The longer I run this site, the more it becomes clear that immediate, embargoed, day-one reviews of video games haven’t been doing a lot of titles justice for a very long time now — right back to the PlayStation 2 era at the very least, and probably beyond.
The trouble is, thanks to the Metacritic-fuelled world we live in, if a game scores poorly in those initial reviews, in most cases it is doomed to languish in obscurity, even if there are interesting things to say about it. There are occasional outliers — the wonderful Nier is probably the best example — but for every game that manages to claw its way out of the darkness to get some degree of recognition, there are myriad others destined to be forgotten.
Which brings us to Quantum Theory, a third-person shooter developed by the people behind the Project Zero series. Almost universally panned by Western reviewers on its original release in 2010, this is not a game that anyone looks back on particularly fondly — or at all, in most cases. But I thought it sounded interesting. And you know what? It is. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Quantum Theory: Tower Toppler
With Rio stepping into the spotlight for today’s episode of Warriors Wednesday, it’s only fitting that we take a look at where she came from and why she’s included in the Warriors All-Stars cast.
She’s not an especially well known character here in the West, since most of her prior appearances have been confined to Japan-only popular media, but she’s had a fairly long and eventful career on her native soil.
So let’s take a look at this feisty young casino dealer and see what makes her tick!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Rio Rollins Tachibana
I’ve always enjoyed games that subvert your expectations in one way or another — be it narratively, mechanically or both. And Tecmo’s Mighty Bomb Jack from 1987 is nothing if not charmingly fast and loose with the definition of what you might expect from a NES-era platform game.
I wasn’t familiar with Mighty Bomb Jack back when it was “current”, but I did have a soft spot for Elite’s solid Atari ST port of the 1984 original arcade game. That was a much simpler game; what Mighty Bomb Jack does is take the base mechanics from its predecessor and apply them in an interesting and unusual new way.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Continue reading NES Essentials: Mighty Bomb Jack
Miku Hinasaki’s excellent adventure continues as we crawl through Chapter 2 of Project Zero in an attempt to fill out our Ghost List further.
The ghosts we have to capture this time around are some of the trickiest in the game, but if you believe in yourself, you can do anything, anything!
Eventually, anyway. Hit the jump to see how this latest misadventure went.
Continue reading New Game Plus: Between the Kimonos – Project Zero #8
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 here, but you’re out of time to leave suggestions, I’m afraid!
Any time you have experience with an entire series of something and people are aware of your experience with said series, someone, somewhere is going to ask you the dreaded question: “which [insert series name here] is best?”
Given my recent coverage of Tecmo’s consistently excellent survival horror series Project Zero (not to mention the presently ongoing video series playing through its postgame!), I thought I’d pre-empt that question and attempt to give a definitive answer.
Well, definitive insofar as “this one was my favourite” anyway. You do not have to agree. But this was my favourite Project Zero game this year.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The Shutterbug Award
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 LightningEllen.
I’m old enough to remember when weather effects in games were new and exciting.
I have vivid memories of desperately wanting to play Toyota Celica GT Rally on the Atari ST, for example, purely because it had rain, snow and sandstorm effects — and working windscreen wipers!
Nowadays, weather effects are something we just take for granted for the most part… but sometimes, a game comes along and impresses you with its representation of a particular environmental condition. Today’s award celebrates my favourite virtual thunderstorm from the year just passed.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Best Lightning and Storm Effects
A little late for New Game Plus this week, I know, but I had to prioritise finishing off Maiden of Black Water, which I’m delighted to say I have now done. Please read my piece on it!
In New Game Plus, it’s right back to the beginning of the Project Zero series for us as we kick off a full-on actual New Game Plus run of the main story mode — this time on Nightmare difficulty.
Everything you ended the game with — film, healing items, camera upgrades — carries across into a new game, so this should be easy, right…?
Continue reading New Game Plus: Return to Himuro Mansion – Project Zero #4
Load up your film, kiddies, we’re going for another photography field trip.
This time around, we take on the last tier of Project Zero’s Mission Mode, featuring battles against multiple ghosts at once and a rematch against the game’s final boss, Kirie.
There are some great rewards on offer, but there are also some stiff challenges in our way… hit the jump to see how I got on!
Continue reading New Game Plus: Kirie Eleison – Project Zero #3
Today we continue to test my point-and-shoot skills as we crack on with Project Zero’s postgame.
Having cleared ten of the challenges in Mission Mode, things are starting to get a whole lot more difficult now… and we have a destined encounter with the Himuro Family Master to look forward to.
Will I survive an encounter with the Headless Priest? How does Blinded seem to be able to pinpoint my location so accurately without eyes? Will I ever get anything better than a “C” rank? Hit the jump to find out the answers to all these pressing questions and more…
Continue reading New Game Plus: Don’t Call Him “Daddy” – Project Zero #2
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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And so it is that we come to the fourth installment in the Project Zero series: a game that never came West in an official capacity.
Known as Zero: Tsukihame no Kamen in its native Japan and Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in the West following an ambitious (and successful) fan-translation project, this fourth game represented a number of “firsts” for the series.
It was the first installment to not be exclusively developed by Tecmo. It was the first installment to leave the series’ original host platforms of PlayStation 2 and Xbox. And it was the first installment to make a number of mechanical shakeups to the basic Project Zero formula, which would become fixtures in subsequent releases. Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon