One of the things I find kind of interesting about how gaming culture in general has developed over time is how people feel about “arcade games”.
Back in the 8- and 16-bit eras of computers and consoles that I grew up with, the seemingly unattainable dream was to have “the arcade experience at home” — or, well, more accurately, an authentic arcade experience at home. This was kind of strange when you think about it, because a lot of home computer and console games already offered experiences of greater complexity, depth and duration than your average quarter-muncher, but still the dream persisted.
Once we got to a stage where our home gaming hardware was more than up to the job of providing an “arcade-perfect” experience, however, many people had become so accustomed to those longer, deeper experiences that the dream of “arcade games” kind of fell by the wayside for a significant proportion of the gaming audience. And consequently, I suspect a fair few people missed out on highly enjoyable cheese like Sega’s Ghost Squad.
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Ghost Squad
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Gal*Gun Double Peace was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in my gaming career.
Going into it, I already knew I was going to enjoy the inherently silly concept of “shooting” cute girls with pheromones until they collapsed in a quasi-orgasmic state, but what I wasn’t quite prepared for was the fact that besides the absurd premise, the game was actually both very solid indeed from both mechanical and narrative perspectives. In retrospect, given the developer, this should never have been in any doubt, of course, but it was still nice to discover.
Now, two years later, we’re presented with a sequel: Gal*Gun 2, the third game in the franchise after the Japan-only original and Double Peace, our first encounter with the series in the West. How do you follow those? Well, read on.
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Introduction
Although Gal*Gun Double Peace has the trappings of an arcade-style light-gun shooter, there’s a lot more going on in the game than simply pointing and shooting.
We no longer live in an age where a release like Namco’s original PlayStation port of Time Crisis is acceptable to modern consumers, at least at full retail price; players need more than just a basic game that takes 20 minutes to play through from start to finish and doesn’t vary significantly each time you play.
Fortunately, Gal*Gun Double Peace has plenty to offer those who are willing to put some time in, and it’s a fine example of Inti Creates’ talent for creating games that are simple to pick up but tricky to master completely.
Continue reading Gal*Gun: Dating on Rails
With the advent of HDTVs and their different method of producing an image compared to old-school CRTs, one genre of game has largely fallen by the wayside: the light-gun shooter.
With that said, however, there are a number of developers out there keeping the soul — if not the exact execution — of this classic arcade genre alive, and with most gamers tending to demand more than a simple 20-minute arcade-style game for their money these days, they often have a ton of hidden depth behind the traditional “point and shoot” gameplay.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is one of the most potent examples of a developer taking what is, at heart, a very simple, straightforward style of game and adding a ton of depth, replayability and longevity to it. We’ve certainly come a long way since Operation Wolf, that’s for sure.
Continue reading Gal*Gun: Introduction and History