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In the USA, this category was known as Super Mario Bros. 2. (Game demo impressions go here.)


DEMO DEMO PANIC- Metal Gear Rising: REVENGEANCE published on

This could have been more timely, but honestly, I kept forgetting I had the thing. So while I’m sure most of the more trusted outlets have already weighed in on this hilariously titled new installment of Konami’s alternatingly dramatic and slapstick “Tactical Espionage Action” series, I just know that you’re probably still on the fence and waiting for my expert opinion. For those not familiar already, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is being developed by the people responsible for Bayonetta, doubtless due to their subtle and realistic touches on the action genre. I can’t think of a better group to be in charge of an installment of a game in a series predicated upon stealth. So, here it is.

Firstly: Holy shit, does this demo take a while to install. I wrote, proofread, re-wrote, and made some raspberry lemonade in the time it took to install. I was kind of expecting it to simply run off of the Zone of the Enders HD disk since they went through the trouble of giving it a physical distribution. In all seriousness, it took longer for my demo to install than the ‘infamous’ 7-minute data install required by MGS4. I wouldn’t mind that in and of itself if not for the relative shortness of the demo run, hell, I thought this was going to be one of those “We’re going to make you install the entire game then pay for an unlock code later.”

I suppose that’s all pretty inconsequential if the game is good, right? Well, yeah, it is pretty decent stuff, even though it doesn’t feel very much like Metal Gear. They make nods, and yeah, you are controlling Raiden, but this is pretty obviously Platinum’s baby. It feels something like it should be a spin-off of Vanquish. Raiden is even hot in pursuit of another cyborg ninja named Sam. You’ll see Gekkos from MGS4, and the events in the game are occuring as a result of the fall of the Patriots, but things have a brighter, slicker look to them that kind of ‘cartoonifies’ them a bit.

(That isn’t a compaint.)

Raiden’s actually something of a cyber vampire ninja, so bonus points for that. Your health pickups will come in the form of ‘electrolytes’ absorbed from the body fluids of slain enemy cyborgs. The biggest gimmick that the game engine brings with it is that by holding L1, you are given a full range of motion to slice and dice enemies with your blade, allowing you to dice enemies into little pieces in bullet time, or in a delicate situation, cut through an enemy holding a hostage without harming the prisoner, too. There’s a stereotypical German ‘Doktor’ in your support team who will offer you upgrades in exchange for bringing home the left arms of cyborgs. You are also able to make use of Wannabe Detective Vision for spotting enemies and civillians, and equip found sub weapons. It does still maintain a whiff of classic stealth gameplay in that you can get the jump on enemies by attacking from behind if they haven’t spotted you, and they left an Alert timer in play once you’ve started a brawl. For the most part though, it’s going to be a lot of hacking and slashing, as you’re told right off the bat. It feels very much like another Platinum brawler, though not quite as smooth as Bayonetta. It can be tough to do precision sword strikes in mid fight, but for the most part it’s best to save them for finishing blows. By striking the ‘square’ inside an enemy, you can trigger a ‘Zandatsu’ quick-time event and regain health, but if you’re not great at it, taking time-out to play Fruit Ninja with a moving, hostile soldier when you desperately need a health pickup could have some frustrating potential.

Overall, it didn’t seem very challenging on Normal until I hit the boss, which in the end only gave me trouble because I was misinterpreting the ‘PARRY’ instruction on the screen (I was trying to tilt the stick toward the enemy when the game ACTUALLY wanted the stick clicked in.) Seemed to control pretty well til the boss, kept getting hung up on background elements since the camera stays locked onto the enemy. The support team seemed pretty decent, and the story’s got a shot at being good since it’s in the Metal Gear-verse, but I can’t help but get the feeling that this one’s going to end up like another Godhand or Vanquish- beloved by the people who ‘get it,’ but attract a lot of detractors for being different than the norm. I look forward to seeing how the full version turns out.

