Nathan's Game Reviews

Linkle Liver Story - Nextech/Sega, 1995. 4/5

Linkle Liver Story is one of the best looking 2D games on the Saturn. Everything looks great, and the game is full of rotation/scaling effects that take advantage of the system's hardware. As someone with no patience and who constantly gets lost, I find the lack of Zelda style maze dungeons very nice. The only things holding this great game back are the short length (you could probably finish the game in 2-3 hours after your first playthrough) and easy difficulty (nothing was very challenging). If you have a way of playing burnt Saturn games (a modchip or something), I'd highly recommend checking out the translation patch. I wish Working Designs had brought it over and made some difficulty adjustments like they did with Rayearth (it would've been nice to get this instead of the mediocre Zelda clone Shining Wisdom), but as it is now it's still very much worth giving it a play.

Nights into Dreams - Sega, 1996. 5/5

Most early 3D games suck to play. They run at a choppy framerate, have bad controls, and you can't see what you're doing half the time due to the shitty camera. Luckily, none of these issues apply to Nights. In Nights, you fly around a level trying to collect at least 20 chips before you put them in the "idea capture" (sorta looks like a snowglobe). After that, you do as many laps as possible on a timer to try and accrue the highest score you can before the timer expires, before moving onto the next route (called "mares" here) for that stage. After going through 4 mares, you get sent to a boss stage, which provides a score multiplier depending on how fast you can beat the boss. This sounds sort of like an arcade racing game, but Nights has one important difference from those: you have full 360 degree control of Nights, rather than controlling a difficult to turn around car. This makes it possible to do stuff like backtrack halfway through a lap to try and maximize your score, which adds to the tension as the timer approaches zero since a careful player will be able to utilize their entire alotted time. If you're not at the starting house area by the time the timer runs out, you immediately stop, turn from the fast Nights character to the slow kid who's controlling him, and lose all your score for that mare. I think this is a better punishment than simply kicking you out of the game, although it will probably make your rank for that stage lower. It's a great "easy to learn, hard to master" game if you're into that sort of thing.

Let's Meow Meow! - Yamitsu Tsuushin/G-Collections, 2004. 2/5

I haven't played many VNs, erotic or otherwise, but to me this genre of erotic VNs seems fundamentally flawed. If I'm trying to bust, I don't want to sit through an hour and a half of bad dialogue beforehand. Additionally, even though the choices I had were virtually identical (i.e. "apologize to her" vs. "tell her you made a mistake"), I didn't get a good ending based on what felt to me like complete chance. Maybe that's what most VNs do because they don't require actual skill to play, I don't know. I'm giving this one a 2/5 because the bad ending where the guy couldn't get hard while he was trying to have sex with the robot cat girl was pretty funny.

Magic Knight Rayearth - Sega/Working Designs, 1998. 5/5

lol

Working Designs took a generic anime licensed game and made it into something truly special with their translation. The game is packed with personality, and you're encouraged to talk to everyone and check out everything. The gameplay is great- it doesn't do that thing some action RPGs do where you have to go through annoying mazes to progress through the game. There are mazes, but they're easy to figure out even if you're directionally challenged like I am. Not worth the price it's going for on eBay, but definitely worth the effort of putting a modchip in your Saturn and burning a CD-R.

Vasteel - Human/Working Designs, 1993. 1/5

HOP-M3 laser

This game had so much loading that it broke my PC Engine's CD drive and I had to go buy another laser. Human should have waited and made this a Super CD-ROM title instead of refilling the 64KB of RAM in the standard CD-ROM every time you do anything.

Gimmick! - Sunsoft, 1992. 5/5

Great game, easily the best NES platformer. The star mechanic is hard to get used to, but extremely rewarding to master. I found this game compelling in ways that most other NES games aren't. For example, all the enemies rasct to your movements, sort of like a fighting game, rather than doing simple stuff like running forward. When you first boot up Gimmick, beating the game sounds like an insurmountable task, but once you get going you might get addicted.

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