474 Reviews liked by KyuuMetis
A fantastic top-down Zelda-like elevated even further by the time mechanic that makes each decision matter and have weight. Choosing to save or sacrifice certain characters to ensure I could complete my mission made me feel things I don't normally feel in a game.
Devil May Cry 5
real fun as usual, but these levels are killing me. I understand people who want actual levels in these kinda action games lost that fight a long time ago, but can you at least make them look pretty or something? I got a nightcap on and I'm yawning cartoonishly cos I've been staring at this fuck ugly tree for so long. I'm out here snoozing in a game where you can dual wield a motorcycle and give sin scissors a funny little hat
can't help but miss the vestigial resident evil bits and the weird kamiya + mikami -isms that itsuno sands down further and further with each subsequent entry. no doubt this is the best the combat's ever been, but DMC was never only about the combat no matter what weirdos whose favourite fighting game maps are the training stages tell you. I wanna do the Smokin Sexy Stuff and explore a gothic castle or tower or something with a reasonable amount of atmospheric oomph, I don't wanna hang out in butthole corridors for half the game
hard to talk about why the combat rules in a compelling fashion, or even some gross approximation of one. always struggle to put that kinetic verve into words and find a way to emphasize the heft of a blade or the timing of rating increase's sound effect. much like music criticism I think a lot of the text deployed in service of something so fundamentally felt seems ill at odds with the feeling itself. georges bataille and william burroughs sought to obliterate language's stranglehold and biases on human experience and I can't help but think that's the proper lawful good instinct
just rest assured it's best in class
nero's a full character now, dante has never been more dante, and as many growing pains as I had with V I ended up really vibing with him by the end of my Dante Must Die run. don't mistake me for a zato sympathizer but despite his gameplay being comparatively shallow there's a satisfaction to the resource management and spacing elements that I find gratifying. learning the golem rhythm is a lot of fun once you're given good reason to bother and while I never graduated from the school of "make the bird do the held attacks while manually controlling the cat" I like the energy it gives off. plus I looked almost identical to V when I was sixteen so
very good game, but I'm gonna have some words for itsuno if he doesn't treat lady better next time
I'm pretty selective with my ratings, I feel. Sure, I make myself rather predictable by typically sticking within the 5-7 range, but it's not like I'm throwing out high or low scores out the wazoo. Generally, I focus on the speculation and intake process of what people have been saying about something, and sort my expectations around those, so usually nothing really strikes me out or base myself on gut feeling when I check them out. Shmups aren't really my forte, but I do have experience with a fair number of them to know the dos and don'ts, plus I like throwing myself at the mercy of danmaku "go big or go home" escalations, so I was expecting to at least casually enjoy this.
The first boss reinforced my initial outset since, from the get-go, it already establishes everything CAVE wants to bedazzle you with. Majority of its patterns and enemy positions are simple and easy to fixate on, but the application of these Koujuu buggers (literally!) within their speed is what sets this apart. Spread shots, buckshots, rollers, overlays, if you can name and think of it, chances are Akira Wakabayashi and Co. have thought of it. A lot of the characteristics expressed from these bugs also shine due to Akira focusing strongly on the entomological aspect of these creatures to relay onto the artists, with director and programmer Tsuneki Ikeda also noting that it was a return to roots foundation, along with utilizing this as a benchmark for new hardware. Obviously there's some Nausicaa-distilled vibes lingering beneath and on top of the naturalistic world, but the differing aspects of the forests within Mushi's world also tend to give rise into other foundations as you go along, marking your progress as either the blues of Stage 4 or the washed greens of Stage 2 to name some examples, establishing more of an interpersonal relationship with the player and the bullet mechanics. This also doubles up on the repeat learning of the reliable M Shot, the wide but meek W Shot, or the strict yet powerful S Shot. It takes two to tango after all, even if the denizens prefer blasting you away.
To go further about the remarks Ikeda has given, as well as deepen my point about simplicity thrusting itself unto elegance and sensation, two details he's revealed before are about the stronger focus on the characters Reco and Aki, alongside the principles of establishing the high of navigating around these bullets in the first place. That said, I'm choosing to forgo an in-depth look into the mechanical side of the game, since to reiterate I'm pretty green with shmups and also cause I'm still aiming to improve myself with this, and not to mention I'm more focused on the character angle. Shmups tend to not indulge on this aspect of game design, which is fair, but the way Mushi goes about it is very intriguing. Even disregarding the fervent chaos and hostile bombarding, art CGs shown upon level completion visualize the story between Reco's past venture within a forest, and Aki's help in succoring her life via a bracelet embodying crystalized forces of the Koujuu. Years have past, climate has worsened for her village, and its through her flight with the help of a beetle named Kiniro that she sets off to ascertain what has wrought upon them, subtly embellishing and engrossing herself within this area. I wouldn't classify it as Man Vs. Nature as it first appears, despite the parasitic symbiosis between the humanoids inhabiting the area and how the creatures react to them, but there's a subtext feeling of melancholy. The way Reco learns and overcomes these sorts of ordeals and predicaments within the setting is akin to we, the players, adapt and recognize all these obstacles. In a way, it's fitting the True Final Boss is Like That to be climax of both of these themes, even if the true reason is because they just wanted to fuck around with your expectations and play.
