Bangledeschlers Completion Addiction. Bangledeschler’s profile
Twitch: ! Screen Thieves
Steam Replay 2022
“Boy!” - GoW 2018
A month late and a breath short (or a few). After picking up 2 jobs and working 7 day weeks I have been more than a little tired. Despite my best attempts to get ahead of this… I just never got around to wrapping it up and posting. January was supposed to be my cleanup month where I focused on completing games I have beaten and very quickly got derailed. Still managed to clear off the final Soulsborne game and wrapped up GoW ‘18. Hopefully I can make time for my Feb. update and start to make some progress on my backlog again.
Edit: It turns out I made no progress in February…. So… caught up at least…
Scrapping some Steam cash I decided to get this as it always seems to be on sale for pretty cheap.
It’s interesting to see how an older title handles all 3 campaigns and playstyles. Unfortunately, it’s age and time incredibly hold this back. In general, slopes are not your friend. Even the slightest incline will make it difficult for you to run over and will cause major slippage. General platforming can be very rough either getting caught on corners/edges, trying to make jumps, and the very little height it takes to receive fall damage. The AI can get very weird where Aliens will just jump 10+ feet in the air and run in circles (when they aren’t swarming you anyways). Lighting is pretty atrocious. Though most campaigns give you some alternate ways to light up your view they can be less than ideal and usual have a drawback more than may be intended. There is some audio and FMVs that play in the background but you are often too busy getting swarmed to be able to listen to what is happening and the subtitles doe not appear correctly. Lastly, with a bunch of fairly similar looking rooms and doors, it can be unclear where or what your next objective or path is.
Marine fairly standard boomer shooter gameplay though I do wish there were a finite amount of Aliens per mission but instead they seem near infinite (which carries it’s own pro vs cons). Lighting is absolutely the worst in this campaign as your night vision can absolutely work against you and the flares are pretty limited in scope. There were some particular bugs with the final fight where the Queen would sometimes get stuck and cause issues with the final trigger.
Alien being able to crawl on all walls and try to take a more stealthy approach was interesting. HOWEVER, stealth really isn’t viable at all in old games like this. The alien has a special ability to eat heads to gain health which requires you to aim at said head while close and attack. Unfortunately, it is unreliable on living targets and if you decapitate them first you for some reason can no longer om nom on said head. I wish there was more to the Alien playstyle like being able to summon facehuggers from their eggs or coordinate strikes. This campaign probably has the more confusing layouts and challenging fights due to the lack of texture variety, direction, and projectiles.
Predator one of the cooler campaigns as you have a big variety of weapons, variety of vision toggles, and consistent enemy variety on top of getting a final boss. It is still not without it’s issues as it often has you making buggy jumps and unclear pathways. The togglable visions also have a very annoying and heavy audio when it is on. Though it’s what plays in the movies it usually only shows it for moments at a time, but the different visions are a constant necessity and the sound over stay it’s welcome.
Recommend? Not really.
Men of War: Assault Squad 2
Not really good at these sort of war real time strategy games so a lot of this was completed on Easy which I believe restricted me from accessing quite a few levels. Despite that there is A LOT to do. Several missions per faction with five factions. Each faction has their own set of units and specials. I found some factions just have objectively and far better units than others and so the balance feels incredibly off. Unfortunately, each factions set of campaigns have the exact same objectives layout with the only discernable changes being the maps and even at that can feel pretty similar to one another. As a general set of issues, units can be incredibly dumb sometimes by taking weird paths, standing up despite you telling them to go prone, indefinitely repairing a vehicle you can’t use, etc.
Recommend? It’s decent enough, but not my cup of tea.
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™
Blade of Galadriel
Takes up the story post-game following your elven assassin cohort. Though this does bridge the gap in the end game story, the actual combat addition, changes, and missions are a bit lack luster. Instead of branding orcs you now have the ability to fill them with light. If imbued with enough light they are not only dazed but can potentially be executed. The big issue with this is that most of your abilities are now swapped to light damage. This means if an orc is resistant or adapted against the light, most of your abilities go right out the window without the proper augments.
Desolation of Mordor
In contrast to the previous DLC, this has a much better focus and variety in combat but offers very little to the overall narrative. This time you take control of Baranor, a fairly regular human now wandering from the castle he once protected. There are more than a few changes with his campaign, the biggest being that this campaign is a score attack rogue-lite. You no longer respawn/revive but instead start the campaign over only retaining a few upgrades/tools. As he has no special ring or powers he gets a variety of new tools, combat, upgrades, and recruitment options. Recruiting is now done through a mercenary group where you spend gold to hire these men as generals, bodyguards, and outpost leaders. Though I do wish it was a little more of a regular campaign I absolutely appreciated the fairly different contrast in gameplay this DLC brought.
A pretty underwhelming VN that takes a slightly more unusual concept but doesn’t quite deliver with the endings. The unusual concept is that it takes the isekai trope and reverses it a bit. Instead of a regular human travelling to another world, a game character comes to ours, specifically one from a game that the protag plays. Specifically, a purple skinned elf warrior. The contrast from her world to yours obviously creates plenty of hijinks as you try to figure out how this mess was created and how to fix it. Not only that but your next-door neighbor and love interest lives right next door.
The immediate issue is the sound balance out the gate is pretty terrible. 10% Music and 100% Voice. On top of that the voice acting is not great to say the least, especially the elf. Lastly the endings are incredibly anti-climactic. Though there are 4 endings, they are all fairly the same ending with slightly different situations as opposed to more traditional endings where you have at least 1 ending per love interest, possibly a harem ending, and a bad ending. It all just makes it feel like no payoff and the fact that there is only one romanceable option disappointing.
*GoW (2018) **
Beaten -> Completed
Anything new to note? It may be due to having played in some time, but many locations felt confusing to navigate. Collectibles such as ravens don’t give strong enough indications when looking for them and some blend in with the light making just about invisible.
Beaten -> Completed
Anything new to note? The number of skills you have to unlock but can’t use without swapping them out over each other is ridiculously high. This is especially egregious as most do not seem particularly useful or advantageous to most/any situations.
An attempt to focus out the multiplayer aspect on what has primarily been a single player game series and this was back when online gaming was not as popular yet for consoles. Pretty much if the coliseum was just the entire game, but plays kind of like a cheap Unreal Tournament. Story is pretty arbitrary and non-existent. Gameplay is relatively standard R&C just without Ratchet. Though weapons are mostly fine but despite it being a lot of arena maps, there are a lot of times where ammo does not respawn making situations an absolute slog. The final boss (among many others/maps) are poorly designed and not very fun. It may be the PS3 port but I was experiencing constant visual glitches. These included weird stutters in character models and models having things like their teeth protrude their lips.
R&C: Full Frontal Assault
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but certainly not another multiplayer focused R&C game that revolves around base defense. Again, as with Deadlocked, there really isn’t much of a story to be worth mentioning. Other than the capture the point objectives, it plays pretty standard. You can buy and upgrade turrets/barriers to protect your base while you are away. There are some weird changes made, however. First off, everything you gain during each level are kept within that instance. This means any bolts you earn and even weapons. Though this keeps you on your toes, I found that you can get some absolute garbage weapon loadouts, especially if you did not get a chance (or choose) to level them up yet. The final boss is poorly designed and does not seem to scale for a 1 player experience.
R&C: Into The Nexus
It’s very hard to believe this came after A Crack In Time. Just about every aspect of this game feels like a downgrade. The graphics suffer, the frames absolutely chug, story is lackluster and short, and the unique mechanic is a letdown.
Story revolves the around a very edgy and rebellious villain trying to free cthulu creations from their entrapment in The Nexus. The new mechanic lets you traverse the Nexus (as Clank) and it is incredibly misused (and barely used at that). I’m pretty sure the majority of the use of this mechanic revolves around one planet and the boss. When you do use it, all you do is use it to blow up some walls. Has interdimensional travel to a Hell/Cthulu-esque other realm and essentially uses it as an explosive. The only slight appeal is that travelling it requires you to change gravity at well making for some multi-directional travel at a whim. I’ll admit, some of the guns were neat (scare mines and shooting cthulu ghosts to eat your enemies), though I do think they are mostly just reskinned and reused weapons. Plus some worlds have a horror focus, but would have liked them to be more consistent with it.
“Embrace your dreams … If you wanna be a hero, you gotta have dreams.” - FFVII:CCR
Hmmm… thought I’d have more to say…
Beat some games, successfully avoided most purchases from the Winter Sale. Good luck to the new year(?).
Seems good enough.
2064: Read Only Memories
Cyber punk point and click adventure that really exceeded any expectations I had for it. You play a struggling journalist who is visited by a particularly unique sentient AI robot that asks for your help in a missing persons case. The game is, at times, dark but largely light hearted and comedic. The sprite work is beautiful. Voice acting is more than excellent with a wide variety of internet stars taking roles of all sorts of characters. Puzzles and interactions are fairly logical and offer multiple ways to approach any one situation and similarly this can affect your relationships with others (no dating though). Each character you meet is not only well written but are all for the most part likable.
Recommend? Very much so. Above all else… don’t forget the milk.
A platformer with a bit of a unique mythological setting. It does not have terrible interesting gameplay though that does not mean it cannot get challenging. Each segment of gameplay has you take on about 4 levels before facing the boss level. There isn’t any combat per se, but using your teleport ability can vanquish some enemies (essentially telefragging them). Some of the levels can feel a little ridiculous when trying to quick time or aim your teleportation. As well, MSpaint art can be a little confusing on what is safe/background versus platforms.
Recommend? It’s not a terrible game, but it just didn’t capture my interest. No.
Armed with Wings: Rearmed
Action side scrolling game where you take on a samurai like character who must vanquish an evil king after being defeated by said antagonist. Combat is fairly simple and straight forward, but the spice of it is between picking up/unlocking new weapons and the puzzles involving platforms/your bird which you can control. You unlock more weapons by getting xp. This can be done by defeating enemies, picking up orbs, and dependent on things like which exit you take (more flags = more points). However, the weird thing is that you don’t actually commit the xp until you exit to the title screen either by losing all your lives or selecting the menu yourself. This theoretically means you would/could beat the entire game without really unlocking anything until you get to the menu. As someone who binges games this was very nearly the case and I was confused why despite all the levels I had unlocked nothing, seemingly.
Recommend? Yes, despite the minor grievance, the game is fairly enjoyable and has a fun boss battle awaiting you at the end.
Dead Island Retro Revenge
Somehow the best Dead Island game in the series despite not having typical Dead Island gameplay. Though it appears to be a beat ‘em up, it is more of a runner rhythm game where you must swap from one to three lanes and choose and time your attacks depending on the enemy coming your way. Why do you run down these infested and dangerous streets? Simply to save your cat that was stolen for an unknown reason while you were gaming from the safety of your own home.
The sheer depth in the ways you can combo enemies, setup enemies/items to fly into each other, and diversity of enemies made this a weirdly enjoyable spin off. It does take a bit to get used to, but once in the rhythm the game flows particularly well. The one downside is that failing an earlier combo in a particular way could leave a somewhat immediate consequence past the initial failure. (i.e. an explosion enemy may need a previous enemy to be thrown at them, thus missing the previous enemy ensures you will get damaged by explody boys/girls.)
Also main character is voiced, and somewhat modeled, after Jack Black.
Dead Island Riptide Definitive Edition
Truly the definitive way to experience Dead Island thus far. Just about every aspect where DI1 failed, this game improved. Story is much more engaging, medkits are a more consistent resource, main missions are varied and far less fetch quests, even more skills, etc. Easily the best quality is that it imports your DI1 character allowing you to keep all of your skill points so there is no slog to grind back up. Oddly enough, even coming in with a high-level character levels do not take long to obtain.
Recommend? Frankly, play this instead of the first game.
The Inner World
A weird silly little point and click adventure with a unique world and inhabitants. The art may be simple, but the voice acting is fairly solid with light hearted yet dark humor scattered throughout.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Metroidvania that has a Luchador/Hispanic theme. It is very much inspired by other beloved titles and parodies many many more. Much like the original it is still very much a great game that I am reminded how much I enjoy it each edition/time I play. If you have experience the original you will be surprised on how much the STCE actually adds/changes. First it addes two whole new areas, some new enemies, variants on existing enemies, and a new boss that is integral to the story. This not only adds new content, but changes up the progression from the original story/route as well. With new areas comes two new abilities which includes a sort of super/hyper mode for your character to deal out serious damage.
Recommend? If you haven’t played the original, this absolutely works as your first go to for the series. If you have played the original edition, this is a great way to replay the first while creating a fairly fresh experience.
Base Game: 9/10
While I was looking for games that might be perfect for my Steam Deck, I thought I would test out this game which I had beaten before. To my surprise at some point they not only added achievements but a whole DLC on top of that. (They also had a limited time sale of a Sugar Plumps plush but I could not justify the $30 purchase unfortunately). So, while I waited for the Winter Sale, I did a fresh playthrough to get the base game achievements. To my displeasure it turns out the DLC has you play through the base game (again) but with a slight alternate path in that it adds a Holiday catalogue and a different friend that talks with you along the way. Still it is a decent game and I did enjoy the new friendly encounter.
Recommend? Base game, absolutely. DLC? Honestly, a bit pricey for the small addition it makes. Hopefully it goes on sale in the future and make sure you space out your base game play versus the DLC (as Sugar Plumps is just the superior friend and you must experience her).
I was a little bit nervous about this remake as the original was such an important game for me and Zack Fair has been my favorite character of all time. Though I felt they would be fairly faithful to the original, I was feeling a bit lack luster towards the new Zack voice actor (comparing him to the first). Despite this, replaying it was such a cathartic experience as it unlocked memories and still held very much the same weight as the original, with some slight infractions. In case you are not aware, CCR takes place before the events of the ORIGINAL FFVII and follows Soldier member Zack Fair as he pursues his dream of becoming a hero!
Unlike FFVII Remake, CCR keeps the story beats 1 to 1. Though this may leave some of the newer fans in confusion, it is so important to keep this story the way it is as it is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. A lot of the CG cinematics are also ported straight from the original, but upscaled to the newer resolution. Past this, there are actually quite a number of changes made. This includes many quality of life changes including the ability to sprint, skip cutscenes, target lock, a new stance, etc. All of the models have been remade and have a more realistic look than their PSP variants. Environments have also been entirely remade and given much more detail, creating beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities/towns, and lush lands. Many of the interactions that were previously only text are now fully voiced.
It’s hard to admit that this game truly outdoes the original by so much, but I can’t help but turn away at some of the changes. Young Zack and other models occasional have a weird facial structure during certain moments that kind of give them slightly bulging jowls. Zack’s chin also appears to be a little bit more sunken in. Angeal’s beard on his in game model is much more filled in compared to his cinematics which looks really weird and jarring. The new VA for Zack other than being different from my preference occasionally has odd inflections which changes the tone/reaction of some scenes to my distaste.
Recommend? If you have never experienced Crisis Core on the PSP, you absolutely MUST play this game if given the chance. It’s story is amazing, gameplay is at least competent to great with most action JRPGs and Zack is simply the best.
Holy heck what an absolute stellar experience. Following the Norse story from the 2018 game, this continues the journey Kratos makes with his son as they continue to deal with the Norse pantheon as well as dealing with the prophecy the learned at the end of the last game. This game improves on the previous title in just about every single way and hits each one out of the park.
First, the combat is so much more fleshed out giving a wider variety of moves and upgrades to each weapon. Fists at base value have been toned down a bit with various moves being scattered between shields, but the new fighting mechanics more than make up for this as well as work directly with fist tech ability. Overall combat flows so well, though it can be challenging to say the least. Enemy and boss variety has been immensely improved upon as there are just so many more unique and varying battles. Some of the boss battles are even some of the best the series (or many other games) has ever had. The voice actors absolutely deliver their lines with expertise and emotion, completely creating and fleshing out each character seeming as real as the person reading this right now. The story is a bit more complex than the last, but all of the arcs do intertwine in a sensible way and not only connect to the story as a whole but the overarching themes they have in common. It has absolutely empowering, beautiful, and sad moments alike that truly astounded me.
The world is massive with every realm being accessible and huge areas both on the main path and side giving a chance for hours of adventure. Speaking of side areas, there is plenty of side game and post-game content that never feels recycled or tiring in the slightest. Puzzles utilizes many of your items and can offer genuine time to think, though the game doesn’t seem to want you to engage in such actions. This being one of the only real problems that I had with this is that in almost no time at all does the game basically spell the solution out for you, and repeatedly at that. I understand that some appreciate this feature, but I wish it was something I could have abstained from as it was frustrating for the game to tell me what to do rather than let me figure it out.
Recommend? Very much yes. I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone who has played the 2018 title. Even if you have not played the rest of the series, I would tell you to play the GOW(2018) just so that you can play this. It really was just a great experience through and through.
This month, for the most part, was going fairly well. I was on track to beating a game a day on average and was able to keep up with newer releases. However, things did take a turn as I had left town for a week and decided to use my Steam Deck. As it turns out, playing games in offline mode not only does not unlock achievements, but the next time you sign in your playtime absolutely gets overwritten. So, my 7.9 hours of Ori is now rendered null despite beating it and collecting all collectibles. On top of this I made progress in some games that I had already beaten and now can not be unlocked without a fresh save… Seems a bit silly for a mobile device to not track and then verify with the Steam servers and achievements when back online. Thus, take this as a cautionary tale for any of those who plan to get a Steam Deck.
Other than that, good month, good food, and good progress.
SuperGiant Games does four things well. Art, Story, Music, and Varying game genres. This game is no particular exception though it wasn’t quite to the same level that I know them for. The core gameplay is alright enough. Isometric gameplay across slowly revealed pathways trying to destroy the obstacles and enemies in your path while reclaiming crystals that may help recreate the world that has fallen to ruin. Getting to swap out two weapons is a great way to let the player play the way that is most comfortable. There is also a dodge and shield mechanic though I found myself forgetting about the latter.
I remember absolutely being enthralled by this on release. DMC-like beat em’ up featuring a strong and seductive female lead while taking on angels using witchcraft and demonic power. It still very much retains that non-stop high tempo energy as it did for me back when I played it on initial release.
Combat is fast paced, a plethora of combo variations and new weapons, as well as cosmetics to vary the game (though quite a grind to buy each). What separates this from other games in the genre is not just the visual appeal but Witch Time, a mechanic that allows you to take control of the battlefield. Simply dodge an enemies attack right before it would hit and not only do you get a score boost but time slows down for everyone else. You can now unleash devastating combos without the enemies being able to react. Additionally, getting enough magic power allows you to do torture attacks, which not only do massive damage nearly killing anything you target it with, but when defeating an enemy allows you to use their weapon until it breaks.
One thing that did not particularly age well is the menu system. Selecting a previous/another chapter requires you to (from mission select) select menu > Select Chapter > then load into chapter. To make matters worse, it doesn’t actively show your score/rank on the chapter either, so getting a pure platinum on every chapter is an absolute painful slog. It is a relatively minor issue but annoying none the less. There was also one moment I had a bug where enemies did not spawn, and I had to take a death (ruining my score) in order to fix it.
Recommend? Yes, the game looks and performs well on PC. It provides great high intensity combat between it’s mob and boss battles alike along with an interesting exciting story.
FPS Western that has you take control of two opposing characters going towards one thing… The Call of Juarez. A name for a treasure hidden in the valley of Juarez. In one corner you have, Billy, a young misfit character accused of murdering his mother and step-father. He rarely fights and often requires stealth to survive. In the other corner is the Reverend, brother to the murdered Step-father chasing down Billy in order to seek righteous vengeance. He is a gun toting character who is all action including an ability to slow down time when drawing his weapon. The back and forth between playing both sides in this cat and mouse chase was interesting to say the least. It’s only a shame that it performs rather poorly. Movements and making jumps can be fairly iffy, encounters can go sour with haste, and the slowdown ability has your reticles come from the sides which is more often than not inopportune. Though I like that there is a difference in gameplay, the stealth sections absolutely suck as very often enemies will see you at the slightest peek. Even in total darkness it doesn’t appear to work as intended. As for combat, there is a bit of an odd durability system that requires you to switch out weapons frequently less they misfire or blow up.
Recommend? There’s a lot of neat concepts, but it is held back by it’s looks and malfunctioning mechanics. It would be interesting to see this game done in modern times where stealth is a little more consistent.
Dead Island Definitive Edition
This game sets up a lot of what an open world zombie game could be but does not particularly do well in anything it sets out for. Something akin to Left 4 Dead, you and up to three other players must survive on an infected island while looking for an escape. Depending on the character you pick will determine your character weapon proficiency and skill tree. Some basic skills help out early on, but quite a few late game perks just don’t feel worth the investment. Unlike a lot of zombie games, most of your combat is done via melee. These weapons you use break, however, so you must be sure to pick up scaled loot items and modify them to last and do better damage. Modifications don’t have much visual variation amongst the types and hardly add much effect.
Most mid to late game battles end in much death due to the fact that most basic zombies can charge and do 75% of your health and with med kits being far too scarce you will have to rely on capped health regen despite another zombie coming in for a follow up. This makes the 2nd half of the game an incredible and unexciting slog and that doesn’t include the monotonous mainline quests and story.
The game is fundamentally a collection of fetch quests, back-to-back-to-back. Even between the main quests you have you do fairly similar quests once you reach each settlement. Find settlement, go check on person outside settlement, go collect food and resources for settlement, etc. and onto the next one. The story itself has very little engagement and towards the end events just sort of happen with no build up.
Recommend? Honestly, no. The only reason I’d recommend this is to build up a character to import to Riptide. It simply just does too much of the same thing without really offering any long-term excitement or enjoyablity.
No More Heroes
Heard Robert Atkin Downs voice and immediately felt the urge to play No More Heroes again. Luckily, if not dumbly, I also owned the Steam version. Since I had already reviewed this game in the past I will more focus on the port itself.
For the most part, the port is pretty solid. It is basically just No More Heroes but on PC. Yet, in there lies the problem. It shouldn’t just be the same. It should absolutely capitalize on the potential of greater hardware than the Wii. I’m not saying anything crazy, but get the draw distance to be more than 5 feet from my character, implement some quick quality of life changes to going around town or accepting missions, just a little extra oomph to make an already excellent game to take the extra mile. Now, there is an actual issue with the game and it is that it doesn’t always properly display the correct button prompts for the whole game. It appears that it almost uses the original Wii version button prompt even though this seems to be the Switch port… port. This can mislead players to playing wrong and I couldn’t figure out how to use some of my unlocked special moves and even basic moves I taught myself. The last issue is unavoidable, and simply put it just doesn’t quite the same charm as it did with motion controls and the Wii remote speaker. It just isn’t the same when you can’t inappropriately shake your controller to charge your beam sword or hold the controller to your ear like a cellular phone when receiving a call.
Still, the game is solid and it performs fairly well.
Recommend? Yes. If this is the only way you can access this game, yes, absolutely, without a doubt.
Sequel to the co-op survival horror taking much from 90’s movie The Faculty. Taking place after the good ending, you see a lot of returning faces, but new and familiar threats slowly consume the town. Unlike the previous game, deaths are fairly scripted and the game has two ending which is only decided in the final battle. Between that and rather odd story choices, the game just lacks a lot of the interesting the appeal the first game had to offer. Much like the original, it is entirely recommended to have a co-op partner remote play in as the AI is very likely to do not much while receiving much damage. I did have some issue getting remote play to work on a returning session, but that may be an issue with remote play itself rather than the game.
Recommend? Frankly, you can pass. Better with a friend.
Ori and the Blind Forest
So, you may look at this and think, “Well he didn’t play this at all.” But in fact, I was ROBBED by playing offline on Steam Deck not being aware that none of my time or achievements (or playtime) would account for anything.
There didn’t seem to be much of a difference from the Definitive Edition other than maybe smoother controls. So, to make it straight forward… this is a simplified and smaller Metroid Vania but overall solid.
Retro style game that has you go around and healing people by clearing mini bullet hell levels. Once cleared, the person is happy and talking with them again gives you the option to date. Dating is quite what you expect as it mostly means they will follow you and give you a different special ability. Of course, you can only date one person so there is no way to maximize abilities. It can be annoying to relocate your ideal date as you will have to walk all the way back to where you found them should you realize they were the one. (Edit: Multiple companions can have the same ability but it is easy to forget who has what). Clearing each minigame will give you stat ups, most importantly health, which are required to access the next boss which opens the path way to the new area. Rinse and repeat until you defeat the sickest of them all. The game overall is pretty easy, so much so that with the heal ability you can basically drown the levels in your own blood and come out victorious. Some levels I couldn’t even imagine not just healing through it all. A minor dislike of this game is that I was not a fan of the big text/font they used and it caused me to kind of zone out during conversations. I also wish the game did a better job of explaining the specials each companion can give you.
Best Boy(?): Apathetic Frog
Best Girl: Frallan (Heal)
Recommend? Yeah, not crazy good but well enough.
Tetrobot and Co.
A fairly standard puzzle game that does well in creating a mechanic for each sub-world and teaching you through suggestive environments and patterns. Though, it is not enough to simply get through each sublevel, but one must try to collect all three collectibles per level to unlock future worlds. Though the game does offer a nice range and variety of mechanics, not all are particularly explained well, and you can find yourself getting “soft-locked”. Luckily, the developer also introduced a rewind button that puts you in your previous states until you feel you are in a better spot. The rewind can sometimes be a little bugged in that some actions you rewind past still follow through despite not actually enacting them yourself (i.e. a block falling from an locked position that was unlocked before you did the rewind).
Recommend? Yes, fun with a simplistic aesthetic but complex mechanics.
There Was a Caveman
A prehistoric platformer that has one lonely caveman in search of women (or may just a specific woman? Not really sure to be honest). The platforming is alright while the combat can be a little rough at times. You can pick up tools that assist via either attacking or assisting with platforms. Though once picking up a new tool the other one is just overwritten, and I feel this could put someone in the state of a soft lock. Most of the bosses are okay, I guess, but again it often feels like a tossup whether the game will put you in a situation where you will take a hit. What really doesn’t work for this game is that you can collect bones to trade for items/health up. Unfortunately, the items and not even the health up ever carry over death, level transition, or loading the game. So, it often feels like bothering with these powerups are seldom worth it as most of the time you will likely insta-die from a pit of sorts.
Recommend? It’s not the worst but has no real draw to it so definitely a skip.
They Bleed Pixels
Difficult action platformer similar to that of Meatboy but with a Lovecraftian flare. So, expect to die quite a bit. To ensure you don’t go crazy and restart the level, you can create checkpoints when you collect enough energy. The only stipulation is that you must be in a safe area. The combat could use a little work, but it has nothing to do with the combos itself. Rather the fact that various actions all revolve around one button caused me frequent deaths due to performing the wrong action. There are several other buttons on the controller that are just not being used and it is a shame that the game just doesn’t utilize them for things like dashes and uppercuts.
Even after finishing the main game there are several mini level packs with new challenges, color pallets and themes.
Recommend? Yes. Though it can be frustrating due to both difficulty and simplistic button system but a nice challenge nonetheless.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
Voted for “Best Game You Suck At”
Kind of surprised I had not marked this “Beaten” earlier. Well, unlike Duel Links this follows a lot more closely to the the gameplay of the TCG without any added mechanics unique to the game. The game has two modes. PVP which can either by ranked or casual and a solo mode. Solo mode mostly revolves around various sections to teach you about the game. Some are more straightforward and teach you the base rules and mechanics while others focus on using different archetypes. As an added bonus, the sections focused on archetypes not only include sub-duels to practice with a deck provided but also have intermittent moments to give some lore behind these archetypes. You not only get to learn during solo mode, but completing out sections and beating them with both the deck provided and any customized deck give you various rewards such as in-game currency, cards, decks, aesthetics, etc. There is a battle pass system, but requires no money unless chosen to do so and there is a shop to spend in game currency as well which is where it can feel a little divisive. There are a very limited number of available card packs to buy at any time. However, completing sections in solo, opening card packs, and events can give you a secret card pack token. This makes a new card pack depending on the token available for a limited time and you can buy as many packs as you want. So, the game sort of suggests you save up your gems and spend them all at once to kind of snowball a bunch of different packs and/or invest heavily into one/multiple of the secret packs.
Recommend? Honestly, the best way to play modern Yu-Gi-Oh, yes.
A Kiss For The Petals - Remembering How We Met
Yuri VN with a quite predetermined love interest and no choices throughout. The game supposedly stems off another series, but doesn’t really seem to reference anything or require background knowledge. The game feels a bit tropey as you have a slacker genius and a uptight class president with some fairly classic setups. The voice acting is decent, but feels like something you’d hear in just about your average VN/anime i.e. it has nothing to really call it’s own style per se. It also seems to only be in the Japanese native language. Overall it’s a fairly decent, if not average, VN.
Recommend? Don’t expect anything exciting, it is a fairly standard romance VN, but it’s nice to have something so simple once in a while. Yes.
Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series
Continuing from the events and choices from the first Batman Telltale game you must face off against a new threat and gallery of Batman’s rogue villains. It does a lot of the same of the first game where you do make choices like a standard TT game, but there are still moments of piecing together information (though it felt a little more simplistic) and choosing how to engage mid combat. I gotta say, in comparison, this game is a bit of a letdown compared to the first. Part of it is that we are seeing the continuation of a lot of previous choices not mean too much or go in weird ways. As well, some of the reimagination of certain characters just felt a little bit too off. Though I like given the chance to try and see how things pan out with different decisions, it is really hard to break away from the Batman mentality of doing things. Definitely in the last episode or two the writing and story kind of just go downhill. I understand what they are trying to setup, but it really just was not a satisfying adventure especially since the first did such a great job creating more original story. In that same vein, seeing a lot more of Batman’s classic villains is refreshing. There are also more than a few moments of dialogue that just feel weird or inappropriate for the situation.
Recommend? It’s not as good as the first, but it does okay enough.
Japanese School Life
A VN that has a foreign boy study abroad in Japan. Not only does he befriend to girls in his class but they teach him much about Japan life and culture. I’ll admit, I did not expect the game to teach much and be mostly a dating VN. Yet, it’s almost the opposite. The game does a surprisingly well job covering a lot of different topics, events, history, food, etc. and has pretty much a dismissible romance route that feels added just because. Not only do they cover a wide variety and multitude of Japan culture but the developers even have key words highlighted and hovering over them often provides information on this. It is not as consistent as I would like. Not all words that seemed important were highlighted, and not all highlighted words had a hover explanation. Usually those hover free words were explained shortly after, but it still would have had been nice for consistency sake.
