This update is helmed by an article on the Zettai Zetsumei Toshi series, a trilogy of disaster escape games which were localized under the titles Disaster Report (the first game in North America), SOS: The Final Escape (the first game in Europe) and Raw Danger (the second game). The third game was for the PSP and was not translated into English, while the fourth was schedule to come out for the PS3 last year, but was cancelled in the wake of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan back in March 2011. Coincidentally, earlier this month 1up posted an interview with Kazuma Kujo, formerly of Irem, who discusses a bit about the fourth game and the reasons surrounding its cancellation.
Hayao Miyazaki, legendary director of many movies from Ghibli studio, like Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, as long been quoted as having a distaste for video games. That may trace back to a trilogy of computer games based on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, including two shooters and one arcade adventure game, all of which are varying degrees of awful. There have not been any games based on Ghibli movies since then, despite the huge influence that his movies have had on Japanese game artistry, a few examples of which are touched on in this article as well.
Rounding out this update is a review of Ultimate Stuntman, an amusing unlicensed NES game, and Power Drift, one of the lesser known Super Scaler racing games, courtesy of Sega and Yu Suzuki. Plus, installment 15 of our iOS Shooters piece, including reviews of AstroWings, AstroWings Returns, Aerial Assault, and AsciiArt Wars Free: The 2ch Strikes Back.
Our Spotlight Article covers 7th Dragon 2020, the sequel (or, rather, offshoot, if Sega is to be believed) of the 2009 DS JRPG that the company refused to publish or license outside of Japan, despite relatively significant demand for it. This follow up was releaed on the PSP late last year, and I hadn't bothered to play much of it, due to them significantly scaling back some elements (three characters in a party rather than four, five character classes rather than eight, an aesthetic that seemed to rip off Shin Megami Tensei rather than Dragon Quest), but I decided to give it a go anyway. It made a good gaming equivalent to a beach read - nothing particularly outstanding, but sold and enjoyable. The kusoge this week is Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool. There were more than a handful of games in the 16-bit era that were based off of food products, and some of them, like Mick and Mack in Global Gladiators and Cool Spot, were pretty good. This is not one of those games.