Review

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Reviews of software, hardware and everything in-between.

More Weekly Famitsu 20th Anniversary Madness!

Just picked up the latest issue of Famitsu Weekly and I am pleased to see they are still doing some retro coverage in their 20th Anniversary sections. The supplementary booklet this time around focuses on games from 1998-2005 with less detail than in the previous issue, but it's still interesting for a glance at what games were popular in Japan.

The Games History section focuses on a variety of sports genres in video games, giving several examples of each. It makes me want to buy a better Japanese dictionary when I get home so I can try some translating, although my Japanese grammar skills aren't great! Among the more curious types of sports games mentioned are Fishing Games and Winter Sports Games.

Matt Barton's picture

A Review of "Missing Since January"

Missing Since January: The SKL Network, the in-game homepage.Missing Since January: The SKL Network, the in-game homepage.Missing Since January (MSJ), re-released in 2004 by the Adventure Company, is an American re-release of a game called In Memoriam, developed by the French Lexis Numérique company and published by Ubisoft SA and Dreamcatcher Interactive in 2003. The big gimmick is what I might call a "virtual reality" setup--playing the game requires moving beyond the program itself and doing Google searches. Players will also periodically receive emails containing clues or information, some of which are vital. It's pretty easy to see the problems that could arise from this setup, but it works. Plus, considering the game is now selling for $10 in various retail bargain bins (I got mine at Best Buy), it's definitely worth checking out.

20th Anniversary Famitsu Issue a Gem

Wish I could scan in the most recent copy of famed Japanese magazine Famitsu Weekly, because it is a 20th Anniversary Issue which contains several retro-gaming articles, including a large supplement with mini-reviews on the best games up until the end of the PSX era.

Although my knowledge of Japanese is fairly limited, it's still very interesting to flip through the photos and see what games Japan's most popular gaming magazine considered significant (hint: every Dragon Quest game ever made is on the list).

Japanese Internet Cafes Do Not Sux0r!

I am browsing the Internet right now from an Internet Cafe in Japan and I have to say that the way they do Net Cafes over here is excellent.

I have sampled about 5 different Net Cafes, but the one I am in now is far and away the best: Manboo.

Despite its unfortunate name, for 200 Yen an hour you get a private cubicle, a nice leather chair, headphones, a high speed internet connection, and a big screen TV. You can check out mangas and DVDs to browse in your cubicle just like in a library.

Matt Barton's picture

Broken Sword: Circle of Boredom

Broken Sword: Don't look down!Broken Sword: Don't look down!Although there were certainly aspects of Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars that I admired, and others that I enjoyed, I have to admit I found playing through this title an exercise in tedium. The key problem is poor pacing (snail race, anyone?), which amounts to a collosal amount of dialogue to sit through, a somewhat clumsy narrative technique, and what feels like hours spent watching the avatar slowly plod and backtrack across the screen. Compared to similar games like The Dig and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Broken Sword just doesn't make the cut.

Slap Fight, Sega Megadrive

While you guys are blogging, I'm playing and doing reviews of my favorite shoot 'em ups. This time around I typed up a review for Slap Fight for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis. You can read it here:

http://www.sega-16.com/Review-%20Slap%20Fight.htm

Cheers!

Japanese Arcades are Delightfully Vibrant

One of the better things in Japan is that is has a lively arcade community. The layout of the arcades seems to be near identical, with "UFO Catcher" games on the first floor, more current 3-D fighters and gun games on the second floor, and retro games on the top floors (some arcades here are 5-6 stories, but the floorspace tends to be crammed).

Here are a few arcade games in Japan I have enjoyed:

Matt Barton's picture

Barton's Review of "Gabriel Knight II: The Beast Within"

Gabriel Knight 2Gabriel Knight 2"Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within" is an interesting game for many reasons. For one thing, it's one of the first games to incorporate full-motion video, and it does so effectively. Unlike Sierra's other pioneering CD-ROM project, "Phantasmogoria" or Trilobyte's "The 7th Guest," GK2 is still winning over new players today. The reasons are clear: GK2 has all the eyecandy of the other games, plus great characters, good drama, an interesting storyline, and challenging (yet not unsolvable) puzzles.

Matt Barton's picture

Trilobyte's "7th Guest" (1993)

7th Guest Book Shot: Here's a shot from the introduction to The 7th Guest. Note the "blurring of genres" here with the storybook--Myst took the exact same approach.7th Guest Book Shot: Here's a shot from the introduction to The 7th Guest. Note the "blurring of genres" here with the storybook--Myst took the exact same approach.The 7th Guest is a graphical adventure game developed by Trilobyte and released in 1993 by Virgin. It was one of the first commercial games to ship only on CD-ROM, and certainly one of the first to really showcase the potential of the new storage medium. Trilobyte loaded the game with hundreds of megabytes worth of fully-rendered 3-D graphics, live-action video clips, and digitized audio, and topped it all off with some pretty clever puzzles and music by The Fat Man. Unfortunately, The 7th Guest is interesting now only from a historical perspective, the wizardry of its graphics and sound long overshadowed by newer PC technology.

Syndicate content