Last game you finished
AER: Memories of Old
This is a minimalist open world adventure game set high in the skies, amidst floating islands that has been ripped apart from each other. Your character is tasked to explore and find these temples so she can communicate with a deity living in each one, in order to stop The Void from reaching it's full power.
The main method for exploration in the open world is by transforming into a bird and flying, and I have to say that it feels great. The controls are simple and fluid, and there's a good sense of speed and momentum being conveyed. I did have trouble every time I need to slow down to land on ground, I rarely had a clean landing and always end up hitting something or missing my mark. Not that it matters too much, since there's no damage system to speak of, and I don't think the character can die, but I think having this sort of control would make the flying feel more real and satisfying.
I think the overall story and lore is sufficient considering the short length. I always enjoy these sort of spiritually charged settings, and I think there's enough cool things in the lore and story to keep me interested. I would love it if there's more interesting self-contained things to find in the open world, I feel like everything revolves around the same event and it makes the world feels limited. Also, the way this game ends is so unsatisfying, it's definitely one of the worst endings I have seen in a game recently.
The temples in this game are basically dungeons with semi-confusing layout and puzzles. All of them feels massive and mysterious, and I think the drone-y and meandering synths that are present in each one enhances that feeling of being lost in a place long forgotten.
Speaking of the soundtrack, it's pretty decent. It's dynamic in the sense that the instrumentation changes depending on which part of the open world I'm in, and also whether I'm flying or on the ground. I like the acoustic touches that only appears in certain areas, and there's some tracks that feel shoegaze-y.
Finally, I want to say that I feel a bit down about the minimalistic art style. I'm sure there's an economic reason for the devs to do this, but I wish that it's a bit more detailed and personalized. Everything looks like they're cut from the same cloth, and it hurts the feeling of adventure that the game tries to convey. I think it can be quite beautiful at times, but most of the time it's just okay at best.
I spent 3 bucks on this, and it's certainly worth at least that. It's pretty short, not particularly special, but there are pleasant and relaxing moments to be had. (6.5/10)
Scotty last edited by
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Dandara-Trial of Fears
A metroidvania with a different flair. Played it in the original Brazilian language and the writing is wonderful, a really nice mix of mysticism and psychedelic, kinda like the videogame version of the tropicalia 70s movement. Cool level design that nails that rewarding feeling of exploration this genre is known for and it has a nice twist to how movement is handled. Instead of running you jump between contact points and there's no up or down. Feels great to move super fast once you know a level but at times lacks precision, although it's mostly on you when that happens, just got to keep calm and focused.
Visually it's a shame being so inconsistent and lacking a more cohesive visual identity. Sometimes it really nails it, but more often than not is kinda just there.
On the other hand the sound track is freaking phenomenal and worth to listen too. Proper album really, not that videogamy.
It offers an average challenge and no exaggeration, the final boss kicked my butt in the best of ways and had me celebrating like a From Soft game. But maybe a bit too hard compared with the rest of the game, but I loved it.
7.5 although I really want to give it an 8 but I feel it's the adrenaline of that final battle clouding my judgement. But damn, what a final boss!
Really interesting structure, with the full open world and how it plays with scale, reminded me of Xenoblade X and I wish the next full Mario further explores what it does here. Not the best level design or the most inventive but still plenty of great stuff. Visually looks great, Nintendo really nailed their lighting model and use of materials in such a way that they can put out some of the most visually appealing games on the market while running PS3/X360 level hardware. But there's limits and I wish the kaiju phase could have some crazy physics based destruction to go along with it. It really begs for it.
Considering Nintendo didn't even needed to include this to sell 3D World, it's an impressive piece of "side" content.
Don't know if you guys know about this one but this team will go far. I think they're called Valve.
OK, don't know how many times I've finished this game but it never gets old. Except the 4/5 that has bit of filler, this is such a well designed game. Damn near flawless. World building is still top class to this day and so is the sound design. The enemy AI mixed with scripted behaviour still impress me today.
There's this part where you use a crane to lift your vehicle to another area and, as enemies appear, you can lift stuff from the environment using the crane to smash them, it's so out there and creative, I feel like the attention and creativity that goes into each section, and how careful the design is, is not matched by many games.
Also, how the game is constantly introduction new mechanics and there's no tutorials, areas with yellow paint or arrows pointing what to do is great. Everything is introduced coherently within the world, following very basic pedagogic principles and the game trusts you and more importantly, trusts it self.
