Friday, May 29, 2009

The Munchables (Wii) Review

I was pleasantly surprised that the following game was only thirty dollars. I can tell you a lot of Wii games that shouldn't even be close to full-price, so it's wonderful to see some companies taking an initiative here. Here is Namco-Bandai's latest Wii offering, The Munchables. Apparently this is the first review ever for this game, and I wasn't even rushing. Pretty lame for a game that's been out for a week, don't you think?

A Great Case of the Munchies

Earlier this month, Namco-Bandai released a superb remake of the original Klonoa for a budget price. This time the company is rolling out an entirely new property with the same budget price, The Munchables-- not to be confused with the brand of lunchtime meals. While The Munchables may seem to draw most of its inspiration from another one of Namco-Bandai's franchises, Katamari Damacy, in which you get your character bigger in order to access new areas, that's really where the similarities end. Is The Munchables a title you'll want to chow down on, or will this quirky action-adventure game leave a bad taste in your mouth?

The planet of Star Ving is where The Munchables mostly takes place, a peaceful planet home to the perpetually hungry and gluttonous Munchables. The planet is made up of various themed islands, each guarding powerful treasures known as the Legendary Orbs. Suddenly the skies rain down with evil space pirates known as the Tabemon monsters, and they swiftly snatched up all of the Legendary Orbs. Unfortunately for the Tabemon monsters, they look incredibly tasty to Chomper and Munchy, a pair of heroes with an incorrigible appetite. With guidance from the Great Elder, Chomper and Munchy travel to each island to grab back the Legendary Orbs, chow down on the space invaders, and put an end to the Tabemon monsters' leader's master plan. Of course, all the Munchables really care about is filling their bellies. Saving Star Ving is just gravy. There are a few animated cut-scenes to be found in the game, but most of The Munchables' story takes place in-game with the characters talking to one another on screen with the in-game view of the levels behind them as the background. The humor is very much here, and the game never takes itself overly serious. If you're in the mood for a light-hearted comedic tale, you're sure to enjoy what The Munchables has to offer story-wise. If you don't, there's always the ability to skip any scene you don't wish to watch.

Chomper will have to break this enemy
down before he can consume it.

Alluding once again to Katamari Damacy, the goal of each level isn't so much to become as big as possible. That's just the means to the end. The core gameplay of The Munchables is to gobble enemies. Each level, you start fresh. A predetermined size is given to you at the beginning of a level. Your size is indicated by a level number. You can easily gobble up smaller enemies, but if an enemy has a higher level than you, your Munchable won't be able to fit its jaws around it. In this case, you have to attack the enemy so it will divide itself into smaller, lower level enemies. For each enemy you digest, you earn a meal point. These are totaled up at the end of the level to reward you a letter ranking based on your performance, up to an "S" ranking. In order to maximize your meal counter, you'll want to go to town on several space pirates in a row. The more you eat in a continuous manner without stopping for too long, the higher the meal bonus you'll acquire. In The Munchables, there's no shame in eating and running. You can hold down the chow down button to charge at enemies with your mouth open, or you can lock onto baddies. The latter really doesn't have much of a use, and it's usually just a hindrance in most cases.

Once the top left icon is full, your Munchable will take a new form.

Of course, enemies won't just stand there and count the seconds until they're inside your Munchable's belly. Enemies will battle back, but you always get a warning for when they're about to unleash some fury; a red exclamation bubble appears briefly over the ready-to-strike baddie. If you take damage, you'll lose meal points as well as temporarily being pea-sized. Take a damage in this form, and it's game over. At no time through playing The Munchables to completion has this ever happened to me. Still, if you want a good ranking on a level, you'll want to avoid damage as much as possible.

