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Paladin's Quest / Lennus Jun 29, 2016

A duo of grindy SNES JRPGs by Copya System, with some bizarre art design that's unlike anything the genre has seen before, and a characteristically strange translation.

Kaze no NOTAM Jun 28, 2016

A hot-air balloon simulator from Artdink, a minor developer perhaps best known for making experimental games that initially received a lukewarm reception, like Aquanaut's Holiday and Tail of the Sun. Kaze no NOTAM clearly falls within that same category of games, for better or for worse.

Samurai Shodown Slash Jun 22, 2016

An infinite runner for mobile platforms starring some of the characters from SNK's seminal fighting series. It was only released in Korea, though service has been disabled and is no longer playable.

Podcast: HG101's Top 47,858 Games Of All Time Jun 22, 2016

The adventures of Game Club 199X continue as the crew tackle their greatest challenge yet! The GC9X Super Fighting Animal Team discuss the games you nominate on Twitter, and then, using a series of complicated algorithms and dark sciences, give them a very official, very final ranking on a rapidly growing list. You too can nominate three games of your choice on Twitter at @GC9X! Will you be the one to nominate the greatest game of all time?

Dark Earth Jun 19, 2016

A post-apocalyptic steampunk RPG that had the misfortune of launching against larger titles like Fallout and Final Fantasy VII, this French-developed title has clumsy combat but a fascinating game world.

Your Weeky Kusoge: Quiver Jun 19, 2016

In the running of the sad title of "most mediocre Doom clone", Quiver was developed for low-spec systems, even though Doom could run comfortably on a low end 486.

Cosmic Cavern 3671 on Steam Greenlight Jun 18, 2016

The realm of early Japanese computer gaming is not widely documented, especially on the English internet, but it's something that we at HG101 take huge interest in. So that's why it's worth checking out Cosmic Cavern 3671, which was recently posted on Steam Greenlight.

Racing Lagoon Jun 15, 2016

Developed during Square's daring PS1 days, Racing Lagoon is a combination of an arcade racer and an RPG, inspired by the popular anime/manga series Initial D.

bit Generations Pt. 2 Jun 12, 2016

The second (and final, for now) part of this article covering the old school/artsy GBA games covers COLORIS, ORBITAL, DIGIDRIVE, and Soundvoyager.

Life is Strange Jun 10, 2016

Starring a young woman with the power to rewind time, Life is Strange's point-and-click DNA is easy to spot, but it turns all of these toward telling a story that's more about longing, regret, and ordinary life, than fighting an Evil Empire.

Video: Meeting with a Book Collector Jun 10, 2016

From the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers DVD. A meeting with a collector of almost every video game book ever. Includes a look through his absolutely massive library of stuff.

Video: A Look at the Japanese Game Preservation Society Jun 10, 2016

From the Untold History of Japanese Game Developers DVD. A look at the Japanese Game Preservation Society's laboratory in Tokyo, as guided by Joseph Redon. This organization works to preserve Japan's software, which, like software from all over the globe, was initially distributed on rather fragile medium.

Tumblepop Jun 7, 2016

A goofy, rainbow-colored single screen platformer from Data East, Tumblepop combines two popular arcade titles from the early 90s, Pang and Snow Bros. Also includes reviews of its spiritual sequels, Diet Go Go and Joe & Mac Returns.

Gone Home Jun 6, 2016

Causing a flurry of controversy when it was released in 2013, Gone Home is an emotionally impactful exploratory adventure game, one that kicked off the subgenre semi-derisively known as the "walking simulator".

Demon Front Jun 3, 2016

Taiwan-based developer IGS is primarily known for their PolyGame Master arcade hardware, and along with it, a whole slew of Final Fight-style beat-em-ups. Demon Front, release on 2002, veers away from that direction though, and instead pays homage/rips off SNK's Metal Slug.

Gangsters: Organized Crime Jun 1, 2016

This overlooked strategy game is essentially "SimCapone", a gangland simulator as deep and palatable as a barrel of bootleg rum. Also followed up by a less ambitious sequel.

Coming soon! HG101 Presents: Data East Arcade Classics May 31, 2016

Are you a bad enough dude to buy this book? Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Data East Arcade Classic covers the diverse library from the underrated Japanese developer, including golden era classics like BurgerTime and Karate Champ; eccentricities like Karnov and Trio the Punch; outstanding genre pieces like Desert Assault and Night Slashers; licensed titles like RoboCop and Captain America and the Avengers; and cult classics like Boogie Wings and Windjammers. Also included is an extensive examination of their popular competitive puzzle game, Magical Drop, and of course, the ninja-fighting, president-saving Bad Dudes and its pseudo-sequel Two Crude Dudes. Coming July 2016!

