Review – What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?

One of the first games I played on my computer was the Dungeon Keeper series. I was an evil overlord who managed my dungeon with more gusto than a sixteen year old who had been newly promoted to fry manager at McDonald’s. I strove to be as evil as I could and I was good at it. Sometimes I think I missed my dictatorial calling in life. I loved being able to build traps and spawn new monsters to kill whatever hero was foolish enough to traipse into my lair.

Unfortunately, after Dungeon Keeper 2, Bullfrog stopped making the series and my dungeon-building prowess dulled – the lands were freed of my evil grasp.… Final Fantasy Mystic Post

Review – Ys Seven

Ys Seven is a momentous release for developer Falcom. It is the first Ys game developed natively on the PSP, and it is also the first game in a major licensing deal struck with publisher XSeed Games. Westerners can finally play an original Ys game exactly as it was intended, rather than through a shoddy port.

Anyone excited for their first taste of this cult franchise will be sorely disappointed, however. If you’re looking for an introduction to Ys, you’re better off with Oath in Felghana, or the upcoming Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles. As for Seven, it isn’t an awful game, but even someone as hardly experienced with Ys as I am can tell that it isn’t the best showing the series has to offer.… To be this lame takes ages.

Review – Ys: The Oath in Felghana

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a modern remake of Ys 3, one of the more radical entries in Falcom’s long running franchise.  While the first two games were top down adventures in the same vein as Zelda 1, Ys3 is a side scroller similar to Zelda 2.  The promotional website for Oath in Felghana goes into detail as to what the remake entails, stressing that it expands upon the original without heavy alterations or retconning.  I can’t say for certain if it succeeds in this regard, but I can take a guess, because Oath is an excellent game on its own.  It has an old school charm without feeling arcahic, yet it is a careful update that avoids adding the cruft and excesses of modern games.… Fear the old posts.

Review – Half Minute Hero

Half Minute Hero is a wonderful little game, but it is also one which, in my experience, was  poorly described upon release. It features several modes of play, but one of them, labeled “Hero 30”, compromises at least fifty percent of game time.  As a result, this one mode received the majority of attention from the media, and this skewed perspective is what caused me to lose interest in the title.  I couldn’t believe that its core concept could sustain itself for any length of time, and when it comes to Hero 30, I was correct in that belief.  Yet while the other modes are significantly shorter, they’re also a lot of fun, and their existence makes the whole package worthwhile.Oreshika: Tainted Postlines

Review – Gitaroo Man Lives!

Gitaroo Man is PS2 rhythm game originally released way back in 2002 At the time, lack of availability prevented it from gaining anything but niche popularity, but a 2005 reprint by online retailer Games Quest Direct brought it back into the gamer’s eye right around the same time that Guitar Hero was poised change the genre forever.

The increased availability (you could find the reprints at almost any Gamestop) and the game’s quirky Japanese style helped make it into a cult hit that is still revered by those who found Guitar Hero and its ilk to be a little too influential. Even better, the game was released yet again in 2006 as Gitaroo Man Lives!… Read awhile, and listen.

Review – Persona

Nothing but Playstation remakes. The PSP seems to be relegated to the unusual role of a “Remake system”. Nearly all the RPGs (which are, of course, the only real games out there) on the system are remakes, or generally reputed to be bad. And Persona is falls neatly in the first category, as you might expect.

But as I’ve written before – the Persona we received back when it was among the first in its genre for the Playstation wasn’t quite the same game they saw in Japan. Set in the sleepy US town of Lunarvale (which still managed to house a several-storied corporate office), the American students (who all wear school uniforms and are taught in a traditional Japanese concrete-block school) face an invasion of demons from an unknown source.… Max Post 2: The Fall of Max Post

Review – Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament

The Steambot Chronicles series can’t catch a break. The PS2 original, while rough around the edges, garnered a solid cult following. Eventually, developer Irem teased its fans with footage of a PS3 sequel, and then…nothing. It still looks to be in development, but it is anyone’s guess as to when, or if, we will actually get it. In the meantime, Majesco brought over a Steambot themed puzzle game, only to give it box art that would scare anyone away.

Now comes the Atlus localization of Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament, a side story sequel on the PSP. Battle Tournament was largely ignored in Atlus’ email newsletter, one of the best sources of hype and information on their products, and the information that was given was fairly basic.… Tony Hawk's Pro Reader 3

Review – Patapon

I bought Patapon at launch, played for a week straight, and got to the third boss, a giant sandworm. After countless failed attempts, I put the game away for over a year, until Patapon 2 was released in 2009. Naturally, I could have just skipped to the sequel, especially considering the attractiveness of its new difficulty settings, until I learned that you can import some materials from the original. I finally learned just how to “play” Patapon, and suffice to say that the game is not only original, but highly deceptive.

If you are to succeed at this game, and by succeed I mean “win at all costs” rather than “handily”, you will need the following:

– A sense of rhythm that doesn’t falter under pressure.… [link only works on even seconds]

Review – LocoRoco 2

The original LocoRoco was a PSP game I wanted to get behind. The artwork not only looked good, but animated gorgeously and demonstrated what the PSP’s horsepower could for 2d gaming if the industry had not insisted on flooding the handheld with watered down PS2 downports. The simple, two button platforming concept was also a nostalgic throwback to platformers of old. Its sugary sweet cuteness was also an odd but welcome sight in today’s gaming climate, and the adorable cast alone was enticing to anyone without a heart of stone.

Ultimately, the game simply did not know where to go with any of its ideas. The level progression had no logic or reason behind it and felt tiresome before you got through all 40-something stages.… Now with fewer vowels.

Review – Silent Hill Origins

Over the years Silent Hill has gone from being a cult classic that all the cool kids preferred, to a media darling that the cool kids still preferred, to a struggling franchise that no one seems happy with. This is because no one can agree on what Silent Hill is all about. The basic idea has been that it offers a deeper, “psychological” style of horror that the proles playing Resident Evil may not understand.

As the series has gotten older, the people making it seem to believe the games are defined by increasing amounts of gooey penis and vagina monsters. Diehard fans often pin the spirit of the series to the original Team Silent.… The only thing we have to read is read itself.