New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U): Same Old Super Mario Bros (Detailed Review)

New Super Mario Bros U | Box Art

New Super Mario Bros U was often claimed to be the strongest entry in the New Super Mario Bros subseries. There have even been some who claimed it was the best 2D Mario game since Super Mario World. I will say right now that neither of those two statements are true. Not only does New Super Mario Bros U not hold a candle to either Super Mario Word or Super Mario Bros 3, but it is also a step down from its predecessor New Super Mario Bros Wii (although it is superior to the mediocre handheld installments of the New Super Mario Bros series). While New Super Mario Bros U is an entertaining game on its own merits, it is disappointing that Nintendo seems to be unable to improve upon a twenty one year old game. Read more

Standard Review: Demon’s Souls (PS3)

Demon's Souls | Box art

Demon’s Souls has a reputation as one of the hardest games in the current generation; a reputation that comes fairly. It terms of difficulty, it can in fact go toe to toe with a lot of the hardest games from the 8 and 16 bit era of gaming. However, it is important to consider whether or not Demon’s Souls is a good game rather than being a hard one; IE whether it is good for the right reasons. The answer to that is yes, or at least mostly. There are a couple of flaws to be had with Demon’s Souls that are not often mentioned, but the game overall is a satisfying experience that does far more right than wrong.

The storyline of Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria, a kingdom that is isolated from the rest of the world by a strange fog filled with demons. As time passed, people began seeking out this kingdom in order to either save Boletaria or for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, all of whom have done so end up trapped with their soul bound to the nexus and unable to escape even if they died. Your character is one of these adventurers. Read more

Quick Review: Quest of Vidhuraa (PC)

Quest of Vidhuraa | header

Quest of Vidhuraa is a 2D platformer released on Steam in late April of this year, and it bills itself on being a “very hard platformer game.” I’m no stranger to difficult games and I have reviewed many of them in the past. I’m hardly a stranger to the “Nintendo Hard” category of games and I can quite enjoy games that are not easy to complete. I just came off of beating two Castlevania games so it’s not as if I lack the skill to beat these types of games.

Rather I often grow skeptical of games that use difficulty as their selling point because you never know what kind of difficulty it is. I will say that I did not finish Quest of Vidhuraa. I got up to the 27th level before I quit because I found that the game was designed in a way where I never felt I was improving and where I needed to perform the exact same maneuvers repeatedly yet expect different outcomes. Read more

HuniePop (PC): A Strange Relationship (Detailed Review) (NSFW)

HuniePop | title screen

HuniePop was a game that appealed to me for quite some time on the simple basis of it being a dating sim that actually became well known. I’ve always had a soft spot for perverted weeb games so this game was naturally a given. Unfortunately I often make the mistake of assuming that I will like every one of these types of games despite the fact that there have definitely been some that leave a lot to be desired. Also I’m a radical feminist yet radfems usually despise the objectification of women.

I consider myself a radfem not because I hate all pornagraphy or erotic, but rather because I view it as a valid form of artistic expression that has been perverted by toxic masculine values. This results in most feminists assuming that all pornagraphy is inherently demeaning and misogynist regardless of context and thus that anyone who views it only considers women to be objects. I do not support the porn industry due to the way that it takes what is supposed to be an intimate act and instead exploits women (and some men) for the purpose of profit, but that can be blamed more on the failings of patriarchy and capitalism rather than on the medium itself. Read more

Megadimension Neptunia VII (PS4/PC): The Dream Generation (Detailed Review)

Megadimension Neptunia VII | Art

Before I get started on this review, I would like to clarify that this review is covering the 2015 released of the game and is NOT a review of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, which has been stated to be an entirely different game gameplay wise. As a result, I do not know how much of this review will apply to that version of the game. I also am unlikely to check that version out for a while since I spent over 120 hours on this game and beat it only a few months ago. I’m not quite ready to play through another version of the same game, especially when I have 7 other games in the series that are currently out to play (and an amazing looking Switch title that is in development).

