Monday, 8 July 2013

Disc Station MSX #11

I kind of got sick of doing DS posts last year, so I took a break from them. But now they're back again, until the next time I get bored of them! Also, I skipped MSX volume 10 because there wasn't anything really interesting on it.
So, the first disc of this volume has two main points of interest. The first is a playable demo of Valis II. You all know the Valis series, right? Those cutscene-heavy platform games full of transforming schoolgirl drama? It's a demo of one of those. The MSX version doesn't look as nice as the ones on Mega Drive or PC Engine, but it does have a lot of its own low-fi charm. It does, however, commit the cardinal sin of using up to jump. One of the two face buttons is used to access the pause menu, but that's not really a valid excuse for a system that has an entire keyboard to use for that kind of thing. It is just a demo, though. Maybe the full game has better controls.
The other point of interest on disc one is a little pixel animation featuring various Compile characters and employees relaxing under a cherry blossom tree as the petals fall (this volume was released in april 1990, so it's seasonal!).
Another item on disc one lets you see a few still screens from one of those graphic adventures that were so popular on the Japanese computers.
Disc two is mainly concerned with all those text-heavy magazine features that are of no use to me, being unable to read Japanese and all. But there are two full games on offer, too!
The first is Randar Burn, which is the "april fool's" edition of Disc Station's serial grinding shooter series Blaster Burn. Of course, instead of being a spaceship shooting badguys, you're Compile's spherical mascot Randar and you're shooting bits of food. Not even cartoony food with faces, just regular fruits and neopolitan ice creams and the like. Even though I'm normally an opponent of grinding, especially when it intrudes on holy genres like shooting or fighting games, I must admit that I played this for so long that I'd totally forgot all the contents of the first disc and had to go back and go through them again.
The second is what appears to be a first person dungeon crawling RPG by the name of Mystery Tower. Obviously, I couldn't really play this due to the language barrier, but what's interesting about it is that it loads up in BASIC, and is credited to someone calling themselves "miichan", rather than to a company. I wonder if it was a winner of some competition Compile ran or something?

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