There are eight worlds in the game spanning haunted houses, the ocean depths, a mountain with a split-personality, and many more. Each world has three levels, and there's a variety of goals in each level. Some will have you tracking down targets to chew up or locating keys to unlock doors while others will just have you finding a way to a goal. The length of each level varies, but the longest might take a little over ten minutes at the most. To advance in a level, you have to eat enough enemies in order for your food-craving creature to grow large enough. Buttons, blockades, and other obstacles can only be used or passed when your Munchable is at or higher than the required size. You have to respect a world where fat people are not discriminated against. See, internet? I'm thinking of you!

Cannons will shoot you to far away areas in seconds.

While the each world's second level goal is to swallow up the pirate leader in charge of that area, the third level always features the boss possessing that world's Legendary Orb. Boss battles have you taking on larger baddies with the objective of whittling down the size of the boss so your Munchable can eat them while simultaneously being victorious in battle. Each boss has a different way of completing this. An example is the second world's boss, Great Grapy, a hanging series of grapes. It'll shoot out several purple grapes at you, and the idea is to knock them back into it. Once it's been hit three times, it'll split up into multiple edible and oh-so-good grapes. Eating up the glowing grapes will damage it. Rinse and repeat until it's finished. That's just one of the enjoyable encounters The Munchables has to offer.

Chomper's big, but not big enough to eat two of those enemies.

Once the game is completed which might take five or six hours your first time through, there's still plenty to do. You'll unlock a mirror mode, but it's not just playing through mirror versions of the same levels. Oh, no. This time you'll be racing against the clock to complete levels and boss battles as quickly as possible. Collectibles simply known as acorns are strewn about in each world's three levels. The first having ten, the second having twenty, and the third having five. Collecting all of the acorns in a given level will have the Great Elder reward you with an accessory. There's dozens to collect, and each one can be worn by either of your Munchable minions. Perhaps there's more Munchables to unlock, too... I don't know if you can see it, but I'm winking right now. Obtaining an "S" rank on every regular and mirror version of all the levels as well as eating up every variety of enemy in the game rewards you with content, too. You can hang back at the Great Elder's house and watch past cinematics, listen to the cheery almost Loco-roco like in parts music, view the enemy encyclopedia, or tinker around with the options. The options include the ability to make the game softer or sharper graphically for those fortunate souls with high-definition televisions. As for the promised two player as seen on the back of the game box, it's similar to Super Mario Galaxy. The primary player plays while the second player shoots meals at enemies to either split them up or stun them. Those expecting cooperative or competitive play will have to wait for a sequel pending there is one.

The Munchables can be played with either the classic controller or the Wii remote and nunchuk. Both options work extremely well, and everything feels tight and responsive. Some may not like flicking the Wii remote to jump or shaking the Wii remote to recuperate when damaged, but all motion control is responsive and painless to use. Regardless, the classic controller is always there. There's no need to worry about moving the camera around as the game does it for you. Levels are always from a certain perspective, so the camera never spins around with you. A lot of the levels are actually circular in design. The only problem with the camera this way is when you're chowing down on enemies, and the camera doesn't pan immediately to the left, right, or down (especially down) until it's too late. This causes your Munchable to swallow a damaging bomb which results in your Munchable thinking dinner was the bomb... which it was... unfortunately for them.

For this boss, the camera spins around the
center of the arena as you move.

For a thirty dollar game, The Munchables has a belly full of fun, content, originality, personality, and replay value. Minor camera issues and occasional bits of frustration aside, Namco-Bandai has treated Wii owners with not one but two excellent efforts and end results. It's a game that you'll want to go back to just because it's so much fun. If you're interested in a quirky and off-beat action-adventure and don't mind the cute aesthetic, The Munchables may just be what you're craving. Did I mention it is only thirty dollars?

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hammerin' Hero (PSP) Review

When I first saw screen for Hammerin' Hero, I got an immediate Viewtiful Joe vibe from it. It just screamed "awesome". Did my vibe lie to me? Here's my review of the recently-released (April) Hammerin' Hero for the PSP.

Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em

Has anyone ever told you to get a job? Well, how about several? Now you can with this new installment of an old classic. It's Hammerin' Hero, a PSP exclusive that harkens back to the days when old-school was new-school for better or worse. Does this goofy action game nail what it sets out to do, or does someone need to hammer in some sense to the developers?

Evil businessman and sharp-dresser, Hyosuke Kuromoku, and his construction company have their eyes set on our hero Gen's neighborhood. Their plan is to evict all of Gen's neighbors so they can demolish the town for their own uses. At the very least they're sensible enough to kick the denizens out before demolishing their houses. It's up to Gen to stop the Kuromoku Group from their master plan. Utilizing multiple jobs each with different powers and uses, you control Gen through twelve varied stages on his adventure to take down Kurokmoku for good. It's a very wacky story told through in-game cut-scenes with admirable, if not tongue-in-cheek, voice acting which can be switched between English and the original Japanese.

That baby will pump up the jam and the damage.

Hammerin' Hero has a very old-school approach to its design. At its heart, Hero is a 2 1/2D action beat-em-up with occasional platforming elements to it. The game can be quite difficult, but it's always fair in its challenge. You will never be bombarded by twenty enemies from all sides of the screen. Your deaths come from your own mistakes. Perhaps you thought you could get more hits in than you actually could on a boss whose in-between attacks. There's four difficulty levels in Hammerin' Hero, and each have different enemy placement, enemy health, and times you can get hit. In the normal mode, one hit from an enemy and you lose a life. Thankfully there are power-ups that give Gen a small safety net to work with in the form of a hard hat which will nullify one attack from an enemy. Safety net or no, it would have been much more enjoyable and much less stressful to have a health bar instead of constantly being on edge of getting hit just once.

Thug life, yo! Representin' on my cute horsie!

There are twelve levels in Hammerin' Hero from a haunted hospital to an amusement park to a baseball stadium where the goal is to run the bases while dodging oncoming sliding baserunners and other baseball-related baddies. While the game is played in a 2D field, there are various 3D tricks such as Gen turning a corner of a street or hallway. Even with twelve levels, the game is very short to run through. It can easily be beaten in one sitting as each level takes anywhere from 1-3 minutes to complete. Again, the difficulties to change enemy placement and challenge up a bit, and constantly being one hit away from death makes these short levels a relief in retrospect.

Like the real sport but without the steroids.

Just like the rest of us, the folks in Hammerin' Hero have their share of problems, too, but who needs a shrink when Gen can remedy their problems with a whack of his weapon? That's exactly what Gen does. Certain citizens have thought bubbles over their head proclaiming their current emotional suffering. Gen can attack the bubble to have it go away. Not only does this unlock various bonuses, but it can also be beneficial to Gen in levels. In one level, getting rid of a person's problem will cause that citizen to shoo away a group of enemies for him. They make getting through levels a little less painful and "problematic".

As Gen completes each level, his list of available jobs increases. Gen is a regular working man as he can become a DJ, baseball player, chef, deep sea diver, and more. While Gen as a baseball player uses a bat for his weapon for close-range attacks, his DJ profession allows him to chuck vinyl records at foes to expand their tastes in music. You select what job you want before you enter a level, and prior to entering Gen's friend-who-happens-to-be-a-girl, Kanna, can give him a lunch that allows Gen to change jobs once while in a stage.

Little mini-games like this are inside many levels.
This one requires you to time your
swipes to beat the baddy at volleyball.

There's a whole bevy of bonuses and rewards in Hammerin' Hero from accomplishing in-game tasks, helping out stressed-out citizens, or simply by playing through the game. There's a trophy case which holds every souvenir you've earned. Souvenirs are collected by performing certain game goals. Think of them like Playstation trophies, but they're not just for show and you don't have to compare them with other players to make yourself feel better about your gaming skills. These are goals like playing for a given number of hours, defeating a number of enemies, learning new jobs, and so forth. You can also read up on the aftermath of citizens you've saved as well as top-secret information on the various enemies and bosses you've encountered. Regardless, ittle doodads and dossier info may not motivate most players to bother playing through the game for the extended amounts of time it takes to unlock everything.

