s for why I don't update every day, part of the reason must
go to the PC88, the greatest Japanese computer in the universe!
This Z-80A jobbie, first sold in 1983 by NEC and upgraded and ran through different configurations until it finally gave way to the PC98 in 1992, is exactly the computer I
would have had if I was living around there back then... mainly because it reminds me
of the super-powered-up Apple II. It's got two graphic modes: 640x400 monochrome,
and 640x200x8 out of a palette of 512.
Meaning it's in the same boat as the NES - although the PC88 has a big color palette
and can do really nice looking fade ins and outs, the graphics themselves aren't gonna
drive the game home. (Music can do it, though - the 88's got a Yamaha chip in it for
cool-o FM sound, making it the computer in Japan for music until fairly recently.) What matters most is the substance of the game, and the PC88 reigned the East.
All I've been playing, though, is Sorcerian from Falcom. How should I describe the game? Basically imagine Faxanadu, except with parties, real magic, scenarios, quests, and muzic from Yuzo Koshiro. Each scenario is a sort of mini-RPG in itself, and the game comes with fifteen of 'em (plus another 20 or so on add-on disks). You make up some characters, send them to town to buy stuff, go on quests, and if you're successful you get gold and experience from your lord.
Plus - and this is important for me - you can cheat really easily, using a disk-swapping trick that old timers who played the Ultima series on the Apple should be familiar with. You choose a scenario, put the wrong disk in, get thrown into a garbage filled dungeon, magically escape out, and you get rewarded with far too much experience and gold. So, all you need to do is repeat that a few times, make yourself invincible for the battles, sit back, and let the plots of the scenarios unfold over you. My idea of a perfect game. (Note that I talk a lot about the substance of a game, yet cheat day and night. Sorry.)