March 30, 2017

In RETROspect: Beyond Oasis

Once again, the Cartridge Club called upon the genius of the Sega Genesis for March 2017's game of the month, and landed on Beyond Oasis, an "action RPG" developed by Ancient and released on the Genny in 1995 for North Americans. The game is frequently described as "Zelda-like" which is a descriptor that drives me nuts, but nevertheless serves its purpose here rather well. Beyond Oasis is about as much of a RPG as Zelda. In fact, the game makes me think, if Prince of Persia and Streets of Rage had a baby, and then Zelda became its stepmom...
It's true title is The Story of Thor, which is all kinds of weird when you consider the character's name is Ali, and you couldn't name him Thor even if you wanted to (you're stuck with a 3 character limit!). But the truth is, the game has nothing at all to do with Thor or Norse mythology, and to my knowledge the name is thanks to a transcript error.
The game boasts a rather simple design for something called a RPG, but doesn't come up short on design or story, and might even be fun sometimes!
Blah blah blah, spoilers n' such, blah blah blah...

The story of Thor Beyond Oasis is a classic tale of why you should always put your money in gold... er...
Our boy Ali is a shitty prince with nothing better to do but go treasure hunting. While he's at it, he happens across the legendary gold armlet... that talks. The armlet tells Ali his days of boredom are over, 'cause now he has to seek out and defeat whomever has the accompanying silver armlet, which is evil 'cause it's not gold. Okay, I know I'm not doing it any favors here, but the plot is actually quite well done. The game doesn't waste your time with boring details or long conversations, but rather lets you actually play the game, and sort the details out on your own, which is not difficult or convoluted. You get snippets of story in short cutscenes between chunks of play, and the story itself is easy to follow and suits the adventure genre the game truly sports.

March 23, 2017

Game Binge - Episode Six [3DS Edition]

A few months ago - and by "a few months" I mean basically a year - I was greeted by a shiny new member of my console family: a Nintendo New 3DS (Fire Emblem edition!). I've been meaning for some time now to get back to conquering my DS collection, but I'm sure you can guess how that's going... and now I'm tasked with getting acquainted with the newest addition to the DS league. You know what that means... it's time for a GAME BINGE!

March 16, 2017

In RETROspect: Gunstar Heroes

Erm… so this was supposed to be published back in December 2015 when the club played it, and when my website went haywire and I went rogue. By the time I got everything sorted out I was little turned off by the fact that everyone else had posted their two cents, and they all closely resembled mine. So I decided to stow this away for a rainy day when everyone has forgotten the game instead, and today is that day.

I love it when the Cartridge Club chooses a Genesis title for game of the month, because the Genesis is awesome. Also I have a fuckton of experience with it and I love all these games! For December 2015, the club and I dove into the face-paced (it was supposed to say "fast-paced" but screw it, "face-paced" is more epic) run-and-gun action film wannabe that is Gunstar Heroes. This gem was developed by Treasure and released for the Sega Genesis (slash Mega Drive) in 1993, and I brought it home shortly thereafter and fell in love. And that kinda says something… I'm not the biggest fan of shooters and repetitive games don't normally stay with me (see River City Ransom) but Gunstar has that certain somethin' special… something between solid gameplay and charm, and it just keeps bringing me back for another round. I've played GH numerous times now - too many to count - which is surely testimony of my first impression. I have to say, the game has aged pretty well and reigns supreme as not only one of the best Genesis titles, but one the best shooters of all time. I don't normally need an excuse to whip out GH but since the Cartridge Club rarely reaches out to my beloved Genny, here's your article, guys!