yyninja

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2.9 stars

Average score of 75 user reviews

A snuffing good time 0

It’s funny to reminisce that the original Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii almost never released in North America. Nintendo was convinced the game would be a bust, fortunately they were completely off the mark. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the culmination of the best of Monolith Soft and is easily their strongest work to date. With Xenoblade 3, Monolith Soft have solidified Xenoblade as a mainstay franchise, a 1st party title that Nintendo should be proud to stand side-by-side with their othe...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Better than its Wii counterpart, but still a mediocre Zelda game. 0

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (SS) has the unpleasant position of being a Zelda game on the same platform as that other Zelda game on the Switch… Link’s Awakening. I’m kidding of course, it’s Breath of the Wild (BotW). For players who already own or have any interest in owning a Switch, there is no contest which Zelda game is better. BotW is one of the most innovative open world games of the generation. SS in comparison is an HD remake of a ten year old game mali...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Solid Metroidvania with an odd difficulty spike at the end and questionable art direction 0

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a solid metroidvania. The game plays it fairly safe and doesn't do anything remarkably innovative. If you've played Super Metroid or Castlevania: SotN, the power-ups and abilities will be recognizable albeit wrapped with a pirate themed flair. There isn't much to delve into the story of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. There's a basic setup of an evil baddie who has cursed the crew members of Risky Boots and it is up to Shantae to trek through various islands and...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Interesting time based combat but not worth the time to see it through the end 0

Cris Tales is a turn-based RPG with a time travel theme where our heroes can fight enemies in the past, present and future at the same time. The initial premise and battle mechanics lead to some very creative scenarios: like weakening an enemy by reverting it to its infant state or aging a poisoned foe so that the damage over time from the poison is immediately applied. The problem is that everything outside of combat is tremendously dull. The story is poorly told. There is a lack of animation ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Developed with a heart on its sleeve, albeit running on an extremely dated game engine 0

FreebirdGames’ debut game, To the Moon is an exceptional storytelling masterpiece. The game is famous for being built with a game engine known for churning out cookiecutter 16-bit JRPGs. What’s most surprising is that To the Moon has no combat or RPG mechanics. In fact, the game could have easily been a Visual Novel or even written as a novella. Despite its unconventional origins, To the Moon is an indie darling and an easy recommendation for all. Its sequel, Finding Paradise, may no...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Phantom Thieves have failed to steal my heart yet again 0

Four years ago, I played and reviewed Persona 5. I still have fond memories of the game. It was both an auditory and visual delight with its killer acid-jazz soundtrack and incredibly stylish presentation. I remember how engrossing the first half of the game was. There’s something euphoric about seeing a rag tag group of teenagers rebel against terrible adults. Sadly, I also recall how the second half of Persona 5 was a major let down. The latter Palaces (dungeons) were boring and long: fi...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Yakuza Palooza 0

Yakuza 5 Remastered, reminds me of that classic Simpsons bit where Homer gets sent to hell and is forced to eat donuts… lots of donuts. To say that Yakuza 5 has a lot of content would be a disservice, this game is literally bulging at the seams with things to do and can easily take hundreds of hours to reach 100% completion. Even if you simply want to enjoy the story, Yakuza 5 easily dwarfs past games in the series. This is the biggest Yakuza game yet: there are 5 playable characters, 5 d...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An expansion that usurps the main game in almost every aspect 0

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna the Golden Country is proof that Monolithsoft listens to their player base and is willing to make changes to produce better games. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was a game of incredible ambition laden with too many problems to count. The game soured my experience with the over-the-top anime tropes, a Gatcha-style system of unlocking rare Blades and a general absence of quality of life features, like the lack of reviewable tutorials.To my delight, Torna the Golden Country i...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An ambitious title with too many problems to count 0

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a phenomenal epic. Even when compared to its JRPG peers, the game remains triumphant in terms of world building and gameplay complexity. The game is a mix of high fantasy and sci-fi and stands out from others like its genre. There is a memorable orchestral synth-rock soundtrack that will stay with you long after you’ve finished playing for the night. The game is an absolute monster that will require hundreds of hours to complete. It is a deep, dense and challengin...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A different kind of Yakuza game, more characters, more narrative but new problems 0

Yakuza 4 Remastered is a fresh start from its predecessor. The game looks considerably better. There are rain effects where light reflects on the wet pavement. Characters are more detailed and move in a more believable manner. And most importantly the game does not feature Kazuma Kiryu as the lead protagonist. However, not everything has changed. The combat and moment to moment action are left unscathed from Yakuza 3.The lead role falls to Shun Akiyama, a loan shark who seemingly lends to every...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

It's still Yakuza but doesn't reach the heights of the Kiwami games. 0

I was spoiled having only learned about how amazing the Yakuza series was after watching the Giant Bomb Quick Look of Yakuza 0. Now having completed Yakuza 0, Kiwami and Kiwami 2, Yakuza 3 Remastered is a major downgrade compared to those games.Unlike Yakuza 0 or the Kiwami games, Yakuza 3 remastered uses the original engine and fighting mechanics. Coming from those games and playing Yakuza 3 is rough. The camera is unwieldy and constantly needs to be adjusted and the combat isn't as enjoyable d...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Horny Anime Bartending Simulator 0

I didn't finish VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. The game simply wasn't for me. The music is the only thing I liked about the game. It's a cool concept, each time you open the bar, you load 12 songs into the jukebox and they're all pretty decent.I couldn't finish this game because the writing completely irked me; it is extremely horny. The character that most embodies this is Dorothy. Dorothy is a sex robot and talks about sex in a way that I found off putting. There are several mention...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A strong narrative that makes it easy to look past technical flaws 0

There are many video games published and labeled as “Mature”. They often feature gratuitous violence, strong language and/or sexually suggestive imagery. However these “Mature” games don’t seem like they are for mature audiences but instead are for testosterone-filled teenagers. Disco Elysium is one of the few games that truly feels like a mature video game. The writing is dense, upsetting and politically charged. It trusts the player’s intelligence to underst...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bland and difficult at the same time, Aragami is a niche game in a niche genre 0

Aragami is a stealth game that caters to hardcore fans. The game does not make a great impression for newcomers as it is punishingly difficult. After surpassing the initial difficulty bump, the rest of the game is a series of levels featuring the same two enemies in traditional Japanese style gardens and temples. Aragami is developed on a modest budget, there is no facial animation, no voice acting and the game does not convey any personality or emotion in the characters. The narrative, while in...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A delightfully pleasant concise masterpiece 0

A Short Hike as the name implies is not a very long game. It's a pleasant platformer with no combat or difficult puzzles. However there is enough challenge to be more than just a walking simulator.The tale revolves around Claire, a bird on a retreat with her aunt on an island. Claire being a city person desperately wants connection with the outside world. Her aunt tells her the only place that has cell signal is on the top of the mountain. And so, the whole point of the game is to make the short...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

A fantastic epic that is unfortunately dated and padded beyond belief 0

Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii almost never made it out of Japan without the work of some really passionate fans. The story of how a group of fans convinced Nintendo to localize a 60+ hour JRPG on the end of Wii’s lifecycle is a story of legend, but I digress. The original game did not run well. It had poor framerates, long loading times and was in a sub HD resolution. Ten years after its initial release on the Wii, the Definitive Edition on the Switch adds many graphical enhancements and...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Becoming your worst enemy 0

Stealth is a niche genre in video games because it is hard to get right. There are numerous variables to be balanced to make the experience exciting. Being aware of enemies is important, but it must be limited or else it makes avoiding them too easy. Getting caught should be punishing but not too punishing where it feels impossible to escape. Lastly, having the ability to “go loud” in a stealth game should be possible, however it shouldn’t make the player so powerful that it be...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

An Origami Charm Offensive 1

The Paper Mario franchise has been in a downward spiral ever since Super Paper Mario for the Wii. The games started out as simple but deep turn-based RPGs with each subsequent game shedding these traditional RPG mechanics in favor of arts & crafts gimmicks. First there were stickers in “Sticker Star”, then paint in “Color Splash” and now origami with Paper Mario: The Origami King. While the game still retains the fantastic writing and humor the series is known for, it...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

More of the same as Hitman (2016) in a good way 0

Loved it. No detailed review here, this game feels like an expansion pack to Hitman (2016) with few enhancements. Hitman 2 loads in the same executable as Hitman (2016) so if you own both games you can play all the levels in sequential order. The only new additions I can note is stealth in brush/tall grass and a few mission objectives that deviate from just killing x people.Levels are stellar with tons of replay value (with a shoutout to Miami and Mumbai being my favorite locations), even my lea...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An incomplete grim indie game 0

Pinstripe is an indie game in every sense of the word. The game was developed solo by Thomas Brush over a five year period. What the game lacks in engaging gameplay, it tries to make up for with an interesting premise. The game feels like it has gone through multiple prototype iterations with several single gameplay one offs like a physics puzzle involving pool balls. This is complete conjecture but I feel that Pinstripe used to be an adventure game that was converted into a platformer midway in...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bland and forgettable 0

