good Cowboy Beebop reference
sorry, I just had to get this out and will write more once I'm finished haha

The presentation and soundtrack are truly marvelous. I didn't want to commit too many hours into trying to CC this, as I'm not too good at shmups, so I watched everything I haven't seen on YouTube.
So: would anyone with a masters degree in Buddhism be so kind to explain what the fuck I just witnessed

The TL: DR of this review is that I didn’t like it as much as Replicant and think that playing Automata in the west is a significantly inferior experience, but still a good one that is worth experiencing.
Honestly, it took me around a day to catch up with all the side material to Automata and Replicant that fill the gaps between those two and recontextualize most of Automata’s lore and characters. This franchise is a lot to say the least.
It took me 5 years and 4 attempts to beat this game. What got me into it again was Replicant last year, which I really really liked and after that newly added E ending, I knew I had to go back. I don’t regret it. Although my play time could have been cut a lot shorter, because I thought that to acquire the final ending you’d have to collect every single weapon, like in NieR and Drakengard and already hunted 70% of them down until I found out that’s entirely unnecessary.
These games aren’t necessarily meant to be fun but throughout my playthrough I caught myself comparing Replicant to Automata quite frequently, asking myself what made me enjoy Replicant as a whole more. I think it boils down to the banter between main story missions. The pods just aren’t Weiss and they’re not meant to be, but I still think that the protagonists of Automata work worse because they don’t get the same space to develop throughout the runtime. While doing my research I also came across the fact that a lot of the character backgrounds as formerly mentioned, are hidden in short stories as well as the stage plays, which explains my feeling of incompletion after finishing the game.
I feel that a lot of my initial critiques of Replicant/Gestalt have been addressed through the fact alone, that Automata only asks you to play through the initial story twice, instead of 3 times and the worst offender of repetition in this title isn’t even close to being as bad as the Junk Heap. The third playthrough being a completely new experience kept things as fresh as they will get in a game directed by Yoko Taro.
What breaks Automata for me really is how much of the story you have to seek out in other media and given how sparely they are available here in the west and mostly only translated by dedicated fans, is just inaccessible to a degree that I think a lot of players will understandably miss out on that content. If not for the fan translations huge parts of the fanbase still wouldn’t have a clue of what half of the events in Automata really meant or where the agency of certain characters even stems from. Because if you piece it all together it makes for an incredibly dense and well-crafted story, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but the base game alone feels incomplete more than ambiguous, as the first one did. I wish more of this was in the actual game, even though I have a lot of respect for the work that went into realizing 2 well crafted spin-off stage plays. The short stories could have been implemented super easily like they were in Replicant tho, or the one with Devola and Popola. They could have made them a collectible, even retrospectively patching them in would have been the preferable option imo, but like this you actively have to look out for more information on the (sometimes intentionally) unanswered questions.
I like Automata, even for the visual style and soundtrack alone. The latter didn’t work as well for me as it did back in 2017, probably because I have listened to it devoid of context for 5 years now, taking it’s vibe and mentally coding it to my personal experiences and imagination, more than the actual game world. I took a a lot of visual inspiration from the game and love every piece of concept art so much, that it transcended the actual work itself. That’s neither here nor there concerning my critique, just a funny little concept I can think about from now on. How a lot of elements from Automata got so separated from the original text, that for me returning to it’s origins made me feel uncanny.
I don’t think it’s perfect, the actual ending didn’t blow me away like it did many other players and gameplay and structure leave quite a bit to be desired for me personally, though it might just be the little extra that pushes me over the cliff to play through all of Drakengard.
I enjoyed Automata’s themes a lot and even found appreciation for the weirdly named machine bosses and other sublte details that fill this universe with so much great thought provoking subtext.

I genuinely like Stranger of Paradise.
While the Layouts for the different missions could come from a PS2 game (in that they're very flat, linear and sort of formulaic) the gameplay is surprisingly fun. I got turned away by the latest demo on the PS4 (this version is horrible overall) but then gave it another shot last week over on PC and liked the visuals although they came with very slight performance issues in 2 boss arenas. I don't know why they put the second worst mission in the demo and at the start of the game, but be assured that it gets better and more fun throughout.
The nods and references to the other mainline FFs worked super well for me and even the story I found to be interesting and entertaining. People give it too much shit online, because it does stuff differently and is written janky on purpose imo.
The job system works great too. Sage + Tyrant made for such a fun gameplay-loop it's wild. I also really liked the progression and this must have been the first time in years I enjoyed talent-trees, because Level-ups are so frequent and it's more about which move you want to have next or which class to unlock.
This is the most 3/5 in a long while. Fun throughout with very slight hiccups and didn't overstay it's welcome.

This was my first exposure to Monkey Island and I'm so incredibly happy it wasn't my last.
It's rough, it changes characters in ways I don't like, fucking Monkey Kombat and the overall feeling of the game speak against Monkey 4 for me. It takes a 180 on the script of the Ron Gilbert-games and even Curse.
It's not that I don't like having a ridicolously evil capitalist as an antagonist for a Monkey Island (quite the opposite in fact), but the moments of general joy where I cheered at the dialogue were far and few between. They were there but the themes and subject matter MI4 almost tackles are a literal comedy gold mine and perfectly well suited for Monkey Island but in the end just underutilized.
Monkey Island 2 said more in that regard, without having the game revolving around these themes explicitely.
If you speak german (which you probably do, because appearently only german-speaking audiences still care for Point n' Clicks lol); I mostly agree with Lena here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP0LGLzkhsM

It takes about an hour to beat and doesn't overstay it's welcome throughout it's runtime.
It also left me with the question of whether games can or rather should be fun, if they deliver a message like this game does through their gameplay. Might be a very specific thought that is a bit too centered around this particular experience, but it lingers on and idk, maybe I will find an answer to that I deem satisfying

2022

It's a walking simulator but you're a cat. If that sounds good to you, buy it.
It's has immaculate environmental design and overall is stunningly looking, which is also it's biggest selling point. I liked the movement, but otherwise there isn't much to say about the gameplay. All it does is quite simple and mostly done alright. My only real criticisms would be the checkpoints in the stealth segments, but even that is barely worth mentioning. Also, this needs a photo-mode!!!
What I missed in the second half, was the verticality of the first area, although the layout and stores easily made up for my initial disappointment.
I also really appreciate the nod to Nier:Automata in the Ant Village. If you don't know what I'm referring to, listen to the song on the soundtrack again and right after that put on 'Significance' from Nier. Also best area, period

The more Monkey Island games I play, the lesser do I think of the puzzles in these games. How did I beat this by sheer luck as a child?!
Still, the first one after Ron Gilbert's departure sure is different, but Monkey 3 is a game I still hold in high regards. It cranks up the absurd comedy to 11 and while being different, still incredibly charming. I love the art design and soundtrack to this day and thank good you can immediately change screens with a double-click in this one. Too bad Guybrush's normal movement speed is still comparable to the one of snails.
Dominic Armato's first appearance as Guybrush is phenomenal and the voice acting alone, paired with the great dialogue is worth the playthrough. Oh and the visual gags are on par with 1 & 2, even tho some heavily rely on the nostalgia for these games and often are throwbacks to the old artstyle. Still incredibly fun and a huge part of the appeal of the Monkey Island games.
Idk what to write on this one any more. It's my childhood and I hold it dear to my heart, even though it is flawed and I don't like the puzzles anymore.
Also... Murray is pure comedy gold and I am glad Ron and team are bringing him back for Return to Monkey Island <3
Oh shit, am I scared to boot up MI4 now. But I fear the marathon must go on...

I thought I liked this more than MI1, but turns out that I only enjoyed a few of the puzzles this time around, and ran into way more instances where I was not okay with being stuck for months like back when I was a kid. I ended up using a guide through the messy and overall convoluted second chapter. Overall, did I have the impression, that the puzzles were absurd at times and way too open for solutions and actions to just connect naturally.
What keeps Monkey Island 2 together is the again fantastic writing and comedic elements. The timing is superb and many times it’s just a joy to play and see the different character interactions. I mean... there is a reason Ron Gilbert and his team put literal dozens of hidden corns of dust in Thimbleweed Park as a joke for a collectible. Some of these items are waaaay too easy to miss.
I personally love the original artwork. This is a case where I can still recommend the remake tho, because it is better than the Special Edition of the first game. And it transforms the Monkey 2 soundtrack into 100% certified bangers, which don’t really come through in this original version, so I was a little disappointed by that after hearing the Special Edition versions for so many years.

I want to have violent sex with both the saxophone and clarinet in this soundtrack

I don't mind the artstyle, but prefer the original game over this version at this point, as I think the colour palette fits the theme and overall setting better. What the hell happend to the controls? How is it less intuitive than the original?!
I think they should have either faithfully remade the SCUMM interface and make it fit the visual style, or take the MI3 approach of deleting a lot of the unnecessary verbs.
Also, why do I have to press a button every time to open my inventory, when the original had it on screen at all times?
I'd recommend the OG game over this, although I have to say, that they have outdone themselves with the soundtrack. Goes for the second one even more, but this already fucks.
My biggest gripes are the PC-Port and that the classic version has no setting to include the voice acting. You literally have to decompile and emulate the game on SCUMMVM to get the "ultimate Talkie Edition" with the new music and the fantastic voice acting and the incredible Dominic Armato as Guybrush Threepwood. He is a treasure.
Overall nice on paper, but if you can, please go and play the version I just mentioned, for your own enjoyment of this true classic. This is not the worst experience as it is, but in my personal opinion a inferior one to the "talkie", which I reviewed on the originals backloggd page.

I'm surprised how well this holds up. It feels old at times and especially in the second half of the game can become a slog to get trough, because of puzzle-design and backtracking.
Incredible visual and meta-jokes, that I mostly forgot about from when I played it as a kid, that are jaw-droppingly well done. What a great classic and even better when installing the Talkie-Edition to play the original with the VO of the very disappointing Special Edition version from 2009.
And of course, we will have to deal with this with every Monkey Island game from here on out. I'm talking of the insensitive stereotypes portrayed in this series, concerning everything Voodoo and also the character linked to these aspects who is a woman of colour. There should be a more vocal discussion of the racist implications reproduced here and if I happen to find a piece on the issue from someone smarter than me, I will make sure to link it here. This goes for all of MI up until right before the new one.
No dogs were harmed during the writing of this review

I love Portal, now give me Portal 3 and please be a less shitty company, Valve

I just hate Jonathan Blow :)
Game was neat

A lot to love here but FFVII is mind-boggingly slow. I found it tedious to get through, even tho I enjoyed a lot like all of the different locations and plot moments. The localization is rough tho and I hope Evercrisis changes it to make it flow better.