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 as part of December’s deluge of games (see here), I got a number of import Sega Saturn releases. It’s a mishmash of stuff, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time with every game now with the exception of the Clockwork Knight games which perhaps I’ll tackle in another post. For now though here are some brief impressions of Baku Baku Animal, Deep Fear, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, and the concisely named Detana Twinbee Yahho-! Deluxe Pack. Puzzle, survival horror, fighting, platformer, shmup, all genres present and accounted for! Continue reading
Adrian and I have been talking about women in the videogame industry a lot recently (as have many others from what I can gather). One of the weird things I’ve noticed is that what most people mean by women is white/American women (see this article for “The Most Important Women in the History of Videogames”). What about the contributions of women in Japan to videogames, I wondered? I am not going to contest the indisputable fact that women are under-represented in the games industry globally; this is undoubtedly true, and there are many factors for why this (women are under-represented in all STEM industries). I decided to do some research for myself into the matter, specifically to look for Japanese women developers.
I found some interesting women in the industry I hadn’t heard of before, and decided it was worth putting it out there. Because of my interest in a redressing the balance of most US-centric lists – and therefore reflecting women’s contributions worldwide – I’ve deliberately left out well known Western women who are covered in other lists. I also left out a number of women composers (of which there are many, especially in Japan), in order to focus on the game design/production side of things. Continue reading