Event was based off a student project, and sometimes, its roots as such are laid bare. But overall, I’m impressed with how the concept was fleshed out. Like other unique experiences, I hope other developers learn from its brushes with ingenuity. I’m also excited about some of the ethical discussions it could spark. It’s definitely worth a spin in zero-gravity to check this one out.
To an extent, I did enjoy my time with Neverwinter. It's extremely mindless grinding, which can be fun now and again when you're feeling non-committal. And from what I've learned of the endgame offerings, when you're fully leveled, you can just experience much of the same. I'm not sure how long someone would want to experience more of the same, and I don't feel like anything I've played warrants going through it all again with another character. It's just not all that compelling, but if you have friends you'd like to quest with, it's certainly something to do… like many other things.
And that’s that. Zero Time Dilemma is an amazing game of equivalent overall caliber to its predecessors, and its ridiculous, complicated take on scientific theories and horror thrillers is a must-witness. Despite being quite accommodating newcomers, I recommend the deep dive into the previous entries first, if anything, to be a buffer for the science-fiction you’ve yet to imbibe. Regardless, you’ll get great, well-rounded characters and a memorable trip into one of gaming’s greatest works of fiction even if you’ll scream, “Oh, come on,” as often as “Holy shitsnacks!” That’s me being at my most objective.
For anyone seeking out an RPG they can just play for weeks, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book is a solid choice, but for each of its highlights, it suffers a misgiving. The story is plain but is delightful and organically executed. The battle system has some awesome features that are locked behind story gates. The characters are beautiful, but the rest is hit or miss. And then there are the confusing or offensive writing and design decisions throughout. As I said, I loved playing it (despite the rush to meet embargo), but its faults keep it from becoming a classic in any sense.
I could go on, of course, but the main idea is that Goliath, for having an authentically fun concept is not that much fun itself, venturing into being frustrating and overly cynical. I often thought of other games I'd rather play, not because the experience was that bad but more because it felt like filler. Goliath itself is a task and a rather underwhelming one at that.
Overall, Severed does a lot of good with its excellent and challenging combat, intricate dungeon maps full of collectibles, unique and visceral upgrade system, and a fantastic presentation. Its biggest shortcoming is its lack of opportunities to engage with its world and Sasha’s history, but with everything that works so well about the game, I can mostly forgive this slight. My roughly nine-hour experience was a great joy, filled with memorable sights, sounds, and (physical) touches. Maybe, like Okami for Playstation 2, it will be the console’s swan song, but it is hard to discredit a unique experience like this one purely for coming to the party so late.
République is a great five-episode game. I enjoyed all of it, despite some low moments, and I’m floored that it’s all available on mobile. The twist on the stealth genre, effectively providing an excuse for the originally envisioned touch controls, adds a fold to what is typically a lonely adventure for the protagonist in this genre. And as stated, I think the risks Camouflaj took at the end ultimately make for an interesting conversation regarding player and character agency. Still, the story, even with all the additional exposition players can find, is never overwrought and straightforward. It’s a nice adventure to play through, and the choices added to the final episode add replay value I wasn’t expecting. I’m tempted to dive in again.
Overall, the experience of playing The Flame in The Flood is more frustrating than nerve-wracking. I get that survival games won't be easy, but their systems should feel balanced, not bullshit. And the nodal method of traveling down river can feel futile in its own way. There's a big, bad wolf between me and any desire to play this further.
And of course, the phenomenal performances of both Rich Sommer and Cissy Jones contribute the lion's share of this personal resonance. They brilliantly demonstrate emotional nuance and sensitivity, and now I selfishly want them to voice all the things together. By the ending, my heart felt so heavy not just because of the events that unfolded, but because I believed in the myth of Henry and Delilah I created over a tumultuous summer in Shoshone. Although I loved the exploration, I felt the loneliness when no voice was on the other end, wanting to joke with or occasionally comfort me.
It is disappointing to exert such caution when recommending This War of Mine:The Little Ones, especially to people who may not have a worthwhile gaming PC (low spec requirements notwithstanding), but the limitations of the port's controls compel me to do so. For what it's worth, this is still a good game, and the exclusive addition of the children survivors makes it a more compelling experience at that. But really, if you can play the PC edition instead, it's easy to sacrifice all those kids for a much smoother experience.
Thus, I highly recommend The Witness. Although I really liked Blow's previous game, I just loved this. I became so absorbed in it, and its beauty complements the way it challenges my mind. I like how simply it begins and how complicated it is at the end but that there's a logical line from those two points. There's just a lot contained within, and I'm still finding more. I want that for others, too.
That Dragon, Cancer is a game that you will lose. You will not beat it. You don't win. Even This War of Mine has "winning" conditions. It is so fitting that this is a game, not a movie. From the jilting scene transitions to selective interactions, the dioramic games within the game to the increased level of abstraction and perspective changes, the mode of storytelling works. But it mostly excels at being a lesson that as much as you can "game-ify" elements of life, you will be confronted with perma-death—real death.
Was this story consistent in its delivery in any way? Nope, not at all. But the overall effect is satisfying, and I can't pretend I was bored along the way. I don't know that diehard Borderlands fans will appreciate this series' approach, but it's worth a shot if you're into the story more than the shooting. That final act tho.
Though the premise of an adventure game about a lovable clown is not enough to win me over on the surface, it's the complex tale of a cynical and unforgiving world the player is expected to change through loving and non-violent interaction that ultimately seals the deal. Adding in the wonderful presentation and dynamic soundtrack, this becomes an adventure game that should not be missed. It is a must.
Maybe it's petty to lay into a game for what it could've been, but this game, though unique, charming, and well-executed, feels like an appetizer when I really wanted a meal. Although the story doesn't feel cut off, it just feels too brief overall. I'd have preferred a game that ended when I wanted it to end. Still, I'm impressed with the job Tiger & Squid did with Team17's faithful help. It is at least a solid, unfettered artist's vision, not sullied by AAA expectations and producer's interjections. For that, I'll take this short trip any day.
Because of a greater focus on subtler story cues, reining in Pandora's complete irreverence for normalcy, "Escape Plan Bravo" works in a way previous episodes didn't, though "Atlas Mugged" came close. The emotional moments worked without that awkward, out-of-place feeling that came with similar scenes in the past. There is an action scene, a giant shootout of sorts, but you have to see it to believe it, and it serves as some necessary comic relief before the final act.
If you can let go of semantics and get involved in a story you don't control directly, then there may be something for you. It's a moving story told through gorgeous graphics, excellent voice acting, and a transcendent musical score that pleasures your ears during poignant moments. And yes, you basically just walk around much in the same way you can boil many games to just doing any number of repetitive actions. Give this a try. You may fall in love.
In order to maintain perspective, and sometimes to provide relief, while reviewing a game, I usually play another one concurrently. Coincidentally, my go-to game during this period was a remake, specifically Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, which was a from-the-ground-up redo of Abe's Oddysee. I understand it's completely different from Legend of Kay Anniversary and probably has a different audience entirely (in that is has one at all). But whereas New 'n' Tasty feels like a love letter to its origins, Legend of Kay feels confused and restricted by its source. I honestly feel that this game could've been actually re-made, brought into modern times, and been successful. As it is, though, it's just further fodder for the anti-remake resistance.