Good Old Games recently put Police Quest up for download, so I'd figured I'd put up this article that I'd written several months ago. I wasn't entirely sure I should post it, since it's sorta incomplete. It was done for the adventure game book, so it only covers the "main" Police Quest series - the first four games, PQ: SWAT, and the clone Blue Force. It briefly covers the other SWAT games, but there are at least four of them (two for the PC, a few more for the PSP and mobile platforms) that I really didn't want to bother with. Still, by that point they'd dropped the Police Quest name anyway, and solely spun off to the "SWAT" series, so I don't feel too bad. Also, if it weren't already featured here, Police Quest: SWAT would absolutely be going into the kusoge column. It's an incredibly pretentious FMV game in fancy dressing, basically a compilation of those timed action sequences in adventure games that everybody hates. Except that's practically the whole game, with the rest comprised of stupid shooting gallery sequences for what seems like hours on end. Terrible.
Also up is Yume Nikki, which you should consider a companion piece to the LSD article from a few weeks ago - it's a pretty similar experience, but done with RPG Maker instead of trippy PSOne-era polygons. I'd never heard of Blandia before, but it's actually a follow up to Great Swordsman and Gladiator, mentioned in the Pre-Street Fighter II fighting games article. It's also notable as one of the first weapon-based fighters, predating Samurai Shodown slightly. It's got some nice graphics, although it's terribly glitchy. Primal Rage also isn't a terribly good fighter, but it did remind us of the days one would spend playing with dinosaur toys and having them gnaw each other to bits. It's rather fondly remembered as being better than most Western-developed fighting games at the time, mostly because it was riding on the hype of Jurassic Park. And finally, Gundemonium is a trilogy of doujin shooter released for the PC and PSN last summer by Rockin' Android, which we're only now catching up on. They're not exactly the cream of the crop as far as shooters go, but they're fun, and there's not much else that's quite similar on the PSN, so they're worth a look.
The Games of the World section has been updated with a bit about the scene in the Philippines. Our Spotlight Article is Segagaga, which is always a fun topic. I remember a few years ago when the British magazine Edge featured this game, and snagged some quotes based on the dialogue I had written for this article. It was actually just rewritten from this translation FAQ, which was incredibly stilted and needed to be redone, but the original translator was also properly credited, whereas Edge didn't reference my article at all. It's not quite plagarism but I was slightly annoyed. Oh, Games Journalism! And Your Weekly Kusoge is Record of Agarest War, which was mostly known for its scandalous special edition featured a boob mouse pad and a body pillow cover. I bought this game on clearance months ago and never opened it, where it still resides in shame in the closet. Amusingly, the side of the packaging contains this slightly salacious imagery, which apparently the folks at Micro Center felt was too suggestive and covered up with a Post-It note. The author of this particular piece admitted that he kinda sorta likes the game, but the absurdly complex alchemy system just begs to be mocked, and we'll take any opportunity we can to rail against the terribleness of Idea Factory (which has an amusing nickname amongst Japanese fans - please read more for details.)