All posts by Pete Davison

Former games journo (GamePro, USgamer) and expert on all those Japanese games and visual novels the mainstream press likes to go "ew, pretty girls" at. I write things at great length.

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

After the success of the Sonic games on the Mega Drive, what was next?

Sega had a difficult time ahead of it, since there was a certain amount of confusion over what the real successor to the 16-bit console would be. On the one hand, there was the American-developed, cartridge-based 32X, which would act as an add-on for the Mega Drive rather than a standalone unit. And on the other, there was the CD-based Saturn system, developed by Sega of Japan.

Clearly, in order to be a success, at least one of these new systems needed a Sonic game. But that turned out to be a rather more difficult undertaking than anyone anticipated. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

PS2 Essentials: TimeSplitters

It’s funny how the advancing years can affect how you perceive a particular game.

TimeSplitters is a great example. Developed by a team of ex-Rare staffers who had previously worked on N64 classics GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, this PlayStation 2 launch title was positively received on its original release — but also drew some criticism for, in some respects, seeming like a step backwards from its spiritual predecessors, particularly in terms of narrative and storytelling.

Returning to it some 18 years after its original release, however, paints a somewhat different picture… and makes it an absolute delight to play.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: TimeSplitters

Waifu Wednesday: Rouge the Bat

The first response I got to last week’s article on Amy was “why Amy when you can have BIG FAT BAT TATS?”

Well, why not indeed? Rouge is, it seems, one of the Sonic series’ more popular female characters despite appearing relatively “late” in the grand scheme of things. And it’s not hard to see why.

But people like her for more than just those BIG FAT BAT TATS, so let’s take a closer look at her as a character and enjoy some fanart along the way.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Rouge the Bat

Warriors Wednesday: Know Your Place

The battles continue in Warriors Orochi as Nobunaga and friends attempt to rescue some peasants from a fate worse than death. Or just, you know, death.

I’ve been having a real blast with Warriors Orochi so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the series develops over time. The prospect of the upcoming Warriors Orochi 4 incorporating elements of Greek mythology is tremendously exciting to me, but I’m having fun with the Chinese and Japanese heroes in the meantime.

Hit the jump for the new video.

Continue reading Warriors Wednesday: Know Your Place

NES Essentials: Arkista’s Ring

The game I’d like to talk about today is a prime example of why emulation and game preservation is important.

I’d never heard of it prior to my first encounter with it yesterday, when I was attracted by the box art I saw in my Launchbox library. No-one I’ve spoken to about it today has ever heard of it. I’ve found very little information about or discussion of it online, save for a few YouTube commenters on gameplay videos reminiscing about how much they enjoyed playing this game back in the day. And I’ve never seen it come up in articles about retro collections or “hidden gems of the NES library”.

The game I’m talking about is Arkista’s Ring, developed by Nihon Micom Kaihatsu (aka NMK), published by the American arm of Sammy Corporation (without crediting NMK) and released exclusively in North America in 1990.

Continue reading NES Essentials: Arkista’s Ring

Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3

Exciting things have been happening in the world of Dragon Quest V, and I am thoroughly enraptured with this game.

I can’t remember the last RPG that managed to make one’s adventure feel so simultaneously personal and meaningful to the broader context in which the narrative unfolds. But Hand of the Heavenly Bride does a wonderful job at this — and now I’m into the game’s third (and, I believe, final) act, things are escalating considerably while still remaining tightly focused on the protagonist and his family.

Let’s take a closer look, then! Doubtless you’ve already figured out that spoilers likely abound in this series, but I’ll warn you once more just in case.

Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3

Sunday Driving: Blur – Shunting Shannon

My revisiting of old arcade racers continues with another blast on Bizarre Creations’ wonderful Blur.

This week, we progress a little further in the game’s substantial single-player campaign, including taking on the first of the game’s boss encounters: Shannon.

Be sure to let me know either here or on YouTube if you want to see more Blur or switch to a different arcade racer for a bit for future installments in this series… and, of course, hit the jump for the video itself.

Continue reading Sunday Driving: Blur – Shunting Shannon