niflhe

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I'm Keeping Track of Every Game I Played in 2021

It's another year, time for some more games that I played for at least an hour.

(i write these over the course of the year, so any passages of time are denoted by dashes between paragraphs)

List items

  • I said briefly last list that the Final Fantasy VII Remake should not be as good as it is. This still holds true, though I find my motivation waning just a bit as I approach what is likely to be the final few hours. Set entirely during what normally takes 4-5 hours in the original FF7, Remake expands that to a 30+ hour feast for the eyes in the dingy and dystopian two tiered caste city of Midgar. A giant plate in the sky upon which the elite of the city lives blocks out the sun for the lower citizens in the slums. Even through the squalor the people have banded together to eke out some kind of existence.

    All of this existed in the original game, but it's been expanded in really meaningful ways. Characters everywhere comment on the goings-on of the world, people gather around the one working TV above a food vendor to see the news, small sidequests litter some of the slower moments to give your party some connection to the area.

    And all this is without touching the combat, which is such a beautiful combination of the classic turn-based style in Final Fantasies of old and the modern attempts at action based combat a la Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy XV. It's sublime and an absolute blast to uppercut dudes constantly as Tifa. I spent most of my time playing as Tifa because of just how much fun I had stringing all of her moves together.

    I never thought I'd be so happy to see Cloud, Tifa, and Barret hanging out again. I missed my friends so dearly.

    -----

    I loved everything up until a point right at the very end where failing a battle set me back half an hour before a big sequence popped off. Extremely frustrating and ended up dropping down to Easy so I never had to repeat that bullshit again.

  • The Trails series has always been a bit niche, but they have some of the finest character writing and development in any game I've seen. Protagonist Estelle Bright is one of the all-time best characters ever. I love this gang.

  • Inspired by an Hbomberguy video on how great Fallout: New Vegas is, I loaded up the copy I happened to own on Steam and got to work installing mods and bug fixes to play what they termed as one of their favorite games. I had a lot of fond memories of New Vegas, so I was excited to get back in.

    About two hours in I had already gotten stuck in three pits that I couldn't fast travel out of and failed two quests.

    See, here's the thing about New Vegas - at least the New Vegas of my memories on the 360. It's one of the best games I've played and allows the player to really drive the narrative in ways few other games do. It's also one of the buggiest and most broken games I ever played on the 360. I had characters fall out of the world, fall through the map, texture issues that caused black streaks to appear in the sky and swallow me whole, quests that failed randomly, companions that randomly disappeared, and doors that if opened or looked at the wrong way would cause my console to lock up.

    I love Fallout New Vegas, but it's an absolute goddamn mess.

  • My father got me one of those Arcade 1UP HDMI Pac-man consoles. The idea is neat, in theory, classic games that are easy to play and hook up to your TV! Wanna show your kid Dig Dug or Mappy or some Pac-Man? Here you go, it's there.

    Unfortunately, all the sprites are smoothed with no way to turn it off, there's a weird black border around the entire screen, and the controller is awful in terms of usability, design, and feel. Just an absolute waste of money.

  • I just made it through the prologue(s) and hoo boy those do not prepare you for how wildly the story veers right out of the gate. Saying too much about any of the stories will spoil it all, but I love how 13 Sentinels takes literally every sci-fi trope you can imagine from giant robots, time travel, single screen loops, aliens, magical girls, what have you, and throws them at the wall, and somehow they all stick! Incredible game.

    ----

    The ending reveals didn't quite nail the landing for me, but I also didn't hate it. I felt like it cheapens the experience a bit, but this is very much a journey, not the destination kinda game. Your mileage may vary, but I still highly recommend 13 Sentinels.

  • A top contender for best game title ever. Game itself is a simple beat 'em up that I am very bad at. Move from left to right (or, in one inventive sequence, right to left) and punch dudes. The Ninja Saviors operates on an even more simple plane than Streets of Rage or Fatal Fury, in that there is only the one vector of attack - no lanes, no rows, just keep moving forward and jump kick dudes.

    ----

    I managed to finish a run with Ninja by basically dash into dudes and throwing them into every else, and then suplexing whoever was left standing. Great times.

