Gundam Musou

Reviews
Hardware: Playstation 3
03/01/2007 (Japan), 08/28/2007 (US), 11/09/2007 (PAL)
ガンダム無双
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam
There have been a ton of different Gundam games over the years, but the best regarded ones tended to be either fighting games or strategy RPGs. Gundam Musou was the first time that Koei Tecmo put a separate licensed property into a game in its already long running history of Musou titles, which until now had been completely focused around characters from Chinese or Japanese history. This decision didn't make a lot of Gundam fans happy though: The less artful, repetitive nature of a beat-em-up in the Musou series probably just felt too far away from those Gundam games everyone loved. But does Gundam really fit so badly into the Musou template? Sure it doesn't have the depth of a good fighting game or require the thought of a strategy RPG, but I'd argue that the fit turned out to be a rather good one. Continue Reading

Soul Sacrifice Delta

Reviews
Hardware: Vita
03/06/2014 (Japan)
ソウル・サクリファイス デルタ
It has practically become a ritual in the world of Monster Hunter clones (though please see my article on the original Soul Sacrifice to find out why calling this game one may not be fair) to release an expanded version of a game approximately one year after the original has released. Monster Hunter itself started the trend with Monster Hunter G, and has done the same thing for practically every main installment in the series since. You can usually expect one of these expansions to add a ton of new quests and weapons. If you're lucky, you may get a few new minor features, bug fixes or optimizations. They really are for fans of the first game who just want to play some new content and are willing to pay the price of a whole new game for it. I'm very happy to say that Soul Sacrifice Delta is a huge exception to this rule. Everyone involved really went above and beyond to create what, in many ways, feels almost like a whole new game. Continue Reading

Hokuto no Ken

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/10/1986 (Japan)
北斗の拳
Fist of the North Star
Not even one month after the very first Hokuto no Ken game on the Sega Master System/Mark III came the first series installment on the Famicom/NES. Those who are knowledgeable on the history of the NES or Hokuto no Ken games may know that a game was released outside of Japan as "Fist of the Northstar", however it was not this game. That release corresponds to Japan's Hokuto no Ken 2 on the Famicom. The Master System/Mark III game its faults and oddities, but was a fairly good side-scrolling beat-em-up game at the time, and generally was a credit to its source material. Hokuto no Ken on the Famicom is the opposite of all of these things. Continue Reading

Dragon Ball: Daimaou Fukkatsu

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
08/12/1988 (Japan)
ドラゴンボール 大魔王復活
Dragon Ball: Resurrection of the Evil King
As was eluded to at the end of my article about the last Dragon Ball game on the Famicom, Dragon Ball: Shen Long no Nazo, this game franchise is about to enter what I consider to be a dark place. It won't be immediately obvious with this game, but it will certainly open the door to where things are headed. Dragon Ball: Daimaou Fukkatsu picks up basically where Shen Long no Nazo left off in the Dragon Ball story line (though many story elements have been significantly altered from the source material), at the beginning of what is commonly referred to as the King Piccolo saga. Goku returns home to the Kame House after having fought against Tien Shinhan in the Tenkaichi Tournament, only to find his buddy Krillin dead. So begins the adventure! Continue Reading

Soul Sacrifice

Reviews
Hardware: Vita
03/07/2013 (Japan), 04/30/2013 (US), 05/01/2013 (PAL)
ソウル・サクリファイス
Soul Sacrifice is what some refer to as a "Monster Hunter clone" (the game play is mission-based, involves killing a particular number of small monsters or a boss monster, and offers multi-player options in some form). Ever since Monster Hunter hit it big on the PSP a lot of major Japanese game companies have tried their hand at making a game that plays like Monster Hunter, to varying degrees of success (most of them failed pretty miserably). Even though I am a Monster Hunter enthusiast, I generally don't pay too much attention to the clones past an initial investigation of what features they offer. Continue Reading