Tag Archives: Nintendo Switch

Atari A to Z Flashback: Missile Command

Dave Theuer’s Missile Command is an absolute classic of the “golden age” of arcade games, and still puts up a formidable challenge today!

Embodying the paranoia many people were feeling towards the Cold War and potential nuclear conflict in the early ’80s, Missile Command is a relentless, frantic affair. Despite that, it’s more important than anything to stay calm and take careful, strategic shots rather than just blasting away in a mad panic.

I am bad at Missile Command, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy playing it! So let’s get on and do just that, shall we?

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Our World is Ended: First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

A common theme explored throughout the visual novel medium in general is the idea of people not being quite what they appear at first glance.

The reason for this is mostly a practical one: the very nature of the visual novel medium makes deep dives into multifaceted, layered characters a viable thing for creators to explore. Enthusiasts of visual novels are already accustomed to the medium’s slow pace and relatively limited interactivity compared to games with a stronger emphasis on their mechanical components, so writers and developers are more than happy to allow us the opportunity to get to know the main cast extremely intimately.

That doesn’t mean those first impressions the characters set don’t matter, mind you. On the contrary, they are extremely important for setting expectations and giving you an idea of what to expect — and then, in some cases, subverting rather than confirming those expectations. Let’s take a look at how Our World is Ended’s cast presents itself in the early hours of the game as the narrative is getting underway.

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Our World is Ended: Introduction

Even among the already niche-interest community of Japanese video games, visual novels tend not to get a ton of hype about them… at least here in the West.

That’s why when a new one comes along and its localisers are confident enough to refer to it as “a new masterpiece of narrative visual novel storytelling”, it’s probably worth taking notice. Of course, it’s pure marketing-speak, but it also demonstrates a certain amount of faith in the product — and perhaps a track record of the game being well-received back in its native territory.

Is Red Entertainment’s Our World is Ended, also known as 俺達の世界わ終っている (Ore-tachi no Sekai wa Owatteiru) worthy of the descriptor “masterpiece”? Only one way to find out!

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything Old is New Again

If one thing has become apparent over the course of exploring the complete Sonic the Hedgehog series, it’s that no-one seems to be able to agree on how to handle it “best”.

We have Sonic Team’s attempts to move the franchise forward with various gameplay styles, new narrative components and a somewhat coherent, consistent narrative that ties in with other forms of media. We have Sonic Lost World’s much-maligned but utterly joyful jaunt into Super Mario-esque territory. And we have probably the most disappointingly “mainstream” opinion: that “Sonic hasn’t been good since the Mega Drive”.

Among other things, the perhaps vain hope of shutting this latter group up is the reason Sonic Mania exists.

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Sonic the Hedgehog: Take 2

Remember back when we explored Sonic 2006 and I suggested that game was an attempt to provide a “big-budget movie” type of Sonic experience? It’s hard not to see Sonic Forces as Sonic Team having another crack at that.

All the major components of “big-budget movie adaptation of popular series” are here: recognisable but somewhat different setting; established characters in unconventional situations; brand-new, original characters designed for newcomers in the audience to attach themselves to; and significantly higher stakes than seen elsewhere in the series as a whole.

If you’re a “once and done” kind of player, you can also probably add “done and dusted in two hours” to that list, too, but rest assured, if you’re the sort of person who likes collectibles, secret levels and objectives, there’s significantly more than that here. Let’s take a closer look.

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New Game Plus: Deep Water and Dark Forests

It’s time to check in on Rorona again! This time around, she has her hands not-so-full with preparing for the second Annual Festival of the game.

As always, the head start that the New Game Plus bonuses afforded us means we can get the assignment out of the way very quickly, which leaves plenty of time for a bit of exploration.

For today’s episode, we check out the underwater Lost City as well as the Dark Woods. And my cat “helps”.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Lunar Lander

I was extremely intimidated by Lunar Lander as a kid. Revisiting it today, I see that it’s not really anything to be scared by… but it still puts up a pretty stiff challenge, particularly on its harder levels!

Providing one of the earliest examples of a completely non-violent arcade game — and one with significant simulation-esque elements, at that — Lunar Lander is a game that would go on to influence a wide variety of other computer, console and arcade games. Primarily through that “turn and thrust” mechanic I tend to have such difficulty with!

Oh well. Let’s see if we can touch down safely at least once in my lifetime…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.