So, since the last update, I haven’t touched Skyward Sword or Arkham City. Madness, I know. Instead, I played Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Alan Wake, and Star Odyssey.
Yeah, everyone probably knows about the first two, and as a quick summary, Kirby is exactly what you’d expect… which is a good thing. Lots of fun. The super-powered attacks were awesome, and much more integral than the Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros.
Alan Wake was a phenomenal, Stephen King-esque thriller. It basically operates on enemies that can be harmed by light (given that they’re darkness), and half the game has you wondering just what the heck is going on. Even the endgame doesn’t make everything quite clear, which is probably in line with the way the game opens, in that not all these stories have to resolve everything perfectly, and probably even shouldn’t. It’s a great game, relatively cheap by now (and there’s a PC version now!), and even cooler, I managed to snag the Collector’s Edition. Very nice.
But what in the heck is Star Odyssey? Well, if you’re not a big retro-gamer, you’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s an old-school Sega Genesis RPG published by Super Fighter Team… last year. Yep. There’s apparently still a market for this stuff. At any rate, the original Japanese version goes under the name Blue Almanac. It’s a decent enough game, but it’s definitely a product of its time.
And by that, I mean the random battle rate is sky-high. Expect much grinding to ensue. But the game is buoyed by an interesting (and sometimes rather odd) sci-fi story, which was very much outside the norm for that era, although maybe less so on the Genesis, where the primary RPG was Phantasy Star. Quest triggers are also a pain to hunt down, and it’s not always clear where you’re supposed to go, but I did manage to finish the game without a guide, so it’s doable. And the script work done by Brandon Cobb (who obtained the rights to publish the game) is top notch.
Even if you think it’s far too grind-heavy, I’d consider picking it up, for sheer collector value alone. It ain’t getting any cheaper, as their earlier release, Beggar Prince, can attest. So if he does another run, make sure you get on board. And if you’re waiting for a ROM of the game, be aware that it doesn’t work on current emulators, so this is pretty much your only option if you want to give it a shot.