Sunday, August 5, 2012

A New Beertendo

I know what you're thinking. "Beertendo? That's not the reason we check this blog! We want more videos about Goddamned videogames!"

This is undoubtedly true. However, Chrontendo 45 is not ready yet, but it should be at the editing stagne within the next few day.  What can I say? I've been busy and distracted. I've even been playing a non-Chrontendo related videogame: Radiant Historia. It's a pretty darned good RPG from Atlus that might remind you a little of Yasumi Matsuno's tactical RPGs, or, due to the time traveling theme, Chrono Trigger.  Now that the DS is a "retro" system, I'm suddenly more interested in it, and am trying to pick up games before they start becoming harder to find.

Stolen from Gamefaqs.
Perhaps Chrontendo readers can make some suggestions?  I'm aware of the many good RPGs and adventure games for the DS, but what are some good action games? I know of the Castlevania DS titles, and Contra 4 and Bangai-O Spirits, but what other good stuff is out there?

On to the next beer in the Russian River "religious" series of Belgian inspired beers! In the first entry, we covered RR's Santification, a sour blonde, which I liked quite a bit. Today, we have Damnation. Beer fanatics, might think, "Damnation? It sounds like a Golden Ale." And you would be correct. Golden Ales, or Blonde Ales are, in the words of Jeremy Marshall, "fermented out for a crisp and dry finish with a detectable malty sweetness that is like bread or toast rather than caramel." Golden Ale is a somewhat vague term, and to further confuse matters, some sources call this style of beer a Belgian Pale Ale, even though it tastes nothing like a British or American Pale Ale. Beer Advocate calls Damnation a "Belgian Strong Pale Ale," which is appropriate since the alcohol level is pretty high, 7.75%.


Compared to Sanctification, Damnation is a lighter, straw color with a thick head of foam that sticks to the sides of the glass once it recedes. The flavor is yeasty, with very little bitterness. It's not nearly as fruity as the Sanctification; the main fruit flavor is banana, and there is a bit of spice - maybe cloves? There is also an odd, almost vegetable flavor in the background. It's tough to describe. Damnation has a very faint sweet fruit aftertaste; maybe a bit of lemon?

Russian River describes this as "inspired by Duvel" but I like Duvel better. In fact Duvel is usually the considered to be the definitive example of the Belgian Golden Ale.  I think I would take most of the big Belgian Golden Ales, like Duvel or Delerium Tremens, over Damnation. Even North Coast's Pranqster is really good, and has the added bonus of being easy to find and cheap compared to Damnation. My local grocery store normally has 4-packs of Pranqster on the shelf.

To add a bit of scientific rigor to the proceedings, shortly after trying Damnation, I went out and got a bottle of Duvel, for comparison (readily available at any local Trader Joe's.)
Duvel is, again, pretty light in color, with a huge head of foam that sticks to sides. Duvel goes down extremely easy, with a big malty and yeasty flavor. But at the same time, it's very dry and crisp. It tastes "cleaner" than Damnation and just has a really beautiful flavor, perhaps with a hint of banana.

And about those names: its a tradition to give Golden Ales sinister names. "Duvel" means "devil," and another famous Golden Ale from Belgium is called Lucifer. The Lost Abbey has an Inferno Ale, and so on.... There is also Malheur (misfortune), Mischief, Horny Devil, and various similarly named Golden Ales.

Our scorecard:

Sanctification: B+
Damnation: B-
(Bonus Beer - Duvel: A)

16 comments:

Aquin said...

I love the DS and play it every night before bed. Here's my personal collection. They're listed sorta by preference in each broad category. You can check what seems good. I'm sure at least one will give you a good time:

DS

ACTION

Kirby: Canvas Curse
Mario Kart DS
Space Invaders Extreme 2
Umihara Kawase Kanzenban
Dawn of Sorrow
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Jump Ultimate Stars
Sonic Rush
Sonic Rush Adventure
Rhythm Heaven
Bomberman 2
Contra 4
Giana Sisters DS
Kirby Squeak Squad
Kirby Superstar Ultra (interesting new stuff)
Henry Hatsworth
Legend of Kage 2

STRATEGY / RPG

Radiant Historia (oh wait)
Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
Shiren the Wanderer
Valkyrie Profile Covenant of the Plume
The World Ends with You
Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime
Bowser's Inside Story
SMT: Devil Survivor
Pokemon Platinum
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
Knights in the Nightmare

PUZZLE

All 4 Professor Layton games
Ghost Trick
Puyo Puyo 15th
Puyo Puyo 20th
Tetris DS
Picross 3D
Picross DS
Harvest Moon - Frantic Farming
Air Traffic Chaos
Neves
Polarium

VISUAL NOVELS / ADVENTURE

9 hours 9 persons 9 doors
Hotel Dusk
Phoenix Wright Collection
Ace Attorney Investigations
Flower, Sun, and Rain

OTHER

Retro Game Challenge
Game Center CX 2
Ouendan
Style Savvy
Warioware DIY
Metroid Prime Pinball
GG Series Collection
Clubhouse Games
Art Academy

qaylIS said...

