27 Reviews liked by NickShutter

Me and the lieutenant hitting the griddy in the middle of the church

There was a part in the game where I could make check to search for a clue on a dead body before I sent it in for a processing. I failed the check, but I was allowed to try again if I leveled up my skill. I didn't want to let it go. So I wandered town, talking to NPCs and doing some side quests so I can get some XP. This is where the game thrives when you're just getting lost in the games setting, learning about cryptids from an old woman, getting a history lesson from a cranky old nationalist prick and his friend, arguing with drug addled twelve year olds, hunting for ghosts in a mostly abandoned commercial area. Having your progress being hampered by a missing a die roll can initially be kind of annoying but it also gives you good reason to really take in the rich setting of the game and before. I don't think I've ever played a game where so alive and so literary. The gimmick of having every stat being it's own character that interjects your own thoughts and argues with your other stats is hilarious and amazing. I don't think want to see another game try to top it. It's just this beautiful, non-linear novel.
So after leveling up and equipping the appropriate items, I tried one more time.
I failed the check. So I just wound up save scummong. That's disco, baby!

The bold game developer asks the question: "What if Edith Finch was worse, and also idolized pedophilia?"



so like....this is proto-cave story. the level design, the switching weapons, the portion where you have an ai-controlled partner, the sense of momentum, the general structure. was this what pixel was pulling from when making cave story? what the hell. i've played the first level of this game a few times on a lark but never actually sit down with it until now and, just, wow. i cant believe this is from 86.

something about revisiting this made me really grossly emotional. i listened to this ost on a loop for ages before i ever even had the chance to play the game (when it dropped on the ps3 store, cant remember what year that was), so the soundtrack registers more in my mind as one of the definitive shibuya-kei EPs that happens to have a game associated with it. i remember when i finally got to play the game one of the first things i did was put all the CDs my musician friends had made and sent me into my ps3 to play along with their music. this time around i'm able to burn and play my own music the same way.
i guess the song is called overflowing emotions for a reason. thanks vibri <3

the ultimate testament to how universally infectious this game's charms are is that the entire video game criticism profession has silently agreed without exception to forgive the fact that it's basically unplayable.

Not finished yet but I don't see my rating going up or down over the rest of the game. An improvement over Crash 1 (can't speak to 2/3). The little moveset tweaks with the...hookshot woman..? Are pleasantly fun, subtly changing the way you view the levels enough to remove some of the fatigue that playing entirely as Crash has.
Still, the checkpoint structure in some ways feels less like a way to pace out the levels, than a hack for how much trial-and-error is required to learn the obtuseness of some obstacles. That obtuseness is created by too-shallow camera angle making it hard to judge depth, a problem which I thought we could have solved by the end of the 1990s! Yet it still plagues this game all over the place, from the chase sequences to the occasional enemy placement. That being said, the platforming and attack hitboxes are fairly generous so it's nothing a few retries can't fix, but it is still annoying because of how Crash level design tends to work (very precise sequence of inputs and timings to get through obstacles - thus if you fail at the end of a level design segment, you have to go all the way through the same boring inputs to try the end again.) This is especially annoying in the crate challenge levels (The flashbacks), which have interesting, difficult ideas, but often sandwich 3 or 4 ideas together in a segment before hitting a checkpoint.
When the levels feel good, there's a nice rhythm to levels and it's fun to see what the developers have done with visual theming (although it can be hard to read the environment at times.) Overall a mixed bag so far (with more good than bad) but the more tedious stuff (The time challenges, 100% crates) are optional which is fine (although it'd be nice if timed challenges were segmented rather than resetting when dying at the end of a stage.) Stages maybe feel a bit long, too...

imagine making something extremely promising, making it an unfinished boring mess, then taking the players money and just using it as a test for a shitty nft game when your audience are mostly warrior cats kids and people who roleplay adoption who will never care about your pyramid scheme

This is how I imagine Lil Ugly Mane sees the world