410 Reviews liked by ACasualPlayer

You see the rating and status for the game and I think it’s expected but in reality, to me I’m kinda disappointed at how I had to give this rating, let me explain
I usually don’t like giving games the “Abandoned” status, It’s usually for rereleases or for special cases for game that I can get roughly the same experience with, that semi regins true here, I really wanted to say this game proved mine and everyone’s expectations of this game that we saw pop up every now and again wrong, but no, It was even worse than I and many others expected.
Everyone knows it’s so easy to compare this to Cuphead and it wouldn’t even hold a flicker of a candle, It’s so easy to do and I will try not to do that, but as you see so with this brief review as to why this is hard to do.
Enchanted Portals has been enrolled in controversy every since it was revealed back in 2019 for being a Cuphead clone, and then some controversy about Native Americans and then it vanished. Everyone who even thought about this game after the controversy thought it’d disappear like a lot of indie projects, but like the other half, it sure did release. 3 Months ago it got a new teaser trailer and then recently got its final trailer, revealing it was releasing soon. All of this leading to overwhelming negatively reviews, what are my thoughts?
This is probably one of the most miserable games I’ve played in my life.
Sorry for my scattershot texts here but there’s so much to dissect in why and how this game fails in basic simple game design, when the default Unreal engine icon was used for the game, I knew I was in for a treat. I don’t think I can even do my simple stick, It’s just that messy, so instead I’m just gonna bullet point stuff because there’s no other way to get my thoughts as cohesively as possible without doing this, so here we go!
-The Story wasn’t interesting, I knew I wasn’t gonna get a good story here but this arguably has more story than Cuphead because there’s full motion cutscenes rather than the static ones, not at all a dig to Cuphead they are rewarded with those especially with that animation, but here everything goes so quickly without and rime or reason to what you’re doing. I think you’re chasing a book or something? And you’re wizards? I don’t know. You feel dropped in without any good context
-The game looks awful, in terms of the sprites and backgrounds they look great! But in terms of movement, It’s stiff and feels cheap. I didn’t need Cuphead level animation but something passable at least. The Title screen looks like one of those porn animated ads, there’s just this dirty vibe to it where it just feels off, where you can’t discernible put your finger on it but no there is just something off about it. There’s some good ideas at play such as changing the art style mid fight, but in terms of transitions it feels empty and doesn’t feel satisfying both going into a new phase and defeating the boss because the animation quality isn’t there, if they were gonna do a game like this, then they needed to have a quality that matches it.
-The Music is fine, but the sound design is awful because it just doesn’t exist! And when sounds do happen they either just, to loud, too quiet, low quality or stock sounding
-The main focus of the game isn’t the bosses like Cuphead but rather Run and Gun stages, I actually like the Run and Gun stages in Cuphead and I wish there were more but in this game, yikes 😬
-Characters feel way too floaty, they don’t have enough weight to them and overall don’t feel fun to control especially when dashing, the shooting mechanics which are sightly different while functional, doesn’t have that punch, power or impact as it should have. Jumping as well feels unresponsive and the controls have this weird delay to them, which in a game about quick thinking isn’t very ideal
-Apart from the tutorial, levels are randomly generated, every stage has a different obstacle, length and difficulty depending on when you restart, which includes getting a Game Over. I like random generator games if they’re done right and can give a fair and fun experience, but for a game like this it doesn’t work, this game is inherently about trial and error and learning to get better at the game by replaying it over and over again, and that reigns true for the bosses but here making it randomly generated doesn’t give that satisfying gameplay loop that made the Run n gun levels and Mega Man so fun
-Enemies (At least on Normal) take way too many hits to kill, especially big enemies (which by the way are just lower res upscale versions of smaller enemies). Additionally, you can be bombarded with enemies all at once if you don’t take them out in time, which for a normal game that might be fine but here since they take too many hits, I just rather brute forced my way through these rather than play by the games rules since it was so monotonous
-Levels don’t feel dynamic at all possibly due to the aforementioned randomly generated aspect, A lot of them are straight lines to the finish that overstay their welcome to the point where Super Mario Bros on the NES is more involved and dynamic, You’d think the 50% marker the game taunts would be a checkpoint but nope, once you die you gotta start over again!
-Bosses are easily the “best” part of the game and even these are heavily flawed, they have good designs and even some good patterns but unfortunately, they feel just cobbled together with tape and glue, boss transitions as I mentioned aren’t fluid, cohesive or so unsubtle. A lot of them either feel like bullet sponges or glass structures, there’s no in between, which reflects the whole entire game I guess but it’s still not very fun or memorable.
Enchanted Portals is overall a mess, figures when you try and copy a game that was made for so an elongated amount of time and was brewed to perfection and then try to make it as fast as possible, it come out like this. This game was just absolutely miserable to play, it’s not even funny bad, just play Cuphead steer fair way from this.

