Song of the Deep – Ubernerd’s First Impressions

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When I was younger you didn’t have the instant information about video games that we have today. You learned about them two ways: either you heard about the game from friends or you just happened to walk into a store, see a box for the game and if it impressed you enough you bought it. Now with the internet it seems that we know everything about a game before we even play it. I am not saying that this is a bad thing but there is something to be said about the feeling you get from discovering a great game. This feeling I thought was long dead until just recently, as I am starting to discover the joys of indie games. As I get deeper and deeper into them I find myself finding a great game I get that same feeling of discovery that I got back when I was a kid. But getting information about their games to people like me is harder for indie game developers because they are smaller companies and usually either don’t have the money because they are using most of it toward making the game or they aren’t backed by big names like Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. Although sometimes these companies do try to help because these are new titles that no one has ever heard of, it can be quite difficult. These developers typically have to rely on social media and other unconventional ways to get the word out about their game. Getting this information from these sources in my opinion is no different than when I was getting it from kids on the playground. You may have had a vague concept of what the game is but it really wasn’t until you put the game in your system and played it that you truly knew what the game was all about.

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“Song of the Deep” is a wonderful example of having that feeling of discovery. Over the last year or so every time I would step into a GameStop I would hear about this game through their TV channel that plays over the counter. I generally go in looking for something specific and don’t pay much mind to their TV channel so I didn’t get a whole lot of information on the game. The only information that I would seem to get was that it plays similar to games like Metroid and Castlevania or as some gamers like to call it “Metroidvania.” In addition to that information I also knew that the creators were Insomniac Games, also known for Ratchet and Clank, who partnered with GameStop to distribute Song of the Deep. This is why GameStop has been trying to promote the game as much as possible. This knowledge, plus the fact that the game was only $15, was enough entice me to preorder it. Yet similar to when I was a kid, I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into until I put that disc into my PS4 and started to play the game.

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Before I get into what my first impressions of Song of the Deep are let’s set up the story a little. The main character of the game is a girl named Merryn whose father is a sailor and as part of his job he would sail out each morning and then come back every evening. Before Merryn would go to bed her father would sing songs and tell stories of his adventures out at sea. These songs and stories would include all the creatures he would encounter, histories of the deep that he would discover, sailor ticks that he picked up, and so on. Even though she figured like any good sailor her father was stretching the truth she enjoyed listening to them. One day Merryn’s father goes out to sea but never comes back and after waiting a long time the girl decides to go after him. She creates a submarine with parts that her father left from older trips and sets out to go find him. What she discovers is that her father’s songs and stories weren’t exaggerations of the truth- they were the truth. It’s your job to try to find out what happened to Merryn’s father and see if you can save him.

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Starting off with my first impressions, yes, this game plays like a Metroidvania game should, but it’s so much more. The style of artwork kind of reminds me of both an old fairy tale book and the style of art used in the Rayman Legends video game. The artwork is stunning, beautiful, and just mesmerizing to look at. At times I would find myself actually getting attacked by enemies from behind because I’d sit and stare at the beautiful scenery all around me. The music is just as mesmerizing as the scenery. I find myself calmed by the music even at the most frustrating times in the game. The gameplay is simple enough and reminds of a mix between Ratchet and Clank, Ecco the Dolphin, and an old Jaws game for the NES. Where “Song of the Deep” really shines for me is the story. Video games as a whole don’t necessarily live or die on story like books or movies do. For instance some video games can have an amazing story but terrible gameplay (i.e. “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”), while others have very little to no story but amazing gameplay (i.e. most fighting games). This game exceeds at storytelling and also weaves the tale in a very unique way by having a narrator talk as you are playing. You’d think that this would get old after a while but after playing the game for several hours now it makes me want to find out what is going to happen next.

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No video game is one hundred percent perfect. There is always something that can be improved. For “Song of the Deep” there are some problems with dropping frame rates and some minor glitching throughout the game. Yet in my opinion this is no problem and is not diminishing my experience at all.

