Despite my qualms with certain challenges and the last boss, I cannot get enough of Risk of Rain 2. I love the characters and discovering secrets while setting new goals for myself. As someone who mostly bounced off the first game, the sequel sucked me in like a Primordial Cube (an in-joke, hah!).
You know, last week I'm not sure I could have told you the last time I cried while playing a video game. Maybe it was Persona 4 on the PlayStation 2? I've been introspective a lot, but rarely sad and on the verge of crying. Well, now I know exactly the last time a video game made me cry, because it was yesterday while finishing up Necrobarista. While I have some qualms with how the game's "memories" are handled, it's such a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. For anyone interesting in a wholly unique story that is almost guaranteed to sink its hooks into you, look no further than Necrobarista.
Signs of the Sojourner is one of the most cohesive narrative games I have ever played. The interplay between mechanics and storytelling is absolutely brilliant, which makes it a shame that it misses the mark in terms of actually being enjoyable to play. The inclusion of a frustrating "fatigue" mechanic is at odds with the general laid-back design approach to deckbuilding. There is something truly beautiful here that is worth experiencing, it's just a shame that the game seems to fight itself at every turn.
It's a shame that a good game is held back by incredibly boring design decisions. I think Greedfall is on the verge of greatness but falls short in too many areas to really go down as a must-play. It's absolutely an enjoyable romp, just one plagued by the thought of what could have been.
So, is the Blair Witch game a good fit for a franchise many have mostly written off by now? As a fan of said series, I would say yes. It absolutely has its faults, with the poorly paced gameplay and story elements being the worst offenders, but the amazing set pieces and psychological horror do a great job of raising the heart rate of anyone willing to venture through the forest. Ultimately, there are a lot of interesting ideas here, but they simply don't come together like they needed to in order to make the best of them.
It's a good chunk of content for an absolute steal of a price. The wackiness of grabbing your friends, flinging yourself around, making faces and noises, and just causing shenanigans all around doesn't really get old. Heave Ho is a much harder sell to anyone expecting to play it solo, but it's an absolute must-have for any local multiplayer get-together with friends.
I had my doubts going into Dicey Dungeons, despite the pedigree present. I was worried the core reliance on random dice rolls would create a frustrating experience for the player. And while I've had those moments, I always felt that I could look back and say "that's where I went wrong" and not "the random numbers just didn't work out in my favor!" That alone is an incredibly feat. Stack it on top of six incredibly unique character mechanics, episodes that force the exploration of alternate playstyles, and an expertly crafted aesthetic, and you have another absolute slam dunk from Terry Cavanagh.
I'm so torn on The Blackout Club. The prologue is an amazing experience and the game itself, while drastically different, still kept my friends and I coming back. But it's not a good game. There are too many bugs and mishandled mechanics holding it back, in addition to a huge bait-and-switch on story and lore. I do think there is a lot of potential here, as The Blackout Club fills an empty void in the market, but dang it's just so disappointing in its current state.
That's it. The Council is over. I am now writing the last words about this godforsaken series ever. I think there are two parts of my life: pre- and post-Council. I am not the same man I was when I started playing these games. It's time for me to move on. Sayonara, The Council.
Void Bastards is a good game. It plays just fine and looks amazing, but it lacks some of the "hooks" that many roguelikes drive in. It has great atmosphere, but doesn't do much to really encourage those who are experiencing it to soak it all in. The visual style is some absolute magic, but that sense of amazement does not translate into gameplay.