Final Fantasy (FFI) is just the first of many games in a landmark series that has dominated the JRPG genre. With beautiful opening art, the enchanting prelude by Nobuo Uematsu, and a no nonsense tittle crawl that puts you right at the heart of a world of magic from word go, Final Fantasy is a game that invites you to get lost.
Fans who are familiar with the series and JRPG genre will recognize in this early entry all of the things that people still love and hate about JRPGs today. Dense and often obtuse menu driven combat, big open worlds that are empty and lifeless, and larger than life story telling with unrelatable and bizarre characters. Like it or lump it, Final Fantasy delivers hard on its promises and refuses to make any explanation for its self.
Have you ever wanted to travel to Mars and take a portal to hell so you could kill the damned with a shot gun? If so Doom has your number. Made by id Software, doom is the seminal first person shooter. There were earlier shooters that made an impact, such as Wolfenstein 3D (1992), and there were shooters that advanced the genre more dramatically, such as Hovertank 3D (1991), but Doom was the game to excitingly deliver all the elements that would come to define the FPS genre in the coming decades.
It had tight controls, a dramatic setting, tense game play, and legitimate scares and horror. Bathed in gore and ultra violence the game has left a cultural legacy of concern over the impact that games have on their players, but for all the political posturing around the game here might be no better demonstration of the western relationship between the player and the gun.
You and your three friends (read: enemies) must
battle cooperate to make the colony on Irata as profitable as possible for the good of all interstellar peoples (who are you). Combing the elements of shared screen play, a blend of co-op and competition, and giving classic board game style play with action packed auctions, M.U.L.E. is a timeless game. With rules that are immediately understandable to the player, using numbers small enough for players to crunch in their head, and by emphasizing player interaction over stylish presentation, M.U.L.E. has all the makings of a great game like chess or go.
Since its debut in 1993 Pokémon has become one of the world’s strongest brands with an endless flow of spin off games, toys, card and board games, feature films, television shows and so forth, but back in the early 90s Pokémon was not Pokémon yet. So how did Pokémon become what it is today, and how much of that is actually to be found in the premier titles, Pokémon Red & Blue?
When your elderly friend passes away he leaves his farm in your young hands and without any more preamble Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is off to the races. Praised by many critics as the high water mark for the franchise (confusingly called the Story of Seasons), Fiends of Mineral Town is a combination of fan favourite staples for the series with all of the fat cut. The game sets a pace just a notch above slow and unfolds a simple and charming story where the player has a meaningful amount of control over the shape of their farm and the relationships they foster.
The Longest Journey (1999) is indeed, in the words of April Ryan “A Very Long One”. Though not without it’s trouble this game is a significant entry in the history of the adventure game as is worth playing and exploring as much for as it’s failures as for its successes. Join Brook and Liam as the chart a middle path between the past and present of game development.
Banjo-Kazooie abounds in this story about collecting rotating things and puzzle and adventure and possibly bears. We talk about what makes the music, sound and art direction so good, and if the mechanics live up to their legacy or are forever trapped behind the times. Find 2-Bit Game Club around the web and join in the discussion.
The second episode of the 2-Bit Game Club is here! Brook Jensen and Liam Gallagher talk Deus Ex (2000) to learn about story telling that adapts to player choice, low poly art, and the linage of famous games. Find 2-Bit Game Club around the web and join in the discussion.
The first episode of the 2-Bit Game Club is here! Brook Jensen and Liam Gallagher talk ActRaiser to learn about the paradigm of design in the 16-bit era, how the new tech available in the SNES effected design choices, and what flaws contemporary designers ought to avoid in their own designs. Find 2-Bit Game Club around the web and join in the discussion.