Category Archives: Opinion

Review: “Gunslingers and Zombies” (Nintendo Switch)

“NNNNGGGHHHAAA!” Zombies abound, partner! Oh, never mind. I’m not doing “cowboy speak” this entire review. Sure, it’s not nearly as annoying as pirate speak, but most cowboy types seem pretty cool most of the time, so why make fun of them? …aaand we have a game to look at. Specifically, it’s Gunslingers and Zombies, a turn-based strategy game originally developed

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Crowdfunding Review: “Tyger Blue” (Retro Graphic Books)

Welcome back to another Crowdfunding Review here at The Splintering. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Tyger Blue, a 52-page sci-fi action book written and created by Matthew Fowler and featuring illustrations by Jose Garcia and lettering by the prolific Eric Weathers. For those of you not familiar with our review format, we grade a crowdfunding campaign on four distinct categories: Does this

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Retro Game Review: “Truxton” (SEGA Genesis, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of all things octogenarian… from a 20th century point of view.  The SEGA Genesis is largely remembered as a 90s gaming powerhouse, but it was actually released in 1989. That makes a handful of the console’s early games babies of the 80s.  Truxton (aka 達人 or Tatsujin in Japan… which means something like “expert”) is one

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Vintage Comic Review: “Laffin’ Gas Cartoonies” #3 (Blackthorne, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade. Ever. (Change my mind) Today, we’re going to take a look at Laffin’ Gas Cartoonies issue 3, which was published by Blackthorne Publishing in November 1986. Laffin’ Gas Cartoonies was an ongoing black-and-white anthology featuring several comedy and parody short stories. The book is very much in the spirit of

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Retro Game Review: “Vulgus” (Capcom, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the martians built the pyramids. Today, we’re going to look at Capcom’s very first game, a 2D, vertically scrolling, space shooter titled Vulgus released in 1984.  Humanity is under attack! Maybe. Who knows? I wasn’t able to discern any plot from my time with Vulgus, but that was pretty much par for

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Vintage Comic Review: “The California Raisins – The Ultimate Collection” (Blackthorne, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since fry bread.  Before Ronald McDonald starred in his own video games and the Geico Cavemen were given their own ill-fated television show, the marketing minds at CalRab (the California Raisin Advisory Board) decided to expand the presence of their own claymation mascots in pop culture. As

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Retro Game Review: “Thunder Cross” (Arcade, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate! Today, we’re going to look at Thunder Cross, an a side-scrolling shoot ’em up (or simply “shooter,” as we called them back then) released in arcades by Konami in 1988. It’s important to note up front that I am looking specifically at the US

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Retro Game Review: “Cyborg Hunter” (SEGA Master System, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the invention of the hurdy-gurdy. Today we’re going to take a look at Cyborg Hunter, one of the very few third party (sort of) games released for the SEGA Master System. Cyborg Season? Developed by SEGA and published in the United States by Activision in 1988, Cyborg Hunter

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Vintage Comic Review: “Shatter” (First Comics, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the discovery of zero.  Today we’re going to look at Shatter Special issue 1, a sci-fi adventure published in June 1985 by First Comics, and billed as the “first computerized comic book.”  Set on a gritty, futuristic version of earth, Shatter follows the exploits of a freelance security contractor named

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Comic Review: “London Gothic” (LG Comics)

Welcome to the dark, shadowy underbelly of London Gothic,* where mysteries and magic abound. Here, hidden in the shadows, there is a secret battle being fought between an underground organization known as the Tuttori and… erm, the bad guys who worship demons. To be fair, they’re called the brotherhood of Sinistre, but you’d only know that if you read the back

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Retro Game Review: “3-D Worldrunner” (NES, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since bacon.  Today, we’re going to take a look at The 3-D Battles of Worldrunner (aka 3-D Worldrunner), a game published by Acclaim for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Developed by Square before they started making good Final Fantasy games, then bad ones, then good ones

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Game Review: “City EYE” (Steam PC)

Surveillance: noun: close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion We live in a world where constant surveillance has been weaponized by overreaching technocratic dictatorships, projecting the right to privacy as a necessary sacrifice to ensure safety and security from both foreign and domestic threats. Observation devices are purchased at-will, sometimes worn on our wrists as status symbols, and other times installed in our homes

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Retro Game Review: “Thunder Force II” (SEGA Genesis, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of everything 80s. Derp. Despite being primarily famous as a 90s console the SEGA Genesis (aka Mega Drive) was actually released in 1989, so the launch games and other early titles can still lay claim to being entertainment artifacts of the 80s. One such launch game is Thunder Force II. I know what

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“Stealth Hammer” Creator Ryan Drost Talks Tech, Elves, and Nicknames for His Wife (Interview)

