Completed games: January

So far I’m doing pretty decent on wrapping up games I never finished when I first played them for whatever reason. Let’s see if I can finish some of the new starts I’ve got going (as of right now: Nier, Shinobi (PS2), and Doki Doki Majo Shinpan — don’t judge me!).

Finished in January 2011: 9 games Continue reading

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The Battle of Donkey Kong

The following is a translated excerpt from the book Sore wa “Pong” kara Hajimatta by Masumi Akagi (Ch. 18, Pg. 305-307). It is from the chapter on the legal issues surrounding Nintendo’s Donkey Kong, which has a more colorful history than some might want to admit. I personally believe that these matters are why Nintendo’s rereleases of the game are always the NES version rather than the original arcade game, but that’s just speculation on my part.

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Game Review: Misshitsu no Sacrifice

A young girl named Miki wakes up on the floor of a room. There is debris nearby from some unseen catastrophe, her leg is trapped under a pipe, and water is slowly leaking in from the ceiling. Looking around, there isn’t much in reach — a screwdriver and a hairpin from her bag. Leveraging some nearby machinery, she manages to lift the pipe and free herself, escaping into the seemingly-deserted halls of this vast complex. She sees light coming through a door, and opens it. On the other side stands another young girl about Miki’s age. Her clothes are stained red with blood.

So goes the first chapter of Misshitsu no Sacrifice — “Sacrifice of the Secret Room” — a puzzle adventure game from small Tokyo developer INTENSE. It is essentially a hybrid between Japanese style visual novels — long sequences of text, still images, and voiceovers — and western-style point-and-click puzzle games like Myst or The 7th Guest. Switching between five different characters — each chapter is told from a specific character’s perspective — the player must try to escape this strange complex and figure out just what happened here. Continue reading

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I need to stop buying games.

That’s it, I officially own too many video games. That picture to the left…that’s not my collection, that’s my backlog. And it isn’t even my entire backlog, it’s just the stuff for those platforms that I bought intending to play then never finished (or in most cases, started). There are plenty of others for other platforms, and games I bought simply to have but don’t plan to ever play — perhaps I’ll sell some of those off before long.

I went out today to use a gift card I got for Christmas — thanks mom! — and when I got back, realized I could have been just as productive using that hour to play something from this stack, and saved myself some cash to boot. I could have used that time writing a review, or working on my resume, or sending out job applications, but I didn’t. I need to wean myself off that consumerist “buy new stuff” warm fuzzy feeling. It will be the death of me.

So I’ve decided that from here out, I will not buy a single new game until I clear at least five out from this stack. Five finished, one new, then no more until five more finished. No “I’ll just buy a points card to support that indie game” excuses. No “there’s a B2G1 sale at Gamestop” excuses. No “I’ve been waiting for that to drop in price” excuses. Indie games have a long tail, there will always be another sale, and if I wait longer it’ll drop even more. The games will still be there when I decide to buy them.

In fact, I think I’ll make a second requirement: No new games until I can find work. That should be a good motivator to finally get on that.

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Game Review: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

This review has been reposted from MobyGames. Originally written August 15, 2010.

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most divisive game series in existence. Some would argue that the early titles were the forefront of platform gaming at the time. Time, however, has not been kind to the little blue guy, and since 2001′s Sonic Adventure 2, things have inarguably been getting worse. The fans will desperately look for any conceivable good in the titles that come out, while the press will dismiss any new title as “another crappy Sonic game” without even giving it a closer look. Continue reading

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Game Review: Blade Kitten

I’ll be honest: There were two reasons I was looking forward to Blade Kitten. First, it’s an action game where you play as a cute pink-haired catgirl. Second, it draws clear design inspiration from classic side-scroller Strider. More honesty: I didn’t know this was based on a webcomic until someone else told me. Having played the game, I don’t really have any desire to, either. Continue reading

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Manga Review: Arcade Gamer Fubuki

It’s not surprising to see something like this come from Mine Yoshizaki. Though he’s best known for Sgt. Frog (Keroro Gunso), he got his start in the early ’90s drawing Capcom dojins, and his earlier professional works include manga adaptions of Dragon Quest and Twinbee. Arcade Gamer Fubuki isn’t based on any particular game, instead it is about a young girl with a love of and uncanny ability for games. Continue reading

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