543 Reviews liked by Hooblashooga

Umbrella would've gotten away with it if Himbo Cop Leon S. Kennedy didn't show up to work late in the middle of a zombie outbreak, and was too pure of heart and simple of mind for Ada to be able to kill without feeling immense guilt. It's been a while since I played the original Resident Evil 2, but I swear they actually made him dumber here, which is really just one of many excellent choices on Capcom's part that help REmake 2 excel over the original.
This game is great. On paper it's essentially a fusion of Resident Evil 4's more combat-focused control scheme and the original trilogy's puzzle-heavy progression. Obviously tank controls are out the window, but Capcom smartly redesigns the RPD building to be full of obstructed, narrow hallways that keep the tension high. Movement is sluggish both when attempting to evade or aim at zombies, which move around with an unnatural rhythm that further complicates shooting them in critical areas. You're given just the right amount of control that none of this feels annoying, while maintaining a sense of anxiety in every encounter.
Similar to REmake, many of Resident Evil 2's puzzles have some connection to the original, though how they progress and interconnect has been completely overhauled. This provides a similar sense of satisfaction when you route your way through the game that REmake does, and the manner in which locations slowly open up to you feels natural and well paced. It's just a very smooth experience all around. I also enjoy how much REmake 2 plays around with the player's expectations, introducing Mr.X far earlier than he would appear in the first game.
Likewise, jumping to your second run of the game immediately after the first (as intended) doesn't feel stale given how different the two campaigns are. While you'll solve many of the same puzzles, the route through the RPD and other locations are so radically altered that you can't rely upon the same sequence for an easier run. That said, the 2nd run can get kind of annoying as enemies seem to be placed in blind spots more frequently, which at times feels like a cheap substitute for difficulty.
There's some additional side modes if you want even more RE2, but I found most of them to be kinda just so-so. I think I prefer REmake's approach to focusing solely on the core game mode and introducing variables to augment future runs. I'm sure someone out there loves No Time to Mourn. Like, that's the one mode they've come to play, getting through the campaign is just a formality. Freak behavior. Personally, I'm fine playing through the two campaigns and calling it.
Things were real rough for the Resident Evil franchise for a while, but I'm glad Capcom is back in the business of making good games. It's impressive that they could release a remake of Resident Evil 2, a game that was critically acclaimed for the Playstation and remains one of the finer pieces of software in its library, and have it outshine the original at nearly every turn.

I think this is a great improvement over the main campaign in splatoon 2.
They expanded upon the variety of things you can do with ink dramatically. In alot of levels you feel like you're doing something new. This is in contrast to Splatoon 2, where I felt at times I just doing the same thing..
Another thing I really appreciated they improved upon from Splatoon 2 was that you had the freedom to not need to do every level in an area to progress to the next. I think this really improved my experience with the game as incase I wasn't enjoying a level i could just switch to something else.
Basically, Splatoon 2 felt like a 3 course meal where I had to finish each dish before progressing onto the next (even if i thought it tasted badly.) While 3 was an all you can eat Buffet In which I could eat whatever I enjoyed.
Oh yeah also what a great finale, I hope we see more dungeon sequences like that going forward into the next game.
I would say it was all around the same as Splatoon 2 but 50 percent of the time when I would try loading into a match, the message: "A communication error has occured" would appear. I have a good internet connection and on any other console have no problems playing online games meaning it's simply Nintendo's fault for making such a bad online service. I want to give this game a 4 but that is forcing me to bring it down to a 3.5.

Ok wow, I didn’t expect to warm up to Forces nearly as much as I did on this replay. I’ve had the idea of giving Forces another honest shot for quite a while. This is both because some discussion of the game I’ve seen on twitter made me start to see the game from a perspective that I previously hadn’t really considered before, and the fact that it no longer has the awkward stigma of being the “big new Sonic title” now that Frontiers is on the horizon. I had a pretty deep hatred for this game because of how it represented the current state of the franchise, where the series had a pretty grim future if this is the best that they could do with the IP. However, the time where it was the current state of the franchise appears to be well behind us. Having that grandiose viewpoint of Forces was a bit silly in retrospect, and I feel like thanks to it not having to be in the spotlight as the most recent big flagship title, it’s much easier to look at the game on its own terms. But beyond that, I mentioned a perspective that I hadn’t considered with the game before, and I’m honestly a bit embarrassed how I didn’t think of it; speedrunning.
With this playthrough I decided to take the route of attempting to speedrun the game’s levels, learn them inside and out and master them as I would any other Sonic game that I’m fond of. Taking this approach was incredibly rewarding in the case of modern Sonic and the avatar, and it helped me appreciate what makes Forces unique to the other boost games. Biggest thing that stood out to me was the way Sonic’s boost functions. It’s a far cry from any of the previous boosts mechanically with how it can influence aerial movement, whether it’s timing it just right with a jump or using the new aerial boost to fly through the sky. The latter is definitely my favorite inclusion to Sonic’s kit, it opens up options for shortcuts quite considerably, allowing for some insanely cool skips throughout levels. I wouldn’t mind seeing this form of the boost more often in games moving forward. Speedrunning levels in this game in general gives a much heavier emphasis on sequence breaking than I’ve experienced in other entries. More often than not, if there’s a scripted cinematic element to a stage, live an automated rail loop, there’s a way you can skip past it. Noticed this especially with my attempts on Metropolitan Highway, my favorite stage in the game. There’s a good amount of automated parts like the rail spirals at the beginning that you can go right past with skillful maneuvering. It’s kind of ironic how the biggest problem I had with the game mechanically was its heavy automation, while what made me love the game so much more on this playthrough was being able to blow right past it. I don’t prefer this approach to the level design of Unleashed or especially Generations, definitely not, but it was really enjoyable. This also applies to a smaller extent to the Avatar stages, with how Wispons can change the way you approach level design and your loadouts. This also made me appreciate how the Wisps are much more seamlessly integrated into gameplay than their previous appearances. Though it is slightly dampened by the Drill Wispon just being the best one for tearing through levels, but even then there’s some fun to be had by ripping stages to shreds with a Giga Drill Break ripped right out from Gurren Lagann.
The biggest problem that Forces has as a game is that it does not make for a good casual playthrough. If you’re just planning on going through the whole story and nothing more, then I can’t say that Forces will be worth your time in that regard. However, if you are willing to approach it with the philosophy I have with most Sonic games, that repeated attempts at mastery and getting faster can transform the experience of them like no other, then you might be in for a surprisingly fun experience.
Side Note: Classic Sonic is still garbage, has no place in this game and I better not see him in 3D ever again.

this isnt a metroidvania. this is an open world 2d platformer
holy shit, i did not expect the fucking bunny cunny game to be genuinely fantastic. almost everything about this game is extremely well done and in depth enough to remain fun the entire time.
my only real gripes about the game is the bad indications of where... anything is really, and that boss attacks like to think that theyre more readable than they actually are.
i did NOT do the postgame, nor did i find every character. idk if i will do so, but i did buy the 2 content dlcs. most likely will do all the postgame shit after a break to play another game (ace attorney investigations 2).

It kinda pains me to write my thoughts about Soul Hackers 2 after completing it. Morbid curiosity got the better of me since my initial impressions into articles and videos weren't strong already. The cel shaded design is cool but the actual details in the designs themselves felt a lot to be desired. I can go on about Soul Hackers 2 feeling different from its predecessors but I never cared about that. All I wanted was the game to be fun. If the game was fun, I can walk away happy in that I had fun with the combat systems and demon customization megaten is known for. Sadly I didn't get that at all and I feel like I wasted my time.
The story felt par for the course here. It was pretty slow at the start and felt alright until one extremely dumb twist that I knew was gonna happen that took me out of the story and completely turn me off to a main character completely. This moment didn't feel warranted or earned at all building off of one specific moment in the story that just took me out of the story to the point I got a bit upset at what happened.
