This is a review that was very long overdue. I should note that this was technically the first game I ever received a review code for back in 2014 while I was with Oprainfall. At the time my computer was a piece of shit and was unable to run the game so someone else needed to review it there instead. Given that my computer is now not a piece of shit, I decided I should play the game for myself and review it given that I got it for that purpose. So if the developers of Depths of Fear are reading this, sorry for the wait. Also sorry that I’m about to trash it in this review because I didn’t really like it.
Knossos has a fairly solid premise that could have worked if done more competently. The game is heavily based around Greek mythology and has you tasked with navigating a labyrinth and slaying a Minotaur. The only problem is that you need a special sword to do that and you need to collect 8 macguffins to do get this, each of which is guarded by another creature from Greek mythology. In addition to the Minotaur, you will also need to slay a Satyr, a Centaur, a Hydra, Medusa, a Griffin, a Manticore, and Cerberus. Read more
The trend of retro styled “throwbacks” on Steam has been well established at this point. Most of these games only ever try to emulate the style of older games without adding much to the table at all. In some cases, you can still wind up with games that are still fun albeit unoriginal. This, however, is not the case with Venusian Vengeance. Instead of being reminiscent of classic NES titles, Venusian Vengeance more so resembles cheap low budget titles that were only played because the box art looked cool. Granted Venusian Vengeance isn’t LJN bad or anything but we really should not be having mediocre licensed NES games in 2015 (or in 2012 when this game was originally released on Desura).
Love at First Sight is a visual novel created by first time developer Creepy Cute, which actually only consists of one person know as Ray-kbys. He has stated that his reason for deciding to make Love at First Sight a visual novel instead of a doujinshi was due to the fact that it is much harder to get a doujinshi published in the US than in Japan (which he has knowledge of due to being born in Japan but living in America). However he did end up realizing that creating a game is not an easy task and even saying that he may have bit off a bit more than he could chew (though that isn’t a direct quote mind you).
Love at First Sight is made to feature an original character Ray created through Deviantart submissions before he ever considered the idea of the game. Said character was a shy girl named Sachi Usui who has only one eye and lot of scars (which he admits in the game’s extra features was because he had a fetish for both Cyclops and scars). The story is not told from her perspective however. It is instead told from the point of view of Mamoru, a boy who falls for her moe charm. Read more
When you are a game like Mutiny!!, you pretty much have people sold on the premise alone. I mean, who wouldn’t want to delve into a visual novel about a lesbian sex worker who inherits a role as a ship captain of a bunch of lesbian monster girls? Most of my expectations were met with Mutiny!! but there were some areas where it kinda fell short and I don’t feel as enthusiastic about it as i am writing this as when I initially completed it. Don’t get me wrong, this game is great, but I do feel there are some ways it could have been better. It may be difficult to explain how though.
Criticizing Mutiny!! makes me feel similar to when I need to call out a close friend of mine on something I believe they are doing wrong. There is a bit of hesitance put forward because I hold this game in quite high regard, enough that I worry about second guessing myself given my criticism pertains to so rather subtle aspects. I mean sure, there are obvious criticisms to make that only half the routes are available with the initial purchase and the rest are DLC, some of which has still not even been released, but I do admit I was kinda relieved when this game was over and that I didn’t need to redo the same 7 ship battles and puzzles just to see a few extra conversations that Grace has with her first mate. Read more
Tw: Suicide and gore.
Blue Whale is a…weird game, and it is also a creepy one. I’m not entirely sure how to wrap my head around this game given that I can barely tell what it is trying to do. I wouldn’t quite say that it is a bad game but I can’t exactly recommend it due to a variety of reasons.
If one hasn’t caught on based on the title, Blue Whale has the same title as a rumored app that tasks teenagers with tasks meant to wear down their mental state over the course of 50 days until ordering the participant to kill themselves on the final day. There is no concrete proof that such an app ever existed but I do think that a horror adventure title based on a teenage girl playing said game makes for an interesting concept. Unfortunately this game is only loosely based on the rumored app and does not make great use of its premise.
