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jtduckman commented on jtduckman's review of Devil's Third
man, between this, aquanauts holiday, and go go hypergrind, this really is the summer of me playing needlessly expensive shit huh

2 days ago


jtduckman finished Devil's Third
fucking peak, I simultaneously can and can't believe this game was ravished so critically in its time. Like, did we even play the same game???? I honestly booted this game up as a joke since my Wii U was plugged in for shovel knight, and ended up getting really invested to the point of playing through the whole thing.

The narrative is pretty much a bonafide example of a japanese developer making a western-leaning action plot, and I mean that in only the best ways. There's tons of political jargon and inter-continental relation talk that borders that fine line between advancing the plot in a sensible way while still sounding complicated and serious. The cast of characters all have their own exaggerated morals and views of the world alongside their borderline tangential relationship to our protagonist where things feel personal between them but never really established nor developed any further. There's all the action setpieces you'd expect like puching through a jail full of cartoonishly insane tenants, blasting helicopters singlehandedly in your generic western battlefield, going through a house-of-the-dead-ass hospital filled with zombies, going through the cool japan castle level filled with cyborg ninjas, snowy mountains complete with a crazy vehicle segment, this game has it ALL. Instead of having anything tongue-in-cheek about how absurd that some shirtless dude with a gun and a sword and his crew of generic mechanically-enhanced supersoldiers can make it through all this insanity, the game plays everything dead fucking straight. There's not a hint of irony going on about this overly complex and flashy plot that mostly amounts to the same generic action movie tropes, and I ate up every goddamn second of it and lost my shit at every crazy moment the game threw at me. If you are a fan of like the Metal Gear series, the Ace Combat series, Resident Evils 4-6 in particular, or pretty much any Clover/Platinum game or Suda51 action title, you probably already know exactly what kind of vibe this games going for and will likely hella fuck with it just as much as I did.

If this game was just a goofy stupid setpiecy title that'd be one thing, but the actual gameplay is really fucking solid too! Yeah, the game definitely looks and runs more like an xbox 360 game from 2008 than a AAA Wii U title from 2015 (not really like there's much of a difference between the two in the first place), but honestly I do not give a singular shit about graphics and even found plenty of parts to look really nice regardless. The game is directed by our boy Tomonobu Itagaki, and while that sounds like a pretty red flag for me personally given how much Ninja Gaiden Sigma PTSD I still suffer from, in this game he was able to adapt his Itagaki-isms to a way where it's not total cock and ball torture to push through. In this game you have a gun to shoot things and play like a cover shooter, a sword to combo people in melee combat, and extra moves like grenade throwing and dash sliding for extra options for mobility and offense. I noticed while playing that I was doing everything I could to get from one battle sequence to the other because I found the combat that engaging, which isn't even something I do for some fully-blown character action games. The game and its levels are definitely designed in a way where while you CAN just focus on one over the other and either play the game entirely like Gears of War or like Ninja Gaiden, it's at its peak when you stay on your toes and utilize each weapon equally. I found the most fun in focusing on melee for primarily killing people and using the guns only for particularly long-distance targets that I'd die trying to run to, or to occasionally use in order to thin out crowded rooms a bit before running in like a lunatic with a knife. Hitting and killing people with melee in particular earns you meter which can be spent on activating a super mode that makes you mostly invulnerable while active and gives a heavy melee buff, and you can even activate it during scripted enemy attack sequences which means at any time you can have a panic button if things start going south. The bosses are also really fun and each one serves as a pretty different test of each of your different skills (even if some of the later game bosses get pretty cheap with instant kill attacks). It's basically 3D Ninja Gaiden but with high-speed third person shooting thrown in and not ludicrously difficult. What the fuck isn't there to like about that???

