Well, after reading Dale's review and considering some of his points, I must admit that I had a little change of heart and felt compelled to lower my rating on Smackdown 2. The game definitely has major issues that I needed to emphasize more.
Its no secret that developers dont have the best track record when it comes to producing videogame sequels. Some will attack the problems that plagued the original in a deliberate attempt to improve upon the playing experience. The rest will just add the prerequisite bells and whistles fans are demanding without giving much thought to how the entire package will fit together. That appears to be the case with Yukes sophomore WWF release, WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Violence, Mature Sexual Themes, Mild Language
Since Im not going to attempt to tackle the meta-issues or any cultural relevance here, Ill focus on the nuts and bolts of the game itself, irrespective of its historical background.
Saiyuki is at it's a heart a turn-based strategy role-playing game (RPG) similar to games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vandal Hearts. Whether or not this genre is appropriate given the source material is debatable, but it's an interesting route the developers choose to take nonetheless.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Violence
For the most part, I agree with a lot of Mike's points regarding Castlevania Chronicles. The game certainly brought back fond memories of earlier Castlevania titles that Ive played in the past. I just wish that I had enjoyed playing it more; unfortunately, the obnoxious difficulty and inconsistent jumping mechanics marred the experience.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Violence
I can't say for sure since Im not privy to the full scope of games released in Japan, but it has seemed to me for a long time that Konami promotes a particular aesthetic in their RPGs. Their two most prominent RPG series in the U.S., Vandal Hearts and Suikoden, have always been similar in theme and tone.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence