Games to Revisit: Pepsiman

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Pepsiman is an action video game developed and published by KID for the PlayStation. It was released in Japan in March 1999, and is based on American carbonated soft drink Pepsi’s superhero mascot with the same name, and focuses the player on avoiding obstacles by running, dashing, and jumping, while Pepsiman automatically runs forward through each of the game’s stages.

The game was made with a low budget, prompting the decision to make videos in-between stages that show a man drinking Pepsi, as they were cheap to produce. The game also features 3D cutscenes, which the future visual novel writer Kotaro Uchikoshi created 3D models for. While an American publisher did look into acquiring the rights to publish the game in the United States, it ended up being a Japan-exclusive game.

If you don’t know this game, you’re either too young or you have been living under a rock. This game can be considered as the great grandfather of Temple Run and Subway Surfers, I don’t think there was a game that followed the same game-play back then.

As cheap as the cutscenes are, the game is actually fun and I remember I spent hours on it. I’m not sure if I would consider the game actually having a story but my god the theme song gets stuck in your head for hours.

The game can be finished in one hour, it’s not exactly that long. There’s nothing much to say about this game but it’s a good time killer and I had fun revisiting it.

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Games To Revisit In October

I have an annual tradition in October to play horror games since it’s the spooky season so I have a special list of games I always revisit. We don’t really celebrate Halloween in my country, the only reason we get excited about it is because Pumpkin Spice Lattes actually. I thought of sharing my list of games that I always revisit during this season and maybe you’ll give me recommendations to try out.

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Neverending Nightmares (PC)

It’s an interesting game which is inspired by the lead designer of this game Matt Gilgenbach’s personal struggles with obsessive–compulsive disorder and depression. What I love about it is the art style, it’s hand drawn line art and I’ve never seen a game that uses that I think.

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The game lacks dialogue so it leaves the player to interpret what’s happening as the story progresses. The game explores a depressed mind and showcases nightmares, and self-harm scenes which can be a bit gory. It’s a great game in my opinion and I recommend checking it out.

Dino Crisis 2 (PSone)

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One of my personal favorite survival horror games and can I just say Regina’s hair is goals, seriously she made me want to have red hair like her. I played this game around the time I watched Jurassic Park movies so I was deeply into the whole dinosaurs gimmick back then. I still replay this game because it’s one of the PSone classics along side with Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

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I wouldn’t consider this game to be survival horror as it has few elements that define it to be a bit more action adventure oriented at the same time. The gameplay is almost similar to Resident Evil, the camera angles are horrible but not frustrating like some games. The story is really interesting even though I didn’t play the first part to understand some points of the game but it’s not that hard to keep up, it’s an amazing game I highly recommend trying it out.

Siren (PS2)

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I’ve played quite a number of weird games and this is one of them yet I still enjoy it. Japanese horror games were at its’ peak during the PS2 days and this one got my attention because of the unique graphics and creepy storyline.

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The game uses the butterfly effect in mission objectives in each stage to progress into the next stage which is played out in the perspective of ten survivors.

Siren is set in a Japanese village named Hanuda. With strong religious beliefs important in the area, the locals like to keep to themselves and have sought to keep Hanuda isolated from the outside world. Following the interruption of a ritual near Hanuda, and a subsequent earthquake, the village teeters between time and space, with an infinite sea of red water replacing the mountainous territory. The crux of the story focuses on the efforts of Hisako Yao, the leader of the local religion, to resurrect or re-awaken a god through a ceremony. The ‘Siren’ of the title is the god’s call, summoning Hanuda’s residents to immerse themselves in the red water, thus creating an army of subordinates called shibito “corpse people”. The shibito then go about building a nest to house the god’s corporeal form once it is summoned, as well as killing and converting any remaining humans left in Hanuda.

These are the games I would recommend checking them out for October, I’m planning to make this a series for each month where I list three games from my gaming experiences since I played way too many games and I would like to share them.

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Fangirl Moment: Legend Of Mana

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If you are anything like me, I’m obsessed with JRPG that I want to play them for a living. These colored hair pixel heroes makes me turn to a child as if I’m in a toy store screaming around while my mother thinks of disowning me. Apart from the usual known RPG like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I’m more into older ones back in PSOne console. To be specific, I absolutely love Legend of Mana and I consider it one of the most underrated games of all times.

Legend of Mana was released back in 1999 on PSOne by Square Soft and it’s basically part of the Mana series. “Legend of Mana is set in the fictional world of Fa’Diel. The Mana Tree, the giver of mana and life for the world, burned down almost entirely nine centuries prior to the events of the game. A war erupted between faeries, human, and others seeking the scarce power of mana that was left. When the war concluded, the burnt Mana Tree slept as it regrew and the many lands of the world were stored in ancient artifacts. A hero, controlled by the player, is self-charged with restoring the world, and mana, to its former self. The Lands of Fa’Diel are populated with a large number of different creatures, including humans, faeries, demons, the jewel-hearted Jumi race, plant-like Sproutlings and Flowerlings, miner bears called Dudbears, and shadowy beings of the Underworld known as Shadoles. Fa’Diel is also the home of a host of anthropomorphic animals and objects, as well as monsters from other Mana titles such as Rabites, Chobin Hoods, and Goblins. The player controls the protagonist of the game, who is either a male or female silent protagonist. The character is unnamed and no information is given about their past; their history and personality is meant to be determined by the player.” – Legend of Mana Wikia

The game world is shaped by the player when placing the artifacts which creates the dungeon or town for example, I could place an artifact of a town named Domina next to the main character’s home place on the map while someone else playing this game could place it below. The main storyline is a bit lacking because the game wants the player to experience all of the side stories and just create the character personality in my opinion. The main goal is to restore the mana tree and return life to the land but that’s just an easy way to describe the character as the hero and follow most JRPG route, that’s not what the game only offers because as I mentioned before it has many side stories which adds more attributes to the character personality not only a hero but also a friend and a helper to those who need help.

What draws me mostly to this game is the music, I played this game when I was 11 and till this day I still hum the music I heard in this game. The music was composed by Yoko Shimomura who also composed for various well-known games like Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts. I think music gives the game a memory which you won’t forget, you could hear one the tracks now as an adult and it’ll instantly make you remember the dialogue said during it and which location exactly.

Back to my point of the storyline, I mentioned before that there’re many side stories or branches. For example:

  • The Jumi Story
  • The Dragoon Siblings Story
  • The Centaur Love Quest
  • The Rabbit Merchant Adventures
  • The complicated love story of four childhood friend
  • Treasure Hunting With Pirates Adventures

And few others I obviously forgot to include but I can say these are the most memorable ones. I could go on in explaining each one but I feel my keyboard will grow hands to slap me because my inner child is excited slamming buttons about this game so I’ll just mention that the Jumi storyline was my favorite and like any child about to enter the teenage years, I had a massive crush on Elazul who was one of the main characters of that storyline.

In conclusion, I think this game offers more than usual JRPG because of the story having so many branches for the player to explore and intertwine between the lands. I would totally recommend this game to any JRPG fanatic as I am.