Sazime last edited by
Finished a few things since I last posted, but most recently Fallen Order.
The combat is inconsistent and its rules seem to be dictated by unknown factors. The enemies follow different physical rules than the player. While interrupting attacks works one way at one point in time, the don't in another. The visual language of unblockable attacks vs. blockable seemed to be permanently bugged, making consistent combat impossible.
The story is fine, but I felt no direct connection to the story. It didn't help that the narrative seemed to be dependent on me knowing more about more of the Star Wars universe than I was. When I was familiar with something, I wash shocked the game did so little to explain itself. What's worse was that the NPCs acted as if we had been friends for a long time, when I just started the game, and music cues inferred specific emotional states incongruant with what I even felt a little bit.
And that ending? Completely unearned and lazy. It was the biggest failure of the game and I did. Not. Care. Despite all of this, it was pretty ok.
Started it when I got the XSX and now played the rest. Really incredible how this game's visuals hold, easy to forget it's a 360 title.
I've said it before, the Flood is one of the lamest enemies ever, the Prometheans were a big upgrade and they brought cool some cool guns with them and different combat dynamics.
Like with most Halos environments go from boring to cool, lots of different sections implemented with different levels of success. Glorious skyboxes.
It's a fine game imo but damn, Cortana is a pathetic character. The voice acting, or the actor's direction, is pretty awful, when she goes full on hysterical I just cringe. And her character's design... Why's she semi naked? Is so out of place, ridiculous really. And it's a shame because occasionally the interaction between MC and her goes to cool touching places. And the bigger overall narrative arch is so whatever.
Then there's the sound. Why does everything sounds so dead? Guns, voice acting, music, very little dynamic range, like an emotionless flat line. Tried to check if I could change something in the options but they are lacking.
I did enjoyed replaying it, gameplay is still solid but story and lore stuff are lame.
Yes, Your Grace
Ignore the godawful pixel art, this is a short cool strategy/kingdom management title akin to a medieval Papers Please where you manage a kingdom. The game loop is simple and satisfying, your subjects ask you for stuff and you decide what to do, this while managing your resources, establishing alliances and dealing with family issues. Your end goal is preparing for an incoming war.
Your decisions have a deep and subtle impact and I have to say, if at first the story seems lacking it slowly starts to draw you in and by the end I was 100% in, really emotionally engaged with the events and consequences. And damn does this game can become a fucking tragedy! 😢
Sadly the art style is really poor and so is the sound design. Still, easy to recommend since it's on Gamepass.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
The first time playing my PS5 and Astro's Playroom brought a smile to my face. Right when you boot the game up and it gives you that controller demo, I was already impressed. Then the game is just this wonderful walk through PlayStation history with hidden and overt nod's to the past everywhere. The decision to make this game a 3D platformer is a nostalgia trip in itself, but just the celebration of gaming and PlayStation made me feel like this was a relaxing and fun party rather than a "game" so to speak.
Whoever decided to design this game and then bundle it with the PS5 was a genius. As a game, it's really fun, but relatively easy. Hard enough for my girlfriend to be challenged but not frustrating for her. Easy enough for it to be a breeze for me, but interesting enough with hidden secrets to keep me not only entertained, but really truly happy. Again, the game is a platformer meant to showcase the PS5's capabilities but we don't get too 3D platformers anymore so that throwback to the past felt extra special.
I haven't felt wow'd or been this impressed with "next gen" since trying the PSP for the first time in 2005 or playing Assassin's Creed in 2007. I feel like the media outlets almost undersell how fast, fun, and streamlined the PS5 is. This game brought me joy for 3-4 straight days and I ended up getting 100% and achieving my first PS5 Platinum.
ASTRO's PLAYROOM - My First PS5 Platinum - Feb, 2021
Axel last edited by
I could pretty much copy-paste @DIPSET 's post as I feel the exact same way. Haven't finished it yet, I'm trying to savor it, but I'm almost there.
I would just add that I am amazed by how interactable the game is. Everything reacts to you, everything is an easter egg, there is so much love and passion and winks and nods in there, it's absolutely heart-warming to play through. Whenever you ask this game "Will something happen if I do this?", it always, always answers with a resounding YES!
The only drawback is that I want 30 hours of it. Honestly, it could rival Super Mario Odyssey if it had the same scale. I can't wait to see what this team will create next, they just get videogames so perfectly.
