Hello everyone! I've been playing some really weird games this week.†
I heard about this old Playstation game called Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman, which looked quirky and fun, with an interesting mix of western and eastern themes. So of course I bought it, and beat it, and thoroughly enjoyed it! Basically, you're this Wild West gunman who travels to Japan to learn how to become a samurai, and then travels back to his home town to defeat the bad guys and save his town. You're equipped with both a revolver and a katana, and can pull off special moves and combos to shoot and slice your way through the enemies. The controls were a little wonky, especially the camera, but it's a PS1 game, so I cut it some slack. The bad guys are all these really bizarre, Japanese-themed enemies, like geishas, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, daruma dolls, etc. And they all speak by repeating a different Japanese word over and over (for example, the geisha says, "Kimono kimono kimono!"). It's really strange, but also hilarious. Plus you can rescue hostages, which happen to be cowboys stripped down to their boxers and calling for help. I thought that was entertaining :)
I also just started playing Digital Devil Saga a few days ago. It's a game from the Shin Megami Tensei series, about a group of gangs who get turned into demons and start eating each other. It's a really bizarre concept, but every Shin Megami Tensei game is pretty bizarre, so it works. There's the whole morality aspect, in which one character thinks it's gross and wrong to eat other demons (they are technically other people, after all), while another character is totally gung-ho about the idea, saying it's the new way of life. I kind of wish the main protagonist that you control would have a choice of whether or not to devour enemies, because I would probably avoid doing it as long as possible, but he just goes ahead and eats 'em anyway. I'm just happy to be playing another JRPG though, especially one as stylish as Digital Devil Saga.
Lastly, I played a bit of Lovely Planet on Steam. I bought it because of the graphics, which look as though they were heavily inspired by Noby Noby Boy; very simple and cute and aesthetically pleasing. I sort of expected a whimsical little adventure through a cute world, where I could take my time and look around at everything. But in reality, the game is like this super-intense precision FPS/Platformer, where you have to be as accurate and quick as possible to make it through some of the levels. Which is fine, it sounds like most people are really enjoying it, but it's just not really what I was hoping the game would be. I'm only on the second world, and I'm already stuck because I'm horrible at precision aiming in FPS games. So aside from the graphics and music, which I absolutely LOVE, I don't think this game is really for me. I suck at it immensely! I wish there were difficulty settings or something, because I really want to play through the game still, just to look at all the levels and enemies. Oh well...