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Favorite Games

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV
Elden Ring
Elden Ring
F-Zero GX
F-Zero GX


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


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I'm not sure what my favorite part was:
1) Having the autosave crash the game at one point
2) Riding the Ferris Wheel a second time and having an out-of-body experience as I got to float around in the sky while overlooking the Ferris Wheel (in the same circular motion as said ride)
3) Riding the Roller Coaster ride, getting off, getting the flashlight, then having the game softlock me into a state of not being able to exit the ride until I closed and reopened the game and continued
4) Deciding to skip a number of rides you were expected to take, opening up some paths by interacting with stuff near those points, then going back to the previous rides, then coming back to those paths to find them closed off and discovering that even reloading would not reopen the path you needed to progress the game
5) The amazingly bad PT loop at the end of the game.
My wife when the game was over: "This is it? This is really it? This was not worth staying awake for, at all."
I can't even say I mastered the game because I checked and two of the trophies were locked off past the Roller Coaster section, so I would have had to play all the way back through to that point from the beginning if I wanted to 100% it that badly. AND I DO NOT.

I'll give some short thoughts on this before pointing out the best softlock ever.
-- The pixel art is fantastic.
-- The horror aesthetic is great.
-- The initial descent into the facility works really well.
-- A particular point in the game where you learn more about your REPLIKA unit was probably my second-favorite moment of the game.
-- Kinda hate that the inventory is only six slots and you're using one of those slots for a necessary item for about half of the game, because it creates a lot of needless backtracking and pushes you to just run through areas instead of engaging enemies (or even dispatching them with tools).
-- The puzzles are a little obtuse at times, but it's not too hard to figure out what's going on most of the time.
But really, I'm here for when I beat the game and it softlocked during my ending. It was such a WTF moment because I'm sitting there on a screen that's not-quite frozen, with the words "YOU SELFISH MONSTER" just stuck on the screen while occasional artifacting happens. I waited ten minutes and then had to go look up the endings to confirm it was a softlock and not something else, since no buttons would give any sort of response to move it along.
YOU SELFISH MONSTER. Yep, that's me! Fun game, but also a real dick for calling me out like that. I got it on sale for 20% off and I think it's worth it at that price, given I got about eight hours out of it for 15 bucks. There's better survival horror out there, but this one definitely feels like a rather unique experience, if nothing else.

Without going into spoilers, I'll say that this game has very okayish combat, but it goes hard on exploration and the boss fights are largely a delight.
After a few upgrades, you feel ridiculous in terms of your vertical and horizontal mobility and it feels like the game encourages you to try and maximize your movement -- even to the point that there are some ability upgrades you can acquire early simply by understanding the combinations of movement gained from beating bosses. But even without those, you can discover that Iko will run after a certain distance and that roll-jumping from another ledge (above or below) will facilitate this -- meaning that if there's a room that's just out of reach normally by jumping from the ledge you're on, you can create your own rolling/running start and do another roll into a jump off that final ledge to get just a slight bit more distance or height to reach places that are slightly out of the way. And that's just one example out of several.
Of course, the level design is largely tight and what feels like lots of potential paths is actually just dead ends with upgrades or items (some of which might be required) or loops around to the same space, but I can't overstate that the FEELING of good movement in a platforming space was nearly always present throughout the game.
Of praiseworthy notion for me, as well -- bosses. I feel like the bosses were all over the place for difficulty, but outside of one on a later island that was gating a particular movement upgrade (this boss had some moves that you could dodge roll against but you'd still take damage and I never understood how to avoid damage against said boss), the patterns were actually pretty fun and I never felt like deaths had anything to do with poor telegraphing, frustrating mobility issues, or anything else of that nature.
The soundtrack is so very chill and I loved most of the island music. Boss music and overworld music was less impressive, but it did the job.
Things I had gripes with -- even though some of the ability upgrades could give your more currency or make enemies drop more currency and I explored nearly 100% on all five islands, I still had a bunch of grinding for currency to unlock everything by the time I reached the endgame, so I passed on that. Also, I purchased a particular upgrade that's supposed to facilitate teleporting between both teleporters and save locations (I think?), but I wasn't paying solid attention to how the upgrade worked and when I got it, it never told me again how to use it and searching online for info gave me nothing useful about it, so I just kept using shrines to teleport myself everywhere and left it at that.
Also, the last island does feel hollow compared to the first four and one particular boss lair feels frustrating because it felt like they were out of good ideas for puzzles, so it was just room filler for the sake of room filler.
I guess I'm supposed to say something about visuals, even though that usually doesn't matter much for me when playing a Metroidvania, so...hey, it looked pretty good. High-five!
I imagine the last bit of grinding for currency would probably put 100%ing the game at around 12 hours, maybe less? I don't know how difficult Boss Rush mode is, so I can't really speak on that. It took me a little over 8 hours to beat the game.
At 20 bucks, I'd say it's worth a full purchase, but at least as of 8/10/23, Islets is 30% off (14 bucks) until 8/16/23, so maybe if you've got a little loose cash around and want to give a Metroidvania some love, consider giving this a shot.