N64 Essentials: Pilotwings 64

I grew up with flight simulators, primarily due to my father being both a proper propellerhead and a writer for a computing magazine — in other words, we got a lot of review copies of such games.

One thing that struck me about the genre was that it was rather rare to see games based around just flying; instead, prolific developers such as MicroProse tended to emphasise the military angle, simulating exciting aircraft such as the F-16 “Fighting Falcon”, the F-15 “Strike Eagle” and the somewhat-less-exciting-but-appeared-in-a-movie A-6 Intruder.

There was Microsoft Flight Simulator, of course — or subLOGIC’s Flight Simulator as it was known in the early days — but that was slow-paced, rather complicated and, according to my father “not a game”. Clearly there was room for something in between the two extremes.

Continue reading N64 Essentials: Pilotwings 64

Re;Lord 1: It’s All a Matter of Perspective

It’s always a pleasure when a game comes along out of nowhere and gives you a delightful surprise by being “good” in some way.

Re;Lord 1 ~The witch of Herfort and stuffed animals ~ (just Re;Lord hereafter for the sake of everyone’s sanity), a game developed by Escu:de and recently released in both all-ages and 18+ English versions by Sekai Project and Denpasoft, is the most recent example of this happening to me.

Not only is it an interesting, unusual and enjoyable game from a mechanical perspective, but it’s also pretty fascinating to contemplate from a narrative perspective, too. And it has some lovely art! So let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Re;Lord 1: It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Namco Essentials: Rolling Thunder

Proper “spy games” are something I don’t feel like we see a lot of any more, perhaps since fascination with the concept waned somewhat with the end of the Cold War.

That said, there are tons of awesome “spy games” from back in the day that we can still enjoy, and Rolling Thunder, a 1986 arcade game from Namco, included on the Nintendo Switch version of Namco Museum, is a great example.

Initially appearing to be a fairly straightforward, early example of “run and gun” gameplay, spending a little more time with Rolling Thunder reveals a tightly designed game that shows first impressions aren’t always entirely accurate.

Continue reading Namco Essentials: Rolling Thunder

Wii Essentials: Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth

Well, friends, it’s finally happening: as of the time of writing, you can no longer add credit to your Wii Shop Channel account, meaning that if you don’t already have some on there, you can’t buy anything.

With this in mind, I loaded up on points the day before the payment processing facility was shut down for good and downloaded a number of Wii-exclusive digital-only games that, come 2019, will no longer be available to buy at all.

One of those games was Konami’s Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth, a remake of Game Boy title Castlevania: The Adventure. So, was it worth the last-minute scramble for 1,000 Wii Points?

Continue reading Wii Essentials: Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth

Waifu Wednesday: Shantae

With the recent announcement of a release date for Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero’s physical Ultimate Edition, I thought it was high time we showed the girl herself some love.

She’s been the star of four separate games to date, as well as making guest appearances in a number of other titles such as Blaster Master Zero.

I’ve actually earmarked June of 2018 to explore the Shantae series as a whole, so we’ll talk more about her in detail then, but in the meantime let’s contemplate the majesty of this belly-dancing half-genie and why she’s so appealing.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Shantae

Switch Essentials: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

It’s quite peculiar, when you think about it — an awful lot of what are now regarded as Nintendo’s best games initially appeared on what turned out to be one of its most commercially underperforming systems: the dear old Wii U.

Given that games like Mario Kart 8 were universally well-received on the Wii U, it’s not altogether surprising that Nintendo would want to take the time to port them to a platform like the Switch, which has already absolutely crushed its predecessor in terms of sales.

And while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn’t a radical reinvention of its source material, it provides enough improvements over the original experience to make it a worthwhile purchase. Not to mention the prospect of having rather more people to play against!

Continue reading Switch Essentials: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Seven Days with the Ghost: Fragile, Frustrated and Female

Ayako Orihara is frustrated, in more ways than one.

She’s frustrated at the fact her school’s Occult Research Club, of which she is the only member and current president, is likely to be dissolved if she doesn’t find some new members. She’s frustrated at her relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother. And by God, is she sexually frustrated.

Little did she know how much taking matters into her own hands would change her life over the course of just one week…

This article has some mildly NSFW content after the jump.

Continue reading Seven Days with the Ghost: Fragile, Frustrated and Female

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