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 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