31 reviews liked by Goldenflower
I remember one of the pre-recorded people you could talk to to gain coins for your picrew icon guy asked me if she'd look good in a leotard. I told her no. I was punished for my brutal honesty, but I still stand by my my statement with unflinching resolve.
Big Brain Academy
The visuals are so intense and disorientating at times. The game actively tries to get you to really get lost in the flow and the rhythm. The adlib system deserves a special shoutout for actively rewarding the player for hitting notes that do not appear visually. It's like the game is giving me points for tapping my toes.
All the music is great but the vocaloid tracks in particular are perfect for the rhythm game genre. While other games have you normally playing a single part of a larger song, like just the guitar or just the vocals. Groove Coaster pretty seamlessly transitions from vocals to instruments and makes you feel like you're playing the entire song, not just a part of it. I think it works so well because vocaloid is such an interesting crossroad between vocals and instrument.
It's just a fun fun time. I've got an arcade machine just an hour drive away and I can't wait to get my grimey little mits on one of those big groove coaster nipples.
The Evil Within 2
Developed by: Tango Gameworks
Published by: Bethesda Softworks
The Evil Within 2 is one hell of a game. It’s a game that does a great job at building an incredibly tense, and eerie atmosphere and is brutally difficult to play at times. The story kept me engaged and excited from start to finish and it was a great survival horror experience that left me feeling satisfied encounter after encounter.
In The Evil Within 2, the player controls Sebastian Castellanos who is on a mission to rescue his previously thought dead daughter from a world known as “STEM” that parallels and is best described as a “Matrix” in the universe that The Evil Within 2 takes place in.
The Evil Within 2 isn’t a game that has perfect writing. It’s on the level of a B level horror movie and exactly what you would expect. Graphically The Evil Within 2 looks great despite it being a 6 year old game at this point.
Tango Gameworks did a great job with lighting and overall level design in The Evil Within 2. Using lighting to their advantage along side environmental story telling Tango did a great job at making me feel unsettled and tense, making me wonder what I was going to encounter as I explored “Union” the location the game takes place in. “Union” is a made up town in STEM and is a post apocalyptic type of town that is abandoned. Union contains a church, diners, a movie theatre, houses and more. While not every building can be entered a good amount can be and often times the game will reward the player for exploring. By thoroughly exploring Union the player will find “weapon parts” which can be used to upgrade weapons, or keys that can be used to unlock lockers that will provide Sebastian with different types of supplies. They range from ammo, to weapon parts to a “green gel” that can be used to upgrade Sebastian. The player can also find ammo pouches for the various guns Sebastian will unlock as the story progresses. The ammo pouches increase the amount of ammo a certain gun can hold. The player will encounter a pistol, a sawed off shotgun, an assault rifle, a crossbow, and a flamethrower throughout their journey.
To circle back for a second, I previously stated that “green gel” can be used to upgrade Sebastian. Sebastian has various attributes that can be upgraded via the central hub of the game. They are his health, athleticism, recovery, and combat ability. Resources can be scarce so choosing the right attribute to invest in is absolutely critical. From weapon damage to Sebastians stealth abilities to his overall stamina, properly investing in the right upgrades will determine how hard or how easy the overall experience of the game will be for the player.
All that being said I have to talk about my experience unlocking achievements. 3 achievements bugged on me and it took me 2 additional playthroughs, a complete reinstall of the game and another playthrough to unlock them. During my first NG+ run of the game 5 achievements unlocked at various times during the playthrough that should have unlocked during my first playthrough of the game. Something is seriously wrong with this game or with how it connects to the Xbox servers. It was frustrating that a game that should normally take 3-4 playthroughs to complete took me 5+. If I didn’t enjoy The Evil Within 2 as much as I did I would have gave up on trying to get all of the achievements.
The Evil Within 2 is a game definitely worth playing if you’re a fan of the horror survival genre and have Xbox Game Pass. If you’re a completionist and play it on Xbox be prepared to encounter bugs. I’m unaware of how the Steam or Playstation versions perform. I really enjoyed my time with The Evil Within 2 and hope they make a sequel some day. I was left wanting more and I believe that Tango Gameworks left the door open to explore more of The Evil Within’s universe.
B level horror movie plot and writing
Achievements were BUGGED
Played on: Xbox Series X via Xbox Game Pass
Review Score: 4/5
The game starts with a heart-wrenching prologue that sets the tone for the entire game. It's the opening scene that shows the outbreak of the infection and how it affects Joel, the main protagonist of the game. The game then jumps ahead twenty years, where Joel is now a smuggler, tasked with transporting Ellie, a teenage girl, across the country in search of a group of resistance fighters known as the Fireflies. As they travel across the country, they face various obstacles and challenges, including not just infected humans but also hostile human factions.
