Makai Mura

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom/NES
06/13/1986 (Japan), 11/1986 (US), 03/23/89 (PAL)
魔界村
Demon World Village
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Despite its high level of difficulty, Makai Mura was an arcade success. And in these days of console gaming, that meant a port to home consoles would be highly sought after. It was generally accepted that (for the most part) because console hardware was still very young it probably wasn't advanced enough to look, sound and feel like it was an arcade game. As long as it captured the essence of the original though, that was usually good enough. The Famicom was no longer a young system in June 1986, at least not in Japan. It had seen its share of arcade ports by this time, and quality had been all over the board. Capcom (who was at this point still a fairly young company) had only had two of its arcade titles ported to the Famicom at this point though: 1942 and Son Son. Unfortunately, neither of them were very good ports at all. Continue Reading

Mamoru kun wa norowarete shimatta!

Reviews
Hardware: XBox 360
06/25/2009 (Japan)
まもるクンは呪われてしまった!
Mamoru is Cursed!
Mamorukun Curse!
"Mamonoro" (the shortening of this game's full title, something that Japanese gamers love to do) is a shooter/shmup that was originally an arcade game running on Sega's NAOMI hardware, released in July 2008. While the XBox 360 may not have ever sold that well in Japan, it did quickly find its place among hardcore shooter fans not long after its Japanese release. So it really is no surprise that this title was ported to the 360 not even one year after its arcade release. Continue Reading

Time Travelers

Reviews
Hardware: Vita, 3DS, PSP
3DS and Vita - 07/12/2012, PSP - 07/19/2012 (Japan)
タイムトラベラーズ
The Visual Novel genre had seen a renaissance unlike any it had experienced in a long time by 2012. Japan had seen Visual Novels with incredibly high quality writing and sometimes interesting new game play mechanics such as "428 ~fuusa sareta Shibuya de~" (The "428" is actually pronounced as "Shibuya"), "Danganronpa", "Stein's Gate" and "Kyokugen Dasshutsu Ku Jikan Ku Nin Kyuu no Tobira" ("999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors") in recent years, so it's only natural that the newest Visual Novel from Level-5, "Time Travelers", could potentially be the next title to continue the cycle. But its success was not necessarily probable due to it being published and developed by Level-5 (who by this point had certainly had their share of successes, but also plenty of failures), but instead because of the staff involved in its creation. Continue Reading

Dragon Quest

Reviews
Hardware: Famicom
05/27/1986 (Japan), 08/1989 (US)
ドラゴンクエスト
Dragon Warrior
When you look at the immense popularity of Dragon Quest in Japan these days, it's hard to believe that it came from anything but itself. It's often credited as the first and most influential Japanese RPG. While it's certainly one of the most influential, it's not the first. It owes its design to a handful of different predecessors, many of which are western and were released on home computers. Dragon Quest can lay claim to being the first turn-based console RPG (the first non-turn-based console RPG being Hydlide) though. Continue Reading

Metroid: Zero Mission

Reviews
Hardware: Game Boy Advance
05/27/2004 (Japan), 02/09/2004 (US), 04/08/2004 (PAL)
メトロイド ゼロミッション
Metroid was released on the Famicom Disk System and NES in 1986, and for its time it was a fantastic game. It practically invented a genre, and its influence on gaming in general simply cannot be denied. As the years passed and its sequels were released though (Metroid II in 1991 (US) and 1992 (Japan and Europe) on the Game Boy, and Super Metroid in 1994 on the Super Famicom/Super NES), the original quickly began to look and feel its age. It was Super Metroid in particular that really put it out to pasture, for all of the reasons that make it appear on many top SNES games lists. It just did everything that the original Metroid did, but orders of magnitude better. And it added something that the original was not too big on: Atmosphere. Continue Reading