As for Megadimension Neptunia VII itself, well I don’t know how else to put this other than HOLY FUCK THEY ACTUALLY DID IT!!! They created a true sequel to Victory that is an improvement in almost every area. I fucking LOVE this game. While my review of Re;birth1 was a bit on the optimistic side, I honestly felt it was a bit of a let down. While it is a better game than the original Hyperdimension Neptunia was, that only means so much when it’s so vastly different from the original yet has so much copy-pasted from Victory. In the end I’d rather play either the original game OR Victory than Re;birth1 because the original is more unique and Victory does everything Re;birth1 does better. Read more

Standard Review: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast/Gamecube/PC/PS3/360)

Sonic Adventure | Box Art

Sonic Adventure was a game that I grew up with, and recently took the opportunity to replay through its steam port that I got on sale. Looking back on it, I always noticed that there were some flaws with it but still felt nostalgia for it anyway. After replaying it, my opinion is mostly reaffirmed except that I found them more emphasized. The flaws were more grating, but the good parts of it were more apparent and I still had quite a bit of fun with it.

The story in Sonic Adventure is mostly a mixed bag. The writing is very stiff and basic, oftentimes to the point of being laughable. Even as a kid I was able to understand the problems with the game’s writing and easily understood what others criticized it for. Despite this, the game held a unique charm to it that drew me to it. Read more

Quick Review: Gynophobia (PC)

Gynophobia | giant spider

Gynophobia is a strange game that leaves me rather conflicted. There are some things that it does really well that puts it above most of the Steam Greenlight trash I cover, but at the same time I’m hesitant to recommend it. If anything, it deserves points for originality given that you don’t see too many games based around the fear of women.

Gynophobia is part environmental narrative game and part FPS. The walking simulator portions are used to tell the main story and it mostly does so to decent effect without spelling everything out for you. You play as a man who suffers from a literal phobia of women. He also has a deep fear of spiders and his fear is compared to arachnophobia so that his gynophobia is not conflated with misogyny. His fear of spiders is showcased by having a loud heartbeat sound effect play as the MC walks towards a spider on the ground.

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Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (Vita/PS4/PC): Satisfactory but Samey (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth1 | logo

I’ve always felt quite strongly about the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. I always felt there was something to it that a lot of its detractor ship just didn’t get; or rather chose not to get. If people wish to believe that there is nothing to this series but a bunch of moe girls doing cute things and getting into sexy shenanigans with no depth or intelligence, they are going to do so. Of course I have always said from the beginning that this is not the case with this series.

The reason why is not because the previous description is untrue, but because it IS true, and the series plays to that strength. Most games nowadays are very pretentious and take themselves overly seriously and present themselves as if they are these cinematic masterpieces, while the Neptunia series is just trying to be fun in whatever way it can be, which is what games SHOULD aim for. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP (Vita): Producing Far From Perfection (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia PP | cover

To say that I am a fan of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series would be an understatement. My very first review was of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, and in that review, I stated that it was one of the greatest JRPGs released this generation despite it possessing only a fraction of the budget of most of its competition. Since then the only regret I have is that I have not praised it enough. Otherwise I still stand by every word of that review and I probably will until my dying breath. So to alleviate anyone’s concerns, I am not one in the same boat as the various critics who slammed the previous games based solely on the fact that they were low budget, had scantily clad female characters, and were JRPGs that did not have Final Fantasy in the title. In fact, it should come as no surprise that I despise most of the “professional” reviewers so much that one of my key reasons to start writing reviews was to put my money where my mouth is and review things the way I think they should be done. Read more

Steam Greenlight Landfill: Giana Sisters 2D

Giana Sisters 2D | Title Screen

Giana Sisters 2D is a painfully dull platformer. More specifically it is a PC port of Giana Sisters DS, which itself was a reboot for a 1987 Commodore 64 title called “The Great Giana Sisters.” Now it goes without saying that most 2D platformers have been inspired by Super Mario Bros 1 in some way, but The Great Giana Sisters was so much of a blatant ripoff that Nintendo threatened to sue its developers if they didn’t pull the game from shelves, to which they actually complied and removed it.

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