404 Reviews liked by Reyn

Valley girls get misdiagnosed with BPD once and start acting like Zinaida.

To anyone who says this game is bad: I am in your walls. :3

Talk about an absolute improvement. ZOE2 enhances and refines almost every element from the first game (with the exception of the voice acting and music). Jehuty controls so insanely well and zipping around the field feels so smooth. Combat feels snappier and more strategic with how subweapons got overhauled, I was discovering easier ways to take down fights on subsequent playthroughs. Dingo is a sassy bitch and I love him. NG+ runs are where ZOE2 really shines, you can blast through the game in like an hour and a half, and be ready to hop right back in for more.
Also the mech designs CONTINUE TO COOK MAN

the lynchpin of pikmin 1 discourse is the time limit; intensely upsetting for some and the core of the game's appeal to others. this 30 day time limit serves a dual function: it not only provides a rigid skill barrier for players to overcome in order to reach an acceptable ending, but it also enhances the fear of the unknown. pikmin 1 explicitly highlights olimar's journey as one of necessity, where his survival is never guaranteed or even feasible. he has absolutely no understanding of the planet he's landed on (though his observations form valuable foreknowledge for later series protagonists), and thus every interaction he has with the unfamiliar flora and fauna must be taken with care. the time limit synergizes with this to create a looming, uncertain objective. without a layout of the planet to observe and plan around, every single miniscule decision becomes weighed against hundreds of similiarly small decisions down the line based on their efficiency. this creates an anxious drive to further improve and strategize, with the tension of olimar's life on the line ever growing the more you commit to your actions. while this system is static and not particularly interactive from a mechanical standpoint, and pikmin 3 would toy with its implications on routing via the fruit juice system, pikmin 1's implementation remains finely tuned to maximize the fear of unfettered exploration.
it may surprise you, then, that hey pikmin expertly turns this immersive friction on its head. from the moment it begins, one can sense that this olimar is older, less naive, and more familiar with the eccentricities of faraway planets. when he crash-lands on yet another planet, there is little in the way of suspense or anxiety. immediately there is a new objective put in front of him: 30,000 sparklium needed as fuel to escape. to the casual player, this might seem like an ordinary challenge, one that scarcely can capture the emotional resonance of the original pikmin. many have struggled to stay with this game because of it. I know I fell prey to this way of thinking myself.
however, after a mere few worlds, the genius of this requirement becomes apparent. the necessary sparklium to leave the planet is vast, and the rate at which you obtain it seems slight in comparison. the old fear began setting in, just as potent and all-consuming as before. even without an explicit time limit, hey pikmin weaves the claustrophobia of pikmin 1 by fostering a profound sense of ennui. this is a game shrouded in decay, obsessed with teasing out the ending drops of lust for adventure; exhaustively interrogating olimar's exploitation of each world he encounters. its minimalist level design and mechanics follow suit. I quickly found the further in I dug that these elements combine together to make every second spent fruitlessly in the game's world to be wasted time. every empty corridor without much sparklium or moment of inelegant routing through a level reintroduced that telltale anxiety, the feeling that I might have let more precious seconds slip through my hands. in these times I felt like olimar, synapses blown from an overexposure to new, meaningless experiences while desiring only to escape the planet.
beyond my personal feelings, the game's use of its sparklium as a ludonarrative device becomes essential for routing as well, as there is a vital interplay between treasure collection and overall "speedrunning" through the critical path. while the game features a significant amount of treasure, secret stages, and other collectables, the heady brew of boredom concocted by its featureless environments and slow progression are obviously intended to ensure that no player would be able to stomach actually taking a completionist route through the game (it wouldn't make sense for olimar to want to spend more time on the planet). therefore, the player is met with a choice at every fork in their road. will they spend valuable time searching for more treasure in each level and risk spending unnecessary time playing the game when easier treasure exists later on, or will they beeline towards the exit, expecting that it will be more time efficient to gather treasure in a later level? while this may sound similar to how pikmin 1 lays out many of its interactables such as destroyable gates and bridges that may be unnecessary in the long run, hey pikmin makes a major refinement to this formula. pikmin 1's time limit is cloying and artificial; it forces the player to consider their time spent playing as wasted through the mechanic. hey pikmin manages to instill the feeling of wasted time through its own design; a much more organic solution. this wouldn't be possible if the developers didn't center the game around this simultaneously rich yet hollow sensation of weariness. its lack of design speaks volumes. this unique manipulation of the player's expectations on platformer design spoke to me; I felt a wave of relief that brought me to the verge of tears when I finally reached my sparklium goal a mere two stages before the game was set to finish, saving myself from further time spent backtracking through old levels for treasure.
hey pikmin further breaks down the series' valorization of far-flung exploration by providing a new perspective on the relationship between olimar and the pikmin. other games in the series establish olimar as a paternal figure to the pikmin, as he guides their reproduction through the onion. while the onion is briefly featured in hey pikmin, olimar's primary method of gathering pikmin to his cause is now pulling them out of marked spots in the environment. these spots often replenish when your pikmin stock gets too low, creating an uneasy sense of worthlessness to maintaining a full pack of pikmin. furthermore, pikmin procured in each level are simply discarded after the fact, with olimar extracting more and more pikmin from the environment in each level. indeed, this game goes furthest in suggesting that olimar's direction of the otherwise-sentient pikmin violates their personhood and sense of worth.
there are two main aspects to this. the first is another ludonarrative trick that the series has had up its sleeve since the first entry. this is an incredibly subtle touch by the developers, so it may not be obvious to some, but by making the pikmin AI horrifically stupid, it actually conveys the idea that the pikmin themselves are stupid. hey pikmin goes out of its way to show that olimar takes the pikmin into situations outside of their natural environment they are highly ill-equipped for cognitively, such as moving platforms, small differences in elevation, and areas near tiny enemies. this recklessness on the part of olimar juxtaposed with his inability to emote and lack of character comes off as a recharacterization of him as perhaps sociopathic. hey pikmin approaches this idea from another direction as well; in what seems like a homage to the strong anti-capitalist themes of pikmin 2, olimar uses the pikmin cast aside at the end of each level as a task force for resource extraction in other parts of the planet. this small between-level management minigame reeks of colonial exploitation, casting a new shadow at olimar's "activities" on each planet he visits. while pikmin 2 analyzed the economic implications of resource extraction from the untainted wilderness, hey pikmin instead centers those desperate workers forced into servitude at the fringes of empire.
vastly overlooked by the majority of the gaming public thanks to its late release in the life of the 3ds and seeming low-budget status, hey pikmin is a crowning aesthetic achievement that none should miss. it brilliantly unravels the myths behind pikmin as a series while simultaneously building upon the ideas of its forebears. pass it by only if you want to miss a shocking portrait of the listlessness and apathetic abuse at the heart of exploration. a forward step for the medium; sleep paralysis in video game form.

