Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Net Yaroze Round-Up Vol. 6!
A minimalist one-button platform game that seems to have "borrowed" its heroes from the scatological PC Engine game Kato-chan and Ken-chan (AKA JJ & Jeff). Pressing any button makes your guy jump forwards at an angle, releasing the button or hitting the top of the screen makes him fall forwards at a slightly steeper angle. You have sixty seconds to get as far as you can without falling into any holes. If you fall into a hole, you get a speech bubble with some sage advice like "Finish your homework!" or "Brush your teeth!". It's mildly amusing for a few minutes, until you manage to survive the full minute.
Anda (Makoto Okuzumi, 1997)
A very old-fashioned shooting game that's obviously very inspired by the likes of Xevious and Star Soldier. There's no sound, and it's generally not very exciting at all. The worst part, though, is that the enemy bullets are incredibly tiny and often blend into the background. It seems competently made, but not very well-designed.
Minic The Hedgehog (Kiyoshi Sakai, 1997)
This is apparently a port of an X68000 doujin game, though I haven't been able to find that version. It's more of a tech demo than an actual game, too, being as it is an attempt at making a semi-clone of the first Sonic The Hedgehog game. It's mostly impressive, too, as there's a decent attempt at replicating Sonic physics, though it just falls a tiny bit short . That tiny bit makes a lot of difference, though, and the result is that it's almost impossible to build up the momentum needed to run up even the shallowest of inclines. Another problem is that the screen is flanked on all sides by massive black borders (which I've cropped ouit of the screenshots for this post, to make things look a bit nicer).
Dance Of Death (Shigeaki Matsumoto, 1998)
This polygonal top-dpwn beat em up does performs a trick that many of the best games of the 32-bit era do: uses its low-poly models, short draw distance and small memory space for textures to create an atmosphere. You play as a lone samurai, beseiged on all sides by your enemies, who has to fight his way out. There's a timer and a number counting down the amount of remaining enemies, but the game's hard enough that I've not yet managed to survive long enough for either one to make it to zero. Like I said, it's an atmospheric game, and tense too, as you and your enemies can be taken out in only a couple of sword strokes, and there are far more of them than there are of you. Definitely worth a look.
My Flower (Makoto Okuzumi, 1997)
A brightly-dressed young girl on a series of floating islands inhabited by angry crabs and friendly chickens must make flowers grow, flags fly and eggs hatch by dancing around them. The colours and simple graphics remind me of early Namco games, like Toypop and Pac-Land. The main problem this game has is that it's not immediately obvious what the player is supposed to do or avoid. Though I managed to get a couple of stages in, I did so without ever figuring out the exact win conditions for each stage. Avoid this one, I say. (I feel like I'm being a little hard on ol' Makoto's games in this post. If you search your own name and find it, I'm really sorry!)