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.

Final Fantasy Marathon: Mt. Gulg and the Big Rooms of Nothing

In today’s episode of Final Fantasy, the Warriors of Light finally get back on track and delve into the fiery depths of Mt. Gulg.

Marilith, one of the Four Fiends, is waiting for them far beneath the surface, but first they have lots of exploring to do. And the floor is literally lava. It’s a good job they packed plenty of potions, but you’d think they’d have brought more sensible shoes for such an excursion.

Of course, before they even get to Marilith, they have to face one of their biggest challenges yet: the seemingly endless Big Rooms of Nothing!

Star Fox: All Ships Check In!!

“You should see this. It’s just like having an arcade machine connected to your television.”

Those were the words my brother, ten years my senior, said to me one time he came home from his job on a ’90s gaming magazine, pulling a Super Famicom out of his bag.

While the system didn’t quite live up to those lofty expectations in some regards — particularly as it got a bit older — there were certain games that, once I had my own Super NES and some games for it, reminded a younger me very much of those words. And Star Fox was one of them.

Continue reading Star Fox: All Ships Check In!!

Atari ST A to Z: Yogi’s Great Escape

Licensed games have been around for a long time… and they’ve gotten quite a bit better over the years. For the most part!

Back in the 16-bit home computer era, publisher Hi-Tec had the license to produce video games based on Hanna Barbera cartoons, including properties such as Hong Kong Phooey and Yogi Bear.

Today’s game is one of several Yogi Bear games that Hi-Tec put out at a budget price point. It’s a competent, if fairly unremarkable platformer — which, not coincidentally, is a descriptor that can be applied to 90% of licensed games on the Atari ST!

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

Waifu Wednesday: Homura

Homura, leader of the Crimson Squad and former elite shinobi of Hebijo Clandestine Girls’ Academy, has stood out throughout the whole Senran Kagura series, and she’s also a character that has undergone some of the most interesting and significant development over the course of the various games’ narrative arcs.

Whether it’s her early appearances as a strong and seemingly deadly rival to Asuka or her later incarnations as a comedic “genius” trying her best to keep her ragtag “family” of the Crimson Squad together and safe, Homura is a widely beloved character with good reason.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes her… her.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Homura

Warriors Wednesday: Filthy Garbage

Following his long-expected rebellion against his Crazy Snake Guy overlord, Cao Pi sets out to rescue his wife Zhen Ji from servitude to the Big O.

We’re getting very close to the absolutely, positively, definitely end of Warriors Orochi now! There are just a few more episodes in the Wei campaign left to go, and then we’re done.

Of course, once you’ve played through all the stories once, there’s still a lot to do, including collecting weapons and unique items, levelling up all the characters, challenging harder difficulties… I think this game will keep me busy for quite some time, even long after this “season” of Warriors Wednesday ends!

Let’s Respect Each Other’s Tastes (Or: “This Game Isn’t For You, and That’s Okay”)

Whenever any creative person sits down to compose something, they inevitably do so with a particular audience in mind.

Sometimes that audience is as simple as the creator themselves; they want to write something that simply expresses themselves, and if it happens to resonate with anyone else, that’s a happy bonus. Sometimes a creator makes an attempt to appeal to as broad an audience as possible — though it’s very difficult to please everyone. And sometimes that audience is a specific group of people.

Whatever a creator decides to create, we should respect their intentions. And, by extension, we should respect the audience it ends up attracting — even if we find ourselves outside that group.

Continue reading Let’s Respect Each Other’s Tastes (Or: “This Game Isn’t For You, and That’s Okay”)

Atari A to Z: Electrician

Video games don’t always have to be about blasting aliens and/or terrorists.

The idea of games that are based around fairly mundane activities and professions is something that is associated with the creativity of today’s indie scene, but developers were experimenting with this idea back in the early ’80s too.

And so it was that we got David Bunch’s Electrician from Synapse Software — a surprisingly enjoyable game about rewiring a bunch of houses.

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