January 04, 2020 @ 4:37 pm
Here we go baby 2020 WOOOOOOOO
Top 10 games played in 2020:
Xenoblade Definitive Edition
Persona 4 Golden
Ghost of Tsushima
Dragon Quest Builders 2
The Wonderful 101: Remastered
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars
Higurashi Ch.8 Matsuribayashi
Completed: 101 Dropped: 50
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars [Completed]
- Still the best mecha game ever made. Action is smooth and fun with flashy attacks and a variety of useful subweapons to play with. The artstyle remains perfect and hasn't aged at all. Jehuty and Anubis are still some of the best mechs ever designed. The boss fights are varied and the gimmicks never make the fights annoying. The story is cheesy and fast-paced which fits the game to a T and the poorly directed voice acting combined with the strange dialogue is campy and endearing. The soundtrack remains great as well. The only problems worth noting come from the shoddy port. While being in Jehuty's cockpit in VR is cool, the limited view compared to 3rd person is disappointing and not being able to see Jehuty in action takes a lot of the cool factor out of the gameplay. The game starts in VR mode and turns on my headset and starts up steamVR before asking if I want to play in VR mode instead of after which was very annoying. The sound is very quiet and only solvable by changing a setting in the volume mixer and going back to turn it off after I'm done playing the game. Vsync also broke the game entirely and performance was poor at the start of the game for no reason. All that being said, ZoE2 is still fantastic.
- By far the most wholesome piece of media ever concocted. Lovely aesthetic, fun happy little inanimate objects. Great music and sounds of laughter to force a smile out of you. The tasks are incredibly simple so any difficulty comes from trying to remember that the camera is controlled by the triggers and not the analog stick. The movement can be too clunky and slow and while this may have just been my PS4 being old or something, the performance was terrible which got very annoying. Thankfully the problems didn't have much time to set in since the game is very short. It was a memorable experience with a very beautiful ending. It's just a shame the issues couldn't be ironed out before release.
A Plague Tale: Innocence [Completed]
- A very cool linear story experience very fitting of the year of the rat. It's not so long that it overstays its welcome and not so short that I couldn't get invested in the story. The setting is fresh and the plot even moreso. Most of the characters aren't very developed but are handled well despite their simplicity and the way they help you during the gameplay sections does a good job of endearing you to them, particularly Rodric. Amicia and Hugo are more nuanced and make a good pair of main characters. Amicia is strong and determined but the game doesn't forget that she's not some trained soldier or a mother or anything and she has a hard time dealing with everything going on around her while having to take care of Hugo. She's capable with her sling and alchemy, both properly set up by her parents, but she's still way too weak to handle any trained soldier who catches up to her. This makes for a good power balance that kept me from feeling too weak or too strong in any situation besides the end when you become the rat wizard. Hugo has his annoying child moments but they're kept to a minimum and he was more often a cute and likable companion I wanted to protect. Another thing that helped the characters was the fact that the game wasn't made in America so the characters don't all look like horrid gremlins while still looking realistic. The rat imagery is exceptional throughout the game and there's a lot of cool setpieces in every chapter that kept me intrigued. The moment-to-moment gameplay is pretty simple and there's rarely any difficult situations to solve, but the variety in sling ammunition and enemy setups keeps the gameplay fresh. My only issues with the game consisted of an ending that was very very quick to wrap up and a random issue that would cause my sling to randomly not fire which caused a few deaths. The rat wizard duel finale was lit though.
Monster Hunter World Iceborne (PC) [Completed]
- Just as fun as on console but with high FPS and minimum load times as well as the ability to hunt with my friends. Tons of great additions to the monster roster and a fun clutch claw to use. Not really a change by the game but I was much more prepared equipment-wise this time so the fights were less annoying. The story and unskippable cutscenes are still unbearable.
Rez Infinite [Completed]
- Cool soulful rail shooter. I love the cyberspace aesthetic and the stages have a lot of cool visuals to enjoy, especially in VR. But while it is an amazing visual experience, the gameplay aspect is pretty simple and repetitive. I would say Gal Gun is more fun as a rail shooter. Area X adds a fun spin on the gameplay by giving you freedom of movement but it's more fantastical and lacks the oldschool cyberspace appeal I was fond of in the original levels. The music is also pretty rad and fits the levels very well. The most annoying aspect of the game for me was I could only use my left VR controller despite being right-handed.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 [Completed]
- This one took a long while wew boy. The game oozes with charm from every block-shaped orifice and is simply a joy to play. The goofy dialogue, lively characters, great music, and Toriyama artstyle all come together in a soulful hotpot of adventure. The long length of time you spend on every major island in the game helps a lot in endearing you to the characters and world and I really felt like I was making a difference in every section. The story, while pretty simple, still manages to be compelling thanks to the likability of the characters and the elements connecting it to DQ2 are very well-implemented. The connection between my character and Malroth in particular was very endearing and I'm glad they didn't stick you with some unlikable stick in the mud for the whole game. The gameplay is fun and comfy. I have a hard time getting into Minecraft since all the enjoyment relies on my own creativity, so I much prefer Builders' process of giving you blueprints to build and missions to complete instead. My favorite moments were the ends of each chapter where the people you've been helping for hours finally get the inspiration to help you build and you get to see them come together and quickly produce huge structures that would've taken ages alone. As for my few issues with the game: the number one would be how mind-numbingly slow the master of destruction's dialogue is. Every time he pitched in I would alt tab and browse the internet for several minutes while he spelled out his dialogue at a blinding one word per hour. I also feel the game tends to hold your hand too much and there's a tad too much dialogue at the beginning. If the devs are going to give me the ability to move the camera, I would like them to also trust me to look around and find the items of note that they want me to interact with. But yeah so far best adventure of 2020.
Virgo Versus the Zodiac [Dropped]
- Round of applause for the first dropped game of 2020. The artstyle is nice, music is pretty good, and the writing is enjoyable enough. However I find the gameplay pretty dull and frustrating. Your combat options are few and for the harder fights it feels like making one mistake can ruin the whole fight due to the inability to completely negate damage no matter how good your timing is. For the easier fights, it's just a slow back-and-forth of QTEs. Some variation in the QTEs would've helped to spice it up a little but in the first couple hours there were just 2 types and even very little variation in the timing of them. The search for quality yuri games continues.
- Fun stuff. The only other roguelite I've played extensively is the Binding of Isaac and this feels much better to play. It's also somewhat easier than BoI and I managed to beat the final boss in less than 20 runs. The variations in olympian boon combinations make the runs interesting and unique. The large amount of unique dialogue also helps to keep the runs feeling fresh. I would've liked the Hydra and Minotaur/Theseus to have some alternate bosses in their place from time to time like the Furies but they're fun enough as is. The artstyle and voice acting is great, as expected of supergiant, and the writing is pretty good as well even though the story is currently lacking a conclusion. Probably my favorite part of Hades is the permanent progress you get after every run in the form of the mirror powerups, weapon aspects and underworld renovations. I would feel much less inclined to keep trying again and again if I wasn't making at least a little permanent progress. Most of the weapons are fun to play and they're all substantially different from each other in playstyle so switching weapons per run keeps everything feeling all the more fresh. I'm excited for it to come out of early access.
Dragonball Z Kakarot [Completed]
- Disappointing game. The RPG elements that permeate the entire game are uninteresting and only serve to drag down the actual good aspects. The levels, items, crafting, and skill trees don't add anything enjoyable to the game and the reliance on "stats" detracts from the decent action combat by bloating HP numbers and drawing out fights. The main story is a fine enough retelling of the DBZ story and I appreciate that it actually goes through the buu saga unlike plenty of other DBZ games. While the models and world look nice and certain cutscenes look fantastic, a lot of the story is just presented with characters standing around and talking to each other with textboxes which feels like a waste, the buu and android sagas also felt pretty rushed. The combat is flawed but okay. Animations and flying are pretty good and the attacks look great but fights got repetitive since you rarely do anything besides punch punch punch kamehameha. The lack of variety in player options could've been made up for with more variety in enemy situations but there's rarely any attacks you can't easily nullify by dodging right or holding block with very little timing required. Some bossfights have special attacks that spice up the fights a bit but they're rare. Enemies also enjoy randomly deciding to start charging superarmor attacks mid-hitstun which is extremely annoying. The open world is beautiful and fun to fly around in but there's very little interesting things to do. I stopped doing sidequests after finishing the frieza arc because there were pretty much 0 sidequests that didn't devolve into "collect X items" or "defeat this group of random grunt enemies" like I was playing a lame MMO. The enemy mobs on the map are incredibly lame and lacking variety. Cooking requires gathering materials which is much duller than just moving on with the story so why would you when it isn't even necessary? Special moves which could help the combat feel more interesting are locked behind a skill tree which requires collecting medals scattered randomly around the map which I didn't want to bother with. The community board system is a fun little minigame but it is ruined by the lackluster nature of the other systems since you end up having no reason to put emblems on any board that isn't the fighting or exp ones. The music is largely unmemorable besides the versions of cha la head cha la which are great. I liked the little throwbacks to dragonball at least. Overall this game brings very little to the table compared to other DBZ games.
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada [Completed]
- Mmmm musou goodness injected directly into the bloodstream. This probably has the best story in a musou game thanks to it's more focused plot surrounding the Sanada clan rather than jumping all over the place. Yukimura is a pretty typical shonen protag but by the end of the game he is plenty cool enough to make up for it. Sasuke's development is nice albeit predictable, and Masayuki is quite compelling since you get to follow him for so long. I would've liked if the Sanada trio had some fun interaction while they were older to help drive home the family theme. I also quite liked the direction of the ending. I can't really verify this but it felt like it was trying to be more historically accurate than other musous and I appreciate that. That being said I might still prefer Dynasty Warriors 7 just because I like the Three Kingdoms more than the warring states period. While the focused approach is great for the story, the gameplay does suffer somewhat because of the lack of variety in playable characters. You spend about 70% of the game playing as either Masayuki or Yukimura and another 10% playing as Kunoichi or Sasuke. This is a pretty big problem since moveset and character design/personality variety is important in maintaining the fun of a musou game. The stages are generally enjoyable and the Stratagem/Feat system does a good job of giving you objectives to juggle instead of just making you plow through enemies nonstop. The exploration missions and material nonsense are completely boring, unnecessary, and do nothing but drag the game down and there's unfortunately a substantial amount of them. The combat is the same as samurai warriors 4 so there's not really much to go over there except it's still fun. I hope they never do away with the dash attacks. The game can look nice in cutscenes but a little upgrade would be nice. The village tunes were also great.
- A short and sweet emotional journey that really tugs at the heartstrings. I have a deep respect for any piece of media that can make me feel some significant amount of emotion and Rakuen pulled this off in a very genuine and heartfelt way. The character stories are all very compelling and hit hard while also having a bizarrely "family-friendly" vibe to them that felt very fitting. The art looks very nice though the animations are pretty janky. The music is great and very emotional, particularly the vocal songs. The dialogue has an endearing charm to it that kept the game feeling uplifting when it should despite the overarching dread of where the plot is going and the fate of the characters. Even though I was carelessly spoiled on the basis for the story, the small revelations of the events before the story pertaining to the boy's family and his hospitalization still kept me invested. The only problem I have with the game is the lackluster controller support that wouldn't allow me to use my D-Pad and the fact that I had to patch it to be able to sprint which felt like it should be in the game by default.
Maximum Action [Completed..basically]
- The core gameplay is fun and the aesthetic is nice but I've never seen a more "Early Access" game. It's been in early access for more than a year and has less than an hour of content not counting the endless mode where you just fight the same two or three enemy types over and over again. The small amount of uniquely designed levels are too short and simple. I hope the game ends up getting a substantial amount of content because it has the makings of a good game.
Alice Mystery Garden [Completed]
- A nice little gimicky VR game. The cute presentation and main character make for a jolly time and the VR puzzles are quite fun. The VR aspect makes it feel substantially different from every other puzzle game. I did have some problems with the control of the game, though it's mostly attributed to having to use my WMR headset's touchpad to move instead of the analog stick. The physics could also be a bit finicky at times and the game looked unusually blurry. The game's not long but it was also super cheap and I got my money's worth.
Banner of the Maid [Dropped]
- I feel bad about dropping this one. The game clearly had a lot of hard work put into it with it's great pixel artstyle and character art. It's a decent fire emblem clone for a while and the idea of making a more modern fire emblem-style game in a more modern setting is great. The writing is decent enough though the english language beta can be a bit shaky at times. I like the cute girls in the game, particularly Eugenie which is why I would've liked to continue the game. Unfortunately as the difficulty of the game increases, the losses feel more and more unfair and it feels less like putting together your own strategies and more like figuring out the one or two ways you can clear a mission with little leeway given the frustratingly strict defeat conditions a lot of the time. I probably could have just repeatedly grinded with optional missions but I didn't want to waste time with that especially since the missions are probably just going to get harder and require more grinding.
Sin and Punishment [Completed]
- Truly bizarre game. The story is a crazy rushed sci-fi anime that makes very little sense but it's fun to watch at least. The english voice acting despite the game not coming out of japan was strange and added to the odd tone. The gameplay is pretty fast and satisfying and the bosses and setpieces made each level feel quite enjoyable without having it get too stale. It's a short game but that's fine with me, I think rail shooters should be short since the gameplay style can get repetitive faster than the average genre. The character models looked pretty awful but the environments and the dynamic camera were very cool. Overall while it wasn't a very impactful game, it had a lot of classic japanese soul.
