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MONSTER BENTō

Fév 8 '14
gamersneverforget:

SUPER SCOPE 6 (Nintendo, 1992 - Super Nintendo)
A little note: Sorry for the lack of updates around here. I wanted to post this drawing when I did it in July, but a lot of (great) things happened and it took some time to get used to my new life. But I really want to thank all the sweet people who have been sending me sweet little messages and who favorited the previous posts. It means a lot, merci beaucoup everyone :3
Based on purely scientific facts, the Super Nintendo is the best console ever created. Yes it is. No “but”. No need to argue. Noone can beat that magical little grey box. As the best console ever made, articles about its awesomeness are more than frequent. And so we can all remember the good old time of gaming, sharing praises about Earthbound (1994), Super Metroid (1994), Final Fantasy VI (1994), or of course the greatest video game of all time A Link to the Past (1991). Once again : scientific facts. 
As a Super Nintendo fan myself - in case you hadn’t noticed -, I find such articles delightful. What saddens me though is that some of my favorite games never get to be mentioned. Games such as the one I’m going to write about today : Super Scope 6 (スーパースコープ6).
There are three important things to know about Super Scope 6 :
1 - The game was directed by Yoshio Sakamoto, producer of the Rhythm Tengoku series, of some of the best WarioWare titles and of course, co-creator of the Metroid saga.
2 - It was bundled with the Super Scope, also known as the most epic accessory EVER. Forget about the Move, EyeToy, Gamepad or the-crappy-camera-from-Hell-that-should-never-be-named : on Super Nintendo, we played with a bazooka. A BA-ZOO-KA!!!
3 - Super Scope 6 was re-titled Nintendo Scope 6 in Europe. So if I write it this way at some point, blame NoE!
Super Scope 6 is made of 6 mini-games created for the Super Scope only, divided into two sections. The Blastris section introduces a fun and colorful family-friendly universe, with the crazy Mole Patrol (a Whac-A-Mole-like game), and two puzzle games - Blastris A and Blastris B. Blastris A is pretty much a horizontal Tetris where you can destroy blocks to fill columns. And with B, you get to fill lines but this time with colored cubes, turning them around by shooting them.
It then gets darker and more serious with the second section, LazerBlazer. Now it’s you against the enemy. And you have three ways to deal with the situation. Your mission in Type A : Intercept is to destroy missiles before they hit the side of the screen. In Type B : Engage, you’ll have to deal with a horde of enemies, while making sure your spaceship is safe and doesn’t run out of fuel. Finally with Type C : Confront, it’ll be time to fight for humanity’s safety against an army of incoming spaceships.
About my relationship with Super Scope 6, it all started in 1994. I had been begging my mum for two years to get the Super Nintendo. Unsuccessfully. But after two years of hard work at school, on a wonderful day of december, she finally decided I deserved it. Of course we had a deal : the console was expensive so she wouldn’t buy any game with it, and of course I wouldn’t get presents for my next birthday and next year’s Christmas.
Fortunately for me, the Super Nintendo wasn’t being sold alone. The Super Mario World bundle was nowhere to be seen, but the store we went to had a Super Mario All-Stars one they were selling with the Super Scope 6. That’s when you realize there is some sort of mystical creature watching over the sweetest kids in the world…
To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the Super Scope at that moment. Super Mario All-Stars was all I could think about. But I gave a chance to the grey bazooka when I was done with all of the Mario games inside (except The Lost Levels, I suck at it).
At first, the mini-games felt just like… well, mini-games. I found them entertaining (and I absolutely was crazy about the soundtrack), but I couldn’t picture myself playing more than a couple of minutes. And only when I’d be bored. It didn’t help that the Super Scope kept on making my eyes cry with its constant need of me aiming.
But before I realized it, the eyes and hands got used to the device. I was focusing, in control of what I was doing… and suddenly I was hooked.
Not only are all the mini-games exciting to play, they’re also carefully crafted. Each of them asks you to focus on a particular ability : reflexivity, analytical capacity, logic, stress management… Super Scope 6 isn’t about “shooting stuff on screen”. It’s about teaching you all the basics you need to play video games in general, helping you grow, making you work on these mandatory skills so you can get better and better. A concept that might be hard to grasp for those who haven’t experienced this era of gaming, or haven’t been courageous enough to jump into the wonderful world of indie gaming yet…
(A huge thank you to Mike, for making such amazing videos on youtube!!)

gamersneverforget:

SUPER SCOPE 6 (Nintendo, 1992 - Super Nintendo)

A little note: Sorry for the lack of updates around here. I wanted to post this drawing when I did it in July, but a lot of (great) things happened and it took some time to get used to my new life. But I really want to thank all the sweet people who have been sending me sweet little messages and who favorited the previous posts. It means a lot, merci beaucoup everyone :3

Based on purely scientific facts, the Super Nintendo is the best console ever created. Yes it is. No “but”. No need to argue. Noone can beat that magical little grey box. As the best console ever made, articles about its awesomeness are more than frequent. And so we can all remember the good old time of gaming, sharing praises about Earthbound (1994), Super Metroid (1994), Final Fantasy VI (1994), or of course the greatest video game of all time A Link to the Past (1991). Once again : scientific facts.

