Category Archives: Reviews

Ys

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/26/1988 (Japan)
イース
Nihon Falcom's Ys series is known as a sprawling epic of games, spanning across many different consoles and computer systems. Back in the summer of 1988 though, the first game in the series had only been released on various Japanese home computers (though it originated on the NEC PC-8801) within the last year. The second game in the series had even already hit the PC-8801 just a couple of months prior. Nihon Falcom began life as a computer game developer, and wasn't very interested in porting their games to home consoles themselves. When one of their titles did make it outside of the home computer world, it was nearly always ported and published by other companies and with little involvement from Falcom themselves. It took Victor Entertainment, music company gone game publisher, and ghost-developer Advance Communication Company to bring us the very first home console port of Ys 1. And it's a very interesting foot note in the history of the Ys franchise for many reasons. Continue Reading

Choujikuu Yousai Macross

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
12/10/1985 (Japan)
超時空要塞マクロス
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Horizontal and vertically scrolling shooters were incredibly popular in the arcades in the 80s, so naturally that popularity extended to home consoles too. In fact, by the end of 1985 the Famicom had already seen home ports of a lot of the popular arcade shooters of the time: Xevious, Galaxian, Galaga, Space Invaders, and Star Force. It only made sense that the hit anime franchise Macross, known for its mech/fighter plane hybrids, would be transformed into a horizontally scrolling shooter on the Famicom. Actually Macross had already had its first console shooting game on Bandai's own short lived home console, the Arcadia, just about 2 years prior. Though this came after the aforementioned genre establishing shooters, it beat some others (such as Gradius) to the home market by several months. Continue Reading

Mobile Suit Z Gundam – Hot Scramble

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/28/1986 (Japan)
機動戦士Ζガンダム・ホットスクランブル
Mobile Suit Z Gundam - Hot Scramble
In February of 1986 the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam TV anime had just finished its fifty episode run of nearly one year in length. It received critical acclaim all around, garnered the highest ratings of any televised Gundam anime thus far and is widely regarded as one of Yoshiyuki Tomino's (the creator of the Gundam franchise) best works. With Gundam fever spreading across Japan, it only made sense that the franchise should have a game on the Famicom. Continue Reading

ActRaiser

Reviews
Hardware: Super Famicom/SNES
12/16/1990 (Japan), 11/1991 (US), 1992 (PAL)
アクトレイザー
The launch period of the Super NES is a very nostalgic-filled time for a lot of people my age, and big part of that is the deluge of new and innovative titles that developers were producing at that time (not to mention the improved graphics and sound that came along with the movement into a new generation). ActRaiser is always held up as a shining example of this innovation, and it absolutely deserves to be. From the moment you the logo flies gradually toward the screen using glorious Mode 7, and the music that sounds as orchestral as can be on a piece of 16-bit hardware kicks in, you see just how wonderfully ActRaiser merges 16-bit technology with fantastic game design and presentation. We have the developer Quintet to thank for this, and surprisingly this is their debut work. ActRaiser was originally slated to be a more standard RPG, but was scrapped and rethought fairly late into development due to it not being impressive enough of a game for a brand new and more powerful console. Quintet would also go on to bring us many games with some thematic simlarities to ActRaiser, such as Soul Blader/Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma/Tenchi Souzou, and even a sequel to ActRaiser. Continue Reading

Monster Hunter G

Reviews
Monster Hunter G Title Screen
Hardware: Playstation 2
01/20/2005 (Japan)
モンスターハンターG
Less than one year after the release of the original Monster Hunter, Capcom released the expansion: Monster Hunter G. From the moment Pugi (the adorable little pig that wanders around your house/the village from every game here on out) comes walking across the title screen snorting, the game shows us that we're in for something more than your average expansion. In fact Monster Hunter G does everything that a good expansion should and more: It improves on some of the original game's flaws, introduces conveniences that make it easier to play, and adds a lot of new content. It creates a template that all of the "G" expansions would follow from here on out. Continue Reading
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