I always figured I'd like Mushihimesama, but there's a lot of special somethins within this gem of an amber-colored set. I've done Arrange, I've dabbled with Maniac and Ultra, and even partook in trying out Ver 1.5 as well, all of which are worth exploring. Related to that, the compositions provided by Manabu Namiki and Masaharu Iwata are top-to-bottom bangers. I already went into enough lengths in justifying my High IQ reading of a simple plot, not to mention I already went on-and-on about the connection and design workings between the player and the system, so I'll just go over my favorite tracks of this: Requiem Of The Sky, Like A Night Of Falling Stars, Levi-Sense, really I just recommend sitting down and soaking it all in regardless of playing the game or for casual listening. We talkin S-Tier OST material, be it the original or various arrangements made for the other modes, and I already went the extra yard and put the OST onto my phone to listen to whenever. This one's for my rotational books for sure.
Zone of the Enders
This review contains spoilers
Some scattered thoughts on this one instead of a proper well-done writeup, sorry! (This just means I didn't proofread it) Vague spoilers throughout for up until the super duper credits roll, if you've seen that you're safe
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve played of this, but I feel like it put its best foot forward to its own detriment. I had a lot of fun finding these little secrets and mechanical quirks that nudged me towards taking notes and trying to intuit some stuff for myself. It was a lot of fun doing that, but by the second story I’d exhausted everything that made sense to me and didn’t seem incredibly fiddly to pull off (seriously I am never doing any of the brand puzzles), compounded by the fact that the puzzles themselves were demanding so much of my limited brainpower at that point that I wasn’t really excited about secret-hunting any more.
The puzzle mechanics themselves are cool and some of the puzzles really push the tiniest details to the front (B208 hard was FUNNY when I realised what it wanted me to do), but sometimes solutions get really fiddly and tedious. Like, just shuffling a bunch of blocks around for ages. Some of the letter rooms on hard are good examples of this, because they’re very easy but just need you to slowly shuffle along to the set of blocks off in the distance and slowly ferry them back. Maybe sokoban games are just fiddly by nature, I remember getting similarly annoyed with Baba is You at some points. Also I like how easy it is to quit out of the game (this sounds like a joke but it's not), doubled with the fact that the trees (sorry, LOTUS EATERS or whatever the fuck you called them) quit you out as well. It's easy to take a break and I appreciate that. Didn't know where else to put that sorry
My motivation isn’t helped by the writing being, like, tolerable at best and just actively unenjoyable at worst. I thought there were some nice bits in a few of the vignettes, but I’m not really sure what the unabashed horniness adds to the game. Seriously I feel like half the game is just an excuse for the artist to draw enormous triple Z cup honkers. Not sure about this whole child abuse arc either. Maybe it gets a payoff that makes up for the fact that there’s child abuse. Probably not. At the start I thought the story was a cute enough way to add another layer of mystery, but unlike ZR they do actually want you to care about the characters this time. I don’t care about the characters this time.
Just finished the third story and I know there’s a super duper secret true ending final boss afterwards, I probably won’t bother with that unless the friend I’ve been talking to gets there and ends up doing it. It’s been a lot of fun but I’ve slowly been losing my enthusiasm and I think the more I push it the less I’ll end up liking this game. Like if I was feeling a bit pettier I would drop it to a 3.5 because of the end of the 3rd story, did not enjoy that bit at all! Leave it on as good a note as possible yknow
I probably spent about 20 years both ironically and unironically asking people in forums and discord chats about a new F-Zero finally getting made, basically to the point now where even I'm in on the joke that it's not happening, and I just keep repeating it for the sake of tradition every time a Direct is announced. At the very least I'll take F-Zero GX HD with online, that'd be sick I think.
Welp, here we are. It happened, I got my joke wish and I am so completely numb to it. A cheap asset flip game that will get delisted in a year after it does its rounds of entertaining streamers for a week.
I'm going back to bed for another 20 years.
Taken at face value, Void Stranger is a ~6-hour sokoban-style puzzle game. And I'd say it's a pretty good one: the central mechanic provides a lot of flexibility in an otherwise perfection-demanding genre; new mechanics are introduced at a constant pace; most levels have optional secondary challenges so you can choose your difficulty somewhat; story cutscenes provide natural breaks between chapters and keep the pace up; and the soundtrack is every bit as good as its predecessor ZeroRanger's. On these qualities alone, I would comfortably consider it worth its asking price.
If all you're looking for is a recommendation, you've got it and you can stop reading. If you want a full review with some minor spoilers and some major snobbery on my part, read on.
ZeroRanger won my heart by being an uncompromising mechanical exploration of a theme: enlightenment. If I were to task Void Stranger with being the same thing, I'd have to call its central theme... "faith". The game is packed with secrets, and if you want to see everything it has to offer, you'll sooner or later run into mechanics that feel too punishing, puzzles that feel impossible, or goals that seem designed to waste your time. I didn't preface this with a review of the surface level alone as a cutesy way of delaying the spoiler content; I did it because I want to stress that the base game is worth playing on its own, and you venture past it at your own peril.
But here is where a little faith pays dividends. Whatever its reputation, Void Stranger's secrets are not actually all that arcane (well, the ones that matter, anyway). An open mind, an open eye, and the mere assumption that there's a lesson hiding in every bit of weirdness you see on your journey is usually all you need to progress. I won't pretend I was perfect at this, or that I didn't end up wasting tons of time because I didn't get something; but what struck me is that every time I did figure out what I'd been missing, I immediately remembered the moment that was supposed to have taught me it.
I don't want to say that anyone who dropped this has a skill issue, or that I'm cooler for my willingness to commit more of my precious life-hours to a video game than they are. I put more faith into it than they did, but that's not a good or bad thing. People put their faith into all kinds of stupid stuff. Still. I don't regret it for a moment.
Place your faith. Embrace the Void.
(and play zeroranger too dammit)
Trek to Yomi
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