Archive for the ‘puzzle’ Category

D: Dial D for Distinct

June 3, 2010

There were several reasons why I decided to get a Sega Saturn, and one of them was to experience the unpredictable mind of Kenji Eno, founder of the dearly departed developer Warp. Never heard of Warp? I wouldn’t be surprised. Their reputation has faded into nothing more than a piece of video game trivia  from the mid-to-late 1990s. An esoteric Japanese game developer, Warp was helmed by Eno and taken in some rather interesting directions. Their first stateside release was Puyo Puyo rip-off Trip’d on the 3DO, which I guarantee no one here has heard of or played. Their second, however, was D.

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Mercury Meltdown Revolution

January 28, 2008

Over the years there has been a handful of puzzle games that involve rolling an object through an obstacle course. You can go as far back as the arcade classic Marble Madness or as recent as the Super Monkey Ball series. Though it has failed to generate similar name-recognition, my favorite from this sub-genre has thus far been Mercury Madness Revolution. Mercury Madness is available for the PSP and PS2, but do trust me on this: the Wii version is best thanks to the excellent control scheme.

I should mention that though my last review was for “The Seventh Guest” (an old-school PC puzzle game), I am not a puzzle game purist. I generally prefer action-adventures, side-scrollers, platformers, RPGs, strategy games, empire-builders and FPSs. So when I thumbs-up a puzzle game, it generally means I think it has some cross-over potential for those who occasionally like to dabble in the best of the puzzle offerings.

Let me be clear, though, that the Mercury Madness Revolution (MMR from here on out) is a pure puzzle game. Both casual and hardcore gamers are invited, but those with absolutely no interest in non-narrative straight-up puzzle-play shouldn’t even bother to show up. This is not Zelda or Vagrant Story where puzzles are a single factor of the game. Nor is this an eye-popping graphics showcase for your next-gen system: you can expect just pleasantly tasteful cel-shaded visuals and innocuous techno music that falls short of catchy. It is, however, one of the best of its breed.

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