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Quick Review: LOVE (PC/Switch/Ouya)

 

LOVE is certainly a unique game to say the least, but unique does not necessarily mean creative in this sense. In actuality, LOVE is an incredibly minimalist platformer that is manages to make a fun game out of incredibly simplistic mechanics and uses everything they can get out of them. Unfortunately LOVE is also a game that is way too brief to really recommend considering how little content it has. LOVE was originally an Ouya exclusive until the beginning of 2014 when it got ported to Steam. So far it is the first and only game to be designed by Fred Wood whose name sounds uncannily similar to Ed Wood. Also it has a very strange choice for a title seeing as how it has nothing to do with the game.

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Game Reviews Gaming Indie PC Gaming Platformers Retro Retro Throwback Reviews Standard Reviews Steam

Standard Review: You Have to Win the Game (PC)

One may have noticed that a lot of indie platformers tend to go with a retro aesthetic as of late. On one hand, one could see this as a way to capture the feelings of platformers of the time and are missing in games today. On the other hand, one could see them as a way of cashing on nostalgia from older gamers while simultaneously avoiding innovation and saving on the graphics budget. You Have to Win the Game is somewhere in between those two. One obviously cannot claim it is a cash in due to it being free to play and I don’t doubt there was a legitimate vision set for this title. However it is clear that this vision was a rather bland one.

Right from when you start up you can tell this game is trying way too hard to be a 1980s PC title. The first thing you hear is loud typing noises as the title is typed out automatically. You are given absolutely zero plot or back story in this game and your only motivation is, as the title says, “to win the game.” As far as I know, there isn’t even a story given for the game on its Steam page, just play it because they say so. I admit it is rather petty to really complain about this and I don’t even consider it a flaw; just more of an indication.

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Quick Review: Gargoyle’s Quest (Game Boy)

Having been born in 1995 and grown up in the 6th and 7th console generations, I missed out on a lot of classic titles. I didn’t know how to use emulators at the time and I was always very careful using my money so I didn’t get every virtual console title I was interested in. For fucks sake I only just recently started playing through the Castlevania series. The issue that comes with trying to revisit these older games is that not only is there a fuck ton of them, but that new games don’t stop coming out either.

Then there are people like me who have backlogs with 900+ games and who is constantly watching all corners of the market for anything interesting. Gargoyle’s Quest is not quite as popular as a lot of the more fondly remembered classics of the time period. For those that don’t know, Gargoyle’s Quest is a spinoff of the Maki-mura/Ghosts ‘n Goblins series starring one of those little red demons that everyone hates so much. I kinda failed to mention in my review of Ghosts ‘n Goblins that the original arcade game was from 1985 and thus was pretty advanced for the time but likely aged poorly. The same can probably be said of Gargoyle’s Quest.

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

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.

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Game Reviews Gameboy Advance Gaming Platformers Playstation Playstation 3 Playstation Vita PSP Retro Reviews Standard Reviews

Standard Review: Pac-Man World (PS1/GBA)

Few gaming icons have had quite a fall from grace as much as Pac-Man. One of the most iconic video games of all time that even your grandparents recognize has not been relevant in how many years? Aside from the arcade games, the only games I have seen that are remotely well received have been the Pac-Man World trilogy of 3D platformers. I am quite fond of 3D platformers contrary to what those who think I only play RPGs and visual novels believe, so I thought I may enjoy this game.

I initially bought it during a PSN sale in 2016 along with Heavenly Guardian, but I barely played it. It seemed alright enough but didn’t interest me enough to keep me playing. Within the last few months I started it up again for no real reason other than that my PS3 happened to be set up and I had it there, and I figured I likely wouldn’t play it any other time so I should do so now.

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Detailed Reviews Game Reviews Gaming Mario Platformers Reviews Switch

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch): A Platformer of Epic Proportions (Detailed Review)

It may be safe to say that Nintendo is going through a renaissance of sorts as of late.It seems like just a few years ago everyone was on Nintendo’s ass for their refusal to innovate and going on and on about how much of a failure the Wii U was. Ever since that awful E3 conference in 2008, people have assumed that Nintendo stopped caring about their core base. Even when the Switch just came out, people were saying it was just a fluke and that the support the system had was going to wane. Yet here we are and Nintendo seems to be back on top. Despite the fact that it had mostly positive reception, I have yet to play Super Mario 3D World due to the fact that I did not care for its predecessor Super Mario 3D Land or New Super Mario Bros U.

NSMBU was hailed as the best 2D Mario platformer since Super Mario World, and given how much I loved Super Mario World I was very excited to play NSMBU. Unfortunately NSMBU fell way short of my expectations. Not only did I find it nowhere near as good as Super Mario World, but it wasn’t even as good as New Super Mario Bros Wii. While I planned and still do plan to play Super Mario 3D World at some point, I never quite got around to it. For the purpose of comparison, I HAVE played every other 3D Mario platformer with the exception of the DS remake of Mario 64.

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New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U/Switch): Same Old Super Mario Bros (Detailed Review)

New Super Mario Bros U was often claimed to be the strongest entry in the New Super Mario Bros subseries. There have even been some who claimed it was the best 2D Mario game since Super Mario World. I will say right now that neither of those two statements are true. Not only does New Super Mario Bros U not hold a candle to either Super Mario Word or Super Mario Bros 3, but it is also a step down from its predecessor New Super Mario Bros Wii (although it is superior to the mediocre handheld installments of the New Super Mario Bros series). While New Super Mario Bros U is an entertaining game on its own merits, it is disappointing that Nintendo seems to be unable to improve upon a twenty one year old game.

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Standard Review: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast/Gamecube/PC/PS3/360)

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.

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Amazing VGM: 26 (Rosenkreuzstilette)

It’s about time I covered a VGM from Rosenkreuzstilette, the soundtrack to this game somehow manages to be better than the Mega Man games themselves. It really takes a lot to accomplish that. There was such an intense amount of effort put into this game’s soundtrack that I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just cut to the chase. Today’s VGM is “26,” the theme for Luste’s Stage.

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Amazing VGM: Fossil Falls (Super Mario Odyssey)

Well, right now I can definitely say I am hooked on Super Mario Odyssey. I have over 350 moons thus far and have yet to even “beat” the game in the traditional manner. I think it’s safe to say that I love this game. There may have been a few moments where I felt that it went a bit overboard on the collectables and a few of the moons suck (Fuck 100 Jump ropes and 100 volleys!), but I’ve been finding this game’s expansive worlds and the amount of creative mechanics to be highly engaging.

And there’s the music. The first song that one thinks of when they think Super Mario Odyssey is likely “Jump Up! Super Star!” but there is one track that I think is better. Super Mario Galaxy is a tough act to follow in a lot of ways but music wise it is especially difficult to follow up. Personally I still think the Galaxy titles had better music than Odyssey but the latter is still no slouch. It figures that my favorite track is one that sounds like it was leftover from Galaxy.