It's problem isn't even that it's poorly made, or that it's built on a faulty premise. Indeed, I feel bad to be ambivalent about this game, because it sounded cool on paper. It just misses the balance, leaning too heavily on the side of frustration, with too little to show for all the hard work a player could put in. Really, when I realized playing it was work and I felt relieved to end a session, that's when I knew I ought to just stop playing for good.
No, Tiny Metal is no substitute for Advance Wars. It does a lot of cool things, and it absolutely satisfies the same craving. But as much as I loved it at times, I hated it at others. It allows for pure turn-based strategy bliss, but there's a lot of garbage to sift through in order to get to it.
Like the main character, I'm of two minds about it. Thinking back on it there were pieces I really enjoyed. But it was also the kind of game I couldn't play for more than a half hour at a time. Even when I was enjoying it, I could feel it overstaying its welcome. It's decent in short bursts, but marathoning it would just expose its warts even further.
In a way, it's refreshing to get a game that knows exactly what it wants to do, executes on that idea, but doesn't overstay its welcome. The central mechanic of precision projectile motion is unique, and Lichtspeer plays with the formula enough to keep the experience fresh right up until the end.
Even though Golf Story isn't quite what I expected it would be, it is an absolute delight. It's more than just a golf game with RPG mechanics, but it's not quite a full RPG with golf mechanics either. It lies in a sweet spot in the middle, where people who care about one but not the other can still get into it.
When it hits those lows, it's not unplayable, but it's dang close. I'm more apt to put it down after a particularly choppy run, but I still find myself coming back to it after a while. Despite its technical flaws, I still want to see all of the different areas, and learn all of their secrets.
It's a decent adventure with varied combat, cool boss battles, and semi-interesting locales. I'm going to keep at it until I've obtained everything there is to obtain, but even then I know I won't have seen everything there is to see. Some of the neatest stuff possible isn't scripted in by the designers, it's waiting to be imagined and created by an aspiring magician.
If you aren't turned off by the sugary sweet aesthetic, Glittermitten Grove is worth a deep look. It can be difficult to start with its intricate economy and barebones explanation, but those who crack the nut can find something special hidden inside.
That's World of Final Fantasy in a nutshell. For those invested in the series up to this point, it's so worth playing. It'll mean a lot to the fans to go on an adventure, fight, and grow with the monsters that were only ever enemies in the past. Its weak story detracts from the experience a little, but the power of well-done nostalgia farming overshadows it easily.
Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion whets my appetite for more like this. It's quick enough to play just a round or two and still make progress, and it's varied enough to play several in a row without getting too bored. But now I'm looking more forward to the other four Story Ops releasing so we can have that same solid gameplay with even more variety.
Blade Ballet can be a lot of fun in the right setting, but even then it won't set the world on fire. It won't supplant Samurai Gunn or TowerFall as a go-to indie party combat game, but it does a fine job supplementing those titles for a raucous evening. Add it to the list of stuff to bust out when friends are around, but don't even bother going in solo.
It takes about six hours to get through the campaign, but it's engaging throughout. Each dungeon adds a new twist to the exploration, and each new piece of typing magic increases the complexity of the combat. The base mechanic may conjure up thoughts of Mavis Beacon, but so much has been built onto that foundation, making Epistory - Typing Chronicles so much greater than just a typing game.
It's business as usual in terms of the moment-to-moment happenings, but it benefits from the altered structure that eschews multi-episode arcs in favor of singular experiences. For the first time in the series, I'm looking forward to continuing onward, if only a little.
There's not a lot to complain about with the Sequence. Its clean look and atmospheric electronic music don't distract from the real meat, the puzzles. As far as that goes, there are a lot of them to take on, especially for the minuscule price. It can be tough at times, but that just makes it more gratifying when it all works out and the balls go in the hole.
Ultimately, Dynetzzle Extended is a decent experience. It starts with a cool idea, but doesn't expand on that idea enough, and once it finally reaches a point where it takes more than just mindlessly following the algorithm, it ends. It's a neat distraction for puzzle enthusiasts, but it won't be setting the world on fire.
The plot is banal, the writing is tone deaf, and the acting is wooden. Those who can ignore the dressing and focus on the puzzles alone can find some good head-scratching moments and interesting logical interactions. Taken as a whole, Attractio is bipolar; its highs are high and its lows are low. Averaging that out makes it mediocre.