Variety is the spice of life, and it shows in the levels.

Meanwhile, the presentation package of Hammerin' Hero is quite good. Backgrounds are lush with color, characters and other models have a cel-shaded-like approach to them with thick black (friendly) or red (enemies) outlines. Things can get slow down to a crawl more often than I would have liked to see when playing Hammerin' Hero, however. Additionally, ad-hoc multiplayer races are borderline broken because of slow-down issues.

Hammerin' Hero comes from a design ideology of games that we don't see to often nowadays-- an unforgiving side-scrolling action game. For those who like an old-school difficulty, there's plenty here in Hammerin' Hero to love. For others you'll probably be satisfied just playing through an entertaining game just once for the brief time it takes and pushing the game off to the side for something else.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.5/10]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boom Blox Bash Party (Wii) Review

Last year, Boom Blox came out for the Wii, and it surprised a lot of us by its quality. Great fun with friends to this day. You should still check it out despite the sequel that's out, Boom Blox Bash Party. Speaking of which, here is the review-- you should look into this one, too.

Behold the Building Blocks of Fun

When acclaimed Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg and one of the most powerful third-party developers in the video game industry today, Electronic Arts, announced that they were teaming up to create video games, assumptions were made that their projects would all be blockbuster epics just like Spielberg's work on the big screen. Instead, Wii owners were greeted with an action/puzzle hybrid featuring deformed animals, colorful visuals, and physics-based gameplay. This little-title-that-could was the original Boom Blox. A plethora of copies sold and a year later, the team is once again at it with the sequel, Boom Blox Bash Party, promising new puzzles, gadgets, and fun. Is this a party that will rock your block, or is this bash best to no-show?

The new virus blocks infect all around them.

While the title of the game suggests blowing up blocks, there's really more to the Boom Blox series than that. The most basic types of puzzles simply require you knock all of the blocks or gems to the ground in as few throws as possible. The game relies heavily on strategy as well as trial-and-error to figure out the best way to go about toppling over a behemoth structure of blocks. Some puzzles score you by how many throws it took you, some by how many points you've accumulated, and some by how many gems have been collected. At the end of a puzzle, you're awarded a bronze, silver, or gold medal depending on how well you played. More difficult puzzles of a level theme can only be unlocked by winning silver or better on a round of puzzles.

There's different types of blocks as well as gadgets the game throws at you. For my sanity I'll be using the traditional "blocks" spelling. A baseball can be chucked swiftly, but it doesn't have as much oomph to it compared to a bowling ball. New tools such as the slingshot have you grabbing onto any block inside the puzzle area and ricocheting it to cause as much carnage as possible. Aside from returning types of blocks like the explosive bomb blocks, disappearing vanish blocks, and chain-reaction chemical blocks, a new block type in the form of the virus block vary the puzzle design splendidly. When hit, the virus block infects blocks touching it, effectively destroying them.

This new mode requires you to match three
circles of the same color side by side.

A theme park area serves as Bash Party's level hub. Just select a ride, and a bounty of challenges will unveil themselves. There's three different types of levels in each ride. Each type of level has a different goal to them, and the variety of puzzle types is astounding. Apart from the aforementioned knock-the-tower-down-in-as-few-throws-as-possible puzzles, there's challenges where you need to pull blocks from a tower or structure without knocking down all of the penalty blocks which will deduct points from your score. There's also missions where you need to bomb a block structure in order to excavate all of the hidden gems in five throws or less, slide a puck around trying to hit point multipliers on something resembling a miniature golf course, and puzzles where the goal is to hit as many score blocks as possible for a high score.

Space is one of the new level themes introduced to the series.

