How do you make Asteroids better? Add the word “Deluxe” to its name, obviously.
Okay, 1980’s Asteroids Deluxe adds a bit more to the basic Asteroids formula than that, but it’s still very much recognisable. The whole experience is a bit smoother than the original, the presentation is sharper and cleaner (and blue!) and there are some additional enemies to deal with. But you’re still rotating and firing and dodging. And dying. Dying a lot.
I’m still no good at Asteroids, Deluxe or otherwise, but I actually enjoy it a lot more today than I did back when it was “current”. It’s a game that’s held up extremely well, and it’s a pleasure to revisit both of its most famous incarnations in the Atari Flashback Classics collection for Switch.
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As we’ve previously explored, the Atelier series is no stranger to rereleases and remakes — and at the time of writing, Arland trilogy debut Atelier Rorona has had more than most.
Initially releasing in Japan in 2009 as Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland before being localised by NIS America for North America, Europe and Australasia in 2010, the game was subsequently completely rebuilt in 2013 under its new worldwide publisher Koei Tecmo as Atelier Rorona Plus in an attempt to bring it more in line with the subsequent releases in the series. In 2015, Japan got a unique 3DS version of the game. And in 2018, Gust and Koei Tecmo brought Atelier Rorona DX — pretty much a port of Atelier Rorona Plus — to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Windows PC.
Keeping one game relevant for nine full years and counting is no mean feat. So let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons this game might have stuck around for quite as long as it has!
Continue reading Atelier Rorona: Arland’s New Beginning
Atari may be a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of its former self considering the number of hands the brand has passed through since the ’90s… but it’s fair to say that it still has a hold of my heart.
The Atari 2600 was just slightly before my time — I grew up with the Atari 8-bit home computers before moving on to the ST — but I’ve always been interested in and respected the deep roots video gaming laid down in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Consequently, I’ve jumped on board with most Atari 2600 compilations that have been available for platforms over the years… and had a great time with them.
The latest to appear is Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch. Boasting 150 games that were originally distributed across three separate releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it certainly seems to offer astounding value for money on paper. But how is it in execution?
Continue reading Atari Flashback Classics: Know Your Roots
Asteroids is a longstanding classic with good reason: it made a solid impact on the early video games industry, and it has influenced a great many subsequent games over the years ever since.
There’s a beautiful simplicity to the sparse black and white vector graphics of the original arcade game, and it’s still enjoyable and playable today… so long as you can get your head around the whole “turn and thrust” movement system, which is something I’ve always struggled a bit with over the years!
Still, if you want to play early era space games, it’s a mechanic you better get used to pretty quick… and there’s no better place to practice than the original never-ending field of space rocks.
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The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!
This award was suggested by Krystallina.
It’s a disappointingly frequent stereotype to brand Japan as “weird” simply because many of the things in its society and media don’t conform to what we’ve come to think of as Western norms.
That said, sometimes our friends in the East do come up with characters that are clearly designed to be outlandishly strange, surreal and weird — and when they accomplish that successfully (preferably without crossing that fine line into Sharon from Accounts-style “Woo! Look, I’ve put cheese up my nose and a turkey leg down my pants, I’m so random! Teeheehee!”) it’s worth celebrating. Because those characters can end up being very memorable.
There were plenty of possible choices for this one, but in the end, there’s one I just had to give it to. If you’ll pardon the expression.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Weirdest Character
A little while ago, I offered my first impressions on the demo version of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! for Nintendo Switch.
I came away from the experience less than enamoured with the game’s motion controls, but starting to understand the appeal of the game when I switched to playing with buttons.
Despite my slightly tepid response to the demo, I came to the conclusion that this was still a game I wanted to support a Western release of… so I splurged on the £90 game-and-drum bundle which comes with a standard copy of the Switch game, and the HORI-made USB drum accessory. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Taiko no Tatsujin Drum ‘n’ Fun: Plastic Drums and Music Most Definitely Mix
As regular listeners of The MoeGamer Podcast will know, I greatly enjoy music games, but I’ve never had a chance to play the Taiko no Tatsujin series to date.
Well, I figured, it’s probably time I rectified that situation, isn’t it? Various installments in the series are often held up as all-time classics in the genre, after all. Plus it’s hard to resist that super-cute artwork — which, if you didn’t know, is the inimitable work of Yukiko Yoko, wife of the man who brought the world the Nier series. How’s that for a weird-ass twist?
So it was with some excitement that I downloaded the newly released demo of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun, one of two parallel games which mark the first time the series has ever officially come to Europe. And… well, read on.
Continue reading Taiko no Tatsujin Drum ‘n’ Fun (Demo): Motion and Music Don’t Mix