The characters are kinda what save this whole experience for me. Ringo is excellent as the glue that binds everyone together despite their various different ideals. Saizo is excellent it feels like he puts this cool noir front on for everyone when he just wants to get away from it all with his girlfriend. Arrow and Milady are decent too but they didn't really grab me as much as the former two did. The overall chemistry and dynamic works pretty well too despite of all this. Something that kinda bothered me is how played up the cast being adults is in a sense. Several times the cast would mention not to worry about something just because of their age or the notion of developing these bonds relies of drinking alcohol at a bar, something adults only do. Granted you can also eat various meals with them but it's just repeatable dialogue and serves no gameplay purpose in which hanging out at the bar actually does. It doesn't matter that much in hindsight but it kinda comes off that the writers thinking they could write adult characters now since most of their work stems from trying to write japanese high schoolers with a modicum of depth. The villains are kinda laughable sadly as it just comes from a place I've heard a billion times at this point.
My main aggravation with this experience is how you'll spend ninety percent of the game traversing tedious and boring dungeons, partake in run of the mill and bare bones moment to moment megaten combat, extremely lackluster demon fusing and skill variety to customize each tool you have. If can sum up in one sentence why I hate this so much it would be this:
Soul Hackers 2 does not respect your time.
The dungeons are extremely bland in visual and gameplay design that makes everything feel more of a slog to progress through but this is more apparent in the Soul Matrix. The Soul Matrix provides nothing in terms of visual design other than blocks and way too long than it needed to be. As if one wasn't bad enough, you'll have to do three of them if you want to get into the actual mechanics of the game and gather some extremely important field skills to make the whole experience less of a slog. I will say the final dungeon manages to be cool from a visual design perspective and tries to do something different but it fails under my main complaint that it feels too long for the wrong reasons. I don't mind final dungeons being long because that's how it usually is but it doesn't really do anything that exciting other than just running around and trying to avoid enemies. The only constant form of interaction is the demon recon system which lets you get important items, money and items from them. This is also how you "recruit" demons in this game. No demon negotiation is a questionable decision and I can't say I don't miss it here.
All of this in addition to how traversing these dungeons actually work and the whole enemy encounter experience. Ringo moves at a slow jog pace naturally and some of the dungeons are pretty long for almost no reason as it is. Enemy encounters work in that silhouettes will spawn and attack you repeatedly and the only way to avoid encounters is attacking them with your sword. You're going to be doing this a lot and it's going to get old extremely quick especially with Figue delivering the same three lines about an enemy being near and gone. You can get a skill that makes you move faster but it's limited, you have to reapply it and it costs SP too which can be annoying on higher difficulties and Estoma which essentially removes them completely but that requires the tedium of doing the Soul Matrix to unlock.
I can respect them for trying to do something different from Press Turn here and I think the sabbath/stack mechanic is cool for the game throwing groups at you to fight constantly, that alone works well here. Essentially you have four slates to equip a single demon with four to six skill slots each which is less from the traditional eight you see. I feel like this change wanted to make each demon more unique in a sense and more specialized but it kinda doesn't work when the demons have so many skills overlap with each other that it almost doesn't matter. With no punishment in using the wrong move, figuring out the right weakness doesn't have as high stakes as it used to and almost every fight kinda feels like you're doing the same thing. The boss fights are overall pretty cool but they also kinda play out the same way too with a demon protecting the summoner and the summoner always moving twice. It's not exactly bad but it's not exactly that great either. It's alright.
The act of demon fusing is something I should be happy about but it kinda comes in with a whimper instead of letting you orchestrate and create your own team. You technically still can but it comes with a lot of work and extremely expensive compendium prices that it almost deters you from trying as often. While you can technically swap demons in the middle of a battle, you can only reliably do it once per round but I found myself even with this in mind that I rarely had to swap as often since it feels like having your bases covered in weakness help and having weakness never felt that important at least on Normal (played Hard until I got bored of the game). Very Hard sounds a little more interesting with no items relying solely on the demon skills but I don't think I'll be playing this game again.
On a slightly more positive note, I do kinda dig the overall art aesthetic they ended up going for here with the cel shaded demon designs. It fits pretty well with some of the older demon designs and it's cool to see some demons finally hit the high definition realm as well if anything. The actual character designs feel a bit too busy for me at least for the main cast, it's not extremely egregious or anything but it feels like it's too much going on for no reason barring Arrow. Even with my high expectations for Atlus soundtracks, I can come off saying this one is decent. There's like only two dungeon themes barring the final dungeon which got old fast but the battle themes are great especially this one you'll hear in the soul matrix.
