When I’m tired, bored, depressed or, most commonly, a combination of all three, there’s something that I occasionally like to do.
Once I’ve cleaned up the mess from doing that, I like to delve into what I will euphemistically refer to as my vast collection of digitally preserved retro video games and pick something at semi-random. I’ll scroll through a platform I typically don’t give a lot of attention to, pick out something that I probably wouldn’t typically make the choice to play under normal circumstances, and then give it an honest go.
And so it was that as last week drew to a close and Friday evening became Friday night, I found myself playing Digital Eclipse’s official Game Boy Colour adaptation of the classic Disney movie Alice in Wonderland. A couple of hours later, I’d accidentally beaten the damn thing, and I didn’t feel the slightest bit sorry.
Continue reading Alice in Wonderland: Curiously Entertaining
Hello everyone! It’s the end of of another week, so you know what time it is — weekly roundup time!
Things have been proceeding well at the new day job — be sure to stop by Rice Digital if you haven’t already, as it’s a great place to hang out if you’re fans of Asian video games and other forms of popular entertainment. And we’ve got some super-cool stuff coming up in the next few weeks and months to tie in with some big releases! Please look forward to it.
In the meantime, though, let’s check out what you might have missed this week in the various places I’ve been Doing Things Online…
Continue reading Around the Network
While we all know that original hardware is best (and dedicated hardware that pays homage to the conventions of original hardware is almost as good), it remains desirable for many retro gaming enthusiasts to have at least one “retro box” within easy reach.
Up until now, my main living room PC has fulfilled this role very well, thanks to a hodgepodge collection of emulators I’ve acquired over the years, plus the excellent Launchbox to keep things organised. This has worked absolutely fine for me for a while now, allowing me to dip into a vast library of digitally preserved games across a variety of platforms whenever I feel like it — and, rather helpfully for what I do here, easily capture video and take screenshots. But then I got a PlayStation Classic for Christmas.
I’m not one of those people who gets a new mini console and immediately wants to hack it to pieces in order to completely destroy its individuality and uniqueness — my PC Engine Mini is staying pristine, for example. But in the case of the PlayStation Classic, I’d seen numerous people online saying that it made a particularly good multi-purpose “retro box”. So I decided to investigate.
Continue reading Project Eris and the PlayStation Classic as a “Retro Box”
Final Fantasy V, despite being one of the most mechanically solid installments in the series, doesn’t get a ton of love — partly because it got localised very late; partly because the quality of those localisations has varied considerably over time; and partly because in the grand scheme of the franchise as a whole, it’s comparatively bastard hard.
After many, many years of saying “I should probably beat Final Fantasy V sometime”, I am finally working on that goal — specifically by playing it on my totally normal, pristine and absolutely definitely completely stock PlayStation Classic that my brother rather generously bought me for Christmas. (More on all that another day, I feel.) And I thought Lenna — or “Reina” as she’s called in the version of Final Fantasy V I’m playing — was deserving of some love.
So let’s give her some love. Our pink-haired princess is one of Final Fantasy’s most capable heroines, so it’s high time she saw some appreciation, I say!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Lenna Charlotte Tycoon
The original Groove Coaster, which released on iOS in 2011, was a revelation. It was an accessible yet challenging rhythm game that made excellent use of its touchscreen control method — and which beautifully demonstrated how a completely abstract aesthetic can be just as thrilling and enjoyable as a detailed, realistic one.
While the series isn’t as well-known today as it was during the initial fever for it when it first appeared on the scene, it’s been quietly rumbling along for a decade at this point, taking in several sequels for both mobile phones and arcades, a Steam release for PC in 2018 and, towards the end of 2019, a special Switch version subtitled Wai Wai Party!!!!
At fifty quid, Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party!!!! may look a tad pricey for a downloadable game to the casual observer, and I must confess I’d put off checking it out for far longer than I should have because of this. But having been generously given some eShop credit as a leaving present from my old job, I figured it was high time I gave it a look for myself. So let’s explore it together!
