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LONG BLOG

EVERY game I played during the first quarter of 2021, rated!

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Oh my. I'm finally back to blogging! But, before you get too hard/wet, what you're about to huff in through your eye sockets is pretty low-hanging fruit. Usually, I would talk about my life as a convention-goer or general content creator, something entirely random, video game music, or even something as personal as my gender identity (thanks again for the front, Dtoid!). I loved talking up a storm within these blogs because I like and, most importantly, respect and trust about 99.9% of you (somebody here is just bound to be an absolute psychopath, statistically speaking).

This ain't no comeback, kid. No arms race. Just a cutesy little update on what I've been playing and what I think about all of it! Though, it's not as if I should have to justify myself too aggressively. You clicked the link and deserve to face its contents and any unforeseen, future consequences.

READ OR PERISH!!!

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* = Did not finish or complete a full run of (for some games, this constitutes not reaching some sort of end point)
# = Vast majority completed
^ = Replay/revisit

 

January

Hollow Knight

+ Excellent use of a simplistic combat system
+ Phenominal OST
+ Solid lore
+ Wonderfully unique, beautiful world to explore

- Occasional poor boss design
- Essential lore locked behind a bonkers endgame
- Backtracking can be a smidge too cumbersome

(SIDEBAR: It's hard to find a video game that is quantifiably perfect, but games like Undertale, Journey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Hollow Knight are pretty fucking goddamn close.)

[Score = 9.5/10]


Bit.Trip Runner *

+ Incredibly expressive 3D visuals for its time and indie budget
+ Probably the most satisfyingly challenging runner you'll play

- The actions on-screen have audible feedback to the beat of the song, but you have to often react approximately 1/8th of a measure before said feedback or obstacle and this can throw off one's performance

[Score = 8/10]


Dicey Dungeons

+ Inventive and satisfying core gameplay loop of puzzling out battles and general min/maxing
+ Great OST
+ Charming character art

- Lategame comes too quickly, requiring expert strats and foresight within single digit hours logged despite its roguelike structure implying a larger scale
- Would've worked infinitly better as an 8-10 hour, slightly more ambitious single player experience as the content feels a little stretched

[Score = 7.5/10]


Dig Dog #

+ Solid enemy design
+ Good OST
+ Excellent pun

- Borrows a lot from Downwell's design doc, only it's far slower and tens of times more stilted in its controls
- In desperate need of a dedicated quick 'dig' button as opposed to it sharing a command with 'jump'

(SIDEBAR: Holy shit! From his YouTube avatar, the developer is a spitting image of Cliffy B.)

[Score = 5.5/10]


Downwell ^#

+ Genuinely addictive
+ Plenty of enticing unlockable visual palettes
+ Expert usage of a singular jump-to-shoot mechanic

- A, personally, useless wall jump that's easily unintentionally triggered, leading to ruined combos and avoidable damage being taken
- Approaching enemies from the side feels inconsistent

[Score = 9/10]


Ori and the Blind Forest *

+ Pretty visuals

- Controls are far too floaty
- Between the fast enemy respawns, lack of direct input and sometimes harsh damage penalties, combat feels simultaneously pointless and frustrating
- Story feels ever so pretentious and bored me to the point skipping dialogue

(SIDEBAR: fite me)

[Score = 3.5/10]


Bot Vice #

+ Incredibly faithful to classics like Street Fighter II, Contra and Sunset Riders in its excellent OST and sound design altogether
+ Tight gunplay
+ A commendable amount of variety, with new enemies and bosses between each stage

- Needs a possible radial weapon menu for the 5 different pickups you get at random

[Score = 8.5/10]


Luigi's Mansion 3 *

+ Nice OST
+ Great visuals

- The charm tops out during the intro segments, later devolving into Luigi being frightened every 5 seconds
- Directional controls during combat can feel clunky
- Despite its prevalence, collecting money is pointless unless you somehow want to make the game even easier through extra lives or collectable markers

(SIDEBAR: fite me)

[Score = 5/10]


Hollow *

+ Inventive map UI

- Unwieldy and unbalanced combat
- The extreme linearity, reused assets and drained color scheme work to create what amounts to a boring walking sim much of the time
- Absolutely non-existent atmosphere other than "sloppily stitched together indie horror game that you could easily find on Gamejolt for free"
- Uninspired environmental design

[Score = 1.5/10]


Paper Mario: The Origami King #

+ Absolutely gorgeous visuals
+ Incredibly charming, generally witty writing
+ Amazing, fresh OST

- You're stopped for fluff dialogue from Olivia too often
- Combat can be a mixed bag despite its inventiveness and improvements over the previous two iterations
- Writing post-chapter 3 feels like mostly filler

(SIDEBAR: Were they to expand upon the combat just a liiiiittle more and the dialogue in the latter half not mostly a snoozefest, this would be the second best Paper Mario. 

