Tag Archives: Action RPG

Dark Chambers: What a Dandy Dungeon This Is

The history of how a lot of old games came to be is deeply fascinating.

One such tale that I’ve found rather interesting is how Atari’s Dark Chambers came to be. This is a game that has its roots in John Palevich’s Dandywhich is the reason the all-time classic cooperative top-down dungeon crawler Gauntlet exists, but then there’s also several versions of Dark Chambers out there to enjoy, too.

The Evercade retro gaming handheld allows us to experience the Atari 2600 version for ourselves as part of its Atari Collection 2 cartridge. So let’s take a closer look!

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Phantasy Star Online 2: Day 1 As an ARKS Operative

Well, after an inordinately long wait — about eight years, to be exact — Phantasy Star Online 2 has finally arrived, for both Xbox One and PC players… and possibly with other platforms to follow.

To say that English speakers have been eagerly awaiting this game is something of an understatement. The Dreamcast original, being one of the original breakout successes in online gaming — and many players’ first experience with cooperative, social online gaming — is a widely beloved game, so in the eight years since Phantasy Star Online 2 released in Japan, people have been finding increasingly creative ways to get their fix, with particularly dedicated fans even going so far as to provide translation patches.

Now, none of those workarounds and fiddly tweaks are needed; everyone can just play Phantasy Star Online 2 as they please. So I thought it would probably be a good idea to jump in on the PC launch day and have a go. Read on to find out how that all went.

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Warriors Wednesday: Redhead Tactician – Warriors All-Stars #20

Our second playthrough of Warriors All-Stars gets well and truly underway as we get to grips with Sophie’s moveset, and look at expanding Tamaki’s forces.

On today’s agenda is Mitsunari Ishida, a vibrant-haired, brilliant tactical mind with his own strong opinions on how best to wage war. How will he get along with the rather flighty Sophie… and the somewhat more grounded Plachta?

Better punch a whole load of dudes in the face to find out!

Fairune 2: It’s Exactly What It Looks Like

After the first Fairune successfully proved that you can make something that looks convincingly like an action RPG into a two-hour puzzle adventure, the natural next step for creator Yuumi “Skipmore” Kimura was to go bigger.

With that in mind, Fairune 2 is a considerably expanded affair over its predecessor, but maintains the same compelling, enjoyable and oddly relaxing blend of light action RPG elements, item-based puzzle solving and mind-bending navigation brainteasers.

If you’re coming straight from the first one, it might not subvert quite as many expectations as that one did — in that it’s a lot more of “the same” — but it is similarly delightful, and a pleasure to explore. Let’s take a closer look.

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The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The “That Was Unexpected” Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

One of my favourite things about deviating significantly from what can be considered “mainstream tastes” is that you have a vastly increased chance of accidentally stumbling across absolutely wonderful experiences that you promptly want to tell everyone about.

Today’s award, suggested by Kharne83, celebrates one of these games from this year. A game that I initially didn’t really feel anything about… until I played it. And I was absolutely hooked. And I think you should partake, too.

After all, news of these games is best spread by word of mouth — because heaven knows press and marketing alike are inevitably terrible about letting people know they exist!

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The “That Was Unexpected” Award

Warriors Wednesday: Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Warriors All-Stars #9

Oh dear, Darius. You don’t know about Arnice, do you? That would explain why you’re so relentlessly pursuing her, but I can assure you, you are most definitely… you know.

Yes, this time around we encounter Darius from Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time, a representative of the Demon Clan and an altogether mysterious individual. While everyone’s favourite lesbian vampire half-demon could be argued to be leading him on a bit with her girlish eyelash-fluttering and flushed cheeks, the sooner our mysterious hero understands his situation, the better.

Oh, also we fight some bad guys a bit. Hack and slash and hack and slash!

Warriors Wednesday: The Mysterious Book – Warriors All-Stars #6

Rio’s back in the leading role today as we take on a series of new challenges, culminating in the recruitment of Plachta from Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book.

Today’s missions provide a good example of how Warriors All-Stars’ quick, snappy pace and structure give it a markedly different feel from Warriors Orochi. Rather than long, drawn-out battles all the time, you can enjoy plenty of smaller-scale challenges to acquire specific goodies for your team, then take on more substantial missions when you want to advance the plot or unlock new characters.

I’m really enjoying this game so far… and there’s a lot of game to explore here, so I think we’re going to be here a while!

Warriors Wednesday: Her Name is Rio – Warriors All-Stars #5

Arnice takes a back seat this time around as Rio decides to lead the party into battle.

We do our best to fulfil some of Kasumi’s unreasonable demands before moving on to face Laegrinna, star of Deception IV: Blood Ties. She does not want to go down without a rather sneaky fight, but surely the invincible Girl Power team of Rio, Arnice, Christophorous, Kasumi and Honoka will prevail, non?

Warriors All-Stars is, so far, doing a very good job of paying homage to its incredibly diverse source material through a combination of its playable characters, stages, music and overall game design. We’re in this for the long haul, I think!

The Demon Crystal: House Party

It’s always interesting to look back at anything that claims to be a “pioneer” of something — especially when the title in question isn’t as well-known as some of its peers.

That’s why I was intrigued to take a look at The Demon Crystal, a game that originally released for a variety of Japanese home computers back in the mid-’80s, and which more recently had an enhanced port to Windows PCs and Nintendo Switch.

Original creator YMCAT and new publisher Regista claim that The Demon Crystal was a pioneer of the action RPG genre, although from a casual glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a straightforward arcade game. What does this peculiar adventure have to offer?

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Warriors Wednesday: Who’s That Girl – Warriors All-Stars #4

You know sometimes how you see someone and you know that you know them, but you just can’t remember their name? Yeah, that.

How could I forget dear old Honoka, though? She’s become quite a high-profile mascot for the Dead or Alive series in various crossover collaborations — besides Warriors All-Stars she also had a guest appearance in Senran Kagura — but her name just fell right on out of my head for some reason.

Oh well. At least I remember her name once she’s said it a few times… and once she’s joined Arnice’s brigade of brave warriors!