I have a confession to make: I don’t really miss JRPGs all that much. After gluttonously gorging on Final Fantasy‘s heyday (6 and 7 in particular), Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and more, I’m incredibly blessed. But I don’t really want more.
Yet… If it’s one thing I really do miss from those days where trifling matters like paying taxes were not on my radar, it is the FF5/Tactics style job system. That shit was awesome. JRPG derivations are a dime-a-dozen now, but this one enticing element is never authentically replicated.
Magna Driver heard my call, though, emerging at my darkest hour. It may be a prototype-level demo, sure, but that same addictive crack-like quality of the job system is still there, and I devoured it gleefully for about an hour until I had unlocked every job and ability for each character.
Nightkeep is, well, as its indiegogo page puts it: “an action RPG platformer inspired by such classics as Castlevania Bloodlines, Demon’s crest and a variety of JRPGs” – yes, please. Ture, it’s yet another retro-style game wearing its influences strongly on its sleeves, but the demo here is polished enough in its own right that Nightkeep looks to be shaping up to serve an interesting mixture of platforming action.
Ever thought Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley were good but suffered a distinct lack of Orcs? Well, you’re in luck my friend, as Orcish Inn has increased the Orc content by a mere infiinty%.
Orcish Inn’s goal is similar to those games, but, instead of farms and marriage, the action here is about as self-explanatory as the title suggests: you’re an orc, and you want to build an inn. That’s it. But it will take a long time as you must, quite literally, build it from the ground up, all while the spectre of winter creeps forward.
Despite being a pre-alpha demo, Orcish Inn’s concept is already surprisingly fleshed out, with enough to keep you busy for a while. Don’t think of it as leisurely busywork , though. Although the game calmly tells you “there is no hurry,” this is immediately followed by a threatening “except for winter, where you will likely starve and freeze.” Oh. Right.
Last year was a good year for old school shooters – with Z-Exemplar, Zenodyne R, Arengius, and Xydonia, among others emerging in either completed or demo-based flavours. Hawking suggests that 2017 will be no worse off, providing yet another new 80-90’s style arcade experience.
Despite Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts being a classic example of the platforming arcade genre, we haven’t seen a whole lot of new retro-style imitations of out there. There have been other attempts, of course, but Battle Princess Madelyn is probably the first real notable one, oozing style and substance. The game feels like G’n’G, if a late Playstation-era developer picked it up – adding some more RPG-esque plot and adventure, and of course, a cute magical animal mascot.
These owls are a diverse lot. From wizard familiars and labyrinth overseers, to annoying dream guides or deadly laser beam shooting birds of prey – they’ve been around. Agony is firmly nesting in that last category, a fanmade 3D remake of Psygnosis’ classic Amiga shooter with no shortage of laser shooting owl action.
Burst Fighter is a slick looking indie effort that harks back to classic 2D shoot ’em ups of yore such as Raiden. The game was recently greenlit on Steam and we decided to hop in the cockpit and take the current alpha demo for a spin.
A few days ago – just in time for Christmas – we spewed out some of our best game picks from the blog. Now that the turkey carcasses have been picked clean and the hangovers have cleared (somewhat), it’s time to dip into Santa’s secret stash for more goodies from the past year or so…
New Retro Games’
Part 2: The Christmasing
Castlevania has to be one of my favourite game series of all-times, from the classic Super Castlevania IV on the SNES to, of course, Symphony of the Night on the PSX, and some modern DS outings such as Order of Ecclesia. You’ll note that I didn’t include any of the 3D games in there, because they were mostly rubbish.
Old Konami haven’t quite figured out how to transfer the franchise into the 3D world just yet (with a few, notable exceptions), which is a fair crime since it’s not easy to make the move without losing that intangible something that makes the 2D counterparts work so well. But this one fan decided what the heck, and went and tried anyway, by taking it right back to the roots of the very first Castlevania.