Bio
Weirdo with insomnia, weeb shit is kinda my jam.
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Favorite Games

Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition
Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
Dark Souls
Dark Souls
Hitman: Contracts
Hitman: Contracts
Tales of Symphonia
Tales of Symphonia

126

Total Games Played

014

Played in 2024

000

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

BioShock Remastered
BioShock Remastered

Feb 21

American McGee's Alice
American McGee's Alice

Feb 11

Silent Hill: The Short Message
Silent Hill: The Short Message

Feb 06

Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Feb 06

Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 0

Jan 28

Recently Reviewed See More

So the original BioShock seems to be a divisse title nowadays. I still remember its release being full of floored reactions, holding it as a masterpiece of interactive storytelling. I suppose a decade plus of essays holding it up as the greatest piece of video game art ever was inevitably going to lead to a whiplash effect in the other direction. People have indeed come out in greater and greater numbers to decry Bioshock as highly overrated in both its gameplay and writing. And now, after my obligatory playthrough I seem to do every 1 – 2 years, I can still firmly plant my feet in the ground and say: I think BioShock is still a masterpiece.

The first 10 minutes embody everything BioShock is about. You're presented with this impossible city, a facade of endless freedom and possibility. Andrew Ryan's words really do sound like the ultimate utopia. A City where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And much like I can imagine the new citizens of Rapture felt when they first stepped out of the bathysphere, the reality of the situation quickly sets in. Rapture is no utopia, it's a rotten monument to one man's petty ego. Your journey takes you through what Ryan calls his Great Chain of Industry. Simply taking you through a tour of the lowest class places like Fountain Fisheries up to the high society luxury of Olympus Heights makes Rapture feel like such a believable setting. Every level fells like a vignette that explains the greater inner workings of its place on the great chain, as well as its inevitable downfall. I will say, as believable as Rapture manages to present itself, it does often suffer from beeing less a city and more a carnival ride. Giant neon signs point to important places, and levels have the occasional tendency to loop around into spots that make no sense at all. That issue isn't helped by the fact that BioShock has a really obnoxious guide arrow turned on by default. The Guide arrow completely kills any exploration, and I never understood why it's even in the game. Trust me, turn it off, it will do so much for BioShock's immersive qualities and Rapture isn't exactly an impossible maze to navigate.

On the gameplay front, BioShock is as prototypical a immersive sim as it gets. You get a standard arsenal of upgradable FPS weapons in addition to the now famous plasmids, basically Raptures version of magic. They are the genetic substances that lead to Raptures great downfall and what gives combat its edge. If guns are the slightly chewy bread of combat, plasmids are the butter that gives it flavor. There's a huge variety of Plasmids from throwable Lightning bolts to shooting straight up Bees, that mix well with a large enough pool of enemies, that all have dominant strategies to take them down faster. Combined with the frankly ludicrous amount of tonics, the game's version of body modifications, I would do the game a huge disservice by claiming there is no variety in its gameplay. I frankly reject the much heard criticism that Bioshock lacks variety since all you do is kill enemies and not much else. I don't see how that applies here, since Raptures 100% presents itself as hostile. It's a corpse at the bottom of the ocean, and basically everyone except for one person is out for your blood. And given how the plot eventually just flips everything on its head, I think it would be quite unfitting to break the very isolated and hostile atmosphere. The only real gameplay fault I can find is, once again, like the unnecessary guide arrow, the vitae chambers. Infinite checkpoints that revive you without punishment, that both break the believability of the setting and the general gameplay loop. Turn them off and set your own quick saves. At least on normal, Bioshock posses not much of a challenge anyway and by the end you'll be an immortal combat wizard anyway, with enemies not even getting close enough to touch you before you snap your fingers to set them on fire.

Lastly, since I choose to play the much hated remaster, I might as well say some words on the topic. Basically, I didn't have any real issues this time. There was the occasional looping audio and at one point in the research labs the sound just stopped working for some reason, forcing me to close and open the game again. Other than that, I had no crashes or anything of similar ilk, totally smooth sailing tbh. I do know about many of the really bad issues and have experienced them as well in the past. I can of course only speculate as to why nothing happened this time, but maybe it's an issue similar to what the original PC version of Dark Souls or Resident Evil 6 suffered from. Where piss poor optimization lead to weaker hardware basically breaking the game, so do look out for that if you're planing on playing BioShock with hardware that isn't state of the art. And play it you absolutely should, since it's still a deeply fascinating FPS deserving of all the praise thrown its way. Settle in, get cozzy with a blanket, step inside the bathysphere so you get to experience an evening with Sander Cohen.


Finally played this for the first time on PC with Automated Fix. Not gona lie, I really dig it. The atmosphere kills and I adore the soundtrack. I can't even say I agree this has aged horribly, it's damn well-designed. Basically a cinematic platformer like Prince of Persia or Another World but flipped into the third dimension. And just as unforgiving as its 2D sibllings aswell. I will finish this game eventually, but Sanctuary of the Scion has me kinda stuck right now, so might as well take a break, maybe try some of the other games.

American Mcgee's Alice may be my favorite adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. In terms of writing and atmosphere, it's certainly the cream of the crop. What Rouge Entertainment accomplished on the Quake 3 engine, of all things, is nothing short of incredible. I genuinely think when it comes to translating an Art style with the tech they had, they couldn't have done better. The dark, twisted atmosphere is killer and the soundtrack unmatched. The voice acting is also one of the best I have ever heard, with Sussie Bran as Alice and Roger Jackson as the cheshire cat beeing pitch perfect. I could honestly listen to them banter for ages. Its all wonderful, except for the gameplay. That is an entirely different can of worms.

Alice suffers what I like to call "second half dropoff syndrome". An unfortunate decease many, many games up until fairly recently have suffered from. Basically the first half is excellent, falls right into what its gameplay limitation are capable of, but then you hit the midway point. From then on it becomes awful, with bullshit enemies, instant death pits and levels that stretch on for way too long. For Alice, that point is about when you reach the level Mirror Image, the mad hatters' domain. The platforming turns to shit and most of the weapons become useless. The ice wand is already crazy overpowered, but introducing the jabberwocky's eye staff makes even that redounded. It kills all the challenge, and now the only threats are instant death pits. Unlucky then that Alice has tons of enemies who's single job it is to push you off narrow pathways. Great. I don't exactly think we needed that in a game where jumping isn't great to begin with. I probably shouldn't be surprised about those issues, considering American Mcgee used to work at Id software and many of Alice's exact issues can be found in Id's early catalog. The storm on the red queen's castle was a slog, combining all those issues. The atmosphere still fucks, but it's the point where I wouldn't blame anyone for just watching a Let's play instead.

I still recommend you check out Alice in any way you see fit because I think it's one of the defining pieces of Video Game art from the early 2000s, that sadly never got the spotlight it deserved. On the bright side, EA pretty much stopped giving a shit about the series and now just sells its sequel completely DRM free. So it's super easy to mod the original into the sequel, since it was originally sold as a bonus DLC remaster for Alice: Madness Returns. You can then just access it through the main menu of Madness Returns. So fuck EA and pirate the fuck out of their games. Rise up, Goth Gamer Nation.