Payday

Today is the last day of the month and that means payday, and as this is my first pay day in a long time when I haven’t had a holiday to save up for (although it looks like I might be going back to Japan for the PS3 launch next spring), it was a good excuse to splash out on some new games, backlog be damned. I still have several PS2 games and a pile of handheld stuff from Japan that I either haven’t even opened yet or have barely even touched.

Anyway, I picked up the newly-released Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for the DS (out in the US on Tuesday, I believe) which I’ve only played for a few minutes so far since I prefer to play Castlevania games when I’ve got some time to sit down and sink my teeth into them (pun fully intended). What I can say from playing up to the first save point is that it seems as good as any other 2D Castlevanias and graphically makes some nice use of the extra horsepower that the DS has over the GBA, with some little inconsequential effects like steam on the characters’ breath when they’re out on a cold night. The touch screen is used to draw seals to do things like open doors and deal the killing blow on bosses. One fun little touch (sorry, another pun) was how instead of entering your name for your save file you actually sign your name on the touch screen which I haven’t seen done before and thought was pretty cool.

The other game I bought was Fahrenheit on the Xbox, known as Indigo Prophecy in the US for some reason. The UK version is worth getting just because it’s uncut, as the short delay to the release was to excise the sex scene from the US version in the wake of the fallout from the Hot Coffee “scandal”. The game can be a little bit pretentious, as it thinks it’s a movie (the main menu even says “New Movie” as opposed to “New Game”) when it’s actually more like a Shenmue QTE mixed with a “choose your own adventure” novel, but I’m impressed so far. It’s an interesting premise and a fairly unique and occasionally audacious execution (not to mention some impressive visuals), and even though it’s supposed to be a fairly short story there are enough endings that it could make multiple playthroughs worthwhile. I’ll have to play a bit more of it before I can give any deeper impressions but it seems like I’ll have a good time with it.

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