On my trip to Japan last March, I had the chance to pick up both The Cameraman for PS1 and Gekisha Boy 2 for PS2 for cheap. I’ve been able to play through both in the past few days, so now’s as good a time as any to talk about them a bit. Continue reading
This year’s release schedule seems to be mopping up all sorts of titles from the previous generation that nearly slipped through the cracks. Chulip, like The Red Star, managed to slip from its originally-scheduled 2004 release until this year. Naturally, the title’s elusiveness has contributed to its allure, as has the reputation (by association) of developer Punchline’s relationship with the immensely creative developers Skip (Chibi-Robo, bit Generations) and Love-De-Lic (Moon, L.O.L.). So was it worth the wait? Continue reading
For a game that spent three years in publishing-hell and entertains such lofty influences as Treasure’s Ikaruga and several of Konami’s classic 2D series, one might expect The Red Star to end up rather disappointing. This isn’t the case.
This is a no-nonsense deep-action game that successfully fuses bullet hell with beat-’em-up mechanics. Bullet patterns start off rather calm – almost patient – but by the end of the game things get as hairy as the latest Cave game. I’ve seen the melee mechanics compared to Streets of Rage or Final Fight, but there’s a lot more going on here than in the 2D classics. Branching combos, down attacks, fall recoveries, juggles, air combos, and more make for some seriously dynamic and (satisfyingly) abusable combat. And thanks to unique movesets and capabilities, each of the three characters must be taken on his or her own terms. Makita is all speed, Kyuzo is all power, and the unlockable Maya is somewhere in between yet almost entirely focused on ranged attacks and tricksy magic.
Koei has quietly released another entry in this long-running series in English, and it’s received the same sort of reception each game usually does: fan excitement, concessionary reviews in the sixes or sevens, and widespread indifference. It’s kind of a shame that the series that represents what’s perhaps the only gig in town for Civilization-style strategy on consoles is so consistently ignored by most gamers. But given this site’s previous coverage of Koei’s forays into Chinese history, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI is certainly not going to be the first to be ignored ’round here.