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Iji is one of the most ambitious games of this size that I've seen, especially for coming out back in 2008. Made almost entirely by one person, this is basically an action platformer/immersive sim, which is a combination I don't know that I've seen before. There are different approaches to combat and exploration depending on how you spec out your character's stats, from handling different types of weaponry, to strength based melee builds, hacking (which is actually a pretty cool stealth-ish playstyle where you can hack enemy weapons), or just becoming a tank so you can run through everything. I did a mostly strength focused build (though I got enough levels to try out a bit of everything by the end) and went full lethal, although pacifist runs seem to have been considered as at least a mostly viable option, and there are parts in the story that seem to reflect that choice.
All of that stuff is cool and very ambitious, and it more or less works, but it does come with some downsides. The controls are very stiff, particularly only being able to attack while standing. You often want to crouch behind cover or jump over attacks and are helpless while doing that. The enemy attack patterns, although not that interesting overall, are at least decent about this though so once you get used to it it's not so bad. It just all feels very weird and like a modern game or a remake of this would do things differently. It's also not a great looking game. You're going to be looking at some low res programmer art characters against very basic and repetitive backgrounds for nearly the entire game, and some people aren't going to be into it because of that.
The balancing is also strange. Playing on the normal difficulty early on I was expecting it to get kind of tedious (though it hadn't yet) with the awkward controls and sprawling levels, but it never really did. I think part of this is because you get really, really overpowered by the end if you're collecting the maximum amount of XP per level. You're limited to leveling up 5 times in each zone, and while I get the reason for the cap with you already being able to become overpowered even with that, it feels like it should have just been balanced better without an artificial cap in place. That being said, being overpowered was pretty fun and the awkwardness of the game might have gotten more in the way if it was more difficult. I haven't tried the other difficulties so I can't really speak to those, but they seem like pretty straightforward numerical changes.
The writing is equally ambitious as the gameplay design, but less successful at achieving its goals. There's an absolute ton of lore and background info in text logs you find throughout the game, but there's also some pretty important info in these, which led to me skimming a whole lot. It could definitely use some editing down. The dialogue and narrative feel amateur at a lot of points but at least they're trying for something interesting and make an effort to tie into your choices throughout the game.
It's a weird game with a lot of drawbacks, and I wouldn't blame someone for not being able to get into it, but it's also just so ambitious and cool for what it is, and I haven't seen anything else quite like it.

This is a perfectly fine game. The first person platforming is simple but fun enough, it introduces all of the mechanics fairly quickly and I guess they're used decently, though it never gets very challenging. The story is just... there. It didn't evoke much emotion or interest, but wasn't actively bad. It's held back some by the voice acting and character animations feeling very stiff. I can admire going for what they did on a lower budget, many games just wouldn't show you the characters directly or communicate only through text as a way around this. I dunno, this is okay but also isn't very well done here. The highlight of the game is definitely the environmental design and art. The areas were really nice looking, pretty diverse for a short game, and fun to move through. It's hard to think of who I'd recommend this to, because it doesn't really excel at much, but if it seems interesting to you it's not bad and it's fairly short to play through.

idk. its fine. worst metroid game out of the 5 though (incl. zero mission and samus returns 3ds but excl. the NES games)



As a fan of roguelikes, roguelites, and Rogue, I find my standards for the quality of a roguelike are as follows: if the game can provide significant mechanical novelty across playthroughs such that each new run feels like a new character embarking on a new adventure with new perils to face, then I consider it a success - and the level of its success is amplified by both amount of content (which multiplies the sense of novelty), and consistency of mechanics, which allows the player both feel themselves in a world governed by consistent rules, and to create more and more successful attempts at the given goal of, say, going to hell (or, as in the current example, escaping from it). Narrative and design soundness are also useful aspects for game makers to focus on, and can elevate a title massively, but when I consider the most significant aspects of the roguelike genre, the ability to produce consistent mechanical novelty within a mechanically consistent world is paramount.
Hades, then, is concerned with the things which to me are the exact opposite of the point, and does very little to push this mechanics-focused genre forward. While the combat is punchy and fun, it's essentially just action gameplay ported from Supergiant's previous titles Bastion and Transistor - "work smarter, not harder" ostensibly being the aphorism in the office after releasing a significantly more unique game, Pyre, to much less vibrant fanfare - and while the story is lively, there is for me a feeling of disappointment after the first, the third, the fifth successful fight with Hades, which springs from the grim question not ever to be evoked by such a life-sucking medium as this: what's the point?
I'm all for well-constructed works which adhere to the mores of a given artistic movement, and to its credit, perhaps that is simply what this is (which is to say, a game consistent with the times, and guided by superficial forces which garner positive attention, such as: general polish, strong VA, a coherent aesthetic, lovely music, fascinating attention to detail, a rags-to-riches developer story, bright readable visuals, a transparent development process, a charming cast of characters and an absolutely absurd amount of dialogue lines) - but nonetheless, I find it all kind of boring.
lacking in sufficient secrets or novelty, yet polished to a mirror's sheen, Hades is a roguelike himbo with daddy issues, perceiving the multigenerational success of its forefathers, and projecting outwardly that it can be a big boy too, just as long as its prettier than pops. What himbo fails to realize, unfortunately, is that brooding daddy was actually sort of deep.

