Yeah! That's right! Carve it into your soul! tsupertsundere’s profile

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Hello! I'm here to play games, get achievements, make friends, and believe in myself. You can find a directory of all my reviews here, organized by year and month.

Currently playing: Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms, Yakuza: Dead Soul5

Interested in visual novels but not sure where to start?
Please take a look at my Visual Novel Reference List!
Find me on tumblr, goodreads, and Completionist.me, too.

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Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Eight: 27 July 2019

Unavowed

15.5 hours playtime, ~8 hours actual, 24 of 56 achievements
7/10


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The first game actually made by Wadjet Eye and its head Dave Gilbert in a LONG time rather than just being produced by ‘em, Unavowed makes many strides forward for the point and click genre, but doesn’t ALWAYS stick the landing.

I think this is just me being a fuckin contrarian again. The game is good, one of the longest point and clicks I’ve played, the art and portraits and voice acting and puzzles are all on point, all the bleeding edge that Wadjet Eye has to offer…

You play as a (woman/man) who is ripped from their life as an (actor/cop/bartender) when you get possessed by a demon. A year later, you’re finally exorcised and freed from that demon… but your life is in shambles, you’re wanted for SEVERAL DOZEN counts of murder, and the people who saved you offer you a way forward. You join the Unavowed. Shit goes on from there.

The premise is dope, the act two twist is SUPER SUPER dope, and handled in a really neat way, a lot of the individual pieces are really rad. Gilbert has point and click writing down to a science, where he knows just how much dialogue he can get away with before people get antsy. Getting those little bites of story, character, perspective made me actively want to exhaust all dialogue options, instead of just feeling like I should. You go on seven different cases to solve seven different problems, taking you ALL over New York City in a manner and to a depth no previous Wadjet Eye game has. Each case ends with a choice to make, and while, upon reflection, they’re all kind of the same choice (your ye olde BioShock ‘spare or slaughter’ one), the circumstances around the choice vary it up enough to keep it interesting.

If there’s one thing Gilbert went HARD in the paint about this time, it’s choices. Each case can end in a couple of different ways, you can only bring two of your four team members with you at a time, and with your three origin stories (gender aside), there’s a LOT of different ways things can go. It takes five full playthroughs (plus a sixth one just to do the prologue) to get all the achievements. I was debating doing two playthroughs back to back… but I think it’s better served if I wait until 2020.

This review is more disjointed than usual, because I feel disjointed about this game. I liked it as I was playing it, mostly, but looking back I can only see disappointments—the ending is kind of abrupt, and the characters were more one-dimensional than I would have liked, not enough contrasts. A particular disappointment was Logan, voice by resident boyfriend extraordinaire Logan Cunningham, in his most subdued and sweet performance yet. (Boyfriend Rating: 10/10) I had SUCH high hopes and fondness for Logan… but he ended up just hammering one point over and over again, to the exclusion of a lot else.

That’s not even getting to the uncanny valley-ness of them pushing the limits of 2D pixel animation on a not-very-huge budget. With this being a much more action-oriented game, I REALLY felt the strain of all the characters standing blankly, walking blankly, brandishing swords blankly. I expected, or maybe just wanted, more than I got.

What I GOT was good… but it didn’t capture me. Don’t miss out on it just bc I’m being a sourpuss, though.

Next up: It’s been a couple of months since I played a JRPG, and I’ve been VERY nostalgic for Trails in the Sky. I won’t be able to play that for the first time again, but I have the next best thing:

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Seven: 21 July 2019

Lara Croft GO

4.1 hours playtime, 17 of 17 achievements
6/10


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Lara Croft GO was not quite what I was expecting—it’s just a straight port of a turn-based mobile game where everything moves when Lara does, and you help her navigate through different caves and plateaus and, of course, tombs to get her to the shit she needs. There’s zero story to speak of, so it’s just straight puzzlin’, which was… let’s say… not INCREDIBLY riveting to me. The Tomb Raider stories aren’t groundbreaking, but I do like and appreciate them, and having just a straight game-game was a little boring to me. (Just me, though!)

The game layers on different mechanics, all to interesting effects. You can hit enemies from the front, you have to get them from the sides, but there’s levers and spears and eventually torches to combat them with. There’s different traps that you can set off that are hazards but ALSO help you make it through the level. The later levels get really complicated.

This is a complaint I don’t have often, but… even so, Lara Croft GO makes itself too easy. Its hint system, where there’s no penalty to use it, essentially forces Lara on the ‘correct’ path to solve the level, and you just have to swipe her along the red line it makes out. It means it’s not a HINT system at all—where you’re stuck at one particular snag and just want a little help to get past THIS small hurtle—it’s a ‘win the level for me’ system.

Did I use it almost exclusively bc I didn’t quite feel like engaging with the game and just kind of wanted a fast 100%? Yes. Did I also feel kind of cheap about it, in a way I don’t normally feel while cheating? Also yes.

Despite that, it’s a decent game. I put her in the Hitman suit and she looked fresh as fuck.

