Category Archives: Articles

All the non-Cover Game articles and features in one place.

Gunbird 2: Peak Psikyo

Speak to anyone familiar with Psikyo’s work, and doubtless Gunbird 2 will come up sooner rather than later.

It’s probably one of the most fondly regarded entries in the company’s back catalogue, and for various reasons. Not only is it a solid shoot ’em up in its own right, but it also had an excellent Dreamcast release in collaboration with Capcom, featuring Morrigan from Darkstalkers as a guest character.

The Nintendo Switch version that comes as part of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo collection sadly lacks this latter aspect — presumably due to licensing issues — but otherwise allows a whole new audience to enjoy this classic blaster. Let’s take a look!

Continue reading Gunbird 2: Peak Psikyo

Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gust has always been good at beautiful girls — one might argue the Atelier series has made it its primary selling point over the years. And, of course, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is full of them.

A personal highlight for me on my journey through the game was Noin, one of the first characters that male protagonist Felt encounters upon his arrival in the strange “other world” of Belkhyde, and pretty much a fixture in the party for the entire game’s duration.

There’s a shocking lack of fanart of her on the Internet — even Rule 34 let me down — so I feel obliged to show her some love right here, right now. Let’s do it!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gunbird: The ’90s Anime Shoot ‘Em Up

In conversation with casual shoot ’em up fans I’m acquainted with, I’ve come to learn that Gunbird is one of Psikyo’s most fondly regarded series.

It’s not hard to see why, either. Although the first Gunbird game predates many of Psikyo’s other works, it features a lot of their most appealing elements. We have the multiple endings and strong replayability of Samurai Aces. We have the strong degree of physicality of the Strikers series. We have the overblown narratives of Sol Divide and Dragon Blaze. And the whole thing is topped off with a ton of ’90s anime charm.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Gunbird: The ’90s Anime Shoot ‘Em Up

Around the Network

Good morning! And welcome to another week of quarantine. I hope you’re all holding up okay and have plenty of video games to keep you occupied. Heaven knows I do. I’ve been preparing for this my whole life!

As you might expect, being cooped up in the house hasn’t slowed me down one bit, as MoeGamer and Atari A to Z are both still going stronger than ever. The Atelier MegaFeature is progressing well, too — I should actually beat Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny this evening, so I can actually be slightly ahead of schedule, too! Wahoo, as Mario would say.

Anyway. Let’s catch up on what you might have missed in the last week. You have plenty of time to sit and read right now, after all!

Continue reading Around the Network

SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

I reviewed this visual novel over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the narrative in more detail!


SeaBed from Paleontology Soft is a kinetic novel that first released in 2015. It was localised for PC two years later, much to the delight of Western yuri fans, and in early 2020, it got released on Nintendo Switch, too.

It is, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolutely masterful work of fiction. It’s peaceful and calming yet melancholy, and the evocative, descriptive writing gives the whole experience a pleasantly mature feeling that is a far cry from noisy, chaotic anime hijinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with noisy, chaotic anime hijinks, mind, but sometimes you just want a bit of quiet contemplation to mull over.

So let’s mull it over together, because there’s a lot to talk about. There are likely to be some spoilers ahead, but I’ll try and keep major ones to a minimum, because you should experience this for yourself!

Continue reading SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

Waifu Wednesday: Isabelle

At the time of writing, everyone and their dog (no, uh, no pun intended) is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch.

I am not, because I’ve never really “got” Animal Crossing for one reason or another. I tried both Wild World on DS and New Leaf on 3DS and found myself tiring of both quite quickly… though I must confess I’ve always liked the gentle, relaxed atmosphere — and the creative aspects of New Horizons are rather appealing, so I’m not ruling out giving it a shot at some point in the future!

In the meantime, however, despite my general ambivalence towards the series from a gameplay perspective, I do understand the widespread love for Isabelle. So let’s give her some time in the spotlight!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Isabelle

Samurai Aces Episode III: Sengoku Cannon – Blasting Goodbye

Samurai Aces Episode III: Sengoku Cannon (“Sengoku Cannon” hereafter) is a game of farewells.

It bids a fond farewell to the Samurai Aces series, which is how Psikyo began as a developer. It waves goodbye to Psikyo’s run of arcade-centric shoot ’em ups, being designed specifically for the PSP platform. And, in some ways, as a title developed by X-Nauts after they took over Psikyo in 2002, it’s something of a sayounara to Psikyo themselves, too.

Some of the snobbier shoot ’em up fans out there would also argue that Sengoku Cannon also bids adieu to Psikyo-branded games being “good”, but I’ve actually found quite a lot to like about this curious, clunky shooter. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Samurai Aces Episode III: Sengoku Cannon – Blasting Goodbye