Chalgyr's Game RoomHomepage
While it is a short game, Lost Words: Beyond the Page deserves a lot of credit for making the most of narrative during that relatively brief runtime. So many games are forgotten almost as soon as I put down the controller – but that is not going to be the case here. While the platforming / puzzling gameplay itself is fairly shallow, the rest of the package is undeniably charming and an experience I enjoyed far more often than not.
Lust From Beyond is definitely not for the faint of heart or for the weak stomached but it is an interesting dive into the realms of the occult and insanity that can appear especially when dealing with the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. Interesting puzzles, crazier environments and even more psychotic cultists and monsters trying to hunt you down, there’s a hell of an adventure to be had if you’ve got the stomach, and the age, for it.
Spacebase Startopia is a fairly standard strategy/simulation game at its core, with the balancing of resources, happiness and a bit of light RTS combat mixed in. Some technical concerns around the camera, balky control scheme and less-than-stellar AI diminish the overall experience, however. There is plenty of micromanaging fun to be had here for fans of the genre, but Spacebase Startopia is not among the best in the genre either.
Overall, Touhou Gensou Skydrift is an absolutely great racing game. While combining the feel of both a Mario Kart title with closer to F-Zero style gameplay, challenging yet fun courses, and an amazing soundtrack, Skydrift will definitely meet your racing needs. No prior Touhou world knowledge is needed either, and with a large cast of characters to choose from, it's really fun to figure out what tag-team combo you like the best. Although the number of courses may be on the smaller side, they're all really fun, especially once you've had some time to practice on them. If you're looking for a tide-over between Mario Kart titles, or just want something a little different from them? Touhou Gensou Skydrift is definitely for you.
Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol 1 is a fantastic selection of games, even if it does tilt a little heavy towards the fighting side of things. Given that the title has ‘Vol 1’ in there, I wonder if we’ll see one or two more of these collections (the Pocket Color had 31 games released for it). Assuming you haven’t already picked up all of the previously released fighting games, this is a very worthwhile collection for old school gaming enthusiasts.
Overall Samurai Shodown for the Xbox Series X is a pretty good 1v1 versus fighter. While I may not be able to compare it to the previous generation, it does a fairly good job at what it sets out to do whether you're planning for a night in for some couch versus or if you're feeling confident enough to take your skills online.
Black Legend’s combat is solid if unspectacular, and the setting is unique and atmospheric. The character progression is more interesting than the characters themselves, and the story fails to match the intrigue created by the overall visual style due to average writing. Across the board, Black Legend is a decent game with some good ideas but technical issues hold it back.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a good example of taking chances with blending in several styles in order to tell a story. While the concept itself is nothing new, often it’s taken too far and too many styles are attempted and the whole experience just either comes apart or is a mess to play. Thankfully, that is definitely not the case here and I both look forward to both the developer’s next project and to finally sitting down to the original Anodyne.
Overall, Root Film is a great mystery style Visual Novel with some Phoenix Wright style interrogations, just with only words instead of evidence. The characters are all quirky and entertaining, the mysteries are usually quite reasonable to figure out, and if not the interrogation is a little easier on subjects that may be unknown. There are some localization issues, but those can be fairly easily overlooked for the story. Could Root Film have been better? Yes, there's room for improvement, perhaps making the animations a little more dynamic, or adding a little more player interaction to keep the viewer entertained, but Root Film certainly does provide a mystery tale worth exploring.
Overall though, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is a great addition to the series and will easily appeal to longtime fans as well as newcomers. With plenty of options of how you want to go about your days, you’ll easily see the real world clock jump hours ahead of the last time you saw it and even debate playing for “one more day” before calling your own day quits to get some sleep for your own next morning.