Song of the Deep developed by Insomniac Games, the same studio responsible for the Ratchet and Clank franchise, has surprisingly created a game so basic and devoid of personality. The game feels “safe”, designed to be as inoffensive as possible. It feels like the kind of nameless generic video game that would be featured in a TV show or movie. Much of its faults lie in the tedious puzzle solving, simple unengaging combat and very basic story. The only highlights are the soothing melo...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Gen Z Cybersleuthing 1

There comes a time in life when you realize you are not young anymore. It’s the feeling you get when you look at a whole new generation of kids and shake your head in disbelief. The sense that you are looking at an entirely new species of human with completely strange habits and lifestyles compared to your own. Simulacra is a game born out of the Gen Z population. It’s a game that revolves around a demographic glued to their smartphones, where maintaining a digital persona is as impo...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Too much RNG and grinding to be any fun 0

My initial hour with the game was a blast. Ironcast is sort of like a mix of Puzzle Quest and FTL. It's set in a fictional version of the Victorian era where there is an endless war between England and France. To end the stalemate rich nobles decide to invest their resources and invent bipedal mechs.It doesn't look like it at first, but this is a Rogue-lite through and through. The gist is once your mech falls in combat you have to start the game all over again. Any experience points earned in ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Manages to punch above its weight but unfortunately feels painfully derivative 0

Sci-Fi is one of my favorite genres. I am always fascinated by the imaginative alien worlds, future technology and idealized solutions to current day problems. If there is one subgenre that I feel is tricky to get right, it is the subject of Artificial Intelligence. The main problem is that AI has been a topic in countless films and video games and it is easy to stumble upon the familiar plot of an AI gone rampant. The Turing Test, unfortunately, while narratively creative, is not an exemplar of...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Grotesque, grim and yet an eerily familiar puzzle platformer 0

Little Nightmares, developed by Tarsier Studios, suffers from the unfortunate role of being compared to two other well known dark grim platformers. They are so similar that if someone told me that Playdead developed Little Nightmares, I would not have doubted it. I’m sure the comparison does not sit well with Tarsier Studios, it being a Swedish team while Playdead is located in neighboring Denmark and vice-versa. With all that said, Little Nightmares is a beautiful grim puzzle platformer w...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Artsy, Experimental and an Interesting Curiosity 0

Thirty Flights of Loving and its prequel Gravity Sock (packaged with the TFoL) are weird games. They both seem like student art projects or products concocted in a game jam. The graphics are very basic. There is no combat. And the levels are very very linear. They are walking simulators in the strictest sense and the story is fed to you through environmental details. They are not traditional video games and that's the point.Gravity Sock is a spy thriller, where you play a spy, completing objecti...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A fantastic bookend to the Crossbell Arc 0

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Geofront Fan Translation patch on the Joyoland PC copy of Ao no Kiseki. While in the middle of my playthrough, a western release was announced by NISA. Instead of waiting until 2023 for that release, I decided to finish my playthrough on the fan patched version and review that experience.Trails fans rejoice! An English version of Ao no Kiseki or Trails to Azure with modern gameplay improvements is finally here. Trails to Azure is an important game in the T...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An all you can eat 8-bit platformer buffet 0

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is an 8-bit celebration of the most beloved NES classics. There are hints of Mega Man, DuckTales, Castlevania, Super Mario Bros. 3 and more in this 5-pack game collection. Even if you lack the nostalgia of playing these NES classics, the Treasure Trove collection is a fantastic representation of the best the 8-bit generation has to offer. Each game, while thematically and visually similar to each other, has completely different characters and playstyles. This collec...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Fantastic combat, but all show, no tell 0

There hasn’t been a game I’ve played in recent memory that sets the stage so quickly. From the opening minutes of Hyper Light Drifter, I’ve witnessed a series of stylish, moody and cryptic sequences that had me absolutely hooked even before I had control. After the intro sequence it becomes fairly apparent that Hyper Light Drifter is heavily inspired by games like Dark Souls, Super Metroid and Zelda: A Link to the Past. The tight controls, numerous secrets to discover and tough...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

So Many Cards, So Little Time to Actually Try them All 0

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is the latest entry in the SteamWorld franchise. The game is a mix of turn based RPG and card battling. The card battling mechanic, while initially promising, is never fully realized due to the mixed decks and limited card slots. And the RPG part of the game suffers from the classic RPG issue where it is better to stick with the same roster for the entire game rather than diversify to maximize experience allocation. Outside of those elements, there is a light ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Superb Platforming with a Subtle Story 0

A Story About My Uncle is a first person platformer. The genre is exceptionally rare because first person platforming is tricky to get right: it is difficult to judge distance between platforms and see where you are landing. A Story About My Uncle helps mitigate these problems by introducing you to a powered high jump, a grapple mechanic and eventually a rocket booster. The game has a sense of rhythm and momentum that feels utterly liberating when you successfully jump from platform to platform....

