Bastard!! -ankoku no hakaishin-

Hardware: Super Famicom/SNES
Released: 01/28/1994 (Japan)
BASTARD!! -暗黒の破壊神-
Bastard!! -The Dark God of Destruction-
Though it may not seem like it to some, Bastard!! is one of Shounen Jump's best selling manga series of all time. Having debuted in 1988 and still running today (no matter how infrequent), this dark fantasy gained popularity over the years despite itself. Manga featured in Jump publications are typically crated to appeal to either a young or extremely broad audience. Bastard!! broke the Jump mold its copious amounts of sex and violence, but was not punished for it whatsoever in terms of sales., While all of this may be unusual for a Jump published work, it is somehow appropriate for a dystopian and highly heavy metal influenced work. And when I say it's heavy metal influenced, I mean that in every possible way. The main character, Dark Schneider, is named for German heavy metal vocalist Udo Dirkschneider (of Accept and U.D.O.). The world itself is named Metallicana (obviously a play on Metallica), and more characters and spells than you can count have names that are references to well known heavy metal and rock musicians: Lars (Lars Ulrich of Metallica), Bon Jovina (Bon Jovi), Guns N' Roses, Whitesnake, Anthrax and more. We even get into the more obscure with the character Dai-amon (a reference in both name and appearance to heavy metal vocalist King Diamond, of both Mercyful Fate and his own solo work) and Abigail (most likely a reference to one of King Diamond's most well known albums of the same name). Continue Reading

Corpse Party BloodCovered: …Repeated Fear

Hardware: PSP
08/12/2010 (Japan), 11/22/2011 (US), 12/14/2011 (PAL)
コープスパーティー ブラッドカバー リピーティッドフィアー
Both the horror and visual novel genres have rich histories within the world of Japanese games. And given the emphasis that they both place on story telling as a key component, it makes complete sense that there would be games that mix in elements of both. The Corpse Party series was certainly not the first to take this step, though it's one of the more recent success stories. And since it took awhile for a non-computer version to be developed, it's not even as recent as most might think. Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Hardware: Playstation 4/XBox One
03/19/2015 (Japan), 03/17/2015 (US), 03/20/2015 (PAL)
ファイナルファンタジー零式 HD
For years after the original release of Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP, Final Fantasy fans outside of Japan held out hope for an official English language release of the game. Various things happened over the years that kept fans holding onto hope, but a release announcement never even came. Many theorized that a full-blown Vita version would be announced, but I don't know if anyone suspected that an HD version for current generation consoles would be the version that was finally given to the world. Continue Reading

BioHazard: Revelations

Hardware: 3DS
01/26/2012 (Japan), 02/07/2012 (US), 01/27/2012 (PAL)
バイオハザード リベレーションズ
Resident Evil: Revelations
Biohazard Revelations - Title Screen *Please forgive the lack of screenshots in this review, but I do not currently have a 3DS with capture capabilities and this game does not support the ability to post screenshots to Miiverse. Revelations was released at a very interesting time in the history of the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil 5 was released back in 2009, and while it was extremely competent as a third person shooter it fell under a lot of criticism for leaving the horror elements typically associated with the series by the wayside. Though those criticisms were answered with the Lost in Nightmares DLC, it seems most had already made up their minds about the game at that point. Not long after the launch of the 3DS in 2011, we saw the release of the first original portable Resident Evil game in quite some time: Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. While this game clearly showed that the 3DS was capable of powering some very nice looking games, it was ultimately just an extended Mercenaries mode made into its own packaged game. Finally later in the year we were treated to a bit of Resident Evil nostalgia with HD versions of two classics in the series: Resident Evil: Code Veronica X and Resident Evil 4. This was also a mere couple of months before the abortion that was Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, and the critically panned Resident Evil 6 would not hit until the later part of the year. Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Type-0

Hardware: PSP
10/27/2011 (Japan)
Final Fantasy Type-0 is the first portable entry in the Fabula Nova Crystallis sub-series of Final Fantasy games, which begun with the controversial Final Fantasy XIII on the Playstation 3 in late 2009 (Japan release date). It was only the second entry in what would eventually be five titles (if you count Final Fantasy Agito, a mobile game that only exists on iOS and Android at the time of this writing), and was originally announced under the title Final Fantasy Agito 13. The game was directed by Tabata Hajime, who up until this point was known for his work on a couple of different portable/mobile titles in the Final Fantasy universe: Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- (for mobile phones), and Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- (for PSP). He also directed The 3rd Birthday on PSP, the kind-of sort-of third game in the Parasite Eve series. The point is that Tabata had some experience working on what you might consider to be the "side" Final Fantasy games, one of which garnered a good amount of praise (Crisis Core) for its extremely tight action battle system. Type-0 was said to use a version of that same battle system, so things were off to a promising start from the very beginning. Continue Reading