Final Fantasy 16 is too easy, lacks almost everything you’d expect from an RPG, has mostly excruciatingly boring side quests, the locations lack personality, and it’s generally unfun to traverse any of the areas. Despite all of that, I had a fantastic time playing through this game. Not only that, but I went out of my way to play it twice and get the Platinum trophy – something I haven’t felt compelled to do for any other game in over a year. Why?
The combat is fun. I absolutely loved a few of the characters. Most importantly – this game is a sight to behold. The spectacle is unreal.
Once you have a few of the Eikons at your disposal, you can get in to what feels like a rhythmic flow state with the battle system. It STRONGLY reminds me of how I played the two recent God of War games. Chaining abilities together while peppering in some regular attacks as you wait for the cooldowns to end feels great. I’d say I enjoyed God of War combat a similar amount, but for a different reason. As Kratos, it’s like you’re playing as a Strength build – absolutely decimating things with raw power. In this, it’s more about your speed and finesse – dashing around, making precise dodges while taking every opportunity to get some damage in. Not only that but you’re constantly summoning magical beasts to do your bidding. Dad Kratos and Clive feel like they’re born from the same battle system, but they’re two completely different classes. The Barbarian and the Magical Soldier Boy, if you will.
It is certainly too easy – I only died once in my first playthrough, and it was because I failed to enter Joshua’s forcefield when Bahamut was about to unleash the full force of 10,000 moons upon us. Apparently “get behind me” actually meant “mount me”. Anyways, this is usually a major deal breaker for me. Calling difficulty a preference is probably an understatement. In most cases, a game being easy or simple is an outright dealbreaker for me. I’m a From Software fanboy. When games don’t push back (or when they hold your hand) it frustrates me. It’s hard to pinpoint, but the pace of the fights + the spectacle + the timely management of your dodges and abilities made it fun despite it being easy. My second playthrough on Final Fantasy mode did make it a bit more difficult – I died a few times – but it didn’t change much. Honestly, playing through it on hard made me realize that a game like this might have been hindered by being more difficult. I think it would ruin the pace of the fights. I was constantly in awe (especially in the Eikon fights) and I would have just been annoyed if I had to replay cinematic moments because they were more bullet spongey. It’s strange, but I think the easy nature actually benefits the spectacle of it all and let’s that aspect shine more brightly. And BOY, does it shine. The Eikon fights are some of the highest highs I’ve experienced in a video game. They just ooze style, are super satisfying, and have what is likely the best animation I’ve ever seen. It’s like Michael Bay decided to make the coolest anime of all time. It’s the Godzilla game I never truly knew I wanted.
Clive, Cid and Dion are some of the best written/acted characters in any video game. Honestly, I think Clive is possibly THE most likeable protagonist I’ve witnessed to date. This may be the only game where my favourite character is the main one. It’s almost always the supporting cast that wins me over. I’m looking at you, Sully. I might like Cid more (that voice though), but I’m trying to make a point here – so I’m going with Clive. My point is that the MC is usually boring – this game is refreshing in that regard.
The game is too long, as most games are these days. It could have been 30-50% shorter and it would be better for it. 90% of the side quests were uninteresting, and that bled over in to some of the main quests, too, for some reason. The amount of times I had to walk back and forth in the hub area made me want to get someone to treat me like Clive treated Hugo. (whisper: the whole de-handing thing)
When I really think about it, playing this game and ignoring most side quests would actually make it a better game. It would make it more difficult, as you’d be a lower level – plus you would skip most of the monotonous parts. It’s a shame I always feel compelled to do everything in a game like this.
The implementation of RPG mechanics here is a shame. There’s little to no customization in terms of your equipment. You basically always have access to the best thing you could need at any given point. To bring up the recent God of War games again – they had more RPG elements than this! That’s nuts. I want to customize Clive more. I want to have an actual “party” of characters. I want to choose who is in that party, and then I want to customize THEM as well. None of that is here. I understand why due to the focus on the narrative and the way it progresses. It would be a much different game with a party system, but that doesn’t shy me away from wanting that change. That’s a pillar of Final Fantasy.
With that in mind, I’ll make my final point. This doesn’t feel like a Final Fantasy game. However, this isn’t a detractor to me. I’m more of a modern FF enjoyer myself, so I don’t have a lot of skin in the game. I think all of the aspects that do feel like FF such as the eikons and the focus on crystals greatly enhance the experience, but it feels weird to consider this the new template for a core game. It’s really not an RPG. It’s an action game.
Overall, in what is probably the best year of all time for video games, this sits near the top despite all of its flaws. The highs in this game are so incredibly high that I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by its sheer cinematic glory. In an age where “cinematic storytelling” can frequently feel uninvolved and passive, this remained highly engaging when it really mattered.

I don't get it. This is the second time I have given this game a chance. I tried the PS3 version of the PS2 original about a decade ago, and I figured that maybe this newer version would remedy the problems I had. I feel like I'm being gaslit in to believing it's a good video game. This has got to be the biggest discrepancy in terms of critical acclaim vs. how I feel. I legitimately think it's a bad one. Without exaggeration, I'm giving it a 1/5. The only redeeming qualities are the lovely music and the sense of atmosphere/scale it provides. Outside of that, there's nothing to enjoy here.
The only feeling I felt while playing was frustration. And no, I don't think it's due to it being 'difficult'. It's just annoying. I got through the first 3 colossi without much issue. I just have no desire to continue on.
Agro is one of the worst controlling horses in all of video games. Imagine the absolute horror of using this thing after experiencing the perfection of the double-jumping horse that can turn on a dime in Elden Ring.
Jumping feels bad. Climbing feels bad. Orienting the camera is a pain. It constantly wants to shift the camera to behind you to give you a cinematic view. I want to put the camera facing behind me as I run away from the giant beast, game! Why can't I do that without it fighting with me to re-center?
This game is nothing but a lump of frustration covered in a thin layer of intriguing aspects like the world/ambience.
Yes, I know it's "intended" for things to be frustrating but that doesn't excuse it. That's a bad decision. Nothing should feel intentionally bad - this is a video game. If something is going to feel "intentionally difficult to perform" it should still be fun to try to figure out and overcome. There's no fun to be had here. That would be like someone sitting beside me as I play a Zelda game and punching me in the face every time I try to use a weapon against the boss. "It's immersive, bro!"
Like I said, this second attempt at playing this has solidified my opinion even further. This has got to be the single most overrated game of all time. It's not like other games such as Pikmin, Animal Crossing, or Microsoft Flight Simulator where I can look at it and go "you know what? That's a great game - it's just not for me." No, this is not a great game. I refuse to accept that people genuinely feel that way about this. It's bad.
Sorry for such a negative rant, but I don't know how else to put it. LOL

I just had my first experience with any Punch-Out game. It's 2023. Strange how I've never touched this series. It's really just Dark Souls boss fights boiled down to their simplest form, eh?
I enjoyed my time with it. I got stuck on a couple fights for 10+ tries but eventually kept pulling through. It's all about learning patterns and punishing very specific things in very specific ways. That's cool and all, but I definitely require more depth out of my games to truly enjoy them. I made it to Mr. Sandman within a few hours of playing. Tried that fight a couple times and failed, and haven't felt any urge to go back and continue. I think I'm gonna leave it there for now. It's certainly a bit repetitive due to lack of available inputs. Perhaps I'll revisit it (or another entry in the series) in the future.
The music is fantastic. The sense of scale and danger is actually pretty cool considering the very limited art style due to it being an NES game.
I also have to say, this game does hold up. I always claim that most old games do not hold up, but this one does due to how basic it is. It's all about reaction time - plus, you only have a couple of options at your disposal. It still feels good to play, 3 decades later. I know this is due to it being 2D in design - those tend to hold up a lot better than older 3D titles. Still, gotta give props where they're due.
I can totally see why people would have gotten obsessive over this - it's "git gud" in its purest form.

