Standard Review: Teslagrad (PC/PS3/PS4/Vita/WiiU/Switch/XONE/IOS)

Teslagrad | header

Teslagrad was an indie platformer title released in 2013 that seemed to have had some fairly decent reception. Unfortunately I really cannot why. Well technically I can but I do not find it to be a logically sound reason. Teslagrad is a game that looks nice and sounds nice, and it seems fun at first, but a lot of its design flaws are very subtle to the point where the average player won’t realize they are there. Do not get me wrong, they will in fact experience these flaws, but they will likely not see them as such despite them for some reasons that I plan to explain shortly. Read more

Steam Greenlight Landfill: Disorder

Disorder | Logo

Disorder is a first attempt by the ridiculously named Swagabyte games that sounds interesting on the surface. It is an atmospheric puzzle platformer that uses a similar dual world mechanic as games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It also has a vague allegorical storyline that is told through text appearing on screen during gameplay. While there are some decent ideas involved, the game unfortunately falls short of an interesting experience and I did not care for it. Read more

Standard Review: eXceed 2nd – Vampire REX (PC)

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I first wrote my review of the first eXceed title back in 2014, and I took a lot longer to get to this game than I expected. Granted it is probably more absurd for me to have not reviewed another Senran Kagura or Persona game until now, but your Goddess works in mysterious ways after all, and by that she means that playing eXceed 2nd at this time was a spur of the moment decision without much prior thought.

It was quite convenient that I played through the first eXceed with my old crappy computer because I actually tried replaying it recently. That attempt was short lived because I realized that the first eXceed was not re-formatted for newer PCs. It was originally a 2005 title so ran well on my old crappy computer but was pretty much unplayable on my newer one. it is quite clear that the effort was put into the 2nd and 3rd games with the first one as little more than an afterthought, and having now played Vampire Rex I can see why. Read more

Quick Review: The Deed (PC)

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The Deed seems like an interesting game at first glance. It has a unique take on the traditional murder mystery title where, instead of the detective, you play as the killer. This game has you put in the role of a man visiting his family for his father’s birthday. However, he plans to murder his sister due to his family’s refusal to have her committed, and out of revenge for her sadistic and insane behavior when he was younger. To be more specific with the storyline, Arren’s Family was abhorrently abusive to him. His father would frequently beat him and his sister killed his pet rat, and took great pleasure in doing so. What inspires Arren to commit the titular deed is when his father decides to disinherit him in favor of his sister. Read more

Steam Greenlight Landfill: Banzai Escape

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Banzai Escape is the first and only title by developer XenoAisam, and it is not hard to see why they haven’t made another one after this. Banzai Escape is of the quality where you can tell that there was genuine effort into making something good, but also can tell that it kinda sucks. I’m usually hesitant to go into full angry reviewer shtick when reviewing small indie games because I know fully well that if I ever start developing games, then my first game is probably going to be shit. This is one of the key reasons why I have been hesitant to become a game dev in the first place.

As a gamer, I WANT for devs to keep making games and to improve upon their old ones. Hurling insults at the developers and making overly long drawn out hypothetical scenarios of things I’d allegedly rather do than play their games is not going to push them to get better. It takes a lot for a game to pass that threshold and piss me off, and that rage is limited for games like Ghostie Quest, Vickinachi, Insincere, Cube Master: Light Adventure, and a dozen other games you’ve never heard of and will forget about after you are done reading this piece. Read more

Aozora Meikyuu (PC): A Beautiful Trainwreck (Detailed Review)

Aozora Meikyuu | Title screen

Aozora Meikyuu is a short and brief ecchi visual novel by developer Yume Creations, a team name that I’m not sure exists because Dream Creations was taken by a rhinestone trimming company or if the devs were just total weebs. One can definitely get the impression that it is the latter since Yume Creation’s other games are also short ecchi visual novels with anime girls.  I want to make it clear I have nothing against anime tiddies and actually kinda liked Aozora Meikyuu, but it’s not a good game.

