Author: Ian Goudelock

Capcom is no stranger to releasing various collections, but there are a couple of titles that are notorious for missing the cut each time. A title like Red Earth, for example, hasn’t seen a rerelease since its 1996 arcade debut … until now, that is. This title and several other criminally overlooked Capcom fighting games find new life in the simply titled Capcom Fighting Collection. It’s a collection that may seem unassuming to the uninitiated, but holds nearly all gems and is presented with flexible settings and extra content to boot. https://youtu.be/5QDKUg1tN-A Capcom Fighting Collection includes ten fighting games. Half…

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games are seen by many as not only the best in the franchise but some of the greatest in the beat ’em up genre. Any child of the 90s probably spent a fair number of quarters on those cabinets. Attempting to recapture that experience is a tall order, but one that publisher Dotemu and developer Tribute Games fully embrace. The result is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a faithful reinterpretation of the old-school beat ’em ups, but with more complexity and options than the games, it’s inspired by.  The narrative is short…

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Recently I was able to play an early version of Capcom’s newest fighting compilation, aptly named Capcom Fighting Collection. What makes this collection stand out from others the publisher has released is a few of the titles make their first North American rerelease appearance in this compilation. Red Earth, in particular, hasn’t seen a rerelease in any region ever. With that said, I was anxious to jump in and play the ten titles included.  Beyond the rarity of some of the titles, Capcom Fighting Collection has a pretty solid list of ten games. Half of these titles belong to…

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While the NES saw the birth of several successful franchises, it also happened to put out a couple of sequels seen by many as black sheep titles. Although they’re interesting games, the cryptic nature and sometimes questionable game mechanics prevented them from becoming most gamers’ favorites in the franchise. Infernax by Berzerk Studio and publisher The Arcade Crew embraces the energy and best of these sequelitis titles but fine-tunes the mechanics, making for an addicting and violent retro experience. Infernax’s story begins with the exhausted crusader Alcedor returning after war only to see his home is in danger. An ancient…

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Recently we’ve seen several previously unfinished games from the 16-bit era finally release with a bit of modern help. Still, while it’s wonderful to see pieces of history resurrected, it can almost feel unfair to judge these older titles alongside modern games. Clockwork Aquario by developer Westone Bit Entertainment and publishers Sega and Strictly Limited Games is the latest of these revitalized projects, with initial production beginning nearly 30 years ago. While gaming has come a long way, there is still some fun to be had in this simple arcade side-scroller. Clockwork Aquario’s plot is briefly hinted at through a…

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Some of my earliest gaming memories revolve around arcade beat ’em ups. And while I still find the genre entertaining, some that don’t share my fond memories may find beat ’em ups repetitive. Tunche by developer Leap Game Studios and publisher HyperTrain Digital embraces the genre’s repetitive tendencies and combines them with rogue-lite elements. Along with downright gorgeous visuals and rich folklore to draw from, it’s a relatively solid single-player or cooperative battling experience as a package.  Tunche’s story follows five youths as they seek the Amazon spirit and game’s namesake, Tunche. Each character has their own reason for…

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It can be a real challenge to find games that might appeal to younger and older gamers alike. Unfortunately, sometimes when developers attempt this, it tends to cater to children over older gamers. Rainbow Billy: the Curse of the Leviathan by developer ManaVoid Entertainment and publisher Skybound Games luckily strays away from this by including cute, wholesome characters along with interesting and deceptively deep gameplay. The result is an engaging RPG that can appeal to newer and veteran gamers alike.  Rainbow Billy: the Curse of the Leviathan starts with the shy Billy gathering fireworks for the island festival. When…

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It’s been since the Wii era that I’ve given a fitness game a shot. Since then, motion controls have become more precise, making me curious to see what a current fitness title for the Nintendo Switch has to offer. Knockout Home Fitness by developer Marvelous and publisher XSeed games combines cardio kickboxing with rhythm gameplay for a pretty intense workout. While accuracy can vary at times and limited content, the foundation of Knockout Home Fitness is pretty solid and a humbling exercise.  Gameplay for Knockout Home Fitness sees you matching the beats with various punches, kicks, and other cardio…

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Few other names are as associated with horror manga as Junji Ito’s. And while Sensor, the latest release from Ito-san and Viz media, drenches itself in terrifying atmosphere and situations, it also explores ideas of religion, psychological obsession, and truly surreal moments. The ride it goes on to explore these themes is a wild one but an interesting one all the same. Sensor begins with a woman exploring a village located near an active volcano. The village itself is covered in golden hair-like strands that result from the looming volcano. The woman is said to be the “chosen one” by…

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One of the common complaints about decision-based narrative games is they often have the illusion of numerous branching paths yet ultimately arrive at similar conclusions. Road 96 by Digixart and Plug in Digital attempts to counteract this by scrambling up the order of events, making each playthrough a bit different. While it might not totally change the outcomes, it’s a neat idea and one that is thankfully supported by a solid story, several mini-games, and an interesting cast of characters.  Road 96 takes place in the year 1996 in the land of Petria, run by the authoritative president Tyrak.…

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Last year publisher Dotemu and developers Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games released one of the best beat ‘em up experiences I’ve had in years with Streets of Rage 4. Now the team is releasing Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare DLC containing three new playable characters, additional wacky weapons, and a survival game mode. The result is a surprisingly addicting experience that rivaled my original playtime with the base game.  Mr. X Nightmare’s new playable characters are bosses previously encountered in Streets of Rage 4’s story mode. Shiva, the martial artist originally from Streets of Rage 2, is…

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I recently played the preview build of Road 96 by developer and publisher Digixart and was pleasantly surprised by the possibilities this multi-choice adventure had to offer. You play as the driver and hitchhiker in the authoritative land of Petria, attempting to make your way across the border to freedom. Each run is randomly generated from the character you play and the order of passengers or drivers you encounter. https://youtu.be/O15F0dbPsoc The gameplay in Road 96 consists of multiple dialogue options and a decent amount of moral dilemmas with each character you encounter. The game encourages you to play through several…

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Although many consider Alex Kidd a classic 8-bit platformer, it’s often overlooked compared to its old-school peers. Developers Jankenteam and Merge Games look to rectify this by releasing Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, a remake of the original 35-year-old title. What results is a game with more accessibility and boosted visuals but stays faithful to the punishingly difficult and unique gameplay found upon its initial release.  The plot sees the evil Janken overthrowing the King of Radaxian and overtaking the land. In his conquest for power, he turned the villagers to stone and kidnaped the Prince and his…

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Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water was announced for Nintendo Switch during Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct. New costumes and photo modes are included in this version of the game, which was initially released for the Nintendo Wii U. You play through the eyes of several different characters exploring mysterious disappearances related to ghost hauntings. As with past Fatal Frame games, you are armed with a camera to protect you from violent spirits. This sees gameplay switching from the third person to 1st through the camera’s viewfinder. Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water doesn’t have a definitive date but is set…

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Wizard With a Gun by Galvanic Games was announced and previewed during Devolver Digital’s MaxPass + event. The reveal showcased a cinematic animated trailer and ended with brief gameplay. Viewed from an isometric view, you work cooperatively online or alone to craft various items and weapons to protect your home tower from mythic monsters. The trailer gave a glimpse at alchemic wizarding elements to crafting. Also shown was a catalog of furniture to customize and build your tower. Developers also said Wizard With a Gun will include Survival and Sandbox elements. As straightforward as the title implies, there also seems…

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Ubisoft officially announced a sequel to Mario Rabbids during their presentation at E3 titled Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope for Nintendo Switch. This title looks to return to the strategic and tactical gameplay of the original along with the odd pairings of Rabbids and Mario Characters. However, the Nintendo site had previously posted the store page before removing it. New characters will Rabbid’s Rosalina, and players will travel through the entire galaxy. The villain, named Cursa, is said to be tougher than anything they’ve faced. Luckily, they have a new ally known as The Sparks, which gives them new…

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I recently played a preview build of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, a reimagining of the classic Sega title. The preview offers three levels to play from, and while it makes for a short experience, I was able to get a real sense of what this adventure has to offer. https://youtu.be/JJOcGpdwp4I Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX features beautifully redesigned graphics giving Miracle World and its inhabitants a vibrant and cartoony feel. Enemies and Alex Kidd himself have some great designs and immediately make the art design thoroughly appealing. Also notable are lighting effects and detailed backgrounds that deviant…

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It’s been just over a year since Maneater made its initial splash on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Now developer and publisher Tripwire bring their carnivorous adventure to Nintendo Switch. Like many other titles that share a similar journey, there are typically technical compromises that need to be made, but luckily Maneater doesn’t bite off more than it can chew. While there are expectedly diminished visuals, the vicious and over-the-top gameplay remains intact.  For those that missed out on Maneater the first time around, you play as a shark seeking revenge for the death of its mother at the…

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With a long legacy of titles under its belt, R-Type is recognized as one of the most iconic franchises in the shoot ’em up genre. The challenge of being such a classic series is presenting fan-favorite mainstays without feeling like a complete retread of its previous installments. R-Type Final 2 by developer Granzella and publisher NIS America, for the most part, succeeds in keeping the series fresh and punishingly difficult as ever. https://youtu.be/DqcP5aWfWEE The plot of R-Type Final 2 is simple. You play as a fighter pilot that has to go shoot some aliens. But there is a bit of an…

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Leave it to Junji Ito to take a relatively simple concept and warp it into a bizarrely engaging yet ultimately horrifying narrative. Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection, released and translated by Viz, collects several of Ito’s short stories focusing on twisted ideals of love, obsession, and attraction. While most of the titles in this collection definitely fit within the theme of unhealthy perceptions of love, some do feel tonally inconsistent with each other as a collection. Lovesickness begins with the title the collection is named after, featuring several chapters and one consistent narrative. In this tale, the crossroads fortune-telling, infamous…

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