Bangledeschlers Completion Addiction. Bangledeschler’s profile

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Oct 2022 Part 2 - Non-Steam

Dino Crisis 2
PSX
Remember that survival horror dinosaur game known as Dino Crisis? Yeah, the one where you REALLY were not meant to find the dinosaurs and had to flee to survive? Well throw all that mumbo jumbo out the window because Dino Crisis 2 is basically an arcade shooter complete with combo score bonuses and waves after waves of dinosaurs to mow down with your weapons. It even has several on-rail shooter sections. Don’t get me wrong, real fun game. However, having lost all sense of survival horror not only makes me understand why the series is basically dead in the water, but also question why so many survival horror fans even want a series remake (me having been one of them until now).
Like many capcom sequels at the time, you now have two protagonists (our returning Regina and a new character Dylan) each one you control during certain segments and each one having access to different weapons. It does feel as though Dylan is not quite given the same amount of love as all of his weapons are far worse in both firepower and capacity making his segments worse and worse as you progress.
Again, the actual gameplay is fun. Trying to get a higher combo without getting hit rewards you in extinction points which you can use to buy more weapons, ammo, upgrades, etc. Since there is a shop system, there is no longer a crafting system which can be seen as both good and bad considering how hard it was to juggle inventory in the previous installment. Lastly, the puzzles are far more dumbed down to the point that most puzzles are literally whack a series of buttons in a limited amount of time or “find part insert part”.

Spooky Rating? 1 out of 10 Dino Skeletons
Recommend? Yes. Despite the withdraw from survival horror, this is a very fun game in itself.

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut
PSX
I’ve been looking forward to getting to this considering my love for the Remake. Getting to finally experience the original cheesy survival horror was a fantastic experience and loved every moment of it (well almost). Loved the live action intro and poorly delivered lines throughout. They just might be the greatest charms of the game. The gameplay is fairly standard classic survival horror, but it does miss out on the Remakes Crimson Heads and Lisa Trevor encounters. The greatest enemy, however, is the Hunters. Between their invincibility frames upon getting up and their ability to insta-kill you in that time make them more than a deadly foe but a frustrating one as well. Puzzles felt pretty easy. My only other grief is that there is a secret choice system that isn’t quite clear especially for an older game. It felt all too easy to slip in the bad ending where you skip out on the final boss entirely.

Spooky Rating? 2 out of 10 Skeletons
Recommend? Yes. Though the remake does everything better than the original it is still great to experience it.

Silent Hill: Origins
PSP
Prequel to the original that doesn’t add too much. We do get to see some of the original cast younger and kind of what they were doing, but every interaction felt quite inconsequential. The main character, in particular, feels so odd that they are encountering any of this at all. Especially since they were just a truck driver passing through and basically had no reason to investigate anything. This game now introduces item durability which means far more item pickups. This creates an absolute pain in the butt to sift through your inventory as you may end up with a seemingly endless supply of weapons if you play more passively. Bosses are also quite unenjoyable even by survival horror standards.

Spooky Rating? 3 out of 10 Skeletons
Recommend? Meh, it’s not terrible but it doesn’t add much to the series and obviously continues the downhill trend right into Book of Memories.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories
PS Vita
If you expected a survival horror experience, then you would be sorely mistaken. Though I encourage series to branch out into different genres, a SH dungeon crawler just doesn’t quite fit. Continuing the trend from Origins we see a return of item durability as you go into block after block of rooms searching for supplies and challenges. There is a shop and though you can find money randomly, you will also want to sell weapons you nearly used up. This very quickly becomes taxing as you have such a limited storage space (even when you are able to eventually max it out). This means a great deal of your gameplay will be juggling nearly broken weapons with new ones until you can find the shop. You will then walk back and forth across the level, picking up and selling creating an excess bloating of time. On top of buying supplies, you can also purchase abilities that can assist in combat, charms that can be equipped to enhance stats, as well as cosmetics.
Triggering enough battle events and collecting all key items you can face the end of level puzzle. Easily the biggest disappointment are the puzzles. They always consist of the same format. Organize a series of idols based on color/brightness in a certain direction based on a few keywords you find in notes which only seem to come in a limited number of variations. Most enemies are okay enough to deal with, but it is highly integral to your survival that you learn what weapons are effective. However a select few enemies also depending on the size and shape of room can make some experiences more torture than others. Traps are another important thing to watchout throughout the room. Though, they do not show up until you trigger them with some delay to their effects. Some traps can help you depending on your light to blood affinity which is affected by the enemies type when they are killed. This can sometimes be changed if you use a specific ability before killing them to swap them. After every 3 floors you face a boss of each world. The bosses, for the most part, are alright (aside form the water level) though you may have to grind a previous level to stock up on health and weapons.
There is a slight story told through notes and activated tvs, but since it revolves around your blank slate create-a-character it never feels like there is much lore or importance to it. There is no “end” to the game. After x floors you do face a final boss which triggers an ending depending on files found and affinity, but after that it is floor after floor of grind.

Spooky Rating? 0 out of 10 Skeletons
Recommend? No. Though a SH dungeon crawler isn’t necessarily out of the question. This game does not deliver well due to poor gameplay, lack of intriguing plot, and reliance on multiplayer to enhance the experience.

Oct 2022 Part 1 - Steam
“I will glance into your soul. Nobody dies alone… I shall follow you into the next life one day. And I shall take your final thoughts…your feelings…with me. All is connected by water. The soul dissolves, and it, too, returns to the water.” - FF:MoBW”

Another year, another successful Spooktober. Almost running to the point where I don’t have spooky games to play… almost (without buying of course). Of course, next year and the year to follow should be particularly good for survival horror games but will likely get to those before the next Spooky season arrives. Due to the amount of games played I am splitting up my post into 2 to avoid making this super lengthy. Will wait a week or so before posting part 2.

Replayed Games: Silent Hill 2, Phasmophobia

    Alan Wake

    Alan Wake

    12 hours playtime

    Revisited
    Played this on original release and, as a young aspiring writer in love with horror, I was absolutely enthralled by it. A game that took inspirations from works like Stephen King and Dean Koontz, mixing in a strong storyteller narrator and narrative, add a little bit of survival horror aspects and you get Alan Wake.
    Though the game is horror, it is much more of a supernatural thriller than a spine-chilling scare fest. Combat is unique in that you can’t just run and gun but use your flashlight to both stun and make your foes vulnerable. It’s nothing overly special, but at least puts a little zest and helps in building this scenario. What the game particularly excels at is the story. Alan Wake narrating the game as if he was himself writing a book, the twists, turns, interactions, and the premise are all fairly Grade A material with excellent implementation. The two DLCs don’t add much story wise other than shedding a little more light on the ending, but does introduce and utilizes new and fun mechanics.

    Spooky Rating: 3 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Absolutely

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent

    Amnesia: The Dark Descent

    6 hours playtime

    First person physics puzzle horror that may have set the standard for all that follow it. However, it does feel a bit dated as I could not quite feel the same level of fright that many have praised it for. Gameplay is interesting in that you not only have to watch your health but your sanity as well. Being in the dark too long and witnessing weird events will cause your sanity to decrease and you can eventually go crazy. I never let it get that far so I cannot say what happens once that happens as it never became the case. Puzzles were also a lot simpler than I had imagine. For the most part it was “find item”, “place item”, “whack item” or “move item out of the way”.

    Spooky Rating: 4 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Yes, it does well with creating a nice dark atmosphere and generally enjoyable gameplay loop.

    Dead Space 2

    Dead Space 2

    9 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Revisit
    Truly a proper sequel and the best of the series. The first game was still horror but felt it had a much more action focus. The second game, while still fairly non-stop action better mixes the horror with a darker atmosphere, creepier enemies, and more horror setup in encounters. The game features a lot of the original’s weapons along with some new additions, this goes for suits as well. However, I did not like the diversity in suits quite so much compared to the upgrading a single suit in the first. Dying isn’t necessarily a punishment as most enemies and situations have unique kill animations. The story is much more actively involved and even gives main character a voice that gives a bit more immersion to the situation. From beginning to end, the game is silky smooth and no one part ever felt like it dragged on. Before I knew it 9 hours had passed, and the game was over.

    Spooky Rating? 7 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Yes. Hands down one of the best action horror games out there.

    FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Maiden of Black Water

    FATAL FRAME / PROJECT ZERO: Maiden of Black Water

    15 hours playtime
    no achievements

    So glad to finally get my hands on one of the final entries of my favorite survival horror series. This entry adds a new mechanic around revolving your shot and some open-ish areas to explore. It’s a bit of a slog in the beginning with some extremely hand holding tutorials. Past this the game does pick up while building upon layer of horror and lore towards the final endgame payoff.

    Spooky Rating? 9 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Yes, making it past the first few hours and the game improves like crazy while slowly building up the horror before cashing it in.

    Fairy Bloom Freesia

    Fairy Bloom Freesia

    2 hours playtime

    Simple 2D Beat-Em-Up. Utilize combos to fight waves of blobs in various small arenas and earn experience and mana to buy more skills/abilities. As you gain more and customize your skills your ability to combo and free flow becomes a lot easier. It however does feel a bit clunky at times, especially if you get knocked down it feels very easy just to get stun locked by enemies. There are a few bosses who are alright but also feel like it’s hard to combo and lack the flow of combat found in the rest of the game. You do get a moment where you break their guard and can freely hit them without worrying about attacks, but it is limited to one combo string and never got more than a few hits. The game is a lot shorter than I imagined and actually almost wished there was a bit more. Still, there is some nice post-game content where you can do new game plus with higher difficulties as well as wave survival. Story is fairly basic and ends a bit abruptly. Definitely feels like there was more planned but never followed through.

    Spooky Rating? NA
    Recommend? Yes, simple and enjoyable experience that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

    Phoenix Force

    Phoenix Force

    5 hours playtime

    Simplified bullet hell that seems to be a mobile game ported in. Each level is just a combination of 1 to 4 of the same few bosses. Each boss has a few variations as you progress which dictates the difference in their phases when dealt enough damage. All of the birds you can unlock pale in comparison to the starter as their damage is fairly low in comparison and abilities hardly activate enough to make up for it. With 100 levels (and a hundred challenge levels you could do in addition for the final unlock) the game gets repetitive and dull rather quickly.

    Recommend? No. It may be an okay entry to the bullet hell genre, but honestly better off with a different game.

    Scourge: Outbreak

    Scourge: Outbreak

    7 hours playtime

    4-player co-op story that utilizes a mix of third person shooter with limited psionic abilities somewhat reminiscent of Mass Effect complete with squad ordering. The squad of four have unique backgrounds, weapon proficiencies and their own combination of psionic abilities (one defense and one offense ability). This game has the ingredients to at least make a decent game but it really fails at every turn.
    The gameplay for your character is okay-ish. Standard third person shooter deal except the mounting system is fairly flawed in that you can shoot your own cover when aiming at an enemy. The abilities are fairly underwhelming especially since they do not automatically recharge and recharge are not only rare but destroyable. There is also an experience system that seems to give you rank ups in weapons (general), psionic (general), co-op resurrection, etc. but it doesn’t seem to actually affect anything and begs the question why even bother implementing it. The greatest detriment of this game is the AI, holy heck is the AI terrible. When they are not standing in a corner ways away from the enemy, they are doing suicide runs straight into the enemy. Even when you command them to go into cover or target an enemy, it does not guarantee their compliance. This makes the game an absolute slog and certain points of the game feel impossible as if anyone of you or your squad’s resurrection timer runs out, game over. The one upside is that the AI is pretty good about coming to someone’s aid when they go down.
    Story feels pretty inconsequential. Half the time things just kind of happened and it wasn’t explained very well as to why this team betrayed who, what exactly what you were doing, or in general what is happening. This hurts even more as each character’s story feels poorly handled and misleading.

    Spooky Rating? NA
    Recommend? No, the AI issue alone is enough to pass. Maybe, MAYBE, if you can squad up with at least one other player this may be alright but still generic experience.

    Alone in the Dark 1

    Alone in the Dark 1

    6 hours playtime
    no achievements

    I was fairly skeptical of this game as at first glance it didn’t seem to age well. However, after learning the ebb and flow of the game it holds up surprisingly well as a gaming and survival horror experience. After picking your character, you arrive at a mansion where you very quickly find thing are not what they seem and just about anything can (and will) kill you. Every encounter is just as much as a puzzle as it is a fight for survival. Learn each enemies’ interactions, plan your routes after death, and dear gods utilize all of the save slots to avoid putting yourself in a pickle.
    One of the biggest things to learn about this game is that there are a lot of situations that will instantly kill you with very little signals to let you know as much. Once you accept this, you can adapt a “learning experience” mentality and lessen the blow of each death. The combat is a little weak and this is partly due to a bit of a weird control system that takes time getting used to. It is also quite slow and either side can get temporarily stun locked. Visually, the game does look quite rough. I mean the female main character’s face is far more terrifying than some of the monsters you will face throughout the manor. Lastly, item management can be a right pain as you have a unlisted weight capacity and nothing ever gets “used up.” Instead, you will have to find a corner to throw things you no longer need or may need later. This includes simple things like books or used up boxes of cookies. Most puzzle puzzles can be figured out and may need some trial and error, but not as ambiguous as some point and click adventures.
    In addition to the main game, there is a fun little Halloween adventure following a small girl stuck in a toy store called “Jack in the Dark”. It utilizes a lot of the same mechanics as the original, but far less death.

    Spooky Rating? 2 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? The visuals may be more than a bit dated, but the gameplay can be fairly enjoyable for those willing enough to learn the controls. Yes.

    Amigdala

    Amigdala

    4 hours playtime

    I have tried picking this game up several times, in VR, and failed to complete it until recently. The VR seems poorly implemented as I felt the need to vomit each time despite being fairly good with that sort of medium. This especially sucks as the game tries it’s hardest to run in VR even with the setting turned off. Once you actually get the game running, it turns into a fairly generic first-person horror game. In fact, most of it is just exploring the same few halls trying to figure out what the heck you are supposed to do. It only makes matters worse when you gotta worry about weird multiple interactions with objects, ability to easily get cornered in narrow hallways, and frame perfect timing sequences that can lead to your immediate death. The story is also very meh in regard to premise and finality.

    Spooky Rating? 1 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? At it’s best, the game is underwhelming and more often is worse than that. No.

    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

    12 hours playtime
    no achievements

    How to take a decent world building Lovecraftian horror and turn it to trash? You make the port to PC a buggy and terrible mess. After witnessing the forbidden Eldritch horrors, your character goes mad and loses several years before returning to uncover the truth. For the first few segments, this game has some decent horror in it and unsettling moments despite some of the rough visuals. Unfortunately, that is all lost the moment you pick up a gun and then it is just a supernatural first-person shooter. There are still some spooky moments that persist and there is a sanity mechanic that could enhance this, but overall, it kind of ends up being a rough FPS. Honestly, in general as the game goes on it is fairly downhill. Story progresses oddly, many paths to progression are either unclear or do not function as they should and the ending kind of just exists. There is a neat healing mechanic where you can pick specific wounds on your body to heal, but it is never really explained and figured it out by accident.
    I’d like to take a moment to say that I can’t stress enough how absolutely game breaking and buggy this game can get. There are several moments where some key visuals will not appear, interactions will not proceed as planned, and frame pacing issues can force death despite running the correct path. There are some patches out there that can mitigate most of these issues. HOWEVER, even with the patches I could not fix a bug that always killed me as I was 10 steps away from the final cutscene trigger.

    Spooky Rating? 3 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? No, the game has too many game breaking bugs to even be worth considering. Supposedly there is a GOG version that can be fixed but I wouldn’t go out of my way for.

    Fallout 4

    Fallout 4

    120 hours playtime

    I think I have started a new game on several platforms, with and without mods, without ever making it much further than the halfway point in the story. It’s not to say it is necessarily bad on it’s own, but in comparison to the series as a whole is a relatively big disappointment.
    The gameplay just feels like a massive step back from it’s RPG roots, especially as it comes after New Vegas. In fact, it almost loses most of the RPG elements and only leaves a basic and underwhelming perk and skill system. Most of the later tree perks do very little or need to be used in a very specific build, and no longer do most of your special stats affect most encounters with NPCs. The combat is fine enough, but with the new Legendary system you run into far too many bullet sponges. The new armor system is fairly underwhelming
    Exploration is far weaker, in part due to the new crafting and base building system. You are no longer really exploring buildings for neat weapons, lore, etc. but now feels like you are exploring for materials to craft walls and stairs for a base you may or may not be building. These materials also take up an incredible portion of your weight and do not transfer between bases without specific perks and setup. This weight issue could have easily been reduced if there was a skill to halve all junk material. Speaking of items, trying to barter and sell is also a pain as no shops carry any substantial amount of caps and rates are way too against your favor.
    The story is also, for the most part, fairly boring and lacks any build up, climax, or conclusion. Most of the companions even seem to lack any interactions and some of which do not even carry unique quest lines. Companions are also a pain to level especially as it feels there are several mechanics that they seem to rely on that are not activated within the game.
    Only one of the two major DLCs is worth the purchase, while most of the small DLCs have a crafting focus and fail to include anything meaningful even in that aspect.
    Far Harbor
    Only If the base game had quite the same storytelling, choices, and setting as this. This DLC has just about it all. New interesting location, several new factions that play major roles in the DLC story, and a lot of interesting and great gear. Some of the downsides include it reusing some enemies form base game with new skin and some of the more interesting enemies don’t ever seem to show up.
    If you own Fallout 4, it is very recommended to get this DLC above all else.
    Nuka World
    What a waste of potential, the setting and ideas are all there but poorly implemented and not fleshed out. A theme parked setting focusing on the Nuka Cola drink seen throughout the game. However, most of the quests not only involve “clear out area” or a fetch quest, but most main missions require you to constantly travel from the DLC to the main game and back. It is an absolute slog. To make matters worse, the DLC effectively forces you to take a antagonistic stance and join the raiders. There is technically A mission that allows you to not choose the raider path but it is a side mission that reduces the playtime of the DLC to 10 minutes and thus a waste of a purchase. Heck, one of the main missions of the game will permanently ruin your relationship with Preston Garvey (Minutemen) among other factions. So, if you are trying to do a Minutemen run this can absolutely ruin your base game story.
    Definite pass.

    Spooky Rating? NA
    Recommend? Are you a Fallout fan? You can probably pass. Do you like a heavily action focused with some light RPG elements, you may enjoy this. Either way, modding heavily recommended.

    Post Mortem

    Post Mortem

    5 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Point-and-Click adventure as a ex American Detective solving a mysterious murder case in France. The game starts off strong with not only a murder of a married couple but showing the twisted scene of the crime. It unfortunately does not keep this level of intrigue as getting evidence and questioning individuals can be slow. Furthermore, I was a little sad to see that any future murders were not shown nor given the idea that they were given the same level of gruesome intent as the initial. As the game progressed towards the end, some of the plot points were interesting but overall I was just trying to get the game over with.

    Spooky Rating? 1 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? The game is alright, but doesn’t feel particularly fulfilling.

    Silence of the Sleep

    Silence of the Sleep

    6 hours playtime
    no achievements

    2D Stealth horror game that plays with the ideas of limbo and things not being what they seem. Some decent puzzles while the story feels like it drags on. Certain segments also just seem to go on far longer than they need to or are needlessly tedious.

    Spooky Rating? 2 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Not terrible, just not great. Probably pass.

    The Scourge Project: Episode 1 and 2

    The Scourge Project: Episode 1 and 2

    4 hours playtime
    no achievements

    This is basically Scourge: Outbreak build on a previous engine. Aside from some minor changes to how weapons feel and models, the game suffers from a lot of the same issues Outbreak does. One key difference is that the AI squad refuses to use their abilities and don’t always automatically go to pick a squad mate up. The other key difference is that everyone seems to have the same set of abilities and the abilities feel much stronger.

    Spooky Rating? NA
    Recommend? Much like Scourge: Outbreak, it’s a no.

    The Walking Dead: Season Two

    The Walking Dead: Season Two

    8 hours playtime

    Following Clementine from Season 1, you do your best to survive while trying to learn the hard truths of surviving with others. Though still a decent story, this game doesn’t quite hit the same way as the first. On top of that, it feels like you run into so many of the same situations and interactions it gets quite old especially as it feels like each person gets their turn to participate despite their reactions in previous iterations. I understand this may have been intentional to drive some of the themes within the game, but it very much could have been handled better.

    Spooky Rating? 1 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Though it fails to compare to the original, it is an alright interactive experience.

    Only If

    Only If

    2 hours playtime

    Free to play that employs some interesting mechanics. However, it does feel like a student’s project overall in quality. Some lines feel just a little too bizarre and the game can get a fairly buggy from time to time. Still, it feels like something you should tell other people to play for the weird instances littered throughout.

    Spooky Rating? 0 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? Eh, why not? Short and free and some decent segments littered here and there.

    Resident Evil Village

    Resident Evil Village

    68 hours playtime

    Shadow of Rose DLC
    Short scenario involving and ending the Winters saga starring the daughter of Ethan. Despite being a DLC the game starts of fairly slow before you get into decent combat. You revisit places across the main game in overall three segments all with a slightly different focus than the last all while exploring Rose’s mysterious powers. I never feel like the combat gets explored enough and would have liked it to be a bit longer. That being said, there is an excellent scary section implemented that does well to not rely on jumpscare or action. I would have liked to see a much more extended variation of each section or even allow us to play as Rose in main campaign/mercenaries.

    Mercenaries Extra Orders
    New characters added make you feel truly powerful, as they should. Both Heisenberg and Dimitrescu are absolute powerhouses, not to mention the fact that you have to crouch as Lady to get through doors is amazing. Chris is also a new character, but I could not quite figure out how to use him effectively or what his abilities do.

    Spooky Rating? 7 out of 10 Skeletons
    Recommend? It is a solid DLC that wraps up some left over questions without requiring a full game. However, it is still on the short side.

Sept 2022
“If you wanna live, you can’t always take the easy path. Sometimes, you gotta take the painful ones” - UDG
A little late, but I’ve also been busy during the spookiest and best month of the year. Though I did not get a lot done this month (in fact almost half of my efforts were moving a beaten game to completed), I feel like things are going in the right direction. I am making progress towards a Kratos cosplay and recently got my first tattoo, something I have wanted to do for 12 years but kept putting it off due to worries of work, money, etc. I also put Dead by Daylight down for a while as it was starting to affect my mental health. Hopefully you all are also making efforts and progress towards your best selves as well. Also, hopefully having a great Spooktober so far!

    Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

    Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

    18 hours playtime

    Did you think this was going to be another investigative visual novel? “That’s wrong!” Instead, this plays closer to a third person survival horror and it does have quite a bit of charm to it. You play as Komaru Naegi who teams up with someone from Future Foundation to escape a city running rampant with Monokumas. Armed with a hacking gun and several hacking types you must try to escape the latest killing game lest you fall to despair (and death).

    Though the controls are not exactly finely tuned, I did find it quite enjoyable. Story is fairly consistent with the series and can range from comical, horror, and uneasy moments. The soundtrack and style of the game and characters are, as per usual, fantastic. I do wish that game leaned a little more heavily into the survival horror aspect as I tended to be fairly fine on ammo and situations despite being the hardest difficulty. There was also some disappointment that the game feels very obviously targeted more towards a male audience when my initial assumption it was more Shoujo (though it has those moments too thanks to a certain character). Luckily, those moments are pretty rare but I can understand if anybody does feel uncomfortable during those moments.

    Lewd? There are a couple moments and minigame that are lewd implicating, but nothing explicit.

    Recommend? Yes! I do love this series and quite enjoyed this. For anybody playing this series, play this AFTER Danganronpa 2 then proceed to watch the anime Danganronpa 3 BEFORE moving to Danganronpa V3.

    DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS Playtest

    DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS Playtest

    3 hours playtime
    no achievements

    It is always nice to see franchises break from their typical game genre and move onto something new (even if it is not new to the industry). An Isometric idea sounds great even given how a lot of villains don’t get the chance to show their true terror for long in the show. However, this was a bit disappointing. On release, there are only 3 villains available and you are never assured to play as the villain as it is based on whatever the match requires, so your role is never assured even if you select your preference. The game almost even gives it away that your chances to be villain are low since even the tutorial only shows you the basics of the survivor and does not even give you villain encounters. I didn’t even know how to respond to the villain when they got to me and felt like if I got to at least play villain I would have at least learned about counterplays. This game also feels like it is never going to be properly balanced.

    Probably the worst offense of this game is that not only do you pay to acquire the game but then they also have a pay gacha system implemented. Either make it free to play or don’t incorporate this into a paid low effort game.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Not really, even with the low price I feel this was a fairly low effort project

    GUNDAM EVOLUTION

    GUNDAM EVOLUTION

    9 hours playtime

    Hero team based action shooter (much like Overwatch) that uses various, but limited, gundams and mobile suits from across the series. Though the content feels fairly limited at this moment it is pretty good for what it offers. Maps feel decently designed and tables can be turned on either side. All this being said, it feels like some mobile suits far outclass most with some of them being locked behind a pay/play many hours wall.

    Lewd? No

    Recommend? I’m a bit on the fence. I feel that playing with an actual team of people you know can make this great and consistent, while at the same time this game could probably go through a few updates, patches, and additional content before it becomes solidly good to great.

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™

    32 hours playtime

    Massive improvements over Shadow of Mordor. Landscapes and environment feel alive and populated. No more flat bland landscapes of SoM and we get a bit more diverse settings with orcs and humans alike. The Domination system is not only improved but feels it has more general purpose outside of story. Not only does it progress the story, but you can now set up sieges against various strongholds to take them over as well as defend them once controlled. For the most part, movements and controls remain the same but there were some additions to make moving around the map and areas a bit more fluid. Story is also fairly consistent with the last with no notable improvements. The end does feel somewhat abrupt and in order to get the “true” ending you have to do what feels like some forced repetitive end game content of defending/reclaiming strongholds.
    There are two somewhat major gripes I have for this game. One, the directional inputs can sometimes get a little weird and move you to a place you were trying not to go or swing at an enemy you were not intending. The second is that the adaptability system. This system makes it so that using a certain move against some chiefs enough will make it so that it no longer does. This in itself isn’t terrible and makes you adapt as well. HOWEVER, there are some enemies (such as shielded) NEED to be vaulted in order to be attacked effectively. So, once they become adapted to it you are basically SOL on defeating them.

    Lewd? Spider lady cute, but no lewd.

    Recommend? Yes, a sequel that does a lot to improve on the old formula. Mayhaps one day I will purchase the DLC and complete this game.

    Fallout: New Vegas

    Fallout: New Vegas

    122 hours playtime

    Someone I know told me they were going to complete this game because they knew I would eventually come back to do it. Filled with the need to spite this person and get it done before them, I dropped everything and reinstalled. It is my honor and greatest happiness to say that I did complete this game before them.
    Fallout: New Vegas is always a bit of a double edged sword for me. I don’t particularly care for the setting and detest the story. However, the gameplay is probably the best it’s ever been as it incorporates an RPG system with a FPS/TPS. Though it would take a couple playthroughs (or well timed saves) the game is fairly easy to complete and most of the quests are enjoyable. Particularly the DLC.

    Lewd? Nothing explicit, but very much alluded.

    Recommend? Yes, peak gameplay for the series and the DLC are a must.

    Fallout Shelter

    Fallout Shelter

    66 hours playtime

    Following my need to return to New Vegas to complete the game, I decided I would do the same here. This game started as a decent mobile game but eventually loses it’s luster. Particularly the achievements they have that would basically require you to spend at least $100 or many MANY years of gaming. That is simply the standard and reasons why I dislike mobile gaming in general. I won’t lie that I did do some adjustments to my files so that I didn’t have to suffer either fate.

    Lewd? Nope

    Recommend? Nope, mobile games are evil :)

JJBA: Eyes of Heaven
PS4
A somewhat typical anime arena fighter much like Ninja Storm among others. The arena setting does fit JOJO a bit more than most as most fights in the show have them using their environments and objects within it to fight. There is some semblance of that in the game, but wildly simplified. The combat also feels weird as it not only feels like “things are just happening” but also having to trigger specials rather than using inputs (i.e. hold R2 to bring up special menu instead of doing a quarter circle + button for a specific special) which felt like I had to stand for a second to do special instead of being able to string into combos.
There is a somewhat unique story here (similar to DBXenoverse 2) where the history of JJBA is being distorted and you must collect holy corpse parts before the ultimate villain can. This allows JJBA from various parts to officially team up and interact in a way that just has never been possible before.

Lewd? I mean look at the cast… but no.

Recommend? Meh. It does bring a lot to the table but never commits far enough to make a truly amazing experience. For the time being a 2.5 dimension fighter is much more suitable for JJBA.

Aug 2022
King? Yeah, here’s your crown - DMC2
A little bit early this time around, never saw that coming. Yet, I needed to wait for food to cook and a much needed break from my extensive time with DBD. (The new Resident Evil chapter is fantastic by the way). A little more progress squeezed in this month, a little progress lost. However, with Spooktober coming up I’m sure to make a killing as I stream all 31 days with spooky games. Onto the progress.

    AER Memories of Old

    AER Memories of Old

    2 hours playtime

    Simple and semi-relaxing game where you can transform into a bird to travel among many sky islands to solve basic puzzles to get access to mini-dungeons in order to access the few major dungeons. Art style is neat and similar to that of Epistory. I was mostly surprised on how big the map was. At first, “Oh it’s bigger than I expected” to “Wait there’s more?” and then “How big does this get?” and so on and so forth. Puzzles are alright with only a few getting a little confusing or hidden. Story held no interest of mine.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Mild yes. The best part of the game is flying around without a care, but it can only go on so long.

    After I met that catgirl, my questlist got too long!

    After I met that catgirl, my questlist got too long!

    18 hours playtime

    And boy did it. An isekai where you don’t play as the person from another world and instead someone already in it. Decent RPGMaker-esque game. Classes are somewhat unique, in particular the main character (charm witch) who can charm enemies and do damage based on charm. An alchemist, and a sentinel that can switch to all offense. The story does alright and the art is relatively well (though I am mixed on MC model).

    Lewd? Only if you get the patch, otherwise just incessant innuendos .
    Recommend? Moderate yes.

    Devil May Cry HD Collection

    Devil May Cry HD Collection

    51 hours playtime

    Though I have played the series multiple times, I have never played the actual “HD Collection”. Good news, it’s more or less the same, bad news some games is too much the same.
    DMC1
    Truly a classic that not only helped put Hack and Slash on the map but holds up pretty well today. Enemies and bosses are enjoyable, combat is fairly varied, and very magical moments in the narrative. The only downsides are that weapon switching is far from convenient and some of the later game mechanics didn’t quite make it yet.

    DMC2
    I always get excited to play this before I realize “It’s worse than I remember it”. The dark broody atmosphere is nice along with a more serious Dante which feeds my head canon. This game also undoubtedly had inspired the Gunslinger style in later entries. However, the gameplay is dead simple and almost entirely revolves around gunplay even though guns don’t do much for your style rank or offer much variety. What makes matters worse is that most enemies and bosses fly making sword combat already worse. There narrative also feels non-existent as the cutscenes are few and far in between along with Dante having very few lines.

    DMC3
    After the failure of two it is a little surprising on how amazing 3 is. It not only sets up the more iconic Dante (aka crazy woohoo flying pizza man) but mechanics as well including the style stances and in-battle weapon swapping. Combat is fairly seamless, bosses are all nearly great to fantastic, and it has one of the strongest narratives of the series.

    Lewd? Innuendos and maybe a little flashy (Shirtless Dante) but no outright lewds.

    Recommend? Very much so. Even with 2 in the mix the other two games are more than enough reason to play. I’d also say don’t skip DMC2 as I think it’s important to experience and it does have it’s moments.

    DmC Devil May Cry

    DmC Devil May Cry

    10 hours playtime

    A reboot that is much better than people make it out to be. Sure, the changes to characters aren’t great and the writing is mostly comical (thought that is a bit of a trend in the series, and in itself is a good thing), but the combat is rock solid. Smooth as butter, allows for easy use of all weapons and the combos flow with ease. I would even say it has some have the best bosses and boss designs in the series. So, sure, you can be mad that this isn’t the Devil May Cry that you know… or you can just enjoy it for what it is.

    Lewd? More nude dante, but no lewd dante.

    Recommend? Yes, overall an enjoyable experience.

    For Honor

    For Honor

    9 hours playtime
    no achievements

    Played a little bit of the beta, but no one I knew was going to get it so neither did I (until it was free). It was at least interesting and unique in it’s own way and quite surprised it had a story at all. Combat is unique in that it is not just straight hack and slash, but requires you to use directions to attack and matching those directions allow the defender to block/parry if timed right. I’m sure it is easy for crazy imbalance, but I didn’t run into much of that. The story isn’t much more than a stretched-out tutorial and is maybe a little too long (despite it only being 18 chapters). I did try multiplayer a bit, mostly just breach (one team tries to break through two gates and the commander while the other defends) and I was a little surprised that it was somewhat enjoyable… but not enough for me to really stick around. It also seemed like unlocking characters was somewhat tedious and you only had access to so many.

    Lewd? Lots buff and very non army wearing warriors, but no lewd.
    Recommend? Meh, it’s alright and seems to still have a committed player base but didn’t capture my interest enough.

    Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim™

    Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim™

    3 hours playtime

    Finally, it’s here! The VN where you get to date (some) of the killers from DBD. Developed by the same studio that did “I Love You Colonel Sanders” if it gives a slight reference. However, I think this is an even better VN in this one in just about every category. First and foremost, the art absolutely pops. Colorful designs and why does everyone look so dang hot. Even the non-killer NPCs look unreasonably great. Mixed with their designs, I was able to create a perfect idea of what they might sound like, even the non-visual characters. Lastly(?), the writing is great. It’s humorous, you can feel some depth with each character and know with whom you pine for as well as some great cough scenes *cough later. It even throws in some of the DBD gameplay in there, though not to the full extent. My only wish is that there were more killers in the game (sequel?) and furthermore date all of the ones that ARE cameos in the game. I was able to get all routes for my main goal character, but definitely plan to get all routes eventually.

    Lewd? Yes, though nothing visually explicit. (Some of the writing does all your imagination needs 0///0)
    Best Girl: Spirit
    Best Boy: Trickster (let me date him)
    Recommend? Very much yes. I haven’t been into VNs for a while and this sucked (heh) me right in. Especially recommended with those familiar and interested in DBD

    Nex Machina

    Nex Machina

    2 hours playtime

    Fast paced Twinstick Arcade Shooter that very much reminded me of Ruiner. Not much else to say, you get a dash, you shoot, you find various upgrades and you try to save people. The game is fairly challenging, particularly in the later sections but never felt overly tedious. The upgrades and sub weapons you get can feel a little underwhelming though as some feel outright worthless.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes, fast paced shooter but be warned as your death will also be fast paced.

    Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel

    Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel

    3 hours playtime
    no achievements

    A very weird and stylized VN with no real overarching story. It takes maybe an hour to go all the routes, maybe longer if you don’t skip already watched scenes in which there are a plenty. This only seems a little weird as some scenes that I assumed were some random side story ended up showing just about everywhere regardless of the path you take. Despite having a somewhat interesting premise (modern world with advancing AI) it really just lacks any follow through and resolution.
    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? No. It feels like an unfinished game that was expecting a sequel.

Jeanne D’Arc
PSP
I remember seeing this game back on shelves with my first PSP in hand. Unfortunately back then I did not have the means to pay for games on my own and thus my PSP library suffered. Cut to a decade + some years later and I finally got my hands on it and boy did I miss out. This underappreciated gem is absolutely overlooked. A quality SRPG with quality combat and narrative. It is likely one of the first, if not few, games to adapt the Joanne D’ Arc story into a game, somewhat similar to that of Fate in that it mixes history with magic. Similar to that of FFTactics and Fire Emblem, you must move your characters around a grid and use spatial awareness to attack enemies in range without putting you in a disadvantageous situation. On top of a (possible) weapon triangle, there is an additional triangle of skills where you can assign a sign to deal more damage. It’s a somewhat unnecessary addition as if enemies don’t have a sign than it does jack squat. It doesn’t even enhance magic of the same sign or vice versa. My biggest complaint are the escort mission and some of the near to final bosses where the former the AI absolutely is suicidal and the latter have some very long and/or tedious and needlessly difficult situations. Still enjoyed it through and through.
Lewd? Nope.
Recommend? Yes, but unfortunately it only ever saw a PSP release.

July 2022
The genius of the hole: no matter how long you spend climbing out, you can still fall back down in an instant. – Max Payne 2
Life knows two miseries; getting what you don’t want and not getting what you want. – Max Payne 2

Again, not a terribly productive month, but I did at least knock out 2 of my 3 Summer Steam Sale purchases. DBD, of course, is still taking some of that time particularly since the latest perk/progression overhaul, the new tome release, and soon Project W.

Until next time.

    Inscryption

    Inscryption

    14 hours playtime

    Rouge-like card game with escape room elements that just might be more than it appears to be. There is so much charm and style to this game, it’s great. Simply put, it was hard to put down and just when you think you have mastered it, it throws a curveball to keep you changing your strategy. The characters in this game felt like they had a lot of depth despite not getting a lot of straight forward interactions. As well, all of the hidden secrets were enjoyable to figure out and find, even if I did not get all of them.

    Lewd? Nope.
    Recommend? Yes, even now I’m tempted to reinstall and go another round.

