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!
After a look at one largely disastrous attempt to bring an unexpected genre to SNK's action-leaning hardware, I thought it was only fair to balance that out with a more positive example along the same sort of lines: Densetsu no Ogre Battle Gaiden: Zenobia no Ouji, is a side story in Quest's famous Ogre Battle … Continue reading A kind of magic
It doesn't take any special sleuthing or grand digital detectivry to confidently trace a finger through Vixen 357's impressive family tree: The broad similarities to Langrisser (released the year before, in 1991), PC Engine mech SRPG Hisou Kihei X-Serd (1990), and even going as far back as Gaia no Monshou (1987) are as plain as … Continue reading Masaya’s Mega Drive mechs
Sacnoth were the creative force responsible responsible for the fabulous survival-horror RPG Koudelka, its slightly more famous (and dare I whisper it, inferior) sequel Shadow Hearts, the Dive Alert duo on Neo Geo Pocket, and this swerve out of nowhere into tactical mech action, Faselei (I'm going to leave out that trailing "!", it gives me a headache). They … Continue reading Toy soldiers and chips
What makes a Square game a Square game? It's not an easy a question to answer: This productive pre-Square-Enix period - something that now feels like an eternity ago - reaches as far back as 1984 and runs all the way through to 2003, with games on systems as diverse as the PC-88, Game Boy, … Continue reading The world is Square
Like all the best FromSoftware games, it wasn't until I'd cartoonishly bumbled my way into an impossible-to-continue position and been forced to start over again before I really got the hang of Armored Core 3 Portable. Well, I say "Got the hang of" but it'd be more honest to describe my second go as "It … Continue reading The joy of mechs
Blast off and strike the evil Bydo Empire! It used to be all so very simple: You flew in from the left, everything else came in from the right, and both sides shot at each other until there was nothing left to shoot at. Shmups were proper games - games that put hairs on your … Continue reading There’s no atmosphere in space, and yet…