Tagged: puzzle

Catherine (PS3) – a flawed curio

Some great ideas, executed not so well. That summarises Catherine in a nutshell for me. It’s a pity because I admire Atlas and their willingness to go off the tried and true path. Like other Atlas titles (notably the Persona series), Catherine is divided into two distinct styles of gameplay. We mostly watch, visual novel style, the protagonist’s intense social challenges in the day, and then take full control of him during his dreams at night in a series of puzzle challenges. Continue reading

The best games I didn’t blog about in 2015, part 1

So many games played, so little time to write about them. It’s just laziness on my part. And perhaps a bit of us getting carried away posting about Xenoblade Chronicles. This is my attempt to clear out a hefty blogging backlog, by highlighting some of the best/most interesting games I played in 2015 (and then didn’t blog about). Prepare to be amazed by how much goes unreported on this blog – and these are solely games I played in 2015 by the way! Continue reading

*deep breath* Heisei Tensai Bakabon Susume! Bakabons (Saturn)

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

Bombastic (PS2) review

Bombastic is one of many of proclaimed “hidden gems” from the Playstation 2 library. Everyone knows and cowers before the PS2 library’s heaviest hitters, the games that defined the PS2 as a console and even the entire gaming generation – the Grand Theft Auto series, God of War, Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus – but, more so than most consoles the PS2 was privy to a number of excellent but less prominent games. In previous posts on the PS2 front I’ve covered several games of varying obscurity well worth your time, including Alien Hominid, Gregory Horror Show, and Shadow of Memories/Destiny. On the sketchy side there’s been Gunbird: Special Edition, and Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. Happily then Bombastic easily fits in with the first category and is an undeniably excellent hidden gem, mainly because it is incredibly addictive and haunting. I’ve heard of hardcore Tetris players who see falling L-shaped blocks when they close their eyes, and in my own experience now I can say that Bombastic can have the same effect. It crawls inside my brain and conjures 6-sided die when I’m trying to sleep and when I wake up. Continue reading