Many current Castlevania games don't have music from the classic castlevania games (Portrait of Ruin for example, did not have them, neither did Lords of Shadow too for that matter), so it is worth pointing out with this title.

- The stylus system can make some of the boss fights harder than normal, especially some of the later ones.  Also the symbols do change periodically too and become more and more complex as the game goes along.  You will definitely need to practice your drawing to make some of the boss fights much easier (at least when it comes to using the "magic seals" to defeat the bosses).

Overview of the game / Story:

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrows is definitely one of my favorite Castlevania games (being a veteran Castlevania player myself) and is on par with Symphony of the Night, Portrait of Ruin and Harmony of Despair.   Dawn of Sorrow is the direct sequel to Aria of Sorrow (for the Gameboy Advance) and continues the storyline of Soma Cruz.  Basically in Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow, the storyline assumes that the evil Count Dracula (the "evil genius" of the castlevania series) has been defeated "for good" by Julius sometime during the 2000's.  Ironically while Dracula never makes a formal appearance in Aria of Sorrow or Dawn of Sorrow, apparently his spirit still lives (kind of like how it is with the Sigma virus system in the Mega Mega Man X series where Sigma always manages to come in one form or another no matter how often you defeat him) and wants to use someone to posess and use in is ongoing schemes for world domination.  Soma Cruz is a convenient target for Dracula and he tries to influence Soma through the soul abilities system and turn Soma into the Dark Lord.  In Dawn of Sorrow, Soma is sent to investigate a shadowy cult lead by an evil lady named Cecila, along with her minions, Dario and Darus, who want to basically want to revive the evil Count Dracula and it is up to Soma to stop Celia's schemes (much to the dismay of Julius Belmont) while also battling his own inner demons that want to turn Soma into the evil Dracula.  The cult hideout is pretty much another incarnation or Dracula's castle and plays out much like Dracula's castle from Symphony of the Night and similar castlevania games, filled with ghosts, gouls, monsters, demons, huge and hideous bosses and other enemies for Soma to defeat.  The game does have 3 possible endings and it is possible for Soma to lose to Celia or even turn into the evil Count Dracula.  (see spoiler section for ending details). 

Julius Mode:

As with Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia, after you finish the main game, new modes open up and one mode worth mentioning is Julius Mode.  While in many similar castlevania games where the extra modes (such as Richter Mode in Portrait of Ruin) tend to be a bit bland, Dawn of Sorrow does add some unique twists to Julius mode.  Some of the twists include:
- Alternate storyline, which basically assumes that Soma turns into "Dracula".
- While initially you assume the role of Julius Belmont, Yoko and Alucard (yes Alucard does make an appearance in Dawn of Sorrow, perhaps a first since Symphony of the Night) join in Julius' quest to defeat Soma (aka "Dracula") and become playable characters as well, and so you will assume a trio of characters, each with their own unique abilities, skills and personalities.  Julius is a classic whip user and uses his whip and sub weapons to defeat enemies.  Note: Julius automatically has all of his sub weapons equipped (unlike in other castlevania games where you have to find sub weapons in candles) and you can switch between them (including he throwing knives, cross boomerangs, a cross crush attack, holy water bombs as well as throwing axes.  Yoko is a magic user and wields 3 different kinds of spells that she can use against enemies and bosses (such as ice bullets that shoot almost every direction, lightning balls, as well as a fire bullet attack).  Also, whenever she hits enemies with her staff weapon, she steals the enemies' health (which you can use to help restore the trio's hp bar).  Alucard is a tonned down version of himself from Symphony of the night and wields his signature alucard sword and shield.  He can also shoot the hellfire fireballs at enemies (the they shoot out in 3s) turn into a bat (great for reaching high places), jump really high (by holding the dpad up and pressing the L button) and do the backstab attack (where he teleports behind an enemy and attacks him/her from behind with his sword).
- The background music does change in some of the maps.  By the way, old school Castlevania fans will like the fact that DOS is one of the few newer Castlevania titles that does offer remixed versions of music from some of the classic castlevania games (namely, Vampire Killer. Bloody Tears, and "beginnings" if you are familiar with those songs).
- Different final boss fight.  Instead of fighting Menace, you will fight a Dracula version of Soma which plays out much like a typical Dracula boss fight from Dracula X and Rondo of Blood (even has a remixed version of the "Illusionary Dance" boss theme for those of you who are familiar with it).
- The map is not as linear as it is for Soma (especially once Alucard joins the trio) and you can change alter the route and boss fights you can take on (note: the Mine of Judgement section still does not become available until after the Aguni boss fight). 
- Note: unlike Soma mode, the trio cannot heal themselves with potions and food.  Instead Yoko can steal health from enemies and bosses when she hits them with her staff (though the healing process is slow, especially early in the game), which makes this mode more challenging and does mean you will need to save more often too as you pass through the various save points in the game.