I finished my first week on the new job and I’m having an absolute ball. I like it there a lot, and people there like me. My cubicle is HUGE and private and secure and no one’s watching me from over my shoulder. I’m building my stamina again, and work is such where I can put in an honest effort all day, and still have enough energy to come home, maintain the house, play games, AND draw.

Tentatively, giddily, things are lookin’ up!

Next up: The past few games have been really story-light. Time to change that!

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Six: 16 July 2019

LineWay

.4 hours playtime, 1 of 1 achievements
7/10


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Not a bug, just me again!

Want an easy 100%? Want a fast 100%? Want to fuck around with some lines for, I dunno, about a half hour? Play LineWay.

It’s a very simple, lightweight game (there isn’t even a menu!) that nonetheless does fun shit with its mechanics, introducing a half-dozen different kind of roadblocks to your line-drawing. This would work better on a phone, I think, bc holding down the mouse button was starting to be a drag. I wish instead there was like a double-click to release your line and start over.

Other than that, though, it’s a nice little puzzler.

Next up: OOPS NEW GAME

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Five: 16 July 2019

the Gardens Between

2.6 hours playtime, 17 of 17 achievements
7/10


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A delightful, unique little puzzler that, unfortunately, remains just that, the Gardens Between is still worth a play.

You play this game with three buttons - left, right, and space - and through it help two best friends explore abstract islands made of rocks, little robots, and the beloved items of everyday life. One friend, the girl, carries a lantern that can hold a bright light, and the boy can manipulate different things in the environment - push a button or pull a lever - to wind back time or flip settings. These simple mechanics layer together beautifully as you fast-forward and rewind through time to help them navigate to the tops of these islands.

The music is lovely, the modelling is nice, and the game is short n sweet n to the point… but its light story isn’t enough to really get its hooks into me! I had a nice time, but didn’t feel anything in particular when it was over, though the ending song was nice.

Look, guys! An artsy game that’s mostly gameplay and no story! Y’all like that kind of shit, right? Play it!

Next up: Let’s draw some mfn lines!

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Four: 14 July 2019

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

300 hours playtime, DON'T FREAK OUT U GUYS, 25 hrs actual, 36 of 36 achievements
--/10


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I’m suspending grading for this one, because this is only one half of the game. The notion that there’s no real ‘romance’ in this game and nobody kisses (one of the achievements reference this specifically, titled “Just Kiss Already!”) seems to come from the fact that there’s a whole second half of each romance arc. I’m gonna keep this review short, then, because I don’t feel like it’s fair to judge on a lot of things when I’ve only got one half of the story.

So what’s here otherwise, then? To put it frankly: a TON of shit. There’s a staggering 11 routes, all of varying quality. There’s a lot of kissable samurai up in this binch. You play a young woman named Yukimura who arrives in Kyoto in search of her father, and she’s quickly wrapped up in the goings-on of the Shinsengumi, a kind of a police force for the shogunate. The game loosely follows the actual historical timeline of the Shinsengumi, and at first pass, the game feels VERY much like a really broad-strokes history lesson rather than a dating sim, which is a weird stance to take when the game also introduces fantastical elements. There’s demons (surprise! You’re one) and a serum called the Water of Life that can turn humans into artificial demons, making them kind of more like vampires (the sunlight hurts them, they need blood, their eyes turn red, etc).

I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed on my first playthrough, but the more I played, the more I kind of got into it. It falls into the REALLY annoying otome trap of having the protagonist be useless, and it gets to aggravating levels here with her surrounded by hyper-competent swordsmen. If you’re lookin for an otome where the protag has agency, look elsewhere.

Oh, but the dudes are PRETTY. All different types, though I wish they let some of the buffer ones truly be thicc, as one deserves. The CG and sprites are lovely, and there’s a lot of them. The writing is fine, though there’s more mistakes in the translations than I’d like. My favorite routes were Iba Hachiro and Sakamoto Ryouma.

Next up: Sighhhh…. okay…. since I HAVE the other half of this game, I’d better PLAY the other half of this game. I was worried that I was ripping through my VNs too quickly, but I’m not worried anymore.

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-Three: 9 July 2019

the Samaritan Paradox

8.6 hours playtime, 3.5 hrs actual, 17 of 17 achievements
3/10


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Well that was certainly a game I played.

The Samaritan Paradox is an incredibly dated (somehow at only being five years old) point-and-click adventure game that… has no idea what it wants to be. Is it a personal murder-mystery investigation? A fantasy point and click? A thriller where you stop illegal arms dealing? All three, somehow, I guess.

You play Ord, a… really underwhelming guy who is in a kind of crappy place in his life just… because. Basically just for the hell of it he gets wrapped up in helping investigate the suicide of a famous author so the author’s daughter could get his inheritance. You know, as one does on a whim. The author has left one more book behind for his daughter to read, and that’s where the fantasy stuff comes in to play. You stop some weapon smuggling in the meanwhile, too. The secret the book was hiding? The author had groomed and raped the daughter when she was very young, but the daughter had suppressed those memories. Now the author… wants her to remember again… so he can apologize…? Also the nurse killed him and she was justified. Ord gets together with the daughter in the end.

