Happy New Year (Take 2)

(Thanks, TroniCPol!)

Hey, my mood lightened! Ha. Anyway, I was trying to think of an appropriate New Year’s thing to post when it hit me that I hadn’t played the late Kenji Eno’s very offbeat D2 in about four years. It works as a perfectly bleak yet eventually hopeful holiday horror game experience for the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Thanks to just being too busy to unearth one of my Dreamcasts, make sure the battery is working so that I could start playing about nine hours before midnight so the end credit sequence ends with the onscreen game clock counting down to the New Year and getting a cheery message for all that effort, I haven’t gone near this gem. But that’s going to change.

Anyway, backlog or not I’ll finally replay this classic at some point this year just to see if I can speed through it a bit faster. Much of the game’s length is due to extended stretches of cinematic sequences that can’t be skipped, so it’s a pay attention game almost all the way through, lousy US dubbing and all.

Ah well. Anyway, Happy New Year, people – 2017 is going to be innnnnnteresting.

-GW

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VGA 101: On Kenji Eno (2): Something Old Brings In Something New(-ish)…

Lumines ES2Lumines ES1So, as I posted last week, I finally got around to sending back that formerly long-lost Kenji Eno autographed copy of D2 about a week or so ago and got this nice surprise as a return response. A copy of Lumines: Electric Symphony autographed by the game’s producer and one of Eno’s close friends. Nice. Amusingly enough, I hadn’t played this Vita game previously, so now I get to do so and having done something nice for someone in the process. Yeah, I’m a nice guy under all that cranky. MOST of the time. Not get the hell off my lawn, you kids. Scoot! I have some games to play and no time for you whippersnappers. Git!

 

VGA 101: On Kenji Eno: A Loss Isn’t A Complete Loss If Something Is Gained In the Process…

D2_signedOne of my favorite game creators, Kenji Eno, passed away on February 20th and I’d planned to write up something memorial-esque last week, but couldn’t for a few reasons. The main one was it’s actually quite hard to write something brief about what playing through some of the games he and his studio WARP created during their brief run meant to me without actually going through the library here and taking time to do so. That’s going to get done in about a month or so, barring incident. The other was I wanted to read what some of his close friends wrote about him in order to get a better insight on the man and his work. There was also a little bit of unfinished business to take care of in getting a certain something back to a certain someone, so that had to come first… Continue reading

D2: WARP’s Last Gasp Makes For A Curious Cure For Holiday Melancholy

While the holiday season is usually packed with happy jolly tidings and the usual mass consumer craziness (that’s turned some shopping malls into pepper spray scented war zones), it’s also a time for reflection and a bit of moodiness about current and future events. Winter also brings in a bit of depression, as we humans are also prone to go gloomy when the lack of sun and warmth hits hard, sending some into a depressed state. Kenji Eno and WARP’s final console game, D2 has been my go-to holiday gift for myself ever since it was released on the Sega Dreamcast in Japan back in 1999. I’m not going to do a full review of the game (there’s an older one I wrote posted here), but I will say that the game manages to capture the feeling of being inside a bad winter dream that you can’t wake up from, yet one that you don’t want to simply because you want to see how it plays out.  It’s definitely not for all tastes and in fact, can be baffling even when you piece things together into a more sensible narrative than what’s presented. On the other hand, the game also soars into unsuspecting territory a few times and packs an emotional punch where it counts. Continue reading