Pretty fun megawad, with a really unique visual style for the 2nd and 3rd episodes. Makes very smart use of low monster counts most of the time, which leads to a different type of difficulty than most modern wads. Also enjoyed the unorthodox use of weapons, like allowing the basic shotgun some time to shine in the first episode, and heavy use of the rocket launcher. My main complaint is some of the later maps are easy to get lost, particularly the guest maps which I felt didn't do as good of a job with signposting keys/doors. The ending was also a bit anticlimactic. Favorite map was 16, Cidadela I.

I set out to play all of the Final Fantasy games this year and came in with pretty low expectation for this one but it really impressed me. While the mechanics are simple, the game has a timeless elegance in its design that really held up for me and I enjoyed my time with it a lot.

This is a solid game. Good ideas, good execution. The combat is a little stiff, and the camera problematic, but nothing that destroys the experience. A good action RPG.

at the time of its release, i didn't think too much of it. but it actually feels like it aged better than the original. plot in first was more engaging, but gameplay in the second was a definite improvement.

This game is actually amazing. Story wasn't anything special, but it I like some of the story beats and how it incorporated its story into gameplay quite a few times. Definitely a lot of great moments present, and it is unfortunate that people will write it off.
There were plenty of times where you are powerless in the story, and then on the same map the game exactly makes you feel the same way. Something we have been missing in Fire Emblem since arguably Thracia?
The game goes back to the GBA days and make supports very quick and simple, meaning after a map you don't have to spend a long time reading all of the supports. Not to say the characters are hot garbage, there are definitely good ones even with the change of length in them.
I played the game on Maddening and the gameplay itself is REALLY player phase heavy, which is awesome because that means you spend time more strategizing which is very welcomed for a strategy game. Generally the maps have a very consistently alright to good quality (with some really cool ones). Paralogues are definitely the maps with the lowest quality, but I'd argue you could blame the respective games for its quality. (on Maddening they are NEAR identical to the source material)
I had fun, only issue are the hit rate getting pretty shake late game and it gets kinda annoying when using the turnwheel doesn't even reset RN. It takes the FE12 H3 endgame approach where you want to fucking finish every late game map as fast as possible and the Thracia approach of using your entire arsenal to deal with every problem. Which I think is a fine thing at least, but a kinda annoying while dealing with hit rates.
My other complaint is that the UI has been a downgrade compared to its predecessors, a lot of design choices baffles me and it shouldn't be this hard just to look at a might of a weapon.
An insane amount of tools that the game gives you, story that works with the game, pretty good fanservice for older fans, amazing animations, beautiful looking world. A lot of steps forward, I am very content with this game. Definitely a favorite in the series for me.



I think its OK to cheat at video games. Probably not chess (#magnusisinnocent) or other competitive ones, but like, I think if you're stuck on a puzzle, and you've given it the old college try, I think there's nothing wrong with googling "spoderman how do i shot web" every once in a while. If you're legitimately stuck, what else are you going to do otherwise? Just drop the game? That's dumb.
I tried really hard not to cheat at Tunic. Really hard. I did succumb, a few times, and a few more times than that, I tried to succumb and just look up the answer but I failed to phrase it right and didn't find anything out. What's cool about Tunic is that it plays into the impulse of looking stuff up by giving you that nice old Manual. Making you find that manual, piece by piece--you have to literally build your understanding of the game page by page. Once you've got it all together, you can figure out what questions you're really asking.
Tunic sells itself as a Zelda or Soulslike; moreso than those it is a Fezlike, but even more than that this game is a Flower, Sun, and Rain-like. The game doesn't really begin until you are reading through the manual, back and forth, digging for secrets. I don't really have any idea what any of the lore in this game meant, or what any of the weird runic language is saying; what I do know is that I beat this game, and what it means to do that. And figuring that out ruled. The puzzles in this game are labyrinths, and what a joy it is to walk them.

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