104 Reviews liked by Bottle

I kinda have mixed feelings with this. As a Kirby game, it doesn't offer much. It's just your average Kirby experience. Fun, of course, but with a constant feeling that something's missing. However, I had a blast playing it with friends, using hearts to add new enemies to your party as allies. Multiplayer may be the right way to play this game, but it never tells you.

One of the more notable changes that Bluepoint made with this remake was adding a suite of new contextual animations. When you trigger a riposte or backstab, your character will initiate a lengthy, bespoke animation based on the weapon class, remaining invincible throughout, so the additional length has ostensibly little effect on the flow of gameplay. However, damage is applied at the start of the attack, and additional follow up attacks in the animations lack the satisfying display of numbers and health bar drain, making it obvious how superfluous the new animations are. It's a small problem but it's indicative of a creative direction of Bluepoint that misunderstands why From Software games work and emphasizes the 'could' over the 'should.'
Before the release of the game, I watched a video from the developers where they repeatedly emphasized how much they wanted to show off the power of the PS5 and I think that video may have broken my brain. Demon's Souls is such a weird, idiosyncratic game even today, after it has birthed a subgenre which has transformed the gaming landscape in ways big and small. I am immensely glad that such a magnificent title could be shared with a wider audience but I think there's something almost perverse about desecrating such an unique creative vision for the sake of selling a console. While the original's visual aesthetic was pretty definitively born from technological limitations, it still conveyed mood, tone, and meaning in a way that Bluepoint simply couldn't give less of a fuck about, at least judging from the final product. Fire is now accompanied with a flurry of particles. Magic bears a heavy audio thwomp with spell cast. Armor shines brightly and shimmers. Architecture once spartan and stark is now ornate and regal. Green light filters through the center of the Nexus. Monsters are rendered with grotesque hyper-realism, robbing them of the quiet dignity that Miyazaki and his team envision in the decaying worlds they create. Despite besting even Elden Ring in some important areas like character creation and facial animations, the sum of these changes comes across as just so trite and unnecessary. I'll give Demon's Souls Remake at least one thing; it's made me believe that as a community and an audience, we need to put more effort and enthusiasm into appreciating games in their original historical context.

Unfortunately I did not get into the characters in this game and I think the story pacing is awful. I can see a lot of the good aspects mostly in the battle system, quests, and lore. I think it requires to be completely invested in it to get the most out of it, and unfortunately I did not have the time to do so while other games with their more compelling characters took my attention instead.
So this might one of the nicest 3.5 stars I give a game but I'm trying not to be too negative when probably the bigger problem with my experience is that I replayed Xenogears right before it lol.

well i'm finally free. i've had enough brain worms from this game so i'm not going to scrap together anything cohesive. will just leave scattered thoughts.
- somewhat approaches passable if just mainlined through the game but i and i assume a lot of other series fans who have enjoyed going for gems in the past know that leaves a bit of an empty experience.
- the visuals across the board are well done even if things sometimes get very busy on screen making it hard to read what's happening. as with literally every other Crash game, depth perception is difficult even with the drop shadow.
- excess is a problem for a large amount of contemporary games but i didn't expect it to show up here or even if it did for it to be so fucking bad. you've got three gems for getting X amount of wumpa fruit, one for all the crates, a hidden gem, and one for less than three deaths. this isn't even getting into the perfect relics which make things like the less than 3 deaths gem redundant. all i could find myself asking is just "why?". it feels like those stupid meme images people make mocking the busy UI in games but spread across everything down to its core.
- the levels in this game are too fucking LONG. 90% of them could've been broken in half or in egregious cases thirds and nothing would've been lost. i mean they were so clearly concerned with having Content™ that could've been a way to boast a larger level count.
- tying into the above, the long levels make everything in the game whether it's time trials, getting all the crates with most of the wumpa fruit, or all of the crates while not dying for a perfect relic a miserable slog. nothing like getting to the end of a 5+ minute level only to find out you missed a crate in the most diabolical of locations that you probably won't find without looking it up.
- the extra character gameplay types range from mediocre to dumpster fire tier. Tawna gets the best of it whereas Dingodile has finicky vacuum mechanics and Cortex gets shit laser gun aiming (which will end up getting stuck on invisible level geometry all the time) with the worst movement in the game.
- for something that felt like it was making a statement with the title of Crash 4, it's like they learned literally nothing from Wrath of Cortex or the other poorly received sequels. so much of the complaints that could be brought up for the conventional platforming ones apply here, sometimes even worse.
i want to come back to this many years down the line with some time away and less baggage. hopefully when viewing it as just something to get through (even though i still stand by that not being the ideal way to play a Crash game and it sure as hell doesn't absolve any of the shit i said) i might be able to enjoy it a bit more.

The most minor of upgrades from the first Game Boy TURTLES game, in that it now mixes in some actual belt-scrolling areas in between the LCD-handheld-on-steroids stuff from before. Mostly the game is just harder, which was, uh, not the way to go. The biggest upgrade is the backgrounds, which look fantastic, but this weirdly seems to have come at the cost of the character art/animation, which looks goofy and off-model. (The turtles' walk and attack cycles are really funny, check 'em out. And what the EFF is going on with Bebop???)
It is striking me while playing through all of these that by FAR the most ambitious game is gonna be that nightmarish first NES one, huh. That's kind of rough. Why couldn't they have done something like that again on Gameboy? Holding out a fool's hope for something more special with the third one.

Version: TMNT the Cowabunga Collection
It's worse than the first game in almost every way. I'm a real gamer of course 😎, but couldn't beat it without using the new features sadly.
My thoughts:
(+ = (mostly) positive; - = (mostly) negative)
- Gameplay;
Bad, there were multiple cases where you just couldn't continue without getting hurt. All characters played the same and when the game forgets to offer you pizza after a hard part.
- Music;
Nothing to mention.
- Graphics;
Worse than the first game...
- Story/Characters;
Nothing to mention.
Only if you have to collection.

This is a tough one to review because on one hand they made some great improvements over the first GB game. On the other hand they added an extremely unnecessary difficulty spike. Enemies are almost unlimited spawning in some cases and with the bosses, the hit window is minuscule. I really enjoy the first one for what it was and ya they just went too far in trying to make it harder. These stars are for all the good things it did though

Game isn't bad however the decision to cut the frame rate to 30fps (and below) was a bad one.

I had an absolute blast with this game! The art is really cute; I love these little handheld sprites. Everything reads very cleanly.
The main sort of mechanic is that our gal has all sorts of Mega Man esque powers (fire, sonic waves, energy, ice, etc), but also a floating ability and a heal!
I played using Save States to get through after smashing my head against the wall on the difficulty (there's a LOT of unavoidable or cheap damage here), but if you're playing it "honest", a pro tip is that the healing ability grants a very generous invincibility shield. I'm sure you could just abuse that to your heart's content.
The joy here is just in playing as this cute sprite bopping around and shooting stuff! It's a load of fun.
A couple other quick tips:
- Down + jump button opens your little menu
- When you get to the big brain area, you have to hit it once with each weapon, cycling through them. I think it was three total cycles of each weapon. It'll flash white to mean you've hit it, then switch to the next weapon.

I can see why the majority likes this over three. There is no filler levels, it's constant tight platforming the whole way through.

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