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition

    Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition

    35 hours playtime

    Base line: It’s another GTA game. The story is a little less disjointed in San Andreas and your environment has a much-needed compactness to it (i.e. no more travelling long deserts across map every other mission). The story was generally fine, but it lacked any real impact. Most of the events felt random and the missions that seemed to be the most related to your story just kind of happened or were a little random. Another con to this game is that there were a lot of radio stations, but nothing really piqued my fancy. There was also a sort of hangout system where calling or accepting random requests from friends will earn their favor. I believe leveling friendships up enough give you perks, but I honestly never bothered with any of that.

    My greatest compliment to this game is that in-game ran pretty smooth considering the original release. Despite the graphics being quite underwhelming even for it’s time, the smooth frame rate was quite welcome.

    The two expansions followed two fairly minor characters. Both have similar issues in regards to story. The first expansion “The Lost” is pretty terrible as you are often stuck following someone else with some very subpar missions and weird setups. The second DLC BoGT is much more refined and consistent experience. The missions feel very much what a GTA game should have with plenty of vehicles while being generally enjoyable.

    Lewd? Kinda.
    Recommend? Kinda. If you like the GTA formula, this will most likely be up your alley. Again, a lot of the major plot points felt underwhelming but overall gameplay was decent. It was just too much for my liking.

    Magicka 2

    Magicka 2

    3 hours playtime

    The 1-4 robed wizards are back and kinda better than ever. Off on yet another adventure as the last remaining few from the pointless wizard wars of last game. The game is far more digestible than the last, for better or worse. A measly 9 levels to magic your way through and possibly some DLC that I did not have.
    Wether or not you wanted more content, I can at least say that this entry is far more single player friendly. Having quick cast spells, the ability to cast revive on yourself, and much easier combat/scenarios. That being said this game still has puzzles that are very multi person oriented and of course more friends more fun.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes.

    Max Payne 3

    Max Payne 3

    9 hours playtime

    Everything that made the Max Payne series stand from other shooters is now gone. The unique art-style/comic panels: gone, noir sort of setting/storytelling: no more, semi-logical detective character: non-existant. Instead we get a little too modern type of game with decent shooting but absolutely terrible writing. I understand Max may be not what he used to be after years of pills, alcohol, and depression. However, whatever was left of him in this is not even recognizable with some of the decisions and logic he runs with. Gunplay is great, but it kind of ends there. The game constantly slows you down at every transition and severely limits your inventory now only really able to hold 3 guns so long as you never dual wield.

    Lewd? There are some boobas and lewd acts in the background, but only for a brief moment.
    Recommend? Not really. The game isn’t terrible and generally feels decent to play, but it is most definitely not a “Max Payne” game past the name.

    THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 UNLIMITED MATCH

    THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2002 UNLIMITED MATCH

    4 hours playtime

    A decent entry in the KoF series. The sprites seemed to be slightly less than ’98 but overall, pretty much the same gameplay. Some new characters including powerful bosses from previous entries. Not much else to say.

    Lewd? Some scantily clad fighters of both genders, but that’s about it.

    Recommend? Yes, but you may be better just getting the KoF ‘98

    THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII STEAM EDITION

    THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII STEAM EDITION

    4 hours playtime

    A little more modern KoF and even has a few bells and whistles such as a Tutorial and Story mode. Unfortunately, the story mode is pretty bare bones and has cons such as auto advancing text and choppy scenes. The gameplay has a much more emphasis on drive canceling which at least separates itself slightly from the rest, but isn’t entirely a new concept either. Despite my history with fighting games, cancels have always been my weak area. That said, getting a hang of it for the purpose of story and beating wasn’t too terrible.

    Lewd? Nothing that isn’t true for most Fighters.

    Recommend? Kind of? Again, it can’t beat KoF ’98 but at least is a more modern entry and tries to evolve. A lot of the new additions feel very undercooked.

    Yakuza: Like a Dragon

    Yakuza: Like a Dragon

    111 hours playtime

    A legendary series turned turn-based JRPG and honestly… it works. Leading with a new protagonist we get another great entry in the Yakuza series. Just like the rest of the series, the story is well fleshed out with plenty of turns and heartbreak as well as feel good moments and humor. The combat is pretty standard turn-based JRPG with some added bits such as being able to perfect block attacks or increase damage by hitting the appropriate buttons. All of the party members had plenty of character in them. As well as various characters, there are a plethora of classes/jobs to level up and switch to giving you more unique gameplay potential. On top of that, leveling up jobs occasionally lets you keep skills across classes meaning it’s worth it to level up each one. Finally, the post-game isn’t particularly jaw dropping, but there are some challenging dungeons and, as always, a lot of minigames (both new and old) to spend time on.
    Best Boys: Joon-gi han, Zhao
    Best Girls: Eri, Saeko
    Best Jobs: Dealer, Chef, Hero,

    Lewd? Suggestive themes, but much more tame than previous entries.
    Recommend? Absolutely. A refreshing change of pace and unique take on the series. Ichiban absolutely kills it as a new protagonist and there is so much content and enjoyment in every inch of this game.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
PS2
A much needed advancement in gameplay as it refines the noir action shooter. Not without a cost. We lose a little bit of the same tongue in cheek remarks and unique character design. Max, though still very detective and noir, feels just a little bit more of a generic action hero both in looks and personality.

Lewd? Some suggestive scenes, but nothing explicit.

Recommend? Yes, still very much a Max Payne game with improved gameplay.

June 2022

It’s a little sad to see that I am not beating/completing games at the rate I used to. A mix between work and disinterest definitely has a role to play. Getting back onto DBD definitely hasn’t helped either. I’ve also ended up purchasing games from the Summer Sale (Inscryption, Jedi Fallen Order, and Max Payne 3), but it was only due to risks of being spoiled for those games. On the flipside, I did immediately beat 2 out of 3 of those games so more on those on the next post. In the mean time, keep calm and carry on.

    ENSLAVED™: Odyssey to the West™ Premium Edition

    ENSLAVED™: Odyssey to the West™ Premium Edition

    7 hours playtime

    Mech post-apocalyptic adaptation of Journey to the West. It combines some basic hack and slash elements with platforming. Despite all the potential value here, it is all rather subpar. The combat isn’t very engaging, the platforming is pretty standard, and the story is held together by strings. Playing as a Son Wukong variant you escape a slaver ship only to become enslaved to a fellow prisoner who needs you for her own purposes. As you travel together you will be assaulted by her constant telling you what you need to do next despite you needing to run around and grab materials for upgrades. The actual dialogue between the two is weird and there is a lot of uncomfortable situations that feel forced.
    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? No. It’s not terrible, but not good either.

    LEGO® STAR WARS™: The Force Awakens

    LEGO® STAR WARS™: The Force Awakens

    11 hours playtime

    SteamGifts
    This, this is a much refreshing advancement in the lego series. Combat is much more interactive and compelling, vehicle missions feel much more balanced, and it is graphically impressive despite being building blocks. The greater downside is that it is of the newer trilogy which I don’t particularly care for. However, I do hope that they are able to implement these game features is future installment as it is incredibly a step in the right direction.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes, really shows the future of LEGO games has potential.

    Magicka

    Magicka

    13 hours playtime

    Humorous yet intriguing game that allows you to combine various elements to create a wide array of spells. Unfortunately, the game is very blatantly a multiplayer game first and anyone trying to solo this will have a very rough go. So much so that I couldn’t push to beat all of the DLCs as some bosses would heal passively and I would not have the time to do enough damage while staying alive myself.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes, but grab a friend. It’s a rough ride otherwise.

    Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut

    Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut

    7 hours playtime

    Neat 2D platformer that uses the power of hair to attack and dance to transform. In order to stop the pirate Risky, you must collect magical seals and find the secret of the lamp. Combat is pretty standard for these types of games while the transformation mechanic gives it just enough flavor to give it a taste of uniqueness. The biggest issue with the game is that despite being relatively small, it was very easy to become confused on where to go next as well as understanding the ability to traverse layers in order to progress.

    Lewd? A belly dancing half-genie and an octopus… nope, no lewd!
    Recommend? Yes, fun and byte sized.

    The Witness

    The Witness

    11 hours playtime

    Puzzle game that uses the puzzles themselves to teach you various mechanics. There is no text or verbal instructions. Simply traverse the land and most areas will introduce a new puzzle mechanic and lets you figure out the particular quirk and solution for these. It’s very rewarding and other than getting to a place with advanced techniques too soon, you are provided with everything you need to solve each puzzle you come across. There was only one puzzle mechanic, that despite my understanding it’s rules, I could not consistently solve. There are of course a multitude of secrets, secret puzzles, and beautiful landscapes. The lesser interesting bit of this is that it also holds a bunch of, non-essential, audio logs, and videos that really don’t do anything for it. Particularly because it causes you to be stuck in a single space with not much else to do but pace and wait for it to end.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes. Challenging and rewarding puzzle game.

May 2022

    Just Deserts

    Just Deserts

    11 hours playtime

    A VN that looked somewhat promising between the art and the fact that it had voice acting. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. You’re kind of thrown into with little to know explanation. It tries to throw in a combat system, but it is so basic and lacks any real strategy that it’s a slog. Combat is also the only way you can earn money, so if you get a random encounter of enemies you can’t deal with, you can very quickly find yourself out of luck. To get better at combat you can train (which does next to nothing) and you can purchase very expensive gear which requires you to do combat. It’s a bit recursive. The voice acting is pretty mixed. Mostly good, but there is one individual who sounds pretty bad. The writing is nothing special if not a little cringey and straight up bad at times (“I like man things”). There is no redemption nor great finale aside from a little bit absurd boss fight.