An absolutely magical game. I love every single ounce of the presentation, and the gameplay is super snappy and fun. More games should ooze joy like this one does at every turn

This review contains spoilers

Game deadass tells you "okay, for this mission you gotta stay in front of a crashing meteor and the crater will be the battlefield" and you want to tell me this isn't peak?
If this game nails something is that it goes HARD. You just came from AC1 and PP and first thing is that FMV with that dope music and let me tell you I'm already absolutely digging it.
Another thing is how the pacing here is basically perfect: switching from the arena to the missions is great and most missions are very well designed and have a way better understanding of how the mechanics work than AC1 and PP. It's just having tons of fun from beginning to end and oh boy WHAT AN END.
It's basically everything getting the cherry on top: you see The Hustler One being first in the rankings, you basically are second place and you're not fighting him in an average ass Arena, hell no. You get a whole last mission based around Nine-ball and let me tell you it's gonna wipe that bitter taste Stinger-Phantasma gave you and leave you with a fight that you won't soon forget, to say the least.
Intro goes HARD.
Music goes HARD.
Game goes HARD.
AC:MOA goes HARD. And I fucking love it.

It's not the first time I'm checking backloggd reviews just to see some takes here and there only for getting into some of the worst ways I could waste my time into. Like, I get it, backloggd reviews are bad, but I'm getting tired of the pattern of people throwing a lot of crap to one game, checking out their profile and their score graph looks like the stairs they've fallen from when they were children with their favourite game being Full Metal Daemon Muramasa. It's funny but gets boring after a while.
One other thing, I don't really like "reviewing" stuff, it's more about conveying how I felt playing the games I played, I can easily review a game but have you ever done that? It gets so stale so quick and nobody is paying you to talk about a product no one gives a shit about just for some likes, especially if you're gonna be controversial about it.
That being said, we can finally talk about how this game treated me like a bitch because I didn't know "OP-Intensify" was a thing to carry from AC3 so here I am. Game has literally the best mission quality so far, with some of them having the best scenarios I've ever seen in an AC; it is a relentless gauntlet that doesn't let you go until the game is done. Remember how Master of Arena wanted to end every mission with an AC fight? Well, here you're gonna get used to play 1v2. Oh, with your remaining AP and ammo, of course. And don't think even for a second that what comes before it might be barely as easy as you hope it to be, I'm already having "Defend Lawdas Factory" PTSD over here.
Lucky for me, though, I'm a sucker for this kind of challenges: the game has some of the most build variety I have ever seen and made me learn (again) that most of the gameplan is made in the garage. Back weapons and Left Arm weapons have wayyy more options than we used to have, and the new part designs for this game are insanely good, I really wanted to rebuild my 3 ACs from scratch just because how good looking those were and how many options this game makes you toy with is just insane.
And, on top of that, one of the most compelling soundtracks in the franchise so far: Kota Hoshino's last "banger tracks" I remembered were from Master of Arena and, while 2 and 3 were fine with some very good tracks here and there, Silent Line just obliterates them in overall quality.
Only real gripes I have is that the arena didn't have as much care as the other titles (even though it gets hard pretty quick, the top 3 wasn't that hard to begin with MEANWHILE CORPSE MAKER MADE ME LOSE MY MIND) and the final boss, while having literally the best design I've ever seen in AC along with Nine-ball Seraph, doesn't put quite a show and that's a shame since the difficulty of this game has been very high through most of my playthrough. Also, even though I really enjoy challenging games, this one raised the bar a bit too high in some frustrating ways: this game almost never refills your AP and ammo, so you're getting some of the missions with whole difficult chunks to do in one go and if you fuck up ONE section you know you're not gonna last for the end of them. Challenging me through movement, puzzles, fighting skills is very fun but not when you stretch the whole bunch of them in one go, it just gets tedious and frustrating.
But that being said, Silent Line has it all: customization, memorable missions, memorable soundtrack, very compelling atmosphere and some of the best designs I've seen for the mechs. Do I like it more than MOA? To be fair, I don't know at all because these two games nail a lot of stuff in different ways so it's really hard to me to compare them. But that aside, I'm getting a break from this franchise since I've been playing these games nonstop and they're mad good, mind you, but I don't want to risk a "burnout" from playing to much of the same thing, especially when the difficulty bar gets exhausting like this game does. Incredible game, but for the love of god play AC3 before this.

Jet Set Radio is an underrated gem of a game. The gameplay, aesthetic, and music are so incredibly unique and of their time you just can't help but enjoy yourself with just how 90s this game is. That is not to say this game is all about the aesthetic, the gameplay is highly engaging and takes a good while to master but when you do there are few games as satisfying to control.

+insanely fast-paced, violent combat with a distinct platinum refinement to it
+making parries the main defensive option gives the combat a particularly aggressive bent, while still avoiding completely being a hack and slash
+the blade mode ability plus being able to get a full heal off of any enemy by ripping their artificial heart fucking rules, feels so satisfying
+even though it's not a proper kojima game they do a solid job making it "feel" like kojima's writing and incorporating metal gear lore/design
+excellent boss fights for the majority of the game, and they're usually pretty forgiving with the health pickups as well making learning each bosses' patterns less frustrating
+I sort of like the stealth honestly, I wish the radius for taking down an enemy was a little wider given how touchy the controls are but otherwise it's nice to approach certain areas this way with little penalty if you fail
+other than normal goons being cannon fodder as one would expect, many of the enemies are legitimately dangerous and it keeps the combat fresh late into the game
+this is a very setpiece-heavy game and it reminds me quite a bit of similar games from the generation before, one of the last of its kind for sure
+60fps on ps3.... this is so huge. obviously it's not perfect by any means but playing a ps3 action game actually running at 60 fps most of the time was shocking to me
+I honestly enjoy the story; even though it's all over the place it's a lot of fun and relatively cogent (especially considering the game it's a sequel to). it doesn't have time to explore some of its themes deeply but it really does try, which is a very important aspect of an mgs game imo
+definitely a platinum thing but I appreciate how this game both has a solid combo system and also makes it very acceptable to mash buttons. usually you can't have both and it's nice to see this game make it work
+so many off-the-wall insane cutscenes and sequences, they really cranked it up to 11 in ridiculousness. mariachi raiden...
+the ninja run sections are cute, I much prefer those to the random QTEs in bayonetta lol
-the camera is absolutely absymal, shockingly bad considering platinum's other work. an over-the-shoulder perspective just doesn't work for these kind of games, obscuring much of the screen with raiden esp when he's moving towards the camera, and the camera otherwise is prone to jittering and jumping inconveniently
-the second half of the game seems rushed, with two boss repeats, a 15-minute long chapter where you run through a previous area backwards, and very little in the way of regular combat sequences with a lot of cutscenes instead. thankfully the file 6 boss is an excellent fight
-enemy variety could be a little better... not that big of a deal because the game isn't very long
-I know he's a fan favorite and I loooooved his cutscenes but the armstrong fight was exceedingly frustrating on hard. it feels too focused on running willy nilly around the arena dodging his AoE moves without rewarding parries like the other bosses do, and fighting the camera the whole time doesn't help. most of the damage is dealt in QTE sequences which is a bad look imo, whereas on hard he can easily take out 2/3 of a health bar at once, or even instant death if he gets a wall-bounce during the flame walls section, esp since I had no reserve nanopaste. I could go on and on, and admittedly the fight was cake once nanopaste started dropping part of the way through, but this was such a difficulty spike after the previous bosses taking no more than 2 tries apiece (other than sundowner), I probably spent upwards of 20 continues here
-tutorials are pretty shoddy, and it really could use a more thorough explanation of Offensive Defense's properties especially since it's virtually mandatory for the second-to-final boss
-I could do without so many analog stick rotation QTEs, I hate having to put my palm on the stick over and over again, especially against the fucking mantiff enemies
for the first half especially I adored this game, and even though the second half left a sour taste in my mouth I still feel like this is an essential modern action game to try whether you're a metal gear fan or not. having played both zone of the enders 2nd runner and no more heroes 2 in the last month I'm given flashbacks to both of them in a positive way, and it's made me want to get back into playing platinum's oeuvre, esp since designer takahisa taura's ideas here seem to have leaked into nier automata and astral chain in some ways. also without question a must-own for ps3 owners given its excellent performance and metal gear ties

One of the Metroid 2 remakes of all time