Saturday, December 5, 2020

Vanillaware Forgot About Their Sharpest Weapon...

 Full disclosure, I'm very much a fan of the Vanillaware developed games that I have played. Also, I'm very frustrated with the lack of a modern console release of what is, in my opinion, their finest work: 2009's Muramasa - The Demon Blade. The game is a veritable masterpiece and easily one of the ten best titles released on the Nintendo Wii. I personally bought the copy I own the day I picked up my pre-order of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor and was over the moon to play both. Maybe we'll discuss S and P another day, but for now, we focus on Muramasa. 

Muramasa was released some two years after Odin Sphere, which is Vanillaware's most acclaimed work and four years before their most controversial (but no less impressive) work, Dragon's Crown. Both Odin's Sphere and Dragon's Crown each got remastered re-releases on the Playstation 4 as well as their handheld releases on the Playstation Vita, but Muramasa received no such console remaster. It's honestly frustrating when you consider how beloved that game is and how beautiful the art style is. There was a homebrew update done for a Wii homebrew channel, but those aren't the most stable means to get games to work and can be frustrating for many. 

Vanillaware has proven that their games will be remembered in the future as veritable works of art, and a lack of HD remaster will make the longing for such a version of arguably their best game become more fervent. I hope with the rise of a new generation of home consoles we will be gifted a new version of Muramasa - The Demon Blade soon. Sadly, I'm not overly optimistic, but I'd love to be surprised.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Post-Ikaruga Mail Call



Right after I got my PS4 copy of Ikaruga, I got FIVE more games in the mail. Two of them were titles I pre-ordered and waited a long time for. If you have any ideas for future content on, drop them in the comments below. I'm always looking for new stories to tell and there's an infinite number of them in gaming.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Veggies Are Good For You: A Look Back At Princess Tomato In The Salad Kingdom

 In 1984, Hudson Soft released the ridiculously charming text adventure game Princess Tomato In The Salad Kingdom. It's bursting with charm and an engaging story. Hudson ported the title to the Famicom in 1988, and the NES a few years later in 1990. The following video is a brief look back at the title.

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Quick And Dirty Ikaruga PS4 LE Unboxing


I'm always excited about a good shmup, and Ikaruga is easily one of the best ever made. Nicalis just released a physical limited edition of the legendary title for PS4 and Switch and when my copy hit my mailbox I had to show you wonderful folks what was inside.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Acclaim Got A Few Things Right: A Look Back At Trog


As often as we as gamers heap ridicule on Acclaim, we also need to recognize that when they made good games. Many of these were ports of Midway arcade releases, and one of the best was their NES port of Trog. This video takes a look back at the 1990 release of the uber-charming Pac-Man clone.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Dear Konami, We've Been Here Before...

To Whom It May Concern,

You've been around for a long time, and you have given many a gamer iconic moments galore. You made a campy story inspired by old Universal Pictures movies about a guy with a whip venturing into an Eastern European castle to kill a bunch of monsters into one of the most important franchises in all of video games. You let a guy make an action game where being quiet was as important as stopping a mech that fire nuclear weapons from doing so. The accolades go on and on, but they haven't been coming in a really long time. You turned all of your iconic franchises into branding for pachinko machines and microtransaction-laden mobile games. Recently you seemed to want to get back to producing new video games and even published an indie game called Skelattack.

This a very good thing, but it's only one very good thing. You did release the latest game in the legendary Contra series, Contra Rogue Corps, in late 2019, but it really is as bad as many gamers with a much bigger profile than I have said it was. It's muddy, uninspired, and does too much to be something that isn't Contra. I should be upset with you, and in all honesty I am. I am willing to forgive you strictly on the fact that a better Contra game was released in the Summer of 2019. Indie publisher The Arcade Crew released Joy Masher's love letter to Contra Hard Corps in the form of their retro-centric run and gun action masterpiece, Blazing Chrome in July of last year. It outshines Rogue Corps in every conceivable way. It relishes in it's old school look, allowing gamers to bask in it's brutal yet fair difficulty, and it controls as tightly as both 16-Bit Contra titles did almost 30 years ago.

For all accounts, you could have licensed this game and released it as a new Contra game and been celebrated in the same way you were when Arc System Works developed Hard Corps: Uprising all those years ago. You didn't though, and you'll use the apparent failure of Contra Rogue Corps as an excuse to skulk back into the shadows of gaming and use your back catalog to sell pachinko machines. You actually never really stopped. This stands as an indictment of how you pushed us all away and left us all dusting off cartridges and PS1 discs and thinking about gaming before you threw us away, Konami. Honestly, you should be ashamed, but you aren't. You feel no contrition for the treatment you have levied at gamers who have loved your work since the days of Scramble and Frogger. One day you may truly decide to change and treat gamers and the franchises you created with respect, but based on the last Contra game, I'm not so sure.


A Gamer Since Time Pilot '84

Friday, August 28, 2020

I Got A Thing In The Mail That Was Pretty Cool: Streets Of Rage 4 Classic Edition


After several months, I finally received my physical copy of Streets of Rage 4 and was so happy with the package that I decided to share my thoughts with the world.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Retro-Bit Pays Tribute To A Legend With The Metal Storm Collector's Edition

 I thought I posted this here in January, but alas, I had a brain fart and forgot. I received this fantastic collector's edition of Irem's Metal Storm. Retro-Bit knocked this package out of the park. It's still available from Retro-Bit if you want to get a copy of one of my absolute favorite video games.