The House in Fata Morgana [Completed]
- Very good VN. Short and very well-paced. Fata Morgana handles its themes of empathy and acceptance in a mature manner and I quite enjoyed it. The writing is good and maintains a decent balance of casual dialogue and flowery narration. The first portion of the story with the doors isn't too engaging, the twists are surprising to various extents and they do a good job building up the basis for the main plot and conflict but the tragic endings can get a tad tiring and predictable. The latter part of the story focused on finding the truth behind everyone's motivations and saving Morgana, as well as the relationship between Michel and Giselle is great and enthralling. The ending ties up everything perfectly and I really liked how everyone wasn't just forgiven, but pardoned with mixed emotions. The characters all end up feeling realistic and sympathetic regardless of the magnitude of their crimes. I also felt the VN treated its setting respectfully and didn't shy away from problems of that era in fear of offending people. The music is good and fits in most cases, but at times the vocals can be so loud that they distracted me from the reading. The art is great for the most part aside from Mell's freakishly small arm in the first chapter and I liked the character designs as well. If the game had a normal anime artstyle, I feel it would've detracted from the mature nature of the story. Good stuff.
- Game's got a cool style and all and an especially cool title but it's too hard for me. Maybe it's just because I'm bad at shmups in general but isn't having the player die in one hit while also barely telegraphing boss attacks bad game design? It infuriates me at least.
Superhot VR [Dropped]
- Really cool game, I'm sad I couldn't finish it. The game expects me to move forward too much in my limited space and I accidentally hit my monitor so I don't wanna take the risk of doing that again. That being said, I cleared almost every level before this happened so at least I got the experience. The gameplay and style are very cool, but there are some big issues like throwing with VR being incredibly unreliable and the mind blast attack being extremely inconsistent. These might just be a problem with my WMR controllers however. Also with some levels it felt like the enemy actions were inconsistent enough where what felt like the only solution to a situation wouldn't work 100% of the time. Maybe if I had more free range for movement there would be more opportunities.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma [Completed]
- I think Ryu Hayabusa is a 10/10 action game character stuck in a 6/10 action game. Fighting grunts is the best part of the game because Ryu's moveset is so robust and killing stuff feels so good. Combos are fast and fluid while also not being too difficult to pull off and the Izuna Drop may be one of the best attacks in a video game. The enemies also all pose a threat to some extent so unlike in DMC you have to constantly be on your toes. The problems arise in literally everything else. While Ryu's fast far-reaching jumps are good in combat, they end up being a liability during exploration platforming sections. Countless times I intended to do a wall run and ended up running straight up the wall instead or I just wanted to jump forward and Ryu decides to cling to random nearby structures. The levels are fairly uninteresting both to look at and traverse and this is especially bad given the amount of backtracking you need to do. While fighting grunts generally is fun, the military level manages to make even that subpar by dumping you in an area full of enemies with guns so someone is ALWAYS hitting you. The GHOST FISH are absolute abominations and drag chapters 17 and 18 down tremendously. The bosses are typically either frustrating, unfun, short, or some mixture of the 3. Bosses lack any sort of personality and I wouldn't really describe any of them as fun or memorable. The way they seemingly decide when to block your attacks at random and nullify your techniques likes ninpo, flying swallow and izuna drops makes them intrinsically less fun to fight than grunts. I realize most people prefer ninja gaiden black so I poured over all the differences I could find to make sure I wasn't making some big mistake by playing Sigma instead and I can't say I would've liked Black much better. The Rachel missions are pretty lame but they're short and I didn't mind them too much. The ability to fire projectiles mid-jump is good and makes fighting flying enemies and the helicopter/tanks much more bearable. The new burning village chapter was pretty good as well. I also don't really like Rachel that much, I think her outfit looks really stupid and I would've much preferred playing as Ayane. I didn't really dislike the game and as much as I got frustrated, I still had plenty of fun thanks to how good the combat is. I would really like to see a new Ninja Gaiden with at least half the personality and level/boss quality of the DMC games.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor [Completed]
- A wildly fun arcade experience. Star Successor is a big step up from its predecessor with tons of over-the-top setpieces and boss fights making good use of the updated hardware to better convey the original vision. The gameplay is still very fun and the new challenges let it shine much better than before. The story thankfully still makes very little sense but I quite liked how casual the main duo was and it ended up feeling more natural for better or worse. It also helps that the game was about 3 times longer than the first, but still a reasonably short length to keep it a short and sweet experience. My only problem with the game would be that some of the boss fights near the end are too challenging for my tastes. The jump in difficulty especially for the final boss felt pretty unfair. But besides that, good job Treasure.
Jet Set Radio Future [Completed]
- All the fun of the original and more. I'm glad this is the sole game working flawlessly on the xbox emulator so I could enjoy it. The artstyle still looks beautiful today, the gameplay is smooth and improved over the original and the music is super funky with the exception of birthday cake which made me want to tear my hair out every time it came on. The areas are fun to traverse and painting all over the place is still really satisfying. One thing I prefer in the original is the cast of player characters but I do prefer Beat and Gum's new designs so I just alternated between them. The bosses were all pretty fun to fight and made much better use of the game mechanics than in the original though the extendable arm dude got out of his vulnerable state way too fast and the flamethrower chick was hardly even a fight. The bit of voice acting in the game by professor K and gouji is great and really livens things up. The game is just oozing with personality from top to bottom. I don't have many problems with the game, just birthday cake, weak camera control, and the few areas where you can fall down but not die causing you to waste a lot of time going back to where you were.
Metroid Prime 3 [Dropped]
- Didn't play much of it, just the first couple hours. The atmosphere of the first 2 games was gone, the story felt like a star wars cartoon, the frequent motion controls were annoying on mouse and keyboard and the game just generally didn't run well with a lot of stuttering. Maybe it gets better if you play with an actual wiimote and the atmosphere returns later on. Might look into playing it again when it inevitably gets ported to the switch.
Ganbare Goemon 2 [Completed]
- Decent SNES sidescrolling action game. The goemon soul is present but not even half as cool as the N64 game since it felt like a fairly standard sidescroller. The platforming action is alright but can feel pretty unfair at times. The town sections are simple and kinda just make me wish there was a sprint button. The best part of the game is the thematic styling of the stages like the toy castle that look pleasant and distinct. Also kinda sad I couldn't play as Yae. The Goemon Impact parts were very similar to their N64 counterparts and were fairly enjoyable.
Mega Man Zero [Dropped]
- Fun game bogged down by it's frustrating design. Playing as zero and slashing enemies feels great and the game looks good too. The game is extremely short and they very clearly tried to mask this by making your HP as low as possible so you would spend forever dying and retrying. The assist save option in the collection alleviates this for the levels but the low health during boss fights can be extremely frustrating considering how difficult it can be to avoid a lot of their attacks. The stages are less frustrating but still pretty poorly designed and filled with a lot of small unfair obstacles. It's a shame because a lot of the bosses would be pretty fun if you had more leeway healthwise. The final boss in particular is a nightmare and caused me to drop the game. The upgrades are pretty uninteresting compared to classic megaman since all they do is change your damage values against specific bosses with no special effects or anything. The story is weak and uninspired but ciel is cute at least. I'll still play the sequel because I hear this is the worst one by far and I can tell it has the makings of a great game hidden beneath the frustration.
428: Shibuya Scramble [Completed]
- A very very fun journey from start to end. 428 handles the constant switching between the main characters excellently and it makes for a very dynamic and enjoyable story with frequent tone shifts and twists. The story doesn't end up being particularly impactful or anything but it's a ton of fun with a lot of likable characters and good presentation. Osawa's sympathetic parental plights, Tama's scam hi-jinks with Yanagishi and Chiri, Kano's buddy-cop action with Stanley, and Minorikawa's overflowing charisma mesh better than I could've hoped and made for a large variety of quality scenes. At first I was perplexed by the lack of proper mouse support and manual saves but I quickly realized it doesn't really hurt the experience at all. The lack of text speed options did get pretty grating though and honestly the game probably would've been about 2 or 3 hours shorter if I could properly skip through text I've finished reading or scenes I've already viewed. The music is pretty good, particularly when it's bombastic like in Tama's scenes with Yanagishita though the somber tunes in Osawa's story fit very well too. Each story brought something to the table and was enjoyable in its own right, though Achi's could be pretty weak at times with his shonen-ish personality and typical romance scenes. I was very happy with how each character played a significant role in ultimately saving Shibuya, including best boy Minorikawa. I also appreciate how the Keep Outs and bad ends forced me to go through each story together instead of just going through one story at a time in its entirety which helped me get engrossed in the bigger picture and how everyone's actions tied together.
SMT: Nocturne [Completed]
- A unique and very good JRPG mostly carried by its gameplay. Nocturne has cool atmosphere and the process of building both your character and your team of demons to overcome the many challenges is a great time. The story is very very sparse and that makes it incredibly difficult to really sympathize with any of the characters and it makes the neutral choice the obvious one since every other character is stupid. Isamu and Chiaki could've been handled better by making them your party members for a while in the beginning and giving you some insight regarding their pasts and how they lead to their respective Reasons, but as is they are just people you barely know that suddenly go from normal kids to power-obsessed weirdos. Despite the story not really being much to care about, the dialogue is fairly well-written and the NPCs and demons tend to have fun little comments. The presentation during the story scenes is also great and makes the scenes intriguing enough even if the characters are weak. Nocturne has nice difficulty in that as long as you regularly update your team and have a good enough build yourself, you can handle most challenges once you figure out the bosses' gimmicks. Matador is probably the only blatantly unfair thing I came up against in the game, he should've been placed one area later. The game does have some notable gameplay flaws however. The demon fusion not letting you pick the skills you carry over is a huge annoyance and demon negotiation is absolutely random and that is terrible. Thankfully some of those frustrations were alleviated through liberal use of save states.
Atelier Ryza [Dropped]
- Only played for about an hour or so but the beginning was so slow and uninteresting I didn't really want to play any further despite how attractive Ryza is. What little of the combat and alchemy I experienced didn't really give me the idea that I might enjoy it later down the line and the lack of english VO is kind of a downer.
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter [Dropped]
- I thought it was going to be an action RPG or something based on how polarizing it is among the BoF fanbase but I was pretty disappointed when it just ended up being a pretty by-the-books turn based JRPG. Not a fan of the character models either.
Megaman Zero 2 [Completed]
- Big improvement over the first game. Level design and bosses are much more fair and thus the game is a lot more fun than frustrating. The story is better but still nothing really special. It does suck that you have to fight the 3 boss characters from zero 1 again with few changes but thankfully you only have to fight them once each. The new chain weapon is cool but the swinging is kinda janky and it could get pretty annoying when they had you use it to get over spikes. I also miss the jump spin attack I had in zero 1 but I think it's probably relegated to one of the forms. The forms and EX skills are a much better incentive to get people to play the game longer than just jacking up the difficulty but I only ever ended up getting one form since I like to use just the z-saber so I didn't really get to enjoy them much.
Megaman Zero 3 [Completed]
- Best in the series so far. The levels are smoother and more fun than in 1 and 2, there's more boss variety, the cyber elves being split into options and usable items makes them much more interesting, and you actually get some nice upgrades like the double jump and auto-charge. Story still isn't really worth caring about but it was fine. The new tonfa weapon is kind of lame since it doesn't really act differently from the z-saber besides pushing enemies back at the cost of less speed and range. Also the ability to finally skip cutscenes is VERY much appreciated.
Megaman Zero 4 [Dropped]
- They were doing so good with each zero game being better than the one before it but 4 is lame. I appreciate that they tried to go for more gimmicky stages to keep things fresh for the 4th installment but a lot of it just ends up being annoying and the bosses are more similar to the unfair nature of 1 with attacks that are really difficult to dodge in the small space they give you. I generally liked what I saw of the writing in this one more than the others but the humans in the settlement are pretty obnoxious. The changes to the elf system seem cool enough but the weird crafting system feels stupid.
Megaman ZX [Dropped]
- I might just be burnt out on the megaman Z games but the unnecessary shift to metroid-style progression doesn't help. The music's cool and Aile is cute and I get my spinning jump slash back finally but all the downtime and running around between missions and complete lack of difficulty in the early part of the game is just too dull for me. I'm also not a big fan of megaman X so being restricted to basically playing X for the first hour or so was pretty annoying as well as having to change back and forth between robo and human form in the city.
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask [Completed]
- Pretty standard fare for Layton which means it's pretty good. The puzzles are fun and it makes the jump to 3D very well. I like that the story is less sparse than in the original games but it does suffer from an extremely predictable plot twist and a lengthy ruins exploration segment that removes the varied puzzles for some repetitive boulder pushing and avoiding mummies. Overall it was a fun time though.
Touhou Puppet Dance Performance [Dropped]
- Really nicely put together game. The visuals are great, particularly the sprite animations, and the music is good too. Unfortunately aside from a couple bizarre difficulty spikes, the game was extremely braindead easy from what I played of it. I never had to use more than my nazrin's hammer throw for 95% of the fights and the writing is really uninteresting as well so I just don't have the motivation to continue.
Shanghai.EXE Genso Network [Dropped]
- An extremely well-crafted fangame with a lot of love for MMBN. The spritework, gameplay and music are all perfectly reminiscent of the battle network games with its own touhou touch. That being said, the story feels weird to me since the touhou characters are reworked into school kids and it just ends up feeling like a battle network game that just uses touhou designs. I'm certainly not even a big touhou fan but it still bugged me, particularly the inclusion of the writer's original "tsubaki" character which just felt out-of-place with everyone else being a girl from touhou. I enjoyed most of what I played but the difficulty takes a big leap up around the middle starting with the fight with Reisen and the tournament and I can't be bothered to keep struggling against it with how fast you die to the bosses. I got my fill anyhow, especially since it hasn't really been that long since I went through all the battle network and starforce games anyways.
Etrian Odyssey V [Dropped]
- Pretty standard dungeon crawler with some annoying difficulty spikes and slooow grinding. I like the art and character designs as well as the music, and there are some interesting events that arise during your dungeoneering. Unfortunately the game is just too slow for me. Average random encounters take too long, drawing the walls on the map is boring, and characters gain exp far too slowly. There's also not really a story to keep me going or anything.
Glove on Fight [Completed..basically]
- Glove on Fight 2 is clearly a massive step up from this since this one is super barebones, but it's still pretty charming in its simplicity and getting to beat up the chick from Kanon with dejiko was pretty fun.
Kara no Shoujo [Completed]
- KnS handles its 50s murder mystery drama in a mature and compelling manner. The setting feels classic, the music is nice, the characters and their interactions are fun and interesting enough. Reiji is a solid main character and holds up a lot of the maturity with his dry reactions to a lot of the murders, though his lack of emotional reaction toward Toko's condition and kidnapping at the end of the game feels strange and lessens the impact. The story ends up feeling like it's juggling a few too many characters given how short it is and there's the occasional out-of-place sex scene as well, so overall the story feels more lacking than it could've been. The murders and their grotesque imagery do a good job of driving home the depravity of the antagonists and making you want to solve the mystery just as much as Reiji, but the gameplay unfortunately sabotages this with its unnecessarily complicated choice requirements to reach the ending. Having to check the walkthrough at every choice was a pain but it's better than wasting a dozen hours trying different choices. Anyhow, I'm looking forward to seeing the continuation of the story in KnS 2.
Saya no Uta [Completed]
- Horror schlock made to appeal to teenagers. Saya no Uta has an interesting premise, and at the very least it made me want to play to the end and find out what happens, but the writing is subpar, the short length leaves no chance to get attached, and the main characters are completely impossible to feel sympathy for. The most interesting part of the story, Saya's background and the science behind her, is relegated to a very small 5 minute section so they could make more room for sex. The awkward sex scenes are very clearly just there to sell the game to coomers who associate their lust for saya with actual care. Frankly the best part was Koji beating Fuminori with a steel pipe and Ryoko blasting Saya with a 12 gauge Resident Evil-style.
Touhou Luna Nights [Completed]
- A great homage to castlevania with excellent visuals, great music, and a well-implemented timestop mechanic. It's a tad short but at least most of it is high quality. The bosses are fun to fight, though most of them are a tad too easy. The last couple levels are unnaturally difficult compared to the rest of the game which can get annoying. I'm not a big fan of normal attacks costing MP and i think that should've just been relegated to skills. So far this is the only good 2hu game i've played so good job guys.
Nioh 2 [Dropped]
- More like Nioh 1.5, Nioh 2 is generally an improvement over the first game but the difficulty throws a wrench in my enjoyment. I like that I can make my own character this time around since William being a set main character didn't do the first game any favors. The story is a little better but still an uninteresting mix of japanese history and characters you have very little reason to care about. The level design is much better but Nioh 2 retains the problem of lacking enemy variety and you generally fight the same things 20 hours in that you fought in the first 2 or 3 hours. The loot system is still completely unnecessary and decreases the value in exploring the levels. The co-op is practically nonexistant but that's more likely the fault of there being so few people helping others out. The AI companions are some of the most incompetent I've ever seen in a video game and serve absolutely no purpose in anything besides a 1v1 human boss fight. The combat system is still fun at its core, but the enemies are radically unbalanced and do far too much damage. What caused me to drop the game was the process of spending 10 minutes fighting a boss or going through a level without any incident, then dying immediately after making one or two mistakes because every enemy can 2-shot you. A ton of enemies and bosses also happen to have extremely powerful grab attacks which is very annoying considering how poor the telegraphing is on most of the attacks in the game. The difficulty just left me feeling tired even when I pulled through in a desperate situation and I just wasn't having a lot of fun. The weapons, while fun to use, have very large skill trees with very few actual useful skills. The fact that they're still each tied to a different stat is also annoying because it basically means you have to build for about 2 weapon types at most, while in something like dark souls you can switch between many different types of strength or dexterity weapons any time throughout the game. The yokai abilities are cool enough but the snake ability is so powerful there's very little reason to use anything else, especially when a good amount of them have lengthy animations that don't make you invulnerable.
Doom Eternal [Completed]
- Doom Eternal is an improvement on 2016 and probably my favorite Doom game and one of my favorite FPS games overall. All the weapons feel great, there's plenty of enemies to fight, the boss fights are pretty well-designed especially for an FPS. The difficulty is at a constant high with highlights like the slayer gates and marauder fights and it kept my blood pumping throughout the whole game. A lot of people seem to have an issue with the amount of platforming but I find it really fun and satisfying. The areas are much more interesting and fun to traverse than those in 2016, especially with the dashes which greatly improve the momentum. The shortage of ammo at all times keeps the fights hectic and the flow of switching between shooting, glory kills and the chainsaw feels really natural and kept me on my toes. The sword and big punch were awesome too and add to the combat variety, though I would've liked if the normal melee was stronger. The story was serviceable but the cutscenes were entertaining as well as the constant doomguy circlejerk. It was also really surprising when doomguy actually spoke and I enjoyed it quite a bit. While I love collecting upgrades throughout the game, a lot of the upgrades in eternal felt like filler, especially the praetor suit upgrades which is a shame since those are the ones they shower you with nonstop. While I enjoyed stomping everything in 2016, the constant challenge and triumphant feeling of overcoming difficult encounters makes Eternal a real winner for me.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [Completed]
- A big ol' fun adventure for the whole family. TW3 is an impressive game with the sheer amount of voice acted and directed story content it has and the story is certainly compelling. The writing and dialogue is good enough to make up for the fairly lackluster combat and Geralt is a great main character whose neutral stance does a good job of letting the player freely make the choices they want without them clashing too much with an already established character. Even so, the few parts where Geralt actually shows emotion such as the scene where he finally reunites with Ciri are great and really made me feel for him. Geralt and plenty of the other main characters are charismatic and it's fun to see where they go in the story despite my complete lack of experience with the franchise. While there are plenty of highlights in the story like the bloody baron questline and the defense of kaer morhen, the Wild Hunt themselves are pretty underwhelming as the main threat. I would've been fine with them if they kept their masks on and maintained their image as a cool-looking army of ghost knights even if they're absent for a large portion of the game, but revealing that they're a bunch of elves with human motivations just makes them typical uninteresting power-hungry warmongers. As previously mentioned, the combat is lackluster but at least it's simple so it didn't impede my enjoyment of the good parts and it can be fun enough to cut up lower-level enemies. The batman detective vision sections are pretty dull but inoffensive, and I quite enjoyed the parts where I was just riding through the nice-looking environments on roach. Hopefully if they make another witcher game they'll remove the swimming.
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone [Completed]
- A great expansion. The quests are longer and more in-depth than those in the main game and the new characters Olgierd and Vlodomir are interesting and endearing. The party quest with Vlodimir was a ton of fun with all the goofy thing I got to hear from Geralt's voice actor and Vlodomir ended up being a really likable and sympathetic character despite appearing to be a common bandit at first. Olgierd's plight with his wife and the further exposition on Gaunter O'dimm's character were also very compelling and the finale was rock solid. The heist was fun and different from the other things you do in the game but lacked the endearing nature of the party quest. Getting to hear Geralt call someone a cuckhold was fun though. The only thing I disliked about the expansion was spending all that time with Shani, thirstiest maiden in the land, and not getting a single option to tell her I was already in a relationship with Yennefer.
- Fun geemu. I really like the characters, style and music of Arms. The gameplay is fun but I can't really see myself playing a lot of it since the fights all end up feeling pretty same-y despite the variety in arms. I would've liked to see all the great characters in a more traditional fighting game. The difficulty of the AI in the arcade mode is impressive for a modern nintendo game, though Hedlock is stupid and begs the player to cheese the fight. The minigames are fun enough but the AI can't figure out how to play them. The online works surprisingly well for a modern nintendo game as well. I also like all the art you can get in the gallery, plenty of soul. Min min best girl.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine [Completed]
- Another great expansion that surpasses the quality of the main game. While the characters aren't as endearing as in Hearts of Stone, the story is longer and feels more fleshed-out. Toussaint is an excellent area and is surprisingly large to boot. The area music is fantastic and the colorful environment is a pleasure to traverse. The sidequests are great, I particularly enjoyed the one where Geralt has to sit in a bank for hours trying to get the forms he needs to make a withdrawal and the one where he's the subject of a painting with a comical result. Getting my own vineyard was nice even if I didn't spend a lot of time there, it at least gave me something to spend my money on. Participating in the knight competition was also very cool even if a tad too easy and it's nice they added a new mutation system to help with unnecessary skill points. The main quest is very eventful and compelling, particularly the fantastical fairy tale segment and the vampire action. While the duchess and the villain were fairly unlikable, Regis, Detlaff and the knights of Toussaint made up for it with their likable personalities and sympathetic plights. I also quite liked how Blood and Wine works as a conclusion to the game overall with Geralt finally getting to happily live in peace with Yennefer in his own comfy vineyard.
Shenmue III [Dropped]
- I didn't want to drop it but I'm not going to force myself through a game I'm not big on just because of what series it's from. Shenmue III is unfortunately stuck in a spot where it's desperately trying to recapture the soul of the original which it simply can't because it's not a dreamcast game. Shenmue I and II had an intrinsic soul thanks to their pushing the limits of the dreamcast's power with a semi-realistic artstyle and lovingly crafted environments. Shenmue III retains all of the clunky aspects of the original games but lacks the soul that would make up for the more shoddy aspects and even turn them around and make them endearing. The artstyle has an uncanny cartoon-y look to it that is generally unpleasant to look at for every character but shenhua and the environments are reminiscent of unreal engine tech demos. The combat somehow feels worse than the original games with a serious lack of impact on the hits like every opponent is a human-shaped sandbag. Also for some reason you lose health for running which is a poor decision. What really pushed me to finally drop it was learning that the game does not even conclude the Shenmue story which is ridiculous even if the series was initially stated to have like 6 parts, because Yu Suzuki and his team should've known that managing to put out this game was a miracle in and of itself. I fear that conclusion will never come now. If I can praise the game for one thing, it's that they managed to get Ryo's original voice back and he somehow sounds exactly the same which is a nice walk down memory lane.
Resident Evil 3 Remake [Completed]
- Good game but fairly disappointing as far as remakes go. Compared to RE2, there's much less content and the more action-oriented nature dampens the survival horror aspect just like the original. That being said, the gameplay is still very enjoyable, particularly the revamped dodge mechanic which is actually reliable enough to use now. The game does suffer from not having a "main" area to explore like RE1's mansion and RE2's RPD but the areas are still well-designed with the exception of the clock tower area which they removed even though it was the part I was most looking forward to. I would've liked for them to expand the raccoon city streets substantially. Nemesis could have been a great step up from Mr.X if he actually followed you through areas as you completed them but instead he's mostly just relegated to setpieces and boss fights. To be fair, the boss fights are good but he could've been implemented much better. Jill and Carlos are handled pretty well but Nicholai is a weak villain and I think they should've just left the villainy to Nemesis. Fighting hunter betas as Carlos was a pain in the butt since they can use their one-hit kill when I'm at full health and his weapons can't handle them very well which was extremely annoying. Overall the game really doesn't feel like it was crafted with half as much love as RE2make, but it was still enjoyable enough.
Acceleration of Suguri 2 [Dropped]
- Enjoyable enough when playing with a friend because the fights are a whacky mess, though I don't really have an interest in playing the story. Also I really dig the main menu.
Doom 64 [Completed]
- Fun classic doom action. Doom 64 has great levels with fun action and nice atmosphere. It's unfortunate there's not really any new weapons to play around with besides the red laser thing I barely got to use, but the original arsenal is still enough to have plenty of fun. The final boss was terrible with her homing missiles but besides that, the difficulty is generally pretty well-balanced and I hardly ever got frustrated. There was a tad too much of pulling switches then having to look for what door opened or what platform dropped and the like but most of the puzzles were well-done. Also I would've liked if they added mouselook considering it's a modern PC release and it's a given in fanmade versions of Doom 1 and 2, but the classic auto aim style wasn't too bad.
Tekken 7 [Completed..basically]
- Pretty fun. As far as 3D fighters go, I prefer soul calibur and DoA but Tekken has it's own charm with its large roster and customization options. The music's pretty bad but the game looks good and the treasure hunt mode is pretty fun. Online is pretty solid too. Only thing I'm not really a fan of is the skin textures which have an odd plastic look to them.
Kara no Shoujo: The Second Episode [Completed]
- I was weary of KnS 2 to begin with due to the first couple hours consisting mainly of incredibly dull slice-of-life high schooler antics. Thankfully it serves the purpose of introducing a lot of the primary players in the main mystery and afterwords we get right back to the main appeal of Kara no Shoujo: The detective drama starring a mature tired adult. KnS 2 is a straight upgrade from the first game thanks to it's beautiful art, tone-setting music and focus on a single larger overarching mystery with a complex string of branching sub-mysteries that tie into it. The first game suffered from being rather short and still splitting its focus between 2 cases and antagonists even if they did tie into each other, while KnS 2 is much longer and more focused. While Reiji is a great protagonist, it's nice that the game regularly switches perspectives to different characters like Ayato for a little bit just as a change of pace since the game is so lengthy. It was a bit disappointing that Uozumi and Takashiro are pretty much absent from KnS 2 but I do like Yaginuma having a larger presence since his antagonistic-yet-competent-and-understanding demeanor contrasts well with Reiji and makes for some entertaining scenes. The new side characters like Toji and the takoyaki merchant are great additions as well. Aside from the intro, the game proceeds at a good pace and the cool 50s detective drama atmosphere makes up for the slower parts. The mystery is complex with enough bits and pieces to keep you from figuring out everything for 90% of the story, though it can spend a bit too much time on blood type analysis. KnS 2 also ends very well with a cathartic but depressing conclusion reminiscent of Max Payne 2. While a part of me would've liked for the story to be a bit more connected to the first game, I appreciate that it's set on the backburner as a closed case much like the search for Toko.
Sega Bass Fishing [Dropped]
- It has some dreamcast soul and the process of actually reeling in fish is pretty fun but actually getting them to bite is so inconsistent that it saps out a lot of the fun. The controls are pretty clunky as well, particularly switching between reeling and moving the rod. Some variation in the music would've helped as well.
