Todd Lewis

@stoneheart3k

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Reviewed a game
Switch
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Reviewed: Jan 11, 2022
6.50

This game was a joy to play. There’s things I liked and things I didn’t:

Like:

  • Core Gameplay feels fluid
  • Satisfying sense of impact
  • Throwing enemies and Grapples distinguishes this game
  • Colors and Setting are attractive
  • Some boss fights and obstacles are super creative
  • Character progression feels substantial
  • Lots of endgame replay value in form of unlockables
  • Environments stand out for a metroidvania
  • Coop play capable
  • Plenty of characters to play as

Dislikes:

  • Limited music selections. You’ll hear the same song a lot.
  • The dudes who throw red projectiles can hit you while you’re in a combo
  • No combat or aerial recovery, so when you get hit, you just fall to your death unless you land on something.
  • The game never tells you that you can use all four of your specials once in an aerial combo
  • The games idea of challenge is literally just throwing waves of enemies at you at some point
  • The bomb enemies still hitting you if you don’t kill them on time is a stupid idea

My average is 5 on a scale of 10. I give this game a 6.5, but it has potential to be way higher because of coop play with siblings, friends, or a spouse. As a multiplayer game where both people are invested, it’s like a 7.5. As a stand alone single player and sometimes coop play game, it’s still a great pick up

Reviewed a game
Series X
Forza Horizon 5
Reviewed: Dec 30, 2021
7.50

I don’t care for live service games or daily/weekly challenges. I want to be clear that this pulls me out of games. I don’t want to be reminded that this is a video game and that I should invest my time in this challenge or that challenge or that I should use some silly points in a points shop for things I don’t care for. Now I love vehicles and the tuning in the game is awesome, but most cars are geared towards under steer and that’s not what gamers expect in racing games. We expect to drift easily. Sure it’s not realistic all the time but that’s just how racing games have always been. There’s lots of things I love about this game but there’s lots of things I also hate about it. Biggest dislike: ugly ass live service menu (my goodness it’s such an eyesore! Am I playing an ubisoft game??). The under steer trend is annoying but fixable, all graphics options require a restart of the game, driving gets old cause simulation racers are objectively less fun for me than say Burnout or anything with rockets or turbo. Hey, I’m a gamer, I want ridiculous experiences. I can overlook all of this somewhat because the game is stupidly gorgeous, the cars feel like cars, the customizing in this game is stupid good, and there’s tons to do and lots of cars to unlock. For a new player, the game does a piss poor job explaining the more detailed aspects. I can see lots of nongearheads YouTubing this game like crazy for guides. It’s hard to review this game because the live service aspect totally makes me not want to play sometimes. I’m glad I didn’t pay for this and got it through gamepass and it’s sad that I feel that, but my goodness, that main menu has to go and the stupid loot box casino-rewarding crap is just goofy. The car physics are as good as you can expect from a good sim racer, albeit a bit limiting, in actuality. Let’s be honest, it’s a sim racer, you can’t do that much aside from driving. Some people love that, but even I, a racing game fan since I was a kid, get bored of it cause that’s all there is. You just drive. I personally want more and wish the game felt more like a self contained video game that can exist without Wi-Fi but instead the game cries and moans when there’s no internet connection, which is a lame trend in video games today. Also, the radio is god awful in this game! There’s virtually no latin music or driving tunes. It’s like someone from the UK picked Uk like music for this game based in Mexico. So bad, I literally turn off the radio and use Spotify in my Xbox. I review with 5 as my average, as it should be. 7.5 since I like cars and tuning. 6 if it executed those aspects horribly like Need for Speed. 8.5 if the live service crap was fixed and there was a nitrous system or something more.

Reviewed a game
X360
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Reviewed: Dec 30, 2021
5.50
WARNING
This review contains spoilers.

