Well they significantly reduced the backtracking in Chapters 4 and 5 so this is easily the definitive version of the game.

The Thousand Year Door has always been one of my all-time favourite games, ever since I was a kid. Still to this day I would say it's my favourite JRPG and that's likely not going to change any time soon. I already played through the original Gamecube version once every year or two, so I couldn't tell you how happy I was when this remake was announced. As much as I did enjoy Origami King, finally seeing Nintendo bring Paper Mario back to its original form was a delight in and of itself.

I don't want to ramble here too long because I think the game already gets the praise that it deserves. And judging by the ratings here on Backloggd, it seems most of the fans are incredibly satisfied with this new release. While the game remains essentially the same, there are some new additions that make this the version to play from here on out. Firstly, there's the aforementioned backtracking; which was always a big point of contention with the original. Unlike the first Paper Mario on N64 which had more wide-open level design and exploration, TTYD instead opts for a "hallway-like" structure. I'll be the first to admit you spend a good deal of this game walking back and forth, from left to right and vice versa in most areas. And Chapters 4 and 5 were especially egregious with this. But the simple placement of a pipe in the Creepy Steeple and a spring in the jungles of Keelhaul Key made a world of difference. A few quality-of-life improvements, such as the partner wheel and Goombella's hints, also help to prop up this remake as the superior release. Oh, and there's unique battle music in every chapter now. That's definitely new and really caught me off guard, as someone who has been accustomed to hearing the same battle theme for the last twenty years. And I would be remiss not to mention the updated visuals, which are simply stunning. Framerate be damned, this game looks and runs how I always imagined it would in high definition.

Normally when I play TTYD I just rush through it, skip most of the dialogue and beat the game in a little under twenty hours. This time I really wanted to savour the experience and take my time; I didn't rush the story, I did all of the troubles, and collected not all, but most of the shine sprites and star pieces. When all was said and done my playthrough was just shy of 32 hours, which feels like the perfect length for a JPRG of this kind. I know some people aren't happy that dialogue is unskippable now, and I'll admit I was mildly annoyed at that too; but the text still scrolls at the speed at which I read and I'd argue it allows for stronger characterization. Now the dialogue is paced appropriately and the Banjo-Kazooie-esque voice clips add a new level of charm to the game that didn't exist prior. Will the slower text boxes be a little annoying upon replaying it? Probably. But that's a minor blemish on an otherwise stellar experience.

I can't wait for everyone to finally try this masterpiece; now that it's on a console that people actually own. One of the definitive Mario experiences is back and better than ever.

Still makes me feel like a man of the chiropteran variety.

I'm so glad we have a fourth version of Persona 3, meaning there's an even greater likelihood that OG Persona 3 fans will tell me I played an inferior version! Hooray!

Where do I even fucking begin with this one? It's difficult to summarize my thoughts on a short game, let alone a massive RPG I spent over 100 hours in. Once again I must preface this by stating I'm still coming into this as a relatively new fan of the series. I was introduced to Persona (and SMT at large) through P5 and after falling in love with both it and later its enhanced version, I quickly jumped at the opportunity to play P4G once it was released on modern platforms. And like 5 before it, 4 became another all-timer for me. So I can't really speak in regards to how Persona 3 Reload operates as a remake since I have no prior experience with this title. I held off on even playing P3P since I knew this was coming anyways. All I really know is that in both the original release and FES you couldn't control your teammates' actions in combat. I understand the artistic decision in this case, but playing an extensive JPRG in that fashion just sounds like a huge hassle. But I'm happy to report that Persona 3 Reload had me hooked from beginning to end.

The aspect of P3 that immediately stood out to me the most was the team dynamic. Both P4 and P5 have very similar structures; you face a series of challenges where you help people in need, who are each gradually added to the team as the game progresses. Slowly but surely you build up a close-knit group of friends over the course of each game. P3 is quite different, in the sense that you, the protagonist, step into an already ongoing plot. The SEES organization was formed and has been battling shadows in Tartarus long before the game even began. Your character just happens to be the missing piece of the puzzle in order for them to make real progress. And from then on new teammates kind of show up with basically zero fanfare and join the team just...because they have personas. Not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, just that it's different. It's a refreshing turn of events considering 4 and 5 unravelled in very similar ways. It certainly made the story more unpredictable. And as for that story, I often hear it described as the best in the series. I'm inclined to agree...at the very least it has easily the best ending of the three I've experienced. From a purely thematic standpoint, there's so much to chew on. It didn't quite make me cry like one particular moment in 4, but I was definitely starting to well up during the final cutscene. The level of bittersweet pathos is pitch perfect. I think I still prefer the overall experience of playing through P5, but P3's script undeniably shines the brightest.

