WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 96

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
ALTER TABLE wp_comments ADD COLUMN comment_reply_ID INT NOT NULL DEFAULT 0;

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 105

Review #510

June 16th, 2013

Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Developer: Sonic Software Planning/Camelot
Publisher: Sega
Genre: SRPG
Release Date: 06/13/2013 (Originally 1994)

Man, it’s nice to see another portable Shining Force game. The last one was back in 2004 with the remake of the first game in the series. The Sword of Hajya is an odd duck though, as it is often considered the weakest in the series in terms of balance and story, but also because it’s the direct continuation of an earlier Shining Force Game Gear release, Shining Force Gaiden. In fact, a good deal of the story in The Sword of Hajya references back to Shining Force Gaiden and although you can still understand and enjoy what takes place here, the full impact is lost because Gaiden was never translated into English for the Game Gear. To get the full effect of the story and how intricate both halves are, you’ll need to experience Shining Force CD, which takes both Game Gear games, gives them enhanced visuals and audio and adds more two more unlockable full length games that you can play after beating the original Game Gear titles. Obviously Shining Force CD is the best version of both games and the extra material makes it a truly stellar release, but how many of you own a Sega CD and Shining Force CD. So, unless Sega decides to localize Gaiden (and even better, Final Conflict!), this 3DS port of the Sega Game Gear classic is as close as many of you will get to experiencing the full awesomeness of classic portable Shining Force. The good news is that even taken on its own, The Sword of Hajya is a wonderful experience and still holds up today as a great SRPG title. Even better, with a price tag of under four dollars, it’s arguably the best RPG for your buck on the 3DS right now. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of The Sword of Hajya and why it really was a system seller for the Game Gear all those years ago.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #509

June 11th, 2013

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Side Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up
Release Date: 06/18/2013

Last week you may have read my preview slash secrets list articles for both Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. Now it’s time for the actual review – one written by someone that owns the original collection for the Sega Saturn and both arcade cabinets. These two games, along with Captain American & the Avengers are the only arcade cabinets I’ve ever purchased (although I’d love to get CarnEvil) and my friends and I have played them to the point where I think I’ve memorized everything about them. It’s no wonder then that Capcom sent me the game weeks in advance to really test the mettle of. So are the games arcade perfect? No, there are some noticeable control issues and field detection problems, and I’d even go so far as to say the Saturn version is better. However this new version is only FIFTEEN DOLLARS ($40 for the disc based version in August) whereas the Saturn version will cost upwards of $100 and you’ll need a ST KEY to play them and the cabinets…well, they’re as cost prohibited as they are rare, so only someone that had no other choice should go that route (ahem). For the amount you’re spending compared to what I did back in the late 90s, I am MORE than willing to overlook the minor issues in this collection. Plus hey, It’s Iron Galaxy – I guess I’m used to their HD remakes being inferior to the Arcade and Sega system versions of games.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #508

June 7th, 2013

The Starship Damrey
Developer: Level 5
Publisher: Level 5
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 05/16/2013

I’m a big point and click adventure game fan but one thing you don’t run into often are games of this genre set in space. I can think of From Software’s Echo Night Beyond and well…that’s it. At least until now, as The Starship Damrey gives me a second title to name off the top of my head. Originaly part of The Guild 02 collection in Japan, this three game collection has been broken up into stand-alone downloadable titles similar to what happened to The Guild 01 when it came stateside. I thought Liberation Maiden was fun, fell completely in love with Crimson Shroud and…didin’t bother with Aero Porter as it didn’t look interesting to me. I knew I had to play The Starship Damrey the second it was announced. I love my point and click horror and it’s so rare to find a console exclusive version of this genre for a handheld or console system these days. Generally console/handheld adventure games are PC exclusive or bad ports of one.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #507

June 3rd, 2013

Class of Heroes 2
Developer: Zerodiv
Publisher: Monkeypaw Games
Genre: Dungeon Crawl
Release Date: 6/4/23013

Class of Heroes II has been an interesting saga from day one. The first game in the series was published by Atlus and it was not well received by fans or critics. I myself savaged the game. Generally when that happens, it spells death for a series being brought stateside and localized. Undaunted, Victor Ireland and Monkeypaw Games felt the sequel was so improved that they could drum up interest for it through a large Kickstarter project, which, at the time, had the highest goal for video game Kickstarter ever - $500,000.
They failed miserably.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #506

May 8th, 2013

Lego City: Undercover
Developer: Traveller Tales
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Sandbox
Release Date: 03/18/2013

I know, right? This is a bit late. Lego City: Undercover came out in mid-march, right when my pet started having some severe medical issues and so I wasn’t able to touch it until now. I asked other Diehard GameFAN staffers if they wanted to review it instead of me and no one bit, which surprised me as the Lego games tend to be pretty popular. Better late than never though, right?
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #505

May 6th, 2013

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut
Developer: Access Games
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Genre: Survival Horror/Third Person Action
Release Date: 04/30/2013

Diane, I’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to think of the best way to do an intro for my Deadly Premonition review. Sure I could start with the usual comparisons to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, which is not only accurate but awesome because other than the fanmade 2600 Black Lodge game, this is as close as we will ever get to seeing one made. I guess I could also mention other similar games that involve a quirky protagonist investigating strange happenings and serial killers. Still Life is a great example. My beloved Mizzurna Falls, made by the original Fire Pro Wrestling and Clock Tower team is another, and it is so similar to Deadly Premonition (even though it if fifteen years old) that it’s scary. I suppose I could also admit that I’m a fan of SWERY65 aka 末弘秀孝 aka Suehiro Hidetaka and his previous games. Pretty much everyone on staff here at DHGF loves The Last Blade 1 & 2 and I felt the stories behind Extermination and Spy Fiction were incredible and it was a shame they were trapped behind the sub-par engines that came with them. Perhaps though Diane, the best thing to do is simply talk about a game I’ve known since I imported Red Seeds Profile for my PS3 all those years ago and why it’s become one of my favorite games of this console generation. So I’ve brought my laptop to where North Bend meets Snoqualmie Falls, ordered some pie at Twedes’ Café and have settled in for a long commentary on a game that may be extremely polarizing, but is definitely something every gamer of all ilks should experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Review #504

