I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (PC): A Horror Masterpiece (Detailed Review)

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream | main characters

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.

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Site Progress and Personal Update: July 2018 (Growth Edition)

It feels genuinely surprising that I made it through the past few months. I was literally in the ER back on May 22nd yet now I feel stronger than I have ever been. It is not because my troubles have just disappeared all of a sudden, but for once in my life I know that I can overcome them. I have become far more confident in myself than I used to be and know that I can accomplish some great things, and I’m not going to let any transphobes or dumb assess drag me down.

The fact that my breakup did not kill me has proven that NOTHING will. I am emotionally indestructible and have returned from the brink of absolute emotional despair. Additionally, I know that I have talents and abilities that others cannot hope to match, and I know I am destined for greatness. Over the past couple of years it has set in slowly that I can make all my dreams come true if I just keep pushing further and further, and it’s now more plainly obvious than Trump’s idiocy.

I certainly regret how I ended my last relationship, but I refuse to let guilt weigh me down and prevent me from growing as a person. I’ve already accomplished a lot, more than most people ever will in fact. My blog has been up for only a year and it has been growing at quite a rapid rate and I’ve gotten almost nothing but positive feedback. That’s not to say there is no negative feedback and I am certainly going to make a point to respond better to any of it, but I think I know well enough that all I need is to expose my content to more people then this blog is gonna be yuuuuugee! Read more

Hatred (PC): Soulless Violence (Detailed Review)

Hatred | Logo

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

Castlevania Retrospective #1: The Classicvanias (Part 1)

Castlevania Retrospective Part 1

So there is this video game series called “Castlevania.” I’m sure you never heard of it as it’s quite obscure like everything else I cover. In all seriousness though there was a time when Koonami actually made good games and wasn’t obsessed with Pachinko machines and Soccer games. They had many influential and beloved series such as Gradius, Ganbare Goemon, Metal Gear, Contra, Suikoden, and Silent Hill, and not to mention plenty of other cult hits like Shadow of Destiny, Azure Dreams, Zone of the Enders, and other series that I never actually played but will still get weebs riled up by mentioning since no one else knows they exist.

The last time I did a retrospective, it was on Namco’s Splatterhouse series where I reviewed each game individually. I only needed to cover five games so that was more manageable, but the Castlevania series has over 40 of the bastards to cover and I kinda want to do other shit. As a compromise I decided I would start by covering multiple games per article so I don’t need to write a full review for games most of you already have played or know you should play. This does still allow me to touch upon the more obscure and lesser known entries in the series and compare them to the ones everyone likes and mock how inferior they are or make you feel bad about having not played them (mostly the former in this piece). Read more

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

Super Mario Odyssey | Pauline Band

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. Read more

Amazing VGM: True Power of the Occult (Yandere Simulator)

Yandere Simulator | Yanderetale

It seems like Yandere Simulator is the popular thing to hate given how its developer has been… kind of a prick to some people. I have my own thoughts on YandereDev himself but I plan to save those for later. The thing is, it’s important to separate an artist from his art sometimes. Phil Fish has been a monumental douche in the public eye but I do still plan to give FEZ a chance at some point. I also know quite a few people who enjoy playing Minecraft despite the fact that Notch is a total shitlord (although it helps that he no longer owns the game and thus doesn’t profit off of it).

Also, let’s remember that there is more than just one person making most of these games. Yandere Simulator has had a lot of talented artists and creators who have volunteered to help with the game. It is also clear that Devpai has very high aspirations for the game… which only ensures that it will keep getting pushed back Duke Nukem Forever style but I can at the very least appreciate the passion that goes into it. Read more

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

New Super Mario Bros U | Box Art

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. Read more

Amazing VGM: Monster Dance (Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest)

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest | What a horrible night to have a curse

Simon’s Quest was an interesting game. There were a lot of unique ideas present at the time and it laid the groundwork for what Koonami would later perfect with Symphony of the Night. Yet there are also a lot of shortcoming present. I’m not here to talk about those though, we’ve all seen the AVGN video after all. Instead I would like to focus on its presentation, and by that I mean the track listed in the title of this article… you did notice that right? Read more

Standard Review: Demon’s Souls (PS3)

Demon's Souls | Box art

Demon’s Souls has a reputation as one of the hardest games in the current generation; a reputation that comes fairly. It terms of difficulty, it can in fact go toe to toe with a lot of the hardest games from the 8 and 16 bit era of gaming. However, it is important to consider whether or not Demon’s Souls is a good game rather than being a hard one; IE whether it is good for the right reasons. The answer to that is yes, or at least mostly. There are a couple of flaws to be had with Demon’s Souls that are not often mentioned, but the game overall is a satisfying experience that does far more right than wrong.

The storyline of Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria, a kingdom that is isolated from the rest of the world by a strange fog filled with demons. As time passed, people began seeking out this kingdom in order to either save Boletaria or for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, all of whom have done so end up trapped with their soul bound to the nexus and unable to escape even if they died. Your character is one of these adventurers. Read more

Quick Review: Quest of Vidhuraa (PC)

Quest of Vidhuraa | header

Quest of Vidhuraa is a 2D platformer released on Steam in late April of this year, and it bills itself on being a “very hard platformer game.” I’m no stranger to difficult games and I have reviewed many of them in the past. I’m hardly a stranger to the “Nintendo Hard” category of games and I can quite enjoy games that are not easy to complete. I just came off of beating two Castlevania games so it’s not as if I lack the skill to beat these types of games.

Rather I often grow skeptical of games that use difficulty as their selling point because you never know what kind of difficulty it is. I will say that I did not finish Quest of Vidhuraa. I got up to the 27th level before I quit because I found that the game was designed in a way where I never felt I was improving and where I needed to perform the exact same maneuvers repeatedly yet expect different outcomes. Read more