Category Archives: Super NES

A Look ahead at 2014’s Indie Releases

Over the past year I’ve personally reviewed DUX 1.5, Sturmwind, Redux: Dark Matters, and most recently Neo XYX.  What is it with the indie scene that I find so interesting?  Well for starters, I absolutely love how indie developers are free to do as they wish.  There’s absolutely nothing holding them back.  If they want to add vulgar language, or ‘mature-themed’ content they’re free to do so.  I just love that.  I also love how the indie scene harkens back to the old days when people used to make games in their basement, and they did this for fun, with no other reason necessary.  The same is true for most of the modern day indie developers.  Do keep in mind I’m only referring to console indie developers here, because on PC it’s a whole other ballgame.  Sure they want to make a little money at the same time, but for the most part is this a labor of love.

This year alone we shall see some truly excellent indie releases.  There’s Pier Solar HD from Watermelon Games, which will be released on Steam, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and Dreamcast.  That’s right, Dreamcast!  Take one guess which version I’ve already got pre-ordered.  That’s right, the Dreamcast version, and the reason is because there’s something magical about opening up a brand new game for a system that died back in 2001.  Pier Solar HD is a reworking of the indie SEGA Genesis RPG of the same name, minus the HD of course.

Pier Solar HD isn’t the only new release.  There’s also Knight’s Chance for the Neo Geo MVS, which we will have the world exclusive for.  That’s right, we’ll be unboxing and reviewing this game before anyone else in the entire planet!  Not only is that very exciting for the site, but also for me as a hardcore gamer.  It’s actually the very first gambling compilation game ever released on the platform.  There are card games, coin games, and more.  It looks extremely fun, and I just love the art style.

Nightmare Busters is a brand new Super NES game that began shipping out December 2013, but I should get mine sometime this year.  It’s an action platformer that is bright and colorful, and is the first brand new release for the Super NES since 1998!  Can you believe that!?!

Hucast will also be releasing the excellent looking shmup Ghost Blade for the Dreamcast later this year.  Hucast are the fine folks that released DUX and Redux.  As we’ve come to expect from all Hucast-published games, you can expect fantastic gameplay and some lush VGA-compatible graphics.

I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting, but these are all highlights to be sure.  I’m very excited to get my hands on all of these games in the coming months, and hope more get announced soon.  Rumor has it NG:Dev Team, the makers of Neo XYX are hard at work on their next Neo Geo MVS release, and believe me when I say, I’ll be there day one for sure!  Which of these games are you looking forward to, or which ones have I missed that I should add to the list?  Let me know!

Dragon Quest (SNES) Review

DQDragon Quest (Available exclusively on the Super Famicom)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1
Genre: RPG
Publisher: Enix
Developer: Chunsoft
Release Date: December 18th, 1993

Dragon Warrior hit the NES in ’89 and pretty much introduced the RPG genre to a new generation of gamers. I played Dragon Warrior growing up, but was never able to finish it thanks to my game cartridge always erasing itself. With Jarrod gifting me a fan-translated reproduction copy of Dragon Quest I.II for the Super NES, I was finally able to complete the original classic. While the remake itself was sadly never released in North America, it is the definitive version of Dragon Quest, and should be experienced by fans of Japanese role-playing games. Those who understand the language can import it for fairly cheap, and even play it on their SNES with a simple modification. For the majority of us, the only way to experience this gem is by emulation, or via a reproduction cart.

The Great:

While Dragon Quest seems primitive today, it’s responsible for the birth of console role-playing games. Experiencing it again today with improved visuals and gameplay mechanics is simply a joy. It can be completed in about six to eight hours so it’s not too demanding either. Those that never played the original should start here. The game’s charm hasn’t aged a day.

The Good:

+ While the overworld doesn’t look very different from the NES original, the castles and towns are ten times more detailed. Sure, for a Super Nintendo game, it’s not exactly a visual masterpiece, but it’s definitely an improvement over the original.

+ Level up faster thanks to a more generous amount of experience points given out after every battle. This is by far the biggest improvement. Grinding was painful before because of extremely low amounts of experience rewarded for defeating an enemy. That’s not to say all the grinding has been removed, just that it’s far less demanding.

+ A classic is a classic for a reason. While the story is clichéd and borderline non-existent, it didn’t feel that way in the 80’s. Rescuing a princess from a dragon has been used so many times now that it’s hard to care. As a child growing up, you didn’t need any other reason to play a videogame.

+ Exploration has always been my favorite aspect of the series. Every time I explore a new patch of land I always feel excitement mixed with fear as I have no clue what type of monsters I’m about to face. This is a game that opens up the world map right from the get-go, and lets you explore almost all of it. Because of that, you’re always one battle away from death. Finding the nearest town is always a race, and you’re never sure if you’ll make it in time. I love it.

+ A simple button press can now execute tasks such as opening doors, treasure chests, talking to people, or simply searching an area for items. In the original DQ, you had to open a menu and then select a different option depending on the task.

DQ2

The Bad:

– Take out the grinding and this game could be completed in about 20 minutes.

DQ1The Lowdown:

Conquering Dragon Quest for the first time is one of my early 2014 moments. If you haven’t done so yourself, I really recommend checking out this game as it’s simply a classic in every way.

Final Score: 8.5/10