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Played 250+ games

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Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

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Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

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Gained 10+ total review likes

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Favorite Games

Pathologic 2
Pathologic 2
Outer Wilds
Outer Wilds
Space Funeral
Space Funeral
Rain World
Rain World
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War

251

Total Games Played

015

Played in 2024

328

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Animal Well
Animal Well

May 24

Stellar Blade
Stellar Blade

May 04

Penny's Big Breakaway
Penny's Big Breakaway

Apr 17

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Apr 07

Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War

Mar 29

Recently Reviewed See More

This review contains spoilers

A breath of fresh air for Sony's catalog this generation. A game that takes cues from many sources and makes it all it's own thing in a very compelling and polished package.

The success here mostly stems from the gameplay inspirations. The game likes throwing curveballs at you. I can't be the only one to notice the levoire sections that play like straight out of dead space. Nier is likely the biggest inspiration here, but with the expanded gunplay and more reactive combat akin to souls/MGR, Stellar Blade manages to stand on its own.

The combat opens up in a big way, requiring high awareness from you by the end of the game with 3 different meters to manage and diverse utility to spend the meter on. While you wont be launching enemies and juggling them in this game, this is far from your soulslike affair where your primary and almost only concern is parrying/dodging. Strong usage of combos and meter moves can stun lock enemies and might as well be identical in utility to air juggles in other action games. You have access to many moves, and with how most of the damage you deal/meter you gain is back loaded in combos, you have to carefully consider what opening allows for shorter or longer combos.

That is not to say defense is neglected, far from it. You have parries and dodges as well as two specific counters depending on telegraph similar to the Mikiri counter in Sekiro. What makes these options more interesting in this game is that you can commit to immediate counters after a parry/perfect dodge and spend meter to increase damage output from the counter. This opens you up to getting clipped by fairly slow followups, It's a nice way to incentivise taking risks for a more damaging punish. I'd say the only thing missing here to get the full character action game label is unlocking different weapons, but the variety on offer here does make me inclined to put it up there with them.

It's kind of a shame that both open world sections are themed the same, as the areas are relatively well put together otherwise. A design reminiscent from Nier, it avoids that "checklisty" feel many other open worlds have. Landmarks are very obvious and accepting side quests naturally makes you explore most of the relevant points on the map, minimizing pointless wandering. I do take issue with the constant use of "push the box" type puzzles. Once or twice is fine, but when I have to push a box very slowly like 5 times per map, youre starting to lose me. When you start throwing enemies at me as I push the box, Im just gonna get more annoyed especially with how long it takes to let go of the box for some reason.

There are some UX issues which drag the experience on these open world maps down. For one, I dont get why it's not possible to teleport to a checkpoint from any point on the map, so much wasted time having to run back to a nearby telephone. On top of that, some of the camps dont show up as teleport points for god knows what reason. While I generally enjoyed the open world sections, Im not gonna make a secret of the fact that I preferred the linear maps much more. The on rails and set piece driven progression of these maps makes for a better paced experience. Though the actual variance of these maps is appreciated as well, having to go through 2 open world deserts gets tiring.

Where this game truly falters is in its shitty story. The main trio speak to each other like dead fish, the sporadic attempts at banter fall completely flat with how dry the voice direction is.
All the plot threads are predictable here, this isnt necessarily a bad thing but the execution here is uninteresting, mainly held back by the awful character writing again. The final reveal ended up being unintentionally hilarious. This dude Adam has spent the entire game being a lame nerd side kick with barely any personality to speak of, but now the game is trying to pull the "dear friend was actually the final boss all along" type lol. There was absolutely 0 reason given for you to care about this development, the dialog was completely embarrassing to boot.

I still want to comment on the audiovisual experience. The soundtrack is phenomenal, I know im blaspheming here for some but I actually prefer the ost in Stellar blade to most of keiichi Okabe's work on Yoko Taro's games. The mostly vocal tracks really stand out, usually this type of song is not featured in games so frequently due to how vocal tracks can often distract from actual gameplay. It takes tremendous skill to pull off vocal tracks so consistently within a game, but going for it does ensure you will stand out.

Something also has to be said for Day 1 performance. Locked 60 frames with upsampling, decently attractive models, standard baked lighting and no fear of letting the art design do the talking. The restraint and polish shown here is commendable, especially in todays reality where devs are more concerned with implementing the latest features without consideration for how it will look or run in end product. My only wish is of course a pc version, as I'd be able to clean up the image further and run at higher frame rate. Eh, guess I'll just have to wait a bit longer for the inevitable port.

High g turns and variable weather conditions = cool as fuck.
A shame that the missions are hardly built around those really cool things and are more concerned with staying consistent with the shitty story, especially toward the end. Having to identify every enemy before being allowed to shoot is the lamest shit mechanic ever in an ac game.

Peak AC, it's not even funny how much better this is than ac5