88 Reviews liked by GuyFriday
The secret House of the Dead game. Vampire Night rules.
This is from Sega's WOW Entertainment (as they were helpfully called for about two years), carries precisely the same tone, pace and ruleset as they brought to HotD. This is as close as you'll get to House of the Dead 2 on a PS2. Other than Typing of the Dead: Zombie Panic.
House of the Dead is an ideal lightgun game. Easily distinguishable enemy types with distinct attack patterns, breakable items to reward quick shooting and dogshit voice acting. It's a game to get good at, whereas many lightgun games are just passing novelties.
This all holds true for Vampire Night. It doesn't go quite as far as HotD2. It's like they turned down the volume a wee bit. There's nothing on-par with Goldman's confrontation, but Sir Vampire is fairly enjoyable. It's also an easier game, which should be a relief to anyone who's managed to push themselves through a final boss in a House of the Dead before. No fucking boss rush, either.
Vampire Night takes on more of a gothic theme, and the game's artists are totally up to the job. Imposing castles, covered with stone pillars and intricate steel embellishments. It's good shit. Even the loading screens look great. I think the team might be better suited to cursed victims and old ruins than modern cities and biological experiments.
There's a wee bit of multi-route stuff based on how many innocent people you can save, seconds before they mutate. It's not a major draw here, and only alters small sections of a level, but it's a welcome touch to keep replays interesting and reward accuracy.
A nice benefit of Namco's involvement in the PS2 port is how well it supports both the G-Con 2 and G-Con 45. You've got a ton of options in how you want to reload. The traditional off-screen shot works, but so does pressing any of the extra buttons, or even using a second controller as a Time Crisis-style pedal. It's something that folk may take for granted, but in a game like this, where challenges switch from long-range enemies and accurately hitting weak spots to quick-moving flying enemies and rapidfire hell, it's really nice to be able to switch your grip on the fly to what feels the most comfortable in that moment. I find my middle finger is quicker than my index, but I'm much less accurate with it. I found myself holding the gun five different ways in my playthrough.
Vampire Night is a quick little game, unlikely to become your sole focus for any given night. I think that's why critics were dismissive of it upon release. It really is a cracking little arcade port though, and I think it cost me about three quid. If you're looking for a lightgun game, you're hoping to find something like Vampire Night.
Shin Megami Tensei V
Super Cream 64
AMAZING. I will replay it, but it was so magical. It was truly my introduction to fantasy video games in a proper sense. I played this game in the prodromes of schizophrenia, which was a very scary time and I was so happy I had this game by my side to play. It has one notable flaw, in that the character stories are not interrelated --- it can be jarring to the immersion. However, I rate this 5 stars because even with that, in a really dark time, it was something that managed to be a light in the darkness. It's that kind of game, that you can just get lost in.
Persona 4 Golden
This game has to be one of my favorite IP's of all time. I easily consider it genius. That being said, the combat is blah, and the dungeons are monotonous. If you can work through that, you will see a gripping mystery of honestly some really nice characters. I found it really charming, and would save my favorite days in the year where certain cutscenes fell so I could watch them. I think my fondest memories of this game are all the characters sitting at the food court in one innumerable occasion, discussing who they think murdered who. In the series of dialogue, you'll read detective mystery, teenage horseplay, and joking around while at the same time some endearing moments that will let you appreciate some moments in your own life. Persona on the whole is great I found because it can be a friend when you don't have one. If you have bad social skills, it can help you refine them. If you're looking for a good time, it has that too.
When I first saw the joycons during the Switch reveal I knew I wanted Samba de Amigo on the console, so to finally see it become a reality was great! Thankfully for the most part the controls have been responsive, even on harder difficulties. There's a lot to love here, like the random prompts you can get during a song that helps each run feel fresh, the many customization options for Amigo, the online modes, and the career mode StreamiGo! I'm making my way through it and it's been a good time, a bit of a challenge too! The song lineup here isn't half bad either, although I may biased because there's some Sega and Sonic tracks here and XS by Rina Sawayama LOL. Looking forward to the rest of the dlc tracks and I hope we get some more down the line. We are so back
Childlike wonder placed into a game, addicting bright lights that puts Cocomelon to shame.
The soundtrack and the visuals give this game a dreamy-like atmosphere. You're practically "Into Dreams" (get it?)
It's rewarding to get really good at this game. Seeing five As and then an overall A is probably the most satisfied I've ever been in terms of personal achievement via video game.
This game is so gorgeous. I recommend it to anyone who can breathe.
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