Many adventure games are about exploring dead kingdoms. Navigating a once living corpse, roads acting like veins, drained of blood. What makes Hyper Light Drifter unique to me though, is that the wounds feel fresh. Hallownest and Lordran feel long dead, to the point where the actual amount of time that has passed feels irrelevant. The world of Hyper Light Drifter seems so much more violent because of this. We don't see the violence directly, sure, but the corpses still lay on the ground, undisturbed until we desecrate their resting place with more bloodshed. Violence is the natural state for some people, their bodies rebelling against themselves. Malfunctions become self-sabotage when viewed from the first person perspective. How can someone find peace in this cycle? Is it even possible? I don't know, I'm not a philosopher.

I really wanted to be that guy for Solar Ash, the one person who champions a piece of media that received a fairly middling reception. Unfortunately, my feelings for it are much more, well, middling. If you were to take a scan of my brain, and somehow generate a game out of it, Solar Ash wouldn't be very far off. In concept, this game owns, but in practice it needs a lot more work.
The biggest mark against the game is a lack of mechanical progression. I had a moment during the final boss where I wondered whether the platforming I was doing was meaningfully more difficult than the platforming for the first boss. The spectacle has been enhanced, absolutely, but with how the game handles the majority of the steering and pathfinding to compensate for the massive shifting landscape, I don't believe the challenge had been meaningfully heightened.
Solar Ash has many of Hyper Light Drifter's qualities. The visual design is immaculate, same with the soundtrack. The control of your character is fun, responsive, and satisfying. The areas you explore are wonderfully designed, and sized perfectly to encourage exploration, with how fast you move. What Solar Ash lacks in comparison to Hyper Light Drifter, is a solid challenging core. HLD's combat was consistently engaging and challenging, ramped up over the course of the game, and had different ways for the player to express themselves through build options. Solar Ash's platforming doesn't stand up to this standard.

God Amnesia falls off so hard partway through and it makes me actively sad. Trust me, for the first few hours, the atmosphere was killing me, I was in the palm of Frictional Game's hand, and they could do whatever they felt like. For example, the section with the iconic water monster was still extremely tense for me, despite the fact that every person on the internet knows how it works.
Unfortunately, the tension of Amnesia is simply an extremely thin veil. Death has no actual consequence, and when I realized that, the tension drained away as quickly as it was built up. Funnily enough, making the game more mechanically dense also makes it more immersive for me, especially in a horror context.
At the end of the day, skill put into the atmosphere should absolutely be commended, and I think the game is really good outside of the lack of punishment. I really enjoyed managing my light, and would love to see other games that play with the concept. Though, small request, maybe don't make the screen look like vomit whenever a monster comes by, or for any reason really?

I really wish that I loved this more than I did. It's ultimately on me, I knew a lot of the iconic moments coming in so it makes sense that it was ultimately less impactful. There also may be something to the fact that I have absolutely zero experience with this era of the web. I wonder if we'll ever see completely faithful recreations of the early 2010's internet?

A good portion of the conversation surrounding Kingdom Hearts is focused on its blatant absurdity. The concept alone is so appalling that it obscures a lot of the series' more interesting qualities. It's like a rhetorical black hole. I wonder if, in a theoretical future where Disney loses the copyright to many of their characters, this series will take on a whole new meaning. Will future players see this game's retellings of classic Disney films in the same way we see ancient myths today? How about how we feel about more recent creations like Sherlock Holmes? A lot of weight to be putting on the shoulders of the funny car key sword game, I know, but I found it an interesting thought experiment.
I'm focusing more on the concept of the game, rather than the actual content of it, simply because I don't love any specific parts of this first entry. The combat is fun and challenging if you choose to play on the hard difficulty, and the levels are fun to explore. The story is cute, blazingly earnest, and surprisingly simple. There are some sore spots to be sure, but I don't think it's fair to judge a game off of uncharacteristically poor parts.