As a Super Nintendo fan myself - in case you hadn’t noticed -, I find such articles delightful. What saddens me though is that some of my favorite games never get to be mentioned. Games such as the one I’m going to write about today : Super Scope 6 (スーパースコープ6).

There are three important things to know about Super Scope 6 :

1 - The game was directed by Yoshio Sakamoto, producer of the Rhythm Tengoku series, of some of the best WarioWare titles and of course, co-creator of the Metroid saga.

2 - It was bundled with the Super Scope, also known as the most epic accessory EVER. Forget about the Move, EyeToy, Gamepad or the-crappy-camera-from-Hell-that-should-never-be-named : on Super Nintendo, we played with a bazooka. A BA-ZOO-KA!!!

3 - Super Scope 6 was re-titled Nintendo Scope 6 in Europe. So if I write it this way at some point, blame NoE!

Super Scope 6 is made of 6 mini-games created for the Super Scope only, divided into two sections. The Blastris section introduces a fun and colorful family-friendly universe, with the crazy Mole Patrol (a Whac-A-Mole-like game), and two puzzle games - Blastris A and Blastris B. Blastris A is pretty much a horizontal Tetris where you can destroy blocks to fill columns. And with B, you get to fill lines but this time with colored cubes, turning them around by shooting them.

It then gets darker and more serious with the second section, LazerBlazer. Now it’s you against the enemy. And you have three ways to deal with the situation. Your mission in Type A : Intercept is to destroy missiles before they hit the side of the screen. In Type B : Engage, you’ll have to deal with a horde of enemies, while making sure your spaceship is safe and doesn’t run out of fuel. Finally with Type C : Confront, it’ll be time to fight for humanity’s safety against an army of incoming spaceships.

About my relationship with Super Scope 6, it all started in 1994. I had been begging my mum for two years to get the Super Nintendo. Unsuccessfully. But after two years of hard work at school, on a wonderful day of december, she finally decided I deserved it. Of course we had a deal : the console was expensive so she wouldn’t buy any game with it, and of course I wouldn’t get presents for my next birthday and next year’s Christmas.

Fortunately for me, the Super Nintendo wasn’t being sold alone. The Super Mario World bundle was nowhere to be seen, but the store we went to had a Super Mario All-Stars one they were selling with the Super Scope 6. That’s when you realize there is some sort of mystical creature watching over the sweetest kids in the world…

To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the Super Scope at that moment. Super Mario All-Stars was all I could think about. But I gave a chance to the grey bazooka when I was done with all of the Mario games inside (except The Lost Levels, I suck at it).

At first, the mini-games felt just like… well, mini-games. I found them entertaining (and I absolutely was crazy about the soundtrack), but I couldn’t picture myself playing more than a couple of minutes. And only when I’d be bored. It didn’t help that the Super Scope kept on making my eyes cry with its constant need of me aiming.

But before I realized it, the eyes and hands got used to the device. I was focusing, in control of what I was doing… and suddenly I was hooked.

Not only are all the mini-games exciting to play, they’re also carefully crafted. Each of them asks you to focus on a particular ability : reflexivity, analytical capacity, logic, stress management… Super Scope 6 isn’t about “shooting stuff on screen”. It’s about teaching you all the basics you need to play video games in general, helping you grow, making you work on these mandatory skills so you can get better and better. A concept that might be hard to grasp for those who haven’t experienced this era of gaming, or haven’t been courageous enough to jump into the wonderful world of indie gaming yet…

(A huge thank you to Mike, for making such amazing videos on youtube!!)

9 notes (via gamersneverforget)Tags: Super Nintendo nintendo Super Scope 6 video games Fanart

Jan 26 '14
A little tribute to an amazing comedian :)
It’s been a while since my last update! But so many things happened between the end of university and my moving to Paris, and I haven’t been able to keep up unfortunately. Up until now :3
Here’s a little tribute to my favorite young comedian, Artus. That’s *really* obscure if you don’t live in France, but these are some of the characters he’s played in his TV comedy skits.

A little tribute to an amazing comedian :)

It’s been a while since my last update! But so many things happened between the end of university and my moving to Paris, and I haven’t been able to keep up unfortunately. Up until now :3

Here’s a little tribute to my favorite young comedian, Artus. That’s *really* obscure if you don’t live in France, but these are some of the characters he’s played in his TV comedy skits.

