There can be no talk of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty without first acknowledging the runaway success of the 1998 title that spawned it, a PlayStation game so unbelievably popular it sold over six million copies worldwide, inspiring a broad selection of pretenders to the stealth-action throne in the years that followed and … Continue reading Can’t say goodbye to yesterday
Another day, another game set in the now scarily not-so-futuristic year of 20XX. Irem's Image Fight made its tate-orientated arcade debut back in 1988 with its first no-TV-tilting-required home counterparts arriving two years later, turning up on everything from the unstoppable NES and the wonderfully dinky PC Engine to the highest high-end Japanese computers of … Continue reading OF-1 Daedalus, GO!
Shin Megami Tensei II is a game that asks many questions along the way to its epic climax but it all begins with just one: What happened to the world after the end of the first Shin Megami Tensei? "Nothing good" might be the best way to sum it up: Shin Megami Tensei II assumes the original … Continue reading Divinity, demons, and decay
It doesn't take any special sleuthing or grand digital detectivry to confidently trace a finger through Vixen 357's impressive family tree: The broad similarities to Langrisser (released the year before, in 1991), PC Engine mech SRPG Hisou Kihei X-Serd (1990), and even going as far back as Gaia no Monshou (1987) are as plain as … Continue reading Masaya’s Mega Drive mechs
It's not every day you flip open a game's manual and find that before it gets on with dispensing all the usual information on controller configurations and memory cards it makes a point of showing you a simple timeline, beginning when the story does - at 10am on Christmas Day - and ending a week … Continue reading Country of the woods and repose
The original Virtua Cop performed nothing less than miracles when it blasted its way into arcades worldwide back in 1994: There were great light gun games before it, and there were great light gun games after it, but there was no doubt once someone had experienced Virtua Cop's polygonal possibilities for themselves there was no … Continue reading Non-stop 3DCG gun shooting!
"The world's first 3D-CG gun shooting!" boasts the front-facing strip of Virtua Cop's Saturn spine card - and for once this eye-catching bit of advertising bluster can be taken at face value. By the time Virtua Cop graced arcades with its presence in 1994 (the Saturn port shown throughout this post came just the year … Continue reading Light gun lightning in a bottle
There's a struggling creative inside me, and in all honesty they should probably stay there. Just when I think I've finally put my dreams of releasing a critically acclaimed bestseller to bed 3D Construction Kit comes along and says "Hey you, normal person - would you like to make a game? Would you like making … Continue reading World building
Nothing puts me off returning to Eternal Arcadia - a title I'm sure I last played from start to finish when it was the sort of thing us ever-thinning ranks of Sega hardware enthusiasts could casually purchase new in any old local game shop - quite like being told it's the best RPG on the … Continue reading Blue rogues, blue skies
Why Java Tea? Why would anyone think to associate Sega's big-headed and incredibly cute Saturn/ST-V fighting game Virtua Fighter Kids with a particular brand of soft drink? Well, why not? Games have a long and varied history of willingly collaborating with commercial consumables, from Chester Cheetah's 16-bit outings to the supposed Sonic-beating "interstellar cosmic dweller" … Continue reading It’s tea time!