My first Vanillaware game here, and I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. Honestly, the story was not particularly interesting for all the praises I've heard about "13 Sentinels" ; yet after finishing the game, I already miss watching my little characters doing their little battles.
Because it's the art that really got me hooked on. The game looks fantastic, I was baffled throughout the whole thing. Gorgeous landscapes, tons of great designs, and very VERY impressive spritework ; I'm a bit fascinated by 2D character sprites and how to make them compact yet readable, and the way the artists here played wih shapes and postures, and how detailed these sprites are YET they're fully animated, it's crazy to me.

Tactical-wise, as someone who's only ever played Fire Emblem, the non-turnbased battles and the 2-to-5 characters units felt fresh and new ; all the while still getting some good FE Awakening vibes from the visuals and musics (especially in Cornia/Drakenhold).
I somehow had fun completely reforming my units every ~20 hours, and kinda making my own stories out of these compositions.
Because yeah, most characters don't really have anything to say appart for little gimmicks presented as the uninteresting anecdotes that they are, in cutscenes with no voice and not even using the characters full sprites. Yet I somehow ended up getting attached to them, purely based on their design and because I like watching them move and fight. Their kinda like toys, or maybe insects or fishes in a tank ...

I do think the game was a bit too easy, and I got a better challenge once I passed to Expert difficulty (although even then I rarely struggled, despite not being a very good strategist).
Also I think the game would be perfect if it had just a bit more (and more specific) condition options for making tactics. Would make the game a bit easier but getting the satisfaction of seeing your plan get perfectly executed would be worth it imo.

Awesome plateformer and very decent metroidvania, with bits of Souls and Hollow Knight and Celeste and Automata and surely more and that's how you make good games. (Lots of good inspirations in the ost too)

The character is an absolute joy to control and it gets more and more fun as you complete your moveset. I was really pleased by the overall difficulty and the even harder challenges to get cool outfits. And this huge castle is a blast to explore, I even did some sequence-break without realizing it.

I do think it's a bit sad that there's only 2 boss fights, the simple animation-based combat is really how I like my combat ; but also the game being pretty much a pure plateformer, it's weird to have such a hard boss to beat as the final test of the tutorial when there's really no such challenge in the game after that.
The ending was also a bit abrupt, I was shocked by the absence of credits. You were like, 3 people to work on this, just put your name everywhere, get some recognition !!

Crazy to me that I have not heard of this game before ; Thanks for everything, weirdly sexy goat-bunny woman.

Weird and fun game, it's kinda like a story mode for a single WarioWare minigame, but with like 20 levels of difficulty instead of 3.

I wouldn't mind if the game was a few more hours long ; the base idea is solid and they had a lot of ideas for stupid stuff to cook with new mechanics everytime. I knew the game through Twitter and I was really pleasantly surprised to see that, behind the funny gifs, the game is actually that well designed.

A bit sad you can't really cook the chicken like on the artwork tho

A fun Papers Please rip-off that does it's job.
There are enough mechanics to keep you engage through the campaign, and the contraband/vehicle inspection is a good angle.

Unfortunately the rest is janky and gets boring pretty quickly. Gunfights and car rides are way too long and repetitive, and are present way too often.
Also funny how it looks like this had less budget than Papers Please that was made by a single person, because the latter had the intelligence to create a unique artstyle that made its imperfections a strength, whereas Contraband Police just looks like an ugly realistic 3D simulator.
The game is also poorly optimised and the bad (in my case, French) translation sometimes makes the objectives confusing.

I bought this game after seeing a streamer playing it in a non-efficient way and I thought it looked fun and I could play better. Despite its flaws, its core-gameplay is indeed still pretty fun, but even in sales at 20€ it's a bit expensive for what it is.

Return of the Return of the Obra Dinn

I just kinda felt like going back to this.

It does feel a bit old now. Because of the aspect ratio of course, but also the art for the sprites specifically is a bit amateurish (especially compared to like, CGs, promo art or just sprites from the title screen that are way more appealing imo), and voice acting is really not as good as I remembered for some characters.

But still this game has a cute/cozy vibe that it's sequel doesn't even try to get. 80% of the girls are pretty likeable.
And in the end, it's a clean, polished porn game, with an actual gameplay, that actually makes you play the sex scenes in an intelligent way imo.
And there are really really few porn games like that from my experience.

I just don't know what to feel about this game. It's unique, that's for sure.

Art direction is flawless, from the environnement to the creature designs, the subtle use of light and the overall ambiance. The way this whole world lives and how it's inhabitants move and behave can honestly be quite captivating.

It's cool to be thrown into the game and having to learn everything, but after 20~h into it and having seen 99% of the map and bestiary based on the wiki, I feel like i've seen it all ? But also seeing people in steam reviews having more than 1000h in this makes me feel like I'm missing something ??
I love exploration in videogames, but here I just feel too lost, too frail, constantly. The controls are a bit janky because of the way everything moves, and you can die again and again and again at the same spot without really having the time to learn what your mistakes were because everything happens so quickly. Some instances are more frustrating than others, and I understand that it does contributes the atmosphere of the game, but ultimately you just pass from one area to the other without feeling like you really achieved anything.