The game's narrative is one of its strongest points. It's a gripping story of survival, loss, and hope that pulls you in right from the beginning. The characters are well-written and complex, and their development throughout the game is exceptional. The relationship between Joel and Ellie is at the heart of the story, and the chemistry between the two is incredible. The game does an excellent job of showing how their relationship evolves from mistrust and suspicion to a deep bond of love and loyalty.
The game's graphics and sound design are equally impressive. The post-apocalyptic world is beautifully rendered, and the details in the environment add to the game's immersive experience. The sound design is excellent, and the game's soundtrack is haunting and adds to the game's emotional depth.
Gameplay in The Last of Us is a mix of stealth, action, and survival elements. The game has a crafting system that allows players to create weapons and items to aid in their survival. The game also has an excellent AI system that makes the infected enemies challenging to deal with. The gameplay is challenging but not frustrating, and players can approach situations in various ways, giving the game a high level of replayability.
Overall, The Last of Us is an exceptional game that deserves all the praise it has received. The game's narrative is one of the best in the industry, and the characters are well-developed and memorable. The game's graphics and sound design are stunning, and the gameplay is challenging and rewarding. The Last of Us is a must-play for anyone who enjoys story-driven games, and it's an experience that will stay with you long after you've finished playing.
However, it's worth noting that the game deals with mature themes and contains violent and intense scenes that may not be suitable for all players. The Last of Us is a masterpiece, but it's not a game for everyone. If you can handle the game's themes and content, though, it's a game that you should not miss.
The game mechanics are top-notch, with a wide variety of weapons and abilities to choose from. The level design is fantastic, with each area feeling unique and challenging in its own way. The game also offers a great balance of combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving, making it a well-rounded experience.
The story is the real standout, however. It's a dark and emotionally charged tale of revenge that takes the player on a journey through the post-apocalyptic world of the game's setting. The characters are fleshed out and feel real, with their own motivations, flaws, and personalities. I found myself rooting for them, feeling their pain and experiencing their triumphs.
The only downside to the game is that it can be quite heavy and emotionally draining at times. It's definitely not a game for everyone, but for those who can handle the intensity, it's an unforgettable experience.
Overall, The Last of Us Part 2 is an excellent game that deserves the high praise it has received. The graphics, gameplay, and story are all top-notch, and it's a must-play for fans of the genre. I would give it 4 and a half stars out of 5.
God of War
The game features Kratos, a former Greek god of war who now lives in a Norse-inspired world with his young son Atreus. Together, they embark on a perilous journey to scatter the ashes of Kratos's wife, Faye, atop the highest peak in all the realms. Along the way, they face many challenges, including fierce monsters, treacherous gods, and their own troubled past.
One of the standout features of God of War (2018) is its gameplay. The combat system has been completely overhauled from the previous games, with a more deliberate and strategic approach to fighting. Kratos now wields the Leviathan Axe, a powerful weapon that can be thrown and recalled at will, as well as a shield for blocking and parrying attacks. Atreus provides ranged support with his bow and arrow, and can also be commanded to attack enemies or perform various actions in puzzles and exploration.
The combat feels weighty and satisfying, with a wide range of moves and upgrades to unlock. Enemies are varied and challenging, with unique attack patterns and weaknesses that require careful observation and adaptation. Boss battles are particularly impressive, with epic set pieces and intense action that test your skills to the limit.
Outside of combat, the game features a vast and beautiful open world to explore. From the snow-capped mountains of Midgard to the fiery depths of Muspelheim, each realm is full of secrets, treasures, and lore to discover. The game also incorporates RPG elements, with a crafting system, skill trees, and upgrades for both Kratos and Atreus. This adds depth and replayability to the game, as you can customize your playstyle and tailor your character to your preferences.
The technical performance of God of War (2018) is exceptional. The game runs smoothly and looks stunning, with breathtaking visuals and attention to detail that immerse you in the world. The game's use of a single camera shot throughout the entire game is a technical marvel, seamlessly transitioning between gameplay and cutscenes without any loading screens. The soundtrack is also outstanding, featuring a powerful and haunting score by composer Bear McCreary that perfectly captures the epic and emotional tone of the game.
In conclusion, God of War (2018) is a masterpiece of game design, storytelling, and technical excellence. It is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike, offering a fresh take on the franchise with deep and satisfying gameplay, stunning visuals, and a gripping narrative. Whether you're a fan of action games, RPGs, or epic adventures, God of War (2018) has something for everyone.
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