Tag Archives: Second Chances

I don’t plan on publishing any more posts on this particular blog, but …

… that doesn’t mean I’m finished writing and publishing PC Engine-focused posts altogether.

In fact, I’ve regularly published PC Engine-focused posts on my other, more general, gaming blog, The Gay Gamer, since I stopped doing so here late last year.

Sorry, I’m only telling you about it now. I would have done so sooner, but I honestly thought I’d continue to publish posts on this blog for some time to come.

Trying to maintain two blogs at once, though, has become more than I can handle, so I’ve decided to put all of my energy into The Gay Gamer, which not only regularly features posts about the PC Engine and its games but also features posts about pretty much every other “retro”–as well as current–game system under the sun.

Don’t believe me that the PC Engine gets plenty of attention on my other blog? Here are just a few recent examples:

* “Bubble Bobble + Chack’n Pop + Parasol Stars = single-screen platformer perfection
* “Manual Stimulation: PC Genjin (PC Engine)
* “My kind of art
* “Second Chances: Pop’n Magic

I’m sure some of you will balk at visiting The Gay Gamer because of its name. Just know that it welcomes people of all colors, genders and sexual orientations and that a good percentage of the folks who visit and comment on the site are not, in fact, members of the LGBT community.

Anyway, I sincerely hope some of you will check it out at some point, especially if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here. And if not? Thank you for supporting this blog during its far-too-short (in my opinion) existence. I’ve greatly appreciate it.

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Second chances: Fantasy Zone

I know a lot of people who absolutely love Fantasy Zone. Until recently, though, I didn’t share their adoration of this arcade classic.

Oh, I wanted to. After all, it was made by the folks at Sega (always a positive in my book–well, as long as we’re talking pre-2002 Sega) and it’s chock-full of color. Also, I’ve always been fond of the game’s oddly named protagonist, a sentient spaceship who answers to Opa-Opa.

So, what’s kept me from lusting after this pastel-splashed shmup? Its controls were the biggest hurdle–in particular, Opa-Opa’s odd sense of gravity and momentum that takes some getting used to if you were brought up, as I was, on more traditional side-scrolling shoot ’em ups, like DariusGradius or R-Type.

Another control-centric issue that has long impeded my ability to accept Fantasy Zone into my heart: Dealing with the aforementioned issues while taking out the game’s thieving enemy forces is the definition of challenging.

A few weeks ago, after reading through The Brothers Duomazov’s review of the PC Engine version for what must have been the hundredth time, I decided to erase my previous opinions of the game from my memory and give it a second (maybe third) chance.

Although I’d be lying if I said this latest experience with Fantasy Zone was smooth sailing, er, flying, from the get-go, I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the title a lot more than I had in the past. Sure, I died a lot–I’m pretty sure I saw the “game over” screen too many times to count before I made it to the second stage–but I didn’t much care thanks to my newly minted appreciation of the game’s uniqueness (not to mention its odd, and other-worldly, assortment of environments and enemies).

Can it now be said that I, too, adore Fantasy Zone? Yes, I think it can. As for whether it also can be said that I’m any good at it, though, is another conversation entirely.

See also: Previous ‘second chances’ posts

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Second chances

I’m sure the following admission will shock a few of you PC Engine stalwarts, but I’m going to share it anyway: I’ve never been a big fan of New Zealand Story.

For starters, I’ve always thought the game looked a bit garish and rough–especially when compared with Taito’s other arcade classics of the same era, Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands. Second, its music and sound effects are, in my humble opinion, akin to an assault on the ears.

I don’t have anything negative to say about New Zealand Story‘s gameplay–other than it can, at times, be a tad too difficult–but it doesn’t really matter because the aforementioned niggles have been, until recently, more than enough to turn me off of the game.

So, what prompted me to give it another try a few weeks ago? I’m not entirely sure, although I think this review had something to do with it.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my second and subsequent experiences with the game have pushed me to start a New Zealand Story fan club or anything like that, but they have helped me see it for what it is–a quality, if not exactly high-caliber, PC Engine platformer.

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