?????!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I just… I just woke up and I already wish I was into drinking so I could, like… drink.

EVEN IF we set aside using a serious matter in such a fuckin GOTCHA way, in what fucking world does any of this make sense. The book sections you play through take up a decent amount of time and are functionally meaningless, because they end up tying into nothing except that one big jerkoffedness of a reveal.

This game is a real pale imitation of Wadjet Eye games, with worse music and voice acting for sure. Art was… okay, though the portraits were muddy. Skip this shit, even if it was a relatively easy 100%.

Next up: I’ve gotten my ‘games I REALLY want to play’ section and my ‘games I kind of want to play’ section to the same amount, so I’ll be switching off between them. Good game next!

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty-One… and Twenty-Two: 8 July 2019

DISTRAINT

3.3 hours playtime, 16 of 16 achievements
5/10


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I saw this game bouncing around on SG a decent amount, and it was a point and click adventure game, so, what the hell, let me get it. And then it was like a dollar in some sale, so I got it… and…

It was pretty close to being something, but I think it missed the mark and landed in the ‘well, okay, that just happened’ zone. It’s a spooky horror game, right? So there’s a lot of spooky horror imagery - everything’s falling apart, people are warped, there’s blood and monsters and dead people and… it’s a game about a guy feeling guilty he works for a company that evicts people from their homes.

That commentary, that guilt, it’s fascinating, but nothing in specifics is done about it. It’s treated like any other horror game, which, after a while, got pretty underwhelming. Decent writing, decent ideas, meh execution… easy 100%, though!

OH AND

Ripple

1 hour playtime, 10 of 10 achievements
5/10


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On a whim, I decided to boot this up and just zone out flippin shit last night. I finished it this morning.

It’s… a puzzle game! Sure is! You flip tiles, though unfortunately no satisfying ‘rippling’ happens. There’s a method in the ‘guide’ sections that showed me the trick to it and I followed that and just… blitzed. I was feeling anxious yesterday/today, and this helped. It’s been raining here a lot lately and I hope it stops.

Phew… reviews so short two can fit in one post? I think I’m gonna pick a sliiightly longer game next.

Next up: How about this? It’s been in my backlog for a WHILE.

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Twenty: 7 July 2019

Hollowed

2.8 hours playtime, 18 of 18 achievements
8/10


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Now THIS is a really good fuckin game. A spectacular student project, Hollowed is a puzzle platformer that balancers different mechanics very well, and makes a good impact with its short runtime. You play as a woman on a quest to save her husband’s soul, with your own soul floating freely from your body to help. You control the woman with one half of the controller and the soul with the others, switching to different ‘forms’ to do different things, like reveal things that aren’t there, switch places with the woman, or alternatively pull the woman in the air and then push her farther.

These puzzles escalate at a smooth place, and while some are tricky, none feel INCREDIBLY asspully. There’s a hidden story you can find bits and pieces of, no text, but the visuals are lovely and everything ran smooth and fluid. Considering I made a student game, this one knocks it out of the park. I think it’s worth paying money for… but you can get it for free!

If you like puzzle-platformers at all, pick it up.

Next up: Hrmn. Why did I pick this up again? Let’s see…

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Nineteen: 7 July 2019

Just, Bearly

.5 hours playtime, 9 of 9 achievements
5/10


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Huh. An interesting experiment, for sure. A mental illness simulator game, you play the part of a bear fumbling through his life. It’s a series of short vignettes, and really could take you 15 minutes to get through (I had to pause in between and clean up after our game last night. Saturday nights always end up becoming Sunday morning’s problem.)

I’ve seen some comments about how this game is ‘terrible’ and ‘the worst game’ and, well, it just… I don’t know if it’s enough for that? It accurately depicts what it’s like to be incredibly socially anxious, to the point where it exhausted me even in this short amount of time. I’m SO glad I don’t have to worry about that shit anymore.

It’s free, and it’s old enough where Steam achievements still count, so, what the hell, give it a shot. Free, lightning-fast 100% (and it counts for this month’s theme!)

Next up: I’m gonna knock out some freebies today!

See you soon!

Update Three Hundred and Eighteen: 7 July 2019

Mimpi

4 hours playtime, No achievements
6/10


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This was a cute, fun diversion all ages can enjoy. Mimpi’s story, such as it is, is that you’re a little white dog looking for her owner. You traverse through a psychedelic dreamscape, progressing through different mechanics to help Mimpi, with her little legs, climb over hills and avoid various obstacles.

It’s a fairly standard sidescrolling platformer, but it is cute! I didn’t care too much about getting all the bones and powerups and stuff, so it was a more relaxed, zen-like game experience than I usually have. I’m glad it’s not much longer than it is, though, because I was beginning to get demotivated.

A good game for people who don’t game very much, or if you’re playing with kids! I’m keeping it short with this one, too. Making up for my extended June absence with a batch of brief missives, I guess.

Next up: I’m gonna knock out some freebies today!

See you soon!