A handheld spin-off from the infamous Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, this one made by Rockstar Leeds (in association with Rockstar North), and published on the PlayStation Portable in 2006.
This interesting 2006 release is based loosely on the story of Joan of Arc and her struggles against the English occupation of France during The Hundred Year War of the 15th Century.
Jeanne d’Arc is a cutesy fantasy adventure with magic and tactical combat sections (in the style of Ogre Battle and Final Fantasy Tactics), developed by Japanese video game developer Level-5.
Mega Man Powered Up is a 2006 remake of the original NES Mega Man game, only this time with ‘chibi’ style graphics and a host of new gameplay options.
Not least of which is the ability to play the game as any one of Mega Man‘s arch enemies – once you’ve beaten them in a boss fight.
The portable version of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection was published for the PSP in 2006. It’s a conversion of the 2005 arcade game from Namco, converted by Japanese studio Eighting.
Developed by TOSE and published by Capcom for the PlayStation Portable in 2006, Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins is a remake of the classic arcade game Ghosts ‘N Goblins (and its even better sequel, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts), combining them together with new levels, new enemies, new weapons, new armour, new bosses, and new 3D graphics.
I do enjoy a game of FIFA Street 2 on my XBox from time to time. It doesn’t have all the pompous dramatics of a regular FIFA game, although it does have the players.
Final Fantasy VI Advance was released in Japan in 2006, and 2007 in English language territories. It’s a remake of the Super Nintendo original, developed by a Japanese company called Tose.
Final Fantasy V Advance is the third Tose-developed remake for the Game Boy Advance and was first released in 2006.
Again: it uses the same refined interface and beautifully-drawn and coloured graphics of the previous two Tose remakes and somehow manages to make the Super Nintendo original look a little drab in the process.
The 2006 sequel to the hit RPG Neverwinter Nights was created by American developer Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari, Inc.
In many ways Neverwinter Nights 2 improves on the original game, and uses a new game engine (actually a suped-up version of the previous engine), this one called the Electron Engine.
Gameplay is essentially the same as before: a mixture of third-person, real-time and turn-based adventuring with a multi-character party system. The version currently available (time of writing: September 2018) features a main single-player campaign, plus three add-on campaigns (one of them – Mask of the Betrayer – being considered a classic); multiplayer mode, and the toolset for making your own quests/graphics/scripts/games.
There are some subtle but fundamental changes to the game, though, which makes playing Neverwinter Nights 2 somewhat different to the first game.
For starters: companion AI is much more complex, creating a bit of a mire in the process. What I mean by that is: a “mire” of options, which you can switch on and off to activate/deactivate certain behaviours. You can have companions be full AI controlled, custom AI controlled, or ‘Puppet’ controlled – puppet control being full manual.
Also different to the first game is the fact that you can now have up to three party members with you, making a party of four. In the previous game you just had one companion. It makes this sequel much more involving, and probably a lot more interesting. Actually, it is a much more ‘well-rounded’ game, this sequel, although not without its problems. Initially I struggled to get the camera to do what I wanted it to do, and almost gave up, but carried on in the hope that it would get better. It did, with some practise, but it took a while for me to get used to the interface (not to mention quite a few deaths).
Overall: Neverwinter Nights 2 is a fine, tactical RPG. It looks great; plays like a dream (now most of the bugs have been ironed-out), and is a worthy follow-up to a great title. It’s definitely worth a look if you like RPGs but have never played it, so look out for it in the next GOG.com sale.
The third and final game in the Mother series, Mother 3, was released in Japan only in 2006 for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.
Nintendo published the game, with development by Brownie Brown and HAL Laboratory – directed by Nobuyuki Inhoue and written by series creator Shigesato Itoi.
The story of a young boy (called Lucas) with psychic abilities, Mother 3 is another party-based level-grinder with endless random combat and nice typography.
Mother 3 was a critical and commercial success in Japan when first released, although Nintendo didn’t even bother with a North American or European release, which is strange considering that EarthBound (aka Mother 2) got an official translation.
Anyway, it didn’t really matter because translation groups soon hacked the roms and gave us the full game in English, unofficially.
Mother 3 is arguably the best game in the entire Mother trilogy. All the characters and enemies are better developed and drawn in this game, and also the game mechanics and menus benefit from previous experience. There’s a real sense of quality in every aspect of the game and the subtle satire helps the story from going stale as you progress. Combat is as mesmerising and as challenging as ever, and the enemies are just as weird as we’ve come to expect in a Mother game. Barking.
Otherwise, Mother 3 is essentially the same great game as one and two, only with all the details changed and the graphics, animation and sound enhanced. 🙂