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
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
“It’s Ridge Racer!!! Rrrriddggge Racerrrr!” Anyone remember Sony at E3 2006? Those were the good old days, weren’t they? Everyone knows though that ten years before that, 1996, had the best old days, as Street Racer clearly proves. In this game, up to 8 players can take to the streets and race it up in speedy vehicles. ‘Ready for action? Want to play dirty? Can you handle the pace?’, the blurb asks. If you insist: hell yes, yes please and I think so, respectively.
Who are you? A game? What are you really? Did Taito, your creator, realise the profound philosophical implications of creating you? Every name you adopt is a puzzle, a joke designed to make us question the nature of identity. How very fitting and profound given that one of your names refers to layers: perhaps if we uncover all of the layers we might find the real you, or perhaps not.
Two human-piloted ships in space, one red and one blue. Scores of bad alien guys after your blood. It’s certainly a daring and original concept, but what does it play like? Continue reading
Long time no see! Apologies for the lax posting schedule recently, I’ve been busy with deadlines and whatnot. Today though I’m talking about Tama, a Japan-only launch game for the Saturn. That’s twenty years ago now – 1994. Wow.
As you might expect for a launch game, Tama is a barebones package. There’s only one mode, the main game, and it provides some fun and simple gameplay. Rather than bore everyone by talking about the mechanics of a simple ball-in-a-maze game that plays like a cross between Camel Try and Marble Madness, I offer you Tama’s bizarre opening cutscene. Continue reading