Soul System:
If any Castlevania game were to take after a typical Mega Man style game, it would probably be Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (Aria of Sorrow too for that matter).  You know how in most (if not all) Mega Man games, whenever you defeat a robot master boss, you get to steal that boss' abilities (such as their weapon).  Dawn of Sorrow has a similar system where whenever you defeat a monster, ghost, boss or whatever, there is a chance you will receive their "souls", which is essentially their abilities and weapons.  For example, if you defeat an Axe armor and get their soul, you can hurl axes at your enemies.  Or when you defeat Gergoth (one of the bosses in the game), you get to shoot a huge laser that kills enemies in your path rather quickly.  Some abilities will let you fly, have enemies forced to become allies (such as summoning Gaibon to follow you and charge at enemies he encounters), move around in water, etc.  Obviously some enemies have better soul drop rates than others, but there are incentives to getting more souls, such as getting stronger, having more abilities and skill, plus if you get all of them, you can get a special ring (Chaos ring) that gives you almost unlimited MP points.  Obviously some souls (abilities) are better than others, while others can be worthless.  My favorite abilities includes: the flame demon's fireball attack, summoning a pet gabion (he charges at enemies at random), the final guard's shield abilities (great for blocking otherwise hard to avoid attacks and is great against bosses), magnora, bat company's flight ability (lets you fly, plus if you have flame demon's fireball attack, you can shoot fireballs at enemies while flying) as well as abaddon's locust attacks.  Bosses always drop souls when you defeat them while other enemies will not always drop them (which meiceans that you will have to defeat them multiple times to gain their souls). 

Boss Fights and Magic Seal system:
Watch the youtube video below for a sample boss fight against Abaddon (this also shows the magic seal system in action)
Like just about any castlevania games, Dawn of Sorrow has plenty of huge and goulish boss fights each with their unique patterns, weaknesses and difficulites.  Some of my favorites were Puppet Master (the spider like monster that tries to kill you by placing voodoo dolls in iron maidens), Paranoia (a mirror monster you fight), Aguni (a huge fire demon monster), as well as Menace (the huge final boss at the end of the game).  Unique to Dawn of Sorrow (both Order of Ecclesia and Portrait of Ruin has this) is the magic seal system.  This is a unique system that utilizes the stylus that comes with the Gameboy DS / 3DS system and it is essentially where whenever you are about to defeat a boss (with the exception of a few boss fights), a huge circle appears and you have to draw symbol correctly and quickly in order to defeat the boss.  The symbols start out simple (with the first one being a "V" shape), but they do get more complex and trickier to complete as you progress through the game.  If you draw the symbol correctly, the boss gets defeated and you move on.  Get it wrong, the boss regains health and the fight continues with the magic seal prompt popping up periodically again and again until you get the symbol right (or Soma dies).  This system will likely be either a blessing or a curse for people playing Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow.  The magic seals were not too difficult for me to master, but I am sure that some people will have it easier than others.  By the way, the game does offer a mode that lets you practice drawing the magic seal symbols at your convenience (which you can use to practice and master the symbols you are struggling with) and it can definitely be frustrating for some people, especially if you are fighting one of the more difficult bosses in the game (such as the Puppet Master or Gergoth) and you can't defeat the boss since you are not able to draw the magic seal symbol(s) correctly. By the way, you will need a stylus for Dawn of Sorrow, if you don't have a stylus you will definitely need to buy one (I am not sure how you can use the magic seals system otherwise).  Note: the magic seals do not apply to Julius mode and Julius, Alucard and/or Yoko will automatically defeat the bosses they fight once their hp runs out.

