Final Fantasy V, despite being one of the most mechanically solid installments in the series, doesn’t get a ton of love — partly because it got localised very late; partly because the quality of those localisations has varied considerably over time; and partly because in the grand scheme of the franchise as a whole, it’s comparatively bastard hard.
After many, many years of saying “I should probably beat Final Fantasy V sometime”, I am finally working on that goal — specifically by playing it on my totally normal, pristine and absolutely definitely completely stock PlayStation Classic that my brother rather generously bought me for Christmas. (More on all that another day, I feel.) And I thought Lenna — or “Reina” as she’s called in the version of Final Fantasy V I’m playing — was deserving of some love.
So let’s give her some love. Our pink-haired princess is one of Final Fantasy’s most capable heroines, so it’s high time she saw some appreciation, I say!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Lenna Charlotte Tycoon
I am bad at pool. Real pool, that is. But also video game pool. Although I am marginally less bad at video game pool than I am at real pool.
Data East’s Side Pocket, seen here as part of the Data East Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade, at least makes the experience of being bad at video game pool pleasantly entertaining by providing a smooth jazz soundtrack, some pretty ladies and a series of completely unreasonable trick shots with which to challenge yourself. Plus no onlookers who have had a few too many pints laughing at your incompetence. Ideal.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Looking back over past installments of this column, I’m surprised I haven’t given Bianca any love yet. I mean, in Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, the game in which she first appears, she literally becomes your wife. Assuming you make the correct choices, that is.
Of course, you have two other options for who to wed in that game. But as someone who grew up as whatever the middle-class equivalent of a country bumpkin is, Bianca spoke to me right from the first moment I met her. And I knew right from that first meeting that I was going to wed her.
Them other girls dun’t matter, y’hear? Well, they do, but not right now. Bianca!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Bianca Whitaker
With the positive reception the first Earthworm Jim had on its original release, a sequel was inevitable. But how do you follow something as chaotic and irreverent as Earthworm Jim?
The obvious answer, of course, is to make it even more chaotic and irreverent, so that’s exactly what Jim’s original creators Doug TenNapel, Dave Perry and Shiny Entertainment did with the follow-up. The result is very much a game that feels like it’s throwing absolutely everything at the wall in order to see what sticks… for better or worse.
You certainly can’t accuse it of just being a rehash of the original, though. So let’s take a closer look, thanks to the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge on the Evercade retro gaming system.
Continue reading Earthworm Jim 2: See What Sticks
It’s easy to write off Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure as a product of its time that’s not worth bothering with today. A 16-bit mascot platformer from ’90s Interplay featuring deliberate grossout humour and “attitude”? Hmm. Not what we might call a winning combination… at least if prejudice is to be believed
I must confess, I never played Boogerman back in the day and indeed don’t remember seeing much about it at all. So my first real experience with it has been the SNES version, which can be easily found today as part of the Interplay Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system. And you hopefully know by now that one of my favourite things about that platform is the fact it provides us with the opportunity to explore and celebrate some of the lesser-known (or lesser-loved) titles from the land of retro, as well as some of the big names.
So get ready to pick it, lick it, roll it, flick it; we’re heading in for the snotty adventure of a lifetime. Bring a tissue or three.
Continue reading Boogerman: It’s Easy Being Green
It’s always nice when your expectations, preconceptions and prejudices are proven wrong — particularly when the result is something you find surprisingly enjoyable.
Such was the case when I first booted up Prehistorik Man from Titus, originally released for Super NES and more recently found on the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform. Developer Titus has a somewhat… variable reputation, shall we say, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Prehistorik Man is actually a solid, interesting platformer with some fun, varied level design.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
Many developers — particularly from the 8- and 16-bit eras — tended to end up primarily associated with a particular type of game. But some, like Data East, proved themselves capable of turning their attention to many different mechanical genres.
Delve into the Data East Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform and you’ll find yourself engaging in a madcap chase atop gigantic hamburgers, driving a bouncy bouncy buggy in pursuit of your significant other’s kidnappers, blasting numerous dudes in the face or, indeed, playing a nice, chilled-out game of pool.
You can probably guess where Side Pocket fits in to all that. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Side Pocket: Kissin’ Cushions
Late-era releases on a console are always interesting to look at, because they can often provide a tantalising glimpse of what the hardware was really capable of.
Titus’ Incantation certainly proved beyond doubt that the dear old 16-bit Super NES was more than capable of beautifully presented games with stunning pixel art, lovely big sprites with lots of frames of animation, and consistently smooth, slick scrolling.
It’s a shame it’s a bit of a chore to play, then — but at least you don’t need to pay through the nose for an original cartridge any more, thanks to its inclusion as part of the Interplay Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system. Enjoy the video below, find out more about the game here, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Titus, it’s fair to say, is not one of the most fondly regarded names in classic gaming — though a fair amount of their work was at least memorable for one reason or another.
That doesn’t mean it was a company completely incapable of putting out a good game, however. And in fact, when Titus was on top form, they actually made some really good titles that still hold up very well today.
One of those games is Prehistorik Man, originally released for Super NES and now brought to a whole new audience as part of the Interplay Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform. Let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Prehistorik Man: Titus Made Good Games Sometimes
As we’ve seen a number of times already at this point, Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming platform is home to a wide variety of obscure titles that many people probably haven’t played — and which certainly haven’t been rereleased many times over the years.
Some great examples can be found on the two Interplay Collection cartridges, which include not only games that are associated with Interplay themselves, but also titles hailing from developers that subsequently ended up under the Interplay umbrella.
Interplay Collection 2, for example, plays host to a rather entertaining puzzle game featuring small, round, furry creatures. Let’s take a closer look at The Brainies, also known in some territories as Tiny Skweeks or The Tinies.
Continue reading The Brainies: Furry Balls