Touhou 15.5 [Dropped]
- I had decently high hopes for a 2hu fighting game and the gameplay seems solid enough but the single player content sucks and I don't want to go through the hassle of port forwarding for multiplayer. The spritework is great and the music is good as well. The fighting is interesting enough with plenty of attack variety but I would've preferred if you had free range movement rather than jumping up and down. The story mode has a very simplistic story with short and uninteresting character interactions and the fights all play out the same way with one braindead 1st round that has no reason to exist since it lasts 5 seconds and a second round where the opponent uses one or 2 attacks over and over again while the fight is artificially extended by a shield that removes the counter-plays usually seen in fighting games. I couldn't find a way to consistently block bullets so the opponents would frequently fill the screen with bullets that I had no way of effectively dealing with in the later stories. Maybe I was just missing something but I pressed all the button combinations and the game has no tutorial so I don't feel I can be blamed for that. I was told dashing would make me invulnerable but it didn't seem to work 80% of the time.
Resident Evil Resistance [Completed..basically]
- Can't say I really expected much out of this tacked-on multiplayer mode but I definitely wasn't impressed. There might be some fun to be had if you play with friends or get into a room with people of a similar skill level, but there are so few players I got stuck in a match with experienced players that sped through the level while knowing the location of every objective and completely nullifying the threat of the mastermind. The matchmaking itself also took like 5 minutes and was awful. The big damage numbers when you shoot stuff is also bad. Same with the lack of the dodge mechanic from the main game. Yeaaaaaah not a great time.
Animal Crossing New Horizons [Completed]
- Exactly what you'd expect from animal crossing I guess. It looks nice and the island atmosphere is super cozy. As always I really like collecting fossils and fishing. I'm not a fan of the very slow drip-feed of content and the easter event was terrible. I like the crafting for decorations and such but having to constantly craft replacement tools is nothing but a waste of time. I like the idea of completing certain objectives to increase the island ranking but being told to plant more flowers every day for a week was very boring. The game lacks some pretty obvious QoL features like crafting multiple objects at a time and skipping dialogue you've heard dozens of times. The online system is very archaic but I didn't use it too much. I might have just gotten some bad villagers but my villagers never really had anything interesting to say, especially the two jock types who were extremely one-note. Besides the gathering of bugs, fossils, and fish, there's not really much to do so it feels pretty barebones despite knowing that you're really supposed to just play it for half an hour each day. It may just be nostalgia but I feel like I got a more complete package from wild world on the DS.
Half-Life: Alyx [Completed]
- Best game I've played all year and the best VR game period. Alyx is more of a survival horror game than an FPS but it melds the two perfectly. The immersion of VR enhances everything from shootouts to exploration to puzzles to scavenging for ammo and resins. It doesn't rely on gimmicks, and instead has great level design and a large variety of environments, setpieces and confrontations. The gravity gloves are fantastic additions that make collecting items feel great and keeps the annoying height issues surrounding picking things up to a minimum while still feeling natural. Weapons are satisfying to fire, upgrades feel substantial and the game is short enough that only having 3 weapons doesn't get dull. The banter is rarely funny but it's endearing and generally appears at the right times. The atmosphere of the levels is great, particularly sneaking around Jeff and the wild ride in the finale. The ending is great and takes the franchise in a very interesting direction. The only issues I really had with the game are that there's a tad too many puzzles, sneaking around barnacles is annoying without really having a good grasp of how wide your "body" is, and not really the game but my headset's tracking could get a bit wonky. Can't wait for Half Life 3.
- I'm guessing this is a lot better with an index. Boneworks was physically uncomfortable for me, not because of the motion but because there's no toggle for holding items and weapons so I was stuck holding 2 trigger buttons on one and sometimes both controllers for extended periods of time which was hard on the hands. The physics are impressive but I spent more time struggling with them than being immersed. The melee combat felt awful and the combat encounters were generally bland. The levels overall didn't really have much spark to them but the music was great.
Skyrim VR [Dropped]
- It's nice that you can play the entirety of skyrim in VR, and it's a pretty cool experience for a while. Unfortunately, once the novelty wears off you realize it's just your 10th skyrim playthrough with some slightly more entertaining combat. The novelty wears off relatively faster than with other VR games since it had the bare minimum adjustments made to make it VR and there are very few ways to interact with the world. You even have to mod the game just to see your own body when you look down.
Kid Icarus Uprising [Completed]
- Very well-made game kinda let down by the fact that it's on the 3DS. The controls are fine for the air battles but are hard on the hands for the ground battles and I just really don't like controlling the camera with the touchscreen especially since I don't have a stylus. The game also would've benefited from a dodge/dash button instead of having it rely on sudden analog stick movements. The small screen could also get pretty cluttered at times. Aside from that, the game has a lot of visually appealing and energetic levels with fun dialogue and charming characters. The character models look quite good for a 3DS game and the character designs are varied and memorable. The music is quite good as well. Even though the game was relatively short, it does kind of feel a bit padded out with some levels not really bringing anything interesting to the table. The bosses, while varied and generally well-thought-out, die surprisingly fast so they don't really stick in the mind. I would like to see a sequel on the switch or something with improved controls that gives the cast more time to shine since a few characters like phosphora and pyron barely got to appear.
Beyond Good & Evil [Completed]
- I was seriously impressed that Ubisoft of all companies managed to make something this good once upon a time. BGE has a surprisingly great soundtrack, fun gameplay, smooth setpieces, likable characters, well-written dialogue, and a compelling story. Collecting pearls is enjoyable, especially since they provide substantial upgrades, are very necessary for progression, and rarely require going through repeated or uninteresting content. Taking pictures of animals is also fun since the creatures are pretty unique and it gives you pearls. The combat is simple and most of the game is pretty easy to breeze through but killing enemies feels good enough to make up for the lack of difficulty. The stealth sections require more thought and balance out the braindead nature of the combat. The game has a nice enough artstyle for a gamecube game but could use a remaster. There were some frequent audio bugs where voice lines would overlap or cut each other off. The only other issues would be the game not really telling you need to get a flight stabilizer before the domz would attack the lighthouse, the last phase of the final boss being a big pain in the butt, a tad too many stealth sections, and the game ending on a cliffhanger that probably won't be resolved any time soon.
Panzer Dragoon [Completed]
- A very short, pretty cool rail shooter. The 3D saturn graphics have a neat look to them and the stages are atmospheric. The soundtrack is also pretty good but it can be hard to hear over all the shooting. The story is simple and not very interesting and the intro cutscene goes on for too long but the dragon and rider designs are good. The gameplay is pretty standard fare for a rail shooter, though it's cool that you can rotate 360 degrees at all times. I'm never a fan of movement being tied to aim but it's only really an issue in the tighter spaces. I don't really have a problem with the length since I didn't pay for it but I do feel they ramped up the difficulty to compensate for it and that can get annoying.
Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei [Completed]
- A big improvement over the original in every way. Zwei's gameplay is smoother with faster shots, easier movement and a better camera. The areas are more visually interesting and the music is great. The story is still pretty simple but it's much better than the first one and easier to follow and care about as well. It's also cool how they incorporate some ground sections for variety. The difficulty feels more fair in this one though the last couple levels can be a pain to get through in one go. Also the final boss fight is awesome. Sega just can't stop pumping out the soul.
Final Fantasy VII Remake [Completed]
- A really good game that really likes to waste my time. FF7R has great presentation with some nice-looking areas and great music. While the graphics are generally good, there are some muddy textures that stand out and a lot of background characters look poor next to the main crew. The combat is some of the best I've ever seen in a JRPG though I would've liked at least some invincibility on the roll and some encounters just don't take into account that Barret might not be equipped with a ranged weapon. The difficulty is consistently challenging enough to make you consider enemy weaknesses and strategies without being frustrating. The voice-acting is pretty good overall but some actors were lacking and the dialogue mostly wasn't anything particularly special. The new renditions of the original characters are handled very well and I didn't have a problem with any of them. My biggest issue with the game is that it is often padded out with uninteresting or tedious content just so they can say it's the length of a full JRPG. The retread of the sewers in particular was mind-numbing and a lot of sections and some boss fights just go on for far too long. The game also likes to force me to slow down and slowly slide through tight spaces to hide loading times which became infuriating since it happened every 5 minutes or so. The side quests, while not really interesting storywise, often have unique combat encounters and offer substantial enough rewards to make them worth doing. The materia and weapon upgrade systems make customizing characters fun and it's always a really pleasant feeling when I find a new weapon since they're not just iterative number upgrades. The story is pretty solid and it does a good job of covering the midgar events from the original with a fresh take. I'm glad some of the goofier aspects of the original like the honeybee inn, the gym and the hellhouse enemy are still in and even expanded upon to make them even more ridiculous. The time ghost stuff was pretty annoying because for the majority of the game they do nothing to change the story besides awkwardly flying around random scenes and removing agency from the characters in scenes like cloud failing to stop shinra from dropping the plate or cloud saving aerith from the shinra soldiers at the church. Thankfully they're building up to something interesting at least in the coming sequels which I can only hope is handled well. The finale stretches on a tad too long but the final boss fight with sephiroth is pretty cool.
- I really enjoyed the prologue but I had to jump through so many hoops to switch discs only to be met with frequent screen flickering and an awful ear-destroying audio bug so I figure I'll just watch a playthrough at this point before I go mad.
Umihara Kawase Shun [Completed]
- Excellent platforming gameplay, a great visual style that evokes a nostalgic feeling, comfy music, what more could you ask for? I suppose my only issue would be that some doors are a massive pain to get to and some stages require using the rocket jump which is really tough to pull off. I also prefer Sayonara's allowing you to restart stages without any limits but Shun's lives and continues are generous enough.
God of War 2018 [Completed]
- I was pretty down on this game to begin with but it ended up growing on me as I progressed and got more combat options. The gameplay is pretty solid and less simplistic than the original games with meaty hits and pretty frantic fights. Atreus is actually really useful in fights which I appreciate and the boss fights are fun in addition to being cinematic. While the gameplay was very solid, I do think it gets kind of stale in the latter parts and I think it could've used more weapon variety, enemy variety or something else to keep help keep it fresh. The puzzle rooms actually weren't bad and they were generally fun to solve, but the uncharted-like climbing segments could've been culled a bit. The menus were a hassle to navigate and the crafting/stat system seemed kind of superfluous. I didn't end up going for any of the side content since I could tell I would end up getting burnt out on the gameplay but as a result I barely got enough stats to unlock any skills with stat requirements. Though I ended up spending a huge amount of my exp on Atreus since it was just a straight upgrade in combat with pretty much no trade-off. The story is pretty alright. The setting is cool but the plot is nothing special. There are a lot of cool setpieces throughout the story and getting the blades of chaos was real cool. I do think you go all over the place too much and all the back and forth kinda hurts the feeling of progress. The ending was good, if only for the sentimental tossing of the ashes. The end reveals of Atreus being Loki and Faye being a giant who knew everything didn't really have any impact for me. Daddy Kratos is a big improvement over angry mash-square man and it's nice seeing him become more human as he deals with taking care of a kid. Atreus constantly fluctuated between "Alright" and "Insufferable". They clearly wanted him to go through phases to show development over the course of the game but subtlety is tossed out the window when he gets moody or arrogant and has a line of dialogue every 10 seconds to remind you how moody or arrogant he is. The section where he finds out he's a god and becomes arrogant was positively infuriating and the speed at which he changes from normal to arrogant and back to normal is ridiculous. The visuals were very nice and I really appreciated the lack of loading screens as well as the scarcity of "fake loading screens" where they make you slowly move through tight spaces or force you to walk to hide loading. Overall, pretty good game.
Cardfight Vanguard Zero [Completed]
- I've been waiting a long time for the ability to play vanguard online officially in english with automated systems but this is more than a little disappointing. The rules are obnoxiously simplified to appeal to mobage players and a ton of the depth is removed thanks to the over-simplification of the guard system and as a result, player choice is greatly reduced. There's also not much deck variety available and that's limited by having to roll the gacha to construct decks. This wouldn't be so bad if you could pick which clans you want to roll for but every gacha has cards from every clan which makes building specific decks a pain. While it's nostalgic to go through the original story in the story mode, the presentation is seriously barebones with poorly-animated sprites and low-quality clips from the show with japanese audio and no subs. I guess I'll be waiting a while longer for a better client.
Kingdom under Fire: The Crusaders [Dropped]
- I have to respect this game for feeling like it was made by some fat 20-something year old guy in the 90s who loves DnD and metal and it seems really cool for it's time. The hybrid of action and RTS gameplay is interesting, the music is pretty cool and the story, while uninspired, feels genuine. I completed Gerald's story but the RTS aspect of the gameplay is just not for me, especially with the targeting line getting stuck on every nearby enemy in the line of sight so when it gets more difficult I'm sure I'll just get frustrated. I quite liked Gerald as a main character too, especially his weird chewing animation in the cutscenes and his voice acting when he goes ballistic on the orcs. The port is also not perfect with plenty of odd audio mixing problems and the inability to alt tab to desktop. The strangest thing..was that whenever a character would say "Patriarch" that word alone would be cut out of the voice line. But yeah, cool soulful OG xbox game, just not really my cup of tea.
Xenoblade 2: Torna - The Golden Country [Dropped]
- Really unfortunate, the decision they made for this one. The combat system is a slight improvement over the main game and the music is great. Addam is a fun character and Lora's at least more compelling than Rex. The story up until the point I played 8 hours in was pretty average and I can't really say I was invested but the character interactions were nice enough and it was cool seeing Jin before he went down the villain path. Unfortunately where Torna takes a big dive is the awful community system and frankly I didn't want to waste a big chunk of my time doing MMO-tier fetch quests with dull NPC interactions just to proceed in the story. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was just getting to level 2 which took a decent amount of time in itself, but after hearing I would have to reach level 4 to finish the story, I lost all interest.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered [Completed]
- Admittedly it's not the 10/10 I masterpiece I remember but I think I was just overcome by the finale the first time which is still a 10/10 finale. The combat is still a blast for the most part and it's really fun to bust up enemies with the fist and sword. Unfortunately there's not a lot of use for the other weapons besides the enemies specifically designed for them but I suppose that's not too different from most action games. The only such case that annoys me is the spike enemies that require use of the whip because they are boring and tedious to deal with every time. Some encounters can end up with way too much flashy junk onscreen at one time and that can make avoiding enemy attacks and hearing audio cues more difficult than it should be. Using unite guts to counter and unite spring to dodge feels really good but some attacks that feel like they should be blockable with unite guts just aren't for some reason and that trial-and-error process can be really annoying. The camera is generally fine but sometimes it's hard to have a good balance where you're not either too zoomed out to keep track of your character and enemy telegraphs or too zoomed in to keep the enemies onscreen. While TW101 tends to do a good job keeping the gameplay fresh with variety, Kamiya's obsession with blending genres is at its worst and the various shmup sections and parts where you control the virgin victory are awful. The punchout parts were still great, however. The story, aside from Luka being a brat, is great with a bunch of likable characters, fun interactions and some of the best voice acting in the industry. Wonder Red in particular is a fantastic main character who's really fun to follow. The cutscenes can be a bit long-winded sometimes but the overall package is an absolute joy to experience even a second time. The QTE sequences are also awesome and do a good job punctuating the end of each chapter. The remaster itself is done well enough but they clearly didn't bother updating a lot of the assets and the models/textures that already looked pretty bad on the wii u look worse when blown up to a higher resolution. I'm just glad it's not trapped on the wii u anymore. I'm sure this mostly sounds negative but it's still a fantastic game and one of the best I've (re)played this year.
Metal Slug [Completed]
- This was a blast. Great sprite art and satisfying action and it's really quick-paced. Of course it was really short since they don't expect you to play with unlimited "coins" but I had my fun so whatevs. The co-op is some tasty icing on the cake and the credits sequence was full to the brim with soul. Can't wait to play the others.
Yakuza 3 Remastered [Dropped]
- Even though I'm generally tired of the yakuza formula, I was interested in playing 3 for the new environment. For what it's worth, I did enjoy the first few chapters in Okinawa with the refreshing island atmosphere and the chance to see Kiryu as a father figure doing what he truly wanted to do rather than just being some confused problem solver fumbling around in some greater crisis. Unfortunately that's quickly what it returns to being since they decide to toss me back into kamurocho for the 20th time for over half the game. Even running around doing the substories which is usually the biggest appeal of these games was underwhelming thanks to the constant dull random battles and the substories themselves all feeling rather samey like kiryu having to fill in for a missing movie actor or a couple working together to scam him with some convoluted plot. The chase segments, while relatively sparse, are annoying. The combat is much worse than I remember from Yakuza 4 with enemies constantly blocking all the time, heat moves being mostly useless, and my options for attack being pretty much limited to sidestepping behind opponents constantly to get off a decent combo. The graphics outside the big cutscenes have also aged very poorly with a lot of NPC faces looking absolutely atrocious. The main plot was decent but not enough to make up for the rest of the disappointing aspects.
Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.8 Matsuribayashi [Completed]
- Matsuribayashi is a great ending for the series that promptly ties up every conflict and provides a lot of emotional payoff after the long journey. Overall, it's not as impactful as the other chapters since it's an all-around happy ending and the most hard-hitting parts of the other chapters were the deaths and failures of the main characters. However, the victories of the characters that have suffered in so many different scenarios feel very fun and well-deserved and I could feel the creator having a good time as he finally gave them some sixes on every dice roll. That's not to say there's not any tension, the conflict very much feels like its against overwhelming odds which makes their victories all the sweeter. The heroic, almost cartoonishly so, return of Akasaka in particular was very exciting and uplifting. Even Hanyuu, whom I was pretty annoyed with previously due to her pessimistic attitude, had a great turnaround and fit in with the rest of the cast perfectly. Takano is developed very well after appearing to be a saturday morning cartoon villain who just wanted to be god in chapter 7 and I genuinely felt bad for her throughout a lot of the story. I was happy that most of the main characters got their shining moments throughout the final chapter but Rena and Keiichi felt like they were sidelined a tad too much. Mion being propped up as a great leader was great but it was a bit of a jarring turnaround after she was so often shown to be a weak normal girl in most of the other chapters. I was intrigued by the "gameplay" aspect in the earlier part of the game but there's not really any choices to be made aside from the one specific combination that leads to the secret ending so it sadly pales in comparison to the ludo of Umineko Ch.8's mystery deduction. The music is still fantastic and amplifies the impact of every scene dramatically. I still prefer Umineko overall but Higurashi was an excellent emotional rollercoaster and I'm very pleased with Ryukishi's ending.
Sakura Wars [Completed]
- A very charming game that holds up surprisingly well. The presentation is very well-done with a lot of nice-looking anime sprites, cgs and cutscenes. The character designs are all pretty nice and distinct and the voice acting is plentiful and good. The story is pretty cliche but the 90s saturn charm makes it really endearing. There are only a few groan-worthy parts like Iris being an annoying kid in her chapter and Sumire/Kanna's chapter making you go through pretty much the same scenario twice in a row with zero self-awareness regarding how identical they are. Aside from that, the story is fine enough and proceeds at a surprisingly rapid pace. The quick-response choices were fun as well and spruced up conversations. I honestly think the game could've used a few more laid-back parts where you can go around and view SoL scenes to let the girls connect with eachother more. I was pretty pleased with how much unique dialogue Sumire got since I focused on her throughout the game but Sakura felt unnaturally minor despite being the titular character. The many minigames I got to play throughout the story were also fun little diversions that added to the soul. The strategy gameplay was pretty simple throughout but the animations were good and it was nice that it allowed me to speed up movement. Also the theme song is ballin'.
Daytona USA [Completed..basically]
- The music's fun and the tracks look nice for its time. The gameplay is alright but I'm not a fan of how the drifting feels.
Sonic 3D Blast [Dropped]
- I quite like the aesthetic and the music is good as expected of sonic. However the 3D aspect brings a lot of depth perception issues so the game just isn't really that fun with all the chasing of small animals and missing because it's difficult to judge distance.
Bulk Slash [Completed]
- Very neat saturn game. Bulk Slash has soul coming out the ears with its low poly aesthetic, solid soundtrack and seamless integration of the co-pilot's anime face popping up on the screen all the time. The combat is decent but the controls take a bit to get used to. The levels are all fairly distinct in terms of design and objectives and the boss fights are pretty fun too. Difficulty is pretty low throughout but that was fine for the style of the game. Couldn't understand the story since it was all in japanese but it didn't seem to matter until the ending anyways and it doesn't seem very complex.
Silhouette Mirage [Dropped]
- Treasure's presentation is charming as always and the color gimmick makes for an interesting mechanic but it also makes the gameplay pretty annoying. The shots don't really feel good and the color system requires constantly trying to stay on one side of the enemies or going through a lengthy color-switching animation just to mash the shot button with no other mechanical changes besides hitting or not hitting.
Virtua Cop [Dropped]
- Incredibly easy to the point of being dull. I'm guessing the gameplay would actually be pretty fun if I had a light gun accessory but I do not. At least the voice acting is funny.
Burning Rangers [Completed]
- This game's super cool. The premise is cool and original, the character designs are great, the music is cheesy yet catchy. The gameplay is pretty clunky due to the limitations of 3D on the saturn but it still manages to be fairly enjoyable. Shooting out fires is fun but the aiming is a hassle, jumping feels satisfying but not nearly smooth enough for the platforming they want you to do. Hearing the explosions coming and quickly jumping out of the way isn't difficult at all but it feels cool, and rescuing people while your character comforts them makes you feel like a real firefighter. It's pretty easy to lose your bearings in the game but thankfully the directional voice system is usually accurate enough to keep you on track. Overall the game is pretty easy and the bosses tend to be pretty simple on top of the whole game being like an hour long, but it has plenty of soul to make it an enjoyable experience. The voice acting and story aren't the best but they're endearing and have a classic cartoon feeling to them. Also Tillias is really cute.
Guardian Heroes [Dropped]
- This game's actually pretty fun for the most part. Juggling enemies is satisfying, especially as Ginjirou and the action is really frantic and lively. I got to the end of 2 playthroughs, one as Ginjirou and one as Han and the endgame levels really just kill the fun with the tanky enemies becoming a wall of death forcing you to just use your safest moves over and over again to slowly chip away at their health.
Metal Slug 2 [Completed]
- Still plenty of fun. I prefer the 1st game cuz I wasn't a big fan of 2's egypt level/boss and the credit sequence was significantly worse but it was still a blast to go through and I like the girl characters they added. Also the laser weapon and shift to ALIENS was cool.
- From a gameplay perspective this is probably the worst game I've ever played. I thought it wouldn't bother me since I play so many musous but this is the most monotonous combat I have ever seen and it feels awful. The story and tone are great and all but frankly I don't think it's worth 10 hours of that.
Forza Horizon 4 [Dropped]
- Not a fan of realistic racing games but it came with the xbone so I figured I'd give it a go. It looks great and it has a good sense of speed when you get above 80mph or so, but having to slow down so much for turns is a massive annoyance. I'm really not sure what anyone finds fun about spinning out the moment you try to make a minor turn at high speeds, isn't it the point of a racing game to have fun going fast?
Panzer Dragoon Orta [Completed]
- Even better than Zwei, Orta retains the fantastic setting, visuals and music from the prior games while developing the gameplay in a fun and natural way. The dragon forms make the gameplay far more involved and complex with just a simple button press and the gliding is a great way to make the movement and positioning feel less restrictive which is nice in a rail-shooter. The levels are all distinct and difficult while rarely feeling unfair and even the story was more developed this time around. While the story still wasn't particularly impactful, it at least gave me some characters to recognize and care about this time around and I quite like the designs of both Orta and the antagonist. Too bad panzer dragoon's dead.
Ninja Gaiden 2 [Dropped]
- I was pretty happy with this sequel to begin with and I thought it was better than sigma for a while. Unfortunately 2 is plagued with some of the worst bosses in an action game, some annoying enemies with random hitstun resistance and high-damage unblockable throws with nonexistant telegraphing, and an overabundance of repetitive combat scenarios with relatively little enemy variety. I was annoyed at the platforming sections in sigma so I was initially pleased that they toned it down and focused more on action but without non-combat sections to keep things varied and with the increased enemy count in every encounter, the constant fighting gets very tiring. To its credit, the fighting is generally more fun than in sigma thanks to the enjoyable new weapons and the UTs so it could've been great. The checkpoints at the start of boss battles and new episodes are also a great addition. The story is also just as weak as sigma's but at least Sonia has some nice bazonkas.
Metal Slug 3 [Completed]
- More of the wild fun expected from a Metal Slug game. All the pros and cons of the others are still present but 3 has the most enjoyable levels yet and the best music as well. It was really cool how you spend the last level saving your favorite character in a constantly escalating alien battle. The fat status effect was an odd inclusion since it rarely pops up and the credits sequence still isn't as good as the first game's and those are my only real complaints.
- Decent cute little game. I like the artstyle and the movement is surprisingly enjoyable. The dialogue is okay but it does get a little too "lol so quirky" for me with its overly simplistic delivery and purposely incorrect grammar. The music was pretty nice as well and while the difficulty is generally nonexistant, the minigames and puzzles are still enjoyable. My only real gripe with the gameplay is that some parts of boss fights (the saws on the first boss not giving any sign that they'll pause, mr.sunshine shooting out popcorn way too fast in the final chase) could be annoying compared to the laidback nature of the rest of the game.
Yoku's Island Express [Completed]
- The pinball gimmick was pretty cool and made moving around the world plenty of fun. The visuals are real nice and the music is pleasant, if forgettable. The setting feels pretty generic as far as nature-focused fantasy settings go and none of the story/characters are particularly interesting even though they try to give you a lore dump at one point. While I had plenty of fun over the course of the game, the ending is totally underwhelming with a lame twist and anticlimactic music. I don't really have any complaints about the rest of the game except that the pinball foundation for the gameplay means there's a lot of trial and error that can really put a damper on important parts like boss fights.
Metal Slug 4 [Completed]
- Fun time as expected of metal slug. Nadia's cute and the difficulty feels more fair in this one but it was also a less memorable experience overall. After the wild escalation in 3's ending, 4's robot twist was pretty underwhelming and the reduced difficulty wasn't compensated for with more content so it ended up being even shorter than normal. The music in the last stage was great and it was still fun for what it was.
Jet Force Gemini [Dropped]
- Vela has a cute design but the gameplay has not aged well at all.
Perfect Dark [Dropped]
- Shooting sucks and I somehow failed the mission because I accidentally put a hacking device on the side of a computer instead of the front.
Fable Anniversary [Dropped]
- Ugly artstyle, poorly animated cutscenes, uninteresting setting, lame combat and what appears to be a weak morality system.
Ace Combat 6 [Completed]
- Pretty alright as far as ace combat goes. 6 completely falls flat from a story perspective with uninteresting characters, awkward writing, middling voice acting, poor facial animations, and a ridiculous overuse of the line "dance with the angels" to a cringey degree. From a gameplay standpoint it's good, given that it's ace combat. The first half or so places a bit too much focus on ground targets which can get pretty dull but it picks up later with more mission variety. While the game obviously doesn't look as good as 7, it still looks great and the missile trails in particular look very cool during the larger dogfights. My favorite aspect of 6 is that your team is actually competent and helpful and you can tell they're fighting alongside you all the time. While the story and mission dialogue isn't good in general, Garuda 2 is a good wingman and I did feel for him when he revealed his wife and daughter died during the war. The music was still good, but unmemorable by ace combat standards aside from Liberation of Gracemeria.
Burnout Paradise Remastered [Completed..basically]
- This game's a blast. Feels great just to drive around the city breaking through shortcuts and busting down billboards. The different missions are fun but get repetitive fairly quickly. I got a B rank license and I probably would've felt compelled to go further except it resets the mission completion every time you get a new license which really demotivated me. Taking down other cars also feels great, especially online. Also I'm sick of hearing paradise city, I don't care if it matches the game make it stop.
Shin Megami Tensei IV [Dropped]
- I got 12 hours in and fail to see the appeal. The gameplay is more or less the same as Nocturne but far less satisfying since there are no 3D models or animations, meaning no matter how many demons you fuse they may as well just be a list of abilities. The gameplay also feels less balanced than Nocturne with its stupidly difficult intro dungeon followed by most things just being a cakewalk. I did like some of the additions like using app points to get upgrades for the protagonist and some variability through the use of equipment as well as thankfully being able to choose which skills to inherit in demon fusion. I appreciate the stronger focus on story but it still fails to be compelling from what I experienced and it just seems to be the standard SMT song and dance of "ruined civilization needs to be directed by GOD, SATAN or FENCE-SITTERS" with shallow characters. Demon negotiation is just as awful as ever but even more annoying now that I can't abuse save-states like in Nocturne to minimize frustration. SMT4 also feels like a step down aesthetically from Nocturne with less atmospheric areas and generally lame new demon designs. My biggest complaint is the complete lack of direction in Tokyo. Encouraging exploration is all well and good but Tokyo manages to be both uninteresting to explore and unnecessarily convoluted. Paths you can walk on are hard to tell apart from those you can't, areas aren't labeled so you have to enter them to remember what they were, repetitive enemy encounters are around every corner, and most areas just consist of NPCs telling you you're not allowed there with no implication of what you need to do to proceed. I really don't have the patience for it.
Panzer Dragoon Saga [Completed]
- A very unique and interesting JRPG. Saga follows a fairly standard revenge plot for most of the game but it carries the excellent atmosphere, setting, art direction and music that comes with being a panzer dragoon game and the story becomes more nuanced later on. The game is really short for a JRPG and well-paced aside from a couple areas that were a tad longer than they should've been. There are few characters but they're pretty likable thanks to the well-written dialogue and solid voice acting for such an old game. I was confused by the language swap in the beginning for a while but the explanation for it in the ending retroactively made it awesome. Edge is pretty standard for a JRPG MC but he tends to have good interactions with the other characters, especially Azel and Paet. The 3D models are pretty outdated but they are well-animated which, in conjunction with the well-done voice acting, makes the cutscenes still feel natural and intriguing despite the low-fidelity models. The areas, enemies and dragons look great thanks to the stellar art direction and flying around on the dragon is way cooler than running around like a normal JRPG. Saga does have an issue with certain spots not really guiding you on where to go next and others guiding you too much (i.e blasting open a hole in the floor then having Azel tell you you can go down now). I like the battle system a lot thanks to how fresh it is compared to other JRPG systems and how well it implements the style of normal panzer dragoon gameplay. There are a lot of battles that are so easy they might as well have just given me the EXP and saved me some time, but it was just a minor annoyance made up for by the cool boss fights.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary [Completed]
- A shining display of awful level design. It's cool and all seeing the origin of Halo but actually playing the game is pretty painful. The shooting is alright and the final mission was fun. Some levels are more bearable than others but a ton of the campaign is just slowly going back and forth through samey corridors and getting lost because it's so easy to forget where you have and haven't been. Enemy placement can feel pretty unfair with swarms of stronger enemies, one-shot grenades/rocket launchers and energy swords. The story is nothing to write home about but master chief is still cool at least. Also the flood are a massive pain to fight.
Titanfall 2 [Completed]
- I originally played on PS4 so getting to play it with mouse and keyboard now makes it even better. Titanfall 2 still has one of the greatest FPS campaigns ever made with fantastic movement, shooting, and level variety with fresh and fun gimmicks that never overstay their welcome. The story is nothing groundbreaking but the bond between Cooper and BT is great and it's fun going against a villain team that feels like they came out of a japanese studio. The only notable flaw with the campaign is that it is very very short. I also encountered some annoying glitches in the airship level that I had to die to restart for multiple times.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition [Completed]
- Still the best JRPG of all time in my eyes. The story is great and stays compelling throughout the entire experience. The gameplay is fun and active with its focus on positioning and each character having unique playstyles. The party is full of lovable charismatic characters with the exception of maybe Sharla and the voice acting is still the best in the business. The world design is spectacular and is only improved with the graphical updates brought by the definitive edition. The sidequests are still pretty weak but they're not necessary to complete so it's not much of a problem. I do wish more of them provided EXP for completion though. My only notable complaint about the gameplay is the penalty for fighting higher leveled monsters which did force me to grind a few times. As for the definitive edition, the graphical updates are fantastic for the areas, but I do miss the darker shading of the original character models. The new ones are easy to get used to though. The soundtrack is still one of the best in a video game but some of the remixes feel a little lacking compared to the original. Future Connected is alright, the story is pretty inconsequential and I'm not a big fan of the changes made to the combat. The bionis shoulder is a great area but there are a few too many hordes of enemies especially with the way fog beasts work. The nopon weren't annoying but it's annoying how you have to either have 2 nopon kids in your party or deal with CPU shulk/melia not knowing how to fight. It does pretty much force you to do sidequests but it's not as egregious as what Torna did so it kinda just ended up being a decent little chance to see Melia and Shulk again.
Kero Blaster [Completed]
- Fun little game. I haven't played Cave Story in a long time but from what I can remember Kero Blaster is weaker in nearly every aspect. Still a nice little game with satisfying weapon upgrades, some atmospheric areas, nice music and fun bosses. The story is okay but the game's short length kind of hampers it. The mutated president did genuinely unnerve me somewhat and the ending was cute. The gameplay is generally fun but I often had some small troubles with the controls that could get annoying considering how quickly you can die. Sometimes my character would keep moving without my input and changing directions while shooting/switching between shooting up and forward was pretty clunky. I like that the unlockable hard mode has remixed levels and a new story but my issues with the gameplay and the fact that I already had some trouble with the end of normal mode makes me not really want to go through it.
- While I did technically beat it thanks to infinite continues, I can't really rate it cuz I spent most of the game dying. I did fine enough for the first couple stages but my brain just isn't wired right for shmups so the rest of the stages were far too much for me to handle. I did enjoy the cool presentation of the game and it's nonsense story and polarity was a cool gimmick at least.
Sonic Generations [Completed]
- Actually pretty fun. There are some weaker levels here and there but for the most part both the 2D and 3D acts are enjoyable and have a good sense of speed and fun setpieces. Unfortunately it carries the usual flaw with sonic games which is if you stray from what the developer intended for you to do at all it will completely break the flow and result in annoying deaths or break up setpieces. The game wants you to go fast but the faster you go, the easier it is to miss the developer's intended path and makes these problems pop up more often. Visually the game was pretty alright, the outdoor areas looked nice but the rest of it, including the models and animations, could've looked better. The music was good as usual. The story in the first part just felt like boring stuff aimed at children so I skipped a lot of it to focus on the gameplay. The hub is a nice idea but it's annoying to navigate and doesn't really integrate normal sonic gameplay too well. The bosses are a mix of fine and bad with the final boss being the worst. I modded the game to play as Amy since Amy is cute so that improved my experience substantially. Also modern sonic telling classic sonic to look forward to his future was very funny.
- A great love letter to Wipeout. In fact it's so similar to Wipeout I'm almost baffled Sony hasn't taken legal action. Great sense of speed and aesthetics, a decent amount of tracks substantially boosted by the steam workshop which has plenty of high quality modded tracks, and some fun challenges make it a great time. I also liked how simple it was to play my own custom music in the game and it ran really well too. My only real issue with the game is the difficulty spike in the time trial challenges which felt absurd compared to the other challenges. While I was still cruising through the races and zone challenges with a nice difficulty curve, the time trials quickly required everything I had just to barely get bronze after the first two or so. Also a minor complaint but having to move to the back button to get out of every menu instead of just being able to click B was annoying.
A Way Out [Completed]
- A genuinely great time and a fantastic co-op experience which is hard to come by these days. A Way Out has extremely likable main characters with tons of fun dialogue which make for a very compelling jailbreak/revenge story. A lot of the game's charm stems from it being an american story created by clearly foreign quirky people resulting in something similar to The Room but genuinely competent and enjoyable. I really didn't see the twist coming and was pleasantly surprised by how emotionally impactful the ending sequence ended up being. In terms of gameplay, the depth and difficulty are practically nonexistant but the guided linear structure centered around QTEs was good enough to keep me and my partner invested in the setpieces and story. Speaking of the setpieces, the ones in A Way Out are fantastic and varied. I especially liked the hospital sequence with fun dialogue, the connect 4 minigame, and an amazing chase sequence that even incorporated a 2D beat 'em up section. The music was surprisingly good as well.
Persona 4 Golden PC [Completed]
- Still the best friend simulator ever developed. The PC port doesn't change much but it does free it from the vita shackles and the higher resolution is great. I expected load times to be instant since it's a PS2 game and I have an SSD but it's fine enough. As for the game itself, the soul is overflowing with the japanese country town aesthetic accented by graphics with the right amount of low fidelity models and a fantastic soundtrack. The gameplay is pretty good as far as JRPGs go but a way to skip all-out attack and combo attack animations would help immensely. I like that they allow you to turn up exp and money gain in the settings so you can still have a normal gameplay experience but without grinding. Finding and hitting enemy weaknesses as well as trying to get flush bonuses in shuffle time after battles keeps the dungeon crawling fun and the dungeons are often nice aesthetically even if they're mechanically the same. The story holds up much better than I expected and I can tell that if I wasn't replaying it, I would still have been super invested in the mystery. The characters are extremely likable and genuinely feel like real friends. Most of the social links are well-written and it feels great to build them up. Managing time to efficiently raise every social link also makes for a great gameplay loop. The main characters have excellent natural-sounding voice acting despite the inevitable awkwardness that comes with honorifics and "senpai" in an english script. Troy Baker and Yuri Lowenthal in particular felt really into their roles and I never skipped any of their voiced lines. I was also very impressed that the game could still elicit an emotional response from me despite me already knowing everything that would happen. I nearly cried when Nanako "died" in the hospital, felt exceptionally happy when my friends thanked me, laughed at a lot of the goofy antics the main characters got up to, and much more. For that reason I can't give the game anything but a 10 even with the dungeon crawling not being too special and Marie being a cringelord. I also came to like Yukiko more this time around and she feels like such a natural romance with the MC that it felt bad going with Ayane this time as well. But Ayane was too adorable so it couldn't be helped.
Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart [Completed..basically]
- Very impressive for a fangame. Large variety of stages and and a solid roster with some fun modded additions as well. The music selection is pretty nice and the visuals are very well-done. Unfortunately the gameplay is more similar to the original mario kart so I'm not a huge fan of that aspect. Would love this kind of treatment for sanic all stars racing.
Umihara Kawase Bazooka [Dropped]
- Probably a decently fun time with friends or well..anyone but of course the online is absolutely dead. The concept is neat with combining action and traditional umihara kawase gameplay but the singleplayer content is way too simple to be any fun on its own. Shame cuz the roster is pretty cute all around.
Metal Slug 5 [Completed]
- Pretty by-the-books quality metal slug game. Since I couldn't play it on fightcade, I got to learn that metal slug is far less fun when played alone. The constant deaths are much more annoying when you don't have a second player to keep the action going and the game just pauses for a few seconds. The new slide move is a nice addition but it ended up getting in my way more often than not when I wanted to jump and shoot down. 5 doesn't really deviate enough from the rest to stand out to me, not even keeping the new character I liked from 4. There are some cool vehicle segments but they're still held back by your shooting direction being decided by your movement. The final boss is really cool but also very simple and only has 2 attacks.
Disco Elysium [Completed]
- One of my favorites this year for sure. Disco is a very well-written, heavily text-based game that uses the medium exceptionally well to draw you into the story. Picking the right choices, passing and failing check, leveling up stats and internalizing thoughts to pass checks and gathering items/clothing are all compelling gameplay aspects that amplify the narrative and really make you feel like a detective doing the dirty work. It feels great to pass checks and open people up, and even better when you end up earning some respect after starting the game at rock bottom. A lot of the characters are interesting and nuanced, my favorite being trusty sidekick Kim Kitsuragi. There are few games that can replicate the positive feeling of getting Kim to trust you and seeing his genuine concern and support later in the game like in the tribunal, karaoke and the ending. The surprise tribunal event was an excellent climax and it was nice to get a moment to show everyone I really was a good cop. I'm sure the game could be more entertaining if I goofed off and played the drunk superstar cop angle but I quite liked my "repentant cop trying to put his crazy drunk life behind him" story and I felt like it really came together well by the end. One thing I would've liked to get was an epilogue or credits montage showing the aftermath of my actions but it does kind of feel like they want to set up a sequel or something so it's not too bad. The game has a great artstyle and that, combined with the melodic and tone-setting music, really built a great atmosphere in revachol. The voice acting could sound a little awkward sometimes, but the use of uncommon voice actors and some heavy accents made it feel very distinct. Disco might not be my favorite game of the year, but in terms of recent releases it's really up there.
- Probably the weakest of the supergiant games. Pyre has a very unique concept and gameplay system and it's enjoyable for a while much like Transistor which was also very novel. However, unlike Transistor, Pyre goes on longer than a few hours where the gameplay starts to lose its novel appeal and after the first liberation rite the only ones you can play against are opponents you already fought before so I kinda lost motivation to keep going. The lack of english voice acting for most characters was kind of a downer since it's usually such a strong aspect of the other supergiant games but the way language is used in the setting is pretty neat. The lore was pretty uninteresting though. The artstyle and character designs are very nice and the music was fitting but it generally didn't stand out to me.
Assassin's Creed [Dropped]
- Played the first hour or so and it was mind-numbingly boring with constant tutorials for what amounts to extremely simplistic gameplay, long dull conversations, and climbing sections that were monotonous at best and annoying at worst. I can kind of see why it would be cool to people 8 years ago but nowadays there doesn't seem to be much reason to play it.
- Downloaded so my friend would stop bugging me to try it and saw there were hunger and thirst mechanics. NOPE.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 [Completed]
- An improvement over the first game in many ways. The game is longer, has more characters, and is reasonably more difficult with some great boss designs. The music is still good and the stage design is still very fun as well. The new characters are just as fun and distinct as the original cast and the game even manages to tell a nice little story with some fun interactions between stages. I played on casual difficulty since I've never though that getting knocked back when hit or having limited lives has ever made for fun difficulty, but I would've liked an inbetween difficulty that removes those without giving a boost to health and weapon points. One thing that bothered me was that while Hachi's momentary invincibility can be fun to use to blast through certain hectic rooms, some sections and boss attacks make it feel almost necessary to avoid damage which can be very annoying if Hachi is dead or not present in that part of the game. It's also annoying that Zangetsu's moveset is gimped for most of the game for lore reasons. I would've liked if there was more variety between episodes as well. Getting the OG cast back for an episode is cool and having the small changes to the bosses is nice too but it's not really enough to keep the stages interesting when you have to play through all of them 4 times. The final stage with the shmup section and the final boss were very cool though.
- Glad to finally play this after being put off by the grindy reputation for years. The easy ring added in the translation rectified that issue but it did simplify the gameplay aspect a lot which I didn't end up minding too much. While I wouldn't say it's as good as Mother 2 and 3, 1 still has a plethora of fun moments and trademark Itoi bizarreness. It was nice seeing how they still managed to squeeze in a lot of charm despite the hardware limitations and the music sounded surprisingly good as well. I quite liked the dancing scene near the end of the game and seeing Lloyd man up to protect the others. I wish Teddy was in the game longer though. The dungeons are a bit of a pain with how mazelike they can be, especially near the end with the horrific enemies on Mt.Itoi. Another annoying aspect was that allies wouldn't attack one of the remaining targets if the first target died before their turn which is common in every other JRPG. Also kind of disappointing not having the rolling health system that's so prevalent in the other games but I guess that's a bit much for a famicom game.
Blade and Sorcery [Completed..basically]
- Fun enough for like an hour and a half. Unfortunately I'm not much of a psychopath so the enjoyment of killing dozens of the same NPCs over and over again doesn't last long. Also the combat can be pretty janky with enemies getting back up after crushing blows to the head, stabs to the heart and throat, and several cuts to the legs and other such things. It's also hurt by the inability to actually get resistance when hitting enemies. The modded weapons and maps are nice enough at least like the bloodborne trick weapons.
Lost Odyssey [Dropped]
- This is a sad one. The presentation is really well-done and the music is very good. The premise of the main character and others being immortal is really fresh and neat. The game's greatest strength is the Thousand Years of Dreams stories that reveal moments from Kaim's past which are really well-written and often tug at my heartstrings. Ironically the quality of the dream stories makes the main story feel pretty weak in comparison. The battle system is fine as far as JRPGs go but the animations are really slow and that, combined with the reliance on magic that can be delayed by any attack, can make most battles an excruciating slog. Also it's a weird problem to have in a JRPG but running around and examining things/talking to people feels really awkward.
Star Wars Battlefront II (EA) [Completed..basically]
- Actually a pretty good game now that the ptw stuff has been removed. The presentation is phenomenal and for the most part it plays a lot like the old battlefronts with some more flare and a progression system. I guess I don't really have any major issues with it besides the shooting can lack some impact due to them being laser weapons I guess.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades [Dropped]
- I like to have fun shooting without going through a tedious reload process every 3 seconds thank you. The weapon variety is impressive though.
Halo 2 Anniversary [Completed]
- A big step up from the first game in terms of level design and story presentation. 2 has much more varied and well-designed environments with very little backtracking or re-used assets. The story, while still not groundbreaking or impactful, is reasonably compelling and the switching between Chief and Arbiter was cool. The music that occasionally kicked in was pretty boppin' too. As for the gameplay, the new weapons and vehicles are fun to use and the addition of dual-wielding is neat but otherwise there weren't many improvements. The lack of Reach's sprint is still disappointing. I don't really have many problems with the game except the flood still exist and it relies a lot on dumping brutes everywhere in the later levels to create difficulty which leads to a lot of running past enemies.
Halo 3 [Completed]
- Nice revisiting one of my childhood favorites and it holds up really well. Improves upon 2 with more weapons and vehicles, higher quality presentation and a great conclusion. It's cool having chief and arby working together the whole game but it would be nice if they interacted a bit more. The music was really good as well and really accentuated the more intense setpieces. The additional grenade types and equipment system were nice but didn't really make a noticeable difference in the moment-to-moment gameplay.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology [Completed]
- Radiant Historia is a very cool JRPG. The setting isn't anything special with its magical medieval fantasy war and separation between humans and beastmen and everything, but it's handled in a mature and competent way reminiscent of stuff like Suikoden. With the exception of Aht, the party is full of composed, competent adults with established jobs and skillsets. Stocke is a great main character who's smart, perceptive, and good at dealing with people. He really fits his role as a lieutenant in the special intelligence unit of the military. The political conflict is handled in a compelling way and the time jumping mechanics help make it more interesting as well with the need to make certain choices to get past roadblocks in the plot. It can be a little annoying trying to find the right nodes to jump to for completing quests and things but overall it's cool. The positioning-based grid combat is pretty fresh and setting up big combos on enemies that are clumped together can feel really great. Unfortunately if the enemy is a boss/mid-boss with a lot of HP the fights become a slog and there are a few points in the game where a lot of slow grinding is needed. The voice acting is pretty solid and I'm surprised how much of the dialogue was voiced. I like Eruca's redesign but overall the artstyle of this version is a downgrade from the original and you can only get the original art as DLC which is a shame. I liked the bittersweet ending until I realized I missed one sidequest for the true ending which ticked me off.
Super Mario 3D Land [Completed]
- A decent enough handheld Mario game that really just feels like a prototype for 3D World. The levels are fun but there are almost no original ideas, the presentation isn't creative, and all the bosses are just boom boom, ninja boom boom with a ponytail, and bowser. There are some depth perception issues that pop up and playing with a 3DS circle pad can get annoying. All that being said, it's still fun enough for a mario game and it looks pretty good too.
Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax [Completed]
- Decent little fighting game. Mechanically it's pretty fun but character movesets are rather lacking. The roster of playable characters is pretty small but it's also endearingly weird with its odd selection of LN characters and the mix of sega content with dengeki characters is interesting. The spritework is really well-done but the singleplayer content is pretty weak. There's just an awkwardly-written arcade mode but being able to unlock Akira with the final boss was really cool.
Ghost of Tsushima [Completed]
- A top class open world game. The presentation is excellent with beautiful saturated colors and aesthetically pleasing environments covered in leaves and snow and whatnot. The music is very atmospheric and does a great job of accentuating the exciting moments like the battle for yarikawa and the end of act 2. The world is nicely compact and dense with things like fox dens, shrines and hot springs that make it satisfying to explore in conjunction with the beautiful environments. Things like upgrading resolve and health, getting good charms and collecting the nice-looking armor make the exploration feel very rewarding. The combat is very satisfying and a lot more hectic than I expected going in. The fluid animations and quick stance switching really make you feel like a cool samurai and all the quick-fire tools and the bow are useful and fun to use. For the first half of the game or so the combat can be surprisingly difficult with all the enemy types you have to manage but later on when you have more skills and stance upgrades it gains a different satisfaction by trading intensity for feeling like a real killing machine. The duels are awesome with their climactic presentation and arenas and the closer focus on sword-based one-on-one combat. One of my bigger gameplay complaints would be that standoffs in act 2 are unreasonably difficult compared to those in act 1 and the ones in act 3 are practically impossible no matter what trick you try to use to see it coming. The "heavily defended" mongol areas could have been blocked off in a more immersive way, though the juggling arrows were pretty funny. While the game is mostly very polished, there are some funny janky aspects like following an NPC into a house for a quest and having them shut the door in your face before you come in because they can't leave doors open. I was initially disappointed with the quality of the lip syncing for japanese audio but the english voice acting was really good so I didn't end up minding it too much. The story is very compelling and covers a setting that I haven't seen in any other game so it was very fresh. The character tales are interesting as well with every major character having prominent flaws in their personalities that keep their issues from being too black and white. Jin is a very likable main character and seeing his desire to save Tsushima clash with his sense of honor and love for his uncle made me sympathize with him a lot. The haikus and hot spring reflections also helped with this. I guess one problem I had storywise was that I wasn't really given much of a chance to warm up to Ryuzo before his betrayal so I couldn't sympathize much with Jin's anguish over it. Even before the betrayal he was pretty antagonistic toward Jin. The conflict between Jin and his uncle was much more hard-hitting and the finale was kino for it. The khan's final encounter was cool as well but I would've liked if they didn't dump a bunch of mob enemies in his fight. Overall it's easily one of the best PS4 exclusives and sucker punch still hasn't let me down.
Spyro Remastered [Dropped]
- My second time giving spyro a shot, and it still doesn't impress me on any metric. Gameplay is braindead easy aside from some annoying jumps that require you to glide at a very precise point. Visuals are nice but the world design is pretty uninteresting. Spyro's controls aren't very tight and a lot of the time it just feels like he's sliding around. There's no charming cartoony writing or anything, most dialogue consists of really obvious tutorial information or really simple unfunny quips. Collecting treasures is alright but not as satisfying as collecting more significant things like the jiggies in banjo kazooie or stars in mario 64.
Bravely Default [Dropped]
- It's not a bad game, really. It has a very solid battle system and job system. The brave/default system is interesting but ends up being a lot more shallow than you would think since it often just ends up being used in 2 ways: spamming brave at the beginning of a random encounter to end it quickly and defaulting to the max for boss fights and unloading all the attacks at once. The only reason to ever really break away from those strategies is spending however many BP you need to do healing with a white mage. There are some smaller nuances that appear around the halfway point like one or two enemy attacks that drain BP and some jobs that use skills with BP costs, but it's not enough to radically change the combat. That being said, the brave/default system only improves on the typical turn based combat so it's a welcome addition. As with any other game with a job system, it's fun to level up jobs and the support abilities you can carry over makes it feel more rewarding to level up multiple jobs, but none of the jobs I got were very interesting compared to other games. The artstyle is very cute, and the music is nice but severely lacking in variety. My biggest issue with bravely default is that it falls into the worst pitfall a JRPG can have, and that is that the party members are not very likable at all. Tiz is an extremely generic hero, Agnes's naivete and distrust of others just comes off as annoying, and Edea and Ringabel have the same back-and-forth in every other scene. From what I played (up to the end of chapter 3) the plot was nothing special. The only promise for something interesting was the twist I had already been spoiled on for some time but I know that with that twist comes having to repeat the first half of the game all over again with minor changes so I didn't have the motivation to go on. I can see why people like the game, but the flaws were just in spots that I couldn't ignore for the sake of a job system I've experienced in several other games.
Kemono Friends Picross [Completed]
- My first foray into Picross and I had a very fun time. The puzzles are addicting and satisfying in a similar way to sudoku and the kemono friends coat of paint is pretty cute. I only ended up paying like 3 bucks for it thanks to a small sale and some nintendo coins so getting like 200+ puzzles out of it was pretty great even if I didn't touch mega picross since it wasn't really my cup of tea. Once you grasp the rules and strategies they give you in the tutorials, anything less than 15x15 puzzles becomes pretty easy but it's still fun to fill them in quickly even if it's not hard at all. I do think the ones that are 15x20 and 20x20 can go on a little too long though. The kemono friends aspect of the game was kind of weak since the only pictures with effort put into them were the clip picross ones and there weren't any voice lines either. Only having one track for the puzzle solving sections was kinda weak too even if I always had background videos to listen to anyways.
Dungeon Travelers 2 [Dropped]
- A fairly average dungeon crawler RPG with a charming lighthearted atmosphere and fun party interactions. The girls are cute and I didn't even mind the male protag since most of the interactions aren't just girls blushing and falling all over him. Unfortunately, the genre is plagued with long slow grinds for boss fights and DT2 is no exception. The UI and battle effects are pretty lame and the enemy designs, while cute, aren't very interesting. I don't like the item identification system since it just makes exploration less exciting. A lot of items have useless descriptions and most gear you find only results in extremely minor upgrades, if any. I was happy to finally unlock class changes to spice things up a little, then I tried to install the double exp dlc to reduce the egregious grind and it broke the game so I couldn't play anymore.
Drive Girls [Dropped]
- Probably the most "budget vita game" thing you'll ever see with cute girls and barely serviceable action gameplay. The races are at least different from the usual Tamsoft game but they're not very fun.
Paper Beast [Dropped]
- Genuinely pretty cool VR experience. It does a great job of pulling you into an unfamiliar world with interesting paper animals and the atmosphere is great. Unfortunately there's a few sections that are just a pain to complete even when you know the solutions like the wind puzzles. Normally a few sections being like this wouldn't be an issue, but I was already having my difficulties justifying buying a 3-4 hour game for 20 bucks so it kind of tipped me over the edge to refunding it. If it goes on sale for 10 bucks or less in the future I might repurchase and finish it.
Sakura Wars (2019) [Completed]
- Everything a reboot should be. Sakura Wars 2019 feels like a modern iteration on the original in every aspect and in most cases it's a notable improvement. The artstyle looks great and the character models are really high quality. I was quite happy seeing the imperial theater in its remade PS4 glory and the other locations look nice too. Even the loading screen looks beautiful. The story retains the soul of the original where it takes a bunch of cliches and bundles them together into a surprisingly charming package with a likable cast of well-designed characters. Out of the protagonists I have experience with, Kamiyama is the most likable of the 3 though I've only been able to experience Ogami's story in 1. I was weary going into the game because of a lot of remarks about the game feeling like it was just made to set up for a sequel but it didn't feel that way to me at all and I quite enjoyed it from start to finish. I think the original revue is used in an interesting way with their mysterious and potentially tragic circumstances, especially with Sumire being the new manager of the theater. I also like new sakura much more than old sakura, especially since she's voiced by sakura ayane MMMMM. I would say the only parts where the reboot falls short of the original are novelty and soulful saturn anime cutscenes. The new combat is a pretty simplistic musou style but the attacks feel good and the presentation is great. The combat environments could use some more variety though. The music is solid and the theme song in particular is wonderful but they do play it a tad too much. Another issue I encountered was that some dialogue choices have really unpredictable results which can be pretty annoying since they put so much emphasis on the relationship-building. Overall I'm very pleased with the direction this new Sakura Wars is taking and I think they've set a really solid foundation for a modern series. I only hope it did well enough to actually get that continuation.
