more monke
It's more ape escape, which considering how much I liked the first game really isn't a problem whatsoever. The core gameplay of using the dualshock sticks to catch various monkeys is primarily the same, as well as the tools and gadgets also mostly being the same, it's all-around a pretty safe sequel.
The game still has its signature level of wacky style to everything, I particularly like the new boss troupe - the Freaky Monkey Five, as both a goofy exaggerated sentai parody and as a set of boss fights. There's also a gacha machine that gives out collectibles ranging from goofy dev screenshots to bizarrely morbid fairytale parodies. There's even full 16:9 widescreen support, which is crazy for an '02 PS2 game. My only gripes with the game is that some of the later levels can be a bit too long and linear for the type of collectathon this series tries to be as well as the fact you basically HAVE to replay every level if you want the true ending as the post game adds bonus monkeys to every level like its mfin green stars from mario galaxy 2.
From the way everything is designed and presented, it really felt to me like the devs were having a lot of fun making the game. Like the first Ape Escape, the game wears its Japanese origins with pride to make a good time. (sidenote: kinda strange how the ape escape series is like the only largely talked about jpn-developed 3D platformer for the playstation brand, you'd think there'd be more from the PS1 and PS2 era). The game doesn't really reinvent the banana, but it didn't really have to in the first place.
Also the USA localization of the game is deadass dubbed by the same voice directors and cast as the 90's Pokemon anime, guess ash and misty can add monkeys to the things they have to catch all of

After a tokimemo-themed warmup, I am officially awoken from true DDR hibernation for the fall and winter, baby. Getting back into DDR in the fall is always a bit of a slow start due to the fact that its at the peak of cold/flu season so I always feel like crap getting back into this not only from being out of shape but also from fending off disease. True dancing gamers push on through such things. No matter how I'm feeling, all I need to see is footage from ancient japanese freestyle DDR competitions of 20 years ago to motivate me to jump around on the ol pad for an hour before I collapse from exhaustion.
As for the actual game, it's aight. I'd rate the setlist just about as good as 4th or extra mix in that there's a handful of bangers I kept going back to scattered through a pile of eh. Shoutouts to Captain Jack doing an english cover of odoru ponpokorin, that felt like it was made specifically for me lmfao. This game also runs at 60 FPS compared to literally every previous game running at 30 and it feels GOOD. The stepcharts are also really well-developed, compared to other games I found myself popping off HARD after finishing songs way more often just because of how good they felt to step through. It really feels like Konami has been subtly polishing the core DDR gameplay throughout the series so far. Speaking about the series so far, this game also essentially serves as a tribute to what's been done, as not only is there a 200-image gallery of various characters, backgrounds, and merchandise from the series up to this point, but the game also includes a complete archive of the old DDR websites data bank of user-submitted custom charts for all the previous DDR games. There are over 3000 fan-made custom charts of varying quality you can download to your memory card to give a breath of fresh air to your existing DDR game catalog, and that's hella cool. I wonder if anyone has actually played them all.
It's kinda funny that the setlist is really this games weakest quality, as this would absolutely be a top-tier DDR game if it had the setlist of something like 3rdmix. Everything else is top-notch and a solid send-off to the PS1 era of japanese DDR games before the series moves on to the next generation of game hardware.
(And this game marks the debut of Alice!!! I always used the player 2 side so I could play as her, she's the best I hope I can play as her in all the future games)

Another one of those truly uncompletable games, but fuck it I have hundreds of hours in this from just dicking around so completed it goes.
I originally remember seeing those old idiots of garrys mod/machinima videos back in like 2010 (they probably haven't held up very well) where they make skits in Gmod and assumed that's what the actual gameplay was like, so you could imagine my surprise when I first booted it up, went on gm_construct, and stumbled around trying to figure out what to do. Gmod is many things to many people, but at its core, it's just a way to mess around with the incredibly dynamic Source Engine that powered Half-Life 2. Going in without exactly knowing that, however, meant that I really didn't know what the hell I was supposed to do or how the hell to build/do anything.
Eventually I found out how to add mods to import various weapons, models, maps, and NPCs into my game properly, and from there the doors were blown open. The game basically became my own personal action-figure toy set I could slap together using the genuine models from the games I enjoyed. Not only was Gmod an endless playset with an unending number of explorable maps to screw about in, but it also gave 12-year-old me a bit of insight as to the various tricks and tech games do to inherently function. I never ported or coded anything within Gmod myself, nor did I use Gmod to chase any sort of computer science degree, but just dicking around in this game over the course of years made me much more game-tech and modding literate than I was before.
I know a lot of people have a lot of fond memories doing multiplayer on Gmod but I really didn't play with others much back in the day. Not only did my addons not properly transfer to other servers properly at the time, but also my internet was horrible so connecting to other servers and downloading all the assets took forever. I also didn't have HL2EP2 or CSS either, so multiplayer was mostly spent in ye ol checkerboard error hell.
Nowadays, roughly 10 years after the fact, I rarely go on Gmod anymore. I know thanks to the steam workshop its super easy to play multiplayer with friends and have everyones addons be synced, but again shit takes forever to load so I have a hard time convincing my friends to play. all I've done in recent memory is pose and take screenshots of the stupidest shit possible and post it to my friends completely out of context

what the hell why does this have a release date of 2018 i played this shit back in like 2014 and forgot about it to the point where I'm just now logging it. It's your typical unity shitpost game, I actually do remember the various race courses being solidly open-ended and explorable for something like this as well as the different physics models for each of the characters being fun to mess around with. With the level design being the way it is and super sonic being completely broken, you could make an argument that this is the modern sonic R, just flavored with outdated memes from yesteryear. It was some harmless albeit forgettable fun, as easily consume-and-disposable as the memes that it's constructed of.

For a bonus thank-you game redeemable through Japanese Club Nintendo, you certainly can do worse. It's exactly what it says it is; Balloon Fight but with Tingle. It uses the DS's dual screens to have an extra high vertical aspect ratio, as well as better control compared to the sluggish NES original, but I think the better control and extra space make the game a bit too easy for its own good. The game uses the same 12 stage loop that the NES game has, no Vs. Balloon Fight stages or anything else freshly designed for this game here. The game also saves after every stage of both the main balloon fight mode and the balloon trip mode, so really finishing all the stages is just a matter of persistence. In the options there's the ability to play either with music and sounds taken directly from Tingles Rosy Rupeeland or the original balloon fight sounds and music/random beeping. The music quality for the NES tracks sounds compressed, like they recorded it off of the original game rather than just using an NES sound font, which is lowkey strange. Lastly, there's a picture gallery of various images of Tingle overlaid on real life photos for some reason, where reaching certain milestones in the game earns more tingle photos. One of the photos is locked behind a 4-player multiplayer game, so you better call in the boys and hope this games multiplayer is download play compatible.
It's light on content and substance, but it's a club nintendo prize game so of course it is. It's certainly way more unique and interesting than the borin game and watch compilations we got over here in the states, that's for sure.
I have now played all the tingle games baybee!!!! kooloo limpah motherfuckers

it's a bunch of applications themed around tingle, I really don't have much to say here. There's fortune telling, a timer, a calculator, a music box dancing thing, and a coin game to help you make decisions. Probably had a few niche practical uses when it first came out and everybody had their DSi on them, but nowadays it just remains a fun footnote in the zelda/tingle repertoire. I do like the non-zero chance that someone used the coin game to make an incredibly important decision, or that someone needed to use the tingle calculator to calculate how much money needs to be split evenly between the boys and girls when dining out in a group or something.