It's a banger fucking video game, shoutouts to Nintendo of all fucking people for actually being the guys to see the worth in something like this enough to publish it. It makes sense why this game reviewed so low because like in 2015 people were more wanting to see what the PS4/Xbone generation had to offer and didn't really have the time or energy to give a late wii U Unreal Engine 3 game much the light of day at all, and I lowkey get that. Nowadays though, where I feel like people are more willing to look past that kind of thing, I think it makes sense why this game has such a devoted cult fanbase. I wish I was able to try out the online mode when it was alive because of what I've heard from secondhand accounts it was apparently fun as FUCK and after playing through the singleplayer I can very much believe it. You goddamn KNOW if some fan servers pop up for this game, I'm there day one. The game is insanely difficult to get nowadays because Nintendo of America apparently lost faith in the title near the end of its development similarly to Disaster Day of Crisis (which honestly this game shares a lot in common with in terms of camp, guess Nintendo of America has horrible taste but at least they released this game here in SOME capacity vs just outright not for that game), and as such combined with the fact that the Wii U eshop is rip in kill, this game is a fuckpile of money to buy physically. I had my chance to get this game physically for 40 bucks back in its time but decided against it because I was a broke-ass high schooler and now its like 10 times that price and I have every US first party Wii U game physically except this and fuckin Mario Tennis Ultra Smash. Considering that it's extremely unlikely this game will ever get a rerelease, I'd def suggest giving this game a go under any means necessary without having to sell your liver. This game deserves to be played by more people that can appreciate what it does instead of being known as "that shitty expensive wii U game".

2 days ago


2 days ago


2 days ago


jtduckman finished Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
Banger expansion. Compared to the more NES capcom-y influence that Shovel Knight's campaign had and the romhacky feel of Plague Knight, Specter Knight's campaign basically hits all the right gameplay notes for me by essentially being NES Ninja Gaiden but with a homing attack. The character movement is fun as fuck here and the level design is done in a way to capitalize on said fun as fuckness as much as they can. If you buy the outfit upgrade that lets you do the scythe slide on solid ground then this becomes the game of absolute shmovement and I had a blast playing through it. My only real gripe is that getting the healing sub-item first kind of made me entirely dependent on it for the whole playthrough so even though I got all sorts of other cool ass sub weapons I pretty much barely ever used them in place of just doing homing dashes and regular melee combat, healing with the heal sub whenever necessary. The two previous campaigns so far have been charming homages, but this definitely makes me understand the greater appeal of the shovel knight series.

2 days ago





jtduckman finished Bomberman Fantasy Race
bro did atlus USA just have a fetish for colorful and vibrant yet brutally unbalanced kart racers in the 90s? First Snowboard Kids, and now this...

There's definitely some sauce to the mechanics of this game that take advantage of the fact that you are on a walking animal instead of a car. There's a jump button that can both be used as a way to get over gaps as well as for wall jumps to make sharp corners somewhat easier, and there's also a stamina system where you have a meter that can be spent on dashing to go faster. It's not just your typical "drift to get a boost and that's kind of it" kind of kart racer. The actual physics are definitely pretty wack, the cornering is WAY too fucking slippery to the point where it just feels like controlling a bar of soap that rotates around slowly. The items are different compared to other kart racers as well. Since it's bomberman, everyone has constant access to an infinite supply of bombs that they can throw, but aiming can be extremely tricky as you need to hold the button down to charge the distance while also lining the shot up. The items in the item boxes are a lot more sporadic in value; there's things that help like your boost items, homing shots, and time stoppers but there's also items that are completely fucking useless like the remote bombs and the power bombs. There's also a special boost tech where you get a boost if you can throw a bomb just right where you can get in front of it while it explodes, but most of the time I've tried it there's a 50/50 shot I just end up running into my own bomb like a dumbass so it's certainly a high-risk high-return technique to use. In multiplayer, where everyone is on the same playing field, I think this game would be a pretty solid enough kart racer if stuff like Chocobo Racing plays too generically and you for some reason can't play CTR.