    Lewd? Not really.
    Recommend? No

    LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga

    LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga

    11 hours playtime
    no achievements

    The game that really started the LEGO game franchise machine rolling. This combines the original trilogy with the prequels. Gameplay is pretty basic and standard for the LEGO series which basically means combat is pretty lacking and you’ll have some basic puzzles along the way. Not all levels are made equal, but they are pretty decent overall. The greatest thing is that it felt like all boss battles were somewhat unique and offered a good variety. That being said anything that wasn’t a gimmick puzzle had pretty repetitive combat. As one may guess, the biggest part of the game is collecting lego bits but I think giving the player a little more innate magnetism would have made this less of an issue. Especially since some of the missions as a solo player drained you of your bits (specifically vehicle missions).

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Solid LEGO game, particularly for starting it all. Great way to introduce the Star Wars series to a younger audience.

    Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

    Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

    3 hours playtime

    Simple hack and slash game that revolves around you fighting waves of enemies and bosses. There is a loose story that ties it together, but other than a few short cutscenes it is pretty negligible. The combat is fine and there are upgrades/new moves to buy, however it only felt like a select few were actually worth the purchase. Additionally, there are a few perks to stringing together long combos which includes damage dealt, pulling off a move that damages bleeding enemies, and currency gain. The game can get fairly difficult as some bosses have near impossible moves to dodge and will require quick and precise reactions.

    Lewd? Other than the girls in school skirt outfits fighting demons, no.
    Recommend? Kinda, there isn’t much to the game but for what it is the game is decent. There is a new game plus system that does extend the playability a bit.

    The Swapper

    The Swapper

    3 hours playtime

    Puzzle platformer that deals in creating clones that mimic your movement and swapping places with them. Most puzzles are pretty straightforward but really ramp up towards the end. So much so I’m not really sure I solved some of them the way that the developers meant for me to. There is a story told mostly in the background as you go and other than explaining the reason you are doing what you are doing… it’s a bit lacking particularly with the ending.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes, a decent puzzle platformer though nothing incredibly unique.

    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

    Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

    46 hours playtime

    What a refreshing game for the series. The past couple titles got a little bit tiresome of the overly complicated, twist on twist on twist, and filler story/gameplay. This game starts anew by giving you only one protagonist, does not rely on an overabundance of known characters, and introduces a whole new setting. All of the new characters seem fairly well written, and the antagonists give good motivation throughout. Overall, a satisfying story and ending, though they do beat around the bush on one topic for a little too long. The combat is pretty standard though there is an emphasis on Extreme Heat Mode which is where you will now activate most of your heat actions. This did feel like there was less of a variety in both moves and heat actions in general. Minigames are enjoyable as are the side quests. However, some of the side quests are difficult to continue or pace due to some location restrictions and lack of information.

    Lewd? No(?)
    Recommend? Very much so. A very satisfying entry in the Yakuza series.

    We Happy Few

    We Happy Few

    27 hours playtime

    What a mess and horrible experience. The game was often advertised as being Bioshock-like in it’s appearance, similarities of a dystopian society, and crazed junkies. Unfortunately, it really isn’t all that close and is barely a shell of the original premise it originally presented itself as. Joy, a pill that makes everything cheerier, presented as if it literally makes the difference from a rat to a pinata filled with candy. Other than the opening sequence it will never even come close to that. Instead, it is a cheap camouflage at best, but not meant to really be used.

    Instead of being a sort of dystopian horror, it is a cheap survival game, procedurally generated and empty. Buildings and benches often get put in awkward spots, AI often sit down onto nothing, and most loot is worthless. This is only worse when you waste lockpicks to just get a couple of rocks despite being supposedly unique chests. There is also a level and skill system, but you’re mostly going to want to focus skills that make the game less annoying such as not needing food/water, being able to sprint in public, etc. There are also side quests to help get these skill points, but they are terrible drab and either fetch quests or investigate a spot. There is almost no story or interest to them. Which leads me into the main story, it’s also awful. Instead of really focusing on the society they live in and instead goes on a weirdly personal tale for each protagonist. Oh yea, they also didn’t have enough content for one protag so they had to flesh it out by adding two others. More annoyingly as each one adds an annoying add-on to your experience and resets your skills back to 0.

    Lewd? Weirdly adult themes, but no.
    Recommend? No, I cannot stress enough how poor of an experience I had playing this and loathed trudging through it all.

    Save Room - Organization Puzzle

    Save Room - Organization Puzzle

    2 hours playtime

    What’s the best part of Resident Evil 4? Some may say shooting enemies, others may say the story, but we all know where the real enjoyment comes from. Item management. That’s right, sorting out your items in the grid-based attaché case Leon carries around and that is just what this game’s focus is. Puzzle style item management where you will need to rotate your items, load ammo, combine materials and use items so that you don’t drop or waste a single thing.

    The game in itself is weirdly therapeutic. Chill music and a focus on a simple goal. Unfortunately, the game is on the shorter end with about 30 puzzles. After everything is introduced, you’ll find that you will be resorting to the same strategy which can be a little repetitive. If the game threw in a few curveballs or moments where your strategy could make you fail would have been nice.

    Lewd? Just fit gun into slot, no lewd.
    Recommend? Yes, it is insanely cheap and enjoyable for what there is.
    EDIT: Just noticing there are two achievements missing. Fairly sure I completed this so maybe there is an update I missed. Will be done post-haste.

Final Fantasy II: 20th Anniversary Edition
PSP
Where FF1 set the generally setting and gameplay of the series as a JRPG, this started to develop the combat, art, and story. As an empire plagues the land with darkness and deceit, your group of 3 must search for your fourth lost member while facing the empire menace. There is a unique mechanic in this game where the more you use a weapon or spell, the more proficient and powerful it becomes. It also means there are no classes, so anything goes for equippables. This is fairly necessary for weapons in particular, but a double-edged sword when it comes to spells. Not only does the spell become stronger, but so does the cost. So, if you use it too much, you could end up having a spell take nearly all your mana. Another trick is that unless you use the spells in battle there’s no way to increase your spirt (white spell) or mana (black spell) which also makes it a little more complicated as it never felt like it kept up enough. Additionally, there are several combat mechanics that don’t feel explained if at all. Including how experience is gained and the perks or lack thereof for certain armor or weapons.

A major improvement from the previous game aside from the combat and story is that the world does a much better job of keeping you on track and not getting lost. Any time you veer off the right path you end up facing very high level enemies. It’s not the best system, but at least doesn’t leave you lost at sea for several hours as you try to figure out where to go next.

The biggest issue the game has is that you basically have mandatory 4th party member swaps to fill the gap for each section. This means trying to keep a consistent build across the 4th character or grinding them up is pretty worthless not to mention they take the gear they wear with them.

Lewd? Nope
Recommend? Yes, a much-improved experience and story over the original.

Final Fantasy III
PSP
Another entry that starts to bring in staples to, at least, the early series. Classes, more importantly, the ability to swap classes along with a plethora of them at that. This may not be the greatest implementation, but it was the beginning. We also get a much more engaging story and another change to combat. The perks of this re-release is that this is remade in 3D and even has a (somewhat useless) focus mechanic that helps you spot secrets.

Since classes are back, your much more restricted in equipment and no proficiency in weapons or spells. Though swapping classes does let you diversify your strategy and squad, there are penalties that seem a little harsh and limiting. For one, switching to a class that is essentially an upgraded variant does not net you any of the perks or experience from the previous job. Very few classes have this issue, but that means leveling up early classes could be wasted. Second, switching classes gives you an x amount of battles penalty to experience and damage. Additionally, swapping from a melee class to a spellcaster class gives you no mana as you previously had 0. This is super problematic and makes it so you should only swap those classes at a Inn or waste precious elixirs as there are no other items to gain mana. This becomes especially a problem for the few times you need to cast a spell in order to progress. Lastly, knowing what a class has before switching into it is impossible. In fact, the only way to know what the potential of a class is would be to either look it up or go to a person at the Inn after the switch has been made.

The story, this time around, goes back to a more classic Warriors of Light versus darkness and every step throughout the tale feels very magical and endearing. Additionally, this has the best progression yet as you literally can’t access places you shouldn’t be until you meet certain progression requirements. Other than one section, it’s very hard to get lost or not no where to go next. The only real downside to how this is setup is that saving can only be done outside of dungeons. This does help prevent you from softlocking yourself in bad situations. However, some dungeons are excruciatingly long, and you may not realize you are under level or ill prepared for a fight and then lose hours of progress. Another issue that relates to that is that some bosses require somewhat specific builds to make them even moderately doable.

Lewd? Nope
Recommend? Very much yes. Though it is not the best, this is probably the first entry in release order that I would recommend.

April 2022

    Guacamelee! Gold Edition

    Guacamelee! Gold Edition

    7 hours playtime

    Revisit
    Solid Metroidvania with Latino flair. Be the Luchador you are and face against supernatural foes as you save the damsel and stop the end of the world. Combat is decent with an emphasis on grapple moves. What makes this stand out more is the ability to freely shift between the living and dead dimension. Shifting will not only change the tone/music/environment but also the ability to combat certain foes and progress in ways that you may not in be able to in a specific dimension. There is co-op capability, though I’m not sure how that plays.

    The game features an incredible amount of reference and love towards other games both in the fore front such as collecting power ups via Chozo-like statues (Metroid) to plenty of background references with various posters, statues, and establishment names.

    Lewd? Nope.
    Recommend? Yes, solid metroidvania and a love letter to video games as a whole. It should be noted that this is not the definitive version despite being called “Gold Edition”.

