Cinephile who argues for the consideration of videogames as a form of high art, yet also loves button-spamming in Super Smash Bros.
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Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

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Favorite Games

Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Total Games Played


Played in 2024


Games Backloggd

Recently Played See More

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Sep 04

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Dec 25


Nov 22

Answer These 10 Questions And I'll Tell You What Kind of Lover You Are
Answer These 10 Questions And I'll Tell You What Kind of Lover You Are

Nov 17

Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2

Aug 30

Recently Reviewed See More

(I had technically beaten this game two weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I had gotten the true ending before writing a review.)
Before this game came out, it was facing impossible expectations. In less than half a decade, Breath of the Wild became renowned as one of the greatest games of all time, and it is still my favorite videogame of all time, so making a direct sequel to it looked like trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Did Nintendo achieve the impossible? Well, yes and no.
In many areas, Tears of the Kingdom exceeds its predecessor. The area this is most apparent in is the core gameplay. There are even more methods of approaching combat, exploration, and puzzles, and yet they all feel satisfying on a tactile level. Somehow even grinding feels fun to do. Overall, this game might have the most satisfying core gameplay of any game I have ever played.
Tears of the Kingdom exceeds its predecessor in world design as well. Hyrule in this game feels like a lived-in place with history, and this comes across in every nook and cranny of the kingdom. The Sky and the Depths aren’t as concentrated as the Surface, but they are still full of secrets, challenges, and lore. The world is also very atmospheric. I could spend hours sitting on top of the Light Dragon’s head, Dragonhead Island, or a Rauru’s Blessing shrine, just listening to the music and taking in the sights.
So, why isn’t this usurping Breath of the Wild? Why does it have a lower rating, and isn’t in my top five? The answer to the former question is that Breath of the Wild is too personal to me. It came at just the right time in my life and blew me away. The latter question, though, leads to the major problems of Tears of the Kingdom, specifically two areas that drag the experience down.
The first is a literal area: The Great Sky Island. Nintendo clearly tried to replicate the Great Plateau here, but they seemed to miss some of the key things that made the Great Plateau so fun. First, the Great Plateau felt like a self-contained sandbox in itself, where players could go in any direction within its boundaries as long as they could face the consequences. GSI is far more linear, with arbitrary checks and only two viable paths unless you use speedrunning strats. While it is still fun and there are secrets throughout, the frustrating linearity of the tutorial sequence means it feels like a hurdle to get over on subsequent playthroughs. Secondly, Rauru is handled rather poorly compared to the Old Man. The appeal of the Old Man was that, while he clearly had something up his sleeve, he was a comforting presence who participated in gameplay moments and felt like a mentor to the player. Meanwhile, Rauru is established as a royal ghost who is withholding important information from the start, he only stands in specific spots and gives random bits of lore, and he arbitrarily railroads the player on multiple occasions. Overall, the Great Sky Island feels like it’s playing second fiddle to the Great Plateau.
The second problem, and the largest one, is with the story and the way it is told during the main quests. While I wasn’t a fan of Breath of the Wild’s story on release, that grew on me over time, something I don’t think this one will. Everything related to the Light Dragon and Phantom Ganon is great, and this version of Ganondorf is second only to Wind Waker’s. However, the rest of the characters are woefully underdeveloped, most glaringly Link. That may sound odd considering Link is supposed to be an avatar for the player, but the events of this game are very personal to Link. Despite that, he barely reacts to major story moments, aside from the ending. Allowing Link more expression in these moments would not decrease immersion, it would heighten immersion.
(Side note: Apparently in the original Japanese version Link has a diary that updates with the quests. I have no idea why this was cut from the localizations, but until the diary entries are translated into English I have to go on the experience of my native localization.)
This leads to Tears of the Kingdom’s most baffling problem: The main quests don’t adapt enough to player actions. In fact, they seem to adapt less than Breath of the Wild’s main quests, despite Tears of the Kingdom having a more complex main story. This is most obvious in regards to “The Dragon’s Tears,” a quest that should affect the rest of the main quests but doesn’t at all.
Lastly, Tears of the Kingdom’s story lacks the vibes that made Breath of the Wild’s story so special. Breath of the Wild had a mysterious and tragic air throughout, even in its happiest ending. Tears of the Kingdom, in comparison, leans into high fantasy hard. On the one hand, this makes sense for a story about demon kings and immortal dragons. On the other hand, there aren’t enough moments in the main story that feel grounded in the same way Breath of the Wild was. This is probably a personal preference, but it affected how I viewed every cutscene and major character, so I need to mention it.
Overall, Tears of the Kingdom greatly improves on probably the most important parts of Breath of the Wild, and is an amazing experience throughout, but I can’t say it truly reaches the same levels of greatness as a videogame. I still highly recommend it, especially if you want to build penis flamethrowers to destroy monsters.
(Edit: Reposting this because I had accidentally edited my pre-release review before.)

Who knew that battles mostly made up of drawing could be so strategic?

If you are familiar with my Letterboxd account, you know that when I give something a 4 out of 5, that means I would recommend it to everyone. That description is stretching it for this game, which I would recommend to everyone... who is willing to trudge through a generic opening and boring main quest to get to the meat of the Nemesis system. The Nemesis system, however, might be the greatest piece of ludonarrative design I have ever seen. The game remembers so many things you wouldn't have thought it would, and your actions are reflected back at you. When a game makes me emotional about a procedurally generated ally turning against me, that's how you know it's great. Overall, the graphics and main story might be shit, and the mechanics might be just a slightly revised version of Batman Arkham mechanics, but I will always cherish my time in Mordor, and I can't wait to jump in again.