The two girls do provide a nice variation in personality and the voice acting is genuinely great. As stated before, there is technically a romance route but it pretty much amounts to nothing at all. The art is generally bright and crisp, and during certain events switches up to a little bit more simplified but cute chibi version often during Japanese event situations. Though, if you got through the game once and felt you forgot some material but need an extra excuse, you can replay the game with the girls replaced with catgirl variations if you so chose. Dialogue doesn’t change, but their visuals across all panels get ears and a tail.
Recommend? Yes. A very informative experience on Japanese culture and history but still cute and fun to keep the overall interest throughout.
Point-and-Click adventure starring a rebellious youth who wants to unravel the mystery of her grandpa’s recent death. Animations and art are both smooth and vibrant while maintain the necessary tone. Interactions are not only fairly believable but offer a plethora of intrigue and humorous moments. The voice acting is also quite well done. Most solutions to various puzzles are fairly logical. Only a couple of moments left me needing a guide hint to get me going due to some not so obvious solutions/wording in the puzzle.
Recommend? Yes. Enjoyable and fun adventure.
An okay but maybe excessive way to learn recognize and possibly pronounce various letters of the Japanese language. This JRPG does not have you face normal enemies, but instead hiragana letters where the only way to defeat them is to assign the correct English pronunciation to said enemy. One must think tactfully as saying the wrong answer will not only do no damage but leaves the enemy a chance to attack. The game does well to slowly teach you this alphabet, but the repetition of random battles can get exhausting. This is especially true if you are already familiar with all the material.
What this game doesn’t do very well is teach you the act of putting sentences together and practicing words. Eventually you will slowly get some words and maybe some particles, but you really won’t ever use them and thus without practice they serve no use. Not to mention since you are mostly selecting the words, you aren’t getting very good practice in actually speaking said words and the game only does a text to speech for the short lessons. Each letter stays at it’s particular level, so even if they do surprise you with an early lesson late game, it serves no use in dealing with it compared to the most recent work. The story is kind of weird and frankly drags on a bit.
All in all, it’s not a terrible way to get some of the basics, but I definitely recommend signing up for a class or some sort of reputable app to learn this language.
Recommend? I appreciate the effort in creating another form to learning a language, but I don’t believe it offers enough to really set someone up for learning Japanese/Hiragana. Not to mention the battles can get very tiresome and excessive.
Resident Evil Re:Verse
It is very hard to believe that even with a year delay, this game has little to no content. A small cast of characters, only TWO maps on launch, and one game mode (Free-For-All to boot). It’s not a terrible idea in itself, but there simply needs to be more than what they offer. The characters themselves feel wildly unbalanced as Jill Valentine is just a literally better HUNK. There is a neat(?) mutation on death mechanic that though you will receive less points per kill/assist you get to play some of the most notorious monsters. Unfortunately, this too has slip ups as each monster is randomized per infection tier you have and with the current state of stunlock it feels as if tier 1 monsters have the greatest advantage over anything else. Power weapons can be okay, but rarely work out, and the greatest strategy one can have is to wait on the side lines and then clean up with kill steals. It’s a nice chaos for the first few hours but grows old fast.
Recommend? No. Even with the updates this game fails to do anything for a genuine Resident Evil multiplayer experience.
Side Note: Now with this and my dislike of the progression/unbalanced nature of REsistance, NEObard Games have not given me much faith in what they plan to do with Silent Hill f. (Also why can’t they just do a co-op campaign experience like Outbreak instead of these PvP games. Stop trying to compete with COD/Apex/Etc.)
Ever see the Shining (neither have I) but it’s kind of like that but more… friendly(?) You play a spirit of sorts haunting a getaway location a family rents for the season. A father/husband, writer with writer’s block, a mother/wife, wants to pursue her art career but lacks support, and a son (having trouble with school, friends, and wants to spend time with family). Your goal is each day you have to find out what each person aspires by reading notes and searching memories and then decide which one will actually get to proceed with said aspiration for that time. You only get to choose one with the exception that you can make a secondary compromise if you find another person’s goal and choose theirs during the night before you whisper your influence. What’s really important is you do not get seen. You can avoid sight by possessing light objects (assuming they are on) and teleporting around with any source in sight. Being found will frighten the individual and ruin your chance to find their goals. I do wish the game would tell you that the final day does not allow for compromise as it does not suggest anything else in anyway.
Recommend? It’s alright, but didn’t peak my interest.
Hidden Object Game that requires a keen eye to find literal puzzle pieces throughout while also finding key objects to progress the area. The music was nice enough that I didn’t notice it repeating too much even when I was stuck. However, the game does get confusing in some areas and some puzzles are not explained well at all. The supposed hint system didn’t seem to tell me anything.
Recommend? It’s decent enough, probably for those that are really into this sort of thing.
Not sure if I should have this here or beaten as it is literally unplayable as a multiplayer only game that has been shutdown. I have never played a match, but it isn’t as if I have the option either. I’ll seesaw this for a while until I decide though it will always be uncomplete-able as there seem to be achievements. Sad.
