Chase Down This New Platformer

There’s a new platforming game coming to a DS near you! The Chase stars chibi-styled Felix and Felicity who are rushing to meet up for a date. With the clock counting down and inclement weather slowing you down, you must draw the paths the pair will take for their romantic get-together.

The game is scheduled for a February release.

The game is said to play out like Kirby’s Canvas Curse and Yoshi’s Touch & Go.

Ah, Young Love!

Ah, Young Love!

Mirror’s Edge and Banjo Kazooie demos are now available

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Before you mention it, yes I am a bit late on this news bit, however a certain LittleBigGame has taken all my free time away. Now available on XBLA and PSN is a demo for Mirror’s Edge, a first person platformer for the 360 and PS3. The demo gives you a tutorial level as well as the first stage from the game. From what I played it is just how I imagined it, a great new game that tries something new and succedes, it’s good to take risks!

Next Up this week is a demo for Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts on the XBLA. This demo is huge, you basicaly have the entire first world to play around it spanning multiple levels. From what I have played, it looks amazing and certainly feels like the classic Banjo we love, except with vehicles…alot of them. Infact I am still trying to decide if I like the vehicles yet and that is something I will likely have to decide come the games release this month.

Review – Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)


Developer/Publisher: Konami
Year: 2008
Fun Fact: the 10th Castlevania game released this decade (I think)

There’s been a handheld Castlevania game every single year since 2001 (counting the GBA port of the original NES game) but Order of Ecclesia is the BEST, which is quite an accomplishment given the extremely high regard and ratings the other releases have received. The latest release, starring fair, amnesiac maiden Shonoa, takes some of the strongest elements of past Castlevania games and combines them into an airtight new game.

Introduced in Ecclesia is a world map, breaking somewhat from the strict Metroidvania setup of most of Castlevania outings since 1997. The world map works more or less like you’d expect allowing the player to move freely from one area to another. The areas are unveiled over the course of the game and provide a wide variety. Some areas are basically straightforward action levels similar to what one might expect from pre-1997 Castlevanias. Others require more exploration and treasure-hunting. In other words, if you love the Metroidvania playing style, it’s still here, but it’s not the exclusive design idea.

The game features all of the RPG elements of recent Castlevanias, as well as side quests that seem somewhat Zelda-ish, as in inane little errands performed by request. Some of these side jaunts will reward the player with useful items, while some seem less worthwhile. Magic Points are included and every single offensive maneuver uses some of them but, thankfully, they auto-replenish. The items that use most of the magic are ‘glyphs’ aka weapons. Glyphs are somewhat similar to previous Castlevania ideas in that many of them are dropped by enemies and provide some new ability. The glyphs are equipped just like weapons and used in the same manner. Various glyphs can be combined for abilities and especially strong attacks. Some can also affect performance and status – my favorite allows Shonoa to move at seriously fast speeds.

Unlike most of the Koji Igarashi-produced Castlevania titles, Ecclesia is actually difficult! I died many, many times at the hands of bosses, especially. In fact, it was equipment that got me through the final boss fights more than my stats. Along with the surprisingly high difficulty level is a surprisingly high-quality story. It’s not epic but it makes some sense and offers something more than the ‘some jerk wants to resurrect Dracula’ line.

Grade: A+
Conclusion: Get it!