Some of these challenges will be familiar to Boom Blox veterans, but there are two new types of levels that change things considerably: underwater and zero-gravity levels. Underwater levels have floaty physics where blocks fall at a much slower rate whereas zero-gravity levels force the player to hit blocks out of a zone in order to score points. These two types of levels really bring something new to the formula. Another something special and new are achievements-- blatantly ripped off from the Xbox 360 line, but they do give expert, proficient, or persistent players goals to shoot for.

While there is no online multiplayer, that's quite all right. This type of game just screams satisfying social interactions anyway, and Boom Blox Bash Party delivers them in spades. Totally different puzzles are available for versus play. Some of my favorite modes include a simple premise where you take turns trying to knock down all of your player color's blocks before your opponent or opponents. Another has you alternating tossing bowling balls at each others' fortresses, trying to knock down their horde of gems. Finally, there's a mode where you toss a paint ball at a set of blocks, trying to color as many as possible under your possession. At the end, you try to knock your colored blocks down. It's hilarious albeit pride-killing to unintentionally knock down your opponent's blocks while you just knock down one or two of your own. That's just a small sample of the bounty of modes available in versus. Co-op has two players trying to solve puzzles together. Again, these are exclusive to co-op mode just like the versus and solo puzzles are exclusive to their respective modes.

The new underwater areas provide slower, more floaty physics.

With 400 levels total spread out among solo, versus, and co-op modes, there's enough content here to last months. However, if that number isn't enough you can always design your own levels, and this time share them with the world. The level creation process is much more streamlined and accessible giving you all the tools, blocks, and gadgets you'll need to create your own levels. If you lack the creative touch, you can download new levels at any time. You can even search the highest rated, most played, and newest levels from the easy-as-pie search system. As of right now,the quality of created levels is pretty much on the uninteresting side, but already there appears to be some incredibly intriguing ideas being displayed by the community. Regardless, EA is also applying new official levels to this service on a constant basis if 400 levels already available aren't doing it for you.

Dare I say that this game is a blast to play?

Boom Blox Bash Party is a more difficult game compared to the 2008 original. Some puzzles you'll barely achieve a bronze in while others will simply seem impossible. There's a level batch in particular where you have to pull blocks out of teetering tower, Jenga-style. The only problem is that the Wii remote doesn't give you the amount of precision needed to pull them out in certain puzzles. You'll accidentally run the block you're grabbing into another block for a very frustrating experience. Furthermore, on levels where you have to chuck balls at enemies and blocks in a rapid-fire manner are annoying since the Wii remote doesn't always register your throw when you're doing them in a quick succession. Such puzzles are a chore to trudge through, but this time around you can use boom bux, collected by earning a medal on a given puzzle, to purchase locked levels and challenges. So if a certain puzzle is giving your problems, you can just bypass it by purchasing the next puzzle or series of puzzles.

Boom Blox Bash Party isn't just a sequel. It's a worthwhile progression and evolution of the franchise with new modes, blocks, and tools. This is all the while retaining the fun, accessibility, and charm that the original was praised for. This is a game that anyone physically-able can get into and enjoy. Boom Blox Bash Party is a terrific party game, a wonderful solo game, and a worthy addition to any Wii owner's library.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.75/10]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dewy's Adventure (Wii) Review

A quirky and charming new Wii game has released today, The Munchables. I can think of no better time to dig up a review of another quirky and charming Wii game, but this time from Konami. It's Dewy's Adventure.

Do the Dew.

user posted image

There's no denying that the Wii is opening up game creator minds. New ideas and uses for the innovative Wii remote continue to pour out. From the developing team behind the highly underrated Elebits comes their next Wii title, Dewy's Adventure-- a platforming game controlled by tilting the Wii remote. Is Dewy the little droplet that could, or is this game waterlogged?

user posted image
Howdy! My name is Dewy!

