One Night Stand is a pretty 'whatever' game. Made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Otherwise, eh. It's a pretty mundane story to a fault. Any route that you take doesn't really lead to anything even remotely revelatory.
The best ending is the one where you hightail it at the earliest convenience and run down the street naked.
A Kojima game that showcases like no other how awful of a writer he is, mostly because Policenauts is a visual novel with little actual gameplay to fall back on. The story, which appears to have been written during a late-night bender after Koj stumbled upon Lethal Weapon while channel surfing, is super predictable in places and features his usual expository tangents that obliterate any sense of pacing. There's also the well-known misogyny that's rampant in the game. Players can sexually assault most of the female characters in the game while casually talking to them, and it's played either for laughs or to titillate. I know we're all extra sensitive to this sort of thing now, but it's hard to see how it was ever acceptable even back in 1994.
Some nice visuals, some nice music, yadda yadda yadda. Little else going for it.
A super charming mini-game compendium featuring the super super charming and adorable Toro Inoue; Sony's abandoned Japanese mascot who is such a great character that he deserves the international spotlight. Let down by a really substandard translation though. I played the Chinese version of the game by the way, which includes English subtitles, but there are grammatical errors everywhere and it hurts the experience.
Man, that last case is some bullshit. I pieced together the story events and understood what was going on easily enough, but putting the right words in the right spaces proved troublesome. I don't think the game is succeeding in the intended way if the real challenge is found in using trial and error to get the exact wording down when formulating a sentence. There were just too many potential variations with the noun selections. It didn't feel fair to me. And the hint system was useless because it was telling me things I already knew, so in the end I had to resort to an online guide. Yes, my pride took a major beating as a result.
Otherwise, business as usual. A really intriguing story told via only brief cutscene snippets and dialogue exchanges. Golden Idol does so much with so little. Analysing a scene, taking note of character interactions/visual cues and paying attention to all the minute details makes one feel like a true detective. I think the main game comfortably surpasses the DLC though, because it has plenty of those "Eureka!" moments, and when they come, piecing together the sentences in the Thinking screen usually goes smoothly. Also, I prefer the smaller-scale cases of the main campaign compared to the fewer-in-quantity-but-much-broader-in-scope cases of the DLC.
It's called Resident Evil 0, because it's zero fun to play! Ba dum tsh.
This is my first rodeo through Resident Evil 0. Its reputation precedes it, so I knew going in that I was in for a lesser experience, but even with expectations set accordingly, it still managed to disappoint. What can one say about this game's fundamental flaws that haven't been said a million times already. I've nothing new to contribute. The inventory management is as clumsy, time-consuming and burdensome as everyone says. It's a pain in the fucking arse is what it is! Classic Resi had a good thing going with the item box system, but some bright spark at Capcom thought it would be a good idea to force the player to constantly run back and forth picking up items that they had to leave in some room thirty loading screens away, because of annoyingly restrictive inventory space. And because the player is forced to constantly abandon weapons/ammo/items, the backtracking as a result renders this game insufferable at times. Exchanging items between Billy and Rebecca just further exacerbates all this finicky nonsense. So much time is spent arranging items to be where you want them to be that it obliterates any sense of tight pacing in the overall campaign. The game feels way longer to get through than it should.
It's a shame, because at the core there's a good Resi experience in the classic vein to be found here. The graphics actually hold up beautifully. This game is a case in point of why pre-rendered environments are a truly lost art. There's atmosphere in spades, particularly in the early train section (easily the highlight of the entire campaign). But some baffling design choices, not to mention an incoherent and just plain risible story, mean that 0 is destined to find itself near the bottom of every Resident Evil TierMaker list.
If you've not played Resident Evil 0 yet, be kind to yourself and continue ignoring it.
These indie games that are high on style and low on substance can be really hit and miss with me (but mostly miss). Thankfully, Dordogne refuses to join the ranks of Kentucky Fried Zero, Gris and Rime through sheer merit of not being pretentious twaddle and instead being sincere in its efforts to tell a straightforward coming-of-age story, even if that story does succumb to some rushed pacing towards the last couple of chapters. The ending itself, though too brief, does manage a sufficiently emotional payoff fortunately.
Of course, if we're talking about style, it doesn't hurt that Dordogne also happens to be one of the most gorgeous games I've ever laid eyes on, while also being a serious contender for soundtrack of the year. Every location is almost like a diorama, and these sets are adorned with lush watercolours and deliberate lighting, giving every environment visited a warm nostalgic hue and a strong sense of place. Supernaive's spacey ambient score works in perfect tandem with the dreamlike atmosphere and greatly enhances the overall experience. It is a phenomenal OST.
The gameplay itself is very basic, and it's best to treat Dordogne as an interactive movie than anything else. But if the idea of Studio Ghibli's Only Yesterday meets Another Code/Trace Memory with a pinch of Shenmue thrown in for good measure sounds appealing to you, then be sure to give it a try. Hell, play it for the music alone.
7.75 outta 10.
I remember vividly this being my next game after completing Duke Nukem Forever. I was so burnt by what a steaming piece of crap that game was that I was borderline anxious about buying this game day one that also had middling (albeit still much more positive than DNF!) reviews. Turns out my fears were misplaced and the critics got it wrong - Alice: Madness Returns was ace. Maybe a bit stagnant in the gameplay department, but the amount of twisted imagination that went into the story, characters, environments and lore enraptured me and made the game well worth playing through. Deeply unsettling in places. Wish we got a new one.
I'll just start off first by saying that Flipping Death holds the dubious honour of being the most spectacularly unfunny video game I've ever played.
I'm not sure where it all went wrong. It has been a great many years now, but I recall enjoying Zoink Games' cult hit Stick it to the Man! quite a lot back when it launched on PS3. It was a game I liked enough to get all the trophies for on THREE different PlayStation platforms, so it must've done something right. Maybe there was a shake-up in the writing staff since then, because Flipping Death flatlines right out of the gate with its obnoxiously loud brand of humour, and abides by it until the bitter end. The core mechanic of Flipping Death revolves around possessing a range of offbeat and deranged characters, which paves the way for an endless bombardment of inane shouting and the same 'hilarious' one-liners repeated over and over again while you try to transit characters from one end of the map to the other. Its screeching, forced and overly-quirky comedy stylings make an average episode of Friends look like an Ingmar Bergman movie by comparison.
"But Mr. Acqui Escence!" I hear you ask. "What about everything outside of the comedy? Doesn't that count for something?" Well that's the thing; Flipping Death's irreverent and brash 'jokes' are placed so far in the foreground that they drown out everything else, whether it's good or bad. The platforming itself sucks tremendously, but I could endure it no problem if the banter made me laugh. The same goes for the obtuse puzzles and the fact that the entire game essentially takes place in one location. But when comedic writing with this much emphasis placed on it is so bad that it makes an Adam Sandler Netflix movie look desirable by comparison, there's nothing that you could hope to redeem it.
Nothing but say, the sweet and merciful release of death maybe. Thankfully, I reached the end credits before that happened.
A very short and barely interactive slice-of-life tale revolving around the trials and tribulations of an Indian family that has immigrated to Canada, and the importance of the role that food plays when it comes to their identity and life in general.
It's reasonably engrossing stuff. It's cool to get a snapshot like this of a culture that's fairly foreign to me personally, and one that just happens to be a rarity in video games in general. The cooking minigames, which have light puzzle elements to them, didn't do much for me, but I was somewhat invested in the story and I appreciate that it didn't ever strain to hit any of its emotional story beats. Something like the Life is Strange series continually beats the player over the head in the most ham-fisted way with its drama, which is often what I fear will happen when playing an indie game which has emphasis on narrative, but Venba takes a subtle and natural approach and it works.
Will I ever play it again? No. Will it linger on in my mind long after the end credits have finished scrolling? Probably not. It's a nice enough way to while away an evening though.
Welp, Grim Fandango this ain't.
A serviceable but entirely inconsequential point & click adventure game from a team who were usually quite reliable when it came to this sort of thing. This remaster is my first time playing Full Throttle and I can see why the game's reputation is so muted compared to more celebrated LucasArts fare like Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango. FT fails to make a strong impression in any department other than maybe its soundtrack. Its protagonist is a stoic, no-nonsense biker of few words. That means there's little in the way of pithy dialogue or a well-placed zinger; the dialogue in general is just very dry. You'd expect much better from the likes of Tim Schafer and David Grossman. It's a very short game, and the story is told in such a hurried, ramshackle way that you can practically see the cut content and overworked game developers sleeping under their office desks while playing. There's an ill-conceived minigame about halfway through that involves fighting numerous enemy bikers in order to obtain new weapons that is ill-conceived at best and torturous at worst. So on and so forth.
It's not a dreadful game by any means, but it's one that's hard to compliment and absolutely won't linger on in the mind after completion.
Gris developers: "FEEL SOMETHING!"
Gris developers: "I DON'T KNOW, DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, JUST FEEL THE EMOTIONS!!!!1!"
Gris developers: "I DON'T KNOW, DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, JUST FEEL THE EMOTIONS!!!!1!"
What a load of utter wank Gris is. The game wants to be Journey meets a cinematic platformer a la Inside or Another World. The trouble is that it lacks the meaningful resonance of the former and the inventive puzzles of the latter. So what you're left with is a hollow and paper thin allegory on... well actually I don't know, because the game never bothers to explain what it's specifically about. It's deliberately vague you see, so that the story and themes can be left up to the player's interpretation; a device that indie developers often rely on when they can't be bothered to commit to some solid, tangible storytelling. After a cursory bit of research on the internet while the end credits started scrolling, I discovered that the game is an exploration of grief, apparently. Given what Gris was willing to divulge to the player during cutscenes, it might as well have been a hard-hitting chronicle of the time Steven Seagal shit his pants when being choked unconscious by Gene LeBell. What a load of absolute arsebiscuits.
Two stars because it looks nice and was mercifully short.
Insomniac brought their A-game during the darkest and most desperate era of PlayStation history - the early lifecycle of the PS3. Of all the R&C games I've played (which admittedly isn't close to all of them), this is the pinnacle. In terms of gameplay it hits all the familiar and dependable beats, but what sets A Crack in Time apart is that it's the funniest, the most epic and (story wise) the most engrossing entry in the franchise.
A shame that it's practically lost to time now. No pun intended.