RPGs of the Famicom: Sweet Home

Sweet Home | Title Screen

If you live outside of Japan, you likely don’t know of many JRPGs prior to the 16 bit era. Hell, you may not even know of many DURING the 16 bit era either. Until Final Fantasy VII popularized the genre with its cinematic CG cutscenes and enormous marketing budget (not that the game had no merits in story or gameplay, but plenty of other games did to), even the most popular JRPGs in Japan were a niche attraction in the west. JRPGs retailed for up to $80 at the time without adjusting for inflation, and publishers often could not afford quality localization teams. A majority of games localized by Ted Woolsey, for instance, were handled within a month and had to cut several sentences down. The fact that games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV & VI, and Super Mario RPG had such strong scripts regardless really shows a testament to his ability, which allows me to cut him some slack for how bad Breath of Fire’s was (and also because Capcom themselves did a much worse with Breath of Fire II). Oh, and if you were in Europe then you likely never got ANY of these games.

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Criminal Girls: Invite Only (PSP/Vita/PC) – A Hell of a Lot of Wasted Potential (Detailed Review)

Criminal Girls | title image

Well I finally got around to linking the last of my game reviews from Oprainfall. Surprisingly, I did not care for this game. I actually had fairly high expectations for it given that I am a fan of ecchi titles like Hyperdimension Neptunia and Senran Kagura, but this one just didn’t grab me. Well to be fair, it DID grab me eventually… during the second to last area of the game. The character backstories were strongly emotional and engaging, it is just s shame that the game tells you next to NOTHING about these characters prior and leaves you little to get invested in. Most of my disappointment came from its premise though and how it was executed, as I do go over in the review.

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Starless: Nymphomaniac’s Paradise – Where the Stars Don’t Shine (Detailed Review) (Extremely NSFW)

Starless | cover art

Trigger Warning: Starless… no more is needed…okay fine, rape, incest, bestiality, scat, genital mutilation, murder, starvation, confinement, kidnapping, sexual slavery, and all around unpleasant sexual imagery. The game itself is far to grotesque and sicking to recommend to ANYONE! Extreme caution is advised if one wants to play this game anyway!

Starless Nymphomaniac’s Paradise is one of, if not the most disturbing games ever made. This is not the usual levels of messed up that hentai is known for. If you still think something like Rapelay is a legitimately disturbing game, stay far away from this game. If one is not the right type of audience for this game, it can cause deeply scarring psychological problems that will stick with you for a long time. It has been a year since I played this game and I still cannot get the images from it out of my head.

Also what I would like to disclose is that this is not the first time I reviewed this game. I have written a review of it a year ago shortly after I finished the game. The game had caused some very adverse effects on my mental state, which has resulted in a hastily written review that did not explain everything about the game that was needed to make my point, and I worded some things rather questionably. This time, I will try to view the game from a more observational standpoint at how well it achieves what it sets out to do.

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Standard Review: Eversion (PC)

I have stated in the past that I have grown tired of people asking whether or not games can be art due to various reasons. One of the main reasons that I dislike this topic’s consistent appearance is because it seems to be causing a general insecurity on the part of a lot of developers. The more that people believe that games are not art, the more people will sacrifice quality in an attempt to make an artistic statement simply because they think the latter is more important. Normally the best case scenario is a well designed game with a pretentious story that tries too hard to be deep and the worst case is having a game that uses bad game design as an excuse to support said pretentious story. Eversion, however, manages to be a game that actually succeeds in using its gameplay as a story telling tool and being fun at the same time.

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Five Nights at Freddy’s (PC/IOS): Technically Scary, but also Annoying (Detailed Review)

Five Nights at Freddy's | Title screen

The survival horror genre has always been a rather unique case when it comes to games. Typically, the most important part of any game to most people is the fun factor. While it is true that some more recent games have had a higher emphasis on cinematics and cutscenes, it can be argued that those are a different kind of fun to some people. While it is not necessarily true that games need to strive for being exclusively fun, they mostly need to try and evoke some type of emotion that makes the player want to continue.

The survival horror genre, however, is probably the only genre of game I am aware of that tries to intentionally make its gameplay stressful and chaotic for the purpose of an artistic statement. This can be either done to be “realistic” or, in the case of Five Nights at Freddy’s, it can be done in an attempt to give the player an adrenaline rush that makes them panic and lose control. In other words, it is trying to be scary; which it succeeds at doing. There are plenty that have argued that Five Nights At Freddy’s is not truly scary because it relies solely on jump scares and that it is rather simplistic in how it handles it. This is a statement that, to an extent, I both agree and disagree with.

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Euphoria: Beyond Horror, Beyond Hentai, Beyond Art (Detailed Review)

Euphoria | Box Art

Trigger Warning: Rape, violence, emotional abuse and manipulation, and various other manner of disturbing or gruesome depictions. Euphoria itself is practically one big trigger in and of itself. This game should NOT be played by any except by the most desensitized and depraved of hentai fans. By playing this game, you risk seeing some seriously scarring material that could cause severe psychological damage, and should NOT be played by anyone under 18, and even if you are above that age, proceed with EXTREME CAUTION!

