Grant E. Gaines
As a huge fan of Disgaea, I’m simply disappointed in the direction Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny took. It went from a charming RPG that had larger than life bosses with equally impressive stats to numbers so inflated it’s legitimately hard to know what exactly your stats are. Add in auto play that will literally grind while you sleep, various mechanics that make the mechanics irrelevant and it’s literally just a pointless grind until the next pointless grind. For some that might be fun, but that simply isn’t what Disgaea is for me.
Success really depends on what you're looking for. Traditional fans will likely love the experience. Puzzles are fun, combat is intense, enemies feel unrelenting and there is a need to explore if you want to stay alive. Anyone hoping for a more intense run and gun adventure will likely be disappointed. There are absolutely some great moments, just questionable design choices and a rough opening prevent it from being perfect.
ScourgeBringer is in a weird place where it's a novel concept, it's just a question of how it all comes together. There have been efforts to bridge the gap in difficulty, like making it more accessible, though it's a fast-paced game that requires good timing. This will resonate with some, maybe even to the point where they chase after all the challenge stars, with most doing two or three runs and finishing. Given the price, it's still a good value, though it hinges on how much value that provides.
I would be hard-pressed to say Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two was a bad experience. It honestly made me appreciate Doom Eternal's desire to make every weapon have some kind of purpose, be it destroying armor or instantly blowing up an enemy, but the conclusion is a mixed bag. At most it makes the seemingly endless waves of demons seem manageable and Doomguy legitimately feels like the killer the story suggests he is, it just doesn't stick to landing. It doesn't add much of a new experience and one the conclusion hurts more than it helps. I don't think anyone will dislike Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two, though I also don't think anyone will be blown away by it either.
For the most part, Sword of the Necromancer is decent fun in a rather flawed package. I can't imagine anyone could have fun playing with decreased levels and losing gear since even without that stuff it isn't particularly amazing. Toss in lazy enemy names, kiddie pool level depth, and a generic story, and Sword of the Necromancer falls short of where you want to be. Especially when there are so many other games that handle rogue-like elements better. Maybe if it goes on a deep sale it might be worth it but at full price, it's a hard sell.
In so many ways I want to like Mad Rat Dead. It has an art style I love and the music is so good I legitimately want the OST, it just isn't fun. Most stages come down to trial and error, to the point where you basically need a practice run before doing a real one. People more in-tune with the concept will do better but for most, it can be frustrating. I still think there is a good enough game to warrant visiting and enough side content to get past those hurdles, there is just no denying these shortcomings prevent Mad Rat Dead from being as enjoyable as it could be.
What makes Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck difficult to review is, the core game is obviously fantastic and the dialogue makes it fun, yet it really isn't that impressive of an expansion. Familiar locations and expected storytelling take away from the journey, as does the need to play so many things safe. It is fine as part of the season pass or an additional bonus adventure, it just struggles to make the journey worthwhile. At least when compared to the other expansions, which had more to say, do and experience than Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck offers.
To be perfectly honest, I could probably write another 1,000 words explaining just how hollow this experience is. When you figure you have a bland indie fighter, set in largely linear stages, that has, at best, three modes to play, it's not an attractive experience. Toss in stiff animations, extremely frustrating stages, underwhelming characters and it's hard to find something redeeming in Bounty Battle. Heck, I unlocked every costume and can only seemingly use them in one mode, which brings into question why even bother. The really unfortunate thing is, a lot of the problems can be fixed and likely was the goal when it got delayed sometime back but in its current state I struggle to find something positive to say and that is really unfortunate.