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Lost under the buggy sea 0

I never found underwater levels in any game fun. They often share the same gameplay quirks: sluggish character movement, a diminishing oxygen meter and agile underwater enemies to keep you in constant motion. In fact, many games treat water as a deterrent to keep the player from wandering too far out of bounds. Subnautica is one of the few exceptions where I found the underwater traversal and exploration fun. Unfortunately the game is a massive time-sink and a buggy mess.The premise of Subnautic...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A mismatch of typing and bullethell 0

I enjoy indie games because they are bold and experiment with unique gameplay ideas. I also sometimes dislike indie games because they are bold and experiment with unique gameplay ideas. The Textorcist falls into the latter column. The problem with this game is it combines two genres that are simply incompatible. It also doesn't help that the writing isn't great and the narrative didn't hook me in. Oh yeah and before I forget, the game's whole gimmick is you need to type EVERYTHING, even when in...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Good dumb open world Kung Fu action 1

I’m probably not the first person to admit this, but I don’t think the Grand Theft Auto games are actually that fun to play. They are spectacle crime simulators, with arcady driving and mediocre gun combat. While their narratives feature top notch voice talent and good moment to moment writing, the stories themselves end up as cliche Mafia stories involving feuding gangs and eventual betrayals. Enter Sleeping Dogs, a game developed by the now defunct United Front Games, a GTA clone ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Small Town Americana 0

Night in the Woods is a very specific game for a very specific audience. At first glance, it’s a cutesy adventure game featuring anthropomorphic characters with minor platforming elements. On closer inspection, Night in the Woods is a game that addresses depression, anxiety and the struggles of living in a small town. This indie game manages to punch above its weight and delivers a story with some serious emotional impact. Night in the Woods is far from perfect. The platforming sections ar...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

XCOM: The Arcade Police Edition 2

I love XCOM 2 especially with the War of the Chosen add-on. The game is fantastically complex and nuanced with hundreds of hours of potential gameplay. If it were not for the extraordinary levels of “XCOM jank” specifically in vanilla XCOM 2, it would easily be in my top 10 games of all time. My expectations for XCOM: Chimera Squad were wildly unrealistic. I wanted the game to capture the same highs I experienced in XCOM 2 for the first time again. I’m sad to report that XCOM: ...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

A Japanese take on the modern Telltale game 0

I admit I’m ignorant of the Japanese indie scene. Basically whenever I think of a Japanese indie game, I think of either a game made with RPG Maker, a Visual Novel or a game made by a ridiculously talented person like Pixel with Cave Story. To my delight, Tokyo Dark is none of those things. Tokyo Dark is a psychological horror adventure game by Japanese indie team CherryMochi. It is a game based on the likes of a modern Telltale game but with an Anime aesthetic. Like the Telltale games, To...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An amazing strategic masterpiece if you can tolerate the numerous bugs 1

Reviewing XCOM 2 almost 5 years after its release is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to play XCOM 2 at its greatest potential with all of the DLCs including the War of the Chosen add-on. XCOM 2 is a complex, challenging strategic game with potentially hundreds of hours of enjoyable gameplay. It’s unfortunate to report that even with XCOM 2 at its apex, the game is horrendously buggy, especially when playing vanilla XCOM 2 (without the War of the Chosen add-on). The previous g...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Falcom and Trails at their absolute best 2

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Geofront Fan Translation patch on a Japanese PC copy of Zero no Kiseki. There is no official western release for this game.UPDATE: A western release has been announced by NISA and it will be based on the Geofront's translation.The Legend of Heroes:Trails games are an underrated series of JRPGs known for having excellent world building, sharp witty dialog and meaningful NPC interactions. The series is also famous for having a middle chapter, the Crossbell A...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

A companion piece to a time travel classic 0

The original Steins;Gate is not only a great VN game, it is an excellent piece of fiction. Steins;Gate is the best time travel story I have ever experienced. It features a phenomenal cast, wonderful chemistry between its eccentric characters and rigorously sticks with its time travel logic. The story is detailed and complex, yet comprehensible at the same time. The game does a great job explaining how wordlines and time travel work in its mythos. The True End of Steins;Gate is a brilliant conclu...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.