Euphoria was a game that almost leaves me at a literal loss for words. In a way, it may be one of, if not, the most impressive games I have ever played, and I can at least say that it is one of my favorites. At the same time, I don’t feel as though I can recommend it, at least not to most. The reason why my reviews are often so long winded is simply because I have used my writing as a way of communicating my feelings as thoroughly as possible. The point is to paint a clear picture of not only whatever I was reviewing was like on a surface level, but also on an emotional and spiritual level. My favorite works of art are always those that speak directly to the soul and that put artistic vision before everything else. Of course, they also need to be well made but that is pretty much a given.

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Corpse Party: Blood Drive – Scary? No. Intense, thrilling, emotional, and all around amazing? Definitely! (Detailed Review)

Corpse Party: Blood Drive | Box art

Disclaimer: A majority of this review is going to focus on how Corpse Party Blood Drive works as a follow up to previous games in the series, as well as how it is as a finale. As such, there will be major spoilers for the first two Corpse Party games. However, there will be no major plot events revealed for Blood Drive itself, and anything else of similar nature will be kept to a minimum.

Corpse Party: Blood Drive had a lot riding on it for me. In my review of the original Corpse Party, I pretty much did nothing but praise the game up until the last few paragraphs where I talked about how the ending almost killed it for me. The reason the first game’s overly manipulative and forced downer ending had such an impact on me was because of how excellent the game’s writing and atmosphere was up to that point. Building up such amazing characters and writing, only to end on that note was practically a slap in the face to anyone who played the game, and it made the experience a lot less satisfying.

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Steam Greenlight Landfill: Ghostie Quest

I really did not want to write this review. The only reason I did so is because I could only stand to play this game for one hour before requesting a refund and I need to get this out while it’s still fresh in my mind. Ghostie Quest is bad, as in VERY FUCKING BAD! I only got this game because it was on sale for fifty cents on Steam and because there were no reviews. Thank god for Steam refunds, because this game is not even worth the fifty cents I got it for, let alone its normal $2.00 price.

This game, along with 8BitBoy have basically confirmed that I should not trust 2D platformers that look like the first Super Mario Bros. Yes, that may already be a “no shit” situation, but keep in mind that Super Mario Bros should not be so hard to do right. Unfortunately, that is not the case when you are an amateur developer who doesn’t test their games to make sure they have decent physics. The movement and jumping physics in Ghostie Quest, much like with 8BitBoy, destroy any chance that it had of being fun.

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Corpse Party: Book of Shadows – Redundant and Unnecessary (Detailed Review)

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows | Box art

Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is not a sequel in the traditional sense. If anything, it is more of an expansion on the original game. I would say that it is similar to DLC but considering that the game is twice as long as the first game that would be rather demeaning. That does not mean Book of Shadows is bad though. Book of Shadows does do a nice job at telling an engaging story and an eerie atmosphere, albeit not as well done as the first game. What Book of Shadows does not do well at, however, is advancing the main story of the Corpse Party series. It certainly adds a lot of background to the Corpse Party mythos though, and it will satisfy fans of the first game as long as long as they are not expecting a full blown sequel.

In concept, Book of Shadows starts out with what one would actually expect to be a unique continuation of the first game’s story. The opening cutscene shows the depressing aftermath of the first game’s ending for where reality has been altered so that everyone who died during the events of the first game has never existed in real life yet the remaining cast members still remember them. This is shown to be particularly bad for Naomi Nakashima who is shown falling into clinical depression in the game’s opening cutscene. Strangely enough, this is the only part of the game that takes place directly after the first one until the game’s final chapter. Instead the chapters seem to take some really strange directions and seem to be as far from advancing the main plot as possible.

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Steam Greenlight Landfill: Midnight Carnival

Midnight Carnival | Header

I’m going to clarify that I am reviewing this game off of memory from playing it back during the summer, and my memory is not entirely clear. The reason for this is not just because of how long it has been, but also because this game is only fifteen minutes long. As such, it is naturally tough to remember all of it. On top of that, I got a refund for this game after playing it and I’d rather not buy it again just for the purpose of trashing it so I’m going to go based off of memory. Anyway yeah, Midnight Carnival is pretty shit.

I know, when an article of mine is prefaced with “Steam Greenlight Landfill,” that is usually an indicator of the overall quality. I use this title because I don’t usually think about these games that much. That is also because these games are also shallow and lacking in depth or content. A number of games I reviewed on GameFAQs definitely fit the “Steam Greenlight Landfill” category and I currently of a library of over 500 Steam titles, a lot of which are highly obscure and low in price. Of course, I do usually feel the need to review these games for a few reasons, and no it isn’t because “le edgy gamer rage.”

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