Considering the fact that I played this in a single setting, Citizen Sleeper is an incredibly strong narrative game that I definitely recommend. There are some strange pieces to the writing, such as how it seems that the game is allergic to using any contractions, but the stories that you go through and the prose both enraptured me. I was a little disappointed on the gameplay side however. I would say that the majority of my playthrough was spent without any threat from the different resources. I always had enough money, medicine, or time. A sequel was just announced, and I'm highly anticipating it. I think if both the writing and the gameplay are tightened up and expanded, this could be something really special.

It's a little strange to review a fighting game just over a week since its release, but I am really loving Street Fighter 6 so far. Dee Jay has got to be the most fun I've ever had with a fighting game character, and I haven't even started to play around with most of the cast. I also love how the drive gauge pushes the player into engaging decision making. It reminds me of the vorpal cycle from Under Night, but a lot less abstract.

Having writing be my current source of income has come with the adverse effect of making me enjoy playing games on keyboard and mouse less. While you can play Rusted Moss with a controller, it recommends playing with keyboard and mouse, and I think it's worthwhile to do so. The combination of your movement tools, alongside a very strong suite of engaging boss fights make Rusted Moss one of the better indie metroidvanias on a gameplay level. Unfortunately, when it comes to atmosphere, progression, and exploration I feel it falls a little flat. I feel like this game could've used one more major upgrade to your toolkit, maybe an alternative grenade or something.

Annalynn has become my go to game when I don't have a lot of time. Over the last few weeks, I've found myself playing a round before bed, or before starting on my work for the day. It's fun to play, has the perfect length to incentivize mastery on further playthroughs, and expertly manages to interpret what made arcade classics fun. It's oddly inspiring, I want to try and see how a game like Dig Dug could be evolved like this game did for Pac Man.

I think it's time for a critical re-examination of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

I highly doubt that I share much in common with Shigeru Miyamoto. We come from different generations, cultures, and likely diverge on how we view games as a medium. One thing that I do know we share is a fascination with exploration, reaching all the way back into our childhoods.
One of my favorite activities as a child was to "trek the creek", where I would put on large rubber boots multiple sizes too large and wander into the forest behind my home. I would follow the small steam for what seemed like miles, going as far as I could until something seemed insurmountable; after which I would turn around and head back home.
One of the most commonly recounted creation myths in games is that of The Legend of Zelda, how Miyamoto's adventures around his own childhood home inspired the spirit of this legendary series.
Breath of the Wild was not directed or designed by Miyamoto, it's truly unknown how much say he actually had in the project. What is known is the game's intent; to recapture that original free spirit. To create a game in which players could wander, and create their own adventure.
I still remember when I found a waterfall on one of my treks up that creek. It was late in a summer afternoon, the sun that found its way though the trees bounced off the water to make it appear almost golden. I've never returned to it, I doubt that the reality would stand up to my idyllic memories, but I don't care. The way it exists in my mind is enough.
Breath of the Wild brought new life to a series that had grown stale. It does so by honoring the original inspiration for the series. Before it was a series about narrative and puzzles, there was only a world to explore and the will to explore it for it's own sake. It's one of a very few games to ever capture that feeling I felt while wandering in the woods during my youth. The way it exists in my mind is enough.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was easily my favorite game of 2022, and while Future Redeemed didn't exceed expectations for me, I'm absolutely not disappointed. Despite being a prequel, this really feels like a conclusion; to a story, to an artist's ambition, to my own personal journey.
Matthew is the best.
A is simultaneously the best.
Rex finally beat the dripless allegations.
Shulk is my dad.
Nikol and Glimmer are also there. (Complimetary)
Thank you Takahashi & Monolith Soft.

Super cute and fun! Especially interesting how it was headed by the people behind Sonic's social media presence, they ended up doing a really great job with it. More like this on April Fool's Day please! I'm tired of clickbait.

For an action horror game, it's unbelievable how comfortable Resident Evil 4 is. I turned it on after finishing the remake just to play the opening village raid, but kept playing until the whole thing was finished again.

Smells like cigarette smoke and cheap alcohol. Deadly amounts of edge, actively making the experience anti-charismatic. The combat has more "depth", but entirely for the worse. It's fine when you are allowed to platform around, until you are required to redo segments multiple times. Quit during the final boss when I realized that there wasn't anything else in the game that I would likely enjoy.