With apologies to Senran Kagura Peach Ball for shamelessly stealing its Dad joke-tier ninja pun, it’s time to look at another in Sega’s excellent Sega Ages series for Nintendo Switch.
This time around, it’s 1987’s Shinobi, an important game from the relatively early days of Sega’s video gaming portfolio, and a title that doesn’t seem to get talked about all that often these days.
Hailing from the height of the “ninja boom” of the 1980s — a popular culture phenomenon that is regarded to have kicked off with Menahem Golan’s 1981 movie Enter the Ninja — Shinobi remains a solid, challenging game today, and well worth revisiting.
Continue reading Shinobi: Rescue Those Kids? Shuriken!
With this week marking the release of a new Hatsune Miku game on Nintendo Switch — and it apparently dominating the sales charts somewhat — I thought it was high time we celebrated the world’s most famous Vocaloid.
Miku is an impressive cultural icon in that she transcends context and medium; she’s a genuine superstar who crosses boundaries, brings people together and inspires a considerable amount of passion from creators and fans alike.
Where did she come from? How did this phenomenon come about? Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hatsune Miku
An unstable economy might not sound like it would make the setup for a compelling video game, but Fantasy Zone is here to prove you wrong!
To be fair, the premise is little more than a justification for the fact that all the enemies in the game drop coins that you can use to upgrade your ship; Fantasy Zone is instead much better known for being one of the progenitors of what came to be known as the “cute ’em up” subgenre, alongside Konami’s Twinbee.
First released to arcades in 1986 and subsequently ported to a variety of different platforms, Fantasy Zone has been a beloved part of Sega’s back catalogue for many years now. And, at the time of writing, the recent Sega Ages version for Nintendo Switch promises to bring it to a whole new audience. So let’s take a closer look at that particular incarnation of this colourful blastathon!
Continue reading Fantasy Zone: Intergalactic Monetary Fund
We tend to think of the world of video game protagonists being a boys’ club until Lara Croft came along in 1996… but female protagonists have been around for quite a while longer than that.
1987, for example, gave the world Alis Landale, protagonist of Sega’s first Phantasy Star game. Alis wasn’t a damsel in distress, she wasn’t a secondary character, she wasn’t a love interest — she was the lead. She had a mission, and she was damn well going to make sure she carried it out, come hell, high water or Dark Falz.
Being the protagonist of a 1980s 8-bit role-playing game, we don’t really learn a lot about Alis the person within the game of Phantasy Star itself. We can, however, look at the context in which she appeared, and the various ways she was presented. So let’s do that!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Alis Landale
Remember Columns? Remember how we talked about how chilled out it was, and how it didn’t want to stress you out? Yeah, you can forget all that with its direct follow-up.
Columns II is an example of an approach to sequels that was popular for a short while in the late ’80s and early ’90s: the provision of an experience clearly geared towards expert players, and a distinct case of “the same, but more so, and way harder“.
While Columns wanted everyone to relax and have a fun old time matching coloured gems, Columns II does everything in its power to stress you out at every opportunity. And I both love it and hate it for that!
Continue reading Columns II: The Most Passive-Aggressive Puzzle Game Ever
Say the words “minigame collection” to a modern-day gamer and chances are they will roll their eyes and say something about shovelware, perhaps the Wii.
But we’re not about that sort of negativity here on MoeGamer, particularly because I know that minigame compilations can be an absolute ton of fun, and there are numerous great examples from throughout the years.
One such example is Ichidant-R, the sequel to Tant-R, which in turn was a bizarre spinoff of Bonanza Bros. And wouldn’t you know it? Sega just happens to have released Ichidant-R as part of its excellent Sega Ages collection on Nintendo Switch. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Ichidant-R: Minigame Mayhem
Ah, the 1980s; a period of shameless attempts to replicate and exceed the success of other people by having a go at doing it yourself.
Well, that was the thinking that drove Sega to create Flicky in 1984, anyway; jealous of Namco’s success with Mappy, the company’s leadership tasked designer Yoji Ishii with creating something that would beat their rival’s game.
Did they succeed? Well, that’s a matter of opinion. Just maybe bring the earplugs if you want to judge for yourself.
Continue reading Flicky: The Sound of Birdsong is So Beautiful