Category Archives: Delving Into…

Warriors Orochi 3: One Hundred and Forty-Five Warriors Worth One Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand

One of the interesting things about the Warriors Orochi series is quite how many playable characters each installment has had on the roster. And, of course, this is a number that has only expanded over time.

In fact, the most recent installment at the time of writing, Warriors Orochi 4, scored itself a fairly meaningless Guinness World Record for “most playable characters in a hack-and-slash video game” thanks to its 170 cast members. Warriors Orochi 3 isn’t far behind, though, with a full 145 peeps to take charge of in the Ultimate release of the game.

But when presented with that many playable characters, what exactly do you do with all of them? Are you expected to level them all up? Where do you start? Let’s talk progression!

Continue reading Warriors Orochi 3: One Hundred and Forty-Five Warriors Worth One Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand

Warriors Orochi 3: First Steps in a Ruined World

I, if it has not already been made abundantly clear, love the Warriors series as a whole. And I’ve found myself particularly enjoying the Warriors Orochi branch.

Warriors Orochi’s core appeal is that it successfully divorces both the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors casts from their original contexts, allowing them to break free from the stories they’ve been telling since the PlayStation 2 days. Instead, they get the chance to have a bit of fun.

Well, “fun” might not be quite the right word, given that Warriors Orochi 3 starts off with all of them (except for three, conveniently) dying horribly. But it’s certainly fun for us.

Continue reading Warriors Orochi 3: First Steps in a Ruined World

Warriors Orochi 2: Building a Better Warrior

There are an awful lot of Warriors games on the market today. And while many may superficially seem quite similar to one another, delving into each of them reveals their unique qualities.

In many cases, the people who brand all Warriors games as being “the same” are likely just looking at the most well-known component: the real-time, hack-and-slash, large-scale brawler action that has been the series’ hallmark since its second installment (well, first if we’re being really picky here — but that’s a tale for another time). Even there, though, each Warriors game provides its own twist on the two-button combat thanks to its selection of characters, and numerous mechanics laid atop that.

Where Warriors games truly distinguish themselves, however, is in their progression systems. Powering up your characters is where the longevity in Warriors games come from — and Warriors Orochi 2 has plenty of ways in which you can do just that. So let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Warriors Orochi 2: Building a Better Warrior

Warriors Orochi 2: More of the Same?

I love me a Musou. So naturally, with the new hotness being Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity at the time of writing, I thought it was high time I continued my journey through the completely unrelated Warriors Orochi series.

Longtime followers of my work will recall that a while back I did a full playthrough of the first Warriors Orochi over on YouTube, and that ended up being a rather enjoyable experience that I learned a lot from. Having called time on long series playthroughs in video format — the short-form, single-episode “variety” format seems to work much better for everyone, including me — I thought I’d explore the sequel in written form over the course of a few articles, much like I did with the excellent Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition a while back.

So today we kick off with a high-level overview of what Warriors Orochi 2 is, my impressions of it to date, and the things I’d like to learn a bit more about it. Hit the jump and let’s begin our journey!

Continue reading Warriors Orochi 2: More of the Same?

Super Castlevania IV: Playing A Game “Right”

I’ve been continuing to explore Super Castlevania IV recently, and a few things about my experiences have got me thinking.

Specifically, it’s got me thinking about whether or not the concept of playing a game in the “correct” way really exists — and if that’s the same thing as experiencing the game in the same manner and the same context as its original release.

This is a question that is particularly relevant to modern rereleases of retro titles such as Super Castlevania IV, so let’s ponder it together today!

Continue reading Super Castlevania IV: Playing A Game “Right”

Super Castlevania IV: The Quintessential SNES Game

One thing I feel like we’ve lost somewhat over the procession of console generations we’ve lived through is a feeling of “uniqueness” for each platform.

Sure, Nintendo still does its own thing and its games are immediately recognisable, but I’m talking more about a very clear look, sound and feel of games on a specific platform; partially a product of the hardware itself, and partially that of the companies specifically choosing to produce work for that platform in particular.

I hadn’t really spent a lot of time with Super Castlevania IV for Super NES until recently, but within about five minutes of delving into it in earnest thanks to the Castlevania Anniversary Collection for Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC, I’m absolutely convinced that it is the perfect example of what a SNES game really “is”.

Continue reading Super Castlevania IV: The Quintessential SNES Game

Delving into Kirby’s Adventure – #1

I’ve not been going through the Kirby series chronologically because I thought it might be interesting to dip in and out of it in various places to see how it’s changed over time.

Having already taken a look at one of his later games and a beloved title from the 16-bit era, I thought it high time we took a look at one of his earliest adventures: Kirby’s Adventure for NES, the second game in the series — and, conveniently, a title that has been available on the Nintendo Switch Online NES app for a while now.

I still feel like I’m quite a Kirby noob, since neither Kirby’s Dream Course or Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush seemed like especially “conventional” takes on the Kirby formula… but one thing I’m gradually coming to believe is that there is no “conventional” take on the Kirby formula. Let’s see how true that is.

Continue reading Delving into Kirby’s Adventure – #1

Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #2

One thing that I’ve been gradually learning over the course of the early Castlevania games that I’ve played so far is that it doesn’t always pay to be greedy.

Indeed, sometimes it’s in your best interests to forego potential rewards in favour of just proceeding onwards more safely. After all, you can’t make good use of those rewards if you’re dead, can you?

Castlevania III plays with this idea quite a lot, and it presents a few takes on it over the course of its early stages.

Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #2

Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #1

I have, as they say, been looking forward to this.

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is not a game I have any experience with whatsoever, aside from one critical aspect: its music. Specifically, back when the PS1 was current, I had an original copy of Symphony of the Night (which, believe me, I severely regret getting rid of now!) that came with a soundtrack CD. On that CD was a single track from Castlevania III — or more accurately, its Famicom incarnation, Akumajō DensetsuIt left quite an impression on me.

Now, thanks to the release of the Castlevania Anniversary CollectionI finally get to experience Castlevania III as truly intended. And I’m very excited about it.

Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – #1

Delving Into Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – #3

I finished Simon’s Quest! Yes, indeed, even after my podcasting buddy and good friend Chris Caskie suggested that I wouldn’t be able to stick it out to the end… I did!

It wasn’t even entirely down to stubbornness or a desire to prove him wrong. I actually enjoyed the whole experience. Well, all right, most of the experience. I didn’t love the bits where progression was dependent on doing something arbitrary in an equally arbitrary location, and the three bosses in the game were all complete garbage, being both ridiculously easy and mechanically uninteresting… but aside from that, I had a great time.

Let’s review what I’ve learned from my experiences, then.

Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – #3