King's Field (Japan) (PSX; Completed 1-13-23) [First Time]
Notes: Oh hey, my first FromSoft game! Mind, this is actually a game that was unreleased in the west, but fan translated... the game we know as "King's Field" was actually King's Field *2*. It's confusing. Anyway, for such an old game, it was actually pretty good. I could see the Souls DNA, but while the game started off brutal, by the halfway point, I'd obtained a cheap healing spell and a weapon that regenerated my MP slowly, so dying was just... not going to happen anymore. Overall, it was a very old-school, ugly, clunky, and rather short game... yet, I found it oddly charming in its own way. I'll probably play the sequels sometime down the road.
Final Fantasy 2 (PSP; Completed 2-4-23) [First Time]
Notes: The last main series Final Fantasy that I have actual access to (i.e. not an MMO or on a platform I don't possess) that I hadn't played through... is finally done. I opted for the PSP version, simply because it combines the most features with the fewest bugs and other annoyances, and... it's pretty good. I'd say I liked it better than 1 and the original 2D version of 4, and that it originated as an NES game is all the more impressive. Also, unlike the other FF ports, I actually found the bonus dungeons in 2 to be legit fun and clever. Overall, I'm glad to have finally played through this piece of history.
Magic Knight Rayearth (Saturn; Completed 2-14-23) [First Time]
Notes: Oh hey, another Saturn game for me! As Zelda-like action/adventure games go, this one was pretty fun, if short and rather linear. Didn't stand out in any particularly amazing ways, but the graphics were pretty, the music was catchy, but, uh... then there's the dialogue. Yeah. This is a Working Designs translation, and oh man can you *tell*. While it was light on their usual brand of pop culture references, it "made up for it" by making every NPC into an unlikeable jackass. I'm not kidding: Nearly every townsperson is either insulting your team or someone else (or is otherwise completely ungrateful to you saving their asses), lusting after someone of the opposite sex, panicking and begging you to save them (and *only* them; screw everyone *else*), or "helpfully" informing you of their gross bodily functions. The story dialogue wasn't spared, either, with casual jokes about periods and child abuse. And people *like* this stuff? Well. At least the game itself was good...
Magic Knight Rayearth (SNES; Completed 2-18-23) [First Time]
Notes: Didn't I just play this game? Actually, the SNES version is completely different than the Saturn one. It's a short, straightforward, uncomplicated JRPG, whose only real issue is, as was typical for the time, a too-high encounter rate. It was also quite easy. On the plus side, the translation was significantly better, and told a lot more of the story, especially towards the end, than the "funny" Saturn translation did... and the game's music is honestly really good. Not the greatest game ever, but I enjoyed it well enough.
Brandish 2 (SNES; Completed 2-24-23) [First Time]
Notes: As one of the ten or so fans of the original Brandish, I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally play the sequel... but honestly, I loved it. It takes the original formula and sticks with it, so if you didn't like that game, you won't like this one, either... While it has some flaws, such as questionable boss design (enemies that can, barring use of certain spells, kill you in 2-4 hits while taking 1 damage from your attacks, and the game's awkward controls not really working well for action-y battles), the much larger world, more varied locales, greater emphasis on actually *using* the many weapons and items you're given (no longer do you need to sell everything to make money to buy obscenely expensive spells), and significantly more interesting plot made this one a winner to me. It also has *fantastic* music.
King's Field (US) / King's Field 2 (Japan) (PSX; Completed 3-9-23) [First Time]
If the first game was the "proof of concept", this was the full picture. A significantly larger, more challenging game on the whole, it definitely felt more refined than the original, but still had a lot of that old school jank to it. It can be frustratingly easy to die at times, as well, and as spread out as save points are, that can really be a thing at times... unless you don't mind using save states, as I didn't, and enjoyed the game more for it.