But I didn't play the multiplayer, did I now??? Dear LORD the singleplayer experience is a struggle. Firstly, there's a money system that's in play where you can buy new Louies to ride, items to use in races, or most importantly, tickets to unlock each of the courses. (for some reason there's a whole currency system in this game where you can exchange your bronze coins to turn into silver coins of the same value, or silver to gold, etc., and there's a whole 3D safe viewer where you can look at your money drawers like some shenmue scrooge mcduck. I kinda dig the amount of effort put into such an arbitrary feature.) The only thing about the currency means that the game becomes a money grind as the only way you won't be replaying races to get enough money for the later levels is if you do EVERYTHING with the stock Louie, and as someone who did just that I do not recommend it the default Louie sucks ass. The AI is also so obviously cheating at every turn. There will be times where despite your running at maximum dashing speed the AI just says lol and overtakes you. I saw one of the CPU characters freak out on a turn and to compensate it they just kicked into fucking hyperspeed and zipped across the map like they are sonic the goddamn hedgehog, or how a CPU used an item in the race before we even reached the first set of item boxes. For the last course, my entire victory hinged on grabbing items as frequently as possible in a vain attempt to try and get as many opponent-freezing clock items as humanly possible, as really in single player this game isn't about keeping your character fast, it's about keeping the AI slow. If something happens like missing the choco-mountain-ass jumps in the ski level, or you get a bad item at an inopportune time, like at that point just retry the race it's already joever. Considering the items are set to true random the honest-to-god strat is to avoid any of the item boxes if you are in first, because the risk of hitting one and getting a skull item that can reverse your controls for several seconds or the item that stops you in place for like 10 seconds while your Louie takes a shit (funny item, but very crippling!) is not worth whatever mild protection that getting an offensive item could get you. Bumping into walls or getting hit by an item actually makes you drop whatever items you have too, so really this game hella encourages not even thinking about item strategy and just popping before dropping. The AI also has pretty decent bomb throwing aim, where I found that by the time I had charged my bomb throws enough to reach an opponent they had already long left my sights, but if I got near any CPU it's like playing fucking dodgeball with how much shit gets thrown at you. Lastly, the CPU doesn't really believe in spreading themselves throughout the map very much so it pretty much is a race against a pack of four tightly-packed opponents all trying to kill you specifically. In this game, if you ain't first, you're last.

Despite the singleplayer being actual suffering the vibes are on point because it's late 90s bomberman and the multiplayer could be fun, so it's not like this game is worthless or not worth checking out for those reasons. And hey! It's not the most bullshit kart racing game I've played because I was able to actually finish it! Can't say that about snowboard kids... damn those ice-sliding minors...

4 days ago


4 days ago


jtduckman commented on jtduckman's review of Guitar Hero Live
@spinnerweb damn avenged sevenfold must be pretty big to be the band in every FMV video, really liked their bangarang and ho hey performances

7 days ago


jtduckman earned the Replay '14 badge

7 days ago


8 days ago


jtduckman finished Unravel
What a cozy ass game. Iyashikei vibes for sure, though done in a nostalgic longing-for-the-simpler-times kind of way. It has a real heart put into it, which is like extremely antithetical to pretty much anything else EA published in the late 2010s.

NGL i couldn't make heads or tails out of what the narrative was trying to say, maybe that's just me being MeDiA iLlItErAtE or maybe its just that the way everything is presented is done in a very interperative manner, mostly showing pictures related to the levels you go through and letting you yourself fill in the blanks. I thought it was all mostly going to just be about reminiscing through childhood memories but then like midway through there's this weird arc about pollution that happens before going straight back to the nostalgic vibes all before some old people supposedly die(?) at the end. Didn't really know what to make of it all things considered.

The gameplay is some comfily-paced puzzle platforming. There's a central mechanic of leaving behind a trail of yarn and you can only move as far as the amount of yarn within yourself can allow. You can grab onto your yarn trail or lasso onto grappling points to swing around or break your fall, and you can tie your yarn to specfic points to use as a rope to do things like make bridges or anchor things in place. It's all pretty well thought-out, and while there were a handful of times where the game sometimes doesn't make it apparently obvious where to go, it's never so obtuse that I needed to consult the web or anything.

The vibes though are absolutely immaculate here. Holy shit does this game look damn good, like my friends like to make fun of me by telling me I say "we don't need graphics better than this" to like every game under the sun, but like trust me I mean it this time. The game is a visual feast, with luschious environments brimming with such a high fidelity that I found myself constantly appreciating how much care was put into them. The calm orchestrated soundtrack and sound design also help to just emphasize the vibe of just being a lil yarn dude in nature. I will say that especially in the first half of the game some of the environments can look a bit samey, with "grassy/mossy and rocky hill with mushrooms and trees" being a pretty prevelant environmental theme, but they do change things up by the end of the game.

When you first turn the game on and right after the credits roll, you see a message from the dev team expressing the gratitude towards buying and playing the game while explaining how much they poured their all into making it. It's absolutely crazy that EA of all fucking people published this passion project made by a small Swedish studio without trying to take creative control away or turn it into their typical hot piles of garbage that they make so often. If only games like this from big publishers could be the norm instead of the exception, becuase the world can always use more cool stuff like this.

8 days ago


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