28 Reviews liked by Goffers

if you handed this to a space alien, approximately none of the facts they would learn about the Y2K era would be accurate but they would have a complete and flawless impression of its vibe

I don't have much to say about Hypnospace Outlaw itself beyond it being one of the funniest, most heart-warming, most endearing, most sincere, most ironic, most fun depictions of the Internet ever presented.
In my review-cum-memoir on World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, I bemoaned the death of online spaces noted for their lack of thorough knowledge. It is perhaps fitting that WotLK's release came a mere five days before the launch of Jim Garvin and Ryan McGeary's 'Let Me Google That For You' website. Perhaps by divine providence too, WotLK's release coincided with the steady downward trend of Bill Dyess' then World of Warcraft database Thottbot and the first massive spike in traffic to Wowhead. The coincidence is staggering, but also points to a trend which has irreversibly altered the gaming landscape, and society at large. Much as WoW players sought user-data-verified hard statistics on their MMO of choice, tech savvy individuals' astonishment and contempt for being asked readily verifiable questions reached a tipping point in late 2008. Confirming and corroborating data on WoW would in time become something accomplished by every player. LMGTFY would in time become a site even your grandparents might send as a slight towards a query. The genuine question 'where is Mankrik's wife?' was less the object of ridicule, more a target for sarcasm and eye-rolling as the naive were directed to Wowhead. With ever increasing databases and wikis, games and media in general have become less about a sense of mystery, more one of minutiae. Players no longer revel in not knowing, they would rather examine the entirety of a game's mechanics and lore and history with a finetooth comb.
My point in bringing this up is two-fold. One: Games have genuinely not been the same since players expected to be able to understand them inside and out at whim. Two: The Internet has genuinely not been the same since users expected others to rely on a corporate search engine, largely constructed (especially now) to deliver advertising rather than substantive content, to remedy their perceived ignorance. As Embracer Group, Microsoft, Tencent, Sony, Epic, Valve, Ubisoft, EA, and other megacorporations oligopolise the gaming space, so too do Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Tencent, Joybuy, Alibaba, Twitter, Spotify, ByteDance, Baidu, Adobe, Block, and others reduce Internet diversity to a minimum. I can't act as if I knew the Internet of eld in its entirety, but a lifelong fascination with Internet obscura and history has me at least somewhat informed.
In my review of GeoGuessr, and corroborated by jobosno's review of Microsoft Flight Simulator, stressed was the importance of appreciating the non-place. So too does this apply to the Internet at large, and Hypnospace Outlaw itself if we wish. Not everything on the Internet is substantive or substantial, nor is every page on Hypnospace. We fall down rabbit holes of Wikipedia deep dives, we examine every page on Hypnospace regardless of its relevance to our duty. Duty and productivity and the confines of time and the constraints of life and gaming guide us towards Internet or Hypnospace use that is conducive to our end goals, but those detours persist as availabilities. In the real world, they dwindle as web diversity shrinks, as webhosts go offline, as swathes of the Internet go unarchives and unremember[ed/able]. In Hypnospace, their finite nature means we cannot search forever.
The Big Crunch theory postulates that at some point, the universe will cease expansion, and will recollapse unto itself as all is returned to zero. To null.
At some point, the Internet might cease expansion, and will recollapse unto itself as all is returned to zero. To null. We will not go to website, we will go to keywords. That which is unadvertisable, incompatible with commercialisation will in effect go dark. In due time fewer and fewer spaces will exist. In due time, all will be one, and one will be none.
The Big Freeze theory postulates that the universe will never cease expansion, and will drift into entropy until all is returned to absolute zero. To null.
At some point, the Internet might expand infinitely to the point of unnavigability. In a web of infinitudes, all will be irrelevant and all will be lost as data becomes unable to be quantified on any scale. In due time, one will be all, and all will be none.
The unknowability of the universe renders any theory pointless. We do not know what will happen. We cannot know what will happen.
The unknowability of the Internet renders any theory pointless. We do not know what will happen. We cannot know what will happen.
Enjoy the Internet as it is now. Enjoy the Internet as it was then. Enjoy the Internet as it will be. Forever is it in flux, forever is it a stable constant. Forever does it all drift apart, forever does it all close in. Forever shall it be known and forever shall it be unknown.
We exist in a cosmic nothing of no import.
We exist in a digital nothing of no import.
Every atom in the universe is critical to its being.
Every byte of the Internet is critical to its being.
As a historian, I live on a periphery of data boundless yet intangible. I scour for that which does not exist, may never have existed.
At the end of Hypnospace Outlaw you are tasked with archiving a wasteland.
We exist at a time where unfathomable amounts of human knowledge are being erased from existence every hour of every day. This is not a deliberate book burning. This is an incidental blaze.
Save what you can.
What a beautiful thing we are a part of.
Seek the obtuse, obfuscated, and obscure.
A selection of webzones I have found and I enjoy:

I have a hard time digesting a remake of something that was already so perfect, I literally have to keep reminding myself this is a reimagining which it is and that it's not Resident Evil 4, it's a whole new game. RE2 and RE3 had leeway since they were genuinely so old and it was welcomed by most, but with 4, for me it's just not the case.
The game starts off with the right foot for the most part, we get a great recap like in the original game from Leon, and The Drive plays and you know the rest. It's good but it's still not as good as the original, they even changed the lines and the police voice actors are not that good.
A lot of the charm such as the funny dialogue and moments are gone for the sake of making it more "grounded" and "horror" so why are suplexing and kicks still mechanics? It just seems like they are embarrassed of what made RE4 good at times. Don't get me wrong alot are still there and it has a few good new ones but not much. But it's like the game only commits half way of trying to be something new because they know if they cut stuff and change too much we won't like it, so it ends up feeling unfaithful and is kind of cheating itself. No art on loading screens is also stupid, little things like that add up.
Ada's va line delivery is awful. Krausers va is alright. Overall other than Luis, Ashely, Leon, and maybe the Merchant the voice acting is super mediocre.
Merchant is an improvement in terms of buying and selling and upgrading and while not as iconic as the og he's not bad, he's pretty good. Leon's new va is good but I just couldn't help think of Paul Mercier. It's werid, all the voice acting just doesn't feel that good. Even all the enemies it's just not as good as the original, and maybe it's not supposed to be but what did they give us in return? In my opinion what we got in return wasn't that good. So much was cut and changed for worse than better it's actually insane.
The gameplay feels smooth, insane attention to detail. It's a pretty good reimagining of RE4 and a newer modern direction of the original game. However aiming feels annoying, crowd control is not there, and things are just not as thought out as the original. And it just pisses you off sometimes, like when you run by enemies you might get stunned or Leon does this werid jerk movement it's so stupid, and the crouch button is so pointless.
The controls are pretty good, but I much prefer the strategic and more thought out controls of the original, it was more thought provoking and fun and you just felt like you were in control, like an experienced Leon, don't get me wrong though some of that feeling is still here.
Unreal graphics, great sound design in its own way, art direction is great too. I still like the original better and it's aged like wine and I think it's more scary, but again it's good here too they did the best they could while keeping some of the originals soul.
Parrying mechanic is awesome. Great idea to change it up from the original. But what's the point when your knife breaks every 5 seconds.
The dialogue is nowhere near as good as the OG. And I don't understand why they had to change a lot of it, like I get it but they're changing it and giving us something not as good in return.
I also absolutely hate the fact that the notes are so trash, in the original I was always intrigued and wanted to read more and was invested but in this game they just feel generic and you kinda have no motivation to read them, like I still remember Luis's research from the OG.
The reload animations and animations in general are really good, they're a treat to see.
I liked the remixed soundtracks it adds an authentic feel at timed and I enjoyed the soundtrack for the most part.
Crafting overhaul is nice it's similar to RE2R, but it's nothing crazy.
Quality of life stuff is cool and instant switching is nice but I don't like it. Takes away from so much of the strategic elements of the og.
Amazing ai at times, but it gets annoying at times. Especially Ashley, although her character is great in the remake and I still prefer the original, the commands are stupid. You have less control and she's constantly running and more annoying in this one. In the original games the commands were perfect and they should have kept them that way. The addition of her hiding and stuff is cool though.
Big cheese fight was good. The second phase kind of sucked tho. Salazars design sucks too just to mention it.
Tutorial section for the knife was so dumb, you already learnt how to use the knife yourself before that.
Dialogue with Hunnigan is ass and overly serious, and it just takes it self so seriously and I hate how Leon is such a hardass. His characterization in the original is so much better and he's literally a CHAD.
All these improvements are great but I FEEL next to nothing.
Sections feel like modern gaming at times, just walking around or getting something or whatever it's so boring at times and isn't as intriguing as the original or even the RE2R.
I feel people are being dishonest or have their glasses on where they can't see flaws, or are having recency bias because the game has issues it's not perfect like people say. This is NOT a generational game like the original and other games. There's nothing jaw dropping or revolutionary about this game like the original, not one new amazing innovation. Like how does this game have better reviews than something like RDR2, the original, some of the greatest games ever? This is not even the best remake. This game is not even close to them, it's a good game, but at the end of the day it's a knockoff I feel, the best Resident Evil 4 knockoff you can buy.
But why would you wanna buy a knockoff? When you can enjoy the original thing. Capcom should have used this energy on a game that actually needed it or made something original entirely. Modern gaming I guess.
RE4 remake impresses, its a fun game, a great game at times, it carries over parts of Resident Evil 4s soul, but it doesn't manage to capture me or make me FEEL what the original did, and what it offers is just subpar especially compared to it...
I know I may sound negative, I enjoyed the game still, and my standards are high. But it's just that the original Resident Evil 4 means so much to me and was so freaking amazing and revolutionary. It's one of my favorite games ever, and I love it so much. So Resident Evil 4 Remake was set up to fail for someone like me.



Noita calls itself “The Falling Sand Roguelite”, a description which will probably only make sense to people who spent a lot of time playing flash games. For those of you who didn’t, “Falling Sand” refers to a genre of simulation sandboxes where you spread around particles of various substances, like water, oil, or sand, and play with their interaction. You watch as oil separates itself from water, which you can then set alight, and then smother with sand. There isn’t a goal to accomplish, the reason to play is simply for the joy of experimentation. Noita builds its worlds around this concept, with every pixel of the environment having simulated physical properties, which you can manipulate using the random magical abilities you find along your journey. Your goal is to traverse a series of biomes, fighting increasingly stronger enemies until you reach a tough-as-nails final boss. Even in this small summary though, you may have noticed the disagreement between each of its genre halves. If progression is done by defeating a linear set of enemies, why is it mixed with a genre about freeform experimentation? Not only does the linear difficulty structure incentivize players to only create wands that kill enemies as quickly as possible, the randomness of the magic means the map generation always has to include a freely accessible exit that doesn’t require magic at all. Most of the time, you’re just quick-firing boring magic missiles or arrows, leaving all the fun interactivity essentially as window dressing. Not only that, but taking risks with more complex wands is actively disincentivized by how fragile your character is, when accidentally hitting yourself is often a one-shot kill, leaving you with no way of enjoying that wand you were so lucky to craft. Confusingly enough, this falling sand game not only lacks a sandbox for experimentation, but it actively discourages you from experimenting much at all. It’s no wonder that some of the top mods on the Steam workshop are the ones that add testing rooms and custom wand spawning, giving players a way of actually enjoying the potential of the robust simulation. This is one of the rare times I’m happy about a game being heavily modded, because the beauty of all the elemental interactions is something more people should experience, and I’m glad there’s a way to do so without sinking hours into mediocre roguelike randomness.

diminishing REturns
they turned my boy into a dour little slug made out of sand. why is he so slow? why is he so moody? where are the jokes? no one is making the proper amount of jokes except the merchant and he just keeps saying GUN RHYMES WITH FUN 50 times in a row, im getting concerned
yo ho ho-ld the fuckin phone... leon's a pirate now? you seen this treasure? oh my god dude, they took all the wrong lessons from RE8 and ch4 is a great example of it. there are at least three sidequests in this game about killing rats, a dozen others of near equal insignificance, blue medallions everywhere, and a gacha machine. god help you if you buy the treasure maps and realize this thing is a borderline collectathon if you let it have its way
meat of it ain't bad if you can ignore all that gunk tho. mechanics are tightly designed + requisite combat puzzle gauntlets are well tuned. says a lot that almost every single one of the best encounters are either ripped 1:1 or lightly remixed from the original, but RE4 is RE4 and I'm not gonna fuss that the opening village sequence, cabin, and water room still kick ass. still...... bit of a "resting on laurels" situation when I can only think of two new encounters (ramparts, wrecking ball) that reach the madcap peaks of the original and I'm not gonna give it a free pass for being a remake considering all the other ways it was willing to go off script for worse
if there's one thing I wanna take a big piss on it's whatever the fuck they were doing with the writing, cutscenes, and voice direction. luis and ashley, cover your ears, you did great, but man everyone else is a bummer. leon spends all game moping, krauser is a fuckin dork, and ada is in some kind of fugue state. on paper I don't mind the weird shit going on with salazar or hayseed preacher saddler I guess but goddam n this thing got outright shorn of most of its charm and camp in favour of RE2R's bland ass dry bones approach. people joke about the stuff they removed, but those absences tell on how buttoned up and business casual they inexplicably wanted to make this. compare krauser's intro cutscenes and you'll immediately understand what I'm saying here
there's some real cool shit in between all the moments where it's coasting on a much better game's blueprint or fumbling to find its own identity, and I'm not surprised folks are having a good time, but it never amounted to enough to make me feel like it needs to exist, or even should exist. it's undoubtedly the strongest of the last three remakes mechanically, but it's also the most unnecessary
repeatedly I asked myself while playing if I could see a scenario where I'd willingly reach for this instead of RE4 if I got the urge to suplex some parasitic yokels, and the answer was always the same
no thanks, bro

doesn't feel as good to play as the original and it's soulless

I think we should all collectively agree that birds should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

Death is so easy in videogames. We flow through it - make it mundane - in order to experience the editing process of our playthroughs, shedding layers to further reach a win-state. The summer is coming to a close and sometimes I can't be arsed to play Dark Souls again so I boot up games that just lend themselves to us, perfectly understandable and playable in every aspect. Death's Door is something like that. It's difficult to attack smoothness. You just run your hand on it and slip. But it's sweet. You do it again. Until you find yourself one night having finished the game to near completion in the ten hours that you had to spare somewhere between now and the outside noise.
The older I get and the more difficult I find it to deny the pleasures of "relaxing" games. The last time I refused myself like this was probably A Short Hike. If games are to be put on the same pedestal as other art forms - as they should, sometimes, as they won't, fortunately - then we have to acccept that they too must reflect a vastness and breadth of experiences larger than our own limited scopes. The human experience, baby. Not every game is meant for y'all and accessibility is important. Representation matters. Sometimes a game is just a game. Each one of these statements is "factually" (meaning morally) correct.
To say that I felt nothing while playing Death's Door would be factually wrong. The art, the music, the story, the difficulty, the secrets and mechanics all blend together in the primordial goop of "goodness". The only thing was that for a game named Death's Door, it doesn't contain much if any death at all. Your dodge/attack window is generous and unburdened by consequences as you don't loose any souls for failing your progress. Eventually you kill the Big Bad, Lord of Doors, Committer of the Greatest Sin in all of Videogames : To be a Gatekeeper.
You break the cycle. Freeing yourself from the bondage of serfdom, you live the rest of your days surrounded by your community of crows - wholesome reapers now without jobs. You embrace Death, without having ever truly grazed it in the first place. You beat the game.
It's my fault and not the game's for asking all these questions. Game doesn't care. Game just requires to be played - or better yet, observed. I, for one, am just grumbling. But like I said I didn't have a bad time with Death's Door. I did, after all, finish the damn thing. It might come as a surprise to some that I adore videogames - there's no trick to that. I'm enamoured with their worthlessness. They rarely make me raise an eyebrow, but then again they so often do. Death's Door makes sure that I can detect every part of itself. That I can wholeheartedly play it to bear witness and remember fondly on the time a Pothead Knight asked me if I wanted some soup. Or when a mindflayer latched onto me for a midnight quest.
My favorite part of Death's Door actually came after the game. The Dead Lord leaves a key to a Rusty Belltower that calls forth a night on the whole map. The music ceases along with the enemies, leaving room for an endgame made of missing shrines and stone tablets. I don't care much for true platinums and epilogues. But here's a terrain suddenly emptied in a quiet, serene levels that I can walk through to the sound of owls, no longer forced to engage much or activate my facilities as a gamer in order to progress. I've earned this, have I not ?
Mindful practices. Games should never be nice. They can be devoted, hearthrobbing or even joyful but never nice. What's the use of nice ? What functions does nice serve and how do you feel once niceties have been applied to you ? By you ?
Kindness, now here's the real kicker. The hard one. The one that requires commitment. Kindness requires sacrifice. Kindness - to their player, to themselves - is something videogames often prove incapable of handing. And yet we talk in the language of care, of inclusivity and adjectives. Of hyperbole. Death's Door is not a social justice game but it sure is a progressive one. This review could have been about any number of games but I chose Death's Door because its essential narrative boils down to that : The system can be undone if you embrace change to the song of old flutes and nice dungeons. Convenient ones. It's important to accept the inevitability of your own death xx. I write these words and they're probably read as highly irritated. But the truth is I'm mostly typing them in a pout. Dark Souls didn't die for this shit. I don't mind the fancy aesthetics. For example there's this game called Going Under that, while a little blunt, perfectly captures the hellscape of wholesomeness. Of saying things while not really saying anything at all. The contained chaos of that thought alone. What happens then is that the conversation ends and everybody goes home having played "a really good game".
It's not everyday Maximalist Country in this hoe. Sometimes a game is just a game, I know. But that's a little disappointing, isn't it ?

This review was written before the game released

Bold of EA to, after completely gutting Dead Space to turn it into a garbled action mess of predatory bullshit and then completely gutting the studio behind it after jobbing them onto a shitty battlefield spin-off, come back and act like I should give a shit that they are propping up it's corpse because horror is noticeably profitable now
Honestly, go fuck yourself

It doesn’t really matter how good this may or may not be, it’s extremely perverse for EA to dig up the corpse of this franchise so it can be sold to us for $60/$70 after EA maliciously killed the franchise and the studio that made it.