Wanted to put my miscellaneous thoughts here such as the side-quest system or requests as they're called being just completely average except a lot of the rewards for them are not great barring the ones from important shopkeepers giving you new stock or upgrades. I feel like there's too many loading screens in town to really get stuff done as it is even with the shortened load times with the removal of loading screen tips. Grinding materials for important comp upgrades is pretty annoying especially for those important Commander skills and passives for Ringo too.
I've played a lot of megaten games at this point and I can always walk away with a mostly positive experience. I can say I'm not too fond of the older games because while the themes, atmosphere and writing are generally better, it tends to suffer from some abysmal, broken or slow gameplay or the combination as such. Modern megaten seems to have gone the opposite way with better gameplay giving up on some of the writing chops they had before in my opinion. Soul Hackers 2 has decent characters, an average story and an incredibly dull gameplay experience that constantly made me wish I was playing a different game if it wasn't for the sunken cost fallacy I had internally at this point. I really had to see this game through and get the full picture. It's not hard to tell that this game doesn't have the budget of Atlus's other efforts and I can almost sympathize with that if it wasn't for the fact this game is being sold for sixty dollars in addition to their egregious DLC practices I don't even want to go into. When you put your game at that pedestal, it's going to receive judgment where that pedestal lies. I can't recommend this game at full price and if you're insistent on trying it which I think you probably should if you're a megaten fan at least to please wait for a good sale.
The only small sliver of a silver thread is that they learn from this game and make something better out of it because I don't want Atlus to give up on making spinoffs again but with how they're developing their games, pricing them and the DLC that feels blatantly cut off from the game at launch but they need a reality and an ego check and go back to the drawing board at this point. They need to do better and they obviously can. It's just a matter if they even will at this point.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a tactical/strategy role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems in 2017 for the 3DS and serves as a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden originally released for the Famicom in 1992. Shadows of Valentia manages to do things a bit more differently to the other contemporary titles like Awakening, Fates and Three Houses but manages to shine in a variety of aspects that make a JRPG great but possibly its biggest flaw is sticking too close to the original in a sense.
One of the biggest strengths this game has is the overall story with characters that are extremely well voice acted for a 3DS game to the point I feel that the console itself doesn't do the game justice sometimes. A simple story synopsis is that you plays as two protagonists with their own objectives and armies trying to defeat the evil kingdom. There are some characters that are one note but there are also some that have a lot of depth and motivations that also manages to give out some impressive vocal emotional performances that yet immerses you more into the story and world you're in. The gameplay is a bit different in that from the other 3DS games, there is no weapon triangle and spells are learned via leveling up and use your own health instead of it being a finite resource. I personally didn't mind this and felt like it made the game easier to swallow as someone that doesn't have much experience playing an FE game with also there just being one equipment slot so you can just equip the best item for a member and moving on. The soundtrack here is phenomenal with certain tracks you hear a lot gradually feeling more frantic and desperate with some having a more militaristic focus in certain times. The motif used in most of the soundtrack is synonymous and fitting for the game as a whole with a final map theme that does not disappoint at all and further elevates the final battle as the games does its final hours. Art design here is amazing with Hidari bringing the classic NES designs to life in a clean and faithful way and is my favorite overall art in a Fire Emblem game. Even then the smallest things can also make a game great, the title screen gives you a snapshot of the experience you're about to enter or even continue and returning to it after all is said and done was a closing experience with the soundtrack of the choirs singing in a solemn tone which feels like a calm before the storm.
As much as this game is a solid JRPG experience all around, the weakest aspect of it has to be the maps themselves. Most of them are very simple open fields that leave little to strategy and some maps have some awful terrain that makes it not very fun to go through. The dungeons themselves are a 50/50 thing for me, it's something different and you get mini encounters akin to a normal JRPG battle via the Fire Emblem flavor but much more condensed and shorter than a regular FE battle would take. I think I just didn't like that I was limited to only 10 people considering I was mostly used to having my entire army with me. The game does also expect you to go through some battles so if you play how you want to play, you might eventually run into a roadblock especially when you want more story and want to know what happens next.
