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She/Her. Cringe Streamer. Asexual Bum.

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Favorite Games

Miitopia
Miitopia
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Dead Rising
Dead Rising
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
Outer Wilds
Outer Wilds

668

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023

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727

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

The Sims 4
The Sims 4

Apr 23

Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts 2

Apr 10

Portal
Portal

Apr 06

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Apr 05

Lethal Company
Lethal Company

Apr 02

Recently Reviewed See More

I am a charlatan, an utter buffoon. A fool in clown’s clothing, already messing up the order of my reviews. Outdoor Retreat is actually the first expansion to The Sims 4 and the laugh track that plays over my life is pointing at me in a never ending cacophony of agony. Is it that I went a little too hard on the fizzy juice or just that this is a pack that isn’t used very often?

That’s not to say that this pack is bad by any means. It’s just that the majority of its content is separated from what would be normal gameplay. It introduced vacations to The Sims 4 and a lot of what it has to offer is located in Granite Falls. This place is by far the best vacation spot in the game so far. The other two are dumpsters in comparison. I haven’t dabbled that much in the woods yet, but it’s a camping site where you can partake in bothering the wildlife and accidentally setting your Sims on fire with a fire pit. In fact, the first time I went here my Sim immediately died upon leaving so I actually believe the place is cursed by this version of Boo Boo Bear.

You could be chillin’ and minding your own business under the stars and suddenly a guy in a grizzly bear costume starts doing push-ups off to the side of your campfire, right in front of your children. The game and your Sim recognizes this person as a real bear, but he’s clearly a dude in a costume and his name is Clyde Johnson or some other randomly generated name. He’s talking to you, but he’s totally a real bear. He’s stealing from the plate of hot dogs you just made as we speak. No one knows his secrets, but he has an agenda. Either Granite Falls is the location of the Sims furry convention or this is just a mystery left in the shadows never to be fully uncovered.

There is also a hermit that you can befriend if you follow the correct paths. I haven’t met them yet and I don’t know if they’re as weird as Clyde, but what I do know is that they’re going to be the next target in my 100 Baby Challenge. They let you fish for rare fish and collect rare bugs like Snow White without the 7 dwarves. I’m going to their house literally right now and bringing the bear with me.

I’m also a bug guy, if I were a Pokémon Gym Leader, I’d let a bunch of kids kill me in the first 1 hour of the game if it meant I could be a Bug Type Leader. This expansion adds the Insect collection that works pretty similar to the collectibles in The Sims 3. Like, they kinda just spawn wherever and then your Sim comes and yoinks them. Ooo yes, enjoy your little glass hut you will now live in forever my pretty little beetle guy. They even got one for the weebs too, look everyone can be happy! I can’t attest for how hard this collection is because I still haven’t finished it, but I doubt it’s anything significant. I’ll just live in the woods for 8 Sim Weeks until I find them all. My children haven’t seen me in years but I will have this awesome collection to add to my basement.

Holy shit, it’s also 4/20 I just realized. Light up that herb baby, we got the Herbalism skill. This works attached to the Gardening skill and helps you identify plants in the wilderness. There are herbs now that are either healthy or toxic, and the only way to find out is to either eat them caveman style or train for your Herbalism PhD. Although, the toxic ones only make your Sim sick and can’t actually murder them. I don’t think it’s that super useful, aside from being able to make herbal remedies on the stove that instantly fill your piss meter or something. No longer do I have to shower when I can just drink a potion that retracts the sweat back into my glands, so I guess I would say it’s not completely useless. There is this weird glitch right now though where if you own a grill outside, your neighbors will just autonomously cook herbal remedies on it and then leave them on the ground. Every now and then I look in my backyard and there’s just piles of jars of this crap just sitting out there. I think in honor of this review I am now going to start drinking whatever horrible concoction they leave instead of just selling them. Godspeed to my Sim.

Aside from that it also adds some really nice features that you can take with you, like a tent. I can just buy a tent and sleep anywhere I want now and not a single other person can say anything to me about it. I got shit to do and my Sim is tired but I’m not leaving and coming back; whip out that bad boy and have a snooze right in the middle of the restaurant. Combining this with the reward trait you get for clearing this pack’s one Aspiration is also pretty wise, as it allows your Sim to enjoy camping no matter what and never complain about it ever again!! You could be homeless and they’d still have a ball.

So while this pack is weird and mostly segregated, it’s still pretty good for the little things it adds. The items you can make and take with you can benefit other aspects of gameplay, at least if you’re me torturing your poor Sim to go through the Olympics of Simming. All in all, it’s just a funny little camping pack you can use whenever you get bored of looking at the four walls you force your Sim to live in. I think I am going to befriend the Bear now, I have some experimenting I want to do with him.

