Tag Archives: retro games

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – School of Hard Knocks

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At first glance, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis might appear to be very mechanically similar to its immediate predecessor in the Atelier series, Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm.

But it doesn’t take long for it to distinguish itself in a variety of different ways. We’ve already seen how the alchemy mechanics are quite a bit different from anything we’ve seen in the series before — and we’ll subsequently see how they form the foundation of the Arland series’ alchemy systems — so today we’ll be taking a closer look at combat.

Although Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis arguably places a stronger emphasis on the alchemy side of things than its predecessors in the Atelier Iris series, it has an immensely satisfying and enjoyable combat system that is a ton of fun to engage with. So let’s explore it further!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: True End – Final Fantasy II #23

This is it! We’re beating Final Fantasy II today! Well, okay, we’ve already done that, technically, but today our gruelling journey through postgame story Soul of Rebirth finally comes to an end!

It’s been a challenge, for sure, and a real test of how well you know how to manipulate Final Fantasy II’s progression mechanics. And I won’t lie, at times it’s been extremely frustrating. But finally reaching that conclusion and knowing it was my own hard graft that took that party from being a pile of useless twats to Emperor-toppling badasses… it felt kinda good.

Final Fantasy III coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the video below and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Joust

It’s arcade classic time today on Atari ST A to Z, with the game that supposedly popularised the idea of two-player cooperative gameplay.

Joust, originally developed by Williams for the arcade in 1982, was a well-regarded and influential game, and found itself ported to a wide variety of platforms over the years — including numerous Atari systems.

The Atari ST version showed up in 1986 — better late than never — and provided a solid adaptation of the arcade original for those who fancied some classic cooperative action on their 16-bit home computer. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Blake Stone – Aliens of Gold

One of the reasons I wanted to introduce the short;Play series was to celebrate some of my favourites from yesteryear that don’t get talked about all that much.

Today we take a look at Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, a sci-fi first-person shooter running on an enhanced Wolfenstein 3-D engine… and a game that has been mostly forgotten by history thanks to the fact that it came out a week before the legendary Doom.

I like this game a whole lot, and it provides a noticeably distinct experience from both its spiritual predecessor and id’s subsequent classic. Check out the video below to find out more — and don’t forget to subscribe over on YouTube while you’re at it!

Atari A to Z: Pole Position

You don’t just play Pole Position — you FEEL it!

Thus ran the back-of-box blurb for the official Atari 8-bit conversion of Namco’s classic “vanishing point” racer — one of the most important, influential video games of all time. Said conversion was extremely solid, and a big hit for my whole family back in the day.

See how I get on with the world’s most explosive Formula 1 cars in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Frog Pond

A fair few titles in the early days of gaming were shameless clones of other companies’ work.

Atari’s Frog Pond, a game that ended up not being released because Atari wasn’t willing to spring for a monster 8K cartridge for a “children’s game”, was a clone of Mattel’s Frog Bog for Intellivision (which ended up being ported to 2600 as Frogs and Flies), which in turn was a clone of Sega’s arcade title Frogs.

And they say originality is dead. Well, yes. It appears to have been dead for a very long time indeed! Don’t let that stop you checking out this video, though — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis – The Ninth Atelier

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With the ninth installment in the mainline Atelier series, Gust took the curious decision to temporarily drop the “Atelier [x]” naming convention and instead start a new subseries.

Except it’s not quite that simple; the two Mana Khemia games actually have a fair bit in common with the Atelier Iris subseries in terms of presentation, mechanics, tone and themes, leading some people to consider them an unofficial part of the Atelier Iris “trilogy”.

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter too much; Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis certainly stands by itself as a solid title in the franchise as a whole, so let’s begin with a general overview of what it’s all about.

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