Gotta admit, after the conceptually raw but still intentionally boring and grindy adventure that was rosy rupeeland, and the fact that this is a point-and-click game made by people from development studios practically known for their obtuse design, and I wasn't really super looking forward to this game. But lo and behold, I actually had quite a bit of fun here.
They basically took the bizarre situations from rosy rupeeland and decided to base the whole game around that kind of thing. The jokes the game has on offer are really well-structured and fun. From the antagonist very clearly being a pretty-boy parody of link to the whole large chapter where tingle and the crew need to file for a passport, there's never really a dull moment and it keeps the pace going nicely. The actual plot is an extremely loose retelling of The Wizard of Oz, for some reason, as Tingle is accompanied by a lion, robot, and scarecrow as they follow a yellow brick road (and accompanying yellow train tracks) to reach an emerald city where their desires lie.
Tingle isn't off to see the Wizard of Oz though, he's off to see the BITCHES of Oz. A core element of this game revolves around courting girls by giving them presents they enjoy so that they can actually talk to you instead of being eternally creeped out by the rotund 35-year-old in green tights glaring at them. Because presents cost money, there is a bit of a grind to be able to afford everything, especially considering you have to make guesses and deduce what each girl might be potentially interested in. Don't be an idiot like me and try to buy the whole shop to be prepared for any circumstance, as later on in the game they introduce higher-level presents and all the presents I slaved over earning became yesterdays news that nobody wanted. The money grind isn't nearly as bad as it is in rosy rupeeland, as there's a specific dungeon crawling minigame that gives out assloads of rupees really quickly.
The many various puzzles in the game are surprisingly not super difficult to figure out comparative to other point-and-click adventure games. The patented Love-de-Lic cryptic unexplained nonsense is still in the game, but instead delegated to optional bonus achievements found in every chapter that don't actually progress the main story, and the actual mandatory stuff is easily manageable. There's also a spoiler man that can outright tell you what to do next should you get stuck, so this is probably one of the very few games these guys have made where I can actually say a guide is completely not necessary.
It's a solid adventure game with a good sense of humor and interesting mechanics. My only real gripe is it can feel a bit like the game is wasting your time in some parts, mostly regarding how progress going to-and-fro chapters works. I straight up lost like 2 hours of progress because I ran out of money and had to go back to an earlier chapter to do a dungeon run and had to do all the stuff I was stuck on all over again because you can only jump between the beginning of each section for each chapter, it's kinda dumb. But that all being said, if you like that particular brand of obscure-japanese-nintendo-game strangeness, this is worth giving a go.

Honestly for a title released in early 1985 pre-mario it's pretty darn solid. It essentially is Nintendo/Iwata's take on Joust, instead using more cartoony and readable characters. While I certainly like Joust, I def remember being a bit confused when first playing it mostly due to how the hitboxes were handled by a tiny sword on your bird guy. With this game, the core gameplay of manipulating momentum by air flapping remains the same, with the giant balloons on both your character and the enemies serving as a large understandable target to aim for/defend. Add the fact that this game being a console game rather than an arcade game means it can be a bit more forgiving with a 2 balloon health bar and an overall less inherently oppressive atmosphere and slower pace than Jousts swarms of death, and you have something that's still pretty comfy and timeless to play even today (something that a lot of other early famicom/NES black box titles can miss the mark on). Oh, it's also one of the few early famicom games with simultaneous 2-player gameplay which keeps it fresh, and the balloon trip mode is arguably more memorable than the proper main game with its tricky obstacle courses and catchy tunes.
I honestly have played this on-and-off for the better part of like at least 15 years by now ever since I first played this by unlocking it in animal crossing. I never knew there were only 12 levels in this version before it just loops so I finally got around to playing through all 12. This game certainly is in the upper echelon of early famicom releases, probably up there with lode runner and xevious as the best bang for your buck in the pre-mario days. It's no wonder why Nintendo got Iwata to work with them for other titles like pinball, golf, and F-1 race, starting a relationship that would kickstart his legendary career.

