LISA: The Painful (PC): Crushing, Depressing, Brilliant (Detailed Review)

LISA: The Painful | Gore

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

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven (3DS): As Dull as an SRPG Can Get (Detailed Review)

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven | box art

It is titles like Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven that helps me truly appreciate the work that niche publishers like XSeed put into their localizations. I do not say this because I enjoyed Lord of Magna, as I honestly found it rather bland, but more so because it shows they care for the genre as a whole. Yes it is a pipe dream to live in an industry where every time I see a new JRPG announced, I don’t need to tell myself “this game looks very cool, it’s a shame that it likely won’t be loacalized” but  when even some of the more mediocre titles like Lord of Magna are being localized, it definitely provides a lot more hope that a lot of the best titles will get one.

I will also admit that curiosity plays a large factor in that I like to see if these games are any good in the first place, and even when a game does not get the best reception I still tend to prefer seeing it for myself. As such I generally am hesitant to take any claims of “this game wasn’t localized because it’s terrible” seriously. It can sometimes make one feel like an ass if you ask a publisher to localize a game that can take up time and money only to say that their game is bad and their effort was pointless. So despite me not caring for Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, I am still glad XSeed brought it over and I’m glad to have given my money if only because it supports them for doing so (plus it comes with a nice looking box with a soundtrack CD, which the collector part of me always appreciates).
Read more

Standard Review: The Legend of Dragoon (PS1)

The Legend of Dragoon | Logo

This review was certainly put off for quite some time. I should let it be known that I am reviewing this two years after I beat it, but my memory is pretty good in regards to these things. I don’t quite remember why it was that I didn’t write a review at the time but I’m finally going to write it now. The Legend of Dragoon is a fantastic game and quite simply put, it deserves the praise it gets.

The Legend of Dragoon is far from the most original JRPG out there and if you are looking for something unique to the genre then this likely won’t satisfy you. In fact, the game actually had mixed reception at launch. Former IGN reviewer David Smith once said that “Games like Legend of Dragoon and Shadow Madness rank among the worst of the previous generation, regardless of genre” only a year after he reviewed it and gave it a 7 out of 10. Yeah, IGN reviewers being incompetent bought out morons is hardly a recent phenomenon. Read more

Megadimension Neptunia VII (PS4/Switch/PC): The Dream Generation (Detailed Review)

Megadimension Neptunia VII | Art

Before I get started on this review, I would like to clarify that this review is covering the 2015 released of the game and is NOT a review of Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, which has been stated to be an entirely different game gameplay wise. As a result, I do not know how much of this review will apply to that version of the game. I also am unlikely to check that version out for a while since I spent over 120 hours on this game and beat it only a few months ago. I’m not quite ready to play through another version of the same game, especially when I have 7 other games in the series that are currently out to play (and an amazing looking Switch title that is in development).

As for Megadimension Neptunia VII itself, well I don’t know how else to put this other than HOLY FUCK THEY ACTUALLY DID IT!!! They created a true sequel to Victory that is an improvement in almost every area. I fucking LOVE this game. While my review of Re;birth1 was a bit on the optimistic side, I honestly felt it was a bit of a let down. While it is a better game than the original Hyperdimension Neptunia was, that only means so much when it’s so vastly different from the original yet has so much copy-pasted from Victory. In the end I’d rather play either the original game OR Victory than Re;birth1 because the original is more unique and Victory does everything Re;birth1 does better. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (Vita/PS4/PC): Satisfactory but Samey (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth1 | logo

I’ve always felt quite strongly about the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. I always felt there was something to it that a lot of its detractor ship just didn’t get; or rather chose not to get. If people wish to believe that there is nothing to this series but a bunch of moe girls doing cute things and getting into sexy shenanigans with no depth or intelligence, they are going to do so. Of course I have always said from the beginning that this is not the case with this series.

