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Iwata’s dead, Shiggy’s checked out, and there’s no one to tell Aonuma no.
What the fuck is this.
I really shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am. This is the same game. It's the same people who made Breath of the Wild. I loved the first game, but still didn’t pay attention to the hype cycle of this one at all. I guess all the paraphernaleous cultural impact still seeped in somehow.
Remember when people thought there’d be playable Zelda? Fucking lol.
This review is only based on the five (5!) hours it took to get the paraglider, and I gotta say, it only kept making me appreciate the Great Plateau in Breath of the Wild more. The thematic cohesion. The mystery. The framing of how that whole game was going to work in miniature. What my abilities would be, what my relationship to game information would be like, what kinds of emotions I could expect to experience playing that game.
Maybe Tears of the Kingdom is a fine game. Maybe it is every bit as fun to exist in as Breath of the Wild, in theory. But in practice, it won’t be, can’t be. It didn’t start in the wilderness, letting me discover its game essence on my own terms. It started with a prestige-game walking-sim lore dump. A lore dump that ended with a bunch of Hot Anime Nonsense™.
Zelda and Link confronting mummy Ganon was like walking into the mid-season finale of a show that’s already on its second or third season. Except I’ve already played the previous season, and that context did not help me at all! Ganon’s no longer a miasma, but a dude with a voice? And there’s a goat dragon that’s Zelda’s great-great-grand-furry? And the Master Sword’s just useless?
Here’s my beef. All of this is great for trailers and generating “hype” because “hype” is fueled on speculation and curiosity. But the elements that generate hype are not the same as the elements that fuel a sincere emotional connection with a character, story, or world. I’m frustrated because Breath of the Wild knew this so well.
The old man on the Great Plateau was mysterious, but allowed to be goofy. He was generous, but mischievous. You could see him in different contexts, learn about him by exploring his house when he wasn’t around. There was a fun little emotional connection built up by being around him. The twist of his true identity, and the further twist of his ultimate fate, made me feel little pings of emotion. Nothing fancy, but he was the tutorial NPC. He primed me to think, “Oh, this is a game and a game world where it’ll be fun to get invested in people.” And he was the perfect segway into telling me what my mission was, what the stakes were, and why I, the player, should care.
The goat dragon great-great-grand-furry is none of this. We know he’s dead when we first meet him. His dialog makes no sense. There are a ton of slave robots on his little island that he comments with surprise are still running. Did he not program them? Can he not de-program them? Am I supposed to feel something about how he made a race of robot slaves? Are they sentient? I would have rather had signs in the ground Super Mario Style telling me all the tutorial things I needed to know. Because it feels weird for a robot to jovially say “Hey, there are some robots that’ll try to kill you, so, like, don’t feel bad about killing them. Here are some combat tips for killing them!”
And then his sequence at the end of his tutorial level practically screamed to me, “Hey, remember when you felt something at the end of your time with the Old Man in Breath of the Wild? We’re doing the same thing here! Don’t you feel something? Don’t you remember loving that?” And like yeah, I do remember that. And now I’m mad you’re trying to copy your own damn homework without understanding why it worked the first time. I have not built up a relationship with great-great-grand-furry goat dragon. I do not know why he is chill with Zelda. Honestly, all the statues with him and Zelda holding hands at the end of every shrine is weirding me out! Is Link a cuck now?
I want to say this is all superficial, but it’s really not, because everything about my time with Tears of the Kingdom so far felt like it was being led around by the tail. This is a re-skin of Breath of the Wild, but it doesn’t even have the decency to be honest with me. If we’re gonna have shrines, and they’re gonna function exactly the same way, why did you go through the bother of giving them new, thematically incoherent designs. Why do the upgrade orbs need new names, new lore. Changing the shrines’ glowy color from blue/orange to green is a downgrade, actually! Those other colors were a lot easier to see at a distance in a game world that has lots of green!
Jumping ahead of myself for a moment, I knew I was done when I unlocked the first new Shiekah Tower. (You can’t even call them Sheikah Towers anymore, these days!) The emergence of the Sheikah Towers in Breath of the Wild was iconic, cinematic, promising adventure in a changing world. The equivalent cutscene in Tears of the Kingdom felt like getting a homework assignment. Hey, someone you know has already explored the world, had time to build fantastic structures in every corner, and just needs a cable guy to come by and make sure the wiring is up to code! You know, that person who was a 100-year old loli in the last game! Well, now she’s been aged up to guilt-free fuckable waifu status! And she’s super plot relevant! You’ll get to talk to her more than Zelda over the course of the game, probably!