Definitely an improvement from the first game in everything except for the fact that this game do be too got damn long for its own good. The main new addition to this is the free roaming map that ya drive around in to get to the various events scattered within, both visible on a big in-game map as well as secret stuff that can only be found through exploration. While it def makes everything slower than just pushing a button on a menu to get to the races, I actually did find the free-roaming quite fun as not only is the city reasonably sized and vibin' with its neon-coated glowing buildings and setpieces, but also it functions as a decent way to practice driving in a safe environment without having to constantly redo races n such. Considering the fact that a lot of the races take place in the giant city, having the familiarity of both the controls and the map through the free roaming do make it so that it's easier for me to get in the flow of things.
The game just kinda drags on a bit too much imo, has that same problem that a handful of racers I've played have where the mid-game is a bit more stagnant and difficult than the rest due to not having a properly upgraded/maintained car that the game might be expecting me to have. I feel like if they reduced the games length to like 2/3rds of its total runtime that this would be a lot more digestible. The open world explorable city already gives the game plenty of reason to go back to it and keep playing, they didn't need to have such high event complete quotas n whatnot. That being said though, it's really not like there's any gripping narrative going on here, it's just car gangs doing car gang things with very sparse cutscenes (that feel way lower budget than the CGI cutscenes the first game had but whatever). If I had this game back in the day I prob wouldn't have even cared about the story progression and just spent all my time just driving around the city taking in the wonderful 2000s ass visual and audio aesthetics that this game is rich with. I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of people that bought this game played it exactly that way.
(if i have to do ONE MORE drag race event i will go insane and drive into the highway, those events are ASS and I hope this is the last game in the series that they are featured in)

Kind of bizarre for a taiko game, especially since it felt like it was kind of shadow dropped out of the blue.
Unlike every other taiko game, this uses a vertical aspect ratio instead of a horizontal one. I definitely thought at first that it would limit visibility but the note charts are still quite readable. The UI and overall game aesthetic is very tiktokcore, with the extra vertical space being used to play videos and whatnot, which is eh. They gave every song in the game a bespoke album cover which has never been done before in taiko and the art for the covers is super cool, i honestly hope that they get implemented in the arcade and console taikos from here on out.
As for the gameplay, holding a phone vertically and using two thumbs as drumsticks works quite well, though this certainly feels like it was designed to not be taken so seriously. Not only is muzu the default difficulty with oni being locked behind a muzu clear, but also scoring in general is very P2W locked behind season passes and cosmetic unlocks and what have you. So while its definitely not comfortable to do really intense songs, I don't think thats the intention here.
Being an F2P mobile game, there are the caviats of there being ads that inconsistently bombard you with crap that you'd have to buy the season pass to remove. I thought that it'd be really bad and limit your every move, but honestly the game is incredibly generous with plays, as in my time playing so far I have never run out of limited play tickets and theres a rotating free song list that always has something interesting in it.
Honestly it's an upper-echelon home taiko game, as surprising as it is to say. It pretty much offers the entire breadth of content contained in the premium taiko pass on console for free, provided you dont mind watching a handful of cringe mobile ads from time to time. Considering the fact this has 800+ songs, a solid control scheme, and even mfin english support in the settings, there's probably not a better taiko game for newcomers. If this game came out when I was first getting into taiko, it'd have been all that I would have needed. Definitely keepin this on my phone to get a taiko fix whenever i want.