For those curious, there was only so much of the series’ signature verbosity that can fit in about a 20 minute demo (not counting deaths and cutscenes, that sounds about right.) But it did end on a robot dog pondering the meaning of “freedom,” so I’m sure people who like that part of Metal Geardom will probably be alright with the final script. Me, I want more Big Boss.

Demo Demo Panic! Banzai Pecan-Chan

Demo Demo Panic! Banzai Pecan-Chan published on 1 Comment on Demo Demo Panic! Banzai Pecan-Chan

Well, we have a special treat for this installment of Demo Demo Panic. Long-time readers may recall a time that I dedicated a month or so to indie games, and within that month, I made contact and became friends with the head of Serious*Impact Works, who made a bunch of Sonic and King of Fighters fan games back in the day and was planning to start doing some original game work soon after.

Pecan-chan eludes her nemesis, Wile E. Coyote

Well, he’s been doing just that ever since, and the demo for their first original title is live now. Well, it was on Valentine’s Day, but I’ve been trying to fix my stupid PC gamepad since my first run through. There has been an earlier demo build, but we like to pretend it doesn’t exist now. Especially since all the original data was lost to a PC crash and lo, did their little pet project rise from the ashes and was restarted from the ground up with bigger, juicier sprites and a new engine. So, without further ado, I give you Banzai Pecan-Chan: The First Strikes.

Uh, what? You don’t do all the reviewing around here. You’re supposed to be playing through [REDACTED] to prep for your next episode.

I think I have this one covered. I’m not going to go saying this is the greatest game ever made just to make my friend happy. I have a little bit of integrity. Besides, it’s a game about hitting. You’re pro-hitting, right? You can stick around and wat-

O… kay then. Have fun with the [REDACTED] in [HUMOROUSLY CENSORED TO AVOID SPOILERS] then.

Banzai Pecan-chan is a side scrolling beat-em-up that takes a lot of cues in play fromĀ  2D fighting, without the super-complex control motions, anyway. A gamepad is strongly recommended, though, since there are going to be a lot of enemies on screen and you need to be pretty quick with your fingers on a keyboard to handle them. Hell, I still had trouble dodging when my virus scanner decided to run its daily run in the middle of a session and slowed everything down to frame by frame. It’s a bit like a simplified version of GodHand- slapstick, unforgiving, but not impossible. The effort behind this build of BPCC really shows, particularly in the “feel” of the hits and the incorporation of aerial combos, wire juggles, and quick recovery moves. The spriting was done at a much higher resolution as well, making it look a bit more in line with a Guilty Gear rather than a 16-bit brawler. There’s even some voice work thrown in here and there.

Plot-wise, we’re looking at a scenario along the lines of Sailor Moon by way of Fist of the North Star. Pecan must save her boyfriend from Koopa with boobs the Sexilicious Seven using her powers of vaguely defined but divinely granted ass-kickery. Along the way, she’s going to trade blows with succubi, evil twins, and hordes of bunny girls. You’ll get gameplay hints from her government-issued Magic Girl Best Friend Flan on the Game Over screen, which you’ll probably see a lot of if you’re anything like me.

Really, the only issues I’ve got with this particular demo are with the difficulty, but I can’t decide if that’s more me or the game. I was having to make do with the keyboard, which didn’t help matters. The stun-gun move the grunts use seems a tad powerful for something bottom-rung enemies should be toting around, but then again on the other hand, yes, a stun-gun hurts. I hit something of a brick wall in level 1-2 involving 4 of the bunny girls at once alongside a miniboss I’ve affectionately dubbed Tallbitch. She shrugs off damage (but does flinch after a few blows) and deals a powerful punch that bounces you off the wall for a wire combo by the mooks. The AI isn’t super aggressive, so I doubt you’re going to fall into an infinity loop or something, but there is a recovery move for when you hit the ground or wall if you have the timing. Overall, Pecan-Chan is a really polished game for what a handful of people put together for kicks, and even though I basically suck, I enjoyed it. I look forward to the final release, whenever it comes.

Get the demo here.

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