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Celeste (PC/PS4/XONE/Switch/Stadia): A Steep, Treacherous, and Beautiful Climb (Detailed Review)

And here we have yet another overdue review that I have been planning to get for quite some time. Specifically, this review was requested by former patron Winter. While they have since canceled their pledge due to financial difficulties, they were the first patron of mine to meet the current requirements for a review request, which require someone to be a patron for more than six months and contribute at least $120 total. Yes, this is a steep requirement, but it also ensures that those who are supporting me are doing so because they either really care about me or my content. Also I have tendency to take a long time getting to requested reviews, but I do plan to honor these commitments even when a patron in question is also an abusive ex (no, that’s not Winter, but that is the case with another patron).

As for what my excuse for taking so long this time is, it’s that I had initially tried to play the Steam version of Celeste several months ago (which Winter also gifted me because they are a total sweetheart), but I had some issues with the controls that made the game virtually unplayable to me. Specifically, I had this problem where, when using a PS3 controller, the game would just stop reading my button inputs for a second every other minute. While 1 second doesn’t sound like much, Celeste IS a platformer that requires split second timing and accuracy.

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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4/XONE/Switch/PC): A Highly N. Tertaining Trilogy (Detailed Review)

I can safely say that, prior to 2017, I assumed the Crash Bandicoot series was as good as dead. Despite not having been relevant since the PS1 era, it was able to stay barely afloat until 2010, with the last console based installment being Crash: Mind Over Mutant. Despite the fact that I haven’t talked about it much, I have played the crap out of the PS1 games (2 and 3 at least) when I was a child, but I hadn’t touched them in so long that the remakes were basically a new experience for me. Not to mention that I had never even played the original game.

Crash Bandicoot was one of the biggest names during the PS1 era, yet when it fell off, it didn’t even fall off in the same way as Sonic the Hedgehog where every installment still got a lot of hype and sold a lot even though the games were hit and miss. It’s more so along the lines of people just stopped paying attention to the series, so we wouldn’t even know if any of the post PS1 releases were any good. I mean, I did enjoy Crash Nitro Kart, and I heard Crash Twinsanity was pretty fun, but the other two post PS1 Crash games I played were Tag Team Racing and Crash of the Titans, both of which sucked. Crash of the Titans was especially moronic in that it turned a platformer series into a beat em up so boring that it makes Sonic Unleashed’s night time stages look like they ACTUALLY came from God of War.

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Bayonetta (PS3/PS4/360/XONE/WiiU/Switch/PC): One of a Kind (Detailed Review)

I’d imagine that given my propensity towards fanservicey anime-esque games with sexy women involved, that it comes as a surprise that I haven’t played Bayonetta until recently. The major reason I haven’t played it until recently is because it originally released back in 2010 when I didn’t have a PS3 or 360. I actually acquired a copy of the Wii U version of Bayonetta 2 back around 2014 or 2015, but I never got around to playing it or many of the Wii U games I owned in general due to the fact that depression hit me pretty hard around that time, and before that I was in a phase where I was only interested in JRPGs.

I actually decided to play and review the first Bayonetta as a result of a poll I held on my now suspended Twitter account, and it was held to serve as a milestone to me gaining $50 a month through Patreon. That was over a year ago, and I am just now getting to that review. Yes I know, I am very slow. And Bayonetta is fucking amazing!

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Detailed Reviews Game Reviews Gaming Indie JRPGs PC Gaming Playstation 4 Playstation Vita Retro Throwback Reviews Steam Switch Xbox One

Cosmic Star Heroine (PC/PS4/Vita/XONE/Switch): Mission Accomplished (Detailed Review)

Without a doubt, my favorite game genre has to be the JRPG. Games of this genre tend to have just the right balance between familiar and new. They are wide and expansive yet they aren’t overblown wannabe Hollywood movies like most AAA games are… for the most part.

