A Deeper Shade of Inky Black – Sega Genesis – Phantasy Star II – 1990

Phantasy Star II Title

Phantasy Star II
Sega Genesis
Sega
Genre: Sci-Fi Role Playing
1990

Having recently played through the original Phantasy Star recently, I can say that it took a lot of steps to revolutionize role-playing games and was quite ambitious for the time.  You can see my impressions on that game here.  At the time, the market wasn’t as saturated as it is now, and while the premier role-playing games of the time can be difficult to go back to for a number of reasons, they tend to conjure up feelings of nostalgia and warm feelings of falling in love with a genre that was really beginning to flourish in the West.

Phantasy Star II has a few things going for it over the original from the beginning- Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy came out around the time so the market was starting to come into its own.  Not to mention the fact that its predecessor had been well reviewed by critics and the public alike.

Having had a couple of years to perfect and enhance the experience for their fans, how does the second entry to the series fare not only against the test of time but against the previous entry?

As a note, I’m going to try to delineate certain discussion points for future reviews to keep them segmented and outline where spoilers might be.  It may be expected, but given that this is a sequel related to the original, there may be spoilers throughout.

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Every Good Rebellion Has a Rough Beginning – Sega Master System – Phantasy Star – 1988

Phantasy Star Title

Phantasy Star
Sega Master System
Sega
Genre: Role-Playing Game
1988

When people talk about fantastic role-playing games from the 16-bit era, the same answers tend to crop up- Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana- but rarely do you hear a game from the Sega corner of the universe first out of a gamer’s mouth.  That’s not to say, however, that it never happens.

Sega Genesis has some pretty solid entries into the RPG arena, but most of them are one-offs or largely forgettable.  One series that has still had some kind of traction after all of these years, though, is the Phantasy Star series.  Predating Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior on US shores, Phantasy Star made a splash when it came out but appears to have fallen to the wayside over time for one reason or another, subject to romantic reminiscences from diehard fans with charmed memories.

With a myriad of titles in the series across a number of systems, let’s take a look into the original Phantasy Star and the number of ways it should- or should not be- fondly remembered.  As with most story-heavy games reviewed here, be forewarned that there will be spoilers, though hopefully in short supply.

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Responding to My Mystery Blogger Award Nomination

mystery-blogger-award

Despite having blogged about video games and the like for a while now, I only joined WordPress a couple of years ago.  It was also only recently that I really started to work to be more social and present on Twitter.  Both of these moves feel like they were for the best for a number of reasons, but I can honestly say I never expected to meet some of the awesome and welcoming members of the community.

One of those folks over at Nostalgia Trigger was kind enough to nominate me for the Mystery Blogger Award- which has absolutely floored me with appreciation.  Admittedly, I’m way too humble (or terrible at taking compliments) to go on for too long about it, so I’ll just cap this off with- thanks, and you should totally check out some of that stuff over on their blog!

If my sources are right, the creator of this award over at https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/ made this award to help spread the word of blogs with ingenious posts that can inspire, captivate, and motivate.  Really, the ultimate goal seems to be to create a stronger community.  That’s a purpose I definitely dig, so- without further ado:

Rules

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog. (Check it at the top!)
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Seems easiest to just go point by point so- read on to check out my responses and some other cool stuff!

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Looking Forward to the Games of 2018

pile of video games

Every year, there is a slew of new games that come out of every size and genre.  While I don’t often buy new games fresh off of the shelf, I try to reserve a bit of my entertainment stash to stoke my gaming fires with some current releases.  Given, I’ve run into a few flops in my anticipatory planning for years past, but I’m usually pleased with what I’ve plotted to add to my ever-growing video game library.

It’s no surprise that I’m looking forward to this month’s release of Secret of Mana, as I’ve discussed recently.  There are plenty of other titles that are calling to me across all platforms, but picking through those, I’ve come across a few that I’m especially excited for in a number of ways.

Feel free to kick back, check out some trailers, and check out some of my most promising titles to come into my gaming cases that are releasing this year!

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You’re the Next Contestant on… – A Look at NES Game Show Titles

Game Show Header Image.jpg

Let’s talk trivia.  

I love trivia nights at bars and restaurants.  When a friend recently showed me HQ Trivia, a free twice-a-day game show app on iOS and Android, I immediately became hooked.  Heck, I was even jealous of showed like Nick Arcade and Video Power because I would have loved (and still would love) to host some kind of video game trivia show.  For a chunk of my life, game shows were a big deal.

When I was growing up, I started enjoying game shows through being babysat by my grandmother.  Family Feud, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune were big on her television, as well as with most of my family that I spent extended amounts of time with.  I blame most of these for my love of esoteric trivia and pop culture know-how.  Game shows have been a pretty large staple of television culture and that was apparent even back in the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System.  If there was a chance to capitalize on the popularity of a piece of broadcast media, some company usually found some way to jump on the chance to seize the opportunity.

Two companies seemed strongly involved in translating game shows to the small pixelated screen: GameTek, who made their start from making adaptations in the late 1980’s and closed in the 1997 after making a number of licensed games, and High-Tech Expressions, who had a reputation for making children oriented games after their founding in 1988 and also closed their doors in 1997.  While neither of them are around anymore (though some of GameTek’s assets have been brought over to Take Two Interactive Europe), they left a potpourri of game show related works across not only the NES, but also on a few other systems.

Given that these game show related games don’t particularly have the substance to warrant a full review each, I’ve decided to dive into some of these- a whole bunch of which I remember- and throw together some mini-reviews to see how these game stand up as entertainment.  I’ve broken them down into categories to help limit the guidelines of what they are being judged on, since there’s obviously no plot, leveling systems, or anything else of the sort to dissect.

In this first entry, I’ve checked into four game show adaptations, two from GameTek and two from High-Tech Expressions: MTV’s Remote Control, Double Dare, Win Lose or Draw, and the classic Jeopardy.  If you’re interested in seeing how some licensed games are torturing me or fulfilling my old-school gaming habit, come on down!

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