  • I love Spiritfarer in theory but the gameplay is very much not doing it for me.

  • It's more Blaster Master! That's it, that's the whole thought. It's more of what I liked before freed from the shackles of being a mostly faithful recreation of the original Blaster Master.

    Eve's new design is A Lot, calm down Inti Creates.

  • Timespinner is another in a long line of Symphony of the Night inspired search action games. Instead of picking up swords and spears constantly, you're picking up a handful of orbs with different properties (like being a sword or a spear) that level up the more you use them. The story is what's keeping me going on this one, surprisingly, because while the developers have recreated the mechanics of SotN, they haven't quite captured the exploration. Levels are laid out very horizontally without a lot of obvious nooks and crannies to hide things in.

  • Am I going to learn Mahjong this time?

    (no).

  • My daughter has expressed some interest in playing Mario Kart but her main strategy is to turn on auto accelerate and course correction, sit back and occasionally use an item. I wonder if she'll still be into this when she's a little older.

  • I bought this right when Sony announced they were going to shut down the PS3 store and I sorta panic grabbed a few PS3 JRPGs I was missing - and now that Sony has back tracked on that, those prices have mercifully come down a little bit.

    I like to say I've always enjoyed the Tales games, but that's not exactly true. They're the most B-tier JRPGs around. Fantastic gameplay, stereotypical stories that then twist on their heads, decent characters, but it's always kind of a gamble if I'll fall hard for any given Tales game. I loved Symphonia, loved the Abyss, liked Berseria, and hated Zestiria.

    Right before playing Xillia, I spent about half an hour trying out the updated Tales of Vesperia which I remember enjoying bits of on the 360, but holy shit I was awful at the combat. Something about it felt so broken and stilted. I loaded up Xillia and it was completely eye-opening. Jude doesn't feel like he's swinging a sword through molasses, he's just flash stepping behind dudes and punching them in the spine and it's incredible. In this house we love and respect Milla.

  • Rocket tag, demon edition. Removing any semblance of defense stat is interesting, but it makes for an extremely rough early game. Was really helpful that I managed to get Concentrate from a demon skill mutation that let me stomp through the early game casting triple strength Bufu.

    ----

    I feel like I spend as much time staring at the demon fusion menu as I do traversing the overworld. And considering that I do not have an internal map of Tokyo just memorized, I had to find one online (which helped tremendously and I definitely recommend that).

    How's the story? Fine. It's your standard mainline Shin Megami Law/Chaos/Neutral routes, but demons aren't locked to specific routes (so far). I don't think SMTIV does any favors for itself by making it very hard to tell which of the story paths you're on unless you find one specific NPC at the occasional bar. The characters are decidedly alright, if a bit useless in battle. How did Jonathan make it through the same dungeon I did while only able to cast Bufula and I'm slinging around Megidolas? The world may never know.

  • I didn't exactly love Streets of Rage 4 on my first run through, but spending a few hours with it and finding a character I love playing as helps. Cherry's dash is really useful in learning the ropes and now I can kinda blaze (hah) through with about any character. I think I might actually grab the DLC for this one!

  • SO. This is more of a gripe about Target than anything about Indivisible itself (which is fine, but I was not expecting Ajna to be as talkative as she is. She and her whole group are great!)

    I pre-ordered a physical copy of Indivisible back when there was a pricing error that made it $15. And then I waited. And waited. The game launched on Switch but the physical version still wasn't out yet. And I kept waiting. And then, I ended up buying a house and moving which meant I needed to alter my pre-order so that it would show up at my new house and not to some random apartment a state away. EXCEPT Target decided, well, this is a completely new order, since it's not going to same address, so we're gonna charge you full price, give us $30.

    Anyway, I cancelled the order and bought a digital copy of Indivisible for less than the pre-order. Natch.

  • Turns out I'm bad at surviving underwater! Also be sure to attack random things in the environment because that's kinda critical for progressing!

  • My chill out podcast game for the first half of 2021. I adore Bayek, but I adored just hanging around Egypt more.

  • Holy crap there's a lot of Greece to explore. I have no idea what half the systems do, but it's fun stabbing dudes, so. Obviously, I'm playing as Kassandra.

  • Hades was my personal Game of the Year for 2020. After struggling through dozens of runs, flipping on God Mode to beat the game the first time, and then flipping it back off for the next nineteen runs, I still love this game. I likely won't see every plot line to the end, but it's a blast to load up for a run with a weapon I haven't used a ton and carve a path through hell.

  • "What if we took Twin Peaks and X-Files and slapped a mediocre cover based shooter onto it?"

    "Genius."

    Tolerate the story, hate the gameplay. Every moment I'm not blasting dudes out of the air, I'm not having a good time. Recharging takes too long, main character too squishy, powers don't have enough oomph, story is less than the sum of its parts. Not a big fan. If I go back to it, which seems unlikely, I'll turn up the recharge on the powers because they're the best part of the game.

  • I am not good at Guilty Gear, but I do have a good time getting my ass kicked by friends. I tend to just turn on random characters and see who I wind up playing around with. So far I'm pretty into Millia Rage and Dizzy.

  • It's a neat strategy RPG and that's kinda all I need.

  • Apparently the quintessential RPGMaker game. It's good and looks stunning. Kinda curious what direction it winds up going in.

  • i am going to beat this game even if it kills me i swear to god.

  • It's a search-action game with a cute aesthetic and character action attacks. Sold.

  • Digital Devil Saga is one of those games that I've owned since it was new but have never invested a ton of time in. So now, about 15 hours in, I'm enjoying it a ton. The PRESS TURN system from Nocturne, where you get more turns to demolish your enemies if you hit their weaknesses but enemies get the same benefits is just as good here. The characters are interesting babies that don't understand how the world works on purpose which leads to some good cutscenes where they explore what it means to be "sad". Wish the battles weren't every four steps, though.

  • It's tennis! No one is playing online anymore which is a big bummer.

  • Gooigi makes me uncomfortable, not because he is gross, but because of the biological and theological questions he poses. Does he feel pain? Does he think? Does Luigi transfer his consciousness to Gooigi? Or does Gooigi have his own soul?

    My kid calls this one "Spooky Mario".

  • It's a visual novel based on Mafia/Werewolf set in a rural Japanese village and you're a complicated little dipshit smack dab in the middle of it. I keep thinking the white haired woman on the cover is Lysithea from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

  • Extremely good visual novel from the creator of the Zero Escape games, but holy shit the main character is horny on main. Barely a scene goes by without my dude Date wanted to shove his face into a pair of titties. Calm down, bud.

  • Grandia style JRPG combat in a picturesque storybook setting. Cute, but hasn't drawn me in yet.

  • My yearly attempt to get really into Transistor. I did not make it as far as previous years. This might be the game I've given the most chances to and maybe I just need to cut my losses and look at a wiki or a speedrun.

  • Finally after something like five years I've finished Spirit of Justice. Disappointingly, I just did not enjoy most of what Spirit of Justice brought to the table. Setting the game in a new country with an oppressive regime that demonizes lawyers is interesting, but also is a real bummer to constantly slog through. Khura'in only has maybe a half-dozen total areas and I feel like each one is used about three times, leading to a lot of repetition. The seance/revelation sequence is a neat twist on presenting facts and evidence, but none of those moments were memorable.

    ----

    The characters also take a huge hit and don't get to showcase what makes them special. Apollo gets what is maybe his fourth backstory in as many games and it's just as dull as all the previous ones. Athena gets done dirty after some amazing cases in Dual Destinies. Phoenix is largely just kinda there. The character that gets to use their special ability the most is Athena with her Mood Matrix - arguably the most fiddly and uninteresting mechanic, just Simon Saysing her way to a more compliant witness. Apollo's bracelet/spot the tell rarely comes up and Phoenix only untangles Psyche Locks twice (both times in the same case).

    Overall, it's just a real bummer of a game. Largely uninteresting cases with few unknown twists and turns, backward or stagnant character progression, and little of what made the series truly stand out to me back in 2001. It sits above Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, but mainly because this one had coherent logic throughout instead of the worst final case I've ever played in a Phoenix Wright game.

  • What I expected: A fun platformer through some themed worlds.

    What I got: One of the best platformers ever made. The amount of secrets, the level design, the soundtrack, the RUN BACKS, all amazing. Fantastic game.

  • I'm never going to say that the Uncharted games are fun to play, but they're definitely fun to watch. I like to put them on normal difficulty (or easy, if I'm honest) and just blast through watching these characters quip off each other. It's a good time! Really just want a giant open world Uncharted, though that's basically just Far Cry, I suppose.

  • Ultimately, I did not love Sekiro.

    I spent a lot of time with it. Fought my way through the combat, through every single brick wall boss, started to finally grapple with playing the game the way it wanted me to, slammed into the final boss (in my game, the Sword Saint) and struggled every single moment possible.

    Something about the way Sekiro demands you play just fundamentally does not jive with how I play or think about games. I'm decidedly alright at playing video games, but never felt a single moment of real joy or elation when beating a difficult boss in Sekiro. I just felt annoyed.

    I think this is because, at its core, Sekiro is two entirely different games smushed together. There's the exploration aspect where you act as a ninja skulking around the edges of levels and uncovering secrets while backstabbing (or frontstabbing) everyone along the way. Those moments are great and you feel unstoppable. Then you careen into a boss fight that a brick wall to smash through in an entirely different way than how you play the rest of the game. It's the Deus Ex Human Revolution problem all over again, in that the game doesn't teach you how to play itself properly.

  • Well, I was gonna play Dark souls II to see "am I just bad at video games or am I bad at Sekiro", but somehow left my save going for over 150 hours longer than I've actually played which makes me want to start all over again. I know the hour count doesn't matter, but it matters to me.

    But no, I'm just bad at Sekiro. Dark Souls II is maybe my favorite Dark Souls but it's also the worst one? I think it just goes on far too long, really.

  • I've gotten sucked into a free to play gacha game help. Haven't spent any money, working on leveling up the free 5* heroes the game just dumps on you to clear some of the more difficult maps. Right now I'm thinking Legendary Ike, Fjorm, Peony, and maybe a healer like Nanna.

    I also have a Brave Eirika that just obliterates anything she touches and have strangely started to love Norne, the 4* redheaded archer from the Shadow Dragon games. It's not the best game I've ever played, but it's fun to just pop in for a few minutes to do a challenge.

  • I have a long history with the Fire Emblem games, starting from the first released in the States (the sequel/prequel to this game) up to the most recent entry of Three Houses. A lot of my teenage years were spent playing Fire Emblem and Sacred Stones, just trying to get all of the support conversations.

    I remember seeing Roy in Smash Bros and learning he had his own game that was out and hey, there's even a fan translation! Let's give that a try! I love Fire Emblem, so I'll definitely enjoy this right?

    Reader, I did not. Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade is a really rough game for fans looking into the back catalog of Fire Emblem. Tons of enemies ready to run over your relatively squishy units, enemy reinforcements that move on the same turn they appear, weak starting units with low growths, and just a mess of other issues. I made it to chapter 11A and promptly put the game down because I was just too frustrated.

    This time around, I've made it about as far and am having a decent time. About at the same place (actually just passed the chapter I stopped all those years ago) and have a pretty well leveled team that can at least take a hit or two. Shanna and Tate are actually pretty good now! Roy can actually double things! Things are looking up?

    ----

    Or not. I did, ultimately, finish the Binding Blade, but there were a lot of struggles along with way. The weakest Lord in the series gets his promotion three chapters from the end (and, in fact, was maxed out nine chapters before that), most of my army would evaporate if looked at wrong, and none of them hit that fabled Level 20/20. I think my MVPs were Clarine and Rutger - Rutger would just demolish everything he touched and Clarine couldn't be hit by anything. I shudder to think if I tried a run without them.

    Also, special mention goes to Fir, who didn't gain a single point of strength for 23 levels. Thanks Fir.

  • The pandemic has made me want to play some comfort food games, and nothing is comfier to me than Dragon Quest. DQIII is one of the best in the series and was the first to introduce a class system! Want to make your Warrior able to cast spells? Want to take a girl in a bunny suit and make her into the best caster in the game? You can totally do that and it's great.

    I've put in a good bit of time with this one already, up to the second world with a party that's around level 40. Right now I think it's Hero, Warrior (from Fighter), Thief (from Cleric), and Sage (Mage then Jester).

    I, uh, appear to have just strolled up and kicked Zoma in the face in one try? Neat.

  • A much better 2-D Dark Souls game than Salt & Sanctuary. Set this one to spanish and go with god.

  • Sometimes you just need to play around with a Final Fantasy X style Sphere Grid in a low-stakes anime plot. Ryza is very good.

  • It's more Wario Land! bigger focus on collecting coins which is fine with me and my weird love of New Super Mario Bros 2.

  • Depending on the day, I will say that Donkey Kong '94 is the best platformer ever made. What starts as a simple remake of the original Donkey Kong arcade game suddenly busts out into a huge, sprawling adventure of almost 100 levels. Mario controls like a dream and has a full new arsenal of flips, jumps, and handstands to make his way through. It's absolutely phenomenal and a must play.

    I love this game.

  • Ace Attorney, but this time starring Edgeworth as he logics his way through crimes. Writing is still top tier, characters are great, why is the goddamn text so slow jesus christ. I'm halfway tempted to just read a summary because everything takes so long.

    ----

    Honestly, as much as I love the Phoenix Wright games, Ace Attorney Investigations makes me like Edgeworth a lot less.

  • Herlock Sholmes is the greatest himbo who ever lived and I will not be taking any questions at this time.

    ----

    For perhaps the second time ever, I'm interested in the overall narrative arc of an Ace Attorney game rather than the moment-to-moment rollercoaster of the individual cases. The first, for those wondering, is Dual Destinies, which saw Phoenix brought back to life in court and dealing with his new protege Athena's whole situation.

    I'm right at the climax of the fifth case of Great Ace Attorney 1 and already the cliffhanger is killing me. I can't imagine playing this game back when it first came out in Japan and having to wait two years to see how all of the cards tossed into the air land and play out. Very excited to finish this one up next year.

    That said, though, first GAA is a little weak on its own - each of the first three cases serves to introduce a new mechanic (court, investigation/deduction, juries, in that order). The fourth and fifth cases both follow the same formula of long investigation, juries declaring guilt, fighting back from the brink, and then breakthrough. Curious how the second game shakes this up, or if it even feels the need to.

    ----

    Oh my god, the second Great Ace Attorney has you play as someone different, incredible, 10 out of 10, love it, thank you Ace Attorney.

  • It's the internet but in your dreams!

    Remember how bad the internet was? And how good it was, in spite of that?

  • A point-and-click adventure from Wadjet Eye games set in Neo-Africa revolving around three people in a cyberpunk society exploring the themes of interconnectivity and how the internet affects and shapes lives. And also there's a cyberterrorist that's stealing peoples' brains.

  • Am I going to learn mahjong this time?

    |Skills

    |Attack

    |Guard

    ---> |(no)

  • I've only played exactly an hour of Ghost of Tsushima because apparently Playstation still does the dumb "hey we're going to let you play this game while we install it don't worry" but I have to worry Playstation because I hit a Please Wait screen that said it was going to take another hour to let me play the game.

    I do not often reminisce about the time where I put the game into the system and it just fucking played the game, but on this one occasion I miss it. It's super frustrating when I get a few spare hours to play a game and most of that time is either eaten up by game updates or having to play something else while a download installs.

  • My game of the year for 2021.

    A good Metroid game is a salve for my soul and Metroid Dread is no exception. Tight controls and even tighter boss fights, I love this game from top to bottom. It's just a good freaking video game.

  • This is mostly so I can talk about Xbox's Cloud Gaming service. To put it quite simply, in its most basic terms - it just works. Sitting down at my laptop, plugging in an old Wii U controller, and streaming Forza Horizon 5 just works without any hitches or real delays. The only small issue was an occasional screen tear that was solved by plugging my laptop into an ethernet port. I am amazed by just how well this works.

    Forza Horizon 5 isn't half bad either, even though I am much more used to kart racers that I can just throw myself around corners and drift. If my Drivatar is an asshole, please feel free to run me off the road, you won't hurt my feelings.

