Good games have more than just good gameplay

I find unusual old games by now-famous developers absolutely irresistible - just look at Square's 1986 sci-fi computer game Cruise Chaser Blassty and tell me honestly that's not fascinating (if flawed) - which is why I had to snap up Quest's (yep, that's Tactics Ogre Quest) Famicom platformer Maten Douji, known in the US under its localised title Conquest of … Continue reading Good games have more than just good gameplay

You are being watched. You are being judged.

Hungry Ghosts opens not with a context-free FMV montage of epic events yet to come nor an attention grabbing intro neatly ending as your own adventure begins but something far more ominous - a simple text message addressing you directly, warning of all the difficult decisions ahead that cannot be undone. This then seamlessly drifts … Continue reading You are being watched. You are being judged.

Welcome to another fantasy zone – get ready?

From the instant you fall through the first stage's blossom-pink skies and into Jinmu Denshou's stripy world you know exactly what Big Club/Wolf Team's into-the-screen shooting PC Engine exclusive is going to be like - it's going to be like Space Harrier. As instantly recognisable as the visual style of Sega's arcade titan is few games ever dared … Continue reading Welcome to another fantasy zone – get ready?

A fresh bundle of very old games

You'd think a collection - even a Japanese one from the Nineties - containing nothing but Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished, Dragon Slayer, and Xanadu: Dragon Slayer II (we'll not go into the mind-bending rabbit hole that is Falcom's Dragon Slayer/The Legend of Heroes series-within-series today) would be marketed as "Ys and two bonus games" but the Saturn exclusive Falcom … Continue reading A fresh bundle of very old games

Second Siren lucky?

The first Siren was a divisive experience; praised by some, loathed by others, and I... well, it's probably best you read about it for yourself. But whether you view the original as an unflinchingly brutal nightmare played out within a dense tangle of plot or nothing more than a deeply unfair game loosely attached to a string of indecipherable … Continue reading Second Siren lucky?

Storytelling, strafing, and sci-fi

You may know Genki's 1996 PlayStation game Beltlogger 9 by its lengthier US title BRAHMA Force: The Assault on Beltlogger 9 or its subtitle-free European moniker, BRAHMA Force. A quick glance gives the impression we're about to inflict yet another slightly clunky Nineties first-person sci-fi shooter with all the usual trappings - weird controls, overly cube-like environments, and a plot … Continue reading Storytelling, strafing, and sci-fi