Tag Archives: video games

Nurse Love Addiction: The Smell of Gas Lights

As we’ve already seen in our initial exploration of the common route and Nao’s ending, Nurse Love Addiction is a visual novel that goes in some interesting and unexpected directions.

Rather unusually for a visual novel where the routes are themed around the protagonist developing romantic and/or sexual feelings for one of the heroines, the game features quite a few examples of relationships that can be quite reasonably regarded as unhealthy — even in that route’s supposedly “good” ending.

A great example is that of Itsuki, a character who you know pretty much from the outset is going to be trouble — and how. Let’s take a closer look. As always, there will be major spoilers ahead.

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short;Play: Soldam

I love Rod-Land. So when I discovered there was a sequel in the form of a puzzle game, there was no way I wasn’t going to be all over it.

Soldam for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 is actually a remake of an earlier Jaleco arcade title that, indeed, was the official follow-up to Rod-Land, despite not really having much to do with it beyond a similar aesthetic.

It’s a superb falling block (well, fruit) puzzler with some unique mechanics I haven’t seen anywhere else ever since. So let’s play it some, shall we? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Double Dragon: Defining the Brawler

Every gaming genre out there has that one title that helped to codify — if not establish — conventions that would continue to be followed for many years to come.

For the beat ’em up genre, that game was Technos’ Double Dragon, a title that is widely regarded to have kicked off something of a “golden age” for the genre with its innovative mechanics, simultaneous two-player action and large, chunky sprites. It also got an NES version developed by Technos themselves which doesn’t get talked about nearly as much. Which is a shame, because it’s an interesting game and most certainly isn’t just a straightforward attempt to ape the arcade machine on limited hardware.

Fortunately, we can now enjoy this intriguing take on a classic in a couple of readily available ways if you don’t have an NES to hand: via the Double Dragon and Kunio-Kun bundle released for modern consoles by Arc System Works, and as part of the Technos Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform.

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Atari A to Z: Zaxxon

Early arcade ports certainly varied quite significantly in quality, and opinion appears to be a bit divided online as to whether or not Ron J Fortier’s Atari 8-bit take on Sega’s classic Zaxxon is “good” or not.

Well, “good” or not, that’s what we’re taking a look at today — and it turns out there are two slightly different versions of the game out there. (I discovered after I made the video that these are due to there being a 16K cassette version and a 48K disk version — in the video you’ll see the disk version first, followed by the more limited cassette version.)

Enjoy this take on a classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Battleship: B4 U H8

Remember Battleship? ‘Course you do. It’s the game parents use to teach kids about grid references, and a game that, despite being regarded as an all-time classic, has all the tactical depth of playing “Guess What Number I’m Thinking Of”.

Do you remember the 2012 movie, though? It had Rihanna in it. Also aliens. And there was a video game adaptation for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, developed by Double Helix and published by Activision. Both were pretty roundly panned by critics at the time of original release for being seemingly stupid ideas that had very little to do with the source material they were supposedly based on.

With the seventh generation of video game consoles rapidly entering “retro” territory, you can now pick up unpopular, poorly received, critically maligned titles like Battleship for less than a fiver. And you know how much I love a good unpopular, poorly received, critically maligned title, particularly when you can divorce it from its original context and enjoy it on its own terms. So let’s take a closer look at Battleship.

Continue reading Battleship: B4 U H8

Around the Network

Good afternoon! I spent my weekend frantically playing a game for (paid) review, so didn’t find time to do this then. Also it’s hot. Really hot. And I don’t want to do anything that involves the slightest bit of activity.

Not that sitting on my arse typing some nonsense really counts as “activity”, of course, but you know what I mean. We’ve reached a point here where the heat, humidity and general airlessness is borderline anxiety-inducing; it actually feels like the world is trying to suffocate me at times.

On that cheery note, then, let’s look at what you might have missed in the last week!

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Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Life on the Light Side

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It’s interesting how seeing the same events unfold from a different perspective can provide an alternative spin on things.

This is most certainly the case with Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy. Because although male protagonist Raze lives through the exact same bizarrely eventful school year as his counterpart Ulrika, the company he keeps and the context in which he experiences those events makes for a markedly different playthrough.

So, if you were wondering if you should indulge in the game’s excellent New Game Plus mode in order to experience the second protagonist’s story after clearing the first, the answer is a definitive “yes”. Let’s take a closer look at Raze’s route — and the “Extra” scenario that unlocks after you beat both playthroughs.

Continue reading Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Life on the Light Side

Atari A to Z Flashback: Maze Craze

If you’ve ever called your local bobby to come and sort out some youths in your neck of the woods, only for them to turn up four hours later well after they were actually needed, Maze Craze may provide some explanation.

Apparently coppers like nothing more than getting lost inside randomly generated city blocks with varying degrees of invisibility, desperate to make their way to the exit on the eastern edge of the district before the robbers they’re supposed to be catching actually catch them instead.

Okay, Maze Craze doesn’t make a ton of sense, but since when has that mattered for Atari 2600 games? Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari A to Z

Final Fantasy Marathon: Aria of Sorrow – Final Fantasy III #9

After making it to “the surface world”, only to discover the whole thing appears to be a seething miasma of darkness, the Warriors of Light set out to figure out what’s really going on.

Before long, they encounter the mysterious Aria, who seems to understand the situation, and she agrees to help them. The crystal’s light, it seems, can purify the land of darkness… but there are those who seek to oppose the light at all costs!

Enjoy the latest episode in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Atari ST A to Z: Shufflepuck Cafe

Hitting a thing back and forth across a playfield in an attempt to get it past your opponent is a fundamental of gaming — after all, Pong is one of the original video games!

It’s interesting to see the numerous twists that there have been on the formula over the years, though. One of the most beautifully presented is Broderbund’s Shufflepuck Café, a game that sees you descending the smoky stairs into a sci-fi cantina in the hopes of reaching a telephone. But between you and that phone are some of the meanest Shufflepuckers in the galaxy — and they want to play.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z