I didn't think I would ever like a 3DS Fire Emblem game again after Awakening but this game completely proved me wrong. The facets of a good JRPGs: story, characters, soundtrack, gameplay (to an extent) and Shadows of Valentia has them. A surprisingly heartfelt solemn tale of two warriors destined by fate ever hoping to return to the fields where they first met. Alright, let's go.

got sucked into the wiki for this game and started having a little too much fun reading it... it claims kid chameleon is "the iliad" of the 16-bit era. I guess it would make sense that there were some players at the time enamored with its sense of scope, enough to look past the absolutely wretched level design. even with 103 levels and a variety of alternate routes through the game, each bite-sized challenge tastes far too sour to enjoy the variety. level design is often immature and confusing, with dead ends, blind jumps, hidden spikes, and invisible blocks scattered no matter where in the game you are. this is compounded by handling inspired by sonic's momentum without the carefully tuned parameters behind it; our protagonist casey awkwardly quickly accelerates and is slow to deccelerate as if the ground lacks fraction, and his ability to move in the air is incredibly touchy for a game replete with single-tile platforms to land on. it's hard to forgive a platformer that's this utterly shitty and never seems to end.
where the game does succeed is with its power-up system, more or less. to curb the aforementioned difficulty each mask/costume for our protagonist to wear can be esaily found strewn through each level, and each one gives a full reheal as well. between them all there's no real standout either: each one has some major positives, even if they're not immediately apparent. enemies generally will die from a bonk on the head but also can be easily dispatched with the samurai's katana or Jason Voorhees's throwable axes, and other masks like the knight or the hoverboard offer enhanced mobility options. all of this feels clunky (especially when it comes to the samurai's ducktales-esque downward stab or the extra-wide skeleton tank), but it at least makes wallowing through each level less of a chore. this is especially the case when the devs offer an actual bespoke challenge suited towards one of the masks rather than simply plopping interactables into the world.
the game is somewhat ugly for a '92 genesis title, particularly when the backdrop is a cave or something similarly dull. minor parallax effects when bodies of water are present in the background somewhat rectify this. the level themes themselves are also noticably drab, and you'll rarely remember that you're actually a radical kid running through a holographic world outside of the neat level transitions at the end of each level. the branching pathways and multitude of areas would have benefitted well from a world map, or absolutely anything beyond the silent splash screens introducing each locale. music is surprisingly good given that it's a GEMS title, as beside for a couple grating clown synths it's overall got a nice groove to it and doesn't attempt any out-of-place rock stylings. otherwise there's just little to differentiate it from other mid-tier genesis title of its era.
played around 25 levels I think? maybe a little less or a little more, I don't know exactly what route I took. I quit at madmaze mountain for those curious, near the halfway point of the game.

a mysterious game that came from the future.
this was noriaki okamura's big directorial debut, but unfortunately the depth just isn't there.
it feels uncomfortable at parts just how little is given to you plotwise in what is clearly trying to be something grounded in morality. there's a bad end just for deliberately destroying every single building and making sure all survivors end up dead -- something that is not possible unless done on purpose, to which leo says "i was... just playing...", and that's fantastic! but nothing past this extremely interesting detail is really given to the player to latch onto, and the game ends up becoming what i would assume it didn't want to be: an action game instead of a cinematic action game, a la mgs.
atmosphere, sound effects, music, and visuals are all top-notch. this is a konami game being produced by kojima, and all the assets are amazing. i can only imagine how this game felt to play on launch. it truly must've seemed otherworldly -- and im sure the intense care that went into the battle system both feeling and looking great was not by pure coincidence. the game features an awe-inspiring OP, "kiss me sunlights", a beautiful classical piece that only emphasizes the feeling of starting something you've never experienced before. you would think this is where a konami game being produced by kojima and directed by a man that has worked closely with kojima would put in some over the top anime cg cutscenes, at the very least custom visuals to match the epic swell of the music -- but half of the opening is just the regular mecha battles you do in the game. it's why i get so emotional watching the opening to ZONE OF THE ENDERS; i can truly feel how proud they were of the gameplay. how it looked, how it felt, how it immersed you into jehuty, how it immersed you into fighting. i consider this game to have one of the best OP's for any video game ever. in spite of this being an obvious cheese-fest of gundam and general mecha anime, they did not go crazy. there is nothing they could've created for the OP that could beat what they had already made in-game. and that's wonderful to me.
