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!

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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!

Review – Wario Land Shake It! (Wii)


Developer: Good Feel
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 2008
Fun Fact: the 8th platformer/action game starring Wario (or 10th if you count Super Mario 64 DS and Yoshi’s Island DS).

Sometimes people grow up with a video game franchise and they defend it no matter how crappy the series becomes. Other people grow up with a series and overreact to any slip in quality. When it comes to the Wario Land series, I might fall into the latter group. I just could not get into Wario Land Shake It!. Unlike the wretched Wario: Master of Disguise, there aren’t any glaring mistakes but the level design can certainly be described as uninspired. Many of the situations and layouts reminded me of other games. For whatever reason, the original Yoshi’s Island often sprung to mind but always in a negative contrast sort of way. Continue reading

New Castlevania Order of Ecclesia trailer begs you to buy

This is the brand new TGS 08 trailer for the upcoming Castlevania Order of Ecclesia on the DS. If this video does not convince you to buy the game later this month than nothing will. Great soundtrack as usual, screen filling sprite based enemies (without slowdown? I’m sold) and a fresh take on the series introducing a very heavy emphasis on magic rather than weapons, as well as a quicker “sling-like” navigation through levels. I believe the DS Castlevania games are among some of the finest 2D games in recent memory and Ecclesia seems to not disappoint in this regard.

Boingz, a new platformer heading to WiiWare this month

Recently announced from developer Ninja Bee is the WiiWare exclusive platformer Boingz. The game puts you in control of the Boingz themselves as you haveto grab and stretch them to bounce them from platform to platform. It has 30 levels of pluzzle-platforming action and is expected to hit WiiWare between October 20-27. I hope to see more and more innovative platformers taking advantage of the WiiWare service, it could just keep the platformer genre from falling off the radar.

Own every NES platformer ever, oh and every other NES game as well

I tend not to go this general for platformer news, but this is just a bit too cool not to post. There is no doubt that NES is home to many many platformers, some of the best ever made actually. Now is your chance to own everyone of them, actually to own every NES game ever made in this eBay auction which is currently at over $10,000!  If you just don’t have that much money to spare maybe you will have some fun checking out it’s ending price, which I am sure will be as much as putting a down payment on a house.

Reminder: Today is a huge day for platforming!

Just in case you have been living under a rock, here is what is being released today for platformer fans:

I myself am very much looking forward to de Blob, as according to the reviews it is shaping up to be one of the best Wii games out there. If you read just one review for de Blob, make sure it is the IGN one as it is actually very informative and well written. Wario Land is also getting some nice critical acclaim, and Kirby is a for sure buy for fans of the pink puff ball as many regard this entry in the series to be the very best one. To top it all off Mega Man 9 hits the Wii’s Virtual Console a bit earlier than its 360 and PS3 counterparts for 1,000 Wii points, I myself am waiting for the HD 360 version. Vectorman also makes it’s was onto the VC, experience one of the best technically impressive platformers the Genesis has to offer.