For context, I would like to first highlight that going in to this game, all I knew was that "something crazy" happens. I didn't know what it would be or how it would manifest, but I knew that this game wasn't exactly as it appeared from the outside. Luckily, despite hearing many people speak of this game over the last 6 years, I never truly had it spoiled.
Also important is that I streamed the entirety of my playthrough on Twitch, though again nobody spoiled anything and I was mostly just performing the game aloud which honestly got me way more in to it than I otherwise would have.
However, I think the hype that built up around it for being "not as it appears" somewhat ruined the experience for me. I do have to note here, though, that there is a 0% chance I would have played this game at all, let alone for 3+ hours to get to the interesting parts, had I not known something wild was going to happen.
Anyways... it's not that wild. It's kind of what I expected, but honestly much less explicit than I thought it would be. Based on the way it had been described in the past, I actually thought "it's not as it appears" implied that it would change genres, and would end up not being a visual novel. Like I said, my expectations were all out of whack. I was waiting for some catastrophic murderous event to occur and the game suddenly shifts to first-person or something.
It gave me Danganronpa vibes immediately, but it doesn't really go in that direction. It's moreso about peoples internal struggles and how people suppress their true feelings around others. It's also full of pretty sharp twists and turns in the last 20% of the game, which is appreciated. Honestly, figuring out on my own that I needed to open up a Steam folder and delete the characters file was pretty great. I love that. However, I will point out that once the game restarted again (for the final part) after that, I tried to delete Natsuki and it didn't work. :(
I have a high tolerance for things that would be right at home in a horror movie, so nothing here really surprised or upset me in the way I believe was intended. I feel like if this wasn't about teenage girls, it would have been a lot more effective. I just can't care about characters that are this young that are being presented as potential girlfriends. It's weird. I get the feeling that this game is supposed to shock you over and over, and it never shocked me.
Visual novels are very much so not for me, and that's never going to change. Games like Persona and Danganronpa do things at such a high quality and in such interesting ways that they are able to engage me despite being relatives to a game like this.
DDLC has some interesting writing, and I appreciate how it loops your experience to get you to notice subtle changes and slowly clue you in to the fact that something is very wrong. I appreciate the psychological element - it's done pretty well. They portray 'intrusive thoughts' in a somewhat realistic way, and I like how willing this game was to go the extra distance in attempt to freak you out. I will say, though, that at times I was quite bored. The first 3 hours (which I thought was the entire length of the game, before I started playing) was all set-up and it was kind of tiresome. After that, things started getting interesting but they also repeat a lot of beats. I get why, and I liked it to some extent, but in the end it was just.... so wordy. So much reading. So... visually novelly.
Being a visual novel is an instant no for me, so it's really gotta earn its right to be enjoyed. DDLC kind of does. I'm disappointed it didn't go way further in its attempts to psychologically screw with you.
The music was quite a bop, though.

I have never really tried to get in to a fighting game, outside of Smash. I've dabbled in Mortal Kombat (9?) and played a bit of Soul Calibur 5, but never really attempted getting decent or playing online.
I had pretty much written off ever playing a fighting game in any significant way. Then this game was upon us, and I found myself drawn to how colourful and beautifully animated it was. For once, I was actually interested. It also seemed to be a game that newcomers would be able to get some enjoyment out of.
I decided to try it and start with the World Tour mode. I enjoyed my time with that for about 5 hours max, then it started to get old and repetitive. I figured I might as well try out playing online, and I started having quite a bit of fun!
I used Cammy for the majority of the time but then switched over to Marisa for a bit because I thought she'd fit my play style better. She definitely does. I love me some heavy hitters. Unfortunately, I found myself at what I considered a pretty hefty plateau, and I know that I've got to put in a lot of practice and dedication to overcome that. I just don't think I'm willing to invest that kind of time. I'm not the kind of person that can enjoy a game like this casually. I either have to get really good, or I'm not going to enjoy it.
Regardless, it's easy to see how good this game is. If you put the time in, it's a ton of fun. It looks and runs fantastically, and the amount of tools at your disposal to learn in-game is lovely to see. I also really like the music, especially that title song.
I could see myself getting really in to this, but at least for now I'm going to move on to other things. There are way too many fantastic games releasing this year to commit this much time to a single one.
I probably put about 35 hours in to this, and I'm satisfied with that. I'm glad I tried it out and didn't write it off like I have pretty much every other fighting game in existence.

This was my first game on the Steam Deck! It was a perfect fit!
I like the battle system a lot. I like how the negotiation system works, too. It took some getting used to but I ended up liking the two equally. At first, negotiating put me off due to it being so different.
I'm coming from games like Slay the Spire, Monster Train, Across the Obelisk, and Wildfrost. StS still remains the peak of the genre, but this does a lot right.
The "main" way to play the game that involves a story and lots of dialogue is totally fine. After a couple hours, I just started skipping all the dialogue. I didn't find it interesting, it was just deterring me from the actual game. It's a shame you have to play through that part with each character to unlock the "Brawl" mode that let's you only play the good parts (the combat). Once you unlock Brawl, it becomes Slay the Spire and that's the good stuff.
I stopped playing it due to Baldur's Gate 3 releasing. I wasn't quite done with it, but at this point I don't think it's quite compelling enough to pull me back in afterwards.

After the first couple hours, I thought I was going to thoroughly enjoy this. It felt like a Pokemon game, but actually well designed. After about 15 hours or so, I had to drop it because it just wasn't keeping me interested. The story is incredibly bland and repetitive, which usually isn't a deal breaker for me. It certainly doesn't help, though. The battle mechanics ended up being way too literally rock-paper-scissors for me. At first I thought it was going to expand and become much more complex, but it never really did. The monsters themselves are cool, as they are in normal MH games. I didn't find the act of "catching" them and raising them very engaging, though. For all the things it does right, it feels like the ways it strays from the Pokemon formula hurt the game. The presentation of it all is miles ahead of Pokemon in terms of the cut scenes, the battle animations, etc. but it's not enough. The roaming around, battling, and the narrative all feel a bit repetitive and simple after a while. I enjoyed my time with it for about 10 hours - after that, it fell off.
I do think there is a lot here that Pokemon games should be taking note of (they won't) to improve their own games. Primarily the presentational aspects I mentioned a moment ago. Outside of its flashy (and quick) battles, it doesn't do much to stand out in the genre.

When BotW came out, it felt like a magical new direction for the series and at least for me, it made me feel like it could do no wrong. Despite certain elements not being exactly what I wanted, such as the repetitive shrines (especially the motion control focused ones) it was easily forgivable. It was easy to deem it a 10/10.
Tears of the Kingdom had an impossible task; be better than the revolution that was BotW. Be better than the game that made open world design actually tolerable. Although on one hand, I was very confident in this games' quality, on the other I was concerned it was going to be slammed for being outdated at this point - especially on the Switch hardware.
Well, seems like they pulled it off. All 3 levels of the world are fun to get lost in. It's crazy how you can be immersed in the underground for hours before realizing you should probably get back to what you were doing. At first glance, it seems like a boring, barren wasteland - but there's something about navigating the darkness that makes it exciting. There are just enough unique areas to keep you searching. I didn't enter the depths for a solid 10-15 hours of play time, so the realization that the shrines had roots that linked them to the structures beneath was quite a moment for me.
Not only that, but the sky is a joy to navigate as well. For the most part, my sky exploration was done whenever I launched out of a tower to survey the land. I love how that leads you to floating islands full of more things to explore. The game has a strangely unique flow to it. You get in a tower, it takes you to a sky island. After exploring that, you see a giant hole in the ground you haven't been to. After diving down, suddenly you find yourself in the abyss for 3 hours. Whoops, time to go back to the main land and find a new town. It pulls you through its world in a way that only Elden Ring has managed to do previously. It's cool to see that Breath of the Wild set up both Elden Ring and Tears of the Kingdom for similar levels of success with their world design.
I'm going to have to say I'm not that big of a fan of the fusing system. I don't find it enjoyable to build things in any video game. Fallout, Minecraft, Mario Maker, Little Big Planet, etc. have all taken steps to making building things "fun" and it's never worked for me. I'm not surprised I wasn't a fan of it here.
However, I will say that the EXECUTION of the things that you build and the creative ways you can use them is incredible. That's something that elevates this game to the next level. I don't like the act of actually putting things together - but the use they have afterwards is wild. Coming up with seemingly absurd solutions to problems and constantly making you feel like you're doing something that must not be intended is a miracle of game development never before seen. Like I said earlier, this is something BotW did and we all went nuts for it thinking it was genius. This game blows it out of the water; BotW feels like a joke now.
I've got to point out here that fusing things to weapons is cool. I enjoyed that aspect thoroughly. However, I see that system as having A LOT of room for expansion/improvement. I think you should be able to fuse multiple things together and they should have more unique elemental properties and applications. I think at the very least I expected to be able to take two items, fuse them together, and then fuse THAT to my weapon. It felt a little too streamlined. Also, it would be more interesting if items changed your weapon a lot more when you fused them. If you fuse your sword to a boulder, for example, it shouldn't turn in to a normal sword with a tiny boulder on the end. It should be a sword made of boulders that throws boulders when you swing, or something like that. Perhaps it should be more in line with a crafting system where you take a boulder, a sword, and some vines... and you create some sort of crazy roped boulder sword. I guess that's what I was hoping for; more unique creations. I feel like they put all of their efforts in the vehicular creation (which to me is boring) and nowhere near enough in to the weapon creation.
The ascend mechanic is one of my favourite mechanics of all time. It's probably the highlight of the game for me. Again, it allows you to "outsmart" the game if you put your mind to it. Building a structure that barely lets you reach a ceiling with ascend and then pulling it off feels great. Being able to escape the caves with it is a fantastic way to keep you in the moment without having to fast travel out and break momentum. Even worse in some games if you have to actually back track out manually. I'm glad they realized that would have been frustrating.
I agree with the sentiment that this game feels more like "a Zelda game" than BotW did. I have always loved (3D) Zelda games since OoT, outside of Skyward Sword. Like I said earlier, I loved BotW and think it was a great idea to break away from the traditions they had set. It was starting to get stale. I like the way they re-implemented some things that make TotK feel more like a fusion of Zelda games and BotW (which is hardly a Zelda game). Ganondorf being present is always a major plus, I don't really like any of the other antagonists the series has had. Ganon is one of the coolest video game characters, period.
The dungeons are back, in a way that fits how this game works. I'm surprised people are so positive about them, because they don't feel like traditional Zelda dungeons to me. That's not a negative point, just an observation. I thought they were fun to navigate. Although it fits the game, it still is strange to me that they aren't a bit more linear in design. However, I know that would probably break the flow of the game if they were. I'm a bit torn on this. I honestly kind of feel like this game, moreso than BotW did, makes me want more traditional dungeons. In BotW they didn't feel like dungeons at all; more like one big awkward puzzle. I didn't like them, but they didn't harm the experience. I honestly didn't miss traditional dungeons like everyone else seemed to. In TotK, though, they're closer to the old style and they CALL THEM dungeons, so I feel like it makes me actually want dungeons. Tackling the objectives in any order just doesn't feel right to me. Again, this doesn't really take away from the game for me.
The order I did the areas in surely influence my opinion on the companions, so I'll note that here.
20hr in - Goron area
25hr in - Ruto area
35hr in - Zora area
45hr in - Gerudo area
60hr - Beat the game
Those are very rough estimates. I wanted to point that out because I feel like the companions weren't as interesting as I'd hoped. I liked having the goron to help me clear out boulders - that was a cool touch and it felt powerful. It was even fun to fight with him and launch him into groups of enemies.
Before approaching the hebra area, I actually noted that I thought the powerup was going to be the ability to shoot forward in the air. It just made sense, because of how you were constantly moving horizontally while gliding. I'm glad it was because I liked this powerup the most by far.
The zora and the gerudo powerups are both let downs that I barely used. I wish they weren't so disappointing. It feels like they were meant as tools you use in battle, which I mostly wasn't interested in. I liked the functionality of the other two in exploration and I was hoping these two would be just as helpful in other ways. Perhaps surfing on bodies of water with the zora... or what I really wanted: digging downwards by using "descend" as the gerudo. That would have been awesome.
I loved the shrines in this game. Every time I went in to one, I was immediately struck by the thought "ok, so I think this might be how I'm supposed to do this but what's an alternative?..." that feeling never went away and it's one of the best parts of this game. Love it.
On the other side, I basically mentioned this before but the creation and usage of the "vehicles" was my least favourite aspect for sure. Whenever I was tasked with building something or using a machine that I built, I let out a sigh. I'm not a fan of using vehicular devices in anything outside of racing games. I like being on foot and using the tools I have to move around fluidly. Even in games where you have a mount, I generally don't like using them. Elden Ring is an exception to this as the horse was incredibly fluid to control and had a double jump. Generally, controlling a vehicle/steed is too cumbersome and isn't fun. This game is no different in that regard.
By the way - the ending is probably the best ending a Zelda game has seen. The final boss may be my new favourite (at least the 1st/2nd part - the 3rd part is visually cool but is pretty boring). At the very least it is on par with Wind Waker's.
Overall, this is most likely going to be the majority of peoples "Game of the Year" in a year absolutely FULL of incredible games. This might just be the best year in video games of all time, to be honest. That's quite an honour for this game to hold, if that happens. It's well deserved, too.
Will it be mine? I'm not sure. Baldurs Gate 3 and FF16 might have something to say about that.

After being recommended Shantae as a series due to my love for Metroidvania's, I thought I'd give one a shot. This seemed like a good place to start. I haven't ever taken the time to figure out what the series was like; I've just heard about it in passing a few times over the years. Turns out it's ~almost~ the kind of game that I love.
First, I'd like to get this out of the way: the ways the girls are designed (all the exact same way) is a bit weird. I'm not one to ever point something like this out, or even care... but this is by far the most egregious example of random/unnecessary fan service. (I don't go near other games that are way over the top with this, so this stands out to me.) Again, I don't really care about it in most games, but here it stood out immediately as very intentional and very distracting. Especially when the character art is shoved in your face constantly when conversations are being had. Also, it's such a jarring difference between the pixel art aesthetic and the very high resolution illustrations of the characters when in dialogue. All around just some strange/off-putting choices regarding the art.
To be honest, that last paragraph has nothing to do with my low-ish score of this game, though. That's not something that would move the needle of a games quality for me, I just figured it needed to be pointed out.
Anyways - the actual game. At first, I was optimistic. I think the game controls very well - the way a platformer should. The jumps are tight, the animation is smooth, the knockback feels right, the upgrades to your arsenal are fun, and the precision of all of your inputs is appreciated. I was thinking hey, we might have another Guacamelee/Hollow Knight on our hands here.
The problem arises when the "loop" sets in. I played up until the second last island. It became clear half-way through that you end up doing something similar on every island, and it got to be boring. Unlock a new island, go to it, realize you can't progress, go back to a spot on the island 2 islands ago, find a hidden path to get a random item for someone, give it to them, earn something to now progress on the new island - repeat.
It's somehow both too linear in its design and also too vague. The conversations had by the characters are not nearly interesting/engaging enough to truly pay attention to, so I was constantly looking up where to go next. Sometimes I clued in to what I was supposed to be doing, but about half the time I hit a wall and was like.... what? Where do I go? This is something that rarely happens in other Metroidvania's. Getting lost is part of the genre, though. In this game, it doesn't feel like getting lost while exploring, it just feels like you're going the way you should be but you hit an arbitrary wall that forces you to backtrack. It's not a smooth process; like I said, it's oddly linear. Oh, you walked to the right for 2 minutes through a mess of enemies that are piling on screen at an awkward rate. So much so that they overlap each other, sometimes. Welp, you hit a wall, time to turn around and go back through it so that you can get an item you didn't know you'd need. But guess what? Now you get to spam Y on your way back through those enemies for a third time! (Yes, I know the teleporting barrel thing exists, I used it frequently once I realized what it was.)
The map is an important tool in any Metroidvania. In this game, it serves its purpose (red/yellow squares are appreciated) but doesn't go any further to aid your quest. It would be nice to be able to look at the map of any island regardless of where you are. Additionally, I think adding the ability to place a pin on the map would do wonders. Plenty of times I came across something I couldn't access (like a hole/gap/chest) and assumed I could return to it later. The problem is, half of these things are mandatory to progress and half of them are just extra items. There's no way to know which ones are truly important to remember. I also don't think the areas are memorable enough to have me recall the exact location I came across something. Within each island, most of the scenery is very samey. Even in situations where I knew what kind of item I needed to progress, I had no idea where it was. They're always in super arbitrary spots. One of the last ones I got just required me to go back 2 islands, wander around and find a random patch of grass I could now destroy with my downward thrust. Why? Well, I guess that's how Metroidvania's work. I guess everything just felt like it lacked context. It didn't feel purposefully placed.
The music in this game is fantastic, though. Nothing to complain about there. Loved every tune I heard. Almost reminded me of Banjo-Kazooie music, which is some of my favourite video game music around.
In terms of the combat and your arsenal of tools... it's a mixed bag. Fighting things feels good, if you're just considering how it feels to jump around, dodge, and attack enemies. The problem is that it's, again, really basic. There's barely any reason to attack anything with things other than your basic attack. It's by far the most powerful way to fight. The game kinda just turns in to mashing Y. Outside of bosses, which were a highlight of the game. I liked the way the pistol was used to manipulate platforms, though that ability wasn't used much. The glider is cool, too. The scimitar was a pretty boring addition that late in to the game. I liked the way the boots were implemented because they weren't super easy to pull off, but it felt fair.
Overall, it just feels too by-the-books in its design for me. The segmentation of all the islands made it feel like I wasn't really exploring anything - I was just following a path until the game told me I wasn't allowed to. A Metroidvania is all about the interconnected paths and how you learn to slowly unveil new ways to explore the map. I didn't get that feeling at all here. It's a shame, because I love the way the game plays. It feels right, which I always say is the most important aspect. I suppose in a game like this, the exploration/progression is equally as important.
I likely won't be trying the newer games in the series, as they are supposedly easier than this one. I did find this game a bit too easy for my tastes, combat/platforming wise, so any easier would probably make things worse.
Maybe, though. I haven't totally written it off. There's a decent amount to like here, but it's on the lower end for me as far as Metroidvanias go.

There might be something here that I'd find fun. However, I'm not going to put the time in to find out.

Tried this out finally even though I knew I wasn't going to care for it. I can't stand moving around using a mouse and there's too many things on screen to click. Too much going on, too much to learn, and too zoomed out. Naaaaaahhhhhhh

A great remake of a great kart racer. One of the few games that comes anywhere near Mario Kart.

I'm not sure where the degradation of my enjoyment comes from.
Perhaps it's because I played this solo, or perhaps it's because this game is inferior to Borderlands 1 and 2.
...perhaps it's similar in quality, but I just don't like this kind of game anymore?
I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that I didn't like it as much, and I REALLY liked Borderlands 1 and 2. They're some of my favourite games of all time.
I still liked this a lot, but I haven't had an urge to revisit it despite playing BL1 and BL2 multiple times each.

A fun take on the classic space shooter.

I didn't care too much for it - though I've found myself not enjoying 2D platformers in general, lately. Unless they have something specifically interesting to offer like Cuphead, Celeste, or Dead Cells.
This one's too straight forward for me to enjoy.