ZoE is a little strange and all over the place, but i think its soul is genuine.
"Boy, will you answer one stupid question?"
"Yes, what is it?"
"Was I strong?"
"...It's hard to believe that I'm still alive."
"Is that so?
Thank you.
Beautiful. You knew how beautiful the stars really are."

There's few games I revisit as much as REmake. It's become a tradition at this point to replay it every October, but since I have a big slate of games I want to get to next month, I decided to replay this one a little bit early.
Obviously it still holds up, I wouldn't come back to it annually if it didn't, but it's also hard to overstate how much it improves on the original Resident Evil. The entire mansion has been completely overhauled, with new puzzles, rooms, and enemies not only adding to the experience but improving it. The pacing is better, gameplay feels tighter, and the sequence in which puzzles progress feels far more fluid. Navigating menus (something you do a lot of in Resident Evil) is snappier, with the clicking and snapping sound effects that accompany navigation making them feel good to interact with. In general, the game benefits from some amazing sound design for a game released in 2002. Guns pop off with a satisfying punch, and the distant growls and groans of monsters provide both a sense of spatial awareness and foreboding.
My favorite addition is the Crimson Head zombies. In the original Resident Evil, which zombies you took out boiled down to whether or not you had enough ammo on hand to afford killing them. There was a certain layer of strategy there, forcing the player to decide if it was worth clearing out an oft-traveled hallway or continue to risk taking damage. REmake adds an extra level of anxiety to this by forcing the player to dispatch zombies either by exploding their heads or burning their corpse, or else they'll resurrect as more powerful 28 Days Later style zombies, transforming what was once a safe zone into a murder hall. REmake was the first survival horror game I played, and being so new to the genre and acclimating to the clumsy tank controls made Crimson Heads the most terrifying thing ever.
REmake is also one of the few games I can replay immediately after finishing a run. Finishing a casual playthrough and reacclimating to the mansion's layout is fun in itself, but the true meat of the game for me is taking everything I've learned and trying to plan the most efficient route for a second run. REmake also adds a slew of additional modes to augment subsequent runs, and trophies provide additional challenges like clearing the game with a knife only, or completing a run without saving. That fun of planning a second run then becomes planning a third run while considering invisible enemies and not healing, or routing around Real Survivor's non-magic boxes and going knife only. Despite coming back to this game over and over and over again, I'm always able to squeeze so much fun from it.
One area where the 2014 remaster doesn't quite hold up is in its presentation, which is a little ironic given the whole point of the project was to bring the game into HD. Some textures aren't scaled properly, leaving them blurry, and a few pre-rendered backgrounds just have a quality about them that feels off. Full 3D movement was also introduced in this version of the game, a godsend for people who hate tank controls. While this control scheme does make it easier to bait and juke zombies, it doesn't exactly play nice with the pre-set camera angles, making some screen transitions finicky. These are both minor complaints, however, but are observable weak points in the HD remaster over the Gamecube release.
The Resident Evil series is filled with so many great games, but none have ever topped REmake for me. And that's fine. I own this thing on like, three different platforms, plus I have it loaded onto my jailbroken Wii, and I have the ISO on two PCs and two external drives. The only way I will stop playing this game is if I die.

I have no idea what people have against this game, but every time the GBA Castlevania games are talked about, this one seems to stand out as the black sheep. Personally, I think it's a great, focused, and well executed bite-sized search-action game with some pretty fun movement and boss battles. I like the card system. I like collecting them, I like using them, I like experimenting with the cards I have. I'll admit they could have taken another pass at it, tweaked it in a few ways and made it feel better to use, but I still prefer it over the systems present in the following two games.
I'd go a step further and say Circle of the Moon is vastly underrated and the best Castlevania on the Game Boy Advance. I know this might be viewed as a very contrarian opinion, but I don't need to prove to anyone how much I enjoy this game or any other. There's dozens of us out there who like Circle of the Moon! You might even know a few of us without even realizing it. Maybe think about that the next time you decide to drag this game.
I've tied my entire personality to Circle of the Moon. Everything is going extremely well in my life