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The Ace Attorney franchise adds a twist to visual novels that has rarely been replicated. Instead of having you as a passive participant in the story, or making decisions through dialogue trees, you instead gather clues and cross examine witnesses to get to the truth. Its eclectic cast of characters all have some deeper truth to hide, and it's up t…
 
Megaman 2, first released way back in 1988, quickly became one of the series’ most beloved entries. The game featured a radical new style of progression, letting you tackle any of its eight stages in any order that you please. Players around the world got stuck in, figuring out their own crazy paths through the game and its eight robot masters. But…
 
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a remake of a beloved NES title - Ys III: Wanderers From Ys. Oath takes the essential story beats of the original, but the gameplay has received a radical transformation, in almost every way. The original 2D sidescrolling has been expanded into the realm of 3D, and even swaps to a full-on isometric view in parts of the d…
 
Doom II came hot on the coattails of Doom, releasing just 10 months after the first game took the world by storm. Billed as a sequel, it resembled an expansion pack far more, introducing only a handful of enemies and one new weapon. Despite this, Doom II was massively successful at launch, and introduced all the pieces for the enormous Doom modding…
 
When you hear the term ‘survival horror’, you can’t help but think of Resident Evil. Back in 1996, Resident Evil blew everyone’s minds, combining traditional point and click adventure puzzles with tense and strategic zombie combat. Six years later, in 2002, the game received a remake for the GameCube that many consider to be one of the best ever. T…
 
When Fallout first released in 1997 it bucked the trend of what people came to expect from an RPG. There were no swords or bows, no magic or elves - Fallout wanted to give people something different. It fused the grim and unforgiving world of Mad Max with a retro-futuristic alternative history of Earth, where humanity ascended to dazzling heights b…
 
When Another World was first released in 1991, it blew everyone’s minds. The lengthy cutscene that introduced the game and the cinematic quality of its presentation was close to unheard of. It fused dynamic and lethal laser combat with the rotoscoped platforming that was seen in Prince of Persia. And it did it all in a time and place utterly unlike…
 
Hitman: Codename 47 was a bold experiment. It sought to create a stealth game like any other, where you could hide in plain sight. It wanted to make planning a perfect murder to function like a puzzle, instead of having the player rely on lightning fast reflexes. And for the most part, it was a dismal failure. It was a fascinating curio, but a mise…
 
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines’ launch was almost doomed to failure. Sandwiched in between Halo 2, Half Life 2, Metal Gear Solid 3 and World of Warcraft (amongst others), the weird vampire first person rpg was left out in the cold, selling a mere 80,000 copies during its initial release. The poor sales and mixed critical reception spelled doo…
 
Pat and James are joined by special guest Drew Koscelek of the WDGR Podcast to discuss and argue whether Streets of Rage 2 has truly stood the test of time. When it was first released in 1992 for the Sega Genesis, it blew everyone away with its gorgeous graphics, vibrant soundtrack, and its fast and fluid gameplay. Even today, many consider it to b…
 
Back in 1996, Archimedean Dynasty (AD) took the concept of a space sim and moved it underwater. It built a complex geopolitical dystopian world, thrust you in the cockpit of a complex machine and tasked you with discovering and solving a mystery that threatened all of humanity. Aquanox picks up 5 years after the events of AD, where the fragile peac…
 
Released in 2002, Syberia saw critical acclaim on release for its wistful and surrealist atmosphere. You play as Kate Walker, an American lawyer sent to finalise the purchase of a clockwork toy factory. But things are never quite that simple, and you end up having to journey across Europe via windup train, following in the footsteps of mechanical g…
 
The Burnout series is famous for one thing: combining racing with carnage. Less focused on customisation than Need for Speed, but with more traditional racing structure than Carmageddon, Burnout 3 seeks to elevate car-on-car battles to be equally important to navigating around its tracks skillfully. Rewards for taking out other racers come thick an…
 
The Civilization series is one of the most consistently successful 4x titles throughout video game history. It saw its first entry way back in 1991, and would continue to refine its history spanning empire building over the years. Perhaps the most well regarded of them was Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword, a standalone expansion pack for Civ IV th…
 
2020 saw Pat and James play through another 23 retro games, ranging from the delightful insanity of Katamari Damacy to the far more lukewarm Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. We played a lot of stealth games, had our fair share of mental breakdowns over what each of us saw as terrible games (Pat and James, respectively), and even got to finally ta…
 
It's time for part 1 of the Season 2 wrapup: The Mailbag! Year 2 of Retro Spectives saw many new users join our discord server, and even more in depth discussions. We argued about whether Super Metroid’s storytelling was too light a touch, whether System Shock’s UI was the worst in existence, and if all JRPGS were literally created by the devil. In…
 
Patrick and James have a problem. Almost every single episode, they’ve brought up Dark Souls. Level design? Not as good as Dark Souls. Combat System? Not as good as Dark Souls. Even when they’re playing racing games like F-Zero GX or 2D platformers like Cave Story, the comparisons still come thick and fast. So, for this very special 50th episode of…
 
In 2004, Relic brought the tabletop game Warhammer 40,000 to life with its real time strategy game Dawn of War. Fans of the franchise adored it, and it brought in entire legions of new zealots ready to die for the glory of the Emperor. Dawn of War went on to feature three expansion packs, one superb sequel, and another sequel probably best left for…
 
The Metroidvania genre has a long and complicated history, but the game that invented the modern model is without a doubt Super Metroid. Released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo, it blew critics away with its smooth gameplay, open level design and incredible boss battles. While previous metroid games had similar open ended level structure, it was Su…
 
The first Thief game was widely beloved, and critically acclaimed, but not entirely free of criticism. The gawking masses loved sneaking around the mansions of the wealthy, but were not too hot on the descending into caves filled with Zombies and Burricks. For the 2000 release of Thief 2, Looking Glass Studios decided to make some changes. Thief 2 …
 
The Super Mario franchise is what many would label as the dawn of videogames. While it wasn't the first, its impact on the infant medium of gaming was certainly the biggest and to this day the franchise is held in high-regard. But even in a franchise filled to the brim with historic titles, there are some that shine brighter than others. Released i…
 
The Lord Of The Rings is unquestionably the most impactful fantasy work ever written. And in 2001, Peter Jackson did what many thought was impossible, bringing Tolkien’s vision to the big screen in an enormously successful way. The movies were cultural phenomenons, praised by critics and fans alike, and for many is the definitive adaptation of the …
 
Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is a difficult game to explain. It was first released for the original Xbox in 2004 by the Korean Studio Phantagram, and tries to fuse real-time strategy with action RPG brawling. All controlled with a gamepad. You take control of two fantastical factions engaged in a religious war, trying to outmatch your opponent…
 
First released in the year 2000 for windows, The Operative: No One Lives Forever (NOLF) was widely praised as the best FPS released since Half Life. The game openly celebrates the Spy genre, feeling like a bizarre amalgamation of James Bond, Get Smart and Austin Powers. Monolith Productions was struggling with giving the game a unique identity unti…
 
First released in 2006 by the now famous Arkane Studios, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was considered a niche hit on release. Making use of the revolutionary physics of the source engine, it turned combat into an environmental puzzle of kicking, throwing objects and creating small patches of fiery death. But is a first-person physics-based brawle…
 
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