Final thoughts of Dawn of Sorrow:
DOS is definitely one of my favorite Castlevania games ever.  It is a fitting sequel in the symphony of the night era castlevania games.  The soul system is fun to have it gives Soma plenty of useful power ups, abilities and skills to use.  He can also equip weapons like swords, guns, staffs, spiked knuckles and even Death's Sythe to defeat foes as well (my favorite weapons are probably the Valamway sword and the Death Sythe) and he can be customized to your fitting and likings.  The soul system does offer Soma extra skills, abilities and even sub weapons he can use, such as shooting fireballs at enemies, summoning monsters (such as Gaibon) that attack enemies, improve his luck (useful for finding rare items and soul abilities), shooting laser beams at enemies (obtained from Gergoth), or even transform into some of the monsters he defeats (like Barbosa which is invincible and charges forward and defeats enemies as he runs into them). Dawn of Sorrow has just about all of the elements that any castlevania fan would like, including all of the signature monsters from the series, Halloween style feel, huge boss fights and even remixed versions of some of the background music from the classic castlevania games (one area in the game even pays tribute to some of the earlier castlevania games complete with a retro feel, a bat creature boss as well as "vampire killer" playing in the background).  I also like the alternate storyline that Julius mode offers, which is a change of pace from typical castlevania games where alternate modes tend to be mediocre in comparison to the main story line.  Dawn of Sorrow does have a few flaws though.  The magic seal system for example, while innovative will take some mastering to do and may be a frustration to some players (especially if you have poor drawing skills).  Also, Soma does start out weak which adds to the challenge, though he gets a lot stronger as he levels up and gains more abilities and skills.

Overall Grade: A

 Spoiler Section: (note: this section assumes you have either played through the game or don't mind spoilers)

Endings: Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow has 3 possible endings.

Ending 1 (bad ending):
in the pinnacle level of the game, you will fight Dario a second time (the first confrontation with him takes place in the Garden of Madness level).  To get the first bad ending, ignore Aguni (the fire demon boss that you can see in the mirror behind Dario which you can only reach if you have Paranoia's ability that lets you enter mirrors) and simpy defeat Dario.  The fight plays like a watered down version of a typical boss fight against Dracula where Dario teleports around, shooting fireballs and other spells against Soma.  Eventually Dario will go down and gets killed by his inner demon (Aguni).  Then in a cut scene, it shows Soma leaving the Castle with Genya Arikado (with Celia no where to be found) and Soma suffering mysterious symptoms (probably after his fight with Demitri earlier in the game in which he accidently absorbs Demitri's "soul") and Genya refers Soma to the church for examination.  The ending is pretty bland and implies that he lost to Cecilia and is at risk of becoming "Dracula".

Ending 2 (worst ending):

  To get this ending, when you get to the second boss fight against Dario (in the Pinnacle Level), make sure you have the Paranoia ability equipped and defeat Aguni (ignore Dario).  After that, there is are some boss doors a bit early in the garden of madness level (the one that is guarded by a giant snail monster) that you couldn't get into area earlier in the game.  Go in there without Mina's Talisman equipped and watch the cut scene.  Long story short, Cecilia basically provokes Soma into a rage by killing a fake version of Mina (Soma's girlfriend) and Soma succumbs into becoming the Dark Lord (Dracula).  It also shows Julius, Genya Arikado (who is really Alucard) and Yoko going into the castle to defeat Soma (who is essentially "Dracula" at this point).

Ending 3 (best possible ending): Note - the video below also contains the final boss fight

Equip Mina's talisman before the cut scene with Cecilia (see Ending 2) and the game will be extended considerably longer (it won't end with Soma turning into Dracula). Continue to the Mine of Judgement and later the Abyss levels and defeat the final bosses of the game (namely Death, Abaddon and Menace).  In the ending, Soma puts a stop to the cult's schemes, avoids turing into Dracula and is reunited with his girlfriend.