This is my first Halo. I’ve never played Halo in my life. Let me get the obvious out of the way. The game has a nice feel in it’s core combat. The physics are pretty cool, the music is great, and the graphics aren’t ugly. This game did a lot of firsts for the first person genre and I respect that. Now for the bad: the lack of a map system is a joke, no sprinting feels so awful, the level design is extremely repetitive, the game is super linear (of course), and the story is boring. I don’t really remember what happened because the game never pulled me in. I couldn’t tell the other human characters apart because they didn’t stand out. I had to toggle between the old graphics and new graphics in the MC collection to find my way a lot, because the new graphics have terrible lighting and every level looked the same or used the same textures throughout. The game fools you into thinking that there will be plenty of green vistas and worlds but most of the time you’re inside concrete temples fighting the same three to four alien species. Towards the end I just wanted the game to end already cause I was doing the same five or six functions on the same four enemies. Man it got old fast, but I understand the limitation, but I review games how I want so whatever. This game works better with friends to help you overlook that it feels like a prototype to Halo 2. I would recommend skipping this one and jumping into the sequels. Not much happens to be honest. I rate games with 5 as the average. I enjoyed my time, except when I didn’t which was about 1/3 of the time—a good ratio, imo, for a very average game.

Reviewed a game
Series X
Tales of Arise
Reviewed: Dec 28, 2021
8.40

I completed Tales of Arise 100%. The combat, the core gameplay, is so much fun. If that's all you need to hear from a gamer who enjoys fighting games for their impact and intricate mechanics, its all here. Tales of Arise excels in offering the player numerous options to mix up the gameplay. Considering the length of this game, having the ability to diversify your experience is just so liberating in this action-rpg genre. Generally, you don't come into this kind of game expecting to experience fluidity in combat along with enough options to make every character viable and customized to your play style, with respect to elements and weaknesses in combat.

The feel of the combat is executed well enough for me to say this game is good off of that.

The story is a toss up. The characters are decent. I'm not really a story gamer, but I appreciated that I could skip over the dialogue in a line-by-line fashion over skipping cut-scenes entirely. I could pick exactly what i'm skipping which helped make side quests go by faster. That's another great thing about this game. Its snappy and doing the usual rpg rotation of functions is seamless because of quality of life game decisions that really push one to think that they really leaned on the combat for this game. Like everything you do in the game is ultimately to make your core experience better in some way, and thats super cool as a design philosophy.

The story is all there and there's plenty of good character moments and story twists to keep things interesting.

My major gripe with the game is that the first 65% of the game feels like a different game, narrative-wise, to the finale of the game. It feels like in Dragon Quest 11, part 3 of that game is essentially the final act of this game. This can be a cool thing cause it was interesting what unfolds for the heroes. The ratio of gameplay to cinematic just leaned to far to the latter at some point in the game. I just wanted to play the game, but cinematic after cinematic reminded me of Xenoblade 2's terrible final act.

My personal thoughts is that at some point in the game the story became very weak and stopped me from finishing it. It's a good 2 hours of meh story, imo.

The game can definitely be amazing sometimes and just great overall, despite some shortcomings and my own feelings of the story pace at some point. I really enjoyed my time with Tales of Arise. I am definitely looking forward to their next installment. To me, this game is a 9, but I will give it an 8.4. There's just too many options in the core experience for someone to not get something out of this game.

Reviewed a game
PS4
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
Reviewed: Sep 9, 2021
6.50

One of the best Ubisoft open world games around. Boy, gamers are weak for good graphics. This game is gorgeous, the environment is absolutely stunning, and the music is forgettable but adds the ambience to make the world feel large in scale and alive. Now, let's get down to it: this game gets more credit than it deserves. Take away the spectacular visuals and the most evident issues are the wonky physics, the repetitive nature of the game in general, the drawn out, bland story, and the pointless mechanics with no real consequence (we'll get to that later).

Wonky Physics: some terrain that I should obviously be able to climb won't allow me, hate it. During combat, Aloy will have awkward collision with objects like rocks and trees. Sometimes it feels like the character is being forced to move a certain way and its really annoying. I understand that its Guerrillas first time doing this, but man, if you can't do it, don't, and this is a problem in most Playstation Style games. More casual gamers will claim that the movement is excellent. I find it kind of inaccurate, slugglish, and unpolished.