The first best is Super Paper Mario. 

fite me)

[Score = 8/10]


Galaxy Champions TV

+ Fun boss fights
+ A solid, imitation-brand Smash TV

- ... sans all the charm of Smash TV
- Virtually no differences between its two modes of play, leading to repetition setting in early on

(SIDEBAR: An additional point was added to the score because Smash TV is currently unavailable through any legitimate online storefront and owning a $40 physical copy means also owning and maintaining an SNES or Genesis. Gah!)

[Score = 7.5/10]


Away: Journey to the Unexpected *

+ Great OST
+ Fun, vibrant visual style

- Incredibly dull and repetitive combat
- Severely unpolished, particularly in its sound design
- A hodgepodge of roguelike and a fixed open world full of empty space

(SIDEBAR: The trailer definitely makes this game look far better than it actually is. If anything, I'd recommend "demoing" the game on Steam and returning it within two weeks and two hours of playtime if it doesn't strike your fancy.

I'm such a naughty boy. Come roll in the mud with me!)

[Score = 3/10]


Diggerman *

+ Appealing pixel art

- Highly repetitive
- Dull sound design/OST
- Feels focus-tested to the point of sanitization

[Score = 2/10]

 

February

Colt Canyon #

+ Nails the Old West atmospherically and stylistically (best to play w/o music)
+ Gunplay is swift and incredibly satisfying
+ Visually gorgeous

- The red thorns and bushes post-stage 1 feel unecessary and can be a huge pain, with them easily blending in with blood splatter
- I began to receive crashes (on the Switch version) every couple or so runs, suddenly, after having put probably 8+ hours into the game
- A vast majority of guns that use multiple rounds/shells per shot (among others) feel useless/wasteful

[Score = 8.5/10]


Skelly Selest

+ A variety of fun modes, including it's own card game
+ After some getting used to, the combat has its simple pleasures
+ Sports an endlessly charming Halloween mode that spooks up the aesthetics
+ A great combination of the pacing and progression of a roguelite, with the hooks of a score 'em up

- On an objective level, the combat doesn't stand out from many other indie score 'em ups

(SIDEBAR: This one was tough to score, as there really isn't anything I found necessarily wrong with it. It's just a simple, good time! It does what it sets out to do, which is be an enjoyable, tight indie joint. Though, the stilted combat will not be to everyone's tastes.)

(SIDE-SIDEBAR: This very same developer also put out Straimium Immortally, another very good roguelike!)

[Score = 8/10]


Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury ^

+ Wonderful OST
+ Varied, albeit low-difficulty, level design (within 3D World)
+ Beautiful visuals
+ 👏 EVERY 👏 GAME 👏 NEEDS 👏 A 👏 PHOTO 👏 MODE 👏

- Bowser's Fury contains far too much filler and repetitive objectives despite good level design

(SIDEBAR: Using my own damn screenshot, because fuck yo couch.)

[Score = 8.5/10]


Cave Story+

+ Varied and satisfying combat and boss scenarios
+ Great OST
+ Using the Machinegun, Jetpack Joyride-style, is awesome

- Despite great story beats and character design, the dialogue lacks nuance and leads to some unintentionally unceremonious events (ex: character death)

[Score = 9/10]


Post Void *

+ Visually striking
+ Exhilarating gunplay
+ A shotgun to rival Doom II's

- Getting back into a new game could stand to be slightly more instantaneous

[Score = 9.5/10]


Overwatch ^

+ Amazing character design
+ Excellent map design
+ Any player, at this point, will find at least half a dozen characters to come back to time and time again

- The microtransaction scheme can easily breed contempt and exhaustion

(SIDEBAR: fite me)

[Score = 9/10]


Caveblazers #

+ Satisfying smooshes and crunches to the combat
+ A surprising amount of dynamic build opportunities
+ Its brisk pace, among other things, makes it highly replayable

- Very dull, droning OST for the first couple levels
- The unpredictable, gut-wrenching, Spelunky-esque sudden deaths always leave a bad taste in your mouth

(SIDEBAR: I'm still occasionally playing it to this day. So, that says something, I'm sure!)

[Score = 8.5/10]

 

March

Death Road to Canada

+ Events and NPC's remain interesting hours upon hours in
+ A genuinely thrilling roadtrip as its real-time scavenging is more tactics-based than one may assume
+ Excellent OST
+ Many fun modes of play

- Occasionally finnicky interact controls
- Pathfinding around doorways is egregiously strict
- Sometimes mechanically inconsistent in regards to character stats

[Score = 8.5/10]


Loop Hero

+ Amazing OST
+ Relaxing and addictive
+ Beautiful pixel art, recounting a style long lost to the RPG's of old

- Less exhaustive than other grindfests, though just as real
- Tactically repetitive

(SIDEBAR: I still need to experiment with the other classes. I had only unlocked the Knight when I stopped, deliberately avoiding anything else in favor of min/maxing my health buffs and such.

Bread and rocks are hard to come by. What can I say?)

[Score = 8/10]


Alien Escape *

+ Concise, fun, occasionally challenging puzzles
+ Enticing cosmetic unlocks

- Good, though very limited OST
- Puzzle mechanics won't hold your attention for too long

[Score = 6/10]


Ashen

+ Ambitious with really good execution on most core aspects
+ Incredibly solid combat
+ Generally rewarding exploration
+ Visually gorgeous

- The Journey-esque online mechanic is very poorly-handled
- Enemy respawns are based on a timer and too short of a distance away
- Bosses are entertaining, but unimpressive
- Loot becomes far less rewarding towards the end
- NPC dialogue is a bunch of bullocks, high fantasy word salad

(SIDEBAR: Considering all those negatives, you'd be forgiven if you presumed I would rate this much lower than I have. But, my critique mostly comes from affection! It's a very special game that needed just little more time to simmer. I do think it is gaming's most ambitious Souls-like and that going in knowing what you're getting is paramount.

Yes, it's Dark Souls in at least two dozen big ways. In the beginning, you may even write it off completely as a carbon copy. But, give it time. It's a memorable experience!)

[Score = 8.5/10]


NoReload Heroes *

+ Really good OST

- Supremely boring
- Droning audio design
- Little to no sense of momentum thanks to a plethora of arbitarily limiting design choices
- Would better suit a weekend college project, less a premium product

[Score = 2/10]


99Vidas *

+ ... I guess the intro cinematic was pretty ok?

- Unbalanced combat
- Little to no strategy required
- Annoying, repetitive voice clips
- There simply aren't enough hours in the day to commit to such (initially) milquetoast experiences

[Score = 1/10]


Bug Butcher

+ Excellent application of a simple "shoot exclusively up" mechanic
+ Charming creature art
+ Exciting gunplay

- Presentation is very choppy (on Switch)
- Reloading a Panic session takes upwards of 15 seconds (on Switch)
- Dpad/stick deadzone makes it practically unplayable (on PC)

(SIDEBAR: This game would be an easy 8.5/10 were it not for either issue on either platform I played it on. Your mileage may vary with issues like I listed, but they, for whatever reason, pushed past that irk threshold. I'll definitely try it again and qpost about my experiences with it using my soon-to-arive PS4 controller if things are any different!)

(EDIT: The PC controls are actually fine! It was obviously just my controller. Bumped it up to an 8.5/10, but only for the PC version. Though, I'd recommend "demoing" it on Steam using the 2-hour/2-week refund period just in case.)

[Score = 8.5/10]

 

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Whoa, buddy! That was a lot of monotonous formatting. But, damn. What a masterpiece of a blog! Definitely worth it. 

I don't think I got around to playing quite as much as I wanted to this past month. I feel like I've hit upon a bit of a rut very recently and it's really been affecting my drive to do vidja. However, this is still a wombo improvement over how apathetic I used to be in regards to doing vidja even at all! I'm happy I have my passion for actually playing video games again. I only need to punch this slump right in its plump rump and I'll be golden, dig?

Hopefully, your lives continue to improve throughout the rest of this year as well! I never thought I'd actually survive 2020 and I'm sure neither did you. Yet, here we are. Because you're a very responsible, intelligent person who listens to science rather than anonymous 4chan posts, you survived! What a feat, champ! Unless you count all those masochists that Karen'd about without a mask around 10,000+ attendees at Trump rallies who never got sick so I guess Karma doesn't exist and nothing fucking matters.

Some of you even already have your vaccines for that thing that shall not be named!

You're so awesome. 

Thanks for reading, awesome person!

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Seymour   
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PatBateman17   31
Neronium   13
Pizza in a Tangle   11
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Elsa   1
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About Seymourone of us since 7:20 PM on 08.28.2011

Your resident sad queer and Shin Megami Tensei lover. Just don't ask me to place a name to most of the demons.

I also love musical sounds and even make them! Check it out!



Favorite Games:

Credit to Dango for this awesome side banner!

Honorable Mentions~!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Enter the Gungeon
GTAIV: Episodes from Liberty City
Super Crate Box
Dig-Dug
Overwatch
Half-Life 2
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time
Dead Rising
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
LIMBO
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Deadly Premonition
Team Fortress 2
The Darkness
The Stanley Parable
DKC2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Halo: Combat Evolved
Left 4 Dead 2
Hades
Elite Beat Agents
The Last Of Us: Remastered
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories





Xbox LIVE:iAmHammett
PSN ID:WangDangSP
Steam ID:isthisusernamecoolenough
Mii code:I have one, but f- friend codes
3DS Code:I have one, but f- friend codes


 

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