Since buying a Retron 5 nearly two years ago, I have invested a great deal of time and money into acquiring many of the great Super Famicom exclusive titles that we were not fortunate enough to receive in North America. Thanks to the Retron's ability to apply translation patches to the games (assuming that someone has gone through the trouble of translating the text and creating the patch for said game), not being able to understand text-heavy games because they are in Japanese is no longer an issue for those of us who don't speak the language.
Unfortunately, despite my ambitions of playing through all of these newly added imports in my collection, I have only played through a couple of these titles so far. However, I plan on putting forth a more solid effort toward playing more of these games in the future, starting with what will hopefully be the first of many Japan exclusive titles that I will be reviewing for this site: Alcahest!
Continue reading Alcahest
The original Doom that was released back in 1993 was an extremely important landmark title in gaming. While not necessarily the first first-person-shooter to hit the market, it was definitely the game that popularized the genre. I have fond memories of playing Doom sometime back in the mid-90s on PC when I was less than the age of 10, with its gameplay and (at the time) mature content being unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Although the version I had only contained the first episode, I played through it multiple times, and it is still a game that I find myself going back to even today. After the Wolfenstein series got a great new entry with MachineGames' excellent Wolfenstein: The New Order, I was confident that id's other classic franchise would receive the same treatment when a new game in the Doom series, simply titled Doom, was shown at E3 2015. I was not disappointed. In fact, even after playing other highly acclaimed games from 2016 such as Uncharted 4 and Final Fantasy XV, I still feel like I enjoyed Doom enough to call it my Game of the Year for 2016.
Continue reading My GOTY 2016: DOOM
Most people know that I am a huge fan of the survival-horror genre, particularly the Resident Evil series, so I was immediately intrigued when The Evil Within was announced back in 2013. This was a brand new survival-horror IP directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, and it promised to bring the genre back to its survival roots rather than the action-oriented approach of more recent horror games. While I still enjoyed more recent horror titles that have been given the label of 'action-horror,' the prospect of a modern title that recaptures what made the old-school games so unique and interesting was exactly what survival-horror fans had been hoping for.
Continue reading Spooky Plays: The Evil Within
As a fan of story based games, I have to say that I love a game that takes you on a ride. Catherine is the kind of game that you can sit back with, relax, and watch an incredibly compelling social dilemma unfold before the protagonist's eyes. Lately, I've been thinking about companies from Japan. So many people have been crying out about the doom and gloom of the market and how Japanese development has been lagging behind while the Western world advances. This couldn't be further from the truth, as Atlus is one of Japanese gaming's oldest surviving names, but fastest risers in the global market. Persona 3 got the name out, Persona 4 kicked the door open, and Catherine broke the door's frame. Persona 5 is currently one of the most anticipated Japanese developed games since Atlus presented its masterfully crafted initial trailer.
Catherine was released in Japan and North American in 2011, with Europe and Australia getting a release in early 2012. The plot revolves around infidelity and is one that many of us have likely heard about, if not experienced first hand. Vincent, the games protagonist, gets caught up with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young beauty named Catherine one night after all of his friends leave him alone at the bar. From here, the player chooses whether he wants to court her for the long run or remain faithful to his girlfriend, Katherine. The girls represent the ideologies of "Law" and "Chaos." Law is doing the right thing no matter how much it might hurt; Katherine is a structured being in complete charge of her life and represents Law. On the other hand, Catherine is more of a loose cannon that Vincent can't seem to get rid of no matter what decisions you make; she represents Chaos. Which one of these ladies will you choose, or will you choose the single life?
Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Catherine
Steambot Chronicles, or Ponkotsu Roman Daikatsugeki: Bumpy Trot as it was originally named in Japan, is a Playstation 2 game developed and published by Irem in Japan, Atlus in North America, and 505 Gamestreet in a few countries in Europe. There is also a spin off on PSP named Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament, and an odd tie-in puzzle game on PS2 and PSP named Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship (one of only four games published by Majesco on the PSP in the USA).
A quick look at the back of the case of Steambot Chronicles shows the game being marketed as an open world RPG, and that is correct in a way. The game starts off as linear as any other RPG that's been made and then opens up. It's similar to the opening dungeon in Elder Scrolls, but drags on much longer. In this long opening sequence, you'll visit all three of the main towns, many of the back areas, and explore most of the world by the time it's completely opened up. Once an area is open, it may be visited at any time afterwards, and as a result, money can be hoarded this way.
Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Steambot Chronicles
Beyond Oasis is an action/adventure game developed by Ancient for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. It was released quite late in the system's lifecycle, late 1994 for Japan and 1995 everywhere else. Since Ancient was founded by Yuzo Koshiro, it also includes a soundtrack composed by him. This is most likely Sega's answer to The Legend of Zelda mixed with some Mana series, since there are many similarities in gameplay design, puzzle solving, and progression.
Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Beyond Oasis
Magic Knight Rayearth is an action/adventure based on a popular manga and anime series of the same name. Come to the Sega Saturn where we get going back down the Working Designs road!
Working Designs and Sega had quite a close relationship at first. Sega could make some money by licensing the rights to a game out to Working Designs that they themselves did not want to localize and release. Looking at the lineup of Working Designs Saturn games a staggering 4 of their 6 games for the Saturn were actually developed by Sega (5 if you count Camelot's Shining Wisdom since the company was founded by Sega, but they had broken away from them the same year it was released in Japan) including our game this week.
Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Magic Knight Rayearth
Continue reading Unloved #19: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Continue reading Unloved #17: Journey to Silius
Continue reading Unloved #15: Lost Magic