How often does anyone talk about a game that was released exclusively in Europe? As in, a game that never saw the light of day in Japan or America? This is a first. And unlike the one other Europe-only game I own (Formula Karts Special Edition on the Saturn), I quite like Gunfighter II: Revenge of Jesse James. It’s a blatant, and I do mean blatant Time Crisis knock-off, but at least the UK-based developer Rebellion Developments did a good job with it.
Novelty factor aside, I’m going to discuss Gunfighter II in tandem with Vampire Night here because I got very similar feelings playing both of these games: It’s a Wonderful Knock-Off. The main difference between these two is that Gunfighter II (and I presume its prequel Gunfighter for PS1) lifts its cover system and shooting mechanics straight out of the Time Crisis series, while Vampire Night takes its cues from the House of the Dead series. Continue reading
I’m sorry. There, I said it. Sometimes life gets in the way of regular blogging, you know? I feel bad because I’ve found the time to play lots of games recently – but games are quicker and easier to play than they are to write about in my experience!
So between lengthy play sessions with Xenoblade Chronicles X, various other Wii U games and a replay of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, I picked up Midway Arcade Treasures 3 for the original Xbox. I’m not going to discuss that here, but it set me off thinking about other compilations I own and what makes a good retro/classic game compilation. Sega, Capcom, Atari, Namco, Taito, Midway – repeated offenders during the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube era, the lot of them, so there’s plenty of these out there to talk about. Continue reading
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
I love that this promo video, which was delivered to Nintendo Power subscribers in the U.S. on VHS, features such hammy acting. I love that they thought to dress up two guys as Sega and Sony, and that Sony’s catchphrase is “big boy”. What do two guys dressed up as Sega and Sony look like anyway? Well, obviously, they’re two guys wearing shirts with the company logos emblazoned on them. And they make quite a tag team here too, as they storm Nintendo of America HQ hunting for the “secrets” of their latest game, Star Fox 64 (or Lylat Wars, as it was called in Europe). I love that they extract information from these guys by threatening to torture a stuffed Mario doll. I love that the actors hold the N64 controller in the incorrect way – so just like everyone else picking up an N64 controller for the first time then.
In fact I think we can safely say that I love everything about this video. Thanks Nintendo Power. Now, can we get an updated, Star Fox Zero-ed version of this? I want to see Reggie Fils-Aime being gassed by a Pizza Hut branded box (he used to work for them you see), wielded by some mad Microsoft employee.
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…