D (1995)

  • Gamepage
  • Developer: WARP
  • Publisher: Acclaim

Kenji Eno's fascinating survival horror game, one of the earliest in the genre to be launched on the PlayStation, had a troubled development period (it was originally a 3DO game, for a start), which was compounded when the game was heavily edited for its US release. The watered-down storyline didn't do much to inspire western audiences, unsurprisingly - which is a shame, because in its original form, this is a powerful and interesting game.

D no Shokutaku, to give it its full Japanese name (it translates best as "D's Dinner Table"), tells the story of a young woman who is told by the Los Angeles police that her father - a mild, scholarly type - has gone on a murder spree in the hospital he runs in the city. Inside the hospital, she is transported to a medieval, hellish castle environment, where she must search for her father and uncover the mysteries of an unpleasant family history.

Relatively standard survival horror fare, in other words - but D was groundbreaking at the time, and the story (even in its chopped-up American form) is still powerful and intriguing. It's probably too much to hope that we'll ever see a re-translation of the Japanese original, but even the ability to return to Laura Harris' frantic pursuit of her father in its western form would be welcome - especially on the PSP, where the puzzle-focused gameplay would almost certainly work perfectly.

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