43 Reviews liked by bamdumtss

Kingdom Hearts is a very charming game, both in its graphics and in the design of the game in general, the gameplay is also good, the soundtrack is spectacular, the story (as far as I understand) is very good, I will even have to watch some video explaining the lore lol.
Not much to say, it's a classic. Throw it.

As if Seattle wasn't tormented enough

A story experience that I'll never forget. I haven't been able to bring myself to play any game for more than an hour since leaving high school, so I'm glad this is the one to draw me back into it.
I think what I'm after is a linear experience that isn't too long, because the prospect of a massive open-world with infinite choices seems to fry my brain these days. That's not to say The Last of Us can only be played one way, you can go guns-a-blazing, or do a Hitman style playthrough, and you can switch it up any time you wish! It's the perfectly balance of limiting absolute freedoms without it being restrictive
I also love the care that has been put into the writing and characters. I especially appreciative that it isn't just miserable torture porn, it's challenging but not depressing. Joel and Ellie have one of my favourite relationships in any media, and the parts where they just talk about things are the absolute best.
Also, a massive shoutout to whoever designed the crafting because you actually made me enjoy that shit for once.

Screw the haters- Tekken 4 rules.
A perfect companion piece to Ridge Racer V, the early PS2 vibes are at full force here. Fantasy takes a back seat to a more modern, military-tech themed aesthetic, with a focus on night time city environments drenched in cool blues and icy grey colour tones, marking the arrival of the new millennium in style. Kazuya donning shades. Jin sporting the effortlessly cool jacket-with-hood-up combo. Hwoarang now a tacti-cool spec ops agent. Brawling in minimalistic urban stages like Airport, Mall and Building to the impeccable techno sounds of 'Touch and Go' & 'Authentic Sky'. This 'on the cusp of the future', technologic inspired aesthetic is simply unimaginable by todays standards- a perfect time capsule from the Y2K era, where we yearned eagerly for what was waiting just around the corner. Peak. Soul. And for a title released in 2001, the graphics go hard- check out the rippling water effects in the Jungle stage as your fighters wade through the stream or the bustling npc's ringside in Underground, who can even be interacted with and knocked over if your opponent is smashed into the crowd.
To top it off, no longer are you forced to fight a dumb giant demon as a final boss- no, not on Tekken 4's cool-ass watch. Instead you're thrown into a cage match with a very angry, very naked, sumo Heihachi.

Quadrupedal horses gallop down the derby, each performing their own dressage. A blue sky the Greeks would deny carpets every horizon. You wrench the stick every which way, hoping to drift into pole position. First came the crooked oval—then those canyons of pleasure—now into a motor metropolis. That which pollutes the planet now powers you through turns, collisions, spinouts, and victories. It's all too human, all too sublime.
The world no longer needs NASCAR. It's a vestigial organ of the North American auto-infrastructural complex, the enemy of a sustainable society. Hundreds of thousands squeeze into bleachers just to see drivers bailing and crashing in-between stretches of predictable slipstreaming. Why bother when, all the way back in 1993, SEGA extracted all the essential fun you could have with stock car racing? And they made it better, too!
Daytona USA was to NASCAR games what Hot Shots Golf did for, well, golf. Toshihiro Nagoshi's team at AM2 did their research on the sport, but instead chose to recreate the excitement one hopes in this kind of racing. Two racecars and three courses sounds like not nearly enough to keep you hooked, but the depth of this game's controls, stage design, and time-attack challenge never fail me. Here was an arcade revelation, transcending coin-feeding without losing the "one more try!" addictiveness of its predecessors.
Not to say Ridge Racer was that much less compelling, however. Both SEGA and Namco competed to make the best possible tech-pushing arcade racers, followed by rivals Taito and Konami. And this resulted in so many eminently replayable classics, from Battle Gear to GTI Club. Yet SEGA's 1993 debut for their Model 2 hardware outdid nearly all its challengers for years to come. I can't stress enough how simple yet skill-demanding the downshift drifting in this game and sequel is. That harsh turn towards the end of the Beginner track has upset so many eight-player races over the years. The Advanced run covers the whole gamut of driving lines and dubious PIT maneuvers. Sliding around the Expert course evokes the bliss of commanding a lead at Watkins Glen and other Actually Interesting NASCAR Races. Mastering these mechanics brings tangible rewards, and the ceiling for superior times and skill seems endless.
On top of how well it plays, Daytona USA's sights and sounds are somehow timeless in a sea of dated 3D contemporaries. (Again, something Ridge Racer excels at too.) How many times have I read "blue skies in games" with regards to Daytona and other SEGA classics? Who hasn't once sung along with Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's delightfully sampled songs while playing or in the shower? The vibrant colors, chunky but endearing texturing, and elegant shapes on-screen mesh so well with all the cheesy, life-affirming music and rumbling in your ears. Compared to the diminishing returns of today's triple-A games, this was and remains a paradigm shift in what I'd consider top-end, the confluence of price and immersion.
SEGA's had a hard time keeping this monumental game in circulation over the years, sadly. That license ain't cheap, and neither is porting the game to newer systems. I'm glad the PS3/X360 remaster could happen, even if it's unavailable to buy today. (Beats me why they haven't put the non-licensed Sega Racing Classic version up on storefronts; at least the 360 version is BC ready.) AM2's port team did as excellent a job as they could under what I'd speculate was a limited time & budget. Image quality's crisp, controls map naturally to dual-analog gamepads, and they managed to slot some useful bonus modes in for content-needy home players like myself.
Karaoke mode explains itself: you simply play through a race like normal, but trading out Mitsuyoshi vocals for on-screen lyrics. I know what mode I'm using when the gang and I load this up in VC. Then there's Challenge mode, which introduces new players to concepts like racing lines and shift drifting. I loved going through these even as an experience player; their brief nature lends well to retries. Sure, I'd have loved to race on entirely new tracks made in the original's style, but I also know how previous versions sporting those made compromises in playability or performance. That seems to be a curse for the more content-rich SEGA racers, something Namco avoided for much longer. Still, there's much to enjoy here beyond the arcade mode.
Playing Daytona today should be a lot easier than it is. I hope SEGA sees the adoration this game's had over the past decade. Any chance of them relicensing the HD release for recent platforms, or just porting Sega Racing Classic to avoid the fees, would be awesome. Until then, sailing the blue seas under blue skies is always an option. Any local (b)arcade with a twin or eight-player cab is great, too, assuming they've been maintaining it. This game's too important in arcade history to let slip into unavailability!
So what are you waiting for? We should all be rolling under blue blue skies, playing fun soundbites on the name entry table, and nailing those U-turns around tough corners. Just don't go and lose your sponsors!

