Summer’s drawing to a close in Arland just as it’s starting to get nice and warm for springtime here in the UK.
Today our brave little alchemist takes on her toughest challenge yet: dealing with a comic misunderstanding involving a gentleman friend and her parents! Oh no!
She also does a bit of alchemy and indulges in the usual Puni abuse. She does still have a job to do, after all…
With my Sunday Driving playthrough of Black Rock Studio’s excellent Split/Second now at an end, it’s time to take a final, summative look back at one of my favourite racers of all time.
Split/Second, like its contemporary and rival Blur, was a victim of a combination of factors: poor marketing, arrogant publishers and an overall gaming landscape that was somewhat in flux. As such, while those who took a chance on it back in the day tend to look back on it rather fondly now, it doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves.
Let’s change all that, shall we?
Continue reading Racer Essentials: Split/Second
It’s time for our weekly visit to the kingdom of Arland, as our New Game Plus runthrough of Atelier Rorona DX on Nintendo Switch continues!
We’re well into the game’s second year now, and all sorts of interesting things are happening. Rorona is still devastatingly overpowered, however; can no-one provide her with a decent fight? She’s the Lu Bu of the Atelier world at this point.
Hit the jump to see how today’s crafting, gathering and Puni-splattering went.
Continue reading New Game Plus: Ghosts Don’t Have Feet – Atelier Rorona DX #8
Split/Second’s explosive run on BRTV (or, rather, its repeat on MoeGamerTV, the Dave of YouTube) continues with some challenging races that keep our contestants on their toes.
Still, at least no-one is shooting missiles at me or attempting to drop explosive barrels directly through my windscreen today, so there’s that, I guess.
Hit the jump to see the chaos unfold as it happened!
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Sunset Fire – Split/Second #4
I fancied a bit of a change from OutRun this week, so I present to you one of my all-time favourite arcade racers: Split/Second, developed by Black Rock and published by Disney.
Split/Second is a tragic tale, really; it was a spectacularly good game that came out at a bad time, had no marketing whatsoever and consequently flopped so badly that Black Rock had to close down and Disney stopped doing anything interesting like unusual cinematic arcade racers ever again. Booo.
Still, at least Split/Second still exists, and we can still enjoy it for ourselves, so let’s do just that!
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Rigged to Blow – Split/Second #1
Oh, Digital Age. You bring such convenience to our lives, but no-one told us there would be a cost!
After our lengthy Sega discussion on the pilot episode of The MoeGamer Podcast, I was in the mood to boot up After Burner Climax on PS3. Thankfully, this has sat proudly on my PS3’s hard drive ever since I bought it back on its original release back in 2010… because you can’t buy it online any more!
Yes, After Burner Climax was one of the earliest casualties of the age in which we live, getting delisted from both the Xbox 360 Marketplace and the PS3’s PlayStation Store in 2014. So join me as we pour one out for an arcade classic for which you really had to be there…
Continue reading Requiem for a Dead Game: After Burner Climax
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Almost exactly a year after its previous installment, Ridge Racer got another mainline entry — a title which marked the franchise’s return to Sony platforms after its temporary dalliance with Microsoft.
Ridge Racer 7 was an exclusive title for Sony’s new PlayStation 3 platform — and in keeping with series tradition, it was a launch title, too — but it represented a less radical reinvention of the series than some of the previous games. In fact, those who played Ridge Racer 6 might find an awful lot of it quite familiar.
Ridge Racer 7, you see, is largely a reinvention of Ridge Racer 6, similar to how Ridge Racer Revolution was a reinvention of the original game. But that doesn’t make it a game you should pass up. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Continue reading Ridge Racer 7: The New “Revolution”
There have been a number of attempts to dethrone Nintendo’s Mario Kart over the years, but none of them have been successful, at least in the multiplayer sphere.
There is one aspect of Mario Kart that has pretty consistently sucked over the years, though, and that’s the single-player offering. Offering little more than predefined Grand Prix championships, one-off races or time trials even in the most recent installments, Mario Kart has always struggled to provide anything of real substance for the solo player. Which is fine, as the series has always been known for being best experienced with at least one friend, right from its inception in the 16-bit era.
This has, however, left a decent-sized gap in the market for other developers to come along and offer more robust solo experiences in kart racing titles. And one game that succeeds admirably in this regard is the cumbersomely titled Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from Sega.
Continue reading Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Driving Into Dreams
Any self-respecting gamer knows that if you really want to impress someone with your dexterity and prowess, you don’t fire up a Souls game, you fire up a bullet hell shmup.
Notorious for their screen-filling bullet patterns that seemingly demand superhuman reflexes to navigate, bullet hell (or, to give them their more “proper” name, danmaku) shoot ’em ups are a frightening prospect to get involved with. But you might be surprised at quite how approachable some of them are.
One such example of a danmaku shmup that is both accepting to genre newcomers and monstrously challenging to veterans is Gundemonium Recollection from Japanese doujin circle Platine Dispositif, originally localised for PS3 and PC by Rockin’ Android. It’s a game that isn’t afraid to slap you about a bit, but also a good place to familiarise yourself with some conventions of the genre.
And, well, it’s just a really good game to boot, too.
Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Gundemonium Recollection
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Nier: Automata is a fascinating game in its own right, but it becomes even more of an interesting story when you take it in context of everything that led to its creation.
In order to understand Nier: Automata and its predecessors, it is particularly important to understand creator Taro Yoko, one of the most distinctive “auteurs” in all of video game making — albeit one who, until the release of Automata, had largely flown under the radar in stark contrast to his contemporaries such as Hideo Kojima.
Yoko is a creator who, it’s fair to say, has consistently pushed back against the boundaries of what is “accepted practice” in video game development — both in terms of subject matter and mechanical considerations. And the results of his resistance to conventions and norms are some of the most distinctive and interesting — albeit sometimes flawed — creations in all of gaming.
Continue reading Nier Automata: Introduction and History