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

    Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™

    21 hours playtime

    Revisit / Steam Deck
    Assassin Creed-like game set in LOTR universe yet fairly separate from a lot of the protagonists of the movies/books. Story is alright and the unique warchief mechanic gives the game continued playability as new orcs replace the ones you have killed or converted. However, the land is pretty bland and there really is not much to do between missions or outside of messing with the War Chiefs. DLC is more of the same with some new monster variants and skills, but they are in their own separate instances. I would have loved if they incorporated it as an option to include in your main playthrough instead.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Generally, yes. It hasn’t aged particularly well, but it is a decent stealth/action game.

    Yooka-Laylee

    Yooka-Laylee

    11 hours playtime

    Very obviously inspired by Banjo and Kazooie, but lacking in all of the feeling and heart. Levels are left incomplete until you find collectibles and upgrade the world. An interesting progression system but ultimately the execution just wasn’t right. Levels just end up feeling too big and empty in the early game and by the time the world has been upgraded the pay off just isn’t enough. The music is alright, but the sound effects are not. A particular sound that your duo can make while moving sounds like a straight up squeaky toy and it is the worst. Boss battles are pretty inconsistent, some are decent while others seem to be a bit wonky.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Not really. It tries to capture everything that went well in Banjo and Kazooie and misses all marks.

    NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM

    NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM

    16 hours playtime

    Steam Deck
    Naruto fighting game that offers a semi open world story mode. Genuinely impressed with the performance and look of this game despite being older. The cell shaded cartoon/anime style keeps the game looking fresh while the frame rate seems to run silky smooth. The game follows the original Naruto show from the Genin period all the way to the end with the Sound Ninja Four and Sasuke leaving arc. However, they do miss some critical moments including the Land of Waves arc with Zabuza. In between the main story missions you can play to gain mission points which allows you to progress as well. Unfortunately, these missions are not only very repetitive but kind of unimaginative. You either get to do a tree climbing race (lane racer type game), tree jumping race (avoid obstacles to either get to a destination or catch up to a target in a limited time), hide and seek, and general battles with goals. A somewhat neat aspect is that between missions you get to explore the leaf village fairly freely. You can only climb buildings at certain points, but you can otherwise run, jump, throw yourself, destroy objects, and collect scrolls (currency 1 out of 2) as well as deliver and purchase items. As neat as this is and populated as the village is, there really isn’t much to actually do in the village. More annoyingly so, is you’ll have to accept missions at a save point, run to a person to initiate it and then possibly run to another destination to actually access the mission. It’s super round-a-bout and becomes cumbersome quickly.

    Outside of regular battles, there are 3 giant battles that have you facing against, well, giant adversaries which include QTE cutscenes that recreate epic moments from the show. I’m not sure if it is a problem solely for the Steam deck, but there were some performance issues with some stages and character moves. Chunin Exam final arena causes consistent slow down and Might Guy’s Ultimate move creates massive stuttering and slow down for example.

    Lewd? No Sexy Jutsu here.
    Recommend? Generally, yes. Though I think the later storm games massively improve on the story and fighting system, this game generally performs and looks great while providing decent gaming experience.

Elden Ring
PS5
Yet another Soulsborne game that doesn’t quite reinvent the wheel but does expand on pre-existing mechanics creating another well enjoyed experience. The biggest change being that it is now open world which creates both pros and cons. Pros being great sceneries, more options for exploration and progression, as well as more encounters/bosses. Cons is something that open world usually have which is repetitive bosses, useless/egregious crafting system, and empty/disappointing areas. Combat is pretty standard for the last few releases from FromSoft where you have your normal, heavy, and weapon arts among other things such as a plethora of magic/miracles. The interesting thing is that weapon arts can now be changed, with some limitations, to fit your needs. Bosses are generally great all around though it seems like every update is causing a new issue for one boss or another.

Lewd? As you are maidenless, no… no lewds.
Recommend? Yes. Though I don’t consider it to be the best Soulsborne it is still a very solid entry

Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary Edition
PSP
Despite being the Final Fantasy, it is far from the last. There was genuine surprise on how much this game introduced that would become staples in the later series. Basic job classes, airships, Bahamut, among other standard FF tropes. The biggest critique in this game is that it is really vague on where you are supposed to go and since you get the ship so early on you can very easily get lost at sea or go places you shouldn’t quite go yet. This is especially true in the 20th Anniversary edition as it adds additional content that could easily be interpreted as progression but is definitely out of your league for quite a while. Combat is pretty standard turn based RPG. Classes are pretty limited and do not have some of the key features or skills available that future installments implement. Basically only the mages can really cast magic and any melee class is a matter of stats and equipment. This is not terrible, just makes them feel less unique or requiring strategy. Spells are also incredibly limited in that you only have 3 spell slots per tier and you won’t know what spells you can get until you get to each shop. This means you have to risk spending the many gil on a spell that may not be used and thrown away for something you missed or find later.

Lewd? Nope
Recommend? Kinda. The game definitely inspired many JRPGs to come and set in place the rest of the series, but it is pretty much a standard JRPG and is far too vague in giving directions. Guide recommended.

March 2022

Got my Steam Deck that month. It’s pretty exciting at least for the novelty of it and have been testing all sorts of games on it when I have the time. Don’t feel safe enough to bring it out anywhere, but gaming from bed will do just fine.

    Broken Age

    Broken Age

    8 hours playtime

    I didn’t really think I would like this game but was pleasantly surprised with the tone and storytelling. At first glance, it may seem a little too E for Everyone but has quite a bit of darker tones/deeper meanings than the colorful art style may give off. Unlike most Point-and-Click adventures, you are playing two stories in tandem almost seeming entirely separate from each other. A cool and brave young maiden who wishes to defy her fate and a young boy wishing to break free from his confined safe life to something more dangerous and free.
    The game features some amazing voice talent, including Jack Black among others, that really brings the characters and story to life. Unfortunately, there are a few stop points that remove that liveliness either by weird bridging encounters or puzzles that can be a bit convoluted or obscure.
    Lewd? Not really.
    Recommend? Genuinely yes. Many of the issues with this game are pretty standard for the genre, yet it still stands out in both art style, storytelling, and voice acting.

    Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

    Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter

    6 hours playtime

    1:1 to original SS, but now with slightly upgraded graphics from what appears to be on the same engine as Viscera Cleanup. Much easier ride through considering the first SS was my first of the series. I’m still not a huge fan, it has some decent moments that it then beats the dead horse that is beyond excessive.
    Lewd? Nope(?)
    Recommend? I guess? This didn’t feel like much of a leap from the original and maybe prefer the older graphics.

    Yakuza 5 Remastered

    Yakuza 5 Remastered

    48 hours playtime

    If you didn’t like the pacing of 3, you’ll hate the pacing of this game. Sure enough the game starts slow enough, but does begin to pick up by the end of the first character chapter. Then the second character comes in and puts on the hard brakes. The game feels nearly at a stand still to what seems like filler upon filler to the point that even by the end of the game I could only wonder if this chapter needed to exist at all. Thankfully, the third chapter picks the pace up and the fourth character really starts to redeem some of the hardship trying to play the game. Combat is pretty nice in the game, story could use some work, minigames are fine and side stories are alright as well though tainted by the time it takes to get to some of them.
    Lewd? Maybe (usually some sort of hostess club or dating)
    Recommend? Bitterly, yes. Easily my least favorite Yakuza, but it is a Yakuza so there are still enough moments to play through the game.

    Aperture Desk Job

    Aperture Desk Job

    32 minutes playtime
    no achievements

    Well, I finally got my Steam Deck and it only made sense to play the free hardware test game that is Aperture Desk Job. It was fairly enjoyable, and even though it was free I wish there was more of it. Even just a minigame to play for testing ridiculous contraptions, putting them together, etc.
    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Yes, free, humorous, and leaves you wanting more.

Persona 5 Strikers
PS5
Sequel to P5 and not P5R, it has the Phantom Thieves return to face a new type of enemy with the same style but new gameplay. Instead of the turn based JRPG the game has been known for, instead it is now a Dynasty Warrior style hack and slash. It kind of works. There is a surprising number of actions one can take including basic slashes, gunplay, special attacks, persona abilities, and even character abilities/swapping. The best part of this is being able to switch to other characters mid battle and use their unique abilities/damage type. This also means the main protag can go down without failing the mission (It’s hard to believe I know).
With the change in gameplay came a change in level design and the enemies. Much more open space for various scenes, palaces are now called Jails and their wardens follow a much different theme. The music is still just as good, characters feel very much in line with P5 and their interactions are nothing short of great on their journey. Some of the enemy health and defense can get to be pretty excessive. Also, there were moments where the difficulty scaling felt pretty harsh despite being well equipped, but those moments are typically few and far in between.
Lewd? Nope
Recommend? Yes! Genuinely fun to play and as always great story with awesome voice acting.

Nioh
PS4
After trying the Strangers of Paradise demo I very quickly realized it was basically a slightly different Nioh and that I never actually finished Nioh… and so I did. As far as souls-like games came to be, Nioh easily sets itself apart from the rest. It’s complex and in-depth battle system gives those who commit to mastering incredibly rewarding. Though it can be daunting, many players can still get by learning some of the bare minimum stances and mechanics and not have too many issues. Just know that it very much embraces the difficulty and challenging aspects of boss battles and enemies. There is also a huge customization and equipment system that adds a little bit extra overwhelming on top of the already huge pile of overwhelmingness that you have to face. Honestly, it’s what I would change the most is the sheer amount of loot you have to sift through in order to figure out what works, what’s trash, and what may be saved for later.

Instead of an open world, you play missions which have well designed areas and generally a boss at the end. Boss battles are great challenging and require you to consider everything in your arsenal when facing. There is a bit of a grind for specific loot as well as getting various items such as healing in case you ever run into trouble.

