Nananaya's Blog

Games Played in 2019

January 09, 2019 @ 3:59 pm

As a counteractive strategy against my terrible memory, I will document my experiences with games which should hopefully help me solidify my feelings about the things I play.

Current top 10 games played in 2019:

X. Mahjongsoul

  1. DMC V
  2. RE2make
  3. RDR2
  4. Ace Combat 7
  5. Sekiro
  6. Prey (2017)
  7. The Great Ace Attorney
  8. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  9. Last Window: Secret of Cape West
  10. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Prey (2017)

  1. Surprisingly great game. Had a very good sense of progression where I felt every neuromod I installed was useful and deciding which one to get was always tough. The space station had a nice dark atmosphere and exploring felt very satisfying. Combat was fun albeit repetitive. The guns felt powerful when upgraded and the Typhon powers were fun to use as well. I did feel some enemies like the telepaths and poltergeists were kind of a pain to fight but there aren't too many of them compared to mimics and phantoms. Did not find the story too compelling, felt like a large portion of the audio logs and emails were either there to reveal key locations or complain about their messy relationships. The twist was very cool and well-done however, so it left me with a positive impression.

Last Window: Secret of Cape West

  1. So far it's just more Hotel Dusk which is fine by me. Likable characters, great dialogue, excellent music and Kyle is still one of the best main characters in a video game. Also still has the trademark "I hope you're not emulating this" puzzle which was very annoying. Gotta say it still loses out to the first game so far because it doesn't have some of the more likable characters like Louis and Melissa.

  2. After completion, I have to conclude it was another great gem of a game. True to the first game it presents a compelling mystery, extremely natural dialogue and a cast of characters that all serve a purpose throughout the story. I would have to say I enjoyed the first game more, mostly due to its novelty but also because I prefer the first game's cast. Wil and Betty feel underused while Marie and Rex feel like they bowed out of the spotlight a bit too soon. Last Window has a lot to love as well, however. Tony was a bro just like Louis and had a surprisingly emotional scene where he revealed his own insecurities. Dylan was a perfectly executed character you should hate and the folks at Lucky Cafe did a great job at making you feel at home just like Kyle. Also the Christmas Eve section was just pure good vibes all around. I also appreciated the writers delving into the subject of Kyle's family and I felt like Kyle's attitude toward it was very mature and realistic. His goal is to discover what happened to his dad but he doesn't become uncharacteristically emotional over it, even when he's looking at the same view his dad had when he took a bullet. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and a very solid followup to one of the best games on the DS. Too bad the dev's dead RIP.

Suikoden II

  1. Feels like the first game but with more substance, less novelty. I do kind of miss the simplicity of the first game and I'm not as compelled to play this one, though that's probably because it just hasn't been long since I finished the first game around Christmas. Nanami's a qt, Jowy's a punk, Luca Blight is a chad the likes of which the world has never seen.

  2. Finally finished it, only took a whopping 3 months. Great game, probably in the top 10 or so JRPGs. The struggle between the stars army and Highland was enjoyable to follow and collecting the 108 stars of destiny was a satisfying experience (aside from Gordon who I would like to personally fire spear through the gut). Luca Blight was delightfully evil and the final duel with Jowy was pretty kino. I really liked being able to recruit my Suikoden 1 hero and having a neat little section act like an epilogue for the first game but having to go to gregminster to recruit him EVERY TIME when the game likes to clear your party between plot events was a huge pain. It also sucked having a large chunk of the cities unavailable due to plot reasons when I'm just trying to collect stars but I understand why they did it. The strategy battles are also lame with the damage being so inconsistent. Overall the game was a complete step up from its predecessor and I think it mostly lived up to its title as one of the best JRPGs around.

Red Dead Redemption II

  1. Extremely comfy cowboy sim. Looks great and sounds great. I feel the "maintenance" you need to do for your character and horse were blown out of proportion by everyone online so far. Holding X hurts my thumb eventually but I am thoroughly enjoying it. I think I prefer John to Arthur at this point. It's kind of odd I constantly choose the lawful good options in every situation but I still have Arthur constantly saying "I'M A BAD BAD MAN SIR, I AINT A GOOD MAN" but if you look at it from a different perspective it can be seen as him trying to cover up his good nature, I guess.

  2. Now I have finished the game and wew boy what an adventure. Arthur is one of the most sympathetic video game characters I've ever played as. I felt worse about him catching tuberculosis than I feel about most characters' deaths. His voice acting was phenomenal and the progression of his feelings regarding Dutch was perfectly executed. I felt his pain when Dutch tried to leave him to his death at the oil field and when he stepped on the gun in the final scene. He also singlehandedly raised my opinion of realistic graphics in video games because I doubt the best scenes would have had as much of an impact if I couldn't see the subtle expressiveness of his face. Aside from Arthur, the game is just riddled with excellent highlights like the assault on the Braithwaite manor, Arthur's last conversation with Reverend Swanson, and the whole epilogue which retroactively improved the already great RDR1. The soundtrack was also outstanding, which is a very rare thing to bring up when talking about a western AAA game. Songs like American Venom and That's the Way It Is are perfectly used and really accent the scenes they appear in. The only cons I could raise against the game would be the Guarma chapter was kinda lackluster, the gameplay is satisfying but can get repetitive in long sessions, and Sadie got annoying sometimes, but overall it was a great journey.

Shenmue I HD

  1. Going through the first game after a decade and it's by far the most soulful game ever created. The soundtrack resonates with me and I wish I could live in Tomato convenience store and take daily walks to the You Arcade to play Hang On. Pure unadulterated comfy. Surprisingly the voice acting isn't grating at all, maybe just because of the nostalgia but I feel Ryo's voice fits very well. A lot of people these days say there's no need for Shenmue in the current industry because Yakuza is just better but they offer completely different experiences. I like how nearly everyone in town knows Ryo and can have casual conversations with him. It's a good refresher after the over-the-top nature of Yakuza.

  2. Finished the first game for the 2nd time. The story becomes more compelling in the second half with confronting the mad angels and rescuing Nozomi as well as becoming bros with Goro and saying an emotional farewell to Tom. I didn't notice as a kid but having Ryo finally decide to just take a break and eat a hot dog right before Tom leaves was a great touch. Working at the docks is surprisingly comfy but I feel having to do it for 5 days in a row is a little much, more if you miss something they want you to do on that day. The amount of waiting around you have to do and some annoying combat encounters do drag the game down a bit but in the grand scheme of things the amount of soul poured into the game makes up for it in spades. Overall it holds up a lot better than I expected and I look forward to finally playing Shenmue 2.

Valkyria Chronicles 4

  1. They certainly took it to heart when people asked for "Valkyria Chronicles 1 again please" because it feels extremely similar. Can't say I don't enjoy the return to form. I enjoyed the substantial anime vibes in 2 and the edgy tone of 3 but it really feels the best to just be part of the good guys fighting the good fight as respected adult members of the military. That being said, they didn't have to get rid of the branching classes in the handheld games or go back to the annoying book format. Characters are likable but I haven't gotten too far yet. I miss Edy. I miss Welkin too, Claude aint so bad though.

  2. After finally FINALLY beating it, I can just say it was a good game. Kinda just like VC1 but without the novelty and some things it brought back just got more and more grating as time went on such as going back to the scene select every 10 seconds or having Miles tell me how great my R&D upgrades are every single time. Thankfully the characters remained likable but the villain felt weak and frankly beating the europan empire for the 4th time didn't have much of an impact. Raz was based, maps were fun, final boss was a pain. I really wanted more of that QT DOGGO and he should've been a playable character.

Ace Combat 7

  1. Ace Combat is BACK BABY. Excellent gameplay that's the perfect fusion of simulation and arcade, phenomenal music, gloriously cheesy writing, outstanding visuals. It is also the hardest AC so far but the stress just makes every accomplishment feel that much better. Also the multiplayer is absolutely nuts. Can't wait to try out the VR mode.

  2. Having beaten the game I can confirm it is GOTY 2019. I'd have to say I enjoyed the story of Zero more and there were some annoying parts in the missions but overall it was an outstanding experience with tons of heart-pounding moments like the dogfights with mikhaly, uniting the osean and erusian forces, dropping the shield on the arsenal bird, launching as the independent 3 Strikes squadron, and flying out through the space elevator. A brilliant return to form for one of the best video game series.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

  1. So far everything a remake should be. A revisiting of the creator's vision that's different enough to be fresh while still retaining what made the original so good. Exploring is still satisfying and the new combat feels great besides those fuggers in the sewer. The complaints about the enemies being "bullet sponges" feel silly as the zombies don't really take much more hurt than the ones in the original. I do find myself running low on ammo much more often than the original and it feels more difficult in general especially with the reworked Mr.X. The visuals are fantastic as well and Leon looks the best he's ever been though Claire still looks off for me. I would really like some of the less good REs like 3 and Code Veronica to be remade in this style, they could benefit a lot from it.

  2. After beating it, RE2 remake is one of the best RE games and pretty much the ultimate evolution of the RE formula. I have pretty much no complaints aside from the scenarios not really intersecting well and the G-ADULTS IN THE SEWERS CAN FUG OFF. Mr.X was implemented really well and his meme game is on-point, can't wait to see how they build on it with Nemesis in REmake 3. Wasn't feeling Claire at the beginning but she grew on me and it was kino when she dropped down to fight Berkin. The Sherry section was also kinda annoying and stealth in non-stealth games should be banned by federal law. The Hunk mode was also I N T E N S E and I need info on my extraction point.

The Stanley Parable

  1. That was alright I guess. Pretty creative and the dialogue was fun but there's so little to it. I'm just glad I finished it in under 2 hours so I could refund it or I would have a much more bitter opinion of it.

What Remains of Edith Finch

  1. Similar to the Stanley Parable in that it was very short and I thankfully got a refund. However, Edith Finch was much more intriguing and the presentations of each family member's story as well as the smooth transition from one room to the next were top-notch. My favorite was the druggie brother working at the harbor and engaging in maximum escapism. Cool blend of storytelling and gameplay. I thought swimming out of the womb to the credits was pretty goofy though.

CAWADOOTY 4 MODERN WARFARE

  1. COD campaigns are pretty fun. It held my hand a tad too much but the shooting was satisfying and it's nice going through a simple easy shooter once in a while.

CAWADOOTY MODERN WARFARE 2

  1. same, the missions were more fun in this one though and there was some surprisingly good atmosphere during the EMP attack. Really got on my nerves when I had to sneak past enemies and they couldn't see me in broad daylight.

Furi

  1. Absolutely LIT 1v1 swordfights and maximum tension dodging and parrying with a boppin' soundtrack and oozing style. Don't know what the fug was going on in that story but i don't care because it was absolute kino. The Burst can fug off though.

Cuphead

  1. A total blast. Beautiful visuals, exciting and difficult bosses all with totally unique battles, great controls. It got frustrating at times but that's what made victory all the more satisfying. I guess I'd say my only complaints are that there's no online co-op and very little reason to change your equipment since you can buy the smoke bomb dash right away and giving that up would be pure lunacy.

Ori and the Blind Forest

  1. Dropped after the first hour because it was really boring. Felt like it was trying too hard to be "beautiful" and ultimately felt soulless instead and the combat was more tedious than fun.

Crysis

  1. The epitome of "fine". Shooting is decent and the powers are cool but the story is lame, combat encounters in the later half are weak, and they limit your usage of the powers too much for you to really have fun with them. I think I had more fun using the speed and cloaking to skip encounters than actually fighting. There were also plenty of annoying bits like anytime you're chased by a helicopter and didn't keep a missile launcher just in case and most of the alien fights seriously overstay their welcome. The game usually keeps a good pace though and the human fights can be enjoyable when you're not needlessly overwhelmed.

Bamham Arkham Knight

  1. Weaker than Asylum and City. Batmobile sections get repetitive and overused quickly, the villains are weak, too much running between the GCPD and movie studio, and the true endings are locked behind a lot of busywork. That being said, it still has the semi-addicting gameplay loop, it's still cool to be batman, the puzzles generally stay creative enough to not get boring, and the conclusion to the story is pretty cool. The arkham knight had a cool design but his identity became way too predictable the moment jason todd was brought up and it never really feels like he's a real match for batman. I would've completed more of the side content if half of it didn't require mindlessly flying around the city hoping for stuff to pop up.

CrossCode

  1. It's hard for me to say it's a bad game because the core gameplay is enjoyable, the visuals are nice, the puzzles are demanding and there's plenty of exploration. However, 15 hours into the game I cannot take anymore. The story is not engaging, the dialogue is basic, and I've done nothing but the same style of puzzles and combat over and over with little impetus to move forward. The quests are uninteresting but if you do not do them you end up underleveled and every fight becomes a chore. The elements you unlock do not change the fights at all and the upgrade tree only contains minor stat boosts so there is no real sense of gameplay progression. I feel I could have trucked on if I was close to the end but after finding out I was barely at the 50% mark I could not continue. Real shame because it's clear a lot of heart went into the game and I suppose I did get my money's worth.

Yakuza Kiwami

  1. One of the weaker yakuzas but it's sort of forgivable considering they were clearly trying to stay true to the original. I will not forgive the terrible bosses abundant with unnecessary super armor and ESPECIALLY JINGU AND HIS DUO OF GUN-WIELDING BUTTFACES. The side stories were also not really up to par with those of the rest of the series and the amount of fights you have to deal with around town between majima (especially breaker majima) and the random thugs got very grating over time. Aside from those flaws, it is still a very enjoyable game with a decent story, fun combat, enticing gameplay loop of completing sub stories, and just generally cool action all over the place. P.S pocket circuit is rigged and the girls in mesaking are too plastic-looking to make the minigame enjoyable.

Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom

  1. Surprisingly fun action platformer. Good jumping and sliding sections. I'm glad they got most of the voice actors from the show except for mr.krabs and mermaid man although the writing was very weak compared to that of early spongebob. The boss selections were also pretty lame. King Jellyfish is good but the prawn and a bunch of robots based on the playable characters? They could have taken more from the show.

Thief Gold

  1. The core mechanics are good and I appreciate the sound and light systems but for every good mission (stealing the sword, looting the mansion and getting the talisman from the opera) there's 3 overly convoluted and tedious maze-like missions. The Thief's Guild in particular is one of the worst video game levels I've had to endure up there with the lair of the blind ones from turok 2. Too many of the missions are filled with same-y looking hallways and rooms so it's too easy to just get stuck wandering around hoping to find an area you haven't visited yet. Alongside the tedious missions, the mechanics are often inconsistent. Sometimes a guard will instantly detect me across a hallway or anywhere within a 10 meter radius, other times I can chase after a guard and miss a couple times before knocking him out somehow in total silence. The music sucks and can get obnoxiously loud at times and the story is average. Garret has good voice acting and his quips can be fun but they are few and far between. The ending was also very weak with having to wait for Constantine to finish his very slow ritual after swapping the eye in after the first statue thing is activated.

Slipstream

  1. Very cool game. Aesthetic out your ears and a smooth soundtrack. Strong sense of speed, satisfying to dive into the SLIPSTREAM and dash ahead of your opponents. There's a sufficient amount of good-looking tracks to race on (special applause for the unlockable cup with unique tracks) though they don't vary much gameplay-wise. There's also a good amount of different modes to play on, though I preferred just doing the grand prixs. One problem with the game is the rival characters which were very clearly submitted by kickstarter backers considering their utter lack of charisma in every possible way. I physically cringed when the neckbeard character popped up and said "teleports behind you" like i had jumped back to 2015. I also dislike how every race is 5 laps because my fingers always hurt by the end of them and the first 2 laps are generally rigged so that you always fall behind and only catch up by lap 3 which is just annoying. Also while it's not really a flaw, I would've liked for each stage to have music specific to it to make them stand apart from eachother more but the music is good enough that it's not so bad.

Mister Mosquito

  1. Okay it's pretty bad. Maneuvering around people to succ their blood is tedious and the constant analog stick spinning is taxing on my thumbs. The visuals aren't great and it's only an hour long. That being said it was a goofy and interestingly unique game so I don't regret playing it. The cutscenes were funny and the voice acting was wonderfully atrocious. When the middle-aged man started shooting ki blasts at me, I knew I was playing the best game of 2019.

Darkest Dungeon

  1. Difficult and rewarding and a big ol time investment. Top tier aesthetic and atmosphere, great narration, and a fun gameplay loop. The characters are cool and there's plenty of customization to enjoy. I also enjoyed the moddable anime skins a fair bit. Problems being that it goes on too long, a lot of the bosses are reskins, and a lot of the RNG is just frustrating. I wish I had played on Radiant. Leper is based and I look forward to the sequel.

Devil May Cry V

  1. The absolute peak of the action game genre. 3 distinct and incredibly fun characters, a compelling story with tons of great moments, a rockin' soundtrack, tons of enemies, fun bosses, and it looks great to boot. The few minor complaints I have would be that playing V hurts my fingers, Vergil and Trish didn't make the jump to the RE engine very well, and the co-op system is pretty underutilized. I also would've liked more wacky cutscenes like in DMC 3 but I appreciated the more serious tone since it was done rather well and it made the few crazier scenes stand out more. It surpassed expectations and I want to PLAY AS VERGIL RIGHT NOW.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX

  1. A game truly filled with soul. Much like ALTTP the world is fun to explore, dungeons are satisfying to complete, bosses are enjoyable and unique compared to other 2D zeldas (albeit a tad easy). Much of the game's charm stems from it being isolated from the usual zelda elements and characters and the story manages to be delightfully odd and somber at the same time. The dialogue in this game in particular felt a lot more lively and creative than other zeldas, I just wish there was more of it so the ending would have more of an impact. That being said, the little moments you can spend with Marin are a joy and every interaction with the owl felt fittingly dreamlike. I don't really have any complaints except the drums sound bad, turtle rock is annoying to explore, and I hate that you need to read about the "new feature" of the compass every time you pick one up. I'm disappointed the creators' ambitions are not being realized with the 1:1 remake.

Monkey Island 2

  1. Just as charming and humorous as the first game. The puzzle solutions are still pretty out-there and I spent half my playthrough looking at a walkthrough but it was still a very enjoyable experience so I don't really feel bad about it. That ending twist was truly one of the greatest revelations in video games.

Another Code: Two Memories

  1. Very short but sweet puzzle adventure. In terms of presentation, puzzles and writing it is entirely weaker than hotel dusk but it's still nice in all aspects. Exploring with D is pretty cozy and Ashley is cute. The music is pretty good too but the sound effects for completing puzzles and stuff are not very satisfying which is kind of a let down. The ending can also be pretty unsatisfying if you happen to not restore all of D's memories which is a pain because there's no indication of what will and won't restore them.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

  1. Very fun and intense combat. It's pushed me harder than any action game I've played before, mostly in a good way. Killing things is very satisfying and the deflection mechanic is cool. Really feels like it recaptures some of that feeling of playing Demon's Souls for the first time with how rewarding it feels to find and beat areas since they're each such a large portion of the game. The game has tons of great scenes despite the story itself not being spectacular. Nearly every boss fight is good but a fair bit of them can get unnecessarily frustrating at times (sword saint isshin). Highlights include Owl, Genichiro, Lady Butterfly and the Divine Dragon. While the mechanics are mostly solid, hitboxes (particularly grabs) can get too wonky which is a big problem in a game where you often die in 2 hits to most bosses. It's also annoying how your posture recovers more slowly when you're at low health which seems to counteract their intention of making you play offensively to win. Other faults would be the lackluster soundtrack, nearly every prosthetic besides firecrackers being useless outside of 1 or 2 specific situations, dragonrot not actually mattering, and enemies that require rare consumable items to defeat. It's certainly not a perfect game, but the ambition and step away from the souls formula combined with the style of the combat make it great.

Gal Gun 2

  1. Kinda mixed on this one. The girls in this one are better and there's more locations and thus less repetition. However the VR focus kind of makes the gameplay less fun just in the way that you have to teleport everywhere so you don't get the little running animations between shooting. I also constantly encountered a problem in which the cursor would freak out and throw my aim off which was annoying. There's also only one boss fight now compared to like 5 from the first game which was disappointing. I did like being able to decorate my room even if it is a really insignificant thing. Also I'm TICKED because I completed Nanako and Chiru's routes and they stuck me with Chiru instead of letting me pick just because I did her's second even though I DID NANAKO'S FIRST BECAUSE I LIKE HER MORE.

