Looking back over past installments of this column, I’m surprised I haven’t given Bianca any love yet. I mean, in Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, the game in which she first appears, she literally becomes your wife. Assuming you make the correct choices, that is.
Of course, you have two other options for who to wed in that game. But as someone who grew up as whatever the middle-class equivalent of a country bumpkin is, Bianca spoke to me right from the first moment I met her. And I knew right from that first meeting that I was going to wed her.
Them other girls dun’t matter, y’hear? Well, they do, but not right now. Bianca!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Bianca Whitaker
You asked for it, and I… was going to do it anyway, but here it is! TimeSplitters 2, one of the finest console first-person shooters ever created — and indeed one of my favourite games of all time.
TimeSplitters 2 took everything that was good about the first game and provided more. Much, much more. We have a story mode that is much closer to what its spiritual predecessors GoldenEye and Perfect Dark provided on the Nintendo 64. We have a more structured single-player experience for the “arcade” mode. We have a wide variety of weird and wonderful challenges. And we have many, many, many characters to collect.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
With this week’s podcast celebrating the wonder that is the PlayStation 2, it’s only fitting that for Waifu Wednesday this week we look back on a classic character who made her first appearance in a PS2 game.
Yes, this week it’s the turn of Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3, the game that established the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff’s current format. She’s a consistently popular character from Persona 3’s core cast, and has put in appearances in several other games from the series over the years, too — including Persona 4, Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.
Better get your grades up, though; Mitsuru doesn’t hang out with anyone who isn’t a Genius, remember…
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo
I love me some TimeSplitters. And I was in the mood for some TimeSplitters lately. So what better way to scratch that itch than to play some TimeSplitters?
The original TimeSplitters was a PlayStation 2 launch game developed by ex-Rare employees who previously worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark — and it actually got some flak for being less narrative-focused than its spiritual predecessors. Today, however, its arcade-style, mechanics-centric action is blessed relief from the myriad open world, XP-grinding, 100-hour epics we have today, even outside the RPG genre. Just turn on, play, enjoy.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more. There’s more I want to talk about with regard to TimeSplitters, so this will likely return to short;Play at some point in the near future!
Welcome to a brand new podcast about what is now a surprisingly old console! I’m joined for this discussion once again by the freshly rebranded Chris Caskie of CCaskieArt.
The MoeGamer Podcast is available in several places. You can subscribe to my channel on YouTube to stay up to date with both the video versions of the podcast and my weekly videos (including the Atari A to Z retro gaming series); you can follow on Soundcloud for the audio-only version of the podcast; you can subscribe via RSS to get the audio-only version of the podcast in your favourite podcast app; or you can subscribe via iTunes and listen on Spotify. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!
Enjoy the podcast in video and audio formats below:
And hit the jump for show notes.
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 44 – Happy Birthday PlayStation 2
Midway’s 1983 title Spy Hunter is a fairly well-loved title from the golden age of arcade games. While some would argue it’s not quite as well-known as the Pac-Men and the Space Invaderses of the world, it’s still a game a lot of people have fond memories of.
Its top-down combat racing action provided an interesting blend of different genres to enjoy; there was the high-speed skilful manoeuvring of racers, coupled with the focus on high-score chasing typically associated with shoot ’em ups. And it had a distinct sense of style, too; originally intended to be a licensed James Bond game, the game ended up becoming iconic for its use of Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme as its in-game music. And early example of a video game being genuinely “cool”.
When a mechanical reboot and narrative sequel showed up for PlayStation 2 in 2001, then, it had quite the shoes to fill. How well did it pay homage to the original while providing an up-to-date experience for the early 21st century gamer? Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading SpyHunter: Who Needs Stealth?
A few days before writing this, I must confess that I hadn’t played Burnout 2: Point of Impact for quite some time. I had fond memories of the series as a whole, but hadn’t revisited any of them — including last installment Paradise — for many years.
Recording an episode of The MoeGamer Podcast on arcade racers (which you can watch and/or listen to right here) inspired me to dig out some old favourites, though — and Burnout 2 was high up my priority list.
After several hours of utter racing joy flew by without me noticing, it made me realise — or perhaps recall — that Burnout 2: Point of Impact is one of the finest arcade racers ever created. And even with the recent resurgence of interest in the genre thanks to spunky indies, they really do not make ’em like this any more. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Burnout 2: Point of Impact – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Any More
We’re going retro for this week’s short;Play, with one of the many games in the first Midway Arcade Treasures compilation for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube. (There’s also a PSP version, but that’s slightly different.)
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest perhaps hasn’t aged as well as some other arcade classics due to its monstrous level of quarter-munching difficulty, but it’s an interesting game that doesn’t get a lot of acknowledgement, while its predecessor is very fondly regarded. This may partly be due to the fact that Joust 2 didn’t get any home ports, while the original Joust was on pretty much everything.
Anyway, it’s an interesting curiosity if nothing else, so check it out in the video below to find out more. And don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube when you’re done!
This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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It’s almost time to bid farewell to the PlayStation 2 era of the Atelier series — but not before we’ve spent some time celebrating the music of the game that ended this distinctive part of the series’ history.
Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy features some magnificent tunes to accompany the action, building on the good work that Gust’s sound team did in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm and Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis while bringing a few of its own distinctive stylistic aspects to the table, too.
Without further ado then, crank up that volume (or plug in some good headphones) and let’s get listening!
Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 5: Mana Khemia 2 – Fall of Alchemy
This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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It’s interesting how seeing the same events unfold from a different perspective can provide an alternative spin on things.
This is most certainly the case with Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy. Because although male protagonist Raze lives through the exact same bizarrely eventful school year as his counterpart Ulrika, the company he keeps and the context in which he experiences those events makes for a markedly different playthrough.
So, if you were wondering if you should indulge in the game’s excellent New Game Plus mode in order to experience the second protagonist’s story after clearing the first, the answer is a definitive “yes”. Let’s take a closer look at Raze’s route — and the “Extra” scenario that unlocks after you beat both playthroughs.
Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Life on the Light Side