It’s Sunday, the weather is beautiful and the trees paint the landscape in bright orange-satin hues.  This can mean only one thing…

Time to get the hell out of Michigan.

PPPPPP (Watch Your Mouth): Method to the Melody

I’ve already regaled you with my thoughts on VVVVVV and its surreptitiously amazing chiptune soundtrack (I’m serious, you’ll find yourself humming to the tunes days after playing it), but being a Fruity Loops man, I can tell when someone is using Fruity Loops to make music, and when someone is not.  SoulEye, creator of the PPPPPP album (VVVVVV's soundtrack), certainly did not.  So, I asked if he would mind spilling his guts about what he did, in fact, use to create those psychedelic bleepity-bloops.

SoulEye:  “I don't mind at all! I use MadTracker, an antiquidated tracker that's not being developed anymore. It's full of bugs and missing features. I love it. It has more direct control of the sounds and IS A TRACKER which makes it a genius tool for oldschool music making!”

Fantastic, I said!  So I downloaded it, stared at it and scratched my stubble.  I'm attempting to go from this…

To this.

I’ve got a lot of figuring out ahead of me.


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Also, you all might (or might not have) seen the video depicting Mega Man in a 2.5D setup on Youtube; It’s pretty old.  Originally, it was thought that this video was simply a demonstration of …something or another.  Pretty movie, not much else, etc etc.

SoulEye has informed me that he will be doing the tunes on Mega Man 2.5D, and if this teaser’s any clue, not only is Mega Man 2.5D very much real, but gonna have some rockin’ (ha) tunes.  That should be sufficiently awesome.  Check out SoulEye's website to hear some of his stuff gratis, or maybe pick up the most excelent PPPPPP album.

Castlevania: Lords of Acid

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’s release snuck up on me, so I decided it was a required renting this last Friday.  By some stroke of luck (or lack of interest from gamers?) there were two copies ready for the renting on the 360, so home it came.  I spent a couple hours with it and came away with mixed feelings.

For instance, why is Sean Connery voiced by Patrick Stewart?


Overall, it was good stuff!  Great controls.  AMAZING Artwork.  Epic music.  However, I have to wonder how many pages a game must take from another's book before it’s no longer considered its own game.  The battle system’s pretty identical to God of War and Dante’s Inferno.  The very first major boss battle seems to be (I have to assume) lifted from Shadows of the Colossus… and I seem to be missing the “castle” part of this entry to the series. 

I wouldn’t comment on the camera system, because as a rule, I hardly ever notice camera problems in many games others have highlighted their problems with; Sonic Adventure 2’s camera system sucks when going in reverse?  Welllll… why’re ya going backwards?  That’s counterproductive!  Sally forth!

However, in this case, I HAVE noticed the camera tends to take some fairly annoying panoramic angles that obscure the view of what you’re trying to kill.  I don’t think panning out to see your target would have been too difficult, but maybe outside that frame, there be monsters.

There's also the problem with predictability; when you see a broken bridge, or a glowing gate that's shut, you know something big and bad's gonna creep out from under the bushes waiting to be dominated so you can mount and blaze a path forward.


Small gripes aside, it’s still a lot of fun to play and highly polished, and I think I counted something like 12 or 14 chapters in the game.  Note I hadn’t finished the second chapter and had already spent over two hours playing… I think this is going to be very, very long, so there’s no question it earns its $60 price tag much more than most of the hack ‘n slashers I’ve played in the past (oh, Heavenly Sword).   This decidedly-Scottish Belmont's got a good chance of being a solid Castlevania title.  Perhaps this won't get retconned in three months? 

Hopefully you don’t have to get three-quarters through the game before you actually get some castle action.  If anyone could shed some light on that, I’d appreciate it!

Speaking of which, time to head outside and try to make my lawn look nice.  With any luck, four hours after I'm finished, it'll look like I haven't touched the damn thing!  Excelsior!

Fall, you are awesome.