I am on a bender right now, so I’ll slowly start to review (almost) every Sims 4 expansion. The ones that I own, at the very least. I have been partaking in a self-imposed 100 Baby Challenge, but added completionist elements to it in order to spice it up. (All Aspirations, Collectibles, and maxed Skills on one Sim.) Because of this, I am having to use pretty much all that every expansion has to offer in one single save file. This save file is years old now and is on the verge of black hole collapse, but it’s still standing even if it’s got wobbly knees. I will not be starring these reviews though. As much as I would love to have a 3-star middle finger looking graph on my profile, I really just don’t want to muck it up with a ton of DLC expansions.

Anyways, Get to Work? What are you, my mother-in-law?

Ah, the very first expansion in a long line of never-ending add-ons. The Sims 4 was known for having quite the rocky start with a pretty bare bones base-game that was lacking heaps of things that were eventually added in updates later. Get to Work seemed to be a call-back to The Sims 2 Open for Business and The Sims 3 Ambitions, which offered gameplay features for the sickos that get their thrills from working behind a cash register. Get to Work adds on to this by also introducing active career paths like playing as a Scientist, Doctor, or full-time Bastard.

I actually do really like this initially since most Sims careers are rabbit-holes. I can go to work with my Sim and watch them do home-wreck affairs in the office with the randomly generated neighbors that look like they fell out of a blender before coming to work. It’s got a shelf-life though. There’s only so many samples I can analyze, or patients to scan before I get bored. However, you get promoted a lot faster by gripping the bull by the horns and just doing it yourself. It’s just that after a long time you kind of realize it’s eating up the whole day… like real work. The Detective career expands on this a little bit by allowing you to go to crime scenes, but soon you kind of realize that the culprit is just always spawned into the crime scene before everyone else and you know it’s them everytime. It’s funny though because you can release the prisoners for no real reason. I don’t know why you’re in the slammer bro but I want to get home early tonight so go on, GIT!!

I think the lack of an aspiration is what disappoints me in particular though. You would think there’d be a few that were attached to the careers they added, but nah for some reason. Without that there wasn’t really any need for me to pursue these career paths that deeply. I’m not gonna spit at added gameplay elements though. I play The Sims for the life simulation after all, so even if I don’t particularly have an interest in curing Sim cancer, I can at least appreciate that I have the ability to do so. I can see why people would enjoy the routineness of the tasks you’re given on the job. Plus, you can also just send them to work without going yourself and it’ll play as normally as it usually does.

This pack also introduced several unique collectibles though and also Aliens, which are what I would consider to be a staple to The Sims. The aliens have some diabolical social interactions, like erasing the entire memory and relationship panel of a targeted Sim. They disguise themselves as humans and the only real way to discover the truth is by seducing them and finding it out after the fact. They sometimes randomly abduct you in the middle of the night while you frantically try to cancel out the interaction. They will impregnate your husbands!! Absolute menaces to society, but I love them anyway.

Other things: Magnolia Promenade is one of the worst towns in the game, but not the worst. Only 4 empty lots meant for retail properties, so it just doesn’t breathe any sort of life from it. I find it so odd that there’s buildings drawn onto the map where other empty lots could have gone. I guess it’s nice that there’s a designated area to put your retail store instead of using a lot in one of the other neighborhoods though. I haven’t actually dabbled into the Photography skill yet, but it’s funny to fill your walls with horrid photographs and be reminded of them every time you enter Build Mode.

Also, baking! So long Hamburger Cake, we’re having Rainbow Gelatin tonight baybeeee.

It’s honestly not half bad for a first expansion, but in hindsight it’s also not that impressive either. They use a lot of these gameplay elements in future expansions with careers that are more varied with better rewards. There are a lot of expansions like this though, which I’ll get into when I get to them. You’ll experience parts of them once and then not really ever again. If you’re looking to expand your game through DLC, there are better packs that will give you better bang for your buck in my opinion.

I know people cream their jeans about the first Psychonauts game but that wasn’t really my experience with it. Big uppies to the visual style and really unique level-design, but the controls and platforming were uhhhh… POOP?? It was still a really fun game, but I just didn’t find it to be the game that everyone held up so high at the time. There were things I found odd with it like how some powers were only useful for short sections of the game and then never again, and generally just how annoying it was to platform and move around. The story though? That shit rules, dog. Psychonauts uses everything in its crayola box bussy to personify ideas and mental concepts into living designs, be it through the enemies or the overall builds of the levels as they shapeshift around you. The levels were just as much characters as the characters were, and the exploration was rewarded with interesting character writing that was shown instead of told without force feeding you a novel of it at the same time. It’s a game that I wish I liked more and I think I’m only babbling about it because I reviewed it when I was new to this site and didn’t really understand how to barf up how I felt in words yet.

