It’s Friday night, and cries of “rally”, “march left”, “advance”, “fall back”, and “press forward”, spill out of an open window onto the street. Every battle order is met with a cheer, as if from a group of soldiers. Who is this charismatic leader, managing troops in the dead of night, out of a small flat no less? Well, it’s me! Not graced with the ability to command battle-hardened soldiers in my day-to-day life, I get my thrills these days from Odama, the pinball-military simulation set in the warring-states period in medieval Japan. Continue reading
I’ll begin with a confession: I have only seen the credits to this game once, and only after nine hours, yes nine hours of total play. On easy. Difficulty be damned, it’s a fine game – a doggedly old school shooter that is vastly out of sync with the direction the shmup genre went in during the late 90s (a path it’s still treading) – towards FAST, FRANTIC, BULLET-HELL ACTION. Instead R-Type Delta continues and builds on the tradition of its predecessors with an all-together slower, more considered, and ultimately much more tense experience as a result.
Delta is the Playstation 1 reboot of the R-Type series and the first console exclusive of the series. Of course, the early R-Types are the best known: the original was a defining moment in shmup history, becoming enormously influential for environments that are ever-ready to kill you, as well as the memorable floating invincible buddy you drag along beside you and have limited yet highly strategic control over. Continue reading
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance on Gamecube is one of the most expensive games we own so I was naturally a little suspect of it, sitting there on the shelf, looking innocuous and yet oh so smug in the way expensive things do. But you know what? I loved this game. As a girl who is obsessed with any decent combination of meaningful subtext, storytelling and engaging gameplay, Fire Emblem delivers on these fronts and many more. Crucially (listen up Persona), the translation was phenomenal; it nails the “ye olde” fantasy setting perfectly, and manages to be poetic without being hokey or overwrought. Continue reading