When judged purely on its merits as an RPG 2009's Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is... it's fine. It's faux-retro in many of the ways I don't really want a game to be, with multi-level dungeons filled with staircases leading to dead ends (or a solitary chest containing an item that's never quite … Continue reading Four good-lookin’ Heroes of Light
For an adventure game with such impressive development talent behind it - that'll be Red Entertainment (Sakura Wars, Galaxy Fraulein Yuna) and Creatures Inc. (Mother 3, manymanymanymany very good Pokémon spin-offs) - Japanese DS exclusive Project Hacker: Kakusei failed to do much more on release than exist in as unremarkably and inoffensively a manner as possible, quietly coming and going … Continue reading Gotta hack ’em all!
The DS' acronym-giving dual screens are good for many things, including holding the handheld book-style for some adventure gaming, ports of already unusual arcade games, and Sega being so very Sega - but if there's one genre they're definitely not made for, it's vertical shmups. That inescapable gap between the two screens creates an unplayable … Continue reading Dinky dual screen danmaku
Weirdly sexy battle princesses may be something of an overused cliché but at least Aisya, the leading lady in Mistwalker's Archaic Sealed Heat, begins the very first battle brandishing a sword and ornate rifle of her very own and isn't shy about using either, following the Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca style of hands-on princessing as opposed … Continue reading Flaming fantasy
Poisoned drinks, deadly falls (preceded by a malicious push), heavy candlesticks swung at the back of someone's head, jealous lords offing innocent princes... murder's been a popular plot device for about as long as people have been telling stories, which has the unfortunate side effect of making even a well written tale feel a little … Continue reading Back to the future (via murders and music)
Once upon a time Sega, in a moment of what can only be described as pure and perfect Seganess, decided to take their popular zombie-shooting arcade title The House of the Dead 2 and replace the lightguns with... keyboards. In arcades. And they did this on purpose. Against all odds, common sense, and frantic calls from investors … Continue reading Edutainment… OF THE DEAD!
The Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history has quite understandably been mined for entertainment purposes for centuries at the very least, so it should come as no surprise to learn that gaming has also used the setting for everything from serious stat-heavy historical simulations to coin-swallowing arcade fun too - that's side-scrolling beat 'em up style … Continue reading Getting it right by doing it wrong
I love everything about the original Resident Evil. The story, the frequently bizarre voice acting, the way the horror of those first nervous playthroughs melts away into silky speedruns as Umbrella's finely-tuned puzzle box of monsters clicks into place - every last little detail is something to be noted and cherished. So this admission is … Continue reading THE WASPS GO IN THE WASP NEST