Nothing to recommend.
Unfortunately, when I realized I just am not capable of beating a Civ game, this was already in my library. I tried though, I gave it everything I had and even played several matches on Easy. Hundreds of turns in and I lose every time. To summarize, this is a fantasy Civilizations game (turn based strategy game) that requires you to plan research, map coverage, units, etc. Several factions with various abilities perks/cons, as well as generated maps with varying sizes, rules, etc. Something that seems to set itself apart is that battles are not necessarily automated. Instead, it turns into turn based combat. You can have it auto battle, but it doesn’t seem to always be smart. This can slow the game down dramatically. I do wish I could be good enough to actually clear these games, but it is so much of a time sink just to lose horribly and realize in the end game stats that it has been that way for a while.
Recommend? I cannot recommend this, but it really just isn’t for me.
Long awaited have I waited for this, and it was an interesting experience nonetheless. We get an entirely new look to Bayonetta and a mysterious danger on a multiverse scale. Much of the core combat is the same but now have added mechanics surrounding your newfound ability to freely summon and control demons at will. Though a combo into demons is fairly fluid, the actual summoning of demons can be a bit awkward and clunky. It just really slows down the fast paced combat the Bayo series is known for. Weapon swapping is also simplified, so unfortunately you can only equip one weapon per loadout rather than one for hands and the other for feet.
In addition to Bayo, we now get a spunky new character to play Viola. A bit of a character who wields a katana that can be thrown to summon her personal demon Cheshire. She plays a bit differently relying on parries and varying close quarters combat with her autonomous demon summon. If you’re familiar with Devil May Cry, she is very much the Nero of the cast. Throughout the game there is a much more experimental feel to the game as you get anything from side scrollers, kaiju brawlers, and even a rhythm section. It’s all neat and cool to see new things happening, but it isn’t quite a smooth transition. It all could use some ironing out.
The story rides pretty alright for the most part… right before it all falls apart at the final stretch. The last few levels feel incredibly rushed with an unsatisfying boss battle that doesn’t quite reach the infiniton impact the last two had. Though not all choices were bad, the final events just didn’t make much sense and leaves much to be desired. They may be setting up the next game, but that does not require the ending of this game to just be so lackluster.
Recommend? Yes, though the ending is… well not great, the game itself is. Only wish that the ending was better and it had much more varying costumes available.
Despite the performance issues this was probably one of the best Pokémon games in quite some time. The game is much more free roam where you can explore just about any area, go to any gym/story section, and find most Pokémon roaming in the wild. They only needed to add just one more thing to make that truly work and that is a scaling system. As it is all gyms and Pokémon in each area are locked to levels. I would have much liked a system that at least scaled the gyms depending on either your level or the number of badges you have gotten at the time you challenge them. Going down each story path shows just how great a Pokémon story can be put together with Team Star having a wonderful background, path to Elite Four giving the standard challenge, and the titan battles giving a bonding experience with not only your Pokémon but others with theirs.
Now to the real bad. As many already know this game performs quite terrible with low frames per second past 2 meters of your character, seeing through environments, Pokémon appearing and phasing through peculiar places, etc. Honestly, it wasn’t too terrible of an experience as a PC gamer who deals with ports after ports. The biggest issue for me was the horrendous menu UI. Maps and Pokédex have been separated into their own submenu and not integrated through the main menu at all. Visually the Pokédex is better but navigating that, the map, and the box is not easy nor has great accessibility. This is such a shame has Arceus had quite a few good implementations including things like moving massive amounts of Pokémon around in the box at once.
Recommend? Genuinely, yes. With better performance the game co
Oct 2022 Part 2 - Non-Steam
Dino Crisis 2
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
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
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
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
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
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
“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
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.
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.
Recommend? Not really, even with the low price I feel this was a fairly low effort project
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.
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™
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
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.
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.
Recommend? Nope, mobile games are evil :)
JJBA: Eyes of Heaven
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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™
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
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.
Recommend? Yes, fast paced shooter but be warned as your death will also be fast paced.
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.
Recommend? No. It feels like an unfinished game that was expecting a sequel.
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.
Recommend? Yes, but unfortunately it only ever saw a PSP release.
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.
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.
Recommend? Yes, even now I’m tempted to reinstall and go another round.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition
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.
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.
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.
Max Payne 3
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Recommend? No. It’s not terrible, but not good either.
LEGO® STAR WARS™: The Force Awakens
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.
Recommend? Yes, really shows the future of LEGO games has potential.
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.
Recommend? Yes, but grab a friend. It’s a rough ride otherwise.
Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut
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.
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.
Recommend? Yes. Challenging and rewarding puzzle game.
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.
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).
Recommend? Solid LEGO game, particularly for starting it all. Great way to introduce the Star Wars series to a younger audience.
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae
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.
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.
Recommend? Yes, a decent puzzle platformer though nothing incredibly unique.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
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.
Recommend? Very much so. A very satisfying entry in the Yakuza series.
We Happy Few
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
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
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.
Recommend? Yes, a much-improved experience and story over the original.
Final Fantasy III
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.
Recommend? Very much yes. Though it is not the best, this is probably the first entry in release order that I would recommend.