JRPG Update is back folks… sorta. In order to make things easier on myself, I decided that some revisions needed to be made to how I would handle things, simply because I was overloaded the way that JRPG Update worked before. I tried to post weekly updates by covering as much JRPG related information as I could, even things that seemed insignificant. As such, I am deciding to do some vetting for the content that I cover and will try to avoid posting redundant news such as “such and such has new screen shots” or “details have been given about the shape of the hair of the NPC off to the top right corner in the second house in the games 13th town.” Also, updates will be posted monthly as opposed to weekly so I have time to actually work on other content.
Trigger Warning: This review contains references to racism, anti-semitism, and forced cross dressing. The game itself contains depictions of the above in addition to gore, nudity, scatology, sodomy, abortions (performed on a man), miscarriages, and Nazis (of the zombie variety).
Just looking at the creation process of South Park: The Stick of Truth, it is easy to see practically endless ways how this game could have been a colossal disappointment. First of all, there is the fact that it is indeed a licensed game, which sets the bar low seeing as how most licensed games tend to be average at best even when they have a significant amount of potential and hype. Even ignoring that this is a licensed game, this was the first time that Matt Stone and Trey Parker had any involvement in a game based off their license (they have admitted in the past to being displeased with previous South Park
games, which is why they made sure to be more closely involved with this game). To add to this, the game went through development hell due to THQ going out of business and the publishing being transferred to Ubisoft. There were practically thousands of reasons to be skeptical that this game would turn out well, whether they be concerns about how South Park’s heavy emphasis on political and pop culture based writing would not transfer over well into a video game, or even looking at Obsidian Entertainment’s track record of having their games released plagued with bugs and glitches that would out due even Bethesda’s games.
Welcome to this week’s VGM. I have decided that I would go with something that is from a game especially nostalgic to me, Final Fantasy VII. Of course, I’m never one to go with the predictable tracks like “One Winged Angel” or “Aerith’s Theme” or even slightly less common but still talked about tracks like “Still More Fighting” and “The Great Warrior.” The first track that comes to mind when I think of Final Fantasy VII is either “Interrupted by Fireworks” (which I honestly find more beautiful and emotionally moving than “Aerith’s Theme”) or “Holding My Thoughts in My Heart.”
Holy shit, how the fuck did I stay away from this series for as long as I have? I actually don’t know if I have even written about Neptunia for this blog yet, although I have mentioned it plenty of times. I absolutely adore this series, and seeing someone bashing it for being nothing but fanservice is an instant trip to my shit list. That’s not even a joke, seeing someone bash a series like Neptunia or Senran Kagura as being nothing other than fanservice just because it HAS fanservice tells a lot about their personality; mainly that they are misogynists who think women are “degrading themselves” if they ever show skin and that they project their own sexism onto anyone who has a sex drive, and I can only assume you’re a shitty person if you are this shallow minded. It is because of this that I got so pissed at Jed Whitaker and why I despise Jim Sterling.
The truth is that the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is one of the most pro feminist video game series of all time (ignoring the shitty harem spinoffs that is). To have such a strongly developed cast of female characters in an age where AAA developers need to virtue signal their inclusion of a single female protagonist as a key advertising point is incredible. This is something that I could go on and on about for hours, but it is not the point. Among the many incredible aspects of this series is its music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
BlackShadows is a game that, at first, looked like it had the markings of a terrible game. The average rating for its reviews on its Steam page was “negative” and it likely made it through Greenlight simply because it offered a free copy to whoever voted for it. Naturally, I expected this to be a Steam disaster on the same level as Day One Gary’s Incident or The Slaughtering Grounds. Thankfully, BlackShadows was better than I expected, but only barely.
While I still would not consider BlackShadows to be a good game by any means, I do still feel it at least offers a small amount of decent ideas and the bare minimum amount of effort put into it to be However, the problem is that it really has nothing to offer other then exceeding the absurdly low expectations set for it. In general, BlackShadows is just bland and generic.