Second Opinion: Silent Hill: Downpour

Illustration by Pat Henzy

I read a lot of bad reviews about Silent Hill: Downpour… but every now and then I would run into a review that mentioned how much better than Silent Hill: Homecoming it was. Well, I loved Homecoming so when the game finally went down to under $20.00 at Gamestop I picked up a copy for Xbox 360. I’m only about halfway through the game right now so I can’t really review it, but I can say that I am totally enjoying the game. The game itself feels like a movie to me. Wandering around on the streets reminds me a lot of the original game. The camera angles bring back the “good old days” for me and remind me of what the Resident Evil games where trying to do back then. So far I have run into a ton of fun stuff. At two points so far I have fallen and found myself riding a deadly water slide where spikes and all kinds of things are trying to kill me, it is very reminiscent of the scene in Goonies when they have pretty much the exact same thing happen to them. There are a good amount of “Esher” like disorienting effects as well, look up and see endless staircases that twist and turn and wait…what’s that? Another room on the ceiling complete with a TV couch and table. Wow! The camera sways and pulsates during certain scenes and gives the game a very Nightmare on Elm Street fell. Exploartion is fun but can get a little slow at points, but every time the game feels like it is about to slow down you can except a chase scene in which a glowing orb (a portal to the afterlife?) chases you and tries to suck you in. Yes… the monsters aren’t as cool as in previous games, sometimes the load times are brutal and there are a few frame rate issues when too many enemies are on screen but the game is pretty damn fun other than those few issues. Combat feels about the same as in previous Silent Hill games, but then again combat isn’t really the main focus of the game. I am having a ton of fun playing the game right now and for under $20.00 I can’t help but recommend the game to anyone that prefers their games to contain a bit of old school fun and a couple of scares along the way.


Wii U release night!

Illustration by Pat Henzy
For those that didn’t already know, tonight at midnight Nintendo releases their next console. The Wii U is completely sold out everywhere that offered pre-order options and anywhere you look online it is listed as sold out. There are tons of brave souls that are probably already setting up camp at stores all across the country at stores that are simply selling them as a first come first serve basis. Of course you can also always buy them from a 3rd party seller that will more than likely jack up the price a couple extra hundred dollars. I personally am just going to wait (maybe even until the price drops), even though it kills me a little bit to not be able to play a new Mario game. For the first time since the N64 released I won’t be getting a Nintendo console on launch day (sad face). Nintendo is offering two models, the white 8gb model for $299.99 and the black deluxe 32gb model for $349.99. Both models come with a gamepad, HDMI cable, sensor bar, and 2AC adapters (for both the console and gamepad). The deluxe model also throws in a Nintendoland game disk, gamepad cradle and a gamepad stand and console stand.

Let us know in the comments section if you are picking one up tonight, waiting till either a price drop or resupply or if you just simply have no desire to pick up a Wii U.

Adventures of Batman and Robin

Illustration by Pat Henzy

Batman games have always been unfairly looked upon as some of the worst licensed video games of all time. Sure, there are a few real stinkers like Batman: Dark Tomorrow. Batman: Dark Tomorrow is almost certainly one of the worst games I have ever played in my entire life. Batman Forever on Genesis and SNES was a terrible game as well and probably one of the only 16 bit games with loading screens. However, there have been quite a few awesome games (not including the two most recent spectacular games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City). Batman Vengeance was great at the time of release, though it hasn’t aged all that well. Rise of Sin Tzu is a solid arcade style beat em’ up. Batman on NES was a super fun game to play although it didn’t always feel like you were playing a Batman game. One of my all time favorite games is Batman Returns on the SNES, it is an arcade style beat em’ up in which you get to play as Batman. In other words, it is the reason a younger me purchased a SNES. The Adventures of Batman and Robin for Genesis gets to be lumped in with the better Batman games.
The SNES and Genesis games are actually completely different (sadly I have yet to play the SNES game). The SNES game plays as a slow side scrolling beat em’ up in which you only can play as Batman.

The Genesis version of the game plays like a run and gun type game and it includes both Batman and Robin as playable characters. In a lot of ways the game reminds me of Gunstar Heroes (which just so happens to be one of my favorite Genesis games of all time). If you have never played Gunstar Heroes then you can think of this game as playing similar to Contra with a bit of beat ’em up thrown in. This game has some of the best graphics that I have seen in a Genesis game. At first you wouldn’t notice, because the first stage seems pretty bland… but it is all uphill from there with bright and colorful graphics (but only when they should be… Batman is still grey and dark and some of the backdrops are as well). The game is based on the animated series of the same name and it shows, the developers really did a fantastic job keeping the graphics similar to the TV show. The best thing about this game is the ability to play it with a friend. The game is extremely difficult, but if you are up to the challenge it is also extremely fun. After 6 days of playing the game I finally had to admit defeat and use a Game Genie in order to play through the full game. As I said earlier I have yet to play the SNES version of this game and a couple other Batman games. However, as of right now I would have to rank this game up at the top of the list under the Arkham series, Batman Returns on SNES and Batman Rise of Sin Tzu.
One of the better games in the long list of Batman games is Adventures of Batman and Robin on Sega Genesis. Whether you are a fan of Batman or not this is a solid and fun Genesis game to add to your collection (especially if you enjoy multiplayer games).


Illustration by Pat Henzy
It has been awhile since I posted any art on this blog, so I decided to draw up a Moogle. I have been playing Secret of Mana recently and I love these guys!
Don’t forget, if you like my artwork on this blog please check out my other blogs The Crayon War, Pen and Marker and my deviantArt page!