LISA: The Painful is newest addition to what I consider to be the “elite” class of games that I have played. As a critic, I have been known to go into meticulous detail about the games that I review AND to be very thorough in explaining why something in a game does or does not work. The reason for this is that I don’t view games as mere “products” like most do. I don’t think that creating an experience that aces the test of time can be propped up to doing the exact same shit as everything else but with better graphics.
My contempt for most professional game critics comes from the fact that they often claim that games are art, yet treat them like products. True works of art are those that break the mold and that put quality and artistic vision over profit. Contrary to popular belief, the game industry is not so stagnated that there are no games with new ideas; they just don’t sell well. Read more
Legend is a 2 player beat em up released originally on the Super NES in 1994 in North America and Europe, and re released on Steam in 2015, which is how I came across it. It looked like an interesting beat em up that I picked up during one of the many Steam sales and decided to play recently. I haven’t played too many 2D beat em ups so I’m not in the position to judge how it stacks up to Final Fight, Streets of Rage, or Golden Axe, but I can certainly say I had fun with it despite a few minor gripes. Read more
Apparently a lot of women hate the sound of the word “panties.” I cannot say that since being deprived of my femininity for 20 years made me yearn for the type of shit that most women don’t even care for and thus fucked me up for life. I actually quite like panties. They are much cuter than men’s underwear and… nope, can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to make an opening monologue about panties. Even I have standards after all, plus it’s one of those things that I just can’t really explain objectively; no one can.
Panty Party on the other hand, can be explained. I’ve mentioned more than enough that “OMG Japan is so fucked up” reactions any time a weird Japanese game exists is not only getting old but is kind of xenophobic. The US has a lot of weird shit to after all. But something like Panty Party could only come from Japan given that there is a much larger fascination with panties among the opposite sex (of those that usually wear them) over there. Panty Party is pretty much an example of a shitpost in game format. Read more
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream was a game that absolutely floored me with how great it was. This game excels in just about every category of what a game should be. The writing and tone of this game is the kind that goes beyond what is typically expected of games and is probably one of the deepest and thought provoking stories written in recent memory, and the gameplay is designed well enough to support the overall package without falling into the typical traps of its genre. Considering that this was based on a short story, one could say that it does not count towards video games as a whole, but there are two factors that counter that argument. The first is that the story has several changes in the game that were different from the original book that were meant to add to the lore of the original story. The second of these being that Harlan Ellison himself co-designed the game and had involvement with it, meaning that it is not just someone else’s interpretation of the game.
Even without those two things, it is still one of the best examples of the story telling prowess that games are capable of. When one considers just how different the two mediums are, it makes it even more impressive that something this good exists. It is also important to keep in mind that this game was released in 1995, which was two years before Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid became well known mainstream examples of games with great storytelling prowess, and it is also a game that is arguably better written than both of them. Even today it is rare to find a game as well written as I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream despite the progress that gaming has made, and it is possibly one of the most underrated games of all time.
TW: Murder, violence, mentions of ableism.
I’m sure if a few of you thought back to a few years ago, you’d remember a certain title that stirred a lot of controversy for its violent content yet was almost immediately forgotten afterwards. That game was simply titled Hatred and was about a guy with long black hair and a leather jacket going on a killing spree. When it originally came out, I was interested in it but could not play it because my computer was old and crappy which does not work out well when your game is known for being a tremendous resource hog.
Believe it or not though, my interest in Hatred was a bit beyond merely spiting neo Puritans that proclaimed the game a “murder simulator” and proceeded to advocate it getting banned. If I must be honest I find both sides absurd in how they reacted to it. Considering that most of this outrage was before the game was even released and thus before anyone could take the context of the story into account, it was egregious that most of the gaming press proceeded to harp on this game for its extreme violence despite the fact that it really is not that much worse than something like Grand Theft Auto. Read more