Monday, October 2, 2017

Review Round-Up - September 2017

If Mario + Rabbids can turn out awesomely, what other odd combinations
could work? Final Fantasy + Mortal Kombat? ...Nah.
September not only brought autumn for a fair portion of the world, but it brought five new reviews to SuperPhillip Central. It's not the optimal number I like to hit each month (that would be six), but these were satisfying enough to play and write nonetheless.

Things kicked off with Splatoon 2, which splatted its way to a B thanks to some clever and addicting gameplay but clumsy online options. Then, a Review Redux put The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds back under focus a few years after its original release, earning an A. Meanwhile, try as the developers did, Beach Buggy Racing was not a satisfying arcade kart racer, falling off the track quite a bit with a D grade. From there, Samus Aran made her majestic comeback with Metroid: Samus Returns, plundering planet SR388 for a B+. Finally, an unpredictable combination and one that seemed unlikely to be as great as it was, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle serves as SuperPhillip Central's featured game of the month, scoring an A-!

Splatoon 2 (NS) - B
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - A
Beach Buggy Racing (NS) - D
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS) - B+
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (NS) - A-

School wasn't the only thing back in session this September, so was splat season with Splatoon 2.

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - "New & Familiar Friends Alike" Edition

A new month brings a bunch of old video game memories to the forefront. Let's not forget our newest gaming friends either, however.

This week's SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs is all about the old and the new, the fresh and the familiar. It all begins with the game that sold me on the PlayStation 4, Ratchet & Clank. From that PlayStation platforming series, we move on to another with Sly Cooper in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. A duo of JRPGs hang out in the middle of this edition, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels in the Starry Skies and Etrian Mystery Dungeon. Finally, we meet up again with our oldest platforming pal in this edition, Yoshi, with Yoshi's New Island.

It's as easy clicking a link to hear that VGM volume in YouTube form, and as simple as hitting up the VGM Database for a virtual history of every last single VGM volume ever featured on this weekly segment! Now, let's get on to the music!

v1481. Ratchet & Clank (PS4) - Title Screen

Many of us have games or even more specifically, that ONE game that pushes us to purchase a new gaming system. For many on the Wii, it was Wii Sports. For those wanting the original Xbox, that game was most naturally Halo and then Halo 2. For me, the PlayStation 4 was a desired purchase of mine with the announcement and subsequent release of Ratchet & Clank, the reimagining of the original PlayStation 2 classic. This is the same game that SuperPhillip Central rewarded the Game of the Year to last year. Its soundtrack is more cinematic than before, but this particular song, Title Screen, is bombastic enough to earn a mention on SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs.

v1482. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, Vita) - Paris by Rooftop

Paris, France is a city of romance, and in the world of Sly Cooper, it's the city of some fantastic heists. This tradition continues in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, a game that sadly and unfortunately ended on a cliffhanger with no immediate conclusion in sight. Nevertheless, Paris is once again the first locale featured in a Sly Cooper game, and with it comes a sultry, sexy tune to prowl the rooftops and city streets of Paris to.

v1483. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) - Come To Our Town

The gaming world went into hysterics when Dragon Quest was announced to be returning to a Nintendo system, and a Nintendo DS exclusive at that. The end game was Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which managed to become not only a major success in its home country of Japan, but also a significant success in the West, where the series often struggled to get any kind of sales victory. While the gravitas of the series shrunk down to the small screen, Dragon Quest still supported sensational music with its arrival on the Nintendo DS, as with this town theme as our standout example this week.

v1484. Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS) - Faith Is My Pillar

From one RPG series to another, we go to a more recently created franchise, Etrian Odyssey. For the first time, the series went with a Mystery Dungeon style, as seen in numerous franchises in Japan, such as the more well-known and established Pokemon series, for instance. Once again with Etrian Mystery Dungeon, longtime video game music composer Yuzo Koshiro provided the music for this adventure, offering his musical mastery to this game with an A+ effort.

v1485. Yoshi's New Island (3DS) - Bandit Valley

Now, most of us know about THAT song from Yoshi's New Island, but the game otherwise had a decent soundtrack. I can only say "decent" because I'm generally not a fan of one theme being regurgitated in various remixed forms like the majority of Yoshi's New Island and even Yoshi's Story's soundtrack before it uses. That said, Bandit Valley features my favorite version of Yoshi's New Island's most utilized tune to folksy effect, and the overall theme remixed over and over again is enjoyable enough to begin with.