We talk quite a lot about “video game auteurs” these days, and how modern technology allows game designers to realise their visions like never before.
This sort of thing has been going on for quite some time, however — and in some respects, it’s even more impressive when a developer clearly expresses their creativity through a work from the earlier days of gaming.
Such is the case with The Adventures of Rad Gravity, a 1990 release for NES developed by Interplay, designed by Brian Fargo (of Bard’s Tale and Wasteland fame) and published by Activision. Oh, and no need to brave the second-hand market to find a copy any more, either — it’s part of the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system.
Continue reading The Adventures of Rad Gravity: Creative Vision
It’s that time of the week again, and there’s no way I could let my coverage of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis slip by without celebrating Jessica Philomele, arguably the most prominent female character in the game.
Jessica is the one who appears alongside main protagonist Vayne in the promotional artwork. Jessica is the first playable character that you meet once the game proper gets underway. And Jessica… was named something different in Japan?
We have a lot to talk about here — some of which may involve some mild spoilers — so hit the jump and let’s get started!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Jessica Philomele
Speak to pretty much anyone familiar with the Streets of Rage series, and chances are their favourite installment is probably the second.
While the first game may have set the template for the series to follow by being a beat ’em up designed for the home rather than the arcade, the second is where it well and truly hit its stride. Streets of Rage 2 demonstrates what the humble Mega Drive is truly capable of in the hands of real masters of their craft.
And it’s a game that is still relevant, enormously playable and impressive to look at, even to this day. So let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Streets of Rage 2: Everyone’s Favourite
With Viese having such an important role in Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, it’s only fitting that we give her a bit of time in the spotlight.
While she may not get out and about quite as much as male protagonist Felt does, she’s the only one who can do “proper” alchemy with actual ingredients; she’s the only one who can make pacts with the Mana spirits; and, ultimately, it’s her alchemy skills that allow Felt and company to stand a fighting chance in the game’s final battle.
And, this being a Gust game, she is, of course, cute. Let’s take a closer look at this charming young alchemist.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Viese Blanchimont
Gust has always been good at beautiful girls — one might argue the Atelier series has made it its primary selling point over the years. And, of course, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is full of them.
A personal highlight for me on my journey through the game was Noin, one of the first characters that male protagonist Felt encounters upon his arrival in the strange “other world” of Belkhyde, and pretty much a fixture in the party for the entire game’s duration.
There’s a shocking lack of fanart of her on the Internet — even Rule 34 let me down — so I feel obliged to show her some love right here, right now. Let’s do it!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noin
At the time of writing, everyone and their dog (no, uh, no pun intended) is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch.
I am not, because I’ve never really “got” Animal Crossing for one reason or another. I tried both Wild World on DS and New Leaf on 3DS and found myself tiring of both quite quickly… though I must confess I’ve always liked the gentle, relaxed atmosphere — and the creative aspects of New Horizons are rather appealing, so I’m not ruling out giving it a shot at some point in the future!
In the meantime, however, despite my general ambivalence towards the series from a gameplay perspective, I do understand the widespread love for Isabelle. So let’s give her some time in the spotlight!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Isabelle
Strikers 1945 II is the sequel to Strikers 1945, unsurprisingly. And, to cut a long story short, if you enjoyed Strikers 1945, you will definitely enjoy Strikers 1945 II.
On the surface, the two games appear very similar to one another. And… well, to be perfectly honest, they are very similar to one another, but Strikers 1945 II adds a few little tweaks and refinements to the mix as well as providing a new lineup of aircraft to pilot, new enemy superweapons to blow to smithereens and, once again, some of the most satisfying shooting action you’ll ever enjoy.
Let’s take a closer look at this classic blaster from Psikyo, now readily available as part of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Alpha collection for Nintendo Switch.
Continue reading Strikers 1945 II: If It Ain’t Broke…
It’s interesting to see the trajectory that Level-5’s Layton series has taken over the years.
While remaining true to its roots as an interactive puzzle book with a narrative tying things together, each individual installment has experimented with the formula somewhat, even going so far as to replace the iconic protagonist Professor Hershel Layton with other leads in more recent installments.
Which, of course, leads us to Katrielle Layton, Hershel’s daughter and a wonderfully appealing character in her own right. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Katrielle Layton
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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When the original Pokémon games were announced, I didn’t initially realise that they were RPGs — at least partly because I wasn’t overly familiar with how RPGs worked myself at the time.
Nowadays, of course, I know much better. But “RPG” is such a broad term, particularly when you throw its tabletop counterpart into the mix. There are lots of different ways you can approach the idea of an “RPG” from a mechanical perspective, and lots of different games over the years — including Pokémon — have experimented with the formula.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are, of course, no exception. Let’s take a closer look at the game’s mechanical components and contemplate how these games approach the idea of you “role-playing” as a Pokémon Trainer.
Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life
Since she makes a guest appearance in today’s episode of Warriors Wednesday, I thought we’d take a closer look at my favourite Dead or Alive girl for today’s Waifu Wednesday.
Kasumi is one of those characters that it’s probably not fashionable to say is your “favourite”, what with her being one of the most prominently seen characters in the series, but I don’t care. I like ninjas, I like thighs and I like redheads.
She’s also an interesting and iconic character with a long history. So let’s explore the real Kasumi.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Kasumi