Bio
So many games, so little time.
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

Badges


1 Years of Service

For being a part of the Backloggd community for 1 year

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Loved

Gained 100+ total review likes

Popular

Gained 15+ followers

Donor

Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Shreked

Found the secret ogre page

Best Friends

Follow and be followed by at least 3 others

Noticed

Gained 3+ followers

Gamer

Played 250+ games

N00b

Played 100+ games

Liked

Gained 10+ total review likes

Roadtrip

Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

Favorite Games

Yakuza 0
Yakuza 0
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+
Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

360

Total Games Played

004

Played in 2023

272

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Spiritfarer
Spiritfarer

Jan 22

Dragon Age II
Dragon Age II

Jan 15

Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Snap

Jan 15

Immortality
Immortality

Jan 02

Grow: Song of the Evertree
Grow: Song of the Evertree

Dec 31

Recently Reviewed See More

Pokémon Snap stands as one of the most unique and beloved Pokémon spinoffs, having been released way back in the N64 days and, until recently, never been replicated. Call me a fake fan, though, but I'd never tried the game in my childhood -- I'd seen in in magazines and websites, but the opportunity never showed itself. Until now.
In Snap, you play as as an assistant to Professor Oak, who now has a lab on a deserted island, where he practices Pokémon photography and invents tools to support that new hobby. And, of course, he sends children out to do the hard, dangerous of the work. Yeah. I thought his casting was strange at first, but the reliance on child labor makes it still in-character.
Anyway, scattered across the island are different biomes inhabited by Pokémon, and your job is to ride the Zero-One -- an on-rails vehicle -- and take pictures of the creatures found along its route. Your pictures are rated by the professor himself based on a few factors, like how clearly they depict their subject and the presence of multiple of that Pokémon in the same picture. As you add better photos to your album, you gain access to other tools that allow you to get different reactions out of the critters you wish to photograph.
I can see why it took Nintendo and Game Freak so long to put out a new one of these. It's a short game that can be beaten in an afternoon, and even if they wanted to make it longer, it's one of those games where the minute of playtime is incredibly expensive for the developer: Snap's stages clearly took a long time to design and implement, yet they take but a few minutes to play through -- the 100% speedrun for the game is about 25 minutes long with no skips. It's easy to see how other more scalable spin-offs wound up being prioritized.
It has to be said, though, Pokémon Snap hasn't aged much. The grading system is the jankiest part, and Pokémon fans that stuck with the franchise over the years will notice some creative liberties -- it's the IP in its infancy, after all -- but the core mechanics are solid and the Pokémon found on the island are given a lot of personality. I can say, with no nostalgia for the game, that it remains a great play today.
I'm looking forward to giving the Switch sequel a shot and seeing how it iterates on the formula.

I feel ill-equipped to talk about Immortality. It's a complex production that layers metaphors on top of its convoluted story, and makes parallels and references that make me question my media literacy. But the fact remains that the game has been living rent-free in my head for a while now, so I might as well try to elaborate on why.
The idea behind Immortality will be familiar to anyone who played other Sam Barlow games: it presents a video database that is searchable only in a convoluted way, and the goal is to find as many clips as possible so as to piece together the story of the game from them. This time, the database consists of production clips from a series of movies, and they are unlocked by means of a mechanic called the Match Cut: by stopping playback and clicking on a person or object in the scene you’re in, you are taken to another scene with that in it. Click on a person, and you'll watch another clip where that person appears; click on a book, and find a scene where another book, or something resembling a book, appears.
It's novel to have scene composition employed as something of a maze to be explored, each frame emphasizing different people and objects that can be seen as paths leading elsewhere. When put against the central mechanics of Immortality's predecessors, the Match Cut feels delightfully fresh, though it does come with a couple of downsides. One of them is that it is not entirely deterministic: in previous games, you could guarantee that searching for a word would always yield the same new scenes, but the match cut can have wildly different results and leave some people stuck. Also, counterintuitively, the interface in general favors those who use a controller, and I’m still not 100% sure how some mouse interactions are meant to work even after fully completing the game.
The clips are mostly from one of three movies: Ambrosio, a 60s adaptation of an 18th Century novel; Minsky, a crime thriller from the 70s; and finally, Two of Everything, a mass-market thriller from the 90s. These movies have two things in common: the first being that they all star actress Marissa Marcel, and the second, that they were never released. Your goal, at least at first, is to find out why those releases were held back. Her Story players that were disappointed with Telling Lies will be happy to hear that, this time, we're back to having a mystery to untangle, as well as a varied cast of characters with depth to their personalities. Although, I can't say Immortality won’t be polarizing: there’s an overarching plot tying the movies together, and it will draw out different reactions from people, mainly because, at one point, it forces a shift from engaging with the text in a metaphorical sense to a literal one -- and that can be a tough pill to swallow.
What isn’t controversial, however, is how stunning the production values are, and how much care went into making the game. Starting with the performances: Manon Gage is phenomenal as Marissa, Hans Christopher makes Durick an incredibly believable character, and Charlotta Mohlin -- playing my favorite character in the game which I won't spoil -- puts on such raw displays of emotion, every time she's on camera, it hits hard. There's an essay by Jacob Geller on one of these moments (heavy spoiler warning) that I think is a must-watch for those who finished the game.
What makes the performances even more impressive is that these people are acting that they're performers in a movie set: in another of my favorite clips, an actor -- Robert Jones, played by Miles Szanto -- tries to get into character for a scene, and shifts between the mannerisms of the character and the actor whenever the clapperboard sounds. We see similar things happen in many other clips, the actors shifting from actor to character, and sometimes, that very line being blurred, leaving one to question what exactly is going on on-camera.
Add to that the careful filming and editing, the choices and variety of sets, the costumes, even the attention to details like the different types of camera and post processing used for each period... all of it makes Immortality feel authentic, to a point one could probably take clips from any of the three fictitious movies and pass them off as the making-of of classics from their respective time periods, and most people would be none the wiser.
And there’s much more, like how the game uses light, color, dance, music… but for those things, I can only describe how they affect me on an emotional level, so I’ll leave it to the more media-literate to dissect. I’ll end by saying that Immortality is a unique experience, one that deftly uses film to discuss themes of art, control and relationships, and is definitely a standout from 2022.

The Mugunghwa, a massive generation ship sent from Earth to found a colony but that cut off contact and was thought to be lost forever, has finally been found -- with all of its inhabitants being long dead. To unravel the mystery of how that came to be, you are sent on a small spaceship to try and connect with the Mugunghwa, your mission being to download data from the ship and find out what transpired aboard it.
Analogue's story takes place as you untangle the ship's logs with the help of the two onboard AIs, and is largely successful in building up an atmosphere of dread: the more logs you read, the more it becomes evident how degenerate society among the ship became. Also, while it's no kinetic novel, it's still rather simple as far as VNs go, so it's a pretty approachable game for people who have never touched the genre before.
The main issues I see with the game are twofold: first, this is one of those horror stories that hit much closer to home if you're a woman, to the point of potentially being triggering at times. Second, and perhaps, most important, the juxtaposition of dystopian future with anime tropes feels quite jarring: the AIs are moe to the point of creating a disconnect, and the horny parts of the writing are not only bad, they stick out like a sore thumb. I'm glad Love found it in her to write straight-up smut, because it feels like that's what she wanted to go for from the start.
But hey, still a solid VN. Just never made me feel like playing the sequel.