It was fine. Ngl doing a more open take on the kuru kuru kururin gameplay formula is pretty ingenious, but once they added a jump button that allows you to just not engage with the spinning mechanics plus the less-than-stellar hit detection means I felt kinda disengaged playing it compared to actual kururin. The characters and goofy FMV have their own kind of humor that either will or won't click. The writing didn't super click with me and the low budgety FMV nature felt less like a B-movie and more like some high school media project or limited run E3 showcase, idk the whole zero-budget style trope has kinda lost its luster to me. Beth hard carries the entire narrative, it's not even funny. That all being said, it did seem like the developers had a lot of fun making the game and I can't really hate it so yeah. It exists!
(oh and if you are so inclined to want the platinum trophy for this game, I hope you like desert bus)

You know, I joke a lot to myself about the "guy that buys the yakuza games solely for the arcade games", but here I am, I am the guy now. And how could I not be? For the first time in the 25(!!!) years since this game first hit arcades, we finally have a playable version of this game on a home console, with no need for obtuse command-prompt emulator frontends getting in our way.
This game basically takes everything that the first Daytona did and continues to do it just as well. 3 courses to drive through with the first basically being a training stage for learning how to drift properly and the other 2 being more interesting race tracks. Drifting in this game is the same as the first; you can do so through either gear shifting or braking and regardless of which option there is quite a high skill ceiling. The visuals are incredible, really leaning into the theme-park attraction style vibes and thrills that come from these kinds of arcade racers, with setpieces that include cities, ice glaciers, haunted houses, canyons, an alien space ship, wide open fields, and a giant rocking pirate ship serving as eye candy to zoom through.
With attractive visuals to lure me in with the deep mechanics to keep me playing, this is yet another example of a banger arcade racing game. The version featured in the latest Yakuza game is a rebranded version of the "power edition" of this game, which adds some new content like a marathon endurance course combining all 3 tracks together and brings the original daytona car as an option. They also changed the beginner courses scenery from a lush biodome to a generic nascar track and scrubbed out the daytona branding due to licensing, which is lame but it is what it is. A hornet by any other name drives just as fast.
if sega adds scud race to a yakuza game i will personally fly to sega HQ and kiss the entire ryu ga gotuku studio staff

Absolutely a game of all time. Weird hodgepodge of different ideas, with hub world city connecting all the levels that you can fly around in, combat that is incredibly stiff, sidequests that feel ripped straight out of the PSO DLC archives, and an overall pacing that ends before it can even really get going. It definitely felt a bit nothing-burger at times, especially with the last few levels that reuse the same corridors and enemy patterns so many times you'd think you were playing P.T.
That is to say though it's really not the worst thing I've ever played. I went in with really low expectations due to hearing how apparently horrendous it was going to be and it really was just your typical licensed anime-tie in video game made by Sonic Team's B-team (I looked up some of the credits on segaretro, the game was mostly made by people that worked on the space channel 5 games than any actual seasoned member of Sonic Team, though one game designer went on to design the levels for Shadow the Hedgehog and it really shows). If I was a kid playing this game I would have had a solid amount of fun just flying around and talking to people so it's got that going for it I guess.

