8 Reviews liked by SciKarate
No More Heroes
is travis a chainsaw man fan or is denji a no more heroes fan
in the words of pantera ... fucking hostile!!!! an antifun tour de force, disrespects every second of the player's time, mocks u, kills u out of nowhere repeatedly and without mercy... AND teaches you that Love is all that can lighten the misery of Work :-)
the narrative is elliptical in a way i wouldve loved to chew on like 10 years ago ... but i'm old now and insensate and respond only to sensory inputs like color and sound. luckily this game is full of weird crunchy noises and gross textures in addition to a cast of morose lesbians. i have so much patience and LOVE for proudly tedious, unreconstructed survival horror mechanics!!! the loop here is finessed just enough; you'll come upon puzzle solutions naturally as u explore new rooms, but it's also exhausting to find the item you need with a full inventory and the nearest save room half the map away :))))) a masterclass in what i think the kids call "filtering" ...
also happy to see a game that doesn't bother with delicately alluding to other art (subtle intertextuality ... that thing videogames are famous for); it just plops it in front of you whole-cloth. the silent hill save screen and meat world slop are really obvious, all the classical pieces & cosmic horror texts, but the use of the böcklin painting "isle of the dead" is especially canny — he painted a handful of versions (plus a cheerier follow-up "isle of life"), there are several potential IRL inspirations, it was widely proliferated in his home country ... its so thematically relevant girl!!
miserable autofiction. has a kind of dworkinite intensity in moments but wayyyyy too heavy on disclaimers and apologies. actually most successful in the little section about how 80% of prostitution is customer-service hell. feels like a relic from the early 2010s indie scene
found this at a flea market outside tampa unpriced in a bin of stuff after getting sexually harassed ... first disc freezes up TT
love the way your guy's head is primed to explode the INSTANT u hit zero health. this really is dogshit — its like if someone whacked every one of the original dead space devs in the skull with a lead pipe and left them to remake the game.
Somerville has been a game on my most-wanted list ever since the trailer debuted years ago. It had everything working in it's favor: minimalistic art style, puzzle-based gameplay, and a focused story on a family trying to survive a War-Of-The-Worlds type scenario. With better polish and some more thought out accessibility options, this game could've been a hidden gem for Game Pass subscribers. Instead the clunky controls, unforgiving checkpoints, and lack of direction given to the player makes this a chore to play instead of a joy.
Fulfilling puzzles make you go "That's it!" and not "...that's it?" Somerville ties up every introspective (and BEAUTIFUL) slice-of-life scene with a puzzle that feels like notes from playtesters never got acted upon. There is little to no information given to the player for how to succeed in using the puzzle mechanics, which typically invites the player to have ah-ha moments throughout a play session, but Somerville's clunky controls make it feel like work instead of play.
Some great ideas here, just a bit sloppy. It doesn't bode well that a 3.5 hour long game felt like much longer. Performance on my Series X was fine, but the game took a big hit framerate-wise on my Series S.
And I have a lot of thoughts about the Dog in the game, but to discuss them openly would be spoilery.
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