Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Exploding Whale

I feel this old news video should be required viewing. The newscaster commentary is the best part.

Friday, July 13, 2012

La Mulana PC released!

The La Mulana remake is finally out! After localization problems caused the WiiWare version to be essentially cancelled, I didn't think it would ever come out. But La Mulana was released for the PC, DRM free, on the Playsta platform. The Playism platform is brand new, you can buy things from it using Paypal. It's focus is bringing English indie games to the Japanese speakers and bringing Japanese indie games to the English speakers. It's still rough around the edges, but I was able to purchase the game without any hassle.

La Mulana was originally a freeware PC game with MSX aesthetics, but with very rich gameplay. It's a metroidvania styled sidescroller, but with a lot more content and challenge than any metroidvania has ever dreamed of having. You play an Indiana Jones like hero exploring ancient ruins. There are tons of items/abilities to collect, enemies to fight, areas to explore, and puzzles to solve. You really have to explore and the puzzles are not trivial. It's a very, very great game that is a lot of fun to play. The remake not only updates the game's graphics to a modern 2D sidescroller look and remasters the music, but it also improves the game content. I strongly suggest taking a look at the project's blog and checking out what they've done.

I've been looking forward to playing this for a long time. The creators have been trying really hard to get the game released in English. Reading their blog and watching their videos really conveys the love and passion they have for this project. The game looks really great and you can tell they put in a lot of care and attention to make it. With obscure references and quirky humor abound, it's clear they enjoyed making this game. They've released this game DRM free and left all the game resources (sound/sprites/script) out in the open to be modded. Hopefully the game will come out on Steam someday, but I hope you'll purchase the game off Playism to reward the developers and also to play an awesome game. I think it's an indie title well worth supporting and I'd really like Nigiro to be successful.

(NOTE: If you do purchase the game and run Windows 7, make sure you run the installer and the game as Administrator. If you don't, you may have problems, especially with saving, depending on where you installed the game. Also, once you get the laptop in game, you can press F9 to go to the config menu and play around with different graphic filters as well as button layouts.)

Great Review
SA Forum Thread

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Half Minute Hero 2 Archive

I've been working on unpacking and repacking the Yuusha 30 Second (Half Minute Hero 2) PSP game. I don't really have much experience in this kind of thing. I've only played around with one other archive, the first Half Minute Hero before, and all I did was unpack it. So I'm learning as I go. This is a document of what I've been able to accomplish so far:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Half Minute Hero 2 Review

Yuusha 30 Second (Half Minute Hero 2) is the sequel to Marvelous's Half Minute Hero, which I suggest playing first. The first game, available on the PSP and XBox Live Arcade, is shorter, lighter, and a good indicator of how you'll feel about the sequel. If you liked the first game, you'll also like the sequel. If you didn't like the first one because it didn't feel enough like a JRPG, you should try this one. If you simply didn't like the first game, you won't like this one either

I'm going to write this review as though you're familiar with the first game. Half Minute Hero 2 is Japanese only right now, but it is playable without Japanese knowledge... you'll just miss all the story and charm.

Quick summary:
  1. Very much a sequel to Half Minute Hero. It's a JRPG/Puzzle/Action hybrid that focuses more on fun than challenge.
  2. Only has RPG-mode, so Evil Lord/Princess/Knight fans are out of luck. RPG-mode fans are in for a huge treat.
  3. Story is more of a take on epic SNES RPGs (e.g. Final Fantasy IV) than of classic NES RPGs (e.g. Dragon Quest).
  4. Story mode less arcade-y. All the half-minute quests are in the framework of a traditional overworld RPG, although quests are replayable.
  5. Lots of secret equipment/party members, as well as significant post story content. Maybe a 20-40 hour game, unless you really get into score attack or user levels.
  6. Lots of extra modes, notably user generated levels and infinite play modes.
  7. Music, graphics (retro 16 bit), and gameplay elements are all a big upgrade over the original.
From all this, you can probably tell if you'd like the game or not. It's definitely not for everyone. I personally loved it. I'm arbitrarily giving it a score of 9, mostly because it's a niche game and I'd understand people who find it repetitive. I'll go into much more detail now.

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