Super Mario Kart: Defining a Genre

“Which Mario Kart is best?” is one of those questions that can start bitter, terrible arguments. Or at the very least, send you into an endless cycle of analysis paralysis as you contemplate which one actually is the “best”.

Do you prefer Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s “best of everything” approach, blending brand new tracks with classics from yesteryear with a twist? How about Double Dash’s team-based mechanics? 64’s early attempts to move the series into true 3D?

For everyone, the answer is different, and I can’t even give you a definitive answer on my own preferences. But one thing we can hopefully all agree on is that even if Super Mario Kart for Super NES isn’t your favourite Mario Kart, it’s probably the most important.

Continue reading Super Mario Kart: Defining a Genre

Around the Network

Another week has passed us by! It’s been a pretty good week for me; I’ve been on holiday from the day job, and I’ve been using the time to get ahead of schedule on a bunch of projects.

Specifically, I’ve managed to get ahead of schedule on pretty much all of my video series, providing me with ample time to focus on written stuff in the meantime. I’ve got a Senran Kagura feature to finish, and then we’ll be moving on to something a little unusual that I’ve been looking forward to tackling for a while.

In the meantime, though, there is of course plenty that you might have missed in the last week — so let’s take a look at that!

Continue reading Around the Network

Atari A to Z Flashback: Air Raiders

Let’s check out what is regarded by some as one of the best flight simulators on the Atari 2600!

To be fair, this isn’t a particularly high bar to clear or anything, but Air Raiders is a solid, enjoyable enough game, so long as you pay attention to its unusual structure and mechanics. It’s also historically noteworthy as one of the only “M Network” Atari 2600 releases from Mattel that wasn’t a port of an Intellivision title.

It’s also nowhere near as well-known as some of the more established classics of the Atari 2600 canon, so that’s as good a reason as any to give it a bit of time and attention, hmm?

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

Senran Kagura: Shinobi Creativity

Besides being a cracking series of games that are a lot of fun to enjoy in their own right, a very appealing aspect of the Senran Kagura series for a lot of players is how it encourages creativity.

This has taken a number of different forms over the years, beginning with the simple option to dress the various characters up as you see fit — with these custom appearances being reflected in real-time cutscenes during the game — and gradually evolving into a fully-formed “Diorama” feature where you can arrange and pose characters as you see fit.

Let’s take a look at how Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal, the next game we’ll be covering here on MoeGamer, handles this side of things.

Continue reading Senran Kagura: Shinobi Creativity

Final Fantasy Marathon: The Wrong Dungeon

After a bit of farting around getting lost, the Warriors of Light finally find themselves in front of their next dungeoneering challenge.

Okay, it’s the wrong dungeon, but they’re there now, so they might as well dive in and have a bit of an explore. What could possibly go wrong, after all?

Mindflayers, dear reader; mindflayers are what could possibly go wrong.

Assault Android Cactus: Shooting for the S+

I remember coming across Assault Android Cactus for the first time: it was back in 2013, when I was still working on USgamer, and I was headed for EGX, or the Eurogamer Expo as it used to be known.

My boss Jaz Rignall suggested that I might want to check out this game he’d heard a bit about, and put me in contact with the developer. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it; if I’m perfectly honest, I was expecting some sort of fairly forgettable indie fare, but I trusted Jaz’s judgement. He’d been around in the games industry even longer than me, after all, so he knew his stuff.

I was right to trust his judgement. Assault Android Cactus ended up being my favourite thing I saw at EGX that year, and it’s remained a consistent favourite of mine ever since.

Continue reading Assault Android Cactus: Shooting for the S+

Atari ST A to Z: Xybots

Do you like dungeon crawling? Do you like shooting things? Do you like games that begin with the letter “X”, which are in unsurprisingly short supply? Then do I have a treat for you!

Atari Games’ Xybots — originally envisioned as a sequel to Gauntlet but reskinned to sci-fi because someone in a suit figured that a sequel to one of the company’s most popular games of all time would not, in itself, be popular — is an interesting game. And, moreover, one that was probably ahead of its time; turns out that making it sci-fi didn’t make it popular either!

It also features one of my least favourite mechanics from Atari Games releases of this era, but it’s not quite enough to spoil the rest of the experience. This ST port is remarkably true to the arcade version, warts and all…

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

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