1 note Tags: Fanart Artus Art

Juil 6 '13
gamersneverforget:

CHRONO CROSS (Squaresoft, 1999 - PlayStation)
It’s been a while but I’m back, after an exciting internship for a french magazine. And talking about internships, today’s game jumped into my life during the first one I got, 14 years ago. What a coincidence!
Chrono Cross is the 3rd entry in Squaresoft’s Chrono series, after the cult-classic Chrono Trigger (1995, Super Nintendo) and its side-story Radical Dreamers (1996, Super Nintendo). Directed by the series’ writer, Masato Katô (Xenogears, Baten Kaitos), the new story brings the player into a tropical universe, for an adventure through alternate dimensions. Oh and there are dragons! And a mermaid! And a harlequin jester! And a humanoid panther!!
Contrary to a couple of games I talked about previously, this one’s still pretty famous today. Why wouldn’t it be after all? The game was made when Squaresoft was all-loved and all-powerful (and all-alive), it garnered great reviews and sales, and it’ll be forever linked to the unforgettable Chrono Trigger.
So Chrono Cross was released in 1999, a time when japanese RPG developers had no idea Europe existed. Or they just didn’t care. It was also my first year in high school, and the year of my firt internship, at the city’s video game store.
The job wasn’t hard at all. Cleaning a bit, stocking the shelves and spending all day playing or talking about games. It was a lot of fun but not really exciting, until a guy came in, asking my boss for some help with a japanese game he was stuck in. Seeing the tiny Squaresoft logo on the box, my heart stopped. I had never heard of this game, and my then-favorite company made it?! So the boss started it right away, showing me an introduction movie that would change my life, and making me listen to what I consider as the best musical piece ever written for a video game.
I think/hope every gamer experiences this one powerful moment, when we discover a game that combines precisely everything we’ve ever dreamed of. A game that makes you think right away: “They’ve made it for me. This is THE one game I was destined to play”. For me, it was Chrono Cross. Obviously then, it’s impossible to share all the reasons why I think everyone should play it. So I’m only going to keep my 3 favorite things:
The cast. The main characters are fascinating, but the 41 other playable ones make you realize how inventive (and crazy) console RPGs used to be. Suddenly your knights and pirates were fighting alongside a skeleton clown, a visual kei guitarist, and even a living voodoo doll. It sounds like a mess, but thanks to Masato Katô, it’s surprisingly coherent. The universe is just as unique as its characters, each with very personal traits, their own story and emotions. Besides, all of them are designed by Nobuteru Yûki (Escaflowne, Solatorobo), my artistic hero and Master, simply the greatest character designer and japanese illustrator of all time. Yes, they look awesome. Yes, that’s an understatement. No, I’m not biased at all.
The elemental battle system. While keeping the classic turn-based battles (with features close to Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system), Chrono Cross takes a more tactical approach. The characters’ actions not only influence the type, level and number of attacks and combos available, they also influence the battle field and its element affinity. By using elemental attacks, both the player and enemies can shape the field to play with each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
The artistic achievement. There’s a huge HUGE difference between a technically impressive game, and a beautiful, inspired one. And this about-to-die generation of games have made it even more obvious. Most of the time, the more expensive and AAA a game is, the uglier and more generic it becomes. And going back to games such as Chrono Cross makes this evolution even harder to accept. Of course, some (tasteless) people won’t enjoy the (stunning) characters drawn by Nobuteru Yûki, I understand that (no I don‘t). But all it takes is a look at the game’s world. The nature, the cities’ and villages’ architecture, the stylization and breathtaking choice of colors. Or this way of starting from a single motif (the water) to build an entire universe around it, that influences every detail up to the music, the story and its themes. 14 years later, Chrono Cross still looks beautifully unique compared to the games announced for 2013 and 2014. 3 years later and compared to the same games, Heavy Rain already looks as laughable as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999, PlayStation) facing Pixar’s Toy Story 3 (2010).
Despite its success, its team on board and a Chrono Break trademark registered in 2001, Chrono Cross would become the last entry in the Chrono series.
Since then, most of the artists involved left Squaresoft, creating Monolith Soft (Baten Kaitos, Xenoblade) or going freelance.
Since then, Squaresoft died and became Square-Enix.
And since then, the series has been left rotting and unloved, in favor of clichéed stories, stock manga characters,  and hair gel fetishists.

gamersneverforget:

CHRONO CROSS (Squaresoft, 1999 - PlayStation)

It’s been a while but I’m back, after an exciting internship for a french magazine. And talking about internships, today’s game jumped into my life during the first one I got, 14 years ago. What a coincidence!

