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ipad game roundup

Some iPad games I played recently: Paperbark A lovely art style, and lovely sound design. And I like the idea of having a world that appears as you walk around in it. The gameplay beyond that concept didn’t grab me, though. (Or, for that matter, the learning aspects: it’s an openly didactic game.) And, similarly, […]

tokyo mirage sessions

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE is by the Persona team; it’s effectively a lighter-weight Persona game (plus a very light dusting of Fire Emblem), with an idol plot. And it is amazing. I’m trying to remember what in the game first made me sit up and take notice. I have to think that it involved Kiria: […]

jet set radio

If you’d asked me not too many years ago what my prototypical idea of a video game was, I probably would have come up with some sort of RPG-ish thing. Single player, with the story standing out more than anything (and with that story being excessively grandiose); but also with a lot of time spent […]

iphone noby noby boy

I wanted to like the iPhone version of Noby Noby Boy. Not out of any particular fondness for the PS3 version, but because I think Katamari Damacy is one of the most wonderful games of all time. Sadly, I do not find either variant of Noby Noby Boy to be one of the most wonderful […]

super mario 65

The main question that I’d like to understand better in the current Vintage Game Club playthrough of Super Mario 64 is how the game fits into the taxonomy of the genre of platformers. Or, indeed, whether it fits into the taxonomy of that genre: while, at the time it was released, Super Mario 64 seemed […]

games that have stuck

Every year brings with it its collection of lists of top N games; I mostly enjoy reading them, though I have misgivings about their existence, but I’m not very well positioned to create one myself. This year is special in that it has also brought ‘games of the decade’. About which I have fewer misgivings: […]

mini-reviews: beautiful katamari, hexic hd, gradius iii

Reviews of three games that don’t deserve a full post: Beautiful Katamari If you’ve played its predecessors, you know what to expect, and you’ll probably be disappointed. More of the same; the music is still good, but no track was nearly as good as, say, Everlasting Love from the second game. They continued to ratchet […]


I was pretty nonplussed when I first started playing Elebits. It’s sort of a weird mix of Katamari with a first-person shooter: on the one hand, you have a gun that you use to “capture” these elebit creatures that are hiding and running around, but on the other hand you can also use the gun […]

elite beat agents

Elite Beat Agents is a music game for the DS. It takes its mechanics and much of its style from a Japanese game called Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan; apparently, however, Nintendo of America thought that my country’s youth would prefer secret agents to male cheerleaders dressed in black, and American pop to J-pop. (Imagine that.) The […]


Okami is an amazing game. In some sense, it’s quite derivative: it’s working well within the Zelda genre (complete with sonic homages to its predecessor), so it’s not as novel as some recent games, but there’s more than enough new presentation in the game to keep me happy, combined with a thorough rethinking and improvement […]

trinity score

I was listening to Herbert Grönemeyer’s first two albums in the car today; as they always do, they reminded me of the game Trinity. It is by far the strongest association I have of any piece of music with any other work. (Other than soundtracks, of course.) Which is pretty weird – the two have, […]

killer 7

If memory serves me well, about a year and a half ago I was feeling kind of down on video games. The start of this generation had been quite nice (largely because of the Dreamcast), but for the last year or two, it had seemed like the best I could hope out of a game […]

j-pop, k-pop wanted

Anybody have any good Japanese pop recommendations? I suspect that there’s music to be found there that I would enjoy, but I don’t have any good routes in. So far, I’m dipping my toes in based on video games and movies, which is fine, as far as it goes. From the former, “Everlasting Love” continues […]

sql schema

Despite my earlier planning, I still haven’t done any work towards switching dbcdb to an SQL backend. Part of this is other things intervening in my life, but most of this is the inertia of starting something new, and that I haven’t broken tasks down enough. Today is a holiday, so I can spend some […]

we love katamari

We ♥ Katamari is a sequel to the excellent Katamari Damacy. (I have finally given up and started spelling the second word the same way as its US publisher.) And it is everything that you’d expect from a sequel: quite good, several minor improvements, slightly worse in many ways (largely but not entirely because of […]