Other spoilers:

-As mentioned in Ending 2, Genya Arikado is really Alucard from Symphony of the Night (though this fact is not fully revealed until Julius meets up with Alucard in "Julius mode").  
- For old time Castlevania games, Dawn of Sorrow is one of the few newer games in the series that features classic bgm titles, namely: "Bloody Tears" (plays in the background during the Dark Chapel level of the game on "Julius Mode"), "Beginnings" (plays during the Lost Village of the game on "Julius Mode", "Dance of Illusions" (plays during the boss fight against Soma at the end of Julius mode) and Vampire Killer (plays during the Silenced Ruins level of the game on both modes).  Note: Bloody Tears and Beginnings do not appear in the main story mode, so you will have to play on Julius mode (which should open up when you get Endiaeng 2 and / or 3) in order to hear those sound tracks (the music is considerably different during the Lost Villiage and Dark Chapel levels in the main story mode).
- If you get all of the possible souls in the game (will take time, skill and patience to accomplish even with the soul eater rings equiped), the chaos ring will appear in one of the sections of the Abyss level and basically gives Soma almost unlimited MP (makes it easier to use bullet, guardian and support souls that would normally drain Soma's MP bar and basically gives Soma an unfair advantage when fighting enemies and bosses).
- Soul eater ring: if Soma has enough gold, he can buy at least one or 2 soul eater rings (they are expensive to buy) at Hammer's Store (which is located across from Yoko's shop in the Lost Village level) and basically increases Soma's chances of obtaining souls (especially rare ones).  Note: the Soul Eater ring does not guarantee that Soma will obtain rare souls since enemies do not always drop souls even with soul eater ring equipped, but the chances of obtaining the rare souls should increase a bit with those rings.

 Optional Bosses (though necessary for the best ending):
 there are actually 2 "optional bosses" in the game.  Note: While you don't have to fight them if you don't want to and are satisfied with the bad ending (see ending 1), you will eventually you want fight them, especially if you want to extend the game and go for the best ending of the game (after all, Dario is not really the final boss of the game you know).
1) Paranoia - this is a 2 part boss battle lurking in the top of the Demon guest house level (the Demon Guest house is unique in that it actually has 2 boss encounters instead of one like most of the levels have in the game). In the demon guest house level, there is a huge tower you can climb (with the top area closed off until you have made it to the Pinnacle level of Dracula's Castle (there is a switch that you can access when you enter the demon guest house level via the Pinnacle that lets you access the top levels of the tower), and near the top of the the tower there is a passage that leads to the boss door for Paranoia.  It is a 2 phased boss fight (a small version of Paranoia followed by a larger version of him) where you fight a monster that lurks inside a mirror (look up the Paranoia boss fight on youtube to see what I mean) that has wiered mask.  By defeating Paranoia, you will gain the ability to enter mirrors (if you explore Dracula's castle, you will find areas with mirrors and with Paranoia's ability you can enter the mirrors and access hidden power ups and items with it) as well as access the Aguni boss fight.
2. Aguni - When fighting Dario in the Pinnacle level, you should notice a mirror in the background with a fire demon monster (not sure how else to describe aguni) lurking in it.  If you have Paranoia's ability that lets you enter mirrors equipped, ignore Dario and enter the mirror.  You will now be fighting Aguni instead of Dario.  Obviously Aguni is a much more formidable foe than Dario is in many ways. 

That is all for this post.  Have you played Dawn of Sorrow (or Aria of Sorrow for that matter) and have your own take on the game (or have comments you want to add)?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Thinking about getting Dawn of Sorrow?  You can get yourself a copy either at your local game store (such as Gamestop) or buy one online at Amazon.com. 

Note: You will need either a Gameboy DS or 3DS in order to play this game.  Note: I use a 3Ds which is the latest system from Nintendo and Dawn of Sorrow plays perfectly on the 3Ds.  Note: there is a secret rare ring item (along with several other easter eggs you can find) by inserting aria of sorrow into a Gameboy advanced slot on the Gameboy DS, but there doesn't seem to be a Gameboy Advance slot on the 3DS and so you will need a DS if you want to use the Aria of Sorrow cartridge or even play Aria of Sorrow.

Note: I also just recently played through Portrait of Ruin as well as Order of Ecclesia as well. I will post reviews for those two games when I get around to it.