Chrono Cross is the 3rd entry in Squaresoft’s Chrono series, after the cult-classic Chrono Trigger (1995, Super Nintendo) and its side-story Radical Dreamers (1996, Super Nintendo). Directed by the series’ writer, Masato Katô (Xenogears, Baten Kaitos), the new story brings the player into a tropical universe, for an adventure through alternate dimensions. Oh and there are dragons! And a mermaid! And a harlequin jester! And a humanoid panther!!

Contrary to a couple of games I talked about previously, this one’s still pretty famous today. Why wouldn’t it be after all? The game was made when Squaresoft was all-loved and all-powerful (and all-alive), it garnered great reviews and sales, and it’ll be forever linked to the unforgettable Chrono Trigger.

So Chrono Cross was released in 1999, a time when japanese RPG developers had no idea Europe existed. Or they just didn’t care. It was also my first year in high school, and the year of my firt internship, at the city’s video game store.

The job wasn’t hard at all. Cleaning a bit, stocking the shelves and spending all day playing or talking about games. It was a lot of fun but not really exciting, until a guy came in, asking my boss for some help with a japanese game he was stuck in. Seeing the tiny Squaresoft logo on the box, my heart stopped. I had never heard of this game, and my then-favorite company made it?! So the boss started it right away, showing me an introduction movie that would change my life, and making me listen to what I consider as the best musical piece ever written for a video game.

I think/hope every gamer experiences this one powerful moment, when we discover a game that combines precisely everything we’ve ever dreamed of. A game that makes you think right away: “They’ve made it for me. This is THE one game I was destined to play”. For me, it was Chrono Cross. Obviously then, it’s impossible to share all the reasons why I think everyone should play it. So I’m only going to keep my 3 favorite things:

  • The cast. The main characters are fascinating, but the 41 other playable ones make you realize how inventive (and crazy) console RPGs used to be. Suddenly your knights and pirates were fighting alongside a skeleton clown, a visual kei guitarist, and even a living voodoo doll. It sounds like a mess, but thanks to Masato Katô, it’s surprisingly coherent. The universe is just as unique as its characters, each with very personal traits, their own story and emotions. Besides, all of them are designed by Nobuteru Yûki (Escaflowne, Solatorobo), my artistic hero and Master, simply the greatest character designer and japanese illustrator of all time. Yes, they look awesome. Yes, that’s an understatement. No, I’m not biased at all.
  • The elemental battle system. While keeping the classic turn-based battles (with features close to Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system), Chrono Cross takes a more tactical approach. The characters’ actions not only influence the type, level and number of attacks and combos available, they also influence the battle field and its element affinity. By using elemental attacks, both the player and enemies can shape the field to play with each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The artistic achievement. There’s a huge HUGE difference between a technically impressive game, and a beautiful, inspired one. And this about-to-die generation of games have made it even more obvious. Most of the time, the more expensive and AAA a game is, the uglier and more generic it becomes. And going back to games such as Chrono Cross makes this evolution even harder to accept. Of course, some (tasteless) people won’t enjoy the (stunning) characters drawn by Nobuteru Yûki, I understand that (no I don‘t). But all it takes is a look at the game’s world. The nature, the cities’ and villages’ architecture, the stylization and breathtaking choice of colors. Or this way of starting from a single motif (the water) to build an entire universe around it, that influences every detail up to the music, the story and its themes. 14 years later, Chrono Cross still looks beautifully unique compared to the games announced for 2013 and 2014. 3 years later and compared to the same games, Heavy Rain already looks as laughable as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999, PlayStation) facing Pixar’s Toy Story 3 (2010).

Despite its success, its team on board and a Chrono Break trademark registered in 2001, Chrono Cross would become the last entry in the Chrono series.

Since then, most of the artists involved left Squaresoft, creating Monolith Soft (Baten Kaitos, Xenoblade) or going freelance.

Since then, Squaresoft died and became Square-Enix.

And since then, the series has been left rotting and unloved, in favor of clichéed stories, stock manga characters,  and hair gel fetishists.

