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From StarTropics to Star Fox Adventures, many a Zelda clone has aimed for the stars. But only one brought the stars to us. Quite literally, in fact.

In Okami's opening moments our canine sun goddess Amaterasu summons a dragon deity in the form of a constellation by filling in the missing star with her 'celestial brush'. This godly device allows players to manipulate the environment and manifest objects. Fancy changing the time? Draw a sun or moon in the sky to switch between day and night. Want to blow up a cracked wall? Paint a cherry bomb beside it. Need to traverse hazardous liquid? Create a lily pad as a makeshift raft, then scribble a gust of wind for a gentle push.

It's impossible to ignore that all of these items and abilities were ripped straight from Nintendo's flagship series, but the difference is in their implementation. The magical effects of Link's ocarina or wind baton bare no sensible correlation to the player's interaction. You'd play a ditty, watch a cutscene, then poof - wind! Drawing with the celestial brush is a more tactile action and the results correspond directly with your input. This is one of those grand ideas, deserving to be as revered as Portal's titular gun.

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Akumajo Densetsu (Cart Only)

Title : Akumajo Densetsu (Cart Only)
Publisher : Konami
Game Type : Platform
Console : FamicomCart

Price : £17.99

Forced scrolling with chain mechanisms in the background, collapsing platforms forcing players to get a whip wiggle on, pendulum like swinging ball and chains to leap between, scrolling around mutating bosses on rotating platforms: it is all in here as Konami sets the mould for platformers in this epoch defining title.

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Captain Ed (Cart Only)

Title : Captain Ed (Cart Only)
Publisher : Sony
Game Type : Platform
Console : FamicomCart

Price : £8.99

Unusual vertically scrolling shooter set on a background of ever changing coloured panels as players pummel opposing vessels to gain valuable dollars to spend on upgrading the ship and all important fuel. Unusual in the fact that players must keep scoring in order to keep the money coming in to progress.

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Tenshin Kaisen

Title : Tenshin Kaisen
Publisher : Meldac
Game Type : Shooter
Console : GameBoyOriginal

Price : £12.99

A similar title to Kikikaikai with its scrolling shooting action, Shinto priestess and many references to Japan of old in lanterns, Oni bosses and hopping, one eyed umbrellas. In the GB game however the action is force scrolled along, but this is a fine little blast for fans of a Japanese flavoured broth with many varied ingredients thrown into the stock.

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Few will forget their first blast on Kikikaikai. The initial barrier was to be able to pronounce it to the local importer in the pre-internet days. And despite being just the early nineties, few gamers were sufficiently cross-pollinated with games of its ilk to understand the ensuing chaos. Not that it requires understanding with fast paced shooting fury the order of the day. Yet a randy raccoon tanuki friend that can deflect shots with his tail did raise a few eyebrows. The Shinto inspired Japanese blaster draws on mythology as necks extend inexplicably and one eyed umbrella ghosts hop past. Cultural references aplenty all in a luscious sprite based world driving gamers on to see more. Unrelenting pace as you the priestess battle against all the evil of underworld armed with nothing more than a purification branch. A Super Famicom classic.

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Genki Greetings!
A few recession busting game packs to save a Yen or two and get a new collection off to a flier. Super Famicom fans that can live without the boxes can pick up some real bargains. But the hardest bit may be to give up the collecting instinct!
Happy Genki Gaming!

Five Fantastic Saturn Shooters Pack

The Saturn is renowned for its superb shoot em ups and these five will get plenty of playtime: Gradius Deluxe Pack, Cotton 2, ThunderForce Gold Pack 1, Ultimate Parodius and Layer Section (Saturn Collection.) The individual selling price of the games totals £129 making for a healthy saving to spend on another fine shooter.

Nine Nice PSX Shooters Pack

A bumper bundle of joypad busting shooters that combined would cost over £150 if bought individually. Each has an individual review on the site. A fine collection booster or gets a shooters fan journey on the Playstation off to a dream start: Sol Divide, The Rail Loaders TRL, Bokan To Ippatsu Doronbo (The Best), Raiden Project (The Best), Sonic Wings Special (Best), Strikers 1945 II (Superlite), Night Striker, Philosoma and Dezaemon Plus.

Six Sizzling Super Famicom Action Pack (Cart Only)

A fine array of action titles: Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Final Fight Guy, Super Star Wars, Nosferatu, Super Mario Kart and Raccoon Rascal. A few of the finest titles to grace the system really full of fun and frolics. Each reviewed separately if you want to read us drool over them. Enjoy!

Capcom SNK Playstation Fight Pack

The pack consists of Capcom vs SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro, Samurai Spirits IV, Samurai Spirits Fencing Pack and Real Bout Garou Densetsu with separate selling prices of £80. Superb mechanics and covers the big two on the system of Capcom and SNK admirably.

Dreamcast Fight Pack

The pack includes: The King of Fighters 99 Evolution, The King of Fighters Dream Match 1999, The King of Fighters 2001, Street Fighter Zero 3, Capcom vs SNK Millennium Fight 2000 and Garou Mark of the Wolves. With a separate selling price of £80, this is quite a bargain for the 2D fight fan and covers the big two on the system of Capcom and SNK admirably.

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Death Mask

Title : Death Mask
Publisher : Wantan International
Game Type : Simulation
Console : SegaSaturn

Price : £9.99

A FMV Sci Fi adventure in which players head to the seediest depths of the underworld to find out what is going on when they awake with an identity that doesnt fit and worse still is that of a master criminal. If this was a Holywood blockbuster the lead role would definitely be Nicholas Cage, but it ticks all the right boxes and isnt ashamed of what it is.

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Landstalker

Title : Landstalker
Publisher : Sega
Game Type : RPG
Console : MegaDrive

Price : £7.99

Successful and sizeable isometric RPG which launched Ladystalker and Climax Lander and the related Dark Saviour. The isometric perspective allows for some exquisite graphics, yet can be a bit testing when jumping skills are required. Still with such cunningly created puzzles and emotive storyline, its very easy to forgive.

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Dennin Aleste

Title : Dennin Aleste
Publisher : Compile
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : MegaCD

Price : £19.99

Probably the finest Mega CD shooter complete with all the Compile trade marks including wonderful soundtrack and tight controls - all important on games of this ilk, yet sometimes found to be lacking on other examples. The story involves a futuristic twist on warring shogun era fractions: this time you are cast as the most decorated pilot in the White Fang Ninja Force switching spaceships for horses. Clever use of zoom and rotation and nice cut scenes. Known as Robo Aleste in the West and subtitled Nobunga and His Ninja Force.

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