For good DS games I recommend the following:
New Super Mario Bros. (solid platformer with many secrets, which gets challenging at the end)
Space Invaders Extreme (great reboot)
Nanostray 1+2 (old-school shmups)
Retro Game Challenge (one of the best things ever created, localized version of the first Gamecenter CX game (the second never hit the west))
Etrian Odyssey III (challenging old-school Atlus Dungeon Crawler in which you draw the dungeon map on the lower screen...the first two are also good, but the 3rd is without a doubt the best of the series so far)
Starfox Command (great 3D shmup with features that should have been in Starfox 2 on SNES, if it hadn't been canceled)
Sonic Rush (maybe the best Sonic Game outside the Mega Drive Roster...erm, I mean Genesis)
Mega Man ZX (Mega Man with Metroidvanian Style design, fun but really difficult)
Castelvania Dawn of Sorrow (fantastic Platformer-RPG with tons of stuff to do and find)
The World Ends with you (best Square-Enix RPG I ever played (if you don't count Chrono Trigger)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I know you said you weren't looking for RPGs, but one game you should try for sure is The World Ends With You. It's quite different from everything else and addictive.

Unknown said...

Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ
Space Invaders Extreme 2
The Dragon Quest games are quite good as well if you want a good, old-fashioned RPG.

Sean Clements said...

I have to agree with what Aquin wrote. That is a fine list of games for the DS. Retro game challenge seems especially appropriate considering it attempts to copy and focus on the types of 8bit games that are played on this site. Another interesting game(s) I might add are the Trauma center games that are a weird hybrid of action and simulation that make good use of the touchscreen. DS not really to heavy on pure side scrolling action games compared to other genres. But the ones mentioned above I also believe are the best. Personally I sunk the most time on the DS in touchscreen heavy games like Rythm Heaven, Elite beat Agnes and Oendan games, and probably my favorite puzzle game of all time, Picross 3D. And of course the Layton games. I played the crap out of Contra 4 as well. In my opinion it is the best pure side scroller on the system even if it doesn't quite reach the level of greatness that was Contra 3 or Contra Hardcorps. Super Princess peach is worth a mention as well as the best Mario sle game on the system as I though it was worlds better than New Super MariomBros. And the two? Mario RPG games are worth checking out as well. Also maybe worth a mention not mention above is the Sonic Rpg by bio ware, As far as the beer I again find myself wishing that I lived somewhere more beer friendly. As to get some of the Belgian beers I would have to drive halfway across the Island here in Hawaii. If this blog post came out 4 weeks ago when I was visiting California I am sure I could have found those beers to sample no problem.

Yin said...

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey had a nice mood going.

And Retro Game Challenge (Game Center CX) is cool, and fitting for the creator of Chrontendo...

Giana Sisters DS was some nice nostalgia.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Retro Game Challenge which is now on a "Retro" system. Why do I imagine Xzibit of all people now?

"Yo dawg, I heard you like retro games, so we put a retro game on your retro game system, so you can nostalgia while you nostalgia".

Also, have you ever come close to an episode of Chrontendo where almost all, or at least a good chunk of the games mentioned, were developed by TOSE? What if there was an episode where all 15 games were by TOSE?

Doctor Sparkle said...

Thanks for the suggestions. So the DS Sonic games are good? I'll admit that for the last ten years or so, I automatically tune out whenever I hear about a new Sonic game.

I thought that Aquin was making a clever joke with "Giana Sisters DS" but... it turns out this is real? I'm amazed.

I purchased Retro Game Challenge and World Ends With You not that long ago, and they are on "the list." I figured I'd better get WEWY before it went OOP and became expensive.

An all-Tose episode is statistically very unlikely, thank God. There have been episodes with multiple Tose games on several occasions.

Aquin said...

Yes, when I first heard of Giana Sisters DS I thought it was a joke too. I'm not much fond of the original (at all), but man the DS version was surprisingly decent.

I also don't care much for Sonic games (blaspheme!) but man the two Rush games are a lot of fun. :)

Aquin said...

(also, speaking of TOSE, you could always try the DS Starfy game maybe see if they've improved since the 80s.)

Sean Clements said...

Also speaking of Tose that Super Princess peach Game for the DS was farmed out to Tose.

Anonymous said...

Also, is it me, or are a majority of Famicom TOSE games very inconsistent with how they turn out? The only 4 games to my knowledge that are very similar to one another are Ninja Kid, Chubby Cherub, M.U.S.C.L.E., and Dragon Power. I am starting to believe that TOSE was a huge company with around 20-30 employees, and a different staff worked on different games. I doubt any of those games had more than 4 people working on each of them.

Yin said...

Speaking of Giana Sisters DS, the company wants to keep the series going further with a third game on kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/project-giana/project-giana

Anonymous said...

Ah, finally! Someone actually recognizing the amazing games on the DS!

Action
You HAVE to check out Dreamrift's games; Monster Tale and Henry Hatsworth. Absolutely fantastic - you'll see in an instant why they got the contract for Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion.

RPG
You already bought Radiant Historia. I suggest making sure you tackle the Dragon Quest remake trilogy (4, 5, and 6), and of course Dragon Quest IX.

Suikoden Tierkreis is also pretty great, and unfairly hated. It's also perhaps the most beautiful DS game ever made, and easily the best technical design. It is the only DS RPG to really nail how to use touch screen controls.

Adventure
Solatorobo
Okamiden
Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime

Strategy
You HAVE to play Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. It may be on XBLA/PSN and Steam, but it was designed for the DS and works best there. Plus the sprite art is very SNES-esque.

Lock's Quest is also quite interesting, although not as succesful a game. Still, it's a mix between a Secret of Mana-type hack and slasher and tower defense - it's actually quite cool.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I also forgot Aliens...whatever it's called on DS. It was designed by Wayforward too - like Contra 4. Those guys know how to make a great 2D game (you can also pick up their Batman: Brave and the Bold game; rest assured it's a fantastically fun game too)