One of the best things about Nippon Ichi Software is the company’s willingness to take some risks and put out some highly creative, artistic titles alongside its longstanding cash cow franchises.
A reliable source of these fascinating “B-tier Nippon Ichi” titles is designer Yu Mizokami who, to date, has given us the Yomawari series of horror games and contributed to the excellent (and perpetually overlooked) Lapis x Labyrinth. Now he’s back once again with a brand new but equally stylish title: Mad Rat Dead, which aims to blend rhythm action with 2D platforming.
Both are genres that demand committed, attentive players with an eye for detail and a willingness to put in some practice. But can these two styles of game work together? Let’s take a closer look.
I love Nippon Ichi Software. Over the years they’ve provided some fantastic games, and they rarely stick to what’s “safe”; their games are, in many cases, some of the most joyfully experimental, mechanically rich titles out there.
A great example is new release Mad Rat Dead, which combines electro swing-fuelled rhythm action with tricky platforming, a surprisingly dark narrative and a colourful, punky aesthetic. It’s a lot of fun, but looks like being a pretty stiff challenge in the long term!
When the Senran Kagura series first launched, I’m not sure anyone could have quite predicted the trajectory it would take.
While some fans lament the fact that the series has deviated somewhat from its original course of “cool female ninjas fight youma, also there are breasts and bums”, I can’t say I’m the slightest bit sorry for the existence of games like Senran Kagura Bon Appétit (also known as Dekamori: Senran Kagura in Japan).
It’s a game that bills itself as a “hyper busty cooking battle”, and gives us the opportunity to see that enormous cast of delightful characters in a rather different context to normal. What’s not to like?
As regular listeners of The MoeGamer Podcast will know, I greatly enjoy music games, but I’ve never had a chance to play the Taiko no Tatsujin series to date.
Well, I figured, it’s probably time I rectified that situation, isn’t it? Various installments in the series are often held up as all-time classics in the genre, after all. Plus it’s hard to resist that super-cute artwork — which, if you didn’t know, is the inimitable work of Yukiko Yoko, wife of the man who brought the world the Nier series. How’s that for a weird-ass twist?
So it was with some excitement that I downloaded the newly released demo of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun, one of two parallel games which mark the first time the series has ever officially come to Europe. And… well, read on.