Repetitive Gameplay Nature: The way the game feels in the first five hours, that's essentially how it will play. There's alot of little weapon effects on the machines and a whole lot of cool traps and bombs, but it still ends up feeling samey. Let me change this weapon which essentially does exactly the same thing as this other one, but it does frost stuff. You couldn't program a more seamless way to change the elemental stuff? Maybe add more weapons too? The combat is bad when the physics mess things up, but overall the combat is satisfying because the small number of machines have their own ways of being killed, which is cool. It just doesn't feel substantial enough because the game is so drawn out.

Story and Pace: The story starts out strong but then becomes about tribes of humans vs other tribes of humans. ZZZZZzzzzzz. Come on, man. The game doesn't have to be this long. The skill tree essentially exists to elongate you progressing through the game. Admit it: if half of the gameplay mechanics in the skill tree that are locked were unlocked from the beginning, the game would have been funner. Seriously, why keep stealth kills and effective critical hits behind a skill??? Or the ability to essentially keep mods and traps after equipping and use, respectively? It feels poorly though out. The conversations between characters is also so robotic and bland. Its like skyrim characters talking to each other with better animations and graphics. They don't feel human.

Pointless Mechanics: Also, you don't have to do stealth kills. You can go in guns blazing and just fight like an idiot because the human enemies are morons. The machines too. Sidestep one of them and go for a heavy attack then critical: dead. The AI is just goofy in this game, and again, why implement so much stealth stuff if you really don't have to do it. Same goes for responding to questions and talking. You can choose different options but they don't have a tangible effect on your gameplay. That's the issue! Most stuff in this game, the "complexities", are objectively not complex. Mods, weapon elements, stealth mechanics, moral responses, all impact your immediate gameplay very little, if at all. It feels like an Ubisoft game with just too much to do and its all the same shit!

Graphics are great, but this game is just a little above average, in actuality. Its fun, but it breaks no new ground and, essentially, just does what a lot of other games do already a lot better—exactly like Ghost of Tsushima and Days Gone!

Don't get me wrong: the machine dinosaur thing is cool, but that's where the novelty ends.

Reviewed a game
XB1
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris
Reviewed: Aug 15, 2021
2.00

The worst RPG I have ever played. The story is god awful nonsense and the characters are the epitome of potato. Sitting through the dialogue is painful, which is 65% of the gameplay. The battle system is an overly ambitious mess with no real consequences because you can just spam the action button and win. The entire first chapter is 20+ hours long and extremely repetitive. I did not think a game could be so bad. Absolute trash.

Reviewed a game
PS5
SCARLET NEXUS
Reviewed: Jul 12, 2021
6.80

The best action rpg on the market today, IF you can ignore the obvious flaws in gameplay and design. The combat is some of the most exciting and intense combat I have ever experienced when you get the hang of it and use your powers all at once. Yes, you should be using your powers all the time. Anyway, if you don’t like dialogue between characters, you will hate this game, because there’s ALOT. Thankfully, voice acting and i don’t know what it is about Namco and creating decent characters themselves (Tales). Sword art is trash btw. I don’t like anime too much myself but this game captured me with its story. It’s very sci-if and exciting! It’s a shame that people won’t play this very much. Right off the bat, the game does feel awkward in movement. You’ll either hate it or love it. You can’t dodge while comboing so, avoid using the girl if you want melee. She is power heavy and the boy is melee. I played as the girl and loved the combos between powers that I made. It feels so free and satisfying. The game is also mini boss heavy, so if you don’t learn the tricks, you’ll suffer greatly. There is no open world. It’s a set of areas you run around in. The side quests suck, straight up, but you can turn them in anytime, so that’s good. There is a gift system for team mates and you won’t care about some of them (Luka and Kagero for me). Again, if you hate the social aspect of games, don’t buy this. I loved this game for its story, characters, and combat. The lamest thing about the game is that it’s one of those games where you will focus on one enemy and another will snipe you from off screen, and the game will load a bunch of them too. So sometimes, it’s more annoying than fun. Shortcomings aside, if you love ARPGs and want something that feels like Nier, with Ys sort of combat, with Tekken music (it’s pretty good), and some short social link features like fire emblem, you’ll love this. Also, no dating and marriage options for you hardcore anime lovers. Not that kind of game. For me personally, the game is a 7.8, great at best, good at worst. I’m giving it an objective 6.8 for some clunky ideas in gameplay and game design. Honestly, I had lots of fun, but sometimes it just felt like the game didn’t know what to do, so it just shoved a bunch of mini bosses in your way. That’s exactly how it feels sometimes, and the enemies are recycled so that’s kind of lame. Great art design, but hey, the alligator enemy is the same just with more steps till the end. Also the boss at the research facility was awful but that final boss was epic!

Reviewed a game
Switch
Fire Emblem Warriors
Reviewed: Jun 15, 2021
6.00

This is a warriors game that allows you to give your other characters in map commands. That is so useful when you have missions that require you to protect someone or to intercept and enemy. During its time, people preferred Hyrule Warriors and I agree with that when it comes to the diversity of HW’s cast. The gameplay shines better in Fire Emblem though because of how it feels like a refinement of the formula. You can level up in Fire Emblem and have only about 16 classes or so to choose from with maybe 20+ characters. Some characters are copies. This game feels fluid and precise with its gameplay and can be above decent at best, but it has a lot of strange ideas. The History map concept for post-story play is kind of tedious. You basically play the stories of old games in an extremely simplified manner to unlock other characters or skins—like a female version of a particular character. It feels underwhelming and sometimes borders on feeling like a chore. It’s fun making your team stronger but sometimes I don’t wanna have to use an archer cause I don’t like them, character-wise, yet the map I’m about to try demands only archers. The weapon forging system is also very stale. It’s a lot of menu hopping and management and none of it ever felt too engaging because the weapons are bland and all look the same, save for the hero weapons. It’s a decent game and I hope they make a second one, but it does feel a bit empty without the dlc characters. Great gameplay, but clumsy menu management and bland endgame.

Reviewed a game
PC
Tales of Berseria
Reviewed: Jun 15, 2021
4.70

Tales of Berseria excels at everything but one thing: the combat. If this game had the combat from Vesperia, it would easily be an 8. This game has decent characters, the storytelling is amazing because of the dialogue and banter between the characters, the weapon skill system is typical tales, which isn’t bad. The tales formula works here. It’s everything you expect, until you get to the combat...dang. The combat pretends to be complex by having enemies with weaknesses and you, the player, are to exploit them via combos. It comes off as one of the laziest ways to make combat interesting because you’re just gonna be switching moves in and out and in and out and it becomes tedious. It’s also too easy and you have to unlock the hardest difficulty to even care about weaknesses but since the weaknesses are not even interesting, who cares?! The combat is just not satisfying. It’s cool when Velvet gets her arm out to do some rad combos but she herself is a bland character. She’s supposed to be a badass but she doesn’t bring much to the table and the other characters carry her essentially. I would rather read the manga than stomach this battle system further. It’s so good too, tales formula-wise, but I can’t get behind the core gameplay and It’s frustrating. Bottom line: everything outside the combat is good. Battles don’t feel fluid or natural. They feel forced, awkward, and tiring. At the worst, the combat is just plain boring. Vesperia had attack canceling and combo chaining. What happened? Sorry Tales, I will not be returning to the series unless Arise does something different.

Reviewed a game
PS4
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Reviewed: Jun 15, 2021
2.60

This game is almost unplayable. I don’t know who is out there defending this battle system, presentation, boring story, and ugly muddy colors cause wow, what a fall from Star Ocean 4! Star Ocean 5 has one of the clunkiest battle systems I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. All the other characters’ special attacks just get in the way of seeing what exactly is happening between me and the enemy. It really matters that I know what is happening considering the flow of battle is determined by me winning or losing the paper-rock-scissors mechanic introduced here! I feel like a clown playing a battle system like this because the enemies will just stand there, glow for a special attack, hit you quickly, or defend for nothing. It looks awful, presentation wise. Your allies also sometimes zoom back and forth between your enemy and theirs. What is up with the terrible targeting in this game?!?!?! Oh my gosh, I can’t stand how awful the targeting is! It cycles through the enemies in I don’t even know what pattern. There’s also a lot of running around from point A to point B and it doesn’t help that the running animation looks cheap as heck. It looks like a 2021 rpg phone game. The collision between characters in game is also strange. You walk through someone and they act like you bumped them. What? WHO LIKES THIS?!?! Its mediocre at best and unplayable at worst. Not complete trash but not worth money in 2021.