Shoulderguy last edited by Shoulderguy
DIPSET last edited by
Because Mario Odyssey had so many filler levels and boss only levels, I think I left my 6ish hours with Astro’s Playroom more satisfied than my 30 hours with Odyssey.
It’s exactly as you put it—everything can be interacted with and you’re just waiting to find the next thing. Likewise, when you do find an artifact, you can interact with it in the screen when you find it as well as the Labo room too. And maybe climbing that PS3 in Labo will lead to more secrets.
A few little things that I loved were:
When it starts raining, you walk over to this “dead” robot with origami on his chest and you get a trophy called “JASON!”
The caption on the PSP camera accessory artifact was “Portable cameras... this will never catch on...”
I forget how I earned it, but one trophy is called “Charted!” which is the trophy you get for beating Uncharted Drake’s Fortune, which I think were my fist ever trophies in 2009 when they introduced the system.
Also, this game gets me very excited for the possibilities in a Spyro 4. Team Astrobi or whatever they are called should just get all 3D platform contracts. Silver lining to Japan Studio closing down is that a lot of people went to this studio per some random article I read the other day.
HappyGaming last edited by
Just finished this review up before the Community Showcase. If anyone's down who'd like to see the full video, here it is for Coffee Talk. I wasn't initially planning on writing a review for it, but it made a good impression on me after a difficult February.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
This is not just an ordinary "bad" game, it's the absolute king of bad games. I don't think there's anything out there that goes so gung-ho with it's premise like this game did, it's the dumbest shit I ever played and I had so much fun all the way through. I don't even have the thought to be offended by having to kill random middle easterners in their stereotypically disparaged environments. It reminds me of the delirious happiness I felt when I played Vanquish for the first time. Obviously this is a messier and worse game, but it has that same energy of "we don't give a fuck, we just want to look cool as heck and blow shit up!" The most surprising thing here for me is that the gameplay is actually decent: some of the guns feels really good to use, the pacing is absolute balls-to-the-walls, and the combat scoring system feels quite rewarding. For most of the game I just went straight up the enemies' faces and fill them with shotgun pellets, and it feels great. Also, shooting up bad guys while listening to some loud 2000s Hip-Hop tunes is a special gaming experience that I don't get to have often. The story cutscenes are worth it for seeing 50 Cent's nonchalant VO clashing with his aggressive dialogues. This game is certainly one of the finest pool of sevens that I ever swam in. (7/10)
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
50 Cent's "Blood Hound" playing in the background while I click R3 to hurl vitriol at my victims while I QTE melee for extremely violent death animations is just peak gaming.
bam541 last edited by
@dipset honestly I need to check out all the tracks again. I was in such a delirious state throughout the game, I barely remembered the tracks even though I enjoyed all of it.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by
In recent times I've finished L.A Noire Remastered and Saints Row: The Third Remastered. The former preserves everything that was brilliant about the original and combining all those juicy dlc cases into one tidy package. Seeing as this is the second jaunt through L.A Noire I've taken, it's reminded me of how sublime the presentation is-it's a stunning display of what the 40s apparently looked like and the soundtrack is some of the best I've heard anywhere. As for the latter-well visually it's been upgraded well but I've experienced many instances of slowdown when the action gets busy-but this is the kind of performance I'd expect on the Nintendo Switch not on a PS4 Pro. L.A Noire Remastered is worthy of an 8/10 and Saints Row: The Third Remastered is lucky to get away with a 6/10-though I could see why someone would give it a 4 or a 5.
Brandon Jones mentioned this game when talking about smaller games that nail movement and as it was on Gamepass I decided to give it a go. The world is very limited, with little variation and a lot of (quick) loading screens, but music (by Danger) is pretty amazing and the writing is up there too.
Very light RPG mechanics, and a combat system that's competent enough to keep you engaged. It has a cool loop of you having to clear "rust" sector by sector while gliding through the levels. Very very simple but satisfying.
