Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Review

This review was written for my editorial and critical writing class.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Box Art

The Castlevania franchise dates back to 1986 with its original release on the Nintendo Entertainment System. In the last decade, the series’ popularity started to dwindle until the 2010 reboot Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 reinvigorated the franchise. Western developer MercuryStream changed the series’ direction from an exploration-focused dark fantasy game to an action game more in line with traditional fantasy seen in Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings. It was praised by reviewers for its polished action and more serious approach to a Castlevania story. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 builds off that foundation, but not always in the right ways.

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Mini-Review: Dislike Final Fantasy XIII? Play Final Fantasy XIII-2

FFXIII 2 Resized

Bring up Final Fantasy XIII and you’ll generally get a group of disgruntled moans from around the room. The title built up a bad reputation for itself that seemingly gets worse over the years. Final Fantasy XIII branded announcements are met with cries for Square Enix to abandon the series and start anew.

Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII sits on my list of to-play titles for this year, so I can’t talk about Square Enix’s more recent outing. However, I can tell you that if you disliked Final Fantasy XIII, you should at least give Final Fantasy XIII-2 a try.

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Seeing The Legend of Zelda’s Future in A Link Between Worlds

A Link Between Worlds Rezied

Like many 3DS owners, I sat down with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds over the holiday season. My first Zelda title was A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo, but for some reason the two-dimensional, isometric gameplay never resonated with me. The fully 3D titles, from Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 and beyond, have always impressed me with their larger sense of scale and more in-depth combat features.

So while A Link Between Worlds fails to light a spark of gaming love in my heart, it makes me excited for what the next console entry in the Zelda series may have to offer.

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Putting Cing to Rest

VentureBeat’s GamesBeat gave the article a professional edit and promoted the post. You can find that listing here:
 A look back: What Cing’s Nintendo adventure games can teach us about innovation

The original article is below.

 

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It’s been almost four years since Cing went out of business. In over a decade of its existence, the company created multiple point-and-click adventure games for Nintendo’s platforms. Being a fan of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on the Nintendo DS, it was sad to see them go as they finished work on the sequel, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, which only released in Europe and Japan. I imported Last Window years ago, but have saved it for when it felt right to dive in. I finally sat down and completed in a couple of flights over the holidays, and realized I was more disappointed than I should have been about Cing’s closure.

Obviously it was a shame to those who lost their jobs, and I hope by this point they’ve all found some form of employment. But as much as I enjoyed Last Window, the title did little to broaden their horizons.

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Nintendo’s Wii: My Console of Choice for the Last Generation

This article is also on VentureBeat. It got an official edit, but wasn’t published.

Nintendo Wii

The Wii was my favorite console the last generation. That’s not a ridiculous proposition if you think about all the first party successes the platform had with Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and other big Nintendo franchises. Where my love of the system does get a little strange is that I prefer the Wii’s third party titles over other consoles.

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Never-Ending Backlog: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers

The Crystal Chronicles franchise is one that has taken a couple of different forms, but the most drastic change to its foundation was The Crystal Bearers, released on the Wii in 2009.

This video actually has been a long time in the making, so there are some inconsistencies in the footage quality.

Grand Theft Auto inspiration info source: http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/x1v2ie/final-fantasy-crystal-chronicles–the-crystal-bearers-e3-09–producer-interview