Megaman 11

  1. Dropped before finishing Block Man's stage. I thought it was just the wall jumping and charge shots in X but after playing this I realize I only enjoy playing classic megaman down to the jumping and shooting. Everything past the NES excluding 9 and 10 just doesn't feel right to me. Also just not a fan of megaman's voice and the aesthetic feels cheap.

Warriors Orochi 4

  1. Decent game that satiated my musou thirst. The roster is impressive, of course, and the magic system is a nice addition to the musou formula. The story is uninteresting and the interactions between the characters are fairly weak aside from a few of the goofy side stories. The game is also lacking the fun guest characters like ryu hayabusa and ayane. In the last chapter I had to turn the game down to easy, not because it was difficult but because the enemies become absurd damage sponges which defeats the entire purpose of musou. Another large problem was that every character joins at level 1 regardless of your progress in the story which means even around the halfway point of the game you can't use the characters you get without sticking them in training for a whole chapter or dumping the growth points you've saved up for several battles. This basically wastes a large portion of the cast for the sake of an uninteresting level system. While I did enjoy the game overall, it definitely feels like a rushed work to take the heat off of dynasty warriors 9 and is comparatively weaker than warriors orochi 2 and 3.

Gorogoa

  1. Very creative game. My mind was properly stimulated by the clever puzzles and good art. Thankfully I did not pay for it because it was a sub-2-hour game that costs 8 bucks on sale but I appreciate the high quality experience. Honestly no idea what story it was trying to tell but not knowing what was going on added to the atmosphere anyways.

Baba is You

  1. Very intelligent and innovative game. Unfortunately I'm not galaxy brain enough to finish it but I really appreciate the creative solutions they thought up. I admire anyone who sets out to make an original puzzle game.

Risk of Rain 2

  1. Personally more enjoyable than the first one, granted I didn't play it much. Nice aesthetic and combat but the jellyfish boss sucks and it's very clearly unoptimized in its early access state.

Thief II: The Metal Age

  1. Substantial improvement over the first game. The solid core gameplay is retained and the annoying maze-like levels are replaced with grounded ones that let the gameplay shine the most. The levels are large and open without being a pain to navigate. The story is pretty average and is mostly carried by Garret's voice and dialogue. The villain is completely obnoxious and I had no idea what he was saying half the time, made even worse by the fact that every robot shares his voice as well. The final mission was kind of a snore and the ending basically saying PLAY THIEF 3 LOL was awful. Overall a pretty good time.

Return of the Obra Dinn

  1. Excellent presentation with fun and nuanced logical deduction. The story of a ship being cursed because they tried to take something they shouldn't have isn't very novel but watching it go down is a blast. The spider monsters were super spooky. Music was great and really fit with the scenes. A few problems consist of the logic of some fates being a real stretch and they make you sit in a newly discovered fate long after the scene is done playing before you can actually start investigating it. I also really would have liked to be able to view previously-seen fates straight from the book instead of having to backtrack all over the ship.

Shantae and the Pirates Curse

  1. Good lil game. Serviceable metroid-ish progression with very simple gameplay. The character art very much carries a lot of the game's appeal and the interactions are entertaining. Combat is okay, bosses are pretty weak besides the final boss which is pretty cool. They make you backtrack to scuttletown before every dungeon and it is very unnecessary and tedious. Jumping is too floaty, level design is pretty simple, items you get don't see much use besides the dash and the cannon but the cannon comes too late to get a lot of use. Minor gripes include me not liking how shantae's eyes are all green in her sprite and squid baron breaking the 4th wall to talk about his status as a miniboss is cringeworthy. Enjoyable time.

DUSK

  1. Very fun throwback to old shooters. Satisfying weapons, decent variety, mostly good level design, cool enemies and tight atmosphere. I didn't really find it spooky like they were trying to convey and the bosses were lame. The voice acting of the narrator also sounded awkwardly like a guy putting on a deep voice. Was also not a fan of small things like areas where you can only see with your flashlight and that weird tumble you do sometimes when you fall and makes you lose your direction. Moment-to-moment gameplay was fun enough to make up for the flaws.

Metro Exodus

  1. I was excited for an open world metro when it got announced but upon actually playing it, I realized the atmosphere of the metro tunnels was what kept the game fun and interesting. The surface is boring to traverse and explore, the enemies are not fun to fight and their tendency to be in large groups practically forces you to stealth or lose all of your ammo in a shootout. This is fine for a stealth game but in metro, crouch movement is tediously slow and sometimes the ability to knock out someone just does not trigger. The lack of russian voice acting also hurts the game and what I saw of the narrative was pretty weak. The closer metro gets to AAA games, the less appeal it has.

ABZU

  1. Very pretty game. Visuals and music are stellar, setpieces can be pretty majestic. The game is hampered by obtrusive swimming controls and the devs tendency to go NO THE SETPIECE IS ON THIS PATH DO NOT GO THAT WAY which often stopped me from going the correct way until the fish decided to move that way too. It's only a little over an hour long but it suits the type of game it is and I didn't pay for it anyways so whatever. I would like to ban all media from using the theme NATURE GOOD MACHINES BAD from now on.

Umineko: Golden Fantasia

  1. I appreciate the umineko fanservice but without another person to play with it is just not very fun. Special inputs are unusually finicky and successfully using a meta attack or even just a regular special feels almost random sometimes. The sprites are nice and the backgrounds and movesets had a pleasant amount of work put into them but the character art is pretty weak. The biggest problem is the arcade mode difficulty which is too hard on normal but way too easy on easy. On normal the first round is usually fine oddly enough, but in the 2nd round the enemy AI steps up and becomes a chore to beat and without another person to play with, there is little motivation to get better. Besides all that, the game feels pretty barebones with arcade mode having little uninspired dialogue and the only other options being the typical versus and online versus.

Shenmue II HD

  1. Finally after a decade I've completed the sequel. I prefer the first game because japan is just so much cozier than hong kong or kowloon but I recognize the merits of the 2nd game well enough. The ability to skip to the next story event when you get to the destination is a godsend, the hong kong section (particularly the temple and learning from the wude masters) is pretty good. The final section of the game with shenhua, despite mostly just being walking around, made me feel the shenmue soul hard. However I do not like the kowloon section of the game which is a pretty big problem because it is half the game. The buildings are same-y, it's hard to navigate, it's flooded with annoying QTE segments, the entire "shadowing yuan" part sucks, the part where you have to get to the top of the building by crossing like 20 beams sucks, the 17 floor yellow head building is not fun and they have an issue with repeatedly telling you what to do "run when the lights go out" says Ren every single time. That being said Kowloon has some nice aspects too, there are some fun interactions between Ryo and Ren, the story beats are alright, and some of the martial arts challenges are fun to do like catching the acrobat or beating up the half blind guy. The boss fights also suck. Shenmue's combat isn't great to begin with but having every boss feature a QTE near the end that makes you restart the fight if you fail is terrible. Not to mention half the bosses are unbeatable and the other half require a strategy of "constantly dodge and sometimes throw a few punches". The QTEs also felt unreliable in general which leads to most of my other gripes but that may just be because my controller is a little messed up so I won't blame the game for it. It was a good experience overall but I definitely prefer shenmue 1 and I'm really looking forward to 3.

Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal

  1. I didn't play much of it since the story and characters are nothing new or interesting. The new models and animations are good and the hitstop on the attacks makes hitting stuff more satisfying but in terms of the gameplay flow it's just more of the same. While the hitstop helps the feel of the combat, it really slows it down considering how much enemies you have to kill. I hope these improvements are implemented in a new game that tries to break the mold a little more, a 3D fighter would be cool.

Megaman Battle Network 5: Team Colonel

  1. About as good as every other battle network since the gameplay and plot structure remains mostly the same. I appreciate that they largely cut down on the amount of backtracking you need to do and the liberation missions are pretty fun. Colonel is cool and getting to play as other Navis like shadowman and toadman was really nice for a change of pace. I think the story was somewhat weaker this time around and the problems to solve didn't feel as dire as in prior games so that balances out with the gameplay improvements.

Contact

  1. Very interesting game in the way it implements you as part of the story and the setting being more creative than the average rpg. The elder scrolls-ish leveling system is also a nice idea. Contact is unfortunately hampered by its slow, repetitive combat and reliance on grinding since you can't buy armor. The harder fights are also dependent on having healing items since there are few opportunities for you to avoid damage by dodging. The healing items can only gotten through grinding up cash and buying food which doesn't heal for much, or going all the way back to your ship to go back to the deserted island to spend time stocking up on potions. You can cook in various places but you have to be wearing the chef outfit which drops your defensive abilities which is a pain in the butt and you can only change into the chef outfit at the ship. I appreciate the game's ambition but the systems they thought up hurt the game too much for it to be an enjoyable experience.

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception

  1. A good portion of the game consists of serviceable slice of life scenes with a likable cast of characters. The scenes with the girls could have been trimmed a bit considering how many of them are focused on food and romance and it begins to feel repetitive. Haku is a fun main character when he's not stuck in harem-esque antics and the scenes centered around his past are some of the most compelling in the game. The ending is absolutely kino and really brings up the whole experience. I would have liked more scenes with the male characters interacting for some variety, especially considering how fun characters like Ukon, Sakon and Maroro can be. The combat gameplay is decent, mostly made fun by the QTE attacks though the strength of the enemies can feel inconsistent at times. The CG art is great but the presentation of the silly little chibi models can take the oomph out of some scenes, especially in the first war. The story is unfortunately prone to relying on cliches at times but makes up for it with a strong underlying plot. Overall I'd say it was a good followup to the first utawarerumono and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes in the 3rd entry.

Mahjongsoul

  1. RIICHI PON NYA CHII NYA KAN NYA TSUMO NYA

Flower, Sun, and Rain

  1. Suda did it again. FSR does a much better job keeping you engaged than Silver Case mostly due to the 3D environments and character models but also just for the more lively atmosphere. As usual the dialogue and plot are nigh incomprehensible but it's weird enough to be entertaining and the constant strange interactions with new quirky characters every chapter make the backtracking much less of a slog than it could have been. The gameplay is still pretty weak and the game isn't free from tedious sections but it's expected at this point. Also while the game's puzzles benefit from the DS touchscreen, everything tends to look way too blurry and the framerate can take a hit in the larger areas which is annoying.

Katana ZERO

  1. Hotline miami but cooler and less fun. Killing dudes is satisfying but the constant need to deal with long-range opponents gets tiresome after a while. Didn't really care too much for the story but the scenes with the little girl were wholesome and the boss fights were really cool. Good aesthetic and music, ending it on a cliffhanger was pretty lame, focusing the plot on cyberpunk drug withdrawal felt derivative and the "neat" things they did with the dialogue choices were cheesy. Filling the whole screen with the edgy "Kill the child" option? Seriously?

Remember 11: The Age of Infinity

  1. Dangerously high IQ VN. Remember 11 cuts out a lot of the fat found in other VNs and has some of the best pacing I've seen in the genre. The constant dynamic switching between 2 completely different settings and groups of characters keeps the game from feeling slow and important events and interactions appear at a steady pace. This does unfortunately have a drawback in that since you spend little time interacting with the characters normally, you don't really get attached to them. Characters like Satoru and Yomogi are likable in how dependable they are. Kokoro and Hotori are fairly inoffensive. Keiko, Yuni, and Utsumi are interesting due to their importance to the plot. The twists presented in the game, while interesting and clever, don't have the same impact as those from Ever17 or the zero escape games. That being said, that's only referring to the twists presented to the reader in an easily understandable way. The other mysteries presented by the VN blew my mind when reading the analysis afterwards and captured my interest with the ridiculous amount of thought put into the underlying plot elements. While I love the answers I got and seeing all of the hints and truths I missed in my reading, it's difficult to credit the game for it considering the ending is blatantly unfinished and does not make an attempt to clarify many of the mysteries presented in the rest of the story. It's also fairly annoying that important tidbits are spread throughout the bad endings which are annoying and time-consuming to get to despite the fastforward mechanic since it doesn't just let you skip the whole scenes outright. Also the music is nice and the art is noticeably better than Ever17's. In conclusion, while it's hard to say Remember 11 as it is is a great VN, I respect the depth and subtlety put into its plot as well as the moment-to-moment dire atmosphere and compelling mysteries regardless of the incomplete finale.

Megaman Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar

  1. In my humble opinion it's the best battle network game by a little bit. Best gameplay in the series, the best story (although still nothing amazing), and very little padding. The chips are fun to use, annoying enemies are absent, and optional content in the form of classes and cross navis are implemented instead of tedious backtracking making for a very pleasant experience. The context and dire situations from previous BN games are present after being half-baked in 5 and the network is much more painless to traverse. The bosses are fun to fight besides circusman who's a nuisance and the final boss which is terrible as per usual for the series. I'm not sure who thought it would be fun to keep the player from using any direct-shot chips because it isn't and restricts playstyle significantly. I quite liked the villains this time around but the friendly cast was relatively weak. Mick is a brat and Tab barely exists so I would've preferred if Yai, Dex and Mayl just moved with Lan instead. Elementman's stage was probably my favorite in the entire series. It's sad thinking the series ends with this game but there are a lot of series that wish they could get half the amount of games BN got so I can't complain. It would be cool to see a modern revival sometime.

Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends

  1. Since I recently finished the Three Kingdoms TV series I wanted to go back to the dynasty warriors with the best story presentation. The PC port is awful with graphical glitches in cutscenes and a horrendous default control mapping that is annoying to change. Only keyboard inputs are shown on screen as well. The cutscenes are still great but the gameplay in general does feel dated, particularly with certain weapons like the bow which just aren't any fun. The combat is also very unbalanced in that you can only kill officers in less than 20 years by using musou attacks which isn't very fun. Also I only played the wei story and part of the jin story so this might not be a problem in other stories but they seem reluctant to let you use the rather large roster and instead make you do multiple missions as the same characters like xiahou yuan and xiahou dun. The music is also still lit.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

  1. I love arcade racers. The music is rockin'. The driving is smooth and has a great sense of speed. The stages are all short but the variety is great and each one is not only fun to drive through but are also surprisingly aesthetically pleasing for a PS2 game. The heart attack mode has some fun objectives but unfortunately not enough to keep you playing for a long time given you'll be driving around on the same short tracks over and over but the short time I spent with the game was very fun.

Yakuza Kiwami 2

  1. Solid game. The dragon engine makes it look a lot better than the other yakuza games and the combat feels fresh due to the new physics and wider combat areas. The lack of heat actions is disappointing. The story starts out well enough but the police/mafia plotlines were dull and cliche. Kaoru was an annoying character who constantly switches between prodigy super cop who is tougher than the rest of the force and pathetic heroine who can't stand up to a few random thugs. The twists at the end were particularly stupid and if I hear "Jingweon mafia" one more time I'm going to flip. The chapter where haruka is forced back into the story was terrible, including a bad boss fight with some tigers and an extremely gimmicky castle area with annoying enemies. There are 2 chapters where you just wander around doing substory-esque missions with haruka which is unreasonable considering it just drags the pacing down when they could have simply just been more optional substories. Goda Ryuji is one of the only likable parts of the plot (even if he's dragged into the jingweon nonsense later too) and the final fight with him was pretty great. The scene where kiryu gets stabbed was very good until you realize it has no impact on the rest of the plot and he's back in business like normal just a couple scenes later. While the main plot was pretty disappointing, that's pretty normal for a yakuza game and the primary appeal still lies in just running around and completing substories, fighting, and doing minigames and kiwami 2 serves this purpose quite well. Virtual-On is radical.

Bladestorm: Nightmare

  1. I think this is a pretty cool game. It's got soul reminiscent of the early PS3 days and the idea of playing as a mercenary in the hundred years war is really cool. The atmosphere is nice and trampling over the enemy with your overpowered halberd squad is a blast...for a few missions. The game is unfortunately very repetitive and unlike with dynasty warriors you don't even get new stages or variety beyond your chosen weapon (which is restricted by levels you need to raise individually). The game wants you to spend a lot of time equally leveling up every class but if you just level up the one you like, there are pretty much no penalties and it makes for a much easier experience. The story is also sparse and you need to go through many copy-pasted missions between cutscenes which are short and typically of little importance. The fame bar increases too slowly unless you avoid easily completing the objective to run around and mindlessly kill enemies which makes no sense considering a mercenary that could end a battle in minutes would surely be extremely famous. It's unfortunate the game has such glaring flaws since being in the bar with all the other mercenaries and taking requests from the bartender just feels great. The character creator is actually pretty nice too.

Pathologic 2

  1. It's interesting at least. In the first few days you're just having a fun time talking to cryptic europeans and watching strange events unfold with great atmosphere. Sadly it becomes far too bogged down in its survival mechanics and you have to go around collecting resources to survive every 5 minutes. Some other problems include the tedious walking between objectives, only partially salvaged by sprinting which is limited by a stamina bar that is restricted by thirst which is never alleviated for long. The game also performs poorly despite not really looking that great.

Dragon Quest Builders

  1. I actually find the game quite cozy, but I dropped it because playing on the vita is kind of a pain with how small everything is and it feels like the kind of game where the sequel will basically be the same experience but improved in every way. I'm dropping it to keep it as fresh as possible when I eventually get the sequel on switch or something.

Dead or Alive 6

  1. Pretty standard for DOA. The story is a mess that constantly jumps around all over the place with little to no context. Cutscenes are all 10 seconds long or less and characters fight over absolutely trivial things. The fights are also all only 1 round each and super easy. Honestly I would've preferred if they dropped the silly Raidou plot and just stuck with having goofy character interactions throughout the tournament. The gameplay is fun and the girls are cute but sadly the content is lacking. Even the costumes are irritating to unlock considering you can only get them RANDOMLY while playing the lackluster DOA quest mode. While it's still a decent fighting game, the 3DS game was better at providing a complete quality product.

The Great Ace Attorney

  1. As Great as you would expect from the man with the plan Shu Takumi. The brand new cast, while mostly not as charming as the one from the phoenix wright series, is a welcome breath of fresh air and certain characters like Holmes and Asougi go toe to toe with the best from the OG series while the side characters continue to be consistently entertaining. My only complaint character-wise is that Gina is annoying but you can't win everything. The presentation is absolutely stellar. The animations are top notch as per usual with the rest of the series but the brand new deductions are a step above the rest and feel fantastic. The jury system is a welcome addition and it's bizarre the jury doesn't come up more often in this series. The jury members can be a little one-note sometimes and there are quite a few later on that talk about nonsense without stating their actual verdict/reasoning so you have to press them when they should be on-topic in the first place. The music as well is great as usual but I thought the cornered theme was relatively weak. Naruhodo is very similar to Phoenix in a lot of ways but thankfully feels different enough most likely due to the recurring culture divide throughout the story. I appreciate the differentiating of cases by having a couple that were just trials and one that was just an investigation (substantially boosted by the deductions) but overall I felt the mysteries were comparatively weak and I faced a LOT of situations where I figured out a trick and had to wait a long while before they were brought up but that is pretty common for the series. As a final note it is annoying that there are some plotlines left unfinished such as the hounds of baskerville and the morse code message, particularly given how long it took to just get the first game translated, but overall it's not a big detriment or anything.

Phantasy Star Online 1 & 2

  1. I wanted to go back and check out the single player but it's unfortunately not up to snuff. I should've figured from the name but it's definitely intended to be enjoyed solely online as the single player content is repetitive and the story is too sparse to really make up for it. The gameplay doesn't really salvage it either since it's been vastly improved in the later games.

Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls

  1. It's not often I pick up a game and within 10 minutes realize how little effort went into its creation. I barely played this game but immediately noticed the rehashed combat, stages, character setups, and music. The appeal is apparently supposed to be how IF can freely explore the stages but all the traversal sucks and invisible walls are everywhere. IF is also one of my least favorite neptunia characters so that is some added bias. I was hoping maybe the charm and humor of the SeHa girls anime would carry over with the girls but I could tell it was just the same old neptunia writing. Unfortunately IF's butt in the crawling sections cannot save this uninspired spinoff.

