LAMUNATION!: Welcome to Youkoso Saint Aria

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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LAMUNATION! is an absolute fever dream of a visual novel. It’s one of the most gleefully, joyfully chaotic narrative experiences I’ve ever sat through.

One thing I found particularly interesting about it was the fact that depending on the order in which you explore the three main narrative routes, you either start with material that is relatively easy to digest… or just throw yourself right in to the insanity.

The choices I made, as it happens, resulted in a gradual escalation of chaos — so that’s how we’ll take a look at things over the course of the next few articles.

Some NSFW content ahead.

Continue reading LAMUNATION!: Welcome to Youkoso Saint Aria

Final Fantasy Marathon: How To Train Your Wizard – Final Fantasy II #3

Four-figure magic damage against Rank 2 enemies? It’s more likely than you think!

Yes, after suffering an embarrassing defeat in Kashuan Keep, I decide to take a bit of time to train up Maria as a specialised black mage. The results are very pleasing indeed. Very pleasing, indeed. I think we’ve established a suitable progression strategy for the rest of the game now…

We may not make a ton of story progress in today’s episode, but it’s a solid exploration of how Final Fantasy II’s much-maligned progression systems work. And a reminder that anyone interested in the SaGa series should check this one out — since Final Fantasy II is essentially the proto-SaGa.

Atari ST A to Z: Pengy

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that… or so they say, anyway. I wonder how Sega felt about Red Rat Software’s not-so-subtle take on Pengo… particularly given it came out quite a few years later?

To be fair, Pengy is a perfectly competent version of Pengo for Atari ST… but once we hit the 16-bit home computer era, people were starting to expect a little bit more from their computer and video games than knockoffs of arcade games from several years ago.

Still, looking back on it now, it’s an enjoyable enough game, so let’s spend a bit of time with it today!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

My Big Sister: Blood-Red Pixels

I’m not sure exactly when a lo-fi pixel art aesthetic came to be associated with horror games, but I’ve always rather liked the juxtaposition between supposedly “primitive” visuals and the primal emotion that is fear.

We can probably trace the whole thing back to classic NES survival horror RPG Sweet Home, but it seems to have become particularly popular with the indie sphere in recent years, with titles such as Lone Survivor, Home and various rereleases of Corpse Party all fully embracing the “retro horror” aesthetic.

My Big Sister, a pixel art horror adventure for all the current major platforms, follows this mould, but does a few interesting things all of its own. So let’s take a step into the darkness and see what’s going on!

Continue reading My Big Sister: Blood-Red Pixels

Waifu Wednesday: Katrielle Layton

It’s interesting to see the trajectory that Level-5’s Layton series has taken over the years.

While remaining true to its roots as an interactive puzzle book with a narrative tying things together, each individual installment has experimented with the formula somewhat, even going so far as to replace the iconic protagonist Professor Hershel Layton with other leads in more recent installments.

Which, of course, leads us to Katrielle Layton, Hershel’s daughter and a wonderfully appealing character in her own right. Let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Katrielle Layton

Warriors Wednesday: The Ultimate Evil – Warriors All-Stars #13

In today’s episode of Warriors All-Stars, several incarnations of “evil” struggle over the definition of that very concept.

Specifically, Darius, Laegrinna, Nobunyaga Oda and Arnice decide to investigate an offer of “the ultimate evil”… but it turns out that each of them are expecting something rather different from this supposed prize, and of course there’s a surprise waiting for them at the conclusion of their journey!

This Dramatic Battle mission shows some of the interesting things that Warriors All-Stars does by mixing up characters from different franchises with different but subtly related thematic content, and allowing them to interact with one another. It’s a lot of fun!

Atari A to Z: Viro-Mania

One fun thing about type-in listings from back in the 8-bit home computer era is that they often provided free versions of classic games for you to enjoy on your system of choice.

Okay, they “cost” time and effort to actually type the damn things in… but when you were done you had a freely redistributable program that you could share with your friends and enjoy whenever you saw fit.

This week’s Atari 8-bit game is an example of a Turbo BASIC XL type-in game from ZONG Magazine — and it’s a pretty shameless clone of a Nintendo classic puzzler.

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

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