47 notes (via gamersneverforget)

Mar 12 '13
gamersneverforget:

POCKY & ROCKY (Natsume, 1992 - Super Nintendo)
This is the post that will make all of my friends scream in pain and agony: Pocky & Rocky, also known in Japan as KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Manto, also known in my head as The game I have to talk about every 5 minutes of my life!
Pocky & Rocky is the sequel of KiKi KaiKai (1986, Arcade), a multi-directional shooter we actually got in the west (titled Knight Boy here) contrary to all of its ports on Famicom (1987), PC Engine (1990) or even mobile phones (2003) and PC (2004). The main character of the first game is back, the little miko Sayo-chan (Pocky), but this time with a brand-new Tanuki friend of hers, Manuke (Rocky).
As you’ve obviously guessed by now if you didn’t know this game before (something you should NEVER admit in front of me if you care about your life), Pocky & Rocky takes its inspiration in the good old Japanese folklore, allowing you to meet (and destroy) a myriad of mythical creatures.
No matter how much I talk about that game, whenever I do I always feel the exact same thrill as the very first time my ears heard its title theme, and my hands pushed the start button. Like many of my first times with video games, this one happened during summer. A very usual summer actually, though I couldnt say for sure if it was in 1994 or 1995. My sisters and I were staying at my grandparents’ place for a few weeks and I was lucky enough to have E, a great friend living two floors above, that I could go see all day (and most of the time all night) long. Every day was pretty much the same and our summers together consisted of eating Nutella, watching TV, renting movies, playing video games and staying far away from my sisters that I already had to bear 10 months a year (I was not a bad brother, they were the mean ones). My favorite kind of summer then!
So that summer of 1994 or 1995, E had bought a lot of Super Nintendo games from a friend of his, mostly old games the guy didn’t want anymore. Pocky & Rocky was in there, but none of us cared as Dragon Ball Z: Super Butôden 2 was already flirting with us and knew we were going to make passionate love to it for days. When we started to get sick of how bad the game was, we finally decided to try something else and went with this one, not really expecting a lot, maybe just a cute platformer at best.
But the moment my eyes saw the amazing-looking characters on the screen (and tried to understand why they were so ugly on the box art), and my fingers started to make this tiny miko shoot talismans all over the screens while E was destroying the hordes of demons with leaves, I immediately fell in love with this game.
Not only was it insanely beautiful, from its character design to the entire art direction, but playing was just as intuitive as it was challenging! In just a few seconds, you knew what to do and how to do it. Actually you really didn’t have the choice to react and learn fast, as you’re thrown inside the battle right away! But that’s what was exciting from the very beginning, the game told you right away that you don’t have time to rest and, most importantly, that you’re going to suffer!
Let’s not hide it, Pocky & Rocky is just as easy to understand as it is hard. So try to imagine how it feels when you’re only 10-11 yo! But no matter the difficulty, the game never felt frustrating to me, even at that time! The more we lost, the more we wanted to fight back and win, and we ended up spending the entire summer playing that game, cheating at first but then doing it all over again just with our skills and no cheat code. It’s a bit like what ATLUS can do with its Shin Megami Tensei franchise: the game is hard, it kills you to lose, but you’ll always want to go back right away just so you can feel how good it is to succeed.
Pocky & Rocky had the chance to get two official sequels. The first was in 1994 with Pocky & Rocky 2 (KiKi KaiKai: Tsukiyo Zoushi, Super Nintendo), maybe not as exciting and challenging to me as this one, but with great new mechanics despite making Sayo-chan a better and more improved character than her companion, while Pocky & Rocky considered them as equals with the same powers and techniques. The second one came much later, in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance, with the not-so-good-we-can-pretty-much-say-cheap Pocky & Rocky with Becky (KiKi KaiKai Advance).
Pocky & Rocky with Becky was the last official entry in the series. Official, because there’s actually another game, said to be a spiritual successor when it was never supposed to be: Yukinko Daisenpuu ~Sayuki to Koyuki no Hie-Hie Daisoudou~, known in the USA as Heavenly Guardian (2007, PlayStation 2, Wii). Originally a true sequel to the franchise developed by Starfish SD, the game would never see the light of the day as Taito, owners of the licence, was to be bought by Square-Enix in 2005. Unable to release the game the way it was supposed to be, Starfish SD decided to rework it, ending up with this very, VERY bad one.
Obviously, seeing this series dies has been one of the worst things I had to face as a video games fan. KiKi KaiKai was such a unique licence, inspired, fun and challenging to play, and everytime a company is about to reveal a new game, all I have in my mind is “Please announce a new Pocky & Rocky!”. I’m not asking for much, just a new entry, developed by Platinum Games and directed by Hideki Kamiya… is that too much to ask? At least I was glad to find some spiritual successors over the years, starting with Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta! (2008, Arcade, Xbox360, PlayStation 3), a game I was addicted to for months…

gamersneverforget:

POCKY & ROCKY (Natsume, 1992 - Super Nintendo)

This is the post that will make all of my friends scream in pain and agony: Pocky & Rocky, also known in Japan as KiKi KaiKai: Nazo no Kuro Manto, also known in my head as The game I have to talk about every 5 minutes of my life!