This game is deep and complex, lots of hidden mechanics, it's a really impressive work in itself but it lacks strong, definite objectives and rewards for me to really enjoy playing it.
This game is both really fascinating, and at the same time I feel like it does zero effort to make me like it.

(To be honest, some of the stuff I said might just be that this is a survival game, and I guess I was expecting it to be closer to a metroidvania or something.)

Heard a lot of great things about it, yet I was sincerely surprised by how good it actually is.
Excellent metroidvania that takes a LOT of inspiration from Metroid Dread and other famous games of the genre, but can manage to make it's own things especially in terms of movements and abilities.
Art direction is also one of it's big strength. The game is very pleasant to look at with it's huge structures and colorful landscapes in the background; and the over the top animation in cutscenes is super fun.
A great game to play on the switch imo

Don't have much to say that hasn't been said, it's great and unique, and I'm addicted to it.
Appart from the gameplay, I think I'm particularly fan of the whole presentation of the game. From the CRT filter and pixel art to the joker card designs, how the main theme is altered depending on what's on screen, and the way everything is floaty and reacts to your cursor's movements. A lot of care went into it, and it's very pleasant to even just be in the game.

Indie platformer of incredible quality !
Concept is super cool and well-executed, but what strucks me the most is the impeccable level-design.
It's written here on this site that it's inspired by games like Donkey Kong Country. Not only is this very clearly visible while playing, but it's also really the same level of quality. The kind of stuff I expect from Nintendo platformers.
Controls can be hard to master tho.

Visuals and soundtrack are really pleasant, time-attack is a fun bonus to have a bit more to play in this unfortunately pretty short game. They could have done a bit more with stickers and collectibles imo
What I am really disappointed by tho is the last world. Levels are focused on action sequences, and they are fun as they are but it's not what I'm expecting as a final challenge for such a good platformer ...

Despite the Dragon Engine's first steps, I was really really into this game during the first half; the story was very engaging, especially knowing that it's supposed to be the end of Kiryu's saga, and I got very good Yakuza 3 vibes from Onomichi and it's very lovable set of characters.
Unfortunately the story lost me a bit in the middle. I think there are too many instances where you get hours of cutscenes interrupted by 10 minutes of gameplay, and dialogues never felt this long in the series. Everything being voiced is a problem to me, as I used to read non-voiced text way faster than they talk and I could have my own pacing. It feels weird doing that now that they actually talk and that it's all presented as proper cutscenes despite the janky animations, so I just listen to them and get bored fast.
I do really like the ending (and by that I mean it made me tear up) but I feel like I would have enjoyed the game more if it was solely focused on Kiryu and Haruka without necessarily another big conspiracy. All the characters are great tho.

Now about this Dragon Engine : The game looks very very pretty, that's a thing. Lights are particularly well rendered. Fighting looks very cool, very fluid and all, but it's very sloppy and gets worse when you're up against more than 10 guys, which happens a lot. Also kiryu's moveset seems to be lighter than ever, which makes combat feel very very repetitive.
Minigames and activities are still pretty fun (I was surprised by the fishing), but Clan Creator is way less interesting to play than the one in Kiwami 2, and Baseball team management has 0 tutorial somehow ?

It's a bit sad for a game that's supposed to be that important in the series to feel rushed and unpolished like that. But it still has it's great moments.
Not sure how I'll look back on this one.
I'm curious to see what's next, I hope it was worth it to do more Kiryu stuff and negate this very clear send-off haha

Had a lot of fun, very solid level design ! (and surprisingly pleasant soundtrack)
I don't have much more to say but I'm surprised to see the low rating of the game here ...

Amazing surprise, great to see these characters again ! They totally got the Mario 64 feeling with Celeste mechanics, level design is on point, tons of secret, it's free, it's perfect.
The music really made me laugh :)

I'm at peace with this game now. It definitely isn't World, it's more old-school I guess, but I had a really great time.
The big problem is to really get into it because you need hours to get to the new monsters, but the complete roster is really really good.
The new moveset thing is a nice addition, being able to play with NPCs is both fun in itself and useful if you have a shitty internet. And this seems to be an unpopular opinion but I really enjoy the new mechanics introduced with anomaly monsters.

A very sweet game !
Gameplay reminded me of Death Stranding, except it's fully focused on climbing instead of walking.
It works really well and there are enough new mechanics introduced in every chapter so it doesn't get boring.
While still pretty short, the game felt longer than I expected honestly, but it does fit the journey of climbing this gigantic mountain.

I do feel that more freedom would have been beneficial; at the very beggining, the level design made me assume I could explore a bit out of the main path but no.
Also there is one single moment in the game where you can kinda choose different paths but it last for like 2 minutes ...

Other than that, it is visually extremely pleasant ! I really like that whole "used to be underwater" aesthetic. Music and sound design were particularily on point too.