Gameplay wise, this is about as good as turn-based RPGs get. If you ask me, P5 set a gold standard for both stylish UI designs and moment-to-moment JRPG combat. P3 Reload meets that gold standard and then some; bringing with it vibrant blues that wash over you at every moment and the battle shift mechanic that I sorely missed in P4. As for the collection of social links, I'd call it a mixed bag. Some are incredibly memorable and really touched me (Kamiki, Maiko, Yukari, etc.) while others left something to be desired (looking at you, Tomochika). And some, like Suemitsu, started off deceptively unpleasant but soon revealed strong emotional resonance by their endpoint. However due to my experience with 4 and 5, I was very surprised to find that none of your male teammates are social links. Which in turn made me feel less connected to Junpei and Akihiko in particular. The team does have those charming, optional hangouts in the dorm which can unlock special abilities, but it does leave something to be desired. I suppose this is just a case of the developers trying to remain true to the original. They weren't S-links then so they aren't S-links now. At least they fixed it so that you don't have to date every girl you max out to 10.

So what's there left to say? I guess I didn't touch on the soundtrack, which absolutely meets the S+++ tier standard set by this series as a whole. A wonderful collection of tracks that is sure to stick with me for years to come. Climbing and fighting my way through Tartarus, despite the monotony, never became boring for me. As for small problems, I do wish there was more to do at night, particularly during the final months of the game. Most of the S-links are during the afternoon and I had maxed out my social stats by around mid-September, so my evenings were fairly uneventful leading up the conclusion. And while I think the cast overall did a fantastic job, Koromaru was very clearly a person making dog sounds, which was a little distracting. Sadly not every VA can be Frank Welker. Also the lack of weather effects left me scratching my head. Again, this could just be a case of remaining true to the original, but after 4 and 5 implemented weather systems and the changing of seasons, the eternal sunshine of Tatsumi Port Island felt...somewhat off. January brings with it a slightly new colour palette, but very rarely do the characters even mention the colder temperatures. That's more of a nitpick and not a real issue, but finding things wrong with this game is really difficult for me. I'm basically splitting hairs here.

What a game. What an ending. What an experience. Now I sadly must continue the long and arduous wait for the inevitable release of Persona 6.

It's ridiculously easy for a JRPG veteran such as myself, but it was still a fun journey nonetheless. I may have been steamrolling most, if not every enemy in the game, but just the simple gameplay loop of exploration and battles with timed button presses was enough to satisfy me. And considering I finished this in just under 13 hours, it's a perfect bite-sized adventure. It's packed with plenty of charm, is paced extremely well, and doesn't overstay its welcome.

I've loved Paper Mario since I was a kid so I'm happy that I finally got a chance to play the OG Mario RPG. The team did a fantastic job of updating the visuals (and especially the music) without sacrificing the spirit of the original. I can see myself coming back to this one once every few years; definitely feels like that sort of game.

It miraculously does not include a fight scene set inside of a Papa John's.

The game is a solid 6 or 7 but Jill is a 10.

Still my favourite Resident Evil experience and I doubt that's going to change any time soon.

Yeah, this is officially an all-time favourite of mine now.

Normally I don't gel with the Ubisoft-esque open world design, but the way Ghost of Tsushima carries itself makes it feel like a wholly unique experience. Sucker Punch took that formula and made it feel fresh. Yes, it's a large map full of activities that can feel somewhat repetitive, but the traversal and combat are always so completely satisfying that it becomes hard for me to put the controller down.

Usually I can't stand combat-focused games (I have yet to find a FromSoft or DMC game I enjoy) but the swordplay here is exceptional; easy to pick up but challenging to master. I never once got tired of fighting off Mongols, and while most quests will lead you into similar combat encounters, it all feeds into the central goal of the game. You are driving the Mongols off your island and nearly everything you do is working towards that goal. The minimal UI also means I'm not staring at a tiny little HUD map to know where I'm going for the entirety of the game (coughcoughThe Witcher 3coughcough). Simply following the wind and the birds, meant to represent the souls of your father and mother respectively, was an inspired choice. Helps that this has to be one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful games to ever grace home consoles. Every square foot of Tsushima is a work of art. This game is just pure zen; nothing like taking a few minutes to compose a thoughtful haiku or reflect on past mistakes while soaking in an onsen. And don't get me started on all of the awesome collectibles: from sword kits to new armour types, which help to incentivise the exploration that much more.

This is not a perfect game. I can see many people having trouble dealing with the repetition and [somewhat] been-there-done-that feeling that comes with AAA open worlds these days. But to me, this is a shining jewel on the crown that is this genre, right up there with the recent Zeldas. It's a game I can see myself coming back to and playing once every few years. And the PS5 version includes all the neat little bells and whistles that come with the DualSense controller, the substantial Iki Island expansion, voice sync for the Japanese dialogue, and the online Legends mode. There's a lot here to sink your teeth into. If you have yet to experience the journey of Jin Sakai, I can't recommend it enough.

Damn...Nintendo better step their game up with the rumble next gen.

So many spectacular moments undermined by just as many little problems that really started to add up over time. In terms of pure fun factor, this absolutely lives up to its predecessor. It nails that moment-to-moment endorphin-generating loop that had me glued to the original for at least five playthroughs, with a ton of new enhancements to boot. Traversal is faster and more seamless than ever, and the ability to create web lines almost anywhere made stealth that much more enjoyable for me. And the creative ways Insomniac utilized the unique features of the PS5 controller had me extremely impressed. Playing as both Peter and Miles was a pure joy for this Spidey fan. And maybe it was just me but I found this to be way more challenging than either game that came before it; that latter half is essentially just one boss fight after another and I got my ass kicked on many occasions.