(preface: I joined backloggd roughly like in march this year when the course drip feed was in the middle and because of that I thought it would be funny to review the waves individually since there were only like 2 or 3 by then and now there are 6 of those mfers clogging up my played and I don't want to delete them but also want to write about the pass as a whole without just copy pasting all 6 reviews into here so uhhhhh oops)
This was like the most whelming DLC I have ever played for a video game. Not overwhelming or underwhelming, just whelming. What I got was precisely what I expected when I first heard "Mario Kart DLC that doubles the course count for less than half the price of the game, released in waves". Yeah, the visuals took quite a hit in terms of aesthetic consistency, but that's kinda what I expected given the release-wave live-service type structure they decided to crank these courses out through. Doubling the course count definitely gives a fresh breath of air to Mario Kart 8, a game that had grown quite stale to me after the dozens of hours through the past 8-9 years playing on both Wii U and Switch, but something just kinda feels lost in the sauce with this expansion.
One of my favorite things about Mario Kart is the track design and selection, how each course feels less like a racing circuit and more like a theme park ride. Dozens of themed rollercoasters to ride through each with their own gimmicks and setpieces to race through (while obviously avoiding the nonsense that the other drivers throw at you). I feel like the courses in Mario Kart can really shine because of how much polish and effort goes into making each course have its own unique bespoke thrills, and it's the reason why courses from games decades old can still remain fresh in my memory. With this pass taking courses from previous games yet done so in a hasty manner so as not to overvalue the 25 dollar price point as well as to fit in the likely-incredibly-tight wave release deadline schedule meant corners had to be cut, and the polish had to be sanded.
A lot of courses lost most of their core identities from the little things in them that weren't recreated, whether due to janky reinterpretations of features in previous mario kart games that weren't necessarily in 8 like the half pipe boosters, or from conscious track design alterations that make certain courses lose a lot of their edge. You can't fall back down to the earlier part of the track in Choco Mountain. You can't do the cool-ass crevice skipping shortcut in DK mountain anymore. The bob-omb cars in Moonview Highway barely harm you more than an ordinary shell when hit. I think a lot of the changes usually come from courses that were converted multiple times from their original games to something like Mario Kart 7 and then from there to Tour and then from Tour to 8, and it just makes the vibes off just as much on a gameplay level as on an aesthetic level. Which really wouldn't be much of a problem if there weren't already the highly polished original versions of each track that exist as not only a comparison, but really a reference point as how the courses should be.
Luckily it's not all complete vibe-killers, as the blander courses manage to make it out mostly unscathed or even improved, as is the case with various GBA and SNES courses that made the jump. They even managed to shake up a few existing courses like Peach Gardens and Kalamari Desert by changing up the course as the laps go on, leading to a fresh take on familiar ground. Some Mario Kart courses are just impossible to mess up, yanno?
There are also plenty of city-themed courses from Mario Kart Tour that were included, and they were mostly quite uninteresting compared to the rest of the track repertoire. They felt more like courses from the Mario Kart Arcade GP series, where the courses are flat and devoid of many hazards, with setpieces mostly being static background imagery rather than dynamically integrated into the course like a lot of the best Mario Kart tracks. Like, how come we just drive under the Eiffel Tower in the Paris track instead of driving up it in zero-gravity and doing a backflip off the top or something? By making the courses just tour you through a cities landmarks instead of committing to a singular one and theming around it, it makes the city courses just feel like basic tourism propaganda from their respective cities, rather than creatively thought-out Mario Kart tracks.
Lastly they threw in some original courses, and while the highest highs in the entire 48 course lineup can be found here through Ninja Hideaway, Yoshi's Island, and Squeaky Clean Circuit bringing fresh course designs and gimmicks with considerable levels of polish (Yoshi's Island in particular being a fantastic tribute to its source game), there are also some absolute dingers thrown in there. Merry Mountain and Sky High Sundae were some of the most uninspired courses I have ever seen, being mostly static boring ovals with not much to really make them remarkable, and Piranha Plant Cove being kinda just meh all around.
As a whole, despite the fact that now the course count in Mario Kart 8 has doubled from 48 to an impressive 96 tracks to race on, it's reached the point of diminishing returns for me. I guess stale bread is still stale no matter how much sauce you may try to cover it in, especially if that sauce is stuff I had before in the past made by someone who had more time to perfect it. I was originally kinda upset that courses like Airship Fortress and Mushroom City didn't make the cut, but honestly maybe it's for the better they get to keep their swag.
At this point, I want Mario Kart 9 to have a course count closer to older titles. Give me only 16 courses in four cups, but make them the most exciting, creative, goddamn FUN 16 courses they could ever possibly conceive. Quantity can only win out against quality for so long.

a rather mid end to a rather mid expansion. Pretty much has everything par for the course; bland city courses from tour, safe impossible-to-mess-up picks like daisy circuit and rainbow road wii, a ho-hum original track, and a good track done incredibly dirty (DK mountain did not deserve what it got). Surprisingly the most interesting course was the SNES bowser castle 3 remake, they added tons of neat little new things to make it a fun course to go through.
(why the hell did they skip GCN rainbow road that ones my favorite goddamnit)