Every gaming genre out there has that one title that helped to codify — if not establish — conventions that would continue to be followed for many years to come.
For the beat ’em up genre, that game was Technos’ Double Dragon, a title that is widely regarded to have kicked off something of a “golden age” for the genre with its innovative mechanics, simultaneous two-player action and large, chunky sprites. It also got an NES version developed by Technos themselves which doesn’t get talked about nearly as much. Which is a shame, because it’s an interesting game and most certainly isn’t just a straightforward attempt to ape the arcade machine on limited hardware.
Fortunately, we can now enjoy this intriguing take on a classic in a couple of readily available ways if you don’t have an NES to hand: via the Double Dragon and Kunio-Kun bundle released for modern consoles by Arc System Works, and as part of the Technos Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform.
Continue reading Double Dragon: Defining the Brawler
Early arcade ports certainly varied quite significantly in quality, and opinion appears to be a bit divided online as to whether or not Ron J Fortier’s Atari 8-bit take on Sega’s classic Zaxxon is “good” or not.
Well, “good” or not, that’s what we’re taking a look at today — and it turns out there are two slightly different versions of the game out there. (I discovered after I made the video that these are due to there being a 16K cassette version and a 48K disk version — in the video you’ll see the disk version first, followed by the more limited cassette version.)
Enjoy this take on a classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Good afternoon! I spent my weekend frantically playing a game for (paid) review, so didn’t find time to do this then. Also it’s hot. Really hot. And I don’t want to do anything that involves the slightest bit of activity.
Not that sitting on my arse typing some nonsense really counts as “activity”, of course, but you know what I mean. We’ve reached a point here where the heat, humidity and general airlessness is borderline anxiety-inducing; it actually feels like the world is trying to suffocate me at times.
On that cheery note, then, let’s look at what you might have missed in the last week!
Continue reading Around the Network
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
If you’ve ever called your local bobby to come and sort out some youths in your neck of the woods, only for them to turn up four hours later well after they were actually needed, Maze Craze may provide some explanation.
Apparently coppers like nothing more than getting lost inside randomly generated city blocks with varying degrees of invisibility, desperate to make their way to the exit on the eastern edge of the district before the robbers they’re supposed to be catching actually catch them instead.
Okay, Maze Craze doesn’t make a ton of sense, but since when has that mattered for Atari 2600 games? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
After making it to “the surface world”, only to discover the whole thing appears to be a seething miasma of darkness, the Warriors of Light set out to figure out what’s really going on.
Before long, they encounter the mysterious Aria, who seems to understand the situation, and she agrees to help them. The crystal’s light, it seems, can purify the land of darkness… but there are those who seek to oppose the light at all costs!
Enjoy the latest episode in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
Hitting a thing back and forth across a playfield in an attempt to get it past your opponent is a fundamental of gaming — after all, Pong is one of the original video games!
It’s interesting to see the numerous twists that there have been on the formula over the years, though. One of the most beautifully presented is Broderbund’s Shufflepuck Café, a game that sees you descending the smoky stairs into a sci-fi cantina in the hopes of reaching a telephone. But between you and that phone are some of the meanest Shufflepuckers in the galaxy — and they want to play.
Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Who doesn’t love a good maid? Everyone loves a good maid. And the only thing that can make a good maid even better is if she’s 1) a bit cheeky and 2) a manifestation of spiritual, elemental energy in service of the resident ojou-sama.
Well, okay, there are other things that can make a good maid even better, but if we get into that we’ll be here all day. So for the sake of today’s celebration of awesome female characters in gaming, let’s assume all of the above is true, and let me introduce you to Whim.
Whim is an water-attuned Mana who serves Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy’s resident lovestruck princess, Lilianne “Lily” Valendorf, and forms part of the main cast of playable characters in male protagonist Raze’s route. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Whim
I latched on to the Test Drive series pretty early in my life, because it allowed child-Pete the opportunity to pretend that he was driving a real car. This is something that child-Pete was very excited about.
The series has experimented with a variety of different structures and formats over the years, but it finally became what child-Pete (and adult-Pete) always wanted it to be with the advent of 2006’s Test Drive Unlimited, released for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 and PSP.
Check out the Xbox 360 version in action in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
If you are a glutton for punishment, or just feel that modern video games are a touch on the easy and/or fair side for you, it’s high time you checked out Will Harvey’s classic 1990 title, The Immortal.
As it happens, at the time of writing it’s just become easily accessible in not one, but two different places: you can now play the NES version as part of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and the Mega Drive version appears as part of the Piko Interactive Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system.
It’s the latter version we’ll be focusing on today, but expect similar amounts of death in both. Roll up your sleeves, and let’s get mortal.
Continue reading The Immortal: How To Kill Your Wizard