11 Reviews liked by Daitarn3

When Demon’s Souls released in 2009, I was going through a pretty hard crisis of faith regarding videogames. I had grown old enough to finally see their limits, the industry-imposed repetition and condescention in their design, the corners that have to be cut and padded. I blindly took the advice from a few raving cynics I aligned myself with and imported Demon’s Souls from America as a last shot before I defiantly moved on from the medium like the little drama queen I was. DeS was exactly the game I needed, I had never played anything else like it, I had my mind shattered by the way the bosses in the title weren’t so much battles as they were puzzle boxes - imposing small situations to solve, being asked to find the lone small thread that will make the beast unravel. It felt like a NeverEnding Story adventure or something, I loved it, I still do.
With every new Fromsoft game, Hidetaka Miyazaki takes the opportunity to twist the dial even further from Adventure Fantasy to Battle Fantasy, the focus becoming more oriented around a type of mechanisation I personally find diagnostic-feeling, much less fulfilling - stat optimising and gear building, rote memorisation of excruciatingly difficult boss movesets. Very disenchanting open world too; everything in every corner is there to make your character more powerful, a handful of “types” of dungeon/outpost, a truly memetic core routine that made me feel like I was just playing Genshin Impact. This is obviously just a preference thing, but you must forgive me for feeling a little left behind.
There is a lot beauty in Elden Ring’s world, if I had anyone to thank for giving me the desire to trudge through this game to the end, it’ll be the stellar art and design team. Some of the most stunning locales I’ve seen in a minute; I’m particularly fond of miquellas haligtree, crumbling farum azula, and even revisiting Radahn’s arena post-battle for a taste of what I’d personally hoped exploring Elden Ring’s open world would feel like. The monster designs are nuts too, some skirting the perfect balance between recognisable and grotesque to lend some genuine unease.
Elden Ring is a fantastic game, just not a game for me. It actually gives me a little tinge of sadness to play a Fromsoft title and be made to think “this reminds me of another game” so many times. I respect the player-hostility maximalism of the bosses and the dizzying open-endedness of character builds - and in all honestly, Elden Ring very clearly has some of the richest thematic storytelling across the Miyazaki platter right now - I would just rather watch people snap the game over their knee on Youtube than ever play this again.

if someone told me this was an ubisoft game, i'd never doubt it even for a second

crack dog (1988) but im the dog and the crack is slay the spire.

Bioware, at a certain point, decided to specialize in making games that perfectly create idol culture but for people who really like Firefly.

Lotta gender essentialism in this one

Quite liked the latest joy-athon from the videogame industry's House of Mouse. Probably the most important distinction that wasn't hugely apparent to me in the leadup to Kirby Automata's release is that this game wouldn't take quite as many leaves out of Mario Odyssey's book as it would Super Mario 3D World. Not a problem to me, I personally (much) prefer the latter, and even think the bespoke isolated rollercoaster level format suits Kirby much better.
Where Forgotten Land falls short for me is that it really just doesn't do enough to prove that the additional control axis does a whole lot in Kirby's favor. While movement is a joy, as well as laying waste to flora and fauna while spewing bottomless bombs and flames, it all feels like a typical scrimblo affair - uncannily like Crash Bandicoot 3 at times specifically lol.
This game has 12 copy abilities. Twelve. If Kirby's Adventure on the NES has you beat by over double, you know something's up. The low ability count in turn means that there just isn't a whole lot of enemy variety, exemplified thru the fact that the game boasts a similar number of boss battles of varying size it spreads thinly across its many repeating arena sections. This also means that the environmental puzzles are hilariously rudimentary this time around too. The most you could expect your brain to be teased would be trying to find a Waddle Dee hidden in some offscreen obtuse nook, rather than needing to intuit the environment & scavenge the key ability needed. The abilities themselves are also stripped down to bare essentials too. Gone are the surprisingly complex input movelists of Triple Deluxe and Robobot; mastery of Forgotten Land comes from going to the town hub to menu-somely upgrade your copy abilities to objectively better versions with rather dull statistical upgrades.
Should stress that this is Fine. I don't exactly need Kirby games to be roving epicks of skill and wit, but Forgotten Land is sorely missing the subtle sleight of hand tricks I'd call a series mainstay. Even the title's proud Mouthful Mode gimmick is fully explored in the first world. The variety isn't present where it would be in prior Kirby games and it leaves many checkpoints feeling tiresome and rote.
Still, rly pretty and rly cute with gr8 musique. Not enough games let you breath life back into a devastated town.
The true final boss is fucking sick though. Maliketh, The Black Blade wishes it could.

never play mario kart or god forbid pay money for it

Honestly one of the most pleasant surprises of 2021 so far. I'll admit to being far from charitable when this was first announced, entirely because its artstyle just did not hit my flavour palette right. However, after immersing myself in the game for a while, the pin-puppet and painterly style grew on me immensely, and it all culminates with its wonderful storybook presentation. I particularly enjoyed how even the levels themselves were thoroughly animated, using the tweening animation style to warp unrecognisably at points. Reminded me a lot of Rayman Legends levels.
This is the first Ghosts 'n Goblins game I've ever played, and I'll never pretend to be the biggest fan of masocore style gameplay or anything. But, Resurrection feels so tightly designed I was happy to put up with its cheeky bullshit and finally complete it on Legend difficulty. One thing I was particularly taken aback by was how much depth the game could wrangle out of relatively simple player controls - four directions, an attack button and a single jump with a fixed arc. While the level design is relatively cruel with its enemy placements and platforming, it never feels like I needed anything else. With the chests giving sequentially better rewards and gold armour that powers up your current weapon, every moment acts as a risk/reward assessment that could be the difference between life or death, and it is engaging to wonderfully stressful degrees right until the very end. Memorisation is king, so once I learned that every single hazard, enemy or boss in the game has quirks I could read and exploit, it all felt amazing. Music slaps too.
It does have some things that drag the experience down for me, though. For example, I'm not a fan of how weapon pickups persist through death - meaning that you could have a favourite weapon and lose it semi-permanently should you accidentally pick up something else. This problem is kind of compounded by the fact that the Knife is the best in the game by a shocking margin. Get knocked into a useless piece of shit like the Ball or something, and you're stuck with that until you luck out and get the Knife back again.
Completely unconvinced by the skill tree system in this game too. Levels will have a handful of Whisps hidden throughout; they generally trigger when you perform a certain action and remain permanently obtained even should you die after getting one. Some of which I swear are placed, so you HAVE to jump into a guaranteed death to obtain, and often quite far away from the last checkpoint. I found that this is the game giving the OK sign to suicide runs, which is imo a fuckin stupid plethora of unnecessary deaths for an already hard as nails game. It's a little annoying that there are a few genuinely game-changing good abilities you can unlock through obtaining them, like weapon slots and spell switching. I wish these abilities were just present in the game without such an extraneous system gatekeeping them.
I heard a review for this game mention that Super Ghosts n Goblins has the golden armour unlock unique skills for your chosen weapon, which sounds great!!
Should also note that the game also has a bunch of difficulty options and you can set them according to your comfort level.

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