Monday, 18 June 2012

Disc Station #09 (PC98)

So, after skipping the Disc Station 98 series, as well as the floppy volumes of the relaunched Disc Station series, we arrive at the first Disc Station to come on a CD! And Compile definitely weren't shy about making good use of the massively increased storage space, since this volume contains SEVEN full games! First, I'll tell you that the positions of the screenshots in this post don't necessarily coincide with which game is being talked about. Sorry!
The first of which is Madou 456. Not, as you mgiht assume part of the Madou Monogatari series of dungeon crawlers, but an RPG/board game hybrid thing, similar to the Rune Master series of games that Compile released on the MSX, but with Puyo Puyo characters as the players. I didn't get far into this, because of all the Japanese text. It has a nice looking intro, though!
Next on the list is Devil Force II, which sounds like a shooting game, but is actually a Shining Force-esque turn-based strategy game. Although there is a lot of Japanese text in this game, a lot of the commands are represented by little icons with obvious meanings, so I actually managed to get a few battles into this before I got bored and moved on to the next game. I might even go back to it at some point!
The third game, Imahori 2 is a card game that appears to be some kind of Uno variant. Not very interesting, although the cards have some nice little pixel arts of the Puyo Puyo characters on them.
Next up is Ceramic Ball, a really fun action/puzzle game. You control a very fast-moving, incredibly bouncy ball, and you have to get it to the small blue blocks to finish the stage. The game is very, very fast paced, to the point where each stage has a time limit of less than ten seconds! Not a classic for the ages, but worth a look.
Game Number 5 is a top-down action game entitled GaGaGa Sprint. In it, you run around the stages drawing lines on the ground. When the enemies touch your lines, they get stuck for a few seconds. Touch an already drawn line to create a loop, and all the enemies stuck on the looped bit of line get killed. Of course, you get more points for killing more enemies in one go. Again, not a great game, but not a particularly bad one, either. Unfortunately, the PC98 emulator I use (Anex86) has an ugly graphic glitch when running this game, though it doesn't get in the way of playing.
The sixth game on the disc is Manpuku, a strategy/card game about feeding a king that I liked so much, I'm going to give it a post of its own (eventually)!
Finally, there is Nazo Puyo Vol. 9. If you don't know, Nazo Puyo is a spin-off of Puyo Puyo, though rather being a Vs. puzzle game or an endless survial-type puzzle game, it uses the rules of Puyo Puyo in a different way.
Each stage already has some Puyos set up, and you have to arrange pre-determined falling Puyos to get rid of them all within a certain number of moves. It's okay if you like that sort of thing, I guess. I don't see why it gets to be its own series of games, rather than an extra mode in the Puyo Puyo games, though.


  1. Ceramic Ball got a sequel/homage by the name of Tsukaima Race, developed by Cave. It's an extra in the Xbox 360 version of Deathsmiles II. It plays almost identically, just with lots more gimmicks in the levels (i.e. switches that open/close gates, areas with flipped gravity). You play as the familiar characters from DSII, and they even gave it online leaderboards.

    1. That sounds interesting! Just another reason to hope that DSII eventually gets a PAL release...