Sometimes there’s an update or a DLC that changes a game forever and finally makes it accessible to the people at large. Repentance is not that DLC. If anything, Repentance can and will scare off newer players who feel like they’re just getting their bearings when a flood of new stuff comes screaming in. But, for long time players, this is the parting gift they were all waiting for.
Cupid Parasite was enjoyable from beginning to end, which is not something I can often say about this style of otome. Top notch voice work, enthralling soundtrack, excellent design and solid story beats that kept me locked in and even made me laugh out loud.
Next Star Rebels is an ugly but necessary forced marriage between two warring factions in order to preserve the whole. If you only had a rocket building game without the context as to the how or why items are introduced, you’d get a visually impressive but somewhat pointless game. Kerbal Space Program is more for the hardcore creators, and Next Space Rebels is for those of us with no great bearing on physics or angles, but are willing to learn through trial and error.
It’s fun, it’s replayable, it’s frustrating as all hell when you just can’t get the right movement card to get out of a sticky spot, and it keeps drawing me back in to prove that I’m not a loser. I may keep getting killed during missions, but I’m doing it with style, and that’s all anyone can ask of me. Okay, they can ask that I complete the mission and not die, but hey. Baby steps.
I like to walk away from games with something to take away, something to remember my playing by. Unreal Life has left me thoroughly disquieted, filled with ideas about what it means to connect, to be a part of someone’s life. How much our own illusions can protect us from what might seek to harm our livelihood, and how fragile a person can be, even if we feel the change is minor.
KEMCO has partnered to create something special, and I have walked away from this with a brand new lens through which to view their creations. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s engaging. Although, if they want to patch in a toggle for timer elements (they have toggles for both combat and golf difficulty), I think it’d make everything just that much cleaner. RPGolf Legends is, hands down, my favorite title that KEMCO has ever published, and this is a clean drive into a beautiful birdie for players everywhere.
It’s quite expansive and filled with things to do, the plot twists are intriguing and engaging, and Naomi does smooth her edges down the further along you get, though she never totally hits for me. If you need a good dose of high strangeness coupled with a lot of things to do, there’s no better time to move to Rainy Woods and get a peek into The Good Life.
Once everything is clean and clear, you’ll stun yourself to find that you can go from start to finish in about 30 minutes or so, and that’s all there is to it. For a game with such a grandiose title, The Immortal has a shockingly short life, but it’s a colorful one. If you missed this as a child or simply want to see why your father grew up to hate video games, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s well designed, it’s approachable, it’s clearly explained both in plot and gameplay and it’s quite open while still being directed in where the game is going. To be honest, I might pick this up on the Switch at some point in the future. I don’t think sitting down and playing Archvale for long stretches of time is the best way to enjoy all of the havoc the game brings, but having bursts of dungeon action in between other activities and then focusing when you’re in the overworld for longer, more relaxing explorations is the key recipe to success.
I’m trash at bullet hell games, but I love to try and I love to fail. Castle of Shikigami II makes me feel like a glorious disaster, and it’s so much fun in the process. It’s got the heart and excitement of something visually-novel adjacent, and it’s got the chaos and erratic heartbeat moments of a proper danmaku. Take some time and dive in, but be warned: it’s hell, and a controller is not going to be your friend. Get ready to ride the keyboard, cowboy, we gotta save Tokyo.
This is a great game if you have friends, as you can really see how the chaos and mayhem can be well balanced with cooperation and communication. For a solo endeavor, though, you need to love, and I mean love, the art of the brawl. So either grab a friend or grab a bottle, because you’ve got a lot to see on your way to find Tunche.
Venus: Improbable Dream sits in a very odd position in the visual novel world, and I’m not sure if it’s for better or worse. It doesn’t nearly have the teeth of something like Steins;Gate or The Way We All Go, but it also isn’t as saccharine as Strawberry Vinegar, instead floating somewhere in between. Kakeru and Haruka are a cute pairing without too much insinuation, and Kakeru himself is a fine protagonist, but just fine. He doesn’t have enough humor in his self-loathing, and he has too much awareness in his talent to make his modesty seem genuine. He isn’t unlikable, but he also isn’t the best dude to have to follow around.
Mario Golf: Super Rush isn’t a bad game, but it simply isn’t that great, either. It’s not golf enough to pull serious sports enthusiasts to the bedside, but it’s not Mario enough for casual players to keep the game going once you’ve played all the courses a couple of times.
If you are a huge fan of games that never seem to end – Animal Crossing springs to mind – Grow: Song of the Evertree is a exceedingly charming title that brings you on board, whole hog, and gives you endless reasons to stick around. If, like me, you want a game to give you play in bite sized pieces, the servings get too meaty very fast, and you’ll quickly fill up on Grow without having room for more. It’s an excellent experience, but it’s simply too much: I have to take a step back and imagine that Alaria flourishes without me.
I went into Horatio Goes Snowboarding with an expectation on where the game would take me, but I never expected a cross between Papers, Please and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Philistines will only see a simple arcade game, but I’ve peeled back the curtain to witness the true message within, and it’s a glorious indictment of the world around us.