Shmup Essentials: Muchi Muchi Pork

Although rather less active than it once was, Cave was once an extremely prolific producer of some highly varied and creative shoot ’em ups.

Some of their series — such as DoDonPachi, Espgaluda and Deathsmiles — managed to attain mainstream appeal, or at least the closest thing an arcade-style shmup can get to “mainstream appeal” in this modern age. But others are largely unknown for one reason or another.

Muchi Muchi Pork very much falls into this latter category.

Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Muchi Muchi Pork

Puzzler Essentials: Zoo Puzzle

You’ve almost certainly played Zoo Keeper at one point or another over the years.

Originally developed as a Web-based game by Tokyo-based animation studio Robot Communications, Zoo Keeper was subsequently ported by developer-publisher Success to a variety of platforms over the years, including Nintendo DS, 3DS, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Android and PlayStation 2.

The latter of these, inexplicably rebranded to the even more generic-sounding Zoo Puzzle (or, more accurately, the questionably punctuated Zoo “Puzzle”) in Europe by publisher 505 GameStreet, is the one we’re primarily concerned with today.

Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Zoo Puzzle

PS2 Essentials: City Crisis

While a whole ton of late ’90s PC games have been updated and rereleased through services like GOG.com and Steam in recent years, one which I haven’t had the opportunity to play for a long time is Maxis’ SimCopter.

A fascinating new angle on Will Wright’s SimCity, SimCopter allowed you to take to the skies above either some predefined cities or your own SimCity 2000 maps and take part in a variety of missions ranging from yelling at speeding motorists to dealing with the aftermath of the notorious and iconic SimCity Disasters. Or indeed, tracking down the secret Apache helicopter, setting half the city on fire and then dealing with the carnage you created yourself in exchange for a fat paycheck.

I absolutely adored SimCopter as a kid — and not just because it had Ride of the Valkyries on the soundtrack — but the fact I 1) can’t find my original boxed copy and 2) probably wouldn’t be able to get it running on my current PC anyway makes me sad. Which is why I was so excited to discover Syscom’s City Crisis for PlayStation 2.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: City Crisis

Everybody’s Golf: First Impressions

I’ve been intrigued by golf games since Leaderboard on the Atari 8-Bit, and I sank a fair few hours into Microprose Golf on the Atari ST, wowed by its then-revolutionary 3D polygonal courses.

However, the games that truly cemented my love of this genre of games — although not the actual sport itself, which I find impossibly difficult to play and rather tedious to watch — were Camelot’s Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64, and Bottom Up’s Tee Off on Dreamcast. I didn’t play the Everybody’s Golf series on the early PlayStations — my first encounter with it was the Vita game — but I’m certain it would have appealed to me, because it tickled those same happy places that Mario Golf and Tee Off did by providing friendly, accessible and surprisingly fast-paced arcade-style golf action.

With that in mind, then, let’s take a look at the new PS4 installment, the latest in the line of long-running series to ditch numerical suffixes and subtitles in favour of just being called what it is.

Everybody’s Golf, then.

Continue reading Everybody’s Golf: First Impressions

Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa

In this new weekly series, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most memorable, interesting, attractive, sexy, badass and just plain awesome female characters in Japanese gaming, as well as highlighting some great fanart.

And what better place to begin than with Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo, my favourite character from the game that truly got me into visual novels and the Japanese style of interactive storytelling once and for all — even if the game in question itself was actually developed as something of a worldwide collaborative effort.

Hanako is a character that I found to be deeply relatable, enormously sympathetic  and highly memorable; she’ll always occupy a very special place in my heart, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa

Shmup Essentials: DoDonPachi Resurrection

My first encounter with DoDonPachi Resurrection — also known as DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu — was in its iOS incarnation.

I’d never really played a danmaku shooter before, so it was to be a new experience to me, but I’d been assured by people whose opinions I trusted that I would have a good time with it. Those assurances turned out to be emphatically true — which is just as well, because at the time I originally purchased it, DoDonPachi Resurrection was rather expensive for a mobile game.

Since that fateful initial encounter several years back, I’ve since sought out the various other versions of this game, and have found it an incredibly challenging but rewarding experience whatever form it takes — and absolutely one of Cave’s finest games to date.

Continue reading Shmup Essentials: DoDonPachi Resurrection

Puzzler Essentials: Detonator

You can make games about pretty much anything.

Demolishing buildings, for example, is a theme that we’ve seen a few times over the years, most notably in Midway’s classic arcade game Rampage, though you might not think this inherently destructive activity is the best fit for the rather cerebral puzzle game genre.

You would, however, be wrong, as Kadokawa Shoten’s PlayStation 2 puzzler Detonator aptly demonstrates.

Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Detonator

The best of overlooked and underappreciated Japanese and Japanese-inspired games

PHOXEL

FROM THE MIND OF A CRAZY PHOX

Games and Grappling

Blogging about video games and pro wrestling!

Atarieviewer

Reviews of old Atari 8-bit games

AmbiGaming

Understanding Virtual Worlds Through a Lens of Reality

Atari A to Z

Atari games, software, hardware... and memories

Videopac Games

An Odyssey of Interactive Entertainment

gamergal.exe

exploring the universe of PC gaming

The Zerathulu View

Reviews for the discerning indie gamer.

Livid Lightning

Striking words without fading away

Git Gud at Life

Life is a Game - Press GG to Start

3PStart

A blog focused on old-school gaming, among other general gaming information and communities.

Upon Completion

One day we will finish a game

FTWRuubin

Your Video Game Adventure Starts Here!

The Codex: Online

Give a game a chance.

geeksleeprinserepeat

We chat video games, board games and all other things Geeky!

Shoot the Rookie

The not-so-pro gaming blog

OverThinker Y

The hub of modern overthinkery

TWOTALL4UFOOL's Gaming & More

Video Game Reviews, Tech Reviews, Gaming News and much more!!!

HideNGoShauna

Library worker and MLIS student blogging about libraries and fangirly stuff. What is it you seek?

Later Levels

XP comes with age

A Geeky Gal

all things geeky: reviews, cosplay, fashion & gaming

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

KAWAIIPAPERPANDAS

"As long as our love is stronger than the hatred within us, we can keep it sealed away." -Beyond the Boundary

Mr Backlog

Gaming with purpose

Anime Q and A

Asking The Big Questions on Anime and Manga

MEGA ALATREON

A journey of a man reaching Video Game Heaven

Normal Happenings

Appreciating Everyday Life

hungrygoriya

A little about gaming and hunting for retro gems...

Otaku Alcove

Reviewing anime, manga, games, and more

KimchiSama

Anime for the Soul

Pantsu Blog

A blog about panties, butts, and all that good ecchi stuff

SpasticSurgeon

Anime Analysis

Retro Arcadia

The games that made me. All the way back to the 1970's.

Otaku Essays and Analyses

I have strong opinions about Japanese cartoons

Kitty's Eroge Thoughts

Blabbering incoherently about eroge and visual novels.

RetroboyJon's Game Stuff

A cornucopia of Retro Gaming and randomness

Hundstrasse

Rambles about games...

One Man in Japan

Because it's not just a good idea to keep a blog when you go to Japan, it's the LAW.

Nicolaterino has a thought.

might be worth your time. maybe not.

Leap250's Blog

"As laid-back as can be."

Purposefully Lackluster

Writing about anime among other things

Nice Job Breaking It, Hero

Otome Game Reviews and Otaku Ramblings...

NekoJonez's Gaming Blog

A Journey Through A Gamer's Life

Something About Scott

Welcome! - 初めまして