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Friday, December 30, 2016

Ryu ga Gotoku 3 (龍が如く3)

As per the usual Jhipster post, let's first start with the name. While Yakuza 3 is probably the most boring and mundane name one could ever imagine, I guess it's better than a literal translation of the Japanese title: Ryu ga Gotoku. Calling a game "Like a Dragon" would make one expect some kind of cheesy 90s Kung Fu flick, catching flies with chopsticks, ninjas, and the works. (Though on second thought, that would kinda be a kick ass game.)

NOT read as "Doragon" unlike those English weebs at Square
I beat the first 2 Ryu ga Gotoku games ages ago on the PS2 and man, the leap to HD here is phenomenal and yes, while the character models may look a bit dated by today's standards, you have to give Sega credit for pulling off such a big graphical leap with no bugs or glitches of any kind and on the PS3 Cell shit to boot.

Pfft, Sega sucks guys, they can't even make a decent Sonic game.
(This is what Neogaf posters actually look like)
Yes, after playing Persona 5 in 2016, being able to walk around in Tokyo may not seem AS cool today but it was mind blowing at the time. I still remember thinking it was so awesome to be able to walk into a Don Quixote or a Matsuya just like in real life. Since I was living in Tokyo at the time, you may be wondering, why not just fucking walk outside? Well I can ask you riaju fuckers the same thing about Wii Sports and yet you guys still bought it like it was cocaine sprinkled on a box of Crispy Creme. Ok, where was I again?

Come to the real store to enter to win because vidya games can't make real food (YET)
While I'm obviously a big fan of the series, unfortunately, I found the gameplay a bit wanting in this entry. I don't remember combat being such a fucking pain in the ass in the previous games. The main problem with the battle system is that it's very, very tedious. Maybe it was because I played on hard difficulty, but it seemed like just about everybody can block your attacks with perfect precision, even the local punks on the street corner. Going face on, you will never and I repeat NEVER land a full combination on ANYBODY. One option is to wait until they attack, sway around and land a bunch of hits from behind but that's tedious as well unless it's an aggressive boss. I just did □→□→△→△  like a million times because while it does very little damage, at least it can break a guard.

This tutorial is BS, that kick never works
I equipped a stinky rag just because it said that it made people avoid you but it didn't seem to do shit to prevent all those annoying punks from running up and starting a fight with you. Another annoying part was always running out of heat and you need heat to do all the cool moves. Overall, either I'm suffering from rosy nostalgia glasses syndrome or the combat in 3 got a lot more annoying. Well, at least in this game, you get your own blog.

I used to think blogs were annoying.
Oh if I only knew how much dumberest the internet would get in 2016.
As for the story, while being able to walk around Okinawa was a nice change of pace, I got quickly tired of taking care of the damn kids and the bazillion side missions. And after the grand plot was revealed literally by explaining it while sitting around the table, I was debating whether to give this game a 2 or maybe squeeze out a 2.5 based purely on my love of Tokyo and the improved graphics. That was until a few chapters near the end.

Some side missions were cool like this one (censored ofc from English ver) but most were just filler 

Without going into any spoilers, I will just say that you have to play until chapter 11 to fully appreciate the story. While the overall plot is a bit far-fetched and whatever, that's not the important part. This is a MAN'S story. Stop being whipped by your woman and play this game. Bros before Hos and all that shit (just don't tell my GF I said that, please for the love of god!!!)

Score: 3 Aniki... you're so goddamn cool out of 5 (25 hours to beat)
Tip to game developers: pole dancing is automatic 0.5+ bonus points.

For those of us who are not blessed as Jhipsters, thankfully, they stopped dubbing these games and stuck with sensible subtitles. However, some parts of the game such as the Cabaret side mission were cut due to "cultural" differences. But pole dancing must be cool because that part was left in and I guess that kinda makes sense culturally? (I'm from New Jersey after all.) However, if you want the full experience with no censored content, you'll want to play the Japanese version. And surprisingly, coordinating your Hostess's clothing and makeup, buying accessories, and training her was actually kinda fun!