So in conclusion if you are looking for a game this summer to play, you’ve got a PS4 or Xbox One, you like old school games, and have spare $15 you will not be disappointed.

Video and podcast to come soon!

Video Game Boom Box Halloween Edition: Transylvania theme – Ducktales

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Video Game Boom Box Halloween

“Music has been an important part of video games since the beginning. From classic video games like Pong and Tetris to newer games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy music can make or break a video game just as much as gameplay. So in some ways music really makes the game. Think of playing Super Mario Bros. without the theme song playing would it not be the same? Of course it isn’t! The real question is can video game music inspire others to make music? For us here at the Arcade Archive the answer is a whole-hearted, yes! That is why we created this series of articles which will highlight some songs that are inspired by the video games we play.”

 That was the original statement of Video Game Boom Box and it still holds true today. The new Video Game Boom Box is going be a little different than previous articles. Now we will share a video of the music and give some brief thoughts on the featured song or we may just put up the video of the music just for you to enjoy. Please feel free to send comment on the bottom of each post and let us know what your thoughts are of the music. You could also request a song yourself by emailing us at thearcadearchives@gmail.com  or tweet at us @arcadeanetwork

This Halloween we are proud to present to you music that will get you in a spooky mood. These songs will be coming from non-horror games (because that would be way too easy). So sit back and make sure that the lights are on…you’ve been warned!

Transylvania theme – Ducktales

Scrooge Mcduck’s billionaire life is sure like a hurricane (sorry someone had to reference the theme song) especially in this game. You go from the amazon, to the Himalayas, to even the moon just to get your hands on some weird treasure. However the weirdest place you have to visit is Transylvania. With mummy, vampire, and skeleton ducks on your tail feathers Transylvania sure lives up to its name. One of the best parts is that this level comes with equally creepy music. Capcom was the creators of this game and more than likely took some of their experience from making Castlevania into this level and possibly even the music. In Ducktales: remastered, done by the widely talented Wayforward they amped up the music to almost a cinematic feel and gave it that extra rock feel too. Both versions of the song are quite amazing so we put both versions on this post.

Le 8-Bit Decal Review

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What you see in the photo above are 10 different decals from Le 8-Bit‘s Etsy store. I’m sure the first thing all you gamers out there notice is the amazing old school 8-bit graphics this decals are designed with. I’m sure for a lot of you this is the first format you started gaming on; I know it was for me.

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With the exception of one of these decals they are all characters from classic 80’s video games. The little girl with the pink hair for those of you that don’t know her she is Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. The one next to Ramono is none other then Simon Belmont from one of my all time favorite video game series Castlevania!! I swear I bought that game for every system I owned.

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Yoshi I just one of several Mario themed decals in the bunch there is also Princess Peach and several different Mushrooms.

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There is also Sonic, Shadow, and Link! To round out the decals. I mean who’s childhood wouldn’t have been complete with out these incredible characters. I know some of you are thinking why would you want to deal with 8-Bit graphics when you can have video games that look so real its almost like a movie. I will tell you why because 8-Bit RULES! Plain and simple! There is something so simple but so wonderful about these graphics; it’s like going home after being away for to long!

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Ahhhh yes that is me; one of your fearless bloggers! I’m really a geeky chick! Enough about me back to these decals! Can I just say I LOVE these decals? Because I so do! The photos don’t do them justice but the colors are so bright and glorious. They range in size from about an 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in height.  They are made out of a thick vinyl; which is great because they aren’t going to split or rip when your removing them from the backing. I know we have all been there; I have a Harley Quinn that I don’t know how it survived getting on my car in one piece. They are also a great size to decorate just about anything!! Tablets, laptops, phones, car windows, or anything else you can think of!They also don’t just have video game characters! There is also super heroes!  The prices are great to for such a high quality decal. The prices range from $5 -$10 depending on what size package you purchase! Le 8-Bit also has 2 stores for you to shop in their fabulous Etsy store and Amazon.com. Check them out you know you want to Le 8-Bit your world!!