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.

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

On the Famicom, no one can hear you scream…

For whatever reason this 1989 port of Enix's 1987 computer game Jesus: Kyofu no Bio Monster to Nintendo's Famicom was handled by King Records, who are best known in the field for publishing, erm, Jesus: Kyofu no Bio Monster on the Famicom. The game's a creepy sci-fi adventure crafted in an era-standard style with no biblical references whatsoever … Continue reading On the Famicom, no one can hear you scream…

Super [Famicom] storytelling

At first glance, a second look, and even after skimming over a few screenshots, anyone interested in playing Heisei Shin Onigashima could reasonably assume this 1996 (Satellaview release, with some differences)/1997 (Nintendo Power service)/1998 (boxed retail cartridges shown above) two-part Super Famicom adventure game wasn't much more than a graphical overhaul of Nintendo's 1987 8-bit … Continue reading Super [Famicom] storytelling

Everything’s better with dragons

All early signs point to this 1987 Konami title being at best yet another The Legend of Zelda clone made with good intentions and inevitably poor execution: The lone hero, the overworld littered with some suspiciously deliberate rock formations, the black holes in south facing walls leading to monster-filled dungeons or new areas entirely - … Continue reading Everything’s better with dragons

Back to the future (via murders and music)

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)

Resident Evil’s other prequel

There are no doubt bacterial growths living ten miles under the surface of Mars that are well aware Sweet Home is the game responsible for setting out much of Resident Evil's successful survival horror framework by now: The tension-building creaky door animations forcing players to briefly live through the eyes of these unlucky souls, the … Continue reading Resident Evil’s other prequel

Someday, thou may recall this island…

"It was all a dream!" is usually the time-wasting rug-pull found at the unsatisfying end of a poor story, a twist designed to lazily excuse a tale that's gone off the rails or allow a writer to scratch a "what if" itch without causing any permanent damage to an established setting. The Legend of Zelda: … Continue reading Someday, thou may recall this island…