May 1st, 2013

Black Rock Shooter: The Game
Developer: Imageepoch
Publisher: Nippon Ichi
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 04/23/2013

I have to admit, I’ve always been somewhat taken with Black Rock Shooter since I first saw a documentary on it on NHK (Japanese equivalent of CNN). I was fascinated with how one piece of artwork by Ryohei “Huke” Fuke could become such a massive phenomenon over in Japan, especially when it was originally created as an afterthought. It’s spawned music, an OVA, an anime series, multiple video games and a manga –all of which have completely different stories from each other, including different personalities for the main character, casts and time periods! Black Rock Shooter: The Game was originally released in Japan back in 2011 and even though I had enjoyed the anime and OVA, I held off on importing the game – mainly because it was done by Imageepoch, who has mainly made some incredibly big stinkers, chief of which were games like Sands of Destruction. I think the kindest anyone on staff has ever been to an Imageepoch release was Aileen with her review of Arc Rise Fantasia, which she referred to as a “decent game.” So with this in mind, I think it’s obvious why I held off. Still, Nippon Ichi decided to localize and release the game stateside (but not the anime, which is odd as they publish both), so when we were offered a review copy, I happily snapped it up. The good news is that Black Rock Shooter is by far the best game Imageepoch has ever put out. The bad news is that, while fun, it’s still flawed in many ways. Let’s take a look at it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #503

April 25th, 2013

Sturmwind
Developer: Duranik
Publisher: redspotgames
Genre: Shoot ‘em Up
Release Date: 04/24/2013

Every few years we have a Dreamcast revival with multiple small developers putting out games for the system all at once, only to then have the system lie dormant for a few more years. The last big resurgence started in late 2008 with Wind and Water Puzzle Battles and went throughout all of 2009 with titles like Dux, Last Hope: Pink Bullets, Rush Rush Rally Racing and Irides: Master of Blocks. Between the end of 2009 and now, the Dreamcast went silent save for two shooters: Fast Striker and Gun Lord. Now however, the cycle stars anew as the release of Sturmwind is merely the first of many Dreamcast releases for 2013. Other Dreamcast titles planned for a 2013 release include Dux 1.5, Redux, Neo XYX and Pier Solar and the Great Architects. There are three other potential Dreamcast games for this year: Ghost Blade, which simply won’t make it out, Age of the Beast, which is supposed to come out every year for a decade now, but never does and Leona’s Tricky Adventures, whose Dreamcast version appears to be cancelled this year.
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #502

April 17th, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Developer: Netherrealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Home Games
Genre: Fighting
Release Date: 04/16/2013

For a long time, the Mortal Kombat games were the red headed stepchild of the fighting game genre. Generally poo-pooed in terms of gameplay and balance compared to franchises like Street Fighter and The King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat still had a strong but loyal fanbase. All that changed with the release of Mortal Kombat Vs. DCU. The hardcore MK fans were disappointed by the T rating and the lack of gore and over the top fatalities but the game received more mainstream attention due to the inclusion of DC Comics super heroes while reviewers and the Fighting Game Community found the engine to be the best featuring Mortal Kombat characters yet. Mortal Kombat Vs. DCU went on to win our Best Fighting Game of the Year award for 2008. 2011 saw lighting strike twice as Mortal Kombat 9 showed developers and publishers alike the RIGHT way to do a franchise reboot and it also won our Best Fighting Game of the Year award to boot.

Now here we are in 2013 with Netherrealm’s first fighter to not feature Mortal Kombat characters at all. Injustice Gods Among Us gives us the first all DC Super Heroes fighting game since the terrible Sega Genesis Justice League game. Besides the core console game, we’ve also gotten a pretty damn good The King of Fighters variant of Injustice for iOS and a fourteen issue (so far) digital comic book series that acts as a prelude to the video game that has also been well received. With such a great build up, the hype and anticipation for Injustice: Gods Among Us is like nothing we’ve seen for a fighting game before. The question is whether or not the game lives up to it. Let’s find out together, shall we?
Read the rest of this entry »

Review #501

April 15th, 2013

Voodoo Chronicles: The First Sign
Developer: Space Monkey Games Factory International
Publisher: Sanuk Games
Genre: Adventure/Hidden Object
Release Date: 04/10/2013

Way back in the day before I captain this ship known as Diehard GameFAN, I fought for a lot of things here. Coverage of handheld titles. Coverage of PC games. Cover of indie point and click adventure games. Things that just weren’t being covered by the site under someone else’s watch. As I’ve slowly walked away from the video game end of things for a multitude of reasons, Aaron Sirois has been covering the hidden object sign of things for me. Still, I like to dabble in it now and then and so when Sanuk Games sent us a review copy of Voodoo Chronicles, I decided to give it a review. Unfortunately, this PS3 remake of a PC game by the same name is quite possibly the worst point and click slash hidden object game I have ever played in my life. From a nonsensical story to unresponsive controls and multiple bugs that damage your saved game to the point where you have to restart from the beginning, Voodoo Chronicles: The First Sign simply should not have been allowed to make it on to PSN in the shape it is in. This is doubly true when you realize the PC version costs a fraction of the PS3 version and has far less issues. So what makes Voodoo Chronicles an easy frontrunner for this year’s “Worst Game of the Year” award from us. Read on to find out…
Read the rest of this entry »