The first sequel to smash-success Kingdom Hearts wasn’t Kingdom Hearts 2, as many gamers were expecting. In fact that game was some time away from release when the Game Boy Advance received an ambitious bridging chapter in Sora’s story called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Young Adult fiction has become considerably more acceptable to adults over the last few years, with the line often blurring between adult and teen fiction and authors writing stories based on their own merits instead of pandering down to children. One of the best authors leading this charge is Rick Riordan, a man who many have termed the ‘Myth Master’ and it’s a title he’s earned. With two high-budget film adaptions of his first two novels in the Percy Jackson series, it was inevitable that there would be a at least one video game tie-in.
For those of us from Europe this game will always be known confusingly as ‘Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’, and for others in America its ‘Final Fantasy Adventure’, however in truth this game is at its best using its Japanese title ‘Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden’ marking it as the first entry into the massively popular ‘Mana’ series.
Sadly after the release of ‘Sword of Hajya’, Sega decided not to translate any more mobile offerings from the Shining Force series onto the Game Gear, leaving it with just 1 out of 3 titles available. In over 20 years since its release it’s become painfully obvious that they have no intention of modifying this. Luckily Shining Force Central has a dedicated group of fans who have.
The Game Gear didn’t have a lot of RPGs in its catalogue, but those that it did produce were some of the best hand held experiences at the time, especially in the field of Tactical RPGs. The best of these are, of course, extensions of Sega’s classic Shining Force series.
Before there was Leonard and company there was a time when the Incorruptus were used to wage a war that tore the land apart. With the world on the brink of anarchy one mobile division travels the world in the hope of saving what little remains.
After two successful releases on the Game Boy, Game Freak shifted their attention to the new Game Boy Advance for the third entry into their popular Pokémon series. After the twin regions to explore in Crystal people were expecting something pretty impressive on the new hardware, and whilst it doesn’t break much new ground it is a solid evolution of the series.
The second title in the Final Fantasy series is often considered something of an ugly-duckling when compared to the other titles in the series. This is largely because of the shift from a conventional levelling system into something altogether more complicated, but with hindsight it makes just as many leaps forward as it does steps back.
The original Pokemon titles had already taken the world by storm and cemented the Game Boy back as the number one handheld for a second generation when the sequel arrived in 2000. As sequels go this is one of the most ambitious follow-up RPGs ever devised. Doubling the content of the original and improving upon its predecessor in every conceivable way.
When considering how best to approach the multiple releases of the Pokemon franchise we made the decision to review each generation as a whole, with a focus on the ‘special’ version of the game usually released last with additional tweaks and features. In the case of the original Pokemon generation of titles (‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ respectively, with ‘Green’ included if your Japanese) this would be Pokemon Yellow.