Tag Archives: retro games

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – Worlds Apart

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The Atelier series, as we’ve previously explored, was primarily based around an isometric perspective right up until its shift to full 3D in the PlayStation 3 era.

If anything, this aspect of the game’s overall design and structure is even more apparent in Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny than in its immediate predecessor, with much of male protagonist Felt’s quest consisting of exploring labyrinthine dungeons presented from this distinctive viewpoint.

With that in mind, then, let’s take a closer look at how one gets around in the world of Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny, and how it differs from Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana.

Continue reading Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – Worlds Apart

Final Fantasy Marathon: Reunion – Final Fantasy II #14

With the Emperor defeated, what’s next? Take down the Dark Knight, of course, since he clearly reckons himself well-equipped to lead the world.

Naturally, it’s not quite that simple. A merry jaunt into the depths of Palamecia to track down said Dark Knight results in an unexpected reunion with an old friend… and the setup for the grand finale of Final Fantasy II.

That is, after we take care of some business in the Arcane Labyrinth next time around, of course…

Gunbird 2: Peak Psikyo

Speak to anyone familiar with Psikyo’s work, and doubtless Gunbird 2 will come up sooner rather than later.

It’s probably one of the most fondly regarded entries in the company’s back catalogue, and for various reasons. Not only is it a solid shoot ’em up in its own right, but it also had an excellent Dreamcast release in collaboration with Capcom, featuring Morrigan from Darkstalkers as a guest character.

The Nintendo Switch version that comes as part of the Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo collection sadly lacks this latter aspect — presumably due to licensing issues — but otherwise allows a whole new audience to enjoy this classic blaster. Let’s take a look!

Continue reading Gunbird 2: Peak Psikyo

Atari ST A to Z: Andes Attack

Regular viewers and enthusiasts of ’80s microcomputers will doubtless be well familiar with Jeff Minter of Llamasoft by now.

Minter didn’t put out a ton of stuff for the 16-bit platforms, but when he did — gosh, he made that hardware well and truly sing.

A great example is Andes Attack for Atari ST which, as well as being incredibly difficult, is also a beautiful reimagining of one of Minter’s old Vic-20 games. Let’s enjoy the sight of me failing miserably at it!

Atari A to Z

Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Gust has always been good at beautiful girls — one might argue the Atelier series has made it its primary selling point over the years. And, of course, Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny is full of them.

A personal highlight for me on my journey through the game was Noin, one of the first characters that male protagonist Felt encounters upon his arrival in the strange “other world” of Belkhyde, and pretty much a fixture in the party for the entire game’s duration.

There’s a shocking lack of fanart of her on the Internet — even Rule 34 let me down — so I feel obliged to show her some love right here, right now. Let’s do it!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Noin

Atari A to Z: Grand Prix Simulator

Today we have a game that absolutely, definitely is not Super Sprint, so there.

Yes, it’s CodeMasters’ Grand Prix Simulator, a game that was unironically designed to be “BMX Simulator with cars” and a game that just happens to bear a passing resemblance to Atari Games’ classic top-down racer.

Featuring digitised speech, bricks on wheels and some of the slipperiest handling this side of Vanilla Lake in Super Mario Kart, this game is a good time — albeit one you’ll need a bit of practice to master!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Dark Cavern

It’s always interesting to look at a very old game and see the earliest glimmer of a subgenre that became well-established much later.

Mattel’s Dark Cavern, actually an Atari 2600 port of their Intellivision title Night Stalker, is a good example. On paper, it’s a simple maze game, but in practice, you can see just a hint of what would become stealth and survival horror gameplay in there.

We’ve got a fragile protagonist; we’ve got an emphasis on outwitting enemies; we’ve got limited resources. How long can Your Man survive in the Dark Cavern?

Atari A to Z