  • Hell yes Wild Guns, you are the best railgun shooter.

  • I haven't gotten too far in, but I'm always down for turn based JRPG combat with timed button presses like Paper Mario. Just a complete sucker for them.

  • Yeah this is definitely a video game I played. Retro style 2-D platformer. It's fine.

  • All of these hot boys who are into me trigger my flight or fight instinct because I do not trust any of them or believe a word out of their mouths and I might need to bring that up with my therapist. Something about everyone telling me how great and wonderful and beautiful I am really sets me off and I recognize that this is just a me thing.

  • I was expecting to like River City Girls a lot more and I do love the general aesthetics, but something about the combat is just not resonating with me. It feels like all of Kyoko and Misako's attacks are made of paper and bosses just tear through me?

  • A Touhou styled search-action game. Do you like Touhou? Can you not tell your Cirnos from your Sakuyas?

    Don't worry, I can either and I'm still having a blast slowing down time and throwing knives at dudes.

  • I did a Nuzlocke run this year! My rules were only catching the first Pokemon you saw, but allowing myself leeway if it was a duplicate and already captured. Everything else was pretty much fair game.

    I only ended up losing a handful of Pokemon (namely a Pelipper to Brawly and a Beautifly to a random crit). My final team ended up being Swampert, Medicham, Golbat, Bellossom, Minun, and Camerupt. If I'm honest the real MVP was Medicham, who I think might have been able to solo the Elite Four by themselves. Pure Power is, perhaps, my favorite Pokemon ability ever for just doubling your attack stat. Just absolutely bonkers.

  • Another Nuzlocke run! This one is off to a much rockier start, I think I've already lost three Pokemon. On the plus side, though, the Shiny clause pulled through - I found my second natural shiny pokemon ever, a Shiny Nidoran♀! My team at this moment is Ivysaur, Gyrados, Nidorina, Raticate, Pidgeotto, and Alakazam.

  • More Pokemon! My kid is somewhat into watching Pokemon, but mainly just wants to see Pikachu and "the bear with the cold" aka Cubchoo.

  • I have had some thoughts about the narrative structure of Persona 5 and the story that it tries to tell and while none of that has really been addressed or course corrected so far, you can unload all of your bullets in one go and they reload in-between battles, so game of the year, I guess.

    Also I've played like seven hours so far and have seen the new girl on the cover precisely once. Who is she. What is her deal. Please tell me, game.

  • Strange Journey, what would have been Shin Megami Tensei IV if Atlus weren't cowards, is basically just SMTIV, but with dungeon crawling in Antarctica instead of dungeon crawling through Tokyo.

    I think I like Strange Journey just for how brutal it is. Alignment really matters because it dictates what enemies join you and which will attack on sight. I haven't gotten too far into the story (having been distracted by the numerous other SMT games on this list) but what I've played has been great.

  • One of the greatest GBA action games of all time, based on the timeless classic, Astro Boy. It's made by Treasure, please play this game.

  • It's Sonic! My nostalgia for Sonic stems mainly from Sonic Advance and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. It's fast and fun, though dang it's so much easier to play through and find secrets as literally anyone else but Sonic.

  • Growing up, I feel like there were really two kinds of kids. Mario fans and Sonic fans (and eventually, Mario vs PlayStation). I never really fit in with either group because I was a Mega Man boy from day one. I absolutely loved the X series and the Classic series. I rented Mega Man 64 more times than anyone ought to have from Blockbuster. I once traded a Pokemon card for a a copy of Mega Man 2 and everyone thought I was crazy, even though I definitely came ahead on that deal.

    Anyway, I say all that to say that I love the Battle Network games and have since I was a kid, but fell off the series hard around the controversial (read: boring) Battle Network 4. I've been playing MMBN5 for a bit and it's great! I apparently own the DS double pack of this and didn't realize.

  • I have only played the multiplayer because I really need to get caught up on Halo lore.

  • Zelda-ish? You hack, you slash, you ponder the meaning of existence in an ever unfeeling world, you go through dungeons. I've only just gotten through the prologue, so I need to spend some more time with Unsighted.

  • Heavy spoilers below.

