Tag Archives: mechanics

Rolling Thunder 2: Leila Takes the Lead

Rolling Thunder is a classic Namco title with good reason. Its slower pace, methodical gameplay and learnable patterns make it an obvious precursor to the stealth games of today.

Its 1990 sequel offers more of the same in many ways — but with considerably enhanced visuals, refined mechanics and presentation and an all-new option to enjoy the game with two players simultaneously.

It’s not nearly as well known as its predecessor, but it’s a great game in its own right. And, conveniently, it’s part of the Namco Museum collection on Nintendo Switch!

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Bullet Girls Phantasia: Enlisting for Duty

When I started this Cover Game feature, I figured that these two games by Shade would be fairly similar to one another.

After all, they’re both third-person shooters featuring cute girls and a certain amount of fanservice to enjoy. Taking games with what I assumed to be a similar “feel” to them as a guideline, I estimated that they’d both be reasonably short affairs that I could romp through quickly.

After 45 hours of pursuing all of Gun Gun Pixies’ endings, I realised that I might have been wrong. After starting the rather more mechanics-centric Bullet Girls Phantasia, I confirmed that yes, indeed, I was very wrong. And, as such, because I want to do a proper job of this… it’s going to take a few articles to do the latter justice. So let’s begin today with a look at how it plays.

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Splatterhouse: Elements of Horror

Yes, yes, yes, I know it was Halloween yesterday and thus I was supposed to cover a spooky game then, but I was busy then, so you’re getting it now instead.

Splatterhouse is a classic 1988 horror game from Namco, and there are a variety of ways you can play it today — the most recent and readily accessible of which is the excellent Namco Museum on Switch.

It’s also a very interesting game to look back on from a modern perspective, given how popular horrific, gory games have become as the gaming medium has matured.

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Gun Gun Pixies: Tiny Girls, Huge Hearts

One thing I always like to see is when developers get a bit experimental.

Idea Factory and Compile Heart have always been good at this, and their numerous experiments over the last ten years or so have really allowed them to hone their craft, showing marked improvements from their earlier PS3 titles up until today. And when you partner up with an ensemble like Shade, who, as we’ve already seen, are certainly not averse to doing things a bit differently from the norm, the results can be very interesting indeed.

One such result is Gun Gun Pixies. So let’s take a closer look at what’s going on with this unusual game.

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Columns II: The Most Passive-Aggressive Puzzle Game Ever

Remember Columns? Remember how we talked about how chilled out it was, and how it didn’t want to stress you out? Yeah, you can forget all that with its direct follow-up.

Columns II is an example of an approach to sequels that was popular for a short while in the late ’80s and early ’90s: the provision of an experience clearly geared towards expert players, and a distinct case of “the same, but more so, and way harder“.

While Columns wanted everyone to relax and have a fun old time matching coloured gems, Columns II does everything in its power to stress you out at every opportunity. And I both love it and hate it for that!

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Yodanji: Stabby Weasels and Licky Umbrellas

Every now and then, I like to trawl through Nintendo’s various digital marketplaces to see if anything interesting catches my eye.

The most bounteous sources of unusual and cheap Nintendo- based entertainment to date have been the 3DS eShop, which brought us games such as the highly unusual but thoroughly compelling Puzzle Labyrinth, and the Switch’s eShop, which is awash with small-scale indie projects from all over the world.

One that grabbed my attention recently — primarily due to it being on sale for less than what you’d pay for breakfast at Starbucks — was Yōdanji, a game originally released by Kemco for PC, mobile and Switch in 2017, and a self-described “coffee-break roguelike themed after Japanese folklore tales”. I’m in! Let’s take a look.

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Senran Kagura Peach Ball: Bump ‘n’ Bounce

There’s a convincing argument to be made that a long-running video game franchise has only seen true success when it’s had a video pinball spinoff on a Nintendo platform.

I jest, obviously, but there are a number of fun examples from over the years — primarily direct from Nintendo, it has to be said, what with Metroid, Kirby, Pokémon and Super Mario all getting the bouncing balls treatment.

Senran Kagura is a series about ninja girls, though, so how on Earth could that possibly… oh, you know they’ll find a way. Let’s take a closer look.

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