Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids Deluxe

How do you make Asteroids better? Add the word “Deluxe” to its name, obviously.

Okay, 1980’s Asteroids Deluxe adds a bit more to the basic Asteroids formula than that, but it’s still very much recognisable. The whole experience is a bit smoother than the original, the presentation is sharper and cleaner (and blue!) and there are some additional enemies to deal with. But you’re still rotating and firing and dodging. And dying. Dying a lot.

I’m still no good at AsteroidsDeluxe or otherwise, but I actually enjoy it a lot more today than I did back when it was “current”. It’s a game that’s held up extremely well, and it’s a pleasure to revisit both of its most famous incarnations in the Atari Flashback Classics collection for Switch.

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Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning

As we’ve previously explored, the Atelier series is no stranger to rereleases and remakes — and at the time of writing, Arland trilogy debut Atelier Rorona has had more than most.

Initially releasing in Japan in 2009 as Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland before being localised by NIS America for North America, Europe and Australasia in 2010, the game was subsequently completely rebuilt in 2013 under its new worldwide publisher Koei Tecmo as Atelier Rorona Plus in an attempt to bring it more in line with the subsequent releases in the series. In 2015, Japan got a unique 3DS version of the game. And in 2018, Gust and Koei Tecmo brought Atelier Rorona DX — pretty much a port of Atelier Rorona Plus — to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Windows PC.

Keeping one game relevant for nine full years and counting is no mean feat. So let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons this game might have stuck around for quite as long as it has!

Continue reading Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning

New Game Plus: Where’s My Head

I think we’re over the worst in our Project Zero Nightmare mode playthrough!

Today’s episode concerns the third “night” of the game, and unfolds surprisingly smoothly. There are only two “vanishing” ghosts to find in this chapter… but there are some tough fights ahead, so we’re certainly not in any sort of safe space just yet.

Hit the jump to see how things went…

Continue reading New Game Plus: Where’s My Head

Fitness Boxing: Switch Fit

“Exergaming” has been around for a while now; I can recall working up a sweat in Dancing Stage (aka Dance Dance Revolution) on PlayStation 1 back in university.

It was arguably Nintendo who really popularised the concept in the Wii generation, however, with Wii Fit, Wii Fit Plus and subsequently Wii Fit U all setting a great example that a number of other developers and publishers strove to emulate. Exercising at home could be practical, said these games, and it could be fun, too!

The Wii and Wii U generations are behind us now — though I know some people are still religiously using Wii Fit, and all credit to them — so it’s time we had a successor, right? Enter Fitness Boxing for Switch.

Continue reading Fitness Boxing: Switch Fit

Atari ST A to Z: Pac-Mania

There have been numerous attempts to improve on Pac-Man over the years by both Namco and third parties.

One such attempt by the former was Pac-Mania, a game which transplanted Pac-Man’s simple single-screen maze-based gameplay into a scrolling, oblique-perspective affair with jumping, power-ups and visually themed worlds.

Opinions vary as to whether it’s actually an improvement on Pac-Man or not, but one thing is certain: Grandslam’s port to Atari ST was very solid indeed, and one of the few Atari ST games I actually remember buying for myself back when I was a kid!

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Waifu Wednesday: Cordelia von Feuerbach

We’ll be discussing the titular protagonists of the Atelier Arland trilogy in detail throughout the main Cover Game feature, so I wanted to give a bit of love to some of the secondary characters.

And what better place to begin than with the rather grandiosely named Cordelia von Feuerbach: lover of frilly yet practical dresses, loyal friend and renowned shortarse?

Cordelia appears in both Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori, and is a popular character for her distinct personality, her fits of tsundere rage and her rather touching relationship with her childhood friend Rorona. Across the two games, it’s a pleasure to see her grow… well, if not “up” then certainly more mature.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Cordelia von Feuerbach

Warriors Wednesday: Robert Miles Presents

Today on Warriors Wednesday, we jump into the fourth main story chapter of the Wu campaign in Warriors Orochi.

Today sees Sun Ce finally getting the opportunity to rescue his dear old dad from Snake-Eyes himself… and unfolds partially in the interior of a castle rather than on the usual outdoor battlefields.

It also features a soundtrack that sounds more than a little bit like ’90s trance DJ Robert Miles’ most well-known work Children. (Also did you know Robert Miles died in 2017? I didn’t. Rest in peace, sir.) Hit the jump to watch… and listen!

Continue reading Warriors Wednesday: Robert Miles Presents

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