A young boy meets up with a mysterious yet welcoming woman on top of a hill home to a giant, decaying tree. After a brief exchange between the two, the woman begins reading from a storybook about a tribe called the Eau who gathered around the Tree of Seven Colors. This tree gave life to the entire land and all of its living things. However, one day Black Water poured down from the sky led by the evil Don Hedron. The Tree of Seven Colors gave life to a courageous young water droplet named Dewy to combat the sinister foe. The world returned to peace as the battle between Dewy and Don Hedron faded into legend, but later the Black Water would come raining back. A hero would once again need to face off against Don Hedron, and this time, you're in control of Dewy.

user posted image
There's a fire down below.

Dewy is then plopped into the small overworld hub of the game, Hitori Village, where he can access new levels, records, character info, and other items of interest. Hop into a storybook to begin Dewy's quest. You'll begin with only one world available to you, Groovy Grasslands, a beginning world filled with wide-open platforms and simple challenges. The aim of each stage is simply to reach the goal, however, that task is anything but simple as there's enemies to contend with, puzzles to solve, and Eaus to collect. Each stage has 100 Eaus scattered around the level to rescue. While gathering all of them isn't necessary to complete the level, if you wish to achieve a good grade you'll need to pick them all up and in a timely fashion.

Dewy's Adventure is controlled solely by the Wii remote, held in a horizontal fashion akin to Excite Truck and Sonic and the Secret Rings. Tilt the Wii remote to slide Dewy around the level, and use the 2 button to jump into the air. The longer you press the button, the higher Dewy the water droplet will leap.

user posted image
Not only can little Dewy heat things up...

Of course, Dewy isn't your ordinary droplet of water. He actually has the power to adversely affect the weather around him, and these powers are needed in order to defeat enemies and solve the many puzzles Dewy's Adventure throws at you. By fanning the Wii remote up and down, Dewy will make wind blow. Some enemies will be put to sleep by this, and certain puzzles are solved by initiating a wind fan. Alternately, by shaking the Wii remote left to right, Dewy will cause a powerful earthquake to destroy boulders blocking your path or certain enemies to topple over. Dewy can even change form by pressing up or down on the control pad. Pressing down will shift Dewy into an ice form where he can spin into enemies, freeze bodies of water to cross them, and take down more powerful foes. Pressing up will cause the temperature in the level to rise forming Dewy into a cloud of mist. With this power he can send lightning down on groups of baddies and cause water to rise in some worlds. A nice graphical touch is by either rising or lowering the temperature, the entire stage reflects your powers, so having a high temperature will cause flowers to bloom and the screen to mist up while being in a low temperature causes flowers to shrink and the screen to frost up. Switching to the right form of Dewy will make the difference in solving puzzles and taking down foes. Experimenting with powers when at a dead end will most often than not lead to a solution, and if one form isn't taking down an enemy then try another.

user posted image
...but he's also shocking!

Dewy has a meager amount of health at the beginning of the game, but by collecting health shards he can slowly build his health gauge up to ten droplets of water. This is great for tougher enemies who can get the best of you in battle, and quite frankly you might need all ten droplets of health and then some. The camera is fixed in position in all levels which can sometimes cause loss of health from falling into a chasm because the depth perception was a little tricky. Also, controlling Dewy himself is occasionally like controlling a stick of butter on a hot skillet-- you'll lose health not because an enemy beat you up but because you keep falling off the level. Thankfully, falling off a level isn't instant death-- it just makes you lose some health.

user posted image
From lush grasslands...

There are a total of eight worlds to explore from grasslands to ice to volcanoes to ancient temples. Each world has its own theme, Eaus, puzzles, and challenges to complete. There are four acts in each world concluding with a boss battle at the end of the four acts. Boss battles are quite fun and require you to use the right form of Dewy at the right time to defeat them. One boss requires you to turn into Ice Dewy to reflect the icy blocks the boss sends out back at it to damage the defensive ring surrounding it. Once the ring is down, you'll need to transform to Mist Dewy to create a rainbow beam to attack the frozen boss directly. The boss battles are intuitive, and later ones are quite a challenge without feeling cheap simultaneously.

user posted image ancient ruins!

