The final part of the Ultima article has now been posted, which finishes up by giving a quick briefing of Ultima Online, a handful of cancelled games and fan works, several books and guides, and most importantly, an exclusive interview with Lord British himself, who also recently had a documentary made about his journey into space. The article in total is 15 meaty pages long, putting it up there with the Shin Megami Tensei article in sheer length. Also of note is a preview of the Ultima Collector's Guide by Stephen Emond, a massive 800+ page catalog of Ultima memorabilia and trivia. You can read a bit about it at his Rockethub page, although it's already got enough donations to put it into production. And keeping up with the WRPG theme, please enjoy a review of the Eye of the Beholder series, a trilogy of first person dungeon crawlers.
At any rate, what have you spent your precious holiday gaming time with? Uncharted 3? Arkham City? Skyrim? I spent the past few weeks with Otomedius, to cover the recently released Otomedius Excellent, which somehow got localized despite being a very, very Japanese series. The only reason I got so enamored with it is due to Konami shooter fanboyness, which these games deliver in droves. It is a bit odd, though, considering they reference so many titles that never got releases outside of Japan, but this article should help sort all of that out. Even as someone who spent far too long with it at the expense of much better games, they're...really not all that great. I've seen it get torn to shreds in some reviews, which is harsh, but perhaps not unfair. Beyond the Konami love, its focus is largely on boobs and grinding for weapons, whereas the core games are fairly mediocre by Gradius/Parodius standards.
Additional articles this post-Thanksgiving update include 3D Ultra Pinball, a series of, well, pinball games put out by Dynamix in the 90s; Baruusa no Fukushuu, a side-scrolling action game for the X68000; Electronic Popple, an amusingly goofy Korean beat-em-up; and Giftpia, a Japan-only Gamecube from the guys that would eventually develop Chibi Robo, and has that same outright bizarreness to it. They also created the (similarly Japan-only) Captain Rainbow for the Wii, which Nintendo silently buried before focusing on exploiting its franchises for the dozenth time (although doing it reasonably well, at least) and ignoring anything that isn't guaranteed to sell a million copies. Oh, and the weekly kusoge is Battle Construction Vehicles, a...construction vehicle battle simulator where you can attack your opponent with giant bees. You may remember it being posted on the blog a few years back, but something this bizarre is worth catalouging for the ages.
I also forgot to post last update on the blog, so if you only read this site through an RSS reader or whathaveyou, here's the text below:
The fourth part of the Ultima article is now up - since the main series is covered, this one focuses on the various sub-series and spinoffs. These include the Worlds of Adventure games, which featured pulp novel-inspired settings like prehistoric islands and martian landscapes; the Runes of Virtue series, simplified (but fun) versions for the Game Boy; and, of course, the incredibly influential Ultima Underworld series, being one of the first true 3D free roaming RPGs.
Beyond Ultima, we have three sort of lesser known shooters: Eliminate Down, the pricey but well designed Mega Drive entry; Bio Hazard Battle, featuring bugs and all manners of creepy crawleys; and Imperium, a vertical shooter with an experience point-based power up system. And continuing our fascination with Konami Famicom titles, we also have a look at Dragon Scroll, the company's valiant attempt at a Zelda clone. Your Weekly Kusoge is Voyeur, one of the many awful FMV games featuring tackily implemented "adult" themes, "gameplay" in the loosest of sense of the word. And this thing was supposed to be one of the highlights of the Phillips CDi!