Flashback

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Grobda is a mash-up. It can be described as a hectic Berzerk clone, an evolved version of Atari’s Combat or a Xevious spin-off. There are hints and touches and small influences, yet by mixing them so seamlessly it manages to become its own game, free to be judged on its own merits. READ MORE

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Rastan isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s not dumb. Barbarians don’t just charge into battle, hoping their muscles can get them through a hundred enemies unscathed; they train to be better than their enemies, to attack at the right moment, to back down when needed.

Of course, being strong helps! READ MORE

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The vehicles in Micro Machines have this wildly-exaggerated movement. They feel as if they were actually small cars, with little weight and a powerful engine. They accelerate in seconds to ludicrous speeds, raising their kinetic energy to levels your small traction can’t keep under control. Cars bounce around corners, and go flying when hit just to criss-cross the road a second later. It’s fast and chaotic, yet (with practice) perfectly controllable. READ MORE

Strider can be beaten in less than ten minutes. It has fixed enemy patterns and a conscious level design, with enemy attacks based on cold, strict logic. It’s perfectly fair, and health refills are dropped like candy. Sounds easy, right?

It isn’t. READ MORE

berzerk3

I don’t see games as a relaxation tool. They are simply too involved, they require too much thinking or too many fast reflexes for me to see them that way. Many seem to enjoy the opportunity to think about something else, to ignore their routines for a while; for me, games are energy drains, and I kind of like them that way. READ MORE

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Sexy Parodius was never released in the United States. It’s said that the patriotic American bald eagle that acts as a recurring boss in the series would have been considered inappropriate.

How that boss is singled out when there’s a psychic raccoon whose giant testicles explode when defeated is beyond me. READ MORE

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Sonic the Hedgehog was the result of a very conscious effort by Sega to improve its image and break into the American market hard enough to shatter Nintendo’s virtual monopoly. Many innovative platforming ideas were considered and discarded, but not all of them were forgotten forever. READ MORE

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Can you like a game because it’s broken? It’s a strange concept, but sometimes it’s fun to go against what the designer intended and turn the mechanics of the game against themselves, subverting the rules and pushing to create a completely different experience.

Not all games crash beautifully, but Pokémon Trading Card Game does. READ MORE

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You may find our reputation a little bit exaggerated. We are traders. We haven’t shied from war, but we do not seek it. We just train our workers and exploit our mines better than anyone else. That isn’t a crime, isn’t it? What we want is to see our empire flourish, to grow and prosper.

We are builders. But your kingdom was in our way. READ MORE

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There are many kinds of B-movies. There are exploitation movies, movies made for package deals more than any artistic merit and movies that go beyond their budget constraints to become classics. But there’s another kind of B-movie, the one you watch on rainy days, in which the hammy dialogue turns a bit serious, and you see brief flashes of brilliance and artists who had faith in what they were making.

The House of the Dead is the game equivalent of those films. READ MORE