Independent comic book creator Ryan Drost recently completed a crowdfunding campaign for the second issue of Stealth Hammer, a sci-fi fantasy superhero book starring a spunky teenage heroine. We were fortunate enough to get a chance to discuss his Stealth Hammer campaigns, and his plans for the future of the series. As always, the answers below are represented as closely to “as

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Retro Game Review: “Chack’N Pop” (Taito, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the chicken laid the first egg… or, wait… Today we’re going to look at Chack’ N Pop, an arcade puzzle platformer released by Taito in 1983. A horde of monsters has stolen all of Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man Chack’n’s hearts, so now they don’t love each other, or something

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Retro Game Review: “Ninja JaJaMaru-kun” (Nintendo Famicom, 80s August Special)

Konichiwa! Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the development of opposable thumbs. Today, we’re going to take a look at Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, an arcade style 2D action game developed by Jaleco and released for the Nintendo Famicom in 1985.  Ninja JaJaMaru-kun is technically a spin-off, as the game stars the little brother of Ninja-kun from Ninja-Kid. Princess Sakura has

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Vintage Comic Review: “ATARI Force” (DC Comics, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the chicken laid the first egg… or, wait… Today we’re going to take a look at ATARI Force issue one published by DC Comics in 1984. Written by Gerry Conway and illustrated by José Luis Garcia Lopez, the DC ATARI Force series actually serves as a sequel to five mini comics that

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Comic Review: “My Deadly Beloved” (Jean-Paul Deshong)

Konichiwa! Today we’re going to take a look at My Deadly Beloved by Jean-Paul Deshong.* Set in the beginning of Japan’s unification period (approximately 250-500 AD), My Deadly Beloved is a girthy, nearly 200-page, mostly black and white graphic novel. I say “mostly” as there are moments where splashes of color are used for mood or to highlight certain parts

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Crowdfunding Review “Jawbreakers: Grand Bizarre” (Splatto Comics)

Welcome back to another Crowdfunding Review here at The Splintering. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Jawbreakers: Grand Bizarre, which contains three separate stories by different creative teams. For those of you not familiar with our review format, we grade a crowdfunding campaign on four distinct categories: Book Content and Quality Communication and Fulfillment Packaging and Shipping Stretch Goals

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Retro Game Review: “RoboCop” (NES, 80s August Special)

Welcome back to 80s August, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of the greatest decade since the breakup of Pangea! Since the original RoboCop film was released in July 1987, that makes this year an anniversary of sorts. To celebrate, we’re going to pick apart RoboCop for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Published by Data East in 1989, RoboCop is for NES

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Game Review: “Avenging Spirit” (Nintendo Switch)

Upon first hearing about Avenging Spirit, I immediately thought of an old GameCube game called Geist. Ever play that one? Well, the gist is, you play as a ghost who possesses enemies and then uses their individual abilities to progress. Definitely a similar concept to Avenging Spirit, but after playing through it, I am more reminded of the old SEGA Genesis game, Kid Chameleon.

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What’s Black, White, and Red All Over? Isaac Fox’s “Cremisi” (Interview)

Astral Ticket and independent comic book creator Isaac Fox recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Cremisi issue 2, a sci-fi fantasy adventure book. We were fortunate enough to get a chance to discuss his latest Cremisi campaign, which is available to support here. As always, the answers below are represented as closely to “as written” as possible with only minimal edits. The Splintering:

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Review: “Pocky & Rocky Reshrined” (PS4, Nintendo Switch)

Following up on their recent retro revivals for Ninjawarriors and Wild Arms, developer Tengo Project are back at it trying to breathe new life in a latent Japanese franchise with Pocky & Rocky Reshrined.* Unless you are a seasoned Super NES veteran (or a connoisseur of rare Game Boy Advance curios), it’s very likely that you’ve never played Pocky & Rocky game. Originally developed by

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Review: “Wonder Boy Collection” (PS4, Nintendo Switch)

My personal Wonder Boy Collection is already complete, as I like to think of myself as one of the Wonder Boy series’ biggest fans. My very first game (outside of the pack-in Hang-On/Safari Hunt) was the original Wonder Boy for the Sega Master System. While my brother picked up Alex Kidd in Miracle World (wise beyond his years), and my

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Review: “Samurai Riot” (Nintendo Switch)

Samurai Riot video game review Nintendo Switch eShop The Splintering banner

Konichiwa, bitches. Today we’re going to take a look at Samurai Riot, an co-op, arcade-style brawler developed by Wako Factory and published by Hound Picked Games. Enough setup! Ikso! (いくそ!) Samurai Riot takes place in a time of political unrest. You play as one of two warriors loyal to the master: the Tsurumaru (つるまる) the samurai and Sukane (すかね) the kunoichi (くのいち). Sorry readers,

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