Monday 27 June 2011

Master of Darkness

Hey look it's Aku-... erm.. "In the wake of Vampire"... supposedly not a Castlevania game at all.

And I'm sure you'll believe that. This is Master of Darkness for the Master of Systems - the Sega Master System. Also available for the Sega Game Gear if you prefer cramped conditions and dead AA batteries. Dracula has plunged nineteenth century London into darkness and it's up to "Dr. Ferdinand Social" to sort him out. Will he ever learn!?!

Thursday 23 June 2011

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

Dun dun duuun.

Atari 2600 time! And what better way to go than to pick one of the supposedly worst Atari 2600 games out there - E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, released in 1982 by Atari. This one almost killed an industry, in the process making sure the likes of Quaker Oats never strayed from making breakfast cereal again. But is it really as mind-bogglingly terrible as they say?

Saturday 18 June 2011

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Hey look it's Akumajō Dracula X: Gekka no Yasōkyoku. Rolls right off your tongue. And hey, it's also the third Castlevania game I've reviewed this month... I guess I've become a fan of the series or something!

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The "big" one. The Castlevania game which despite its name, has nothing to do with music. Originally a 1997 PlayStation 1 game, before becoming a butchered Japanese Sega Saturn one, it's since worked its way into the world of Xbox Live Arcade and subsequently into the hands of Squirrel.

Without a doubt it's possibly the greatest Castlevania game ever made, and also a well kept secret, because not one person from around here bothered to mention it at the time. Too busy with that third dimension I suppose!

Thursday 16 June 2011


This can do for a title screen.

Kiloblaster for the IBM PC and its compatible buddies back in the days when SI prefixes were cool. It's a simple shooter published by Epic MegaGames and yet another Squirrel childhood classic. It's also one that appears to have something against Mega Man. What joy.

Friday 10 June 2011

Haunted Castle

Hey look it's Akumajō Dracu- HAUNTED CASTLE. Following that last Castlevania review I felt the urge to go hunting for the other three games that share the same Japanese name. Bad idea.

This is perhaps the worst Castlevania game in the history of the series, which probably explains why it doesn't use the Castlevania brand name. There may be 3D or Game Boy releases that beat it on the crap scale, but you can expect this one to be near the top.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Space Manbow

You know, if they'd equipped the Nintendo Revolution with specs which were fit for the time period, maybe we wouldn't be seeing "Wii U"s.

Or maybe everyone would benefit if there was more SPACE MANBOWs on Nintendo systems. Originally released in 1989 for the MSX2, it's one of those Konami shoot-'em-ups nobody remembers, except those who do, and it's here once again to rock your world.

Monday 6 June 2011

Akumajō Dracula

Hey look it's Akumajō Dracula. Which Akumajō Dracula? Well, it's not the first game (a.k.a. "Castlevania"), it's not the arcade game (Haunted Castle) and it's not the MSX2 game (Vampire Killer), it's...

...Akumajō Dracula for the Sharp X68000, released in 1993. Yes, it's the fourth game in the series to share the same Japanese title, and it's entirely different to the other three. Confused? Join the club.

Sunday 5 June 2011


Hey so you know what Pac-Man, that maze game with a yellow circle eating other yellow circles needs? A Tetris-esque spin-off of course!

Oh look here's one, Pac-Attack from 1993. Also known as Pac-Panic, through fears Europeans would interpret this as gang violence or something. It's one of the few Pac-Man spin-offs that's amazing in its own right, though I say this having not played the majority of them.

Friday 3 June 2011


If B.A. Baracus broke out of the A-Team and formed his own country, completing the citizenship test could mean you'd be classed as a...

And what greater privilege could you have than sharing a name with this 1981 arcade game by Namco? Bosconian is yet another great early arcade game that has evaded my attention for three decades. There's too many of these, and yes, it is another review inspired by Classic Game Room.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Rez HD

If only the atagonist of Gex broke out of the TV realm and became the title of an unrelated game...

Oh look, he did. It's Rez, or more specifically, Rez HD, the 2008 Xbox Live Arcade release. Ported to the system by HexaDrive... who haven't really done anything since, published by Q Entertainment who have done many things since, it's an on-the-rails shooter that has a nasty habit of not being bought.

And doesn't it look pretty?

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Top Fighter 2000 MK VIII

Fighting games generally aren't my style, but they soon become my style when one allows Muhammed Ali to punch Michael Jordan in the face.

It's Top Fighter 2000 MK VIII, unlicensed tripe for the Sega Mega Drive. What happened to the seven earlier versions? Who knows, who cares. Apparently it's a pretty awful game but they said that about the other two as well. Will this one break the trend?

Much better

Slightly edited default templates are boring. Now Blog Squirrel has a heavily edited one. Generally I think it's an improvement but whether I'll keep those web 2.0 diagonal lines is a different story.

Feel free to point out gaping flaws. Things might break in old browsers... but you shouldn't be using old browsers.