Review: Time and Eternity

Controversial game... but we loved it

Review: Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly

The greatest horror game ever hits the Wii

Review: Lollipop Chainsaw

Juliet's so hot right now

Review: Dragon's Dogma

There's not a spark of creativity in this wyrm

Review: Pandora's Tower

Tragic beauty

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The photojournal of a new FFXI player: Starting out (part #4)

Check out the previous editions of our Final Fantasy IX journal:

After last episode’s successful completion of my first mission, it was time to clear off a couple of the other quests in my backlog.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Retro Review: Densetsu no Stafy (Game Boy Advance)

You may or may not recognize The Legendary Starfy, an unassuming little DS title that hit North American shores in mid-2009. The yellow star brought a unique blend of land-based and water-based platforming action, receiving typically optimistic reviews. However, Starfy isn’t as young as some might imagine. The Prince of Pufftop has been floating around for nearly 10 years and had his origins on the Game Boy Color.

The Legendary Starfy is actually Japan’s fifth game (known in Japan as Densetsu no Stafy Taiketsu! Daiiru Kaizokudan). The choice of name was rather poor on Nintendo of America’s part, as the only way to distinguish the first game from the fifth game is through the use of “Starfy” (the American name) and Stafy (the Japanese name). Only Japan has seen the release of the original trilogy that helped construct Stafy’s recognition in Japan, and many will never know that “Starfy” had more than one game. Does the first title still hold up today, nearly 10 years later?

Review: Sega Rally Online Arcade (XBLA/PSN)

Most any teenage gamer in the 90’s will likely have fond memories of playing games in public arcades. One game that gobbled up loads of hard begged for quarters was the Sega Rally series; slipping into the plastic racing seat, gripping the steering wheel and tearing through the tracks was a blast in itself, but it was the competing player beside us in the double seated arcade cabinet that had us coming back time and again. The series is still going strong today, and a the new Sega Rally Online Arcade (SROA) lets you take the competition online from your home, and at a cost that is much less than what the arcades ate through years ago.

Kickin' up snow. Not the safest place for car racing

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I feel dirty, but I am looking forward to To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers

To Heart 2: Dungeon Travelers on the PSP is not going to be released in English - it'd be lucky if it wasn't censored in every single English-speaking region. But underneath that otaku exterior is a dungeon crawl that appears to be as deep and interesting as any of those less risque games that do get a translation.

The only screenshot I could find that didn't involve a lot of human skin

Bad news: Pandora's Tower might not be very good

One of the few remaining high profile JRPGs due for release on the Nintendo Wii, Pandora's Tower, has had a very lukewarm reception by Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu.

The photojournal of a new FFXI player: Starting out (part #3)

To check back on previous journal posts:

After a couple of sessions, I was now getting tired of slaughtering bees and worms. I played around a bit with different weapons to give myself something different to do. I wasn't impressed with these claws, they were too slow between attacks, and didn't fit with my image of a 'duelist' style warrior thief. As much as they looked kind of cool, they just weren't for Amelia. I decided to give them a little bit longer just in case I changed my mind, but then I'd switch back to the sword. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

All-new Raptr site launched, becomes an incredible social network for gamers

Raptr, the social networking site for gamers, has had a major upgrade, and is now a hugely useful resource for gamers of all persuasions.

To give you an idea what it's all about, here's the official press release from the folks at Raptr. If you haven't already signed up, we highly recommend you do - it's a very easy and fun way to keep track of everything that's of interest to you in the world of games.

Review: Dead or Alive Dimensions (Nintendo 3DS)

Dead or Alive Dimensions cements Tecmo Koei as the best amongst the 3DS’ early wave publishers. It’s a game that has had a lot of care put into it, and like Tecmo’s previous 3DS game, Samurai Warriors Chronicles (and unlike most other 3DS games currently available) this is a fully featured game on par if not superior to most console fighters.

Ouch. That's got to hurt

Looking for a JRPG that's a bit different? A look at the Valhalla Knights series

Looking for a new JRPG to play? Here’s one you could well have missed - have you tried the Valhalla Knights games? They’re readily available – Valhalla Knights and its sequel are available quite cheaply on the PlayStation Network for download to PSP, and Wii owners can pick up Eldar Saga.

Despite having a bad reputation, these games are actually very addictive and quite open JRPGs. Budget, yes, but the largely negative press these games get is unjustified – though they’re not perfect, they have a unique soul that means they’re worth a look.

Valhalla Knights 2 - one of the most underrated PSP RPGs

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Age of Conan MMO to go free to play

Another MMO joins the freemium party. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, released back in 2008, has struggled from time to time, but has endured on.

The photojournal of a new FFXI player: Starting out (part #2)

So, in my last journal, I was lucky enough to meet someone who could ease me through the first few hours of this very large, very complex and initially, very intimidating game. Now it was time to do some grinding, and get my level up a bit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Retro Review: Super Smash Bros (Wii Virtual Console)

Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64 sold nearly five million copies worldwide back in its day and even spawned two sequels that both broke various records. After years of waiting, the title that started the craze was finally made available for download on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service. Does the game still warrant a purchase years after its release or is it appallingly archaic?

What the heck is Yoshi doing?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is not a good game. It’s not from a lack of vision – Suda 51 is a hugely intelligent man and his work has flashes of pure brilliance, but this game is badly let down by being a pretty port of a Wii game, poor pacing and generally uninspired combat.

Travis, Travis. My friend, you have anger management issues

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Love Plus deserves a chance in the West

When I was in Japan a few years back, I went along to a digital art exhibition at one of Tokyo's many amazing art galleries. There, as part of the show was a video game section - interactive art and all that. It offered a good selection of games that showed a high level of refinement in terms of interface and concept - everything from Mario right through to student projects, then back again to the likes of Street Fighter.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The photojournal of a new FFXI player: Starting out (part #1)

After seeing the news that the entire Final Fantasy XI collection was now available on Steam for a dirt cheap price, I decided it was time to jump on board, nine years after the original game was released.

What kinds of quests could I expect? Is anyone still playing this game? Will I continue my subscription once the free trial period expires? These questions all rolled through my mind as I waited the insane length of time it takes to download everything and get the game up and running (seriously, it took two days after paying for the thing on Steam to get playing).

Over the next few weeks, months, years - however long I play, I'll make a regular feature of highlighting my time in this game, thanks to the ever faithful 'screen capture' command. Highs, lows, and precious memories will all be preserved in this little journal. I'd welcome your thoughts on the game too - are you still playing? Did you try FFXIV and, disappointed, come back to this? Come say hi in our forums!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New edition of Final Fantasy XI now available on Steam

Final Fantasy XIV has proven a problematic release for Square Enix, so perhaps the new Steam release of the franchise's previous MMO, XI, will pull in some new fans.

A look back at Final Fantasy XIII: Was it that bad?

Of the Final Fantasy series’ very long history, perhaps the most controversial release it has ever seen to date is also its most recent “numbered” single player game – Final Fantasy XIII.

The epic story of a small group of heroes fighting against destiny saw a relatively lukewarm critical response (83 on metacritic) and a substantial backlash from many of the Final Fantasy faithful fans.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Races of Dawn of Fantasy outlined

The races to choose from are an important component of any MMO. Upcoming game, Dawn of Fantasy, might only offer up three races to choose from, but at least it looks like they're going to be three interesting races to choose from.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Preview: Dofus Battles (iPhone, iPod, iPad)

From the makers of the epic manga/ anime stylized turn based strategy MMORPG's Dofus, Dofus
Arena and Wakfu comes a new spin off game called Dofus Battles exclusive to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad iOS systems.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Imaginary Range the future of comics and manga?

I’m a big fan of comics and especially manga. But, after playing with Imaginary Range, I realise there’s so much more that this form can be.

Weird and wonderful Japanese game ads: Part 2

The Japanese games industry is one of great creativity and variety - moreso than even the western industry. And its games advertising industry is just as creative. Following on from our first article, here are some more weird, wonderful and downright disturbing Japanese game ads.

Please note: all scans in this piece are taken from various issues of Famitsu.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (Xbox 360)

After nearly 15 years of waiting, Sega has released the fourth entry in Sonic the hedgehog’s original 2D platform series. The game has been divided into multiple parts, but the premier episode is finally in the hands of gamers and available for all major download services.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The weird and wonderful of Japanese game ads: Part 1

The Japanese games industry is one of great creativity and variety - moreso than even the western industry. And its games advertising industry is just as creative. In a series of articles we'll look at some of the weird and wonderful games ads that you can find in magazines such as Famitsu and the like.

Please note: all scans in this piece are taken from various issues of Famitsu.



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