Prototype

  1. Pretty fun gaem. Normal combat is satisfying and you have a lot of tools to use but the bosses all SUCK especially elizabeth greene and the final boss. The story isn't very interesting but Alex has good line delivery. Moving around the city is alright but the glide should've been a little better. As the game goes on the missions tend to get more frustrating which is unfortunate but it's not too long so it's not a huge detriment to the game. I was really impressed by the level of chaos going on in a decade-old game.

The Sims 4

  1. I figured I'd try it out since I've never played a sims game before. Turns out watching NPCs do nothing interesting is not fun.

Tenchu: Stealth Assassins

  1. Being a ninja assassinating people in ancient japan is cool but not with these clunky controls. I'd probably enjoy one of the later gen ones.

Megaman Star Force: Dragon

  1. Finally replaying this after like a decade was a fun experience. It's a surprisingly good transition of the battle network games to DS. The story is better than a lot of the BN games with the dire situations actually having character motivations behind them rather than HAHA FOR THE ORGANIZATION. I would've liked a tad more lighthearted scenes though, especially with Geo being such a downer. The gameplay is still the fun grid-based combat but the restriction of only being able to move left and right makes it much simpler which is a shame. The trade of difficulty for freshness is good enough for me. The DS minigames can be pretty annoying with a mouse too but at least most of the stage gimmicks aren't as annoying as they could be in the BN series.

The Curse of Monkey Island

  1. As with the other monkey island games, the dialogue and interactions are marvelous. And as always, I babied out and used a guide because point and clicks are a poison. It didn't really hamper my experience though, thoroughly enjoyed the story from beginning to end. I did find it odd that it ignores the ending of monkey island 2 but it still ended up being a great time so I guess it's not that big of a problem. The animations were especially nice and I quite liked the different artstyle.

Earth Defense Force 4.1

  1. Missions are too slow in single player and I have to wait for my friend to get a better computer until we can go through it together. Fun game though.

Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni

  1. Senran with a worse artstyle but better characters. Combat is decent but missions are repetitive and there's not a lot of character variety. The designs grew on me as the game went on but ultimately Nan's designs are still superior. I did enjoy the character development and interactions, particularly Mana's whole personality and Viola and Koharu's deepening bond. The characters all interacted with each other regularly rather than just in pre-determined pairs which I appreciated quite a bit and the cast was a breath of fresh air after the many senrans. The main plot is pretty average but the conflict presented near the end is pretty compelling at least and it's a shame there most likely won't be a sequel. The difficulty spike near the end is completely obnoxious and Gundari should've been removed from the game. The lack of outfits was also pretty disappointing and I'm not convinced they couldn't have easily just moved a lot over from the senran games.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

  1. Probably the 3rd best Tales game? The plot is decent but kinda drags on near the end and Duke's motives were stupid. Estelle can get too apologetic and self-sacrificial at times but it's a japanese game so it's to be expected. The rest of the party is great and Yuri is one of the best JRPG main characters of all time with his no-nonsense attitude, wonderful Troy Baker voice acting, and resolve to kill people who really need to die. The other characters are very likable and have a lot of fun, natural interactions as expected of a Tales game. The combat takes a bit too long to get really fun and there are a few annoying difficulty spikes like Gattuso and Alexei. Zagi was also a terrible and pointless villain. The artstyle looks nice but the animations aside from the special cutscenes can look pretty stiff sometimes. The dungeon puzzles thankfully weren't too annoying but the amount of monsters you have to fight could make the exploration kind of a pain. It's very much a decent game largely boosted by the party which pretty much describes the Tales series in general. I wish Rita and Estelle hooked up, that would've been cute.

Omega Labyrinth

  1. AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WHY IS THIS STUPID BOOBIE GAME SO HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD THAT FINAL DUNGEON IS BONKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

  1. Very pleasantly surprised with how this game turned out. Perfectly captures the feeling of the old castlevanias, the visuals were thankfully greatly improved and look pretty good, the music is on-point, movement and combat feel smooth and satisfying. The bosses are great (minus the final boss which is awful but nobody's perfect). I particularly liked the twin dragons fight which felt very dynamic and fair. Miriam is a cutie and customizing her outfit and hair was fun, it's a shame the bunny outfit is locked behind a specific power that changes the moveset. The voice acting was overall pretty good. Getting David Hayter as a samurai was quite a treat. I don't really have any notable complaints beside the final boss sucking, the kickstarter backer integration was jarring, and the way you get the ability to swim is pretty poor. Good job Iga.

Super Neptunia RPG

  1. I should really steer clear of these neptunia spinoffs. The visuals actually don't bother me that much aside from neptune's dash animation but the controls are clunky and the battle system is an absolute snorefest and judging by what everyone else says it doesn't get any better. Getting MMO-tier fetch quests right out of the gate is also a very bad sign.

Rhythm Heaven Megamix

  1. I GOT NO RHYTHM

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

  1. I'm upset that I skipped this for so long because I didn't like the sound of the rental system. It's actually a great 2D zelda. Lots of fun dungeons that are well-designed without being too long or tedious. The bosses are fun to fight, if a little simple. The rental system is not a problem at all and allows for more open-ended progression by letting you get any items whenever you want. It adds sorely-needed value to the rupees as well. The story surrounding Ravio, Lorule and Hilda is pretty compelling by 2D zelda standards and most NPCs are full of life and fun to talk to. I physically felt the soul when I paid the musician to play some songs in the dimly-lit milk bar. The warp girl Irene is also very cute, certainly a highlight. The painting gimmick is used in a lot of creative ways and didn't intrude on the normal gameplay too much. Not a huge fan of the aesthetic but it grew on me and it certainly looks better in action.

Secret of Mana

  1. The combat is just not fun without a co-op buddy. Just a loop of attack -> wait for enemy to get up and attack power to charge back up to 100 -> attack again while hoping the sketchy hit detection doesn't decide you miss and make you wait more. The AI companions just either run in and die quickly or stand back and do nothing. I'm sure if I was playing with a friend it would be a lot more fun but SNES emulation multiplayer is a mess.

Muse Dash

  1. An alright rhythm game. Songs are hit-or-miss but the aesthetic is cute and the controls are simple but fun. Only problem is that unlocking characters is a huge pain since you're more likely to get parts for the elfins or illustrations. Also Buro should be using her plane and not the bear.