I hate to admit it but it's undeniable. Kiryu must be gay. He doesn't take his eyes off sexy Rikiya the entire show
Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Monday, December 26, 2016

High School DxD: New Fight (ハイスクールD×D NEW FIGHT)

I was actually surprised to hear this game was going out of service back in July. Maybe boobs don't always sell after all. Welp, here we go again with the trophy deadline shit...

Surprisingly not enough to generate a profit apparently
I can't tell you anything about the anime except that it's the worst anime of all time. Did I watch it? No, of course not but I can tell just by looking at the Wikipedia page as a Puritan born again Christian rock gamergate supporter.

I would never play this filth, nuh uh, no way siree
Anyways, the game itself is a standard card battle F2P, boobie microtrans shitfest but as least the Platinum trophy wasn't too time consuming. OH RIGHT, I NEVER GOT THE PLATINUM BECAUSE OF A STUPID TROPHY GLITCH.

Exactly how I felt with the trophy glitch except you know not in a nurse costume
One of the easier trophies would not trigger for the life of me and I even had a back and forth with support about it. Unfortunately, they replied that a fix would require an update which they weren't going to do because DUH, the service was due for imminent shutdown.

You know how many games I bought from you fuckers?

Score: -1 Fuck it, let's set up a whole new score category for this atrocity out of 5

More screenshots to reflect on the folly of your ways.








Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Suishou no Dragon (水晶の龍)

After Alpha, Square published some shooters (meh) with Thexder and King's Knight. But we all know their true soul is in adventure games so I'll be skipping those. Which brings us to their first console debut on the Family Disk System: Suishou no Dragon (again not counting Thexder cause it was licensed).

Yeah fuck Kanji, "Ryu" is so passé
Not sure why they used the Kanji for "Ryu" and yet read it in English as "Dragon". I guess it's because English is "cool". Anyways, does Suishou no Dragon live up to the high standards of Alpha, despite being crippled by outdated console technology? Let's find out! (totally unbiased)

Loading... loading... please wait... ok... WAIT load some more... aaaand... loading again
The game starts out with an interesting premise. Right away, your ship is shot down by a flying dragon IN SPACE. Yeah, a space dragon (cool) and then....please wait.

As I explained previously, I didn't grow up with the luxury of importing every (any) piece of fancy gaming hardware back in the day so this is actually my first time playing a FDS game and man, the loading time is a big bummer. The emulator I was using unfortunately pauses when I try to multitask so I had to actually watch it do its fake emulated loading shit. At least I didn't have to get out of the chair to flip the disk, something that happens annoying while moving around in the middle of town.

Her name Yujin ironically also means "friend" (spoiler... not really)
The character design is pretty good even though it definitely has that family Famicon look to it. The control sceme is a bit awkward in that you first have to move your cursor BEFORE you select the action but I got used to it. Oddly enough, you never need to use the"throw" command in the entire game (the flying rock command on the upper right). I especially liked the fact that when you die, it automatically starts you a few actions before, removing the need to save incessantly. That's some next gen Call of Duty shit right there.

Aaaaand the game is over. No seriously, this game is probably about the same length as WILL Death Trap 2 and can be beaten in under an hour with a guide. Yes, I did waste some time aimlessly wandering around in space and desert but there's no map so it's not like you can enjoy even manually mapping anything. The story is slightly better than Death Trap 2 but not by much. You barely interact with any characters and the plot just barfs all over you in like 5 seconds. In fact, I can probably write more about the scandal surrounding this game than about the actual game itself.

The infamous scene with Shinshia (whom you barely interact with)
The first thing that shows up on a google search for this game is the whole Famitsu fake article "scandal" hinting at... um, I don't really know given my cleansed, pure soul. Of course I'm talking Jhipster google search as an English search just turns up roms and translation patches. (English, English, English is that all you guys care about? Geesh!)

