38 Reviews liked by Rapatika

Remaking RE4 was always a pretty strange proposition. Unlike 2 and 3, 4 was already in the same general over-the-shoulder style of game as the 2 and 3 remakes. Sure, you couldn't move while aiming, and the aiming and movement were pretty clunky (I've been told this is "part of the charm") but it's still in the same wheelhouse.
So what, exactly, do you do with a remake? Other than the moving-while-shooting thing, that is. It turns out the answer is mostly "make it look better".
RE4R has, I'd estimate, about a 70/30 identical/new ratio. Nearly all of the Iconic rooms and setpieces are almost entirely untouched, but most of the connective tissue between them is new. That fucking water hallway? Still here. The hedge maze with the dogs? Oh, you know it's still here! It makes the few parts that were significantly changed really stand out, but I won't mention those here for spoiler reasons. I will say that, thank god, the Truck Drivin' Ashley segment is gone, replaced by something way funnier.
And if you're worried that the campy tone would be lost, have no fear: it's almost as stupid as the original. No, Leon doesn't say "your right hand comes off?" anymore, but he still mentions bingo and has a very funny repeated line whenever the Las Plagas pop out. Which happens a LOT, by the way. I feel like it was much more common than in the original, it seemed like half the enemies turned into Twisties.
Enemies are much more aggressive, as you'd expect. In the original, to compensate for your wonky movement and squirrelly aiming, they would spend about half the time pointing at you like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and slowly creeping forward. This time, they know you have controls that work, so they're coming for your ass. It makes the big fights feel so much more hectic and dynamic.
Apart from the game's general pacing issues, not really alleviated due to its fairly strict adherence to the original, most of its flaws are small annoyances. The crafting system sucks, for example, because the only things worth making are shotgun shells, magnum ammo, and flash nades. Those require more gunpowder, plus a "Resource™" (either Small or Large). This means you'll often be out of gunpowder but with lots of "Resources™" left in your inventory. And you can't put those into storage, you can only store weapons. Sure.
I'm not a huge fan of the original RE4, but I consider this pretty much a straight upgrade, just like the recent Dead Space remake. There's not much reason to go back to the original outside of curiosity or wanting to enjoy the more... "outré" camp factor.
I do wish the remake still had the stomping Little Lord Boy statue.

I can't really say anything about the setting of this game; I've heard mixed things on how accurate things are, but I simply don't know enough/pretty much anything about Japan's history and culture to say. But I can say that I love how this game plays. Starting out, I was playing defensively, focusing on parrying and dodging. About halfway through, I instead switched to be aggressive, attacking my opponents first or interrupting their advances. While I prefer the latter approach, the fact that both of them, along with other approaches, are fun and intuitive playstyles tells me that the combat here is very well made.
What's not quite so well made are the collectibles. I feel like they tried to make things varied, but most of the collectibles are either annoyingly time consuming with not enough reward to be worth it (my completionist ass went for it all, though), or are boring. I enjoyed traversing obstacle courses for the Shinto Shrines, the bamboo strikes were brief but satisfying challenges, and the onsets were good ways to break the pace while providing insight into Jin's mind and giving the most consistently fruitful reward of the collectibles. All the others, though? Not very fun, and I only really did them to see funny number go up.
This is one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. It's realistic without sacrificing color and the natural beauty of the setting. I found myself feasting my eyes enough that I would often just sprint to my destinations instead of riding horseback, just to see the world for longer. Music didn't really stick out to me, but it did the job; I enjoyed the more tranquil music that would play in moments of peace.
Characters are a mixed bag. I love Lady Masako, Yuna, and Jin himself, but many of the others are negligible or even bad. Not helping matters is the story is rather basic, only getting dynamic near the end, so the focus really is on the characters.
Overall, when it comes to the general combat and gameplay, This is pretty much a straight 5/5 for me, but it's bogged down by the extracurriculars and middling characters and story. Really hope to see more of Ghost of Tsushima. Um, in the form of video games. This really doesn't need to be a movie.
Note: This was written before playing the Iki Island DLC. Doesn't really affect this review, but just know it wasn't in consideration with this review.