Continue reading Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party!!!!: Rockin’ Out With the VTubers and Vocaloids
This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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A couple of years after his first commercial video game Combat Crazy had failed to set the sales charts alight — despite being an enjoyable side-scrolling platform shooter — Bizarre Creations founder Martyn Chudley was back with another game, this time for 16-bit platforms.
The new title was known as The Killing Game Show, and was published on 16-bit home computers by a company called Psygnosis, which had been establishing a very solid reputation for itself since its inception in 1986. Not only was Psygnosis a spiritual successor to the legendary 8-bit developer-publisher Imagine Software, but it had also demonstrated right from the start that it was a company dedicated to high-quality, well-produced games that oozed class and style — on both the computer screen and on players’ shelves, too.
The Killing Game Show, developed by Chudley and a team working under the name Raising Hell Software, was an ideal fit for Psygnosis’ portfolio, featuring impressive visuals and solid but challenging gameplay to back them up. So let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading The Killing Game Show: The Only Way is Up
Good evening everyone! I have some exciting news that you may not know if you didn’t see on Twitter: I’m now the site editor of Rice Digital, which you can find at https://ricedigital.co.uk.
This is an actual proper day job that I’m getting paid for, so you’ll be seeing plenty of my stuff over there in the daytime — be sure to follow for the latest updates! MoeGamer won’t be going anywhere, though; the focus of both Rice and MoeGamer is quite different despite the overlapping subject matter, so you’ll still see stuff in both places. I have that Atelier MegaFeature to finish, after all!
In simple terms, you’ll likely see more “current” stuff on Rice, while MoeGamer will continue to deep-dive into stuff that’s been around for a while. Between the two, you should find everything you’d ever want to know about RPGs, visual novels, retro games and everything in between. So let’s take a look at what you might have missed this week!
Continue reading Around the Network
Fun fact: I have the manual for the original Atari Lynx version of Checkered Flag framed in my toilet.
For a certain period during the Lynx’s lifetime, Atari eschewed booklet-style manuals in favour of posters for the games with the instructions on the back. My wife liked the art on Checkered Flag’s instructions sheet — which I somehow still had despite having not owned a Lynx for a good ten years or so — and so we put it up on the wall. Consequently, every time I’m having a poo I get to read those instructions for the umpteenth time.
Believe me, I am now intimately familiar with how to play Checkered Flag effectively — helpful now that it’s been rereleased as part of the Atari Lynx Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade — and the fact that, in Atari’s own words, the winner of each race is rewarded with “a trophy and a big hug”. And, in a surprisingly progressive, inclusive step for a video game on a failed console from 1991, the manual also takes care to note that said big hug is “where the driver’s gender becomes important”. Oh, also there’s some racing game action in there, too, I suppose; let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Checkered Flag: Where the Driver’s Gender Becomes Important
Anyone who has ever worked an office job will have doubtless come into contact with the particular archetype that Marion Quinn from the Atelier Dusk trilogy represents.
Perpetually overworked, constantly struggling for recognition and seemingly always lumbered with frustrating, thankless tasks despite being highly competent and intelligent, the Marions out there are the unsung heroes of the world. They’re the people who get things done without making a big fuss; they’re the people who you want to keep on the right side of, because they also tend to be the people who have the real power in the grand scheme of things.
We get a glimpse of Marion’s life in Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk, followed by an opportunity to actually work alongside her in Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. So let’s give her a bit of love for today, shall we? Office party!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Marion Quinn
Dear old Atari. They captured lightning in a bottle in the early days of video games with the 2600, then struggled to recreate that sort of success ever again. It certainly wasn’t through lack of trying on the tech front, though.
The Atari Lynx was one of their more impressive efforts, providing the first 16-bit handheld gaming platform with a backlit colour screen, hardware scaling and distortion. It even had a decent selection of games for it, but as was always the case with post-2600 Atari, its marketing was a complete disaster and as such the system remains largely forgotten by most gaming enthusiasts today.
Except for the folks behind the Evercade, of course, who have brought us not one but two collections of Atari Lynx titles for the diminutive retro gaming platform. So let’s take a look at one of the games from the Atari Lynx Collection 1 cartridge and see whether or not these forgotten titles have anything to offer to the modern gamer!
Continue reading Malibu Bikini Volleyball: Beach Body Ready