Friday Favorites #8: Most Horrific Transformations

The Broodmother, Dragon Age: Origins 

The Broodmother was once an ordinary female dwarf, but Branka the Paragon let her be “fouled” by Darkspawn so that her transformation into a Broodmother could be studied. The Broodmother is a hideous mass of multi-breasted flesh that spawns more Darkspawn.

Continue reading Friday Favorites #8: Most Horrific Transformations


Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Six

Sonic Spinball (1993)

The Museum description pokes fun at Dr. Robotnik’s “Pinball Defense System”. 😛

Spinball tries to combine pinball and platforming, with Sonic as the ball. That aspect makes enough sense, but it’s a difficult game; three lives, no continues. Some of the music is fine, but certain other tracks, like the one for the high score screen, are so cacophonous and industrial it makes some of the Silent Hill tracks seem like smooth jazz. It almost gives me a musical seizure.

Original Score: 2/5

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Six

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Five: Ire Emblem

Ristar (1995)

A colorful platformer from Sonic Team. You can definitely tell from the presentation. Ristar uses his extra-long arms to grab onto platforms, enemies, and health-ups. The game also shows you all of the planets you’ll go to between rounds.

Ristar is charming and cute. IDK if it was what Sonic Team was going for, but the game gives me Kirby vibes.

How did I guess that the lava world was going to be called Scorch? It’s a tough level.

I like this game a lot. It’s fun to watch enemies ricochet around the edges of the screen. A speedrun of this game would be great to watch.

Original Score: 3/5

Revised Score: 4/5

Ristar figurines can be randomly found from “gachapon” machines in Shenmue I and II. Will the starboy reappear in Shenmue III? Time will tell.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Five: Ire Emblem

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Four

Golden Axe (1989)

GA has some visual flair, but I’ve never really liked it. The enemies are so cheap. It’s not that the game is hard, it’s just annoying how enemies are constantly surrounding you for cheap shots.

Original Score: 2/5

Golden Axe Warrior (1991)

Someone named a country Firewood?

This is a Zelda ripoff. The graphics are cute, but the music is kinda annoying.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Four

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Three: It’s Flicky

Dynamite Headdy (1994)

From the Museum description: “Being a puppet is never easy. If you’re not tethered by a bunch of strings, some puppeteer has his hand where hands ought not to go.” O.O

Headdy has an archrival with the awesome name “Trouble Bruin”.

This platformer was developed by Treasure. It’s a colorful and quirky game with potential.

The second level is called Toys in the Hood. It seems that several of the level names are references to movies.

One of the powerups puts Headdy to sleep, a la the Sleep “ability” in some Kirby games.

This game is fun, but has a learning curve and no continues (but some lives).

Original Score: 3/5

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Three: It’s Flicky

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Two

Beyond Oasis/The Story of Thor (1994)

The latter is a cooler title for this action-RPG with music by Yuzo Koshiro.

The box art is so completely non-indicative of the game. Even a group shot of the characters would have been better. What is this game supposed to be from the box?

The graphics are nice with a well-done intro that sets up the story.

The game uses a lot of sound effects from the Streets of Rage series.

This game seems to have potential, but I guess it didn’t impress me much back then because I only gave it a 2/5.

The game received a prequel on the Saturn called The Legend of Oasis. It was released in Europe and Japan. Maybe it did not receive a North American release due to the weirdness of Sega’s American branch and its terrible boss, Bernie Stolar. They did not want to release certain 2D games so that they could show off the system’s 3D capabilities.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Two

VGJ Miscellany #1: Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, Part One: Beast Mode

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection

System: Xbox 360/PlayStation 3

Developer: Backbone Entertainment

Publisher: Sega

Release Dates – NA: February 10, 2009

EU: February 20, 2009

AU: February 20, 2009 (PS3)

AU: February 26, 2009 (X360)

This classic collection lets you play over 40 Genesis, Master System, and arcade games from Sega. The features of the collection include the ability to save, load, and reset the games at any time; HD support; visual smoothing; interviews with some of the people behind certain games; a look at the game’s box art and cartridges; and a few pieces of trivia for most of the titles.

The format of these reviews is inspired by a retro collection review in the old Animerica magazines (I think it was a review for the Atari compilation for the PS1). The reviewer gave a quick blurb to most of the games. I’ve wanted to try something like that ever since.

Continue reading VGJ Miscellany #1: Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, Part One: Beast Mode

The DISSIDIA Saga Part Two

January 29th, 2010: At the end of Shade Impulse Chapter 4-2, you have to face Chaos.

An odd thing about Chapter Four: There are no Destiny Point bonuses. DP are added or subtracted throughout most levels for extra items and PP upon completion.

I realized that this game has me like Resident Evil Outbreak with lots of unlockables that need to be bought with points, and scenarios that are meant to be replayed more than once.

Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part Two

The DISSIDIA Saga Part One

DISSIDIA Final Fantasy

System: Sony PlayStation Portable

Developer/Publisher: Square Enix

Release: August 25th, 2009

The What: A crossover fighting game with action RPG elements featuring heroes, villains, summons, and supporting characters from Final Fantasy IXII.

The story is about the war between Cosmos, goddess of harmony, and Chaos, the god of discord. 


DISSIDIA tells the story of the 13th cycle of their war. To further their ends, they summon champions from other worlds to fight for them.

The game initially presents you with the first phase of the 13th cycle. You can choose to play the stories of the Warriors of Cosmos in any order. Each story has its own difficulty rating.

Each story functions as a sort of abridged version of the character’s struggle in their original game.

To prove their worth, Cosmos tells her Warriors to seek crystals. Each crystal is unlocked when the heroes experience an epiphany of some sort.

The Who – The Warriors of Cosmos

The Warrior of Light (Paragon), Firion (Weapons Specialist), the Onion Knight (Mystic Fencer), Cecil (Split Soul), Bartz Klauser (Mimic), Terra Branford (Esperkin), Cloud Strife (Buster Basher), Squall Leonhart (Relentless Revolver), Zidane (Aerial Ace), and Tidus (Spry Striker).

The Warriors of Chaos

Garland (Nemesis), the Emperor Mateus (Trap Master), the Cloud of Darkness (The Bane of Life), Goblez (Thaumaturge), Exdeath (Entropic Adversary), Kefka Palazzo (Mad Mage), Sephiroth (Focused Blade), Ultimecia (Sorceress Fusilieer), Kuja (Graceful Glider), and Jecht (Brutal Blitzer).

Continue reading The DISSIDIA Saga Part One

Dragon Age: Origins – Final Thoughts: Picking Up the Pieces

I was surprised at how many of those old emotions that I hold towards this game came rushing back with this VGJ. At least I understand them a bit better now. Maybe.

On the whole, DA:O may seem a bit clichéd, but sometimes, it’s more about the ideas than execution. Dragon Age is uncompromising in its portrayal of a brutal and dark fantasy world. But it has heart, too. There are a lot of sympathetic characters and even antagonists, like Zatharian. Also, there are a lot of choices and branching paths that make each player’s experience unique.

I forgot to mention that one of the customizations that you can choose for your character is to design of their portrait. You can position their headshot and give it a unique background, which is pretty cool. Dragon Age II lacks such an option. 😦

All of the companions have their own portrait, as well.

Continue reading Dragon Age: Origins – Final Thoughts: Picking Up the Pieces