Standard Review: Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode One (PC/360/PS3)

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode One | Logo

To start things off, I will disclose that I am not too familiar with the Penny Arcade web comics or even the website itself. I have seen a small amount of the web comics but they did not seem to have any effect on the game itself for me. I would assume that big fans of the web comics may get a bit more out of this game. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One, or simply Penny Arcade Adventures as I will refer to it from now on, is really not good enough to appeal to anyone who is not a big Penny Arcade fan. The game unsuccessfully tries to combine elements of point and click adventure games with turn based RPGs, and ends up as a game that fails as either of them. It is not necessarily a bad game, but I would not recommend it unless you are a hardcore Penny Arcade fan. Read more

Amazing VGM: Spiral Mountain (Banjo-Kazooie)

Banjo-Kazooie | Spiral Mountain

Surprise surprise, an Amazing VGM from a game I just reviewed. Really keeping you on your toes aren’t I? Well what can I say, I don’t plan most of these out in advance and instead just go with what I’m most feeling, and I’m feeling Banjo-Kazooie right now. It also helps that Banjo-Kazooie has an amazing soundtrack, and there will likely be plenty of themes from this game for future entries, but I may as well start with the one that sets everything else up. Read more

Banjo-Kazooie (N64/360): Rareware’s Masterpiece (Detailed Review)

Banjo-Kazooie | Mumbo Mountain

I posted my review of Yooka-Laylee almost two years ago. I had some very strong praises for it despite the fact that I had not even grown up with Banjo-Kazooie and was only familiar with the game through a lets play.That lets play was very appealing though and I loved the style of the game and everything, the only reason I didn’t play the game until now was because I didn’t own the systems it was for and didn’t know how to use emulators. What recently got me in the mood to finally check this game out was seeing a certain leftist video maker stream another Nintendo 64 Collectathon by Rare for close to three days straight to raise money for a UK charity for trans kids, and if that doesn’t inspire you to play some vidya then I don’t know what will.

Predictably as fuck, I immensely enjoyed Banjo-Kazooie but it wouldn’t be an AnnieGal review without at least one hot take; Yooka-Laylee is a better game. This really SHOULDN’T be a hot take because Yooka-Laylee was made close to two decades later with much more advanced technology, but we live in a world where Donald Trump is president and Yooka-Laylee is a “failure in every way.” As an aside, I will eventually make a full response to Derek Alexander’s review but I’d like to play Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 for myself before that. Read more

Amazing VGM: The Dark Colossus Destroys All (NieR)

Ah yes, three of my most shilled games in a row for Amazing VGM. I’d normally do something from Saya no Uta since I just reviewed it but I kinda hinted at this one last week so I better follow through. Anyway I’ve been meaning to touch on this one for a while since it really is an amazing track from an amazing game.

NieR is known for its outstanding music after all, so it’s time to cover a track that was good enough they made it twice! Starting with the original. Read more

Standard Review: Ghosts ‘n Goblins (Arcade/C64/ZX/NES/Amiga/GBC/WS/GBA/PC/IOS/Android)

Ghosts 'n Goblins | Level 1

Ghosts ‘n Goblins was always infamous for being one of the hardest games ever made. That statement is pretty much 100% accurate, Ghosts ‘n Goblins is so difficult that it is only on the border of how difficult a game can be while still being playable. One should note that I am using the word “difficult” and not “challenging.” The reason I say this is because being challenging is generally a good thing as it implies that a game brings you up to its own level by being demanding and through its design.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins, on the other hand, is just difficult in the sense that it is very patience trying and unfun. Before I hear the parade of apologists proclaiming “git gud” I should make it clear that I did beat this game twice, and yes I am counting it as twice regardless of that stunt they pulled the first time. Ghosts ‘n Goblins may be beatable, but it isn’t exactly an enjoyable game to play. Most players will be having far more frustration than fun and beating it serves no purpose other than bragging rights. 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

Top 5 Games Reviewed on Guardian Acorn in its First Year

Holy shit folks. I was too busy wallowing in guilt and depression that I didn’t notice that this dumb blog of mine has been going for over a year now. I have been thinking about how I would commemorate this and considered focusing on my favorite articles posted here… but that would be mostly political pieces and I want to have fun here. So I decided I will instead focus on the best & worst games reviewed on this site this year.

I’ve been a game reviewer longer than a political commentator anyway. I’ve been reviewing since early 2013 but it only occurred to me this year that I could actually make a name for myself with my writing talents… okay maybe not but I’ll have a better chance of doing so and not needing a real job if I just create my own blog. As a note though, I’m only counting games I reviewed between the start of 2017 and May 6th of 2018 so that I can count my Brash Games reviews. So this means no reviews that were written prior but re-edited and posted here, as I’d like to talk about stuff I actually played recently.

So, out of the 30 + titles reviewed in this time period, which ones did I enjoy the most? Read on to find out. Links to where the titles can be purchases are embedded in the parenthesis over their respective consoles. Read more

Amazing VGM: Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)

Sonic Adventure | Tornado

I’ve never been one to avoid connecting my personal life into my game related articles. After all, if someone is reading this blog then it’s because I have a unique style that no one else can replicate. I may as well not hide the fact that I am an individual person with her own experiences and feelings. It is those experiences that make me who I am and it is who I am that allows me to do what I do.

Fittingly enough, this week’s song is about learning to take care of and believe in yourself, and given what just happened I cannot think of a more appropriate time to cover it. The song is titled, appropriately enough, “Believe in Myself” and is the character theme of Tails from Sonic Adventure. Read more

Amazing VGM: Satellite (Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom)

God Phantasy Star III was such a weird game. Its setting seemed to be this weird cross between medieval and futuristic yet never was really set on one, the plot was barely prevalent but what little prevalence it did have was of the “WTF” variety, the poor testing and rushed design ended up with a lot of exploitable bugs or just odd occurrences such as a random enemy that was given that absolute highest possible stats and was stronger than the final boss… but could still be beaten relatively quickly cause it has the same amount of health. The game is an absolute mess and I cannot help but find it fascinating even if the game itself is ungodly tedious.

The music is something that also contributes to the surreal nature of the game. The soundtrack obviously tried to go for a more orchestral approach but trying for symphonic on the Genesis sound chip ends similarly to trying to tell Razorfist he’s wrong; they both just kind of implode on themselves at the mere thought of the possibility.

The resulting soundtrack is one full of tracks that are in the realm of “sometimes work but sometimes don’t.” Some tracks such as “Laya’s World” are actually Read more

Splatterhouse Retrospective #5: Splatterhouse 2010 (Xbox 360/PS3)

Splatterhouse | Pal boxart

TW: Strong violence and gore.

So, this review has been in the works for quite some time. I actually played this game before any of the other Splatterhouse titles, but I finished it after I beat the original 4. I will just say, this game was an absolute blast to play. Yes, captain contrarian strikes one last time before the end of the year, and that this game is what I consider the best game in the series.

Yes, the first two games may be more refined gameplay and design wise, and are thus “objectively” better at succeeding at what they set out to do, but the simple truth of the matter is that Splatterhouse 2010 attempts A LOT more. Even if it doesn’t succeed at everything, the sum of its parts still offers much more than the original games.  Read more