“Mercurial drama queen hack”

[A quick word before we begin. There is no way to show honest screenshots of MadWorld without sharing some unpleasantly violent (albeit stylised) imagery so please keep that in mind before scrolling down the page] Imagine a game operating under similar circumstances to the movie Speed, only instead of keeping a bus moving above 50mph to … Continue reading “Mercurial drama queen hack”

Improving on somebody else’s homework

If there's one thing that's a sure bet in old computer gaming, it's that any sword-carrying hero of a certain age will take part in an adventure that's suspiciously similar to but legally distinct from the sort undertaken by Ys' Adol Christin, sometimes even down to the lead character having the exact same flame-red hair. Zark … Continue reading Improving on somebody else’s homework

Rocket-powered platforming

Thanks to the incredible influence of a certain blue hedgehog every company - every company - that wasn't Nintendo back in the Nineties was desperate to have a platforming mascot animal-ish character of their very own, usually a [Something] the [Something]. With attitude. And Konami's was Sparkster, the armour plated, rocket powered, tail swinging, opossum star of Rocket Knight Adventures. … Continue reading Rocket-powered platforming

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

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?

Change is bad. And good. And necessary.

PlayStation cutscene 'em up Metal Gear Solid was a legend in its own lifetime, selling millions of copies worldwide and responsible for a huge shift in mainstream gaming's attitude towards how games could play and the sort of weighty subjects their plots could tackle. It made "stealth action" mainstream in a way Tenchu, released the … Continue reading Change is bad. And good. And necessary.

Good things come in red packages

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