The next contender???

Fight Night: Round 2
So after wathing the Contender finale the other night, and hearing this game get rave reviews, I decided to pick it up to try for myself. Will be interesting to try to create my own fighter and make a champion out of him in a rags to riches story like The Contender was. Full review coming soon


Haunting Ground

Poor Fiona. She wakes up to find herself trapped in a cage with nothing on save for a towel, or is that a curtain or something? And as soon as she finds her way our and gets some decent clothes on, she’s being chased around a huge castle by the less then ordinary tenants who occupy it. Whether it’s because they are obsessed with her or want something she has, all Fiona can do is try to escape the castle with the help of a trusty dog by the name of Hewie.
First off, the graphics in the game are excellent, especially the character designs. A lot of attention has been given to the facial expressions and details of the characters. Fiona and Danielle are also early contenders for video game babes of the year. The character voices are also nicely done, but they can get annoying at times, like the dialogue you get in a B-grade horror movie. (“Let me in your womb!” – Ricardo)
Gameplay wise, Haunting Ground more than borrows elements from Clock Tower series of games. You run around the castle solving puzzles to advance, all the while not knowing where your stalker is, and when you run into them, you have to make a big run for it to escape them and find a hiding place. This is one of the problems I had with the game. Just as it seems your making progress, out pops a stalker and you suddenly have to backtrack and run a very long distance before you finally lose them. So then your left with the task of running all the way back to where you left off, and your lucky if you don’t run into them again on the way back. At least Hewie will growl to warn you when a stalker or danger is near.
Hewie himself also plays a big part in helping to solve the games puzzles. If you find yourself stuck, it helps to try and send Hewie to investigate and he might find something your otherwise might have missed. Some are obvious, but some can be tricky and will take a while to figure out. Hewie can also attack you stalker to slow them down and give you time to put some distance between yourselves and find a place to hide.
And you will definitely need Hewie to slow them down cause these guys chase you REALLY FAST! Even a crippled old man in a wheel chair chases you faster by crawling on his hands than the young psychotic maid you’ll encounter!
Fiona isn't completely helpless though. She throws a mean kick that can do damage to her persuers. There are also these crystal like things you can pick up and use as weapons as you can either it throw at them to stun them or lay them on the ground to be used like landmines. If your being chased and you hit your stalker enough times, you can knock them out temporarily and sometimes pick up handy items from them. Would have been nice if we had the ability to tie them up and keep them out of our hair once we knocked them out though.
Some of the puzzles are so hard to figure out that you could be running around for hour. Here’s a hint that every first time player should know: LIGHT THE LAMPS. I let you figure out the rest for yourself.
Another feature borrowed from Clock Tower is the panic meter. Well, you can’t actually see a panic meter, or even your life meter for that matter, but they are there! As Fiona get more nervous and panicky, you’ll notice the screen color change and get a bit fuzzy. When Fiona gets a full on panic attack, the screen goes all black and white and she starts running like crazy and crashing into things. And you can tell her life is low from the way she walks. She’ll either start breathing heavily and start walking or running more slowly and will need to catch her breath. It will also take her longer to get up if she gets knocked down.
There are some fun bonuses for beating the game too, such as Fiona’s sexy dominatrix outfit! Fiona even has a bizarre frog costume. Hewie also can be switched for German Shepard colours. Beating harder difficulties will unlock different bonuses, and how you beat the game will also determine the kind of ending you get.
Overall, I’ve never played Clock Tower 3 on PS2, but I found Haunting Ground to be one of the best Survival Horror games I’ve played in awhile. Sure the story can be a bit corny in places, and some of the puzzles annoyingly hard, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Whether or not a sequel is in the works remains to be seen, but the possibility is there to tell the story with a different bunch of characters or a some new enemies to stalk Fiona in future games.

Graphics – 9
Sound – 8
Gameplay – 7
Lifespan – 7
Overall – 7



Added a new link to a next generation gaming site called KIKIZO Games. Don't worry, it's an english with all the usual video game news, previews and reviews like every other site, but best part is they have FREE downloadable video clips of games! No fees and no signup required! So go check it out and enjoy!