The reason why is not because the previous description is untrue, but because it IS true, and the series plays to that strength. Most games nowadays are very pretentious and take themselves overly seriously and present themselves as if they are these cinematic masterpieces, while the Neptunia series is just trying to be fun in whatever way it can be, which is what games SHOULD aim for. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory (PS3): Sweet Victory (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory | logo

Note: This was the first review I ever wrote and was put up on GameFAQs on March 21st 2013. It has been edited and enhanced in presentation.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory does not have nearly as high of a budget as most of the best JRPGs of this generation, nor does it have the best design. It does not have the best presentation or universal appeal of such games. Yet despite this, I found myself enjoying this game just as much as said games, and in some ways even more.

I did play and enjoy the first two games in the series. The first game, Hyperdimension Neptunia, was a game that had some really unique ideas going for it, and established what the series would become known for. Unfortunately it was executed in a way that has only a very specific appeal, and suffered from a story that was poorly paced and saved only by its hilarious script. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 was a lot more accessible than the first game. It had the distinction of being one of the few console JRPGs to focus on simple mechanics, as opposed to nearly every other console JRPG that tried to be as complex as possible. That same simplicity was also its disadvantage as it made the game a bit too easy, and pretty much every non boss battle in the game could be beaten in seconds. Also the plot, while much better told than the first, suffered from pacing issues of its own. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 (PS3): Easier to Play, Easier to get Attached to (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 | Japanese cover art

While the original Hyperdimension Neptunia did draw a lot of interest from those that knew of its existence and sold generally well despite being a niche title, it is hard to ignore the many glaring issues it had. At the same time, however, it was a game that was quite unusual in both its premise and execution, so it would only make sense that the sequel would make some changes. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 can be seen as more of a complete overhaul of the first game’s premise. Despite the fact that they may look similar to some, there is a vast difference in how Neptunia Mk2 is executed and it is much more noticeable. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3): Not the Best, Not the Worst, but Definitely One of the Most Interesting (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia | Limited Edition Box Art

The first Hyperdimension Neptunia was definitely an interesting game. Technically the entire series is an interesting subject when it comes to games but the first game is especially so. Despite receiving mostly poor reviews from critics and a lot of gamers themselves, its unique premise and ideas helped it put Idea Factory on the map. Shortly after its release, demand was so high that prices for a new copy of the game that it went for up to $120 new on Amazon. I remember when I first found out about this game, I was incredibly fascinated by it due to its premise alone. I have looked up as much as I could about the game and was almost decided to get the game used for $80 despite it looking far from a well designed game. There were easily a lot of noticeable issues with gameplay and presentation, but its personality was so intriguing that I wanted to play it anyway. In fact, I was so interested in the game that It was what prompted me to get a PS3.

Read more

Standard Review: Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel (DS)

Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel | Box

My feelings on the Inuyasha anime have been fairly mixed over the years. When I saw it as a child, It had me hooked and I was seriously drawn into it, but over time I started to notice more and more problems with it. The series has some very strong and powerful moments, but there are two problems. The first of these is repetitive nature of the plot that is paced like a bad JRPG where every arc ends when Inuyasha almost kills Naraku but he gets away due to some bullshit reason. Additionally the fight scenes also seem to be based on turn based RPG logic because it they always seem to end when Inuyasha remembers to use that super powerful move he just learned 40 episodes ago to destroy the enemy. And the second reason was just how cringeworthy our central characters are. Inuyasha is an overconfident dumb ass with a massive ego and Kagome is your typical Mary Sue only with bitchy anime girl disorder, and I would know since most of my Twitter followers also have this disorder.

Read more

Steam Greenlight Landfill: Final Quest II

Final Quest II | loading screen save

Good fucking god why did I even bother to play this piece of shit? I was not thinking this game would turn out good after the first game was such a train wreck, but this one is not only worse, it is a FUCK LOAD worse! The first Final Quest is Mother 3 compared to this miscarriage of a game! Final Quest II is so bad that I now take back every positive thing I said about it’s developer. I take it back because a game as bad as Final Quest II CANNOT be released at retail without the developers noticing. A development team that would knowingly release a game as unplayable as Final Quest do NOT deserve your money or support.

Read more