Monday, 8 December 2014

Net Yaroze Round-Up Volume 5!

Katapila (Ben James, 2003)
This is a really simple game, you play as a bouncing ball and you jump onto ever-higher plaftorms, while trying not to fall off the bottom of the screen. It's the opposite of the games that were pretty commonly found on pre-smartphones in which the player's character had to fall onto platforms as the screen descends. There's also difficulty levels, which affect the speed of the screen scrolling, the speed of the ball's movement, and whether or not platforms disappear fter having been jumped on. It's an okay game, but nothing really special in any department.

Manic X (Tuna Technologies, 1997)
Another simple one, and an idea that's seemingly as old as homebrew games and romhacking itself: it's Pac-Man with some variations. Those variations in this case being different mazes for each stage, and the fact that the food items have been replaced with randomly appearing power-ups such as invisibility potions, dynamite that instantly kills all the ghosts, and so on. It's also pretty nice looking, it looks just like an Amiga game! The only real problem with it is that it seems to be a little unfinished: there's no music or sound, and once the player runs out of lives, the game just quits back to the Yaroze main menu.

Terra Incognita (Mitsuru Kamiyama, Shintaro Tajima, Kunikatsu Tachi, 1998)
Terra Incognita is a game that doesn't really fit on an obscure games blog, as it's by far the most well-known Net Yaroze game, but it is so well-known that it's monolithic and almost synonymous with the system. For those who don't know it, there's two main reasons it's so well-remembered: the first is the legendary English translation of the script, and the second is the fact that the production values are so far beyond anything else done on the Yaroze system. It's an action RPG about a guy going to a monster-infested island to seek out treasure. It's just typical action RPG stuff: hitting monsters and finding keys and so on, but obviously, the way it looks and sounds makes it something of a spectacle.  Also of interest to long-time readers of this blog is that the makers of Terra Incognita (collectively known as Team Fatal) also made the weird Fatal Fantasy VII demo.

Super Mansion/Yakata Plus (Tomukazu Sato, 1997)
So, this is apparently a port of a game from the FM Towns Marty, and it's kind of like Resident Evil, but without any monsters or combat, just puzzles and keys and the like. Unfortunately, it's all in Japanese, and I don't have the patience to stumble through an action-free adventure game like this. It all seems competently made, though, so the Japanese-literate and the patient might want to give it a look. Otherwise, there are also a few playthroughs on Youtube. While I was playing it to put it in this post, I noticed a poster on a wall in one of the rooms, which caught my interest.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on it, though luckily, selectbutton forum members Dark Age Iron Savior and Takashi (who have both also helped researching stuff for posts on this blog in the past) were able to dig up more: The artist of the Brainax poster was a friend of the game's programmer, who, in times long since past, had a website, which is archived here, which contains more Brainax art, as well as other art for projects that unfortunately don't seem to have gone anywhere.

1 comment:

  1. I remember playing a version of ManicX with sounds effects too, but no background musics...
    You can also hearing them in some net yaroze promotianl video ;)