Apparently "Family" Disk System also caters to the masturbating teenage son (or daughter, no need to be sexist)
Apparently a lot of hopeful boys (or girls, or fuck it let's just include gender-neutral and gender-curious, it's fucking 2017 after all #trump #armageddon) were dissapointed to find out the rock-paper-scissor easter egg mini game was just Famitsu's ploy to trick its competitors. They flat out made up shit with elaborate fake screenshots apparently just to figure out which competitors were wholesale copying their content.

Now, non-jhipsters may say you'd be stupid to think there would be nudity in a Nintendo console game but that's for Reggie-Puritan-OMG-Congressional-Hearing-Time NoA. After all, your beloved DQ father Horii was a perv back in the good ol' days.

The good ol' days before all that squeeky clean DQ mainstream shit (no nipples though)

Other than that interesting bit of history, I don't think you would be missing much by skipping this one. While it started out interesting, the story is short and dead simple, there's pretty much zero character development and the puzzles were nothing special. Compared to Alpha, this is a pretty big downgrade. Even Alpha had at least music for both the intro and ending, this game only has ONE song at the end and the rest is either silence or super annoying sfx. At the very least, I got a kick out of the space scooter that you putz around in space with.

Don't worry, your space scooter will be upgraded to a space motercycle later
Score: 1.5 yes, a scooter sounds like the perfect engineering design to explore space!!! out of 5

At least now I'm a more learned gaming historian and "in the know" for future references and parodies. I'm sure that'll totally come in handy in real life.

Oh, I GET IT NOW AHAHAHAHA!! Ok, where's my paycheck? I've got bills to pay!
Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tales of Phantasia X (テイルズオブファンタジア クロスエディション)

I've started just about every Tales game in the series but never got much further than the first few hours. I generally couldn't get into them because of the constant mashing of buttons that is required. I also made the mistake of playing on hard difficulty because as a gamer elite, I always play my games on hard. I eventually discovered that playing a tales game on hard just means more grind and even MORE button mashing. It's not like Metal Gear Solid where you can just get good at the boss fights and use something called um I dunno... skills?? It's a standard RPG where you need to equip the right equipment and be at an adequate level just with more mash. HULK MASH! ME MASH GOOD!

NO MASH? WHEN I MASH?????
Even though I'm obviously not a huge fan of the mashing battle system, I found it didn't detract too much from the game. You can set special moves for each direction + x button and your TP recovers slightly after every battle. This, combined with the Holy Symbol, was a nice touch that saved you from having to heal yourself every few battles unlike pretty much every standard (FF/DQ) RPG up until you know... Squeenix went all crazy n shit. As you gain more abilities, I found myself queing them up in boss fights for the other characters cause the AI kinda sucks. For example: nurse, nurse, INDIGNATION, nurse, Maxwell, INDIGNATION, nurse, EXASPERATION, FRUSTRATION, nurse, DEPRESSION QUEST. The later Playstation versions updated the battle system so spells don't pause the game and it can get kind of frantic, waiting for that nurse to kick in while you and Mint are getting your asses kicked.

INDIGESTION! (sorry had beans for lunch)
I played on the PSP, the best system of all time, OBVIOUSLY. Not only does this version have voice acting for the main story, an improved battle system, and a whole new party member, but it also comes completely FREE with the sequel: Narikiri Dungeon X. HOLY SHIT BATMAN! You just have to get the day one edition and hope the DLC code hasn't expired... LOL just kidding, this came out back in the good ol' days instead of the diarrhea shit we deal with today.

INDIVIDUALIZATION!!
OMG, there's so many versions of this game. This is PSP version I played #BAE
The skits, which are now a standard Tales feature, was a great idea. They add tons of additonal details into the characters in nice fully voiced short sequences that are nonintrusive. I just wish there was an icon or indicator that showed when a new skit was available so I didn't have to constantly press select to see if a new one popped up. And by the way, speaking of those skits, Chester is SUCH an asshole. Also, Arche #1 WAIFU no contest.

