10 thoughts on “GSJ10: Arcane lore

  1. Stuff like Arcana is what I love about the SNES era: RPGs that may not go beyond one or two games, but have a little something that makes them stand out. With Arcana, it’s definitely the animated character and enemy sprites on cards.

    Of course, the music’s great, too. I can’t get that battle theme out of my head.

  2. Arcana is in an odd place for me. It tweaks my nostalgia gland, but when I think about it, I have to ask myself: Did I really play it? I don’t think I did. I think I just puttered around with the stage select and sound test codes I got from Nintendo Power. Probably goes to show how much a good soundtrack can make a game memorable.

  3. I’m sorry, but GSQ as of late is just not living up to its potential. First, there was the incomprehensible SNES controller article, then the huge lead-in for the Contra 3 article that didn’t deliver, and then this content-free Arcana piece that might as well have been condensed into a single paragraph. The Contra piece was particularly disappointing with front page promises of ruminations about the developer’s inspiration, when the writer in question ended up talking about one tiny set piece. In the comments under the article he admitted that the set piece that was inspired by Contra 3 got cut. That article had real potential that just didn’t get to shine. This Arcana article also feels like it met a cruel editor and got snipped in half. Where’s the second half of the article? I love what GSQ is trying to do but if its writers continue producing articles like this, then I can’t see myself putting down hard cash to support it.

    • TK, I think your expectations are clashing with the format of a particular issue. GSJ10 is trying to comprehensively cover the highlights of one of the most beloved consoles ever without running to like 1000 pages; hence it’s packed with fairly short overview articles. GSJ9, for example, has a lot more in-depth ruminations.

      No shame in liking different formats – if this isn’t your thing, just don’t buy the system issues. They only come up once every three or four volumes anyway.

      • I think you might be onto something there. I will have to review the previous issues and see if I am just out of the GS rhythm. Maybe quick overviews just aren’t the style for me.

  4. I had to cheat, sadly. The Ice Dungeon was just too confusing for my tiny nine-year old brain. There was a cheat code that allowed you to bypass it, however, and none of the other chapters presented much of a problem.

    Goddamn, the music was great, though.

  5. Before I liked first-person dungeon-crawlers, I hated Arcana! It was one thing that prevented me from taking the leap of faith and putting money down on Etrian Odyssey, which of course I now adore. Possibly I should go back and check Arcana out!

  6. I really, really enjoyed Arcana. I remembered playing Shining in the Darkness, and being vaguely frustrated by the game, but this one had no such issues.

    I also remember the game freezing on me during my run through the final dungeon, but we won’t talk about that.

    Ironically, I’m still not a huge fan of first-person RPGs, but every once in a while, one comes along and shatters my preconceptions of what they could be. Arcana was one. Shining the Holy Ark was another, and I still think it’s probably one of the best RPGs on the short-lived Saturn.

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