Similar Games you might like (from Amazon.com):
- Castlevania Order of Ecclesia. 
- Portrait of Ruin.
- Castlevania Aria of Sorrow (Gameboy Advance).  This is he official backstory to Dawn off Sorrow.
- Castlevania Harmony of Despair (Xbox 360), which you can download on Xbox 360 live and seems to be the direct sequel to DOS, OOE and POR.
- Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles (PSP).  I haven't played this game, but it seems to be a remade version of both Castlevania Dracula X (SNES) and Rondo of Blood (neo geo?).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Super Hero costumes at Seattle Emerald City Comicon 2013

Have you ever wanted to see your favorite super heroes, star wars characters, etc?  You get tons of people in costumes at the comic con and here is a video showing off a bunch of people dressed up.  By the way, who is your favorite character?

The xenophobia ironed a pancake

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Emerald City Comic Con 2013 recap

Hey everyone.  Have you ever been to a comic con?  I have been to the Emerald City Comic Con 2 times now and went to the comic con this year back in March.  I was there for most of the day, took pictures, saw celebrities (such as Adam West from the Classic Batman movie), got pictures of people dressed up as super heroes, and others. Below are a bunch of the pictures I took (using my Windows phone).

2 Boba Fetts Posing for the Camera (including a white Boba Fett)

Me Posing with "Captain America" and a random imperial moff

Battle Droid?

Michael Rooker and Danai Gurira from "Talking Dead" Panel discussion.

Here is a funny picture of 2 business men posing as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

Darth Vader "force choking" (not really of course) a random jedi character

Random booth at the comic con

It's gumby

Justin with a random person dressed up as a robot (he got a bunch of pictures too)

Isn't this impressive: a huge lego castle.  The person who built this  definitely has talent.  I wouldn't know how to do something like this myself.

Natalia Tena at the Comic Con.  She is one of the support characters from the Harry Potter films.

Star Trek Improv.  Yes, there was an entertaining Star Trek Improv at the Emerald City Comic Con.  Pretty funny too.  

Adam West and Burt Ward at the comic con.  If you are ever looking to   see celebrities in person, comic cons (like the one in Seattle) are a good place to look.  You probably won't meet them in person unless if you pay to get an autograph with them, though.

Here are some people posing as Batman (pretty authentic costume if you ask me), Loki (from the Avengers and Thor), and Hallie from Batman
There was a section at the comic con where a bunch of the Star Wars characters congregated., such as  Darth Sidious (aka Emperor Palpatine), a Storm Trooper, tuskan raiders, etc).
It is Darth Maul and a random female Sith (not sure who she is trying to portray)
Galactus Posing for the camera.  Can't you imagine if Galactus was real?  No planet would be safe from his ravenous appetite (including Earth).  
Add caption
Justin posing with Super girl.  Like in this picture, Justin taught me that comic cons can actually good places to meet people (especially people of the opposite gender) as he was able to meet some cute (not sure how else to put it) women this way too.  I will have to try that out myself next year.
Justin and Wonder Woman?  
It's Luigi and Zelda!  Link and Zelda probably gone together better though in my opinion.

Random Lady posing with R2 (the R2 unit looks pretty authentic).
Hey, do any of you like the power rangers?  At the comic con , there were a group of people who were dressed up as the power rangers.  They looked almost like the real thing too (costume and all).  Note: this picture can also be found at www.rangerboard.com.  I actually got a picture of them too before leaving the comic con (they were posing close to where some of the celebrity panels were) on Justin's camera, but he forgot to post the picture, but this picture will do.  By the way they look almost like the real thing from the TV shows (though I doubt that they are the same actors, though I did not see who was behind the masks either).  By the way, I have been watching some of the episodes from the original power rangers series for old times' sake, so getting a picture of them was pretty cool.  By the way (especially to you fellow guys), who all used to have a crush on the pink ranger?  I know I did back in the day.

Those are a bunch of the pictures from the comic con (not all inclusive, but I am sure you can find more pictures and videos from others on the net).