There are also tons of missable side quests that also trigger their own skits including a cute one where Mint teaches a girl piano. I referenced a guide from time to time in order to avoid missing the good ones.

The speed at which piano skills are attained are totally unrealistic. Realism RUINED

Speaking of guides, while most of the dungeons are not that bad, there are few nasty puzzles especially in the Moria mines (ugh). For example, how the hell you supposed to know to leave Arche on a switch because she can fly up through a hole? JESUS! Besides some lame puzzles, and not one but THREE dungeons that require you to heal yourself every few seconds with environmental bullshit (not bathing in lava at least), the dungeons were pretty manageable and not too obnoxious.

Another interesting note to make about the gamplay is how terrible the items are managed. Rune Bottles are like your bread and butter. You can use them to save 50% on shop purchases, they identify unknown items, and you can turn shitty Apple and Orange Gumi into the good shit (AWWW YEAH). Yet, they are just another item in a huge list of shit. Yeah, you can sort but is having a category asking too much? Not to mention weird items that add options in your game settings or enable combo gameplay. Finally, you get titles for doing various whatever and as far as I can tell, they don't do JACK except for ONE title that lets you do a super move in a pinch by pressing □+△+○. Maybe they explain it all in the manual but my DLC code for it expired already.



You may want to skip to the end of the post if you are super spoiler sensitive.



As for the story, man, it starts off REAL heavy. GAWD DAMN! I first got interested in the plot a few hours into the game ironically when meeting the extra bonus character in the remake: Rondoline E. Effenberg. EFFENBERG LOOOOOOL

I guess she's in mobile gacha shit nowadays. EFFENBERG DAT SHIT!
Anyways, you meet her and she's like, oh, you don't know me yet? Hmm... the plot thickens. Unfortunately, as you later find out, the overall plot just makes no freaking sense and you can clearly tell Rondoline was kinda shoved in after the fact.

On the one hand, I'm kinda glad it wasn't a hollywood, "oh somehow we saved everybody kind of story" but still. Whoever wrote this story apparently never watched Back to the Future. That's all I'm saying on that matter.

I didn't think too much of the soundtrack but was later pleasantly surprised at the variety and some straight up gems in the OST.

One of the gems, most other songs are just OK.

Score: 3 well that story made no sense- OOH Arche #1 WAIFU!!! out of 5 (35 hours and apparently 1,146 encounters to beat)

While I'm biased against ARPGs in general, I still thought the mechanics of the game was fun to play. While the story was a mess, I just couldn't help but like the characters and their little skits. Sure, there's barely any character development but I'm a sucker for that nostalgic classic 90's anime voice acting. This was clearly apparent when I booted up the sequel  (on the same UMD remember, DEAL!!) and it had the standard moepocalypse VA. It's fine but it definitely lacks that 90's charm. If I wasn't playing the PSP #BAE full voice edition, I would give this game a meh 2.5. However, Arche and Suzu bring this game up to a solid average score of 3 even IF Suzu is pretty much useless in battle. She's 11 years old and yet not super annoying like moe child characters nowadays. And that's good enough for me.

If you're not a Jhipster, your best option is to probably go for the PSX fan translation since they shit canned the microtrans buttonless iOS crapfest. Or if you wanna go all official English retail, then pony up the moola for the inferior GBA version. Yeah, you're missing out on the best version but you should be used to that by now.

What? Just sayin'
Oh, and how can I forget to mention this cute little mini-game? That's like almost three games in one ISO- err, I mean UMD. DEAL!!!

3 for 1 deal just in time for black friday too!!

Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Alpha (アルファー)

I thought I was being clever when I snarkily remarked that Square didn't do fan service in the good ol' days until their 3rd title in 1986 but I forgot about Cruise Chaser Blassty so I actually meant their 4th title (ignoring Thexder which was not developed by Square). So I guess the joke's on me, SJWs WIN AGAIN! Anyway, here we are finally, playing Square's first masterpiece, Final Fan- err, I mean Alpha. Oh, you play as a girl with no memories NOR any pants? GOTY!!!

Let's make Beta next! Naw fuck it, go straight to Final (Fantasy)
At first, I was so spoiled by the compass directions in Will Death Trap II that I was totally lost until I realized that the game was dumbed down even further by allowing you to use directional keypad to make your way around. (Geesh, kids nowadays...) Not the arrow keys, I'm talking turn Num Lock off directional keypad old-school.

Knowing how to move around, you can figure out most things by playing blind except it has this weird thing where you have to get caught by robots like 3 times to progress the game. HOWEVER, you'll lose all your items so you have to wait until a certain point to pick up anything.

They take the gun but apparently you were able to hide the gold key... somewhere. HEH HEH HEH
In typical old school adventure style, if you lose your items, you're pretty much screwed and beating the game is now impossible without starting from an earlier state.

I'm not doing anything shady, no siree!
This game feels like what Will Death Trap 2 should have been if it was 3x longer and actually had a plot. There's a bit of story with even somewhat of a minor twist. Plenty of that nice ascii por- err I mean traditional pixel artwork. There's lots of places to explore though the "maps" on either side of the screen are totally useless this time around. Good thing I have the trusty internet to guide me.

Yeah, there are some kinks, like how the Stadium which blows up at the very beginning of the game still have people running away even at the end. And sometimes you can shoot the robot police and sometimes you can't. Basically, if you can't shoot the robot, then you've missed something or you're going the wrong way.

The most incompetent robot police ever. Stupid devs probably didn't QA them.
Overall, I think Alpha is a huge step forward from Square's previous adventure games. There's a lot of great looking art, a couple cool animations, and plenty to like in terms of fan service. Though technically, the well positioned strand of hair means it's not really a 18+ game. The one song that plays in the intro and ending is pretty good too. If they keep this up, there may be some amazing visual novels coming from those guys in later years.

 
The rest of the game is filled with horrible sound effects but this OP is not half bad

Score: 2 I bet these Square guys must be making some great visual novels nowadays, right?! out of 5.

That's a pretty cool logo, wonder what happened to these guys?
Additional screenshot for the future gaming historians.

You might want to look into a chiropractor for that back problem...

Apparently radar is far more useful than we originally imagined

Zero-gravity and boobs... I think we're onto something here Square! $$$!!

Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WILL The Death Trap II (ウィル デス・トラップII)

I ended up playing through the first Death Trap not only because it was Square's first game but I was also intruiged by the title screen of the sequel: WILL™ - THE DEATH TRAP II -. (Did they really trademark that shit and if so for what??)

Title screen even has music that doesn't sound like shit!!
As it turns out, I don't even know why this is a sequel except the protaganist "Benson" has the same name from the first entry. But unlike a jungle with tarzen bikinis, there's laser guns, robots, and androids in this one. I don't really understand the setting at all as dates referenced in newspapers and stuff are in 1978. I dunno and don't really care either really.

Apparently there's some island in 1978 that has a gravity chamber...
The game started out promising enough. They fixed the the mess of a map in the previous entry by helpfully showing which direction you were facing. The map is a lot smaller too so now you can actually tell when you can't go a certain direction because of like a freaking wall.

I started Square's second game with the intention of trying not to use a guide. That didn't exactly pan out because I'm new school and totally impatient. However, unlike the first game, I think this game is very doable without cheating. The only really tricky part was going back to pick up the ring and maybe throwing a bottle of alcohol at the robot.

In the end, Death Trap II started out as a worthy sequel with intro music, some cool sound effects that became super annoying right away, and a decent map. However, I dunno if they started running out of money or what but it's like maybe a quarter of the length of the first one. There's no branching paths like the first Death Trap and with a guide, you can probably beat it in under 15 minutes.

Hi, I'm Aisha. Hope you didn't pay money for this game. TEE HEE
While an interesting setting and concept directed once again by Sakaguchi, the short length of the game and the rather uninteresting story makes this one nothing more than a curious footnote in gaming history. (My literary writing community college classes are paying off!!) Yes, I got suckered in by the title screen just like the poor Japanese fools in the day similar to Zarth but at least I didn't pay an arm and a leg.

Score: 1 FINALLY I can play Alpha. Hope I have enough tissues!!! out of 5

Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Death Trap (ザ・デストラップ)

SQUARE? Never heard of em.
The Death Trap is Square's first game so of course I wanted to check it out. However, despite extensive googling, for the life of me I could not find the PC98 version without paying for the Egg re-release and I unfortunately "missed" out on the physical compilation disc. My past self would have scoffed at the 8,386 yen price but it's RAREZ now at about 5x the original price so I guess I should've bought two copies.

ONLY 1000 COPIES BUY BUY BUY NOW NOW NOW!!!!
Anyways, I skipped on this game because unlike the PC98 MASTER RACE KANJI BAE, the PC88 version is all in Katakana. I figured it would be pretty much impossible for my eyes to handle the Katanaka diarrhea. However, as it turns out, frustration is a relative feeling. After struggling with kana input for Zarth, just having the option to input Romaji made this game feel practically next gen.

Yeah, it's THAT Sakaguchi.
Given that it's Square's first game, I wasn't expecting much after trying to play Enix's Zarth (back when they were like Naruto and Sasuke but less gay). However, while the text input parser is pretty much dead simple confined to "verb noun" and "north", "east", etc., there are actually several branching paths so it has some replayability at least.

You need the card and parachute for the plane right away so this is not actually a branching path... but whatever
While Square Enix today is all about that Moepocalypse diaper panty politically correct fan service nowadays, notice the complete lack of fan service in the good ol' days. Nothing but an agent trying to save a ugly male scientist in the jungle. You won't see that game experience ruining fan service smut at least until Square's third title a whole 2 years later so... TAKE THAT GAMERGATE!

I'd hate to be a stickler but I don't think you can just ride a zebra in a jungle...
While the map might trick you into thinking you can do all kinds of kewl exploring, most directions are closed off due to the thick jungle. So it ends up mostly being trying random directions until the game lets you go somewhere.

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE ANY KEY??????
I can kinda start to see why Hokkaido Rensa Satsujin..., err... whatever that game was called was considered such a big deal in the day. This game has barely any story whatsoever and you're mostly just randomly going around the jungle. Which personally given the kana barf is kinda relieving.

Score: 1.5 No Death Trap cameo in World of Final Fantasy??? LAME! out of 5

Some of the puzzles are pretty much impossible to figure out because of the large number of useless items you have in your inventory. Or maybe it's not impossible, I dunno cause I didn't care and just used a guide. Moving around the map was frustrating, the story is pretty much nonexistent and there's barely any fan service. I would say play with a guide for kicks to see how Square started off but otherwise, you're not missing much. Still, that romaji input is so good... stupid Zarth.

This is perfectly reasonable jungle attire, NOT fan service
Scale
0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

Monday, October 17, 2016

In search of GOTY for 1984

This is a work in progress post for selecting Game of the year for 1984. I figured it was a good year to start with since it's the first full year after the Famicon's release in July, 1983. Despite never owning a Famicon or NES, surprisingly I've played quite of few of games including Pacman (let's pretend Atari version doesn't exist) and Duck Hunt of course. (The surprising part is I had friends at the time with a NES.) As for Sega's SG-1000, well, I'm going to be mostly ignoring it, as I'm not really into arcade ports.

