Panzer Dragoon Saga and Final Fantasy had a child and its name is Skies of Arcadia. (Actually, technically, Phantasy Star should replace Final Fantasy here since the Skies of Arcadia studio was made up of ex-Phantasy Star and ex-Panzer Dragoon staff. Without having played any Phantasy Star though, I feel more comfortable comparing this with Final Fantasy.) Nevertheless, this child of two franchises peddles more child-friendly content than either of its parents. The exploits of a few teenage Robin Hood-like pirates facing a cartoonishly evil empire covers most of the plot. As you might expect, there are definitely aspects of Skies of Arcadia Legends that are a bit formulaic and a little bland, especially in the story and characters. Continue reading
Shenmue on Dreamcast: impressive graphics, lovely music… snicker-worthy voice acting. Except now, thanks to the magic of prank calls, bad voice acting is no longer a stain on this fine game’s rep – it’s a virtue! “But,” I hear you say, “prank calls are childish and silly”. That may well be true.
What’s great about this particular prank call though is how well it shows the contrast between Shenmue’s world and real life. Ryo’s overbaked acting style (“you lying!?”), as it turns out, is hilariously unsuited to communication in the real world. Personally, I would love to hear other examples of this using other Sega games from that era. How about someone out there get the House of the Dead 2 characters calling Goldman Sachs for some reason? Or the characters of Deep Fear calling a naval facility? Sonic and friends ring the zoo? It’s true that one or more of these ideas could get you arrested, but no one said it’d be easy to get featured in a Weird Video Wednesday…
The Angry Video Game Nerd (formerly the Angry Nintendo Nerd) has to be one of the most consistently entertaining Youtubers out there. Often puerile, always funny, I’ve been an on-off fan of James Rolfe’s content for years. With over 100 episodes exploring some of the worst and weirdest videogames ever made, I can practically guarantee this won’t be the last time I draw upon the AVGN back catalogue in this weekly ritual.
For me, the most compelling videos from the AVGN are those that teach the viewer about an interesting topic, showcase some impressive video editing skills, and feature plenty of relatable “I’d hate to play that” moments. All of the above through an unhealthy swear filter. Why Seaman for Dreamcast then, and not an earlier, classic episode like Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
Well, Seaman is a fascinating and utterly bizarre game from the mind of Yoot Saito – we all know what that entails – and Rolfe does a stellar job of getting the key info across. On top of that, this video wonderfully showcases his own creative sense of humour by taking this video in some crazy directions above and beyond even what Saito is capable of. Now that’s really saying something, isn’t it!?
There are many accounts of what makes a given game great. And just as many about what makes a game appalling, terrible and an utter time-waster (go check out reviews for Bubsy 3D, Superman 64, Big Mutha Truckers and so on). The challenge with Sonic Adventure though is to consider what exactly makes it so… mediocre. Competent. So-so.
Trying to point to why exactly Sonic Adventure is so average has become a strangely compelling challenge for me. I complained in my post about Nights: Journey of Dreams about Sonic Team’s storytelling in the Sonic Adventure games, I whined on the most recent podcast episode that Sonic Adventure isn’t challenging (and for that reason isn’t memorable), but I’m still (sadly?) finding more left unsaid about the remarkable unremarkableness of this game. Continue reading
Hi folks, I just wanted to give a brief update as there’s been a lot going on around here. I have managed to get my grubby hands on a Sega Dreamcast for the first time, a mere 15 years after its release. I’ve spent a few days with it now, so what follows here are some first impressions of the console. I also need to talk (read: brag) about the announcement of Splatoon at E3, but I’ll come to that shortly. Continue reading