Some awkward design decisions, like forcing you to repeat steps to make several items, and making you go back to base to do some basic stuff, get a bit annoying. Also, I'm usually a player that never fast travels on any game, here I mostly fast traveled because sectors are small and loading screens get frustrating.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by JDINCINERATOR
I completed Heavy Rain on PS4 and my opinion has vastly changed since I first played it on PS3 in 2010. I still really dig the adventure and how accessible it is but I've noticed a lot of flaws that dig into my whole appreciation of the game. Firstly the button prompts for rudimentary activities are unnecessary and superfluous to say the least, later on there are moments where you have to play the hands version of Twister to input button sequences correctly-and the use of motion controls is quite dated on PS4 though that's a main part of Heavy Rain's gameplay experience. The characters are really bad and they lack depth and a reason to care-makes me think David Cage and Quantic Dream gave us emotional moments in the game for the sake of it rather giving them weight or importance. Whereas I gave the PS3 version a whopping 9.4/10 back in the day, I give this version a 6.8/10-which includes my updated understanding and opinion of the game-I was 17 when I played the PS3 version and now I'm 28 and in that time a whole lot of learning has been done to make me come to this verdict.
This game has been quite the rollercoaster ride for me. Leading up to it's launch, while I thought that the trailers look good, I wasn't very interested in playing it because there's nothing that struck me as being something special. I pretty much ignored this game up until I checked out one of the story trailers near its release out of curiosity. The trailer I saw had showed some phenomenal minimalist animations that served a love story arc that I didn't expect at all, and because of that I decided to try this game out. After finishing it, I'm happy to say that I love this game. It's consistently fun and engaging to play, and there's some lovely story moments sprinkled throughout.
I'll get the story out of the way first. The main character is a ship captain that got stranded in a unfamiliar land after a storm hit his ship and wrecked everything, and he need to find a way to return home with his fellow castaways. The game leaves a lot to the imagination, since most of the dialogues are pretty vague, little is explained, and it's the main way of building its world and setting. The thing that impressed me the most is how well the game conveys emotion and detail in many of its story scenes (mostly through the animations), while being constricted by its simplistic nature and art style. It also uses interactivity to great effect at certain points. There's a very intimate interactive moment between the main character and his lover at the very end of the game that actually made me shed a tear.
This game is essentially a semi-linear action platforming game that takes a lot of cues from 2D games of recent years. It channels that metroidvania-esque feel of discovering new areas and solving obstacles along the way, while staying true to its simplistic nature. Each of the main areas in the game has a dungeon that I need to go through in order to get keys that'll unlock the next set of areas. Every once in a while there are boss encounters after each dungeon, while other times there are only puzzles.
The levels themselves are quite varied in terms of aesthetics, from dark caves full of mindless slaves to beautiful yet not-so-peaceful forests. The levels are designed around my trusty harpoon's ability, which allows me to teleport to wherever the harpoon is thrown. I think the best thing about the level design is that it strikes the balance of being not too stressful and confusing, but also not too straightforward which would make it feel boring. Maybe the only criticism I have about it is that the levels doesn't feel so different in gameplay, outside of the visual aesthetics.
Speaking of using the harpoon, the combat in this game is quite fun. The impact of hitting the enemies feels satisfying, and I often see their bodies explode with surprisingly gruesome detail as I smack them against a wall, which adds a lot to that satisfaction. I think the combat really shines during the boss battles, especially the later ones. I was quite impressed by how frantic and intense some of the bosses are, and most of them have really cool visual designs. My favorite part about these boss fights is that it always starts with me being confused as heck and getting my health bar very low in the process, but then as I start to figure out what the bosses are doing, I manage to comeback into the fight, which feels very satisfying.
The difficulty of the game is a bit on the easy side (I think I only died three times), but the game never got boring to me, mostly because of how well it keeps me in check by putting all sorts of hazards and situations that'll eat my health away if I got careless.
As the game progresses, I get to have not only more side weapons (a crossbow, for example), but also hats that gives me unique abilities, such as allowing my harpoon to accumulate lightning energy to use against enemies. Some of the side weapons are limited by ammo, but I never encountered situations where I totally run out of them. As for the hats, I can only obtain them through crafting, and the resources I need are scattered in the main areas, with some resources only appearing later on. Some of the hats are certainly more useful than others, and not all of them fits my play style, but at the very least they're fun to try out at least once. I do wish that obtaining these hats doesn't feel so random, it just feels like I accidentally got enough resources while I explored the main areas at times. It would prefer if I had to actively look for specific things during exploration instead of this scatterbrain-ish approach.
While it's not the most special and unique game out there, Olija makes the most out of its minimalist approach and it even punches above its weight in some aspects. It's not a long game, and I seen some critics taking issue with that, but I had a great and satisfying time with it. (8.5/10)