In the early months of 1995 my friends and I poured over every drop of PlayStation information we came across, whether it be a magazine ad with Polygon Man telling us the system was more powerful than god, Sony suggesting we were UR NOT E, or the giant cardboard cutout of whip wielding Sofia at the local Palmer Video that still managed to be half an hour away. The older consoles were looking less appealing by the day (thanks, Vectorman), especially when compared to generation-defining beauty such as the widely advertised Battle Arena Toshinden (Sofia wore leather, you see, which really pops when rendered in cardboard).
I was a Nintendo kid growing up (until that stopped being cool, when I defected to Sony). I got a Genesis very late in the game, so I’m still playing catch-up on the Phantasy Star games. A couple months ago, the final game worth mentioning in the series was released on Virtual Console. I played through Phantasy Star 2 several months ago, so I figured I’d give its better-regarded descendant a go now that current-gen RPG releases have calmed down a bit.
Phantasy Star 4 deserves all of the acclaim it gets. If its fans are not heard as loudly as those of other, better-known series, they should be. Is it the Second Coming? Perhaps not. But it has all the requirements for a good RPG (aside from only one of two established religions being evil – I’ll overlook that). → Read the rest
When Virtual Console was first announced, I have to admit I was really optimistic. I was looking forward to playing several of my favorite classics without having to hook up a half-dozen consoles. For those who hadn’t played them, well, they’d get to enjoy what I did. I am still a big proponent of what Virtual Console can do, but now my original optimism has been lost. I just don’t have the willpower to replay many old games I liked – only the best, if they do get released – but I find that it is a great way to experience the ones I missed.
Four days ago, I had never heard of Gain Ground. On Saturday, a friend recommended it to me when he saw the list of games on VC. → Read the rest