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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Collection Update: One WARP Mystery Solved, One Begun!

WARP Duo

 

Well, now. I knew about the kooky Flopon World on the 3DO for years, but have never seen a copy until a few weeks back when someone pointed to one up for sale on eBay. I let it sit there for a while watching it and hoping the cover would scare the more prudish collectors who might have wanted it off (how you explain two near-naked dudes on the cover of a match-3 variant puzzle game is all up to you, folks!) and I guess it worked. I made an offer and grabbed this for less than I thought I’d be able to. One down and what I thought was the LAST game I needed in my WARP collection (well, except for that legendary Enemy Zero limited edition that I’ve NEVER seen an image of) other than whatever other demos the company produced for the Japanese 3DO magazine than what I have here.

I guess I was wrong, as a few days later I see Flopon P!, a PlayStation game not listed as part of WARP’s output on GameFaqs… which has the WRONG cover image for Flopon World, by the way. I have NO idea what game is pictured other than to say it’s on the Flopon World disc as one of at least four games, so perhaps it’s a demo disc I’ve never seen? Anyway, the PlayStation game was published by Asmik in 1995 and the serial number SLPS 00032 just may mean that not counting demo discs, it was the 32nd PlayStation game released in Japan. But I think that numbering system went off the rails at some point. While it doesn’t have the WARP logo on the package or in the manual (and I don’t have the spine card to check if it’s there), both WARP and Asmik have copyright info on the game and the late, great Kenji Eno’s name is in the manual’s credits page. Hmmmmm… perhaps this was a co-production and thus not an “official” WARP game? I need to find this out, as it’ll make those who collect the few games made by this defunct company run out and track this one down. I think this one only cost me about six dollars, so that’s a steal and a nice addition to the library.

Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting…

Status

Well, it WASN’T supposed to be such a damn slow day here, but between the rain keeping me inside and away from a decent wi-fi connection and some issues with a PC game I was trying to get running, it’s been kind of a “Meh” day for productivity. I did, however, discover this little clip from the old Sega Saturn and PC game Enemy Zero that sums up all of today in three seconds:

Yeah, well… I’ll get over it tomorrow. OK, enough time burning – back to the salt mines for me…

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