Quality reviews of computer and video games, from Pong and Pac-Man to present.

1 / 19 / 2017

 

A little arcadey sports action to liven up a dreary Thursday. Battle Soccer (SNES, 1/5) is in the vein of Mega Man Soccer, just with Banpresto characters like Godzilla and Ultraman ... sadly it's nowhere near what it could have been due to control and AI issues. Blades of Steel (Arcade, 3/5), on the other hand, is about as unrealistic as hockey gets yet it's fun if you take it for what it is (and make peace with scoring 20-30 goals every game).

 

1 / 15 / 2017

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Party mang! Party ma-aaang! I happened to catch the original Tim Burton Batman movie on TV recently ... man, has that not held up well at all outside of Jack Nicholson. I was so pumped seeing it in the theater as a little kid too. Little kids have awful taste.

Fortunately, the games that movie spawned have actually held up fairly decently on the whole, spearheaded by Sunsoft's licensed efforts. Even the weirdest one, the maze-chase Batman for the Turbografx (3/5), is actually pretty fun and has nice chiptunes. Unfortunately, our other update today comes from the late '90s and does not fare so well -- I've never seen the Batman Beyond (N64, 1/5) cartoon, but Kemco did a real low-energy job with the licensed beat-em-up they made with it.

 

1 / 10 / 2017

 

A double order of fantasy hack-and-slash today, with extra blood and guts. The Astyanax (Arcade, 2/5) is the spiritual follow-up to The Legendary Axe, which had a sequel made by a different team ... the original team was poached by Jaleco to make this game instead! Moonstone: A Hard Day's Knight (Amiga, 3/5) is a cult classic that is basically the Dark Souls of party games.

 

1 / 5 / 2017

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We had a nice long stretch there where it seemed like the cyberpunk vision of the future was an outmoded and quaint relic of the 80s. Welp. Technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, democratic government is on the wane, and gigantic multinationals are getting access to even more power than before ... maybe a good time to give Snow Crash a re-read just in case.

On that theme today, we got the specifically Japanesey vision of the techno-dystopian future with Shin Megami Tensei II (SNES, 3/5), a dungeon-crawler that mixes demons in with your cyberin', and Night Striker (Arcade, 2/5), which is one of the relatively few attempts by any other company to ape Sega's Super Scaler technology.

 

1 / 1 / 2017

 

You last night:

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You this morning:

 

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We're ringing in the new year with the beautiful bad girl of the Dreamcast library, Jet Set Radio (PC, 2/5) -- aka Jet Grind Radio in the original North America Dreamcast release. Since the snow is coming in and it's that season, we've also got the fun little now-freeware game SkiFree (PC, 3/5), something of a cult Windows classic.

 




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