Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is an unashamedly ruthless platformer. Originally on the Master System, it follows the title character in a quest to punch scorpions and die from being bad at rock-paper-scissors. There’s more to it than that, but you’d be forgiven for never knowing that because this game is the bad kind of challenging. With slippery controls, big enemy hitboxes, and a tiny, tiny attack, you’re going to likely spend most of your time repeating the same few levels and seeing your ghost floating out of your body.
R-Type Final 2 is a satisfying shmup with many challenging, carefully crafted stages. Having so many different ships gives it a ton of replay value, and also gives you many strategic options for how you tackle a given area. I wish it had a more striking, clear visual style so I could appreciate the designs and stages more (and die less to dopey things).
Root Film takes players on a lovely tour of the Shimane Prefecture, giving them a glimpse of historical places, customs, and characters as they work to solve grisly mysteries. Unfortunately, the journey is the only compelling thing about this weak visual novel, as its story is somehow told too quickly and the game is filled with things that waste the player’s time. It’s far too drawn-out, yet somehow too short at the same time.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is a crushingly-difficult game, so if you’re looking to be brutalized, it is excellent at it. It features a handful of tools to help less-masochistic players through as well, making for a great package whether you just want to see the sights or emerge victorious from a game that feels like spite given form.