Archive for June, 2009

REVIEW: Dungeon Magic: Sword of the Elements

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Dungeon Magic: Sword of the Elements (different from Taito’s arcade beat-‘em-up, Dungeon Magic) is probably the most difficult RPG I’ve ever played (followed by Battlemaster for the Genesis). It’s a first-person, single character RPG with the toughest enemies, largest dungeons, and most directionless progression possible.

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REVIEW: Super Hydlide

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I’m probably the Hydlide series’ biggest fan. While there is a lot to complain about Virtual Hydlide (and to a lesser extent, the original Hydlide), Super Hydlide is a fine RPG aside from any of my bias. Actually a remake of Hydlide 3 for the MSX and Famicom (which explains its dated visuals), it is the second Hydlide game released in the US and full of interesting ideas even if flawed in implementation.

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REVIEW: Revelations: Persona

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I didn’t actually want to cover this game here since I’ve already talked extensively about Shin Megami Tensei already, but most of the other games I’ve been playing lately are either totally unbeatable (Rei Cho Aniki), too popular to mention here (Dragon Quest V, Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2), or… SMT (SMT3: Nocturne).

I just got my Atlus Faithful e-mail that was talking about the spoils for the PSP remake of this game, and… well, it hit a sore spot.  Me and this game… I liked P3: FES so much that I decided I’d go back to the first installment of the series and start there, see how the series evolved into the awesome  P3 experience.  I paid $7o for a disk-only copy and was damn lucky to get it, since most other copies of the game were going for over $120.

Then I played it.  Never one to waste that much money, I also finished it.  Now, this game gets a bad rap for its localization.  Yes, the entire Snow Queen half of the game was taken out.  Yes, the sprites were changed.  But you know what?  If the Snow Queen half was there, you wouldn’t play it.  The sprite changes are cosmetic.  And the translation isn’t that bad.  None of those things would have helped at all, because this game is simply fucking awful.

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REVIEW: Human Cannonball

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The library of Atari 2600 games that interest me is slim. Of course, there’s Adventure and Haunted House, but the 2600 is better known for its arcade-style games—River Raid, etc. Still, there are a few RPG, adventure, and strategy games: the fantastically cryptic Swordquest series, Stellar Track (kind of a space battle ship simulator), and Human Cannonball—an artillery game where you figure power, angle, and distance to fire an acrobat into a tub of water.

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REVIEW: Rebelstar: Tactical Command

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Possibly related to the ZX Spectrum Rebelstar games developed by Julian Gallop (who apparently worked on this), Rebelstar: Tactical Command is a squad-based tactical game in the vein of X-Com, Jagged Alliance, Sabre Team, etc., but on a Gameboy scale. The small maps, limited variety of weapons, and simplified AI will under whelm fans of the more robust PC members of the genre, but Rebelstar isn’t so bad. All the basic mechanics are in tact: fog of war, destructible terrain, a weight-based inventory system, and an overwatch command where unspent action points can be used defensively during your opponent’s turn. Plus, there are some unique touches, including a morale system and RPG skills and statistics.

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