Sunday, August 12, 2012

Update 8/12 - Okage: Shadow Kings, Uniracers, Last Survivor, Vice: Project Doom, Huang Di, Guardian Force, Altered Beast, Virtual Lab

I remember Okage: Shadow King as one of the first RPGs on the PlayStation 2, way back in 2000. You play as a young boy who's possessed by an evil demon named Stan, who forces you to try to take over the world. It's regarded to be remarkably average as a game, but its oddball premise, amusing dialogue and Tim Burton-y art style has given it a well deserved cult following. Uniracers (known as Unirally in native Europe) is a neat little SNES exclusive where you play as a sentient unicycle, which unfortunately ran into some legal trouble with Pixar, as this article points out. Last Survivor is an interesting Sega game, which I picked out because it's not emulated in MAME, but was ported to the FM Towns. It's the first instance that I can dig up of a networked multiplayer game made in Japan, which was released in the arcades. Its 3D is rudimentary, of course, using single sprite tiles rather than texture mapped polygons, and the game itself is slow and awkward, but as a weird piece of history, like most games featured on this site, it's pretty neat. After writing this I learned that the ROM has dumped and it should be released publically soon, which should give it some more exposure. Vice: Project Doom is one of those many quality NES action titles which never quite got the notoriety as Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden, but is still a worthwhile game nonetheless. And Huang Di: Zhuolu zhi Zhan, an unofficial Chinese Famicom game, stars a hopping zombie (known a a jiang shi in Chinese or a kyonshii in Japanese) and has nothing if a unique visual style. Guardian Force is an interesting scrolling tank shooter for the arcade and Saturn, developed by Success, the same folks beyond the Cotton series. And Part 14 of the iOS Shooter article covers Aeronauts Quake in the Sky, 1942: First Strike and 1945: Air Strike (which is unrelated to Capcom's games).

Our Spotlight Article is Altered Beast, for no other reason than that the original review was a little too harsh. It hasn't aged nearly as well as some of Sega's better arcade games (Fantasy Zone is still brilliant twenty five years later), and it's definitely a style-over-substance cases, but the visuals are still fantastic, and the boss designs are still incredible. It's also a little bit weird that the final boss makes a cameo in Wreck-It Ralph, especially seeing that a purple armor-clad rhino isn't exactly iconic. And Your Weekly Kusoge is Virtual Lab, a sloppy, hacked together puzzle game for the Virtual Boy.


  1. Literally spent 6 hours on Saturday watching Okage let's plays and trying to plot how best to obtain the game. Super stoked to see it on here, hoping all the reasonably priced copies don't disappear before I get paid on Friday.

  2. I'd like to point out that the Okage page's initial paragraph is erroneous. Okage was not Zener Works first developed game. They made a series of strategy RPGs under the title "Little Master" for the Gameboy and SNES, before it. It's a minor point but still incorrect.