I've even played games such as Nuts & Milk, which instantly brought back nostalgia with that darn music you can never, ever forget. Given that I DEFINITELY didn't own a Famicon as a kid to play this Japanese exclusive title, I most likely played it on some unlicensed, shady Korean console with a 100 games in one cartridge. (This game technically first came out in 1983 for the MSX, Sharp X1, etc. but I played the FC version which is significantly different.)

Umm, yeah I owned this game... TECHNICALLY.
Now if I were to stick with the Jhipster theme, I would probably pick some silly Japanese arcade port like Pacman for GOTY but I must remind you, a REAL Jhipster appreciates ALL games and is only particular about playing Japanese games in their pure, unaltered form. In terms of pure fun, I would have to pick Tetris as GOTY for 1984. Even though I have not played the original version, the core gameplay remains unchanged from the original 1984 release as far as I can tell.

Yup, looks like Tetris but way more Russian

The highlight for me was playing against my friend on 2 player Tetris via that janky ass cable for the original gameboy. It even has the same dull green color scheme of the original so can't get more authentic than that. Right?

Sierra On-Line: A start of an era

While I have tons of great memories of Tetris and it has a long line of puzzle games that expand and extend the original concept, King's Quest has far more personal significance for me. If you compare the games that came out around 1984, you can truly appreciate how revolutionary and ahead of it's time the graphics were in King's Quest.

Believe me, for its time, this is fucking amazing.
I originally left this game out because I was a bit confused on the release date but this nice video explains that while it was shown in 1983, the official public release was indeed in 1984. So if you consider what games look liked especially as early as 1983, you can see why King's Quest is easily GOTY in terms of its sheer technical marvel and hey, it's not a bad game either to boot.

Whoa, an informative youtube video??? WTF is this shit?

While I did not play King's Quest around the time of its original release, to me, this marks a whole series of franchises and the golden years of a company that pretty much made up most of my childhood. Yes, I might not be retro hipster enough for the first King's Quest but I was there on my friend's Tandy (I was poor, remember?) with EGA graphics for Police Quest. I was also a fanboi of Space Quest and have fond (painful) memories of trying to get the mouse to work using HIGHMEM and various, ancient incantations from my AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS spellbooks for the VGA version of Hero's Quest.

I did try out a later version of King's Quest on Steam. Sure, the story is a bit primitive and some of the puzzles are the usual type of stuff from those days that are pretty much impossible to figure out without calling the Sierra hint hotline aka "1-900-OHMYGOD-TIMMY-WHAT-DID-YOU-DO-TO-THE-PHONE-BILL!!!!" However, even today, it was still fun to walk around in a full graphical map and explore and... stuff.

Other games I tried

北海道連鎖殺人 オホーツクに消ゆ
Scenario is by Yuji Horii and story wise, this is the best game of 1984 (so far).

The Death Trap
Was meh.

Dragon Slayer
Nihon Falcom's 2nd ARPG. I played the Saturn version for 20 minutes, plenty of time to get a feel for the mechanics. It's a great game for masochists I guess. Ugh, not even as good as Ultima I.

Zarth (ザース)
Oddly enough, this is a game from Enix and not the one by Yuji Horii. Entering text via Kana input on a PC88 emulator proved too much for me so I watched a let's play on youtube. Can I join the cool kid's crowd now?

If only the rest of the game looked like this... (spoiler: it doesn't)
Wingman
Another 1984 game from Enix. Better than Zarth, visually the best game of the year.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
A text adventure game that I remember giving up on in about 5 minutes back in the day. I am a Douglas Adam's fan so I tried playing again via flash but this game is brutal. PASS

> fuck this game
I type this command in just about every text adventure game I've played

Here's a list of games I'm thinking of checking out released in 1984 that I have NOT played yet. I hope the 0 people who read and comment on this blog can provide some additional suggestions.

Hydlide
The Black Onyx