    I'm not sure what exactly I expected. I read that Inscryption is a rogue-like deckbuilder by the guy who made Pony Island, which to me says, "hey this'll probably end up being a game within a game and other such shenanigans." I think maybe I just expected it to be better than the sum of its parts?

    At its outset, Inscryption presents as a deckbuilder, but one that feels "off" from the jump, especially as you cannot start a New Game - you can only choose continue. Creepy guy in a cabin plays games with you and you eventually realize that your main action isn't just playing the card game, it's exploring the cabin you inhabit. And, technically, it's not even about that, because you're playing as Youtuber named Luke Carder who is playing a floppy disk of the game he happened to find in the woods after opening a random card pack.

    After defeating the cabin guy, you're then able to start a New Game, which is the actual game of Inscryption, a Pokemon Trading Card Game/Card Fighters Clash esque pixel card game where you fight four sages to take one of their places. And then, after finishing that section of the game, it's off to another, similar scenario to the cabin section, only this time with a different creepy host. Interspersed between all of these scenarios are video clips taken by our unlucky protagonist as he uncovers the conspiracy behind Inscyrption, gets antognized by the company behind it, and slowly loses his mind.

    I... look. There's a lot of interesting ideas here. I thought there were a lot of interesting ideas behind Pony Island. I just wish that any one section of the game was built out more instead of stapling together a bunch of ideas and then stringing them together with vague creepypasta.

    Basically, I would love for it to go harder or less hard, but where it winds up in the middle is not interesting to me, specifically.

  • Growing up in a Southern Baptist society is, well, not interesting, but that's the first word that comes to mind. Everything is about literally interpreting the word of god in as straightforward as a way to possible to condemn those who do not follow the same god as you do - even though that god should be the same as all versions of god.

    Finding a path that let me use my natural talents, even trying to uncover what those talents were, was a constant struggle. I was used to create free art for the church since that praised god, but how do you make a career out of being a christian artist (you don't, that's the secret). I longed to find my own path, to carve my own way, to find my own personal god and worship that instead. I struggle with finding my own path now, over a decade after I stopped believing in the christian god, with my career and my love and my life.

    That desire, that want, that need to explore but never truly getting to is what draws me to Sable and her free spirit. The main action in Sable is just exploration. It rips the best mechanic out of Breath of the Wild, the ability to just climb anything that suits your fancy and float peacefully down. I don't know what the endpoint of Sable's journey will be, much like I don't know what the endpoint of mine will be, but I am so along for the ride.

    Also, the vibes are just emaculate.

  • Unpacking, the game about giving me anxiety and strewing all of my things on the floor and calling it done.

    You play as a woman through various stages of her life, unpacking her moving boxes into new rooms, apartments, houses. It's a look at someone else's life and examines our own lives by asking, "what do we take with us? What's important, what makes me, me?"

    Two moments stick out in my mind - one that involves the woman's diploma and another that involves the ultimate fate of her stuffed animal that make me tear up. Just a lovely game.

  • My memories of Pyschonauts 1 are of frustrating platforming mixed with incredible dreamscape mind palaces and character models that look like the texture was dripped onto them from flesh colored crayons melted on a hot plate.

    Psychonauts 2 is more of that so far!

  • I got one shotted by a gang of level 1 slimes. Slimes. Level 1 Slimes! What?!

  • Later Alligator follows the adventures of Pat, our friendly Mafia alligator who is in some deep trouble for mainly being kind of bad at being in the Mafia. You're an investigator? Investi-gator? Who knows, go do some mini-games with the members of Pat's family to try and figure out what's gonna happen at "The Party".

    It's great, it's goofy, and oh so charming. Absolutely adore it.

  • I appreciated a lot more of the jokes in Monkey Island 2 because they haven't been spread over the internet as much as the first, but I also got stuck a lot more - the in-game hint system was not nearly as helpful as Monkey Island 1!

  • Final Fantasy V is the best Final Fantasy game and Bravely Second is basically just that game with a fresh coat of polish with some characters you know (and some you may even like) from Bravely Default. It's a job system where you can mix and match at any point, and feels more evened out from the absolute broken concoctions you can create in Bravely Default.

    Yew is my darling dipshit scholar boy and I would die for him.