Archive for January, 2010

REVIEW: The Magic of Scheherazade

Culture Brain developed a few quirky titles that came stateside. The RPGs are Little Ninja Brothers (NES), Ninja Boy 2 (Game Boy), and Magic of Scheherazade. I like them all for the same reasons: interesting setting, unusual RPG systems, and strange humor (which Wanda would appreciate). Magic of Scheherazade has an Arabian Nights theme, which I am a sucker for—Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse (PC) and Exile (Genesis) are favorites. Some compare it to Legend of Zelda, but that’s half-baked. Almost every bit of Magic of Scheherazade is slightly unexpected.

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REVIEW: Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse

When we are young, we all play licensed games. If you say you never did, you are either a liar or never owned a game system when you were seven years old. Most people have fond memories of the licensed games they played back in the day, like Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Ducktales, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There were certainly still shovelware titles (I’ve got Gameboy ports of Jurassic Park and Barbie: Game Girl that are good examples, though still playable), but man, I loved Disney games when I was younger. This and The Lion King for SNES got rented over and over again. I left the SNES at home and recently spotted a Genesis port of this, so I thought I’d test to see how cloudy nostalgia-vision was.

In this case, I was thankfully not disappointed.

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REVIEW: Sword of Vermillion

Not caring about Square, I consider the Genesis the supreme 16-bit RPG system. There’s Phantasy Star 2, 3, and 4 (classic), Shining in the Darkness (old school), and Shadowrun (excellent), but also numerous PC ports and American games: Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, Might & Magic: Gates to Another World, Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun, Faery Tale Adventure, etc. Yet one of my favorite Genesis RPGs is the neglected Sword of Vermillion. Genesis fans don’t like Sword of Vermillion’s homely graphics and repetitive structure, but if you have patience for Phantasy Star 2, you may dig it.

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REVIEW: Virtual Hydlide

I’m America’s biggest Hydlide fan. Hydlide is old-school fun and Super Hydlide (Hydlide 3) is uniquely enjoyable. While Virtual Hydlide is rough, it’s not like the haters would have you believe. As an approximate remake of Hydlide, Virtual Hydlide was dated even in 1995 and there’s no excuse for the (much discussed) sluggish framerate. Still, it’s not the 1/10 game many claim—I say at least a 4.

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