Castlevania II Memories

As an 80s kid whose first gaming system was the NES, it’s easy to look back at awful games and remember them fondly.

One such game is Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. The game’s themes were a departure from much of what I was used to at the time. It didn’t have the bright colorful worlds and lightheartedness of the Mario or Megaman series.

Simon’s Quest also seemed more mature than everything else I’d played back then. I remember the game having a lot of text, but lacking the reading coprehension skills at the time to make full sense of everything going on. Still, I felt like a big boy with all the reading asked of me.

What drew me in at the time, even as a kid, was Castlevania’s gothic atmosphere. The music, to this day, is some of my favorite in videogames.

The game’s religious themes also fascinated me. The player could walk into a church and a priest would allow them to stay and recover health. For me, at least, it added a sense of mystery.

I played the game for several days over the summer of ’89, if memory serves me correctly. During this time, my best friend and a cousin were spending the summer days at my house. They were attending CCE at the time. It was some sort of Catholic summer school thing that all of my friends (except for me) went to every day. Looking back, I’m not sure it if was every day, or if it just seemed like every day. Those weeks of summer were kind of a blur of Simon’s Quest and episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my friend and cousin.

They were complaining about Sister what’s-her-name, or singing, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” I’d often just sit there and say “Shut up! I’m trying to kill Dracula!”

That didn’t help, they’d just keep singing.

It was a great time that I will always have happy memories of. They learned something about the Bible. But that summer, I learned that all it takes to kill Dracula is a whip and a few vials of holy water.

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Finally, a new Apple TV

Well, I got what I wanted. Apple announced a new set-top box. It starts at $149, which is what I told myself I would be willing to pay for it.

The new iPhone, iPad and Pencil didn’t do much to gain my interest, but they probably aren’t really supposed to. I own an iPhone 6, I would prefer a regular sized iPad (or even a mini) and I suck at drawing.

The larger tablet definitly seems to be aimed toward enterprise. I can even see some artists picking it up.

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I’m just interested in the new Apple TV

Maybe I’m an example of everything that’s wrong with this world, but I really don’t care about some crazy old county clerk or the millions of people who support her or hate her right now.

All I care about is what new features are on my Apple TV and whether I feel I can justify the purchase. Should find out a price today.

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Album Review: Battery Cage – A Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak

Battery Cage’s a Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak is Metropolis Record’s accidental foray into emo territory. Anthony Michael Hall Tyler Newman and his friends from 16 Volt open the album with “This Party Sucks, Let’s Leave.” Setting the tone to the remaining 18 tracks.

Tyler Newman (Center) and the members of Battery Cage join the guy from Jamiroqui and his stupid hat. The band toured for three and a half hours before bitching about it and going home.

We have to give Battery Cage credit for tricking Metropolis Records into their first industrial-emo release. They beat Daniel Graves to the punch while only sounding slightly less depressing than 90 percent of VNV Nation’s catalog.

This is not Battery Cage.

A Young Person’s Guide to is what you’d get if you took Nine Inch Nails’ breakup album Pretty Hate Machine and added real guitars. In fact, Mr. Newman once told Side-line magazine, “We broke into Trent Reznor’s million dollar home in Los Angeles and managed to find a bunch of unused sessions from Pretty Hate Machine. I don’t know about you, but I liked Pretty Hate Machine. So we used that shit.”

The track breakdown is as follows:

1. This Party Sucks, Let’s Leave – Tyler bitches.

2. Hustler – Tyler bitches.

3. Single – Tyler bitches with the help of a chick.

4. I Want To Take You Home – Tyler gets laid. Bitches about it.

5. Chemically Enhanced – Tyler bitches.

6. Something Wonderful – Tyler bitches.

7. Lethal Angel – Tyler bitches.

8. We Need To Talk – Tyler tells me it’s just not working out.

9. Compulsive Behavior – Tyler bitches.

10. Music To Slit Your Wrists By – Tyler bitches.

11. Crush And Spurn – Tyler bitches.

12. You Ruined It – Tyler bitches.

13. Giving Up On It All – Tyler bitches.

14. Do You Even Remember Me – Tyler bitches.

15. Shot 23/24 – Tyler bitches.

16. All Because Of You – Tyler bitches.

17. A Desperate Cry For Help – A 2-hour drum solo that would make Tommy Lee jealous.

18. This Life Sucks, I’m Leaving – Tyler bitches about the drum solo.

19. Fatal Skull Penetration – Tyler gets penetrated. Bitches.

Overall, it’s a great album. They’re songs we can all relate to at 15, and the longest track, a 2-hour drum solo, sounds magnificent on my computer speakers. Still, those familiar with older Battery Cage’s Product or even some of his work with Informatik will be upset to know that they can’t blast this during Goth Nights at Club Manhole. I definitely give Battery Cage more credit than Spotify for putting them in the same field as Dawn of Ashes. Nobody, not even Battery Cage, deserves to be judged that harshly. Even if they are emo.

Somewhere, Tyler Newman may be reading those words. And trust me. They must sting. No matter who you are, take solace in knowing that you’ve never been compared to failed Marilyn Manson audition supergroup Dawn of Ashes.

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1959 – 2015

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Beloved Street Fighter character tests positive for steroid use

Japan — Street Fighter’s Ryu has tested positive for steroid use, sources have confirmed.

With Street Fighter V in production, combatants from all sides of the world must train to look their best. With so much on the line, the world warriors are willing to go through great lengths to win.

The aging fighter, who turns 51 this month has been bare-knuckles brawling since 1987 alongside his longtime training partner and friend Ken Masters.

“I knew something was different about him once his forearms became larger than his head,” said Masters. “Still,the guy is like a brother to me, and I know he trains hard and works hard. Steroid use isn’t uncommon in the Street Fighter tournament.”

“I won’t name names,” said Masters. “But they’re out there — they know who they are.”

Ryu could not be reached for comment at this time.

We have reached out to Capcom for further comment.

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It’s that time of year again

It’s E3 time again. Fallout 4 has already been announced, Sony may unveil a 1TB PlayStation 4 and the surprises will keep coming.

I haven’t been particularly excited about an E3 in some time. The surprises were always gone by the time the event came around, and the major console makers had already revealed their latest machines.

This time, even though I’m not the giddy little blogger I was seven years ago, I am genuinely looking forward to hearing more details about some of the upcoming games, especially Fallout 4.

I’m also interested in another 4. Uncharted. The gameplay demo I saw sometime back was beautiful. Naughty Dog has been nothing but great since the Crash Bandicoot days, and nothing short of phenomenal since the release of the first Uncharted.

Also in the pipeline is Apple’s WWDC 2015. Typically,its platform for announcing new software. We should get a glimpse of the next version of OS X and iOS 9 (Bug fixes, please!).

Everyone was expecting a new Apple TV, but it seems like this may not be the case afterall.

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