Final Fantasy XIV [Dropped...AGAIN]
- I can't take anymore of this godforsaken game. I wanted to give it another shot because everyone's always praising the story and boss fights in the expansions but the game fought me every step of the way. Mind-numbing combat where you just click your skills in order over and over again while occasionally walking outside of orange squares. Uninteresting cutscenes often with no effort put into presentation. Constant uneventful running back and forth between areas to do mountains of pointless fetch/hunting quests. Even the login screen makes you constantly exit and re-enter to pass the fake queue just to enter the game. I don't know how autistic you have to be to enjoy this genre but it is beyond even me. At least my character was cute and the game was well-optimized.
Fall Guys [Completed]
- Surprisingly fun and the only battle royale game that's appealed to me. The bright cutesy artstyle, hectic fumbling over each other, and rampant disregard for other human lives makes for a very fun time. Most of the minigames are great like hexagone and slime climb but there are some stinkers like fall mountain and egg scramble which sucks because there's not that many minigames overall. I've gotten a couple wins and I can't say for sure how much more time I'll put into it since it'll probably be a fair bit until they add more minigames but I've had quite a fun experience.
Garou: Mark of the Wolves [Completed..basically]
- Garou is an excellent fighting game with satisfying hits, great animations and a cool artstyle. There are some really cool characters like Rock, Terry and Tizoc and Hotaru is cute. Even some of the blander-looking characters like Dong are still satisfying to play. The stages and music are really good too.
Waku Waku 7 [Completed...basically]
- Extremely soulful fighting game reminiscent of classic sonic team games with its vibrant colors and whacky characters. The gameplay is strangely both floaty and tight at the same time with characters getting hit all over the place and lots of fun specials. The stages are also excellent with lively backgrounds and even a great vocal track or 2. Arina is super cute.
Super Bishi Bashi Championship [Completed]
- A crazy minigame collection similar to warioware with an emphasis on PVP and it's a ton of fun. Visuals packed with soul and (mostly) instantly understandable minigames. I'd say the only issue is that a few too many minigames just rely on pressing the colors' respective buttons in the correct order like a game of simon says.
Final Fight [Completed]
- Fun time with a friend. Final Fight has cool main characters, hectic action and some nice-looking levels. Unfortunately being a classic beat 'em up means extremely simplistic gameplay with very little reason to switch up your playstyle for different enemy types. The bosses could be pretty annoying too.
Ninja Baseball Bat Man [Completed]
- Radical beat 'em up with excellent visuals and a very fun premise. All it takes is one look at the cover to know you're in for a good time with this one. Hits are satisfying, stages look great, and both protagonist and enemy designs are creative. Unfortunately it had quite a few emulation issues which covered up most of the cutscenes and resulted in some visual issues on the stages.
Sengoku 3 [Completed]
- Cool beat 'em up that's a tad too long and has some really annoying enemies. It looks and feels good, and it's cool how you get 2 more playable characters partway through. Fighting is generally fun but enemies get knocked off screen too much and certain enemies like the flying noh masks and bosses like the final boss and the flame bird could be really annoying.
Kandagawa Jet Girls [Dropped]
- Wish this played as well as Wave Race. I like yuri so the cute interactions between the pairs are great even though I already saw the kandagawa team story in the anime. There's a surprising amount of care put into the presentation with some smooth menus, nice character models and soulful stages. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel good to play. It feels very slow and cornering feels clunky. The AI is absurdly easy for most stages to the point where I spend most of my gameplay not seeing other racers because I'm so far ahead which nullifies the combat aspect.
Neo Bomberman [Completed..basically]
- It's bomberman so it's fun enough with friends. Not really much to say except I felt it played better than bomberman 4 and had less annoying gimmicks.
Super Bomberman 4 [Completed..basically]
- It's bomberman again so it's fun with friends. The need to break a bunch of walls in every stage got kind of annoying since I was only playing with 1 other person, and some of the stage gimmicks like the pits and speed changes could get pretty annoying. That being said, I appreciate it trying to be more creative than Neo.
The Simpsons (Arcade) [Completed]
- This one was alright. As a beat 'em up it was really simplistic with only a single attack per character and the bosses could be annoying with their lack of telegraphing. I liked the music, visual design and some of the stages were pretty creative like the dream world. The little voice clips were nice but it's too bad they didn't get smithers and burns' VAs.
Dark Souls Remastered [Completed]
- My favorite game ever but now the online is working fine and I can alt tab without fear. Did a quick clean run with the demons souls fluted armor modded in and had a good time. The changed visuals annoy me in side-by-side comparisons but in practice it's fine.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run [Dropped]
- Actually pretty decent as a simpsons game with a solid script and all the voice actors from the show reprising their roles. As a video game, it feels like something I would've enjoyed as a kid but for the me of today the driving is pretty lacking and all the missions are repetitive. The character models also look pretty bad.
King of Fighters 2002 [Completed..basically]
- Pretty decent fighting game. Solid mechanics and a wide character selection but very few of those characters jump out to me as interesting.
Marvel vs Capcom [Completed..basically]
- Love the style of this one. Feels good to play and I really like the music too. Only problem is CAPTAIN COMMANDO. CAPTAIN FIRE CAPTAIN FIRE CAPTAIN FIRE.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future [Completed..basically]
- Great fighting game and a good Jojo game as well. I would say All Star Battle is much better when it comes to Jojo fanservice but the gameplay here is much more enjoyable. The characters are fun to play with several unique gimmicks and the stand system is cool. The roster has some strange picks and I wish they would've grabbed a few characters from the other parts besides young joseph since they already have silver chariot requiem breaking the part 3 rules. From the characters I played, I particularly enjoyed old joseph and possessed polnareff. The sprites were pretty solid as well.
Moon: Remix RPG Adventure [Completed]
- Moon is a very pleasant game with soul coming out the ears. The soundtrack is varied and as always, Clair de Lune marks a high quality game. The artstyle holds up incredibly well with nice-looking backgrounds and detailed well-animated sprites. The writing is quirky and charming without going overboard like modern indie games tend to have an issue with. The story is endearingly simple and very reminiscent of chulip but with a grander goal. The gameplay is also extremely similar to chulip's but generally with less tedium. The action limit doesn't really serve much of a purpose since it goes from being a very frustrating mechanic in the first hour or two to being almost nonexistant and very few activities actually require having a certain love level. A run button and the ability to skip through dialogue you've already read before would have been nice additions as well. Moon also shares Chulip's obtuse event requirements so I did have to use a walkthrough for a large portion of the game which hampered the experience somewhat. There are also some very frustrating minigames like robi's circuitry, the rocket arcade game, and the bali island monkey songs. While they were annoying, they did contribute to the game's charm so I can't be too mad at them. Most of the game's events were fun and involved a varied, bizarre cast of characters which made collecting love quite enjoyable and somewhat addicting. I've seen comparisons between Undertale and Moon's themes but for the most part, Moon's portrayal of the RPG hero feels comical while Undertale's is more critical. You do spend most of the game saving the souls of monsters slayed by the hero but you only ever communicate with other people and the monsters generally only serve as an annoyance when you're trying to save them so there's little reason to be endeared to them and dislike the hero for his actions besides some short characterizations in the monster book and the unique capture methods. One of the only times they actually got me to care about the monsters was at the american house on the daughter's birthday where the hero attacked the family pet and I feel like there should've been a few more scenes like that. If Moon's theme was entirely comical I wouldn't mind how they handled it but the ending is clearly going for a more serious and genuine impact. The ending was surprising, beautiful and had a bittersweet tinge to it. Overall, Moon's theme isn't very uncommon today and the general design similarities to Chulip meant it wasn't very impactful to me but I can respect it for what it did at the time and it still ended up being a very pleasant experience that left me with some fond memories.
Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter [Completed..basically]
- Pretty enjoyable despite being generally weaker than the other versus games with a less interesting roster. Still feels good to play with nice visuals and some solid OPTIC BLASTs.
Baldr Sky [Completed]
- Only took like 5 months WOO. Baldr Sky is an impressive VN with surprisingly great gameplay that honestly could've stood on it's own in an action game. The depth of the moveset customization surpasses even God Hand and it's a ton of fun putting together smooth high-damage combos with cool-looking moves. The difficulty is generally fine for all of Dive 1. Fair challenge but gives you room to experiment with low level weapons and develop new ones. In Dive 2, there's some annoying enemies introduced and the difficulty is hiked up a fair bit, especially in the final route and it can be pretty annoying but manageable if you stop experimenting and put together a solid maxed weapon combo to stick with. The final route is also loaded with way too many filler fights and it made me a bit tired of the gameplay as I reached the end. The combat does a good job of making you feel more involved with the story since you actually experience the main character's battles and the bosses in particular are consistently exciting and varied. The visuals are pretty solid with nice art for the CGs and backgrounds as well as cool-looking animations in the battles. I'm not really a big fan of the character art but I warmed up to it a bit over the course of the game. Nanoha's tired face still ticks me off though. The soundtrack is solid and fitting but didn't really pop for me aside from the final route remixes and the vocal tracks kicking in during some of the boss fights. The story is generally good, but Baldr Sky's strength mostly lies in its setting and worldbuilding since the focus on cyberspace and AI is what really sets it apart from other VNs. The cyberspace aspect in particular really appeals to me so I was happy to learn details about how the world worked. It's interesting having a cast of characters that lived through the semi-apocalyptic event that changed everyone's lives and seeing how they changed as a result. The hero has amnesia so the player can learn everything alongside him but Baldr Sky handles that cliched premise in a fairly refreshing way by having him regain his memories rapidly and retain at least some of his instincts and knowledge from his mercenary days instead of acting like a high school kid the whole time. The constant flashbacks revealing Kou's past are the weakest parts of the story with a plethora of cliches and childish misunderstandings but they're much more bearable than they could've been and they do provide crucial information. The plot is compelling and enjoyable, but generally lacking in impact until the great ending. Baldr Sky's cast is full of likable and cool characters, but unfortunately almost none of them are the heroines that get most of the focus. Rain is probably the best one since she has relatively less emotional baggage and doesn't bother dragging highschool drama into adult affairs like the others. She is also endearingly smug when bickering with Chinatsu which is greatly appreciated. Nanoha is far too whiny and self-deprecating while everyone else is realistically growing up. Chinatsu is, for lack of a better word, a bitch for nearly the entire story outside of (barely) her own route and even though it's understandable given the traumatic experience she went through, it's tiring to listen to over and over again. Aki is rather likable and it's nice having a character Kou can interact with without any bickering or emotional meltdowns for the most part, though their diehard attempt to brush incest under the rug by making her a second cousin instead of an actual sister is comical when there are far worse things going on in the world. Makoto is another girl with the emotional fragility of a 5-year old and her mind-reading shtick gets pretty annoying. That being said, her cyberbrain syndrome does make her and her route pretty interesting from a story perspective. Makoto does have the most unreasonable romance out of all the girls though since Kou barely shows any signs of affection for her before they're making love on their beach honeymoon. Sora's route has the most interesting premise and her connection with Kou is the most natural and intriguing one due to the simulacra link which was one of the few good pieces of drama presented in the flashbacks. However while Sora's route has a great premise and an even better ending, the first half or so is a slog with filler fights and repetitive scenes. While I did enjoy the ending a lot, the section where every heroine dies in order and comes back later anyways was too cliche for me and gave me bad symphonia flashbacks. All the characters beside the heroines like the members of Fenrir and Noi are very likable while the unpredictable actions of Gilbert and Kurihara consistently kept things interesting. Neuzhen also ended up being a very intriguing antagonist that fit excellently with the setting and themes. One aspect of baldr sky that limited the story's impact in my humble opinion is that every route shares all the same major events with the changes mostly just lying in perspective or the minor scenes you spend with the heroines as well as the flashback scenes. This has a strong result with the ending revelations but results in a somewhat repetitive experience for every route. I think this could've been rectified at least a little considering Baldr Sky has a linear structure which helps with gameplay balancing but the knowledge of what the reader already knows by certain points could've been used to skip over a lot of the repetitive explanations like those for Assembler, Gungnir, Neuzhen, etc. Even if these explanations are practically unchanged between routes, the game won't recognize it as read text since it's a different route so it made me feel awkward about skipping them since they might have new info which was annoying. The requirement to go through all Reminiscence nodes to access Makoto's route was also stupid since 80% of it was flashbacks I had already seen plus battles without my unlocked weapons which were a pain in the butt. Thankfully I could skip through most of it. Wow this might be the longest entry yet, fitting for the 100th completed game of 2020. While I do have a lot to rant about, it really was a great VN and I'm glad I played it.
Sayonara Umihara Kawase (PC) [Completed]
- Just as fun as it was on the vita, but easier since it's not my first time playing the series. Addicting and satisfying gameplay, soulful 3D aesthetic, and very nice music. The additional characters are a nice touch as well even if they don't play differently aside from a helpful checkpoint mechanic. As always there are a few brutal stages mixed in but none of it took an exceptionally long time. The trampolines are interesting but barely used so there's not much to say about them. I would have 100%ed the game but survival mode is a little too much for me. I'm quite happy with the amount of content regardless.
Divinity Original Sin 2 [Dropped]
- Figured I wouldn't enjoy it, played it for a friend, didn't enjoy it. Writing seems bland, combat is slow, and menu/character management is a hassle. Being able to have little conversations with your co-op partner after events was neat though.
July 20, 2020 @ 4:16 pm
great blog post, I really enjoyed reading your opinion of all this games.