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.

2001

Wow. It has been a while since I played a game this good. It transitions extremely well from "arthouse synesthesia experience" to "extremely stressful shooter." Even without much of a plot, it succeeds so well as a gameplay and cultural experience that it earns a place in my Hall of Fame.
Also, after playing I used the Grove Dictionary of Art to look up Wassily Kandinsky, which probably shows how much of an art history nerd I am.

"Do you want to watch the fireworks?"
It took only seven minutes for this to wreck me. The ending could have been handled a tiny bit better, but I can still easily say this is in my top 10 favorite games of all time.
Edit: I was considering putting this in my GOTY awards, but it is under 30 minutes, so I feel like that is unfair to games this year that maintained a structural cohesion over a much longer playtime.

(Gameplay spoilers ahead)
You would think that a game that floored me multiple times, made me hyped about characters that were introduced in the same game, made me cry tears of joy during the good ending, and has a glorious final boss fight and one of the greatest moments in gaming (the bad ending) would have a rating of at least 4.5 stars.
You would think that a game that floored me multiple times, made me hyped about characters that were introduced in the same game, made me cry tears of joy during the good ending, and has a glorious final boss fight and one of the greatest moments in gaming (the bad ending) would have a rating of at least 4.5 stars.
You would think that a game that floored me multiple times, made me hyped about characters that were introduced in the same game, made me cry tears of joy during the good ending, and has a glorious final boss fight and one of the greatest moments in gaming (the bad ending) would have a rating of at least 4.5 stars.
At this point, you might be able to tell what my largest problem is. There is so much repetition. To get just the good and bad endings (not even the neutral one), you need to go through the same dungeon three times (four times if you are trying to fight all the bosses and do an action that could send you to the other side of the map) and fight some variation of the same seven bosses three times, watching the same cutscenes each time. Not only this, but dialogue is repeated a ridiculous amount of times, as if the writers thought puny player brains couldn't remember the well-written emotional moments.
Overall, I still highly recommend it, but be warned about that, the varying quality of chapters, and the fact that Square Enix's lawyers are dicks.
TLDR: Your savior is cum.

Some people have said that this is the Citizen Kane of videogames. In reality, its enigmatic nature makes it closer to the Lighthouse of videogames. That is, if The Lighthouse had blade saws and zombies and gunboats and building an antlion army and a trashcan and a soda can. Needless to say, this is awesome. The only times I got frustrated were when I was stuck in the mentality of "kill every enemy you face," which obviously won't work in some chapters. Every chapter is uniquely brilliant, and the story is very compelling. Overall, a fine addition to my collection of favorite games.
But minus half a star for not having any music during the final fight.

Goldman just like me fr fr
Pessimism about the fate of the planet aside, this was a surprisingly fun arcade game. Being able to add in a second gun without paying extra was a nice touch, the gunplay was very natural, and most boss fights were well-designed (although The Star and the subway chainsaw guy were complete bullshit). That, combined with an engaging (albiet slightly confusing) story, makes this a high point in penny-guzzling rail shooters.

2019

(This is more of a story about my experience with the game than a review. It spoils the end of the first run. If you want to know how good the game is, it's great. Some mechanics were a bit unclear, but overall it's very well-designed.)
During the past three weeks, I was working at an overnight summer camp. In the staff lounge, there was a Switch. I was excited because I could play Smash and Mario Kart. However, one of my coworkers brought a copy of Hades. One night, after dying again, he passed the controller to me. "Wanna try it?" he said. I said sure. I had heard much about this game, and I wanted to try it for myself.
From that first run, I was hooked. I started my own save file and became invested in both the gameplay loop and the story. Nearly all of my time off I spent on Hades. That is, until something happened.
Most staff members were granted one 6-hour period of time off during the summer. When mine came, I went down to the staff lounge and started playing. But something was different this time. I didn't want to see Zagreus die anymore, even though that would allow me to see more of the story. I wanted him to escape. So I did something that devastated the hardcore gamer in me: I turned on God Mode. After nearly five hours, I reached the eponymous boss before dying again. I should have seen the writing on the wall and realized I wasn't going to complete a run that night. However, I didn't. I tried again, this time dying to a butterfly in Elysium. Frustrated, I had a near-midnight snack and then went to bed.
During the next day, images of the game flashed whenever I closed my images. I suffering videogame compulsion, the restless wanting of a game that is often mistaken for addiction. I cut myself off from Hades for the rest of the time campers were there.
On the day campers left, I returned to the staff lounge for a few hours before staff banquet. As the strumming guitars of the main theme started, I realized something: This was personal. If Zagreus could escape the Underworld, then I could finish something. I could write a book, or a composition, or see something to the end. I could do something with my life without messing up. I could be a person people admire. With this in the back of my mind, I began another attempt.
I didn't complete a run that night. The next day, after finishing work around camp, I went back, missing out on the other staff hanging out. With a plan in mind, I started another attempt. After three or four more attempts, I finally beat Hades. The boss, at least.
Then Zagreus, sitting with his mother in her garden, realized he could not stay. He was made of blood and darkness, and as much as he hated it, the Underworld was part of him. As he realized that, I had a similar realization. I cannot change who I am. I can be the best version of myself, but the core of who I am will always be with me.
As Zagreus was taken by the Styx back to the House of Hades, I paused for a moment, then closed the game. Although I am sure there are more runs left in the game and an ending where Zag is able to stay with his mother, I learned my lesson from the game, and my time with it is complete. So thank you, Supergiant Games. Not just for creating a great videogame, but also for creating the vessel for my own personal journey.

Such an amazing game, with probably the best final boss and ending in videogame history. While it isn't as impeccably designed as the first game, the story is just as great.

Pretty sus how the game asks you for your voice and signature. I wonder how long it will be until Valve has control of some high-level economic institutions.
I don't often say that a game is too short, but this one really is. The gameplay and humor are so great, and it feels like it was just getting started by the time it ends. However, it still is a pretty great proof-of-concept game. Just make sure you don't use your real name or signature.

Pretty fun, but some of the level design is just insulting.

I really don't know what to think of this from a gameplay perspective. Outside of the Tips system, there is basically no gameplay, and at first that was really annoying. However, I really got used to it as I went along, although there were still plenty of moments where I wished this was a novel or a 4-hour-long arthouse film. The story is extremely well told, although Keichii being just a generic anime protagonist made some moments really annoying. Also I thought it was hilarious how Tomitake was first described as an "average-looking man" right as they show an insanely buff person, but thankfully they acknowledged it later. I probably won't continue for many reasons, including the fact that I'll be taking a break from videogames soon and how well this first chapter works as a self-contained story. Overall, surprisingly good, especially the soundtrack.

"You're going the wrong way. Because I don't think you're going where you think you're going."
Horrifying yet brilliant exploration of entrapment and indoctrination.
But forget all that intellectual mumbo-jumbo, here's the real reason I gave it five stars: https://youtu.be/Y6ljFaKRTrI

Or as I like to call it, the Scribblenauts Criterion Box Set.

This sequel fixes the previous game's problems of tedious puzzles and unwieldy controls. Unfortunately, in many levels the player must complete the same puzzle three times, using different objects each time. The problem with this is that some puzzles were clearly not designed to be completed three times. However, it's still pretty good.