By Josh Speer / June 27th, 2018
One of the last demos I had at E3 2018 was with Aksys Games. My colleague Benny and I met with them at a closed off room away from the hustle and bustle, and were invited to sit down, make ourselves comfortable and play some video games. There was a wide variety available, but I decided to play one genre I was familiar with and one I was less used to. The first game I played was SHMUP Quad Fighter K, which I had actually seen release on the eShop prior to E3, but hadn’t noticed it was published by Aksys. The 2nd game I demoed was Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, which is an otome slated to release in a couple days. I don’t have any firsthand experience with otome games, but I have recently become a fan of visual novels, so I decided to give it a fair shot.
First, I sat down with a Switch to play Quad Fighter K. It’s always hard to know from a first glance what you can expect from retro inspired games. There’s as much of a chance they can be an utter failure as there is they can do classic games justice. Thankfully, I can attest that Quad Fighter K is mostly the latter, much to my surprise.
The basic premise of the game is your primary powerups are actually other ships you can attach to any part of your ship, and depending on what’s attached where, get access to different attacks. When you pick up bombs, they are attached like a centipede tail to your ship in the order you pick them up. You can also play with friends, having them either control one of the other ships or join up Voltron style to deal massive mayhem to foes. It’s very simple, and it’s also a lot of fun. While the basic graphics may initially throw some people off, I would highly recommend fans of SHMUPS give Quad Fighter K a try. If you’re still not convinced, check back later when oprainfall’s official review of the game goes live.
The other game was Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. Like I said earlier, I’m not well versed with otome, but I put aside any preconceived notions and decided to come at it with fresh eyes. What I can say is the production value of the game matches my high expectations from other VNs such as Danganronpa and Virtue’s Last Reward. While this isn’t quite as insane as those games in the demo build, I think there’s a lot of potential for things to get crazy.
The plot seems to revolve around witchcraft, crimson eyeballs and other supernatural phenomena. Oh, and of course it has lots of eligible bachelors, but I was less interested in that aspect of the game. Thankfully, the art paired with the solid writing has me convinced that the game has potential. What I perhaps liked best about the game was that it’s coming to Vita. Any excuse to keep my beloved Sony portable living is a good excuse.
All said and done, I’m excited about Aksys’ upcoming roster of titles. There seems to be something for everyone, from VNs to SHMUPs to even management sims such as Little Dragon’s Cafe. Stay tuned to oprainfall in the coming months to for more coverage of great niche content.
Aksys GamesE3 2018oprainfallpsychedelica of the ashen hawkQuad Fighter KSwitchVita