Pocky & Rocky is the sequel of KiKi KaiKai (1986, Arcade), a multi-directional shooter we actually got in the west (titled Knight Boy here) contrary to all of its ports on Famicom (1987), PC Engine (1990) or even mobile phones (2003) and PC (2004). The main character of the first game is back, the little miko Sayo-chan (Pocky), but this time with a brand-new Tanuki friend of hers, Manuke (Rocky).

As you’ve obviously guessed by now if you didn’t know this game before (something you should NEVER admit in front of me if you care about your life), Pocky & Rocky takes its inspiration in the good old Japanese folklore, allowing you to meet (and destroy) a myriad of mythical creatures.

No matter how much I talk about that game, whenever I do I always feel the exact same thrill as the very first time my ears heard its title theme, and my hands pushed the start button. Like many of my first times with video games, this one happened during summer. A very usual summer actually, though I couldnt say for sure if it was in 1994 or 1995. My sisters and I were staying at my grandparents’ place for a few weeks and I was lucky enough to have E, a great friend living two floors above, that I could go see all day (and most of the time all night) long. Every day was pretty much the same and our summers together consisted of eating Nutella, watching TV, renting movies, playing video games and staying far away from my sisters that I already had to bear 10 months a year (I was not a bad brother, they were the mean ones). My favorite kind of summer then!

So that summer of 1994 or 1995, E had bought a lot of Super Nintendo games from a friend of his, mostly old games the guy didn’t want anymore. Pocky & Rocky was in there, but none of us cared as Dragon Ball Z: Super Butôden 2 was already flirting with us and knew we were going to make passionate love to it for days. When we started to get sick of how bad the game was, we finally decided to try something else and went with this one, not really expecting a lot, maybe just a cute platformer at best.

But the moment my eyes saw the amazing-looking characters on the screen (and tried to understand why they were so ugly on the box art), and my fingers started to make this tiny miko shoot talismans all over the screens while E was destroying the hordes of demons with leaves, I immediately fell in love with this game.

Not only was it insanely beautiful, from its character design to the entire art direction, but playing was just as intuitive as it was challenging! In just a few seconds, you knew what to do and how to do it. Actually you really didn’t have the choice to react and learn fast, as you’re thrown inside the battle right away! But that’s what was exciting from the very beginning, the game told you right away that you don’t have time to rest and, most importantly, that you’re going to suffer!

Let’s not hide it, Pocky & Rocky is just as easy to understand as it is hard. So try to imagine how it feels when you’re only 10-11 yo! But no matter the difficulty, the game never felt frustrating to me, even at that time! The more we lost, the more we wanted to fight back and win, and we ended up spending the entire summer playing that game, cheating at first but then doing it all over again just with our skills and no cheat code. It’s a bit like what ATLUS can do with its Shin Megami Tensei franchise: the game is hard, it kills you to lose, but you’ll always want to go back right away just so you can feel how good it is to succeed.

Pocky & Rocky had the chance to get two official sequels. The first was in 1994 with Pocky & Rocky 2 (KiKi KaiKai: Tsukiyo Zoushi, Super Nintendo), maybe not as exciting and challenging to me as this one, but with great new mechanics despite making Sayo-chan a better and more improved character than her companion, while Pocky & Rocky considered them as equals with the same powers and techniques. The second one came much later, in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance, with the not-so-good-we-can-pretty-much-say-cheap Pocky & Rocky with Becky (KiKi KaiKai Advance).

Pocky & Rocky with Becky was the last official entry in the series. Official, because there’s actually another game, said to be a spiritual successor when it was never supposed to be: Yukinko Daisenpuu ~Sayuki to Koyuki no Hie-Hie Daisoudou~known in the USA as Heavenly Guardian (2007, PlayStation 2, Wii). Originally a true sequel to the franchise developed by Starfish SD, the game would never see the light of the day as Taito, owners of the licence, was to be bought by Square-Enix in 2005. Unable to release the game the way it was supposed to be, Starfish SD decided to rework it, ending up with this very, VERY bad one.

Obviously, seeing this series dies has been one of the worst things I had to face as a video games fan. KiKi KaiKai was such a unique licence, inspired, fun and challenging to play, and everytime a company is about to reveal a new game, all I have in my mind is “Please announce a new Pocky & Rocky!”. I’m not asking for much, just a new entry, developed by Platinum Games and directed by Hideki Kamiya… is that too much to ask? At least I was glad to find some spiritual successors over the years, starting with Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta! (2008, Arcade, Xbox360, PlayStation 3), a game I was addicted to for months…

49 notes (via gamersneverforget)Tags: Super Nintendo Pocky & Rocky KiKi KaiKai Natsume Taito Shooter

Mar 5 '13
gamersneverforget:

BREATH OF FIRE (Capcom, 1993-2002 - Super Nintendo, PlayStation, PlayStation 2)
Let’s go on with another japanese RPG series, and one of the reasons of the grudge I hold against Capcom: Breath of Fire.
I started the series right in the middle with Breath of Fire III (1997, PlayStation), some months after it was released in Europe in 1998. As the first memories of the series I have are of this game, that’s the one I’ll mostly talk about here.
At the time I was still living in Germany and was way too young to be able and allowed to get all the games I wanted. Yes people, it was the 1990s, a magical time in the past when parents actually cared about what their kids were doing and how they were doing it (thank you Mum!). So I was a broke kid in the 1980s and 1990s but kids from that time were really clever! Not only were we able to protect our houses against bad burglars attacking them on christmas, or travel to California by ourselves for video games tournaments, we also invented something called lending games. Lending games is a very elaborate system, so evil that publishers are risking their life to save the world from it, and so complex that I’ll need at least 16 words to explain it so stay focused: One kid finishes a game then lends it to a friend so he can play too.
Fortunately for me, I used to have a friend there (we’ll call him J) whose tastes in video games and TV shows were just as amazing as he was. After I was completely done with Final Fantasy VII (1997, PlayStation), he invited me over on a wednesday afternoon to play a new game he had that I simply can’t remember, not even the title. All I can remember of that day is me, on my knees in front of his TV, browsing through his games and noticing this awful european cover. It was ugly but still, it was an angel and I was in my angels & demons-years so that got me excited. And when he told me that the game has dragons and plays like Final Fantasy VII (we had no idea what the term RPG meant then), I immediately begged him to lend it to me for some days: it was the most rewarding begging I’ve ever done!
I can still remember the excitement when I started the game, and how brilliant the idea of making you start as a baby dragon to then turn you into a human was to me! You start the very beginning of the game as a character that shows the impressive powers your human character can hope to get once he’s back to his real form, while still being only a baby version of the dragon and the powers you can actually expect.
Playing was actually a bit harder than I imagined though. I had spent so much time on Final Fantasy VII and the materia system that I loved, that going back to what-I-would-later-understand-to-be the basics of the genre felt strange. It felt like I didn’t have much to do apart from fighting, and it took some time before I started to feel comfortable with that combat system. That’s when the story, its wonderful characters and its world became really helpful. I might have had some issues at first with the gameplay, all the rest around it found its way to hook me on the game. And just when I started to take pleasure in the more simple system, here came the masters, here came the fairy village and most importantly: here came Dragon-time! New things and ways to play were slowly introduced, making you try new strategies, forcing you sometimes to just sit down and realize that rushing is useless, that you need to take the time to improve.
Just like the baby dragon in the beginning, everything in this game is only a matter of time. The player is going to live something big, but it’ll have to be patient and discover it when it’s ready to discover it. It’s a matter of logical pacing, of how a story about self-discovery can have an impact on the actual gameplay.
I didn’t keep J’s copy of the game for long actually. After only a few days on the game, my mum was sweet enough to buy me my own…..only to regret it later as summer arrived and I spent the entire time inside, playing the game!
Of the five Breath of Fire games released, this 3rd one remains my favorite. Not only because it was my first but because it found a way to keep the best of the previous two, while adding brilliant and unique mechanics, and some kind of magic in its design and story that still works on me today. Breath of Fire IV (2000, PlayStation) went on with polishing the 3rd one’s gameplay, adding a great combo system and a magnificent world, and then came Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter (2002, PlayStation 2).
I remember the moment I pushed start for the first time on that one, scared of what was going to happen. I had seen pictures, read some articles in magazines, and I knew how visually different they had made this new entry. To this day, I still can’t really explain what I think of this game. Yes, it was a weird experience to live, incredibly different to what the series was before but in a way, totally the same. Capcom kept the focus on the story and the idea of self-discovery, but went on with giving up on the classical pace of the series, making it more direct, brutal, shorter and faster, pretty much forewarning of how RPG were going to evolve on home consoles, except this one was actually challenging.
Unfortunately, this 5th episode was going to be the last. At this time, Capcom has no intention of starting the work on a new entry, something that makes me both incredibly sad and happy. Sad because Breath of Fire is one of these Great sagas, one that deserves to live on, to have talented game designers having fun playing around with its unique codes and legacy. And happy because seeing how Capcom has changed over the recent years, I’m afraid this company doesn’t have what it takes anymore to work on a game that actually asks for work, inspiration, intelligence and guts.
What I’ll never forget: Every single second of Breath of Fire III! Oh and its title song, Pure Again, a pure 1990s gem indeed.
What i’ll try to forget: How many times I’ve lost when playing Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter… yes, I sucked at it…

gamersneverforget:

BREATH OF FIRE (Capcom, 1993-2002 - Super Nintendo, PlayStation, PlayStation 2)

Let’s go on with another japanese RPG series, and one of the reasons of the grudge I hold against Capcom: Breath of Fire.

I started the series right in the middle with Breath of Fire III (1997, PlayStation), some months after it was released in Europe in 1998. As the first memories of the series I have are of this game, that’s the one I’ll mostly talk about here.

At the time I was still living in Germany and was way too young to be able and allowed to get all the games I wanted. Yes people, it was the 1990s, a magical time in the past when parents actually cared about what their kids were doing and how they were doing it (thank you Mum!). So I was a broke kid in the 1980s and 1990s but kids from that time were really clever! Not only were we able to protect our houses against bad burglars attacking them on christmas, or travel to California by ourselves for video games tournaments, we also invented something called lending gamesLending games is a very elaborate system, so evil that publishers are risking their life to save the world from it, and so complex that I’ll need at least 16 words to explain it so stay focused: One kid finishes a game then lends it to a friend so he can play too.

Fortunately for me, I used to have a friend there (we’ll call him J) whose tastes in video games and TV shows were just as amazing as he was. After I was completely done with Final Fantasy VII (1997, PlayStation), he invited me over on a wednesday afternoon to play a new game he had that I simply can’t remember, not even the title. All I can remember of that day is me, on my knees in front of his TV, browsing through his games and noticing this awful european cover. It was ugly but still, it was an angel and I was in my angels & demons-years so that got me excited. And when he told me that the game has dragons and plays like Final Fantasy VII (we had no idea what the term RPG meant then), I immediately begged him to lend it to me for some days: it was the most rewarding begging I’ve ever done!

I can still remember the excitement when I started the game, and how brilliant the idea of making you start as a baby dragon to then turn you into a human was to me! You start the very beginning of the game as a character that shows the impressive powers your human character can hope to get once he’s back to his real form, while still being only a baby version of the dragon and the powers you can actually expect.

Playing was actually a bit harder than I imagined though. I had spent so much time on Final Fantasy VII and the materia system that I loved, that going back to what-I-would-later-understand-to-be the basics of the genre felt strange. It felt like I didn’t have much to do apart from fighting, and it took some time before I started to feel comfortable with that combat system. That’s when the story, its wonderful characters and its world became really helpful. I might have had some issues at first with the gameplay, all the rest around it found its way to hook me on the game. And just when I started to take pleasure in the more simple system, here came the masters, here came the fairy village and most importantly: here came Dragon-time! New things and ways to play were slowly introduced, making you try new strategies, forcing you sometimes to just sit down and realize that rushing is useless, that you need to take the time to improve.

Just like the baby dragon in the beginning, everything in this game is only a matter of time. The player is going to live something big, but it’ll have to be patient and discover it when it’s ready to discover it. It’s a matter of logical pacing, of how a story about self-discovery can have an impact on the actual gameplay.

I didn’t keep J’s copy of the game for long actually. After only a few days on the game, my mum was sweet enough to buy me my own…..only to regret it later as summer arrived and I spent the entire time inside, playing the game!

Of the five Breath of Fire games released, this 3rd one remains my favorite. Not only because it was my first but because it found a way to keep the best of the previous two, while adding brilliant and unique mechanics, and some kind of magic in its design and story that still works on me today. Breath of Fire IV (2000, PlayStation) went on with polishing the 3rd one’s gameplay, adding a great combo system and a magnificent world, and then came Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter (2002, PlayStation 2).

I remember the moment I pushed start for the first time on that one, scared of what was going to happen. I had seen pictures, read some articles in magazines, and I knew how visually different they had made this new entry. To this day, I still can’t really explain what I think of this game. Yes, it was a weird experience to live, incredibly different to what the series was before but in a way, totally the same. Capcom kept the focus on the story and the idea of self-discovery, but went on with giving up on the classical pace of the series, making it more direct, brutal, shorter and faster, pretty much forewarning of how RPG were going to evolve on home consoles, except this one was actually challenging.

Unfortunately, this 5th episode was going to be the last. At this time, Capcom has no intention of starting the work on a new entry, something that makes me both incredibly sad and happy. Sad because Breath of Fire is one of these Great sagas, one that deserves to live on, to have talented game designers having fun playing around with its unique codes and legacy. And happy because seeing how Capcom has changed over the recent years, I’m afraid this company doesn’t have what it takes anymore to work on a game that actually asks for work, inspiration, intelligence and guts.

  • What I’ll never forget: Every single second of Breath of Fire III! Oh and its title song, Pure Again, a pure 1990s gem indeed.
  • What i’ll try to forget: How many times I’ve lost when playing Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter… yes, I sucked at it…

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