Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Illusion of Gaia (SNES)

Illusion of Gaia
Action Role-Playing Game, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1994 Enix

For some reason, Illusion of Gaia is one of the games from my childhood whose box art is forever ingrained in my head. An Enix release from smack dab in the middle of their SNES RPG dynasty, it follows closely to the formula they used in many other games. But does it hold up to the test of time?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Game Collecting: A Small Nintendo Find

This post will be a brief one, because it's about an individual game I happened upon this week. What game you ask? Well, it's an action-adventure title from the good ol' NES that follows protagonist Mike Jones as he journeys across a tropical island to find his missing archaeologist father. If you haven't picked up on it by now here you go - StarTropics!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Collecting Dust: Tomba! (PlayStation)

Platformer, PlayStation
1998 Whoopee Camp

Anyone who watched television in the late 90s probably remembers the iconic series of commercials for the game Tomba!, wherein people wearing ridiculous cotton candy-looking wigs posed and talked about the character. Although these commercials were memorable, very few people ultimately bought the game from fledgling developer Whoopee Camp. I personally bought the game when it came out, and found it proved that sometimes the commercial failures are some of the best games out there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: Final Fantasy II / IV (SNES)

Final Fantasy II / IV
Role-Playing Game, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1991 Square

I'll go ahead and quell the inevitable outrage right now - yes, I know Final Fantasy II for the SNES should technically be called Final Fantasy IV. Yes, I know that there were two other Final Fantasies on the NES (II and III) before this one, so it really really is Final Fantasy IV. But, neither of those NES titles were released in the US on the NES. And seeing as I'm only reviewing American releases, I'm going to go ahead and call this one as I see it on the box art and label for the game - Final Fantasy II!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Game Collecting: My First Super Famicom Games

I've always had a small retro game collection, but recently have decided to become more proactive about expanding it. As a result of my current employment situation and "grown-up" financial commitments, I don't have a whole lot of disposable income to spend on video games, though. So when I make retro game purchases I'm pretty discerning about what's worth my money. While the child in me wants to accrue a complete NES and SNES collection, I have to restrain myself for now. So that means I only really look for my absolute favorite games (primarily RPGs). This week I made 2 fantastic additions to the collection!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rate With Friends: Top 5 SNES Platformers

For today's Rate With Friends, Andrew from Yes, These Things Matter. returns as my accomplice so that we can sort out our top 5 favorite SNES platformers. It's an immense field of games to narrow to a mere five, and I know both of us put a whole lot of thought into the matter. Let's see how we compare!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Phantasy Star IV (Genesis)

Phantasy Star IV
Role-Playing Game, Sega Genesis
1995 Sega

My first exposure to the Phantasy Star universe was Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast. I never owned a Genesis as a kid, so regrettably, for classics such as this I have to go back to retroactively experience them. At the time, I wasn't even aware of the original 4-game series of RPGs at all. But at the request of many other classic game aficionados, I've gladly taken some time to go back and experience the game that is considered by many to be the best RPG on the entirety of the Sega Genesis - Phantasy Star IV.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Collecting Dust: Crusader of Centy (Genesis)

Crusader of Centy
Action-Adventure, Sega Genesis
1994 Atlus

Here is yet another that had fallen under my radar for over a decade (almost 2, actually). If I were to synopsize it, I'd say Crusader of Centy is a Zelda clone with lingering RPG undertones. How this game went relatively unnoticed for so long is beyond me, but the fates have brought us here so let's take a nice long look at it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Game Collecting: A Weekend Flea Market Find

I've collected retro games pretty casually over the past 5 or so years, acquiring only a Super Nintendo and a handful of games. I've made it a goal to be more proactive about finding new items to add to the collection. On Superbowl Sunday last weekend, I ventured to the main local swap meet and spent a few hours looking around. Here's what I found!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: Final Fantasy (NES)

Final Fantasy
Role-Playing Game, Nintendo Entertainment System
1987 Square

The vast media franchise of video games, spinoffs, films, toys, and merchandise galore that we know as Final Fantasy began long ago as a desperate last attempt by a failing game company to stay afloat. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the brain behind the series, titled it as such because it was his final attempt to succeed in the gaming industry before giving up altogether. As we all know by now, the game sold well enough to not only keep Mr. Sakaguchi working, but to propel it into becoming one of the best selling game franchises in history.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blue Ribbon: 5 of the Best NES RPGs

I'll go ahead and say it: all my favorite games are RPGs. And as a result, I know more about them than any other genre. While platformers were where I started (Donkey Kong and Pitfall I'm talking to you), once I was exposed to RPGs and realized the epic scale that a video game could have, I was hooked for life. Regrettably, there aren't too many modern RPGs that I enjoy, so it seems like a good time to go back and reflect upon the RPGs of yesteryear and why they were so great. Here are my favorites from the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Collecting Dust: Big Sky Trooper (SNES)

Big Sky Trooper
Action, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1995 JVC

The faint memory of a certain childhood game had been nagging at my brain for years. All I could remember was that it involved a dog, a spaceship, and beaming down to different planets to collect items. I asked my fellow gamer friends, and conducted occasional Google searches, but to no avail. While writing the review for Zombies Ate My Neighbors, I found a familiar sounding game that utilized the same game engine as Zombies - Big Sky Trooper. This was the forgotten game I had been looking for!