699 Reviews liked by CatTheCutest

Was this game marketed as a VN? It probably should have been.
The illusion of choice strikes again!! This is the most a point-and-click styled game has ever held my hand, to the point where it felt like I had no say in anything that happened. Dordogne is one of those games that happens to you, rather than allowing you to be an active participant. It's not a standard walking simulator, but it's about as interactive as a guided tour of a local museum.
Despite the dull gameplay, it is stunningly beautiful. The way the watercolor-painted textures are mapped to 3D models is often breathtaking, and was the key reason I played the game. The voice performances are quite good as well, but what really surprised me (having come to the game after seeing the reveal trailer, expecting a cozy happy game) was how SAD the game is. The story revolves around a broken family, alternating between glimpses of the protagonist's childhood and their present. And sure, it's about overcoming the issues that have affected the family, but I've been through plenty of those IRL, this is way too stressful for recreation!
Anyhow, this game is beautiful enough that some people will be able to enjoy it for the visuals alone. It does paint a nice picture of a summer in youth spent at a relative's house (Sort of a French Boku no Natsuyasumi without any of the freedom), and that may have enough appeal for people as well. The bottom line is the setting and story's appeal is about as YMMV as it gets, the visuals are stunning, and the gameplay may as well not be there at all.
The most interactive segment was a bizarre minigame about brushing your teeth. Not for me!

After nearly two decades, I picked this one up again. Surprisingly, I was impressed by how competent the story mode is as a recap of the Saiyan-Cell Sagas, with a lot more cutscenes than I remembered. The combat is good but not great, and there's a decent amount to get out of the game through the World Tournament mode and unlocking everything, but I didn't have to motivation to do it all 20 years ago, and I sure don't now!
Either way, it's a completely fine DBZ game, and it's a lot better than most of its predecessors from the previous console generation. It's very simple, but I was having enough fun that I finished the story mode and did a handful of World Tournaments. The weird inconsistencies that really irritated me as a 13-year-old (yellow Spirit Bomb and Kamehameha, Cell's voice doesn't change mid-fight when he changes forms, etc.) felt more charming than annoying now, but that's probably because I've played better DBZ games since, and at the time this was the best we had. I wouldn't recommend anyone go out of their way to play this unless they're trying to go through every Dragonball game. It's fine!

It's a bit of a mess.
It's hard to say how much RPGolf Legends is trying to ape Golf Story. On the surface, I can see why it would seem that way, as you've got a chibi golfer protagonist exploring a pixelated island on a golf-centric adventure, doing wacky sidequests along the way. However, in execution, the two games are different enough that I didn't find myself actively comparing the two while playing, and not just for quality reasons.
RPGolf isn't just a bait title, they go hard on the RPG elements here, but twist them in the most aggravating ways possible. You walk everywhere to explore the overworld, but that even includes walking to your ball after every stroke. When you have a 1v1 golf competition, it's turn-based (obviously), but you also have to watch the NPC slowly meander across the course to their ball, while the screen reminds you to wait your turn before hitting again. There are LOADS of violent wild animals outside of the confines of towns and villages, and beating them up with your driver is a novel enough concept, but there's a cooldown on the use of any healing items (if you get poisoned by the omnipresent snakes and use an antidote, you can't use another antidote or ANY other healing items for 30 seconds) and the combat is wonky enough that I never felt like I could consistently avoid damage. When you die and respawn, you're left with a fraction of a single heart as well, which means you have to find a way to heal up before you try again. There are dungeons, which is pretty cool, but nothing inside them was compelling. The same goes for side quests, which are usually simple fetch quests or "do this thing 5-10 times" checklists, and have insignificant rewards.
But the absolute worst thing that the game does is its magic energy meter. Essentially, every hole in the game has a magical barrier around it, and you need your meter at full charge to unlock a single hole. You recharge this meter by getting par or better on any hole, and then going through a slot machine minigame, trying to land on a 25%, 50%, or 100% recharge of your meter. This forces you to replay the same holes over and over just so you can progress to the next hole. If the minigame always had a shot at 100%, that would be fine, but there were quite a few times where I had to beat a hole 4 times in a row, getting 25% at a time for my magic meter. It makes progression more tedious than anything else, especially since the actual golf mechanics aren't that fun or engaging.
My favorite thing the game does, however, is boss fights. You have a monster on a specific golf hole, and you have to beat it into submission repeatedly so you can finish the hole, as the game only lets you strike the ball when you're out of Battle Mode. It's a fun concept and was the clear highlight.
All in all, RPGolf Legends is an amateurish effort filled with bizarre choices (the same triumphant jingle plays when you get a birdie or a triple bogey) that reminded me more of RPG Maker 2003 games than anything from the past decade. Wouldn't recommend, especially not at the $29.99 asking price.

Bumped this up to my #2 of all time after this replay. Reviewing it is incredibly daunting for some reason! We'll just say that the sheer scale and scope of its wacky creativity bring the purest joy to my jaded millennial heart, and that in a post-Yooka-Laylee world it's delightful to have a long-awaited 3D platformer actually turn out amazing.
Probably my favorite story of any game too. Raz and Lili win Cutest Couple forever.

My mom banned me from playing this game when I found it at Grandma's house (left by a random cousin no doubt, Grandma only played Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Super Scattergories) because the girl you rescue in level 3 has pixel nipples poking through her tank top. Replaying it as an adult, I'm kind of baffled that the mincemeat gore and ejected eyeballs weren't the issue. Conservative Christian Childrearing!
Holds up better than I thought though! The harder difficulties aren't really balanced, so I'd consider "Easy" to be the best way to play as it's plenty challenging. After playing Episode 2 and Episode 3 for the first time, I'm not sure if they were worth the 20+ year wait, but they're certainly better than a lot of their DOS contemporaries. Apogee was to DOS what Rare was to the N64!



I cannot emphasize enough just how hungry I am now

As a kid, I played Keen 1-3 religiously. I had Keen Dreams and the shareware version of Keen 4 as well, but didn't like them as much, so I never had much interest in trying 5 or 6. While I maintain that The Earth Explodes and Keen Must Die have excellent aesthetics and levels, this one might be a better game?? This probably doesn't sound like a big revelation or anything to most people, but the Invasion of the Vorticons trilogy was arguably my most formative gaming experience. It turns out that I was simply ignoring an incredible sequel for all these years, and I'm very glad to have finally finished it! Definitely won't wait another 25 years to beat Aliens Ate My Babysitter!

This is a delightful reskin. The character renders are well done, and the roster slots are jokes (Princess Trunks, Piccolo Yoshi, Vegeta as Wario, etc.) familiar to DBZ fans. I loved the voice clips that were selected, and it's especially hilarious hearing Piccolo yelps mapped to Yoshi's MIDI grunts. The rethemed maps are interesting enough that it's worth playing through each of them (Bowser's Castle becomes Garlic Castle, with Garlic Jr.'s face on Thwomps, and Royal Raceway, along with its appearance in the trophy cutscene, is now Snake Way, Moo Moo Farm is now Nappa's farm with Saibamen instead of moles, etc.) to see what changes have been made. The items' icons have been swapped, but the items themselves are unchanged. This is a little confusing at first, but each choice makes sense. The 1-star Dragon Ball is the Starman, Ki blasts are shells, the Spirit Bomb is the Blue Shell, Capsule Corp capsules are ? blocks, Oozaru are bananas, and so forth. I also enjoyed that the item rolls have been rebalanced, so even if you're doing well, you can still get any item. This means that unlike original recipe Mario Kart 64, you'll still be able to try out every item if you're a skilled player. The main thing I wish this had was new music, I think swapping in DBZ midi files while keeping the instrument voices from the original tracks would have been huge, but I'm no romhacker, so I have no idea how hard that would have been!
Highly recommended if you're a DBZ fan, especially if you can play with friends so you can all laugh when Vegeta yells "STAY BACK FREAKS" or "SAD FOR YOOOUUUUUU!"
Oh and when you spin out it says "BALLZ" over your head

Infection is... fine. It's not the strongest iteration of this concept, I really didn't play it unless the weekly goals required it. The points are done really weirdly, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the zombie speed. The battle pass was okay, it had some cool coatings (though their duplicate entries for each weapon or armor core felt like obvious filler), and ended with a weapon model, which is nice. However, some of the week-long events were really good this season and had better rewards than the battle pass itself! This season easily added more maps than any other up to this point, and Forge only gets better and better as time goes on. @habitablestorm3 is doing some crazy stuff in there!
The single best thing to happen this season is Squad Battle, an 8v8 mode using legacy maps. It's definitely attracting a more hardcore audience, and it's not uncommon for one team to obliterate the other, but 8-a-side just feels better than 12v12, and these old maps are so well balanced. I had a great time even if I was getting slaughtered!
It's been a perfectly serviceable season, though the lack of cross-core cosmetics has led to a LOT of bloat since a single coating can be unlocked for each armor, and we've got 8 of those now. Really hoping cross-core isn't a pipe dream and actually happens this year!

This review contains spoilers

Is this the meanest Fire Emblem?? I've played 4 others, and this one seems a bit more aggressive in its dialogue. Children get called worthless offal and have parents straight up tell them they don't love them and want them dead, love interests are held dead in characters' arms, and the general prejudice and racism found in other FE games seems even more egregious here.
But! It's entirely likely that this is due to bad localization. This was the first time NOA translated a Fire Emblem title, and it is roouuuugh. It had been a while since I played through a game that felt like a fan translation. It's kind of charming though! Similar to the wonky dialogue you'd find in western releases of Japanese arcade games in the 80s, there were multiple times when I laughed out loud at the goofy text. The story itself is fine, it's just put into words poorly. So who knows, maybe the original Japanese isn't quite this barbaric!
Mechanics-wise, it's a standard Fire Emblem. Nothing really stands out here. I liked it enough to finish it, but likely won't come back for a second go round.