Tag Archives: video games

Atari A to Z: Grand Prix Simulator

Today we have a game that absolutely, definitely is not Super Sprint, so there.

Yes, it’s CodeMasters’ Grand Prix Simulator, a game that was unironically designed to be “BMX Simulator with cars” and a game that just happens to bear a passing resemblance to Atari Games’ classic top-down racer.

Featuring digitised speech, bricks on wheels and some of the slipperiest handling this side of Vanilla Lake in Super Mario Kart, this game is a good time — albeit one you’ll need a bit of practice to master!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Dark Cavern

It’s always interesting to look at a very old game and see the earliest glimmer of a subgenre that became well-established much later.

Mattel’s Dark Cavern, actually an Atari 2600 port of their Intellivision title Night Stalker, is a good example. On paper, it’s a simple maze game, but in practice, you can see just a hint of what would become stealth and survival horror gameplay in there.

We’ve got a fragile protagonist; we’ve got an emphasis on outwitting enemies; we’ve got limited resources. How long can Your Man survive in the Dark Cavern?

Atari A to Z

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – The Fight for Eden

cropped-atelier-megafeature-header-1.pngThis post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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The Atelier Iris subseries is, as we’ve already seen with Eternal Mana, something of an outlier in the Atelier series as a whole.

While all of the Atelier games involve RPG-style combat to varying degrees, the Iris subseries places a particular emphasis on what many would think of as a more “conventional” RPG-style structure: the protagonist goes on a journey, explores dungeons, acquires allies, seeks out wondrous treasures… there just happens to be some alchemy involved on the side.

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny has a particularly strong emphasis on its combat and progression mechanics, making it a satisfying game for those who like making numbers get bigger. Let’s take a closer look at this aspect today.

Continue reading Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny – The Fight for Eden

Final Fantasy Marathon: For the Emperor – Final Fantasy II #13

Could Firion and company’s quest finally be coming to an end?

Today, the crew dive right into the deadly Cyclone that is hovering menacingly just outside the walls of Fynn — and discover an ominous-looking fortress within. Is the Emperor inside?

Yes, of course he is — and no, of course their adventure isn’t over yet. But that doesn’t mean they can’t spend a little time celebrating a job well done… at least, until…

SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

I reviewed this visual novel over at Nintendo Life — please go support my work over there, then join me back here to delve into the narrative in more detail!


SeaBed from Paleontology Soft is a kinetic novel that first released in 2015. It was localised for PC two years later, much to the delight of Western yuri fans, and in early 2020, it got released on Nintendo Switch, too.

It is, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolutely masterful work of fiction. It’s peaceful and calming yet melancholy, and the evocative, descriptive writing gives the whole experience a pleasantly mature feeling that is a far cry from noisy, chaotic anime hijinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with noisy, chaotic anime hijinks, mind, but sometimes you just want a bit of quiet contemplation to mull over.

So let’s mull it over together, because there’s a lot to talk about. There are likely to be some spoilers ahead, but I’ll try and keep major ones to a minimum, because you should experience this for yourself!

Continue reading SeaBed: What You Leave Behind

Atari ST A to Z: Zany Golf

Electronic Arts has become a bit of a dirty word these days, gaining notoriety for, among other things, predatory microtransactions and taking over beloved studios, only to shutter them shortly afterwards.

But there was a time when EA was a label that stood for high-quality, unusual and interesting software — a time when it really did feel like they were pursuing electronic art. One great example of a title like this that they released in the 16-bit era was Zany Golf, a fun and highly creative physics puzzler masquerading as a golf game.

You’ll never look at hamburgers the same way again…

Atari A to Z

Waifu Wednesday: Isabelle

At the time of writing, everyone and their dog (no, uh, no pun intended) is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch.

I am not, because I’ve never really “got” Animal Crossing for one reason or another. I tried both Wild World on DS and New Leaf on 3DS and found myself tiring of both quite quickly… though I must confess I’ve always liked the gentle, relaxed atmosphere — and the creative aspects of New Horizons are rather appealing, so I’m not ruling out giving it a shot at some point in the future!

In the meantime, however, despite my general ambivalence towards the series from a gameplay perspective, I do understand the widespread love for Isabelle. So let’s give her some time in the spotlight!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Isabelle