If you get bored with the single-player mode, there's also local multi-player to contend with. In this mode you play with others on a small map either gathering stars, defeating enemies, or completing a multi-player stage as fast as possible. Additionally you can even create your own multi-player maps filled with whatever enemies you desire, and then send them to folks on your Wii friends list who also own a copy of the game. This concept isn't new as Elebits had it, but it's quite welcome to add even more longevity to the title.

From the colorful worlds to the cheery characters and sappy story, the game might be TOO cutesy for the average gamer. It's really odd, too, and this is where another problem presents itself. The game feels way too cute for adults, but it's way too challenging for children. The developer doesn't really have a demographic that they're trying to appeal to, so it seems like this title was set to not sell well as the only type of people I feel who would enjoy this game are the hardcore set-- and even then it still might be sweet for them to swallow. Regardless, the worlds are beautiful to look at, and Dewy himself is shiny and modeled quite well. The game has loads of humor as well as evident in the various tips screens that roll in between acts.

user posted image
This boss requires you to deflect her shots into her.

Dewy's Adventure is a mixed bag. The controls take getting used to, and controlling Dewy might be overly frustrating to most gamers. However, those who stick with it will find a very enjoyable game albeit not as accessible adventure as I would have liked. There's plenty to do, stages to complete, bosses to battle, Eaus to save, and S grades to unlock. Creating your own stages adds to the mix as well. For those looking for a fun and rewarding adventure, Dewy's Adventure will quench your thirst.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.25/10]

Monday, May 25, 2009

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - A Memorial to Video Game Music Edition

On this American holiday we celebrate not with music from war games. No, no. That would make too much sense. Instead we have a cavalry of varied tunes from Tenchu IV, Castlevania, and Perfect Dark to name a few. Let's kick off summer in style, shall we?

V316. Tenchu Shadow Assassins - Rain

Rain starts off very slowly with increasing percussion, chimes, and other sounds to increase the feeling of tension and ambiance in the game. At around forty-five seconds, the main melody kicks in. It sort of sounds like something you'd hear in an underwater cavern in Castlevania to me. The track takes the listener back and forth between different moods. It's really quite good. Regardless, this Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (aka Tenchu 4) track is one of my favorites from this entertaining Wii and PSP game.

V317. The House of the Dead: Overkill - I Want You (Explicit)

Now that I included a warning, all of you young whippersnappers now have something to ignore when you listen to this song anyway. It's one of many vocal tracks from The House of the Dead: Overkill for Nintendo Wii. The game is incredibly over the top which is much better than other games that pretend to be more mature than they actually are. I get it, Killzone 2. You like to cuss beyond what is considered overkill. Great. As for this song, the instrumental version plays during the second level, Ballistic Trauma.

V318. Dead Rising - Cletus

Dead Rising came to the Wii. I really enjoyed it. It's really a different game from the 360 version. Whereas the story is relatively the same, the design is altered. Which one is better? Depends on your preference. I think they're both excellent games. This song plays during the boss battle with Cletus, the gun shop owner.

V319. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - Spell of Sorrow

This song comes from the latest traditional Castlevania, Order of Ecclesia for the Nintendo DS. When the song kicks in (at the seven second mark), doesn't it sound like something you'd hear in a Mega Man X or Zero game? Perhaps in one of Sigma's stages. Regardless, it's a really pumping song to slay zombies and other miscreants to.

V320. Perfect Dark - Ending Credits - Hyper Funky Dance Mix

It amazes me that after all these years, Perfect Dark, a Nintendo 64 game, still has the most fleshed-out multiplayer of any FPS I've played yet. There's just so many options, and that's why to this day Perfect Dark is still one of my favorite games of all time. This song is explained by its name. It's the ending credits theme with kick-ass rock great for late night fragfests. Sublime soundtrack for a phenomenal game.

I believe that last video had a barbecue stain or two on it. Not even the VGMs can resist food served from a grill! We'll catch you next week for more music!