Japanese artist ryokuchamichi, also known as Green Tea Area, leads a double life.
Not only do they draw rather lovely ecchi art with a particular focus on squishy plump girls and silky sheer hosiery (see their somewhat NSFW Twitter), they also have a talent for paying homage to the classic 8-bit home console era with their own original games.
At the time of writing, we’ve already seen the SameGame-inspired endless puzzler Dig Dig Mine; now, get ready for DEPA★PAKU, a platformer that feels even more like a lost NES title.
Continue reading DEPA★PAKU: Department Store Munching
I admire pretty much anyone capable of making a game. I know there are lots of tools out there that make it much more accessible than it once was, but for me, game makers still work a certain form of magic.
I particularly admire those who have been making games since the early days of home computing, in many cases directly programming the computer’s hardware using machine code in order to wring as much power out of those poor beasts as possible.
And I especially admire Jeff Minter, who was doing this back in the days of the 8-bit Atari, and is still going strong today.
Continue reading Minotaur Arcade vol. 1: Minter Classics Return
Super Mario Maker was a noteworthy title in that it managed to be extremely popular and culturally relevant despite being on a console considered to be a high-profile “failure”.
Now Nintendo has well and truly picked itself up, dusted itself off and raised a hearty middle finger to its competition with the Switch, many people would have doubtless been happy with a simple port of the original Super Mario Maker, opening up the possibilities that package offered to a whole new audience.
But what Nintendo has actually given us is something much, much greater. Let’s dive in and see what Super Mario Maker 2 brings to the creators’ table.
Continue reading Super Mario Maker 2: Nintendo Hands Over the Keys… Again
I’ve always had a soft spot for Mario Bros. ever since I first encountered it — not on a Nintendo platform, as you might expect, but on the Atari 8-bit range of computers.
This 1983 arcade game from Nintendo isn’t the most fondly remembered installment in the portly plumber’s long-running adventures — but revisiting it today reveals it to still be a lot of fun and eminently worth playing.
Plus, if you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership, it is, at the time of writing, one of the many NES games you get included as part of your subscription.
Continue reading NES Essentials: Mario Bros.
Last time around, we looked at how Castlevania’s overall mechanics and sense of game design can be traced forward to technical action games such as From Software’s popular titles.
Today, I wanted to focus on some other important and distinctive aspects of this original NES installment: specifically the platforming component, and the boss fights.
All of the elements we’ll have talked about by the end of today combine together to create the distinctive experience that is Castlevania — not just for this first game, but for much of the early series.
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania – #2
One of the nice things about revisiting old games from a modern perspective is the fact that you can see how certain genres have evolved over time… and sometimes seemingly morphed into different things altogether.
The original Castlevania is a great example of this. Far from being your common-or-garden everyday mascot platformer that we saw a fair bit throughout the 8- and 16-bit home console eras, Castlevania provided an experience that was altogether its own thing, immediately recognisable and immensely influential.
Atmospheric, idiosyncratic and consistently challenging, it’s a game that still holds its own today — just don’t expect an easy ride!
Continue reading Delving Into Castlevania – #1
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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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.
Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Take 2