Mostly a Sega, Sony and retro gamer. A fan of RPGs, Strategy, Action and Horror games. Trophy hunter, cat owner, and I wish I owned a hyperbolic time chamber.
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GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event


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Epic Gamer

Played 1000+ games

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

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Journaled 5+ games in a single day


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GOTY '21

Participated in the 2021 Game of the Year Event


Gained 100+ total review likes


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Journaled games once a day for a month straight


Gained 10+ total review likes

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Played 500+ games


Played 250+ games


Played 100+ games

Favorite Games

Mass Effect
Mass Effect
Vagrant Story
Vagrant Story
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition
Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


Games Backloggd

Recently Played See More

Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death
Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death

Nov 26


Nov 26

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Nov 18

Seirei Senshi Spriggan
Seirei Senshi Spriggan

Nov 18

Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Nov 16

Recently Reviewed See More

Earlier in the year when starting to look at retro titles to play I randomly picked 99: the Last War an arcade title from 1985. The Team Crux after going bankrupt went onto form Toaplan the creators of Batsugun. This is a game I randomly chose from my backlog as a quick title to play between other things which also unknowingly happened to be Toaplan's final game before it went bankrupt in 1994. Many of the employees from there went to form the equally legendary CAVE continuing making arcade shoot 'em ups. CAVE's founding history when you go back through the chain like this is fascinating. A lot of their more famous output like DonPachi and Mushihimesama can find their roots in Batsugun often referred to by people as the first bullet-hell.
For the most part this is a pretty standard shoot 'em up, I mean no insult by that after all I'm looking at this from a view in 2023. I can imagine at the time it would have really been something nuts. You choose from several pilots that have normal attacks and bombs. Where Batsugun is semi interesting in it's design is in the weapon system. Boss and level design aside this is the core aspect of a shoot 'em up that they sink or swim with me personally and this one is pretty good. When enemies are killed you get experience points. Depending on the enemy depends on the points gained. A normal enemy might give +1 but the boss +100 for example. With enough points you can level up your ship up to three times which makes it's main gun more powerful. On top of this you can collect some base power ups to make your gun stronger. This means there is an incentive to play well to level your ship as quickly as possible and that dying isn't utterly punishing in response as you only need collect some power ups but will be fairly powerful regardless. Once you hit that point the incentive for killing for experience will then generate an extra bomb for you to collect. These bombs can be pretty vital for getting you out of situations where you are trapped by a plethora of bright bullets and no where to go. They will clear the section of the map as well as damage enemies at the same time adding some additional layer of strategy to it. Despite the weapon system making you feel like a boss hammering a barrage of bullets and electric lasers the game is far from a push over and at times can get quite hard especially with the bosses health pools and multiple weak points.
It's a fun system and it's backed up by some gorgeous art design, colourful flashy visuals, heavy action and massive bosses. Though I listed this as completing on the Saturn I actually played the arcade version and the Saturn version back to back. I actually preferred the more solid feel of the Saturn version but honestly both versions look and play great to me so whichever you prefer really. The Saturn version does have the Batsugun special Version included with it as a separate game. The special Version gives a shield to take a hit as well as multiple loops building challenge rather than just the straight 5 levels the original game had for those that had more. The Special Version was only semi released due to Toaplan going bankrupt so the Saturn Port was released by Gazelle with it included. Gazelle themselves were made up of Ex-Toaplan staff many of which went to work at CAVE after they closed doors themselves in 2002. All roads lead to Rome? All roads lead to CAVE more like.
So there you are, Batsugun. A great little game, the end of an era but the start of another and it's influence lives on.
+ Excellent art and colourful visuals.
+ Interesting RPG like level up system.
+ Challenging but fair in deaths' and abilities.

Initially I wasn't going to review this. About halfway through, maybe less I just thought "it's more Cyberpunk" which whilst absolutely spot on and how I view most DLC, I think that actually does Phantom Liberty a disservice. It has a new open world area, fixer quests and makes you hang around waiting for the next objective for no fathomable reason just like the main game but the story structure is just far tighter. Something I felt Cyberpunk 2077 lacked after a certain point.
Phantom Liberty unlocks an area of Night City called Dogtown. Cyberpunk's influences have always been pretty obvious to me with things like The Matrix, Akira, Blade Runner etc. but Phantom Liberty really reminds me of Kurt Russell's escape from New York. A walled off section of Night City with its own laws and ruler the police avoid.
Your character V arrives outside Dogtown from a mysterious message. You meet Songbird, an FIA netrunner agent. She needs your help and in turn promises to help you. The story takes an almost James Bond secret agent behind enemy lines theme to it with V partnering up with another FIA agent Sol Reed played by the fantastic Idris Elba. (Even the credits role like a bond theme). The missions are structured really well and they flow nicely from point to point. The open world aspect between missions actually gets in the way but it's still a nice improvement over the main game where some quests just felt like disconnected busy work. There are some really stand out set pieces that are quite varied. One part has you sniping as a look out, another mingling with guests at a party etc. The main story beats and characters around it are really well implemented and that, that is what makes this good. I prefer a tighter more directed experience, especially around story missions but then I just don't like open world games much.
There is a lot of content here. A decent amount of missions, new locations, characters and quests. CD Project Red obviously put effort into this and it shows. You get a new skill tree, new weapons and clothing but none of it adds much of note. I barely used or changed anything throughout from my end game character. I did like how some side quests or characters you met merged into Phantom Liberty, sometimes subtlety. Also expanding fully on Mr. Hands the fixer was interesting too. Dogtown as an area has quite a bit of personality as a run down dystopia that was obviously meant to be a grand entertainment area for the mega rich. Essentially it's a great expansion for those who enjoyed Cyberpunk and want more.
Anyone else feel it sounds more like A Metal Gear game though?
+ Story quests are much better executed in Phantom Liberty.
+ Smaller tighter location is more memorable to explore.
+ Songbird, Reed and Alex make good additional characters.
- Downtime between missions is still a drag.
- New skills, weapons, items etc feel pointless.

Normally when I play a Shoot 'em up in Japanese it isn't often an issue as menus are mostly in English and it's not often there is enough story for it to matter. Seirei Senshi Spriggan blindsided me a little bit with it's large amount of anime cutscenes and voice acting however as I knew very little about it. Obviously I barely understood a word as the game hasn't had a Western translation officially or by fans. I love the 90's anime aesthetic and cover art the TurboGrafx and other NEC consoles had going on back then regardless and the core part of any shooter will be the action anyway. Having researched a little bit about the game partially for this review but also out of curiosity it seems this was originally developed as part of Compile's Aleste series. Initially developed for the Sega Megadrive as Seirei Senshi Aleste before being changed to Seirei Senshi Spriggan as a new series for the TurboGrafx CD. Having come out a year after M.U.S.H.A Aleste I can see the backbones of that history with the design of the mech suit. That does seem to be where the similarities end however, especially in the gameplay department.
Seirei Senshi Spriggan uses an interesting power up/weapon system. I'll be honest with you of all the shoot 'em ups I've played over the years I think this is one of my favorites. Your mech the Spriggan starts with a basic gun that fires forward. As you fight you will collect a variety of four elemental orbs from either enemy drops or just come onto screen. These orbs are red (fire), green (wind), yellow (earth), and blue (water). You can hold three at any one time and collecting a new one will remove the oldest of the currently held orbs you collected. There are three interesting aspects to this:
Firstly, and the most obviously apparent being that depending on the combination of orbs you hold will dictate what attacks you actually have such as wind blades, fire balls, homing waters beams etc. With four orb types the potential combinations can reach almost 30. These can constantly change on the fly as power ups come fairly fast keeping the action hectic but in an extremely controlled way.
The second aspect being that the super attack isn't a different collectable or charge shot like in other shoot 'em ups though there is a rare flashing orb that will level the screen. Instead you fire one of your orbs as an area elemental bomb dropping down to the lower level of attacks. This is quite a tactically viable option allowing you to launch an orb for area damage before collecting another orb on the screen changing your attack type in the process.
Lastly because when you die you drop the orbs and they also appear generally at a steady pace it rarely feels like the game will be unplayable or extremely punishable on death. Some other Shoot 'em ups when you die losing your power ups feels like an almost impossible climb to carry on but Spriggan never feels that way. There are always weapon options, they just might be different.
Presentation wise to go with the anime scenes mentioned above, Spriggan's pixel art is very good and I'm surprised by the fast pace it keeps up pretty solidly. I haven't played many TurboGrafx games yet to really be able to state the technical points of this being impressive or not but it ran smoothly with a nice usage of colour. Levels are varied with clouds, forests, castles, space. The visuals are a bit basic but honestly I like how it looks. The soundtrack is also excellent using a mixture of up beat tunes that could have been from Super Fantasy Zone but also dropping into more alien like theme tunes or Castlevania feeling gothic tracks depending on the level. The CD quality music is very apparent and something that super stands out on both this and the Sega CD compared with the visuals on display. Not really a bad thing though.
The game plays over 7 acts but really it's 6 and then the final boss. About my only real criticism of it is the sound effects could grate a little at times and lacked any real punch for pretty much any weapon you use. I do wish it was in English though I knew going into it it wasn't but on one of the end levels there is like a two minute monologue from an enemy all voiced I just had to sit through due to my pigeon Japanese. Considering it has been released on the Wii and the TurboGrafx / PC Engine mini in the west and not been updated though it seems unlikely it will be any time soon.
Still it's another great Complie shooter with a really unique and balanced power up system. This game is probably older than a lot of people that use this site but it holds up well and is still very much worth playing today and not forgotten to the annals of time.
+ Cool power up system with variation.
+ Doesn't feel excruciatingly punishing when you die.
+ Colorful sprites, fast paced gameplay.
+ I like the OST.
- Sound effects are a bit rough.
- Without English subtitles the cool scenes and villain monologue are sadly redundant.