A shmup? Too intense. An RPG? Too long. A tactical game? Too much hard work. An action game? Ugh. I can barely keep my eyes open as it is. It's at times like this, when I'm feeling so very tired I can barely keep my eyes open, when I don't really want to play anything … Continue reading No sleep only games
First impressions of Aisle Lord, a 1992 Mega CD exclusive by Wolf Team (creators of the Arcus series, El Viento, Final Zone, and plenty more), are nothing but positive: This dungeon crawling RPG's pre-title animated sequence is stuffed with a large variety of expressive scenes that almost fill the screen, introducing the game's heroes and … Continue reading My kingdom for a compass
Densha de GO! has always been as encouraging as it is exacting, and if anything this latest game in the series (also available on PlayStation 4) is even more so, making a real effort right from the start of its colourful intro to feel welcoming and accessible regardless of any feigned disinterest in the subject … Continue reading Review: Densha de GO! Hashirou Yamanote Sen
I really wasn't expecting the overlooked and often negatively reviewed Dark Messiah, known in PAL regions as Hellnight, a game I painfully remember passing on for all of five pounds, fifteen years ago (complete UK copies now seem to be worth at least ninety), to be as close in spirit as it is to Warp's … Continue reading Pray or prey?
If there's one thing I love, it's a good side-scrolling beat 'em up - and Knights of Valour 2: Nine Dragons is exactly that. Released by Taiwanese publisher/developer IGS in 2001 for their cart-based "PGM" arcade hardware (also used for none other than Cave's DoDonPachi DaiOuJou, Ketsui, and Espgaluda, albeit reworked into a single PCB rather than … Continue reading Good things come in red packages
The "VM" in VM Japan stands for Vantage Master, a very short and sporadic run of tactical fantasy games by Falcom beginning in 1997 with the predictably titled Vantage Master and (currently) ending with Vantage Master Portable for the PSP just over a decade later (this title was eventually ported back to PC via an official Chinese licensee). VM Japan … Continue reading The mystic far east – powered up!
As if by magic a playable demo for R Type Final 2 has just appeared on both PlayStation Network and the Switch eShop (Japan only at the time of writing, sorry. You can get both links via @shmups Twitter feed. EDIT: Now available in the US too: @NISAmerica) and the only sensible thing to do … Continue reading A quick visit from an old friend
Before we get stuck into this game's future it's worth taking a quick look at its past: Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams was an arcade game first, Success' success followed by home ports to the PC Engine, PlayStation, Neo Geo Pocket Color as well as an even-better-than-the-real-thing semi-remake for Sharp's powerful X68000 home computer. After that … Continue reading Review: Cotton Reboot!
I've loved Mad Stalker from the moment I stumbled upon the X68000 original while browsing Project EGG's wonderful selection of games, and snapping up the otherwise unpalatably expensive PlayStation remake through Japan's PlayStation Store for about the price of a large coffee only made me adore the game even more (do grab that digital offering … Continue reading Better late than never
Much has been made of Mojib-Ribbon's calligraphy theme in English-speaking circles over the years, with some persistent claims this renders it utterly impenetrable to those who can't fluently read Japanese. This, at least on a mechanical level, is not true. The game may be calligraphy themed, but the fact is Capcom's bark 'em up Okami is … Continue reading Rapping it up