Reviewed a game
Switch
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA
Reviewed: Jun 10, 2021
7.10

This game is not a chore to play. It’s quick to pick up and hack and slash fun. You run around slashing or shooting at monsters while exciting metal music plays in the background with pretty visuals all around. You can also theoretically beat the game without ever taking damage! That’s pretty impressive and I appreciate a game that can pull a combat system like that off well. Countering and dodging grants you bonuses and it’s very satisfying to pull them off. You also have Dana who gives you a different style of play with some puzzles and some slower paced gameplay, which is welcome. The only thing that brings this game down a bit is that it can get repetitive. There’s only one thing to do and it’s hack and slash with just a teeny bit of exploration and some Zelda like item collecting. Very very good game. I’m a big fan.

Reviewed a game
PS4
Star Ocean: The Last Hope - 4K & Full HD Remaster
Reviewed: Jun 10, 2021
5.80

This is not a good game, this game is decent. The world and its graphics are interesting and awful at the same time. I loved the story and hated it too. The protagonist is a big weeny and needs a boyfriend. Anyway, the combat is niche as heck. It’s Tales series in space, so it’s arena sort of rpg-action style, which I love! But I can see how it’s just not something the average gamer will enjoy. I love the space setting and the unique feeling of all the characters. The projectile characters, except the robot, are all better than the melee characters. Essentially pick a melee character if you want to play hard mode, until you unlock a certain edgy character that breaks the game. Star Ocean is a fun game with a decent item creation system and fun cast of characters. I like the game a lot but I can see how it’s just a mess sometimes. You’ll either love it or feel meh about it, but it’s not mediocre, it’s not meh, it’s barely average. I would say it’s above average because of how unique Star Ocean is, but it will never be decent all the time. The obvious combat shortcomings like being swamped as a melee character and some characters just being awful to use holds the game back from being a 6 all the time. 5.8

Reviewed a game
Switch
Super Mario Odyssey
Reviewed: Jun 10, 2021
8.20

Biggest problem with this game: making me use motion controls. I HATE that I don’t have the option to turn these off. Awful, awful, awful decision. Immediately we’re down a point. The other two things that bug me is that the Dark Kingdom?? (With the dragon) and the cloud kingdom are so small. They feel like they could have been excluded or expanded upon. Like why leave them there then? Another problem here is that the story is stupid again, it’s very samey, the game plays it safe. Look, I love Mario, I grew up with him, but the cap being the only innovation here is pretty lame. I love cappy and it he really expand Mario’s movement! Mario has never felt better honestly, but I personally would have wanted the other power ups in here too. I like the philosophy of the game, the controls are tight, and the game was so fun at one point that I had a tear from the joy I felt. Not even kidding. Yeah I know, what kind of sissy crap is that, right? 64 was my first video game ever as a human being: this game struck a chord with me. Wonderful game, some questionable decisions. I feel like Odyssey 2 will be near perfect.

Reviewed a game
PS4
NieR: Automata
Reviewed: Jun 10, 2021
7.40

The music in this game is phenomenal and boosts the entire game up at least one digit in score. This is a good game! There’s just a few problems that prevent this from being something that everyone can enjoy. Let’s face it, having to play the game three times to “beat it” is absolute garbage. It just seemed kind of lazy to be honest. Immediately down to 9. Now the combat is some of the best I have ever seen in an action-rpg. You can dodge while attacking—thank god! The game has kind of floaty jumps and movement, so it will take just a little time to get used to it. The characters feel a bit heavy to move around for me, personally. Sometimes you are put in situations where the camera is weird during mech fights and it just doesn’t work. You can see what they are going for and it’s cool, but man, it can be janky and depth perception is hard to gauge. The fact that you also have to keep the firing button pressed down to retain projectiles is laughable. Ergonomically, that’s a joke. So all that considered, down to an 8. Another problem is that the story doesn’t make sense immediately. Typical jrpg mess that’s objectively epic but presented poorly or too cryptic for its own good. The story is sad. The world is super saturated in color and without falling prey to the obvious fan service, you can see the world is kind of empty and having to traverse it back and forth sometimes for FETCH quests is lame. There’s a few fetch quests but it’s nowhere near as bad as Replicant. Some quests here are super rad. The third act of the game is also essentially the same, gameplay-wise as the first except for one specific mechanic which isn’t all that. The game can be really fun and interesting but sometimes it’s just boring with some side quests and not exciting with repeating play throughs. 7.4, it will never be great all the time but it will always be good. It feels good, it’s polished, and it’s satisfying.

Reviewed a game
Switch
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Reviewed: Jun 9, 2021
5.00

Boy, what happened? I played all the Fire Emblems on the 3DS. You have access to 20+ plus troops, carrying your allies for better positioning, the weapon triangle for “gotcha!” moments, and characters with varied backgrounds, personalities, and actual consequences from the marriage feature! In Three houses, you get none of this. I get it, for some of you this was your first fire emblem. For me, this was so disappointing. The developers borrowed the elements they incorporated in echoes which reduced all the classes to just classes, their weapons only matter in certain situations. The weapon triangle was fine! The school setting was cool but the characters took a big hit to how they look. Have you looked at the boy with the light blue hair? I can’t tell Ferdinand and the other redheaded boy apart. In part 2, a lot of my romantic relationships were already raised to maximum so I literally had nothing to do so I just kept skipping weeks. The game became less about positioning and more about a battle of attrition: hack away at the life bar, just hack away, you’ll win eventually. Advantages and disadvantages took a backseat, and the special attacks with the nameless soldiers just felt lazy and it was not entertaining for me. The slower characters were pretty much useless after a while because they could only move so little. This game just took so much away and tried to copy Personas Relationship Links that it just didn’t feel like a fire emblem game. The only thing you get for marrying someone is also a cheaply drawn picture of the avatar with your partner, that you could just google for god knows what reason. In prior games you could have kids that merged your character traits and actually impacted your developing team. I ask again, what happened? The game is an average 5 and a good 6 at best. I can’t remember much after beating it.

Reviewed a game
Switch
DRAGON QUEST
Reviewed: Jun 9, 2021
4.00

I have no nostalgia here and am judging the game for what it is today—a dated and objectively not-so-fun video game. PAC man is still fun today, Mario bros is too, but this? As a DQ fan myself, it may seem like blasphemy, but the truth is the truth: random battles suck! They are an awful product of the time because of limitations with the technology. The battle system isn’t bad, it’s just kind of basic. The fact that the game is short makes it enjoyable and feel like an adventure, but the random battles really makes the game a chore to play a lot. I don’t understand how someone can just zone out playing this and “grinding”. To me, grinding is not fun. That’s not engaging gameplay, it’s just not. If I wanted to grind, I would grind something in real life like work or cleaning the house. I’m not trying to be rude or to disrespect DQ, I just want to be honest. DQ needs a remake, as do all the games with random battles so they can be special because they truly are with the iconic art style, music and legacy.

Reviewed a game
Switch
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Reviewed: Jun 9, 2021
9.00

The only reason I wouldn’t give the game a 10 is because high level play tends to lean towards cowardly gameplay and/or zoning nonsense, which is not fun to watch or be on the receiving end of. I grew up with smash bros for the 64 and recognized this game as a brawler so BRAWLING was the focus, not fireballs and disjointed hit boxes as a priority to win. Ultimate offers the player an insane amount of freedom. With so many characters, there is someone in the roster for everyone. I spent plenty of my college hours playing with buddies in between exams and it was exhilarating. Granted, you can’t just mash buttons like in Tekken and be somewhat decent. Ultimate requires some skill pertaining to how you react and act in the air, the ground, and out of the ring. Edgeguarding has a high focus in this game which can be frustrating to beginners. The game does have a high skill ceiling which also prevents a 10 as its score. It’s not Mario Kart, you can’t become a pro in a short amount of time, so accessibility eludes the game somewhat. The game overall is fantastic though, for any family, group of friends, a tournament, or just by yourself if you wanna sharpen your skills and have fun.

Reviewed a game
Switch
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Reviewed: Jun 8, 2021
6.00

There’s two games here so the score will be an average of the two. I want to start with saying that I loved 3D Land. Yes, the forgettable one. I found 3D land to be super super tight in movement (very important to me), and the second special play-through challenging and fun enough to keep me invested for a Mario game. Yes, the first play through is easy. I believe that’s for the kids and families. Play the second special play through. Believe me, there’s some really neat levels. I loved the tanooki suit as the ultimate power up. Whenever I had it, the game felt great and I found myself trying to preserve it as much as I could. 3D world: the cat suit is not good and ruins the game for me. I know, divisive, but let me explain. The cat suit grants so many benefits that it almost feels silly to pick any other power up unless a collectible requires it. You can run up poles at the end of the level with cat suit and bypass that challenge completely! That’s not fun! The tanooki suit is almost nonexistent. The levels are also large and empty feeling sometimes too. Ultimately, the game feels like it was made for the multiplayer and therein lies the problem: it was. The game is just not that fun by yourself or it feels empty and when you don’t have the cat suit, you are extremely underpowered. Yes, “power up”, I get it, but when the suit literally renders a lot of the obstacles in a level moot, what’s the fun in that? The final battle was also very gimmicky and overall the experience felt forgettable. Bowsers Fury: arguably the reason to buy the game. Pros: super fun, super cute, having all power ups to choose from is great, clever puzzles, and pretty graphics. The cons: the bowser fight itself gets repetitive from so many battles, bowser being fury as you get shines can be annoying as hell at the end, and the map is a lot of empty space, I mean a lot! It kind of feels like they just grabbed existing assets to make the game, which, duh, they probably did. It’s a fun Odyssey-lite feeling experience, but doesn’t feel so unique when you really think about it. 3D World is a 4 as a sequel to Land, 6 as a stand-alone. Bowsers Fury is a high 6 at best because of the repetitive boss fight, awful fury bowser interference, and short length, which are small portions of game. Overall, as a package, the game is a 6.

Reviewed a game
PS4
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139...
Reviewed: Jun 8, 2021
5.40

The game feels like a prototype to Nier Automata in every way. From the story involving the young boy and the older lady in a world that doesn’t seem like what it appears from the onset, to the combat with its long list of minute details that make it feel unique based on what you choose. The combat is good, albeit a bit simplistic by today’s standards. The movement feels just like Automata did. The music is fantastic as always. The things I wasn’t so hot about was the story being extremely slow to pick up steam. I know, rpg games are usually slow burns, but it’s harder these days to have time for that. What makes the first 10 hours or so harder to slog through is that the actual story quests feel like side quests. The side quests themselves are extremely fetchy and just not fun in 2021. Another gripe is that the projectile magic attack is not precise at all. You have to shoot ahead of the reticle to actually shoot at your target depending on how far away you are. I’m comparing this to Automata, it’s impossible not to considering the sequel exists. The jumping feels floatier in this one, so I had trouble gauging it during boss fights. The main characters (white haired) are also kind of bland and one dimensional. Sure, there’s some unique qualities about all of them, but it’s not enough to make me feel like I wanted to listen to what they said. Kaine came off as just kind of stupid, brother Nier was very predictable, and Yonah was the typical sweetheart. Yes, the game is old, but the writing could have been better for the main characters. Emil and Weiss can be fun. Ultimately, as a stand-alone action rpg, this is an average 5, with so many loading screens (seriously?), but the music makes it a 6 at most. As a game re-released after Automata, it pales harshly in comparison: it’s a 4, because sometimes the PS3-era problems are just annoying and for the love of god, end the fetching quests! If the game had less loading screens, better writing, tighter projectiles, no fetch quests, a better first 10 to 15 hours, and some very minor movement adjustments, it would be a clean 8. My problem is that the game feels like chores up until the last few hours of the game, kind of like kingdom hearts 3. It feels like Star Wars Episode 1: very slow, pretty boring, kind of too specific to matter, with bland main characters. 5.4, slightly above average.