O Terry Crews está no game mas o JULIUS não pagaria nenhum centavo neste jogo.
A história do jogo não faz o mínimo sentido, é totalmente preguiçosa e sem pé nem cabeça. A gameplay até tinha um potencial mas tudo fica chato rapidamente.
O jogo é repleto de conteúdo no mapa porém nada se conversa. Tá tudo lá jogado no mapa pra você fazer e é isto. Muito chato você focar numa Quest e o jogo te falar outras 30 pra você fazer neste meio termo. Resumidamente as missões mal se sustentam pois a história não se sustenta.
- Mapa e gameplay tinham um potencial (que infelizmente foram dispensados).
- História fraca.
- 300 quests no mapa ao mesmo tempo e nenhuma se conversa.

The TakeOver has some interesting ideas that makes it standout among the other beat-em up games in the genre. Though it does have its issues.
I never expect much of a story on these type of games, but I do appreciate when the game tries to put more effort into it. The game starts of with a decently length prologue and has cutscenes at the end of each stage. This makes the stage transitions flow better and easier to understand how the story actually progresses. With that said, the story itself isn't all that interesting, but I do appreciate the effort.
The characters are one-note, but like the story, I did appreciate the effort put in them to showcase who they are during cutscenes. A nice feature is that all 3 characters appear in the cutscenes and have dialogue together even if you regardless of who you pick.
The graphics appear nice at a glance. The textures are shiny and the backgrounds have pretty good details. The animation does feel lacking on the other hand. The animation of when characters drop to the ground and get back up look awkward and unpolish.
I have mixed opinions on the character artworks as well. The ones used in the game's cover and title screen look great, but the designs used during the comic book style cutscenes are noticeably different and not to my taste.
The music is a surprising highlight for the game that goes well with the combat.
As for the combat, it's solid overall and has a good emphasis on multi-hit combos. One unique feature are the use of guns. Every character has a revolver that they can pick up ammo for and shoot anytime. It's not as good as I'd liked since it's slow and doesn't do much damage.
Enemies have a decent amount of variety, but there's an annoying emphasis on guns and explosives. The further you progress, the more enemies with guns start to appear. This can make the battlefield pretty annoying to deal with along with the incredibly annoying sentry robots with machine guns. These just make the final stage incredibly difficult compared to everything else.
Overall, The TakeOver is a decent beat-em up game with an above average focus on story. The length isn't that long, but it's decent overall since it took me about almost 3 hours to beat. About 30 minutes of it is spent repeating the final stage however.

Decent beat em up that just makes it into recommended territory for me. Four character and a large enough moveset to keep things interesting but nothing pushes it much further than being average.
Good basic combos to string together with the punch and kick button, alternating between them can extend the combo and both types of attacks have their own combo finishers with the punch combo being able to end knocking the enemy down or up if you hold that direction. You can do two special attack that drains your health with the push of a button with one activating while stationary and the other while moving, you can unleash a high damage area clearing attack when a special meter fills, activate a rage mode where you ignore damage, do more damage, and are harder to stun, can grab and then continue to hit or throw enemies from the front or behind, a dodge up or down can be performed by hitting up or down twice while hitting left or right twice or holding a button allows you to run. In a more unique feature there is a button to draw and fire a gun that can keep enemies back or destroy hazards. Each of the four characters has their own strengths, moves, and each uses a different type of gun.
Somewhat overly long with no saves but does have a stage select, a bit too much focus on a poor story that really lacks humor or excitement. There are some different types of stages thrown in for variety like driving while shooting at enemy cars with a gatling gun and shooting down enemy jets and helicopter while in a jet of your own dodging missiles. These two different stages aren't interesting enough to want more of them but it does briefly change things up. Dull melee weapons, I don't understand why this is such a problem with beat em up games, you can get a crowbar or katana and both are swung like a club that knocks the enemy down where you can then just stand over them to repeat the attack over and over again. With the rage meter, special meter, and ability to just walk around with the katana or crowbar when you find one until you drop it three times the game is very easy and I only lost lives in the last stage when you fight some high damage dealing robot enemies, fight all the bosses again, then fight the end boss.

First off, this game has taken me by complete surprise so, there's quite a bit I have to say here...
I've never played Dead by Daylight but, I've played other ASH's such as Friday the 13th and Evil Dead and this definitely does it the best, imo...
The first couple hours in TCM can be a bit of a learning curve since the game doesn't offer in-game tutorials or show you an objective which was very frustrating, especially playing as the victims but after a few hours of learning everything and understanding what to do, it was very hard for me to set the controller down...
Playing as the victims is incredibly scary, especially since Leatherface spawns in the basement with all of the victims. It's absolute chaos from the start, and can be really overwhelming as you're trying to make your way out of the basement which is great for a game like TCM that's based on such an iconic horror character, imo. It does a very good job at inducing that fear and unsettling feeling that Leatherface is behind you at all times, even if he is all the way on the other side of the basement. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly jumped out of my chair thinking I was good to lockpick a door and BAM, Leatherface cranks up his chainsaw right behind me and starts chasing me... and that's just the basement. Once you're out of the basement, the match is pretty much just starting since now all victims have to worry about all 3 family members. It's terrifying...
But, with that said... Playing as the family is an absolute blast and the complete opposite of what you experience as the victims. This game does an amazing job at allowing the family members to plan and strategize their own ways into stopping the victims from escaping rather the 2 members outside choose to stay outside and keep watch or choose to head down to the basement right away and help Leatherface prevent them from escaping the basement, it's very fun.
I also loved that all victims and family members have their own unique styles and abilities which is nice if you're getting tired of using the same character over and over again. The level up system and skill tree both are extremely helpful, especially for the victims if you want to actually give the family a solid fight.
All of the maps are extremely well done and created as well and stay 100% true to the films which is really cool.
So far this game has delivered everything I want in a ASH game, and i definitely recommend checking it out and giving it a go!

When the PS2 version of Madden 09 released in 2008, most people had already moved onto the 360 and PS3 versions of Madden. Understandably, if you had played 07 or 08 when they released, Madden 09 didn't feel any different at that time. However, if you're trying to figure out which of the 12 Madden PS2 games is best in present day, Madden 09 feels like the culmination of what EA accomplished on PS2.
Why is it better than 04 or 05? It has the 07 game engine which features better running controls and general pre-snap quality of life improvements.
Why is it better than 07 or 08? It has Supersim.
Why is it better than 10-12? The menu and UI design still feel like there was some effort put into them and they weren't just totally phoned in. It also still has Al Michaels and Madden himself on commentary (who were replaced by Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth by the end of the PS2's run).
Madden 09 is my pick for best the best Madden game on PS2.

My first thought was that Bomb Rush Cyberfunk was just going to be a straight spiritual successor to Jet Set Radio Future (which would have been a letdown considering my three weeks of original Jet Set Radio prep), but I'm pleasantly surprised by the blend of mechanics presented! In reality, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk takes the overall structure and aesthetic from Future while borrowing more heavily from original Jet Set Radio's tight level design and intricate scoring mechanics, and dare I say, actually improves upon certain aspects. It does have a few underdeveloped features as a result of its experimentation, but overall, not a bad first attempt by Team Reptile!
One issue that apparently escaped my notice the first time around (I replayed Future recently just to confirm this) was that Future's extremely linear and stretched-out levels resulted in tons of backtracking upon missing objectives/falling off the stage, and led to fairly rigid approaches that really tried my patience upon additional loops. This is fortunately not the case with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk: levels are generally a lot more open with many more shortcuts and are spaced apart carefully to where traversal feels much more free-form. It more closely resembles original Jet Set Radio, especially when you consider how its momentum mechanics complement this design. Future made the speed fairly easy to obtain: jump onto a rail regardless of your momentum, then keep mashing trick to accelerate and never slow down. On the other hand, original Jet Set Radio became well-known for how slow your character would move about unless you actively utilized rails and grindable walls to speed up, and Bomb Rush Cyberfunk takes a modern twist: you need to maintain momentum by either rail grinding and leaning into corners for speed boosts, or by using grounded manuals combined with boost (refreshed from performing tricks) to retain speed.
The momentum mechanics go hand-in-hand with the game's combo system. After thoroughly exploring levels to spray graffiti spots for "rep" and completing subsequent score and movement-tech challenges from opposing crew members, your crew must finally confront opposing crews in a crew battle, outscoring them with trick combos in their own territory. The scoring and trick system improvises upon both original Jet Set Radio and Future: in both games, the safest way to score trick points was abusing infinite grind loops and repeating the same tricks/movement over and over. However, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk turns this on its head: you don't get tons of points for doing the same tricks ad-nauseam (since trick value decreases and eventually levels off when used more and more). Instead, the main key to getting points is increasing the multiplier by utilizing unique features of the stage: that is, leaning into tight corners on grindable rails, wall-riding billboards, and going up half-pipe ramps (which are improved over the original game since you can manual up ramps and then air boost off into manuals/rail and wall-grinds, so they can function as part of a combo). The key word is "unique," since utilizing the same set-piece in a held combo will not give additional multipliers, and the same goes for graffiti spots that can now also be resprayed as one-time trick bonuses during continuous combos. As a result, the trick and multiplier staling incentivizes players to fully explore and utilize every set-piece present upon the open stages to create massive combos, made easier thanks to the mid-air dash (which also lets you alter airborne momentum once) and the manual. The only downside here is that the game's circumstances never become difficult enough to necessitate this trick optimization; the story crew battles are pretty easy and I was leapfrogging them using the above strategy (i.e. while other crews were floundering around several hundred thousand, I was well beyond a couple million in score), so unless players are trying to crack the tougher post-game score barriers for optional characters/achievements, they may never need to lean on these strategies at all.
The lack of difficulty serves as a microcosm of this game's unfortunate trend: Bomb Rush Cyberfunk certainly innovates upon many features from the Jet Set Radio games, but I find a few to be undercooked or lacking in execution. The combat's one example: it's not a bad idea in theory (using tricks to both deal damage and maintain score/momentum) and in fact has been proposed before, but its implementation leaves something to be desired. Attacking enemies feels like it has little impact because of the muffled sound-effects, akin to slapping a wet sock on a table. Also, most enemies can be defeated with a single grounded attack into an immediate "corkscrew" jump and then spray-painted in the air. While this graffiti coup de grâce never gets old, it does feel quite difficult in practice comboing in and out of this linearizing technique (since you need to be standing and off your skates to execute, breaking any combo potential), so combat never really flows and the mandatory combat sections in-story feel somewhat superfluous.
Adjacent to this is the heat system, a spin on original Jet Set Radio's enemy escalation during story stages. As your character goes about spraying graffiti, police forces begin to spawn in tougher waves: for example, wave one consists of simple grounded officers with batons and pistols, wave two activates turrets that home-in on the player with chains and slow their movement, and wave three brings in armored forces that can block attacks. I found most of these enemies to be mere nuisances: you can easily skate around and dodge most attacks (except for the turrets, which can be easily disabled with a single attack + spray), and since enemies can't be easily comboed for points and will respawn continuously upon defeat anyways, it's best to just ignore them as is. Again, this is fairly similar to original Jet Set Radio's strategy of outmanuevering enemies since foes there were active time sinks, so this doesn't bother me greatly. Unfortunately, this creates friction with Bomb Rush Cyberfunk's exploration, and not just in the sense that enemies will impede progress. The game requires you to swap between the three different types of movestyle for their different abilities: skateboards can ride on extendable fire hydrants to extend them vertically and reach heights, inline skates can skid on glass to shatter specific ceilings, and bikes can open special garage doors. The only way to switch between characters/movestyles is to go to checkerboard tiles and dance, but the game prohibits switching when there's "too much heat." Thus, you have to de-escalate the heat gauge by entering orange porta-potties (unmarked on the map, so hopefully you remember their locations!). However, they also lock up after a single use, so players have to either outright leave the stages or find a different porta-potty elsewhere to reopen old porta-potties for enemy despawning. I think this could have easily been improved if the heat gauge slowly decreased over time from successful enemy evasion.
Even with my criticisms, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk was definitely worth the three year wait. The story isn't anything mindblowing, but it's got some nice twists that are conveyed via these surreal platforming sequences that are a cross between the time rifts from A Hat in Time and a Psychonauts fever dream. I'm pleasantly surprised by a good chunk of the soundtrack too: Hideki Naganuma's three contributions are the obvious highlights, but other tracks like 2Mello's I Wanna Kno and Sebastian Knight's Feel the Funk more than hold their own weight. It's a good mix of upbeat sampledelia hip-hop and chill ambient tunes, with my only real complaint being the lack of guitar-heavy rock tracks like Magical Girl or Statement of Intent... RIP Guitar Vader. Finally, I more than got my playtime's worth out of 100%ing the game, considering all the hidden areas and collectibles to find and just how much fun I had figuring out new ways to string together ridiculous combos. Despite the game's various areas of improvement, I find Bomb Rush Cyberfunk to be a fantastic fresh take upon a beloved franchise that isn't just a homage to Jet Set Radio, but a love letter to classic Y2K counter-culture and skating games as a whole. If you're not a prior fan of the franchise, this might not be the game to change your mind, but if you are, then I see no reason why you wouldn't find some enjoyment out of it. It's no surprise that fans absolutely ate this up, with excitement for the franchise reaching a new fever pitch. Your move, SEGA. Let's see if you guys still understand the concept of love.

The single-player first-person shooter has become somewhat of a lost art. Risky trends have pushed the genre into multiplayer territory where they all fight to the death to be the last one standing. It's a battle royale of battle royales. Bethesda Softworks has been almost the sole arbiter of the bigger budget solo shooter, a club that Ascendant Studios is joining with its first title, Immortals of Aveum. Trading AK-47s for mystical gauntlets has not forfeited its identity as a first-person shooter, as this clever swap has allowed it to become one of the freshest debuts the genre has seen.

Double Dragon series has had quite the ride huh? It seems like it doesn't know what it wants to do anymore as far as design and story telling, it just wants to stay a Beat Em Up and try to find it's niche
Well it kinda found it for the most part. While not the first time a Beat Em Up took a rogue lite approach, the way this game was done was rather fitting.
I'm not gonna lie, when I first saw this game design, I felt kinda crestfallen that it didn't look great, and was going for a kinda out there style like Double Dragon Neon tried to do, but unlike that game...I think they nailed it. This style kinda reminds me of River City Ransom, but also kept a modern design of the characters that have been in the series. It's honestly a bit charming once you start playing it and see the animations and expressions. I think they did very well with the characters and the stages are actually really good, with bits of a throw back to the series, but not in a cheap way. They actually design stages that modernized the old games that showed what the original design was more going for.
The music is absolutely amazing! Something Double Dragon has never been shy of is great remixes to it's old games and plenty of new synth tracks that stand waaay above what some other games in the genre throw out as music. Also, for as little as there is, the characters voices are actually REALLY good as well, pretty much the best they've done with them.
The story is pretty much non existent, much like most Beat Em Ups. Gangs have taken over the city and the Lee Brothers plus friends have to do something about it. Doesn't really get any deeper than that, but at the very least you get to see redesigns of old characters that again, are set to look like, what the past games were going for and couldn't or were limited in scope.
The gameplay is pretty solid for the most part. It actually brings in the rogue lite gameplay smoothly into it's core style. When fighting enemies they drop money which is used to either buy buffs at the end of the level or save the money to revive your partner should they die. Your partner isn't AI controlled and they only come in when "tagged" much like the Marvel vs Capcom series if you're familiar with that. every character has special attacks that when executed in a group of 3 or more, the player is rewarded with food to heal, so the game has enough depth to force you to use tactics and plan out the best way to fight and survive. The game is definitely no push over, due to being able to customize the settings and enemy lay outs are randomized and made harder as you progress as does the stages are made longer. It's quite a fun game.
Now where the game does faulter in spots.
- As of right now, the game only has couch co-op and with this fun style it REALLY needs online co-op, it could provide even more hours of fun, practically doubling it.
- There's some hitbox jank and lack of i-frames in spots that can easily lead to unfair deaths, this isn't new to Beat Em Ups let alone Double Dragon, but be aware going in, it's not awful, but it IS there.
- While the gameplay is really good, the characters could use a bit more playstyle depth, there's only JUST enough difference between characters to not call them clones, but it's skirting the line in spots.
Overall this game is much better than I thought, I've played about every Double Dragon game and always found the series to be a bit of a rollercoaster as a while, and this game is definitely one of it's highest peaks. would love other Beat Em Ups to try this gameplay style out, could lead to a lot of old games come back with new live in them.

Blech. I was super hyped for this game going into it, the marketing and the previews looked like they had a lot going for it. Reviews were good on launch, so I put down the money to nab it digital. £60 is a stupid price, but it'll be worth it since I'll get a load of playtime out of it like I have other open-world driving games, I thought... 2K Drive is constantly described as a cross between Mario Kart and Forza Horizon. In reality, while this is true, it takes the most boring parts of each experience and turns it into a bland package not worth its asking price.
The racing mode mostly just turns into "hope you don't get rubberbanded", which while it has been a criticism of Mario Kart in the past (which I don't think is a fair point but that's an argument for another day), but the entire experience in these parts of the game is watching the map in fear because you KNOW some jerk's gonna speed up right behind you just before the end of the last lap and make the last 3 minutes of your time null and void.
The open world takes away the charming and enjoyable story missions and sidequests of the Horizon games and instead replaces them with repetitive copy-paste missions, characters and modes that reappear multiple times throughout the campaign. Some are a breeze and I won't complain further about, but the escort and tower defense missions are all irritating, slow and identical in content each time they appear. That combined with the various "you're not allowed to play more until you grind sidequests" stunts of progression take what is really promising on the surface and instead turn them into an unfinished, undercooked yet overbloated mess of a campaign. Combine all of that with the usual smartarse (starting to get annoying) writing of recent LEGO games + the overwhelming greed of your standard 2K game and you get possibly 2023's most squandered game so far. So much potential, so little fulfilment.
Edit - What stings the most about this for me is all of the buzz about this being "LEGO Horizon" in the leadup. We had LEGO x Forza Horizon, and although it was really short thanks to only being a DLC map, it was absolutely amazing. If only we got more of that, I wouldn't feel so hurt about how much worse this £60 game is than a 10 hour £15 piece of DLC.

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