In the end, I am a fan of where Weird Beluga aimed but not as much as where they landed. While the world that Clid resides in is full and realized, its characters unique, its level design excellent, and its overall tone unexpectedly great, the gameplay itself, not plague fuelled slugs, seems to be the biggest deterrent Clid needs to overcome. No matter how Weird Beluga wants to tackle this, whether it be leave it as it is or patch it, they still stand as very innovative and exciting developers. As for the gamer, if you think I’m just weak and you can do better managing the punishing level of gameplay, you should definitely pick this up. Otherwise, maybe see what they do moving forward before you dive into this strange and unique foray into gaming.
When it’s all said and done though, Dodgeball Academia is much better than I was expecting. I enjoyed the style, the zaniness, the characters, and only got frustrated by the gameplay a couple of times. Given my childhood history with the sport and my general anger over not being able to win in every game, a couple of times of frustration is a MASSIVE win. While the RPG elements to it are a little on the light side, the open-ish world and all of the side quests/daily challenges you get to tackle on top of the story have you 3 hours deep into dodgeball games before you know it. The fun and light hearted aspects of the game outweigh the negatives, making Dodgeball Academia a good pick up if you’re looking to hear that SPLAT once more.
Whether or not it’s worth it for your new system, is probably up to whether or not you’ve played it before. The additions to the main game include some extra playtime, and the graphical upgrades make it a smoother running experience, but I don’t know if it’s worth a brand new purchase of the game. However, if you haven’t played Observer: System Redux yet, this new version is the PERFECT way to get your hands dirty in this cyberpunk murder mystery.
For as much as that sense of nostalgia is great, video games have come a long way since then and I’ve become accustomed to a certain playstyle. Being so fully integrated back into an old style of game, as I said earlier, reminds me of why I’m thankful for how far games have come. Outbreak: Endless Nights does everything it sets out to and while I enjoyed some dungeon crawling and shooting zombies in the face for a little while, I’m still going to go back to my very full game library… I have far too much to catch up on to spend too much time in 2002.
Overall, World Splitter is a really great and challenging puzzler that may look easy but will leave you scratching your head more often than not. The unique double map and physics mechanics are some of those things that really make World Splitter stand out. The cute and simplistic style is very aesthetically pleasing and helps keep you from screaming at the top of your lungs when you take one step too many at the very end of a map. Challenge your brain and spatial awareness if you dare.
Overall, TOHU’s lovely aesthetic, challenging puzzles, and do-it-yourself style of direction make this a real winner in my eyes. While so much good hits a real stumbling block with controls not designed for a controller, it didn’t stop me from really enjoying this unique and wacky world. And I appreciate the complicated puzzles that are enjoyably difficult instead of ‘smash your head against a wall’ hard. I would recommend TOHU, especially if you’ve somehow managed to figure out quicker reaction times with your controller than I have.
As a psychological horror that uses one of the most iconic horror games of the last-gen as its inspiration, it works incredibly well. I never thought walking down a hallway in a game could fill me with such dread, but every single staircase, hallway, and door ramped my anxiety all the way up. In all honesty, for the first couple of days, I could only play it for 10 minutes at a time before I had to call it quits. As someone who watches horror movies all the time, getting me to tap out before you even scare is a feat to be proud of. By that measure, Visage should be bursting with pride!