Aozora Meikyuu, which means “Blue Sky” in Japanese and leaves me once again unsure if the name was left in Japanese to avoid confusion with the similarly titled visual novel “Always the Same Blue Sky” that I also reviewed or if the devs are just total nerds, is something that I enjoyed in a “so bad its good” kind of way. More specifically, it is a poorly written and overall stupid mess, but it also has a unique charm that appeals to me as an otaku turned feminazi. Read more

Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Four (PC/360) – Through Hell and Back (Detailed Review)

Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Four | Tree

Oh the things you never expect. When I finished playing Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Three, I stated that I hoped that this game improved upon Episode Three the same way Episode Two improved on Episode One. While it is definitely fair to say that Episode Four was an improvement, I simply did not expect one of this magnitude. There are several things regarding this game that I did not expect.

It certainly does not do anything revolutionary nor does it look particularly innovative, but when you actually play it, you realize just how meticulously crafted this game is. Yes it may appear to be another parody of 16-bit era JRPGs, but it is so much more in terms of execution. Not only does it have the signature humor of Zeboyd’s games, but it also has a story that is actually compelling on its own merits. When you add an outstanding soundtrack by Hyperduck Soundworks, the same people behind the soundtrack of Dust: An Elysian Tale, and some of the most addicting and precise battle mechanics in any turn based RPG; you end up with a game that might as well have been made to silence anyone who said these types of games are only made to pander to nostalgia. Read more

Standard Review: Nekopara Extra (PC)

I’d say I’m surprised it took me as long to get around to Nekopara Extra as I did, but I’m really not. This is just what happens when you not only have a ton of games to play AND write reviews for, but also are busy in several other areas of your life. I’m also so backed up on reviews that I’m basically writing this review a month after completing the game so my memory may be a little bit fuzzy in regards to the specific plot events, especially since Nekopara Extra is a pretty short game.

While Nekopara Extra is longer than Vol. 0, it is still pretty brief and doesn’t really feel like a full game. Then again, I don’t think Nekopara Extra was intended as anything rather than a brief prequel to each of the remaining entries. Nekopara Extra was a game offered as stretch goal of the Kickstarter campaign for the OVA based on Vol. 1. There was actually an additional stretch goal to make an additional animation based on the then non-existent prequel… a stretch goal for a stretch goal. The campaign fell short of the $1,000,000 dollars needed for that stretch goal, but the fact that a series of visual novels about catgirls reached $963,376 to begin with is quite remarkable. I doubt you’d see that kind of support for a Sakura Spirit OVA. Read more

Standard Review: Luigi’s Mansion (GC/3DS)

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There are two kinds of people in this world; those that like Luigi’s Mansion, and people who hate fun. The first Luigi’s Mansion was apparently not well received when it originally came out since it wasn’t a sequel to Super Mario 64 and had some big shoes to fill. Luigi’s Mansion is not even in the same genre as Mario 64 so those comparisons only came up due to the fact that Mario platformers were previously released as launch titles for Nintendo consoles, and this likely lead kids to assume that Luigi’s Mansion was a platformer because it was a Gamecube launch title.

The Gamecube did eventually get a Mario platformer with … which apparently also had a bunch of people who didn’t like it because Nintendo fanboys are just unpleasable it seems… and also it’s kinda been close to two decades since it’s been released. This means that plenty of people have had time to examine Luigi’s Mansion on its own merits and many have rightfully concluded that it is a good game. Of course I always liked it to begin with and lost count of the amount of times I played it as a child, but what prompted this review was me playing through the 3DS port a few weeks before this was written.

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Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Three (PC/360/Ios): Something Completely Different (Detailed Review)

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode Three | Logo

Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Three may be a jarring experience to those that have played the first two. This is the case with Episode Three because the development of these games shifted developers, from Hothead Games to Zeboyd. While Zeyboyd is a smaller development team and clearly does not have as high a budget as Hothead, they are still well known for their work on Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu saves the world. Being a huge fan of those games, I naturally had some high expectations for this game and I was hoping that this game would exceed the quality of both the previous Penny Arcade Adventures installments and Zeyboyd’s previous titles.

Instead, Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode Three is a game that it is good in its own right and is definitely superior to the first Penny Arcade Adventures and Breath of Death, but does not hold a candle to Episode Two or Cthulhu Saves the World. It is hard to really say the game is a step back from Episode Two given that the games are quite a bit different, but in general, it does feel like a step down from the incredible experience that Cthulhu Saves the World offered. In addition, it feels like the game also suffers from simply not having the same budget as the first two Penny Arcade titles. When you add that Episode Three still retains some of the flaws of the earlier entries, you end up with a good game in its own right, but one that felt rather underwhelming. Read more