Reviewed a game
Switch
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Reviewed: Jun 7, 2021
4.00

An average RPG for fans that want eye candy more than anything groundbreaking or special. The game and characters are very pretty. Let’s get that out of the way. I’m looking at this game from what exactly you can do in the game and how hard it maybe was for the developers to program this. You run around, you press a button to gather some specific resources at the right time, you engage in an auto battle and then you craft. Crafting and battles are the core gameplay. Listen, the story is nothing to write home about. It’s very average, let’s get that out of the way. The crafting, you follow a path in a branch of icons that is based on what materials you have farmed. The items never appear in-game physically in a distinguishing way. Your weapons always look the same and the items are always just icons—2D photos. Mobile games can express a system like this easily. There’s invisible walls, of course, in the shape of fences or rock walls. It’s obviously not a big world but I question whether this game was actually a ground-up creation or an asset-flip. Did the developers just use resources from past games, fine tune them, make it prettier, add revealing costumes for the girls, and create a decent-at-best RPG? I think so, and that’s lame to me. They pump these Atelier games out fast and this game gets praised so highly when it’s objectively very average. Yes, I know that guys love the girl and her friends. Sure, eye candy sells, but let’s not pretend the game is comparable to other great rpgs. It’s average in every sense of the word and does not break any new ground and I’m sure the developer packs on so much fan service, so you, the consumer will look past the lack of actual functions you can do in-game to spend your hard earned money on literal video game fluff. It’s not an 8, not a 7, not a 6, I won’t remember this game next year. It’s not bad and it can be enjoyable, but that’s it and because farming with RnG mechanics is just something in video games that I don’t support because it’s objectively monotonous: biased score of 4. It is in actuality a 5.

Reviewed a game
PS4
BIOMUTANT
Reviewed: Jun 7, 2021
3.60

The game is playable, the world is very pretty, and the combat can be varied enough to grant you a sense of stylistic freedom. The HUGE caveat is that the game has more things weighing it down than things that make it special. There is ALOT of ideas here, and a refined sequel would probably be amazing! The game is just too ambitious, derivative, and at times poorly executed for its own good, though. I played the game on hard to ensure that I used my skills and resources efficiently and effectively. The physics and hit detection are awful. Sometimes I miss when I should have hit an enemy and sometimes I get hit when the enemy should have missed. You can literally walk through dead enemy corpses, there are invisible walls (PS3 era problems, and terrain slopes that should be traversable but are not. The quests are also super fetchy and some make you travel so far that it’s just not attractive to go fetch something so far away for a small reward. The world has no life because of the narrator. Literally nobody can have a personality because the narrator talks for them! The audio is also terrible. Without the narrator talking, some sound effects that should be present are not there and the audio of the combat in general is underwhelming at best and laughable at worst. Because the pace of the game is so lame through meaningless dialogue choices and the core gameplay is fun at best and broken at worst cause of its physics, I can’t give this game an average 5. Tack on the PS3 era problems for questing and the iPhone game menus, the game is a 3.6 to me. Below Average, Below meh, not trash, not unplayable, not mediocre completely, somewhere in between

Reviewed a game
Switch
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Reviewed: May 25, 2021
4.00

Look, as a stand alone game, it’s alright at best. As a xenoblade sequel, what is this trash? Imagine this game without any of its fan service, now let’s talk. The story doesn’t actually begin till end of Chapter 6, chapter 9 is all cinematics, and 10 is basically just end boss. I can’t even remember who the last boss was because he was so boring compared to literally God in Xeno 1. The RnG slot machine game for blades in Xeno 2 is objectively awful and is just there to disrespect your time and elongate this games length. Let’s be real, it’s a terrible mechanic. The combat pretends to be complex through elements for its combo system. It’s just there to force you to mix up blades, realistically. The original combo set up from 1 was fine. The combat is also slow as heck till (for me) level 60. That’s when it got “good” for me. Chapter 4 is so cringe and literally unplayable story-wise. The voice acting is HORRENDOUS in general. The world is pretty and the gameplay can be fun sometimes but that’s it. As a stand-alone game, average 5 or 6 (lots of bad ideas in an alright rpg game), as Xeno 2, 4 for being a gameplay and story regression.