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. Read more
TW: References to Violence, Gore, and child abuse.
Lately I have had an interest in the “RPG Maker horror game” sub genre of sorts. The last one I covered was (Mario) The Music Box which I certainly enjoyed but my space bar did not. Prior to that the only other games I played of this type are Yume Nikki, LISA: The First, and Corpse Party Blood Covered (which wasn’t actually made in RPG Maker but probably could have been).
Games like Yume Nikki and LISA: The First are only tangentially connected to games like Corpse party, The Witch’s House, Ib, Ao Oni, Mad Father, and the subject of this review; Misao. The reason I say this is because those types of games aren’t explicit horror titles and are more so abstract walking sims with some very weird set pieces. I wasn’t crazy about Yume Nikki (although I can see why others are), I have quite liked the more straight up horror titles.
At the time of writing I have completed the Steam remakes of Mad Father and of its predecessor Misao. Despite the fact that Sen released their remake of Mad Father first, I decided to play Misao first because the original version was made before Mad Father. I am glad that I did so because it allows me to see how much was improved from one game to another. Read more
Disclaimer: Rather than putting up a usual content warning at the start, I’m just going to say that if you are sensitive to any strong content and will be negatively affected, then I would not advise reading this article. I briefly talked about the content of the game in my original review, but this article is about to go a lot further into detail. There will also be far more elaboration on the plot related and thematic concepts present, which really just makes everything ever more disturbing.
If you read further on and end up seriously scarred by the content, I will not be paying for your therapy bills, but I will feel very bad about it. Also, there will be spoilers for every major plot event in Euphoria.
Ever since I completed Euphoria, I have thought about it over and over. My review was over 5k words but I still left a lot of stuff untouched. I have been considering writing more analytical pieces referring to more philosophical and abstract aspects of games rather than straight up reviews. I say this because I have the tendency to notice a lot of tiny details that most don’t. Furthermore, these types of analyses are typically reserved for more mainstream titles and not niche Japanese shit (especially in the eroge category).
I briefly mentioned in my review of Euphoria how well it portrayed a mentally ill protagonist in a way that most western games will never even attempt. The reason is likely because the Japanese are much more lax on sexuality than westerners are and are less likely to write off an entire game because it has sexual content. The truth is that Japanese eroge have significantly more attempts at being more than fap fuel than what most westerners are accustomed to. Allow me to talk for a second about why pornography has the reputation it does. Read more
So… I was banned from Twitter.
I’m honestly not surprised. I kinda knew this was going to happen considering how prone to abuse Twitter’s report system and how scattershot in its implementation it is. Infamous right wing nutcase Alex Jones was not suspended until he started harassing Jack Dorsey in person despite the fact that Twitter ADMITTED he violated the of service multiple times.
While I kinda saw it coming, I will admit that I am rather frustrated by this. Not frustrated enough to chain myself to Twitter’s front door to block the entrance and call the police mind you, but annoyed nonetheless. Well to be truthful it’s more saddening than anything. Read more
I have been a fan of the EarthBound series for many years at this point. I first became a fan from watching various lets plays of the game back around 2008 or 2009, because at the time I knew nothing about roms and emulators, and I clearly could not afford a copy of EarthBound. After having been moved by both EarthBound and Mother 3, I was enamored with the series for several months to the point of near obsession. As such, the series was very influential to my experiences as a gamer, despite me having experienced them over a decade after EarthBound’s release.
I didn’t end up playing EarthBound on my own until I bought a cart myself despite the huge price, and I’m still glad I have a physical copy seeing as how it’s my favorite game of all time, and I only played Earthbound Beginnings last year when it was released on the Wii U e-shop. Hell I still have not legitimately played Mother 3 and am waiting until its inevitable e-shop release to do so (although as I said, I have seen let’s plays of it and know enough to say that’s it’s pretty much a masterpiece) Read more
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. Read more
TW: Suicide, child abuse, transphobia, homophobia.
Leelah Alcorn is a name whose utterance fills me with sentimentality. For those unaware, Leelah Alcorn was a teenage trans girl from Ohio who killed herself in 2014 due to her parents refusal accept her when she came out as trans and attempts to send her to conversion therapy. She had her suicide note set to be published on social media hours after her death and it soon caught international attention from the mainstream media.
At the time that she died I had no idea who she was, but I wish I did. It deeply shames me to think that I was still a GamerGate supporter at the time she killed herself. I know the two aren’t related but I doubt that she’d have wanted anything to do with me if I approached her then, but if I were like how I was now I may have been able to save her… Read more
TW: References to violence, gore, suicide, cannibalism, child abuse, and murder.
Though I have yet to play many of them, I have always held a special interest in fan games. It is especially interesting to see what fans can do with an existing property with nothing other than their own money and free time, and it is especially noteworthy how many have managed to create an experience on par with or better than the original creators can.
Or you could be like (Mario) The Music Box and have nothing to do with Nintendo’s flagship series aside from having Mario and Luigi in it. It’s quite fitting that “Mario” is in parentheses in the title of this game because this game is not really about Mario. Of course one can get the impression that the last type of game that would be appropriate for Mario is a Corpse Party clone, but even still there is so little that has to do with the Mario series involved. Read more
EarthBound is a game that has been well received since its introduction, but has only recently received a serious look by mainstream gaming websites in the past few years. We now find it frequently in top-10 lists near the number one spot. The weird thing about this however, is that Nintendo of America has ignored the EarthBound series and has given it no publicity over the years, so what was there to increase its publicity so drastically that major gaming sites started noticing? The answer would be the game’s rabid fan base that is incredibly loyal to the series and have pushed hard to get it noticed. This however has led some to some fans that are really overzealous and give the series a massive amount of hype with great expectations to fill. I myself at one point have been in that same position of near obsession with the series, but it has been years since then and I have moved on and played many other games that have made me just as passionate as EarthBound did.
I recently decided to replay EarthBound and I expected that losing my overzealous passion would make the game’s flaws more noticeable. Despite having a very special place in my heart I expected this review to be one that, while still having a positive tone, was more critical of the game. I was wrong, and being wrong has never felt so right. It turns out that not only in this play-through that I re-discovered exactly what it was that made me fall in love with it in the first place, but I discovered more. This play-through marks the only time that my opinion of a game I already played improved despite being one of my all time favorite games to begin with. Read more
Guess what? I didn’t completely forget about this retrospective project! After four months the second part is finally here… and I still haven’t beaten every Classicvania, or at least not every Classicvania gameplay wise. This piece DOES instead choose to rank the last of the traditional retro Castlevanias with the cut off point being the 2000s. Okay yes there is still technically Castlevania Chronicles but I’m covering the remake which was in 2001.
Castlevania has been kind of a strange entity in that nearly EVERY game in the series were linear sidescrollers, and then everything changed when the Symphony of the Night nation attacked! Since then the only traditional sidescrollers have been the aforementioned Castlevania Chronicles, the Rondo of Blood remake Dracula X Chronicles, the WiiWare title Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth that can no longer be purchased since WiiWare was shut down, and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon that isn’t even an official title.
But this article is about the five Classicvanias that preceded those ones, although that term is a misnomer because on two of them are good. Anyway let’s get going. Read more