When I first heard of LittleBigPlanet Karting, I thought “Wait, why is this necessary, PS3’s already got ModNation Racers…” Furthermore, it’s developed by United Front Games, the same guys who did ModNation Racers. So there’d be even less reason to own both. Still, given the LittleBigPlanet brand and the unique things associated with it, I thought that maybe the game could still bring something fresh to the table. I quite like Sackboy and the things his franchise added to gaming. Although, despite the initial announcement being one of the things that have excited me the most in recent gaming history, and LBP being the very first PS3 game I bought (though it must be said that the store where I got my PS3 simply didn’t have Metal Gear Solid 4 in stock…), I haven’t played LittleBigPlanet all that much – it just wasn’t as exciting for someone not willing to invest a lot of time into creating stages. Anyway, I tried the LittleBigPlanet Karting demo. Unfortunately, what I saw in it didn’t convince me that this game was worth my time or money.
Game: LittleBigPlanet Karting Developer: United Front Games Platforms: PlayStation Network Original release: 2012 Territories: All Price: $39.99
Captain Tsubasa IV was quite the pioneer in the series, introducing awesome stuff like branching scenario paths (there were 4 different main scenarios), and different weather during matches. Unfortunately, some simple things kept it from being truly great, such as the fact that aerial shots (volleys and headers) were WAY stronger than ground shots, to the point where hitting a normal volley with a player was more powerful and more likely to turn into a goal than using that player’s special ground shot. But still, the conversion of Tsubasa and company to pros was imagined and presented in a fascinating way. And, in 2-player mode, the game even featured legendary Japanese “real-life” footballer Kazuyoshi Miura, also known as “King Kazu”, or simply “KAZU” in the game. Captain Tsubasa IV also had a really good soundtrack, and I’m sharing one of my favourite songs with you today – Italy’s theme, which plays during one of the four possible final matches of the game.
Composer: Hiroshi Miyazaki (a.k.a. Sugito Miyashiro) Game: Captain Tsubasa IV: Pro no Rival Tachi Song: Italy’s Theme
In an extremely anticipated event on February 20th, Sony finally revealed the PlayStation 4 to the public, along with some upcoming games for the system. The system is coming out for the 2013 holiday season, and sports impressive technical specifications and a modified DualShock 4 controller with extra features like a touchpad and a built-in speaker.
As I did for last year’s E3 conferences, I have prepared a comfortable bullet-point summary of the major announcements during the conference, in order of appearance.
Captain Tsubasa III was a great successor to the glorious second game. As the first entry of the Tecmo series on the SNES, it kept strictly to the “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” rule, adding some sweet things like 2-player mode. Some small shortcomings like the relatively low difficulty in comparison to the ruthless Captain Tsubasa II, less exciting story, and graphics and character art that couldn’t quite match the second game, which had achieved pretty much the maximum possible on the NES, kept it from being as revered as Captain Tsubasa II in fans’ hearts, but it was still a really good game. The soundtrack had a few gems, too, even if the composer was different this time. One of my favourites is the first Japan theme, which I’m sharing with you today.
In the good old days when I’d rent NES games (primarily of the bootleg kind), the cartridge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project was on when I first came across it was one of those many-in-one carts. It had neat games like Binary Land, Arkanoid and Wrecking Crew… But it also had an amazing game that pretty much took over my life at the time, and has been my favourite ever since. Tecmo’s Captain Tsubasa II: Super Striker – the football/soccer RPG whose excellence I already talked about in the Top 10 Hidden NES Gems list. I remember when I first found out the sound test menu by accident, I was so happy I could listen to my favourite music from the game for as long as I wanted. Today, I’m sharing my favourite theme from Captain Tsubasa II, the theme of Hyuga and Wakashimazu’s Toho FC, which you’ll hear during one of the most difficult matches in the game. It’s quite badass, fitting the team and especially its captain nicely.
I’ve been a Final Fantasy fan for many years now, and, despite the less-than-stellar entries in the last 10 years or so, the series remains dear to me. Games like Final Fantasy VI, VII and Tactics are among the best I’ve ever played, and not even Square’s recent problems can take away from their greatness. It is undoubted that Final Fantasy has plenty of awesome characters, but it’s usually the male ones that get all the attention, with some small exceptions. In this list, I have decided to give some credit to the great female characters in the series. Admittedly, there aren’t as many of them, but they still add a great amount of quality to their games. One of them is even my favourite video game character of all time, and you’ll see her on top of this list.
Battletoads were, of course, considered a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knockoff back in the day. In reality, the two had little in common aside from being about fighting human/animal mutants. Another thing they had in common was awesome NES games. The first TMNT NES game is quite notorious for its difficulty, much like Battletoads, and a lot of people hate it. Not me, though, it’s one of my favourite NES games. But my true TMNT favourite is The Manhattan Project, the third game in the NES turtle series. Aside from being a really balanced beat-’em-up, unlike its predecessor, the shoddy port of the first turtle arcade game, it also had a really good soundtrack – not uncommon for an 8-bit Konami game. My favourite theme plays in Scene 5, which takes place in the sewers.
Composer: Yuichi Sakakura,Tomoya Tomita, Kouzou Nakamura Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project Song: Scene 5