Seriously, that loli was my least favorite part of Breath of the Wild, and Tears of the Kingdom felt it important to put her loli portrait on her encyclopedia page?? When she will never look like that in this game??? She has the gall to rename Zelda’s magic iPad after herself! I was thinking about her (and taking internal bets as to whether she’d be a waifu or had somehow de-aged even more) hours before I saw her.
ANYWAY. None of what I said so far really matters more than the gameplay. And a Great Plateau 2 this was not.
I was so disappointed with how linear this was. In theory, I understand the concept that led to it existing the way it does. Tears of the Kingdom is a Lego game. It purposefully had sections of little Lego kits structured in a way where pieces from one would not mix with pieces of another and confuse people who have never touched Legos before. But giving kids Lego kits can change the way they interact with Legos. Hell, I remember I thought it was sacrilege when my sisters disassembled my Bionicle to make their own Voltron-esque monstrosities. But to them, who had not, could not, would not read the instructions, their style of play was more intuitive, more pure than mine.
Fundamentally, Tears of the Kingdom was not encouraging me to think for myself, to become resourceful, to seek my own path through things. It was priming me to expect that for any task that needed to be accomplished, the tools and materials would be provided for me. And without the spark of original creativity, putting the Lego pieces together was the dull monotony of fulfilling someone else’s factory work blueprint.
When I saw the jumble of lumber next to a korok in an adorable backpack, I immediately mentally put together what needed to be done, and thought, “What kind of Nintendo Labo bullshit is this?” The tediousness of rotating wood, sticking it to a hook, waiting for the korok to go down the slide - this was minutes of gameplay execution from the seconds of intuition I had of what the game wanted from me. And the reward was a measly two gold turds. I felt like I deserved five.
I feel like Aonuma has gone off the deep end. He’s spent so long in this game engine that he’s forgotten what made the original Breath of the Wild experience so special. He’s made a game for speedrunners without designing a game for the common folk first. In Breath of the Wild, the myriad systems, the freedom of choice, the hidden depth of the game’s chemistry and physics mechanics - all of those were introduced slowly in juxtaposition to a Link who had nothing but a shirt and a stick to his name. Everything felt special because the game beat you down and dead early on to make you appreciate and critically examine anything that could provide the slightest advantage to survival.
In Tears of the Kingdom, you gain the ability to Ascend through ceilings, (without stamina cost!!!), before you get the option to increase your stamina. Before you have even found anywhere worth climbing, any heights out of reach. There is nothing to instill that feeling of “I can’t climb there now, but some day, I will!” This is so wild to me. That emotion will never blossom when you’re given a cheat code at Level 1. It will cause people to look for places they can exploit their cheat code instead of… engaging with what was the entire foundation of the freedom of exploration in the first game!
Cannot overstate how much I felt something thematically crack inside of me when Tears of the Kingdom did not even suggest the possibility that I could upgrade my stamina wheel with my first blessing, locking me into more health. For a cutscene.
For a god-awful cutscene where Zelda fucks off before we chase down some NPCs to chase down some other NPCs to watch her fuck off again.
Does this all sound nit-picky? Do I sound insane? I sound petty to myself! But I have to be honest, this game failed to ignite my curiosity! And I gave Breath of the Wild 5 stars! It really does make me wonder how much of a game experience is built on the expectations built by its opening hours. In a way, if the only difference between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom is the introduction and framing, that would be a valuable lesson on how important those beginning elements are.
I know that’s not the only difference. Tears of the Kingdom is anime as fuck. It’s tacky as hell. I lost it when Zelda’s magic iPad made the real-world iPad camera shutter sound.
Tears of the Kingdom is not a new game. It’s a jerry-rigged retrofitting of an existing game by an old man who saw Fortnite once since 2017, approved by a company who has no idea what he’s doing or why the old game sold so many millions of copies. Of course they’d be up for a direct sequel asset reuse that sounded vaguely like Minecraft! I’m just disappointed that the same team who showed they were capable of creating such a fully realized thematic throughline of a game were content to corrupt something beautiful just for the sake of convenience.
Maybe Link’s awful haircut and corrupted hand are a perfect visual metaphor for this game’s soul. A bunch of concepts grafted onto something great with no regard for how inelegantly they clash, while also showing a lack of maintenance to keep what came before presentable.
I’m so glad I didn’t pay $70 ($70!) for this game, or else I would have felt obligated to stick around long enough to understand the gacha mechanics enough to get mad at them.
This review contains spoilers
I never finished the original metroid prime, I got pretty close after giving up in the phazon mines saying "I'm just not having enough fun, and this game is too long". well, I've finished it now and honestly, my opinion of the game has gotten worse! I already thought that metroid prime was a mixed bag of a game, the opening bits full of a sense of fun that quickly gives way to drudgery around the moment you pick up the varia suit. while the game is pretty fun when you're making forward advancements, the game increasingly becomes backtracking slowly through rooms that may as well have been loading screens, and the final hours of the game being spent on a pointless quest to backtrack through areas you have already done hours of backtracking through to find items that do nothing but unlock the end of the game, only to be rewarded with two bad boss fights and one of the worst final zones in any video game. all that said, there are some tangible improvements over the original with the new control options and the remastered visuals are gorgeous
Shadow Warrior 2
This should have been the easiest sequel in the world to make but instead of another solid linear fast shooter, it's an overly convoluted co-op looter shooter with straight up mean spirited humor, atrocious voice acting and dialogue, bad mission structure, three maps that get reused constantly, inconsistent enemy design, and way too many redundant guns that expect you to mess with a tedious gem modding system for marginal stat changes. The ending is an embarassment and expecting people to keep going with New Game+ is the best joke the game's got.
It's a shame because I do think there's something to the core gunplay here, there's brief sparks where the wild chaos is somewhat entertaining even with the needless layers of systems on top of all of it, but it lacks tight cohesion and polish to really push it over that edge. Just go play Borderlands.
This review contains spoilers
i miss bobby
A Silent Hill must play if you're a fan of the franchise.
Aged relatively well for 2022.
The gameplay in the PSP version is satisfactory and the story is perfect like most SH games.
Story and Gameplay:
PLEASE bear in mind that I haven't played SH1 when this review was written and there are spoilers ahead
The title stands on it's own, meaning you don't need a deep knowledge of previous SH titles. There's a lot of lore to be found, almost everywhere in the game, so if you enjoy lore-hunting, this will be great for you.
The gameplay is good, you don't have many kinds of enemies, actually only ONE kind which will change it's appearence based on how you're playing. This makes the game a must play, since it's really interesting and more games should try something like that.
To fight Raw Shocks(the enemy) you only need to push specific buttons based on from where they are attacking you, which is okay. The only problem with the Ice World gameplay is that Harry is SLOW, you will press the button for running hard because you'll think that he's not running at all, but he's just really slow so the creatures will always catch up to you.
The real world gameplay is really nice, you'll be checking a lot of the world of Silent Hill and if you want you can call to different numbers that you get on the overworld to get more lore. Cybil antagonizes you really well sometimes, I just wish we could see more of her in this game.
The BEST part of this game is the psychiatrist, you get analyzed for every decision and detail of your gameplay and that's what makes this game interesting.
It's a must play for fans on Silent Hill, I prefered the PSP version over the Wii, since the motion controls didn't age so well and makes you really tired since the creatures will always catch up to you so either you will be button smashing on PSP or shaking yourself on Wii Controls.
The story is wonderful, you get a psychological analysis based on how you've played it and it's freaking amazing!! Play it if you can, it's an amazing addition to the SH franchise.
A really good roguelike, a must play if you enjoy the genre.
The story is really good, the gameplay helps you get through the multiple runs and it has a nice story which is somewhat inovative for a roguelike.
Seems okay, but couldn't hold me for more than one hour. The game gets better progressively but for me it didn't work.
Might try playing again in the future!
A really good game, but it lacked a lot of the stuff that made Zelda games good: dungeons, songs, engaging story and unique weapons/gadgets.
The story is not bad, the bosses/"dungeons" are okay, but it lacked the vibe from previous games.
Hoping for a Breath of the Wild 2 that is more of a classic Zelda game and has a better "grown up"/dark feeling.
CAME BACK AND FINISHED IT
Unhappily this game aged as milk out of the fridge since 1999. The puzzles and story are amazing, but tanky controls and fixed camera angles killed this game and buried it with excrement.
The enemies are a bore.
The grey children give you blowjobs while biting your dick because that's the only explanation for this shitty enemy doing so much damage and coming in waves. The birds were made taking into consideration that no one would fight them, but try to play without taking any damage from these Thanksgiving turkeys flying behind you for 10 minutes, since they don't lose aggro on you for God knows why. And the poor dogs jump on you as if you kicked them in the balls. The enemies have random health, so you might need one bullet and a kick or 10 shots and 2 kicks on the mouth.
These three enemies make the "open world" unbearable.
If you manage to deal with all this crappy bullshit you'll find a good game. I would love a remake or remaster, but since Konami doesn't care I'll watch a playthrough.
After finishing the game I really enjoyed the story, but the gameplay still awful and deserve a remake =/
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