I may be late to the party (as usual), but I recently played and finished Heavy Rain for the first time. Being a 2010 release for the PlayStation 3 (although I played it on PS4), I guess it’s technically “retro,” although personally I’m not a big fan of attaching the “retro” or “classic” or “vintage” tags to anything quite that recent. However, during the hours I poured into just one play-through, certain aspects of its design felt very familiar, and I recognized immediately why: Heavy Rain features an interesting combination of game design concepts that hearken back to adventure games of the ’80s and ’90s, but reimagined and presented through a modern filter. Continue reading “Heavy Rain’s Classic Ancestry”
At the risk of featuring too many PS4 games in recent posts (what can I say, they all have a retro connection or I wouldn’t be talking about them), Sega’s Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (aka Hokuto no Gotoku) was released in the US this week, to the gleeful delight of combined Fist of the North Star and Yakuza fans everywhere. How wide or slim the overlap of that particular Venn diagram is, I don’t really know. But I’m wedged in there myself, and when this game was first announced, my head almost exploded like one of Kenshiro’s unfortunate opponents.
FotNSLP/HnG (it’s a long title either way, I don’t even know how to abbreviate it for this post) is just the latest in a really long line of video games based on the classic manga/anime property, Hokuto no Ken (lit. “Fist of the North Star”), dating all the way back to the ’80s when the manga was current and the show was actually airing on Japanese TV. Some of the games are good; many are not. And out of the dozens of HnK games released, only a handful were released outside of Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the good ones, shall we? (Perhaps I’ll do another post about all the not-so-good FotNS games someday, and call it “You’re Already Disappointed” or something.) (Don’t steal that, I just came up with it.) Continue reading “You’re Already Having Fun”
Having been introduced to videogames through arcades and the Atari 2600, I have largely lived my gamer life feeling that videogames should be played with joysticks. I mean, naturally I’ve gotten used to control pads, and I do think that the SNES controller and the DualShock are two of the best game controller designs of all time, and there are plenty of games with control schemes that cannot be executed efficiently on an arcade-style joystick setup. But I’ve always been a sucker for adding arcade sticks to my consoles; to me, there’s always been something better, more formal, more serious, more proper about using a joystick whenever possible. Continue reading “Joystickery”