The loose “trilogy” of vertically scrolling shoot ’em ups from SNK’s early days that began with Alpha Mission and Bermuda Triangle finally concludes with 1987’s World Wars.
Sometimes erroneously described as a reskin of Bermuda Triangle, World Wars offers an interesting blend between the gameplay elements of its two predecessors, and manages to carve out an identity for itself as an enjoyable, addictive shoot ’em up in its own right in the process.
Alpha mission start! Launch all ZIG!
Continue reading SNK Essentials: World Wars
The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!
This award was suggested by Riobravo79.
While it’s nice to get brand-new, all-original games when we can, sometimes it’s a pleasure to see an old friend again… perhaps in a slightly different form.
The sequel has been part of video game culture pretty much since the beginning, and the fine art of recycling, refining and/or reimagining is way more prevalent in gaming than in pretty much any other creative medium. Developers have experimented with a lot of different ways of putting together follow-ups for well-received titles over the years… but what makes for the most satisfying successors?
Do you provide more of the same with minor refinements? Do you provide some sort of obvious “upgrade” while remaining true to the original game’s format? Or do you completely reinvent the formula, potentially bringing new players on board but also possibly alienating your original fanbase?
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Most Satisfying Sequel
Gal*Gun Double Peace was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in my gaming career.
Going into it, I already knew I was going to enjoy the inherently silly concept of “shooting” cute girls with pheromones until they collapsed in a quasi-orgasmic state, but what I wasn’t quite prepared for was the fact that besides the absurd premise, the game was actually both very solid indeed from both mechanical and narrative perspectives. In retrospect, given the developer, this should never have been in any doubt, of course, but it was still nice to discover.
Now, two years later, we’re presented with a sequel: Gal*Gun 2, the third game in the franchise after the Japan-only original and Double Peace, our first encounter with the series in the West. How do you follow those? Well, read on.
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Introduction
Arcade-era Namco was good at sequels. Not from a story perspective, mind — the sequel to “shoot the aliens” tended to be “shoot more aliens” — but definitely from a mechanical perspective.
One of the best things about arcade-era Namco’s handling of sequels was that they remained recognisably true to their source material while innovating in their own right. Galaga ’88 (also known as Galaga ’90, Galaga ’91 and Galaga 2 depending on where and how you played it back in the day) is one of the best examples of this, as the fourth installment in the Galaxian series.
Galaxian built on the basic premise of Taito’s Space Invaders by featuring a more dynamic arrangement of enemies. Galaga built further on this format with more dramatic enemy formations and movements. Gaplus — one of the few games in the series to not get many home ports, particularly back in the day — added powerups and vertical movement. And Galaga ’88… well, read on.
Continue reading Namco Essentials: Galaga ’88
Final Fantasy is probably one of the best-known names in the JRPG genre. And yet even within this long-running series there are titles which have had more attention than others.
Everyone can vouch for the quality (or at least impact) of Final Fantasy VI and VII, but what about the ones people don’t talk about in quite such reverential tones?
Today I’d like to talk about one of the less fondly-regarded entries in the franchise and explain why you should give it another look.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: A Square Sequel