Sonic Generations rather ably demonstrated how the Sonic series’ gameplay had evolved over the years… but where could it go from there?
Certain members of Sonic Team were already contemplating this by the time Sonic Colours had completed development and work on Generations was underway. The concept grew from experimental attempts to make use of the Nintendo 3DS’ unique features, and the subsequent announcement of the Wii U console and the interesting possibilities it offered prompted Sega to focus the new game’s development on Nintendo platforms.
The result was Sonic Lost World; an unusual, highly creative and vastly underappreciated installment in the series, and one that would prove to be an ideal fit for Nintendo platforms. (As always, today we’ll be focusing on the home console version for Wii U rather than Dimps’ handheld incarnation.)
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: A New Twist
After 2008’s entertaining but divisive Sonic Unleashed, it would be another two years before we’d see the next mainline Sonic the Hedgehog game.
There were two versions of Sonic Colours developed, both of which remembered to put the “U” in for the European version: a Wii-exclusive version that combined 2D and 3D gameplay in the way we’d come to know from “modern Sonic“, and a side-scrolling Nintendo DS version developed by Dimps that was closer in execution to the original Mega Drive games.
Today we’ll be focusing on the Wii version, though anyone who has played a Dimps-developed Sonic game will know the DS version will also be well worth your time. I’ll leave that for you to explore yourself for now, however… we’ve got one hell of a vacation to go on!
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Erinaceidae of Colour
Everyone’s sure to have a favourite from among Death end re;Quest’s all-female cast. And I imagine a popular choice will be Clea.
A great example of how the game sets and subverts expectation with regard to character tropes, Clea might initially seem like your common-or-garden ohohoho-ing ojou-sama, but over time it becomes abundantly clear that there’s more than meets the eye here.
Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Clea Glaive
One of the things Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG project has been keen to do ever since its inception is experiment with mechanics, particularly when it comes to combat.
Death end re;Quest is an excellent example of this, featuring several layers of mechanics that keep things consistently interesting as you play through the main story and the optional side content. It’s also one of Compile Heart’s better balanced games to date, featuring a smooth incline in challenge factor rather than sudden, unexpected spikes.
Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.
Continue reading Death end re;Quest: The Art of Fighting
As you may have noticed already, early-days pre-Neo Geo SNK is a real treasure trove of classic shoot ’em ups. And few come more classic than Vanguard.
First released in 1981, Vanguard was another game of “firsts” for the fledgling SNK. It was not, as some sources claim, SNK’s first colour game — Sasuke vs. Commander predates it by a year — but it was their first to incorporate something that would become a mainstay of their later titles, including Bermuda Triangle and World Wars: multi-directional shooting, independent of movement direction.
It also featured some delightful synthesised speech and gratuitously, shamelessly stolen music. And it’s a lot of fun to boot. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading SNK Essentials: Vanguard
One of the most interesting things about Death end re;Quest is the fact that it gradually evolves over the course of its duration, with new mechanics and structural elements being continually introduced throughout the first distinct “part” of the game.
Today we’re going to take a look at part of the game’s overall mechanics and structure: specifically, the part of the experience that allows you to explore and advance the overall story. We won’t be discussing the narrative itself today — just how it’s presented and how the game hangs together.
It’s one of Compile Heart’s most interesting games, even before you’ve unlocked everything — so let’s take a closer look at one of its coolest aspects.
Continue reading Death end re;Quest: Where Does the Game End and the World Begin?
SNK is primarily known for its fighting games these days, but in its earlier years it was known for a number of solid (and influential) shoot ’em ups.
While Alpha Mission (also known as ASO: Armored Scrum Object in Japan) isn’t the company’s first shoot ’em up by any means, it is an important one and forms the first in a loose “trilogy” of titles that we’ll explore over the course of the next few articles.
Drawing inspiration from Western RPGs, of all things, this is a fun but challenging vertically scrolling shoot ’em up that any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to become intimately acquainted with.
Continue reading SNK Essentials: Alpha Mission