[AudioCade is recurring feature in which we gush over a video game soundtrack by analyzing not only what makes it a pleasurable listening experience, but its overall significance as well. This time out we listen to Anamanaguchi's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:The Game (Original Video Game Soundtrack)]
Suits only dream of this type of polymorphic, multimedia cross pollination. This AudioCade highlights Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (Original Video Game Soundtrack), a chiptunes score to a 16-bit styled video game that served as a tie-in to Edgar Wright’s 2010 film adaptation of the nerd-popular Bryan Lee O’Malley comic.
When I saw the misspelled title on the box art I didn’t know what to say. Was this an omen for what I was about to experience?
Thankfully, I have never been happier to be proven wrong. Naruto: Powerful Shippuden is a surprisingly fun child-friendly beat-em-up that captures the anime’s humor and charm. Although an enjoyable distraction, I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is a genre changing title. It does have its share of issues — like low difficulty and lack of variety — but series fans or those looking for a quick pick up and play will find it suitable.
I defeated zombies, possessed puppets, and knife-wielding skeletons with a whip. I tossed axes and exploding flasks while leaping around catacombs and flooded prisons. I fought a powerful nightwatchman in a lengthy, difficult three-stage battle. These battles occurred during my first couple of hours with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, conflicts that on the surface would normally identify the game as part of the Castlevania series. Yet, it doesn’t feel like Castlevania.
I have a new favorite sports game. It’s Death Ball.
Never heard of it? Not surprising. Death Ball isn’t an annual, big budget licensed release that aims to be the digital representation of a real life competition. No, Death Ball is the very opposite of that. It’s one of Anarchy Reign’s many multiplayer modes and it’s a decidedly Platinum Games spin on hockey and American football.
And it’s grand.
A while back, I turned an accusing eye toward beat ‘em ups, but let it be known that I’m still a devoted fan of the genre, despite its repetitive nature and numerous flaws. Although there are plenty of gameplay tweaks that can be done to breathe new life into the category, I’m going to focus on the positive by highlighting the best BEUs of all time.
Zombie Revenge is Jason X in video game form. Sure, there’s no single, hulking space-murderer, but SEGA’s Dreamcast-era title features a ridiculous plot (The U.S. government attempting to animate corpses as military super soldiers–WTF!), voice acting that rivals Resident Evil’s “quality,” and, thankfully, numerous ways to turn the lumbering masses into quivering pulp. It’s a joke of a game–in the best way possible.
I penned an article a while back decrying the video game industry’s lack of period pieces that tap the nostalgic wonder of decades past. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are two titles that went no holds barred into the ’80s and ’90s culture to staggering success. Certainly, the open world gangster gameplay contributed largely to those games’ successes, but the window-dressing–the sights and sounds of their respective decades–were significant contributions to the fun existing within their universes.
The best kung fu movies are the ones where the story sets up a wild and barely plausible premise, and then quietly hides in the corner as fists and kicks fly for the duration of the running time. Likewise, the best brawlers let the story fade from view, only bringing it back up to vaguely explain why this particular stage is set on the moon and why you’re beating up on mutant dino-men wearing red hats this level. Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise comes pretty close to this ideal.
Last week, 2D-X attended Sony’s “Christmas in July” holiday showcase, which placed many a great upcoming game on display such as Dyad, Papo y Yo, and God of War: Ascension. But it was PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, an upcoming multi-player brawler, that I gravitated toward.
I’ll admit that I’ve been highly critical of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: I dubbed it Sony Smash Bros. after playing it at E3, after all. However, after this showing, I’m looking at the game in a different light. Getting hands-on in a less frantic and chaotic setting (with FGC legend and Superbot community manager Daniel “Clockwork” Maniago working the presentation) helped me appreciate the nuances.
Batman’s had his share of box office success (something that’s likely to continue with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises), but it wasn’t until very recently that his gaming adventures have matched them. Batman has appeared in video game form as early as 1986, but most of the titles since there weren’t enjoyable by any means. There are a few Batman games that are worth mentioning, however. A few. This list is a compilation of Batman’s best video game appearances–and they weren’t easy to come by.