TwinBee RPG is the straightforward name of a straightforward game; one where you, the player, are sucked through your TV during the intro sequence to help out the cast of your favourite show (spoilers: It's TwinBee) after things suddenly take a turn for the worse for Light, Pastel, and Mint. As with any other playable self-insert experience your … Continue reading Pop’n RPG!
Tokimeki Memorial 2 is a lavish PlayStation exclusive experience, one where every event and cutscene has been crafted to the highest standards using vast quantities of spoken dialogue and premium quality artwork - no wonder it spans a frankly absurd five CDs. That's more than any of Squaresoft's chart-topping RPGs released around the same time, and … Continue reading Konami’s second go at first love
There's some minor confusion over the English title of this 2001 PlayStation strategy game: Is it "TearRing Saga", as shown so clearly on the save screen? Perhaps it's "TearRingSaga", as written on the title screen, the disc, and the box's spine? Or could it be "Tear Ring Saga", as printed on the back of the … Continue reading Fire Emblem Saga
In 1945 a mysterious black moon appeared in the sky and waves of mythical beasts - goblins, gorgons, naga, and worse - began to roam the land, their only goal to kill, without malice or anger, every human they could before they expired. It's now 1999. Humans have been erased from entire continents and the situation is … Continue reading Students, statistics, and bloodthirsty beasts
One of the joys of buying strange little Japanese PlayStation games in particular is that you never quite know what you're going to get: Maybe you'll end up owning an(other) adventure game or train driving sim, or maybe you'll end up riding hot air balloons over impossible landscapes or blasting away in zodiac themed tunnel … Continue reading A bug’s life
You know when I started my latest playthrough of Vagrant Story the original plan was to use this refresher to discuss its masterful (and arguably unbeaten to this day) use of light, shadow, and colour to convey mood, time, and temperature, to wax lyrical about how it wields texture and sound to create a "real" abandoned place … Continue reading Love for the broken
Aconcagua begins with a dramatic explosion sending a small passenger plane hurtling towards the titular real-world mountain the game takes place on, which for the purposes of this 2000 PlayStation title is located within the fictional country of Meruza. This is a country where the people suffering under enforced military rule still harbour faint hopes of democratically-elected … Continue reading When two very different genres collide…
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
By the summer of 2000 the once pioneering PlayStation was a thoroughly decrepit six years old and now the ageing budget alternative to the glorious next-gen delights of Sega's online Dreamcast and Sony's own PlayStation 2. Like every other console before it the PlayStation was supposed to politely fade into obscurity, its remaining stock swiftly … Continue reading I just think they’re neat
I really wasn't expecting the overlooked and often negatively reviewed Dark Messiah, known in PAL regions as Hellnight, a game I painfully remember passing on for all of five pounds, fifteen years ago (complete UK copies now seem to be worth at least ninety), to be as close in spirit as it is to Warp's … Continue reading Pray or prey?