God of War

Kratos is a man on a mission! The cursed warrior is on the hunt for Aries, the God of War! The story is really simple, Kratos sold his soul to Aries, and now regrets it and wants Aries’ head on a silver platter as the Gods of Olympus acquire his services to save Rome from Aries’ wrath.
At first I was gonna write this off as a Prince of Persia clone, but after playing it awhile I was totally sucked into to the incredible story the game was telling, add to the easy pick up and play control scheme.
First off, this game looks AWESOME. Everything about this game looks good, from the detailed backgrounds to the awesomely rendered characters and enemies. I really can’t describe just how epic some of the characters in the game are, like the huge three headed hydra boss of the first level, to the equally titanic minotaur and Aries himself. Heck, one whole level is played in Pandora’s Temple, which is located on the back of a wandering Titan in the desert! The camera angles also do a good job of representing the size aspect of these huge monsters you have to face.
And then there are the regular enemies you have to fight. In addition to demonic zombies and archers, there are a wide variety of enemy characters to get past like ogres, Cyclops, centaurs, and harpies. And did I mention this game has boobies? Yup! The ladies in this game give out the goods!
But Kratos has more than a few weapons up his arsenal to battle Aries’ hordes. He’s got two magical swords chained to his arms that he can slash away with from the start, and he can pick up additional weapons and magic attacks presented to him by various mythological Gods along the way. When you beat enemies, you get spirit orbs which you can use to power up your weapons and magic attacks to make them stronger and learn new attacks, kinda like Onimusha. And the variety of attacks you can pull off range from easy to expert, so practically anyone can pick up and play this game.
The game is definitely challenging, not just the enemies you have to fight, but some of the puzzles you need to solve to advance could have you scratching your head for a bit.
Overall, this is highly recommended as it ranks as one of the overall best games I have ever played since the first PS2 Prince of Persia game. A great adventure, tons of violence, and some boobs on the side equal a must play game!

Graphics – 10
Sound – 10
Gameplay – 9
Lifespan – 9
Overall – 10



I guess you could best describe KUON as three adventures in one, as you have to play through the game three times with three different characters to get the full story.
Based in feudal Japan, you start off with two characters to select from, each with their own path to play through, though they do interact with each other in the game from time to time. Once you beat the game with both of them, a third character will be available for you to play through with to get the complete story.
There’s a bit of a Fatal Frame-type feel to the game as you run around the huge demon-infested ancient Japanese estate. Objects in the background will mess with your senses from time to time, like corpses falling from the ceiling, or shadows disappearing as you turn a corner.
The graphics in this game are very good. The gloomy atmosphere is well represented as you walk around an estate strewn with blood and corpses. The lighting effects are really good and the characters are very detailed. I can even forgive them for making the characters speak without opening their mouths. The characters even moves realistically, if not a bit clunky based on the attire they are wearing. But one fun detail I’ll give props for is that the bodies of defeated enemies will stay where they lay.
Audio-wise, it’s mostly silent for the most part save for the ambiance of the area your in. But there are some haunting tunes like when you hear the children singing or traditional Japanese instrumental stuff that adds to the fear factor of the game.
I think the only shortcoming of the game is the gameplay. Like I mentioned earlier, the characters move rather clunky due to the detailed movements they have, but when it comes to fighting enemies, it can be a bit hard at times. You can equip your character with two weapons, either a hand combat weapon and a magic spell with magic cards you pickup throughout the game, or you can equip two magic spell attacks. The magic spells are limited, so it’s always best to keep a combat weapon handy. The problem is that the characters reach is really short and you have to get in really close to use the hand weapons, and the time it takes to execute the attack is really slow, so if you miss, you leave yourself open to attack. The magic spells are easier as some of them will chase down it’s target, and some require precise aim.
Overall, this is a very good survival horror game. The story will keep you drawn in to see how it turns out, though the only other complaint I do have other than the controls is that it can be quite short even if you do have to beat the game three times.
I definitely recommend this to survival horror buffs like myself to give it a spin. Hopefully a sequel of some sort is in the works.

Graphics – 9
Sound – 9
Gameplay – 7
Lifespan – 7
Overall – 7


A Haunting good time in May!

It's gonna be a frightening month of May as I've picked up not one, not two, but three horrific titles to play! So here are the quick previews for you to look forward to:

Haunting Ground
Fiona awakes to find herself trapped in a huge castle, with only a dog named Hewie to aid her as she searches for the way out while being chased by the tenants of the castle.
Borrowing elements from Clock Tower (being stalked) and RE: Outbreak (team work via commands), this latest title from Capcom looks to be really interesting and a change of pace from the zombie blasting Resident Evil type games.

Resident Evil: Outbreak File 2
Look! Elephant! The further adventures of the survivors from the first Outbreak game as they work together to find a way to escape the zombie infested Racoon City!

Predator: Concrete Jungle
Not exactly survival horror, but the ugly alien hunter is back as he takes on the city streets with all his Predator weapons and abilities in tack. The game is almost like Spider-man 2, except in this one your objective is to hunt and kill instead of recue and protect!