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May 05, 2021

Recent Reviews - See More

Full review over at my website:

''Just me telling you how beautiful Ori and the Blind Forest is in both graphics- and storytelling would not do it justice, but I can assure you not a single word here is a lie. The latter is definitely mention-worthy, as the emotional story of loss and revenge is told mostly through expressions and movements. Fortunately, the game is not just a visual marvel to look at. Ori controls very smoothly in a game where platforming is definitely the main appeal, with challenging aspects but not necessarily unforgiving ones. Especially with the ability to place checkpoints anywhere you want given you have the energy, but also with the flexible- yet optional skill trees. Combat is definitely on the weaker side though; it does the job, but nothing more as you’re basically just mashing a button with no regard to positioning. The world is also not my favourite due to it being slightly more restrictive in terms of linearity, and also less interconnected than other pioneers in the genre. Fortunately, the Definitive Version did fix an issue with the latter part and has many fast-travel points as well as unique abilities that make backtracking far easier to do.''

Honestly pretty fun, gets a tad repetitive with all the accidents to clear and the same, predictable events but it's worth playing for sure.

Touhou, by and large, is something im not a huge fan of. Its a series of wildly varying quality that suffers from sameyness, a terrible fanbase and some general gameplay issues that pervade from game to game.

Most notably of these, Touhou stages are shit. The games are always defined by their fantastic boss battles, but the other half of the game is always, always, forgettable and nothing special. And this is where UFO really shines.

UFO's key is in its eponymous system, where collecting
3 UFO items of the same colour or of all different items spawn a UFO, a docile enemy that sucks up drops, and when it's sucked up enough and killed, drops additional items such as life fragments, bombs, or a shittonne of score. More importantly than this, on death, they cancel all enemy bullets, which is absolutely massive. It is frankly, a Genius system, mostly because of how it interacts with the existing Touhou item drop formula, how it encourages both clever stage routing and on-the fly adaptation, and encourages the player to be far more active in movement as UFO items are so important to both scoring and survival, and therefore it rewards weaving through bullets and take risks to make the most out of it. It is exactly the sort of thing Touhou stages need, and it turns the worst part of the EOSD-onwards Touhous into the best part.

Well, maybe. I think it's fair to say UFO also has incredibly rock solid bosses. Touhou never really falters on the bosses, and whilst I can hardly call myself an authority on them, they're great here, particularly Stage 6's boss.

The music is also just lovely. ZUN spices this one up a bit more than the other Post-EOSD games i've played, with the latter stages including some more varied instrumentation and styling to his traditional faire, which really works well. Stage 4 and the Stage 6 boss track are clear standouts for me and just make the game that little bit more special.

It's still a Windows Touhou, so the art is bad, it looks very similar to other games from the time, and frankly you have to jump through some hoops to get it in english and you're stuck with awkward compatibility and resolutions going up to the mighty 1280x960. Fuck you if you want it fullscreen, by the way.

But yeah, ZUN did it. This is by far the best Touhou i've played and just a top-tier STG in general. A fantastic gimmick accompanied by a Touhou game of high quality in the first place. As far as I'm concerned, this is his Magnum Opus.

I hope the money I unneccessarily spent on the Steam version of this game gets ZUN a nice beer. I almost forgive him for Violet Detector.

If there's one phrase that describes Guitar Hero III, it's "over the top." Over the top charting, over the top guitar battles, and an over the top style. None of that is bad at all. While I ended up preferring the more down-to-earth Rock Band to the point where I ended up continuing with that series rather than getting into World Tour and the rest, Guitar Hero III is a fantastic entry of the series that is better than II. Great songs, great story, and it is all-around great fun.

...and yes, I did buy it for the Wii. I wanted to play Guitar Hero online, and I didn't have Xbox Live at the time.

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