Anyways, this is a review for Psychonauts 2 and the short of it is that it was by and large a tremendous upgrade from its predecessor. My main gripes revolving around the game’s controls and camera angles flew right out the window pretty much immediately. Movement and platforming was so buttery smooth and that dodge roll they gave Raz might as well have renamed him Rizz instead. I was so happy that they gave most of the essential powers in the first few minutes, allowing you to play around with them from the get go. With the added addition of the new enemies, now just about every power has a place on the table, allowing you to dish out pain in any way that you see fit in the moment. While there are particular enemies that require certain powers to be exterminated, the Pyrokinesis and PSI Blast abilities still carried most of the weight. The Time Bubble power is pretty much a must have moving forward, and the upgrades to all of the abilities makes them so much more useful than some of the abilities from the first game. My only minor gripe with the combat was having to assign powers mid-battle through the power wheel. For whatever reason I just would not budge from removing Levitation from LT and anytime I had to remove it during a wave of Panic Attacks and Enablers, I did audibly groan but that only happened a few times in the late-game. I definitely appreciate the challenge even if it meant swapping hotkeys like I was playing a speedrunner’s version of ball in a cup. However, hitting the objects that dropped health would send them into the fucking stratosphere sometimes, which made them pointless in my time of dire need. I would say that my least favorite boss fight was the plant one just because it was probably the most restrictive, but that’s one boss out of several who generally made for some really fun segments.

Aside from this game basically Kingdom Heartsing me by being a direct sequel of a 2nd game that I don’t own the console to, it was still a groovy time from start to finish. While none of the levels hold their own version of “Milla’s Secret” nearly at the same intensity, it was still a rather warming story about a group of friends working through their regrets with the help of Raz. It’s a story that still “went there”, just in different aspects. I don’t personally need the most fucked up thing to happen that lands this game into another 4,000 Top 10 Darkest Moments in video games lists until the end of time for it to be compelling. People still DIED, Susan. I found the deep dive into the other Psychonauts to be rather interesting as it helped build the world that exists outside of the levels to a higher detail, closer to the ones that represent the actual brains where all the showmanship is. Of course the actual brain levels are still the best part of the game too and a whole heaping of them really delivered. I found both the cooking and concert levels to be the stand outs, as they represented the chaotic unraveling, or re-raveling, of their mindscapes so well. Like honestly, is the character losing his damn mind through sensory overload or am I, because that was quite the adventure into horrible ASMR that I didn’t expect to fall into.

And that’s where this series really shines because who else is crafting level design in a way that really puts you in the shoes of it’s characters in the same way that Psychonauts does? Where it really asks you to maybe reflect on your own trauma by dousing you in colors and sometimes difficult climbing; where mental healing and overcoming your obstacles is truly the ultimate goal at the end of the day. As someone who has mental illness in my family, it’s such a tender way of showcasing forgiveness for not just someone else but also yourself. It’s exquisite art design that is packed in just about every crevice and corner with some sort of metaphorical punch to each character’s inner turmoil, whether they have an addiction, horrible regrets, or unimaginable shame. There was care in connecting the platforming mechanics to the overall visual storytelling that combines into this whirlwind of gameplay that tells its story, with narrative twists that really make ya go “ZOINKS”. Interactivity is so fucking cool, bro!!!!

With that too, the game still has its comedic beats of course. The comedy is still written in a way that isn’t competing with the more downer sides of the plot because it’s written in a way that understands when each tone has its place to shine and both lift the cutscenes up without overshadowing each other. That is an aspect of both games that still rings very true. Unrelated to this though, Raz is voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz who also voices Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, which made his blood curdling screams that he makes upon falling off a ledge really funny to me for some reason. Dying really wasn’t an issue because I genuinely laughed every time he screamed, as horrible as that sounds. Related to Raz’s voice though, my real complaint of this game, that is still rather minor, is that Raz honestly talks way too much. I know that I’m 3 years late to this game, but I’ve been noticing a trend lately with any game involving a puzzle that if you don’t solve it in 2 seconds, the characters feel the need to just blurt out the answer for you as if you can’t figure it out for yourself. I am all for accessibility features for kids and everyone else but I really wish you could turn off tips without having to mute the voice audio in the menu. Sometimes I just want to examine what I’m working with before jumping into it and I don’t need Raz backseating the shit out of me- “I need to focus more with my Clairvoyance to-” at every chance- “I hear some emotional baggage around”- he could get- “I think I need to connect blank with blank in order to progress the level” Raz, please, I beg of you.

But all in all, this was a really good time and I felt like it would be. I really wanted to like Psychonauts 1 a lot more than I actually did and when I heard this sequel turned out great, I was more than excited to play it. Overall, I found the levels to be a lot more memorable here as well. I’m sorry Milkman fans, but I have made a solemn oath to never lie in a Backloggd review unless it was about how good I am at the games I’m criticizing. While this game does have things that irk me, they’re really not something that dings it in any grimy way. I guess they’re just more of a personal preference. But, having played this and Portal immediately after beating Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it was a huge breath of fresh air. Give me more games like this pretty please, please, please please.

Also, stop posting this fucking meme every November, you goddamn selective assholes. Whoever made this image and then dropped it into the piss ocean that is Xitter needs to answer for their crimes.