Famicom Bunko: Hajimari no Mori May 30, 2016

Released in 1999 exclusively through the Nintendo Power download service for the Super Famicom, this adventure game seems like a simple summer love story, but it also makes very poignant commentary about the preservation of the environment and Japan's cultural traditions.

bit Generations Pt. 1 (of 2) May 28, 2016

A series of seven GBA titles released over the course of two weeks, the bit Generations games are aesthetically-driven and simple-but-pleasant little games. The first part of the article covers Series 1 (dotstream, BOUNDISH, and DIALHEX), which are on the more traditional side of things, with game elements that will be familiar to most.

Mortal Kombat May 24, 2016

A little late coming, but we've updated our Mortal Kombat article with coverage of Mortal Kombat X, as well as adding the new character bios to the first page.

Inventory: Mortal Kombat Klones May 24, 2016

Beyond giving us ten games and several spin-offs, Mortal Kombat also inspired a legion of clones, rip-offs, and homages. This article covers over thirty of these titles - any 2D fighter featuring digitized live action or CGI characters, or otherwise featuring extreme amounts of violence - including Time Killers, Way of the Warriors, and more!

The Real Ghostbusters May 21, 2016

Data East takes one of their mediocre arcade shooters and reskins it as a Ghostbusters game.

No review. I refuse.

Croc May 20, 2016

Argonaut, developer of the SNES Starfox games, pitched Nintendo an idea for a 3D platformer starring Yoshi. They struck it down. Frustrated, the team broke ties, continued to develop the game anyway, and created their own character: the wide-eyed crocodile Croc. While deriviative, it was a good alternative for those who wanted an N64-style 3D platformer, but didn't own an N64.

Omikron: The Nomad Soul May 19, 2016

The first game from well known developer David Cage, Omikron features David Bowie in the role of a central plot-moving character who interacts directly with the player, looking like and voiced by Bowie himself, and even contributed to aspects of its design and aesthetics.

F-Zero (Part 2 of 2) May 2, 2016

The second (and final) part of our F-Zero article covers the beautiful F-Zero GX/AX, plus the remaining two Game Boy Advance games, which tied into an anime from around the same time.

Post Mortem / Still Life May 11, 2016

A trilogy of mystery adventure games from Micro惻s, the stories mix together mystical elements, psychic flashes, and utterly tone deaf comedy in a way that somehow works.

Red Comrades Save the Galaxy May 9, 2016

A classic Russian comedy adventure game, the first in a series of nine, that has recently been translated into English and released on Steam. It's about Communists from 1918 thwarting an alien invasion, and it's goofy as hell.

Dolphin Blue May 8, 2016

It's Metal Slug meets anime Waterworld in this 2.5D run-and-gun released for the Atomiswave arcade board in 2003.

The Count Lucanor May 4, 2016

A loose take on the Spanish stories, done entirely in the style of a Studio Ghibli film (their comparison) and sprite based adventure games, with a bit of class from a classical soundtrack remade with chiptunes.

F-Zero (Part 1 of 2) May 2, 2016

Even though F-Zero is part of Nintendo's long list of franchises that are only dug out from their vault for new Smash Bros. characters and trophies, it used to be one of the big names identified with Nintendo in the 16- and 64-bit days. As one of Nintendo's launch titles for the Super NES, it was a showcase of the system's capabilities as much as it was a sharply designed game, and essentially codified what people would get and expect from a futuristic racer - insane speeds, rocket engines, crazy jumps, and murderous race tracks.

Actual Sunlight May 1, 2016

A darkly autobiographic tale of young man struggling with life, there are few games as beautifully, grossly human as this.

King & Balloon Apr 29, 2016

An early variation on Namco's Galaga, where you fittingly protect a king from attacking balloons.

ROM Hacker Interview: Red Comet Apr 26, 2016

Bobby Vandiver, better known as Red Comet, is an accomplished ROM hacking and the man behind Twilight Translations. He's released a number of English fan translation patches for games, including several Dragon Ball Z titles, two Gundam titles, and the beat-em-up Streets of Rage 3.

Cosmic Smash Apr 26, 2016

Sega's high minded, artistic title with an abstract technological aesthetic, even though it's really just "squash meets Breakout".

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Essential Reading








Might and Magic

Cinematic Milestones

Alone in the Dark

Prince of Persia

Another World

Fighting Games

Virtua Fighter

Fatal Fury

King of Fighters



Konami Shooters



Monkey Island

Gabriel Knight

Leisure Suit Larry

Side-Scrolling Action

Ninja Gaiden

Mega Man



Space Harrier

Golden Axe



Bionic Commando


Final Fight



Moon Crystal

Holy Diver

Super Famicom

Gunple: Gunman's Proof


Rendering Ranger: R2

Japanese PS1

Panzer Bandit

Harmful Park

Gunner's Heaven


Tracing the Influence

A History of Korean Gaming

Japanese Artwork of Western Games

Franchise Profiles


Donald Duck

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles