blaze can you not run away from battle for one fucking second

took a break and then drastic kinda hyucked itself and I can't be bothered to fix it right now.

So this is just gonna be a short review with the consideration that its an unfinished playthrough I might come back to (and in fairness, I was very close to finishing the main story with above 200 quests already done).

Either way, this was a game I really enjoyed more than I expected myself to. It's just got really solid tactics gameplay with a good variety of classes and skill while not feeling overbearing or too complicated. The number of established characters (e.g Luso, Cid, Adelle namely) for your clan is
limited, but this is to be expected from these sorts of tactics game.

And quite honestly, I actually had a lot of fun imagining the personalites, backstories and customized appearances e.t.c. for the generic party members. This is how I generally am with these sorts of games including the tactics ogre series, it just kind of feels jarring at times cuz I don't share these same kind of feelings for say, Dragon Quest 3 and 9 or something, which also has generic customizable party members for hire. Regardless, having a good variety of distinct class options for most playable species is pretty cool. My major complaint really is the lack of more classes for two species, and species as a whole being either male or female instead of letting you choose their gender. In fairness though, I imagine they probably just didn't have the time or were limited in some way to implement this.

The main storyline is actually fairly short, which I think is about a total of 20 missions iirc. This sounds rather underwhelming, but its cuz the meat of the game is actually in all the clan side quests you can do, a total of 300 listed ones with a few extra as well. You're more or less encouraged to do as many as you can because that is where the main enjoyment of the game is gonna come from.

This seems to have affected the writing as well, as far as I can tell. Compared to Advance 1 and what little I know of the og tactics, the story of A2 is definitely very stripped down in comparison. But I can't say I'm disappointed with that? It feels like a deliberate choice to make the main storyline generally more lax and low stakes to further emphasize the "clan doing all sorts of jobs" aspect with the sidequests, not making the player feel like they're cornered into doing the main storyline as quick as possible. I think the writing quality of the main storyline is made up for anyways this way, as clan quests often present interesting stories with many of them being connected through each other through a continuous storyline. I'm finding it hard to express why I liked it so much, but I guess I just liked the freedom of it and the writing never truly bored me in any way.

I do also want to say the main storyline and notable characters still have their interesting and heartfelt moments here and there. They aren't gonna win any awards for it but I genuinely got pretty connected to the close knit group of Cid, Adelle and Luso and their struggles and how they overcome them with the help of each other, as well as other characters like Huey, Vaan and Penelo being generally likeable and its also just neat of them to bring in ff12 characters, really makes the ivalice games feel more connected. The main storyline villain is pretty slay, ofc, nail polish emote, periodt.

Overall though yeah I do quite like this structure. Would it have worked as well if the game wasn't a handheld? I'm not sure, as I ended up playing it on a phone lol, but for a handheld at least its structure works perfectly for anyone to hop into the game at any point and do whatever they wanna do. Definitely would recommend this game.

It's been a few years since I played it to really talk about it in depth, but regardless:

It's a solid enough game with a generally likeable cast and interesting time travel shenanigans, but it ultimately just feels like a forgettable experience. Not much about it really stood out to me.

Mini spoiler rant but I also didn't really understand the villain's actions and motivations prior to the path he ended up going in leading to the events of the story. Perhaps I just didn't understand it at the time, but it didn't feel satisfying either way.

I'd recommend it for a casual playthrough, I first played it on my phone so it was easy enough to play it on my own pace or to just pass the time before doing something else. Otherwise it's up to you if you're interested enough.

Gonna try keeping this review short, I'm actually finding it hard to say much about this game because all of its positives are pretty immediately noticeable from the get go that you're better off seeing it for yourself by booting up the game than to read a description of what makes it good. The other thing is that, doing this replay after having played the sequels already, the faults with this game are abundantly clear and it's hard to write a review that isn't just extensively dunking on this game and how the sequels improved on it so much.

Regardless, it was still a fun time. The combat is unique and solid and aesthetics are on point, the writing is charming and funny even if the emotional moments could use a little more oomph. The graphics, artwork and music, god, love it so much. The game really stands out for how unique it is, I don't think I've ever really played an rpg like it or the series in general. And it manages to be both fun and addicting. I got immediately hooked on to it back when I first played it, and I was still thoroughly engaged this time too. For a first timer to the series, this is still a pretty solid entry to get into.

That said, the faults are pretty frustrating with this game; they're more noticeable if you've played the other games, but even for someone's first time there's too many annoyances to it that really should have been taken care of from the start then be dealt with in the sequel:

As addicting as the combat can get, the lack of an escape button (that, y'know, doesn't require a battle chip) and no way to lower the encounter rate in any way leads it to become kind of a drag halfway through. The encounter rate isn't particularly high, but the uniqueness of the combat also means you can't really just button mash it thoughtlessly so things just start feeling slower in general. This is further exacerbated by the navigation of the Net and dungeons as well as some of the puzzles involved in said dungeons: all battle network games include the Internet as its main cyberworld area, with BN1 taking a more labyrinth type approach where the Net more or less feels like a huge dungeon of its own. Unfortunately this maze-like approach, the same look to every net area, and the lack of an in-game map actually made me start to dread exploring the Net in later parts of the game where failing to properly navigate your way around just means more random encounters to deal with. Regular dungeons aren't as expansive but their focus on puzzles means you can get stuck for a while doing them, again meaning you'll keep facing the same enemies on and on which gets extremely repetitive. This was my experience with the waterworks dungeons primarily leading me to loath it so much, but the Powerplant comes close 2nd for its trial and error focused puzzles.

This isn't to say most of the dungeons are this frustrating; I actually liked most of them quite a bit, but again, due to the issues with random battle encounters this also means most of them start to feel like a drag by the time you're done with them. At the least, your health regenerates after every battle and you can save anytime anywhere.

The writing is generally nice but as said before the emotional moments just don't have as much impact on me as later games do. I'll cut this game some slack though since by the end of it, it does feel like they've already planned to develop these characters further and move the plot forward in sequels.

I mostly ended up ranting, oops! Ultimately, I do think this game is still a solid playthrough. I'd recommend it for anyone's introduction to the series though I can understand wanting to quit or skip it for the sequel. For people that are already BN fans, this is a hard to one to get back to replaying lol. It's been about 4 or so years for me since I played BN1 so my experience with it this replay felt fresher at least. But there's not much reason to come back to this title than any of the other ones really.

I recently re-watched snesdrunk's review of Ardy Lightfoot where he describes it as comfort food. That pretty much hits the nail on the head for what this game is like for me: it's nothing exceptional, nor bad, its just comfortable. I've got a soft spot for it as it was a childhood game, but having done a recent playthrough again its flaws and all are a lot more apparent to me now.

Getting the best parts out of the way first, the presentation of the game is pretty cool. The only bit of dialogue is before the first real level of the game, explaining the purpose of the rainbow gems, after which its entirely conveyed through actions and expressions. The character sprite work here is good, everyone expressing a clear emotion in response to a situation or in an effort to give an idea of their personality, ultimately conveying a decent story. Cutscenes also often seamlessly transition to and from gameplay.

The music is perhaps my favourite part of the game. Its just sooo good. They all fit their respective moments and locations and really lend themselves well to enhancing the game's adventurous, long journey vibe. Hard to pick a fave track, its all just really memorable for me.

The gameplay is the majority of what makes up Ardy Lightfoot and unfortunately is also one of its weakest points. Its a simplistic platformer with the addition of a springy tail that lets you jump higher, your enemy eating buddy Pec, and a magic mirror that makes you immune to attacks for a few seconds (for some reason). The controls feel "off"; its hard to explain in words, but Ardy feels too slippery for my liking and too speedy for a game that seemingly doesn't want you to go fast more often than not. That issue blends in with the level design; the game is a breeze up until the pyramid after which random difficulty spikes crop up, namely with the platforming, which combined with the controls makes for an unnecessarily annoying time. Not to mention what appears to be collision detection issues that really ruin vital jumps and attacks. Bosses are similar where they're generally easy (and easy to cheese as well) but the difficulty really amps up with the lengthy final boss fight. All of it becomes a tad more frustrating knowing you only really have two hitpoints (and Pec acts as your first hitpoint, so losing him also makes dealing with enemies more annoying.)

Majority of the levels are kind of samey. The platforming in most of them is generally similar that the only things that can really make a level stand out are its music or a specific set piece. I would say the looks too, but the colour palettes of levels seem to share or have similar colours and tones, which blends them too much in my mind at least. The levels that do stand out most either look more visually interesting or have a particular gimmick to them; the latter part mostly ends up being prominent in later levels though, so the distribution definitely feels pretty unequal.

The gimmicks are really hit or miss, and this extends to both levels and bosses. Some levels like the underground passage are cool cuz of the puzzle element to them or having more interesting platforming, others feel more bullshitty or made worse by the controls and/or collision detection issues e.g. the one throne room section where you have to platform on arrows, god it sucks. Bosses' gimmicks suffer in that they're either easy to exploit or get the boss stuck in a loop, the only exception being the final boss whose 2nd phase has an annoying gimmick instead. The one notable missed potential is with Pec because two of the notable gimmicks grant him an ability important for progression, but there's only really 3 instances of this happening and with only 2 forms. These tended to be the most fun parts for me, so its a shame they didn't utilize Pec more like this.

That's really it, I guess. I'd go more in depth on individual levels but again they're not distinct enough, I'd be just repeating points. I will say my favourite levels were the one section in Throne Room with red Pec, Underground Passage and Catry's Tree Fortress for their music and progression, and Eaten where you explore the creepy and nauseating insides of a monster.

Overall, I don't know if I'd recommend Ardy unless you're curious. I like it, but its also just perfectly "ok". It's a quick playthrough at least.

If the "To be Continued" indicates anything, there were probably plans for a sequel that fell through. Which is unfortunate, because I feel like a sequel really would have ironed out the kinks this game had and be a smoother experience. Alas, it was not to be.

The oracle duology intended to focus on one aspect each that make up the basic gameplay of a typical zelda game, puzzle solving and action. Ages is the one that focuses on the puzzles, though for clarification sake it's more like a 60% to 40% ratio of puzzle solving to action respectively, if that makes sense. Regardless, the spotlight is on the puzzles, and the rest of the game revolves around them:

Obvious stuff out of the way, the controls are solid and while it being a gbc game proved a barrier to me initially (due to not having played many games from that system as well as feeling too weird on a pc), the audio and visuals really grew on me. I think my only major complaint really is the lack of enough buttons (more on the system than on the game) which led to a lot opening and closing of the menu just to alternate between items. It’s particularly frustrating during boss fights since it breaks the tension, but at the least its the case with only a few of them.

You’d think a name like Labrynna would be pretty on the nose about the overworld being structured like a labyrinth, but progression in the land actually seems quite linear. The typical gameplay loop is being given access to a limited area initially, being only able to continue onto the next objective by utilizing your items or a new gimmick to access and traverse through a new area. This is made further interesting through the time travel mechanic accessed by the Harp of Ages. If you’re familiar with A Link to the Past, its like the traversal between the light and dark worlds. It feels more well-utilized here due to being present from very early on in the game, as well as being required to solve almost every major obstacle in the way that blocks progress. Furthermore it’s more apparent how actions in the past can affect the present, and the major consequences these can have makes it all the more fun. Time travel is a bit limiting at first however, requiring you to use designated portals to traverse between the past and present; you do gain access to two new songs for the Harp however, ultimately leading to free traversal anywhere on the overworld. I do wish these songs were available earlier as later points in the game can get frustrating due to excessive walking around to find and use a portal, but it’s not a deal breaker. The overworld itself is interesting otherwise with neat locales, the Zora Seas being my favourite.

Dungeons are primarily about puzzles of course. This isn’t to say you should be lax about enemies, but your ability for puzzle solving is the main thing that’s going to be tested. That also makes them easily the best and most fun part about the dungeons; the game is not chill about amping up the difficulty of these puzzles the more you progress and the process of trying to figure them out and solving them made it extremely satisfying for me. This extends to the bosses as well, who require some thinking to learn how to beat; a few go a little further by feeling more like a “regular dungeon puzzle” than an actual “boss battle”, if that makes any sense. Items are also well utilized and most are often necessary for areas outside of the initial location you get them in.

While the game generally does a good job of having challenging yet satisfying gameplay, some parts of the game, mostly in the latter half, can feel unnecessarily frustrating. It’s a mix of progression feeling too obtuse at times and/or complicated methods requiring the use of multiple mechanics and/or items that can become annoying after a while. Some examples in my case: Crescent Island can be really annoying since you lose all your items initially and have to get them back. It’s made a little worse by the constant back and forth due to being unable to have two items at the same time until right around the end of that whole fiasco. Rolling Ridge got really frustrating since it requires a lot of going back and forth between goron npcs to get access to the next dungeon. It’s made more complicated by having to also travel between the past and present and some sections within the area having enemies (albeit, simple enemies, but still annoying.) One particular section requires two items to use in conjunction every single time. Moreover you have to do a few minigames with the gorons, and the dancing minigame man, just no. It gets overwhelming. Mermaid’s Cave was very tedious; it's the first to integrate the time mechanic into its puzzles but since time travel is only allowed on the overworld, it makes for a lot of annoying backtracking made worse by enemies always respawning. Speaking of, some new enemies are also introduced which are annoying to beat quick. You also get the mermaid suit, allowing you to dive underwater, but this mechanic is unfortunately pretty awful initially due to swimming now requiring have to tap the arrow buttons constantly. It ended up being my least favourite dungeon due in part having gotten stuck on how to progress for a long while as well. Jabu Jabu’s Belly seems to be notorious for being one of the most frustrating, hardest dungeons in the series apparently. I actually like it more than Mermaid’s Cave, but it is challenging due in part the non-linear progression here requiring changing the water levels. It also feels pretty long and if you’re not used to how swimming works you’re gonna hate it even more.

The story isn’t really that noteworthy, usually involving some crisis in new areas Link has to solve to progress. There are some characters that make frequent appearances but besides the Maku Tree they’re also nothing really special, including the Oracle of Ages herself; this is more on me for making expectations prior to playing, but I’d have thought Nayru would have more of a presence and perhaps be the one guiding Link. Ah, well, it is what it is. I want to say Veran is a notable main villain, but my reasons really just come down to her being a rare female villain for this series and her funny as hell final boss form. As to be expected from a non-Linked version, the story ends on a cliffhanger; the story truly concludes if you play a Linked Game of Seasons. It certainly has me excited to play that.

I’m too tired to really go indepth much on the dungeons right now, but to make a quick summary: Spirit’s Grove is relatively simple with basic puzzle mechanics, good for a first dungeon, same for the Wing Dungeon (plus points for being where you get the Roc’s Feather, one of my fave items from the game). Moonlit Grotto is where the puzzles start feeling more advanced, and had me thinking a good few minutes here and there. The path to getting to Skull Dungeon is pretty annoying but the dungeon itself is fine otherwise; it introduces another fave item, the switch hook, leading to my favourite puzzle gimmick. Crown Dungeon mostly is made up of the red and blue block mechanic ever so present in alttp dungeons, the boss here was super annoying though, but the concept was fun by heavily involving the cane of somaria. I’ve already spoke on Mermaid’s Cave and Jabu Jabu Vore, Ancient Tomb initially felt pretty frustrating but it quickly grew on me, I’m inclined to say it was cuz of the previous dungeons that I was feeling more down if anything. The boss here is tougher two, with three phases, but I liked it. The Black Tower is mostly just going up some rooms fighting a variety of enemies till you get to the Turret that’s kind of just blah with its puzzle. Veran is the final boss with a total of three phases, one of which you already fight before (its fine but requires constant menu switching that really breaks the pace), the 2nd form is a winged version of her that’s kind of funny to look at and its also relatively simple, the final form of her as a turtle is fucking funny and stupid lmao but the bee and spider form are pretty rad; that final phase is still relatively simple though, with the spider requiring the additional use of the bomb.

Overall, Ages is definitely a game I’d recommend. I think one major barrier might be that if you haven’t played Zelda in a while or never before then it might prove more frustrating due to having to deal with both challenging puzzles and learning to deal with different sorts of enemies; for that reason, some might recommend to play Seasons first. Regardless, give it a try still, its a good time.

Alttp is a weird one for me in that its a childhood game I used to love but gradually developed a dislike for over the years. This recent playthrough however has helped to dispel most of that dislike, and while its not as fun as it was when I was kid, its still a pretty good time.

It’s also kind of hard to talk about it I guess? Everyone already is aware of what makes it good so to get that out of the way: gameplay is pretty easy to get into with tight controls and fun item variety at your disposal, and the open(ish) world is fun to explore with plenty of secrets (and enemies to beat) with the items at your disposal; progress is never made confusing either, so even if you’re not interested in exploring you’ll know how to reach your destination. The dungeons are kiiiinda hit or miss: I’d say they’re generally fun but some are either unnecessarily frustrating while others are pretty unremarkable. Visuals are still good, so is the music. Pink hair Link is so awesome. The writing is probably the worst part in that its pretty bland, including the dialogue (though, that could be chalked up to the localization, I’m not sure.) Still, it does its job well enough, and the world building is still interesting.

That pretty much summarizes my thoughts on it overall. I’m going to further discuss thoughts about certain aspects including all the dungeons in more depth:

Alttp has a pretty strong introduction by leading you into a dangerous situation immediately. This part always stood out to me, and even for this replay it immediately gripped me. The dungeon within the palace itself isn’t particularly interesting but it gives a solid idea on what to expect while making you get used to the basic controls. It’s after this point that you’re given access to the world at large.

Alttp has two worlds: the light and dark world, with access to the latter one obtained later. The strongest aspect both share is the exploration and the parallels between them. The game does a good job at making its worlds interesting enough for the player to feel willing to explore them, with enough secrets and such to make it worthwhile. While some areas can’t be progressed due to lack of an item or so, you’re generally free to go where you want without any major limitation. This especially is true when you gain access to the dark world, where (most) dungeons can be completed without your progress being impeded by doing so. The parallel aspect also makes for a fun gimmick where affecting one part of a world can allow for progress of some sort in the other. Usually the simplest way this is done is by utilizing the terrain differences between the worlds to reach inaccessible areas: for example, if a cliff with a heartpiece can’t be reached in the light world, the dark world may have a path to that cliff, and once you reach that part, you can use the magic mirror to teleport to that exact location in the light world and get the heartpiece. Other ways this parallel gimmick is involved include interacting with characters in the dark world that are important to someone or someplace in the light world.

Most of the items at your disposal usually prove vital at several points in the game, though this necessarily doesn’t feel balanced or these points of importance are pretty far between. An easy comparison example would be the consistent usefulness of the power glove and its upgrade in reaching inaccessible parts of the world and dungeons, while the bow and arrow generally isn’t required or even particularly useful besides for select instances. Some items quickly lose most of their usefulness either by just not adding much to combat or better options existing. The ice rod particularly bothers me though, for something that seems like an optional item to be obtained only to be revealed its required for a boss way late into the game. Regardless though, even if they may not be required or thoroughly useful you can still make effective use of these items to make combat easier for yourself.

While the writing is on the bland side I think the general atmosphere and world building of alttp makes up for it at least. The legend of the triforce itself is interesting and seeing how the dark world relates to the light world is pretty cool; all the different locations within the game are fun and its cool to stumble upon interesting characters from time to time.

Could just be me, but alttp also has kind of a lonely atmosphere to it that I didn’t feel the same for other zelda games I’ve played. Part of it is probably since you’re branded a criminal at the start of the game, and though most of the npcs are generally nice to you, the light world generally becomes more hostile towards you with the increase in enemies after a certain point and npcs needing to hide. The dark world is hostile from the start, with no real npc that’s friendly besides for a select few who have a quest related to the light word. Most of the npcs that exist in this world only really care about money and will want something from you in return. Most of these reasons is likely why the world of alttp always strikes me as isolating up until the end, I quite like it.

The dungeons are, as said, hit or miss. The first three pendant dungeons are actually one of the more memorable ones for me as I got stuck at them as a kid and were often where I dropped the game on replays. They’re generally basic, serving more to teach the player various gimmicks or item use that can be expected to come up several times in later dungeons. The eastern palace stands out for me a little more due to having the first major boss you fight, where you’re expected to rely on your bow to beat them effectively (even if you can just do it with your sword, if you hate yourself.) The desert palace is, fine. It’s boss(es) is probably one of the ones I least like in the game, weird fucking worm thingy called Lammolas, that can be annoying to hit without getting damaged yourself. Tower of Hera introduces the gimmick with the orb thingies that bring down red or blue blocks which come up several times later in the game, and here its pretty easy to manage. The boss isn’t particularly special other than that you can fall down into a lower level of the dungeon, and the dungeon also has the additional objective of obtaining the moon pearl to actually progress in the game, even if you beat the boss. The road to that tower actually stands out to me more honestly, the location is just interesting even if a bit frustrating to get to, and its also when you first get an experience of the dark world.

The real meat of the dungeon gameplay lies in the dark world with its total of 7 dungeons, of which besides the first and last one you can do in any order.

The Dark Palace isn’t particularly remarkable other than that it makes it clear it and the proceeding dungeons are going to be more advanced than that of the light world’s. The boss also indicates the same, being more visually interesting (imo) and requiring the use of an item to beat it. Swamp Palace is the 2nd dungeon and one I’m fond of, I like its focus on water and swimming and the hookshot grapple you get here I find to be one of the most fun items to use in the game. The boss similarly is fun, requiring use of the hookshot.

I fucking hate Skull Woods. It’s less of a headache on a replay but its still annoying. The forest in the dark world is actually pretty cool looking with the bone theme, with the path leading to the boss being represented by what looks like a creepy looking skull of some alien bug creature. The concept of the dungeon is neat with multiple entrances and exits but it can become frustrating really fast if you happen to lose track of where you’ve been. This gets worse with some of the rooms having a hand that falls down and takes you back to the entrance if you get caught, as well as the several gibdos within the dungeon that need a lot of hits to get rid of. While not specific to it, the holes in this dungeon were also just extra annoying to me honestly, probably just cuz I wasn’t liking the dungeon overall. The boss, Mothula, is one of the more difficult bosses due to the moving spikes. I usually do this dungeon later, after the 4th and 6th one.

Gargoyle’s domain is one of the more interesting ones for me with its parallel to the thief hideout in the light world, while having a boss that was alluded to from a few characters earlier in the game as well. It’s not really remarkable otherwise; the boss ends up being pretty memorable with his initial disguise until you bring him to an empty room (after meeting a certain requirement) to reveal his true form, and its a decently difficult boss fight. I’m not sure if its hinted at ingame, but the way to reveal his true form can be figured out by his name.

The Ice Palace is pretty weird and difficult. The ice physics are super annoying making Link extremely difficult to handle, made worse in rooms filled to the brim with enemies (god bless hookshot grapple for oneshotting the green penguins tho). The boss isn’t too difficult but it does require you to have your magic meter up to get rid of its ice enclosing with the fire rod (the bombos trick makes it significantly easier as you only need to use it twice to get rid of it, then let the eyes have it with the fire rod). Generally people, I included, do the 6th dungeon first just to get the cane of somaria, as it can bypass a block puzzle in the ice palace that requires some backtracking. Apparently this dungeon’s layout was modified a bit for the gba port, that’s funny.

Misery Mire isn’t really that interesting, honestly? It’s layout was a little confusing but that was mostly it. I still like it though, I’m just fond of its look and the colour palette, as well the swamp area the dungeon is located in. The boss is pretty pathetic honestly? It doesn’t really require much thought other than occasionally dodging a hard hitting lightning strike, which is easy. It’s also the third mono-eyed boss for some reason. Turtle Rock has an interesting gimmick using the cane of somaria but its pretty bleh otherwise for me, with the look being that of generic caves found throughout the game and some annoying rooms where lasers can hit you (but this isn’t too difficult to avoid, especially once you get the mirror shield). The boss is similarly pathetic to the previous one, you just have to be careful about your magic use as you need both the ice and fire rods (you get a big refill before the boss room at least).

I’m not a fan of Ganon’s Tower. Something about it just feels less like a solid final dungeon incorporating some gimmicks from previous dungeons (and kind of a boss rush), more like a haphazardly made tower with previous gimmicks slapped onto it for the sake of making a callback to previous dungeons. That’s probably too mean, but something about it just felt too messy and dragged out for my liking. You fight Agahnim again but its weirdly easier this time I believe, depending on your luck you can strike back three of his own projectiles back at him lol. So much for duplicates. The real final boss fight, Ganon, is super cool imo. Its just a fun boss fight set up at the pyramid instead (where you start off in the dark world when continuing a saved game), really cool music and just ganon being a menacing but fun boss fight. There’s a neat trick you can do if you want to make the latter half of it easier, where you light up the bottom left torch before the bottom right one goes out. This makes the bottom left one the only one to go out, making that part of the fight significantly easier to manage.

End credits roll, everyone’s back to being happy. The king is not decomposing anymore. Overall, even if its not the same extreme love I had for it back then, I ended up being fond of alttp again. It has its ups and downs, but I had a good time, and it was nice to feel all that nostalgia of the times I played it and other snes games a child. I’d definitely recommend this game to anyone, even if you end up not liking you can still see how the gameimproved on Zelda 1’s ideas and the series continuing to evolve from here on out. This review was kind of a disorganized mess (much like ganon’s tower), but I conveyed some feelings I very much wanted to just put out there lol.

Oh yeah minish cap is better

gonna write a full review later but basically Lisa is like the best character

It's me. I'm the Mad-Jack stan.

I don't how to really write a more in-depth review for this game at the moment, but it makes for pretty fun fashion management game either way.

It's a good, chill time-passer with a lot of clothing options from different types of brands available, with some other extra content to add some challenge or just be fun little side events. Also love customizing the player character lol. I'd totally recommend it.

One of em 3 match puzzle games with a visual novel style story where your choices can affect the outcome of the story.

Going over the gameplay first cuz that's not really the main appealing thing about this game (though i'd be damned not to admit that its addicting): the 3 match puzzle game is pretty simple where you try to complete the objective of each level in a set number of turns; with various methods to make it easier (including microtransactions ofc lol) Other noteworthy gameplay things involve needing crystals (or w/e they are) to unlock story progression, and collecting shards to unlock side stories. While I slacked on the story for long periods of time the 3 match puzzles were one of the things I played sometimes a week, it makes for good fun if I'm short on time or not really in the mood for other bigger games.

While the gameplay can be addicting and good short time waster, its definitely designed with the idea in mind to scoop money out of you in some way or another. Which was expected really, I don't imagine how else they were gonna make as much money as they can out of this game. Still, its pretty frustrating: due to the randomness aspect of the levels you can expect to be stuck on them for unnecessarily long periods of time until you just get, lucky. All the while everything involving payment is shoved in your way to capitalize on that frustration, including refilling your lives. It ends up impacting the story as well due to needing crystals to advance which requires beating levels. In a way, I got lucky in that taking a break from the story while still regularly-ish playing the puzzles meant I ended up with a lot of crystals to continue the story without needing to be forcibly paused.

Now with all THAT aside, onto what's the real meat of the game:

The story and characters are the part of Switchcraft where you can feel most of the passion and effort went into. Spanning over 4 Books, its an interactive graphic novel styled mystery story where your relationships and choices can affect the outcomes.

Or, well, I say that, but its a bit hard to tell how much is affected until a replay is done. Major elements such as your relationships with others and even particular story outcomes definitely are highly dependent on what choice you make, but otherwise a lot of its on the minor side or has very short term effects. This isn't really an issue for me though, and could be proven wrong when I do replay of the story; most of the choices at least feel like they have meaning to them, so my input and by extension values don't feel like they go to waste.

I can't say I'm an expert on teen dramas, but the writing of Switchcraft definitely has those vibes. Drama between friends and lovers galore, tension with superiors, having to hide your magic from the normies (that is quite literally what non witches are called), all them cliffhangers. It can get frustrating sometimes, even cringy, but I don't think its a bad thing for the most part. Its an entertaining story that tries to get you invested in its protagonist, characters, the world, and the relationships between everyone. And yeah, I hella got invested. I felt real fuzzy, proud, and almost even teary-eyed when the story ended, with Bailey determined to continue moving forward in life. Despite all the ups and downs, all the weirdness and awkwardness at times, the journey was fun. It was fun to see how Bailey grew as a person, and what the choices I made said about me and if I too perhaps, grew from them. It was fun to see how magical society was integrated into the regular world. It was fun seeing some story beats that were honestly so awesome, lol.

Like, I'm probably sounding emotional right now, but cut me some slack lol. I technically finished this game in 3 years, I was gonna be sentimental in some way.

I'd go more into depth on each book, but its been quite a long time so I'll save that for when I do a replay, then maybe expect this review to be edited. Off the top of my head on what I felt about the major arcs though:

Book 1 and 2 primarily revolved around the mystery of Lydia's disappearance and pendleton's history of witches. It was a compelling mystery with genuine moments of fear the closer I got to the end, and eventually having a pretty bombastic conclusion where you end up saving the town and witch society from a new dark age. It also really made me appreciate the friendship between Bailey and Lydia, with what one was willing to do for the other despite all the dangers and risks. I'm generally kind of iffy on the friendships Bailey has with most of her age peers, but this was one of the ones I liked most and was glad they continued to show in the later two books.

Book 3 and 4 revolve around the murder of Bailey's mother. These are probably where I found myself to have the most frustrations with the story though the "teen drama" writing vibe was less notable as it was in the first two books. From what I most notably could remember having issue with, is that the protag felt a bit too isolated; perhaps that was the intention, but it didn't feel like you stuck with any sort of friends as much as it did feel like a lot of investigating with random partners at times or just completely be forced to do it alone. Idk, i have mixed feelings about that particular aspect. It had a pretty satisfying conclusion to the overall story at least, though I feel like a few things they could have had better resolved or take a slower approach with.

Ending this off with probably the strongest aspects of Switchcraft, the art and diversity. The art is just gorgeous, it's very vibrant and colourful with cool and expressive characters. One of the most exciting things about the game was coming across the various CGs and screenshotting them, mainly cuz I found them really pretty but they'd also be good reference for my own art, haha. And the cast is quite diverse, in terms of ethnicity and lgbtq+ representation. I appreciate it quite a lot, and kept things refreshing. Not everyday you come across a lot of rep in media, but its nice to see that it's becoming better over time, as can be seen with this game.

Overall, yeah, I'd recommend this game for a casual time and if you can handle some tedious gameplay. I really just wanted to write this review to get some of my feelings out (hence why its also quiiiite longer than normal, whoops)

Still thinking about this game even after finishing it ages ago. God.

I'd go more in-depth as usual but its been a while since I played the game so I don't really wanna get any details wrong. But I will say the experience felt quite special. It's one of the few games that's always constantly in the back of my mind, cropping up to the front more often than most other games or even other media I've experienced.

The game isn't without its faults, but combined with its aesthetics and wacky presentations, Planet Laika showed me a story that I still think about from time to time. The many different things it tries to tell, the themes it was trying to convey, the struggles of all the different characters and how they handled them, whether the game handles them excellently or underbaked they'd leave an incredible impact on me.

It's just such a wildly creative yet often intense and unnerving game, I'm finding it difficult to describe why I feel so strongly about it. I just, vibe with it a lot. I totally recommend this game, if at least for a trippy experience, with the hopes for enjoying a really creative, wild, but passionate and often profound game.

Sin and Punishment is one of those fun action games that's kinda wacky yet very fun, kind of "aesthetic" and very "vibey". It's hard to put into words for me, but to go into detail:

The game's a very fun arcade-like rail shooter, involving both targeting and shooting as well as movement of your character to dodge attacks (and a cool sword slash to something that's close enough). The control scheme can initially feel weird or difficult, but it shouldn't take too long to easily and effectively use it. It helps there's a tutorial mode anyways, which I recommend doing first. Game isn't tooooo difficult anyways, it's generous with life and score points, major concern tends to be the timer when fighting bosses.

The levels are all pretty distinct from each other and make progress all the more entertaining. They try to employ some kind of gimmick as well such as a perspective change or bosses having to be dealt in unique ways, or even different ways to handle regular enemies quick and easily. It's a pretty flashy game overall, and its great.

The story is
I assume a lot of detail is in a manual or reserved for a sequel, but you don't get quite the full picture of what's going on, who these characters are, what's the deal with "Ruffians". But the game doesn't really care that much, which is fine: it's very much focused on being cool and entertaining for the most part, ending up as a mess but a mess you're pleased with. At the least, it certainly leaves a memorable impression and you get a general idea of what the main characters are like. The dialogue and dub make it all the more charming; they're not the best for sure, but it oddly fits well with the game's vibes. Does that make sense? Probably not, idc.

Don't have much else to add other than the game looks nice (idk man those models are pretty cool) and the music is so soooo good, fits so well with the game's aesthetic and themes.

Game is rather short, probably taking like 2 hours at most, but I don't really mind it. Certain parts definitely do feel like they go by too fast or take too long, and kinda messes with the balance of the playtime taken by each protag. I

Overall, yeah if you wanna play an N64 game you should definitely play this one lol, its great.

I've played the fastrom version of this so that might affect my opinion on this a little bit. Similarly I can't really compare this to other versions of 1 (as this is the only one I've played and finished). Anywho:

Prince of Persia is one of those cinematic platformer games with an emphasis on puzzle solving and one on one combat. It's one of those games I had as a kid but never was able to beat until just recently, and I had a good time!

The controls can feel quite awkward at first, as movement feels like there's delay to it. Cinematic platformers try to imitate a feeling of realism (or something like that) to the movement and jumps, so it takes some time to get used to. I wouldn't blame anyone for being offput by it because wrong timing can mean an easy death, and there are a lot of ways to die in this game. I don't really mind it too much personally, the most annoying thing will always be jumping from ledge to ledge. Combat controls are a bit easier to handle since you're primarily guarding and attacking with your sword; the game eases you into more difficult enemies with faster attacks, so with enough practice you'll do fine.

The actual platforming, puzzles and levels are fun. It starts off pretty basic and for the most part the puzzles revolve around making use of your run and jump to get across platforms or anything related to pressure plates that open doors; add in some enemies scattered here and there for battle spice. Eventually more and more levels have some sort of interesting gimmick or event to them that keeps things refreshing. The level settings are also pretty nice, and distinct from each other, which also keeps from making the game feel too dull.

On that point, I'm very fond of the sprite work and music in this game. It just looks real nice, and the music is a vibe (especially the dungeon levels' music, imo. I love it.)

The story is pretty simple where the prince has to defeat Jaffar to save the Princess and Persia within a 2 hour limit. It's portrayed well in visuals and music. Not much else to say really I just enjoyed it lol.

Don't have much else to add, but I would recommend the game if you're interested in classic Prince of Persia. It's gonna be a lot of trial and error due in part learning the controls, but if you can deal with that then you're good to go.

crying pissing shitting myself that there isn't and maybe won't ever be another game like this

It's hard for me to describe what I like about berwick so much without gushing and crying and sobbing so I'll keep it brief lol

The gameplay really encapsulates strategy: by no means is it a growths game (made apparent enough by the generally low growth rates), and don't expect to blaze through the game with one single overpowered unit. What I mean to say is, Berwick really motivates you to learn every mechanic and utilize them efficiently, and use your resources in the best way possible. Every unit feels useful in some way or another, and Berwick further emphasizes that by highlighting the importance of different resources, weapons and skills these units can use. The mechanics all blend so excellently with each other, and even something like the turn order system can make or break a situation for you. I'm very, very fond of how Berwick handles all these things in a way that made me want to strategize as much as possible AND have fun doing it! It ends up being such a distinct and unique experience from pretty much every other srpg I've played, and I find myself addicted to it.

The story and characters are for the most part, fantastic. Berwick's plot takes an interesting direction in regards to your lord and his army's role in the overall war, and such a unique take really makes it stand out from its contemporaries, even if it may not feel as "grand". Furthermore, Berwick takes the extra step to flesh out almost all of its characters, as much as possible, be it through giving them a role in the main story, or their own little well-written sub stories. I was attached to most everyone in some way, or at least had strong feelings about them.

I could talk about some negatives but honestly I am so uninterested, and frankly the enjoyment I had with berwick saga far outweighs any of the frustration I had with it.

It's a dang fantastic srpg, I definitely recommend it.

I'm not too hot on Plat (and I'm probably never gonna play D&P quite honestly) but I'll admit its one of the more cozier feeling pokemon games I've played.

Tbh I feel a lot of nothing for Sinnoh as a region, the stand-out places really being the snowy areas leading up to snowpoint city (its very annoying to go through though) and the rainy swamp area between pastoria and hearthome. I don't really care much about the cities either. The main exception would be the whole area where the battle frontier and resort area e.t.c. are located, they had a nice look to them and felt cool to explore. Shoutout to the Distortion World, its just cool and actually hyped me up for the climax of the main story lol.

Speaking of which, while it seems like they were generally trying to put more writing in from gens 1-3 it feels a lot more apparent with gen 4. You get a pretty good amount of lore regarding Sinnoh's history and its myths and legends, which includes information on the legendaries, the lake guardians, e.t.c. Similarly certain characters have consistently notable story roles which also often neatly ties in with the lore surrounding sinnoh (does lowkey kind of become an exposition dump by rowan and Cynthia in particular but its whatever), definitely more than what previous gens tried at least. Same goes for more minor like gym leaders, who typically have a little more to their roles to at least leave a memorable impact on the player.

Barry got pretty annoying though admittedly. He was pretty charming at first and immediately made himself distinct as a rival but I got very exhausted from his typical gimmick by the end of the game.

Up to this point in the series, Team Galactic is definitely the most interesting villain team. Cyrus is genuinely a very interesting character, who while doesn't waste no time to make the player hate him you get a pretty good idea of his mindset and later on bits of his backstory that led him to be like this. What he does ultimately sucks, but I can't say I don't feel pity for him, or even feel like I've had similar thoughts to him when I was in a worse situation before. The galactic commanders are less interesting, moreso because they lack enough screentime but I expected as much going off previous villain team commanders. Still, Jupiter and Mars in particular were kinda cool.

A big issue I have with the story is how surprisingly early it ends. Usually I'd expect it to end before the elite 4 but here it ends before the eight gym lol. It kinda just messed the pacing for me, and I mostly lost motivation to continue after it wrapped up. It just feels not right, like I get that they felt this was the right pacing for them but still its like, too soon? its weird, bleh, i don't like it

The new pokemon are cool, probably some the best starters in this series and I had a bit of trouble making a finalized team because I enjoyed a lot of the pokemon I used.

Additional note I guess is that I liked the contests and beat them all (yayyy) and I'm still in the process of beating the battle frontier but its a lot less frustrating than emerald's. I've also been a lot more invested in the post game than I typically am for these games, no real specific reason besides that the new areas that unlock are pretty fun to take a look through.
Fuck whoever thought making glameow, the skunk and misdreavus or whatever D&P exclusive lmao hate that hate that