Lewd? Suggestive.
Recommend? Yes, the game has challenging and engaging combat, an immersive story, and a great cast. The downsides being that the game can be a little complex and overwhelming with items and customization. I have yet to play the DLC, but plan to buy it at a later date.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderland
PS5
Spin off that expands on the Dragonkeep idea of a DnD (BnB in this case) side campaign that you partake. This is a little different though as not only are you playing with a group of all new characters, but you also actually create your own character. This includes some basic body variations, heads, hairs, colors, voice, etc. Where it really starts to matter is picking your class and background which will dictate your skills and stat bonuses. A wide variety of classes gives you a lot to choose from and a later ability to dual class makes each experience all the more unique. That being said the skill trees are a little lack luster as most skills you gain will mostly just be stat increases rather than modifying your abilities. Grenades also do not exist any longer but instead are replaced with spell slots which act a little differently in that they don’t take ammunition (cooldown) and cast more like a spell might.
The game is a little slow to pick up and it gave me the wrong impression on how the game was going to work. For example the overworld isn’t a big place to drive around. It’s a literal board where you will walk as a chibi form to your next location. In the overworld you can experience random encounters (small arena battles), explore dungeons (several sets of small arena battles), or continue on to the official mission areas which are surprisingly expansive. Starting, it takes a little bit to really get to go from mission to mission which makes the random battles seem like the meat of the game when it turns out it really isn’t.
At about the 2nd or 3rd mission area the game really starts to pick up both with story, level progression, dual classing, etc. and the fun really starts to begin. Everything after that is pretty standard Borderlands 3 gameplay. Unfortunately, it’s in the post-game where this game really starts to fall apart. Much like the previous title, there is a chaos system. For every level of chaos you add, the enemies hit harder, become more dense, and can drop more xp/loot among other modifiers. HOWEVER, unlike the last title you only have access to one chaos level off the bat and must complete chaos runs (several sets of small arena battle) for each incremental value. Meaning you can’t unlock them all, but would have to do a run on each chaos level to unlock them all. That is absolutely absurd and an actual slog to get through. This only gets worse when the DLC continues to add further chaos levels that you must rinse and repeat the same process. The DLC itself (so far) is also terrible as they are no better than the headhunter add-ons from BL2 while offering no new enemies, story, or real meat for far more money than it is worth.
Lewd? Innuendous
Recommend? Though the post-game/DLC is horrid. The game itself is actually a pretty fun ride with a competent story behind it.

Feb 2022
“Wherever you decide to be, that’s where you belong.” -Persona 5

    Super Star Path

    Super Star Path

    3 hours playtime

    Shoot’em up with puzzle like qualities. You go up a corridor of colored blocks and enemies. Shooting a block with same color blocks connecting them are destroyed in succession and the last block destroyed freezes blocks around them and giving them invulnerability. Your goal is to collect upgrades, gems, and defeat the boss of each world. The game plays alright enough, but I did find it far too easy to end up in a situation where you freeze your progression and are forced to die to the auto moving level.

    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? Meh, it’s okay. Again, the fact that you can easily block off your progression with little to no foresight is annoying. That and the Boss Rush only gives you 1 health.

    Western Press

    Western Press

    3 hours playtime

    A very short and multiplayer focused western game where you must take part in duels. Instead of being quick and accurate with your gun, you must be quick and accurate with your… typing. Both opponents will be tasked with typing out a word (or memorizing and typing out a sequence of letters). The one who finishes first and with the least number of mistakes survives the duel. There is a sort of single player mode where you can face against a gauntlet of foes with increasing difficulties. This is a great way to unlock more characters (purely aesthetic) and gauge your difficulty level. Outside of that, you can face against bots if you don’t have anyone to type against, but their difficulty only goes so high, and some achievements are near impossible as the bots just are not good enough.
    Lewd? Nope
    Recommend? It’s alright, it is incredibly short and runs the course pretty quickly. I think this game was finished within minutes and then it’s just grinding for achievements/cards. Discount or pass.

    Yakuza 4 Remastered

    Yakuza 4 Remastered

    21 hours playtime

    Fourth game in the Yakuza series and you know what that means? Four separate characters to play as with their own story paths. Each character not only has their own story, but play style and skill tree. A pretty exciting new addition as they have their own playstyle, move set, upgrades, and karaoke songs available. Not all characters are made equal as some of the stories are somewhat weaker than the others and some playstyles will just not work for everyone. Still, the pacing seemed consistent and had some pretty solid central plot points to cover. As well, it introduced my favorite character of the series, Akiyama.

    The minigames of this were generally improved, but sadly Hostess Club Manager is still in a bad state and Karaoke is pretty limited in it’s selections. It also seemed this game put ever egg in the “twist” basket as this game just likes selling them out like hotcakes. Though the pieces of the story moved generally well towards an end, the end itself felt loosely placed together and a little generic. Heat actions are not only unlockable, but upgradeable now by using them so many times. Unfortunately, it’s unclear which actions could be upgraded, and which cannot.

    Lewd? Massage Parlor can be suggestive, but also maintains a humorous aspect to it.
    Recommend? Yes, the events this game takes place around upon are a bit legendary as well as introducing several new characters that ended up taking top spots in my eyes.

Persona 5
86.5 hours
After playing through the Persona series, I have made it to the early version of the latest installment, Persona 5. I’ve pretty much been hounded to play this for quite some time and I have got to say… it is pretty great. As far as the new generation of Persona games go, this is easily the most well done mechanically. Reintroducing more damage elements such as Nuke, providing more dynamic boss battles to make up for any limited weaknesses, and a much improved first strike system. It should also be mentioned that this is the most artistically stylish of them all both in music and visuals. The new “castle” system of levels were far more dynamic and some had some great level designs, but unfortunately not as consistent as I would like. For instance, when you siege a castle you are forced to enter it a minimum of a few times to set your path and then another visit will be the actual process of stealing their “heart” using that path. The game does allow you to teleport between saves, but the coolest thing for me was in the first castle, creating a path where I could be pure stealth (no combat) and not use teleporters. For most castles that just is not possible.

Voice acting is of pretty high quality as usual and there are a few animated scenes which sort of cleanse the VN palate. The story is also just genuinely great with solid meaning behind the themes within. Each character is placed particularly well and even with some spoilers the game does provide decent progression and unexpected turns.
I will say that not all bosses were particularly memorable, in fact the main antagonist really did not seem to have been all that fleshed out as they maybe could have been. Their second in command was more interesting than them. Also, some of the main cast could be a little much for me at times. Although they are young and rebellious, there were multiple times where the most responsible of them seemed to just lack any sense of secrecy and sense of a situation. Those moments are fairly limited, but they are there. Additionally, the confidant/tarot system is decent but there were many skills that just seemed for the most part useless and some of the characters don’t have all that interesting of a side story to progress. What’s worse is that some of those worst ones are the hardest to complete leaving little to no reward for the extra effort.

Best Girl(s): Tae Takemi, Sae Nijima, Sadayo Kawakami
Best Boy(s): Yusuke Kitagawa
Lewd? Suggestive and romance options available, but nothing outright lewd. So far, only straight relationships.
Recommend? Though it is not my favorite in the series, it is by far one of the best Persona games out there. It kills the story, the themes, and the gameplay creating a trifecta of enjoyment.

Pokémon Legends Arceus
179 hours
After many years, many generations of Pokémon, we get a spin off that wishes to push the envelope in a different direction than it really has before. A semi-open world Pokémon game that focuses on collecting Pokémon over the traditional battle system. Taking place many years in the past, your character is pretty much isekai’d to this “foreign” land where Pokémon run around fairly free and untamed. You are quickly tasked with creating the first ever Pokédex and it not as easy as you may know. In previous titles, you merely had to catch a Pokémon once to get their entry. In this, you have several tasks per Pokémon before getting a base completion level all the way up to a perfect completion level for those completionists out there. Also unlike previously, you don’t have to battle a mon and catch it, but instead can sneak or stun, and throw a ball to get your chance, but this puts you in much more danger from their attacks. You can still battle with Pokémon in the traditional way, but it is also a bit different. Moves can now be switched out in the menu and there is a new style system that uses up extra power points to either do extra damage but slow your movement or do less damage and increase chances to have your turn come sooner. To put even more emphasis on change of pace in battles, certain boss battles require only you vs a powerful mon as you must dodge their attacks and throw items at it to defeat it.

This game is a much-needed step in a different direction, but it is far from perfect or great. Generally poor graphics aside, the general settings are kind of bland for a Pokémon game. It really feels like some sort of generic world instead of these key vibrant locations we’ve seen in past games. Additionally, seeing Pokémon roam freely is nice, but there really is not any dynamic interactions that really make any encounter unique. It’s all just basic walking, running, eating, and sleeping. The Pokédex is generally enjoyable and a little relaxing, but I felt the tasks set could be a bit much. There would be tasks where you have to use a 5 PP move 70 times and on top of that use it in a specific style which further accelerates through your available moves before resting to restore them. I really believe that the system is there but needs to be wildly balanced especially with the amount of redundancy across multiple Pokémon. The story can also be a bit of a drag as it is not only slow but kind of uninteresting.

Lewd? Nope
Recommend? For the most part, yes. This game, I feel, is more of a test to see if this is what people really want which is why I think they did not put nearly as much polish in it as they could have. I would like to see another side game like this where it has a similar focus, but the graphics and dynamic scenery and interactions of a Pokémon Snap game with more refined gameplay mechanics of Arceus.