Story: D1 > D2
Gameplay: D2 > D1
Level Design: D2 > D1
Played as Corvo since I'm painfully gay for that old man, and I didn't wanna deprive him of seeing his goth boyfriend. His abilities still felt really fun and fresh bc of the unique level designs, and I'm glad I chose him. I did a pacifist run, but not a stealth run bc fuck that. This game is already hard enough as is, and full stealth seems a lot less doable in this game compared to the last. Loved the drop and slide knockouts, kinda broken lol.
Overall this game was a lot more fun and dynamic than D1, but I much preferred the story in D1. I also think even though the level design was better in D2, I preferred the slightly shorter levels of D1 just bc the levels in this game got looooooong. Overall though I'd rate it about the same as D1, albeit for opposite reasons haha. Really fun time

I originally bought the Bioshock collection solely for the first game. It was just the most convenient way for me to play it at the time. I was honestly just not interested in either Bioshock 2 or Infinite from what I've seen from them. So I played 1, enjoyed it enough, then moved on. Only recently have I heard talks that Bioshock 2, while flawed in its own right, has been criminally overhated. After taking a small look of some more footage online, I decided to give it a shot. And what do you know, I ended up liking it more then the first game.
It just feels nicer to play across the board. The simplification of the tedious hacking minigame from the first, dual wielding plasmids and guns at the same time so you can shock foes while you're reloading, you tend to get special ammunition and plasmids at a much brisker pace, and no location feels like it overstays its welcome. Was worried about having to defend the Little Sisters in this game, but honestly they were never an issue. Bioshock 2, like the first one, provides a lot of traps that help even out the swarms of crazed splicers out for you daughter. Not to mention, I feel Bioshock combat shines when you're pre-planning for either a Big Daddy encounter or one of the previously mentioned daughter defending missions. Really satisfying when you're patiently hacking security bots and laying tornado or spike traps, and then absolutely thrashing the opposition as they ragdoll into the air as your turrets shoot them midair.
The story was better then I was led to believe. I am in the mind that 1 has the stronger narrative, but if I'm honest I felt more attached to the characters of 2. Especially when factoring Minerva's Den, a very solid 2-3 hour DLC with a strong emotional ending.
I think what speaks volumes about my experience was that I had this game crash while saving... and it erased my data. Thankfully there was an autosave, but it only saves at the beginning of the level. As I found out later, I was right at the end of that level before losing my file. It did demoralize the hell out of me, but replaying the whole level wasn't really exhausting at all. In fact I built my character in a slightly different way, so it wasn't like I repeated everything I did exactly.
I'm not sure if this is one of my favorite FPSs, I need to think on it more, but I'm really glad to have given it a shot.
(...Sorry, but Infinite is not happening. It literally got rid of everything I liked about the first two. I definitely wouldn't enjoy my time with it)

Outer Wilds made me less convinced of Games' potential as an art form. Im being provocative on purpose but How many goddamned times is the message of a game that is praised for its artistic merit be, to one degree or another "Memento Mori"? Spiritfarer, What Remains of Edith Finch, Persona 3, Pentiment, now Outer Wilds. I like all of these games to varying degrees but it just makes me hopeless if time and time again thats seemingly the only subject games are praised for tackling. "Your life is limited and you will eventually die" Yeah thanks game, I already knew that, I literally think about it every single goddamned day, to a degree that actively makes me miserable. I know its stupid but I cannot help it and no amount of whimsical space banjos is going to change that!
In fairness my main issues with Outer Wilds are personal. When you make a game such as this its going to be loved by some and utterly alienate others and that is fine. Outer Wilds is a game that requires patience, and I have none. Fuck it, this is already way too personal of a review : I'm 80% sure I have ADHD and am in the process of getting diagnosed. All of my academic pursuits thus far have been failures because I physically cannot pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes at a time and get extremely frustrated when things don't go my way. When I am forced to queue at the Supermarket I grit my teeth and subequently fantasize about bludgeoning the customers in front of me with my shopping so I can cut in line.
So whilst it was a valiant effort on the part of Outer Wilds fans to tell me to never look anything up because this is a game of information, it was never going to happen. I tried, believe me. I figured some things out and especially in the first few hours or so I had a great time just leisurely exploring stuff and reading text and trying to puzzle it all together. Unfortunately Outer Wilds is a game that is 90% failure and 10% victory/discovery. As much as there is no consequence for failure other than time, figuring out how to get to a place and having to redo the loop twice cause the autopilot killed you or a tiny mistake on your part is demoralising. And that is the word I would use to describe Outer Wilds, it demoralised me in almost every aspect.
Now, I did keep playing the game and finished it, which still puts it better than most games and for sure there is SOMETHING here I enjoyed. Once you get used to the slighltly clunky controls and learn to never use the stupid autopilot unless the planet is literally in a straight line from you with only empty space between its pretty fun to fly around and discover stuff. The couple of "Aha" moments I did have were gratifying but sometimes I had figured out what I had to do but hadnt quite figured out exactly what the game meant me to do (the detective game problem). The artstyle is quite good and the music is great.
The high points of Outer Wilds are high, but to me its low points are so low It just left me cold. The amount of times I left a play session after failing to do something and just feeling shitty for the rest of the day, I just dont play games for that man. I would still recommend Outer Wilds. It is better than Outer Worlds, but I would only recommend it to people who have a lot of patience.
On a last note, I can see why people like the ending but I didnt. I was already just wanting the game to be over after the nightmare that was the Dark Bramble which I left for the end, and the dumb item gather quest I found irritating and after all that the ending is just a downer. Yes I know its on purpose blah blah dont struggle against the end etc but it just makes the quest seem kind of pointless to me. I think the Nomai writings about the Eye wherein one of the scholars wonders if the Eye of the universe actually didnt call the Nomai at all, they just ascribed it that significance and in fact the eye may not give any amount of shit about them was supposed to be metaphorical about religion and the indifference of the Universe towards us, as well as mirroring the player's own realization that the timeloop was just a coincidence. You were not on some supernatural quest to stop a supernova, you were coincidentally roped in to a system no longer manned or overseen by anyone. And I get it, but again I just don't like it, it bums me out. Idk, I have no better way to end this unhinged essay so heres a song I like : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzfoSLP_w1I

this game reconstucted my brain when i played it and it is now so deeply engrained in the architecture of my being that the foundations of my subjective experiences are inseparable from it.

Favorite Part: The "Crack in the Slab" mission where you have to manipulate time in order to solve puzzles. Really clever and well done.
Least Favorite: Having to constantly toggle on Dark Vision cuz they reduced its active time from the first game. >:(

So immensely satisfying and well-built. A perfect balance between Thief and later stealth games, having the fun jank parts to play with but with well-made systems that make it equal parts engaging over a long term.
I'll never forget playing this as a kid and discovering Corvo was Emily's dad on accident from a couple of the books hidden about the Dunwall Tower map.

Absolutely phenomenal the Dreg Heap might just be my favorite area in any video game (visually at least). This is truly the best sendoff one of the best trilogies of all time could have gotten.
Man, I love Dark Souls 3.

bounced right off the original back in 02 but this was a pretty fun time. i played this with a walkthrough as i wanted to experience the vibe without having to worry about keeping track of routing and completion. maybe that makes me soft but i think it helped this games strengths shine through. they really nailed the whole isolated, space anthropologist-with-an-arm-cannon feel of metroid, and the unforgiving and sometimes janky difficulty was just present enough to be nostalgic instead of frustrating.