But sadly I feel as though the story was very rushed in many respects, and there's a clear disconnect between what's going on in the lives of the two web heads. The tonal shift between dealing with Pete's symbiote problem and helping Miles' classmate ask someone to a school dance is amusing to say the least. And to be fair that is side content and Miles does get time to shine during the main story (particularly during a sequence with Martin Li), but he also felt kinda sidelined for much of the game.

The side missions in general were fairly well handled, some awkward "how do you do fellow kids" energy not withstanding, but I do wish there was more of it. They went for a quality over quantity approach and weaved side content more naturally into the exploration, which I can definitely appreciate. But I was doing my best to savour this experience and not rush myself and yet I still had the platinum in under 30 hours. The first game also had a fairly easy platinum to snag by average Playstation standards, but I felt way more accomplished upon getting it. Here I was just like: "Alright. I guess I'm done then?"

The journey's end didn't feel quite as satisfying, and I was surprised to find myself longing for the more grounded approach of the original. I still very much enjoyed this but overall it does fall short as a sequel to one of my favourite games ever. Maybe the novelty of a Spidey game of this magnitude has simply worn off, who knows? Also this is weirdly one of the buggiest first party Playstation games I've ever experienced. I never saw the infamous debug cube but man I got stuck on the environment a whole lot, spawned inside of buildings that I couldn't escape from a few times, and saw a handful of fucked up character models. Including Venom's first appearance, where he had turned into sharp polygons wildly flailing around the screen.

Finally got a PS5 and wanted to refresh my memory before moving onto the sequel...and also get accustomed to Pete's new face. Still don't really understand why it had to change when everyone else looks ostensibly the same in the next two titles, but I think I'm warming up to it.

Props to the dev team at CDPR for sticking to their guns and bringing forth a massive new DLC, re-worked game mechanics, and making Cyberpunk as good as it could possibly be.

Shame on CDPR's management for risking the company's reputation, rushing the base game out back in 2020, and ripping off their customers.

If you're still on the fence about Cyberpunk, I don't blame you. You have every reason to be hesitant about it. But there really is no better time to dive back in and give it another chance. It's not the RPG to end all RPGs like the higher ups would've wanted us all to believe, but it's still a damn fine adventure that's worth experiencing. I at least enjoyed it a lot more than The Witcher III, for what that's worth. Phantom Liberty adds so much new content to an already massive world; I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of stuff to do. But if you ask me, the base game alone is definitely worth it at this point. If you don't want to give them your hard-earned money, just do what I did: buy a used copy of the last-gen version and you'll get the free next-gen upgrade when you pop in the disc.

Nintendo really looked at all the crazy shit the fans were coming up with in Mario Maker and said to themselves: "Alright, let's do all of that...but for real. And more!"

Speaking as someone who spent well over 100 hours in the janky-ass Friday the 13th game, this fills the void left by that one quite nicely. Even if I don't care for TCM as a series as much as Friday overall. But the original movie is a stone-cold horror classic, no doubt, and due to rights issues this game is largely built around the setting of that first film anyways.

I should preface this by stating I have mostly spent time playing as a victim; honestly it's probably like a 90-10 split between the two across 15-ish hours. The game gives you three options: Family, Victims, and Quick Play. Now, I would've said Quick Play might as well be another Victims option but last night it gave me the Family for the first time after many, many, many games. Go figure. But as a fan of stealth games I definitely prefer playing as the victims in this title. It's a tense experience that doesn't force you to always rely on teammates or pure luck to escape, unlike Friday the 13th. The sound design in particular is fantastic and it's the perfect game to play with a good pair of headphones for maximum spatial awareness. While the maps can be somewhat labyrinthian, the environments of the 1974 film are lovingly recreated in exquisite detail.

Sadly there is only the single game mode and three maps (each with a day and night version) available at launch. Not to mention the tutorials are extremely tedious to get through and very unintuitive. You just have to sit there and read text on the screen that fades in and out at a fixed speed. And there's no option to play offline with bots in order to get a feel for the controls and the map layouts. Once you do get a handle on the game it's fairly straight forward, but after some time the matches were beginning to get repetitive and I found myself turning my attention back to Hitman. The package feels like it's lacking in substantial content overall. I got to play this through Game Pass so I can't act like I wasted my money but I don't think it's worth the asking price at this time unless you're a hardcore TCM fan.

Definitely a fun time regardless, and I'd love to get some friends in on the action in the near future. I just can't see myself playing this for dozens and dozens of hours.

Can't in good conscience rate this any higher due to the state it released in and the fact that so many small issues still remain to this day. Nothing game breaking, but the little things really do start to add up (from graphical oddities to audio skipping on the radio). But it's still the same game I've always loved, with enough QoL improvements to help make it a less aggravating experience overall. I mean, I completed both of Zero's missions on the first try, so that must count for something.