Also, with its limited camera, the game chooses to tell its story primarily through text messages, with only a handful of cutscenes. The plot won’t be spoiled here, but it is both extremely oddball in its storytelling, and also incredibly resonant to our times and anyone who has ever truly questioned if they were happy with themselves for various reasons as J.J. not only seeks to find Emily but also to come to terms with who exactly she wants to be. All of this is done in surrealistic imagery and some surprising revelations.
Even with the restrictive hardware used to make this game, Tanglewood prevails in its overall presentation. Having Nymn run through the forest, hop from branch-to-branch and push boulders feels smooth and enjoyable, while chase sequences are filled with a rushed atmosphere to get the hell away from your pursuer.
At the outset of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night I could see the castle that would be the major setting for the game. In the distance, even just the sight, I knew there would be an immensity to this game. The quest that Miriam, our protagonist, was on would be daunting and hard fought. Most of all, I could tell a great amount of passion and care went into the creation of Bloodstained.
Brace Yourself Games, creators of the rhythm-based dungeon crawler Crypt of the NecroDancer, have been given the keys to the kingdom of Hyrule, imbuing the signature gameplay of the original while mixing in all the characters, locations and melodies you love from the Zelda universe. What results is a clever blend of action and music that might be the best Zelda spinoff in history.
My Friend Pedro is weird. At first, you’re just sort of placed in this post-apocalyptic world with no recollection of your memory. You have no name and with no backstory, the action immediately begins. Enter, Pedro. The weirdness kicks right off by introducing you to a sentient banana named Pedro, reminding me immediately of Sparx from Spyro The Dragon. No explanation, you wake up and he is there. Is he your conscious? Is he a hallucination?
With that older era comes a much more vague approach to the story that I actually appreciated. It is strange how little you are given to know, but the entire time through the game I always felt like I was progressing towards something and getting closer to my final destination. And each area of the game itself feels like it’s own thing while still fitting with the game’s overall theme, from a doomed lab to an abandoned cityscape, and a wasteland in the middle of a war.
... Blossom Tales stands tall even next to its legendary predecessor. It starts with its storytelling. Zelda games can get slightly repetitive with the “evil entity steals or harms the princess” arc, and admittedly, Blossom Tales doesn’t stray too far from that.
Vectronom is the latest title from game developer Ludopium. Ludopium is a team from Germany whose other games include Vandals and Bury Me, My Love. Vectronom is a game that feels like a platformer but is actually a puzzle game. Each stage is set above a void that needs to be navigated. The rhythm of the music sets the pace for the stage, in addition to providing clues about the hazards of the stages. In Vectronom, stages are solved with planning rather than quick reflexes.