Monster Hunter World

  1. That PC port is a poorly optimized mess.

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

  1. Probably the weakest 2D zelda game I've played. Very nice artstyle and a generally cozy atmosphere especially in Hyrule Town. Gameplay feels solid as per usual and the dungeons aren't necessarily bad but they're not strong either. One of the worst points for me was that most optional puzzles and exploration lead to useless rupees or kinstones which really bummed me out after ALBW's strong rupee economizing and frequent heart pieces. Kinstones especially are annoying because they take the SOLVE PUZZLE -> GET REWARD process and needlessly extend it to SOLVE PUZZLE -> SEARCH FOR RANDOM NPC TO TRADE KINSTONES WITH -> TREK HALFWAY ACROSS THE MAP TO GET REWARD which was a pain in the butt and caused me to stop doing optional stuff. The bosses were usually fine except the final boss which could be a nuisance. The flying one was cool though. Fighting stalfos was also a huge annoyance. I have mixed feelings on the shrinking gimmick because it is a cool concept and it is used in creative ways but finding the correct places to shrink and having to go back to those specific places to unshrink every time was tiring along with all the barriers when you're tiny which don't feel like they should stop you at all. The game also suffered from some needless padding such as hunting down the library books but I suppose it didn't hurt the pacing too bad. While it does sound like a big list of complaints, minish cap is still a quality 2D zelda experience and it has quite enough soul to offset a lot of the annoyances.

No More Heroes

  1. Glad I finally managed to play this one. A truly bizarre game filled to the brim with Suda soul. The combat is pretty basic and easy but it also manages to be one of the only Suda games that's actually fun to play with the satisfying vibration of the wiimote that comes with killing enemies. The menial task minigames are actually pretty fun in their simplicity as well. Travis's bike is an abomination and is not only a pain to ride around but also just a pain to even get on. The assassins are obviously the highlights and they're all full of personality and come with generally fun fights and bizarre cutscenes. The only fight I would really complain about would be shinobu which can be just plain unfair at times with the sonic blade barrages. The bench press minigame is also a nightmare on my hands and I hate it dearly. The stages leading up to boss fights could get pretty repetitive so I'm glad they mostly got shorter as the game progressed and there were some fun little gimmicks to keep things fresh along the way like hitting the baseballs in the stadium or playing the shmup on the subway. The ending, including the final boss fight and the context surrounding it, is hilariously strange and I expected no less from Suda. It was quite an experience.

Samurai Shodown 2019

  1. I actually like the gameplay well enough. The lack of reliance on memorizing combos really appeals to me but unfortunately there's barely any characters I actually like. I like Wu's design the most but her zoner playstyle doesn't appeal to me at all. I'll probably come back and play the story mode for nakoruru's sister at least when she comes out. The single player content is very lacking and I don't have a lot of interest in playing random people online if I don't substantially enjoy the characters. The visual style is nice, the final boss sucks.

SMT Strange Journey Redux

  1. Just very dull is all I can say. Mainline SMT just has no appeal to me.

Bullet Girls Phantasia

  1. The missions are repetitive, the enemy variety is extremely lacking, enemy A.I is braindead, and the framerate is abysmal. That being said, it gives me the vibes of the 6/10 cute girls doing cute things anime I enjoy and the girls are cute so I still found it fairly enjoyable. It was also nice just having a cute anime girl game where you can shoot stuff which is surprisingly rare. The fanservice was great too, no shame. Could've have more outfits though. I especially enjoyed the part where I started the final boss fight and the boss immediately glitched out and died.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

  1. This game feels like a downgrade in everything but variety. The cutscenes feel like they were made by fans of the first game who exaggerate the aspects of it that they remember. Wrestling is referenced everywhere and the added anime-like craziness and violence take way more focus than they should. Travis is also made out to be way more "cool" and it makes him substantially less likable. I wasn't a big fan of the open world in NMH1 but when you cut it and the money-making process between fights out, the assassin fights themselves feel a lot less distinct and important. The combat also feels a lot worse. You get stunned too much, enemies don't get stunned enough and soak up too much damage, and the motion controls feel much less responsive. The minigames aren't very fun but the variety is nice. The gym games suck even worse than the bench press from 1. The music is great at least. Overall it's just really lacking in Suda soul.

Super Mario Maker 2

  1. Can't go wrong with limitless mario levels. I don't have any interest in making my own levels but I still get quite a bit of enjoyment from playing everyone else's and the 100 story mode levels are fun too. There's not really much else to say.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

  1. Great remake. Takes a little bit to get used to the controls and turbo boosting but once you do, it's a lot more satisfying than mario kart. The characters are lively and fun but the fact that they're tied to radically different stats is annoying since speed characters outclass all the others and I want to play Megumi. The boss challenges are also pretty annoying, ESPECIALLY Pinstripe. The stages are mostly great in both gameplay and design. The story mode is a bit short but they went through the extra effort of adding in some cutscenes as well as some tracks from other games so I can't fault them for the game being short. It's a fun time.

Final Fantasy V Advance

  1. Had a great time with this one. The always-fun ATB battle system, extensive job system, likable characters, fun dialogue and fairly decent story all come together for a great classic JRPG. The visuals are alright, still not a big fan of classic FF sprite style. The music is great as always. Gilgamesh and Galuf are great characters and Galuf's death is one of the most impactful in the series, but I do wish Exdeath was a more compelling villain besides the funny tree memes. I definitely prefer V to IV.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

  1. Probably my least favorite 2D zelda so far but still a good game, much like minish cap. The characters are all weak considering the one i liked the most was a kangaroo I interacted with for like 5 minutes. Dungeons were generally well-designed and the switching between the overworld and subrosia was interesting. I do think subrosia was pretty underused but it didn't impact the game's quality very much. The game also would have benefited from giving you more of a connection with Din but I guess they generally don't give you any more with zelda either and Din was cute at least. The rings and gasha seeds were a neat concept but the effects were negligible and it ended up being a very forgettable system.

Megaman Star Force 3: Black Ace

  1. I would consider this the best in the BN/SF series. Great story with some genuine emotional moments, a real sense of urgency for the problems you have to solve, compelling twists and turns. The gameplay is improved from SF1 and the changes to the card system along with the new noise change system help it to compete with the depth of the BN gameplay after it was simplified in the first game. I am also very grateful that they removed the touchscreen minigames and replaced them with decently fun normal ones. I was going to say they babied out by having mega and kelvin return home in the end but it was too sweet for me to dislike it. I liked all the new characters as well besides Jack who is a twerp. It was also fun skipping star force 2 and having edgemaster Solo thrown at me.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

  1. Okay this is the weakest 2D zelda I've played. The dungeons are decent but more complicated than the ones in Seasons in an annoying way. The time travel gimmick, while interesting, is tedious and overused to the point where the novelty wears off and you are just frequently warping back and forth to try and figure out where to go in either time. The mermaid tail and jabu jabu's belly were a serious drag since they change the simple and perfectly fine swimming controls to requiring hectic tapping in whatever direction you want to go which was a real pain for my thumb. The story is more compelling than in seasons but is still nothing remarkable. The switch hook and solomon's cane were interesting items but the cane did not get nearly enough use. A big complement I can give to this and Seasons is how different the two games are despite being released at the same time and that they're both decently long games without the padding of minish cap. They share the same assets and a chunk of the items but in terms of the dungeons and areas they're completely different. The way they link together so you get the true ending in the second game is also very cool.
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