Thrift Store Junkie #12

Hi Everybody! I was trying to hold off on posting another Thrift Store Junkie until I had possibly found a few more items worth a post, but it seems that the flea markets and yard sales are once again drying up (in more ways than one). In Pennsylvainia it is starting to get a little colder, and that means that the sales stop till next season. But on top of that the few sales that I have made it out to have been relatively weak. I did pick up a couple of awesome things over the past month or so though and I will share them now.

I picked up Legend of Legaia at Goodwill for $3.00, I played the demo for this game way back when it was first released and always wanted to get my hands on a copy. The disc looks brand new as does the case and instruction booklet. Score! I was able to haggle a seller at a local flea market to let me have Crazy Taxi and South Park Rally for Dreamcast for $3.00 for both. SHe originally was asking $2.00 each. Both disk are in great condition, unfortunately the Crazy Taxi case has a crack on the front and back. I love Crazy Taxi and was really disappointed by the Xbox Live Arcade version, taking Bad Religion and The Offspring off of the soundtrack really changes the game. It really doesn’t feel right without their songs in the game.
I also picked up Rodney Mullen Vs Daewon Song for a quarter! I never saw this film though I had wanted to for years and years. It still stands up well, both skateboarders are amazing at what they do.

I also picked these 5 albums up at a local flea market for $1.00. I was originally going to try to make bowls out of the final, but I like the music on a few of these so I might keep them around.

Anyway, thats it. Sorry it was such a short one, hopefully I’ll be able to make it up next time!

Thrift Store Junkie #11

It feels like it has been forever since I last posted a Thrift Store Junkie article, but in my defense I haven’t been out to many thrift stores or yard sales since probably the beginning of the summer. All that changed today though, and I think today was one of my best hauls I’ve ever had.

The first items I picked up aren’t anything to get super excited about. I was at a yard sale that had a ton of religious books and items and lots of family VHS and DVDs. On a shelf I saw these two NES Sesame Street games though and asked how much. The people said they were a dollar each, I asked if they would take fifty cents each and they said yes. I’m probably going to see if these are worth selling on e-bay and getting rid of them, but it was still awesome to find two complete in box NES games even if they are crappy games.

I had been actively looking to buy Star Fox Assault for about a month but every time I checked E-bay it would reach about thirty bucks each time it sold. I wasn’t about to pay that for a Gamecube game so I thought for sure I would never get a chance to try the game. I was so excited today when I found these four games. The guy selling them was charging three dollars for four games. I couldn’t turn that deal down so I snatched these four up. Don’t know if I will keep or play Pokemon XD or Lord of the Rings but I am super happy with getting Star Fox and Tony Hawk 3. I sold my copy of Tony Hawk 3 years ago and wished I never had, it is still my favorite game in the series.

One of the last yard sales that I went to today the people at the sale said “Everything is Free now, we are just going to donate everything to Goodwill tomorrow anyway”. I wasn’t sure I heard correctly so I had to confirm with them, and it was true. I snatched up this Pac Man plug and play game and a copy of Wii Sports. I already own Wii Sports, but I only had the copy that came with the Wii and that one didn’t have a box (it had a cardboard sleeve), so it was nice to find this free copy of the game. In the box was two pins for Club Nintendo, one for this game and another for Animal Crossing:City Folk!. I thought for sure the pins would have been used already, but I gave it a shot anyway. They worked! I got 30 points for Wii Sports and 20 points for Animal Crossing! The Pac Man plug and play is awesome as well. I have quite a collection of these plug and play games but this one seems to be the best so far. It has 12 games built in. The games are Pacman, Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Pole Position, Super Pam-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Pac and Pal, Xevious, Bosconian, New Rally X, and Mappy. All the other Plug and Play games that I own only have only have about 3 or 4 games built in. I am very happy to have found this and again it was made even sweeter because of the fact that it was free!

This is the item that made today the best yard sale day I think I’ve ever had.I saved this item for last but it was at one of the first sales I went to today. I found the projector sitting with a bunch of other computer items. There were relatively newer HD flatscreen monitors sitting around on the ground (I’d say there were 5 at least) with stickers on them for five dollars. Even though those were extremely cheap I assumed this wouldn’t be (it had no price tag). I was talking with my Mom and told her I wasn’t even gonna bother asking because I’m sure it would be more than I wanted to pay. She picked it up and walked over to the guy selling it and he said “Ummmmm… I payed three sixty for it last year, but I’d sell it for twenty bucks… or fifteen.” My Mom then asked if he would take ten and he said he could do fourteen. After he assured me that it worked I happily handed over the fourteen dollars. I got the projector home and hooked it up, it works perfectly! It is an HD projector and has HDMI as well as composite hook ups.

Here are some photos of me playing Tony Hawk 4 on Xbox using the projector. I took the photo in my basement and left the Toejam and Earl poster and electrical outlet in the way of the screen so you can get a feel for the size I had it at. I would say if I had a bigger room to use it in I could probably double the image.

Miller 64 Review

I just picked up a copy of Miller 64, I mean… wait, no I just picked up a case of Miller 64. Ummm… the stuff sucks. If you like your beer to taste like water then this is what you should be drinking. I normally drink craft beers and stuff like Sierra Navada Torpedo and Bells Two Hearted Ale, so light beers in general are never my first choice. I like Michelob Ultra though so I thought I should try this stuff out. Nope, the stuff is absolutely horrible, tastes like nothing, low alcohol content, skip it. Seriously, skip it… its not worth your time even if it sound like something you’d shove into your dusty Nintendo 64 console.