Overview of the Emerald City Comic Con

I went to the comic con with Justin (my brother) on Saturday (back in March) and we were there for almost the whole day (longer than we were last year).  It was a fun filled day and we did quite a bit.  We walked around, took pictures, saw all of the different booths and stations people set up.  We also sat in several panel discussions, including: one that offered tips on dating and relationships (I probably could have benefited from it myself considering that I am still single, at least at at the time of this posting, will update you if that ever changes of course), a star trek improv (which was pretty funny skit where a bunch of dudes pretend to be from the original Star trek series and venture to worlds that visitors come up with and they do a star trek style episode), various celebrity panels (such as Natalia from Harry Potter, Adam West / Burt Ward, along with several others).  We did quite of other things too, including trying out a new mech warrior style game coming out in the near future (can't remember the name of it), took pictures of people dressed up as super heroes, star wars characters, etc.  By the way, there were some celebrities at the comic con I did not see, including Patrick Stewart, the guy who played "Alpha 5" from power rangers, Billy Dee Williams (Lando from Star Wars Empire Strikes back), Will Wheaton, the lady from X-files, and several others, but I am sure you can find them on youtube and elsewhere on the net.  By the way, when I saw the "talking dead" panel, it was originally supposed to be a panel for Carrie Fisher (Leia from Star Wars), but she was a no show (unfortunately).

Highlights of our visit includes:
- Watching a panel discussion on meeting women for nerds (at least from male perspective)
- Watched a Star Trek improve episode
- Saw several celebrity panels, including Natalia Tena (from Harry Potter), Burt Ward, Adam West, Michael Rooker and Danai Gurira
- Checked out the many different exhibits and booths
- Tried out a new mech warrior style game coming out in the next few months (online based)
- Took pictures of a bunch of people in costubes (like the ones in the pictures above).  There were a bunch of other people in costumes too and I wish I could have gotten them all, but I am sure you can find more cosplay pictures on google and bing.
- Along with a bunch of other things.

This year, I did not dress up, but next year, I probably will try to dress up.  Some ideas I am kicking around includes:
- Spiderman
- Deadpool
- Nick Fury (btw, before Samuel Jackson's version of Nick Fury, he wasn't always protrayed as an African American as was the case, for example in Marvel Ultimate Alliances 1 and 2).
- Power Ranger character (probably the red ranger), though I bet those costumes would be expensive to buy.
- Superman
or whatever.

Well, that is all for now.  Were any of you at the comic con?  Feel free to share your experiences.  Also, feel free to like and share this post with others and your support would be most appreciated.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spider Man Shattered Dimensions (Xbox 360) - Definitely an excellent game for Spiderman fans and super hero lovers. Official Review of Spider Man Shattered Dimensions

Hey everyone, who likes super heroes?  I know I do (been watching shows like Spider Man and Power Rangers lately) and today I am going to talk about the game Spider Man, Shattered Dimensions for the Xbox 360.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions 2099_06

My Rating: A-

Overview  / Story-

Ah, Spiderman has been around for a long time (at least since the 1960s) and one of my favorite spider man series was probably the one shown on Fox Kids back in the 1990's (I was sad to see it go), and recently I have gotten my hands on Spider Man Shattered Dimensions and did at least one round through already and it reminds me of the 1990's style Spider Man cartoons (at least in a way) with all of the classic voice overs, characters and elements.  In Spider Man Shattered Dimensions, the game starts with Amazing Spider Man confronting the evil Mysterio (the game's main evil genius) who manages to steal a mysterious fragment that can give people supernatural powers and abilities.  To make matters worse, the fragment shatters and is sent across 4 different spider man dimensions and falls into the hands not only of Mysterio, but many other super villians as well and  a lady named Madame web (she watches over Spiderman) literally recruits 4 different Spiderman (from 4 different realities) to track down the shattered pieces of the mysterious fragments and stop the super villians before they can use them and bring about chaos in each reality.  The game is 13 levels long (with a 4 part final confrontation with Mysterio at the end) and is divided into 3 parts (consisting of 4 levels each).  You also control all 4 of the different spider men (one per level) in their own unique dimentsions.  The 4 different realities includes:
1. Ultimate Spider Man (present day and has Peter Parket donning the dark symbiotic suit, though he seems to be able to control it).  In this dimension, Parker is up against the Sandman, Deadpool, and Carnage (who manages to take over a S.H.I.E.L.D base).
2. Noir Spider Man - this is supposedly Spiderman from the 1930s and the levels here take on a black and white feel to them and brings back memories from the 1930's.  Noir is pretty unique in that it feels a bit like Splinter Cell or Perfect Dark Zero, where your character is supposed to sneak around, take out enemies when they are not looking, rescuing people in danger, as well as taking on super villians such as Hammerhead, the Vulture and later a classic version of Norman Osborn (the green goblin).
3. Amazing Spiderman.  Similar to Ultimate Spider man, but somewhat younger and has less abilities than Ultimate.  He is up against the likes of Juggernaut, Kraven the Hunter, and Electro.
4. 2099 Spiderman - takes place in the distant future and is the only spider man not played by Peter Parker (I think his name is Miguel).  This version of spider man has a New World Order (global dictatorship) feel, Miguel is not only up against evil super villians (Hobgoblin, the Scorpion, and a female version of Dr Octopus), but he is also up against a corrupt global government that wants to capture and/or kill spiderman (I guess they don't like super heroes).  One cool thing about this spiderman is the slow motion mode that you can activate if needed (which reminds me a bit of how it is on the Matrix, slow motion and all) and makes it easier to take on villians and corrupt agents alike.

Things I like about Spiderman Shattered Dimensions:

1. Feels almost like some of the Spiderman cartoons and tv shows you see.
2. Great villian line up, just like in the comics.  Almost all of the villians in the game are pretty well known in the spiderman universe (not sure if Deadpool is or not).
3. Great voice acting (almost like the Spiderman in cartoons).
4. Excellent comic book style graphics
5. I liked the variety in the levels.  Better than doing the same old thing over and over again.
6. Lots of cut scenes and videos
7. Epic final boss (Mysterio is huge and almost like a god in the final confrontation.
8. Good length too (not too short, and not too long either).  Each level is pretty long too (usually took me at least 2 hours per level on averages).
9. Challenges too.  Adds replay value (for example finding hidden spiders and emblems will definitely appeal to diehard fans).

Downsides to Spiderman Shattered Dimensions:

1. Some redundancy (the level patterns are somewhat similar)
2. I thought that the controls were a bit choppy.  For example, I remember one level where you were going up against Deadpool and you had to get across several dams (with Deadpool sending deady tidal waves against Spiderman) and it took several tries partly due to the choppy controls (for example the web swing and double jump abilities did not always work properly).
3. Cartooney look - appeals more to younger audiences.  Older crowds might not like this as much.  I liked it though.

Final thoughts:

Personally, I was a fan of this game and I've always been a Spiderman fan myself and this game will definitely appeal to spiderman fans and super hero fans in general alike and makes for a pretty good super hero game. I also liked it more than edge of time (which is another spiderman title I have, though I will save that game for another review).  Now, some people might be turned off by the cartoony feel to the game (especially older crowds), but this will defintely be very appealing to younger audiences (especially people that like Super heroes).  I definitely recommend this game to just about any superhero fan out there. That is all for now.

Have you thought about getting Spider Man Shattered Dimensions (or similar games)?  You can probably pick up a copy for pretty cheap at Amazon.com or Walmart.


Spiderman Shattered Dimen (Xbox 360) - Pre-Owned
Have any of you played Spiderman Shattered Dimensions before and want to add your take to the game?  Please be sure to leave a comment below.  Did you agree with my review?  What did you like about the game or didn't like about the game?  Feel free to share your thoughts below.  By the way, there is also a version of this game on the Playstation 3, but I haven't tried that version yet (though I am assuming they are pretty much the same game).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hey, what do you all think of the new background for my site? I think it is awesome myself

I just changed the layout and background for this blog.  It now has a Halo themed wall paper and will make it look much more video game oriented than a generalized video game blog. I think I will keep the halo themed background for the time being (at least until I come up with a better one).  I will also updating my tabs, pages and ads on the site (such as making the affiliate offers on this site beg more related to the video game niche, like he Amazon.com ad I have for the Xbox 360. Stay tuned for more updates.

Just merged this site with my Xbox 360 fan site

Hey everyone, in case if you have not noticed, I decided to merge this blog with my Xbox 360 fan site (formerly at www.xboxfreak.ws).  It has proven to be difficult to maintain both sites and both this blog and my Xbox 360 fan site pretty much cover the same kind of niche (video games, xbox 360, etc) and so I decided that merging the two websites into one site would be the best way to go.  By the way, I did transfer some of the content from my other site (such as the links page from my original site).  I will also rewrite my reviews of the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and the Kinect as time allows.  Also a nice thing about having a blog is that it is easier for people to comment, share content, as well as subscribe to the feed on my site.  Stay tuned for more posts.