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
As the years advance and old gaming hardware and media gets more expensive, harder to find and even more difficult to maintain, the matter of gaming preservation is of increasing importance.
I’ve previously talked about how emulation and ROM archives have an important role to play in all this — in spite of interference from certain quarters — but of arguably greater importance are companies’ own efforts to preserve their respective histories and portfolios.
I picked up the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection for Nintendo Switch recently, and I’ll be covering the individual games in it over the next indefinite period of time in an “SNK Essentials” column (and perhaps some videos) — but today, I wanted to talk about this package as a whole, what it gets right, and what I wish it had done slightly better.
Continue reading SNK 40th Anniversary Collection: (Almost) Perfect Preservation
I’ve always enjoyed games that subvert your expectations in one way or another — be it narratively, mechanically or both. And Tecmo’s Mighty Bomb Jack from 1987 is nothing if not charmingly fast and loose with the definition of what you might expect from a NES-era platform game.
I wasn’t familiar with Mighty Bomb Jack back when it was “current”, but I did have a soft spot for Elite’s solid Atari ST port of the 1984 original arcade game. That was a much simpler game; what Mighty Bomb Jack does is take the base mechanics from its predecessor and apply them in an interesting and unusual new way.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Continue reading NES Essentials: Mighty Bomb Jack
The game I’d like to talk about today is a prime example of why emulation and game preservation is important.
I’d never heard of it prior to my first encounter with it yesterday, when I was attracted by the box art I saw in my Launchbox library. No-one I’ve spoken to about it today has ever heard of it. I’ve found very little information about or discussion of it online, save for a few YouTube commenters on gameplay videos reminiscing about how much they enjoyed playing this game back in the day. And I’ve never seen it come up in articles about retro collections or “hidden gems of the NES library”.
The game I’m talking about is Arkista’s Ring, developed by Nihon Micom Kaihatsu (aka NMK), published by the American arm of Sammy Corporation (without crediting NMK) and released exclusively in North America in 1990.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Arkista’s Ring
Dragon Quest is a great example of what I like to think of as a “comfy game”. That is, the kind of game you can pick up and play, and immediately feel like you’re welcome in its world.
There are certain series that do this very well. Gust’s Atelier games — particularly from the PS3 era onwards — are especially well-known for it, and my journey through Chapters of the Chosen on Nintendo DS is making me feel like Dragon Quest as a whole is very likely to be the same way.
As controversial as it might be to say these days, I feel a big part of the pleasant atmosphere the later English versions succeed in creating is down to the efforts of the localisation team and how they made some significant changes to how the original scripts were presented. So let’s take a look at that aspect today.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen – #2
Welcome to the first installment of what will hopefully become a regular (though not necessarily scheduled) feature here on MoeGamer: Delving Into…
The aim of this column is to give me the opportunity to catch up on and write about games and series which perhaps aren’t entirely practical to fit in to the monthly Cover Game format — usually due to them being much too long or consisting of too many individual titles to squeeze into a single month… or, most likely, a combination of both.
I have a number of different series that fit into this category, including Dragon Quest, Yakuza, Trails in the Sky and Trails of Cold Steel, so as time goes on, I’ll be exploring each of these gradually — and offering some immediate, ongoing, personal thoughts about my experiences as I proceed through them rather than a single, “final thoughts” article. We begin today with the Nintendo DS version of Dragon Quest IV, aka Chapters of the Chosen.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen
I have spent more time than is probably strictly necessary pondering who my first “video game waifu” was.
My initial reaction was that it was Sophia Hapgood from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and to be fair that would be an eminently solid choice for a first digital love. But I had a feeling there was someone special before that… but who?
Picking up a copy of puzzle game Soldam for Nintendo Switch, which I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at soon, reminded me that ah yes, it was Rit from Jaleco’s Rod-Land.
Continue reading Rod-Land: “So Cute… It’ll Make You Puke!”