What is Deep Fear, in a nutshell? It’s a Resident Evil knock-off released in Japan and Europe in 1998, and actually the final Sega Saturn game to be released here in Europe before Sega shut up shop. Set in an underwater military base, the core gameplay is extremely Resi-like – using tank controls you navigate complex environments, fend off monsters, manage your ammo and solve arcane puzzles. Deep Fear’s one unique twist is an oxygen meter which requires you to find computer terminals to re-oxygenate areas where the oxygen is low. It’s a simple but effective mechanic which adds extra tension to exploring.
I have a soft spot for horror games of the tank-control-survival variety, and Deep Fear is very good at what it does. It’s not the most riveting game; I picked up the game about a year ago and put in a few hours with it before getting distracted and moving on. But despite having played for a short time, and the game being rather generic, there are two specific aspects of Deep Fear that make it extremely memorable and almost endlessly fascinating (to me anyway). First is the beautifully produced and composed music, while the second is the utterly abominable voice acting. Continue reading
So, here we are again. Another disappointing game from you, Nippon Ichi. Really, I have to ask you guys: what is going on in your studios? I feel like you’ve been on full-on panic mode ever since the first Disgaea’s unlikely critical and commercial success – can’t you just calm down and make another awesome game? Why is it so hard to replicate the original game’s magic mixture of memorable characters, gasp-worthy storyline twists and anal-probe jokes? Come on, get it together!
Here’s an odd one for you. Based on the famous manga/anime Tensai Bakabon series, Heisei Tensai is an early Saturn release, and it really shows, so I’ll keep this post mercifully brief. I’m just going to say it: this game is kind of charming, but thoroughly unspectacular. There’s really very little to the actual game play – it’s a Puyo Puyo clone, with the gimmick that you have to “surround” pairs of coloured blobs. Visually the “surround the blocks” concept is not at all intuitive in the way that, for instance, Tetris is. Also, bizarrely, you can only rotate your blocks clockwise (?!).
There’s a multiplayer versus mode and a singleplayer story mode where you face the usual AI opponents in order, and the latter is what you’d expect but the multiplayer is limited in scope to the point that it doesn’t even keep tracks of wins and losses. (Do you expect me to use pen and paper to play this game?!) Issues aside, what is interesting about Heisei Tensai are its cutscenes, which are all finely tuned visions of insanity. Continue reading
“Because they ruined Persona 4”, or something like that. This is a guest post by my partner – you know, I can’t wait to read her impressions of Persona 4: Golden Weebo edition, which I’ve heard actually adds more dialogue of a “comic relief” nature. There are some spoilers here, not *major*, but still, you’ve been warned. Continue reading