One who has followed this blog for a while is likely familiar with my love of JRPGs, and likely knows that I took way too long to get around to reviewing this heavily JRPG influenced game. This game was requested as a review by Ryumaou Juno, a former patron of mine and still an occasional reader as far as I know. My apologies for taking so long to get to this one, my unreliability with getting requested reviews out quickly is precisely why I added much more stricter criteria for them. But hey, my incessant procrastination meant that I could have this the 150th game review to be put up on this site… unfortunately I didn’t because I had to put my Eryi’s Action review up.

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

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.

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Amazing VGM: Spiral Mountain (Banjo-Kazooie)

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.

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AAA Detailed Reviews Game Reviews Gaming Nintendo 64 Platformers Retro Reviews Xbox 360 Xbox One

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

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 a Nintendo 64 or any Xbox systems, and didn’t understand emulation until now. What got me to finally check this game out was seeing a certain leftist Youtuber 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.

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Duke Nukem Forever (PC/PS3/360): A Product of Before Its Time (Detailed Review)

TW: Misogyny, rape.

I’m no stranger to holding unique or contrarian views in regards to games. You kind of need to have either unique opinions or insight in order for people to want to hear what you have to say after all. There unfortunately comes the risk of having people accuse you of being purposefully contrarian in an attempt to garner attention rather than giving your own honest opinion.

The truth is that these are all my genuine opinions, I just don’t put that much stock in what everyone else thinks. I’ve always disliked how cliquish and conformist most mainstream gaming sites are in regards to games (among other things) and it always comes across as cringe worthy how people will take their word as law despite the fact that gaming media has become widely distrusted as of late.

I did not go into Duke Nukem Forever expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Aside from the game’s poor reception there is also the fact that I never got into first person shooters even when they ARE well received. My only experience with the Call of Duty series for instance is playing about two hours of the first Modern Warfare and quitting because the game just didn’t click with me. Granted that was a few years ago and I did not play enough to get a full impression but I have other games I’m far more interested in.

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Game Reviews Gaming Indie PC Gaming Playstation 4 Reviews Standard Reviews Steam Xbox One

Standard Review: Dear Esther (PC/PS4/XONE)

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about Dear Esther. I did enjoy it to an extent, far more so than I have enjoyed games influenced by its design. Specifically, I really enjoyed the graphical design and the music of the game, and the story actually had some layer of depth to it. Despite this though, I still did not find myself satisfied with it at the end of the day. It may be pretty, it may sound nice, and it may show some level of competence that was not shown in games like Gone Home, but it still does not change the fact that it is still a gameplay-less walking simulator that is over in less than two hours.

While the story does have some amount of depth to it, it is not a story that is particularly entertaining to see play out. The reason for this is due to the abstract nature of the plot. Dear Esther is not like any traditional form of storytelling that puts you in the perspective of a character and tells a story from his or her view. In Dear Esther, you do not even know who you are playing as or who the narrator is. In fact, you never see any characters in this game. There are no cutscenes or anything; it all just consists of walking forward and narration.

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Riddled Corpses EX (PS4/XONE/Switch/Vita): Grindy yet Kickass Twin Stick Action (Detailed Review)

The last two twins stick shooters I reviewed were… kinda shit. Those two games were Hatred and Venusian Vengeance. The former was a soulless cash in whose only claim to fame was shallow shock value that can only effect the most sheltered of individuals, and the latter was an ugly looking and tedious “retro throwback” with plodding level design. Riddled Corpses EX thankfully bucks this trend by being a good game.

I should clarify that I have not touched the original Riddled Corpses and that this version (the PS4 version in particular) was my first introduction to this title. The changes to the original game from what I looked up include an additional story mode, an engine that runs at 60 FPS, character stats, a new soundtrack (or possibly two depending on whether or not the unlockable metal arrangement were in the original game), online leader boards, a revamped combo system, two player co-op (online, but not local), and less grinding.