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(11 votes, average: 3.09 out of 5)
I’ve seen a lot of RPG Maker games. The RPG Maker software has been available since the late 1990s on PCs and PlayStation (1 and 2) platforms. The software allows a decent amount of flexibility to create simple, sprite-based 2D role-playing games in the style of SNES titles like Final Fantasy or Secret of Evermore. There were dozens of these games created in the 1980s and 1990s by professional designers, leading to one of the most heavily conventionalized genres of gaming, the traditional Japanese console-based RPG.
Really, little has changed in this genre but the graphics, so those retro games have maintained a decent fanbase through emulators and re-issues. (Anyone who has not tracked down Earthbound, Secret of Evermore, and Chrono Trigger for their fave SNES emulator has not really enjoyed an RPG.) So a package like RPG Maker, even given all of its limitations, works because it actually helps users stay within the genre boundaries and conventions.
Did I mention there are a lot of these RPG Maker games out there? I imagine pretty much everyone who has bought a copy of the software has made something, and probably half of those folks have uploaded them online. It’s not unusual to find quirky titles that work really hard to be offensive or transgressive, but it’s very rare to find anything that actually succeeds. Typically the “shock” doesn’t go beyond a couple of nudie sprites and some beer bong jokes.
However, every once in awhile, somebody creates something using a singularly mundane medium (detritis on a beach, an Etch-a-Sketch, traditional Japanese console-based RPGs, etc.) that causes many folks who would be otherwise uninterested to pause. Such is the case with Super Columbine Massacre RPG.
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Plasma Pong is a completely tripped-out version of regular Pong that incorporates fluid dynamics. In addition to deflecting the ball with your paddle, you can now use jets and vortices of fluid pressure to help guide the ball. And all of this is rendered in a super-colorful “plasma” style. If you love the visual style of games like Geometry Wars, Mutant Storm, and Darwinia, then you need to check this one out. Click here to download Plasma Pong, free for Windows PCs.
- RIP: Strike Back (3.5 Stars)
- Review: Super Columbine Massacre RPG (3.09 Stars)
- Soviet Unterzögersdorf: More fun to say than play? (3 Stars)
- Review: My Sim Aquarium (3 Stars)
Alternative Games is an independent webzine focused on all forms of unorthodox gaming, eccentric game culture, and problematic play.
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