i think this game is literally impossible to dislike. you could spend hours nitpicking various things that don't work about it, but at the end of the day the pure charm overrides all of it.
shenmue demands your patience, and if you're willing to respond in turn, you might get a lot out of the game.
yakuza fans that smugly say that series is "shenmue but good" don't understand what works about these two games.

the only time complaining about lootboxes and microtransactions actually worked and its because redditors made an infograph to trick facebook moms into actually caring

I'm currently replaying this game 18 years later, oh the memories, the edgy early 2000s soundtrack, the takedowns, everything is just perfect, one of my favorite racing games of all time, I wish I could go back to the pre-2010 days, it brings a tear to my eye...

Simply the best game of this year easily, I must say that it will be very difficult to surpass it, mainly for the originality and love put into every detail of this game...
It's even difficult to make a more complete review because it doesn't have many problems, and if it does, it has 3 more strengths that make the weaknesses practically disappear.
Hi-Fi Rush brings an absurd nostalgic feeling, both for its gameplay and also for the plot that reminds a lot of old games.
Anymay, it's really worth it.

Coffee Talk is one of those games you really need to be aware of what you are getting going in. I've seen a few reviews here mention it's boring or how little gameplay it has. So to those unaware this is a short visual novel with limited played player input that's very narrative heavy.
Oh as a game it's uninteresting, that I agree with. You make drinks during conversations that are often vague you have to figure out. Not going to lie, used a guide, didn't care. If you come into this for gameplay mechanics or puzzles just step away now. Where Coffee Talk shines is the interesting characters and world. Their designs, excellent pixel art and animations. Their struggles, successes or failures of their everyday lives you learn about over a period of nights. I got pretty drawn into it and it helps this game is incredibly relaxing.
It's one of those sort of titles that makes me think it could only really be done as a video game personally. I mean sure a film version of this and the characters could be done easily enough but it wouldn't be the same. It's a game about observing the characters from the outside on the other side of the bar. Yes your character talks, yes they are a key component to both how it works and the function of a Coffee shop but the observations of the customers coming in and their lives is the focus.
It's super chill, visually nice and just generally has a pretty nice vibe to it. It made me want to try more hot drinks even though I don't like Tea or Coffee. I mean I like the idea of them. I like the smell, the aroma of them but the actual drinks? nope. Still this has made me want to try and make homemade cinnamon milk again and some other types of hot chocolate.
Does it really rain that much in Seattle?

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