Despite what anyone who has ever worked in the teaching profession (including myself) might tell you, children are not inherently evil.
They’re not inherently good either, mind you, and that’s what potentially makes them interesting as characters. Particularly characters in some form of interactive media where you get to explore the consequences of “good” and “bad” behaviour in various contexts.
Among other things, A Hat in Time is a joyful exploration of what it means to be a child. A child who has their own spaceship and is clearly a lot more 1) intelligent and 2) affluent than they might let on, but a child nonetheless. Let’s explore this strange and wonderful world through the eyes of the one and only Hat Kid.
Continue reading A Hat in Time: Hat the Nipper
Part of my intention behind my Delving Into series focusing on Castlevania was to get a solid understanding of the classic franchise before jumping into Koji Igarashi’s Kickstarter-funded Bloodstained project.
While I’m not all the way through the classic games at the time of writing, I do feel like I’m at an adequate point where I can start looking at the two Bloodstained games and be able to analyse their similarities and differences from classic-formula Castlevania.
So let’s begin today with a look at Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, a spinoff title developed by Inti Creates, designed more in the mould of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse than the more recent, post-Symphony of the Night open-structure 2D platformer incarnations.
Continue reading Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Enhanced Nostalgia
A popular thing for modern programmers of retro systems to do is to make new ports of games that previously remained confined to a specific platform.
Such is the case with Deathchase XE, a 2013 entry in the famous ABBUC software contest, which pits modern programmers of Atari systems against one another to produce the most impressive piece of software — be it “useful” or a game.
Deathchase XE reimagines ZX Spectrum classic Deathchase for the Atari, and does a pretty good job of it — even if the competition deadline meant that the creator wasn’t quite able to implement everything he wanted!
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?
Continue reading The Demon Crystal: House Party
If you were to tell me a couple of weeks ago that one of the most addictive, satisfying games of the summer would be a peculiar combination of venerable (but largely forgotten) Sega arcade title Pengo and ’90s Japanese arcade eroge I’d… have probably believed you, to be honest, but here we are anyway.
Yes, the aptly named Crawlco Block Knockers is a deliberate homage to dank, smoky, sleazy Japanese arcades in the ’90s and the games you would find therein. Drawing particular inspiration from Kaneko’s Gals Panic series and Mitchell Corporation’s Gonta the Diver duology, the game combines strategic thinking, arcade action, ’80s inspired vaporwave music and the opportunity to gradually reveal images of attractive, curvy women not wearing very much.
Sounds like a party, right? Let’s take a look. Some mildly NSFW shenanigans after the jump!
Continue reading Crawlco Block Knockers: A Game That Indeed Contains Both Blocks and Knockers
“Modern retro” games have been fashionable for a while now, but anyone who’s been around the block knows that making an authentically retro-feeling experience is more than just adopting a pixel art/chiptune aesthetic and calling it a day.
No; a truly authentic-feeling “modern retro” game needs to not only capture the look and sound of titles from classic platforms, it also needs to recapture the feel — and while doing so, take into account some more modern conventions to create a satisfying experience for the 21st century gamer.
I can think of no game that has nailed this better than Devil Engine, the new release from Dangen Entertainment. And if you’re a shoot ’em up fan, you are going to want to be all over this masterpiece.
Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Devil Engine